Craft brewing is a growing trend that appears to have no ceiling on it. Many home brewers take painstaking steps to create some tasty concoctions. Out of this popular hobby there has been a large influx in people that are taking their hobby to the next level and turning it into a business.
Grand Rapids was named Beer City USA last year and that is in addition to the great number of other West Michigan cities that have seen craft breweries pop up. Pigeon Hill Brewing Co. joined the fray when it announced that it will be moving into the Noble Building in Muskegon, Michigan earlier this week. Pigeon Hill Brewing Co. plans on beginning its construction within the next month and is hoping to be open for business before the end of the year.
You are a great boss. Your employees love you and your business is growing faster than you thought possible. Your office is fun and your workers get excited to contribute their talents every day. At least that is what you are trying to create. We all want to be the best boss ever. Being a small business owner or entrepreneur you want to create a work environment with an excellent work-life balance for your employees but that can be easier said than done.
In recent news, Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer, announced that company was discontinuing its telecommuting policy and workers would be required to come in every day. This seems to be contrary to the trend that sees employers offering telecommuting options, flexible hours, in-office recreation options, retreats, happy hours and more. But before you jump on this wave of being the greatest boss of all time, there are a few things you should take note of.
It’s something that no Grand Rapids small business owner wants to see. It’s something that some West Michigan businesses avoid at all costs. It’s the dreaded lawsuit. The cost of litigation terrifies many business owners. The potential damages and the cost of representation can really have a big impact on your cash flow. Whether you are put in a position that you need to sue another business or an individual or your business is being sued, there are some basic tips you should follow.
First and foremost if your business has been sued do not procrastinate or hesitate to contact an attorney. There are time restrictions that require you to respond to the complaint in a certain number of days. If you fail to respond in that time you will be defaulted and without a good reason for failing to respond, you are basically admitting to liability in the eyes of the court.
Education is one of the greatest assets that you can have. Having the right knowledge for the right situation can help you stay out front of your business’ competition or can help you avoid potential issues. I am huge proponent of continue education for business owners. There is a change though in the perception of what used to be a mainstay in business education. There is a growing sentiment that a MBA degree is no longer necessary to become an entrepreneur.
With these advanced degrees costing upwards of $100,000, many entrepreneurs are more willing to learn on the fly as opposed to spending years and tens of thousands of dollars learning textbook theory that may or may not apply to their ventures. This is causing a shift in many West Michigan MBA programs. GVSU and WMU have programs that force to teach skills that entrepreneurs need including leadership that might have been absent in previous versions of their MBA programs.
Competition is a fantastic thing. When you are trying to be better than the guys down the street and they in turn are trying to outdo you, both of you are improving and getting better. Sometimes we think of our competitors as bad; like they are stealing our potential customers or clients. Looking at the situation from the right angle will change that. You always want to be improving your business and providing the best possible product or service for your customers or clients. Doesn’t competition spur that motivation to stay the best that you can be?
A competition that is developing is bigger than just that between a couple of businesses. Grand Rapids, Michigan has been developing into quit the entrepreneurial community. With groups like Start Garden, Grand Angles, LINC, the Goei Center and other incubators, Grand Rapids offers a number of resources for startups, small businesses, and entrepreneurs. But Muskegon, Michigan is developing its own entrepreneurial community.
Let’s talk about something that most small business owners will not admit to. In fact it’s a dirty little secret that seems almost a counterintuitive trait for small business owners or startup founders. It’s the fact that lots of business owners are procrastinators. How can it be that people who are racing around getting things done, often working well over 40 hours a week, are procrastinating? It’s because while they are busy working they are putting off important things.
There have been number occasions where I have run into a current client or a potential client and they have said, “I have been meaning to get a hold of you because I need…” The problem is they have put off contacting me for weeks or even months and the only reason they brought this need to my attention is because I happened to see them at a restaurant or at a networking event.
Contracts are the rule books of business relationships. The rules are not always followed so it’s not uncommon for contractual disputes to go before a judge. Contracts are great tools because a bulk of the time everyone follows the terms. More and more contract drafters are getting away from documents that are filled with legalese that will force you to pull out a dictionary just to figure out the basics. With these plain language agreements that allow everyone to read and understand contracts, what’s the point of having an attorney review an agreement for you?
Even the simplest contracts can be complex and riddled with issues. Not everything you need to be aware of is going to be in the document you are reading. In fact some of the most important terms that you need to be aware of will be the ones that don’t appear in the agreement at all. A business lawyer’s review of a contract is more than just understanding what the agreement contains but what the agreement should contain.
Business and real estate seem to go hand in hand. Many businesses revolve around real estate. Relators, landlords, brokers, inspectors, and assessors are professions that would not exist without real estate. The list is even more extensive to business that loosely rely on real estate. But what about all the Grand Rapids manufacturers, retailers, restaurateurs, office workers, art venues, etc.? Those types of businesses are generally not directly or loosely associated with real estate but they need some place to operate.
Those in the West Michigan are well aware that the Big Old Building (more commonly known as the B.O.B.) is planning a massive expansion. This multi-million dollar expansion will create a new outdoor festival marketplace, including the biergarten, as part of a 40,000 square foot outdoor piazza in addition to a two story, 22,000 square foot event and concert venue that can seat 1,500, with standing room for 500 more.
It is the morning after the Super Bowl. Part of America is recovering from a food coma from all that great party food and few out there had one too many adult soda pops. The game was exciting though and came down to a goal line stand in the final minutes. The game got me thinking about what is your Michigan business’ Super Bowl?
Every NFL team sets last night’s game as there goal. Everything they do throughout the year is to reach that one game. In your small business what have you set as your Super Bowl? It could be a big project, landing a big client, or hitting a revenue goal. Maybe you want to start your own business, develop your idea into a product or get an investment for your startup. There are any number of “Super Bowls” to set for your business but identifying that goal is important.