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For Apple: Pride Cometh Before the Fall (Part 3 of 3)

Lessons for Every Business – regardless of industry or size As a contemporary parable, Apple’s narrative has applications for companies big and small. The first lesson is, like every David and Goliath story, the bigger you are, the harder you fall. Apple’s fall from...

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For Apple: Pride Cometh Before the Fall (Part 2 of 3)

Focus on Your Strengths or Give Your Competitors the Upper Hand As mentioned in part 1 of this series, the most reliable tells are unconscious, and can telegraph a players’ assessment of their hand. Assuming “Weak means strong and strong means weak,” a player...

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For Apple: Pride Cometh Before the Fall (Part 1 of 3)

Leveraging Your Brand: True Entrepreneurial Spirit at its Best and Boldest As a cultural anthropologist specializing in financial macroeconomic trends, I’m constantly on the lookout for fresh new data points; those benign facts and abstract observations which – while singularly innocuous – when connected...

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Why Small Businesses Struggle as Stock Market Surges

If you’re like the millions of other small business owners who’ve watched the stock market surge over the past three years, by now you’re probably asking yourself, “When is it my turn?” Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not what you want to...

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7 Things to Consider Before Buying Property for Your Small Business

After humble beginnings in a basement, dorm room, or garage, most entrepreneurs who succeed in launching their business are eventually forced to “professionalize” their operations, and move into office space offering more room for growth and expansion. Because it is frequently the first time...

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Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs

As a business owner, I continue to be amazed at the number of government programs, think-tanks, and non-profit entities that are launched and publicized amidst great fanfare, with the goal of helping to create small business jobs. What’s even more startling to me, however,...

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Your Banker is Not a Partner

Has this ever happened to you? You’re a small business owner seeking additional growth capital, so you make an appointment to meet the same bank (and banker) you’ve worked with since your business first launched five years ago. During the meeting, you outline your...

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Evolution’s Growth Model Highlighted

In a recent Crain’s Cleveland Business article, Evolution’s investment strategy is described through one of our growth company success stories, Accurate Group (exited in December 2012). Our investment model is to specialize in providing the growth capital, management, infrastructure and other resources necessary to scale established,...

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Human Capital Series: “Outsourcing HR? Take a Balanced Approach”

When a small business grows beyond 20 employees, most founders find it increasingly difficult to be hands-on in a human resource capacity, for the simple reason that there are too many humans and too few resources. The final discussion in our human capital series...

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Human Capital Series: “What REALLY Motivates Your Employees?”

As promised, today’s discussion will be centered on “What REALLY Motivates Your Employees?” Does Wealth Buy Happiness? A recent CNBC article entitled “Who Says Wealth Doesn’t Buy Happiness?” cites research by Nobel-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton, who observe that added income brings...

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Human Capital Series: “Hiring Best Practices”

Continuing our Human Capital Discussion …. we will assume the small business owner has committed to being proactive in attracting additional staffing resources for those “missing” talents identified. The next step is to formalize the talent acquisition process, starting with asking the basic questions...

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Human Capital Series: “Capitalizing on Individual Strengths”

It’s been written and repeated for years that employees are the lifeblood of every organization, and that the quality and engagement of these individuals is the primary reason that a particular business succeeds or fails as a company. If true, the obvious question then...

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Liberate your decision making process

Updated Core Values Logo

Do you have enough time in your day? Want to make business decisions easier for yourself and your employees? If you are like most (including myself!), the answer is undoubtedly YES. As part of our year-end review, our entire Evolution team participated in an...

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Owner’s Dilemma: “If Life is a Highway, Where’s My Exit?”

The final installment of our 4-Part Owner’s Dilemma series builds on the issues explored in the three earlier articles, while marching us towards the final inevitable question, “If life is a highway, where’s my exit?” Tom Cochran’s popular 1991 song, “Life is a Highway”...

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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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