Your Competition Isn’t Who You Think It Is

Linda here. When anyone starts a business, one of the first things their banker wants to see is their business plan. Every good business plan has a section called Competition.   

Sacred Cows Make the Best Hamburger

Linda here. I’m a farm girl; on the Best Valley Dairy Farm, we milked Holsteins.  We often had our “favorite” cows, but when the industry developed the capacity to measure how much milk each cow was contributing, we were shocked to realize our favorites were not the producers who kept our farm in business.  Sadly, one of the few options

Are You Lucky or Are You Good?

  Dean Johnson, owner of Arcon Construction Company was my first boss when I moved to Mora.  The year I joined Arcon, he treated all the employees and spouses to a week on South Padre Island, to celebrate their best year ever.  I listened as Dean described growing his highway-heavy construction business from nothing to sales of over $30 million

Do You Have The Guts To Be Candid?

Linda here. I am often struck by comments people make when they miss an opportunity to speak up. “That man pushed right in front of me without even an ‘Excuse me’.  I wish I’d have told him how long I’ve been waiting.” “She knows I don’t like to reprimand people, so she pushes the rules a hair past the limit

How do you know the Price is Right?

Linda here. Harold owns a plastic injection molding company.  They ship millions of parts each month to customers all over the country.  One of his biggest customers demands special packaging, just-in-time delivery and small batch quantities.  At the same time, they have been paying late, aggressively negotiating price and taking discounts that had not been earned.   

Where everybody knows your name

Linda here. Boyceville, Wisconsin – my home town. Most months I spend a weekend in Boyceville with my 90-year-old father and nephew Charlie.  Our Friday night ritual is to go downtown for fish and chips at the Buckshot Bar. As we sat waiting for our food last Friday, I watched people come in, greet each other by their first name,

Are you the sharpest tack in the pack?

Linda here. Of all the jobs I’ve had in my career, my favorite (other than Raven Performance Group) was with Job Masters in corporate recruiting.  The owner, John Sherman, had been a Vice President of Human Resources in a Fortune 500 company.  To Mr. Sherman’s credit, he was intelligent and hardworking, but he thought he knew it all: every idea

December Is Lost Only If You Want It To Be

Linda here. I’ve heard many people lament over the years, “We might as well close down in December.  No one’s mind is on their business; it’s all about the holidays”. If you follow that thinking, then you can’t do business in January because no one has any money, summer’s bad because everyone is on vacation, spring and fall are bad

Get The Most Out Of The Time You Have Left

Linda here. It’s almost Labor Day – that inevitable divide between summer and fall. Children are starting school, refocusing on friends and homework, while parents get back into the groove at work. In 118 short days it will be 2017.  Are you on track with your plan for 2016?   

Open Mouth, Insert Foot!

Linda here. We’ve all done it; said something we shouldn’t have: thoughtless, unkind words you wish you could take back. The moment the words slip through your lips you want to unsay them, but unfortunately, it’s too late.  The damage is done.