Category Archives: Business Plans

Negotiations in Business, Practice, Practice, Practice

  Customers talking to a Relationship Manager during the Edelmetallmesse (Photo credit: GoldMoneyNews)   Doing business is a series of negotiations.  From the moment you plan to start a business to serving your customer, you find yourself negotiating.  For most … Continue reading

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How do I tell you…?

Dear Small Business Owner, How do I tell you? How do I tell you that the tops of all the napkin holders in your restaurant are covered in dried, crusted food? How do I tell you that your email is … Continue reading

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Mentors: Why, who, when, and what next

Mentors play an important role in business.  Most successful business people I know will attribute some of their success to having good mentors.  So what makes for a good mentor?  Well, it depends on you.  First you have to decide … Continue reading

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My father’s sayings

Image via Wikipedia I grew up the son of an entrepreneur.  My father was Bill Colwell.  For anyone who was in Waterloo, Iowa in the early 70s you could not miss him.  He ran TV commercials on channel 7 every … Continue reading

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Hiring about to get hard again

For many, the economy has started to turn around. Sales are growing and businesses are starting to hire again. What many may not have considered is how difficult it will be to hire the people you need now and in … Continue reading

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What your business culture says about your business

Ok, restaurants again.  As you can tell, I eat out – alot. I was at the local Applebees in Ankeny the other evening.  It is a favorite place of mine.  The food is good but not the reason I go … Continue reading

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Do not compete on price, unless…

There was an interesting article about a new start-up company called AutoSlash in the New York Times this past weekend.  AutoSlash says they will get you the best price on a car rental by constantly checking for better deals even … Continue reading

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Bumper tag and business: how to not get customers

I was getting on the interstate the other day.  The intersection I was at had a dual left turn lane and a two-lane on-ramp. I am in the left lane with some cars behind me. Suddenly, a very large four … Continue reading

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What Would You Tell Your Best Friend?

From time to time, many of my clients come to me with a difficult decision they need to make.  They have thought through all sides of the decision and are struggling with what to do. They ask my advice. Do … Continue reading

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Make the customer’s life easier – Tell them the price!

Price gets in the way of doing business. For those who have sold for a living, you could probably each write a book about getting around the price issue. Yet for most businesses this is a self-inflicted wound. Today, the … Continue reading

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Is your idea marketable?

Here is a hard truth for most first time entrepreneurs.  There are a lot of great ideas out there and many of them  are not original.  A great idea is a beginning to the entrepreneurial road, but it is not … Continue reading

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“Let’s deal with it later…” No, let’s not

A guy comes up with a business idea. It is a pretty good idea.  He starts working on it.  The idea takes hold. Others start encouraging him. Customers begin to say a tentative “yes” to his offer. The guy gets … Continue reading

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Too much on your plate?

We all have a lot on our plates these days.  Everyone I talk to responds “Busy!” to the question, “How are you?” It is a good sign that people are busy. The economy is improving.  Business is picking up for … Continue reading

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The new idea paradox

Recently I drove by a closed restaurant.  It had been a steakhouse most recently. I thought about how tough it would be to compete against the other steak houses in the area and wondered if that was why it did … Continue reading

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The falacy of fixed costs in business plan financial templates & startup models

Too often business people I mentor make the assumption that their business costs will remain flat over a 3 to 5 year period.  While a few costs may indeed be flat over time, there are more that will increase. Lets … Continue reading

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