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South Burlington, VT

Value Creation Blog

4 Reasons You Need To Understand Financial Ratios

financial ratios resized 600Lots of business owners I know think finance is a pretty boring subject.  There’s really not much that’s sexy about financial ratios. 

On second thought I’m not really sure that’s true.  Financial ratios tell you how well your business is doing.  Financial ratios tell you about the health of your business.  Let’s face it, if your business isn’t financially healthy there’s a really good chance your business will cease to exist.

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Topics: business coaching, for business owners, finances

Do You Charge Enough?

abacus resized 600Here’s something I recently re-learned:  Most businesses have no idea how much they can charge for their services.  I learned this through a conversation I was having with a friend of mine.  She asked me to write this post for small business owners, so here it is.

Start with knowing how much you need to charge.

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Topics: business coaching, for business owners, value creation

Are You Ready For Tomorrow?

future resized 600Do you have the ability to think about tomorrow?  I’m not referring to what you’re going to eat or what you’re going to do.  I’m talking about what your business will look like and whether it will continue to be viable.

Let me tell you my story.

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Topics: mission vision values and goals, for business owners, strategic planning

5 Reasons A Discovery Process Is Important

discoveryprocess resized 600Finding good advice is a challenge.  You want to make sure the money you spend gets a positive result.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent far too much money and received too little value several times in my business career.  Since joining the other side of the table I’ve come to realize there are a few things I as an advisor can do that allow you to “kick the tires” with little risk.

The kicking the tires process is what I call a discovery process.  In our case our discovery process takes about a day and half and is called The Objective Review.  At the end of this process you’ll have some solid ideas on things that you can do to create value in your business and life.

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Topics: for business owners, value creation, asking why

Is Your Company A One Trick Pony?

one trick ponyThis is a question I think you should ask about your company.  When someone buys something from you, are they done?  Do they come back and buy again and again?  If not, you’re building a business where you’re going to have to work awfully hard.

There are two reason you want to make sure your customers come back to visit.  First, it’s how you build a sustainable business.  Second, it will make your company salable when its time to leave. 

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Topics: business coaching, for business owners, value creation

Are You Working With A Pro?

Experts resized 600I don’t provide mergers and acquisitions (M&A) services for my clients even though I do know more about M&A than many people.  It’s because I’ve guided many companies through the process over the last thirty-five years.  During this time I’ve learned rules that make it easy for me to quickly assess how salable a business is and what steps the owner might take to transfer their business to another owner.

I find that I often surprise those I’m working with by how quickly I can come up with ideas and solutions that others advisors have taken months to produce.  It’s not because I’m smarter, it’s because I’ve been focused in learning about the drivers of success in private business.

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Topics: business coaching, for business owners, value creation

Designing Systems? Make Sure You Keep Them Simple

systems copyThis is something I ask of many of the people I work with.  Privately held businesses know they need to grow systems as they get larger.  I bet that if you’ve started to develop systems in your company you started off being way too detailed.  If you didn’t give up putting systems in place you probably found that less detail actually got you better results.

We only can keep a few things at a time in our mind.  If we ask people to remember pages of information it’s not likely to happen very well.  The secret to great systems is to have just enough detail: not too little and not too much.

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Topics: systems, for business owners, value creation

Joining The Middle Market Is A Real Challenge

middle marketThis is the end of our series on the type of business you can own. 

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Topics: business coaching, for business owners, roles

Do You Have Pipeline Discipline?

Stepping Stones resized 600 process s250x229This is a question my coach asked me several years ago.  My answer was no.  I bet you might have a similar answer yourself.  I even bet that many of you don’t know what a pipeline is and I’m not referring to the ones that carry oil and gas.

First, a definition:  A pipeline is the process that your company uses to produce sales.  You might even have one and haven’t bothered to formalize the pipeline and write it down.  If you haven’t stop right now, take out a piece of paper, and write down the steps that it takes for you to create a sale.

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Topics: business coaching, for business owners, value creation

The Joys Of A Traditional Small Business

small business owner cafe coffee shop 0614 art resized 600I used to call this type of business a lifestyle business.  This type of business is really the most traditional of all privately held businesses in this country.  It’s the type of business most of us think about when the term small business comes up.

If this type of business is you, you likely have about 5 to 25 employees and have been an owner for quite a while.  Some years you have pretty good years and others, it could be better, but you make a living.  You might not have had much formal business training.  Along the way you’ve learned a few things about what makes a business successful.

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Topics: business coaching, for business owners, small business

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