Keep it short Featured

7:00pm EDT October 30, 2003
Welcome to the premiere issue of Smart Business Chicago, a monthly management journal for C-level executives of middle-market and large companies.

Before you say it, let me do it for you: "The last thing I need is something else to read."

I know how you feel. Running a growing organization is enough to keep anyone busy. The demand on our time from employees, suppliers and clients seems to increase every day. The sluggish economy only adds to the pressures of managing a successful business.

That's why we have designed a unique publication. After 15 years in the publishing business, we know to listen to our readers. The publication you hold in your hands -- the fifth in our growing chain -- is the result of all our listening.

In one-on-one conversations, CEO focus groups and written surveys, here is what readers like you told us they want in a local management journal.

1. Big minds, big ideas. Smart Business Chicago will tap into the top local business minds. Take this issue as an example. Our cover story tells how The Pampered Chef CEO Doris Christopher built her company from a simple concept to a business so powerful and profitable it caught the eye of the world's savviest investor, Warren Buffett.

Our Q&A feature, called One on One, showcases one of the region's top business voices, Chicagloand Chamber CEO Gerald Roper. He talks with us about the challenges facing the region and the chamber's efforts to fight taxes and encourage entrepreneurship.

In the coming months, you'll hear from more of the best business minds in Chicago on issues ranging from leadership and motivation to brand-building and innovation.

2. Go to the source. To get the latest thoughts on best practices in key business areas, we have partnered with key local service providers in areas including accounting and consulting, health care, human resources, law and investment banking. They have front-line experience in dealing with the issues facing middle-market companies throughout the Chicago region. We work with these companies to develop commentaries on issues facing C-level management of middle-market companies. As I always say, wisdom comes from an abundance of councilors.

3. Keep it short. Most articles in Smart Business Chicago fill just a page. Only our major features are longer -- because they delve into the management styles and strategies of top executives. And don't look for us to drop on your desk some day like a phone book. We plan to keep our page count low so you don't have to fight to find the articles you are looking for.

You will find those three principles carried throughout the premiere issue of Smart Business Chicago -- and every subsequent issue -- just as our readers have come to expect the same from our other award-winning publications for the last 15 years.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't know how to have fun, too. We realize that not every minute of your day is spent planning or executing strategy. So from time to time we will include other offerings, such as reports on the latest luxury autos, high-tech gear, books and travel.

Also, we will summarize recent executive changes on our Movers & Shakers page so you can keep up on what's happening with your peers.

So why are you getting Smart Business Chicago? One of two reasons: Because of your success in building a business to middle-market status or your senior management role at a larger company that values the middle market. In either case, I hope you enjoy reading our premiere issue.

And I invite you to share your feedback with me by e-mailing me at or calling me at (800) 988-4726.