Category: business management

NOTHING BUT THE VERY BEST »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur “Make every product better than it’s ever been done before.  Make the parts you cannot see as well as the parts you can see.  Use only the best materials, even for the most everyday items.  Give the same attention to the smallest detail as you do to the largest.  Design […]

THREE SKILLS THAT CAN GUARANTEE BIZ SUCESS »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur My daughter recently opened her own hair salon.  She will be a total success.  I know this for sure – no, not because she is my daughter, but because she has the three skills that can virtually guarantee the success of any business owner. Success Skill # 1:  Relationship skills.  […]

BEST ADVICE: IGNORE ADVCE »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur “Seek advice, but use your own common sense.” – Yiddish Proverb   As a business owner, I love good advice.  However, there is darn little of it out there, at least in terms of my specific situation.  I have also grown to detest unsolicited advice, if only because it always […]

BUILD UP YOUR GLOBAL NEIGHBORHOOD … AND YOUR SALES »

One of the keys to success for many businesses is to create/promote a sense of belonging, of community, even if the business is far-flung and worldwide. We see this in “buy local” campaigns. We also see it in expansive chains such as Starbucks, which creates an atmosphere of the neighborhood coffee shop … even in […]

THE FEMININE TOUCH IN BUSINESS »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur Fifty years ago, it was a man’s world.  The majority of women who were in business were secretaries and personal assistants.  Women rarely ran the show.  That has since changed … a lot.  In fact, the very nature of business has been overhauled and re-invented since women began to move […]

YOUR ATTITUDE WILL MAKE OR BREAK YOUR BUSINESS »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur As a hands-on manager-owner, your most important business-building tool is your attitude.  I saw a great example of how this works a few months ago when meeting with two fast-food restaurant managers, both affiliated with the same chain.  The stores were almost identical in terms of demographics, and both relied […]

DO YOU DELEGATE? TAKE THIS SELF-QUIZ! »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur As a small business owner, you’re used to clocking long hours.  That goes with the territory. However, if you’re logging more than your share of 10, 12, 15-hour days (while your employees waltz out the door at quitting time) something’s wrong.  Sure, it’s nice to know that your company couldn’t […]

STOP BLAMING THE RECESSION »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur Yes, we are awallow in The Great Recession.  So, take a few minutes to snivel, whine, complain … and then get over it.  If your biz is in the tank, stop blaming the recession.  And definitely stop sitting around hoping and waiting for it to end.  Do something about it! […]

Review your Day’s LBs & NTs »

by John R. Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur  Fred Pryor/Career Track, the seminar people, have become one of my key clients.  I get to travel around the country and do business workshops.  Pretty neat.  Check them out at www.pryor.com.  One of their policies is to encourage their contractors to analyze the events of the day, to […]

SCHEDULE VACATION DAYS FIRST »

I recently spoke with a biz owner who, convinced the place would go to pieces without her constant presence, hasn’t had a full day off in 12 years.  If that sounds too familiar for comfort, here are two suggestions to get you a few days off for fun and recreation in 2011. First, in advance, […]

SATURDAY BUSINESS: EMPLOYEE OF THE DAY »

PATTY @ PAPA MURPHY’S MADE MY DAY It was 11:45 AM on a knock-about Saturday.  I’d just finished doing some clean-up at our church and was ready to pick up two pizzas that I could pop into the oven later today for dinner for friends before heading off to hear/see Messiah at Green Bay’s Weidner […]

HIRE QUALITY »

I’m a solo-preneur these days; have been since 2004.  While I like the freedom (get to come and go as I please), going it alone is very limiting.  There’s only one me, and I am finding that my time and talents are very limited, especially in the rapidly changing techno-world.  Going solo almost entirely eliminates […]

MORE ON BUYING LOCAL »

Wow!  Did I ever get an overpriced truckload of criticism about my recent piece on buying local, on daring to point out that local businesses need to treat their local customers special.  So, let me try again. If you own a local business in a small town (or if you’re a small biz in a […]

“BUY LOCAL” MUST BE A TWO-WAY STREET »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur   This one’s liable to get me in big trouble with some folks, especially my local business owners.  But here goes.  I’m seeing major problems with the long-term viability of “buy local” programs.  Okay, the idea makes sense, but ONLY if the local businesses play ball.  Too often, they […]

IT’S ALWAYS MANAGEMENT’S FAULT! »

“When troops flee, are insubordinate, distressed, collapse in disorder or are routed, it is the fault of the general.” — Sun Tzu Decades ago, I was doing some training for a big-name Wall Street investment company.  My go-to guy and I were in a meeting when his boss came in and – right in front […]

PERKS ON THE CHEAP »

Times are tough!  Well, here’s some good news:  There’s no need to break the bank to keep employees satisfied.  According to a recent survey, you may be able to sidestep employee unrest on the cheap by making available the following perks: Free water or soda (chosen by 50% of respondents); Casual dress day (43%); Free […]

THE ONE PERCENT SOLUTION! »

As business owners, we love (or envy) those stories about the business that increases its sales by 35% one year, 50% the next, etc.  Unfortunately, most of us would giggle ourselves silly if we picked up 10% a year. Here’s what I do:  I look for ways to directly increase my sales or lower my […]

HONE YOUR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE IN 2010 »

Hopefully, you are knee deep in 2010 planning … or, if you’re an overachiever, you’re already done.  That means you …   Have laid out your goals for the year. Mapped out the daily or weekly activities that will bring those goals to realization. Are chomping a the bit to break out of the gate on January 4 and […]

THE LOW-BALL PRICE LEADER … LOSES »

Guilty as charged.  I’ve cut my prices to my clients when times got tough.  The result? It made me look like just another hack writer out there.  In the end, I lost money and I lost business.   What I should have done:  Reminded my clients that I’m the best … and focused on how working with […]

CUTTING PRICES IS LIKE CUTTING YOUR THROAT! »

Amazing!  Every retailer this holiday season (and a whole lot of service people, it seems) is slashing prices to draw in customers.  I suspect more than a few are losing money on every sale … but figure they’ll make it up on volume.  Look for them to go belly up in the first quarter of […]

WHEN THE CHECK’S NOT IN THE MAIL »

Who’d have thought that getting paid would be so tough?  Well, welcome to the recession, often evidenced by customers who try to stretch their payments as far they can.  What to do to collect on overdue bills?  Try the following ten ideas:   1.     Have a system in place to deal with delinquencies.  Establish good collection […]

HOW TO REDUCE LATE PAYMENTS FROM CLIENTS »

Like Charlie Brown in a Peanuts cartoon standing by the mailbox in hope of receiving a Valentine’s Day card, too many of us small business owners  these days find ourselves anxiously waiting for the arrival of that overdue payment.  If the problem gets too serious, it can domino-affect our entire lives –  as we stretch […]

DON’T GET BURNED WHEN LAYING OFF EMPLOYEES »

With hundreds of thousands of jobs being lost monthly, workforce reductions today create  massive liability for businesses.  Regardless of how it’s done, there is exposure to liability.  However, how it is done can still reduce liability. John Haase, Managing Partner, Labor & Employment Litigation Leader for the law firm of Godfrey & Kahn, Green Bay, Wisconsin, offers specific […]

BUY-SELL AGREEMENTS: THE BASICS »

There’s a good chance your business will be knocked for a loop if you die or become disabled … that is unless you make plans in advance.  One option worth exploring is a buy-sell agreement. A buy-sell agreement answers the “what if” question about what will happen to the business if one of the owners […]

SHOULD YOU HIRE YOUR KIDS FOR THE SUMMER? »

The very thought is fraught with perils, pitfalls… and exciting possibilities.  The idea of hiring their children for the summer brings a dreamy look to the eyes of many small business owners…as they envision a dynasty bearing the family name being handed down from generation to generation. Then they break into a cold sweat as […]