Is Chipotle Sustainable?

Chipotle is well known for their emphasis on healthy food, ethical treatment of workers, and the quality and consistency of their supply chain. However, the outbreaks of E. coli, and more recently, norovirus, at Chipotle restaurants has damaged the company’s previous stellar reputation in the fast food world. Analysts expect an 8% to 10% drop […]

Breaking Up Isn’t Hard To Do

Sometimes, one partner just wants out. Here’s why it’s smart to have a partnership agreement sooner than later. Starting a business is probably easier today than it has ever been before. Entrepreneurs have access to a broad array of free or inexpensive tools, templates and advice from websites, incubators, unemployed or retired corporate executives, students […]

Ever Hear of The Small Business Economy?

If you watch television, read the newspaper, or scan the Internet, you might think the Fortune 1000 is the backbone of our economy. But you would be wrong. The truth is that small businesses, generally defined as companies with 500 or fewer employees, employ half of the US workforce, or 120 million people. There are […]

What’s Your Brand?

Your brand is your value proposition; it is what you are to your customers, the marketplace and your organization. When we think of Nike, one of the world’s top brands, most of us think “Just Do It”. Here are a few thoughts on defining and strengthening your company’s brand. Gaining client or consumer perspective: Begin by […]

Is IT Part of Your Company’s Growth Strategy?

Twenty years ago, information technology — computers, software, networks and people — was usually considered a back office function. IT was simply a necessary expense, like the janitor, the air conditioning, or the plumber. The CIO was a technology expert who knew computers and systems, and reported to the CFO, who really ran the show. […]

Take Advantage of Your Strengths

I recently read an excellent article on the advantages of small businesses over big businesses, notably customer service, communications, speed, and flexibility. To understand why small businesses are stronger in these areas, let’s look at the disadvantages and weaknesses of being a larger company. The weaknesses of a large company. Big businesses tend to be […]

The Vision Thing

If you read my blog, you might notice that I sometimes bash big corporations. It’s not that I enjoy bashing them so much; it’s really more that corporations make such easy targets. I didn’t feel so strongly decades ago, when America and the world seemed to be on a better path. But over the past […]

Take a Deep Breath

It’s no secret that the US economy has seen better days. While experts say the Great Recession is over, most people just don’t feel very optimistic. The stock market is volatile, California is experiencing one of the worst droughts in hundreds of years, Congress is still bogged down, and millions of families struggle to pay […]

Driving Business Value

Most business owners eventually plan to either sell their business, transfer it to others, or go public. No matter which path they choose, they usually want to maximize the value of their business before they exit. (Of course they also want to minimize taxes, but that’s another story.) The question then, is what are the […]

Building Sustainable Businesses

Building a sustainable business takes time and willingness to commit for the long haul. Building a successful business sounds easy on paper:  Make something that your customers want or need, sell it at a high enough price to make a nice profit, put the right people in the right seats, and reinvest a percentage of […]