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."

How your business can become more charitable

October 18, 2019
Q: How do I add a philanthropic aspect to my business? A: Businesses can advance their charitable interests in many ways. Some businesses give…

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.

A company night out — or office design — all are forms of workplace communication

October 6, 2019
Q: How does creativity influence and shape communication in a workplace?   A: Creativity, or lack thereof, influences every part of a workplace, including communication.…

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 often should you pitch a prospect? It depends

September 25, 2019
Q: How many times and how frequently should I follow up with a prospect?A: The core of this question lies in the kind of…

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
Q: What are some good ways to retain my top employees?A: For many of us, what is most important in a job changes…

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.

Making sure your company is environmentally responsible

July 14, 2019
Q: How can I ensure that my small business is operating in an environmentally conscious manner, and is in compliance with environmental regulations?A: It…

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.

How to pick a health plan that works for employees and your business

July 1, 2019
Q: How can I choose the best health care plan for my employees?A: Although a lot of good advice exists on this topic,…

Why business leaders need to be creative

June 16, 2019
Q: Why is it important for business leaders to have a sense of creativity?A: People usually associate creativity with the arts or a field…

Innovation requires businesses to test ideas quickly

June 9, 2019
Q: How can my firm effectively implement our innovative ideas?A: Traditionally, strategic-planning processes have been used to revitalize organizations and develop significant innovative…

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.

How best to manage conflicts in the workplace

May 5, 2019
Q: Why is it advisable to pay attention to conflict management?A: Customer centricity is at the core of consulting excellence; we wouldn't exist…

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.

Why your website needs to play well on mobile devices

April 7, 2019
Q: What’s this “mobile-first” thing and why do we need our websites to be mobile-friendly? A: According to StatCounter, the beginning of 2017…

Why companies need to recognize differences between compliance and ethics

March 29, 2019
Q: Are compliance and ethics really that different?A: I would argue that compliance and ethics are unique disciplines; however, because both are designed to…

It's essential for businesses to keep pace with retail trends

March 22, 2019
Q: How is retail evolving right now, and how can businesses keep up with these trends? A: Retail is changing at a rapid pace, making…

Shaping a positive message when company is struggling

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

Here's what to expect from a professional coach

March 10, 2019
Q: What is the difference between a coach and a consultant? Do coaches need to be certified?A: There are no regulations requiring coaches to be…

Oral business contracts can be OK, but it's best to get it in writing

March 1, 2019
Q: Do my contracts need to be in writing? A: Surprisingly, many oral contracts carry just as much legal weight as written agreements.…

Tax reform shows cuts aren't big job generators

February 22, 2019
  Q: How is the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 affecting the economy? A: When the tax cut was passed, President Donald Trump…

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.

How to resolve disagreements with independent contractors

December 30, 2018
Last of three parts.Q: What methods can I use to resolve disagreements with an independent contractor?A: An independent contractor (IC) is one who agrees…

Making sure an independent contractor agreement works for all

December 23, 2018
Second of three partsQ: How can I prevent misunderstandings when implementing a contract with an independent contractor?A: An independent contractor (IC) is one who…

Getting it right with freelancers

December 16, 2018
Q: What should I keep in mind when establishing an independent contractor relationship?A: An independent contractor (IC) is one who agrees with a buyer to…

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 your company can embrace creativity

November 9, 2018
Q: How can I create a culture of organizational creativity? A: Fostering organizational creativity requires making creativity a strategic priority. Making time to generate 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.

Why your business needs a compliance program

October 21, 2018
Q: What is a compliance program and does my business need one?A: A compliance program is made up of company policies and procedures…

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.

Your company is on the rocks, here is a short term survival plan

September 16, 2018
Q: We recently lost an important customer to a competitor, and it's not clear whether we will be able to survive. Short of pouring…

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 your business face ethics issue? Cast a wide net when seeking advice

July 14, 2018
Q: When dealing with an ethical dilemma in my organization, should I gain input from others first?   A: I would highly suggest gaining additional…

Does a summer Friday policy make sense for your business?

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

For books about leadership, consider some literary options

June 22, 2018
Q: What are some summer reading suggestions about how to become a more principled leader? A: Most management wisdom about ethics in business will…

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.

To foster innovation, your business needs a promotional focus

April 13, 2018
Q: How can I better promote strategic innovation in my organization?   A: Let’s consider two common places innovations go to die and explore what…

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.

Consider pros and cons before opting for a franchising model

April 1, 2018
Q: I'm developing a new business proposal, and mentors have recommended that I use a franchising model. What factors should I consider?A: In a franchise…

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.

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.

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?

To maximize profit, businesses sometimes need to fire a client

October 1, 2017
Q: How do you balance getting the right customers and maximizing profit?Roslyn McKenna, brand managerSH Data CentersA: The well-known rule of thumb is that 80…

Can you manage a team if you don't like managing people?

September 24, 2017
Q: How do you move from being a solopreneur to growing and managing a team if you don't enjoy managing people?Gina Horkey, founderHorkey HandbookA: Our…

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?

To build out client base, focus on what you can offer

August 27, 2017
Q: As an independent consulting firm that has mainly consulted early stage technology innovation, I am looking to build out my client base to…

Scouting inventory system options for small businesses with a tight budget

August 20, 2017
Q: Our business processes hundreds of transactions a day. What is the best way to manage and track inventory for a small business…

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 much debt is too much for your company?

July 29, 2017
Q: I need to apply for a line of credit for cash-flow purposes. At what point is there too much debt? Revenue is 20 percent…

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?

How small businesses can keep big-time workers

July 16, 2017
Q: What tips and advice do you have for small trade businesses to attract and retain great people?Rob Satrom, ownerFeedbackWrenchA: Nearly every organization finds it…

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?

Get your company's story together to land growth investment

July 1, 2017
Q: What is the best way to receive funding to grow my company without losing control of it? Christina Flach, CEO Pretty Girl Makeup  …

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?

Ask an expert: Budget basics for new nonprofits

June 10, 2017
Q: I am in the start-up process for a nonprofit. What should I consider when forecasting a budget for a 12-month business plan? LaTonia E.…

How entrepreneurs shape ideas into products

June 4, 2017
Q: I have an idea for a product, but am not sure how to get started in making the idea a reality. What are…

In addressing internet security issues, make sure to provide solutions

May 28, 2017
Q: How do I overcome public apathy to internet security, even after revelation after revelation about security failures?Greg Scott, authorA: Step 1 is determining whether…

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?

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.

Brands that pick targets wisely can connect on social media

April 23, 2017
Q: How can brands stand out among the growing abundance of misinformation that exists on social media sites, like Facebook, today?AnonymousA: Can brands save…

Side project is close to something your employer is doing. Now what?

April 16, 2017
Q: Over the past six months, I've been publishing an SEO-specific newsletter tied directly to my name/brand. My employer runs something similar (I'm not…

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?

New firms should use advisory board to build brand trust

April 1, 2017
Ashley Garner, owner and designer, Violet Wears Q: How do you build brand trust with a new business? A: I love this question.…

When does an office make sense for a start-up?

March 26, 2017
Q: A lot of start-up businesses are not clear whether they need to get an office after working out of their homes. When should a…

Using social media to increase sales of a niche publication

March 19, 2017
Q: I'm co-owner of a company that publishes medical guides written by physicians who are also mothers. What are some best practices for…

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?

To boost your productivity, weed out those negative routines

February 26, 2017
Q: A goal for myself personally, and for the benefit of my business, is to be the most productive and effective I can possibly…

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?

Keys to keeping independent contractors accountable to your organization

February 11, 2017
Q: My company is looking to improve accountability for self-employed agents. What is the best way to set up accountability for independent contractors? Adam Kruse,…

Sorting out tax implications of advancing expenses to clients

February 5, 2017
Q: I frequently advance expenses to clients that total as much as 25 to 50 percent of their final invoice. These fees are reimbursable,…

Outside Consultant: Broadening the reach of your firm's speaking platform

January 28, 2017
Q: I want to expand the reach of my consulting business’ speaking platform. What is the best way to reach buyers who are interested…

When expanding to new markets, best to bet on direct sales

January 22, 2017
Q: My company sells specialized drones for commercial use. We would like to grow sales in Minnesota and the Midwest. Should we first have direct…

Deciding when it's time to seek outside investors

January 13, 2017
Q: How does an entrepreneur or business owner know when it is right to gut it out and self-fund their business vs. when it is…

Building partnerships between corporations and nonprofits can produce big payoffs

January 8, 2017
Q: What are some good ways to find corporations who are interested in becoming partners with nonprofits?Hussein Farah, Founder & executive directorNew Vision Foundation A:…

How to market to a skeptical online audience

December 25, 2016
Q: Marketing on a business-to-business (B2B) level requires a completely different approach from business-to-consumer (B2C) campaigns. Could you advise on ways to pitch to an…

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.

How should a small business approach seasonal hires?

December 4, 2016
Q: We're a small business, but generally become much busier during the holiday period. I've often thought about taking on extra staff during this period,…

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.

Keys to attracting top talent in a tight labor market

November 20, 2016
Q: In today's economy, with very low unemployment rates, it can be very difficult to find qualified applicants for jobs that require a skilled workforce.…

To find new customers for your business, consider 3 key questions

November 13, 2016
Q: What is the most effective and inexpensive way to find new customers?Zondra Wilson, OwnerBlu Skin CareA: Generally, the more effective, less-expensive approach to acquiring…

How owners can find new ways to market their business

November 6, 2016
Q: How can I find marketing opportunities? Other than online marketing with search engines, how else can a business owner market their business? Speaking of…

How to decide if it's time for your small business to hire employees

October 30, 2016
Q: As a small company experiencing growth, it has been really exciting and challenging. How do we gauge the decision to hire production work and…

How to decide whether your company should stay general or go niche

October 23, 2016
Q: In looking at our clients over the last six years, about 40 percent are in the architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) industries. While…

Outside Consultant: Where to invest in marketing

October 16, 2016
Q: What is the best online channel for us to invest our money in? We can't afford to market across social media, e-mail and search,…

Finding top talent for your business is a three-step process

October 9, 2016
Q: What is a proven process to hire top talent? I know you don't want to wait until somebody leaves. Who are some unexpected people…

Key questions businesses need to consider before expanding

October 6, 2016
Q: What are the points to consider before scaling the brand? Gaurang Naik, CEO Dollar Rows  A: There is certainly not a cookie-cutter approach to…

Making sure a growth opportunity won't trip up the core business

September 25, 2016
Q: Some investments look attractive, but they also take the company's capital and focus away from its main line of business. How can entrepreneurs stay…

Weighing the tax implications of LLC vs. S-Corp

September 18, 2016
Q: We currently have a partnership LLC, but have heard that for tax purposes, it's better to organize as an S-Corp. We've received different opinions…

Outside Consultant: Financing options when you have negative cash flow

September 21, 2016
  Q: How do I raise financing for a new brand with negative cash flow? Gaurang Naik, CEO Dollar Rows   A: When a business…

Making sure your marketing matches up with your target consumer

September 4, 2016
Q: I co-own Momosa Publishing LLC, publisher of the Mommy MD Guides and other books, www.mommymdguides.com and other websites, and the Mommy MD Guide app.…

Is it time to upend the business model to jump start profits?

August 28, 2016
Q: Should I change my company's individualized education program to more group programs for more profits?AJ, Owner, Suprex Private TutoringA: The challenge for Suprex Tutoring…

When can you quit your day job when starting a small business?

August 21, 2016
Q: When you're starting a small business, when is the right time to quit your day job — financially speaking? If you're starting your own…

Generating more sales without hiking your marketing budget

August 14, 2016
Q: How can I generate more sales without spending so much on marketing (advertising and promotion) that I break the bank?Ashley Valencia, ownerThe Printer Depot…

Tips for small businesses looking to land those first few sales

August 7, 2016
Q: They say those first few sales are always the toughest to get. What are some key tips that help small and midsize businesses, and…

Does your company need an HR department?

July 31, 2016
Q: How do I know whether I need an official human resources department or if I can do everything myself? Is it a matter of…

Company has new product to tout, but little money for marketing

July 23, 2016
Q: We can do better in social media. Online giveaways and contests seem to be working. We still have a long way to go —…

The right message is key to reaching 'influencers'

June 19, 2016
Q: How do we get information in front of influential organizations/sites/blogs whose ­readers would find our service helpful? David Mercer, founderSME PalsA: Getting in front…

Picking the right growth path for your already successful online venture

May 1, 2016
Q: Just under two years ago, I started an e-commerce website. The website has been spectacularly successful, with tens of thousands of sales and a…

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: Can a business add benefits for 1099 workers?

March 22, 2016
Q: We are a midsize remodeling company that values its workers. Many of the workers are 1099 or open-source labor, and we would like to…

Outside Consultant: For start-ups, not all investors are created equal

November 15, 2015
questionI have sunk my entire savings into a great idea and it's launching soon, but I think it could be more successful with more capital…

Outside Consultant: How to respond to campaigns to raise the minimum wage

November 8, 2015
Question As a small business, how should we handle the Fight for $15 campaign (minimum wage), especially if some of our competitors prefer to hire…

Outside Consultant: What's the best way to get media coverage for a small company?

October 9, 2015
questionMy company, Access Now, just launched its first guidebook for wheelchair users and travelers with limited mobility. My question is about marketing. As a small…

Outside Consultant: On pay ceilings and keeping good managers

September 13, 2015
questionGiven that I have no formal business training, the simple questions in running the show always get me. Is there a ceiling for salaries for…

Outside Consultant: Can't get to core tasks? Time to hire some help

August 30, 2015
questionI am a solopreneur, wearing every hat from CEO and marketing director to shipping specialist and social media strategist. I spend more hours working in…

Outside Consultant: Three things to consider before outsourcing work

August 23, 2015
questionWhen is the right time to expand a business and begin to outsource tasks? How should I decide on the tasks within my business to…

Outside Consultant: How to reach a target market

July 27, 2015
question I recently launched an online fitness business that will help mommies lose baby weight from the comfort of their home. What are some ways…

Outside Consultant: To grow customer base, understand your target market

July 12, 2015
questionI run a building maintenance company and would like advice on how to grow my customer base. Ryne Cleaning Rynecleaning.comanswerI would begin by thoroughly understanding…

Outside Consultant: Finding a cost-effective marketing plan for a small business

June 21, 2015
questionMarketing our small business is one of the greatest challenges to allocate funds. What is the most effective marketing strategy for a small business that…

Outside Consultant: Using social media to reach an old media market

June 17, 2015
questionOther than the "standards" in social media, what are some ways of connecting the new tech-savvy customer of the future to business in a ­market…

Outside Consultant: Four key elements to taking your business national

May 31, 2015
questionOur business has been growing and maturing in the Twin Cities. We're now beginning to consider expanding with additional locations around the country. What…

Outside Consultant: Making sure your new e-commerce site gets noticed

May 24, 2015
questionWhat is the best way to market a new e-commerce site? How do I get more visitors to my site who will actually…

Outside Consultant: Making sure an applicant has the necessary skills

May 17, 2015
questionWhen hiring, how can you confirm that the person actually possesses the skill set that she/he lists on the résumé, particularly when it is very…

Outside Consultant: Deciding when to hire, when to outsource

May 10, 2015
questionOftentimes, small-business owners have such a passion for their craft, they try to do everything themselves. How do you know it's time for a small…

Outside Consultant: What's the best low-cost marketing option?

November 23, 2014
questionLooking at the full spectrum of advertising mediums available, from traditional print and radio to newer sponsored social media posts, it can be a little…

Outside consultant: Where to start a branding campaign

October 5, 2014
questionI am an entrepreneur who started my own insurance business. I know that branding is important, especially in the age of social media. On a…

Outside Consultant: Do you need insurance for online assets?

September 19, 2014
Q: We run a mostly online business. Do we need insurance that protects online assets as well as offline? Jason Fisher, co-owner, BestLifePlans, www.bestlifeplans.com

Outside Consultant: Equity-based payments for vendors

September 7, 2014
Q: As a start-up founder, what is the best way to develop an equity-based vendor agreement? For example, when working with IT developers, marketing consultants,…

Outside Consultant: Interviewing strategies

August 17, 2014
questionAre there questions that could be asked during the interview process that would reveal if a potential employee is looking for a long-term job or…

Outside Consultant: Recruiting strategies

July 21, 2014
question I am part of a small but growing digital agency. As most small businesses know, hiring is a massive expense. We’ve gone through the…

Outside Consultant: Think twice about a corporate foundation

June 30, 2014
questionWhen starting a charity foundation for a business, what are some important factors to be considered and questions to be asked to ensure a successful…

Outside Consultant: Will new hires fit in?

June 23, 2014
question We are a growing New York City-based video production film company that’s on the verge of hiring several employees in a short period of…

Outside consultant: Checking an applicant's social-media history

June 16, 2014
question Regarding a prospective new hire, is it appropriate to examine the person’s social-media activity? Nathan Munn Mediagrif Technologies nmunn@mediagrif.com   answer In this time…

Outside Consultant: Are there good rewards programs for customers?

June 9, 2014
question I am the owner of Your Pet Chef, a personalized dog food company. What are some creative ways to thank or reward customers who…

Outside Consultant: New tools but old principles in age of social media

June 2, 2014
Q: What is the future of in-person, face-to-face sales and marketing for the small service businesses, in the era of social media? Demographically? Geographically? -…

Outside Consultant: Managing cash flow

May 26, 2014
Question How do we go about finding resources to cover a temporary monthly cash shortfall, before generating revenue? We are a technology platform that has…

Outside Consultant: Balancing the workplace culture

May 18, 2014
Question How do you develop a culture that is fun but also demands the most for employees? We strive to create an enjoyable work environment,…

Outside Consultant: Overwhelmed by digital noise

May 11, 2014
Q: While I can certainly appreciate the value of Twitter to a start-up, I’m overwhelmed by the amount of ‘‘noise’’ there is. Are there practical…

Outside Consultant: Avoiding tax overpayments

May 4, 2014
Question How do I assess whether or not I am overpaying my taxes? Is there a common approach I, or other small business owners, can…

Outside consultant: How to gauge success of marketing efforts

April 27, 2014
Question As a business owner of a career coaching/résumé writing firm, I struggle with knowing when to abandon an idea or a type of marketing.…

Outside Consultant: Going public

April 18, 2014
questionDo you believe that becoming public is a viable step toward obtaining the funding that is much needed by start-up and early-stage growing companies?Stephen ReplinThe…

Outside Consultant: Tracking systems for small business

April 14, 2014
Question I run a blog and a few other online niche sites and have a constant stream of money coming in, sometimes every day. What…

Outside Consultant: Financial statements

March 30, 2014
Question I design, import and sell market baskets handwoven in Morocco. I think my business is doing well, but sometimes it’s hard to really know…

Outside Consultant: Reading his tea leaves

March 23, 2014
Question I own a tea company in Detroit by the name of Eli Tea. I have been in business for one year and have built…

Outside Consultant: Go where the fish are

March 16, 2014
Question Our company, Haydenville Broomworks, crafts handmade traditional brooms. So far we have built a successful online marketplace and have attended small craft fairs. We…

Outside Consultant: Real estate strategies

March 2, 2014
Question I’m a real estate agent in NYC. Do you have any advice for how I can generate more leads in 2014? It seems like…

Outside Consultant: Networking models

February 23, 2014
Question I work with entrepreneurs who start “free” or “freemium” models before they decide (not with my advice) that a membership revenue stream is a…

Outside Consultant: Developing an online community

February 17, 2014
Question What marketing strategy would you recommend for popularizing a local online business that brings together a community (in this the case dog-owner and dog-lover…

Outside Consultant: Setting up a franchising network

February 13, 2014
Question I have run a boudoir photography business and recently relocated it to a different state. The process of rebuilding the same brand in a…

Outside Consultant: Are smartphones helping or hurting businesses?

January 26, 2014
Question Do you think smartphones are helping business owners to better serve customers, or are they causing customers to have higher expectations than what is…

Outside Consultant: Conducting market research on a budget

January 19, 2014
Question When examining a potential new market for my products, how do I establish the size of that market? Susanne Riehle, Studio Productions Inc. Creative…

Outside Consultant: Company cultures

January 13, 2014
Question How do you establish and maintain a company culture when you have multiple offices and some employees working remotely? Karen Eschebach, Co-Founder of Clever…

Outside Consultant: Trademark strategies

January 5, 2014
Question: How important is it to trademark my business name? I’ve created a new online presence, and want to make sure I’m taking the right…