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Family Businesses Need Succession Plans, Too
Those who run family-owned businesses often underestimate the need for a succession plan. After all, they say, we’re a family business — there will always be a family member here to keep the company going and no one will stand in the way. Not necessarily. In one all-too-common scenario, two of the owner’s children inherit ...

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Devote Some Time to Internal Leadership Development
Many factors go into the success of a company. You’ve got to offer high-quality products or services, provide outstanding customer service, and manage your inventory or supply chain. But there’s at least one other success factor that many business owners often overlook: internal leadership training and development. Even if all your executive and management positions ...

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Estimates vs. Actuals: Was Your 2018 Budget Reasonable?
As the year winds down, business owners can be thankful for the gift of perspective (among other things, we hope). Assuming you created a budget for the calendar year, you should now be able to accurately assess that budget by comparing its estimates to actual results. Your objective is to determine whether your budget was ...

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3 Ways to Get More From Your Marketing Dollars
A strong economy leads some company owners to cut back on marketing. Why spend the money if business is so good? Others see it differently — a robust economy means more sales opportunities, so pouring dollars into marketing is the way to go. The right approach for your company depends on many factors, but one ...

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Taking the Hybrid Approach to Cloud Computing
For several years now, cloud computing has been touted as the perfect way for companies large and small to meet their software and data storage needs. But, when it comes to choosing and deploying a solution, one size doesn’t fit all. Many businesses have found it difficult to fully commit to the cloud for a ...

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Change Management Doesn’t Have to be Scary
Business owners are constantly bombarded with terminology and buzzwords. Although you probably feel a need to keep up with the latest trends, you also may find that many of these ideas induce more anxiety than relief. One example is change management. This term is used to describe the philosophies and processes an organization uses to ...

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Reduce Insurance Costs by Encouraging Employee Wellness
Protecting your company through the purchase of various forms of insurance is a risk-management necessity. But just because you must buy coverage doesn’t mean you can’t manage the cost of doing so. Obviously, the safer your workplace, the less likely you’ll incur costly claims and high workers’ compensation premiums. There are, however, bigger-picture issues that ...

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Following the ABCs of Customer Assessment
When a business is launched, its owners typically welcome every customer through the door with a sigh of relief. But after the company has established itself, those same owners might start looking at their buying constituency a little more critically. If your business has reached this point, regularly assessing your customer base is indeed an ...

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4 Pillars of a Solid Sales Process
Is your sales process getting off-balance? Sometimes it can be hard to tell. Fluctuations in the economy, changes in customer interest and dips in demand may cause slowdowns that are beyond your control. But if the numbers keep dropping and you’re not sure why, you may need to double-check the structural soundness of how you ...

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A Strong BYOD Policy Combines Convenience with Security
It’s easy to understand why more and more businesses are taking a “bring your own device” (BYOD) approach to the smartphones, tablets and laptops many employees rely on to do their jobs. BYOD can boost employee efficiency and satisfaction, often while reducing a company’s IT costs. But the approach isn’t without risk for both you ...

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Dig Out Your Business Plan to Prepare for the Year Ahead
Like many business owners, you probably created a business plan when you launched your company. But, as is also often the case, you may not have looked at it much since then. Now that fall has arrived and year end is coming soon, why not dig it out? Reviewing and revising a business plan can ...

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Keeping a King in the Castle with a Well-Maintained Cash Reserve
You’ve no doubt heard the old business cliché “cash is king.” And it’s true: A company in a strong cash position stands a much better chance of obtaining the financing it needs, attracting outside investors or simply executing its own strategic plans. One way to ensure that there’s always a king in the castle, so ...

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Prepare for Valuation Issues in Your Buy-Sell Agreement
Every business with more than one owner needs a buy-sell agreement to handle both expected and unexpected ownership changes. When creating or updating yours, be sure you’re prepared for the valuation issues that will come into play. Issues, What Issues? Emotions tend to run high when owners face a “triggering event” that activates the buy-sell. ...

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HSA + HDHP Can be a Winning Health Benefits Formula
If you’ve done any research into employee benefits for your business recently, you may have come across a bit of alphabet soup in the form of “HSA + HDHP.” Although perhaps initially confusing, this formula represents an increasingly popular model for health care benefits — that is, offering a Health Savings Account (HSA) coupled with, as ...

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Business Tips for Back-to-School Time
Late summer and early fall, when so many families have members returning to educational facilities of all shapes and sizes, is also a good time for businesses to creatively step up their business development efforts, whether it’s launching new marketing initiatives, developing future employees or simply generating goodwill in the community. Here are a few ...

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