5 Survival Tips from Successful Small Company Managers

Truth be told, few things in business are more complex than running or managing a small company.  While our counterparts in Fortune 500 organizations have the benefit of things like goals and job descriptions and long-term plans, the only constants small company managers have on their side are change and uncertainty. . . and a minimal amount of job security. …

7 Reasons Your Employees Might Hate You

When you take a moment to list all of the functions involved in running a small company, it is easy to see how overwhelming entrepreneurship can be.  Having to perform sales, marketing, accounting, purchasing and shipping (along with two dozen other daily tasks) requires set of skills many people simply don’t have . . . which is why most successful …

The Key to Catching (and Passing) Your Market Leader

If there is one thing nearly universal among small company owners and managers, it is the need—and sometimes the outright obsession—to do what the market leader is doing.  Whether copying a piece of their business model, matching their prices, advertising in the same places or hiring their ex-employees, the fact is most small companies spend a great deal of time …

5 Unique Traits of Great Small Company Employees

As many of you who regularly visit this blog know, my life mission is relatively straightforward: to stop small company owners and managers from running their companies like big ones.  And nowhere is it more tempting for entrepreneurs to emulate their larger counterparts than during the hiring process, where they compete directly with Fortune 1000 firms for the world’s best, …

The Most Alarming Trend in Small Business

As regular visitors to my blog know, I typically don’t give lectures or tell small company owners what to do.  Most of my articles are written under the assumption that a) good or bad, adults can make their own decisions, and b) small business people will almost always do what is best for their organizations.  But as of late, I …

Small Company Survey: 5 Signs of a Healthy Organization

Whether you are an employee, manager, or owner of a small company, the question ”How is my company REALLY doing?” is often asked, but rarely answered.  Sure, there are basic metrics like Total Revenue, Profit Margin and Employee Turnover which can paint at least part of the picture.  However, all of these measures have one inherent flaw: they measure things which have already happened.  So is there a way to …

The Danger of Relying on Vendors and Consultants

A few months ago at a professional meeting, I had a chance to speak with the VP of Marketing for one of the country’s largest for-profit online Universities.  The focus of our discussion was marketing strategy; or more specifically, how the company generates potential students (a.k.a. leads) to pass along to the Enrollment Counselors (a.k.a. sales team).  Using their Online MBA Program as an example, …

Five Ownership Mistakes That Kill Small Company Growth

At some point in the past 12 months, all of us have heard a friend, relative or co-worker say ”I should start my own business!”  The basis of their claim is usually that they are ‘idea people,’ and obviously idea people always make GREAT small company owners . . . right?  Not exactly.  After 17 years of working in and with small companies, …

A Hiring Manager’s Guide to Small Company Interviewing

When it comes to the hiring process, small company managers are used to carrying the bulk of the load.  While our counterparts within the Fortune 1000 have access to things like on site recruiters, online assessments and multi-departmental search teams, small company managers rarely have the time or the patience to endure an interview process of more than two rounds.  …

The Dangers of Not Building a Shared Corporate Vision

In the early 2000s I managed the marketing department for a venture funded software development company, run by two on-site owners and a non-owner CEO.  As you can imagine, the culture was hard working, fast paced, and energetic.  Upon hire, all employees were given a ’starter kit’ of stock options, with the opportunity to earn additional options over time for various …