Recent Posts

Business Perspectives

Choosing Not to Maximize Profits

The other day, a client asked me to review some questions from an MBA student studying business ownership. One of the questions was “Are you doing everything possible to maximize profits?” I’ve seen the same question asked in a number …
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What the Heck is Exit Planning?

The wave of Baby Boomer retirements is beginning. I’ve been writing and speaking about exit planning nationally for the last ten years, (you can download my free eBook on the subject here), but the inevitability of the demographics is gaining …
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Let the Business Owners Pay for It

When it comes to “No taxation without representation,” the rallying cry of our founding fathers, few identifiable population segments are as abused as business owners. One of my long-time clients is a franchisor, and until very recently I was a …
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Exit Planning

Exiting a "Time and Place" Business

“The purpose of middlemen in the marketplace is to provide time and place utility.” I remember the light bulb going on in Economics 101 when my professor said that.  Suddenly, I understood the concept of added value. Someone had to get the …
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The Unsellable Company

What does an unsellable company look like? Some business brokers will assert that there is a buyer for any business. That may be true, but historically four out of every five small businesses listed for sale fail to sell. In …
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A Transition to Exit Planning

It is time for a new direction. This marks my 400th posting to this site. I’ve enjoyed writing weekly about the daily issues and opportunities of business owners for almost ten years, but it is time for a change. Awake …
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Managing Employees

Branch Mentality and Sanctuary Cities

Every multi-unit company suffers from branch mentality. I’ve worked with many, and no matter how much they promote a corporate culture and team spirit, branch mentality creeps in sometimes. It comes in two versions; the outposts’ attitude and the headquarter’s …
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Bah Humbug! Remembering Mr. Fezziwig

To celebrate the holiday, I’m reprinting a post from 2012 about the underappreciated boss of A Christmas Carol, Mr. Fezziwig. I hope that you enjoy it. Merry Christmas! Last week was the 170th anniversary of the publication of Charles Dickens’ …
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The Entrepreneurship Meritocracy

For those of us who compete in the entrepreneurship meritocracy, listening to the complaints of those who are employed can sometimes be irksome. I recently sat at an open table for an event. One of the other guests there was …
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Marketing and Sales

The New Information Direction: Push Over Pull

Ever since we started using computers in virtually every business, we’ve been putting data into them. Unfortunately, the issue has been getting information back out. In the middle 1980’s I ran a manufacturing company together with a couple of Australians. They thought …
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Help Your Friends, Not Your Competitors'

I hear it all too often. “A customer just called us for a quote. They have always done business with our competitor. We’re going to give them our best deal, and see if we can take their business.” Before you …
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Small Businesses Fantasies: Service

As an evangelist for small business, I am the consumer equivalent of the locally-grown food movement. I spend as much of my discretionary income as possible with the owned-and-operated businesses in my area. As a consultant and coach to owners, I also …
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