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The Second Stage

3 Books Every Small Business Owner Should Read

  Entrepreneurs and business leaders face similar hurdles throughout their careers – personnel conflicts, undefined business paths and financial woes. Industry leaders have analyzed these common issues and have come up with a variety of solutions – often filling the pages of books with...

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Four Trends for Growing Your Small Business in 2017

4 Trends for Growing Your Small Business in 2017

As we ring in the New Year, small-business owners are facing a host of new challenges as a wave of emerging trends hits the marketplace and technology becomes more vital to growth and success than ever before. Small businesses that adopt and embrace these...

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Year in Review: Our Partner Companies

Partner Company Leadershhip Teams at 2016 Summit

  At the end of every year, we as business owners often turn our attention to how closely our accomplishments aligned with our goals over the past 12 months. It’s a time for reflecting on our business successes and our professional growth—and just as...

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Have a Documented Roadmap to Guide Your Small Business to Victory

Have a Plan to Guide your Small Business

Not having a plan is like driving down the street at night without headlights on! Creating a measurable and achievable strategic plan is vital to the success of your small business.  A plan is your roadmap to your future, what you are going to...

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The Second Stage: Our Top Radio Episodes of 2016

Small Business Investing: 2016 Year in Review

As small business investors, we’re extremely passionate about inspiring entrepreneurs on their way to creating strong foundations for long-term success. It’s not only become our professional mission in our dealings with clients, but also served as a personal undertaking for each member of our...

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Evolution’s Entrepreneurs: A Landmark Year for Lewellyn Technology

Evolution's Entrepreneurs: Lewellyn Technology

As 2016 ends, the team at Evolution wants to share the success of Lewellyn Technology, a 2016 Inc. 5000 honoree, and a tremendous partner on our list of current active growth companies. Since opening its doors in 1993, Lewellyn has grown from a promising...

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Evolution Capital Partners’ 2016 Leadership Summit

Evolution Capital Partners Leadership Summit

Each year, Evolution Capital Partners hosts its Leadership Summit and Annual Meeting in support of our growing list of active partner companies and investors. This year’s summit, held at our headquarters in Cleveland, OH, brought together our largest group of partner companies to date,...

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Why Every Small Business Owner Needs a Mentor

Small Business Owner and Business Mentor

As every CEO, entrepreneur and small business owner knows: It’s lonely at the top. Even with all the inherent advantages of having the final word in decision-making and the status of being an executive, we as company leaders sometimes feel isolated from the rest...

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How to Find the Right Small Business Investor to Fuel Growth

Small Business Investor and Planning

Of the many challenges faced by small business owners, finding enough capital to invest in expanding your company is often viewed as the most difficult. But the difficulty doesn’t always stem from simply obtaining growth capital, but rather the processes you put in place...

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Small Business Cybersecurity: Are You Ready?

Cybersecurity

In our modern era, when technological advances have transformed the way small companies do business, it’s rare to find an organization that doesn’t use the Internet to streamline communications and improve employee access to important information. Still, while the Internet and the Cloud have...

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The Power of Paying Attention in Business

During the 1980s and 90s, some company leaders held a very business-centric point of view on how to become successful in their respective industry. This sometimes included uncompromising management styles, a focus on profitability at any expense, and an opinion that layoffs were just...

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Crowdfunding: The Latest Option in Small Business Investing

Crowdfunding for Small Business Investing

When you think of crowdfunding, websites like GoFundMe, Kickstarter and Indiegogo probably come to mind. Yet, despite the unparalleled reach and reputation of these popular crowdfunding sites, most entrepreneurs don’t view them as a practical solution for attracting the kinds of small business investors...

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The role management plays in seeking a small business investment

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team as defined by Patrick Lencioni

The most important factor in the success or failure of a small business investment (or the degrees in between) comes down to the leadership and experience of the management team, the interactions between team members and the strategic plan they create for the future...

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A Hiring Process: Crucial for Successful Businesses

Job applicant having an interview with a group of business people .

Hiring a new employee is easy when your only goal is trying to fill a seat. Finding someone who’s a great fit for your company—and will participate in its success, however—requires a strategy that works for both your small business and every candidate who...

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Evolutionary Capital: An Alternative for Business Owners and Investors

Owner Investment in his or her business

Every small business owner goes through an evolution at some point in their entrepreneurship. For most, the first stage of owning a business typically involves having an uncompromising passion for the products or services the company is built on. While it may come with...

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Repeatable, the keyword to a successful process (and ultimately business)

Business Processes and Systems

While repeatable routine may not be sexy, it can take any business to a whole new level. Measured success and detailed systems can create efficiencies, make you aware of red flags, and uncover opportunities for growth you may have never imagined. Routine does not...

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Is Open-Book Management Right for Your Business?

Open-Book Management Leadership

During the height of Silicon Valley’s takeover of the tech industry during the early 1990s, a former senior writer for Inc. Magazine named John Case coined the phrase “open-book management” or OBM. Yet, it was Jack Stack, hailing from SRC Holdings that put the...

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The Best Business Partner? Your Customer

Win-win partnership strategy concept.

As entrepreneurs, we typically know where our strengths and weaknesses lie—and we often figure them out before, or soon after, beginning our journeys as leaders and small business owners. The path of entrepreneurship is a crucible of sorts. It challenges us in ways that...

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Create a Culture of Innovation in Your Business

Team Idea Generation

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary offers the following definition for innovation:  the act or process of introducing new ideas, devices, or methods.  Many people would use this definition for innovation:  difficult, deflating and humbling.  I say this because the numerous businesses I have the fortune of...

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To Overcome Organizational Complexity, First Simplify, Then Scale

Simplify Your Business To Scale

When I first read about the Hedgehog Concept, it seemed like an easy idea to grasp. But the truth, as I’ve learned after years of working with small businesses, is when a company begins to grow—at times exponentially in its early stages—even the simplest...

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