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The Second Stage

Middle-Market Service Providers Must Go Deep to Grow Big

Middle Market executive chats with Doug Tatum to discuss his observations of the middle market and why service providers focusing on this market must “go down deeper” than they have in the past.

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Owner’s Dilemma Series: “You Can Check Out Any Time You Like, But You Can Never Leave”

In 1977, the Eagles released their hit song and #1 single off their platinum album entitled, “Hotel California.”  Following decades of speculation regarding the supernatural subtext of this mellifluous rock ballad, in a recent interview with the Plain Dealer the band once again refuted...

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Owner’s Dilemma Series: “I’ve Got All the Risk – Where’s My Return?”

One of the most pervasive misconceptions about entrepreneurs is the belief that they actually ENJOY risk, as if they breathe some kind of mystical rarefied air that makes them impervious to volatility and doubt, and therefore fundamentally different from the rest of us.  Sorry...

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Owner’s Dilemma Series: “If I’m the Boss, Why Don’t I Feel in Control?”

For small business owners, the end of the year brings with it the dual mandate of  both reflecting on the accomplishments and lessons learned over the past 12 months, and the challenge of crafting a strategic plan for success in the year to come. ...

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Unlocking Growth: Management Series, Accountability

In the final blog of this series focused on management style, we will discuss accountability and its “measurable” benefits! Accountability I personally consider this the most over-used buzzword in business today, and the most under-utilized. Accountability should not conjure a vision of firing someone...

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Unlocking Growth: Management Series, Informal Vs. Formal Meetings

In the previous blog, we covered titles vs. responsibilities; today we will discuss the benefits of scheduling formal one-on-ones vs. irregular informal meetings. End the Informal Meeting Avoid the constant popping in and out of subordinate’s offices to check on project or task status...

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Unlocking Growth: Management Series, Titles vs. Responsibilities

In the previous blog, I ended by stating that one important way of building value in your business is by driving decision making down and erasing a culture of a “command and control” style of management. So how can you begin shifting to a...

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Unlocking Growth: Management Series

WARNING! IF YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS, DO NOT READ THIS! I figured a disclaimer would save folks the time and effort of reading something that may create that uncomfortable “I need to skip lunch” feeling. Truth be known, my good...

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Cars & Capital: It Takes a Team

Continuing the NASCAR theme, today’s blog touches on the subjects of control (keeping drivers in the driver’s seat) and teamwork (a sponsor vs. a team). Any experienced driver will tell you that the secret to successful racing is “power under control” – determining that delicate balance...

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Similarities of Small Business Private Equity and the Big Business of NASCAR

With the presidential race in our rear view mirror, the attention of the nation is now free to join NASCAR Nation in riveted anticipation, as the Chase for the Sprint Cup comes down to the wire. While perennial favorite Jimmie Johnson remains in the...

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The Fifth, but possibly most Important “M” … MOMENTUM

Sir Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion is often stated as: “An object at rest stays at rest, and an object in motion stays in motion – with the same speed and in the same direction – unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”...

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Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder Have a Swing Coach – Shouldn’t You?

The 2012 World Series has once again proven to be a riveting display of ambition and athleticism, as the Tigers and Giants have combined for several heart-stopping moments in what is shaping up to be a contest for the ages. Powering the Detroit squad...

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Organization to Owner: “It’s Not You, It’s Your MONEY” (Part 5 of 5)

In Part 1 of this of this series, we leveraged the cliché “It’s Not You, It’s Me” as a metaphor, drawing a direct parallel between the dynamics of evolving human relationships and the strikingly similar and inevitable changes in the relationship between entrepreneurs and...

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Organization to Owner: “It’s Not You, It’s Your MODEL” (Part 4 of 5)

In Part 1 of this of this series, we leveraged the cliché “It’s Not You, It’s Me” as a metaphor, drawing a direct parallel between the dynamics of evolving human relationships and the strikingly similar and inevitable changes in the relationship between entrepreneurs and...

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Organization to Owner: “It’s Not You, It’s Your MANAGEMENT” (Part 3 of 5)

In Part 1 of this of this series, we leveraged the cliché “It’s Not You, It’s Me” as a metaphor, drawing a direct parallel between the dynamics of evolving human relationships and the strikingly similar and inevitable changes in the relationship between entrepreneurs and...

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Organization to Owner: “It’s Not You, It’s Your MARKET” (Part 2 of 5)

In Part 1 of this of this series, we leveraged the cliché “It’s Not You, It’s Me” as a metaphor, drawing a direct parallel between the dynamics of evolving human relationships and the strikingly similar and inevitable changes in the relationship between entrepreneurs and...

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Organization to Owner: “It’s Not You, It’s Me” (Part 1 of 5)

Rather than enduring another bland Ohio State football game, at least one Evolution Capital Partner spent the first Saturday of autumn enjoying Rob Reiner’s seasonal classic When Harry Met Sally, a “coming of middle-age” movie, set amidst a backdrop of beautiful fall foliage, and...

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To Reach Mars or the Marketplace – Second Stage is Key

Last Friday, the sun over California was blocked out for a moment, as an enormous Boeing 747 jetliner took a leisurely, low-altitude victory lap up and down the west coast.  Affixed to the roof of this behemoth was the Endeavour, NASA’s sixth and final...

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Fractions & Factions: Here’s the % That REALLY Matters to Entrepreneurs

According to historians, this week marks the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. To celebrate the occasion, New York City police arrested 185 people. While the exact agenda of the protestors remains ambiguous, what is certain is that these demonstrators have succeeded...

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How To Fall in Love With Your Business Again and Grow it

Just like interpersonal relationships, an entrepreneurs’ relationship with his company can grow stale, bland, and boring over the years. Rather than look for a new “fling” however, Inc. contributor  Michael E. Gerber challenges business owners to instead commit to reconnecting with the feelings and...

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