Three big ideas to grow your small business

Episode 88: Interview with Mitch Bolnick

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About Mitch Bolnick:

Mitch was born and raised in Skokie, Illinois, a Northern suburb of Chicago. Upon graduating with an MBA in 1985 Mitch was hired by GTE Network Systems in Chicago, Illinois as a financial analyst supporting their Information Technology department. Mitch worked for several successor companies over a period just short of 20 years, the final of which was Lucent Technologies.

In 2004 Mitch parted ways with Lucent Technologies and embarked on an analysis of business opportunities, developing several business plans in the process. The effort eventually led to the purchase of BCD Low Voltage Systems. Along with his partner, Mitch ran BCD until 2013 when it was decided to sell the business. After several months of transition Mitch parted the combined company on August 1, 2013.

3 big ideas discussed in this episode:

  • 80% of small businesses fail within the first 5 years
  • We need a paradigm shift in start-up/small business development
  • It’s about building structure

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Mitch's Pocket Guide to a Great Business Plan by [Bolnick, Mitchell]

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Growing a business by building a team

Building a small business team is never as easy as it sounds. When you first got started, you probably thought about your customers and their needs — how they might need help in some way. That was before the discovery that there are plenty of people who don’t care at all; but those others out there do exist too!

Building a small-business team isn’t always an easy task by any means—especially when starting up from scratch. You may have initially assumed that finding likeminded individuals to share your vision would be easier than it has turned out to be.

There will inevitably come a time where both yourself and potential employees want more clarity on what everyone’s responsibilities entail for the project ahead—but also figure out just which tasks you can delegate.

Also, determine what the role is and the responsibilities for that role, then set a hourly or salary rate for that role. Here is a helpful article on 8 Steps for Paying Employees of Small Businesses.

Hiring employees can sometimes feel like a lucky break. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes it just doesn’t work out and the best candidate isn’t always actively looking for a job. But there are some clever techniques to hire that passive employee.

It is difficult to find good employees, but it may not be as hard if you are willing to do some research first. Learn how the different people react and act before deciding whether or not they would make a good employee for your company. You can use what you learn from them and their experience in order better yourself at finding future candidates that will work well with your team!




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