A company’s assets can be sorted into two buckets: tangible and intangible assets. Tangible assets are things the firm can buy or sell, such as inventory, real estate, equipment, machinery, offices, or company vehicles. Most business owners are pretty comfortable inventorying and appraising tangible assets.
But do you know how to measure the value of your intangible assets: your staff. Are you getting the most out of your employees? Are they as valuable as they should be? How do you know who to hire, which positions to create, and whether a job candidate is the best fit with your firm?
Start By Establishing Measurements for Positions, Not People
Instead of starting with employee traits for an evaluation, start by mapping out the parameters of that position. What should anyone in that job accomplish? Why does the role exist? What purpose does it serve? What personality traits should anyone in the post have? Establishing benchmarks for each job allows you to assign performance standards, desired personality attributes, and expected contributions.
Each Position is Assigned a Personality and a Prototype
Some business owners are uncomfortable assigning an ideal personality for a job. But when you take the current employee out of the equation, you can start thinking about traits that suit the position and match the business culture. For example, should a CMO be outgoing, creative, and enthusiastic in your firm? Does your organization need a meticulous, team-oriented, and predictable COO?
Once you put a personality in place for the position, you add a list of essential functions of the role to round out the prototype. For instance, in some companies, a CMO manages communications, creates sales materials, and handles PR. In another firm, the CMO may also oversee sales. Each company is different.
With position benchmarks in place, evaluating an employee’s or prospects’ suitability becomes much more manageable. If they match the job’s benchmarks well, it will be easier for them to meet your company’s expectations. Therefore, they will probably be more effective, experience success, and consequently show more loyalty. Matching people to benchmarks is a win-win.
The Role of Company Culture
The personalities and prototypes for a job can vary significantly among companies. Don’t assume that all positions look the same in all organizations. The change among industries is significant, so the needs of positions will vary quite a bit. Additionally, company culture plays an important role.
For example, suppose your company culture is innovative, creative, and brash. In that case, you may want an extroverted, big-idea CMO comfortable taking big swings and making a splash with the public.
Conversely, another company may be conservative and research-driven. They may need a CMO with focus and a professional, restrained manner.
Looking at these two examples, it becomes easy to see that companies A and B need two different types of CMOs. Can you imagine how unhappy the high-flying creative would be working for company B? And how frustrated company A would be if they hired a restrained introvert?
Benchmarking Needs Change Based on a Company’s Growth Cycle
In the startup phase, companies operate differently. They must be nimble, run lean, and change quickly to meet market needs. But established businesses should be focused on creating order, systems, and processes that allow them to scale up.
That’s why it’s wise to revisit benchmarked job descriptions as a firm grows. For instance, independent workaholics are invaluable initially but can get in the way once systems are in place. Process-driven staffs are excellent for a large organization but can be ineffective in the launch phase.
Benchmarking is the First Step to Increased Productivity
Benchmarking is not an exact science. Assumptions are made based on your circumstances. But it is an effective way to begin inventorying and leveraging your company’s intangible assets. Creating benchmarks for each position makes it much easier to identify and find people who can achieve their full potential within your organization. You start to hire better “fits” with your culture and requirements. You’ll also identify existing employees who may not fit into the company structure.
If you can find the right person to do the right job, you’ll be happier, they’ll be more productive, and your company will grow faster.
Carl’s Interview Starts at 20:57
Selling Your Business? Avoid These Mistakes!
Selling a business is not as straightforward as selling a house. After all, a company is a complex organism, and only some (or maybe none) of the value lies in physical assets. I’ve built and sold multiple businesses in my 30+ year career. In those first sales, I learned from my mistakes. And after a few hard knocks and some intensive research, I now know there’s a better way. If you’re considering selling your business now or in ten years, this article can help you avoid common mistakes.
Mistake #1: Doing It Alone
Most of us don’t sell companies very often, so very few entrepreneurs are experts at selling firms. That’s why so many business owners bring in a few professionals. Start before the sale by hiring an experienced business valuation expert. They will assess the firm to determine the fair market value. This valuation gives the owner an idea of how much the enterprise is worth “as is” and should also provide pointers to improvements that will increase the size of future offers. Often, with a few small improvements, you can substantially increase your market value.
Your financials will be held to a very high standard during a sale, so even minor errors or omissions can cause big problems. A reputable accounting firm with experience in business mergers, sales, and acquisitions, can help your internal accounting team compile financial statements and documentation in sale-friendly formats. Accounting consultants will help the team create, modify, or clarify income statements and balance sheets, catch errors, and ensure financial records and documents are above reproach.
Corporate law attorneys specializing in sales and acquisitions can handle legal or regulatory situations that may affect a potential sale. In addition, those same lawyers should be on hand to review contracts and agreements, such as leases and vendor contracts, to ensure they are transferable to a new owner.
Mistake #2: Choosing the Wrong Type of Sale
Business sales can be structured in a variety of ways. Each type of sale has its own benefits and drawbacks. So, make sure you’re working with a business consultant and a corporate attorney who understand sales and acquisitions.
We’ve listed the most common sale structures here.
Private Equity Firm
These buyers usually have the financial resources and expertise to grow a business. However, a private equity firm may have a short-term investment horizon, which means they are focused on maximizing their return on investment rather than maintaining the long-term viability of a company.
An employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) enables employees to purchase shares in the company over time. Employee ownership rewards staff members and ensures that the firm is run by people who are invested in its success.
An employee ownership consultant may be required because the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of the Department of Labor and the IRS’s Internal Revenue Code section 404(a)(3) govern ESOPs, so deviations from the prescribed process, intentional or accidental, break federal laws.
While it may seem simple to pass on the family business, it’s important to formalize the process to address legal considerations and prevent anyone from contesting ownership. The transfer should be formally documented and detail valuation, taxes, and ownership structure.
If an individual wants to buy the business, the process should start with a letter of intent (LOI) outlining the proposed terms for sale. Owners should also qualify individual buyers before moving forward by conducting background checks.
Selling to a Competitor
Your business may have the most value to your competitors. These types of sales usually require the seller to agree to non-compete clauses, which may limit their ability to run businesses in the future.
Mistake #3: Not Hiring a Consultant
It’s easy to view consultant fees as an expense, but when it comes to selling a business, their role is to minimize risk and maximize the asking price. Good consultants are not cheap, but their recommendations can protect owners from legal and financial threats. A consultant’s recommended improvements to the business can add millions to the asking price. And accountants’ contribution to bookkeeping can prevent costly delays or dropouts. When you look at the bigger picture, you can’t afford to keep them out of the process.
Want to learn more about how to get your business ready for a profitable sale? Contact 7 Stage Advisors today and start talking about your business.
Starting and running a business requires many things and having certain skills is definitely one of the things that you should put your focus on in this 2017. Lack of skills is one of the main reasons why people are not making progress in their careers. Skill gaps often lead to lower customer satisfaction, delays in product presentation, and many other problems. The same goes for those running a business. The good news is that acquiring skills today is much simpler than 10 or 50 years ago. Namely, you can now learn a wide range of skills online. However, if you just plan on running the business, there might not be a need for you to have specific skills like these. For many business owners, they will look to hire people with these specific skills that will be needed for the job. When hiring people to your business, they will probably need a device to ensure they can complete work to a higher standard. As the manager of this business, it’s important for you to oversee all operations. With the help of https://www.fleetsmith.com/features/management, you can configure these devices exactly how you want them. This should increase business efficiency and productivity. However, if you are passionate about learning new skills as well, then you should do it. You can never have too many skills as a business entrepreneur. There is no doubt that this practice is convenient, flexible, provides comfort, and lets people get a new perspective on business. The following is a shortlist of 6 skills everyone can learn online for a productive and profitable 2017.
1. Statistical data analysis
This might sound like something very complicated, but once you start learning it online, you will see that you were wrong. Besides business owners, students can benefit from acquiring this skill too. There are many software solutions for this type of analysis and it is up to you to master these programs. In this way, you can make better market shares predictions, analyze profit tendencies, and do other things that will improve productivity.
Now here’s another skill that is great for business. As you are probably aware, almost every modern business is looking for a way to be presented online and websites are still the most wanted form of presentation on the World Wide Web. There are many websites that provide online courses and tutorials that can help you become a good web designer. (2)
3. Fashion design
This might not be the favorite choice for everyone, but the truth is that this skill can help you make this year more profitable and more productive. Clothes are one of the basic items in the lives of almost every individual. This means that people will always buy clothes. Use online videos found on video-sharing websites and websites where you can get step-by-step guides related to fashion design and how to draw the perfect piece of clothing.
Business research is a broad term which usually involves things like researching a few businesses in one industry or researching the structure of business for investments or presentation. If you conduct some research you will notice that there are many online articles and videos related to business research that can help you.
Did you know that this is one of the fastest-growing businesses today? If you are prepared to start a new business, you might take this skill into account. Obviously, the best way to master this skill is to watch videos and to visit websites that have articles with many how-to images.
6.Run a blog
Finally, it’s a smart move to master the art of creating and running a blog. With the help of a blog, you can showcase your work and skills and establish yourself as an authority. Choose the form of your blog and the things you share on this blog wisely.
Follow these timeless tips for acquiring useful skills over the Internet for a successful 2017.
Random People = Random Results…Check Her Out! All people involved in the world of business are trying to follow the famous Jim Collins thought – to get the right people on the bus, take wrong people off the bus, and put the right people in their right seats. This is a very powerful business concept that should always be followed. However, not all entrepreneurs know whether they have the right people on the bus. Successful businesses know that talented and skillful people are their best resource, but also the most valuable asset to keep. Great business leaders spend a lot of time on finding, selecting, developing, training, and putting workers in their best places. As soon as you fill the bus with the right people in the right places – there is no limit what your business can achieve.
The following are some pointers which should tell you whether you have the right people on the bus.
The right people have values that go in the same direction with the values of the company they represent.
The right people expect a delegation of tasks, but they do not have to be tightly controlled or managed.
The right people know that they are responsible for achieving great results for the company.
The right people are always keeping their word and are accountable for their actions. They are careful when giving promises and committing to a certain task, but when they commit they deliver their maximum.
The right people are passionate about the company they work for and for the work they do.
The right people are also good at establishing contacts and communicating. They have organized thoughts and their body language and tone of voice are always synchronized.
The right people can solve problems quickly and efficiently. They are people that have leadership and organizational skills. They always work in a group and put the collective above all. These types of people can be a very valuable asset to your company because they are hard-working and inspiring to others.
The right people have a good sense of knowing which thing is best to do at a certain moment, without being told what they should do next. They are quiet in fixing small problems before they develop into more serious issues. They are often pro-active when taking initiatives and actions that are beneficial for the company they represent.
The right people are also good team players. They love to work and motivate others, so the work is more productive. They care for the group and often put other people in the spotlight than bringing the light to them. They know what the main objectives of the company are and do their best for the company to reach its goals.
The right people are also constant learners. They are very motivated to upgrade their knowledge and to become even better than they are. They are always reading, learning, and attending seminars, and always try to keep in touch with successful people. They are always eager to learn new information, try new approaches, and learn new things.
We hope that this article will help you clear all your dilemmas so you can grow as a leader and entrepreneur.
When thinking about processes to approach a lead, the first thing that should be made clear is what exactly a ‘lead’ is. A lead is the person that is interested in buying your product or using your services. They are very important for any business, so converting leads to customers is what every business seeks to do. If you are approaching your leads in a structured, strategic and systematic way, you can increase the number of leads and their conversion rate into customers.
The following are some steps and processes which you should follow in order to approach a lead. Focus on the leads you think are right for your business and determine what will work best for your business.
- Synchronize marketing with sales. These two parts must be aligned closely in order to achieve best results. Many businesses today are using a couple of steps for processing leads. Marketing helps in increasing leads, while sales qualify and convert the leads. In order to reach best results start by mapping out the sales process in your company, define clear criteria between marketing and sales, and establish metrics for success up front.
- Get the attention of more leads. Capturing more leads will lead towards increased business. In order to get leads, you can use web campaigns, such as search engine marketing or using social media platforms. These two are some of the most successful strategies for capturing leads. You can also import leads from e-mail applications or spreadsheets, or enter leads manually. Entering leads manually works best for approaching individual leads.
- Data should be always kept clean. Some of the ways for keeping your data clean include regular cleaning of your leads and using validation rules.
- As soon as you get a lot of leads you have to start thinking about ways how to get the most out of them. Each lead has different quality, so prioritize them in a way in which the hottest leads will come first. You can prioritize leads with lead scoring, which is using a point system for assigning different values to characteristics that are aligned with the successful sales. You can then categorize scored leads into different priority levels and final step is to use assignment rules to route leads.
- In order for you to improve the number of leads, you have to learn which marketing ways and tools are giving you best results. Are webinars, e-mail campaigns or Google campaigns giving best results? You can find out more about that if you start identifying and tracking sources. Find out where you get most of the leads. You can also use the lead history report in order to analyze different things. This report can tie the lead criteria such as the annual revenue, lead source, opportunity amounts, and industry, giving you the power to separate the revenues for different leads. Another thing which you can do is use campaigns to track the success of different lead-generation efforts, and also use reports and dashboards to get a clearer view of the entire sales process.
Modern customers are more educated, demanding and knowledgeable than ever before. On top of that, they simply ignore casual visits, small chats, and suggestions that appear to be random. The majority of people today are using the Internet and other sources to perform research before buying a service or product. So, we can freely say that it is not difficult to find out where you can locate prospects, but capturing their attention can be quite a challenge. We should not forget that the competition today is fierce and you have to keep on fighting for prospect’s attention even if you are running a successful business. The good news is that there is more than one way to capture their attention.
First and foremost, you should try to answer all their questions. Even if you have used the Internet, especially online forums, to find a solution for some of your problems (for instance, problems with your facial skin), you have probably seen that many people had the same issue like you but didn’t get accurate answers. Now, think about your reputation among them in case you were able to provide a straightforward answer. In addition, imagine a situation in which you could answer all the questions on these online forums. You could establish yourself as an authority and have an impact on these people. The same goes for people running traditional businesses. The learning process related to your industry should never stop and no matter where your focus is placed, you should always be upgrading your knowledge.
Next, it is a good idea to over-deliver by letting them learn more about some crucial concept. This means that you should not only provide an answer to their question (problem) but also help them stay safe in the future. This added value will grab their attention and provide you an opportunity for free marketing. People will start referring your business to their friends and family.
Another great advice is to put yourself in the shoes of your prospects. In other words, highlight only the things that are important in the eyes of your prospect. What will make them show interest in your offer is to hear what makes you different than the others and what they can expect from your services or products. That’s everything they want to know, there is no need for chit chats and presentation of unnecessary information.
It is also very important not to give up after one attempt. Ever experienced business person and marketer will tell you that it usually takes more than one email or call to get your prospect’s attention. In some case, you will need more than five contacts to trigger some action on their side. Don’t forget that you can use some other methods of communication like direct mail for example. The same goes for phone calls which may sound a little bit outdated, but the fact is that this gives a human touch to the communication.
Follow these tips, be patient and hopefully, you will be able to get your prospect’s attention.
John says, “If you are a small business owner, a key employee or a manager this session will be one you really enjoy.”
Millennials may not have all the experience that their parents have, but they have already figured out that traditional career options are no longer safe (or exciting). This is the reason why more and more of them are thinking of becoming creators of their own future by getting involved in business activities. The good news is that technology and the current state of the market have made this task much simpler than before. Thousands of millennials are becoming entrepreneurs every year. They have realized that entrepreneurship brings many benefits that are especially important to this generation – like the opportunity to become your own boss, the flexibility, the chance to become someone, to earn more and many other benefits. But, let’s be clear – being an entrepreneur is not always a smooth sail and a high percentage of startups cease to exist after a year or two. This is the reason why every millennial should stick to some tips and advice that can help them succeed.
Many millennials believe that they have figured out everything. Being self-confident is an excellent thing, but being overly confident can create more harm than good and this is exactly why many millennials fail as entrepreneurs. Keep in mind that even if you have finished college, this doesn’t mean that your time for learning new things has stopped. You need to be prepared to learn new things all the time and you need to do this fast because the things are changing. Luckily, we have access to the Internet and we have computers and mobile devices close to us. Some statistics shows that more than 90% of millennials use their smartphones to access the Internet almost on a daily basis. (1) This is a simple way to stay in touch with the latest news and trends and to learn new things.
Some people say that millennials are a little bit selfish and alienated from their peers. We know that it is hard to tell whether this claim is true or not, but one thing is for sure – entrepreneur millennials must be prepared to create new connections, use and strengthen their existing connections and learn how to communicate in the right way. Once again, you can use the latest technology to speed up this process. There are specialized social media networks like LinkedIn that can help you a lot. (2) In addition, you should also attend events, trade fairs and other special occasions where you can meet new people and potential partners/clients.
Celebrities are rarely off the field as good as they are on the field there are some rare exceptions as they mentioned in the article, but as a business celebrity endorsements are very challenging. There are most useful for a brand in the early going to help build credibility and a line with the company’s goals and values. On a long-term basis though, the same celebrity that help you grow the business Will Poulter as all humans do, and you need to make sure that their discussions or mistakes will not be damaging to your company. Also, companies need to make sure that they don’t overreact when it comes to there celebrity endorsers mistakes. There are some times when you can stick by your celebrity endorser but beware as in the case of our Olympian, he did make a big mistake, and although he is remorseful about it, there are some lessons that need to come out of it. Hopefully, the brands that endorse Ryan can use this as a learning opportunity for their customers to show how one person can make a mistake, but how they overcome that mistake and not just by being the person in obscurity until everybody has forgotten about the discretion. The fragile relationship between celebrities and businesses continue 🙂
The situation in Puerto Rico is dire, but not unique nor uncommon. We are seeing some of the same challenges in eastern European countries. What Puerto Rico needs is a pivot. I disagree that this change and the new legislation will take years to take effect. If you were to announce entrepreneurial benefits to this new program, business owners would jump in immediately. There would be no lag! With the stronger dollar, business process outsourcing, call center services, manufacturing, administrative virtual assistance, and other support functions would happen almost immediately. Lowering the minimum wage is one step, and a tough one, that was necessary so businesses have lower costs to operate. Investment in the Commonwealth as well as consumption will increase quickly if the incentives are there for the business community to do so. Legislation is not enough, let’s put the incentives in there to compel business owners to invest in the Commonwealth. That will in turn lead to further investment domestically.
Writing a business plan is essential, and highly recommended. Why? In the 7 Stages of Business Success (www.The7StagesOfSmallBusinessSuccess.com) , Stage 1 is titled strategic planning… where you get your great ideas out of your head and onto paper. However, it is not enough to share what you are doing… and what you intend to do in your business. The implication of your strategic planning is that it is compelling and inspiring. You need to compel the marketplace to partner with you, and your business plan must inspire others to want to work for you. The HOW of what you do and the WHY of what you do …matter. The HOW is your approach to business, your differentiator and what makes you better. Your WHY is important because it will articulate what impact you are going to have on the world beyond just your product and service. Does your strategic planning answer these two questions?… 1. Why would somebody move from their current location to work for you; and be willing to do it at a discount? …. 2. Why would a consumer choose to leave their current provider, and be willing to purchase from me and pay a premium? If you can answer those 2 questions successfully in your strategic planning documents, then you have created an inspiring and compelling business plan!
Trump won the Republican nomination by being divisive and separating/distancing himself from the ‘traditional candidate’…He now needs to UNIFY the Republican Party, and some of those within the party that he was once attacking. It doesn’t seem that he will be able to regain his footing in the race against Clinton unless he can evolve his message and platform to inspire the necessary endorsements and alignment from his own party. Much like a turnaround in business, you separate yourself from the bad habits and leadership style that go the business in trouble, but then it is imperative that you unify/align those around the new vision and direction. If you can’t rally the team around the new vision, the turnaround will be unsuccessful.
When are they going to realized that you cannot manipulate the market forever? The Middle East dominance of the oil Market has come to an end… they are (understandably) desperately trying to hold on to their market share. Manufacturers all around the world have found more efficient ways to consume oil, and other alternatives fuel sources to the point that oil reserves are not nearly as important as they once were. Every business faces this dilemma (if it’s lucky!) when a brand or a product moves beyond the peak of its life cycle, or the patent expires, or its significant competitive advantage is removed. If you are a business that is in anyway related to the oil and gas industry, there is a new paradigm. You no longer have a license to print money… you’ll now have to go out and fight for your customers, and, like the rest of us!
Corporate investment in your own stocks is a sign that the company has high confidence in its own ability to grow, and they think their own companies worth investing in. However, it is an admission that the stock is doing poorly and it is around the lowest that it expects to be. If you are a Buy and Hold investor, and you like to find a low point… This is probably it! No 20 year period in the stock market history has shown and overall loss… So if you are thinking long-term and are looking for a Buy Signal so you can hold onto stocks for an extended period of time, then this might be your opportunity. You should expect uncertainty in the market and some vulnerability that typically coincides in presidential election years beware, and be in for the Long Haul!
In many ways, the mandate to use biofuels is a gift to President Elect Trump. He can make two groups of supporters happy with him at the same time… Farmers and refiners. When you think about it, the amount of energy that is needed on a daily basis in the United States is staggering, and there is plenty of room for both types of fuel to exist and thrive. It is estimated that our global population will go from 7 billion currently to 10 billion within my lifetime. We need all types of fuel, and for the United States to become totally self-sufficient and minimize the need for outside suppliers of fuel comma we will need to embrace virtually all types of energy sources. As long as the technology to burning, renewing and recycling the energy is clean… Then they should all be on the list.