Norm Beckert was one of Business Insider’s inaugural columnists in 2011. Now, after 4 1/2 years, he is putting his keyboard aside.
Beckert is the Idaho district director for SCORE, the Service Corps of Retired Executives. He jumped into SCORE after retiring in 2000 from his job as a purchasing executive for Boise Cascade Corp. SCORE volunteers provide free one-on-one counseling to small-business owners and wannabes. Beckert has used the column to extend SCORE’s reach.
He has turned in 160 columns, including some written by SCORE colleagues. The pieces have offered advice on management, legal issues, marketing, business plans, financial issues and customer satisfaction. A typical Beckert column ran under a headline like “10 performance measures every business owner needs” or “25 tips to keep a customer coming back for more.” He insists that owners stay on top of their receivables, check frequently what is selling and what isn’t, keep control of expenses and make customers feel appreciated.
“You, the business owner, are responsible for steering the ship through a safe course to survive the storm,” he wrote in one column.
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“Train yourself and your employees to smile,” he wrote in another. “It’s easy to get grumpy or cynical if sales go south.”
SCORE published a book of BI columns by Beckert and his collaborators two years ago and updated it this year. You can buy “The Entrepreneur’s Handbook” for $15. Call (208) 334-1696 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to order it. If you need a helping hand for your business, contact SCORE at the same number or address. There is no charge.
You can also find many of SCORE’s columns at idahostatesman.com/smallbusiness, where they will stay for the next year.
Beckert is leaving the door open to write for us occasionally in the future. In the meantime, we on the Statesman’s BI team appreciate his contribution to this magazine and its readers. You can read his last regular column here.