Small business owners having a difficult conversation about their business

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

A Rough Patch Eventually, every business, no matter how well run, hits a rough patch. While large businesses are used to hiring consultants, and have people and processes in place
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Small business loan application

Preparing for a Business Loan

Is Bank Financing Right for You? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. Here are a few things bankers look for when they consider a business loan application.
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Business leaders focus on key performance indicators

Focus On … Something

If everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority, and nothing will get done. This is a tough lesson, but all successful business owners eventually learn it. Many startups
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Handshake agreement to sell the business to an investor

Sell Your Business For More

At some point, every business owner has to leave the business. While simply shutting down is always an option, it is almost never the best option. Also, what’s the point
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Business Planning for Success

Canned Solutions Only Go So Far We all want a packaged solution that will solve our problems quickly, painlessly and at low cost. Need to get somewhere faster? Buy a
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Restaurant closed sign

Why Restaurants Fail

Walk around your city and you’ll probably see at least a few “for lease” signs in empty restaurant windows. According to a study by two economists using United States Bureau
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International events can affect small businesses no matter where they are

How International Conditions Can Affect Your Business

Most business owners read their local newspaper and keep up, at least to some extent, with national and international affairs through magazines, radio, television and the Internet. They see military
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Monitoring operations at a dedicated beverage manufacturing facility

Food Manufacturing Growth Stages

While some food manufacturing businesses start out as well-funded spinoffs by giant companies such as Kraft or Nestle, many others start out as tiny startups with a simple idea and
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Does your business model scale

Should You Scale Your Business?

OK. So you started your own business, grew it to the point where you are now making a modest income, and you finally went on a vacation for the first
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Blackboard highlighting business plan elements and how they relate to each other

Business Plan as a Living Document

The jumping off point for most entrepreneurs is writing a business plan. This is usually done to secure financing, but it is also requested by business advisers, vendors, partners and
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Distracted by a bright shiny object, this man needs a strategic business plan

Bright Shiny Object Syndrome

Con artists long ago mastered the art of distracting their “marks” with bright shiny objects. Once they get the victim’s attention, they exploit his or her weaknesses to get what
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Before You Hire a Consultant

Before you hire a business consultant, ask yourself a few questions. First of all, why are you considering hiring a consultant? Did someone else suggest this to you? That’s fine,
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Recently opened small restaurant

What Goes Into a Restaurant Feasibility Study

While restaurants may not have the highest failure rate of any industry, they are certainly up there. Depending on timing — before, during or after a major economic downturn —
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Feasibility study pricing depends on a variety of factors

Factors Affecting Feasibility Study Pricing

Large consulting firms prefer to work with Fortune 1000 companies with tens of thousands of employees, multi-billion dollar revenues, and multi-million dollar consulting budgets. Their clients — large multi-national corporations
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Management team working on strategic plan

Strategic Planning in For-Profit and Non-Profit Organizations

Every organization has a mission. The mission of a typical for-profit company is to grow the business and make money. The mission of a non-profit organization is to take care
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Avoid These Costly Strategic Planning Mistakes

There is no such thing as a perfect strategy, or a perfect strategic planning process. No matter what you do or how you do it, it can probably be improved.
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Strategic Planning During Uncertainty

Times Have Changed Decades ago a business could plan five, or even ten years into the future. They could set goals for sales and profits, and often they would reach
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Entrepreneur reviewing financials with small business advisor

Business Plan Pricing

Before any consultant can estimate the fee for completing your business plan, he or she needs to understand your individual situation. This generally requires a brief conversation about your goals,
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Make Better Decisions

How to Make Better Decisions Every business owner has to make tough decisions with uncertain outcomes. That is the nature of the job, and it is as true today as
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Business partners shaking hands after signing a formal agreement

Why Business Partners Need a Formal Agreement

Sometimes, one partner just wants out. Here’s why it’s smart to have a formal agreement sooner rather than later. Starting a business is probably easier today than it has ever
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Small business owner celebrating a win over a larger competitor

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
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Management team working on strategic plan

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
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Recently opened small restaurant

Before You Open Your Restaurant

While appearing in a TV commercial for American Express in 2003, Chef Rocco DiSpirito said that 90% of restaurants fail within the first year. It turns out not to be
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Exit Strategies for Small Business Owners

This article is intended for small business owners who may be considering an exit within the next 3-10 years. Although there are many variations, there are really only a few
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Small business owners reviewing business plan with business advisor

Should You Bring In A Consultant To Help Develop Your Business Plan?

You’ve decided you need a business plan, but you’ve been struggling so much with it that you’re ready to drop the whole thing. Now may be the time to ask
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Due Diligence Checklist for Business Buyers and Investors

You’ve decided you want to either invest in or buy a privately held company. You’ve researched the company, the market, the management team, and their products. You’ve decided to make
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Business owner speaking with customers

Twenty Questions to Ask Your Customers

[This article focuses on “business to business” (B2B), but most of the questions and suggestions apply to “business to consumer” (B2C) organizations with minor modification.] Feedback from your customers can
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Management team working on strategic plan

Common Feasibility Study Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

A small startup that requires minimal capital is one thing, but any venture that involves large investments, multiple stakeholders or a long term commitment, requires a feasibility study. Not doing
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