How a KPI Helped an Entrepreneur Let Go of the Baggage

Written by Matthew Heggem

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can make a huge difference in your business. Simply put, KPIs use data to track a key aspect of your organization’s performance. With precise growth objectives and accurate data, a dashboard of KPIs can paint a clear picture of what’s happening in your company and suggest new directions for growth and/or improvement.

Think of a doctor checking the electronic medical record next to a hospital patient’s bed to see at a glance whether they’re getting better or worse. Is the patient progressing as expected? Or is it time for a medication change or another procedure? If you can see and measure a problem, you can act on it, identifying and solving any performance issues.

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21 Ways to Get Out of a Sales Slump Fast

Written by Suzanne Taylor-King

Sales slumps can do more harm than good for your business and your morale if you do not address them quickly and begin moving forward. The ideas below will help you address your sales slump immediately so you can begin the process of shaking the slump and propelling your business and your profits onward and upward.

The good news is that you do not have to implement all of these ideas at the same time. Go through the list one by one and begin making the changes you feel will offer the best results fastest.

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5 Ways to Screw Up Your Business Networking!

Written By Michael Goldberg

Business Networking Mistakes
Here are my favorite ways to NOT make a connection, NOT develop a relationship, and NOT generate more prospects, more referrals, and more business when networking. 

Make It All About You
Ever meet someone and all they talk about is them? Most people don’t even realize they’re doing it. If this is you, see how you are? Talking about yourself exclusively is not a good way to learn, help others, connect, have fun, and develop meaningful relationships. In fact, most people will just avoid you! One less thing to worry about. 

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Growing Business Virtually the Easy Way

Written by Machen MacDonald

Stop wasting time and energy trying to figure out what to do to grow your business.

Successful professionals and business owners have a proven daily routine you can borrow.

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Creating a Brand for Your Company

Written by John Rod

Recreating a brand for your company – The challenges are often frustrating and time-consuming.  How can you ensure you create a recognizable brand with lasting impact?

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Team Dynamics: 4-Stages Model Part 2

by Garrett Grega

As your team progresses through its own performance curve, you notice that some people are reaching for that next stage in career development. Are you prepared for what happens in the next stage? For that matter, do you recognize the career stage that you represent as a leader? How can you continue to develop people that are “rapid risers” in the organization?

Last time we discussed The “Four Stages Model” by Gene Dalton and Paul Thompson. You will recall that the model describes four different stages of career development: Dependent Contributor, Independent Contributor, Coach / Mentor, and Visionary. The 2 stages we will address today are Stage 3, Coach / Mentor, and Stage 4, Visionary.

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Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

Written by:  Alan Goldberg

Most of us are happiest operating within our “comfort zone” -- where everything is routine, familiar & safe. Inside our comfort zone, though, we rarely unlock our fullest potential. We often stay at a job or in a relationship, longer than we should -- because of its familiarity. There's comfort in security. The unknown can seem daunting.

Entrepreneurship is treacherous ground. You may face great risks, from the inception of a company through its growth stage, and even as you stabilize and gain momentum. If you’re going to be successful as a business owner, you need to be prepared for risk and address your fears proactively.

While each entrepreneur and each business is unique, there are five common fears almost every entrepreneur will need to face before starting a business:

A business costs a lot of money to start and run. Capital is one of the biggest concerns most entrepreneurs have, and with good reason. Funding usually comes directly from an entrepreneur's savings or the pockets of independent investors. If you can't secure a reliable revenue stream by the time that initial startup capital runs out, the business -- and all that money -- is in jeopardy of being lost for good. Disappointing investors is one thing but losing your life savings is another!

Running a business takes specific talents and skills. Whether you're worried that you aren't good enough as an entrepreneur or that your product isn't good enough to be competitive, these fears can be debilitating.

Remember a simple concept that applies to all businesses launching with a minimum viable product. Your product doesn't have to be perfect when it first launches, nor does it have to be the best. It just has to be acceptable. From there, you'll have plenty of room to make improvements over time. No product ever starts out perfect. As an entrepreneur, you too can be a minimum viable product. You don't have to make all the right decisions, and you don't need to be a perfect leader. You just have to be passable until you have the time and experience to improve yourself.

The entrepreneurial life isn't chosen because it's easy. It's chosen because it's a challenge with many rewards along the way. If you're getting into entrepreneurship because it seems like an easy way to get rich quickly, someone has lied to you.

Entrepreneurship is riddled with obstacles, stress, and hard work. But, the flip side of entrepreneurship is control. Yes, you will inevitably feel overwhelmed at times, but it's all completely within your power to change.

You don't know what you don't know. The unknown is indescribable and impossible to prepare for. When you first get started with a business plan, a bit of money, and maybe a partner or a mentor by your side, you'll have no idea what to expect in your first year. For many, it's a thrilling thought, but it's also terrifying.

Entrepreneurship isn't a job. It becomes a lifestyle. You're choosing to be in this role because you're a risk-taker, you're passionate, you work hard and you believe in your idea.

The fear of failure gets the better of all of us occasionally. There are small failures -- such as a botched email-marketing campaign or a major bug you discover post-launch, and massive failures -- such as your company's going under. Failure will set you back no matter what. But, you can't let the fear of failure stop you from making a decision. Failure is only the end of the road if you let it be. Otherwise, it's just a temporary stopping point in a long path to a final destination. More important, failures are learning opportunities. Every failure you experience yields a lesson you can incorporate into your business or your life.

The above is more than enough to conquer any obstacle that gets in your way -- even the unknown ones. So put those fears to rest and believe in yourself. Risks shouldn't steer you away from pursuing entrepreneurship. Instead, see them for what they are: necessary obstacles on a greater path. There's no way to avoid the risks you'll face as an entrepreneur, but by recognizing them, you can prepare and mitigate them.


Team Dynamics: 4-Stages Model Part 1

Written by Garrett Grega

You are supervising a new team.  How can you assess your team’s ability to succeed?  What do you need to do to achieve a high-performance team?  Over 15 years ago, I was introduced to the “Four Stages Model” of career development.  While simple in construct, the “Four Stages Model” provides a powerful tool in assessing not only your personal development but the development of your team.

The “Four Stages Model” is based on the research of Harvard Professors, Gene Dalton, and Paul Thompson.  The model describes four different stages of career development:  Dependent Contributor, Independent Contributor, Coach / Mentor, and Visionary.

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6 Tips For Using LinkedIn!

Written by MerriLyn Gibbs

In our current work-from-home climate, the use of LinkedIn has become more and more important. It is a means of connecting, nurturing relationships, and promoting business and career development. Still, there also seems to be a lot of confusion on how to use it properly and what to actually "DO" with the platform.

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Thriving During COVID and Beyond

Written by Machen MacDonald

2020 into 2021 is anybody’s guess. As business owners and as citizens, the quality of our lives is in direct proportion to our ability to handle uncertainty. We can’t control situations and circumstance we find ourselves in. However, we always have the power to choose the brightest perspective.

We have a unique opportunity to build our mental and emotional strength by frequenting the G.Y.M (Guide Your Mind) each day. Philosopher Marcus Aurelius stated, “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” In this case the G.Y.M. can also mean - Guard Your Mind. Once a thought, concept, or vision, get’s in, it can be hard to get it out. Be the ultimate guardian of what you let in.

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Promotional Products and a Pandemic

Written by Fred Taffer


One minute you’re working hard to grow your business and then out of nowhere...silence. With no warning or time to prepare, every industry was quickly affected by Covid-19. There’s no telling how long before we are safely beyond this pandemic and fully functioning, so we are all left with one choice...adapt.

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Is the Pandemic a Good Time to Launch a Business or Invest in a Franchise?

Written by Alan Goldberg

It just might be!

Previous financial crises have given rise to many new high-profile companies; Airbnb, Disney, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Slack, Uber, and Venmo, to name a few.

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Personal Protective Equipment Shortages

Written by Marc Roberts

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review highlighted the continuing shortages of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as well as other medical supplies.  Nine months into the Pandemic, and it is hard to believe that shortages of PPE and other critical healthcare supplies remain in short supply.

Why is this important to your business?  With the climbing COVID case numbers and the coming cold weather, there could be more extreme shortages of supplies.  The Center for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health have expressed deep concern that the combination of the flu season and increased indoor time will create significant issues for the United States with rising levels of illness.

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Healthy Morning Routine: 5 Morning Habits to Adopt

Submitted by Theresa Semple

What does your current morning routine look like?

If you're like most people, you snooze your alarm clock a few times, scroll social media, and roll out of bed a half-hour after your alarm. Maybe you get a shower, brush your teeth and grab your coffee before you rush out the door.

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A Few Cocktail Napkins + A Business Plan

Written by Ivy Slater

It was many years ago, I was out with some friends at a bar in New York City and we started talking about a new idea I had that would expand my business. No one knew the conversation was going to go there. We had no paper and this was before our phones had the capability to take notes, so I did the next best thing and grabbed a stack of cocktail napkins.

We borrowed a pen and started outlining ideas and ended up designing a business plan, right there, on our tiny, blank canvases.

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6 Tips to Avoid the BLACK HOLE of Your Inbox

Written by MerriLyn Gibbs

The biggest time-waster in my opinion is the all-mighty inbox. I call it the ​ Black Hole.​ It seems once you start going through your inbox, you suddenly notice that 2 hours just went by and you feel like you literally got nothing done. Well, no more, let's start practicing these 5 tips to make you more time-efficient with the all mighty inbox.

1) Schedule Your Time​ : Start with segmenting when you look at your inbox. I suggest 3 times a day. Once to start your workday, sometime in the middle of your workday, possibly right after lunch and then once to end your day.

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A New Website – Leveraging Your Company's Strengths

Written by John Rod

When starting the task of developing a new website for your company’s brand, how do you best leverage your strengths. Every company is unique and so should every website be equally unique in telling the story of your brand. What techniques are most important for successful leveraging your company’s strengths?

When creating your website brand, many things should be taken into consideration. Priorities should aimed at search engine ranking in your area, creating web pages that are sticky, formulating unique content for keywords, or “calls-to-action” connecting potential customers with the sales team. Creating content also means professional photography and professional video which engages the audience.

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3 Things to Never, Never, Never, Do in a Virtual Professional Meeting

Written by Michael Goldberg

It’s easy to forget that the impression you leave matters. Especially when you’re taking meetings from your backyard, dining room table, and even when walking the dog.

These virtual meeting scenarios would never take place if you were in the office or actually working with a client pre-COVID. At least in most cases.

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Places to Go...

Written by Michael Goldberg network. To make connections. To meet important people. Say important things. Learn important stuff. Make important friends. And to find out about better places to go, more targeted people to meet, and more insightful things to say.

With me?

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Communication Strategies for Networking

Written by Michael Goldberg

You need them. And good ones too!

When you’re participating in (not just attending) networking events, cocktail parties, chamber mixers, golf outings, association meetings, alumni events, service clubs – are you asking the right questions? Are you asking any questions? How are you getting your message to your network and into your marketplace? Are you? Do you know how to start a conversation (with a stranger that is)? Maintain a valuable conversation (beyond talking about the weather and other idle small talk chit chat)? End or transition out of a conversation – for good reasons and bad? And do you know what to say when someone is interested enough to ask you about what you do?

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