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‘The Best Damn Small Business Newsletter on the Internet’ archives

You need to do a pre-goal-setting assessment

There's all sorts of goal-setting frameworks and theories (eg SMART criteria, OKRs, BHAGs, OGSMs, etc)*. They're supposed to help get your rough goals & dreams out of your head, onto a piece of paper, and into a standardized structure that makes sense which can...

Business savings isn’t just for emergencies

Most small business owners don't have an extensive finance background before starting their businesses. You're good at a particular skill (eg, marketing, design, writing, coding, law, whatever), you saw an opportunity to open a business, and you went for it. This...

How to rank your clients

All clients aren't created equal. Some clients are easier to work with, more profitable, send referrals, or just have more interesting projects than the rest. Then, others are a royal pain, take up too much of your (and your team's) time, drag down profitability, hurt...

How to start saving for retirement (as a business owner)

Saving for retirement is much harder for business owners than regular old employees. When saving for retirement, all employees have to do is sign 401k paperwork with HR, set a contribution amount, and pick from a list of preselected investments. Then, it's taken care...

Different kinds of emergency funding

The best time to plan for an emergency is when things are going well. That's when you have a clear mind, time to really think thru your plan, and won't be pressured into making snap decisions. You don't need to have a fully fleshed out wartime-CEO document, but you...

Search for bottlenecks in your invoicing process

Improving cash flow seems simple on the surface. You just speed up invoice collection, slow down bill payment, and make sure you have capital available for emergencies. But, that's easier said than done. Textbook cash flow advice will only get you so far. For example,...

Demonstrating value doesn’t end at the sale

Clients are usually the happiest with and most excited by your services when (and shortly after) they hire you. That's when they're most convinced that you can solve whatever problem or pain-point they're currently facing and feel the relief of getting it off their...

Questions to ask yourself before changing course

Constantly learning, iterating, testing, and evolving helps keep your business ahead of new challenges and beating the competition. New innovations can be as simple as new software tools, addon services, or updated deliverables, but can make your business...

Getting started with business systems and procedures

Standard operating procedures, systems, and processes are amazing because they keep everyone on the same page, keep client work consistent, reduce errors, and, honestly, take some of the thinking out of repetitive tasks and projects. Instead of setting up every...

Ask clients for feedback (instead of assuming)

After a few years in business (or in our chosen careers), we fall into this bad habit of assuming we know what our clients and potential new clients want. And, like all assumptions, that makes an ass of you and me. Bad assumptions lead to unhappy clients, weak...

Always have a Plan B

A major aspect of starting and running a successful small business is experimenting until you find what works for you then doubling down on it. You need to find the right processes, marketing channels, software, locations, employees, service providers, etc. And, once...

Budget in growth for 2021

Hey, I'm Michael Eckstein 👋, and this is 'Ordinary & Necessary', a weekly newsletter about the boring business topics that don't get enough traction on the web, but will help you manage and grow your business. You signed up on my website. If you'd like to...

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