small business owner

How to Do 2x As Much in Half the Time | Extraordinary Business

Your business is your “baby” and just like any child, you do whatever it takes to care for it until it develops into a healthy “adult.”  Businesses generally have 6 growth stages – Survival is the “baby” stage and Sustainability is the fully grown “adult” stage.  There is a hidden gem that most business owners oversee – managing their time.

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Things to Look Out For When Purchasing a Business | Extraordinary Business

If you are considering getting into business for yourself, buying an existing company could be an excellent option. You will get the opportunity to use your skills and experience to expand operations at the enterprise that you purchase. Many small businesses see a sharp jump in revenues and profits soon after a new owner takes charge.

But identifying the right business is not an easy matter. You have to consider a number of factors, including the industry that you want to get into, the geographical location of the company that you will buy, and the size of your proposed acquisition.

Of course, there is also the critical matter of the price that you will pay for the company you have identified.

Here are some areas that you should look into before finalising your acquisition.

Why does the current owner want to sell? While there are many legitimate reasons for a small business owner to be looking for a buyer, it is important that you understand why the company that you have identified is up for sale.

In “7 questions to ask before buying a business,” Kayleigh Kulp advises buyers to carry out a thorough review of the target company’s bank statements, profit and loss statements, contracts with suppliers and employees, and tax returns.

Very often, it is just a matter of asking the existing owner the right questions in order to understand why the business is being sold. Your queries may unearth facts that lead you to drop the company from your shortlist.

Can you afford the acquisition? Well-run and profitable businesses are expensive to purchase. After all, you will be taking over a company that has paying customers, a solid brand, and a reputation established over many years.

But don’t forget the risks involved. The previous owner may have developed a strong personal rapport with many of the large customers. You need to be certain that they will continue buying after you take over.

How much should you pay to acquire a business? The answer obviously depends on its revenues, the cash flow it generates, and the assets on its books.

But a general guideline provided on the U.S. Small Business Administration website advises that you should not spend more than 15% of your net worth to buy a business.

What happens after the sale? Before you actually commit to acquiring the selected company it is a good idea to check whether the owner would be open to helping you post-sale if the need arises.

A blog post on Intuit’s QuickBooks website also advises that you should speak to the employees of the company that you are planning to buy to get an idea of what they think about the takeover.

Don’t be in a hurry to close the transaction – Carry out a thorough due diligence exercise before you make up your mind about buying the small business that you have identified. The extra time and effort that you put in at the pre-acquisition stage will help you take the right buying decision.

Ravinder Kapur is a business operations writer at Aepiphanni, a small business operations and strategy consultancy that exists to help small business owners CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD extraordinary businesses. He is a commerce graduate and a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He has been affiliated with various interests in the financial services industry for more than 30 years. His finance expertise includes the commercial vehicle, automotive, and construction equipment sectors, as well as corporate finance. His experience in these disciplines has included business development, credit analysis, risk management and financial recovery. In addition, he worked extensively in corporate finance recoveries and was involved in several large value arbitration cases.

We would love to hear from you.  Please share your thoughts and comments below. If you are seeking advice on how to grow your business, streamline systems and processes, implement software or overcoming challenges to growth, please contact us, directly or submit a request for a complimentary Coffee & a Consult to learn how we can help you CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD an extraordinary company.

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Things to Look Out For When Purchasing a Business | Extraordinary Business

If you are considering getting into business for yourself, buying an existing company could be an excellent option. You will get the opportunity to use your skills and experience to expand operations at the enterprise that you purchase. Many small businesses see a sharp jump in revenues and profits soon after a new owner takes charge.
But identifying the right business is not an easy matter. You have to consider a number of factors, including the industry that you want to get into, the geographical location of the company that you will buy, and the size of your proposed acquisition.
Of course, there is also the critical matter of the price that you will pay for the company you have identified.
Here are some areas that you should look into before finalising your acquisition.
Why does the current owner want to sell? While there are many legitimate reasons for a small business owner to be looking for a buyer, it is important that you understand why the company that you have identified is up for sale.
In “7 questions to ask before buying a business,” Kayleigh Kulp advises buyers to carry out a thorough review of the target company’s bank statements, profit and loss statements, contracts with suppliers and employees, and tax returns.
Very often, it is just a matter of asking the existing owner the right questions in order to understand why the business is being sold. Your queries may unearth facts that lead you to drop the company from your shortlist.
Can you afford the acquisition? Well-run and profitable businesses are expensive to purchase. After all, you will be taking over a company that has paying customers, a solid brand, and a reputation established over many years.
But don’t forget the risks involved. The previous owner may have developed a strong personal rapport with many of the large customers. You need to be certain that they will continue buying after you take over.
How much should you pay to acquire a business? The answer obviously depends on its revenues, the cash flow it generates, and the assets on its books.
But a general guideline provided on the U.S. Small Business Administration website advises that you should not spend more than 15% of your net worth to buy a business.
What happens after the sale? Before you actually commit to acquiring the selected company it is a good idea to check whether the owner would be open to helping you post-sale if the need arises.
A blog post on Intuit’s QuickBooks website also advises that you should speak to the employees of the company that you are planning to buy to get an idea of what they think about the takeover.
Don’t be in a hurry to close the transaction – Carry out a thorough due diligence exercise before you make up your mind about buying the small business that you have identified. The extra time and effort that you put in at the pre-acquisition stage will help you take the right buying decision.
Ravinder Kapur is a business operations writer at Aepiphanni, a small business operations and strategy consultancy that exists to help small business owners CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD extraordinary businesses. He is a commerce graduate and a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He has been affiliated with various interests in the financial services industry for more than 30 years. His finance expertise includes the commercial vehicle, automotive, and construction equipment sectors, as well as corporate finance. His experience in these disciplines has included business development, credit analysis, risk management and financial recovery. In addition, he worked extensively in corporate finance recoveries and was involved in several large value arbitration cases.
We would love to hear from you.  Please share your thoughts and comments below. If you are seeking advice on how to grow your business, streamline systems and processes, implement software or overcoming challenges to growth, please contact us, directly or submit a request for a complimentary Coffee & a Consult to learn how we can help you CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD an extraordinary company.

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Where do you Fit? | Extraordinary Business

Entrepreneur?

Small Business Owner?

High Growth Small Business Owner?

In August 2010 issue of Entrepreneur magazine (p. 14) (http://www.entrepreneur.com/), several business leaders were polled – most considered themselves entrepreneurial, while one considered herself a small business owner.  The common thread seemed to be that most thought that small business owners simply start and stay small, while entrepreneurs take huge risks and either make it big or lose everythingimage.

As a business strategy consulting firm, we are often faced with the question of how to help a client build their business with the ideal outcome that represents their role in their business.  This might be building a business around a great product or service, helping a business leader start or stabilizing an existing business, or developing a scalable, duplicate-able infrastructure for a high growth business.

The challenge for many business leaders is that they don’t know where they fit, and thus, are challenged when it comes to making certain decisions about their businesses.  Decisions for an entrepreneurial firm might be devastating to a typical small business firm…and visa versa.

Consider the following:

  • An entrepreneur often comes up with an on slot of ideas – good or bad – for businesses.  Many deal with “flash in the pan” types of goods or services, though some do take a single concept and grow and expand it for all its worth.  They typically are very good at leadership, but not so good at management – managing the day-to-day activities of a firm.  You might see them as people who are always building something.
  • A small business owner, on the other hand, is someone who tends to have the more stable personality, and will build a business  with the goal of making it possible, supporting their family and being part of the elite community of small business owners.  While they tend to be good or great managers, they often lack the leadership and drive toward a vision to grow a business that could be bigger than what they can physically put their hands on.
  • A high growth small business owner is probably the hybrid between the two: the business leader wants to not only start a business, but he or she wants to create something that makes an impact, ideally, on the way people do things for an unforeseen future.  Their businesses might start off as small, but are aiming to grow their businesses, as one client put it, “As big as it will grow.”

Understanding where a business leader fits directly impacts the way that the business should be designed.  As they say, “You can’t send a duck to eagle school.”  Be Extraordinary.  Know where you fit.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].
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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Business Leader,Business Owner,Entrepreneur,High Growth Company,Business Architecture
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Where do you Fit? | Extraordinary Business

Entrepreneur?
Small Business Owner?
High Growth Small Business Owner?
In August 2010 issue of Entrepreneur magazine (p. 14) (http://www.entrepreneur.com/), several business leaders were polled – most considered themselves entrepreneurial, while one considered herself a small business owner.  The common thread seemed to be that most thought that small business owners simply start and stay small, while entrepreneurs take huge risks and either make it big or lose everythingimage.
As a business strategy consulting firm, we are often faced with the question of how to help a client build their business with the ideal outcome that represents their role in their business.  This might be building a business around a great product or service, helping a business leader start or stabilizing an existing business, or developing a scalable, duplicate-able infrastructure for a high growth business.
The challenge for many business leaders is that they don’t know where they fit, and thus, are challenged when it comes to making certain decisions about their businesses.  Decisions for an entrepreneurial firm might be devastating to a typical small business firm…and visa versa.
Consider the following:

  • An entrepreneur often comes up with an on slot of ideas – good or bad – for businesses.  Many deal with “flash in the pan” types of goods or services, though some do take a single concept and grow and expand it for all its worth.  They typically are very good at leadership, but not so good at management – managing the day-to-day activities of a firm.  You might see them as people who are always building something.
  • A small business owner, on the other hand, is someone who tends to have the more stable personality, and will build a business  with the goal of making it possible, supporting their family and being part of the elite community of small business owners.  While they tend to be good or great managers, they often lack the leadership and drive toward a vision to grow a business that could be bigger than what they can physically put their hands on.
  • A high growth small business owner is probably the hybrid between the two: the business leader wants to not only start a business, but he or she wants to create something that makes an impact, ideally, on the way people do things for an unforeseen future.  Their businesses might start off as small, but are aiming to grow their businesses, as one client put it, “As big as it will grow.”

Understanding where a business leader fits directly impacts the way that the business should be designed.  As they say, “You can’t send a duck to eagle school.”  Be Extraordinary.  Know where you fit.
Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].
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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Business Leader,Business Owner,Entrepreneur,High Growth Company,Business Architecture
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Wanted: Heroes in America

DO YOU REALIZE, SMALL BUSINESS OWNER, THAT YOU ARE A HERO???

Win or lose, succeed or fail, you are living the American Dream.  You’ve tied your shingle to the door, set your pencil and your pad on your desk, got your trust phone out and are in business.

But what does this mean?clip_image002

It is an awesome social responsibility, and you have to do your part.  Sure many people think that it is all about them.  Adam Smith in “the Wealth of Nations,” states,

“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.”

Basically this is saying, “everything I do in my business is for my benefit.”

Is this your mentality?  Do you want to gobble up the marketplace, get all you can, take away from others and leave homeless, crying babies in your wake?  Sounds villainous to me.

When you consider only your own well-being, everyone tends to lose.  Look at the collapse of the US economy, and economies around the world.  Do you think that it was the result of selfless heroic acts?  I think not.

Look at the race for President.  Do you see the US disdain and distrust for those using a negative, smear campaign to attempt to accomplish their mission?  You could never trust people who use those tactics; they will turn around and use them on you.

In your business, I promise you,

you will reap what you sow, later than you sow, more than you sow,” to quote Dr. Charles Stanley.  So consider the following:

    • If you are good to people, offer them a good product at a good price, they will trust and be committed to you
    • If you say what you’ll do and do what you say, people will trust and depend on you
    • If you are clear with your intentions – your mission, vision, values and principles, people will respect them
    • If you serve and guard your niche, consistently, with a focus on their best interests, they will return the favor
    • If you cut corners, serve substandard products and over charge, your customers are only borrowed
    • If you try to “sell” your customers every time you see them, you won’t see them
    • If you offer one thing and try to sell them something else, you might get them once, but never again
    • If you aren’t clear with your intentions and beliefs, you will suffer and you won’t last.

Be a hero.  The world needs us.

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Integrity and Sustainability

CNN – Powell Choice Of Obama A Slap To GOP, Analysts Say.  One of the reasons for Powell’s decision was based on the negative campaign being run by the GOP. clip_image002 While his decision and explanation carry much more weight, there are many people – inside and outside of America who may feel the same way. 

Does this mean Senator McCain is less capable then Senator Obama?  Not actually.  But what does this say about his character, and that of the Republican Party?  A “win at all costs” mentality could result in 305,461,482 losers (.t the time of publishing).

No one exists in a bubble.  As a business owner, you cannot expect to go around the community tearing down other business, customers and employees, and expect to achieve your full potential If you are a small business owner, and you act without character and integrity, your business will more-than-likely fail.  I have seen it over and over and over again.  I have seen the same business owner fail over and over and over again.

You’ve got to take care of the people, business and communities that take care of you.  That doesn’t mean that you wait for them to do something – it is not a self-serving activity.  You make the first steps without seeking your own objectives.  You compete, but you do so with honor, character and integrity.

As my friend Robert Rosner would say, be a “Friend for Life.”

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A New Year is Approaching. Do You Know Where Your Business Is?

What is your business strategy? For that matter, what is a strategy? How often do you go back and look at it? How often do you work on the goals that are going to help you achieve that strategy?

Your strategy is your plan for accomplishing a particular goal vision. If you have a restaurant, for example, a particular strategy you might work on is how to increase revenue. You might try to increase table turns or raise prices or start any number of marketing endeavors.

The question is: “As a small business owner, how do I get time to create or even work on a strategy?” As a small business owner, it is VITAL that you put aside time for this every week. Strategy is the lifeblood of your business that keeps it going every day. While making time is impossible, taking time to work on your strategy is like taking time to eat. 

Here is a tip –

  1. Make yourself a weekly schedule of different activities you will do centered around growing your business – for example, we take two hours of “off-line” time – time when aren’t actively involved in the business, and dedicate it as “strategy time,” and have it set up as an appointment in our calendar software – in this case Microsoft Outlook. What you would do during this time is Review your company vision. Review your strategies. Review your plan. Work your plan.
  2. Give yourself a timeline so that you don’t get stuck in any particular area, especially the planning area (you need to WORK the plan!).
  3. Make goals and make them BOLD!! – Keep yourself engaged and challenged to do what you do every day.
  4. Make your goals MANAGEABLE! – while your goals should be bold, they should be those that you can reasonably accomplish so that you don’t get discouraged
  5. Use your resources! – Friends, business associates, outsourcing, etc.
  6. Give yourself a timeframe – starting and ending dates for each milestone will help keep things in perspective.
  7. Make sure you can look at every milestone and say to yourself, “this is what it looked like before, and this is what it will look like when it is done” and be able to note the difference.
  8. Be accountable to yourself – share your goals/plans with a business associate, mentor, or with your group.

At Aepiphanni Business Solutions, we are dedicated to serving the needs of small business owners. We specialize in helping you develop strategies for your organization, and are committed to your success. If you have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].

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No Time for Strategy!!

What is your business strategy? For that matter, what is a strategy? How often do you go back and look at it? How often do you work on the goals that are going to help you achieve that strategy?

Your strategy is your plan for accomplishing a particular goal vision. If you have a restaurant, for example, a particular strategy you might work on is how to increase revenue. You might try to increase table turns or raise prices or start any number of marketing endeavors.

The question is: “As a small business owner, how do I get time to create or even work on a strategy?” As a small business owner, it is VITAL that you put aside time for this every week. Strategy is the lifeblood of your business that keeps it going every day. While making time is impossible, taking time to work on your strategy is like taking time to eat. J

Here is a tip –
Make yourself a weekly schedule of different activities you will do centered around growing your business – for example, we take two hours of “off-line” time – time when aren’t actively involved in the business, and dedicate it as “strategy time,” and have it set up as an appointment in our calendar software – in this case Microsoft Outlook. What you would do during this time is

  • Review your company vision.
  • Review your strategies.
  • Review your plan.
  • Work your plan.
  • Give yourself a timeline so that you don’t get stuck in any particular area, especially the planning area (you need to WORK the plan!).
  • Make goals and make them BOLD!! – Keep yourself engaged and challenged to do what you do every day.
  • Make your goals MANAGEABLE! – while your goals should be bold, they should be those that you can reasonably accomplish so that you don’t get discouraged
  • Use your resources! – Friends, business associates, outsourcing, etc.
  • Give yourself a timeframe – starting and ending dates for each milestone will help keep things in perspective
  • Make sure you can look at every milestone and say to yourself, “this is what it looked like before, and this is what it will look like when it is done” and be able to note the difference
  • Be accountable to yourself – share your goals/plans with a business associate, mentor, or with your group

At Aepiphanni, we are dedicated to serving the needs of small business owners. We specialize in helping you develop strategies for your organization, and are committed to your success. If you have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-697-2315, or email me at /about/rick-meekins/.

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