What’s in the Pipeline

Can’t give you specific numbers on what’s in our pipeline. Don’t know how that relates to what we need for business in order to be healthy. Seems too complicated to try and put it all together.

Thoughts of the Day: Knowing where the business stands numerically is a finance responsibility. Keeping track of the pipeline isn’t all that hard, it just takes a systematic approach and a little cooperation from everyone. New business is only one part of the pipeline. Knowing how it all fits together will give you peace of mind if things are on track and an early warning system if they’re not.

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Focusing Our Efforts On Growth and Profit

“We own a few businesses and we’d agreed to put all of our efforts into growing the premium services company. However the results seem to be getting worse rather than better. I’m starting to wonder whether we chose the right company to focus on, and if so, how to get it going in the right direction.”

Thoughts of the Day: Knowing how to set priorities across multiple businesses can be a real challenge. Look for opportunity. Evaluate the risks and rewards. Select businesses that have long horizons.

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Prioritizing at the Owner Level

Have a partner who can’t prioritize. He works on one thing until he’s done, doesn’t matter how frustrated he gets, gets stuck and just is stuck. How can I help him get unstuck so he can work on top priority things? For that matter, what should be at the top of the priority list?

Thoughts of the Day: There are only so many hours in the day at work, make each one count. Learn to make the most of individual differences Divide up the work. Set aside time to think and reflect. When in doubt, look at the job description.

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Next Gen Takeover Requires Discussions

Our parents are getting ready to retire, but I sense they’re not ready to trust that we can take over. There are four of us in the next generation. We have been in the company for a while. One of us is more serious about making something of the business and one of us has mixed feelings about sticking around to see this through. Two seem like they’re coming along for the ride. I get that our parents may have concerns, but at some point we have to move forward with having the next generation take over. How do we get there? 

THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: Figure out what each player wants. Set goals and document an action plan that describes what you and your parents want to accomplish with the company. Have open and frank conversations with your siblings about what each is and is not prepared to commit to. Decide if you need help negotiating details between generations.

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Need To Do More in Marketing Than I Have Time For

We have no one to work on marketing. Looks like I’m going to have to project manage it myself. But I don’t have the time to focus on it. Now what?

THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: Marketing does better when someone owns the department’s success. Make sure your marketing expectations are realistic. Look for someone who is already working in marketing who would like to pick up some additional work. Continue reading “Need To Do More in Marketing Than I Have Time For”