Tag Archives: business decision making

Brand & Business Review

You should review the status of your business every six months, if not more often.  This includes an analysis of your brand and the products or services you offer to consumers.

This review can be a simple process of taking a step back and looking at your business from a couple points of view, or a rather lengthy evaluation with a professional consultant.

King mirror PawnIf you’re going to do a self-evaluation, the hardest but most important thing to do is to remove any emotional attachment you have to your business.  Think rationally.  Emotion is what you bring back when it’s time to market your business and advertise your products.  Look at everything from an objective, independent perspective, just like a consultant would do:

  • Evaluate your cash flow situation
  • Assess actual sales vs. projections
  • Consider how far out are your receivables
  • Rate your advertising return on investment (ROI)
  • Look at employee turnover rates
  • Where is your company in terms of the industry standard

These are a few of the areas to evaluate on your own.  Take the time to get the information you need to make intelligent decisions, and think through what the cold, hard facts are telling you.  Look at it as if you were someone on the outside looking in.

You need to know the value of your company … and the value you provide to your market segments.

If you’re honest and open with your consulting firm, a six-month assessment may not be as critical with them as doing it by yourself.  Your consultants should know where you are on a monthly or quarterly basis.  The idea is to help you take corrective action while it can have a positive impact and before it becomes a huge risk or serious problem.

Looking at your business impartially enables you to discover if certain employees need to be released or divisions need to be trimmed or modified.  Your investors and shareholders have to know you can make the tough decisions when they need to be made.  Removing yourself from the urgent demands of daily activities to review your status reduces the risk of making fatal mistakes and reveals the validity of your company.

As the owner or CEO of your business, the responsibility for making hard choices falls on your shoulders.  It may be your chief bookkeeper who is engaged in fraudulent activity and needs to be prosecuted.  It could be that your closest friend and VP of sales is stealing clients and collaborating with your competition.  You may have an obsolete product line that needs to be terminated.  It’s difficult to make a decision unless you have the correct information, and your job is to make sure you have all the right information.

Let us know if you would like help.

Brand Your Work – Work Your Brand


Making Choices & Getting Business Advice

New to owning a business?

You may find the following information valuable, and certainly of interest, even if you’ve already been in business for a number of years.

Every business owner needs advice on occasion.  The key is knowing when to ask for it.

It is said you are never alone if you have a deck of cards.  Start playing solitaire and someone is bound to tell you what to play where.

It is said you are never alone if you have a deck of cards. Start playing solitaire and someone is bound to tell you what to play where.

If you believe you can make your own decisions without counsel, go right ahead.  Even if you do receive a professional’s expert opinion, you can always choose to ignore it and make your own choices.  You own the business, so every decision you have to make is ultimately your responsibility.  You reap the rewards or bear the blame.

One of our clients was looking to raise more capital.  The company was solvent and generating close to $1 million in annual sales.  More funds were needed to complete some upgrades, so the owner was curious about options.  We discussed the ins and outs of venture capital, issuing stock, private equity investors, and traditional financing options for the investment the company was seeking.  We had experience as licensed investment representatives, so we had a grasp of the basics.  We continued the discussions as time moved forward and, eventually, the client was able to get some of his better clients to invest in the company and accomplish their shared objectives.

Was it our professional counsel that turned the tide?  All the client needed was information to make an intelligent decision, and the right choice for the company’s survival.  The client got advice from other sources as well, and used the accumulation of information to choose wisely.

In many cases, the advice is free because of the relationships business owners have with the resources available to them, whether vendors, friends, or business associates.  In other cases, the counsel is part of the overall service the business owner is contracted to receive.  Is one better than the other?  Only the person receiving it and using it to make their business decision can determine that.  There are occasions where the more expensive advice is better than that offered without cost, and the reverse can be true, too.

Back to the issue of knowing when to ask for advice.  Your accountant should be consulted before you ask your banker to extend you a line of credit, so you know what your cash flow looks like for repaying the loan and other reasons.  Your legal counsel should be asked to review legal documents before you sign them, just to protect your assets, if nothing else.  There are other professionals and business associates out there that you can ask for opinions about a variety of topics, from buying company vehicles to advertising campaign strategies and from charitable contributions to lobbying legislators.

If you take the time to get the information you need, you are far more likely to make a better, wiser, and more profitable decision for your business.  The secret:  Knowing where to get the information and being able to interpret that knowledge to gain wisdom.