How to buy a small business

Written by Paul on December 7th, 2008

For certain people, entrepreneurship is less about some high-tech idea put together by some college engineers and more about doing something tangible — like running a car wash or buying a bar. After all, what’s better than waking up and collecting cash from people that want to have their car cleaned every day or just want to hang out at your little dive bar?

Unfortunately, it isn’t quite that simple.

The economy is in shambles, real estate valuations are tanking and most …

The perception of authority and what your clothes really say about you

Written by Paul on November 19th, 2008

Let’s be honest, waiting around until you are good enough to be an authority figure is not the way to build your professional empire. Constantly improving yourself and doing something is a much better way to get ahead — though, there is something to be said about dressing the part too.

The Milgram Experiment
The Milgram experiment was a series of social psychology experiments which measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform …

How to sell luxury in today's market

Written by Paul on November 16th, 2008

While watching TV last weekend, one particular commercial made me realize just how much the market is changing. Actually, it wasn’t really the whole commercial but a particular line — their tagline was “Lowest Cost of Ownership” and referred to Lexus’ decent fuel economy, durability, and resale value.

That’s interesting because they used to run pre-Christmas ads for their “December to Remember” events featuring a loving spouse giving his or her significant other a new Lexus wrapped in a big red …

Singles and Doubles: Using metrics to grow your business

Written by Paul on November 11th, 2008

In Profitable Growth is Everyone’s Business, Ram Charan puts it perfectly:

Focus on hitting singles and doubles. Home runs don’t happen every day or even every decade.

Everyone knows Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer ever and most people attribute that success to something vague and intangible, like talent or sheer luck. But, did you know that Tiger works out every day, runs for miles and wins less than 50% of the time? Did you …

Perfection is the enemy of good enough

Written by Paul on November 9th, 2008

I am constantly aware of people unhappy about certain aspects of their business. Some are understaffed and overwhelmed with the sheer number of things they need to do. Others go on and on about how the economy sucks, customers are harder to find or that they simply can’t find good people to work with. But – and this is a big “but” – they never actually get started. Chances are, you know people like this too.

The fact of the matter …

Reputation: More Important Than Brand

Written by Paul on October 30th, 2008

This is a guest post by Thursday Bram, a freelance journalist currently located in Laurel, MD.

As you’ve built your business, you’ve put a lot of effort into building a brand. You have a logo, a website, and a business card establishing who you are and what you do. But there is one thing more important than your brand: your reputation. With a poor reputation, putting more work into your brand just isn’t worth the time.

Warren Buffett understands the importance of …

Revisiting Drucker: What Gets Measured Gets Managed

Written by Paul on October 26th, 2008

Seems that everyone’s interested in analytics these days — well, maybe not interested, but there sure are a lot of people talking about analytics on the web these days. Regardless, it’s great to see that people are starting to see the value of clear dashboards and actionable metrics. Though, I do wonder how they made decisions without all the fancy new dashboards that are available out these days.

Peter Drucker once said, “What gets measured, gets managed.” Let that sink

Making money on the web, a brief howto

Written by Paul on October 22nd, 2008

If you’re a business and you’re on the web, chances are that you’ve heard all about the importance of having a RSS feed, newsletter signup, social networking links and a million other things. More importantly, you’ve probably installed a bunch of these on your site without considering how you’ll actually use them to make some money. (After all, isn’t that why you decided to get your business on the web in the first place?)

Based on a number of websites I’ve …

Businesses, enjoy the fire sale.

Written by Paul on October 20th, 2008

It’s interesting to note that many of the people that handed out business advice when the going was good have strangely gone quiet now that things aren’t looking so good on Wall Street. The reality of the current situation is that entrepreneurs still have to wake up every morning, head to work and pave a path to a better future.

Most small businesses are already focusing on aggressively cutting costs by streamlining their current business processes and focusing on cash flow …

When Being Behind The Curve Can Be Smart

Written by Paul on October 11th, 2008

A BusinessWeek article points out that tech that doesn’t work won’t let us work. Well said.

Working 90% to 95% of the time is not working. When my company’s services fail to deliver, we don’t get paid—and our customers get angry. When a technology product doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do all the time, we’re stuck. Unfortunately, the technology my company buys fails way too much. But like everything else that makes me angry, I just deal with it.

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