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Getting Serious About Going Green

If Recycle Technologies can realize a 15% savings on an $87,000 utility bill, the investment in a "green" consultant has a pretty good ROI! ("Lean & Green," August/September 2009). I hope more businesses will consider [making] their operations more environmentally sustainable—if not because they are committed to being green, then because it just makes good business sense.

Kathy Doyle, President, Doyle Research Associates, Chicago

We have had experiences similar to Lewis Gold's with our [Dodge] Sprinters. A little more money up front, but a lot more mileage. We are burning biodiesel, and they are running great. We are now looking for smaller diesel or hybrid vehicles for our next purchases to continue to push the envelope of performance and environmental sustainability.

Paul Neuman, President, Neuman's, New York

It is so nice to see some people going green. I talk to a lot of people about green, and while they like the idea, they never want to take the next step. I have been trying to get my company to go green, but again to no avail.

Robin Johnson, Independent Distributor, Wow Green, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Life-cycle assessments produce real green cred, not just greenwash. Very impressive! A holistic evaluation, followed by the minimization of a company's environmental footprint, is just what is needed for long-term sustainability. McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry [MBDC] is helping to set the standard for such work. Kudos to these companies. Let's see this approach replicated nationwide!

screen name: David

Apologies Are Always Accepted

I find that people are very receptive to an honest apology ("Oops!," August/September 2009). If you have really screwed up, send a written apology with a gift basket or small token of your appreciation. This works every time.

Bonnie Jo Davis, Owner, Davis Virtual Assistance, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.

Is the SBA as Good as Its Word?

I am the director of sales for a boat manufacturer. Every one of our independent dealers who has tried to secure floor plan financing through the Small Business Administration has come up short. These are well-run businesses whose owners' livelihoods depend on being able to retail boats. The SBA promise ("An SBA Rescue Plan," August/September 2009) rings hollow.

screen name: Parker Stair

More Advice on Beating Burnout

I would add one more suggestion for entrepreneurs facing burnout ("Beat Burnout," August/September 2009): Hire a good business coach. My business coach won me over with one slide in his pitch when I was six years into my business and facing burnout. He gave the classic "you probably already know that 90% of businesses fail in the first five years," then proceeded to say, "but did you know that of those that survive, 90% more fail in the next five years ...? The No. 1 reason for the second batch: owner burnout." Given how I was feeling at the time, I hired him on the spot, and he helped pull me out of it. A good business coach can be very valuable.

R.J. Lewis, President & CEO, e-Healthcare Solutions, Ewing, N.J.

I'm really motivated by the choice of the last word of advice in this article [hire a business coach]. After much deliberation, I decided just last week to work with a business coach. I already feel a sense of relief, increased focus, and a renewed interest in reaching my business and overall goals. Looking forward to my best year yet!

Leah de Souza, Director, Trainmar, El Socorro, Trinidad

Clean Cleaners: A Promising Market

WAGES (Women's Action to Gain Economic Security) sounds like a great program ("Q&A," August/September 2009). Toxic cleaning products are marketed heavily to Hispanic women, and in many areas of the country the majority of women who work for cleaning services are Hispanic. Personal experience and word of mouth will help make Seventh Generation and other nontoxic products more popular amongst Hispanic women.

screen name: Angelique

They Who Shall Inherit the Clouds

[Cloud computing] is the wave of the future and will dramatically decrease the cost-of-entry barrier to many small businesses ("On the Horizon," August/September 2009). There is a whole new set of concepts to learn, but for the digital generation, it will be a piece of cake.

screen name: Sam Thacker

Return to the BWSmallBiz October/November 2009 Table of Contents

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