Traffic Signal

Start Stop Continue: Template and Examples for How to Focus on Value

Feedback is important to running a successful business. After all, it lets people better understand their current performance and identify ways to improve. “Once the feedback is given, the employee learns [more efficient ways] of doing things,” writes Sara Pollock, the marketing head for ClearCompany. “When the employee begins their new, streamlined practice, they will […]

Go from Flying Blind to Focused with this Excel KPI Dashboard Template

Guide your small business to success with a simple small business key performance indicator (KPI) worksheet template for Excel or Google Sheets You don’t need to use a KPI dashboard to run your business. You don’t need to drive your car with a speedometer or a gas gauge. And you don’t need your mobile phone […]

How Does Value Creation Lead to Business Success?

Business success comes from value creation for owners, customers, and employees. Value is being built or destroyed throughout your business. What’s the purpose of your business? Some would define it as profitability, cash flow, security, or freedom. The purpose of a business is to serve the values of you as the owner. Its purpose is […]

Pricing Strategy Matrix of Profit Stars and Supporting Cast

These new product pricing strategies build lasting customer loyalty and value. Both current and future pricing are part of the definition of a good product pricing strategy. You’ve put in the hard work to build your new product. It’s finally ready for sale. You have one critical decision left. What is your pricing strategy? You […]

The Short Cash Cycle: How to Cut Crunches and Grab More Growth

Your business is a constant cycle of cash being invested and then received back, hopefully with a profit. This cycle is called the cash conversion cycle. Knowing how it works allows you to have less cash lost to the cycle. Most importantly, you’ll have cash available when you need it. The cash conversion cycle of […]

How to Conquer Cash Flow Chaos with this Excel Cash Flow Projection Template

A cash flow projection is the most important financial report for your business yet so many businesses miss out on its benefits. How important is cash flow? Richard Branson said, “Never take your eyes off the cash flow because it’s the lifeblood of business.” A study by QuickBooks revealed shocking statistics about cash flow issues […]

What’s in the Three Categories of the Statement of Cash Flows?

The statement of cash flows is one of the major financial statements, along with your income statement and balance sheet. This statement provides a historical look at where your cash came from and went. Below is a summarized format for the statement of cash flows. It starts with net cash from operations, followed by net […]

Can Stretch Goals Help You Achieve More Results?

Setting goals is both art and science. Whole books can be written about it. Should you set stretch goals or goals that are more attainable? Two extremes Let’s first look at two extreme goals that aren’t useful: Setting goals too high and too low.  Setting goals too high demoralizes staff. The metric loses credibility and […]

Metric Ruler

How to measure metrics to drive performance and improve clarity

Deciding how to measure a metric is tougher than you think. In key performance indicator (KPI) metric meetings I’ve facilitated, how to measure the metric takes much longer than picking which metrics to measure. For example, should the metrics be measured as: A monthly amount or a YTD amount? The total of something or how […]

Boy at the beginning of a path in the woods looking lost

Is Your Business Wandering? How to Discover Your Critical Success Factors

When you are clear on your critical success factors, you know what your company must do. You know where you are going and how you will get there. Many companies jump past identifying their critical success factors. They then flounder in later steps of strategic planning.  The link between critical success factors and strategic planning […]

Couple with folded arms

Stop business partner fights by finding a common purpose for your business

Discover the money beliefs that might be hurting your business and relationship with business partners The statistics are scary. 65% of startups fail as a result of conflict between business partners in terms of their money management styles, personality styles, and conflict resolution approaches according to Noel Wasserman in The Founder’s Dilemmas. “65% of startups […]

9 Powerful Reports to Master your Business Finances

There are so many things you could look at to monitor your business finances. Where do you start? The reports below will help you improve the performance, cash flow, and profitability of your company. I’ve grouped these business finance reports into three groups: Backward-looking Forward-looking The one critical report you should be monitoring. For each […]

4 Simple Steps for an Effective Small Business Strategic Plan + Template

Skip the overkill of most strategic planning to focus on where you are going and how you are going to get there. You only need enough detail to make the right decisions. Did you ever notice that both strategic planning retreats and horror movies are stories about a group of people trapped in a cabin […]

Chart with magnifying glass

Other Peoples’ Money Magnifies Returns but can Cause a Cash Crisis

Business and investment gurus tout how you can make big profits with little money of your own. They show how using other peoples’ money can make you rich. It’s true that using other peoples’ money, known by the acronym OPM, can increase your returns. But OPM can also be like the drug opium. Its highs […]

What is SWOT Analysis? Simple but Effective Business Environment Assessment

You’ve probably heard of a SWOT analysis, but you may not be completely aware of how useful it can be for your company. SWOT analysis is a simple but powerful method to assess your company and competitive environment. This knowledge leads to superior strategic plans. The simplicity of SWOT analysis can lure some to underestimate […]

Hidden Insights in the Sustainable Growth Rate Formula

The sustainable growth rate formula reveals the two big decisions that determine how fast your company can grow. Business owners pursue growth out of entrepreneurial instinct. Growth can mean opportunity and profits. However, your financial risk increases when you chase too little or too much growth. What are the keys to growth? The answers lie […]

Measure More Value with the Triple Bottom Line

The triple bottom line broadens your view of your company’s impact. Many businesses focus on one thing – profitability (a.k.a. “the bottom line”). Recently, both business owners and customers are realizing that a single bottom line misses a lot of what they value. Some are now looking at a “triple bottom line.” While profit is […]

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Sole Proprietorship

Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of sole proprietorship helps you decide if it’s right for your company. When you start a business, the type of entity you select to form your business affects compensation, taxation, liability, accountability, and dissolution or bankruptcy. This article will outline sole proprietorship advantages and disadvantages. It comes from the office […]

Two Massive Business Trends You Can’t Ignore in 2021

Two massive business trends will accelerate in 2021. Are you ready for them? Will each trend be your friend – or the end? COVID’s impact on business is often described as a temporary challenge to endure. That’s wrong. The impact on business is permanent. It’s also the start of a massive surge of business innovation. […]

The Benefits of Filing Chapter 11 Bankruptcy as a Small Business Debtor

You may have heard that the Chapter 11 process is somewhat streamlined for small businesses, and this is true. A “small business debtor” is a person or entity who: (1) is engaged in business or other commercial activities; and (2) owes no more than $2,725,625 in total claims as of April 1, 2019, excluding obligations […]

Net Working Capital: Formulas, Examples, and How to Improve it

The working capital formula and working capital ratio formulas are popular and easy ways to estimate your future cash flows. Lenders use it to judge your financial health. Do you know how much net working capital you have? Is your net working capital ratio at a healthy level? How can you improve your working capital […]

4 Proven Ways to Prioritize Your Goals and Tasks

Use these four methods to prioritize goals and tasks to focus on what’s important. You have lots of ideas. It’s time for action. It’s time to pick one thing and get it done. What’s most important? I’ll show you some practical ways you can prioritize goals and tasks. Carefully choosing what to do next is […]

Hidden Opportunities for Your Burned-Out Employees

Improve employee satisfaction and increase efficiency by letting your burned-out employees focus on what they do best. I’m sure you’ll agree overwhelmed and burned-out employees are a problem with every company. It’s particularly severe in overworked nonprofit agencies. A nonprofit coaching client told me they had too many tasks and not enough staff. We used […]

Excess Capacity: Hidden Profits from Untapped Revenue

Big opportunities are waiting to be found in your excess capacity. Capture additional revenue with few additional costs. New profits lie hidden unless you know where to look. What machines are quietly idle while others are a flurry of productive activity? Has an employee said they are “ready for a new challenge” or “not being […]

Easily Test Your Pricing Strategies for Maximum Profit

A quick price analysis will significantly increase the profitability of your pricing strategies. Every business owner wants to find pricing strategies that maximize their profits. Once you know the prices of your competitors, do you know how to set your price to maximize your profit? Let me show you how to estimate how your price […]

First Steps for Small Business Owners Starting a Retirement Plan

The first questions small business owners must ask before selecting the best retirement plan for their business. Retirement plans provide many benefits to small business owners and employees. You may have heard of popular plans like 401(k)s but there are many more choices for small business owners. How do you choose between them? Picking the […]

How to Use Marginal Profitability Analysis for Better Decisions

Don’t Use Historical Profitability Analysis for Forward-Looking Decisions You’ve heard for years that you needed to perform product profitability analysis to know which of your products made or lost money. Maybe you finally calculated the profitability of each of your products. Congrats! That’s a good start. Just don’t use them to decide what you should […]

Avoid These Business Decision-Making Errors That Can Sabotage You

We like to think our business decision-making process is completely rational. Unfortunately, that’s a delusion. We are prone to thinking errors that are very irrational. How many times have you done the following? Didn’t give up on a losing product or project because you had already invested so much into it you thought you couldn’t […]

Are You Caught in the Business Growth Trap?

Before assuming business growth is the answer, a little research can save you from working hard for no additional profitability. A beaver trap uses the beaver’s instincts to kill it. When a beaver senses danger, its instinct is to go to deeper water. The trap scares the beaver when it latches on. Deeper water is […]