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 […]

Chipotle vs McDonalds

Recently the business world has been abuzz with the contrast between McDonalds and Chipotle. Chipotle is almost unbelievably popular, especially among millennials, whereas McDonalds is experiencing “sluggish growth” due to problems in China, Ukraine, and the United States. Just a few months ago, McDonalds’ former CEO, Don Thompson, said McDonalds experienced a significant decline in […]

Steering Your Way to Success

Americans love the quick fix. We all want a packaged solution that will solve our problems. Need to get somewhere faster? Buy a new car. Need to lose weight? Sign up for a diet service. Need to boost business revenues? Call a consultant. I wish I could solve my clients’ problems quickly and easily. Just prescribe […]

Marketing In a Hyper-Competitive World

Effective marketing is not easy. There are so many choices it can make you dizzy. Everybody is telling you to get on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or … whatever. That all sounds great until you realize you have a limited budget, limited time, and limited resources. So what should you do? You Have Options First of […]

Don’t Just Survive — Thrive!

Why do some small businesses fail, others barely survive, and yet others thrive through recessions? Here are a few insights:  Take Calculated Risks — There is a common myth that entrepreneurs are big risk takers. But most studies show the exact opposite: successful entrepreneurs avoid risk wherever possible. But they do take calculated risks all […]