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Category Archives: Organization & Strategy

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7 Steps to World Class Customer Service

By | Business By The Book, Organization & Strategy, Sales | No Comments

“Where’s the Beef?” Clara Peller made an indelible impression on television viewers in a 1984 Wendy’s commercial playing the part of an elderly fast food patron who wasn’t happy with her meal. You can find the original commercial on YouTube. Clara and her friends are standing at a restaurant counter eyeing their food order, a tiny burger sitting atop an immense bun. Suddenly, Clara bellows, “Where’s the beef?” There was something irresistible about the diminutive octogenarian snarling at the fast food chain’s competition. Wendy’s credited that ad with helping boost sales 31 percent and profits 24 percent in 1984. Furthermore, the…

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3 Questions Most Entrepreneurs Fail to Ask

By | Business By The Book, Organization & Strategy, Ownership & Purpose | No Comments

Walk through any local neighborhood, and it’s quite obvious that small business is having an impact on that particular community, while at the same time fulfilling an important role in the global economy. All across the globe, there are literally thousands of businesses being created on a daily basis. For some entrepreneurs, it is a “lifetime dream” to be able to own something that they can call their own. For others, it is an “opportunity to survive” in times of struggle. According to statistics from the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Labor, only half of all…

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Joel Blog Post 2

Is Bronze Age Debt Forgiveness Relevant Today?

By | Business By The Book, Organization & Strategy, Ownership & Purpose | No Comments

“The rich rule over the poor; and the borrower is slave to the lender” – Proverbs 22:7 On September 17, 2011 droves of young people entered Zuccotti Park located in the Wall Street financial district of lower Manhattan to protest the growing inequality and wealth distribution in America. While the movement was far from spontaneous, in fact it was launched by Adbusters, a Canadian magazine, and promoted by a Manhattan-based PR agency, the reality remains that income inequality is on the rise at a staggering pace. Did you know that the 85 richest people in the world have as much…

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Discovering Conscious Capitalism

By | Business By The Book, Organization & Strategy, Ownership & Purpose | No Comments
Conscious Capitalism

“Business is good because it creates value, it is ethical because it is based on voluntary exchange, it is noble because it can elevate our existence and it is heroic because it lifts people out of poverty and creates prosperity” – John Mackey In 1978, two idealistic twenty-somethings launched a natural foods store in an old 3,000 sqft Victorian house in Austin, Texas. Two years later, John Mackey merged Safer Way with the founders of a natural grocery in Clarksville to form the first Whole Foods Market. Prior to becoming an “evil” businessman, Mackey embraced Eastern philosophy and progressive thought. He…

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How to Save a Retail Store That’s Losing Money Every Month

By | Business By The Book, Business Improvements, Cash Flow Management, Increasing Profitability, Organization & Strategy | No Comments
Avoiding Business FailureQ: I launched a retail store about nine months ago, but I need immediate help. My business is losing several thousand dollars per month and I am not even drawing any salary for me or my family. My revenue has flattened out due to the economy and is around $40,000 per month, but my expenses are running around $46,000. I have an SBA loan payment of $6,600 per month and a building lease of $3,300 per month. I" />

Q: I launched a retail store about nine months ago, but I need immediate help. My business is losing several thousand dollars per month and I am not even drawing any salary for me or my family. My revenue has flattened out due to the economy and is around $40,000 per month, but my expenses are running around $46,000. I have an SBA loan payment of $6,600 per month and a building lease of $3,300 per month. I’m thinking about trying to refinance my SBA loan to get a lower payment. Any suggestions? A: The first thing I would suggest…

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How to Win in the Midst of an Industry Consolidation

By | Business By The Book, Exit Strategies, Growth Strategy, Organization & Strategy, Selling a Small Business | No Comments
Big Fish Little Fish

Industry consolidation is the process when a few companies start buying up other companies in the same industry and the number of competitors in an industry shrink dramatically. The main goal for the consolidators is to grab market share, cut costs, boost productivity, and improve investment returns through scale economies. I’ve studied industry consolidation in business school, participated in a few industry consolidations as a consultant, and I founded a company in my current portfolio to take a lead role in consolidating its target industry. Industry consolidation is almost inevitable: over time, most industries will consolidate to where the largest three…

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Mobile: The Latest Technology Disruption – Will You Win or Lose?

By | Business By The Book, Internet and Mobile Strategy, Organization & Strategy, Tech, Uncategorized | No Comments
Mobile Disruption

Mobile internet computing is disrupting desktop internet computing in the same way that… …desktop internet computing disrupted personal computing in the same way that… …personal computing disrupted mini computing in the same way that… …mini computing disrupted mainframe computing. And there will be many new Winners just like in past disruptions. If you are going to win, you’ve got to think mobile. So why is it that so many existing businesses have not yet gone mobile? Will you be a Winner or a Loser at the end of this disruption? The Winners have intuitive, feature-rich, easy-to-use, deeply-connected mobile apps and responsive…

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When Do I Pull the Plug on My Startup?

By | Business By The Book, Organization & Strategy, Planning, Running a Business, Starting Up | No Comments
Pull the Plug

Q: I am at a point where I am starting to think about shutting down my startup operation and wonder if you can share your wisdom on discerning when to persevere vs. when to pull the plug on a startup. Thanks! A: My advice would vary based upon what the issue is: Is it a Revenue problem where you cannot seem to get, keep, or grow customers as planned? Is it an Operations problem where you cannot seem to produce the offering as planned? Is it a Cost problem where no matter what volume of production and sales, your Gross…

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Why Crowdfunding Doesn’t Work for Early-Stage Companies

By | Business By The Book, Financing a Startup, Investing in Small Businesses, Organization & Strategy, Planning | No Comments
Crowd Funding

The concept of crowdfunding seems to be a cool idea with good buzz, but I’m not convinced that crowdfunding will work very well besides small projects. A typical early-stage company that is burning cash and going through a “J” curve for years as they attempt to create a product, test market demand, and scale the company to profitability carries a lot more risk than sending a musician five dollars in exchange for getting an MP3 download and a bumper sticker the following month. The crowdfunding process via sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo works well for small projects where the “investors” get a CD, MP3,…

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Just Say No to Venture Capital

By | Business By The Book, Finance, Finance, Finance & Accouting, Financing a Small Business, Financing a Startup, Organization & Strategy | No Comments

There is a constant stream of entrepreneurs that ask me to invest in their idea or ask me advice about how to raise venture capital for their business plan.  In many cases, they should just say no to venture capital. There are a lot of benefits to raising venture capital such as the ability to fund a big capital need in a company’s early stages, the ability to tap into the investor’s savvy business advice and mentoring, and the ability to tap into the investor’s deep relationship network. But there are also a lot of disadvantages to raising venture capital…

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