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Business Perspectives

Choosing Not to Maximize Profits

The other day, a client asked me to review some questions from an MBA student studying business ownership. One of the questions was “Are you doing everything possible to maximize profits?” I’ve seen the same question asked in a number …
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What the Heck is Exit Planning?

The wave of Baby Boomer retirements is beginning. I’ve been writing and speaking about exit planning nationally for the last ten years, (you can download my free eBook on the subject here), but the inevitability of the demographics is gaining …
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Let the Business Owners Pay for It

When it comes to “No taxation without representation,” the rallying cry of our founding fathers, few identifiable population segments are as abused as business owners. One of my long-time clients is a franchisor, and until very recently I was a …
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Exit Planning

Life After Exit -- Time is of the Essence

From time to time, we share real stories about life after exit from owners who have sold their businesses. Some are great and some… not so much. The have agreed to share their experiences to help other owners prepare for …
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Exit Planning - Maintaining Control

For many owners, their biggest concern in an exit plan is maintaining control.  Whether they seek to sell to employees, family or a third-party, there is a fear that, once started, the process will have its own rules and momentum. My colleague John …
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Choosing Your Timeframe to Exit

“My timeframe? Talk to me in about five years.” When business owners are asked about exit planning, that answer is almost ubiquitous. In fact, a much-quoted 2008 survey of owners by Price Waterhouse Coopers (now PwC – not clear why …
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Managing Employees

Internal Transfers: Legacy vs. Lucre

Lifestyle vs. Legacy Why would I refer to the results of an internal transfer as “lifestyle vs. lucre?” Lucre is a pejorative term. While it is technically just a synonym for money, most dictionaries draw the parallel to its use in …
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The Right Price for Your Business

“If someone offered me the right price, I’d sell in a minute!” Exit planners and business brokers hear it all the time. “Anything is for sale if the price is right!” What is the “right” price? Of course, you can …
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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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Marketing and Sales

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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The New Information Direction: Push Over Pull

Ever since we started using computers in virtually every business, we’ve been putting data into them. Unfortunately, the issue has been getting information back out. In the middle 1980’s I ran a manufacturing company together with a couple of Australians. They thought …
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Help Your Friends, Not Your Competitors'

I hear it all too often. “A customer just called us for a quote. They have always done business with our competitor. We’re going to give them our best deal, and see if we can take their business.” Before you …
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