Archive for April, 2010

Are Your Employees Stakeholders in Your Business?

Friday, April 30th, 2010

As you work to improve efficiency and effectiveness in your business, are you fully engaging your employees in helping you? If you follow the management concept of Lean Six Sigma, your employees become a key ingredient to achieving world-class results.

Lean is about harnessing the knowledge of your employees to better serve your customers – both internal and external. There is an important human element to Lean enterprises. Your company’s management, as well as your employees, must be fully commit­ted and understand what Lean is all about – because without their buy-in and true leadership, your Lean efforts will fail. You can pick and choose certain “Lean projects,” but without fully embracing Lean, you will not achieve your company’s full potential. (more…)

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Are you serving brown lettuce?

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

I was just eating a grilled chicken salad and it made me think of how each of our organizations strives to provide superior customer service. It made me wonder how many of us do, in fact, meet those expectations.

Here’s the story.  We order a lot of lunches from this particular business and usually everything is fine. Today, the salad left a lot to be desired. The lettuce for the most part was almost all a day or two past its prime. The tips were all brown and some if it was slightly slimy (sound appetizing?).

I wonder how many times you inadvertently serve up brown lettuce to your customers?  You don’t do it intentionally, but you probably do it. Do you sometimes give advice that’s past its prime? Are you truly on the fresh side of providing new ideas? (more…)

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Why should I treat my business as an investment?

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

To answer this question, think about the stocks and bonds you may have invested in. Everyone wants to maximize the value and annual return on their investments. But many owners of closely-held businesses don’t place the same attention and care to determine the value of their businesses or work to improve their return on their largest investment.

Just like your stock portfolio, your business requires tending to help it create greater wealth. And just as you pay a fee of about one percent of your portfolio to an investment advisor to track and value your assets, you should plan the same to invest in the valuation and management of your business value. Typically 50-70 percent of your net work is tied up in your business. If you could double its value, wouldn’t you do it? Other businesses have seen this type of return and you can too. (more…)

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How Important Are Financial Statements?

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Although they’re not required for a closely-held business, financial statements can provide a crucial roadmap that helps management determine the financial health of the business and the steps to improve the return on investment for the owners – not to mention the fact that several entities outside your business may also request them.

There are four basic financial statements: balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement and statement of shareholders equity. Do you know the difference? (more…)

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How does Coffee Affect Your Credit?

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Little purchases – a coffee here, a movie ticket there, a new magazine subscription because, hey, you deserve it – add up and can wreak havoc on your checkbook – and possibly your credit. (more…)

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