Why business owners are my heroes

Welcome to the inaugural edition of In Business Wisconsin! 

Before I get into the whys and wherefores of this publication, I want to express my admiration for the Wisconsin business community. With a dwindling supply of people whom I can point to as “admirable,” I’d like to raise a glass (filled with lager of course) to the people in our state who put their capital at risk to maintain a payroll and otherwise build a business.

Why not political heroes? Please. We’ve all been paying attention lately, haven’t we? After watching them wreck, in July, whatever consumer confidence still remained, I was one of the few people in the media who were relieved to watch them get out of Washington and take a vacation.

Any votes for making it permanent?

How about entertainers? Sorry, but Charlie Sheen’s tiger blood tales leave me cold. Besides, they are all Lilliputians compared to the Rat Pack, and I don’t invite most of them into my home anymore.

That leaves professional athletes, who range from inspirational, self-made good guys like Donald Driver, to tiresome attention-seekers like Chad Ocho-dinko. Definitely hit and miss.

No, the people I admire are the ones who make our communities work, the people who are struggling to maintain or grow a business in the wake of capital city (Washington and Madison) machinations, which make it increasingly difficult. It is for them, their C-suite colleagues, and up-and-coming professionals that we launch this publication.

And we launch it to replicate the business best practices approach that we’ve built in Dane County, where businesspeople need all the help they can get.  A few years ago, we had an advisory board to get reader feedback, and the most valuable piece of advice came from an executive named Harvey Briggs of the branding firm Lindsay, Stone & Briggs. At the time, In Business was going back and forth between a chronicler of business news, which is difficult for a monthly publication, and business best practices magazine, when Harvey put it all into perspective.

“I’m just looking for little nuggets about how to run my business better,” he said.

With that, I knew exactly what we should be doing. We’re not the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel or The Wall Street Journal, nor do we pretend to be. We’ll chronicle business news in our online Business Report, but we exist to serve as a business resource. Best of all, most of the advice will come from your Wisconsin business peers.

Over time, we’ll build a statewide professional directory of executives, enable you to promote your business events, invite your reader comments in response to our stable of blogs, and even get your take on business and other issues of the day with our IB Poll.

From the “Our Towns” feature on Wisconsin business communities, to our Professional of the Week profiles, to quick “Take Five” interviews with business execs, to our In Business with Jody and Joan radio podcasts, the insights presented on these pages are designed to help you do exactly what Harvey Briggs strived for – run your business better.

Here’s to a brand new business relationship.