Business Calcium Blog

The 7 Strata of Strategy


It’s no secret that the recession has decimated the building industry the last few years. But Jeff Booth’s company,, isn’t hurting. It sells building materials at a steep discount through its website, thanks to arrangements to ship directly from manufacturers. “It’s almost like an online Costco of building materials,” says Booth, president and CEO. Expecting his sales to increase by more than 20% this year, Booth has increased his…

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Shaping Your Company’s Public Image


The wisdom of Peter Engel, who passed on July 2010. A corporate culture really has two components: internal and external. The internal involves how people within a company relate to each other, their clients, and how they collectively see the world. For example, FedEx employees are forever on the run because the company makes getting packages delivered on time a priority. They relate to each other and customers at a…

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Career Advice: Give And You Shall Receive


In these tough times more than ever, it is important to take time out and meet with folks who need career advice. This doesn’t mean you have an opening in your company or even know where other jobs may be; it’s simply about helping friends, family, or colleagues who might need some advice. If you’ve got insight to offer those trying to break into a new job, be the one…

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Win the Startup Game


Starting a company is a big undertaking, certainly not to be taken lightly. I consider the commitment on par with getting married and starting a family. I’ve had hundreds of top entrepreneurs share their experiences with me about starting a company from the ground up. From their wisdom, and my own startup experience, I developed this list to take to heart, before you start. There are some clear lessons to…

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Build (and Maintain) Customer Loyalty


It is said that before you criticize a man, you should learn to walk a mile in his shoes. There’s a double meaning to that saying when it comes to owning a small business. One relates to actually understanding your own business needs, while the other relates to understanding your customer’s business – a key factor in what will help you maintain a long lasting relationship with them. I have…

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Advisory Boards: Why You Need One

Karen Usher credits her advisory board for driving 85 % growth in revenue in 2002 and an additional 35 % in 2003. Frank Holt believes he would have avoided three costly mistakes if he had consulted an advisory board, so he formed one last May. Every major business decision I’ve made has been shaped by my board of advisors. Running a business is simply easier if you have some help…

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Important Lessons for Online Retailers


In 2000 I launched, one of the largest online retailers for brand name office products, from my house. Since then, we’ve relocated to an actual office (which pleased my wife) and grew to a staff of over 25. We maintain monthly visitors of around 100,000 and convert at almost double the average. Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned over the past few years in eRetailing. Conversion…

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Do You Make These 3 Customer Service Mistakes?


Focusing on Customer Service is something a lot of companies say they do, but just because you say you focus on it doesn’t mean your customers will believe you. A customer can tell when you’re simply blowing smoke, so these are three important things you should consider: 1. Don’t hide behind some list of guarantees. We learned this over a few years. We even had something we called the “7…

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What’s Your Exit Strategy?


The wisdom of Peter Engel, who passed on July 2010. Unless you take the time to consider how you will leave your business, you may not be able to leave it. If you do find a way out, you may take a drastic haircut on its value. At worst, you may find yourself inextricably handcuffed to your business. You need an exit strategy. There are seven main types of exit…

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