Adapting to Market Changes

I’d like to share a recent experience in my business that I think may help those of you who may find yourself in a similar situation. For over 30 years, my business concentrated on high-end furniture. I designed and fabricated custom furniture and restored antique furniture. I’d been doing these activities for many years and

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Political Climate Change

A dramatic result of political climate change hit our country like a storm last November with the election of Donald Trump as President. The winds of change have been building over the past several years as discontent with the previous administration grew. To progressive leaders, the loss was a major setback in their mission. Modern

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The Battle against Over-regulation

After years of seeing new regulations being imposed on businesses, we are now finally seeing some relief. Most of us that run businesses are thankful for this change, but we need to examine the dynamics of how this pendulum of increase and decrease occurs so that we can act in a manner that will allow

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The Dynamics of Corporate Culture

According to dictionary.com, the definition of corporate culture is: “the philosophy, values, behavior, dress codes, etc., that together constitute the unique style and policies of a company”. In other words, corporate culture determines the personality of a company. This personality can develop in a variety of ways: It may be based on the beliefs and

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Leadership

Leadership, by definition, can mean position or ability. Position is official and generally accompanied by a title such as “general manager” or “vice president.” Ability is less tangible. Accessing a person’s ability to lead is often a matter of debate. When we think of leaders in our country, the debate has turned rabid. Arguments become

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Labor Relations

The employer-employee relationship has without a doubt been the most troublesome business relationship for both business owners and employees since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Over the years, labor relations has been the cause of everything from demonstrations, to riots, to revolutions. Labor unions have risen to give employees the opportunity to promote their cause

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Reflections

The winter holiday season gives us the opportunity to reflect. During this short respite from the day to day battles of doing business, it’s good that we can gain some perspective on our business and our lives. Often we see things in a different light just by stopping our daily activity for a short period

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Design Development—An Overview

Unlike the artist who starts with a blank canvas, most of us woodworkers create objects that must meet certain criteria. Even those of us that design our own products know that we must fulfill the needs and satisfy the tastes of our clients. When we develop a design, we need to take into account the

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Opportunities Found within Custom Products

The manufacture of standard wood products in the United States has become something of an anomaly. Of course there are some furniture manufacturers and cabinet manufacturers that do have a standard product line but even there the trend is towards mass customization. So, what is the distinction between a standard, semi-custom, and a truly custom

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Crumbling Foundations

About a year ago, I took a teaching position in a technical school, teaching woodworking to adults.  Interestingly, the courses that I now teach are basically the same courses that I myself took 40 years ago at the same school. The purpose of the courses is to teach the basics of woodworking to adults who

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