Article of the Month
by Tom Shay
When this writer was first given the responsibility of handling the advertising component of our family business, I simply followed what had been done before. I watched what other businesses did and accepted that as the standard of what you did; utilize television, radio, newspaper along with creating our own occasional direct mail piece to get our message out.
Simply said, I drank the kool aid of advertising. In later years I began to question this idea.
Why spend all that money starting over each time we wanted to get our message out. By this I mean that it did not seem right to attempt to get our message to existing customers in the same manner that we did for those people we wanted to invite to become customers for the first time.
Let me invite you to read this month's article for further details.
Click on Article of the Month to read this article.
Book of the Month
Brick and Mortar Oughta
by John W. Hayes
This book jumped to the top of the list of reading material because of a recommendation. It is written by an Englishman so there are multiple 'translations' that have to be made; Not only the financial terms but the businesses he frequently refers to are not businesses that are in North America.
My hope was that when he listed his eight points in the first part of the book that he was going to spend the rest of the book expanding on these. He didn't.
There is good content in the book as the author gets into many other aspects but treads lightly through them.
The annoying part of the book is that he is often referring to articles he has written and providing web addresses to those articles. Of course, the URL is rather long and you would have to be sitting there with a computer to take advantage of the suggested reading.
My last concern is a big pet peeve of mine; he is making multiple suggestions to get his other books.
My belief for an author, just like with speakers, is they should stop the selling and concentrate on the teaching they are supposed to be there to do.
Click on Book Referral to see the complete list of small business books we have found that can be helpful to your business.
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Look ahead for the exits
Another one of life's experiences gave me the idea for this month's advisory. The experience was not pleasant as it was two people who were making it challenging for another individual, me, to do what I was hired to do.
These were two speakers who did notice a growing crowd of people in the back of the room they were speaking in. One of them even commented while on stage about being out of time.
They proceeded to talk, take questions and then stood around to visit and collect information from attendees so they could sell their services.
Only when I walked on the stage and began to set up my laptop did they comment, 'Oh, is there another session in this room? We didn't notice.'
Simply said, they did not check to find out when it was time to get out. Oddly enough, the services they were selling were consultative services for those business owners wanting to get out of their business.
Nothing personal against this couple, or others selling similar services, but it bothers me to attend events and find so many people selling these services - be it helping you find a buyer or worse yet, liquidating the business.
Why are so many leaving? Visiting with some of these small business owners, I am curious as to why have so many failed to plan ahead? The most frequent answer when asked when they want out ranges from 'now' to 'the next year or so'.
It reminds me of a letter I received from an individual in the floor covering business. One of his questions is to ask why a child would want to follow their parents into business.
After reading this letter you may want to examine how you speak about your business to friends and family.
You can read the letter in its entirety by following this link
Letter from Ron
Planning to leave requires a lot of planning - much like deciding to start or purchase a business. Proper planning means you can maximize the dollars you get from the sale of the business.
It is like those two speakers; you need to know when to exit.
Michael Kalscheur is back! - March 12
Michael was our guest about 14 months ago. As his area of expertise is small business owners and their planning for retiring, we received more questions for Michael than any other guest we have ever had.
We'll take questions on a 'first come - first served' basis, so start sending them in now. Of course, as we pose your questions to Michael, we will not give out your name, business, or community.
Previous e-ret@iler conversations are recorded and available on the Profits Plus website by following this link.
|Internet Tip of The Month
One of the measures of a business and its ability to stay afloat is that of 'acid ratio'. This is referred to as a measurement of liquidity and represents the ability to pay your bills over the next twelve months.
This is a simple to calculate ratio as it utilizes only items that appear on the balance sheet. The comparison is that of all of the current liabilities, (those bills that are to be paid in the next twelve months) and the current assets with the exception of the inventory.
To make this calculation work, you do have to make sure that everything on your balance sheet is properly categorized. Key examples of concern is that anything being paid on installment. Only the principle part of the debt is considered a liability, and with this same installment debt, only those payments due in the next twelve months are considered.
The acid ratio is a good way of getting a 'heads up' for smooth sailing or challenging times in the next twelve months of your business.
|The Incentive Idea of the Month
Carrots have flavors
My Dad told me the story of a person working in a corporation and leaving the building after a staff meeting.
The person was in tears. Another employee asked what was causing the tears. The answer given was, 'Everyone else got a promotion and all I got was more money'.
While there were multiple lessons my Dad was trying to teach me, in today's incentive the lesson is that not everyone likes the same reward.
We found this in our business as we made a point to learn the hobbies and likes of each employee. When there was an incentive to be given, we tried to create something that was customized to their individual likes. And if the incentive you create can also include their spouse or even their entire family, then you get extra mileage from the incentive because the employee is receiving additional recognition from those that are most important to them.
We want to recognize A Carrot A Day by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, whose book provides the basis for each month's incentive idea.