Category: Feature

Shredding to Success »

Okay, okay…so I’m not exactly Dr. Phil. However, for a few brief paragraphs I’m going to anoint myself as Dr. Bill. As Lucy might say to Linus, “The Doctor is In!” No degree. No fancy television show. No groupies. But a boat load of common sense in what I’m about to suggest. Recently I attended […]

Don’t Ask—Don’t Sell »

There is an ongoing political debate in our country about whether gays should serve in the military; and an even bigger debate as to whether they should profess said sexual orientation to their superiors. Frankly, I have no strong feelings one way or another about the issue. However, I am fascinated by Bill Clinton’s second […]

The Crumbly Biscuit »

Although the incident occurred twenty-five years ago, I remember it as if it was yesterday. My business mentor, Jim, and I were meeting for breakfast at a nationally-known franchise in a central Iowa town. It was his turn to order for both of us as we each had our usual—a bacon & egg biscuit with […]

“How’s the Egg?” »

Customer Service, Client Building & Follow-Up The Issue: Small-business owners–and anyone else who enjoys a good sandwich–need a place like “Shelly Deli.” This sandwich shop in a convenience store by the bay in Safety Harbor, Florida makes the best “Cubans” and hoagies in town. Any town! With friends coming for lunch Thursday, we’d phoned-in for […]

Engineering Success »

A Conversation with Nicholas L. Gregory Responding to a 1979 Stanford Research Institute survey, 37,000 affluent individuals said they were frustrated with too many financial services companies with too many poorly trained high-pressure sales reps pushing too many prepackaged products.  In 1982, a young Ohio financial advisor, Nicholas Gregory, read that survey and realized this […]

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 […]

CAPITALISM 101 »

Socialism sounds nice.  Everybody takes care of each other, nobody goes hungry, etc.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t work.  Capitalism does.  It enables everyone to take care of himself or herself so nobody goes hungry, etc.    Capitalism makes it possible for people to purchase the greatest variety of goods for the lowest possible prices.  (Government subsidies, […]

All The President’s Mien »

Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. –James Madison The Issue: As much as Obama & Co. wants to direct the efforts of American business by appearing to be confident, in-charge leaders who know exactly how things will turn out, it’s all an illusion. No one in this administration has gotten his hands […]

“NO PROBLEM” REDUX »

The Issue Whatever happened to “You’re welcome?” What I Think Several months ago Issue of the Week gently chastised sales and customer-contact people…and waaay too many others in all types of businesses…who say “No Problem” when thanked. Not that I thought we’d nip that particular verbal transgression in the proverbial bud, but it’s been getting […]

HAVE YOU MADE ENOUGH “MISTRAKES” TODAY? »

I had an employee once who thought it was her job to catch me in mistakes … and to make me feel as stupid as possible about it.  That got old real fast, especially because I used to make a lot of mistakes.  But in a strange way, I must say that (today, in retrospect) […]

That Crucial Recovery Shot »

Even though I enjoy (?) playing the game and one of my three sons was a golf professional before accepting a position with the Nationwide PGA Tour, by no stretch of the imagination am I an expert on the sport of golf.   To illustrate that point, at one time I assumed that great golfers hit […]

Your Greatest Power »

The Serenity Prayer God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.   One of the most valuable lessons I have learned as the years have gone by is the futility of being concerned about things over which I […]

KEEP EMPLOYEES IN THE LOOP »

These are tough times for businesses.  Odds are that your employees know it too.  Like a sword hanging over their heads, they’re worried about the future, too.  Here are a few suggestions to boost morale, allay fears and keep your team focused:   1.                     Communicate.  Not knowing what is going on is worse than hearing […]

BOOSTING EMPLOYEE MORALE IN TOUGH TIMES »

You know that financially stable employees are less distracted, more productive. They are also more likely to stay with your company. This helps boost retention, reduce turnover, and lower the costs of finding, attracting and training new hires. With this in mind, I’m pleased to announce that I’ve formed a new business — Family Finances […]

Avoiding the Taxman? »

States Offer Voluntary Disclosure Programs to Help With Delinquent Tax Returns By Jonathan Medows, CPA Medows CPA, PLLC (www.medowscpa.com). Despite the obvious benefits of being your own boss: flexible hours…stimulating daily work…the opportunity to make more money than you can working for someone else, small-business owners and freelancers face challenges unique to self-employment. Along with […]

7 Great Affirmations for the Unemployed With Practical Tips You Can Apply Today »

By Paul & Tracey McManus, Authors of The 7 Great Prayers: For a Lifetime of Hope and Blessings Lost jobs. Lost homes. Lost hope It’s in the headlines, it’s on the news, and it’s in our day-to-day conversations with people we care about: family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and people within our spiritual circles. When you’re […]

DON’T BE TOO HONEST »

“I’m barely surviving,” one frustrated business owner told me recently.  “Keep it to yourself,” I fired back quickly.    Yes, many of us are being challenged by the state of the economy today.  We’re tightening up expenses, finding creative ways to promote ourselves, and looking at both our customer bases and product lines with a […]

QUOTE WITHOUT COMMENT »

“The beautiful part of being an SBO in these times is that you will not get fired, laid off, downsized. You may be dead broke but you still have a job to get up for, and probably many more dragons to be slain.” Jim Truckey Entrepreneur www.nautical-gifts.us

TIME BANDITS CAN ROB YOUR PRODUCTIVITY »

It’s no longer a matter of time management.  It’s more like time protection, as the pace keeps getting faster, and the ways to get thrown off task have hi-tech multiplied.  The bottom line:  Your time is under assault, and the attacks are ongoing, relentless.  Some will be from well-intentioned acquaintances who want to invite you […]

Flipping the Switch »

The Issue Are you ready for anything? In these uncertain times, with Washington pols providing little if any credible leadership, Freestyle Entrepreneurs better know when its time to flip the switch from inaction (normalcy) to action (adaptability). What I Think Air force aviators are taught survival in the most hostile environments and worst possible weather. […]

The Economic Stimulus Package »

The Issue Congress passed a $787 billion stimulus package on February 13, 2009. The measure passed in the House with no Republican votes. Three Republican senators, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and Arlen Specter joined the Democrats to pass the bill, by a vote of 60-38, in the Senate. President Barack Obama, who originally drafted the […]

House Calls Revisited »

The Issue: Remember when doctors came to your home when you were sick? Anyone who grew up in the ‘40s and ’50 probably does. A relic of the past? Well, yes. But apparently one that’s worth a second look; this time as “Elite Care MD,” a medical practice that caters to business owners and anyone […]

When Opportunity Is Just Around the Bend »

Don’t Cut Corners The Issue: When responding to opportunities, businesses typically have several decisions to make. Among them, the trade off between the prices they will ask for their new products or services (if any) and the cost of delivering those products and services at a profit. For a manufacturing business, however, there is a […]

More Recession-Proofing Tips »

By Bill Willard Contributing Author The Issue:  Helping SBOs keep their heads above water during the recession has been a recurring theme on this and other Websites, as well as in newspapers, magazines and other media outlets for and about business owners.  Because every little bit helps–and you can never tell where your next great idea […]

Economic Stimulus In the Wrong Hands »

By Bill Willard Contributing Author The Issue: The nation’s economy is in dire straits, but Congress, whose charge is fixing the problem, has demonstrated one thing: They’re not up to the job.  What I Think: As Ronald Reagan always maintained: The Federal government is not the solution, it’s the problem. indeed, the perfidity of many […]