Something a little more stylish Featured

9:58am EDT July 22, 2002

My dad once gave me an Armani suit, and until I finally wore the knees and elbows shiny, it was my favorite.

Actually, he bought it for himself, in a mood to wear something other than his accustomed Brooks Brothers styling.

So he went into one of those shops where the hired hands communicate by sniffing, and eventually settled on the Armani. They chalked the waist and the cuffs and sent it out for tailoring.

A week or so later, my dad picked it up, took it home and tried it on.

“No matter how long I looked in the mirror, I just didn’t feel like I was looking at me,” he later told me. So he went to another tailor, who took a nip and a tuck, straightened some of the curves and curved some of the edges. My dad looked at himself in the mirror again and still thought it looked like someone else’s suit. That’s when he offered it to me.

“Wow,” I said when I saw the label.

“Don’t get too excited,” he replied. “I think I’ve had all the Armani tailored right out of it.”

I’m telling the story now because the magazine you have in your hands is a little bit like a new suit for us. At first, it seemed like someone else’s clothing. But the cut and fabric are nice, and the more I look at it, the more I like it.

We started with a new flag (that’s publishing jargon for the title on the front cover). From now on, we’re just calling ourselves SBN and invite you to do the same. Why the change? Because we got tired of telling people that Small Business News isn’t just for small businesses and it offers a whole lot more than just news.

In addition, we have a new tagline (that’s jargon for the short phrase beneath the flag) to help set an expectation for our readers. It’s Smart Ideas for Growing Companies.

There are changes on the inside, too—all with the goal of making it easier for busy executives to glean the most useful ideas and information from the publication each month. To that end, you’ll find:

  • Shorter stories;

  • An increased use of bullet points and other visual aids;

  • “Idea ladders” throughout the magazine that provide quick-hit news items, resources, tips and data you can use;

  • A contents page that is easier to read and summarizes more of the issue;

  • A “Smart Ideas Index” that offers a quick reference guide to the best ideas in the current issue.

This is our first major redesign in three years and we looked at everything. We’ve moved the Managing Your Business section to the front of the publication because reader surveys tell us this is one of the most popular parts of the magazine. And because we firmly believe that too much of a good thing can, in fact, be wonderful, we’ve lengthened that section and are already developing new features to keep it fresh and lively every month.

As you read the magazine, you’ll find more information about how to reach the people who serve as sources and subjects in our stories, because based on the phone calls we get each month, we know people want to use SBN as an active resource for doing better business.

And finally, on the technical end, we’ve refined some typesetting issues that have been gnawing at us for awhile. I won’t bore you with the details, except to say that all of it is supposed to serve a single purpose: Simplify and improve the reading experience of people who look forward to spending some time each month with Small Business News... excuse me ...SBN.

I hope you like it, and I’m sure you’ll let us know.

Bob Rosenbaum (brosenbaum@sbnnet.com) is SBN’s editor.