Tag Archives: financial model

  I really enjoy reading Jason Fried’s articles in Inc. Magazine.  It is truly refreshing to read a fresh approach to business that is rooted in customers and products.  Recently Jason wrote about hiring an administrative assistant.  At first blush … Continue reading

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Make it better or shut it down – Keeping your focus

I am a big fan of Jason Fried of 37Signals. I think what they have accomplished is not only amazing but sets a model for others to pursue. Recently Jason wrote a post for Inc. Magazine titled “Walking Away From … Continue reading

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Naming your product

  Many of my clients are creating a new product. Some of these clients are brand new companies and others are existing service providers who have recently developed a product. When you are a brand new company no matter what … Continue reading

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What is an angel investor?

Following the launch of the Plains Angels this week, I have had several people ask me what an Angel Investor is. According to the Angel Capital Association: An angel is a high net-worth individual who invests his or her own … 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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The business sayings of my father

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 night for Schukei … Continue reading

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The paradox of a new idea

  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 … 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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You get what you measure for

  I was taught that saying many years ago.  You get what you measure for.  If you measure only for profit, you may have fewer but profitable sales.  If you measure for sales volume, you may not get the profit … Continue reading

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New owners are at a disadvantage…don’t make it worse

It is truly a disadvantage to be a new business owner. To start with, you are an unknown to most potential customers.  You probably do not have a long list of referral accounts or a line of customers out your … 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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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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The first 10 customers

It is inevitable that a new client will present his or her marketing plan, stating the market size and the percentage of the market they are going to gain.  The math may be good but the business plan is not.  … 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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