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Entrepreneur Rhonda Abrams points out how “stuff” (materials and inventory) can influence a business from a cost standpoint. She also discusses how “stuff” and uncontrollable events can interrupt the business cycle. She offers practical advice on how to manage this “stuff” to make business more efficient in terms of capital.


  1. Begin by discussing how “stuff” can influence competitive advantage.
  2. Ms. Abrams mentions several consequences (i.e., missed opportunities) that can result from having too much “stuff.” How might this influence value creation?
  3. We typically think of inventory as something related to manufacturing. Discuss why it is important for any kind of business to be concerned with inventory.
  4. Discuss the pros and cons of just-in-time systems for managing the “stuff” problem.

SOURCE: R. Abrams, “Entrepreneurs, Don’t Let Your ‘Stuff’ Control Your Business,” USA Today (Retrievable online at

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