training in all departments
How do family businesses prepare the next generation to take over? Early in my career, I worked at a publicly held gas pipeline company. Management identified newly hired “stars,” and they would be put on a fast track, spending each of the next 4 years switching from one department to another, allowing them to learn all about the company, from the view of each operating department, from marketing to HR, from business operations to accounting. Though they didn’t become experts in any of these areas, they learned the impact of each department on the company overall. If you are an
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co-owners of business divorcing
As emotionally trying as a divorce can be, owners of closely held businesses are faced with the additional pressure of keeping intact what may have taken years of blood, sweat and tears to bring into fruition and make profitable: their business. Adding to that is the weight of assuring other owners, board members and the like that the soon-to-be ex-spouse will not unravel years of hard work. Simply put, spouses who are business owners and are looking at the dissolution of their marriage face a double whammy of stress and angst. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, the
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CFO spelled out using image made from US dollar
In many companies, people are concerned about the pecking order. Who has the most power, the most pay, the most responsibility? Over the years, I’ve become less concerned about those ratings. My interest is always in who has the most information. Because the old cliché is true – Information is Power. But for the context of this article, information is the source of decision-making. It is information that brings people together, that draws people to that office down the hall. Who is it that possesses the information that drives the company forward? Who is the person that has the power
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What is a brand? There are many definitions of a brand, but I like this definition from serial entrepreneur and best-selling author Allan Dib best. Dib defines a brand as “the personality of a business.” The personality has these six attributes: What’s its name? (brand name or trademark) What does it wear? (design or trade dress) How does it communicate? (positioning) What are its core values and what does it stand for? (brand promise) Who does it associate with? (target market) Is it well known? (brand awareness and fame) In order to build a successful brand, you must be able
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We have all made mistakes. But have you made any monumental ones? Have you made either a personal or business decision that was so horrific that it cost you dearly, either in terms of money, time or relationships? The fact that you made one isn’t the issue. To me the issue is how you recovered from it, how you returned from the disaster, how you started again. If it wasn’t possible to recover from those monumental errors, the streets would be littered with people, businesses and personal tragedies. We all read about millionaires that have lost their fortunes many times
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For many business owners, the sale of their business is a once in a lifetime event, perhaps the culmination of years of hard work to grow the value of the business. In many cases, the business represents the owner’s principal asset to fund a comfortable retirement. Even if retirement is not the motivation, selling business owners are always focused on retaining as much of the proceeds from the sale of their business as possible. Unfortunately, business owners have to share part of their good fortune (and the results of their hard work) with Uncle Sam in the form of taxes.
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Companies run into trouble from time to time. But why do some companies survive those troubles and others don’t? To me, there are two issues. First, it’s knowing when to ask for help. Second, it’s being willing to follow the advice that you’re given. But not everyone waits till they’re in trouble to ask for help. I remember getting a call from a business owner who said he was doing pretty well, he just wanted some help because he “didn’t know what he didn’t know.” Sometimes I meet with companies that are in a different situation. They have waited so
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One of the largest challenges companies face when choosing an employee benefits package — other than the astronomical cost– is deciding how much of that cost the company should bear. The Kaiser Family Foundation Health Benefits Survey 2018 shows employees pay 17% towards employee-only coverage versus 28% for family medical coverage. The cost for the company is $5,711 for employee-only coverage versus $14,069 for family coverage. When creating your company’s strategy, give careful thought to these questions: How important are benefits in your company? Your benefits package must be aligned with your company’s culture and values. If you are a
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KPIs, Key Performance Indicators, are an important way for any manager or business owner to keep track of how he or she is doing. Remember one key point – If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it. Which KPIs should you use to determine the success of your business? It would be nice and easy to tell you the six (6) most important KPIs for your business. The problem is that each business is different, and to make the decisions more difficult, each business owner has different goals. So how do you determine what KPIs are the ones that
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You created your budget last fall, and you were relieved that you completed the task. You don’t need to worry about it for another year. But what is the reason that you created the budget? If it was just to put a target on your company’s back for this year, then you are missing the opportunity to have another planning tool at your fingertips. Let’s look at three major areas of your budget to see how it can help you through this next year. Revenue and Gross Margin There are a lot of factors that go into your revenue numbers:
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