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At my last 9-to-5 job, every time I thought differently from my supervisors and managers about a problem we faced, I wrote down what bothered me and how I would do it differently given the opportunity. Before long, I had a huge spiral notebook filled with ideas. I realized that all these “negatives” were actually opportunities for better leadership. And I brought many of those ideas to the company I now co-own

Whether you are working in an executive position, just striking out on the entrepreneurship path, or you have already started a business, consider the following seven ideas for taking your business (and company culture) to the next level:

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Republished by permission, FreeEnterprise.com, in agreement with Young Entrepreneur Council. Copyright© is owned by the author of this article. FreeEnterprise.com is your home for free market news and ideas.

The truth is you don’t really need a public relations firm to publicize your business. I realize that as the owner of a boutique public relations firm that’s probably not my best sales pitch. And yet, it’s true.

The truth is you don’t really need a public relations firm to publicize your business. I realize that as the owner of a boutique public relations firm that’s probably not my best sales pitch. And yet, it’s true.

About the Author

Republished by permission, FreeEnterprise.com, in agreement with NY Enterprise Report. Copyright© is owned by the author of this article. FreeEnterprise.com is your home for free market news and ideas. 

When I was in college, I spent one summer interning at a very successful insurance and financial planning brokerage. After getting a tour of the company, which spanned two entire floors in Midtown, I met the general agent (essentially the CEO and owner of the firm). I said to him, “Wow. You have a lot of people working for you.” He said, “No Rob. I work for them.” While I took his statement with an appropriate grain of salt, it really stuck with me.  

As CEOs, a big part of our responsibility is to make sure that our employees have the right resources to get the job done.

About the Author

Republished by permission, FreeEnterprise.com, in agreement with NY Enterprise Report. Copyright© is owned by the author of this article. FreeEnterprise.com is your home for free market news and ideas. 

For most companies, there are ways to turn marketing efforts into profit centers. Of course, every situation and every company is different. Creative marketing solutions do not apply across the board.

But in all cases, it pays to think outside the box. I like racking my brains to think of ways to turn marketing efforts into profit centers. And I have found that it is usually possible.

Here are some examples from the days when I owned an industrial equipment manufacturing company building specialty machinery for the polymer industry.

For most companies, there are ways to turn marketing efforts into profit centers. Of course, every situation and every company is different. Creative marketing solutions do not apply across the board.

But in all cases, it pays to think outside the box. I like racking my brains to think of ways to turn marketing efforts into profit centers. And I have found that it is usually possible.

Here are some examples from the days when I owned an industrial equipment manufacturing company building specialty machinery for the polymer industry.

About the Author

Republished by permission, FreeEnterprise.com, in agreement with NY Enterprise Report. Copyright© is owned by the author of this article. FreeEnterprise.com is your home for free market news and ideas. 

Your glowing red tie that everyone can see from across a busy city street, the gleaming white smile, the perfectly pressed suit or designer pumps, the fancy name badge you always wear to try and stand out, the robust strides you take when you enter a room that creates an air of confidence are just not enough to build your personal brand anymore. There will certainly always be a place for the Fuller Brush salesperson approach and some may be fooled by pomp and circumstance, but today’s buyers are savvier than ever and they want substance.

Your glowing red tie that everyone can see from across a busy city street, the gleaming white smile, the perfectly pressed suit or designer pumps, the fancy name badge you always wear to try and stand out, the robust strides you take when you enter a room that creates an air of confidence are just not enough to build your personal brand anymore. There will certainly always be a place for the Fuller Brush salesperson approach and some may be fooled by pomp and circumstance, but today’s buyers are savvier than ever and they want substance.

About the Author

Republished by permission, FreeEnterprise.com, in agreement with NY Enterprise Report. Copyright© is owned by the author of this article. FreeEnterprise.com is your home for free market news and ideas. 

Legal disputes are costly, time consuming, emotionally draining, and not good for business. A business dispute is a business illness. If mild, you can work through it, but it still drags you down and impacts profits. If severe, a business dispute can destroy an entire business. Unfortunately, just as illnesses are an inevitable part of being human, disputes are an inevitable part of doing business. Learning how to effectively manage the disputes that arise is critical for business success.

Negotiation, mediation, and litigation are each potent processes for breaking down an impasse so that disputants can move from conflict to resolution. As with any tool, there are right and wrong times and ways to use it.

About the Author

Republished by permission, FreeEnterprise.com, in agreement with NY Enterprise Report. Copyright© is owned by the author of this article. FreeEnterprise.com is your home for free market news and ideas. 

How many times a week do you start the day with a well intentioned to-do list, and end the day asking “where did the day go?”  As business owners, we already fragment our attention by wearing many hats in the business.  Then on top of it we are interrupted on average 7x/hour - other’s urgent ad hoc requests, crises, other people’s chattiness, etc. Studies show it can take us anywhere between 10 and 25 minutes to reset our concentration back on our original task.  We can spend up to 2.1 hours a day on distractions.  That’s where the day goes!   

About the Author

Republished by permission, FreeEnterprise.com, in agreement with NY Enterprise Report. Copyright© is owned by the author of this article. FreeEnterprise.com is your home for free market news and ideas. 

Steve Strauss, founder of www.theselfemployed.com, offers advice for young people who are deciding their next step in life.

Steve Strauss headshot

Bill Gates famously dropped out of Harvard to start Microsoft. Before teaming up with Steve Wozniak to start Apple, Steve Jobs left Reed College during his second semester and traveled through India and dropped acid. And we all know that Mark Zuckerberg started The Facebook at Harvard before leaving early to follow his entrepreneurial dream in California.

About the Author

Steven D. Strauss is a lawyer and writer and is one of the country's leading experts on small business as well as an international business speaker. The best-selling author of 17 books, his latest is the all-new 3rd ed. of The Small Business Bible. You can listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success Powered by Greatland, visit his new website for the self-employed, TheSelfEmployed, follow him on Twitter, and "like" TheSelfEmployed on Facebook. You can e-mail Steve at: sstrauss@mrallbiz.com. © Steven D. Strauss

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