Getting down to business

What can be done to bring business back to vibrancy when answers are not readily evident?

There is a brotherhood of man, except when it comes to the competitive business world! That’s the judgment of J. Pierrepont Finch, the lead character in the Broadway musical, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. When looking at the developments that led up to the economic downturn and collapse of many businesses in the past three years, many of us may be tempted to agree. But while business is often portrayed as a cutthroat culture inhabited by self-serving capitalists, anyone who has ever owned or managed a company knows it can be a labor of love, one that requires hard work and long hours. 

There are the day-to-day challenges in operating a business. Personnel, logistics, finances, strategies, leadership, and a host of other issues vie for attention. Then there are the big trials, the ones that defy resolution, such as financial pressures or unexpected mishaps. At times, it may be difficult to tell whether it is a sustainable business or merely a busy-mess. 

True story: I used to own a small hardware store with my dad. We normally stacked five-gallon buckets of tar near the front so they could be easily carried to a customer’s car. A large flatbed truck with 48 containers would back into a parking space right by the front door where they could be offloaded. 

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Learning to fish
April 23, 2012

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