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The Second Stage

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?


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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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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