Success Without Pain

Readers sound off on the stresses of a growing business, entrepreneurial passion, family companies, and why Pink stinks

Here's the latest installment of the SmallBiz Mailbag, a collection of some of the most recent and thought-provoking letters from our Feedback section. We want to hear from you, about which stories made you think and what issues affect your small business.

How to Make Bigger Better

Your article on managing growing pains in small business was excellent. I just completed a business plan for my first company -- and my last class for my bachelor's degree in business administration, which happened to be a class in small-business management. Our professor brought in numerous speakers who echoed the same message in your article. We are in the process of beginning a small-business council, and I plan to share your piece with the group.

Thank you so much! Terrific writing!

Rhonda Howard

Graduate Student

Lindenwood University

St. Charles, Mo.

I just want to thank you for your publication. I recently picked up a copy of it at my local library, and I can honestly say that you have a new loyal reader here. I've been in business since 2001 and am dealing with expansion issues right now. Several of the articles in your latest issue were very helpful to me. I loved reading the various profiles of small businesses. They are inspirational.

April Poley

Buffalo, Wyo.

Legacy (Summer 2005)

I have just finished reading your great SmallBiz magazine and can't tell you how much I really enjoyed the articles, especially "Legacy." You make some very interesting points, especially in regard to situations in which there is no clear line of succession.

There are many small businesses that have this problem, and many self-made men/women have a problem ensuring that the best decisions are made, thus ensuring that the family business will continue.

Your advice on the Family Business Alliance is very timely, and family-business owners should have access to it prior to making decisions that could alter the business for future generations. An outside adviser is money and time well spent.

Joe Floyd III

Norfolk, Va.

The Sporting Life

The Sporting Life -- what an article. I think we all have that desire to turn a passion into a business, but it only works for a small percentage of the entrepreneurs out there. My hat is off to all of you featured in the article. Keep the passion alive so we can continue to enjoy your passion through the use of your products.

Stephon P. Vanderwater

Cloetingh Insurance

Muskegon, Mich.

Who Calls the Shots? (6/22)

Great column! "My dad's confidence gave me the confidence in myself to move forward with the new acquisition." True words! I believe that Marshall's confidence in us gave us confidence to make decisions in the early years of the transition.

We closed today on one of a three-site acquisition in northern New England. We should close on the other two in the next few months. These locations were owned by an entrepreneur who, unfortunately, was not able to pass the business on to his kids [even though they worked there]. We tried to help him work it out but, in the end, I believe that he was forced to sell. We made offers to two of the kids to come work with us, but they decided to move on to other things. I think they had thought that, some day, the business for which they had worked their whole lives would be theirs.

This will bring ScrubaDub up to 17 locations in 4 states.

Bob Paisner

ScrubaDub Auto Wash Centers

Natick, Mass.

Don't Let Your Startup Kill You (6/17)

I liked the article on small business. I am a 22-year-old entrepreneur and am facing the same problem you have highlighted. Thanks a lot for the informative service.

Abduljabbar Ndege Omari

Jabacom Enterprises

Nairobi, Kenya

I totally agree with the author. The health effects are so significant that I went out and signed up for a health club just last week. I'm running a small advisory and money-management outfit for friends and clients, and the stress can reach levels where I don't sleep for two days in a row. This article helps. Thanks.

K. Jaffery

Jaffery Associates

London, England

Spread the Love (6/17)

Vivek Wadhwa's experience is truly instrumental for us. Young entrepreneurs like us always need a boost, at least in the beginning. I am getting lots of boosts from Vivek Wadhwa's column.

Venu Padmanaban

Chennai, India

Will Women Think Pink? (5/31)

As president of Advisory Link, a Dallas-based firm that specializes in working with corporations on strategies to enhance their marketing, selling, recruiting, retention, and promotion efforts in regard to professional women, I was appalled when I received a premier issue of Pink. While the concept may be good and the market underserved, the choice of Pink as the title was poor.

Although I assume Cynthia Good and Genevieve Bos did focus groups and certainly have some interesting marketing approaches and affiliations, my experience is that the title won't appeal to high-level professional women and is a setback rather than a positive step for career-oriented women. I doubt that most women realize PINK is the acronym for Power, Insights, Networks, and Knowledge, and even if they did, it is still a title many businesswomen will consider demeaning.

More than a decade ago, I wrote an article entitled "The Pink Myth." It focused on the many industries that have made products in pink to attract women -- and the number of them that failed. I would like to think that businesses today have progressed past that mentality. Pink is a color, not a marketing tool for reaching women.

I suggest Pink is sending the wrong message to Corporate America. My book, Targeting the New Professional Woman, presents practical and effective ways to reach women business owners and corporate executives, without resorting to pink.

Gerry Myers


Advisory Link


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