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Business Perspectives

Will Small Business Win in the End?

A few weeks ago Schumpeter, the nom de plume for each current author of the business op-ed column in The Economist, postulated the decline and fall of the Western Corporation. Could small business be the little furry mammals of the 21st …
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Boomers and the Lost Generation

Those who read this column regularly are well aware of the huge shifts underway as a result of the Baby Boomers’ coming exodus from the workplace. Those who aren’t familiar with the issue are invited to download my free, 45-page …
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Is There Anything CEOish for Me to Do?

The line is from one of my favorite New Yorker cartoons. It’s being asked by an executive of his secretary. It is also a common question of business owners who have built successful organizations. The need for a CEO is present …
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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

Is Your Business Built on Individual Heroics?

Great employees are a wonderful gift, but individual heroics aren’t healthy for your business. Someday, you will start thinking about leaving the business. Perhaps you already do. When you begin planning for your transition, what will your company systems sound like …
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Maximize Resources - Use What You Have

Every owner wants to maximize resources. The whole concept of profitability is based on doing the most with the least, but we often are trapped in the prevailing thought pattern about how things “should” be done. When taking a car …
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What is Your CEO Job Description?

On occasion, a business owner client will ask me if I have a CEO job description. I’m sure such exist in large corporations, but for an owner-managed company it’s a bit vague. The simple (and usual) answer is that the …
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Marketing and Sales

When a Customer Outgrows You

There is nothing that quite matches the excitement of landing your first really big customer. It often brings with it the confidence that comes with knowing, really knowing, that you can compete in the big leagues. There could be the added security of …
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Never Fire a Salesperson

The majority of business owners prefer linking pay to employee performance. The sales role in most businesses is the easiest and most obvious place to begin. Yet owners struggle with compensating salespeople in a manner that is affordable while still driving sustained performance. Building …
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Invisible Discounts

In the words of the late, great Father Guido Sarducci of Saturday Night Live fame; “I canna teach you everything you need to know about business inna fiva minutes. You buya something, and thena you sell it for more.” A …
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