Understanding Market Research

Market Research: The action or activity of gathering information about consumers’ needs and preferences. (Google Dictionary) Entrepreneurs often perform “market research” by simply searching for similar products or services through online search engines. Look at a few competitors, find out what their pricing is, find out where they are selling their products and services, and […]

Interview with Cecelia Hamilton

Cecelia Hamilton is the founder and owner of Heartfelt Catering, a Chicago-based catering business with a focus on simple, fresh, healthy southern-influenced cooking. Could you tell us a little more about Heartfelt Catering? What inspired you to start this business? Several years ago I was working on a personal project that required lots of creativity. […]

Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Hire a Consultant

  You may be thinking of hiring a consultant for your small business. That’s wonderful. But before you go any further, we recommend thinking things through a bit further.     Here are a few suggestions. First of all, why are you considering hiring a consultant? Did someone else suggest this to you? That’s fine, […]

Recession Proof Your Business

The US economy goes through ups and downs. Every five to seven years we have a recession, which typically lasts for a year or two, then we have a recovery, which is usually much longer. It isn’t a matter of “if we have a recession”; it’s a matter of when. So doesn’t it makes sense […]

Interview with David Johnson

David Johnson is founder and managing partner of Abraxas Group, a boutique advisory firm providing interim leadership to companies in transition. David has served as an interim executive or financial advisor to dozens of companies in transition and is a public speaker on the topics of change management, turnaround, restructuring, and value creation. You have […]

Sell Your Business For More

At some point, every business owner has to leave the business. While closing down is always an option, it is almost never the best one. Also, what’s the point of simply shutting down when a nest egg or funding for the next opportunity is available? The most common exit option is a business sale. However, […]

Six Areas to Determine the Health of Your Business

As the owner or president of your company, you need to know how your business is doing. Is it growing? Has it plateaued? Is it sliding backward? Six Key Areas The problem is deciding which metrics to track. Management consulting firms and business consultants have trouble agreeing on what those areas are. A recent Google […]

Interview with Helena Swyter at SweeterCPA

We met Helena Swyter from SweeterCPA through a mutual business connection after attending a networking event. Most small business owners are too busy to handle  taxes, bookkeeping, and anything else having to do with the IRS. Often they start out doing the work themselves, but soon find themselves overwhelmed and finally hire a bookkeeper and […]

The Driving Force of the US Economy

Most of the time in the business world, the focus is on large corporations – quarterly earnings or losses, their newest product, the latest corporate scandal, or their latest complaint about taxes. We rarely hear anything about small businesses, often defined as businesses with less than 500 employees. Yet, if you look more deeply, you […]

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 — and a number of other variables, experts peg restaurant failure rates at somewhere between 17% and 90% within the first year. Inexperienced owners with limited […]