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Last Update: Sunday July 25, 2021

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Eight steps open many paths in business

  Four Steps to start and run All of us
Step 1. Initial Idea $
Step 2. Start-up $$
Step 3. Incubate $$$
Step 4. Sole proprietor $$$
  Four to run and grow a business orngeldy.gif
Step 5. Employer $$
Step 6. Growth $$$
Step 7. Sustainability $$$$
Step 8. Exit at the top $$$$

A  Sad Commentary on us Baby Boomers

Minimizing the return on our life's work: Too many of us business owners are riding our businesses down as we age.  We are entering our Wisdom Years but we are not being very wise.  We are not planning far enough ahead.  The result, when we want to cash out, we'll  get pennies on the dollar. That's the worst type of liquidity -- liquidation!   Even if you have not decided to sell your business or  share the equity  with somebody other than your family, we all need to focus on Steps 7 & 8 (above).

If you would like to add to the commentary with Step 8 (or any other step), please drop us a note.

On maximizing the return on your investment

If you are doing (or have done) any kind of a  DPO or ESOP, or an IPO,  you and your  businesses are in a great position to maximize the return on your intangibles (which includes your sweat equity).  Your business now has a real valuation.

One of the goals of Small Business School is to partner with those businesses that are introducing ways to help privately-held businesses to get and maintain a real business valuation that is indexed and dynamic.

If you are focused on breaking out of the category of a small business, you  have a whole new set of problems as a mid-size or even a big business.  In the very near future, more of the case studies will be focusing on these businesses.  Within the site today, check out these stories:

1.  The Franchisors:   Auntie Anne's and FastSigns
2.  The RealtorEbby Halliday may only have 70+ key employees; she has over 1500 independent realtors working within her extended family!
3.  Oil & Gas:  Cross Timbers was small when we first studied them.  But, they grew and grew.  Today, they are know as XTO Energy with the fourth largest oil & gas reserves in the nation.
4.  The BankMedallion Financial has a goal to be a billion-dollar business.  They're getting close. And, to think, it all started with a single taxi cab and an immigrant who owned it. 

There are five levels of help to find one of the following:

   »   A particular episode among the weekly episodes of the show
   »   Case Studies related to one of the eight steps (see top right column)
   »   Episodes within one's industry
   »   Key questions for workforce development
   »   Understanding the scope and direction of this website and the show

A Particular Episode

First, get familiar with "FIND A CLIP." You can look for an episode by TITLE, by a TEXT search, by LOCATION, SUBJECT, INDUSTRY, or a key QUESTION.   Please log in. 

Case Studies related to these eight steps (homepage for the Steps):

Step 1. Initial ideas.  if you are one of those people who have an idea for a business, but work for somebody else, start here.
Step 2. Start-up.  If you have begun to tell other people about your dream; and although you make your income in other ways, start here.  If you are actively and daily investing time, energy and resources into starting this business, go further. You are taking some of your most important personal values and shaping these into the form of a business.
Step 3. Incubating. If you have made a sale of even your prototype product,  somebody has affirmed your judgment. You are on the way to replacing your current income with income from your new business.
Step 4. Sole proprietor. If you work for yourself -- you have no corporate parachute; start here. Your small business has begun to create wealth! You have replaced your income and you are on your own. There are millions of owners who are satisfied at this level and a few will become wealthy doing so.
Step 5. Employer. You've hired somebody to help you; you're creating work for others. Start here.  If you have progressed beyond $1M in gross revenue, go on to Step 6.
Step 6. Growth. You've caught the attention of a market, sales and growth are solid.  The new goal is to break through $5M and then $10M in sales. Now, many millions of people have quietly grown their business to this level and they are satisfied to remain at this level. And many of these people will become very wealthy doing so as they create work for others.
Step 7. Sustainability. If you are on your way to breaking through the $10 million barrier, start here. If you are doing it with over 20% growth, you are known in the business world as a gazelle. Many of our stories have been, and continue to be, about gazelles.
Step 8. Exit at the top. With life, there is death. But a business can, and many should, live on for many more years than its founder/owner. Within this step we look at those case studies where the owner became liquid through a Direct Public Offering (DPO), IPO, Merger/Acquisition, or an ESOP. If you know of any other way, we would love to hear it!

Key questions for workforce development.

There are over 500 key questions and key ideas on this website.  Each question leads to multiple answers.  Learn to click on the questions that are found with each video clip.  For example, from the homepage click on the current episode (top right picture).  It will take you to the video with a box on the right.  Notice just under the Q&A tab there are the words, Key Question in green and then there is an actual key question.

First, be sure you are signed on, then always click on that key question to go deeper and further.

Understanding the scope and direction of this website and the show

This website is your website.  It is given to chambers of commerce.  Part of the ownership is given to all those who create content and help support their public television's production of new episodes.  Read the open letters.  Read the our key ideas for life and work

The indefatigable spirit of small business

Although many people think that they "graduate" from being a small business, we believe it is the wise leader who always inculcates the spirit, mind, heart and soul of small business.

When the show began back in September 1994, we had a corporate tee shirt which had this quote on the back of it, "If you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much space."

Click here to go to the homepage for the section about Money.