Every business owner/president/general manager should have a mentor. If you think that as an owner you know it all, you’re wrong. You may be successful up to this point, but you will get to the point where you’re faced with decisions that could take you either way.
Here are 4 reasons to find a mentor:
Developing a relationship with a mentor is a sign of strength in an entrepreneur. Take care of yourself so you can take care of others. Mental alertness, comfort and acuity is key to operating a business. Whether you pay for a business coach who works in confidentiality or find someone you trust, make the move to ensure your success.
Paul Beaudette is an independent business coach with Leading Edge Business Strategies. His focus is on growing small businesses to better compete against national and global corporations.
Don’t just Survive, THRIVE !
by Paul Beaudette
The presidential candidates, Republican or Democrat, have all demonstrated one thing in common. An oversized ego is prevalent when you run for president.
After all, what are you selling? YOU! You are selling yourself to the people of the United States. How you go about it determines how much of a narcissist you are. We have seen extreme levels of narcissism, ego-centricity, pomposity and vanity, and these came from one candidate.
In business, managers, leaders and office holders often have the ego-driven need to attain such a position and then bask in the glory of “I’m in charge”. To a new manager, what may have formerly been co-workers, are now employees and the responsibility of this new manager. The transition has to be handled carefully and responsibly to maintain a working relationship, yet achieve the level of respect and allegiance that the manager seeks from the employee and vice versa.
If the manager’s ego takes over, the relationship becomes one of title, not role. Too often, you’ll see people promoted to positions that they are not trained for because they are family, or a friend of the big boss and feel they are ‘owed’ that position. The damage potential that this has to the workers will begin to trickle down to customers and diminish customer loyalty. Employees begin feeling used, threatened and hurt. Turnover increases and the constant flow of new people begins to affect the bottom line. Morale is destroyed and theft and misuse of company property appears. Customers vanish.
How do you keep this from happening? Here are some suggestions:
The fifth concept is not common in business. In fact, it’s rare. But the end product is a person who is rewarded for having created an outstanding team of employees and extremely satisfied customers. Steven Covey would always say, “Start with then end in mind”. Well, here it is. The customer is the end and if you work your way backwards from there, you’ll find that this personality type creates the environment and attitude you need to succeed.
Paul Beaudette is a business coach and consultant. With over 30 years of ‘boots on the ground’ experience, he has made businesses successful through his leadership, controlled management style and financial acumen. “Don’t just survive, Thrive”
Leading Edge Business Strategies
It’s not unusual for a business owner to fall into a rut and find that things are moving along okay, but just not great. What is it that needs to change? What moves or risks need to be taken? Here are six things you can do to enter your brave new world.
It’s not a bad thing to get into the same old, same old and feel comfortable. After all, you’ve worked hard to get to where you are and now it’s comfortable, less stressful and you’ve worked out the kinks. It’s time to sail smoothly. But, as anyone knows in business, if you stay there too long, your competitors are busy dreaming up ways to beat you at your game. So, don’t hang around too long.
If you’re in a technological field, you’ll also find that you have to deal with innovation on an almost daily basis. Depending on your company structure and size, you may need one person to keep an eye on technology.
What do you do? Here’s how to change your world.
Making changes will stimulate you into new thoughts, new ways and will enhance your prosperity in the long run. Plus it makes every day seem new and exciting! For your customers, they will see the changes they wished for. Don’t discount them, they’re looking for improvements.
Paul Beaudette is president of Leading Edge Business Strategies, a business consulting firm that assists companies in developing new sources of revenues, improving profitability and becoming financially sustainable.
I’m always amazed at how many businesses don’t pay attention to cash flow. It is your financial river that keeps your kayak on smooth water. It allows you to either sleep better knowing you are securely operating a profitable business or keeps you awake because you’re not!
Cash flow is the management of your receivables, money coming into your business, and your payables, money going out of your business. You control how you pay your bills and when you receive payments for invoices and cash from counter sales.
Your ability to see weeks ahead also allows you to make purchasing decisions based on cash availability. If you know your cash on hand is $7,000.00, you may elect to purchase an office computer or revenue producing item for your business. Setting benchmarks for cash on hand, cash to move to interest bearing products, issue bonuses, hire more people; all these decisions become clearer and easier when you control your cash.
Cash flow is also dependent on your marketing & advertising efforts. If you know from experience you’ll be entering a slow period, you may beef up advertising with a promotional discount or giveaway to incentivize customers to buy. This practice can improve your revenue stream in a time that is normally slow. While the margins may be lower, the revenue dollars will increase providing you with operating capital.
What if you are a startup and don’t know your peaks and valleys yet? All the more reason to keep your cash flow current. (Ironically, both definitions of this word apply here. Current as in up-to-date and current as in flow both have meaning to the need in this case.) Reserving cash for unanticipated slow times gives you cash to keep paying bills. To what degree, depends entirely on the cash on hand and the business type. This is where you start making gut decisions.
Cash flows should be looked at for the short term and the long term. Establishing a worksheet with daily, weekly and/or monthly receivables along with weekly payment schedules gives more insight into how your business is doing.
I helped a client create a cash flow that we monitored on a weekly basis. Based on their predictable income stream from invoicing due dates, we knew what money would come in and when. We added in the payroll, loan payments and expenses as they were due weekly. This generated predictable cash on hand, anticipated the need to dig into a line of credit when necessary and was completely adjustable on a weekly basis for unforeseen income and surprise expenses.
The unexpected advantages are the psychological benefits of taking action when the cash flows dip and you have the luxury of time to do something about it. Maybe it’s a matter of calling a customer who is 30 days past due, delaying a payment or postponing an expense. In extreme cases, it may tell you to increase or reduce your payroll. Predictability is the key. Another psychological benefit is the reduction in stress when you can see the road far enough ahead to act rather than react.
Cash flows should become your best friend when you review them every Monday or Friday. Their accuracy grows as you discover new lines to add to them. Moving from weekly to monthly shows signs of maturity and progress. Forecasting cash flows in annual budgets can drive your goals each year.
Paul Beaudette is President of Leading Edge Business Strategies LLC, a business consulting firm that helps small businesses achieve their goals through proven business practices and his 34 years of successful business experience.