Welcome to Your Business Owner Blog Community

a community supported by Aileron.

Managing My Sixth Child – My Small Business

December 17, 2014

I used to think parenting five children (including twins) was the most exciting, rewarding, exhausting job I could have.

Then along came number six.

This sixth child was the small business I started in 2007 with one of my IT consulting clients—and, like my kids, the company has sometimes felt like more than two hands can manage. But with time, persistence, and support from Aileron, I have been able to help my youngest grow and thrive.


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Lisa Salzman

About Lisa Salzman

Lisa joined the Fire Protection Industry in 2007 and is owner and President of Fire Tech Productions. With over 30 years of experience in the information technology field, her background in course development, training, and computer system administration has helped Fire Tech Productions expand into the e-learning field. Lisa was recently honored to accept a position on the University of Dayton Computer Science Advisory Board.


As A Business Owner, I Just Needed Someone To Listen

December 10, 2014

My wife Laura and I purchased a calibration lab in Union Ohio in 2010. It was a very successful business whose previous owner and founder had been killed in a car accident a year before. I had previously been a minority shareholder in a startup business that had been successful and after the business sold, I had been looking for my next opportunity.

When this opportunity presented itself, we fought hard to purchase the business. Our assumption was that since the business had been in existence for about 20 years and was financially successful that it was a sure thing. From our due diligence, we knew that there were a number of problems with the business such as a leaky roof and inadequate phone and accounting system but we thought that the core foundation of the business was sound.


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DuWain Ake

About DuWain Ake

DuWain Ake is an Electrical Engineer with 25 years of electronic instrument design experience and 10 patents. He was previously the principal Electrical Engineer and a minority owner of a successful startup business called Apache Technologies that eventually sold to Trimble Navigation. Being an entrepreneur at heart, he and his wife, Laura, purchased a calibration lab, Continental Testing, in Union, Ohio in April 2010. They are also the proud parents of two wonderful young women, Cassandra and Rachel.


Do You Know Your Customers As Well As You Think?

November 24, 2014

Ask a salesperson or business owner if they understand their customers and inevitably they will say they do. This is particularly common if the salesperson or business owner has held the position for a long time.

Unfortunately, these people may be wrong and not even know it.


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Leland Smith

About Leland Smith

Leland Smith owns Leland Smith Marketing which focuses on profitably growing sales of B2B businesses. For small businesses, they provide a part-time Marketing Executive to help companies double sales within five years without the expense of adding full time personnel. They take a broad view of marketing and develop and execute growth strategies involving business development, product development, account management, marketing communications and market research. For more information, visit www.b2bmarketingexec.com.


Common Mistakes Made In Owning And Transitioning A Business

November 12, 2014

During my years of consulting with family-owned businesses, I have encountered a number of mistakes made by the older generation when they have tried to transition their company to the next generation. During the transition, they were not aware of making any mistakes, only to find out in later years they had wished things were done differently. In consulting with families today I try to warn them against some of the pit falls ahead of time by looking at what the future result would be if they do not change their current path.


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Les Banwart

About Les Banwart

For nearly 40 years, Les has specialized in meeting the specific needs of family-owned businesses by facilitating family meetings in helping families through a transition. He is the CEO of Banwart Strategies, and has been affiliated with Aileron since it’s inception in 1996. Prior to Aileron, he served as president of CYMI, Ltd., a family office located in Dayton, Ohio, which hired him to build the business from the ground up. Prior to CYMI, he was a partner at Arthur Andersen, where he served closely-held businesses for 25 years. www.banwartstrategies.com


When Hands-On Experience Isn’t Enough

October 28, 2014

I started working in the supermarket business in 1974 when I was 16 years old, bagging groceries and stocking shelves at Gowan’s IGA in Poplar Bluff, Missouri.

Eventually, I became assistant store manager, and in 1981, I became the co-owner of a grocery store in Dyer, Tennessee. Two years later, I bought out my partner, and my wife and I have since grown our business to include eight rural-town supermarkets in West Tennessee.

Those years in the trenches were an incredible education—especially for someone who didn’t go to college or have the advantage of learning from a family business.


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Joey Hays

About Joey Hays

Joey Hays is the owner of Food Rite Stores in rural west Tennessee and has been in the grocery business for 33 years. He and his wife Jeanie have two children and two grandsons.