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Family business leaders discuss succession planning

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For a family business, succession planning is no small matter. From choosing which relatives to carry on the family name to arranging a financial transaction that benefits all parties, the process gets complicated. That’s why SmartCEO gathered six family business leaders to shed light on how they’re facing down those challenges. The transcript that follows highlights just a few of the thoughts and experiences they shared at our Family Business Roundtable. Read More »

3 opportunities for a happier workforce

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Throughout our careers, each of us has held positions we liked and those we didn’t like (or actually hated). But what made the difference? What was it that made you want to go above and beyond the call of duty? Or made you watch the clock, counting down until 5 p.m. every day? Surely walking up to an employee and saying, “John, no special reason, but we’re giving you a 20 percent raise,” would make John very happy, at least for a while. But too often, the value of a financial reward is short lived. Read More »

Why brand guru Daymond John’s work is never done

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Brand guru and FUBU founder Daymond John looked up to iconic brands at a young age. To keep her son from getting in trouble as a kid growing up in a working-class area of Hollis in Queens, NY, John’s mother had rules about when he had to get home at night. “I knew I wanted to be a millionaire by the time I was 18, but by the time I was 22, I was broke and serving shrimp at Red Lobster and realized maybe I’m not as smart as I thought I was,” John recalls. But a beat in the background soon changed John’s life. Hollis was the birthplace of hip-hop music, with homegrown acts like LL Cool J and Run-D.M.C. making it big. In 1992, he and three friends from the neighborhood partnered to create FUBU, which stands for “For Us By Us” and later became a $350 million global brand. Read More »

Want a great customer service team? Serve one another first.

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Real service — extraordinary service — is exactly the opposite of what most of us think about when we hear the words “customer service.” When your business’ culture is to provide extraordinary service day in and day out — continually and consistently anticipating the needs, wants and expectations of those you serve — you don’t need a so-called “customer service” department to deal with complaints and problems. Read More »

6 steps to a stronger brand

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QUESTION: I am hearing a lot about the importance of branding and how it’s not just for big companies like Under Armour. I just have a small, regional equipment distributorship. What can I and what should I do to give my company a strong brand? Read More »

A male perspective on women CEOs

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Women represent some of the most successful entrepreneurs and executives today. Yahoo and Facebook, two of the largest, most influential companies around, for example, are led by female executives, and former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts raised sales from $118 million to $3.1 billion during her tenure. These women and countless others represent the new “lean in” era of women dominating business. Yet sexism still plagues our workplaces, and women entrepreneurs still face unique challenges. Read More »

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