• Have you ever asked yourself where is the cash is really going in your business? You might be wondering how you are profitable but don’t ever seem to have enough cash. Have you wondered if you should expand through hiring, a new office, or a new product line?  Or perhaps you are worried about the possibility of making payroll if you lost your largest customer or supplier? Have any of these questions kept you up at night? In smaller businesses that do not have a Controller, CFO, or Finance Director on staff, these questions are common for business owners. Wouldn’t it be great if we could know how much cash we would have on hand next month, in six months, or even next year?
  • I heard a story at a Toastmaster meeting I was attending that piqued my interest.  A ceramics teacher decided to split his class into two groups. One group was focused solely on the quantity of the work they produced and the other was focused on quality. When it came to grading time, he noticed that the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. The “quantity” group had learned from their mistakes and improved each time. The quality group only had theories and little to show for their work. I did some research and found that this story came from the book Art and Fear.
  • Last year, I decided to be an assistant Upward basketball coach for my 2nd grade twin boys’ team. They didn’t keep score on the scoreboard, but my players kept asking me who was winning. Of course, I told them that it didn’t matter and the most important thing is that they learn how to play the game. That didn’t stop them from trying to keep score. This year, I am coaching in 3rd grade, and they do keep score on the scoreboard. Our team was losing by 20 points, so the referee asked if I wanted to turn off the scoreboard, but I told him “No”. It was embarrassing, but the score is a strong motivator. At the time, I told the two players on the bench that we needed to just try to get 8 more points. We stopped focusing on how much we were losing but instead on just getting one goal at a time and we ended up scoring 12 more. We didn’t win the game, but we won the 2nd half.
  • Goals – Resolutions – Business Strategies and Tactics. Whatever you call them, have you already given up? Have you already been distracted or lost focus? Has something unexpected happened?
  • The Mechanics of a Good Business Forecasting Model You have probably heard the expression “Flying Blind” and maybe you have seen it used in the broad context of doing something by guesswork with no instructions. After some research, it turns out this phrase dates back to World War II when the visibility for pilots was so bad they couldn’t see the horizon and therefore had to rely on instrumentation to guide them through. I am not a pilot, but I can imagine that flying an airplane in a storm would be very challenging. But what if you were “flying blind” without instruments? Well, that would be considered suicidal.
  • Where is my cash going?  What will my next year look like?  What will happen if I lose my largest customer?  How do I find the right people to grow my business? Why are we not growing?  What if we grow too fast and our service falters?