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Volume One - Owner as Executive

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Introduction

Author’s Notes

The following is not a story nor a prescription, it is a tome on changing the mindset of business owners about their role in the company. Having spent 40 plus years working with executives and owners,

Chapter 1: The Self Managing Organization

Why start the book here?

Easy - success in the hard sciences requires exact formulas that are tight and always apply. In the soft sciences there are no exact formulas, rather heuristics; general rules that apply most of the time and reduce complexity. 

Chapter 1: The Owner's Role

Chapter One - Continued

If you create the company’s Vision, Mission, and Values early on, it creates a governing system that influences behavior.

+ Line of Sight to Business Objectives. The yearly business Plan

+ Ongoing Feedback on Performance and Results

+ Scheduling and Performance Autonomy

+ Pay4Performance. My three lessons about compensation and performance:

Chapter 2: Who Are You?

Who Are You?

Since our start at the beginning of 2018, our focus has been on What Business Do - or should do. That focus misses an essential element in the success equation - how you feel about yourself and the business affects all decisions.

Chapter 3: Know Thy Self!

Know Thy Self

Last show we started with the premise that only .0025, that is 2 and a half of one percent of business owners have the perfect profile to grow their company’s into the elite 5% - a market dominator. All the company’s that made it to this level and beyond created a mix of talent (employees) that amplified the strengths of the owner and mitigated their weaknesses. That process starts with the owner understanding their strengths and weaknesses.

Chapter 4: Your End Game

Introduction

Unless you are an escapee from a large organization, it is hard to understand the transition from telling people what to do to managing results from groups. The big companies spent time and money developing people for promotion so when they “arrive” - the new demands are clearly understood. Even though growth and promotion require the same changes, nobody is preparing you – the owner - for the transition. Your early success is based on the ability to direct and control work. Now it will be based on the ability to change how work is controlled to fit the situation.

Chapter 5: My Rogues Gallery

Rogues Gallery of Thought Leaders

I started this series several months ago on LinkedIn titled “Self-Managing Organizations”. It is here that the idea for today’s show started - Rogues Gallery of Thought Leaders. Most business owners have little concern for theory beyond their day to day experience. I understand that trait and so if you discuss theory it must be pragmatic. By pragmatic I mean identifying facts and working backwards to explain it. This leads to building a model of reality that can be repeatable. That is my story.

Chapter 6: The 20 Year Plan

20 Year Plan - Part 2

This is a continuation of Chapter 4: Who Are You? We discussed are you a member of the .0025 club, the elite business owner who innately has all of the tools required to build a market dominating company? I don't and haven't met that person yet. Therefore that leaves you with 2 choices - seek help or never maximize what is possible.

Chapter 7: Your Position First

Write Your Position Description First

Building position descriptions is usually the 4th step in the process of building infrastructure for your business. You start with mapping all of the major processes: marketing & sales, production & service, and back office processes like accounts receivable. A process map provides a picture of each major step to eliminate nonvalue added activities. That means to eliminate steps, reduce time, and waste. Second is to create SOP's (Standard Operating Procedures) for each major step to ensure the job is done right consistently. The third step is to design your metrics - how are you going to measure each major step; you cannot mange what you don't measure. Now it is time for position descriptions. The list below is how we analyze the requirements for day-to-day activities.

Chapter 8: Build Around You

Build Around You

  • Creating Organizational Chart
  • Core Functions

OK, last week we covered creating your job description first. Base on your answers from our “Who Are You” assessment, create a position description that allows you to use strengths and delegate weaknesses. Today’s show answers the question - who gets those roles?

Chapter 9: Start With Profit

Start with Profit, Not Revenue, Expand Capacity Through Quality

If you have been following along and rethinking your role in the business, you know we have arrived at the fateful moment - what is the payoff. That is the focus of today’s show - Margin, Profit, Wealth.

Chapter 10: Consider an Employee Buyout

Ever Consider an Employee Buyout?

What is an ESOP: Employee Stock Option Plan

  • ESOP is a kind of employee benefit plan, similar in some ways to a profit-sharing plan;
  • Shares in the trust are allocated to individual employee accounts. With some exceptions, generally all full-time employees over 21 participate in the plan;
  • Over a $1m in sales, owners want to sell, minimum of 10 employees, profit greater than $200k a year, must be a Sub-chapter S or C Corporation.

Volume Two - Mastering the Numbers

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Introduction

Mastering the Numbers

Major Topics

  • The Basic's - Reading Reports
  • The Critical Ratio's
  • Getting to the Bottom Line
  • How Much Growth Can You Afford
  • Building a Solid Financial Base
  • Real Numbers

Chapter 1: Business Valuation

Business Valuation

This process starts with a Business Broker, or someone with similar expertise, reviewing your financial statements to capture the true economic value of the company. This occurs by using several different methods to create a range of values to select, given your industry and the current economic situation, best suits your business. This is segment is not intended to provide a detailed explanation, contact a Business Broker to discuss how they would determine your value.

Chapter 2: The Big 3 Reports

Remember it is simple. Money comes in. Money goes out.

While business owners have varying levels of financial knowledge, few have a solid understanding of the mechanics of money. The reason - most are great technicians just not financial wizards; the ultimate goal is to be successful, profitable, scalable, and saleable. 

Chapter 2: Monthly Cash Demands

Managing Cash Flow

Now that we have laid out the terms (last show), let’s put it to work in a way you can take immediate action. You will need to do a little math, nothing complicated. The table below will breakdown your numbers using 2 methods. The first is what your balance sheet says and the second, using the same numbers, lays out the real picture of cash demands.

Chapter 2: Working Capital

Improving Cash Flow - Improving Working Capital

Ok, given our 2 previous shows on Chapter 2, let's review a list of actions you can take that will change the business's financial picture. Remember the mindset for pulling this off - using the company as a bank to finance growth.

Chapter 2: Cash Flow Plan

The following is a real example of how we found $95,000 in additional cash with a client.

The story is based on our Turnaround Practice - returning unwell companies to health. This is from a client we turned in 2015 taking 8 months to proftability.

Chapter 3: What Do With The Money

Get Right Plan

The following example represents all of the materials covered in Chapter 2. In order to make sense of the numbers, which rely on earlier articles, you must review posts on the 24th and 25th of September 2019.

Chapter 4: Structuring Capital & Debt

Structuring Capital & Debt will cover the following topics:

  • Definition and Sources of Capital
  • Definition and Sources of Debt
  • Key Capital & Debt Ratios
  • Where to Start
  • Capital & Debt on Schedule
  • Creating the Plan

Chapter 4: Sources of Capital

Since I don't know whether your business is in operation or you are considering starting a business, this will focus on existing business's. If you are in the startup mode use this list as a building block for the future. All these elements are essential for positively working the top half of your balance and income statements.

Show Topics:

  • Owner's Investment
  • Retained Earnings
  • Sale of Stock
  • Sale of Fixed Assets & Inventory
  • Debt Collection

Chapter 4: Sources of Debt

Good Debt vs Bad Debt

Good Debt: the place to start is to make the difference between personal and commercial debt. Certainly all of the concepts were are going cover are applicable for both but our focus here is independent contractors, entrepreneurs, and business owners. Commercial debt differs from personal debt in one important area, with commercial debt the ability to repay is a given the key question is its multiplier. A multiplier means the degree of return expected of a pres

Chapter 4: Financial Analysis

All the numbers required to compute these ratios are available on your Balance and Profit & Loss Statements - Key Ratios every business owner should know.

Session Topics:

  • Common Ratio
  • Current Ratio
  • Quick Ratio
  • Inventory Turnover Ratio
  • Debt to Worth Ratio
  • ROI Ratio
  • Debt to Capital Ratio

Chapter 4: Where to Start

This show is a summary of everything we covered in Chapter Four on business finance. Some of these tools are identical to the shows on Managing Cash Flow except it has a different purpose: finding additional small business capital.

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Chapter 4: Capital & Debt Schedule

Last post we covered where to start, today's show focuses on a planned approach to improve both parts of the Balance Sheet. 


Start with debt or capital? This cannot be answered without understanding the context of your current situation. Normally I would select capital because eliminating bad debt and replacing it with good debt usually takes money. Given I don't know your situation, I will start with capital and will break it down into 3 groups: (1) immediate, (2) next, and (3) long term.

Chapter 5: Real Numbers

Instead of looking at the business through the owner's eyes, what if you look at as an investor? That has been the goal of Volume Two: Mastering the Numbers. Here is the secret sauce that smart investors use to understand ROI (Return On Investment) - How well does the business convert capital or use debt to improve returns.

Chapter 6: Balanced Scorecard

Given the insights provided in Chapter 5, how do you build a measurement backbone to run the business in real-time?

Living On Your Terms - Smarter

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Introduction

This is a summary of all of the LOYT Shows on Life and Economics. The Business Shows are part of  our books and is a work in progress. Look for ongoing updates.

Session 1: Nature vs Nurture

Nature vs Nurture

The main paradigm about human behavior is we are predominately driven by nurture - the culture, our social identity, and our family unit. If you asked to rate the influence between nature and nurture, most people (scientists included) would give you an answer of 80-90% nurture with the remainder nature. This means there is little behavior driven by our genetics and yet how do you explain commonalities across culture. Take xenophobia (the fear of outsiders) for example, every society suffers from the same dynamic regardless of culture.

Session 2: Innate Search for Meaning

Man's Search for Meaning

We started this series with a conversation about the origins of behavior; is it predominately nature or nurture? The text and conversation covered sociobiology, a school of research that makes the case more human behavior is driven by inherited traits than is shaped by the environment. The majority of science (sociologists and psychiatrists) believe people are clean slates at birth and their environment - parents, family groups, local communities, etc. mold them into who they become by adulthood.

Session 3: Self Esteem & Self Worth

Self-esteem is your self evaluation; a subjective evaluation of self worth. It encompasses belief about yourself like "I am unlovable", I am worthy, etc. It also includes emotional states like despair, pride, and shame. Our self-concept is what we think; self-esteem is a positive or negative evaluation about ourselves and the emotion attached. 

Session 4: Self Image & Social Role

Social Learning

We are now making the transition from innate and internally driven belief's and behaviors (self esteem & self confidence) to the impact of the outside world.

A quick review of the internal forces:

  • Nature vs Nurture - 7OCT 19 post
  • Search for Meaning - 14OCT19 post
  • Self Esteem - 21OCT19 post

Session 5: Locus of Control

Internal vs External

People who have a high internal locus of control believe that effort, hard work, learning from setbacks, soliciting feedback, eventually lead to success. People who have a high external locus of control attribute success to sources outside of their immediate control, i.e. luck, other individuals, environmental factors, accidental chance. If you have a high external locus of control, you do not see how your own actions or lack of action may be at the root of how you generally feel about your life.

Holiday Sales Strategy

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Introduction

We stopped our series on Mastering the Numbers until the New Year. Based on feedback from our business owner listener base, they want us to focus on making their revenue numbers in November and December.

30% of Your Sales Year in the Next 2 Months

During the month of November we are offering the best advertizing deal in Central Virginia: regardless of which Marketing and Advertizing Package you select, we will double your coverage. Buy a week and receive a second week for FREE, buy a month and the second month is FREE.

Who Is Your Perfect Customer(s)

Where to Start

The challenge today in marketing & advertizing and to a certain degree sales is it requires permission. This has a huge impact on acquiring new customers – what you did in the past is no longer enough and perhaps illegal. Given this landscape, successful businesses use online (website, blogs, social media) to surround their prospective customers and gain permission to start talking. A smart approach is to use both covert (create impressions without selling) and overt (direct touches with potential customers). 

This Weeks Target Holiday

Session 1: Thanksgiving & Black Friday

Thanksgiving

Perhaps the most American, besides July 4th, of American Holidays. It celebrates the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1620. These settlers from the Mayflower after experiencing a very difficult winter had a great spring and summer farming season. Their success was a combination of hard work and the support of the local Native American tribes.

Black Friday

The earliest evidence of the phrase Black Friday applied to the day after Thanksgiving in a shopping context suggests that the term originated in Philadelphia, where it was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving & Black Friday

Session 2: Identifying Buying Persona

Quick List

Background & Demographics: [Insert information about a prototypical customer. What is your persona’s typical gender? Age? Where do they live? What’s their income level? Which job titles do they commonly hold?]

Thanksgiving & Black Friday

Session 3: Elements of Writing Ad Copy

6 Principles of Persuasion

1. Authority: is about people respecting authority. They want to follow the lead of real experts. Business titles, impressive clothing, and even driving an expensive, high-performing automobile are proven factors in lending credibility to any individual. Giving the appearance of authority actually increases the likelihood that others will comply with requests – even if their authority is illegitimate.

Thanksgiving & Black Friday

Session 4: Marketing Campaign

This script is part of our GrowSales.Agency marketing system. I couldn't put the whole booklet up so just did a screen shot of the first part. I will cover the remainder of the document on tomorrows show - Solutions on Demand. I will use and make available by download.

Thanksgiving & Black friday

Session 5: Using Our Tools

We cannot post the entire document here so we have made available for download the Marketing Template click here.

This Weeks Targeted Holiday

Session 6: Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday

Small Business Saturday (30NOV19)

Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses and communities across the country. Founded in 2010, this day is celebrated each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Since it started in 2010, consumers have reported spending an estimated $103 billion across all Small Business Saturdays combined.

Cyber Monday (2DEC19)

Cyber Monday is a marketing term for the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. It was created by retailers to encourage people to shop online and made its debut on November 28, 2005. Cyber Monday quickly became one of the biggest online shopping days of the year. In 2017, Cyber Monday online sales grew to a record $6.59 billion, compared with $2.98 billion in 2015, and $2.65 billion in 2014.

Small Business Saturday & Cyber Monday

Session 7: Identifying Buying Persona

Quick List

  1. Background & Demographics: lives in the local area - zip code 23831 (within 10 miles of my store), male, married with 3 children (all potential customers), age between 35 and 45, Management Position, yearly household income $50,000 - $75,000 - this information is available through Facebook Ad's.

Small Business Saturday & Cyber Monday

Session 8: Writing Ad Copy

5 Sections of Winning Copy

Example

Headline: Bring Your Love of the Outdoors Inside

Context Paragraph: We share your dedication to the environment and living life robustly. All of our clothing lines look good with a sports jacket and dress shoes or a slicker and hiking boots. So make a statement everyday with our stylish and durable clothing lines whether in the office, in the classroom, or sitting by the fire.

Small Business Friday & Cyber Monday

Session 9: Marketing Plan

Marketing Template - B2C

Target Holiday: Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Christmas Super Saturday, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, New Years

Time Frame: 21NOV19-2JAN20

Potential Themes: What You Wear Says Everything, Bring Your Love of the Outdoors Inside