June 4, 2020  
 
  Articles for Entrepreneurs  
 

Andrew Goldman

 

 
Gaebler.com is a daily online magazine covering small business news. We help entrepreneurs transform ideas and innovations into greatness.

Andrew Goldman is an Isenberg School of Management MBA student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has extensive experience working with small businesses on a consulting basis.

Articles written by Andrew Goldman

Andrew's articles include insights based on his deep experience working with small business owners and entrepreneurs. If he sees a common mistake or something that works well, he covers it in the articles below.

  • Analyzing Your Strategic Position - Many small business owners get caught up in the day to day tasks required to run the company. While focusing on internal problems is critical, make sure you take time to analyze your strategic position and external environment. By periodically analyzing your company's strategic situation you can better position your company for long term success.
  • Are You a Valuable Customer To Your Suppliers? - We spend so much time evaluating our suppliers' performance, we often forget to measure ourselves. Are we being a good customer to our suppliers? This can greatly impact the way we are treated by our suppliers.
  • Balancing Supplier Relationships with Cost Savings - With small businesses, every cent counts. As a result, small business owners must pay close attention to how they purchase materials and supplies. There is a fine line between cost-savings and good supplier relationships, which are critical to small business success.
  • Before You Buy New Business Software - There are many companies who invest a lot of money on new and improved software. Before making this investment, make sure your current software cannot perform your desired functions.
  • Being Wrong in Business - Being wrong is part of human nature. Don't stand alone on an island. Encourage discussion within your company and listen to the advice and opinions of those around you.
  • Bill of Materials - Bill of Materials are extremely important for tracking the cost of your product. In addition, they can be used to plan for material procurement while reducing the possibility of errors.
  • Business Decisions Versus Personal Decisions - When we let our emotions cloud our judgment, we are not making sound business decisions. Make sure you don't make this common mistake and maintain a level head.
  • Capacity Planning - The capacity of your company to meet expected demand should be measured in both the short-term and the long-term. Properly managed capacity can have great benefits for the small business.
  • Cash Flow Issues to Consider - By properly budgeting your company's cash flows, your company can be better prepared for future cash constraints. How well you manage your company's cash flow can a have a major impact on profitability. Know where your company stands in terms of current and future cash flows and avoid many headaches that accompany being short for cash.
  • Cooperation Between Sales and Production - There is often a communications void between sales and production. The two teams are inter-related and need to work together in order to provide the customer with the best possible product.
  • Cross-Training Employees - Cross-training your employees can greatly increase your flexibility and responsiveness. Adapt a cross-training program in order to improve your company.
  • Customer Service Advice - Without customers you do not have a company. Without repeat customers, you do not have a sustainable company. As a result, customer service and delivering what the customer wants is key to the success of any small business.
  • De-expedite and Prioritize - While most businesses know how to expedite product when a rush delivery is needed, few companies fully take advantage of de-expediting. Prioritize your orders in order to better manage your demand.
  • Developing Trust In Business Relationships - Unfortunately, you can't trust everyone in business. There are times when trusting business owners get taken advantage of. Learn a lesson on the perils of trust in business from this entrepreneur's story.
  • Don't Wait for Small Business Inspections - Even if your business has not been inspected by an outside party, you should be proactive in meeting various regulatory standards.
  • Economic Order Quantity - The economic order quantity is a tool used in Operations Management to determine the most cost-effective purchase quantity. The variables within the formula are discussed in the article below.
  • Eliminate Waste From Your Operations - Part of having good Operations Management is eliminating wasted from your processes. Make sure your company is equipped to seek and eliminate waste in all areas of your company.
  • Eliminating Bottlenecks - Our operation is only as fast as our slowest process. To be successful, we need to target and eliminate bottlenecks.
  • Embracing New Technology - New technologies or systems can be intimidating for the small business owner. Don't let these feelings stand in the way of learning new processes that can help your business.
  • Employee Discounts - Employee product discounts are a great perk for your employees. Make sure the perk is in the best interests of the company and not at the expense of your customers or your bottom line.
  • Employee Suggestions and Feedback - Can your employees seek help above their direct supervisor? Make sure your employees can discuss issues with someone outside of their supervisor.
  • Employee Utilization - Switch your company focus to keeping your employees busy instead of your machines. Maximum machine utilization leads to overproduction and added costs while maximum employee utilization leads to cost savings and a stronger workforce.
  • Encourage Reading at Work - By encouraging your employees to read, you are encouraging them to improve. Reading can help employees at all levels and can have great benefits for your company.
  • Family Members in a Company - Often small businesses have family members at various levels of the organization. This can be a helpful situation or troublesome depending upon how you manage it.
  • Finding a Contract Manufacturer - If you outsource your production, finding the right contract manufacturer is a critical. This article contains advice on properly managing this important decision.
  • Firing an Employee - Letting an employee go can be one of the hardest parts of managing a small business. If an employee is consistently exhibiting sub-par behavior, there comes a time when you have to let them go.
  • Forecasting Revenues, Costs and Labor Requirements - The creation of a long-term plan and strategy is not enough to adequately prepare the small business for the ups and downs in their markets. By outlining different forecast scenarios, the small business can be better prepared for any volatility in their market.
  • Getting Involved in the Community - Getting involved in the community can be a win-win situation in business. You'll feel good about it, the community will benefit and it can have added benefits to your company and its image.
  • Getting Supplier Input on New Product Designs - When designing a new product it's important to incorporate many different areas. You should include your suppliers as well, as they can provide invaluable information.
  • Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) - Good manufacturing practices are a great way to improve your company. By imploring GMPs you can have access to a greater customer base while increasing your quality.
  • Hiring a Bookkeeper - Small businesses often outsource their bookkeeping function. This can be a costly approach. Make sure you're not paying too much for a bookkeeper.
  • Hiring Great Employees on a Limited Budget - When a small business is hiring new employees, they need to get creative in attracting the best employees. While the small business cannot always offer as high of salaries as larger businesses, they can offer other incentives to attract great talent.
  • Historical Demand and How to Remove Abnormalities - Historical demand is the basis for many important small business decisions. You want to be sure you are capturing this data correctly, so it can be properly analyzed.
  • How Does Your Business Measure Up As a Supplier? - When we supply another company with a good or service, we want to know how we are performing as a supplier. By measuring our performance as a supplier we can greatly improve the way we operate.
  • How to Collect and Interpret Time Study Data - Time study data is the collection and analysis of your various processes. By utilizing time study data you can have a much stronger knowledge of your operation and better plan for the future.
  • How to Deal with Employee Quarrels - Quarrelling employees can affect more people than those involved. Job satisfaction, quality control and customer service can all suffer. As a result, managing employee quarrels is critical.
  • How To Keep Customers Happy - Keeping your customers happy is crucial to success. If your customers are waiting in line, don't aggravate the situation by having employees around who are not helping customers.
  • How to Save Money While Keeping Your Best Employees - With small businesses, retaining and attracting the best possible employees is critical for long-term success. You may not have the financial capital available to offer your employees a lot of money, so you have to get creative in order to keep your best workers.
  • Importance of Continuous Improvement - Thinking about how you can improve your company? In order to increase profit margins and develop better customer satisfaction, small businesses must embrace the idea of continuous improvement.
  • Improving Product Quality - Companies that use a number of suppliers for the same material may be jeopardizing their quality. Whether multiple suppliers are used because of planning issues or a low-cost approach, the negative ramifications can be tremendous. Consistent materials are a necessary component of good quality control.
  • Inventory Management - There are many costs associated with carrying too much inventory. On the flip side, not carrying enough inventories can result in lost sales. As a result, the small business must find the correct balance in order to satisfy their customers and reduce their costs.
  • Is Your Sales Team Really Aligned with the Company? - Your sales team is a critical component to growing the company. How they're compensated and motivated may directly impact their performance. Make sure your sales compensation plan will motivate your employees while keeping the best interests of your company on the forefront.
  • Jidokas - Jidoka is the Japanese term for lantern. Jidokas alert managers of problems before they occur. Learn more about Jidokas in the following article.
  • Kaizen Line Stoppages - The Japanese have been on the forefront of Operations Management for the past few decades. One of their many tools is the concept of the Kaizen line stoppage. Learn about this technique below.
  • Kanbans - Kanbans are an incredible tool used in Operations Management. Learn how this simple visual system can help your company.
  • Laying Off Employees - The balance between laying off your workforce versus keeping them on until better times can be tricky. Properly managing this balance can greatly improve your company in a time of need.
  • Learning Curves - Learning Curves are more than just a buzzword. By understanding the learning curve formula, you can create tests for potential new hires that will indicate their future performance.
  • Learning From Your Competitors - While many small businesses watch their competitors, they don't take the time to learn from them. Believe it or not there is a lot that can be learned from our competition.
  • Level Scheduling Versus Chase Scheduling - How you schedule your workforce can have a major impact on your profitability. Two methods of labor force scheduling are discussed in this article.
  • Losing a Sale Gracefully - After putting in time and effort, losing a big sale can be disheartening. Make sure your sales staff is trained to lose a sale professionally and learn from their mistakes.
  • Lot Coding and Lot Tracking - If you manufacture a product, it's crucial that you lot code your batches. By using lot codes you can better track your products.
  • Managing Employee Breaks - By managing your employee's break times, you can increase your productivity and reduce your costs.
  • Managing Logistics/Warehousing Off-Site - Properly managing your warehousing and logistics can deeply impact your bottom line. Make sure you're not losing your shirt while paying for these services.
  • Managing Queues in the Service Industry - Long customer queues can lead to dissatisfied customers and lost business. Take measures to reduce your queues and improve your operation.
  • Managing Temporary Labor - Depending upon your particular business, you probably use a combination of full-time, part-time or temporary labor. Finding the right balance can mean the difference between losing money and turning a profit.
  • Measuring Supplier Performance - How well are suppliers perform has a tremendous impact on our own performance. Make sure you're measuring and tracking your supplier's performance.
  • Micromanaging Employees - Growing your best employees along with your company is a key component of long-term success. Don't stifle your best employees with unnecessary micromanagement. Find the happy medium between involvement and employee development.
  • Mistake-Proof Your Operation - By mistake-proofing your Operation you can make it difficult for defects to get passed on to the customer. With reduced defects you'll find your quality and customer service levels both increasing.
  • Money Saving Tips for Business Owners - Cash is too important to the small business for it to be wasted on unnecessary products or services. Make sure you're not overspending in areas that tend to slip between the cracks.
  • More Trade Show Advice - Do you attend a lot of trade shows? Here's some great information from a Sales Manager who has attended countless trade shows.
  • Motivating Employees - In order to get the most out of your employees, they need to be motivated properly. How well you motivate your employees can have seriously implications toward your bottom line.
  • New Product Development - New product development is most successful when, throughout the design and engineering of the new product, multiple company departments are involved to ensure that product roll-out and production is smooth and defect free.
  • Office Distractions - Distractions can be nuisances that slow our productivity and hinder our quality. Aim to reduce employee distractions while still keeping a positive working environment.
  • Operations Management for Service Industries - By increasing quality and efficiency, small businesses in the service industry will experience tremendous improvements, including increased customer satisfaction and cost-savings. Embracing these fundamentals of operations management is critical to small business success.
  • Optimize Trade Show Impact - Trade shows are a necessary part of business. They require major capital expenditure and should be managed properly. Below are some tips for getting the most out of trade shows.
  • Organizational Planning - Thorough planning is necessary for the success of almost any company. Planning takes place on many different levels throughout an organization and needs to incorporate many different functions.
  • Outsourcing Advice for Small Business Owners - Many small businesses outsource various functions of their business, typically paying a premium. In order to gain a competitive advantage, small businesses must get creative and find a path to efficient and cost-effective outsourcing.
  • Pareto Analysis: ABC inventory - Not all products are created equal. A relatively small percentage of products and materials get used the bulk of the time. By switching our management philosophy to recognize this distribution, we operate more efficiently. An example of this is applied to inventory control, as discussed in the following article.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) - The money you spend on personal protective equipment may be an afterthought. This purchasing decision can have an adverse effect on your employees and productivity. As a result, these purchases need to be handled wisely.
  • Planning for Quality - When designing a new product or process, build quality control into the design. By addressing quality issues early in the development process, you can avoid many headaches down the road.
  • Poor Product in the Mix - Many small businesses have an unsuccessful product in their mix. Before launching a new product, set a point where the new product would be dropped from the line. By establishing this point before launching the product, you avoid keeping a losing product for too long.
  • Pricing Models - Pricing models are the basis for accepting many sales. Pricing models present us with a picture of total product costs and the margins we can expect from future sales. Due to the importance of these documents, accuracy and detail is of the utmost importance.
  • Problem Solving Tips - Are you looking for a simple problem solving technique that can yield great results? The Five Whys is easy to use and can help you get to the root of many of your problems.
  • Process Mapping - On a mission to improve supply chain management within your organization? Mapping out your processes is an inexpensive way to make great strides and improvement.
  • Product Samples - Sample products are a necessary part of the sales process. They can be costly, however, so they should be managed well and be a part of the planning process.
  • Production Line Design - The traditional straight-line assembly formation can lead to inefficiencies. Learn about the advantages of the U-shaped line in this article.
  • Productive Meetings - Meetings are a necessary part of business, but if run inefficiently they can be a hindrance. Make sure you're managing meetings properly and create a culture that gets organized prior to meetings.
  • Productivity Tools for Employees - If your employees do not have the proper tools to complete their jobs, quality and productivity will suffer. A small investment in the appropriate tools can lead to major savings.
  • Quality Control Management - Quality control does not get as much attention as it should with small businesses. The level of quality embedded in your system greatly determines how you are perceived in the market and how well your profit margins are doing. By embracing quality control as a primary issue, small businesses can gain significant improvements in these areas.
  • Receipt of Goods - How effectively your company receives shipments can have a major effect on your bottom line. Make sure your receiving procedures are in place and allow for a smooth receiving process.
  • Reducing Clutter in Your Operation - Clutter can get in the away of running a smooth and efficient operation. Whether on the manufacturing floor or in the office, the reduction of clutter can lead to a much more efficient operation.
  • Reducing Overtime - Using a lot of overtime can be a costly way to run your business. Reducing overtime requires improvements to your Operation and good management skills. Employees who are accustomed to receiving overtime checks can be weary when you take it away.
  • Reducing Set-Up Times - In today's business environment, the ability to produce products in smaller batches results in increased flexibility and responsiveness. By reducing set-up and change-over times, you can greatly improve your production process.
  • Reducing Variance - If you have manual labor involved in your operation, there's a good chance you have a lot of variance in your process. Don't accept variance as part of the inevitable; seek to reduce variance to improve your quality.
  • Repeat Business is Key: Find Out Why Customers Don't Come Back - While we tend to gather data from our customers, we often neglect to gather data on lost sales or non-repeat customers. In many cases, we can learn more from a lost sale than we can from a landed sale. By capturing this crucial data you can greatly improve your company and increase your chances of landing the next sale.
  • Researching Your Industry - By conducting research on your industry and the major players and factors within your industry, you can better prepare your company for long-term success. Many entrepreneurs are hesitant to conduct industry research due to the perceived cost and effort involved. Fortunately, there are inexpensive and effective methods to conduct industry research.
  • Reviewing Employees - Reviewing your employees is both necessary and beneficial. By consistently reviewing your employees and providing honest feedback, both the employees and the company will be better off.
  • Running an Efficient Office - The layout of your office can greatly affect how well your company operates. By improving the way your office operates you can increase productivity, reduce costs and improve quality.
  • Safety Capacity - Planning your work below full capacity will allow your company to be more flexible and responsive. This concept is known as safety capacity and is explained in this article.
  • Safety Stock - How much safety stock you carry can seriously impact your customer service and bottom line. Identifying the appropriate amount of safety stock to maintain is crucial to a company's success.
  • Sales Growth Trap - Is increased sales always necessary for a business? Learn how constantly increasing sales for your company is not always a good thing.
  • Sales Promises - Only the master scheduler should be able to make changes to the production schedule. Don't let informal promises to customers create problems for your production team. Have a system in place in order to avoid potential issues.
  • Show Me the Numbers - By utilizing numerical data to make major decisions, the small business can avoid costly decisions. Coupling data with entrepreneurial intuition can be an extremely powerful tool.
  • Small Batches Versus Large Batches - In manufacturing, there is always the issue of whether to produce in large batches or small batches. There are pros and cons to both and the answer depends on your particular business model. This article discusses both sides of the picture.
  • Supplier Relationships - The quality and timeliness of your supplier can greatly affect your product or service. As a result, you want to make sure your supplier relationships are positive and you're being set up for success.
  • The Dangers of "Free Fill" Programs - In order to get your product into a new store or distributor, you are often asked to participate in a "free fill" program. Giving away product can be a high price to pay for a new customer. Make sure you've analyzed the cost-benefit before making this decision.
  • The International Language of Business - Managing a workforce that speaks many different languages can be a challenge. Set up your operation with the international language of colors, shapes and symbols. You'll be amazed at the results you can get from these simple communication tools.
  • Tips For Entrepreneurs On Getting Organized - Small business owners have a myriad of daily tasks needing completion. By using checklists the small business owner can stay on top of their work and easily track their progress.
  • Tribal Knowledge - Do you have systems to back up your operating procedures or is that knowledge embedded in your employees' brains? Tribal knowledge can be a dangerous way for a growing business to operate. Make sure you have systems and back-up plans to avoid future headaches.
  • Using Consultants - Many small businesses utilize consultants. Consultants can be a great help, but they can also be costly. Make sure you choose your consultants wisely.
  • Using Customer Input for Product Development - When developing new products, make sure you're obtaining customer feedback throughout the process. Remember, your customers are the ones who will buy the product, so their input is invaluable.
  • Utilizing Academic Resources - Looking for a cost-effective way to utilize outside consulting? Contact your local colleges and universities to access a myriad of resources including students, professors and databases.
  • Utilizing Intellectual Capital - Many small businesses underutilize one of their most valuable assets: employee intelligence. By creating an atmosphere where your employees generate and contribute ideas, your company will see significant improvements that may have otherwise gone undiscovered.
  • Valuating a Business - If you are looking to sell a business, obtain outside funding or just want to know what your company is worth, there are a variety of valuation methods available. This article, the first in a two-part series, discusses several valuation methods that are commonly used.
  • Valuating a Company - When selling a business or obtaining outside funding, it's important to know how to value a company. We discuss the various business valuation methods in the second article in our two-part article series on company valuation methods.
  • Visual Inventory - Organizing your inventory in a fashion where you can see what you have can greatly improve your inventory management. Learn techniques for creating a visual inventory system.
  • When and How to Buy New Equipment - When increasing capacity, there is a tendency to add an additional piece of equipment. Before you make this major investment, understand that operating two machines is not always better than one.
  • When to Increase Capacity - The decision to increase your company's capacity is critical and costly. Before making this leap, make sure it's the right decision for your company.
  • Where to Focus Your Capital: Operations Versus Sales & Marketing - For many small businesses, capital is a scarce resource. The question arises, where is the best place to use this capital? The decision is often a choice between marketing and sales or operations. This article addresses this important question.
  • Workplace Safety - Even if you haven't received an inspection or safety audit, safety in the workplace is extremely important. Become proactive when it comes to workplace safety and avoid serious problems in the future.
  • Workplace Sexual Harassment - Small businesses often have a less formal working environment than their larger counterparts. Don't let this informality lead to sexual harassment.

 

 

 

 

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