Articles filed under Kendall, Jim

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  • How to use social media to build business Mar 23, 2015 5:00 AM
    If you want to build sales, put your effort where customers hang out, an expert tells Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall.

  • A glimpse at the selling-your-business process Mar 16, 2015 5:00 AM
    Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall takes a glimpse at selling your own business. He talks to local experts about the process.

  • Projects to complete while hoping for spring Mar 9, 2015 7:44 AM
    Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall looks at some business tasks to tackle while you’re waiting for that first daffodil.

  • Where to find SBA lenders, loan information Mar 2, 2015 7:33 AM
    The good news is that the SBA loan program is easier to navigate than lingering tales of paperwork snafus and other delays suggest. Not so good is the fact that finding lenders who participate in the SBA program can be something of a challenge.

  • Family recipes struggle to go from kitchen to store Feb 23, 2015 1:00 AM
    Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall knows what it takes to get Grandma’s Pasta Sauce or Aunt Bertha’s cookies or whatever legendary recipe your family treasures — onto store shelves: Determination and money.

  • Business owners share resume skills, advice Feb 16, 2015 5:00 AM
    'Spearheaded' or 'created' are better than 'assisted,' when writing a resume. Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall looks at other trends.

  • Path from owner to franchisor has many steps Feb 9, 2015 7:22 AM
    Hungry diners come from miles around for your pizza. Customers say your massage techniques are really effective. That inventory control plan you developed works; industry peers are interested. Your friends keeping asking why you don’t franchise your business — whatever it is in real life — and you keep asking yourself, “Why not?” You could become the next hot franchisor. Pay attention, however, to cautions from two experienced franchise advocates: The career change from entrepreneur with one, or maybe two, locations to franchisor is a life-changing step that requires serious thought. “You won’t be making pizza anymore,” says Michal Liss, a corporate counsel and franchise attorney at FRANLAW: Liss & Lamar PC, Oak Brook. “Your job changes. You’ll become a trainer and coach, supporting other people in their dream.” Franchisors must be comfortable in relationships, Liss says, because “You’ll get to know (the franchisees) you’re coaching intimately. You have to have the desire to help people start and grow. Otherwise, you’ll be a square peg in a round hole.” Goodbye pizza dough. Hello counseling. Marcelo Alvarez, a Downers Grove business opportunity coach and franchisee of The Entrepreneur’s Source, has similar thoughts. Running a store and being a franchisor are “totally different businesses,” Alvarez says. “When you’re a franchisor, franchisees call from all over the country with questions. You become a trainer — and a salesman.” The Entrepreneur’s Source is a franchise business whose individual owners help people find their own franchises. In some ways, becoming a franchisor approaches the ultimate entrepreneurial step. “The first test,” Alvarez says, “is whether you’ve built something proven and successful. Get it started and get two to three years under your belt. “Your business needs to be something that can be replicated, not a place people go because they like the owner.” The business will need infrastructure before you can franchise it. Among Liss’ suggestions in a paper worth finding at • A successful prototype. That’s the core business that got you thinking franchising to begin with, and it needs to generate enough profit to be attractive to potential franchisees — who will need enough cash flow to support their new business and pay you royalties. • A name that can be trademarked. • Operating systems that can be documented and taught to new franchisees. Also necessary: A comprehensive franchise agreement and a franchise disclosure document, both of which require a franchise-experienced attorney, and compliance with federal and state laws that regulate pre-sale disclosures to potential franchisees. You’ll need to recruit potential franchisees, which likely means a sales team. Marketing programs are typical; so is a business plan for franchisees to follow. Logo and signage are important. Supplies matter. An operating manual may be the key item, however. “Some existing businesses may have an operating manual,” Alvarez says, “but most don’t. If the operational process is in the owner’s head, someone must sit down and translate the information.” • Follow Jim Kendall on LinkedIn and Twitter. Write him at Listen to Jim’s Business Owners’ Pod Talk at 2015 Kendall Communications Inc.

  • Can ‘Friend Economy’ bring you more business? Feb 2, 2015 5:00 AM
    Which would you prefer to have, a friend or a client? Or both? Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall talks with a Libertyville financial advisory business about this.

  • Creative ideas can help attract right employees Jan 26, 2015 5:55 AM
    In a hiring mode? A creative approach to matching job requirements, benefits, the workplace and candidates might make a difference, says Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall.

  • Culture change may be needed to boost results Jan 19, 2015 5:00 AM
    Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall looks at what to do when the company culture and workplace atmosphere has gone negative.

  • Time to join a group? Consider these options Jan 12, 2015 7:01 AM
    If you’re serious about connecting with more of your small business peers and trading business leads with them or if you’re looking for typically low-cost seminars where you might pick up some helpful business ideas; there are options.

  • New Year’s outlook promising for small businesses Jan 5, 2015 5:35 AM
    We still have 51-plus weeks to go, but 2015 looks promising — especially in sectors where the cost of money can be a thorny issue, according to Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall.

  • Seminar helps women develop CEO skills Dec 22, 2014 5:31 AM
    Women who graduated in October from the first Project CEO, offered by the Small Business Development Center at College of DuPage facilities in Lisle,talk to Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall.

  • Small businesses help drive sustainability issues Dec 15, 2014 12:02 PM
    The holidays are greener than they used to be — which has little to do with the weather and more to do with the fact that many business owners “really do care” about sustainability, energy efficiency and popularly labeled green initiatives.

  • Niche marketing: How many websites do you need? Dec 8, 2014 5:20 AM
    Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall talks to local experts about marketing and selling in today’s digital marketplaces.

  • Owner misses buyer’s stress, company sale falls through Dec 1, 2014 5:36 AM
    Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall looks at the idea of selling a business.

  • Advice as health care heats up: ‘Hold tight’ Nov 24, 2014 5:08 AM
    For employers, the best what-to-do advice when it comes to the Affordable Care Act is to hold tight, according to an attornety that Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall talks with.

  • Business owners, what will you do better next year? Nov 18, 2014 5:42 AM
    Business columnist Jim Kendall says even though Santa already has been sighted at more than one suburban mall, there’s plenty of time for business owners to plan for next year:

  • Businesses create internships to meet specific needs Nov 10, 2014 5:11 AM
    There’s more than the prospect of low-cost labor that makes internships interesting to small businesses. Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall looks at the issue.

  • Unusual succession plan works for two attorneys Oct 27, 2014 5:54 AM
    Finding a successor to bring into your solo practice isn’t often as easy as looking across the hall, but that’s where Glen Ellyn attorney Rick Lofgren found Charles Wentworth. That’s only part of the story, however: Lofgren gave Wentworth a piece of the business to come aboard. Yes. Gave. “I didn’t make him buy in,” Lofgren says, “and he’s not an employee. He was a shareholder right out of the gate. It’s a small share, but it’s a share.” The two are not exactly equal owners at Glen Ellyn-based Entrepreneur’s Legal Resources. “I kept his percentage low,” says Lofgren, who is super majority owner in the firm, “but I told (Wentworth) I would take care of his compensation. “What I want Charles to get is almost all of the business he generates, less expenses. I want to make sure he’s around a long time.” Perhaps more importantly, the two share decisions and the inevitable investments in the business. Investments, whether new equipment or the hiring of a marketing firm, are 50-50, Lofgren says. “We’re building something together.” Nearly two years in, Lofgren’s succession plan seems to be working. “I watched (Wentworth) from across the hall for a couple of years,” Lofgren says. “I’ve had my own practice for 20 years, and I’ve had several small partnerships. I had been searching high and low” for an attorney who could become Lofgren’s successor when Wentworth, fresh from leaving a large downtown law firm, opened his own practice across the hall. In the casual way that compatible professionals get acquainted, “We got to know each other,” Wentworth says. “(Lofgren) even said I could borrow his (law) books if I needed to.” Wentworth eventually moved to assist another local attorney who was preparing to retire, but the two would “bump into each other” and talk. In the meantime, other attorneys were noticing Wentworth. “It took me a long time to pull the trigger,” Lofgren says now. “He had done some work for some of my colleagues, and they all wanted him badly. And a larger firm offered him a job,” but, Lofgren says, by that time Wentworth “had caught the entrepreneurial bug.” “Rick offered,” Wentworth relates. “And I got a call from a headhunter, and another firm out here was interested. “I’d been out a while and I liked being my own boss. I had learned how to make a go of it, and I had no desire to go back” to a larger firm environment. Lofgren won out, and succession became less of a concern. “I’m certainly the junior partner,” Wentworth says, “but I don’t have plans to go anywhere. “Rick’s offer wasn’t a huge surprise. It was more of a natural progress in our relationship. It felt right. “We get along really well. We have similar ideas on the work-life balance. We even both wear polo shirts and jeans” to the office. • Follow Jim Kendall on LinkedIn and Twitter. Write him at Listen to Jim’s Business Owners’ Pod Talk at 2014 Kendall Communications Inc.

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