10 Tools That Keep Entrepreneurs Organized and Productive

August 18, 2020

By Gerri Detweiler –

We’ve all got our own favorite tips, tricks, and tools that help us organize our task lists, assign projects, and manage deliverables. Today, there are more apps and software programs geared toward business owners than ever. I interviewed 10 entrepreneurs to find out what they use to stay on top of everything.

1. Monday: Streamline Communication Channels

Aalap Shah, founder of 1o8, an e-comm-focused digital agency in Chicago, loves Monday.com for project management.

“My business has clients, vendors, independent contractors, and full-time folks all trying to communicate, and it has streamlined our Slack, email, and file management tools into one centralized (and colorful) dashboard that allows us to glance at a project and know where it’s at. I love the integrations it has—be it invoicing, other communications tools, Google Drive—along with the extensive training and documentation that it has for a novice to be able to take this tool and harness it to its fullest potential.” (more…)

5 Things You Can Learn From a 9x Turnaround CEO

August 11, 2020

By Ty Kiisel –

Several years ago I met 9x turnaround CEO and author Dick Cross not long after he published his first book, Just Run It!. At the time, I really liked the way he talked about business fundamentals, energizing employees, and thinking strategically about the things that will help build a strong company — regardless of how large or how small a business might be.

I found him to be one of the most genuine and candid business leaders I’ve ever met and came away with several things you can learn from this very smart guy who has made a career out of turning around struggling companies.

In light of our current economic situation, I think his advice is more relevant today than it was when I first heard it several years ago and thought sharing the 5 things you can learn from a 9x turnaround CEO would benefit a lot of small businesses currently struggling through the economic challenges associated with the coronavirus. (more…)

Eclectic Store Expands Online During Covid-19 Shutdown

August 4, 2020

Success Story: Georgia. By Aaron Cox –

Cottle & GunnCottle & Gunn in St. Marys, Georgia, closed its doors in April when the state’s shelter-in-place directives took effect. But the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t stop owner Deborah Cottle from doubling — then tripling — her sales from the previous spring, thanks to a creative outlook, a new online store, and some help from the University of Georgia’s Small Business Development Center.

Located just blocks away from the Florida state line to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, St. Marys is home to about 17,000 people. Cottle & Gunn sits in the middle of the coastal town’s historic district — a fitting location for an eclectic store specializing in reclaimed vintage furniture, housewares, local crafts and more.

While the store itself is small, its online presence is anything but. Since opening her doors in 2014, Cottle has built an online following that nearly matches the size of the town — with more than 15,000 combined followers on Facebook and Instagram.

So, when the pandemic hit and businesses began closing their doors, Cottle tapped into that social media network — and her longstanding relationship with the SBDC — to keep her sales going. (more…)

Vytal Health: Transformative Care

July 28, 2020

Vytal HealthSuccess Story: Wisconsin –

Dr. Tiffany Mullen co-founded Vytal Health with Dr. Alex Yampolsky in July of 2018, and their focus on personalized, affordable care has only grown stronger since then. Vytal Health is a telemedicine company that provides continuous, long-term relationships with patients via digital channels. The two doctors were inspired to start the business because people were searching for answers to health problems and not finding them in traditional avenues.


As new business owners, Dr. Mullen and Dr. Yampolsky had to create and refine their working relationship, make a few mistakes and find funding along the way. Dr. Mullen turned to the UW-Milwaukee Small Business Development Center (SBDC) after being referred by a friend who was also an SBDC client. Seeking a female mentor and sound business advice, Dr. Mullen found Cheryl Mitchell, a consultant at the SBDC. Click To Tweet (more…)

FAQs about COVID-Related Employment Law Compliance

July 21, 2020

By ComplyRight –

Across the country, small businesses are grappling with numerous operational and employee management challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you’ve remained in business during the crisis — or are just now initiating your return-to-work plans — you must balance new federal, state and local legal requirements against your typical business practices. It takes keen awareness and action to protect yourself from legal risks during the crisis, while also keeping your employees safe from the virus.

Here is some guidance on how to interpret and handle the biggest employee management issues arising today:

Q: What should we communicate to employees about the COVID-19 virus?

A: This depends on your business, as well as what is happening with the virus in your area (which changes day by day). In general, you should communicate the measures you are taking internally to help limit the spread of disease, changes to scheduling or hours of operation, whether remote work will be permitted (and the rules around working remotely), and any travel restrictions. You also need to discourage employees from coming to work if they have been exposed to the virus or exhibit any symptoms of the virus, in addition to addressing how the company will handle absences relating to the pandemic crisis. (more…)