Weekly Business Idea

June 2, 2017 – Who is Your Core Customer?

Posted on | June 2, 2017 | No Comments

Main Idea:

Do you have a good handle on what types of customers buy from you?  Do you provide a range of services to those customers?  Do you know what your profitability is by product line and by customer?  Do you like your customers?  Or, do you groan when a customer calls your office?

Expansion of the Idea:

When I was in high school and college, I worked in an Italian restaurant.  It was a small local chain with good food but great pizza.  Celebrities used to come to the restaurant when they were in town.  On certain days like New Year’s Eve, the kitchen would be completely overloaded.  That was the only time that the owner would come down from his offices to help out in the kitchen.  However, it didn’t matter where the biggest backlog was, he would only help on the pizza line.  That was what he cared about.  He knew that his business was tied to keeping the customers that loved his pizza happy.  The rest of the kitchen was important but the pizza line was critical. The owner knew what his core customer cared about and why they bought from his business.

Most small businesses, and CPA firms are small businesses, need to know who is their core customer.  Before I really understood this, my client selection criteria consisted of whether a potential client could afford our services or if we need the business to keep the staff busy or something like that.   And I tried not to take on any jerks.  Every time I took a client that I knew wasn’t a perfect fit, I regretted it later.  I finally started to identify what I wanted in a client.  I also started to eliminate services that I was perfectly qualified to perform but didn’t fit my vision for the business.  After doing this for a while, I zeroed in on who my core customer is and what they want.  I understand this customer much better because I am focused.  This allowed me to do the following:

  • It simplifies my marketing and branding decisions.
  • It allows focus on my services.
  • It provides boundaries for other services.
  • It allows us to become experts, whether we call ourselves that or not.
  • It provides a decision path for accepting new clients or terminating existing clients.
  • It improves profitability because I am focused.
  • It allows for better training of my team.

The best part of this whole process is that it shifts us from identifying ourselves by what we do to who we serve.  When you start having an outward focus, it changes your business in ways that are hard to imagine and harder to imagine ever losing.  I think my clients have benefited from this increased focus.  I know that my firm has benefited.

Whenever I have discussed this with various small business owners, almost universally they say that it is impossible to have just one type of customer.  They sell to a variety of types of customers or they might have multiple business lines.  They cannot narrow their core customer to one type.  There are valid business reasons to have different lines and types of customers.  However, everything needs to revolve around your main customer.   My core customer is a small business owner.  However, I do serve individuals by doing tax returns.   My team understands that our primary focus is the small business owner.  We cannot let the individual tax returns impact our service to the small business owner.  This provides clarity to everyone in my firm.

Points to consider:

  1. Do you have a clear understanding of who your core customer is?
  2. Do you have an intimate understanding of their operations or what they use your product or service for?
  3. Have you discussed this with your team?
  4. Have you evaluated the profitability of your customers and product lines?

April 26, 2017 – Do You Have an Expectations Gap?

Posted on | April 26, 2017 | No Comments

Main Idea:

When you buy something, what are your expectations of that product?  Who controls what you think about the product?  Does the seller explain the product and its benefits and limitations or do you know what you want it to do?

Expansion of the Idea:

A few weeks ago, I was in the office where our water cooler was located.  I heard a sound and looked down.  I could see that the carpet around the cooler was wet.  This was the second time in the last three years that our water cooler leaked.  I wasn’t very happy about this, especially since this was a week before the tax deadline and I had other things to do.  I called the company and told them about it.  They said that this is normal and happens because of a tiny pinprick in the seal of the bottle that lets air in and eventually will force a leak in the cooler.  They said that this frequently happens overnight when the cooler isn’t being used.

This caught me off guard.  I had an expectation that the cooler would not leak.  I thought that would be obvious.  Obviously, I was wrong.  The company sold the product with the expectation that there would be an occasional leak.  That was never communicated to me.  I thought the first leak was an isolated incident.  Now I could see it wasn’t.  The funny part is that the customer service representative that I talked to really didn’t understand that leaking every other year was not a good thing.  It could ruin carpets or ceilings if you are on the second floor.

What are the implications for our businesses?

All of us sell a service or product.  Our customers and clients have expectations.  If they are like me and the water cooler, they set their own expectations and we either meet and exceed them or we fail.  This expectation gap really determines if we are successful or if our businesses fail.  And it is not just small businesses that have this problem.  United Airlines is the latest big business example of a company that doesn’t get it.

The key for our businesses is for us to do what we can to control expectations.

  1. We have to understand what the customer expects.
  2. We have to make sure our product or service will meet those expectations.
  3. We have to communicate any deficiencies so that the customer understands if there are problems.
  4. We may offer upgrades from our basic services to cover the deficiencies.
  5. We have to test our product and service offerings to make sure we are delivering.
  6. We have to go back through steps 1-5 periodically to make sure something hasn’t changed.  If it has changed we need to modify our services.

By focusing on customer expectations, we can significantly improve our businesses.  If you have customers where there is still a gap, and it isn’t positive, then that might be a time for you to invite them to experience the wonderful service at one of your competitors.

Points to consider:

  1. Do you know what your customers expect from you?
  2. Are you clear in what your offerings are to your customers?
  3. Does your whole team focus on understanding your customers?
  4. Go through the 6 step process above and see if there are any changes in your business.

April 7, 2017 – Can You Grow by Focusing Inward?

Posted on | April 7, 2017 | No Comments

Main Idea:

How would you describe your plans to grow your business?  Is it a wing and a prayer?  Do you have a specific strategy that you know is critical and you must stay focused on?  Is it working?

Expansion of the Idea:

A few years ago, my son Kevin suggested that I would like a show that is currently on Netflix called Leverage.  There are about 5 seasons that originally aired beginning in 2008.  It is a cross between Mission Impossible and Robin Hood.  (If you want to understand that, just watch the shows.)  I got hooked.  I did not quite binge watch it but I probably spent more time watching it at night than I should have.  The big point of the show was that they achieved great things utilizing each person’s unique criminal abilities.  It is a great example of growing an organization while helping each member grow personally.

Most of us want to grow our businesses but we do things in isolation.  Small business owners typically make decisions individually and don’t involve their teams and outside advisors enough.  Great business owners do things differently.  First, they focus on their own growth.  Then they try to help their key team members grow.  After that, the power of the group takes over and helps push the business forward.  Jim Collins writes about this in Good to Great.  He states that great leaders get the right people on the bus in the right seats before they determine where to go.  Liz Wiseman wrote a book called Multipliers.  She writes that leaders are either multipliers where they get multiples out of their team members or they are diminishers where they get less out of the team.

Focusing on your own growth and then that of the team is not our normal tendency.  As owners, we want new customers.  We want more sales.  We can normally get them.  The key is to invest our time and energy in the right spot.  Most small businesses have untapped sales potential in our existing customer base.  We need to be able to serve that potential.  To do that our team has to be operating at a high level.

In all of my years serving small businesses, I have never seen a growing, healthy business that had a completely dysfunctional team.  And I have never seen a business that closed its doors that had a great team.  Great teams require a lot of work by the leader.  They need to be nurtured and mentored.  They require energy and guidance.  When you do that, you are rewarded by a business that is healthy and fun and growing.  That is what all of us are trying to do.

Points to consider:

  1. Are you growing personally?
  2. After you thought about question 1, ask your team if they agree with you?
  3. Is your team growing, personally and professionally?
  4. Are you intentional about helping them grow?
  5. Read Multipliers or Good to Great.
  6. Consider taking your team to the Leadership Summit.

March 24, 2017 – What Are Your Blindspots?

Posted on | March 24, 2017 | No Comments

Main Idea:

How many surprises do you get every day?  Are any of them big ones?  Do you ever feel as if you were lied to or betrayed?  Do you know what you don’t know?  Have you ever had a day when you went to work thinking everything was good and you were hit with a loss of a key customer, a major problem in the plant, and an employee decided that now was the time to find himself?

Expansion of the Idea:

All of us have some of these surprises during our career.  Some of the issues are:

  • Family
  • Team members
  • Business operations
  • Health
  • Industry
  • Finances
  • Competitors
  • Customers
  • Vendors

I could keep going.  The list is long of places where we can have a surprise.  When they happen, our initial reaction is one of “Why me?” and “Why now?”.  We might get mad.  We might get depressed.  We might even be thankful.  We put out the fire as best we can.  At that point, the best thing we can do is do a retrospective review of how it occurred and whether there was something you could have done to avoid the problem.  If done properly and with your team, you frequently can learn a lot.

A number of years ago, I had an issue in my firm.  I lost several major clients in a short period.  And, of course, this was when the kids were in college and it wasn’t a good time.  As I looked at each loss individually, I evaluated our services and how we performed for the client.  I didn’t see anything that we could have done to avoid the loss.  However, when I stepped back and looked at the clients in total I saw a pattern.  The problem wasn’t in our services.  The issue was that the second generation came into those businesses.  It changed the way that the businesses were operated and who made decisions.  While I knew about the changes, I was completely blindsided by how they would impact me.

If I had known about the extent of the issues, I would have tried a few different things.  As a result of the losses, I developed some programs and workshops to help with transition and succession.  I was more intentional about developing relationships with the next generation.  Whenever there is a major change like this I know I am at risk and I will lose some of those clients.  But if I am aware of the problems, I can mitigate some of the risk.  What it has done for me is that I have a healthier business right now because of some of the changes I made.

All of us have these blind spots.  I continue to have them.  I wish I knew what all of them are.  What I do now is actively look for them.  I ask questions.  I evaluate responses.  As Sherlock Holmes discussed in the short story, Silver Blaze, he was drawn to the dog that did not bark.  We need to look for situations and reactions out of the ordinary.  The funny part is that they sometimes are closely related to your strengths.  By being aware of the potential problems, you can put systems in place to help you.  That will help you build a better business.

Points to consider:

  1. Are you curious?  Do you look for inconsistencies?
  2. Do you have the right advisors?
  3. Will your key team members tell you the truth?
  4. Are there any items on the list above that concern you?
  5. Read Silver Blaze by Arthur Conan Doyle.
  6. Read Leadership Blindspots by Robert Bruce Shaw

March 17, 2017 – Are You Wearing Green Today?

Posted on | March 17, 2017 | No Comments

Main Idea:

Are you wearing green today?  Do you remember getting pinched in grade school if you didn’t wear green?  Are you planning on watching the NCAA basketball tournament over the weekend?  Do you do the same things every year for Mardi Gras or Easter?  Do you go to the same place for vacation every year?

Expansion of the Idea:

As you know, today is St Pat’s Day.  On St Pat’s Day, there are only two kinds of people in the world, the Irish and those that wish they were.  (I know only an Irishman would say that.)  It is tradition that we wear green.  There is some disagreement as to the exact origin of why green is associated with St Patrick’s Day.  How it started is not completely relevant.  The point is that it is a tradition that reminds people of the Irish and their struggles and their successes.  This is traditionally done while drinking a green beer.

We have a lot of other traditions that we keep in all aspects of our lives.  Our businesses have some traditions that are formal and some that are informal.  In my case, we have a very intense period of work from January 1 through April 15.  One of our traditions, is to make sure we are done on the 15th in the morning so we can go out for lunch and take the afternoon off.  We follow that up with a dinner with spouses in the next few days to celebrate a great tax season or, in a few cases, we celebrate that tax season is mercifully over.  The key is that we use the tradition to get together as a team.  It is a way of thanking the team and celebrating the effort.  We cannot always control the outcome, but we can always control the effort.

Some common traditions are:

  • Two day off site strategic planning retreats
  • Bringing in donuts every Friday morning
  • Annual Christmas bonus which was hilariously highlighted by National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  • Daily morning meeting
  • Annual Employee Evaluations
  • Cardinal Baseball Game
  • Office March Madness Brackets
  • Going to the Leadership Summit

Traditions can be a great way to build a winning culture. They can bring people together.  You can celebrate together.  However, you need to be intentional about them.  If you are not careful you can have some bad traditions.  Employee evaluations may be a tradition for your business but they are frequently a nightmare.  This is where the leader needs to step forward and help set the framework for a positive event, meeting or period in time.  Traditions, like employees, have to be managed.  If they are not working for the business, then they need to be fixed or eliminated.  New traditions can then be adopted.

Points to consider:

  1. What are your traditions?
  2. Are they positive or negative?
  3. Can they be improved?
  4. Are there additional traditions you would like to adopt?
  5. Discuss this with your team.

Happy St Patrick’s Day!!!

March 10, 2017 – Does Your Business Have Momentum?

Posted on | March 10, 2017 | No Comments

Main Idea:

Is momentum something that just happens?  Do you know how to create and maintain it?  What happens when you lose it?

Expansion of the Idea:

Last week I wrote about your business being properly powered.  One part of that was on the subject of momentum.  I thought it made sense to expand on this because I only briefly mentioned it last week.  It is important enough to discuss separately.

Momentum can mean a lot of different things. For today, I am going to use the following definition:

Momentum in business is the observable impact of positive forces moving parts or all of your business forward.

All of us see momentum in various aspects of our lives but we frequently don’t spend enough time creating and sustaining it.  Some of it is controllable and some non-controllable. It is critical that we gain positive momentum because if we aren’t moving forward and growing, we will be experiencing negative momentum or stagnation.  When that happens, our businesses are more likely to experience severe issues.  You can’t always generate positive momentum in something like sales.  However, you can generate positive momentum in sales calls, or order size.  You need to look at what is working.

Momentum sometimes starts organically.  However, if it doesn’t, then the leader needs to be the leader.  She must create some small wins for the business to create the momentum.  This is not just in sales.  It would also include product development, employee attraction, sales leads, system implementation, and marketing initiatives.

One of the most critical parts of being a leader is to infuse energy into the process.  Momentum generally starts small and grows.  Once it gets going, it can be contagious and impact other departments.  The key benefit of momentum is that it energizes the team which further fuels the momentum.  This allows the leader to be re-energized.

One mistake that some leaders make is to not communicate and celebrate the positive momentum and wins.  Team members want to be on a winning team.  They want to be doing something positive.  When they are kept in the dark they won’t push hard to continue the momentum and you will lose it.  Celebration needs to fit the situation but it should be built into your culture.  Businesses that have a culture of celebration generally have more wins than their competitors.

And, if you do lose momentum like everyone will do, you just need to go back to basics and create some small wins.  Use those wins to create bigger wins and you will gain the momentum back.

Points to consider:

  1. Does your business have positive or negative momentum now?
  2. Is there any part of your business that is really working well? Why?
  3. Can you learn anything from the parts that are working well?
  4. Do you have the energy to generate the momentum your business needs?
  5. Are you celebrating your wins?
  6. Do you need to generate personal momentum and energy?
  7. Visit www.willowcreek.com/events/leadership to learn about the Global Leadership Summit.

March 3, 2017 – Is Your Business Properly Powered?

Posted on | March 3, 2017 | No Comments

Main Idea:

What keeps you going when you hit rough patches?  Do you know what energizes you?  Are you intentional about getting around people that energize you?

Expansion of the Idea:

My wife and I had an opportunity this week to go to Huntington Beach to attend a Leaders Gathering in connection with the Global Leadership Summit.  We were going to fly into and out of John Wayne Airport.  My wife explained that when you fly out, they cut the engines at a certain point because of a noise ordinance in Orange County.  I thought that was crazy but I was curious to see how this works.  Sure enough, when we were flying back out, we were up in the air for about 1 minute and power to the engines were cut back.  I don’t know at what percent of capacity the engines were operating but the sound reduction was noticeable.  The plane kept going because it was properly fueled and took off with good momentum.

Small businesses are a lot like flying out of John Wayne Airport.  We need to be properly fueled and generate momentum to get through the tough times that we will all encounter.  We need energy which can come from a lot of different sources.  For me, I attend the Global Leadership Summit every August.  Because I volunteer with them I attend two other national meetings associated with the Summit.  These three events are critical things I do every year because they fuel me.  I love the personal growth and development and the practical things I learn to help me, my team and my clients.  The timing of the latest meeting was probably not the best but it will help sustain my energy over the next six weeks as we push through tax season.

Every business owner and team member need to figure out what fuels them.  We are all wired differently.  Some people need new challenges.  Others need to go fishing.  Others need to attend conferences and interact with peers.  There is no right or wrong.  What is universal is that we need to be intentional about figuring this out and setting aside time to do it.  We see the impact of not doing it.  We get crabby, tired, burnt out.  We are not at the top of our game.

However, even when we are properly energized, we can stall out or run into a rough patch like flying out of John Wayne Airport.  That is where we have to be intentional about creating momentum in our businesses.  We have to create systems and marketing plans that will keep our businesses moving forward.  This is sometimes tough to do but it is critical that we do whatever we can to create the momentum.

Points to consider:

  1. Do you know what fuels you?
  2. Are you intentional about creating time for what energizes you?
  3. Do you know what energizes your team members?
  4. Does your business have momentum?
  5. If momentum is a problem, are there areas where you can create small pockets of momentum?
  6. Visit www.willowcreek.com/events/leadership to learn about the Global Leadership Summit.

February 24, 2017 – How Good Are Your Questions?

Posted on | February 24, 2017 | No Comments

Main Idea:

How are you doing?  Can I help you?  What can I do for you today?  What are you looking for?  What brings you into the store today?  How’s the weather?

Expansion of the Idea:

How often do you hear questions similar to the above?  Most of the time the answer to the question is either a surface answer or one designed to make the person asking the question go away.  The questions don’t advance our relationship, the interaction or our business.  We use questions as icebreakers but we don’t have the follow up questions that allow us to go deeper.   Frequently we ask questions that are designed to answer our own questions but are not aligned with our customers.

In the last two weeks, I have had interaction with two large companies, one is our tax software company and the other is an office supply store.  Neither interaction went well because of some problems with their service.  The only way to resolve the problems was to get onto an online chat service.  (My team tried calling and that was three hours of their time that won’t be coming back.) At the conclusion of both chat services, I received a request for feedback on the customer service.  For both of them, their first question was

“Based on the customer service you just received,

how likely are you to refer someone to our business?”

My team and I had just received lousy service and had to contact both of these companies multiple times.  Their systems are not good.  Yet they are asking if, based on a customer chat, we would recommend these businesses.  The real funny part is, that at that point in time, neither problem was completely fixed.  They were asking what is actually a very good question but at the completely wrong time and in the wrong sequence.

Questions have the power to drive our businesses.  They give us control because the person asking the questions is controlling the conversation.  The key thing with questions is that they have to get beneath the surface.  To develop a relationship with someone you need to know how they tick.  To solve someone’s financial issues, I need to figure out how they got to where they are and where they want to go.  Asking questions can unearth what the customer’s real pain points are not what they think they are.

The art of using questions is to ask the right question at the right time.  One of the best ways to develop the art of asking questions is to start planning the questions.  What would happen if you and your team took five minutes every week and developed questions for specific situations?  After 10 weeks, you would have 10 great questions for new clients, service issues, marketing efforts, or team development.  By accumulating these questions and discussing them, you and your team will develop and all of you will start asking better questions.

Better Questions will lead to a Better Business.

Points to consider:

  1. Are your sales made strictly on price?
  2. Do you lose sales because your competitor told the customer that they provided a value-added service that you are already performing that your customer didn’t know about?
  3. Do you have great relationships with your team?
  4. Do you have great relationships with your customers?
  5. Are you frequently blindsided by information that you should have known?

February 16, 2017 – Did You See the Sunrise?

Posted on | February 16, 2017 | No Comments

Main Idea:

How does your day start?  When was the last time you saw the sunrise?  Does the sunset remind you that the day is over and you didn’t get any work done?  When you get to the office are you convinced that it will be a bad day before the day starts?  Do you have the dust cloud hanging over you like “Pig-Pen” in Charlie Brown comics?

Expansion of the Idea:

I had the opportunity this morning to watch the sunrise (as I was walking my wife’s dog).  And this evening I got home in time to see the sunset.  Both were great.  I really like seeing a sunrise or a sunset.  The most expensive piece of art I own is a sunset (or sunrise, I can’t tell).  It shows the natural beauty of the world.  If you can clear your mind and just look at either a sunrise or a sunset, you can’t help but be inspired.  It is a great way to get rid of concerns and lift your spirits.  No matter how down I am, I can’t help but feeling better when I see a beautiful sunrise or sunset.  You almost forget what else is going on.

What does this have to do with running a business?

Business is hard.  Running a business is harder.  It can be draining.  It can be lonely.  It can be depressing.  And it can be GREAT.  The difference between depressing and GREAT is frequently the attitude that we approach it.  Even when things are going well, we have struggles and roadblocks.  And in the middle of the 2008-09 recession, we can be thankful that, as small business owners, we had more control over our lives than someone working for Lehman Brothers.

Our attitude can frequently determine whether or not we will succeed.  When we are depressed and worried about money, we may not see the cash lifeline that is out there.  And if we think everything is rosy because our businesses are printing money, we will miss the shift in customer buying patterns and we will sink into a bigger hole than we could imagine.  Balance is everything.  One of my favorite coaches is John Wooden.  He preached that you should keep your emotions in check.  He didn’t want the other team to know if they were getting in the minds of his players.

The funny part of attitude is that it is a choice.  That choice is a function of your mindset.  And the best way to control your mindset are the inputs.  This could include how you structure your day as well as the types of things your read or watch or who you associate with.  Recently I had been thinking a lot about attitude and rituals and I was given an interesting book called the Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.  He has a semi-structured approach to every morning.  My miracle morning may be a little different than his, but the premise of getting some solid rituals in place makes a lot of sense.

This starts in the morning.  If we can get off to a good day, we are better prepared to weather the storm that hits us every day.  We need to surround ourselves with positive inputs in the morning.  I like to get up in the morning and do some reading while drinking a cup of coffee.  This really helps me get my mindset right.  That may not be right for you.  The key is that you figure out and develop rituals that work for you.  That might be exercise, reading, meditation, or just planning your day.  Getting mentally and physically ready for the day is critical.  If we can give ourselves an edge to start the day, then that will pay big dividends throughout the day and in our businesses.  The key is that we are intentional and consistent.

Points to consider:

  1. Do you have a positive attitude?
  2. Would your team agree?
  3. Are your reading or listening to positive influences?
  4. What is your morning like?
  5. Can it be improved?

February 10, 2017 – Is Your Ironing Board Broken?

Posted on | February 9, 2017 | No Comments

Main Idea:

How is your service?  Is anything broken?  How would you know if it is broken?  Do you actively look for things that are broken?  Would your employees notice if something is broken?  Are they actively looking for ways to improve your service or the experience of dealing with you?

Expansion of the Idea:

I have had the pleasure of traveling to Phoenix twice in the last month for two different meetings.  I stayed at two different national chain hotels that would generally be rated three or four star hotels.  And overall the hotels were good.  However, it was an unusual coincidence (or not) that the ironing boards in both hotels were broken.  The board in the first hotel could only be used if I put it on the bed and awkwardly ironed my shirt and my pants.  The board in the second hotel had at least a 6 inch drop between the back and the front of the board.  After the first morning in the first hotel, I had them bring me a new ironing board.  But I really should not have had to ask for it.  And I didn’t bother calling the front desk at the second hotel. I left the board up because I wanted to see if they noticed the problem.  (It was very obvious and they didn’t.)  I did tell them in the survey after the fact.

In the grand scheme of things, a broken ironing board is not a big deal.  When you realize that the ironing board is broken at 6:30 am and you have to leave at 7 am, it is a bit of a problem.  However, when these types of things happen to you, how do you remember the hotel?  What sticks out? And when something like this happens, do you tend to notice all the other little things that are wrong.

The question for us is “What are our broken ironing boards?” 

We all have them. As proactive as we try to be in my office, we have had a couple clients call and ask us about the 1099’s that we were filing for them.  We were planning on giving the clients the copy of the efiling documentation when we gave them their corporate or personal income tax information.  Yet we discovered that is probably not soon enough.  Therefore, we changed our policy today.  Did we do anything wrong?  No.  But we weren’t being proactive and as a result clients felt they needed to check on this.  These little things may not have any relationship to your core business.  Yet they could mean everything in how your clients or customers evaluate you.

These little things are frequently why we lose business.  We don’t call clients back fast enough.  Your customers receive their product a day after they were supposed to.  There is a discrepancy on the invoice.  They receive paper towels instead of an office chair. (Yes, that just happened to us.)  All of these are little things that don’t impact whether you delivered a good product at a good price.  But they do indicate that you might not care.  According to numerous studies, 68% of lost business is because of perceived indifference.  And almost all of this can be prevented with minimal costs.  What will that do to your business if you can retain all of that lost business?

Points to consider:

  1. Have you tested your product or service delivery systems?
  2. Are your customers receiving what you think they should be receiving?
  3. Have you ever been a customer to your business and experienced your business from the outside?
  4. Do you brainstorm how to improve your customer’s experience in dealing with you?
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  • About

    These weekly ideas are brought to you by FitzGerald & FitzGerald P.C. For more information about how to use these ideas with your small business contact Tim FitzGerald at trfitz@fitz-net.com.