Friday, January 15, 2021

Articles

Can your employees figure out what’s right?

We recently featured a webinar about establishing an ethics program and why this is important,...

Covid-19 work from home is a hacker’s paradise

Editor’s Note:  The author is founder and CEO of Netology, a Stamford-based IT services provider...

What if I can’t pay my loan?

Editor's note: Many businesses have been significantly impacted by the pandemic. And while, fortunately, many...

No escape from the fatal flaws

Previously I’ve written about five fatal flaws that I’ve seen that commonly causing small business...
Winning a race

How are you going to compete?

There are really only three ways that a company can compete: cost, innovation, or customer...
Ghost of Christmas Future

Let’s be optimistic about disaster debt

The Last of the Spirits, from Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a...
Steel balls striking others

Seven strategies for expanding your influence in uncertain times

This is an excerpt of an article published in the August 2020 issue of Realizing...
Fishing hook in 3D person

Don’t be a chicken when recruiting

In the space of a few months the COVID crisis has brought the country from...
Man on highwire approaching stairs

Will you choose fear or opportunity?

This is an excerpt of an article published in the August 2020 issue of Realizing...

Without cash, your business is as good as closed

Businesses this March quickly went from normal to cautious to a standstill. No wonder small...

Go-to person’s guide to good email hygiene

One symbol of the collaboration revolution must surely be the little “mail” icon on our...

The opportunity of loss

Editor’s Note:  The author is a CEDF client who operates Awesome Toys and Gifts in...

COVID-19: What about customer deposits?

I've been taking calls from business owners worried about conflicts with customers over deposits for...

Emergency legislation brings new employer mandates

There are very limited exceptions to the law.

COVID-19: Negotiate a Rent Abatement or Deferral in your Lease

I am speaking hourly with business owners that have dwindling revenues or no revenue in...

It’s high time you learned SEO basics

Nate Berger of KnockMedia in New Haven provided an excellent introduction to the world of...

It’s the leader not the concept

The mythology of American entrepreneurship goes something like this. You research a problem that startlingly...

Kickstarter may be your best option to raise capital

In business, anything is possible, but you need money. I wrote the book “Get the...

Give the customers what they want

It may seem like the oldest lesson in marketing to give customers what they want...

Where does small business get its capital?

Recently I was asked to pinch hit for a presenter at an SBA-sponsored Reboot workshop...

Be ready to wrestle the bear

In recent months, this column has addressed competition with Amazon from a couple of different perspectives. While...

Could you use the Golden Triplet?

A recent article in these columns discussed the response a small business has to take to compete...

Think like your lender to understand how to land financing

As critical as it is in a lender’s decision making process for a term loan,...

How to win when you’ve lost?

Show up, believe in yourself and be fearless. That’s the key. A few weeks ago I...

When business credit scores start to matter

Character and past performance matters a lot in the world of lending as every business...

Networking might be the wrong approach

Networking is an an oversimplified concept that to some people means shaking a lot of...

How to compete against Amazon

There has been so much hand-wringing over the difficulties caused to Main Street retailers by...

Is revenue-based financing right for you?

Among the options available to small businesses, revenue-based financing (RBF) seems to be getting more...

$10,000 for your soul

Millions of people love Amazon for the instant gratification, the almost universal selection and the...

What would your employees say?

I stopped at one of my favorite spots early one morning recently before my first...

Is your selling environment all wrong?

It’s often taken on authority that the right way to sell is to develop a...

This will be an unforgettable opportunity

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth...

Leave the flying to the squirrels

In surfing with my internet news reader app recently, I ran across a documentary about...

Are you following these seven natural laws?

Business is often depicted as a struggle, a battle, a war. It's an apt description,...

Use the Yogi Berra method

One of beloved baseball legend Yogi Berra's famous malapropisms was "You can observe a lot...

Take Warren Buffet’s advice

As usual, Warren Buffet's 2019 shareholder letter has drawn attention for what some may consider...

Can you really withhold price information?

The internet age has disrupted so much about pricing of products and services. In decades...

Is there such a thing as too much capital?

It’s not unusual for a borrower to submit a loan proposal to a bank or...

What’s wrong with being smaller?

Company of One by Paul Jarvis is a contrarian's message against the popular business mantra of growth at...

Can you really finance a business on social media?

It was probably inevitable that the tried and true friends and family approach to small...

How will your customers ever forgive you?

It’s pretty easy to throw stones at airlines nowadays, what with stories of passengers being...

Run your business like a champion

Among the many offerings of CEDF’s business advisory services as explained on our website is...

If I’m profitable, where did my cash go?

This time of year small business owners who only infrequently take a glance at their...

He ran a big company like a small one

I used to snicker in journalism school when our professor explained that the obituary section...

How do you handle an employee’s big mistake?

There’s a well-worn business story, likely worked over by the internet to the level of...

Being a responsible business owner means surviving

In recent weeks I have attended seminars and business forums where the question of the...

Does 1 + 1 equal more than 2 ?

The work, worry, and sacrifices required of those going into business is not much of...

Do your clients believe in you?

One of the burdens of being a solopreneur or a company with just one or...

Who is going to “BAIL” you out?

The Small Business Administration has many excellent educational programs for entrepreneurs. Inside the curriculum of...

Do you treat your customers differently?

An article in the Wall Street Journal recently caused quite a buzz with many other...

Action — the best insurance of all

When personal computers began making their way into businesses in the late 1980s the country...

Goals and systems can work together

Having begun my business career in a chain store retail environment the importance of achieving...

There’s more to branding than a logo

If you can forget the torture inflicted in eighth grade science class surrounding the forced...

How do you put a price on your business?

Once in a while, the conversation between a CEDF business advisor and a client turns...

Don’t forget the utilities when planning a new location

I recently sat in on a teleconference seminar hosted by CEDF about the range of...

Are you failing to pick the low hanging marketing fruit?

Marketing programs can certainly get expensive in a hurry and lots of options are out...

Do you even need more money to solve your problems?

It’s probably natural that a nonprofit lender like CEDF, will encounter a lot of small...

Let your fingers do the walking (the hard way)

Most every business wants to be easily findable on the internet.  As the internet has...

With unemployment low, can you avoid turnover?

Most of CEDF’s borrowers have five of fewer employees. Businesses of this scale are often...

Do you have the right Key Performance Indicators?

Key Performance Indicators or KPIs are a staple of business, especially in corporate life, and...

Entrepreneurism is overrated

Americans have revered the economic freedom of the independent business operator and honored the dignity...

Can you differentiate your brand?

One of the most revered concepts in marketing dates to the early 1940s and is...

How do you set the right price?

There are basically only two methods for determining the selling price of a product or...

Don’t be afraid to hire the overqualified

During my ten years as a small business owner, I experienced plenty of opportunity to...

Do you have brand ambassadors?

The internet has changed so much about we used to think of as simple advertising....

Do you want more sales or more profit?

If we asked a room full of business owners to raise their hands if they...

What does today’s consumer want?

Business owners who survived The Great Recession are recognizing that the consumers who were influenced...

Gather the courage to deal with uncertainty

I wish I could say that all of our CEDF borrowers experience smooth sailing after...

What’s the proper use of profit?

It might seem like a peculiar question, but deciding what to do with profit happens...

What exactly is an accountant?

A recent article in Inc. magazine online discusses six excellent concepts – three things you should never...

How do you find the right voice for your business?

Love it, hate it, or avoid it completely, social media quite literally drives many conversations...

Five things business ownership will surely teach you

A few weeks ago I read an article dealing with the reality that even a graduate...

Five fatal flaws of some unfortunate clients

Writing last month’s Chalkboard article, "Five Disciplines of our Most Profitable Clients," inevitably got me thinking about the...

What can a cow teach you about business models?

In the conventional world of Main Street small business, the model has been virtually the...

Choose your competition wisely

Not being a coffee drinker, I indulge in the guilty pleasure of buying a $1...

One theory and five steps to improve your customer service

Early in my career I worked in the office of a specialty retailer that had...

Five disciplines of our most profitable clients

Working as a business advisor provides exposure to different company sizes, a range of industries,...

Are you looking for traits or skills?

Here’s a simple, yet misunderstood concept. Before interviewing candidates for employment be sure to evaluate...

Commercial Lease Renewal Dos & Don’ts for Tenants

Replay the outstanding CEDF teleconference featuring Jeff Grandfield. Approximately two million commercial lease renewal transactions take...

The road to profit is paved with budget discipline

One of the great joys and motivations of owning a small business is freedom. You...

Reputation monitoring demands constant attention

Businesses have always faced threats of whispers, rumors, false claims or complaints that tell only...

Small business borrowing: Easy, fast, affordable – choose two

Even as the nation recovered slowly from the Great Recession, commercial bank lending policies for...

Networking success. It’s more than just a meeting, it’s a process

Memberships in chambers of commerce and other organizations or associations provide wonderful opportunities for business...

Ready to do more for your community? What’s your CSR plan?

What used to be considered, civic spirit, self-interest, or just plain neighborliness on the part...

Your responsibility to yourself = responsibility to your stakeholders

Business owners are famous for being self-sacrificing. Besides the long hours, in many enterprises they're...

Are you really sure you want to add that new product or service?

You may have heard some clichés about knowing your customer. Perhaps you’ve heard some about...

So you thought chips would end credit card fraud?

Business owners of all kinds accept credit cards, not just retail stores. And while certain...

You won’t believe what they’re selling in the men’s room

I frequently speak to clients about finding and exploiting their Dominant Selling Idea – a...

Where will you find time if you don’t make It?

A very common problem among CEDF clients is the inability to “get out of production...

Negotiate better merchant credit card rates and send your child to college

CEDF clients come from a wide variety of industries, but a surprising number accept credit...

Maybe it’s time to raise prices?

Are you "too hungry to eat?" Knowing what your product or service really costs to provide...

Have you wasted as much money as I have?

Top performers in industries with perpetually high turnover learn how to keep the perfect from...

What’s a “Thank You” really worth?

Talk is cheap until you say "Thank You." This university study reminds business owners that sincere...