Ace Hardware CEO John Venhuizen Q & A

John Venhuizen is the Chief Executive Officer of Ace Hardware, which is the world’s largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative.

Skillman Construction – Business of the Year

Growing up in Kansas in a community of farmers, Mike Skillman would have described himself as an average guy. The one thing that he had going for himself was a well-developed worth ethic. “I started raking hay by the age of seven. At the end of the summer, grandpa paid me $75, and I thought […]

Dominos CEO J. Patrick Doyle

A Passion for Pizza and People Tell us about your career with Domino’s, when it began and when you took over as CEO. I’ve been here seventeen years. I joined in 1997 and became CEO in early 2010. What was your educational background before you entered the business world? I completed my undergraduate at the […]

Interview With Patrick Finn

Patrick Finn is an entrepreneur who came to the United States as an Irish immigrant with skills in the construction trades. Like so many other immigrants before him, Patrick decided that the path to a better life for himself and his family was to create his own business from the skills which he possessed. Patrick […]

Swimming with the Sharks

Dave Alwan’s grandfather opened a grocery store in Peoria, IL in 1947. Like so many families who own a small business, Dave grew up in the family business. As a teen-ager Dave learned the business behind the counter by wearing a white butcher’s coat and cutting up stew meat by hand. And, there is no […]

Thesis Painting an American Success Story

Thesis Painting is like many other small businesses—it was built on the skills of family members. Angelo Spyridakis came to America as a Greek immigrant who worked as a painter with his father and brother. But Angelo didn’t have the goal of making it in America simply as a craftsman with a job—he had the […]

  • Tax Strategies

  • Are You A Target For The IRS?

    Are You A Target For The IRS?

    Whether you are the owner of an IT consulting firm that employs a few hundred people or a boutique owner that personalizes holiday gifts, the chance of being audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is increasing. Managing your company through these economic times is difficult, but an IRS audit has the potential to take […]

  • For Sale: Tax Consequences of Selling a Business

    For Sale: Tax Consequences of Selling a Business

    Selling a business has its pros and cons —you’ll probably have more money than you’ve ever had before (unless you’ve sold other businesses), but you’ll be sharing some of your profits with the government.

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  • IT & Internet

  • Leveraging Technology to Increase SMB Productivity

    Leveraging Technology to Increase SMB Productivity

    How the Cloud Can Help to Build an Attractive Business in 2015 The cost of technology has never been more appealing than it is now, especially for small businesses. The traditional belief was cloud-based web tools and automation software are best reserved for enterprises, and that these tools are too costly and their capabilities are […]

  • 5 Unexpected Ways Businesses Can Use Smartphones to Drive Profit

    5 Unexpected Ways Businesses Can Use Smartphones to Drive Profit

    No matter the product, service or industry, mission, or corporate philosophy, nearly every business is bottom line-driven. As well, there is no shortage of ingenuity as to how companies try to glean more profit out of existing processes. Every so often, a new technology emerges that radically changes the productivity landscape and industry’s related profitability […]

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  • Business Management

  • How to Build a Listening Culture

    How to Build a Listening Culture

    I was seated next to Sharon, the SVP, when she explained that Bob, a junior level executive had “gotten away” with challenging her boss, the COO’s, ideas. Sharon gave a play-by-play recount of the conversation and then explained, “When Bob started to challenge him, I was really afraid for his career, but Joe (the COO) […]

  • How to Choose the Right Business Entity

    How to Choose the Right Business Entity

    When launching a new business venture, the type of business entity you choose depends on your business goals. If an initial public offering (IPO) is in your future, a C-corporation is the best choice. If the IPO is a far-reaching goal, you might want to consider an S-corporation election, especially if an outright sale becomes […]

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  • HR & Employees

  • That Top Talent You’re Seeking?

    That Top Talent You’re Seeking?

    It’s Right in Front of Your Nose When it comes to human capital, employers tend to undervalue some of their richest assets: experienced and self-effacing older and loner-type employees. And when those employers feel layoffs are required, these underrated employees are often the first to go. What a waste. For one thing, companies often make […]

  • Solving the Alignment Problem in Today's Workplace

    Solving the Alignment Problem in Today’s Workplace

    Ask any American business owner about the everyday challenges they face in management, and employee motivation and alignment will come up early in the conversation. In the midst of facing challenges such as disengaged workers, employees feeling purposeless in their jobs, and plateaued worker skillsets, managers are also bombarded with the latest collaboration tools, engagement […]

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  • Other Recent Articles

  • Vertical Leadership in Family Business

    Vertical Leadership in Family Business

    If you lead a family business, you probably think constantly about your family, your business, and their often-complicated relationships. You are not alone! Our family business clients tell us navigating the landmines that lie within relationships consumes a great deal of their time and energy. The latest trends in the field of leadership development can […]

  • Payroll Providers for Small to Mid-Size Businesses

    Payroll Providers for Small to Mid-Size Businesses

    Small business owners have a lot of decisions to make. For as much time that’s spent actually serving customers, you spend at least twice as much time managing business operations. That factor multiplies as you increase staff, revenue, and service offerings. Growing your business in large part means staying ahead of technology and maintaining compliance. […]

  • Only One Chance To Make A First Impression In Sales

    Only One Chance To Make A First Impression In Sales

    One of the more fascinating aspects of sales is finding out why a sales call didn’t result in a sale. What reasoning did that prospect use to ultimately say no? What turned him against you and your services? Was it that the product/service that was being offered had no application to him or his business? […]

  • Life Insurance Game-Changers & Cautions Consumers Need to Know:

    Life Insurance Game-Changers & Cautions Consumers Need to Know:

    If you’ve been putting off buying life insurance or revising your current plan, you’re not alone. Many consumers cite high premiums and a glut of red tape among the reasons they shy away from purchasing or modifying a policy. However, over recent years and even months, the life insurance industry has made great strides and […]

  • Looking Ahead When Youth is Behind Us

    Looking Ahead When Youth is Behind Us

    Like all planning, financial planning is about the future. We plan our financial affairs because we want to enjoy more secure, more productive, more comfortable and more harmonious lives if things work out as we hope. We plan because we want to be prepared for whatever happens otherwise. Most of us want to be free […]

  • 4 Priorities to Nurture Young Employees’ Performance & Potential

    4 Priorities to Nurture Young Employees’ Performance & Potential

    Sixty percent of employers feel that young employees are not wholly prepared for the workplace. It’s not due to a lack of internship involvement, as most students are required to secure experience within their field for college credit. It’s not because their resume isn’t robust enough; their extra-curricular activities and achievements often outnumber their more […]

  • Island Restaurant Love Story

    Island Restaurant Love Story

    Straw Hat Restaurant on Anguilla Peter Parles bolted out of his Straw Hat Restaurant office like a man on fire. “We’ve got Internet problems,” Parles confided to a friend. Straw Hat is located on the Caribbean island of Anguilla, a place where Internet hiccups are a fairly common occurrence. Regardless of your work setting, Wi-Fi […]

  • Why Your Character is Important

    Why Your Character is Important

    Today, as you leave breakfast with your family, lunch with a business colleague or dinner with a close friend, consider the following: how did they perceive your character? By character I mean at the broadest level, the sum of all of our traits. More helpful though is to define character as how you act when […]

  • 6 Simple Steps to Successful Client Attractions and Capture

    6 Simple Steps to Successful Client Attractions and Capture

    A solid client attraction strategy is the lifeblood of every small business, and it doesn’t stop there. In fact, attraction is only the start of the relationship. Next is nurturing through a courtship phase before you make a business proposal and capture the client, marrying them, for a lifetime of business. Step 1. Connect You […]

  • Minimum Wage. Let's Get the Debate Right

    Minimum Wage. Let’s Get the Debate Right

    Solving Problems Begins with Asking the RIGHT Questions Once again protesters took to the streets this month—and this time it wasn’t about police conduct. Protesters marched in cities all across the United States demanding an increase in the minimum wage. Debate over the minimum wage is timeless. While the current minimum wage is at about […]

  • Start These 5 Practices to Beat Your Goliath

    Start These 5 Practices to Beat Your Goliath

    Bigger isn’t always better; upsets happen more often than you might think. David beat Goliath, the US beat the Soviets in ice hockey in the 1980 Olympics, and you can beat your large and powerful competitor, too. It is no longer surprising to see headlines about corporate layoffs of more than 10,000 people or to […]

  • How to Stay Relevant in Business & Life

    How to Stay Relevant in Business & Life

    I overheard a couple of acquaintances talking about a person that they work with who was “older” and no longer contributing to their business. This person, in their opinion, apparently couldn’t, or wouldn’t, learn new skills—or for that matter, even keep up with the skill set needed to perform the job. Age was mentioned and […]

  • How to Improve Communication at Work

    How to Improve Communication at Work

    Throughout her more than two decade tenure as an Executive Coach and Vice President inside Corporate America, Vivian Ciampi has seen millions of dollars senselessly lost merely due to ineffective communication. “It’s imperative for achievement-oriented professionals to communicate well in all aspects of their job, as doing so can be the key to cutting through […]

  • EntreLeadership

    Enhance communication with your team “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.” You might remember this quote from the movie Cool Hand Luke. While it’s one of the most popular and often-quoted lines in movie history — and it might even make you smile — there’s nothing funny about a lack of communication […]

  • Conquering the Fear of Failure

    Running a business can be scary. You put your heart and soul into your company and can’t imagine doing anything else. Then, you realize that no matter how successful you are, you might be just a few bad decisions away from losing your dream and disappointing your team. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be this […]

  • The Mismanagement of Change

    The Mismanagement of Change

    As humans we are driven to make connections, find patterns, and establish associations in places where they may not inherently exist. We are compelled to bind ourselves to the external world and have a fundamental motivation to believe that our perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors are correct. When elements of our perceived reality change or are […]

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