small business

Thu, 09/29/2011
A handful of Chicago-area business owners with renewable-energy systems on their premises are inviting anyone curious enough to stop by on Saturday for a firsthand look at how they work.Fifteen businesses are participating in the Illinois Solar Tour, a daylong event of free, self-guided tours where individuals can get a close-up look at solar...
Mon, 09/19/2011
Tips on locating mentors and building a strong working relationship with themWhen Kenny Lao found out in July that his Rickshaw Dumpling Bar had won a proposal to open a restaurant in Times Square this fall, he realized that the tight time frame allowed no room for mistakes. “This was an unplanned opening,” Mr. Lao said. Mr. Lao turned to the...
Fri, 09/09/2011
Are you having fun yet? As with so many things in life, spending too much time on work that you don’t like has a way of sneaking up on you slowly, without your noticing at first. In the earliest phases of a startup business, of course, founders do everything from balancing the books to taking out the trash to standing in line at the post...
Wed, 08/31/2011
 Fred Wilson is a brilliant and accomplished investor. As an outspoken partner at Union Square Ventures, he has established himself as a thought leader in the startup space. Yet, I can't help but disagree with a recent post of his in which he asserts that startups should focus on users first, brands second. While I understand where he's...
Mon, 08/29/2011
 As a small business owner or an executive in any size business, one of the toughest challenges you face is making important decisions on areas outside your core competencies. So when you hire a web designer or digital agency, sometimes you don’t get what you pay for.Below are ten steps that you and your agency should address during any...
Thu, 08/18/2011
  This month marks the one-year anniversary of the Green Scene column’s debut, so I thought I’d take a moment for a quick look back and an eager eye ahead.   The local green economy cuts such a wide swath across so many sectors of business, government, non-profits, and various combinations of the above, that there has been no...
Thu, 08/11/2011
Karen Weigert has only been the city of Chicago’s Chief Sustainability Officer since June, but she’s already forging partnerships across city departments and reaching out to the business community. Mayor Rahm Emanuel created the position to push green efforts throughout city government beyond the Department of Environment and focus on creating...
Sun, 08/07/2011
For years, former Mayor Richard M. Daley heard criticism that City Hall’s use of a particular economic development tool amounted to little more than a slush fund for him to subsidize corporate Chicago at the public’s expense. Daley invariably responded that he used plenty of the money generated by the tool, tax-increment financing or TIF for...
Wed, 08/03/2011
The latest employment reports released Wednesday morning offer a mixed picture of the jobs scene in July. Here's Reuters' take on new numbers from New Jersey-based payroll-processing giant ADP and Chicago's own Challenger Gray & Christmas:Private sector added 114,000 jobs in July (Reuters) -- Private employers added more jobs than...
Mon, 08/01/2011
Marion Hindenburg, owner and president of New York City-based paper distributor Mrs. Paper, recently faced a problem many entrepreneurs know all too well in these rocky economic times: A longstanding customer stopped paying. Ms. Hindenburg mentioned the situation at a meeting of the Women Presidents’ Organization, where the guest speaker that...