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Business Perspectives

Business isn't Zero Sum

In any negotiation, you can assume a win-win solution or a zero sum outcome. “Win-win” is defined as when both parties come out ahead or achieve what they seek. “Zero sum” is when the premise behind negotiation is that whatever one …
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The Entrepreneurship Meritocracy

For those of us who compete in the entrepreneurship meritocracy, listening to the complaints of those who are employed can sometimes be irksome. I recently sat at an open table for an event. One of the other guests there was …
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Employee Experience: Is Bigger Better?

Small businesses provide much of the initial employee experience. We take younger folks and teach them decent work habits like showing up every day, being on time, and working to deadlines. As owners, our personal skills may not be sufficient. We …
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Exit Planning

Quality of Earnings Part 3: Cash Flow

In the past few weeks we’ve discussed how quality of earnings audits look at your income and expenses, and their impact on company value.  Since Revenue less Expenses equals Profit (P=R-E), you could be forgiven for thinking that we have picked …
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Quality of Earnings Part 2: Hidden Expenses

In my last post we discussed quality of earnings audits from a revenue perspective. Customer concentration, marginal lines of business and contracts are the three most common revenue traps. If you are comfortable with your company’s strength and stability as …
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Quality of Earnings Part 1: Revenue Traps

This will be the first of several columns on quality of earnings. While a formal, third-party Quality of Earnings Study is more often seen in mid-market transactions, even small business owners should be aware of the factors that can cause …
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Managing Employees

After the Exit; "Nothing Will Change"

“Nothing will change.” It is almost de rigueur for an acquirer to include that in his or her opening comments to the incumbent staff of a just-purchased business. Sometimes it is the seller’s attempt at making folks feel better. “Don’t …
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Business isn't Zero Sum

In any negotiation, you can assume a win-win solution or a zero sum outcome. “Win-win” is defined as when both parties come out ahead or achieve what they seek. “Zero sum” is when the premise behind negotiation is that whatever one …
Read More »

Stop Managing

Why would anyone advise business owners to stop managing? Management is a proven science. From the time and motion studies of Frederick Winslow Taylor in the late 1800s, to Matthew Kelly and Patrick Lencione’s Dream Manager, we are constantly in …
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Marketing and Sales

Exiting a "Time and Place" Business

“The purpose of middlemen in the marketplace is to provide time and place utility.” I remember the light bulb going on in Economics 101 when my professor said that.  Suddenly, I understood the concept of added value. Someone had to get the …
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How Much Does that Gorilla Weigh?

How much does that (fill in your preferred number here) pound gorilla weigh? I always refer to an 800 pound gorilla, but I’ve heard others use everything from a 400 pound gorilla (which is pretty close to their real size) to …
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Good Customers Can Be Bad

When can good customers be bad? What could be wrong with a customer who buys a lot, pays promptly, and never has a service problem? They might be buying too much. No matter how strong or comfortable a sales relationship is, …
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