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”


Fixing Production Delays

Things got behind in production and we’re trying to catch up. Can you give us any suggestions?

Thoughts of the Day: There are lots of contributors to backlog. Check on re-do’s and inventory. Take a look at which equipment is the most behind. Look for efficiencies. Build a realistic production plan. Assign staff to talk to customers.

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Moving Customers Toward Making the Purchase


Some customers have told us that they don’t have the budget right now to buy. We know they’re not going somewhere else, they’re just postponing the purchase. How can we get them to take action sooner rather than later?


THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: Sometimes customers lack the will to act. Other times, you may not be talking to the real decision maker. Some customers need you to do the math for them. Make sure the customer knows you’ll be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Continue reading “Moving Customers Toward Making the Purchase”


Determining the Right Amount for a Bonus

We’re having that conversation about what to give for bonuses. No bonuses are bad for morale. I’m worried that if people get too much, they could sit back and take things easy for a while and that would be bad for productivity and profits. How do we get it “just right”?


THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: Use bonuses to give the company more flexibility as revenues and profits go up or down from one year to the next. Do a reality check on salaries first before deciding on bonuses. Check the trends on overhead payroll vs. revenue and cost of goods sold payroll vs. revenue ratios. Reward overall company performance to get everyone on the same page. If you have a 401k plan, check to see if bonuses are included in matching funds. Use a budget to stay realistic.

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