Business Owners: Avoid These Exit Strategy Pitfalls

Business Owners: Avoid These Exit Strategy Pitfalls -- The latest issue of Family Business features an article about the importance of business owners making their exit strategy plan early. Barbara Spector writes about “ The Owner’s Journey” a new Columbia Business School/U.S. Trust white paper that reveals the exit-planning activities of eight business owners, including five who owned family businesses. Here are a few major pitfalls the report and its authors point out. Read more »

5 Powerful Actions To Transform Your Business, Your Team, and Your Community

The best business books can vastly improve the way we run our organizations. The best books make us not just better leaders, better business owners, and better workers, but also better citizens and people. And so I gladly agreed to write a foreword to the best seller, The Serving Leader, by John Stahl-Wert and Ken Jennings. Stahl-Wert and Jennings propose that the key to business (and community) success is what they call the philosophy of the Serving Leader. Hold onto your hats. This type of leader probably breaks every leadership principle you think you know. The first of the five powerful actions the book proposes […] Read more »

6 Small but Impactful Financial Steps for High Net Worth Individuals and Business Owners in 2015

For a moment, put aside the country’s economic prospects. Focus on your own personal financial outlook and that of your own business. We’re already more than a month into 2015. Are you seeing financial improvements? Do you have a solid investment and financial plan for the year? Personally, I think the country’s in an improving economy right now with lots of opportunity for smart business owners and high net worth individuals (HNWI). But financial conditions can change quickly. For you to reach your 2015 business and personal financial goals you need financial insight. Here are six ideas that may give you greater opportunities to grow […] Read more »

The Business Owners Financial Checklist

business owners financial checklist

You may feel like April 15, 2015 is light-years away. It’s not. Start preparing for your tax bill and take stock of your business’s financial situation now. Small actions now could prevent the need for bigger, costlier actions later. Here are 10 simple steps business owners can use to improve a business’s tax and financial readiness.   1. Re-evaluate your business entity Many small businesses start out as sole proprietorships or partnerships, but eventually transition to another entity. For example, if your business is not incorporated, you may want to consider incorporating (either as a C Corp, S Corp, or LLC) to shelter you from […] Read more »

Does Your Business Reward Employee Performance?

Google “Five Guys Burgers and Fries Articles” and you’ll get 86,300 results. Five Guys is a huge business success and it’s still a family-run business with the mother, father, and five sons in charge. I find it fascinating to read that two key elements of the restaurant chain’s success (a billion in annual sales) relate directly to people issues. You and I can learn from their example. Reward Employee Performance First, Five Guys rewards employees liberally for outstanding performance. Rather than spend on marketing or advertising, Five Guys collects 1.5 percent from every franchisee and distributes that money to the work crews who score the […] Read more »

Finding the Right Lawyer for Your Business

finding the right lawyer

Can one attorney handle all your business needs? Maybe, maybe not. It can be hard finding the right lawyer for your business. From the beginning, most new business owners need legal advice regarding a wide range of matters. These include whether your business should be a sole proprietorship or a corporation and what type of corporation you should form. Partners need a partnership agreement; leases have to be negotiated; and zoning issues may arise. You also need to consider the types of liability issues inherent in your business. For instance, do you lease or buy vehicles and equipment? If you have employees, you may need […] Read more »

Transferring Ownership of a Family Business

Transferring Ownership of a Family Business

Few business tasks are more difficult that creating a successful family business but transferring ownership of a family business may be close. A recent article by Harvest Capital’s James A. Fitts and Marshall Rowe in “Family Business” magazine provides some good advice on family business succession planning. Fitts and Rowe recommend that you begin planning the family business transfer years in advance. We all know the value of time to do research, think about options, seek advisors, and get all your company’s major players behind the transfer. Start by talking. Hold a family meeting to solicit everyone’s input and opinions. Doing so will help build […] Read more »

Upcoming Event – Two Remarkable Entreprenuers

Coming up is a special opportunity to get up close and personal with two $100 million plus business founders. This is a chance to learn from two remarkable entreprenuers, Howard Tullman and Robert Jordan. The date is July 23, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. This promises to be an insightful event. Click here to download the invitation to see and experience these two gentlemen in person at the Hyatt Hotel just outside O’Hare Airport.   Here’s a link to Howard Tullman’s website  –  (check out his blog if you get a chance.) And here’s a link to Robert Jordan’s website for his book “How They […] Read more »

Good to Great Business Success Factors In More Depth

NOTE: Last month in a posting we called “Small Business Lessons from Big Business,” we talked about Jim Collins’ book, Good to Great and four factors Collins’s research says enable companies to move from better than average performance to great performance. This month we’ll talk more in depth about those four factors as related in this best-selling business book.   Now there are other research findings that Collins says help companies move from being good to great (see his book for all 11 factors). But the four business success factors discussed last month relate so well to the small or midsize business environment you inhabit. […] Read more »