Outside Consultant

Your personality shapes how you lead a company

We all need to consider the leadership role as even more important in our current fast-changing and complex world.

Three traits that can help determine whether someone will be a good leader

February 9, 2020
While an important element in considering the assessment of a leader, traits are not sufficient to assess effectiveness.

How to ensure a healthy workplace for your new business

February 2, 2020
The health of your employees is key to creating an engaged and productive workforce.

Expanding a business requires a keen strategic vision

January 24, 2020
There is rarely only one way to expand a business, so your strategic values and motivations ought to help determine direction.

Building business relationships that work

January 19, 2020
Bringing your whole self to work and everything you do is important for entrepreneurs.

How business owners can help workers transition into retirement

January 12, 2020
With recent changes in work, health and life span, concepts of retirement are evolving again.

How young companies can build an effective adviser network

January 5, 2020
Evolving beyond random acts often comes when the CEO realizes the value and needs to settle on a few in a slightly more formalized relationship.

Will your idea make a good business? Here are 3 things to consider

December 29, 2019
The success of a fantastic business idea does not simply come from its creative genius, but also how the idea is put into action.

Seeking global partners can lift your game

December 22, 2019
Cultural intelligence is becoming an area of greater importance as the world changes at a faster pace and generates more risks.

Are your customers satisfied? Here are some ways to find out

December 15, 2019
You need two things: an accurate understanding of what makes customers satisfied, and a baseline measure of where you stand on those metrics.

Embracing stakeholders requires companies to communicate more broadly

December 8, 2019
Today's corporate communicators have a bold new challenge: how to communicate doing well by doing good.

Key issues to consider before starting a business in retirement

December 1, 2019
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, those over 65 are the age group most likely to run their own business.

Looking to start a business in your 40s or 50s? Here are some tips

November 21, 2019
Think entrepreneurship is only for the young? Think again.

When launching business in your 20s and 30s, preparation is essential

November 15, 2019
Immediate targets include your personal finances, your personal life and building your skill sets.

Why starting a business as a college student isn't as risky as it sounds

November 10, 2019
While your risk of failure is high, your cost of failure is low.

Here's how high school students are starting businesses

November 3, 2019
It requires time, hard work and a passion for the problem you are solving with your business.

Should you follow what employees say on social media?

October 27, 2019
Employers are generally not allowed policies that restrict employees' ability to engage in activities considered "protected concerted activity."

Profits are the result of a successful and ethical business, not the purpose

October 13, 2019
Upholding ethics builds respect and trust with fellow community members.

How consultants can nurture their business partnerships

September 29, 2019
The consultant and the client organization develop an explicit contract containing the scope of the work, expectations and deliverables.

How businesses can find and exploit new growth opportunities

September 15, 2019
Customers' needs and tastes change, which can create growth and increased profitability.

The role of the person in effective leadership

September 1, 2019
The leader's role is both an authority role and a service role, and the interpretation is often skewed by followers' biases.

How to keep top employees

August 25, 2019

To crack the speaker circuit, you need a plan

August 18, 2019
A first step: Clearly define how your unique background represents valuable expertise.

Keys to becoming a better consultant

August 11, 2019
While not all consultants work in the field of organization development and change, there is much that can be learned from the experts in the field.

3 keys to building an ethical business culture

July 12, 2019
Principled leaders articulate their values, make decisions guided by their values and consistently model their values.

Why your company needs to embrace artificial intelligence

July 5, 2019
Think of AI as working in the here and now while setting a direction for its future.

Workplace wellness efforts are no sure thing

May 31, 2019
While more than 60% of U.S. businesses offer such programs, research on their effectiveness is mixed.

Make sure you are communicating with the right social media influencers

May 18, 2019
If there are a small number of key voices, establish relationships with them all. Otherwise, look to concentrate on the half dozen that have the most sway with your most lucrative customer segments.

When the boss is bad for business, what can you do?

April 26, 2019
Direct confrontations or accusations toward those in positions of power often don't end well for those with less power.

Rapidly changing retailers reflect changes in the economy

April 19, 2019
Where 2018 was a difficult year for retail, 2019 is predicted to be a transitional year.

Shaping a positive message when company is struggling

March 17, 2019
Perhaps the most important caveat is to avoid making excuses.

Where bosses can find coaching and other leadership education

February 16, 2019
There are more options than you might expect for leaders looking to improve their game.

How much company profit should an owner pocket?

February 2, 2019
What stage of your business is it in, and what are your personal goals?

Managers have critical role in setting ethical standards

January 25, 2019
Managers can serve their employees as a positive guiding influence, or they can function as a source of disengagement and unethical behavior.

How to convert your business to nonprofit status

January 11, 2019
Owners should be certain they understand the consequences before making this major change.

Businesses need to aim for more than turning a profit

January 4, 2019
Consumers help businesses remain strong, and businesses help the community remain vibrant as well.

Don't wait for a crisis to develop a crisis plan for your business

December 8, 2018
Ensuring everyone knows what constitutes a crisis and when the plan needs to be put into action is key.

Know what you want before you shop for a business consultant

November 23, 2018
The outcome that counts is: Did the approach match the real need?

To land top talent, treat candidates as customers

November 16, 2018
Increase your recruiting effectiveness with these ideas.

How to make your digital content more accessible

October 27, 2018
Thorough review and testing is worth the time and energy to assure a positive user experience.

Don't start a business just because you want to be your own boss

October 12, 2018
If you are looking to reduce your stress, a startup is probably not the right place.

How to use 3 approaches to evaluating worker performance

October 6, 2018
Performance feedback is one of the most powerful forms of motivation for employees.

How child support collection laws affect employers

September 29, 2018
Most orders further identify to whom these wages should be sent.

Companies shouldn't exploit their organizational citizens

September 22, 2018
They enter the workforce as pre-existing considerate, thoughtful, helpful employees.

How to change a troubled company culture

September 9, 2018
Any leader can develop ways to integrate new aspects of a culture, but this process of change will need lots of attention for a while.

Did your co-worker just get an award for your idea? Here's how to react

August 26, 2018
Working on any team requires a delicate balance of collaborative idea generation and work product while maintaining some individuality.

8 key things that need to click as your business changes

August 17, 2018
When these factors fall out of sync, things won't work as smoothly as they did.

The best outside advisers a business owner can have? Other owners

August 11, 2018
Business owners get the best, most-practical advice from someone who has walked a mile in their shoes.

Weighing whether your business needs independent contractor or employee

August 4, 2018
Businesses exercise different levels of control over contractors and employees.

Resist the temptation to ask employees to hype company online

July 28, 2018
The word "ask" in the question poses an interesting ethical conundrum.

In tough times and boom times, keep business focused on basics

July 20, 2018
The fact that today's business outlook is pretty strong doesn't negate the need to follow sound business practices.

Does a summer Friday policy make sense for your business?

June 30, 2018
Before you institute such policies, you should think through several considerations.

Family businesses need structure to ease transitions

June 16, 2018
Developing an organizational structure for the business and a governance structure for ownership helps.

To start a business, SBA-backed loan is common money source

June 9, 2018
You also will need some of your own cash to get started — maybe a substantial amount.

Whether to add a new product line comes down to a cost equation

June 2, 2018
This is important to gauge at the outset to set the stage for moving forward with the next steps of any launch.

Let ethics guide your decisions

May 25, 2018
Childhood lessons can help you make the most ethical decisions as an adult.

For a business, not all media impressions are created equal

May 20, 2018
I contract with a marketing firm. They report success using media impressions. What is the value of media impressions?

Does early payment discount pay off for a business? Do the math

May 11, 2018
One needs to compare the cost of the bank loan vs. the cost of trade credit.

Price adjustments aren't a one-size-fits-all proposition

May 5, 2018
You need to establish the reasoning for the change and the continued value at the new price point.

Should a small company offer health coverage?

April 27, 2018
As a small-business owner who employs fewer than 50 employees, does it make sense for me to provide health insurance for my employees even if I am not required to by law?

How to effectively manage international colleagues

April 20, 2018
Straighten out differences that can cause issues.

Ready to turn your plan into a business? Some basics on first hires

April 6, 2018
A great team starts with the assessment of strengths and needs, so be honest.

Virtual reality and artificial intelligence can help improve our business leaders

March 17, 2018
While MBA programs have made progress, most students still lack opportunities to face complex and ambiguous challenges with no clear-cut solutions.

It pays for businesses to do a trademark search

March 11, 2018
If you don't search and later find that a confusingly similar mark is registered, you can be forced to rebrand.

Sense of purpose helps leaders create strong workplace

March 4, 2018
How do leaders find satisfaction in each workday and create an environment conducive to employee satisfaction?

Outside Consultant: Small firm seeks help on diversity

February 25, 2018
I am interested in learning more about how diversity and inclusion efforts can improve my business outcomes. Can you provide some local resources?

How to become a well-rounded business leader

February 17, 2018
Meaningful work is storied work.

How businesses can step it up on customer service

February 10, 2018
As employees improve their market skills, they develop capabilities that provide higher value to an organization.

Small businesses are big target for hackers

February 2, 2018
Everyone in your company must understand what their role is in managing cyberrisks.

Building a strong brand is a combination of art and science

January 27, 2018
A brand is more than a name, creating so many associations.

Mindfulness emerging as key business leadership trait

January 13, 2018
Leaders who concentrate their awareness on the situation at hand demonstrate more steady, thoughtful, flexible and creative influence.

Should you invest in a company launching a new product in regulated industry?

January 7, 2018
I am considering a partnership that requires entering a regulated industry with a new product. Should I invest before or after regulatory approval?

Morally engaged workplace key to addressing sexual harassment

December 10, 2017
How do you address sexual harassment culturally within an organization?

Mystery shoppers can give retailers better insight into service

December 2, 2017
The key to success stems from knowing the right elements for the shopper to assess.

Which new products are right for your business? Ask your customers

November 24, 2017
Get beyond the friendly feedback and always be willing to learn.

Learning the family key for outside executives in family business

November 17, 2017
Unlike public corporations, owners of family businesses seek a variety of outcomes in addition to business profits.

How to make sure performance reviews will help workers improve

November 12, 2017
Our employees have said that our current employee review process does not provide enough direction on ways to improve. What are some effective ways to uncover and communicate specific improvement areas?

To attract workforce of the future, make your company a cause

November 3, 2017
Forward-thinking executives are strategically helping new hires deepen and connect their sense of purpose.

Juggling millennials, Gen Z in the workplace

October 28, 2017
The newest generation to enter the workforce is very different from millennials.

Do benefits of being a benefit corporation outweigh costs?

October 22, 2017
Can you explain the pros/cons for entrepreneurs wondering if a benefit corporation classification is right for them?

For successful hiring, look at wage data outside your company

October 8, 2017
I am looking at hiring a couple of new employees. How should I set wage levels? What else should I offer in terms of compensation?

Outside Consultant: Taking an American-themed product to international markets

September 10, 2017
Our product has a distinctive American theme; however, we are getting some attention and requests from the United Kingdom and Australia. Can you please share some marketing dos and don'ts for international audiences?

Keys to making sure a merger works

September 1, 2017
The history of business integration has taught us that this process takes a good deal of thought and effort.

Small firms that expand face culture, communication challenges

August 13, 2017
As a business that is scaling up from a three-person staff, what are some unexpected challenges that we will face? What can we do to prepare for these challenges?

How to generate leads without having to buy them

August 6, 2017
The key question to launch your search is, "What is the problem I'm trying to solve?"

Flexible work arrangements aren't going away

July 23, 2017
Is the recent news of IBM calling remote workers back to the office a trend or an anomaly in the future of how and where people work?

When is it time to drop the day job and go all out in your business

July 9, 2017
When starting a business and working at the same time, when do we know it is time to give the business all our attention and stop working a day job?

Outside Consultant: How to target a slice of the over-55 market

June 25, 2017
What is the most effective way to reach people over 55 and retirees who may be downsizing? Also, how can we appeal to the children of seniors who are helping their parents transition into retirement communities?

How to move your business beyond a solo act

June 18, 2017
As I look to build my business beyond sole proprietorship and bring on other team members, how should I lay out expectations if some tasks might go beyond the usual job descriptions?

The need to be genuine incorporating your social mission with your corporate brand

May 21, 2017
As a social venture start-up, what is the most effective way to incorporate our social mission in our branding strategy and client presentations?

Launching new brand requires thinking about sales, distribution channels

May 7, 2017
My company is close to launching our own skin care brand. Do you think we should focus on online sales? And would offline sales help support online sales?

Key questions to ask prospective fulfillment partners

April 30, 2017
When thinking about selecting a fulfillment partner, you should start by setting measurable objectives and standards.

Due diligence key to avoiding late-paying clients

April 9, 2017
What are your options when a client doesn't pay on time? And if the relationship worsens, what is the best way to fire a client?

How to market a professional services business

March 12, 2017
What is the best marketing strategy for a business that requires a high level of trust between client and provider before working together?

Your business clicks with boomers, so how to target the younger consumer?

March 5, 2017
We currently appeal to baby boomers because they typically have discretionary money, more flexible time and grown children. How can we attract younger clients?

Documentary maker wants to build audience in a new market

February 19, 2017
I'm the filmmaker of an award-winning documentary, "Church of Felons," which exposes the severe drug and alcohol addiction epidemic of Polk County, Wis. How could we better reach over the border into Minnesota to gain support, book screening events and direct attention of influencers toward our project?

An airline and a sub shop offer good brand awareness lessons

December 18, 2016
Both Subway and American Airlines successfully used loyalty programs to cost-effectively increase brand awareness.

How to shift a small business into a higher gear

December 11, 2016
As the adage goes, if your company is in a growing market and you are not growing with the market, then your portion of the market is shrinking.

To get more from workers, focus on factors that drive intrinsic motivation

November 27, 2016
Motivation can be thwarted in many ways. Fortunately, the research provides some great tools for diagnosing and improving motivation.

Sorting out funding options for entrepreneurs

July 17, 2016
Accessing capital is one of the central problems all ventures face.

Consider several factors when deciding where to incorporate your business

April 24, 2016
Selecting a home for your business is a complex decision and depends on a variety of factors.

Outside Consultant: How to determine if you can undercut the competition

March 27, 2016
Is it better to underbid the competition and not make much money on an account, or price for quality service and be more selective?

Outside Consultant: How to find the right partners for your company

March 22, 2016
Anyone considering a partnership with you will go to the Web to find out more about New Level Seminars.

Outside consultant: Is renting school-district bus transportation a possibility for my business?

February 29, 2016
I take people on backpacking trips into the remote wilderness and think that school districts would like the extra income from shuttling people using buses that would otherwise just be sitting in a lot.