Sheltowee Outpost

5 Reasons as a Small Business You Should be Banking with a Local Bank

Mar 29 2015
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5 Reasons as a Small Business You Should be Banking with a Local Bank

I started my business in 2000.  I had worked in an entrepreneurial business before that and had embarked on entrepreneurial endeavors from early childhood.  I have also been an advocate of entrepreneurs and small business.  As I have gotten older I have become more passionate and adamant about the support of small business.  I have evolved from a purely free market philosophy to one that believes that large organizations are inherently flawed and will always evolve to promote their self-interest as an organization.  Whether it be the Federal government or Wal-Mart, large organizations don't look out for the little guy and will gladly crush the little guy to accomplish their objectives.

7 Things to Know About the All-Important Business Plan

Mar 21 2015
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7 Things to Know About the All-Important Business Plan

Having a Business Plan is an absolute necessity for any business.  Now the concept of the "Business Plan" has changed over the years.  The venture capital model on the West Coast has adopted a model that requires such high throughput that the whole concept of the business plan has changed. We in the mid-west like to adopt concepts that develop in Silicon Valley, so we like doing "Business Canvases" as well.  These are abbreviated business plans and allow VC who need to churn through hundreds of deals, to make quick evaluations as to their interest, but reviewing a minimal amount of information.  I am a big fan of condensing down your message, but I also hold on to some of the traditional notions of needing a "real" business plan, not just the Cliff Notes.

To lawyer or not to lawyer...6 things an entrepreneur should know about using an attorney

Dec 03 2014
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To lawyer or not to lawyer...6 things an entrepreneur should know about using an attorney

Companies and businesses are based on laws. And that means that lawyers are usually introduced to the process very early. One of the best things you can do is to get a good attorney. In the long run they can save you money and save your butt. The challenge for an early stage company is knowing when spend the money on an attorney and the even bigger challenge is knowing what part of their advice to take and what part to ignore. 

8 things every entrepreneur needs to know about credit!

Nov 03 2014
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8 things every entrepreneur needs to know about credit!

Getting a business off the ground requires capital.  One of the most often used means of funding an early stage business is with credit. Credit is probably the easiest way to access capital for your business.  Below are some of the things that every entrepreneur should know about credit.

Five tips for entrepreneurs dealing with a failing business

Oct 27 2014
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Five tips for entrepreneurs dealing with a failing business

This is a follow-up to my last article which was on the unhappy topic of knowing when to quit.  As entrepreneurs we are bombarded with the stories of the person who bet the farm on the business at the last minute and pulled the business out of the crapper to become a shining success.  These stories are inspiring and a critical driving force for many of us.  The harsh reality is that sometimes you bet the farm, and you lose the farm.  Most businesses fail and most successful business people have endured a myriad of failures.  I want to provide some tips on how to handle the situation of actually crashing a business.  As I mention this is not as inspiring as the stories on pulling it out at the last minute, but I really hope that those of you who may be in the midst of a business in trouble, will take some solace in the following tips.  For those of you who are starting just starting a business, let this be encouragement to structure your business in a ...

Three signs it may be time to quit... or at least pivot.

Oct 23 2014
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Three signs it may be time to quit... or at least pivot.

Part of the entrepreneurial ethos is the notion of persistence and never quitting.  I believe strongly in persistence and absolutely believe that it is a very important part of being an entrepreneur.  I am going to talk about an area that you VERY rarely hear spoken of, and that is knowing when to quit.  First of all, let me set up some parameters and disclaimers here.  I don't believe you should ever quit on pursuing your passions.  I do believe that sometimes you may need to adjust your expectations and adjust HOW you pursue your passions. 

5 Tips for economic developers for growing an entrepreneurial environment

Sep 29 2014
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5 Tips for economic developers for growing an entrepreneurial environment

I have had an interest in economic development for a long time.  I have worked on the state and local level with economic development agencies.  Economic development is a highly politicized process and the agencies responsible are usually ultimately run by politicians.  So this forces a drive to what I call "chasing the big guys".  Much of the efforts are geared towards attracting large companies that will create lots of jobs.  These make much better announcements than announcing, "Chuck Johnson just started a dry cleaning business". 

Five mistakes that entrepreneurs make

Sep 25 2014
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Five mistakes that entrepreneurs make

Starting and growing a business is very challenging.  I have watched many entrepreneurs do it very successfully and then watched some of those same entrepreneurs meet with failure in future endeavors.  I wanted to list five of the common mistakes that I have seen (and have made several of them) made and counsel you to avoid these.

6 Reasons It's a Great Time to be an Entrepreneur

Sep 15 2014
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6 Reasons It's a Great Time to be an Entrepreneur

I wanted to take the opportunity to write a little bit on why it is a great time to be an entrepreneur.  I have spent my entire career working in entrepreneurial companies and I truly believe that the environment has never been better to be an entrepreneur.  Below are some of the reasons I think this is so.

Four Ways to Start a Business

Sep 08 2014
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Four Ways to Start a Business

So you want to own your own business.  What should you do?  My first piece of advice is don't quit your day job.  Figure out what the opportunities are and work on your new business while you are drawing a steady pay check.  Hard work is an absolute for being an entrepreneur and you might as well get used to the work now.