There’s an old saying that goes: Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach. I bring this up because as a new business columnist for The Chronicle, I don’t profess to be an expert or “doer” like many of you who run your own business. But I have been around the block a time or two. Over my nearly 30 years of experience, I have learned much about the do’s in running a successful business and, more importantly, some of the don’ts.
o In this space, I will provide good old-fashioned counsel and advice, share sound business practices that may be outside of your core experience, and share nuggets of wisdom from peers in our local business community.
o A little about who I am and the road I’ve traveled. Over my career I have:
o Provided public relations and marketing services for nearly 30 years in big cities and small towns.
o Counseled Fortune 500 companies and tiny nonprofits.
o Advised telecommunications giants with tens of millions of customers and community banks with a few hundred.
o Prepped CEOs to be grilled by 60 Minutes and The New York Times and helped small business owners talk to local newspapers with modest circulations.
o Shared the same room with the president of the United States and shared countless rooms with the presidents of local chambers of commerce from Monroe, Wash. to Bisbee, Ariz.
One of the main lessons I’ve learned in my career is that small business owners tend to have more “street smarts” than big business executives. In my experience, small business owners are better generalists and problem-solvers than someone who has 19 vice presidents to whom they can outsource tough decisions. A small shop owner who’s both boss and chief bottle washer often has no one else to lean on and therefore learns to do it all themselves.
My hope with this column is to provide some tips to business entrepreneurs who may not have the time to read six trade publications a day and attend nine webinars a month about the latest management principles and best practices. Another saying I love goes like this: Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put one in a fruit salad. You each own the wisdom of your respective business better than anyone. My goal is to provide new information and share knowledge to help you and your business succeed. Nothing more and nothing less.
Here at The Chronicle we strive to provide hyper-local news and information. In keeping with that spirit, my aim is to illustrate the relevance of important national business issues and trends to the retail shop owner in Creswell, the small manufacturing plant supervisor in Springfield, and the restaurateur in Cottage Grove.
So, whether it’s talking about the new power of employees post-pandemic, the pluses and minuses of securing a new business or personal loan, or the impacts of supply-chain pricing, I hope to provide some new ideas alongside some old school wisdom through this column.
I look forward to the road ahead, together.