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Articles filed under Kendall, Jim

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  • Co-working may change how small businesses operate Oct 28, 2013 5:30 AM
    No more rolling out of bed and walking across the hall to your office, jammies and all. Coworking is not a home office. Small business incubators tend to focus on tech startups looking for funds.

     
  • Front line employees may be key to the planning process Oct 21, 2013 5:25 AM
    One local entrepreneur says “everyone in the company should be involved in planning and goal-setting. “Front line employees know more about how a company operates than those who sit at the top (and too often) don’t hear what employees have to say,"" he tells small business columnist Jim Kendall.

     
  • Entrepreneurs, students mesh in college mentoring program Oct 14, 2013 6:04 AM
    Mentoring must be in our entrepreneurial DNA: We give back by sharing insights and advice. We help by offering guidance and staying in touch. Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall looks at a program at Elmhurst College.

     
  • How much do clients actually know about your business? Oct 7, 2013 5:30 AM
    There’s business you’re likely not getting, probably because you don’t know your clients as well as you think you do. Conversely, and perhaps more importantly, you may be missing out on business because your clients don’t know as much about your firm and its capabilities as you think they do.

     
  • How two businesses beat the recession to prosper today Sep 30, 2013 4:59 AM
    You’d think a veterinary ophthalmologist whose patients range from birds to horses — and include dogs and cats, of course — might not have survived the recession. But practice owner and board-certified ophthalmologist Denise Lindley reports 2012 was the biggest year yet at Elgin-headquartered Animal Eye Consultants, with income 30 percent above pre-recession levels. In addition, the practice earlier this year opened a new Elgin office equipped with diagnostic and surgical equipment Lindley says rivals that at Elgin’s Advocate Sherman Hospital. The clinic also has offices in Naperville, Crestwood and Chicago. You also might wonder about a retail camera store’s ability to bounce back, especially given the growth in both digital and cellphone photos. Yet Keith Larson, owner of PJ’s Camera & Photo Supply, Glen Ellyn, notes that “The basics of photography haven’t changed. People still want to preserve memories.” Larson’s intent is to help customers capture and save those memories, regardless of device. With hands-on advice, in-store classes and services that range from unloading exposed film from customer cameras and inserting a fresh roll — yes, PJ’s still sells film — to providing ink jet supplies, media cards, lighting equipment and lenses to professional photographers, PJ’s thrives. Animal Eye Consultants and PJ’s aren’t the only businesses to survive the recession and return to prosperity, but many others continue to struggle — sometimes because blaming the unending recession is easier that tackling solutions. Here’s how Larson and Lindley did it. “We decided we had to buckle down,” Lindley says. “We went to a firm six days a week, cut expenses and raised prices.” Most of the practice’s patients come through referrals from general veterinary practitioners. Care isn’t cheap, and Animal Eye Consultants is a cash business. An office call is $185; eye surgery, when needed, can cost up to $6,000. Still, whether care is for the family pet or a larger animal, most owners spend the money. Nonetheless, Lindley says, “We saw a lot of people who said, ‘I can’t afford that.’” That’s one reason the practice began accepting payment through CareCredit from GE Capital, an Orlando, FL, unit of General Electric. Consumers essentially charge their veterinary costs through CareCredit, which forwards qualifying payments to Animal Eye Consultants in two business days. Ultimate payment — including collections, if necessary — is between GE Capital and the consumer. At PJ’s, the recession brought home the fact that “Cameras and photos were not a necessity,” Larson says. “Gas and groceries were.” Add the fact that consumers can “shop the world (to find) the best possible value by clicking their mouse,” and many camera stores have disappeared. PJ’s counters with knowledge and service. “People need guidance (when buying a camera),” Larson says. “The tactile experience of holding the camera is important.” So is pricing that, when combined with one-on-one service, helps combat the presumed advantages of Internet shopping. A long-standing relationship with the extensive photography program at nearby College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, helps as well. ź Jim Kendall welcomes comments at JKendall@121MarketingResources.com © 2013 121 Marketing Resources Inc.

     
  • Websites need attention, updates to be useful Sep 16, 2013 7:09 AM
    Website visitors don’t hang around. If they can’t find the information they seek within two clicks, the third click most often goes elsewhere. Small business owners have to pay attention to their Web site says small business columnist Jim Kendall.

     
  • Planning your exit from the business requires actual planning Sep 9, 2013 5:30 AM
    The typical business owner, Christman says, has 90 percent of his (or her) net worth tied up in his business. For most, the business represents a huge chunk of expected retirement funds. Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall looks at planning your exit from the business.

     
  • Face-to-face networking remains key to new business Sep 2, 2013 5:13 AM
    LinkedIn. Facebook. Twitter. All the social media sites. Who needs old-fashioned face-to-face networking? Maybe a lot of us, according to two highly successful entrepreneurs. Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall looks at the topic.

     
  • Small business weakness: Not understanding the numbers Aug 26, 2013 5:00 AM
    Small business Columnist Jim Kendall talks Dave Gay, former head of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at College of DuPage, about where the weaknesses are in small businesses.

     
  • Use social, traditional media to deliver sales message Aug 19, 2013 10:53 AM
    To determine the best way to reach your customer base with a sales-marketing message, you really need to know how your targets respond to various types of media — and messages. Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall explores the issue.

     
  • Who will read the business book you’re writing? Aug 12, 2013 5:51 AM
    There are two reasons to write a business book, according to Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall. He explores those reasons.

     
  • Successful serial entrepreneur shares her insights Aug 5, 2013 9:13 AM
    Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall speaks with former Glen Ellyn resident and current entrepreneur Karen Lennon about how she has started eight business. She offers tips to others. Her first business plan was seven words: We should be doing more in Chicago.

     
  • Cheaper financing, better results spark business marketplace Jul 29, 2013 8:02 AM
    This may be the time to put your small business on the market. For one thing, financing tends to be available and money is really cheap. Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall looks at this trend.

     
  • Increased small business activity points to economic gains Jul 22, 2013 5:36 AM
    If small business actually is the bell cow for economic activity, the outlook may be brighter than it has been in some time. At least that’s what conversations with four suburban business owners seem to indicate, Small Business Columnist Jim Kenall reports.

     
  • Businesses can use time to get health care right Jul 15, 2013 6:48 AM
    The extra 12 months that businesses with 50 or more full-time workers gained earlier this month before having to meet Affordable Care Act health insurance requirements may be important to get their coverage and reporting right.

     
  • What happens when angels, companies needing capital meet Jul 5, 2013 11:49 AM
    The bringing together of fledgling businesses needing capital and individuals with money to invest is often something of a mystery to entrepreneurs. Small Business Columnist has been investigating the issue and shares what he learned in his weekly column.

     
  • Consultant lists top small business issues, suggests solutions Jul 1, 2013 10:33 AM
    Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall finds that the three biggest issues most small businesses face and chances are you'll get this list: Differentiation other than price. Getting new customers. Managing cash flow.

     
  • Business owner’s summer challenge: Four half-days Jun 24, 2013 6:05 AM
    I need four half-days of your time. Actually, it’s your business that needs those four half-days, time you spend away from the company contemplating its present, future and how to make both better. How nice that summer days are ideal for reviewing and strategizing.

     
  • Palatine law firm happy with podcast results Jun 17, 2013 5:44 AM
    Businesses that “do podcasts well can get a lot of (website) traffic,” says Brian Basilico of Lavelle Law Ltd. in Palatine. Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall looks at the issue.

     
  • Guide’s transition to digital may be example for others Jun 10, 2013 5:44 AM
    The first 10,000 copies of Oaklee’s Family Guide were distributed along the Arlington Heights Memorial Day parade route by Nancy Stevens and a handful of other PTA moms (and their families) who helped found the publication. That was 1999. Today 500,000 print copies are distributed, free, at 1,000 locations in the west, northwest and north suburbs, and in Chicago.

     
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