Benchmark Business Group

Business Owner Newsletter - Page 40

Your Financial Plan

When was the last time you took a good, long look at your financial reports? Do you remember what your income statement looks like? What does a balance sheet have to do with the day to day operations of your business? What types of investing in the company infrastructure do you need to do before the end of the year? These are some of the questions business owners have to ask themselves as they take stock of their current financial situation and plan for the push to the end of the year. Now is the time to take a look at what your support system looks like and what resources you have at your disposal to insure your finances are as strong as possible.

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Getting Back on Track - Business After the Summer

It happens to nearly every one of us. When summer arrives and the kids are out of school, life outside of the business becomes more prevalent, if not more important. Family vacations become the priority. Spending more time with your children when they have the free time becomes more important. The work/life balance you strive for has become skewed. Then, you wake up one morning and find that the business goals you set for 2012 are still a long way off. Your desk is a mess and you have no idea where information is. Your thoughts are scattered and you are having trouble identifying how to get back on track. Take heart! This is not a unique situation. You are still in the fight. You just need to get back on track.

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LEAD GENERATION BY THE NUMBERS

You have probably heard it said many times that Sales is a numbers game.  That has certainly been our experience here at E-Myth Benchmark, but just what does that mean?  I mean seriously, in real numbers what does that mean?  If you were in front of 100 potential customers who were all within the demographic model of your most probable customer, and you offered them an opportunity to buy whatever it is you sell, how many would you expect to have immediate interest?

Actually, there is a fairly consistent answer, regardless of what you are selling.  It’s about three percent.  That number has come up several times in recent quantifications we have done both internally and with clients.  It is so fascinating (to those of us who are fascinated by human behavior and the sales process), that I recalled reading about it several months ago and went back to review it.  “It” is a book by Chet Holmes, entitled “The Ultimate Sales Machine” (Forward by the one and only Michael Gerber), which I highly recommend. 

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What’s Your Business Value Strategy?

Have you ever wondered what your business is worth?  I don’t mean what you would like to get for it; I mean the amount someone would actually pay you for it.  Do you know what conditions or attributes make your business more valuable?  How about those that make it less valuable?  As best-selling E-Myth series author Michael Gerber said, “The only sane reason to own a business is to sell it”.  It might be tomorrow or 20 years from now, but creating a highly valuable and saleable business is, after all, one of the principal goals of business ownership. Not only that, it’s an activity that begins the day you open for business and never stops!

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The Best Time to Plant a Tree

According to a Chinese Proverb, “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.  The second best is now.”  How often have you found yourself wishing you had started something much earlier than you did; that you had given yourself more time to do a better job or to get a better result?  “With an earlier start and more time”, you reflect with regret, “I would have had so many more options and wouldn’t be scrambling so much as my deadline approaches.”  And yet, this is not the first time you’ve found yourself in a last-minute rush to get something done…you’ve been here before.  Haven’t you?

So, wouldn’t this be a good time to ask, “When is the best time to establish year-end goals and begin to meet them?”  In the last quarter, or the first?  When there is only a month or two left, or eleven? 

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Real Time

We are born.  We die.  In between is Time.  And even though Time is what it is, we try to get our arms around it by measuring it…in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, years.  But more importantly, we get to decide how to use it…every single one of us.  The Time that has gone by we will never see again (at least not in this lifetime).  We don’t know how much Time we have left.  We can no longer choose how to use the Time of yesterday…we already did that.  We don’t know if we’ll have a choice about the Time of tomorrow…hopefully each of us will.

The only Time we really know we have and can choose to use in a way that brings us joy and satisfaction is the Time happening NOW.  As a matter of fact, when you really think about it, the only Time that really matters is Real Time—the Time happening NOW.

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DECEMBER: NATIONAL PROCRASTINATION MONTH

The month of December is known for many things, most notably the Holidays, the official beginning of winter, and as a time for many celebrations and social gatherings. If you’re a business owner (and even if you’re not), you could probably categorize most of your December activities in the following two ways: (1) completing tasks and goals by year-end that have piled up from earlier months due to procrastination, and (2) creating that ever-increasing list of intentions to do or start things that can wait until after the first of the year but you always have and certainly do intend to do them and know you should do them but simply haven’t gotten around to them in spite of the fact that your life would be a whole lot easier, healthier, more efficient, more successful had you simply done it but procrastinated instead. (I’ll punctuate that sentence later, when I have more time.)

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SUCCESS BEGINS WITH YOUR POINT OF VIEW

The secret to success in anything—business, sports, raising a family, pursuing a hobby, or whatever—begins and ends with attitude.  To say it another way, your point of view will determine how you see things, how you think about things, how you react to things, and how you act upon them.  The success of businesses that have had the extraordinary advantage of an E-Myth Business Coach, and indeed the success of the E-Myth Mastery Program itself, can be attributed to a point of view.  We call it simply the “E-Myth Point of View”, or in shorthand, the EMPOV.

There are five core principles that make up the EMPOV.  The first is the Principle of Life, which begins with the simple premise that your life is really your only business.  The purpose of starting and owning a business is to give you more life, however you may define that.  It could mean more money, more freedom, more enjoyment, more time to spend with your family or friends, more satisfaction from doing what you love, more control over your destiny, and so on.  Most business owners, however, find themselves experiencing just the opposite.  Instead of having a business that gives them more life, they have a business that is literally consuming their life!  They’re not really running their business…their business is running them.  Is your business giving you more life?

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KEEP TWO SETS OF BOOKS!

A proper Income Statement shows those disbursements that are generally deductible expenses for income tax purposes, but does not show certain types of disbursements, such as principal payments on loans, or the cost of acquiring a major piece of equipment.  The Balance Sheet gives you a snapshot of the business' worth, based on what are called "Generally Accepted Accounting Principles", but there is a lot that a Balance Sheet does not tell you about the true condition of your business.  In short, Balance Sheets and Income Statements are exactly what your accountant wants and needs to see in order to properly prepare the business' tax returns, but they don't tell you all of the story you need to know in order to run the business on a day-to-day basis.

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THE KEEPER OF THE FLAME

There are volumes written on leadership, and quotes that end to end would circle the earth several times.  In spite of the volume, there are only a very few basic themes that keep repeating themselves.  Those themes involve clarity of vision and purpose, an ability to move others to action, and an ability to draw out the greatness that already exists in others.

I once asked a retired CEO of a regional bank how he would describe his function in his former position.  He simply said, “I was the Keeper of the Flame”.  That was both an exciting and intriguing response, so I pressed on with more questions.  He described his view of leadership in that position as creating real clarity around the overall results the organization wanted to achieve…the end-game, if you will…the final picture.  To complete the picture, it then had to be imbued with a clear sense of shared purpose and value, so that it became like lighting a torch…a Flame.  It has an aura of something bigger that any one person in the organization, even the leader.  He then had the job of continually reminding everyone in the organization of the Flame and it’s meaning, and using the Flame to shine a light on all the activity in the organization, to the end that the final picture would be achieved.

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