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THE GOOD, THE BAD, and THE UGLY of working at a small business

Over six and half years ago, I left corporate America to start my own business.  I now own five different businesses and consider myself to be unemployable.   I worked for a Fortune 100 company with more than 50,000 employees worldwide and now handle building and executing visionary plans for the future of my industry.   If you are at the crossroads of still working for a large company or potentially making the move to work for a small business in your neck of the woods, here are some the of the good, the bad, and the ugly that may influence your future decision. THE GOOD You Can See A Direct Immediate Impact From Your Work– You can usually come up with a new idea, an implementation plan, and begin to see immediate results on customers and the organization from your hard work.  In larger organization, it can take a year (or more) just to get an idea through the red ...

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“Wine” Me Up!!

Recently, I had a chance to take a day trip to Napa Valley. The views were gorgeous and the wine was great. As you can guess, I visited a couple of vineyards for tastings and also had lunch with a friend who owns People’s Wine Revolution(PWR), another winery in Calistoga. (Napa and Calistoga are within minutes of each other) If you’ve ever been to a tasting, some places make it a point to share information about their Wine Club Memberships. I always wondered why this was a constant factor at tastings. During lunch with PWR I asked him, “why are club memberships so important?” In a gist, he shared with me that it helps the vineyards and wineries by knowing there would be a consistent income stream from people who really love their wines and want to support. My friend and his wife are individual winemakers, and from their perspective, it made sense to me. If I really love his ...

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Is an SBA Loan right for my business?

Small business owners who are looking to grow their business through the purchase of a building, the purchase of equipment, the opening of an additional location or the acquisition of another business, are all faced with several questions; one of the first being, “Where will I get the capital for this project?”  Depending on the how long a business has been operating, how successful the business has been and the financial strength of the business owners there may be an overwhelming amount of options or an extremely  short list.  One of the options that is on most small business owners lists for financing no matter how long or short the list is SBA. The U.S. Small Business Administration is a federal agency committed to helping small businesses grow. One of the ways it does this is by guaranteeing loans to small businesses made through lending partners across the country.   The SBA does not make loans directly to small businesses. Instead, ...

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Not Even Thanksgiving Is Sacred?

How bad are things going in the economy today? Well, nobody knows for certain amidst fears in the United States and internationally around the stability of the dollar in many countries. Thanksgiving is supposed to be one of those special days where family, friends, and loved ones get together for some turkey, football, and pumpkin pie. As I spoke with some of my clients and friends over the past week leading up to today, it has become clear how disappointed people are in retailers and stores alike that not even Thanksgiving is a holiday anymore where we get to rest. For the first time, retailers by the droves are opening up their doors on Thanksgiving with the hopes of attracting more customers earlier to get in on Black Friday deals rather than have the typical 4 a.m. morning rush. When Target employees learned that they would have to be working on Turkey Day, they immediately began an online protest (www.crainsnewyork.com). ...

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