This article was written in consultation with Amy B. Goldsmith, partner at Tarter Krinsky & Drogin LLP. It is not intended to serve as legal advice.

For many small and mid-sized companies, the issue of confidentiality and trade secrets is often an afterthought. Sure, you might have a confidentiality clause in your employment contracts, or an NDA template you use when hiring contractors, but does your company have official policies regarding the handling of confidential information?

You might think such policies are only important for companies involved in such industries as technology, healthcare, government or law. …


As a financial advisory firm specializing in creative businesses, we are often asked what defines a “creative business.” For many, the first thought that comes to mind are arts-based businesses, encompassing such industries as visual arts, advertising, architecture, design, media, music, and publishing, as well as cultural organizations such as museums, galleries, and libraries.

However, new technologies are forcing us to rethink this definition. The lines are blurring between traditional industries in extremely innovative ways. Take for example, Diamond Foundry, which uses solar technology to forge man-made diamonds-without the human and environmental cost of mining-and transforms them into beautiful gems…


Our series on “The Generation Gap” will explore how business leaders can better engage employees across the age spectrum and equip them with the tools for success.

Older workers are one of the fastest growing segments of the labor market. By 2024, approximately 25 percent of U.S. workers will be 55 or older, more than double the rate in 1994, when they only accounted for 12 percent of the workforce. Many firms, however, have not yet adapted their recruiting, training, and employee engagement strategies to capitalize on this influx of older workers.

In large part that is because stereotypes still…


Our series on “The Generation Gap” will explore how business leaders can better engage employees across the age spectrum and equip them with the tools for success.

In growing companies, business owners will often need to hire early-career applicants, typically employees that are fresh out of school with little work experience. While having a young workforce has many advantages -including a lower (read: more affordable) pay scale, fresh ideas and perspectives, and native technology skills-one of the biggest complaints we often hear from business owners and senior managers is that younger employees are difficult to manage.

Complaints about working with…


Looking Forward is a series of articles on the top trends in technology, strategy, and culture that will influence small businesses in 2019 and beyond.

If there is one major underlying theme that is going to drive business trends over the next decade, it is the idea that purpose should come before profit. In 2018, Larry Fink of investment firm BlackRock penned a controversial letter asking companies to “serve a social purpose.” …


Tucked into the 2017 tax bill was a bipartisan provision for Opportunity Zones, a new tax incentive designed to channel unrealized capital gains held by investors into long-term investments in parts of America struggling with high poverty and slow job growth.

Starting in 2018, investors that reinvest capital gains within 180 days of sale into an Opportunity Zone can defer payment of capital gains tax to the 2026 tax year, and they can significantly reduce their tax liability depending on how long they hold the investment up until the end of 2026. If held at least 5 years, the amount…


At the close of the year, small business owners must take on a complex balancing act with their finances to ensure that they’re well-positioned for the coming new year. There are two important factors at play: first, mitigating tax liability while maintaining enough cash to cover the first few months of the new year; second, positioning the year-end financial reports in a way that the company can easily seek loans or financing for growth.

Tax liabilities and cash flow check

Most business owners will want to reduce their tax liability by taking on additional expenses (and therefore reducing profit) before the year-end close, but there are…


In this new series “Principles of Process,” we explore operational processes and business principles that make strategic planning more efficient and successful.

Entrepreneurs, particularly those in the creative industries, often build their careers and businesses on a strong sense of intuition. Intuition, also described as a gut feeling or a sixth sense, is a powerful way that our minds process information subconsciously without analytical reasoning.

It’s this intuition that often carries creative entrepreneurs to their initial success. Whether it’s intuitively knowing that a particular art exhibition will be a surprise hit, or that a certain product idea will become a…


When it comes to strategic planning, every business will come across the need to institute a major organizational change, whether it’s implementing a new technology, establishing different operational processes, restructuring staff, or changing employee culture. On paper, such changes seem relatively easy to carry out — management defines the change, trains the employees, and then executes the change.

In reality, however, organizational change has an extremely high failure rate. Research by McKinsey & Company shows that as many as 70% of change programs fail to achieve their goals, mostly due to employee resistance and lack of management support. This isn’t…


This article is the third in our “Civic Minded” series, where we discuss ways small businesses can create positive impact in their local communities.

As a business owner or entrepreneur, you’ll want to ensure that your business interests are represented in the community and local government. While forming small business alliances can be one powerful way to bring together many voices within the business community, it’s also important to keep existing public and private business organizations on your radar, such as your local economic development corporation or chamber of commerce.

Many of these organizations provide useful benefits to local businesses…

Jeanne Hardy

Jeanne Hardy is the founder of Creative Business Inc, a business services & financial strategy firm specializing in creative innovators & early-stage companies.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store