Artificial arm illuminated by photo image.

Change: What AI and Photography have in Common

In the early 2000s the cost of a digital camera came down, making it more affordable to the average person to own one. The benefit of a digital camera was that you didn’t need to understand shutter speed, ISO, and aperture settings, because the camera knew how to do this for you. You also didn’t…

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Jet con-trail on blue sky, going straight up.

From Developer to Leader: Building a Team for Generational Continuity and Sale

You are the owner of your business and you are the leader of almost everything you have put into place so far. You made all the initial decision and the initial investments of time, money, and energy. You have lead the way through the initial sales, hiring support and employees, and you are the one…

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Train tracks at sunset

Exiting Your Business is Like Running a Train with No Conductor

As a business owner, we are the conductor of our small business. The train runs because we tell it what has to happen and when. But, when we want to stop being the conductor, for most small business, this means the train will not run any longer. If we want to get off the train…

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Business Lessons Visiting Dealerships

A friend recently shared a story of how he and his business partner tried to purchase several cars for their business but no one would service them because they were dressed in t-shirts and jeans. That was “the 90s”. In 2013, I experienced a similar sales problem. I went into several car dealership, wearing a…

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mascot in a large crowd

Can’t find good help? Why your people don’t step up.

Let me start with a story: I have had several clients, whom are small business owners, tell me they cannot find good help. The owner hires people they expect to do well and then have to fire them within a few months, or less. They have a huge challenge getting the people they hire to…

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Meerkat watching for change - Vigiliant

Invest To Create a Successful Business

Of course you are going to invest in your business. You started with your time, researching, following up on opportunities, and paying for all the items you needed to get started. As Arlene Dickinson commented, “you’re going to need twice as much cash, twice as many hours in the day as there are, and twice…

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Questions and Answers sign

Questioning EXIT Readiness

I have had a lot of questions, over the years, around what exiting work looks like. Below are the answers to a few of the most common of these questions I have had. The answers are generalized so you can take this information and do the work for yourself. Q “I did not understand it…

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They are not Puppets

What Do They Do When You Are Away?

What they do when you are away will determine if you can be away. You have been in control of your day-to-day work for so long, it may feel impossible to leave your company in the hands of someone else, for more than a few days, or a week. There are two problems with this:…

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Focus through glass ball to future direction.

When Does Succession Start?

When Does Succession Start? Building a business you know you will some day want to exit by selling, passing over control, or reducing your ownership shares, is easier when you have built the business to go in that direction. But, for most small business owners, including myself, that was not the initial goal. When we…

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5 mistakes

5 Mistakes Even Successful Small Business Owners Have Made

If you have been in business for a few years, you will have made these mistakes at some point. When we build our business, grow our business, or implement any significant change, we are vulnerable to missing, avoiding, and neglecting steps we should have taken. Here are 5 common mistakes you do not want to…

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