Side Hustle or Real Business?

The idea has been around for years, but it is getting a lot more attention- the side hustle. The definition of a side hustle is “work performed for income supplementary to one’s primary job.” There are lots of things that lend themselves to this type of work and the list is growing because technology has […]

How To Identify Your Ideal Client

Is there really such a thing as an ideal client? Yes. And if you don’t figure out the profile of your ideal client you can waste a lot of time and energy. There are a number of factors to consider when profiling a potential “good fit” for your organization. Here are a few things to […]

How to Have Confidence on Camera

Mastering comfort and confidence in front of the camera is within your reach! As you step onto that camera stage, excitement and a touch of nerves might be your companions. But don’t — here’s a bit of guidance to steer you in the right direction. Discover a handful of invaluable tips to ease your on-camera […]

5 Things to Consider Before You Target Big Businesses

Excited to be writing for Entrepreneur Magazine. Here is my first post. You have heard horror stories. The ones where the big company makes outrageous demands of small suppliers, ruthlessly squeezes them for discounts and asks them to take on the risks of inventory without the guarantee of continued business. There is no doubt that […]

Should Your Start-Up Hire Interns?

Much has been said about the value of internships for college students. At CK and CO, we have had a long-standing relationship with a state university. Their internship program requires seniors to complete a six-month internship as a graduation requirement. It has been a huge benefit for my company because it serves as a hiring […]

Successful Start-Ups Look for Help

It is true. Unless you have started a business it is hard to understand what it is like. The effort. The passion. The challenges. Sure, others can empathize with you but unless you have taken the risk, applied for a loan and opened the door you do not feel the weight of the endeavor. That […]

Why Start-Ups Need Exit Strategies

You are getting ready to open your dream business. You checked all the boxes. You have a business plan, financing, and a marketing plan. You think you are ready but in the rush to open the doors, you might have missed one important step. Have you thought about an exit strategy for your small business? […]

Start-up advice: What makes a start-up successful?

What is it that makes a successful business start-up? Why has the failure rate for small businesses remained high over the years? I remember looking at statistics ten years ago, five years ago and this year. Even though there are more available programs, resources, and assistance, the outlook is still not great. According to the […]

The Importance of Being a Passionate Entrepreneur

Bracelets and bath bombs. Dried apples and aprons. Plants and popcorn. What can we learn from passionate young entrepreneurs? That is what I set out to discover this past weekend in the small community of Ada, Michigan. Two large tents were filled with young businesspeople, ages 5 to 14, who set their products out on […]

Featured in West Michigan Woman Magazine

cynthia west michigan woman cover

A number of years ago, Career Press published my book Small Business for Big Thinkers. In the book there is a chapter titled Position Yourself. Learn to Brag. So often we are raised to be humble, not to brag about accomplishments, not to go for the awards. But recognition is important if you want to […]