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Business advice from the field

Business advice from the field

One of the most enjoyable moments during the Renaissance Business Planning Class is when we invite graduates back to the classroom to share their experiences and their business advice. They talk about their successes but also reveal their struggles and…

Getting Out: Planning your Business Exit

Getting Out: Planning your Business Exit

Many tech entrepreneurs think about their business exit from day one.  Acquisition is central to their business model.  Most small business owners, though, do not start their business thinking about getting out… they are too busy “getting in”.  An exit…

Grappling with change

Grappling with change

The only thing constant is change. As small business owners, we constantly navigate change. The ups and downs of product sales, hiring employees or letting them go, adjusting (or pivoting) our business model to match the marketplace, or simply dealing…

Elements of effective mentoring

Elements of effective mentoring

January is National Mentoring Month so it feels like the right time to be talking about small business mentoring. I believe that the best small business mentors are other small businesses owners, but success in business does not qualify someone as a good mentor. That person must also be a skillful listener and motivator, know how to ask questions, and know when and how to give honest advice.

Mentoring matters

Mentoring matters

As small business owners we want to be successful. But what happens when we get stuck? What if success feels elusive and failures do not all become lessons learned? Finding someone we trust to guide and mentor us can be critical.

Remembering a great friend and mentor

Remembering a great friend and mentor

As we celebrate another year around the sun, I have been reflecting on what matters to me most and, in particular, the important relationships and mentors in my life. I have been thinking a lot about my late friend and…

Leading you in the Right Direction

Leading you in the Right Direction

  As business owners, we cannot do it all by ourselves. Small business specialists can help tackle problems in accounting, law, insurance, graphic design, marketing, management and other critical areas. I’ve found there are three primary reasons for a business…

Eating Well from Street to Street

Eating Well from Street to Street

On Saturday I joined the crowds in San Francisco’s Mission District to experience La Cocina’s fourth annual Street Food Festival. The sunny streets were full of happy people enjoying tasty delights from 85 vendors—including from some of my former students:…

Are you all alone?

Are you all alone?

Being the owner of your own small business is a fantastic undertaking.  Here is where you prove your concept, sell your product for a profit and become a social entrepreneur, changing the world one transaction at a time.  Yet, being…