Archive for November, 2008

Top Ten Ways to Bring Holiday Joy to Your Small Business »

The Issue: With the holidays approaching faster than any foreseeable end to our current economic meltdown, Mike McDerment, CEO of FreshBooks (, a leading online invoicing service for small businesses, offers some expert advice that can help you and your business enjoy this holiday season, despite the lousy economy.    What Mike Thinks: These 10 […]

Fear & Pride: Enemies of Personal Growth »

Besides being a ton of fun hanging out with my two grandcritters, Ben (8) and Luke (4); it’s been a terrific reminder of how we develop and grow as human beings.   You’ve been around little kids and tried to reach in to help them with a puzzle or draw a picture. The result is […]

Heads Up: Retail Gift-Card Values at Risk »

The Issue: When retailers file for bankruptcy, gift-card and other account cardholders could be left high and dry. What I Think:  Of course, we wish only the best for small businesses of all types. But while understandably not their first concern if going out of business is at hand, retailers should be aware that gift-card […]


  Let’s call it like it is:  Tough times ahead!  No, I’m not a doom-and-gloomer.  Far from it.  I am an optimist.  Besides, I truly love the challenge of tough times.  They seem to bring out all the best business instincts in me.     All I’m saying is that it pays to be ready … mentally ready.  […]

Customer Service: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly »

The Issue: Customer service means meeting the needs of your key constituencies: Those sainted souls who have bought, will buy or might buy your products and services. Performed well, it can easily make your business; neglected, it can break it like a matchstick. What I Think: Routine customer service should be wind-and-go. At times, though, […]

A Tale of Two Customers »

The following is  a guest  article by Dr. Robert (Flute) Snyder of Hudson, Wisconsin, who worked thirty years as a college professor of music, appeared at Carnegie Recital Hall and was reviewed favorably in the New York Times. He served several years as a professional secretary, filled unemployment gaps for almost thirty years as a small […]


These aren’t shaping up to be get-fat-rich-and-happy times for small business owners.  With the economy losing altitude fast, many of us are tightening our belts, cutting back and hoping this doesn’t turn into a full-blown depression.    In the meantime, a breed of so-called “customers,” better described as predators, is on the prowl.  These folks are […]

Adding Insult to Injury »

So You Think Your Computers Are Safe? The Issue: Computers are indispensable business and personal communications tools, with the operative word being indispensable. When your computer system crashes (that’s, when, not if), the effect on your business and personal lives is that of a maliciously placed Monkey Wrench. But when that unhappy effect is caused […]


I believe we get as many second chances as we are willing to take.  It’s when we are no longer willing to get up, but instead give up and stop trying, that we are in trouble.   I’ve been knocked down — I mean flat-on-my-face knocked down hard — twice in my life, from had […]

My Sales Epihany »

I contend that all of us are in sales regardless of our chosen vocation or profession.  As a small-business owner—your livelihood depends on your ability to sell and yet many entrepreneurs are not truly effective at it. For twenty years I made a living selling life insurance. The early years were truly a struggle until […]


There are two things I hate.  One is “management theory.”  The other are meetings.   Regarding management theory:  I’ve been in business nearly 25 years.  No, I’m no genius, and I’m not as rich as Steve Jobs.  But I have learned that good management theory is nothing more than good common sense.  Example:  Know your […]


As an economic capitalist and and a political conservative, I know one thing for sure:  As business owners, we do not share wealth … we CREATE it!  We take a lump of material worth 50 cents or an idea worth even less, add some sweat and ingenuity, and create a product that sells for $4.50 […]

Slow Paying Clients? It’s Your Fault! »

The Issue: Judging by the volume of mail generated by the October 20 Issue of Week, “Getting Your Bills Paid” is a red-hot topic for small-business owners! So this week, instead of spouting off what I think, we’re going to share ideas from a reader about how SBOs can get their bills paid despite the […]

Call Coaching from Home »

Like millions of our fellow Americans, Renee and I placed ourselves on the Do Not Call list.   We did so reluctantly because of my many years as a life insurance agent. The telephone was crucial to our livelihood so I felt a little guilty about not taking the unsolicited calls.   Unfortunately, however, because […]