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Gene Marks
Gene Marks is an opinionated small business management columnist, author, speaker, and business owner.

He writes daily for The Washington Post and weekly for Forbes,,, and monthly for Philadelphia Magazine

Gene's books include The Manufacturer's Book of List, In God We Trust: Everyone Else Pays Cash, The Streetwise Small Business Book of Lists, The Small Business Desk Reference, Outfoxing The Small Business Owner - Crafty Techniques for Creating a Profitable Relationship and The Complete Idiot's Guide To Successful Outsourcing.

Gene is a CPA and runs The Marks Group PC, a highly successful ten-person firm that provides expert customer relationship management and technology consulting services to small and medium sized businesses. The Marks Group PC, launched in 1994, has grown to help more than 600 companies and more than 5,000 individuals throughout the country do things quicker and better. Prior to starting The Marks Group PC, Gene spent 9 years in the entrepreneurial services arm of the international consulting firm KPMG in Philadelphia where he was a senior manager.

Gene regularly presents his keynotes, workshops, seminars, and executive retreats across the U.S. He is also a board member of the National Speaker’s Association.

You can follow Gene on Twitter (@genemarks) or visit his website -

Entries by Gene Marks

Why I Don't Want To Have Coffee With You

(5) Comments | Posted April 9, 2015 | 4:43 PM

Please... I don't want to have coffee with you.

I don't mean to sound rude. And I really, really appreciate that you'd like to get together. But I'm a small business owner. My days are really busy. And I don't have the time to just "have coffee." I know you...

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Great Business Leaders Mind Their Own Business

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 3:08 PM

True story: I have a client - a landscaping company. The company's owner holds a "voluntary prayer session" every morning in the office before crews go out to work. The prayers are to God and to Jesus. He's a very nice guy and clearly a religious man. And he wants...

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44 Taxes I Pay Because I Live in Philadelphia

(6) Comments | Posted March 18, 2015 | 11:33 AM

I live in Philadelphia. And I do pay a lot of taxes.

Pennsylvania's Governor Wolf introduced his budget last week. And in it he proposed an increase in spending, no pension reform, no long-term deficit reduction and no cuts in costs. And although he's lowering business and real estate taxes,...

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38 Percent of Small Businesses Are Ignoring a Huge Liability Coming in October

(7) Comments | Posted February 26, 2015 | 3:31 PM

Here's what I'm used to doing: I walk into a typical coffee shop. I order coffee. I hand over my credit card. The person behind the counter swipes it. I decline the receipt. I'm out the door. It's fast and simple. You too? Well, that's all about to change for...

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How to Profit From the President's Budget

(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2015 | 5:09 PM

The President sent his budget to Congress on Monday and, despite the media attention, its passing in its entirety is very unlikely. "Dead on arrival," declared some Republicans, which doesn't exactly seem like a warm embrace. The Republicans plan to submit their own budget early this Spring and the hope,...

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Business Owners: Here's How the President's SOTU Proposals Will Affect You

(1) Comments | Posted January 23, 2015 | 11:10 AM

So the State of the Union 2015 speech is over. Maybe you support the president. Maybe you don't. But that's not important. You're a business owner. And you have people that rely on the decisions that you make. And because you're a smart business owner, you don't let your emotions...

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The One Reason Why the 114th Congress Will Benefit Your Business

(0) Comments | Posted January 9, 2015 | 12:21 PM

Unemployment is down. GDP is up. The economy has grown and business owners are overwhelmingly optimistic about 2015. Lots of economists offer many good reasons why things look so rosy. But there's one thing underlying it all: the do-nothing 113th Congress. For the past two years we've had nothing but...

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9 Reasons Why Business Owners Hate the Holidays

(5) Comments | Posted December 23, 2014 | 8:22 AM

Run a small business? Then you're keeping a big secret. C'mon... fess up. It's about the holidays. Sure, December is a festive, wonderful, joyous month. You're not completely insensitive to the meaning of the season. You can party with the best, soak up the goodwill and wipe away a tear...

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Why Tommy Chong Is Fired Up About Marijuana

(52) Comments | Posted December 16, 2014 | 6:33 AM

Just this week, Congress axed a plan to legalize marijuana in the District of Columbia. But no fear - this is an anomaly. Just look at the numbers. According to this Wikipedia entry, marijuana is completely legal in four states, approved for medical use in nine...

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Why Immigration Reform Could Have Zero Impact On Your Business

(0) Comments | Posted December 5, 2014 | 3:03 PM

So the president issued his executive order on immigration recently. And although the country still remains divided on the action itself, most of the business owners I speak to believe immigration reform is a good thing. And so do I. But the big question we all have is...

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Two Reasons Why Your Company's Health Insurance Premiums Have Gone Up (And Will Keep Going Up)

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2014 | 2:35 PM

As the health care exchanges prepare for open enrollment later this week, the more recent news is that health care premiums are... going down. Wait, what?

According to this report "...a new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that, on average, premiums for Obamacare's benchmark silver plan...

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A Crucial Election Year for Business Owners and Cat Lovers

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2014 | 6:05 PM

In the tiny Alaskan town of Talkeetna, Mayor Stubbs presides. He is, in human terms, about 100 years old. He is a cat. And he has been Mayor of this town for 16 years. Isn't that adorable? It is adorable. And I'm sure if you're a resident of...

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Here's a Round-Up of Small Business Surveys That'll Cheer You Up

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 11:42 AM

A deadly Ebola epidemic threatens our country and the world. A growing nation of terrorists are targeting the U.S. A new report warns of an imminent and devastating earthquake in the Bay Area. Russia and China sign partnership deals and separately continue to build their militaries and intimidate...

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The 5 Tax Mistakes You're Making Right Now

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2014 | 7:06 AM

I know, it's a busy time of year. You're back from the summer holidays. Orders need to get out the door. Projects need to be done. Budgets need to be approved. You're doing your best. But there's something big you're not doing. And you know it. It has to do...

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Why Home Depot's Data Breach Is Worse Than You Think

(32) Comments | Posted September 24, 2014 | 1:05 PM

A few weeks ago, my wife and I discovered that our credit card number was stolen. How? She got flowers.

Yes, flowers. A dozen red roses arrived for her one day. This was a true mystery. I don't normally send flowers to my wife -- a practice I've been recently...

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This Week's Marketing Lesson? Go Topless!

(0) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 2:32 PM

There's a bitter war happening right now in Coshocton County, Ohio between the owner of a strip club and a local church pastor.

The strip club, called Foxhole North, is located in a little town called Newcastle and the church, called New Beginnings, is situated about nine miles away....

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The Myth of Being a Successful Freelancer

(1) Comments | Posted September 3, 2014 | 3:24 PM

There was once a time when it was just me. I was providing computer services. I was working a lot of hours. But I wasn't making any money at it. If I stayed on that path I'd fail. Today, I'm making money. Why? Because I'm supervising 10 people who are...

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3 Reasons Why It Sucks to Be the CEO Of Uber

(4) Comments | Posted August 22, 2014 | 5:19 PM

Sometimes I wonder why Uber CEO Travis Kalanick gets out of bed in the morning. OK, it's probably the fact that his company was recently valued at more than $18 billion which, depending on his ownership, makes him at the very least a billionaire. For most business people,...

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4 Reasons Why New Jobs Are Paying Less

(23) Comments | Posted August 15, 2014 | 8:41 AM

Jobs are recovering, but unfortunately wages aren't.

As the American Enterprise Institute's James Pethokoukis summarizes:

A new study from the US Conference of Mayors and IHS Global Insight gives the discouraging news. In 2008 and 2009 the US economy lost 8.7 million jobs. By examining the...
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5 Reasons Why You Should Admire Comcast

(2) Comments | Posted August 5, 2014 | 11:15 AM

It's very fashionable to hate Comcast nowadays.

The recent viral audio of their overzealous rep trying anything to keep a customer from disconnecting. The numerous surveys that consistently rate the company as one of the worst for customer service. The tens of thousands of frustrated tweets and forum posts...

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