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Running your own business on your own terms can mean freedom in your schedule and business approach. It can also mean slim funding. This serial entrepreneur and cofounder of The Baby Einstein Company sought to avoid entanglement with venture capitalists and discovered doing business on a cash-only basis was the answer for him.
Bill Payne invests, serves on boards, teaches, writes and mentors -- but most of all, has fun.
Entrepreneurs confronting the unhappy task of having to downsize when business conditions change need to execute in a way that preserves the dignity of, and, ultimately, the relationship with, the employees, says an entrepreneur who laid off her entire staff in the wake of the dot-com crash. Downsizing well involves throwing away the rulebook and dealing with people on a personal level, she writes.
There has been a lot of attention paid to ethics in business lately. Of course, most of that focus has been on the lack of ethics in business.
Doing business in the rough-and-tumble arena of underdeveloped countries involves adhering to global business basics, such as researching markets thoroughly, while coping with surprises, writes a veteran international entrepreneur who first took his company overseas three decades ago. In entering the "emerging markets," entrepreneurs need to keep close tabs on how (and if) they will be paid, as well as on local managers overly eager to make sales.
Here are five big issues you should consider if you want your company to be able to evolve and grow to the next stage of development.
In today's extremely tight labor market, small-company employers must approach hiring just as they approach selling. To lure able and enthusiastic candidates, the author writes, a CEO should consider such steps as contacting reluctant candidates personally, offering equity compensation to augment salaries, and sending welcoming gifts like fruit baskets. Of particular note is a discussion of factors the author says "count" in the sales-whoops!-the hiring process.
Giving back to the community-and engaging one-on-one with charitable operatives, the press, and other local constituencies-enables small businesses to increase exposure at little cost, says the founder of a national moving franchiser.
If you think hiring is tough in today's tight labor market, you should figure that retaining people is even tougher. To keep employees, small-company owners must provide more than just competitive compensation packages, the author writes. What really makes the difference is a CEO's ability to communicate an organizational vision and to recognize the people who translate that vision into revenue and profit.
You can not be creative in a vacuum. Understanding your industry and marketplace requires consistent study habits.
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