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The Second Stage

Visionaries vs. Operators: Which One Are You?

Operators vs. Visionaries

Visionaries and operators are like the yin and yang forces of an entrepreneurial undertaking. Their opposite approaches to management complement one another to create a dynamic system that’s more effective and balanced than one dominant approach. Like the infamous leadership styles of Apple’s Steve...

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The 5 Biggest Cash-Flow Mistakes Made by Small-Business Owners

It’s no secret that cash flow is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business – and, yet, that’s where many small-business owners fall short. In fact, a recent study by U.S. Bank revealed that 82% of startups and small businesses...

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Small-Business Owner Summer Reading List

June 21 marks the official start of summer. Whether your hectic small-business owner schedule allows for a little poolside reading time, or you can only manage one chapter before bed, we hope you delight in a few titles on our summer reading list. These...

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Learning Private Equity Lingo

Learning Private Equity Lingo

Partnering with a private equity firm is all about learning. But before learning virtuous growth cycles, which can be mastered by any small-business owner regardless of industry or location, let’s start with learning basic private equity lingo. When considering selling your small business to...

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4 Signs It’s Time to Hire More Employees

4 Signs It’s Time to Hire More Employees

Hiring for a small business involves a delicate balance. Investing in good employees is necessary for scaling your business, but hiring too many people too soon can cause cash flow and management problems. It’s also important to be certain that it’s the right time...

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2018 Evolution Leadership Summit: Collaboration & Culture

2018 Leadership Summit-Collaboration and Culture-Blog Image

For the second year in a row, the Evolution Community made its spring trek to the Windy City for our semi-annual leadership summit. The summits are an opportunity for leadership teams at each of our partner companies, and at Evolution, to share best practices,...

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5 Questions That Small-Business Owners Should Ask Potential Investors

The relationship between small business investor and entrepreneur is a two-way street. Just as an investor puts a lot of time, energy and resources into researching investment opportunities, owners should take the time to thoroughly evaluate potential investors when seeking capital for their growing...

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Exit Planning Tips From an Expert

Scott Snider knows how to make an exit. As Vice President of the Exit Planning Institute, he leads hundreds of Certified Exit Planning Advisors from across the globe who help lower middle market business owners build value in and exit their companies. Apt to...

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The Long and Short of Liabilities

Unlike assets, liabilities are money or services that your small business owes to another person or entity. Properly documenting and monitoring them can help you plan responsibly for future expenditures and foresee potential risks to your business’s financial security. As a crucial aspect of...

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3 Tools to Assess Your Small-Business Leadership Team

The most important factor behind the success – or failure – of a small business boils down to the effectiveness of its leadership team, interactions among team members and the strategic plan that is driving the business forward. A lot can be said about...

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4 Tips to Get More Value Out of Your Professional Network

Tips to Get More Value Out of Your Professional Network

Growing your professional network is a lot like growing your small business—it’s a thrilling, arduous and nerve-wracking endeavor. But networking and business growth go hand-in-hand. Being well-connected can lead to enterprising business opportunities, which in turn connects you with other professionals. And, the importance...

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3 Key Characteristics of an Effective Leadership Team

We’re all familiar with the adage, “A team is only as good as its leader.” And it couldn’t ring truer. When it comes right down to it, a leader has the power to either make or break a team. Having effective leadership in place...

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5 Key Tasks Every Small-Business Owner Should Outsource

As any small-business owner knows, it can be easy to get bogged down by dozens of small tasks that end up consuming an entire day. In fact, a recent survey by The Alternative Board revealed that most entrepreneurs spend nearly 70% of their time...

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Current vs. Fixed Assets: What’s the Difference?

To understand your business’s financial stance, it’s imperative to keep track of its assets. Knowing the different types and carefully keeping track of them can increase savings, reduce risk to your business and improve future planning. But differentiating between fixed and current assets—amid a...

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What the Top 1% of Small-Business Owners Do to Achieve Sustained Growth

Of the mere 25% of small businesses that survive the first 10 years, just 1-2% experience growth. These abnormally successful businesses are often twice-exceptional. Not only do the ventures outlive the average lifespan of a small business, but the top 1% of small businesses...

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Why Small-Business Owners Should Do More Reading

Accepting that you have a lot to learn is fundamental to achieving sustained small-business growth. Ultimately, everybody always has room to improve—and admitting this is not a weakness. But many small-business owners resist the notion that they are not the independent, steel titans with...

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Small-Business Owners, Jump Feet First into 2018!

We would like to take this time to thank you for being a member of the Evolution Community, we are truly grateful that you are here with us on this journey! We strive to share content (both original and curated) that supports our purpose...

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2017 Annual Leadership Summit

Each year we host our Leadership Summit and Annual Meeting in support of our growing list of active partner companies and business investors. Held at our headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, the meetings and workshops allow opportunities for our leadership teams to share best practices, what’s worked...

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Top 3 Entrepreneurship Podcasts to Help Grow Your Small Business

Listening to a favorite podcast regularly is almost like having a mentor whispering words of wisdom in your ear all the time. And for the busy entrepreneur, podcasts are an ingenious way to make the commute or lunch hour more productive by lumping continuing...

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Forecasting Growth: 5 Predictive Metrics to Consider

Forecasting growth may not seem like a high priority to small business owners who are focused on the daily hustle needed to build and upkeep business, but forecasting is important for planning long-term strategy. According to an INSEAD research study, “Correctly recognizing emerging changes...

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