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The Second Stage

Social Media and the Small Business: 3 Qualifying Questions

In the evolving world of digital marketing, there are several ways for your small business to get the recognition and audience it deserves. Many people ask me about social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and whether they’re effective avenues for connecting their company...

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Does your business have “mojo?”

We were thrilled to have author and entrepreneurial advocate, Bo Burlingham, join this week’s episode of The Second Stage to dive into what he describes as “business mojo,” or common characteristics observed in the extraordinary companies researched for his work – Small Giants: Companies...

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Is mezzanine capital right for your established businesses?

On this week’s episode of The Second Stage we were pleased to be joined by F.N.B. Capital Partners’ Managing Partner, Stephen Gurgovits, to help us not only define mezzanine funding or financing, but understand when it is a viable option for established and growing...

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Preventing Burnout: Finding Your Work-Life Balance

Many thriving small businesses are often operated by entrepreneurs who rarely let themselves check out. Approaching day-to-day activities with a fresh perspective and a rested mind is imperative to achieving big picture success. Every small business owner must find a daily work-life balance to...

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Challenges Facing Growing Small Businesses

Business owners often are faced with many of the same challenges as they work to not only establish, but grow their companies. On today’s episode of The Second Stage we review some of these more common hurdles with our guest and growth strategist Andy...

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Second Stage Capital

The 4 Stages of Growth

Jeff and I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Crain’s to discuss Second Stage Capital, why Evolution specializes in it and some of the more common challenges business owners face when seeking it to grow their company to that next level. Second...

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Improve Productivity & Profits by Focusing on the Low-Hanging Fruit

On today’s episode of The Second Stage we were joined by co-founders of Harvest Earnings, Jeremy Eden and Terri Long, to discuss how companies of all sizes can benefit from identifying simple and actionable items that will have a significant impact on a business. Improvements...

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Is Your Small Business Mobile-Friendly?

In last week’s blog I spoke about recommendations for adapting your business in the digital world, pointing out that a solid and above industry standard website can truly set you apart from the competition. As a follow up to this point, it is important...

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Keep Your Small Business Emerging in a Digital Economy

In the last ten years, nothing has changed more than the way in which your small business gains visibility—and business itself. When asked how small businesses can adapt themselves to the digital world, I refer to the same four key points: their website, digital...

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Expect an ROI When it Comes to Your Office Build-Out or Redesign

On today’s episode of The Second Stage we were pleased to speak with architect, James Horman of Progressive AE, to discuss how architecture and thoughtful design can truly impact a business’s overall performance, productivity and bottom line. After all, designing or reconfiguring your office...

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Improve Your Decision-Making Skills as a Small Business Leader

At the end of the day, the single most important element of managing a small business is making the big decisions that determine whether your business will sink or swim. I’m often asked by small business investors how to best position business leaders to...

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Living the American Dream

It was a pleasure speaking with our guest this week on The Second Stage, Dr. Paul Hsu, the true definition of a lifelong entrepreneur. Dr. Hsu’s inspirational story displays what is possible with vision, drive and determination, his definition of “entrepreneurial spirit.” Arriving in...

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3 facts to disprove the private equity misperception

Private equity is not well understood largely because almost all of it is well…….private. But how it is portrayed in mainstream media is off base and I would say even a bit unfair.  To this point, I recently wrote an article for Smart Business...

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Case Study on Entrepreneurship

On today’s episode of The Second Stage we spoke with serial entrepreneurs, Michelle Tomallo and Micki Tubbs, Co-Founders of FIT Technologies in Cleveland, OH. Evolving from a web based software development firm focused on the education market to a provider of customized IT Solutions...

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Is your advisory board working for you and your business?

Recently writing a guest article for Crain’s Cleveland Business on the subject of advisory boards and their effectiveness,  I reflected on the common challenges many business owners face when creating a meaningful group of advisors to help them propel their business forward.  Three identified issues are a lack of...

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Does your business have a crisis communications plan?

Big or small, it is inevitable that a crisis of some kind will happen within every business.  And the days of playing ostrich are virtually gone in today’s world of 24/7 “news” (professional and amateur) and social media. On today’s episode of The Second...

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How To Make Your Business More “Sellable”

Today on The Second Stage we had the good fortune of speaking with bestselling author and founder of The Sellability Score, John Warrillow. Mr. Warrillow shares what motivated him to write Built To Sell: Creating a business that can thrive without you as well...

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The Importance of the Finance Function in Small Businesses

I recently had the opportunity to speak with CFO THOUGHT LEADER on the significant role financial data plays in growing small businesses.  Financials being the foundational pillar in The 5 Pillars of Business Freedom, we discussed the transformation a business can undergo when an...

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Preparing Your Business For Sale

Are you contemplating selling your business, but unsure where to start?  On today’s episode of The Second Stage our guest, Tom Zucker, Founder of EdgePoint Capital Advisors, offers his expertise on how and when a business owner should begin the preparation for just such...

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4 Business Growth Strategies That Won’t Work

Running a business is about growing a business, and once a small business hits the established stage, it’s time to put in place a long-term strategy for growth. We often hear of a number of strategies passed down to small business owners that don’t...

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