One of the lessons I try to teach small-shop owners is that it's hard to do it all yourself and grow. Time and time again I see shops get to a point, usually at about three or four employees, where the owner realizes he must either become the shop foreman and hire a business manager to run the office and sales, or he must give up the shop and hire a foreman to take charge of production. It's often a heart-wrenching decision for the owner who really likes working in the shop. Some owners never resolve this crisis, frequently because they can't find the right second person to be their shop foreman or business manager.

At CabinetMaker, we've reached a similar point in the development of the magazine. Our mission has grown way beyond simply printing an informative and useful publication and selling advertising. We have become inextricably linked to the success and growth of the shops that make up our readership. To that end we developed projects like the Pricing Survey, Webinars, seminars, workshops, online forums, downloadable tools and digital editions. We were instrumental in helping launch the Cabinet Makers Association. All that has helped us grow to become the largest circulation woodworking trade magazine in North America with 56,000 subscribers, all professional small shops. But there's more to do.

It's time for me to move a bit away from the day-to-day editing so we can more directly help growing shops reach their goals. I am coordinating the launch of our new CabinetMaker Consulting service that will offer a variety of direct, hands-on, professional and confidential consulting products specifically targeted at the kinds of shops that make up CabinetMaker's audience. You can read more about it on page 34.

While I'll still be overseeing this magazine, I couldn't be stepping out of the shop, so to speak, unless I had a great shop foreman to take over for me. Linda Ohm has been my managing editor for years and is well equipped to take on the day-to-day, month-to-month challenge of editing the magazine. Besides her journalism experience, she and her husband have run a small metalworking and woodworking shop for decades. She knows first hand what matters to small shop owners.

I won't be disappearing from these pages, but it's time I took my own advice. That means spending more of my time working directly with shop owners to help them succeed. I'm stepping out of my shop so we can help your shop grow.

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