Betrayal: The Emotional Malady of Family Businesses

By Tom Hubler, Executive Consultant There may be no more debilitating force than betrayal when it occurs in a family business. Poet William Blake (1757-1827) wrote, “It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.” That’s because every betrayal begins with trust. It is “a violence against confidence,” an inside job. In my experience, it ranks as a top destroyer of otherwise […]

How is Your Business Positioned for a Possible Setback?

By Ron Leaf, Partner No business owner wants to have to call in a turnaround consultant. The decision to do so is usually forced, either by a secured lender seeking to get its loan repaid, or by a set of circumstances that have led to significant financial distress. So how to you ensure you avoid such a predicament? Being prepared to act before the first […]

Do Your Business Financial Statements Tell a Compelling Story?

By Randy Kroll, Partner A business owner and I were talking recently and I asked him how much time he spends with his company’s monthly financial statements. The answer was not much; he looks at only two numbers, the cash balance and the net income. He’s not alone. There can be a tendency for business owners to do a quick scan and then to jump […]

CEO Inbox Observations

By Bill English, Partner Three times now, I’ve been asked to be the CEO of a company in which I have inherited the former CEO’s email inbox. In two of those situations, the CEOs were underperforming, and their email inboxes provided insight as to why. They demonstrated a lack of attention management, a concept I prefer over time management or email management. That to which […]

BITN – March 2021

Business In The News is a compilation of business stories from around Minnesota and neighboring states usually not reported on by Twin Cities media. These stories provide business leads, trends and insights we hope you will find useful. Timber Industry Remains Hopeful Pellet Plants Will Take Root Efforts continue to help a new organization called NorthStar Pellets develop wood pellet plants in Bemidji and Grand […]

How to Ensure Your Life is Even More Fulfilling After Retiring

By Tom Hubler, Executive Consultant As a fan of classic films, I am always searching for films that apply to family businesses. I recently viewed the 1936 film, Dodsworth, that stars Walter Houston in the title role, as well as Ruth Chatterton and Mary Astor. Dodsworth, an entrepreneur, sells his automobile manufacturing company and retires without a plan for his future—not unlike many real-life entrepreneurs. […]

Hey, Let’s Meet on That!

By Bill English, Partner The advent of COVID has significantly increased the use of video conferencing technologies, such as Zoom or Teams. Before COVID, if I had four face-to-face meetings in a day at four different locations, that was a busy day for me. Today with Zoom, I can meet 7-8 people each day who are in different locations – all from the comfort of […]

A Form of Capitalism That is Crucial to Our Nation’s Recovery

By Dean Bachelor, Founder It was the late 1980’s. I was having lunch with the president of a bank in Red Wing, Minn., at the St. James Hotel, the landmark hotel founded by 11 civic-minded businessmen in 1875. I had just stepped into the role of CEO at Durkee-Atwood, the town’s second largest employer (Red Wing Shoe employed 500+ and Durkee-Atwood had 325 employees). Located in […]

Heading Into February 2021

By Dale Kurschner, Executive Consultant Welcome to Business in the News (BITN), a monthly compilation of business stories from around the state usually not reported on by Twin Cities media. These stories provide business leads, trends and insights we hope you will find useful. Downtown Duluth is Hot: Building Boom Continues The City of Duluth issued permits for construction projects valued at a record-high $399 […]

Crafting the Plan

By Tom Hubler, Executive Consultant With the New Year starting, it’s a great time to make sure you have a plan for your business (and if you do, that it’s as thorough and up to date as it should be). I always say a plan is better than a New Year’s resolution because it will guide you through the year with much better results. And […]