Category Archives: business

How To Know If Your Business Is Suffering: Employee Turnover

For entrepreneurs, the ultimate sign of financial anguish is generally running out of cash. However, running out of cash is not a cause of business failure and rather a symptom of business breakdown. Let me explain:

Why a Business Truly Fails

  • Gross or Net Margins Slip: Gross profit margin (GPM) is calculated by deducting cost of employee turnover-1goods sold from total revenue and then dividing that number by total revenue. GPM is used to denote ability of a company to effectively manage its most critical costs. On the other hand, Net profit margin (NPM) refers to the percentage of revenue that is left after all operating expenses, taxes, interest, business bookkeeping, and preferred stock dividends (with the exception of common stock dividends) have been deducted from the total revenue of a company. Usually, the NPM of a company is far more significant than the amount of earned profit.
  • Profitability Challenges and Struggles: In today’s cutthroat business environment, it is important for every business (even the brick-and-mortar ones) to make profits that are sufficient enough to survive. There is no doubt when we say a company that is not profitable is a business at huge risk. An unprofitable company will then resort to raise capital from outside that opens up a completely different world of control and risk.

It All Starts Internally: Watch for Your Employee Turnover

Employee turnover is classified as the percentage of the workforce of a company that quits voluntarily during one year.

High employee turnover rates do not always indicate that there is a problem with management or that the company is not a great place to work. Remember: employees of companies with great visibility and brand value are more “poached.

Good managers and entrepreneurs can control employee turnover rate by managing compensation, working conditions, supervision, training, communications, monotony, and organization practices. Essentially, you’ve got to make your own workforce happy!

The Key to Financial Success During the Great Recession

Out of all questions asked of a financial advisorthis one is the most clever. Why? You really want to determine success when interviewing a particular expert in consultation of services for your financial management? You talk about the “Great Recession,” particularly in the year of 2008. Why the Great Recession? Why does that matter when considering a financial advisor for your accounts?

Businesses Surviving the Great Recession Often See Great Success as a Cut financial advisor dollar billAbove the Rest

Given the state of competition, when you consult multiple professionals for financial advisement, you’ll see everything from price ranges to personality and everything in between pretty clearly. Nothing, though, — and I do mean nothing — beats a particular expert who did work through the Great Recession, especially through 2008. So this is what you do:

You ask about how long the financial advisor’s been taking clients and working.

If the candidate has actually managed many accounts well before 2008, and is still going strong, then you can rest assured — you have a real winner on your hands, hands down. However, if you’re interviewing a candidate for financial advisement, and you ask the question to get an answer that’s just shy of employment before 2008, then you just may be dealing with a newbie getting his or her feet wet in the industry, and if you want someone more experienced on your books, move on.

It’s All About the Timing

That is to say, timing isn’t the be-all and end-all of competitive consulting, determining which financial advisor might be the best fit for your accounts. But it can certainly tell a lot. Call me crazy, but I’d be pretty impressed about a certain advisor who still did fine even through the Great Recession. Think about it.

This is a profession dealing in money! And what other time besides the Great Depression did money absolutely suck as an industry?

Why the Limited Liability Company Might Be the Best Choice for You

I won’t go into much detail on business structure as I could for the moment, because if I did, we’d be here for hours. Business law is laden with so much nuance and intricacy that it would take a fine-tooth comb to get through all the hairs and pull out all the dandruff one by one. It’s a painstaking process, one you could at least minimize the heartache and turmoil by hiring an attorney to consult you on whether or not a partnership, or a corporation — or especially in this case, an LLC — would be the best fit for you and your company.

Wait a Second — What’s an LLC?llc business formation jack bauer

limited liability company? That hopefully didn’t fly way past your head (because at one point, it did for me) like an unlucky bullet over Jack Bauer’s skull. A lot of business owners and entrepreneurs go for a limited liability company for obvious reasons, but this is probably the most important one (and most likely the only reason you need to know): there’s flexibility in this structure of the LLC.

Like a corporation, though, you file certain articles of organization and structure as well as a certificate of formation with a limited liability company. However, the flexibility comes around when you can incorporate more of a balance between ‘owner’ and ’employee’. You’re basically all members of the company, for lack of a better term, and all members have the option to decide how they want to be taxed within the entity — either as a ‘partnership’ or ‘corporation’. There’s where you get the flexibility and additional benefits with a limited liability company.

In a way, you’re looking at a hybrid of a corporation and partnership: that’s what a limited liability company really is. And it just might be a good fit for you.

So Should You File for One?

It’s a possibility, for sure. It all depends on what your goals are. There are trade-offs involved. If you’re a small business, but have a decent size workforce, chances are an LLC might be the way to go. You won’t pay as many taxes — but you get a lot of the corporate benefits from the government you otherwise wouldn’t get from a business partnership or sole proprietorship.

It’s all up to you on the path you want to take. As always, though, consultation’s your best weapon in the effort to formulate a business, hence why you could easily contact an organization like Cloud Based Bookkeeping and get it all squared away. That way, you can do away with that fine-tooth comb!

 

What Jurassic World Can Teach You About Being a New Age CEO

We’re all dying to see more dinosaurs on the silver screen, aren’t we? First Jurassic Park, then The Lost World, and Jurassic Park III — and now we have Jurassic World, a seeming disaster of commercial, technological and evolutional proportions just dying to be seen at a movie theater near you, and wouldn’t you know it?

This Is a Great Way to Explain What a “New Age CEO” Is!

Here’s the thing about dinosaurs: they’re savage, bestial, old, “old news,” ‘old hat,’ from a time long, long ago (not in a galaxy far, far away where Skywalker’s learning about personal development), and they’re well behind of the evolutionary chain due to advances in everything from technology to civilization, for obvious reasons.

Although a T-Rex could probably cause some problems in Chicago. Or Miami. Or New York. Or wherever. But that’s not the point.new age CEO t-rex

The Point Is Evolution Takes Precedence

When it comes to the business field, entrepreneurs in our digital age have the advantage over the “dinosaurs” of the corporate primordial ooze, where such “new age CEOs” don’t sit at an office on the 34th floor away from the potential customers, the revenue generators, and have a direct line to that clientele base better than anyone. There are no layers. There’s just one line of communication, and in this rise-of-the-Internet age, that’s crucial.

Corporate culture demands that we stay in line with the change in times. Nowadays we have CEOs who know how to the job of the lower workers (sometimes maybe even better). They’re transparent. Visceral. Efficient. They’re in tune with their workforce, exemplifying a wicked Santa Claus complex of content marketing clear across the world.

How does technology do this? Think of instant messaging, video conferencing, seamless group training, social media, blogging. All of it. We have metrics now. We have an ability to measure the industry, measure competition, and respond appropriately. The “new age CEO” has an advantage here.

The New Age CEO Is Adaptable

This makes sense when we’re thinking about an evolutionary train of thought. After all, a meteor killed those dinosaurs, and for good reason. They weren’t fast enough to “get out of the way.” Their brains were also kind of small. The more ‘advanced’ mammals, though, had an advantage (and a lot fur to protect them from the vicious Ice Age).

It’s the same with the new age CEO. They adapt well to change in the industry. They research the trends. They don’t just sit at their desks reviewing prospects and figures. They research new articles, new discussions, new questions asked to address coming issues in the industry, and they stay on top of all of that, remaining current with their best practices and implementing all of that immediately.

new age CEO airbnbThat keeps the new age CEO one step ahead of the competition.

Oddly enough, because of this monumental global scale of cyberspace hitting home for the corporate stratosphere, it’s actually easy for any new age CEO and a startup to go worldwide almost immediately. Just look at companies like Uber, Airbnb and Lending Club. Back in the day when the Stegosaurus used to have to trudge along for 50 years just to get to a lake, these companies drove their hovercrafts in the future and got clear across the world in 50 minutes.

That’s evolution. It’s now definitely feasible to go global even when there’s no domestic market, yet.

We’re Far From Extinction

You can rest assured that there won’t be any meteor — or some other global killer — coming around anytime soon. We’re ready. The new age CEO is more than ready. The new age CEO is actually prepared.

Take One Look at a Typewriter, and You’ll Know How to Achieve Productivity

This is why many well-known writers will tell you the same advice to writing like a master: the key to good writing is just to, well, write! There’s no “secret” to it. No manual. No nothing. Seems foolish and retarded, but it’s the truth.

Now the Same Applies to Productivity in the Workplace or at Hometypewriter productivity

Take that adage with you to the water cooler, to the cubicle, to the main office, out in the field, at home figuring out if you need that equity loan. Seriously. Productivity’s not that hard to accomplish when you know about laziness according to Sigmund Freud. You’ll learn a lot on that front to achieve productivity. Write all this down on the typewriter, by the way — as you punch the keys, more thoughts and words will come to you.

To go on further, this brings up the topic of procrastination. What do you do? You “split tasks.” Work on a system, especially if you are a writer, and that typewriter does look a bit intimidating. When you partition your work schedule in such a way that it makes you efficient, you end up not so scared of “writer’s block,” (or worker’s block) per se.

Keeping in mind old “sayings,” or proverbs, would be a great motivator to stay on task as well. Don’t get distracted. Hang up post-its at work if you want. Whatever you can do to keep your will and drive to succeed like a superhero and save the day.

Whether you’re into real estate investments or sales, it doesn’t matter: motivation matters when it comes to productivity.

Don’t Get Discouraged: the Words Will Come to You

Perhaps you just might write the Great American Novel, or the quintessential how-to on improving your work productivity. Whatever the case may be, you’ve got all the cards. Write your words of wisdom down. Then apply them to your life. Your work. Your home.

How to Think Like Jack Bauer in a Boardroom

WHERE’S THE NUCLEAR BOMB!!?? — You, Jack Bauer, say, as you point your magnum at the forehead of a foreign terrorist dedicated to bringing Hell upon America. Don’t forget to ‘whisper’ — and look about as serious as can be. Because you’ll never smile. Why would you? Every year, you have a good 24 hours of sheer unadulterated pain and suffering where you never get to use the bathroom, eat a meal, and you’re constantly on your feet with that gun in hand, chasing X amount of terrorists. Heck, you’re like a credit watchdog, keeping track of every negative on your report. You’re like the terminator. Only without the “Ah-nuld.”

Who Would’ve Thought That Jack Bauer Could Make a Good Negotiator — in the Board Room?Jack Bauer negotation persuasion

It’s true when you think about it. If that Jack Bauer could get a cold-hearted terrorist to proverbially spill his guts with just a gun to the head, you’ve got to imagine that there are some subtle tactics involved there that could apply to everything from a job interview to a merger & acquisition of a company. Even lead generation and account management can apply here!

The fact is special forces, counterterrorism, and techniques utilized by the FBI make for great methodology of persuasion. Just ask your mom, quite possibly the best FBI agent in history.

Now, I’ll say this much: Jack Bauer doesn’t smile very well. Truthfully, he doesn’t have to. But when it comes to persuasion, smiling can be your ideal weapon (better than any gun). Furthermore, it would seem that Jack Bauer hardly requires any kind of help to get the job done (in 24 hours), although he had the help of everyone from Chloe O’Brian to Tony Almeida to President David Palmer. So it’s safe to say that you can ‘act’ like you need some ‘help’ in order to get people to go to bat for you on a particular project. That’s true Negotiation 101 right there.

Subliminal messages, too: they can do a number on a person as you land an investor by simply saying they’re going to say “yes,” so to speak. There’s more to it than that, though, but I guess you can just find out for yourself. Don’t worry: I won’t threaten you with a gun, or a nuclear bomb. I certainly won’t pass a Jedi mind trick on you.

Whatever the Case, Learn From Jack Bauer

That CTU agent’s only the start of it. Negotiation tactics vary, depending on the situation. Who knows — you could be newlyweds taking the necessary steps toward first-time homeowner-ship. You adapt.

Develop your corporate ‘radar’ if necessary. For starters, though, you can learn a lot from Jack Bauer. More importantly, however, I’d say know the difference between the red and blue wire. That way, you can ensure the boardroom stays intact.

Why Venture Capital and Private Investments Still Play a Role in Startup Financing

You remember those vinyl records? I do. Man, they represent a time long gone but with nostalgia making us long for the days when listening to music was as much an art form as the music itself. Let’s segue from that, shall we? What about venture capital and private investments? Is there nostalgia with that as much as vinyl? No, probably not.

But Venture Capital and Private Investments for Sure Still Are Effective!

Forget your Beatles record and let’s see if we can get your startup business launched with kickstarter recordeffectiveness, right? Maybe then you can celebrate with some scratchy record playing on the turntable, but until then, this is about getting those startup expenses taken care of; and in particular, with this day and age being all about the Internet, social media and word-of-mouth advertising, you begin to wonder: do the traditional methods still work? Yes, in a way.

Crowdfunding campaigns and other word-of-mouth fundraising opportunities like Kickstarter certainly have been sitting in a spotlight for numerous startup miracles out there; but without a doubt, there’s still a place for venture capital and private investments to help bolster the results and make it that much more long-term. For one thing, as effective as crowdfunding is these days, more often than not startup businesses won’t be able to cover all of their costs without a little help from venture capital and private investments. Granted, crowdfunding can take care of a great portion of it — but not all of it. After all, there are situations like the Steelcase Pyramid over in Gaines Township where you have a load of expenses involved!

That being said, crowdfunding often can be considered a catapult for the longer-term generator that is venture capital and private investments. Others went ahead with some opportunities to seek venture capital and private investments first before even considering crowdfunding, because even the opposite applies in this case as well.

Basic Summary: Incorporate Both Into Your Funding Strategy

One or the other probably won’t cancel each other out; that’s for sure. Just like there will always be someone out there with their vinyl records, remembering the golden ages of music. So why not just use both? Startup costs can be expensive. Ensure you have everything covered.