• Successful succession planning

    Published On: July 1, 2013Categories: Features, Management

    Sooner or later, everyone contemplates retirement. For those who own a closely held or family-owned fabrication business, retirement is more than just a matter of deciding to not go to work anymore. In addition to ensuring there will be enough money to retire, business owners, shareholders and partners must decide what will happen to the [...]

  • Contingency plan: An unexpected breakup leads to solo success

    Published On: July 1, 2013Categories: Features, Industry News, Management

    Managing the elements: To keep out rain and spray from the ocean while keeping the interior of the vessel comfortable is a common request made of marine fabricators like Cindy Boersema - but every vessel is different, requiring  a different approach to the design. Owners of The Midwestern vessel requested an upper bridge enclosure [...]

  • Handling online criticism

    Published On: May 1, 2013Categories: Management

    The right—and quick—response can salvage your digital reputation. By Rebecca Kennedy Imagine this: You’re surfing the web some morning, and a flurry of negative posts about your business or product line pops up. The criticism could come from a consumer website, a blog, a social-media discussion or from any one of many other web sources. [...]

  • Marketing in the digital age

    Published On: May 1, 2013Categories: Features, Management

    Like all things, marketing products and services have changed over the past decade. A typical marketing campaign of yesteryear for a small business involved direct mail, print ads, radio and billboard advertising, flyers, posters and listings in the Yellow Pages. Today, 98 percent of consumers search online for products, services and businesses. The term Search Engine [...]

  • Creating a dream shop

    Published On: May 1, 2013Categories: Features, In the Shop, Management

    Larry Schneider's Milwaukee-based Homestyle Custom Upholstery shop, which began in his parents basement, now features 1,000 square feet of office space alone. Steve Jobs started Apple in his parents’ garage. Amazon, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Mattel and Microsoft also began in garages. Dell and Facebook began in dorm rooms. And Virgin Group’s humble beginnings trace [...]

  • Tech blows in

    Published On: May 1, 2013Categories: Features, Management

    OK, you’re afloat in the Bahamas. The enclosure protecting your pilot house blows out. You need a fix right away. Wind, waves, weather—it happens all the time, but replacement isn’t always easy. In many such cases, an enclosure must be fitted carefully to your specific boat. So, stuck there in the Bahamas, you contact the [...]

  • Selling through to the end

    Published On: March 1, 2013Categories: Features, Industry News, Management

    Solid customer relationships is the underlying goal in successful sales. By Barb Ernster Sales strategies might serve different objectives and involve different tactics, but for the most part they are universal to businesses of any size, follow the same trends, and transcend industries. Building solid relationships with customers is the underlying goal in successful selling, [...]

  • Cruising on the web

    Published On: January 1, 2013Categories: Features, Management

    Desktop computer and pink wall - home office concept Everyone has a website these days. Right? You don’t? Cheer up. In a way, even if you don’t have a website, you’re in the same boat with a lot firms that do. Many people, hosting a web presence or not, are still trying to [...]

  • Does your business have the right insurance coverage?

    Published On: September 1, 2012Categories: Management

    By Matthew Davis Don’t automatically assume you’re protected, or that your insurance is right for your business. According to one national survey, nearly 60 percent of businesses are seriously underinsured. In the event of a major claim, the survey showed that those who are underinsured could find that the upper limit of their policy payout [...]

  • Partners in progress

    Published On: September 1, 2012Categories: Features, Management

    Working with a competitor can have business benefits. By Maura Keller Have you ever worked with a company that meshes so well with your vision it’s simply startling? You know the ones—they are organized, effective and deliver on their promises each and every time. They are the people you turn to time and time again [...]