Category: Issue of the Week


    In the past, I’d always adhered to the hard and fast rule that business and politics do not mix.  No political signs in your yard or storefront.  That’s because the number one goal of business is to make money, and I saw no sense in risking losing customers just because our political views […]


It’s happening right now.  As the towering super wave approaches, all we hear at first is the innocent sound of envelopes being opened … followed by such sounds as “You’ve got to be kidding!” (and that’s the most polite response).  Millions of individuals and businesses are receiving notice of significant health care premium notices right […]

“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 […]

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 […]

Together Again for the First Time »

Issue of the Week Together Again for the First Time We’ve Made It This Far. What’s Next? The Issue: In 2006, the oldest of 78.2 million Baby Boomers, the generation born between 1946 and 1964, turned 60 years old. That, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, works out to 7,918 turning 60 every day or […]

Need a Loan? If You’re an SBO, Forget It! »

Issue of the Week Need a Loan?  If You’re an SBO, Forget It! The Issue: Wall Street is back doling out the usual six-figure bonuses as if the U.S. economy hadn’t been in the tank for the past two years. But SBOs looking for routine financing are finding they’re still plumb out of luck. What […]

Leadership Lessons For SBO Managers »

Leadership Lessons For SBO Managers Leadership, Like Class, is Hard to Define, But Easy to Spot! The Issue:  Not all of the SBO stalwarts we write for and about on Freestyle Entrepreneur are lone guns struggling to build their businesses from a spare bedroom. Some of you lurch uncontrollably into conspicuous success, and find yourselves […]

Got Something to Say? Say It! »

    The Issue:  SBOs need to correct misconceptions they may have had about others…especially if they’ve dragged them out into the open…in print…online…for the world to see! What I Think: Last week, I sounded off about the young fellow I called about detailing my car. He had a first-class Website, devoted readers will recall, […]

SBO’s Should Be Interested & Interesting »

The Issue: SBOs need to match professionally designed Websites with equally professional-sounding telephone voices. What I Think: I’ve written in this space about grown women on TV/Cable with girlish voices losing a lot of their authority. The same goes for SBOs of both the popular genders who’ve taken the trouble of mounting a winning Web […]

Telemarketing Etiquette – It’s All About Manners! »

The Issue With today’s modem-based auto-dialers, telemarketers can easily manage thousands of outbound calls in one shot. A handy device for call center operations or telemarketers working solo, with its flexibility in recording calls auto-dialers also work just fine with market research. Basically, clicking the Dial button triggers a call to the next number on […]


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 […]


The Issues This week we tackle two issues: Avoid blocking visibility and creating hazarous conditions in your parking lot. Why many women need voice lessons, and what they can do about it. What I Think What’s the connection? None really. Except that it’s better to know sooner than later about potential problems—or things that are […]

Exploring Your Resources »

By Bill Willard Contributing Author The Issue Small-business owners should take time to put their companies under a microscope, assessing what they’re doing and what they could be doing better, and fixing what needs to be fixed. What I Think If this is a good time for you to do that, consider the following tips: […]

Where’s Lee Iacoccoa When We Need Him? »

The Nine C’s of Leadership Compiled By Bill Willard Contributing Author The Issue Remember Lee Iacocca? The guy who rescued Chrysler Corporation from itself?  Well, he’s 82 now and has a new book: Where Have All The Leaders Gone? (Scribner, $26). What follows is another part of my series of macro and micro “Leadership” Book […]

Car Wars: Overcoming v. Being Overcome »

By Bill Willard Contributing Author The Issue The car business is big business run by The Big Boys; franchised car dealerships are small businesses run by small-business owners like us. The relationship, never cozy, has soured since the economy hit the skids—soured perhaps permanently. Ironically, many car dealerships that have had their franchises yanked are […]

Blue Blazer! »

Putting Your Best Foot Forward By Bill Willard Contributing Author The Issue Among many other pearls wisdom my parents offered is this: “You can go anywhere and be dressed for any occasion in a blue blazer.” They were right: in fact, one way for small-business owners to put your best foot forward at work–no matter […]

Micro Manage When You Must; Macro Manage Because You Can »

By Bill Willard Contributing Author The Issue What is your management style? Are you a macro or micro manager? When is micro management appropriate, and why, and when is macro management appropriate and why? What I Think As a small-business owner you interact with your employees more than you would in the corporate world. That […]

When Policy Impedes Performance »

The Issue Can’t wait to outgrow the ties of scale that keep your small business small? Be careful what you wish for! With success comes stricture, and it doesn’t take long to outgrow the fierce independence and responsive vitality of being a freestyle entrepreneur. What I Think True story. The names have been changed to […]

SEO – Getting on the BIG Radar Screen »

The Issue: What’s the number-one business killer on the internet?  It’s pretty obvious, but many of us miss it. The answer? Not being found on the first page of Google. What I Think Millions of Internet searches are punched in every day, many looking for exactly what you and I are selling. The trouble is […]

Training the SBO Mentality »

Issue of the Week Many of the folks you ask to join your company will think like entrepreneurs from the get-go. But not all. People hired for their must-have knowledge and skills may be clueless about working at a small business or for an independent cuss like you. Think computer geeks and shipping mavens, for […]

Been Ignoring Customer Service These Days? »

The Issue At a time when landing new customers may be at the top of our SBO agendas, ignoring existing customers can soon become a self-inflicted, perhaps fatal wound. What I Think: Last summer, Sue and I purchased 30 feet of sliding glass doors for our waterfront Clearwater, FL condo. Other than letting in lots […]

How To Dispute an Incorrect Medical Bill or Denied Insurance Claim? »

The Issue If you have an incorrect medical bill or denied insurance claim, getting it corrected can become a lengthy process. If the denial is for coverage or a service or procedure, it can mean fighting the insurance company tooth and nail…their very large teeth and extremely sharp nails. What I Think First of all, […]

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 […]