Management & Leadership

30

Mar'19

The Art of Making Money

By P.T. Barnam, 1880 Point 1. DON’T MISTAKE YOUR VOCATION 2. SELECT THE RIGHT LOCATION 3. AVOID DEBT 4. PERSEVERE 5. WHATEVER YOU DO, DO IT WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT 6. DEPEND UPON YOUR OWN PERSONAL EXERTIONS 7. USE THE BEST TOOLS 8. DON’T GET ABOVE YOUR BUSINESS 9. LEARN SOMETHING USEFUL 10. LET HOPE PREDOMINATE BUT BE NOT TOO VISIONARY 11. DO NOT SCATTER YOUR POWERS 12. BE SYSTEMATIC 13. READ THE NEWSPAPERS 14. BEWARE OF “OUTSIDE OPERATIONS” 15. DON’T INDORSE WITHOUT SECURITY 16. ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS 17. BE POLITE AND KIND TO YOUR CUSTOMERS 18. BE CHARITABLE 19. DON’T BLAB 20. PRESERVE YOUR INTEGRITY Click on each link to see an expanded discussion. Brilliant. True.

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31

Jan'19

Rules for Successful Entrepreneurship

Here is what I have learned over 40 years: Business ideas are often shiny objects — they can divert your attention, have little to offer and aren’t real. Practical business concepts are often pretty dull, but they always focus on meeting a need, fulfilling a customer need. Realistic business concepts provide something that customers will pay for, either for convenience, need, or desire. Nothing happens until something is sold. Sales and marketing are crucial to success. You must identify and know your target market. You should know more about them than they do. You must constantly research, evaluate and investigate. You must constantly look for new markets, ways to refresh old markets and you must perfect the art of the recurring sale. A one time sale is a loser. You must have repeat business to survive. Cash flow, cash flow, and cash flow. You can’t survive without it, but it must come from profitable operations. Cash flow which comes from increased leverage, or volume which comes from selling below cost is like cancer: it will eat you out from within until your business collapses. Your “solution” had better be relevant, time-effective and cost effective. It will stay that way only …

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03

Jan'19

The Ten Rules of Entrepreneurship

Want to be a successful entrepreneur? Ten essential things to do in your start up. Ten essential truths that make any business successful.

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31

Oct'18

What holds back a business from Scaling UP

What prevents most businesses from scaling up? Here are a few things: A personal service business where the owner IS the business. A business which is only successful because it has a unique location A business which has a limited supply of product. A business which can’t overcome the logistics of multiple locations/ increased sales either because there aren’t enough qualified humans or the business processes can’t or shouldn’t be automated. A niche business which serves a limited niche. Inadequate, ill-defined, or unworkable business systems, especially marketing, sales and customer service. Inadequate vision – owners can’t imagine scaling or comprehend what that involves. Inadequate funding Owners who know that being “big” doesn’t mean being better, and in fact being the “right size” is the best success a business owner can achieve.

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25

May'18

How do I find the Right CPA?

Finding the right CPA or the right accountant is really important. Important because the results depend upon who you get, and it’s an area where you, the client may not be aware of whether you got the best advice or not. There are a lot of stuffy accountants (CPAs) out there who have very high opinions of themselves. They talk about “the firm” and act like they are something special. They tend to be rigid, unimaginative, high priced and advocate for themselves. There are also a lot of very friendly nice guys who are not very competent. They talk a good spiel, but they have neither the resources nor the experience to handle your problem. So how do you find the right CPA? What are you looking for? Lets see: 1. A hard-bitten no nonsense negotiator who can deal with the IRS at their level, knows all the audit tricks, has been there many times, a street fighter. 2. A clever innovative thinker who knows all the ins and outs of the law, understands the difference between light gray and dark gray, wants to take you to the limit of tax savings, but without crossing the line. 3. A plugger, …

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29

Mar'18

What does a Treasurer Do?

What is the function of the treasurer of a company? The answer is simple: the treasury function is all about looking at possibilities, risks, and returns. A treasurer of a company analyzes the economy, the business cycle, the product life cycle and the business plan of the company. What funds are going to be needed? Is there a recession coming or underway? How can funds be deployed for the best risk-adjusted returns? What is the cost of capital? The answers to these questions are all moving targets, and a lot of it is educated guesswork. The treasurer has to work with the management team in formulating and executing the business plan. The work is at the same time very granular and yet also broad brush to the point of conceptual. If they have promising projects, with large risk-adjusted returns on investment, that is where they should put their funds. If they can buy businesses with a good return on investment, they should do it. If they can place the money in investments which pay a greater return than their cost of capital, they should do it. If the Treasurer’s team sees a big recession coming, they may decide to build …

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02

Feb'17

Cutthroat Management Style

Many business owners think that a cutthroat pressure-cooker management style works.  Turn up the heat and things will cook.  Be ruthless with people and only the best will survive. It’s almost a cliche — put on the pressure and you’ll get results.  Does it really work? High pressure organizations may think their approach works, but it has consequences.  The stress results in higher healthcare costs, more workplace accidents, and a revolving door with employees. Who can be loyal to a company that treats its employees like automatons, throws out the “bottom” 10 % each year, and creates internal conflict and strife as a management approach? Studies have shown that cutthroat organizations are actually less productive.  They have less employee loyalty and higher turnover. It negatively affects workforce health, sucking the life out of people. What exactly is a cutthroat organization?  What things characterize that management style?  As in most things, there’s a spectrum, from mild to extreme.  Most  cutthroat environments have these ten characteristics: 1. They overwork people. Bring on those 50 hour workweeks! Create artificial deadlines and pile on the tasks.  Be sure to put high priority on  all tasks, and as a kicker, when one project is only half done, …

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02

Feb'17

How To Deal with Bullying At Work

Question:  I work for a small business and the manager is a total jerk, a bully in full form.  His management approach is pressure cooker.  It’s not uncommon to see him blow up at an employee, berating them for a minor problem.  He relishes firing people in front of other workers.  He assigns impossible tasks with unreachable deadlines and explodes when things aren’t up to his expectations. What do I do?   Response:  My sense of it is that the culture of an organization is established by one or two key opinion leaders. It may be a small group, where the leadership dynamics have descended into a desperate competition of egos and will to succeed.   The first step is to understand the dynamics of what is really happening. To do this, a person has to be able to step back and evaluate what’s going on and why. This is often much harder than it seems. Next, you are going to have to identify who are the opinion leaders. Where is the power, and who is pushing the “mean” button. Where is the pressure coming from, and why?   Then, you’ve got to have a turtle shell. The flow of …

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02

Feb'17

How to Deal with the Bitch at Work

It’s a problem.  We’ve all run across that woman in a leadership role who ends up being called a “bitch” behind her back.  She manages to create the perfect storm of resentment and fear  among her co-workers.   But is she really a “bitch?”   Is she acting in any way that different from what her male counterparts would do in a similar situation? Often, my sense of it is that women in the workplace fail in “tough management” jobs due to (1) a disconnect between the way they look and the way they act, (2) the particular way in which they address confrontation, which often is much different from men, and (3) and this will sound weird, but I think it’s true the different intonation in a female voice versus a male voice. Before everyone jumps on me for sexism, let’s be clear: there are distinct difference between men and women, in case you haven’t noticed. Un-PC thing #2, we all live our lives to varying degree by stereotypes. Sorry folks, it’s biologically built in. So, when we get a disconnect between what we subliminally expect and what would be normal male leadership behavior, our minds go tilt. Cognitive …

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26

Jan'17

What are the Psychological Implications of Starting a Business?

Question: I am working on a startup. I want to know how to be psychologically ready for the challenge. Response:  There are a variety of things that hit you: There’s a rush, excitement when you start out. Watch out, the bubble will burst, and you can’t predict when. Then there’s the overwhelming impact of the zillion things that have to be accomplished simultaneously now. Getting used to it is difficult for those who have been linear thinkers in a corporate environment. There’s the anxiety associated with every decision, the wait time, the gestation period from inception to survival, and finally, what comes next. There’s a strong chance that you may experience bipolar like euphoria and depression, sometimes almost simultaneously There’s the constant worry about cash flow, metrics, sales, cash flow, personnel, production, cash flow, marketing, cash flow There’s an exhaustion that sets in somewhere between 6 months and a year when you realize that you really are on a treadmill, and that you better run faster and better than all the other fools out there who are competing with you. Then there is the family. The spouse has been reading Inc Magazine and /or Entrepreneur, or has a friend who …

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