Archives for October 2012

Do you have to be a Jerk to Succeed in Small Business?

All successful business people are jerks to some degree, right? Steve Jobs, one of the most brilliant and successful entrepreneurs, who is liked (worshiped) by many had personality that many of us would not be able to stand. He fired quarter of the team working on next generation computer called Lisa because they were not “A-players”. He even refused to pay the share of bonus he and his partner, Steve Wozniak, had received after laboring for 4 grueling days to meet the deadline to produce a prototype.
These and the stories of other successful people may make us think that the only way to succeed in entrepreneurship or in small business is to be a jerk and screw people of their fair share. But is that a fair assessment? Were they successful because they were jerks or is there more than what meets your eyes?
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Do’s and Don’ts of Small Business Credit

If you have not paid much attention to business credit the time to do it is now. For small business owners, business credit is like a lifeline, an insurance against unexpected expenses that might come out of nowhere. Business credit gives you peace of mind with the knowledge that you will not have to scramble to borrow money on a short notice to meet emergency financial obligation.
Look no further than what Ford did before the great recession of 2009 hit the world. Ford had established a huge line of credit by mortgaging pretty much everything they had, including their namesake blue logo! When recession did arise and all the banks shut their doors to business loans Ford could borrow from the line of credit and continue investing for the future. When both, GM and Chrysler, filed for bankruptcy protection, Ford was not only able to avoid it, but position itself to take advantage of upturn.
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Who Makes Better Small Business Manager – Internal or External Candidate?

My previous two posts on hiring a manager for small business received interesting feedback from the readers. Some made arguments both for internal promotion, while others said external candidate is the best choice. To recap, the first post focused on why you should promote a manager from inside . I believe this is the best course of action when small businesses need to fill in the manager vacancy. However, there is a case to be made for hiring an outsider as laid out in the second post based on suggestions received from the readers.
It appears which candidate will be a better choice depends on your particular situation – what state the business is and how the newly hired manager fits in that situation. Instead of looking at this choice in black and white, you need to take a step back and look at your needs and see how the manager will help you fulfill them. So here are my thoughts on when to hire each type of candidate.
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The Case for Hiring an Outside Manager in Small Business

My previous post on the biggest mistake of hiring a manager from outside generated considerable interest and feedback. The feedback covered both pros and cons of hiring a manager from outside for small businesses. While many agreed with my assessment that hiring an outside manager is a big mistake, several others raised valid points on the flip side. Those points do have merit and worth mentioning here to be fair.
The drawbacks of hiring an internal candidate has mostly to do with the internal competition / conflict between the manager who gets promoted and others that are not, along with the fact that internal candidate is not likely to bring fresh perspective. In this post I will attempt to summarize the pitfalls that arise when your business does not bring an outsider for the manager job, but instead chooses to promote an internal candidate.
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