Four Warning Signs You Aren’t Ready to Buy a Business (“it takes one to know one”)

Business brokers always hear from people who say they are interested in buying a business. We love these calls, after all, we get paid when someone buys a business, so access to willing business buyers is a good thing, right? Well, not really, because most of the time these conversations are an utter waste of time. This doesn’t mean the person expressing interest in buying a business isn’t serious about buying a Read More

Productive Home Office = Home Office Success

When you are starting a small business, you want to have a place that you can work. Setting up a place in your home where you can be productive takes some planning and intentionality, and can make a big difference in your ability to get your business off of the ground. What should every home office have? Computer. This is an essential item for any office, but most especially if you have a small business. This is Read More

Small Business 101 …. The Value of Maintaining Good Records

When you own a small business, you are responsible for every part of it. Yet it’s easy to focus on one area at the expense of another.  I love to engage in the marketing and sales process of my business, while I often pay insufficient attention to the details, the records.  Moreover, in working with scores (hundreds) of small business owners, I can categorically tell you I’ve seen situations when not having good Read More

Don’t Leave Phone Without Them

I meet with small business owners every day, and I am increasingly noticing that they are using their smartphone for more than just calls and texts.  Suffice it to say, the smartphone has become a full-fledge small business productivity tool. Smartphone apps can help a small business owner work better and smarter, and are essential to keeping them focused on their work and on building their business. There are Read More

Use What God Has Given You to Increase Your Online Revenue

Increasing your online sales for your small business is easier than you think. Here are three simple tips that will boost your online productivity and profit: 1.  Offer only one product or service on your home page. I once heard a guy describe it this way, “show the monkey where the banana is.”  A bit crass, indeed, but the point is made, make your main thing the easy thing.  While you may think that offering Read More

Search Bar, I Love You.

Social media is a buzz term these days, but you may not understand what it is, much less the impact it can have on your small business.  If you don’t know what it is, it’s time you learn because affordable marketing of your business is key to your success, and social media is, if nothing else, affordable. Way back when, my Dad ran a big ad in the local newspaper every Tuesday; that was the beginning and end of his Read More

How to Weed Out Bad Business Brokers

A business broker in the state of Tennessee is not required to have any kind of license or training. Anybody can print a business card and call themselves a business broker. Crazy? Yes, it’s crazy. To appreciate just how crazy this is, realize that you can’t be a barber without special training and a license. You can’t operate a nail sale without a state license (which includes training). There’s a 12-week Read More

Selling a Family Business ….. Problems are Right Around the Corner

When Bob (not his real name) called me, I could tell he was tired. He wanted to sell his family business, but he didn’t know how to find the right buyer and make sure he got a fair value for his life’s work. Bob started his business in 1981 and built it into a thriving niche manufacturer of plumbing components. But at age 74, Bob was ready to sell his business and spend more time with his ailing wife. The business Read More

Think Outside the K-Cup, Three Business Principles I Learned While Comparing Starbucks Via with Starbucks K-Cups

I discovered Starbucks in 1994 when a group of Disney executives held a meeting at the Whistler Blackcomb ski resort in western Canada. One morning our Canadian hosts took us to a charming coffee shop in the village and one guy ordered this thing called a “latte.” I had no idea what that was, I assumed it was a special local favorite. I ordered coffee, black, large. Whoa, one sip and my boring Maxwell House life Read More