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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

Street Smarts: Getting Support at Home

Norm Brodsky explains the support you need from your family to help you become a successful entrepreneur.  Watch video


Street Smarts: The Advantages of Military Entrepreneurs

Norm Brodsky outlines the special strengths military entrepreneurs need to take advantage of to succeed in their business.  Watch video


Military Entrepreneurs Have a Higher Calling

We can all learn something from the unique challenges of veteran Tim Smith and other service members who start companies.  Read more


Street Smarts: Finding Great Mentors

Norm Brodsky explains why you need a network of mentors for your business.  Watch video


Ask Norm: How Do I Compensate My Employees Fairly?

Norm Brodsky takes a question about open book management and how to fairly compensate your employees when the are aware of the company's financials.  Watch video


The Perils of Success

No one wants to fail. But the toughest challenges emerge when you achieve your goal, not when you fall short.  Read more


Ask Norm: What Kind of People Should I Hire?

Norm Brodsky explains what he looks for when hiring people for his companies.  Watch video


The Entrepreneur's Biggest Pitfall: Boredom

When things get stale, it's easier to make dumb mistakes. Don't let it happen to you.  Read more


Success Is Even Sweeter When You've Been Down and Out

Sooner or later, everybody fails. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.  Read more


Ask Norm: How Do I Bring on a Partner?

Norm Brodsky tells a founder how to bring on a partner to share the burden of his business.  Watch video


Everyone Fails. What's Key Is to Learn the Right Lessons

Once you see that failure is normal, you'll improve the odds of success.  Read more


Ask Norm: I Want to Pass My Company On to an Employee. What Should I Do?

Norm Brodsky helps a business owner who wants to give a longtime worker a piece of the action.  Watch video


Getting Ready for Growth

Here's the challenge: Look to the future, but also stay focused on the present.  Read more


Don't Worry; Grow Happy

Inc.'s Norm Brodsky talks about knowing when to walk away from opportunities that others consider can't-miss.  Read more


When Not to Join the Family Business

You always face the challenge of keeping your emotions from getting in the way of making sound business decisions. Those emotions are especially strong when ...  Read more


Don't Let Your Breaking Point Upend Your Goals

This business has grown so well that the owner can't take it anymore. Should he hire an expensive manager?  Read more


When Business Gets Boring

You don't enjoy the work anymore, but retirement isn't all that far off. Chin up, or shove off?  Read more


The Upside of Having Setbacks

Every business has problems. To build a business, you need to learn how to love the process of solving them.  Read more


The Difference Between a Mentor and a Consultant

How to find a mentor and what to expect from the relationship.  Read more


Knowing When to End a Partnership

Unfortunately it can take some time before you realize that a business partnership isn't built to last, and hopefully you have documents in place to mitigate...  Read more


The Single Most Important Rule of Business

Entrepreneurs are great at meeting challenges with optimism--but sometimes that's not what the business needs.  Read more


How to Find the Perfect Acquisition Target

You know your business better than anyone else. So skip the broker--and do the homework yourself.  Read more


How to Stay Alive When Business Shrinks

You've used everything you had to keep going, but it may not be enough. Norm Brodsky weighs in on what to do next.  Read more


How to Handle Employee Sabotage

Not all employees resign gracefully. Some try to sabotage your company on their way out. Here's how veteran entrepreneur Norm Brodsky deals with it.  Read more


Buying a Business? Expect the Unexpected

If you're considering buying a business, consider veteran entrepreneur Norm Brodsky's advice first.  Read more


How to Deal with Late Payments

When times are tough, customers take longer to pay their bills. You can count on it. Veteran entrepreneur Norm Brodsky says that's the wrong time to start th...  Read more


The Commodity-Pricing Trap

Norm Brodsky advises on how to avoid the race to the bottom.  Read more


Do You Need a Business Broker?

When buying a business, what's the going rate for hiring a broker, and who is responsible for paying it?  Read more


When Is It Time to Throw in the Towel?

Giving up isn't something that comes easy to entrepreneurs, but sometimes, giving up might just be the best move.  Read more


Norm Brodsky on the New Breed of Entrepreneur

If nine out of 10 entrepreneurs are starting Web-based businesses. Is that trouble?  Read more


Norm Brodsky on Weighing Prospective Clients

How much time is too much time for a small-but-growing company to spend talking to and preparing estimates for prospective clients?  Read more


Norm Brodsky on the Right Way to Reward Top Employees

When you have a stand-out employee, is increasing pay and benefits enough?  Read more


No Vacancy at the Hotel Brodsky

By the time Norm's new hotel opens, it will have been booked for the next three years, and therein lies an important lesson for any entrepreneur.  Read more


Keeping Peace in the Family

The best way to avoid bickering over family ownership of a company is to put everything in writing early on.  Read more


Making a Smooth Transition When Buying a Business

How can you retain a great company culture when forcing an ownership transition?  Read more


Entrepreneurs: Leash Your Optimism

Even in tough times, entrepreneurs are incurable optimists. But too much optimism can blind you to the obstacles ahead.  Read more


Norm Brodsky on Overcoming Your Fear of Competition

Norm Brodsky says that buying a business to stifle competition is never a good move. Spend the time and money improving your own business.  Read more


Norm Brodsky on Dealing With Picky Customers

What should you do when customers insist on working only with you?  Read more


Norm Brodsky on Identifying Outstanding Salespeople

Good salespeople focus on the particular feature the customer cares about.  Read more


Being Prepared When Things Go Wrong

What’s the best policy for raising prices to offset the cost of materials?  Read more



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