Praise for Seven Resilient Westchester Business Leaders Recovering from Tragedy

PLUS: How to start your own small business, franchising 101 and more.



In our busy, over-programmed work lives, it’s easy to become sidetracked by some of life’s common worries: whether the newly renovated basement will flood—again—during the next rain storm; our children’s choice of a new significant other; that seemingly simple $37 annual auto inspection that somehow morphed into a four-figure repair bill.

If these seem like understandable distractions, imagine having to stay on point and focused at work if your child were critically injured, if your father were headed to prison, or if you woke up and discovered that the love of your life had died. Now, imagine dealing with that while clients and customers were all looking to you for continued service, and employees’ very livelihoods were dependent on your ability to keep putting one foot in front of the other. For the seven people profiled in this issue’s cover story (page 40), these were not hypotheticals, but regrettable realities. Writer Diana Scholl paints poignant portraits of several Westchester business leaders who found the strength to meet their professional obligations while their personal lives were going off the rails. Their stories not only are inspiring, but they help to put our own problems into perspective.

Many of you reading the cover story may have dreams of being successful business owners yourselves one day. If so, keep reading! On page 60, we present a roundtable discussion on how to start your business the right way. Roundtables are one of my favorite types of stories to do, because I walk away from them learning so much from the articulate, insightful experts who are kind enough to talk shop with us on their lunch hour. This roundtable is no exception—we convened an HR lawyer, the head of a PR and marketing firm, a commercial lender, a real estate broker, a CPA, and others to impart their wisdom to would-be entrepreneurs.

For some aspiring business owners, the lure of opening a franchise seems like a sure bet, and the best of both worlds: the freedom and autonomy that comes from being one’s own boss, but the safety and security of riding the coattails of an iconic brand. On page 32, we explore both the promises and pitfalls of franchising. While it has undoubtedly led to the success of many entrepreneurs, franchising also has some very idiosyncratic issues that any prospective franchisee should consider.

No matter what size or type of business you own, manage, or work for, disasters of myriad origins can strike (and without warning, as disasters are known to do), incapacitating a company’s operations and threatening its very existence. In our “Zeitgeist” department on page 96, we look at the concept of business continuity planning, aka coming up with a Plan B, C, and even D to keep things running if something untoward should happen. The good news is that no matter your company’s size or budget, there are steps you can take to help get it up and running—one of which is reading this issue. We’ve got your back…

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