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Meet Doug & Polly

Doug and Polly White love working with small businesses. Through their columns, which appear weekly in several online publications including Entrepreneur.com, their books, videos and speeches, Doug and Polly focus on helping small business owners and their managers grow and improve profitability, understand and manage their people and their finances and achieve organizational efficiencies.

Doug White
Doug White spends his time solving business problems for entrepreneurs and their organizations. His background in physics, math, engineering and business gives him an ability to go beyond the easy, surface solution; to dig deeper and find unique answers to the problems that plague small businesses. Read more ...
Polly White
Polly White spends most of her time on the "folks." Whether it is helping owners and managers learn how to get the best out of their people or walking companies through a complex HR situation, Polly's expertise is unparalleled. She has that unique ability to understand people, their behaviors and personalities. Read more ...
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Latest Articles

What to do When Facebook and Adwords Don't Work

Q.I've been spinning my wheels trying to market my small counseling practice. I've done some AdWords and Facebook campaigns with little Return on Investment. The world of SEO has gotten far more complex than I can fathom or have time for. Do you have a recommendation for marketing my business online?

A. First, we would suggest that you not jump to the conclusion that Facebook or SEO (Search Engine Optimization—improving the chance that your website will come up when someone searches on selected key words) will do you any good at all. In fact, before spending any more time or money on marketing, we would suggest that you take a step back and answer the first three questions that every business must answer. Those questions are:
 
Read more ...

Should you promote from within?

Q. I need to put an additional manager in place. I have an internal candidate that I am considering promoting, but I’m not 100% sure she is ready. How can I know if she is ready and what can I do to help ensure she succeeds as a manager?

A. First, congratulations! Most of the small business owners we know want their businesses to grow. However, as you have found, if your business continues to expand and you hire additional employees, at some point you will need to add a layer of management between you and the primary workers.
Read more ...

Business Plans


Q.Some friends have told me that I should have a business plan for the small business I am planning to launch in the fear future. What do you think?

A.You will most assuredly need a plan for your business. You may, or may not, need a formal business plan. 

Every business must answer three questions. They are:

1.  Why should a prospective customer buy your product or service rather than a competitor’s? Read more ...

Transitioning Your Business to the Next Level

Q.  I’ve been told by a number of people that I need to take my business to the next level. I’ve been successfully growing the business (increasing revenue and adding people), but how will I know when my startup has grown to the next level?

A.  Before we can tell you how you will know when you have reached the next level, we will need to define the three levels of businesses: micro, small, and midsize. In defining these three types of businesses, we do not use the typical measures of business size (i.e., dollars of revenue or number of employees). Rather, we look at management structure. Read more ...

Ancillary Functions of Small Businesses

Q.  I have worked for several years as an automobile repair technician. I know this field well and I enjoy my work. I’m thinking about opening my own business. Do you have any words of caution?

A.  We often advise people not to open a bakery because you love baking cakes. If you love baking, get a job as a baker. The minute you open a bakery, you’ll discover that there is a lot more to running such a business than baking cakes. You’ll have to wait on customers, keep the books, order inventory and sweep the floors. Read more ...
Q.  I have worked for several years as an automobile repair technician. I know this field well and I enjoy my work. I’m thinking about opening my own business. Do you have any words of caution?

A.  We often advise people not to open a bakery because you love baking cakes. If you love baking, get a job as a baker. The minute you open a bakery, you’ll discover that there is a lot more to running such a business than baking cakes. You’ll have to wait on customers, keep the books, order inventory and sweep the floors.

“I HIGHLY recommend Polly and Doug. They have wonderful insight to help small business owners prioritize and identify strategies for growth and improvement. Wish I had met them 20 years ago!”

Sharon MaderePresident / Premier Pet Products

My team and I have had the privilege of working with Polly on our business. Polly's keen business insight and savvy is something special. She was honest, direct, and tactful about her observations and recommendations for our team and how to grow our business. It was a pleasure having her help us and I would tell anyone that’s serious about growing their business to call Polly. She’s great!

John O’Reilly, Broker/OwnerBase Camp Realty

“Doug and Polly, I want to thank both of you! The past few months have been enlightening and overwhelming all at the same time. Your guidance, direction, wealth of knowledge, and wisdom have exceeded all my expectations. No words could ever completely describe just how amazing of a “dynamic duo” you two really are!”

Dawn Beninghove, RN, CCM, CRP, PNChief Executive Officer / Companion Extraordinaire Nursing Network, Inc.

“Doug White took on an unfocused operation (in the financial services sector) and created an efficient, centralized system dedicated to excellence. He did this not by driving change from the top down, but by helping the entire team see how their part of the process could be improved. Doug then mentored us toward effecting the changes ourselves. He taught us all how to bring our “A game,” and how to take ownership and pride in what we do.”

Donna LevinVice President of Operations / care.com

"I have had the privilege of working with Polly White for several years on a variety of projects. She consistently provides clear direction on how to resolve a wide range of employment-related issues. I look forward to my continued relationship with Polly."

Elizabeth WilkinsBusiness Manager / Manorhouse Management, Inc.

I have known Polly for more than ten years. As an HR Manager, I have utilized Polly’s training expertise at my former company and with my current company. Polly exceled at assessing the needs of our management teams and tailoring training programs that resulted in visible positive change. I also know I can count on Polly as a resource on any HR topic or bounce ideas off of her when I need a second opinion. Polly has been a mentor to me and I have always appreciated her willingness to listen and offer valuable advice and expertise.

Leigh McCullar, HR Business PartnerUniversity of Richmond

I am truly impressed with the abilities of Doug and Polly White, thank you! What a difference your expertise have made in helping Associates grow in their careers. Your dedication to excellence through empowering the individual and strengthening the Company is enlightening. I do and will continue to recommend Whitestone Partners to the Executive Market.

Suzanne Pittman, MEd VAMAC, Inc.
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