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Small Business Knowledge Center

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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The Hedgehog Concept and Focusing on Your Company’s Core Purpose

Hedgehog Concept in Business

Whenever someone you know is experiencing back pain, you often hear about their doctor or physical therapist telling them to start building up their core muscles. The reason for doing this, as you know, is not only to improve a person’s chances of eliminating...

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Grow as a business leader by getting out of your comfort zone

thoughtful business leader and crowd of business people

I had the great pleasure of speaking with Performance of a Lifetime CEO, Cathy Salit, on a recent episode of The Second Stage. As a singer and actor, Ms. Salit offers a unique approach to organizational change and leadership development, using The Becoming PrincipleSM,...

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With Plenty of Tools Available, Good Financials are a Necessity

The Importance of Finance in Small Business

Almost everyone who’s deeply interested in the entrepreneurial spirit has watched Shark Tank at one time or another. Yet, another popular TV show that focuses on the lives – and livelihood – of small business owners is The Profit, a reality program from CNBC...

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Where Positive Customer Experiences Go, Profits Follow

Customer Experience

Owning a small business is a balancing act at times, as it requires a broad focus on the organization as a whole, as well as a detailed view of all the individual components that make a company successful. However, there’s one underlying factor that...

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3 Ways to Build a Better Sales Culture in Your Small Business

Small Business Sales Success

Nothing contributes more to a company’s success than having a strong sales culture in place. Not only does it turn a business into a revenue machine, it also adds to the overall culture of an organization, eventually trickling into other non-sales departments and across...

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The Evolution from Creating to Investing in Small Business

Small Business Investor

Walking away from a business you’ve poured your heart and soul into is a difficult decision, but if you’ve taken the time to develop a rewarding exit strategy, a new set of opportunities undoubtedly await you. At the beginning, these opportunities may involve pursuing...

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With a Culture of Transparency & Accountability, Results Happen

Two of the most important, yet challenging, aspects of building a small entrepreneurial business into a growing, professionally managed organization is implementing a culture of transparency and accountability.  A lot of people would suggest that this happens by default in small businesses because there...

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The Importance of Exit Planning for Entrepreneurs

Plan for the successful exit of your business

Unsurprisingly, most entrepreneurs would find it a stretch to add the words “exit planning” to their everyday vocabulary, much less to their long-term business strategy. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however, as entrepreneurs are well-known for being focused in the way they operate...

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Why Evolution Partners With Second Stage Companies

Build a Foundation for Sustained Growth with a Small Business Investor

When we began working on the principles that would ultimately become the driving force behind our decision-making at Evolution Capital Partners, we not only relied on tips from proven experts in the area of smart investing, but we also leaned heavily on our own...

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3 Great Reasons to Join a Peer Group for Entrepreneurs

Guidance Answers Questions Feedback Business Community

Anyone making the leap from employee to entrepreneur is acutely aware of both the struggles and advantages built in to the transition. Yet, regardless of how educated and driven an entrepreneur might be, the learning curve for keeping a small business afloat, not to...

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Creating a Company with Passion

Creating a Company with Passion

  As an entrepreneur, your determination to succeed is second to none. Without this passion and drive, you would have never taken on the challenges of owning a small business. But when it comes to getting your team to exhibit the same type of...

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Second Stage Investing: Supporting The “Unsexy” Entrepreneur

In a recent article in Entrepreneur, CEO and Founder of Venture for America, Andrew Yang, wrote candidly about his views on what kinds of startups he looks to invest in. Labeling these companies as “unsexy” by the standards often used to describe most fledgling...

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Create a Contagious Culture

Create a Contagious Culture

Introduced through the Small Giants Community, we were thrilled to have leadership advisor and strategist, Anese Cavanaugh, on a recent episode of The Second Stage. Anese sites that 93% of our impact as business leaders is in how we “show up,” leaving only 7%...

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Supporting the Entrepreneurial Community for 10 Years

The Leader in Growing Second Stage Companies

The Leader in Growing Second Stage Companies® Celebrating our 10 year anniversary this month, we reflect on Evolution’s purpose to Inspire Entrepreneurs to Create Evolutionary Businesses. Having the good fortune to have partnered with twelve companies and spoken with thousands of small business owners...

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The State of Entrepreneurs in 2015

Innovation important to Entrepreneur Success

As an entrepreneur, you already know how well your company has performed thus far in 2015, but you may not know how your experience stacks up against other small business owners across the country. Today we examine an annual survey recently published by Hiscox,...

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