Archive for January 2017

Don’t Lose Heart

It is no secret – running a small business has its ups and downs:  Sales drop off.  You make a wrong call on your market.  Personnel problems get hairy. It seems like the government has gone regulation crazy. Maybe you get sick or a kid gets sick, distracting you like crazy. Or the customers are…

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Here We Go Again — See What the Customer Sees

You may have read that here before, and you will hear it again and again from me.  This is a really important concept: Place yourself in the customer’s shoes, and experience your business as the customer experiences it.  That means experiencing everything from the appearance of your business, whether a store front or a website,…

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Praise For the Guys Who Do it Right

LOCATION:  Emlenton Truck Plaza, Exit 42, I-80, Emlenton PA Ed Schmader and JoJo Burke know how to run a truck stop.   I was driving to Cleveland for Christmas with my nephew and family.  I started to see signs for The World’s Best Apple Pie.  Now that is interesting, because I have worked on my…

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Everybody Eats Hot Dogs

I went to law school with a guy named Victor.  Victor had arrived at school in a private railroad car with his father’s valet to move him into the dorm.  It was a little much for my white bread Midwestern classmates who thought maybe Victor was crazy, which he was not.  He was just very…

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The Survival Blogs: How to Learn Things for Free (or almost free)

You have hit a roadblock.  You are a great illustrator, you draw as well as Leonardo Da Vinci, but the book trade has fractured, and it is hard to find the publishers who will hire you to illustrate a book.   You like teaching little kids to draw and paint, but that barely pays the…

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IT IS UP TO US — It’s About Survival

Yesterday, Stanley came in with a tax problem.  No biggie.  He just needed to file a few simple tax returns and then call the IRS to make a payment arrangement.  He only owed about $1500.      Stanley had much more going on than his relatively minor tax issues.  His wife had died from cancer about…

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The John Dillinger Anecdote

I JUST HAVE TO TELL YOU THIS STORY – As far as I can tell, it has nothing to do with business.   I know, I know, this is supposed to be a business blog, but this story is so terrific, I have to tell it.  My father’s best friend, Virgil Peterson, was the guy…

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The Survival Blogs: Dr. Baliunas Tells Me How She Survived

In 1964, the women students in the professional schools at my university were all housed at one end of one floor of the 14 story dormitory.  There were nine of us, which was about all of the women in the law, medical and dental schools combined.  The rest of the floor was dental hygienists, and…

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