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Posted on August 22nd, 2016

7 things every business startup must know

handshake-business-2jpg-00edd7a38909f9ffFrom Bridge Magazine By Mike Wilkinson

So you’ve got this great business idea, one that will liberate you from your current job or offer a lifeline after losing one.

With Michigan hurt by a marked decline in the number of new businesses created in the last decade, you think your idea is a sure-fire winner. Your husband thinks it’s a great idea, too, as does your Aunt Irene. Can’t fail, right?

Hold on a minute.

Business leaders contacted by Bridge Magazine for our recent article on the dearth of entrepreneurs in Michigan say they see new business owners make the same, critical mistakes that, with some work, can be avoided.

Here are their tips on what steps to take ‒ and avoid ‒ to help your business succeed.

Stage 1: Planning your business

MAKE A BUSINESS PLAN

Before you quit your job and buy that commercial sewing machine, experts are unified on the need for a sound, well-thought-out business plan.

Banks require them, as does any lender. A business plan outlines how your product or service will sell, the costs involved, the marketing required. It is a blueprint for success, and a great way to identify gaps or weaknesses in …


Posted on August 15th, 2016

Michigan and the death of entrepreneurship

20884096-mmmain (Bridge photo by Mike Wilkinson)
Article by Mike Wilkinson | Bridge Magazine – MLive.com

In a tiny brick building on the west side of Jackson, Jeff Drushal is living his dream, stepping out onto a ledge that is both frightening and exhilarating.

Married and with a daughter, Drushal, 34, just left a steady job as a supervisor in a machine shop and surrounded himself with decades-old – but still working – metal cutters, lathes and welding guns. He is betting on his own skills and business acumen to make the transition from employee to employer.

In five years, he hopes to generate enough work that he’ll be able to hire and train a dozen workers at his metal fabrication shop in this struggling manufacturing city of about 33,000.

To say he has doubters is an understatement.

“Half of them think I’m crazy,” he said of his peers. “And half the people think I’m going to answer only to myself – and sit at home and watch TV all day.” He chuckles. He won’t be watching much TV.

Michigan needs a lot more people like Jeff Drushals. Instead, Bridge found, the state has too many business owners who have either closed …


Posted on August 10th, 2016

Steel important to Ontario economy

1297864828814_ORIGINAL_wdpFrom the Sault Star:

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said the province needs a strong steel industry – especially one that can help build infrastructure for all Ontarians.

“We are building so much in Ontario right now – $160 billion over 12 years – and there is a lot of steel in that build,” she said in an exclusive interview with The Sault Star.

She was in Sault Ste. Marie Monday as part of an 18-stop, week-long tour of Northern Ontario communities. Monday’s formal announcement dedicated an additional $120 million to modernize Northern Ontario schools, bringing a total commitment to $300 million.

In the interview, Wynne said she believes it’s important that the steel economy in Ontario remain healthy and robust and that’s why the province has been working with Essar Steel for some time.

“It is important to the province that we have access to that high quality Ontario steel at a price that builders can afford,” she said. “We’re committed to the steel industry.”

Wynne acknowledges that the steel industry’s trials and tribulations are an international concern and not just one for Ontario.

The provincial government – pre-insolvency proceedings – provided a $30-million grant to Essar Steel Algoma to …


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