Street Smarts

Norm Brodsky

"Street Smarts" columnist and senior contributing editor Norm Brodsky is a veteran entrepreneur who has founded and grown six businesses. In 2007 he sold CitiStorage, a document-archive business based in Brooklyn, New York, for $110 million. Along with Bo Burlingham, Norm has chronicled his entrepreneurial journey in his column in Inc. and in the book The Knack: How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn to Handle Whatever Comes Up.


Recent Street Smarts Articles

The Capacity Trap II

Sometimes it's better to let your unused capacity stay unused.  Read more


Ya Gotta Love it

Pure, heartfelt enthusiasm can take you a long way in business--just ask Bobby and Helene Stone about the $2.6 million business they run out of their basement.  Read more


The Answer Man

What do you do when an employee starts a competing business? Nothing, says the Answer Man.  Read more


The Magic Number

Every business has a magic number. By employing his, our columnist didn't overstaff this year.  Read more


Your Money or Your Life

Before you develop a business plan, you need a life plan.  Read more


The King and I

A visit with a king provides some unexpected business lessons.  Read more


Learning From Mistakes

A failed start-up has taught me (at least) two important things.  Read more


The Sales Commission Dilemma

There's a better way to reward salespeople.  Read more


Viva La RevoluciĆ³n!

Cuba may have a new revolution -- an entrepreneurial one.  Read more


Yes, a Borrower Be, but ...

Manage your loan carefully or you may pay a terrible price.  Read more


The Path to the Top

Are you an agent of change, or will you be a victim of change?  Read more


Smoke and Mirrors

Where do you draw the line between perception and deception?  Read more


The Employee Mentality

Learning to accept that people have a life outside the business.  Read more


StreetSmarts: Peripheral Vision

Most entrepreneurs are compelled to beat the odds, to disprove the naysayers. They don't always succeed, but when they do, the experience is tremendously sat...  Read more


The Unkindest Cut of All

If you've ever experienced employee theft, you know that the money is the least of it. Far worse is the sense of betrayal. Once you've been burned, can you e...  Read more


A Breach of Trust

Despite the recent revelations about high-level corporate larceny, most businesspeople are out to earn an honest buck. So it still comes as a surprise to dis...  Read more


A Few Good Competitors

Every company needs a few good competitors. Not only do they keep you on your toes, but they can help you set high industry standards.  Read more


Firing Customers

The idea of firing customers might sound like a sacrilege. But when they abuse your employees, refuse to pay their bills, and generally take advantage of you...  Read more


Roll-ups: Swimming Against the Tide

These days you can't even mention the word roll-up in financial circles without drawing hostile stares. Many compare the roll-up bust to the dot-com...  Read more


Changing Course

Companies these days have to change constantly just to survive, but some changes are bigger than others. Sometimes you even transform your company from one t...  Read more


Building to Sell

Right now might not be the best time to sell your business. But that doesn't mean you can't start getting it ready for sale.  Read more


A Failure of Responsibility

Why using layoffs as a business tool is bad business.  Read more


Opportunity Knocks

Four reasons why now is the best time to build a new business.  Read more


The Tournament

Morale took a real beating this fall. But there's nothing that lifts the spirits like some friendly competition.  Read more


A Time for Leadership

The economic toll from the terrorist attacks could worsen -- unless businesspeople take steps right now to ensure that their companies can weather the crisis.  Read more


Ransom Notes

It's never a good idea to pay ransom to key employees.  Read more


Fighting Back

The terrorist attacks could claim even more victims unless businesspeople take steps right now to make sure that their companies will be ...  Read more


Barriers to Entry

Why barriers to entry are good.  Read more


The X Factor

The one quality that can't be taught and that every entrepreneur must have to succeed.  Read more


Groundhog Day

Confronting bad habits of mind can strenghten your business.  Read more


How To Grow In a Soft Economy

Worried that the economy is tanking? Don't fret. Even when times are bad, your company can still find ways to thrive.  Read more


An Internet Model That Works

The dot-coms may be dropping like flies, but the Internet can still turbocharge a traditional company's sales. CEO Norm Brodsky offers six advantages to maki...  Read more


The Right Price

Too many new entrepreneurs harm their own prospects by underpricing their goods and services. But if those company owners just take the time to think, they c...  Read more


Deciding to Grow

When a business is successful, it's only natural to want to expand it, but be careful. Norm Brodsky discusses why bigger isn't always better.  Read more


Ask Norm

Norm Brodsky offers advice on handling new opportunities, dealing with terrible employees, working with your spouse, figuring out the next move, finding ment...  Read more


Your Good Name

There's nothing more important than having a good business reputation. And the best people to help you get one are your competitors, Norm Brodsky argues.  Read more


What Business Are You Really In?

Meanwhile, I kept trying to think like a real estate person. I asked myself what I'd do if I had a brand-new office building in a cold ma...  Read more


Help! I Need Somebody

Were there any obstacles that would keep her from increasing sales? Maybe. Pat was doing all her business in New York City, and it looked...  Read more


Becoming the Boss

But one episode in particular convinced me I'd gone too far. It involved my head dispatcher, who'd been with me from the start and had be...  Read more


Ask Norm

CEO Norm Brodsky answers readers' questions about managing margins, surviving Chapter 11, developing an e-commerce strategy, and dealing with the things that...  Read more