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Getting a New Biz off the Ground

"Beyond Eureka" (October/November 2009) is a terrific checklist for would-be entrepreneurs. I believe there is another very important decision along the way: Do you quit your day job? The answer to this question can spell success or disaster, and I would love to see it discussed more.

Joseph F. Hurley, Founder,, Pittsford, N.Y.

"Beyond Eureka" is a very good article, but where do people find so much brainpower to call on? Two or three trusted others prepared to spend months brainstorming, then developing ideas for a startup? Dozens of industry contacts to critique them? Most of us are like Joanna Robinson—on our own.

Screen name: Dave

Word-of-Mouth, at Cyber Speed

In retail there seem to be two ends when it comes to sales and service ("The Art of the Soft Sell," October/November 2009): As a customer, you either get ignored or the rep is so pushy trying to sell you something that you just want to leave. But social media is impacting where consumers shop, and word-of-mouth marketing is influencing consumers like never before.

The approach described in your article—rewarding your team and focusing on the customer—is what retailers and small business owners everywhere need to do. It takes a tremendous amount of effort, culture formation, and discipline to do what Jun Kim has done. I own a retail store, and we work on exceeding client expectations all the time. With every day and every client, we are presented with an opportunity to exceed or fail.

Lisa Larter, CEO, The Lisa Larter Group, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

The Business Side of Business'

I have been a small business consultant for more than 10 years and have owned eight businesses. "Line By Line" (October/November 2009) could not be more on point. The technical side of the business is what business owners know. An electrician knows how to wire a building. The business side of business is what they don't know—the financials, the budgets, the numbers, and why they are—or are not—making money. I like to say reality gets in their way.

Screen name: John Lenz

A Public Option's Fine, but...

Cost containment has to be the most important priority for any business ("How You Feelin'?," October/November 2009). Offering smaller companies the ability to form pools to purchase insurance outside of their state is an important first step.

While the public option would definitely have an effect on costs, we should not ignore a push for nonprofit options. We use a nonprofit for our workers' compensation and they provide very competitive rates and exceptional service.

Gary Gadren, Vice-President, Gadren Machine, Mt. Ephraim, N.J.

Return to the BWSmallBiz December 2009/January 2010 Table of Contents

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