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Are You Treating Your Long-term Employees Well?

A recent post You Probably Mistreat Your Best Clients, by Tim Berry on his Planning Startup Stories got me thinking about a corollary … Do businesses treat their new hires better than their existing long-term employees? Berry asks: Do your long-term loyal clients get the worst treatment? Do they pay the highest rates? Do you... Read more »


Three Envelopes Transition

I first heard about the Three Envelopes more than 30 years ago when I was working for a local educational institution. It was a very short presentation on briefing the person replacing you. Over the years I’ve run across the program in other places, in slightly different forms, including some Internet search results. I’m retiring... Read more »


Contacts List Fails Email

My sister-in-law is due for some very specialized heart surgery. She has to travel from Hawaii to Los Angeles for the procedure. For several weeks she was emailing the surgeon’s office, trying to confirm the day and time of her procedure, pre-op appointments, preparatory instructions and the like. Irritatingly, the surgeon’s office never replied. Finally,... Read more »


Women in the Workplace—The Tipping Point

Women will become, in the next few months, the majority of the American workforce, passing the 50% threshold, according to The Economist’s Dec. 30, 2009 issue. Here are a few items from the article highlighting this accomplishment, and pointing out the challenges. High points: Women run many of the world’s great companies, e.g. PepsiCo in the... Read more »

Despair Humor Success

Here on the Business In General blog, and at, we are committed to optimistic support of entrepreneurship and the startup and growth of business, especially small- and medium-sized businesses. I’m not Pollyanna-ish about our business environment, however. It is unrealistic to think, or even hope, that a few short months of so-called recovery, including... Read more »


Talk your Walk–Public Speaking as a Marketing Tactic

“One of the best business-building tactics is to demonstrate your knowledge to a receptive audience,” say Marketing Masters Ken Burgin and Elizabeth Walker. “Public speaking is particularly effective if your business has a service or consulting component.” In their recent article, ,Speak Up! Get out there and find an audience for what you do on... Read more »


Create a Marketing Kit for your Business

In a new article on, Fiona Friesen, president and founder of Glue, outlines why your business needs a Marketing Kit as part of your strategy to convert potential customers to loyal ideal clients. 1) It keeps your marketing efforts consistent 2) It tells customers why they need you 3) It keeps you on track... Read more »


Are Pop-up Shops the Latest Retail Phenomenon?

Pop-up shops seem to be going mainstream this year. A story, Why Pop-Up Shops Are Hot, looks at this new retail business model. While pop-ups have had a dubious reputation in the past, of being fly-by-night outfits, they have recently been gaining respectability. The main indoor retail mall here in Eugene, Oregon has had... Read more »


Startups Surprise Because They are More Than a Job

“Unconsciously, everyone expects a startup to be like a job,” says Paul Graham, programming language designer, author, and venture firm partner. “It explains why people [in startups] are surprised…and why the surprises are so extreme.” Graham’s recent post, What Startups Are Really Like, talks about the surprises in startups. He sent an email to all... Read more »


We Don’t Give No Respect!

“I don’t get no respect!” That was Rodney Dangerfield’s catchphrase. I say this is terribly true today in the universe of electronic communications where, I point out, it is we that don’t give any respect. In our typing and our composition we are lazy, slovenly, careless, thoughtless, nonchalant — in short, downright disrespectful — and... Read more »


Is Disaster Recovery Possible When the Computing Cloud Evaporates?

How much is your data worth? If you are a customer of T-Mobile using their Sidekick mobile device, all your personal data, pictures, contacts, emails, calendars, etc., which you had stored with them is worth one month’s service plan fees. So, do you agree? Well, that’s what T-Mobile is offering users who lost all their... Read more »


Law Courts Entering the Social-mediasphere

It seems that there is no human endeavor that will not be subverted by those with evil intent. The social-mediasphere is no exception. This recent Yahoo! News article, Injunction by Twitter: A Blogger Makes History Trying to Unmask His Impostor reports how the English High Court is using Twitter to serve an injunction against a... Read more »


National Move to Local Investing

Since start-up funding and growth financing for small- and medium-sized businesses has been in such short supply these past couple years, I thought posting about this / Fortune Small Business article on finding novel local investment would be a welcome change. The article, originally published earlier in September, is about owners of several types... Read more »


Good planning for succession in the family business

Small businesses, individually owned or family-owned, are really the backbone of this country’s economy, employing more people nationwide than the big-name giant corporations, and serving most of our daily living needs. For many of these businesses, family continuity, the transition/succession of ownership/management from one generation to the next, is a huge issue. I’ve worked for... Read more »


Troubadour takes bad customer service to task. Song #2.

This past July I talked about how Dave Carroll’s “United Breaks Guitars” YouTube post had brought new strength and power to consumer complaints against corporations’ customer dis-service. The original song/video has had over 5 million views, and is now available on iTunes. This is an astounding amount of bad publicity, damaging mainstream media press coverage,... Read more »


Paying Attention to Voice Mail

As part of your Customer Service, your team must pay attention to the voice mail messages of your customers. Almost all of us have answering machines or voice mail capabilities on our home phones, office phones, and cellular phones. And we all leave some kind of outgoing message on those systems, sometimes humorous, sometimes dull... Read more »

Small and medium businesses getting short shrift… again

The private funding of CIT Group this week highlights once more how small- and medium-sized businesses, the backbone of the day-to-day American economy, are getting short shrift from the federal bailout and economic recovery programs. CIT Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s prominent lenders, supporting more than 1 million small- and medium-size businesses, including... Read more »


Singing a Song of Customer Disservice

When I attended my first marketing and public relations classes in college, the professors stressed the strength of customer word-of-mouth marketing. In that B.I. era (Before Internet), the accepted ratio was one satisfied customer will tell one other person. That was considered good. If a customer was treated poorly they’d threaten to tell everyone they... Read more »


Social Networking Is Not Private

A couple weeks ago Tim Berry posted about how social media is actually publishing, and if you publish, you are not private, and how people you might not want to read your posts, such as employers, licensing boards, etc., may do just that. Here is another example of how what you put up on the... Read more »


Records Retention Schedule

All of us know that we need to save and safeguard our business records. And after a few years we find that all these records we’ve been keeping are taking up more floor space in file cabinets than work space for ourselves and our employees. The good news is that we really don’t have to... Read more »

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