February – March 2013

Cover Story

A Beautiful Life

How one couple in IT dropped out, bought a hobby farm and are crafting a future INTERVIEW BY BETH EWEN His father took a risk and started an accounting firm, with seven kids to support. Two brothers, too, are entrepreneurs. But Tim Blanski goes his own way, dropping out of the high-tech rat race and crafting […] Continue reading →

Letter From the Editor

No romance

For years my friends have encouraged me to take my family to Camp du Nord, the YMCA family camp on the edge of the Boundary Waters, where people go on hikes, play cards and perform skits. Each time I shake my head. “Being in the middle of nowhere and making your own fun?” I respond. […] Continue reading →


Lending Lessons – SBA Loans

Owners benefit as bankers compete for business Wells Fargo veep sees competitive market that favors borrowers ABOUT SBA LENDING: It’s very good, very strong. If I compare what we’ve seen at the end of last year and the start of this year there’s definitely been an uptick. I would use the conclusion of some of the fiscal cliff […] Continue reading →

Business Builders

When it’s time to hire tax pro, here’s how to know what you’re buying

Finding the right accounting professional who fits your business is an important decision. Understand what you’re buying by following these straightforward guidelines, and you’ll get the best return on your investment, along with peace of mind. 1. Delegate to the right professional. It’s easy to assume that bookkeepers, accountants and CPAs are all alike, but […] Continue reading →

Retirement. Hand-picked successor may be key to planning owner’s eventual exit

There’s a fatal flaw in the retirement plans of many small-business owners: After pouring a lifetime of sweat, time and capital into building the business, their rough-sketch strategy is to sell out someday for a ton of money, then settle back and enjoy a financially secure retirement. Many business owners are so sure this will […] Continue reading →

How to qualify customers with calls to action

A call to action is only effective if it is appropriate to the relationship you have with a prospective customer. Imagine if you introduced yourself at a party in this way: “Hi, how are you? I’m Kim. Could I have your full name, phone number, e-mail, address, the company you work for and your position?” […] Continue reading →

Branding. The ‘B’ word must be handled with care, inside and outside firm

They prefer to use different words to describe the strength, visibility and value of their companies and people. The B word feels off-putting and confusing. I’m writing (of course) about branding. Outside of the marketing department, branding can conjure many images, not all accurate or helpful to company results. To confuse matters more, branding inside […] Continue reading →