Good small business reads #31: Borrowing from family, managing IT, new employee orientation and more

This month’s issue of Good Small Business Reads covers a wealth of topics so let’s get right to it. First up is “3 Rules You Must Follow If You Want Your Company to Be Exceptional,” from Entrepreneur magazine. This article points you to a new book by Deloitte director Michael Raynor and strategist Mumtaz Ahmed entitled The Three Rules: How Exceptional Companies Think. After analyzing a database of 25,000 companies across hundreds of industries spanning 45 years to identify companies that were statistically exceptional, they came up with three rules that guided the 344 top performers. (Spoiler alert: there are actually only two rules; the third rule is that there are no other rules.)

Next up is an issue I’m sure many of our readers have grappled with: borrowing from family (or friends) to support your business. Journalist Donna Fuscaldo offers smart advice on this issue in “Do’s and Don’ts of a Family Business Loan” on Fox Small Business News.

Also in a very practical vein is “Fire Yourself from the IT Department,” by Anita Campbell, founder of She reports that a Microsoft-commissioned study shows that nontechnical employees spend an average of six hours a week managing IT issues. In small businesses, this “nontechnical employee” is often you, the owner. This is time that could be far better spent on activities that would grow your business and make it stronger. So get the expert help you need to manage your technology. Trying to do it yourself is a great example of penny wise and pound foolish thinking. For instance, I have a freelancer in Georgia who helps me with technical issues on this blog. He accomplishes in 15 minutes things it would take me an hour to figure out. The cost, which is minimal, is well worth it.

Next I want to point you to a new blog started by Karen Utgoff, who contributes to this blog, and Laurie Breitner, a former contributor. This post by Laurie, entitled “From New Employee to Productive Colleague,” is typical of the helpful advice they are providing. Laurie writes about the essentials of putting together your new employee orientation program to get people off on the right foot and well on their way to helping drive your business success. This is important to every business but nowhere more so than in a small business, where the performance of every employee is so critical to success.

Finally, I came across a new resource that I’m really excited to tell you about. It’s called “Entrepreneur on Fire.” It contains a series of, at this point, over 300 podcasts with interviews of successful entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs talk about their failures as well as their successes, and there is so much wisdom to be found here. Check it out and let me know if you find it as inspiring as I do.

1 comment

  1. Its really very good to know about that some facts and other points given are quite considerable and to the point as well, would be so far better to look for more of these kind.

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