ARTICLES

To survive lean times ahead, small businesses must plan now

Small businesses should plan for the worst while being attuned to what is happening in their industries, and to their customers.
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MANAGEMENT: Peers can teach you things you didn't know you didn't know

A friend and Q: bu s i n e s s owner has suggested I join a peer group or get a business coach. Given that my company is growing and making money, I'm not sure it makes sense. Your thoughts? B u s i n e s s A:coaches and peer groups are not just for those company owners who are experiencing problems. Some of the most accomplished and successful business owners believe their peergroup membership gives them a...
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MANAGEMENT: Hard decisions require strong leadership

I am struggling Q: with a major organizational change. I believe it will be beneficial in the long run, but implementing this change will cause considerable turmoil. How do I know if this is the right step for my company? The only way A:to know for sure is to make the change and then assess the result. A good business-planning process that forecasts how the changes will affect the company should be done beforehand, but no matter how good the...
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MANAGEMENT: Managers choose their style: effective or easy

My business Q: has grown to 32 people and $2.7 million in revenue. My managers have been promoted from within, but they had no previous managerial experience and they are not getting the most out of their direct reports. How can I help them become more effective? Managers either choose to be effec-A:tive or choose to do what is easy. Effective managers set clear expectations for performance, confront employees when they veer off track and coach with consequences. Ineffective managers...
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MANAGEMENT: Even big clients need to be evaluated every now and then

Our business Q: has grown to $5 million in annual revenues and 30 percent of our sales come from one customer. I feel captive to this revenue and our growth is limited because of the demands placed on us by this account. How do I balance the desire for this revenue with the impact this account has on our operations? Managing a company that is highly A:dependent on one client presents special challenges. It is a "love/hate" relationship. You love...
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