Saturday, October 24, 2020

Articles

Can your employees figure out what’s right?

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

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...

What if I can’t pay my loan?

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

No escape from the fatal flaws

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

How are you going to compete?

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

Let’s be optimistic about disaster debt

The Last of the Spirits, from Charles Dickens:...
Fishing hook in 3D person

Don’t be a chicken when recruiting

In the space of a few months the COVID...
Man on highwire approaching stairs

Will you choose fear or opportunity?

This is an excerpt of an article published...

Without cash, your business is as good as closed

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

Go-to person’s guide to good email hygiene

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

The opportunity of loss

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

COVID-19: What about customer deposits?

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

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...

It’s high time you learned SEO basics

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

It’s the leader not the concept

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

Kickstarter may be your best option to raise capital

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

Give the customers what they want

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

Where does small business get its capital?

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

Be ready to wrestle the bear

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

Could you use the Golden Triplet?

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

Think like your lender to understand how to land financing

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

How to win when you’ve lost?

Show up, believe in yourself and be fearless. That’s the key.

When business credit scores start to matter

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

Networking might be the wrong approach

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

How to compete against Amazon

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

Is revenue-based financing right for you?

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

$10,000 for your soul

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

What would your employees say?

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

Is your selling environment all wrong?

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

This will be an unforgettable opportunity

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

Leave the flying to the squirrels

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

Are you following these seven natural laws?

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

Use the Yogi Berra method

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

Take Warren Buffet’s advice

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

Can you really withhold price information?

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

Is there such a thing as too much capital?

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

What’s wrong with being smaller?

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

Can you really finance a business on social media?

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

How will your customers ever forgive you?

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

Run your business like a champion

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

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

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

He ran a big company like a small one

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

How do you handle an employee’s big mistake?

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

Being a responsible business owner means surviving

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

Does 1 + 1 equal more than 2 ?

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

Do your clients believe in you?

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

Who is going to “BAIL” you out?

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

Do you treat your customers differently?

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

Action — the best insurance of all

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

Goals and systems can work together

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

There’s more to branding than a logo

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

How do you put a price on your business?

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

Don’t forget the utilities when planning a new location

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

Are you failing to pick the low hanging marketing fruit?

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

Do you even need more money to solve your problems?

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

Let your fingers do the walking (the hard way)

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

With unemployment low, can you avoid turnover?

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

Do you have the right Key Performance Indicators?

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

Entrepreneurism is overrated

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

Can you differentiate your brand?

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

How do you set the right price?

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

Don’t be afraid to hire the overqualified

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

Do you have brand ambassadors?

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

Do you want more sales or more profit?

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

What does today’s consumer want?

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

Gather the courage to deal with uncertainty

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

What’s the proper use of profit?

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

What exactly is an accountant?

A recent article in Inc. magazine online discusses six excellent concepts – three things you...

How do you find the right voice for your business?

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

Five things business ownership will surely teach you

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

Five fatal flaws of some unfortunate clients

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

What can a cow teach you about business models?

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

Choose your competition wisely

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

One theory and five steps to improve your customer service

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

Five disciplines of our most profitable clients

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

Are you looking for traits or skills?

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

Commercial Lease Renewal Dos & Don’ts for Tenants

Replay the outstanding CEDF teleconference featuring Jeff Grandfield. Approximately...

The road to profit is paved with budget discipline

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

Reputation monitoring demands constant attention

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

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

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

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...

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...

Your responsibility to yourself = responsibility to your stakeholders

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

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...

So you thought chips would end credit card fraud?

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

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...

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

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

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...

Maybe it’s time to raise prices?

Are you "too hungry to eat?" Knowing what your product...

Have you wasted as much money as I have?

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

What’s a “Thank You” really worth?

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