Category Archives: Finance

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Large group of people with relationships

You Can Build Wealth – But You Must First Build Relationships

Relationships are the key to a fulfilled, successful, and yes even wealthy life.  Life is 100% relationships. Think about the people you come in contact with every day. Each one of those people plays an important role in your life. Whether it’s your spouse, children, customer, business partner or even the casual acquaintance. Build the right relationships and you will ultimately build your wealth.

1. Participate in a relationship-based referral group such as Core Dynamics

The key word in that statement is “participate”. You must get actively involved. Just showing up to the weekly or monthly meetings isn’t enough. Will you get some business by just your attendance? Yes. However, if you want to truly grow your business based solely on your referral partners you must get to know them and allow them to get to know you, the real you. People never, and I mean never, like to be sold on product or service. People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust. They want to know how you can help them. Schedule at least 2 lunches or coffee meetings every week before you leave the group meeting. Otherwise, life happens and you’ll be sure to be meeting-less that week.

2. Know, like, & Trust.

Zig Ziglar said it best “If people like you, they will listen to you. If they trust you they will do business with you”. People have to trust you. When was the last time you went to a car dealership to purchase a new car? Did you feel a little uneasy about the process or did you work with someone who you ultimately trusted to help you through the process? Building trust can take months or even years. But I can assure you once people trust you they will refer you to their family, friends, colleagues, and other business owners.

3. Keep it to coffee.

Just about everyone drinks coffee. Meeting for coffee requires less commitment than meeting for an hour over lunch. Within 20 minutes or so you can begin to build the relationship. Schedule your next coffee meeting before you leave. Remember, this is relationship building, not a one and done stop to spew your product or service all over them.

4. Always ask.

Too often I’ve witnessed meetings where the 2 parties involved talk over each other to talk about themselves and their products or services. It becomes a series of bad commercials and no one is listening. Ask them how they got into the business. Find our what their challenges and successes have been as a business owner. Inquire about their family. Get to know them. While it may sound simple refraining from sharing everything we can offer and asking about the other person can be a real challenge.

5. Listen and listen again.

Now that you’ve asked the questions clear your thoughts. Don’t try to think about what you’ll ask them next. Do not think about how your product or service could help them. Just listen. Listen intently. People love to share their stories. Let them share. Building relationships takes effort on your part. Listening and truly hearing what the other person is saying is key.

 

6. Take notes.

Yes, take notes. Let’s face it. The average person only remembers 50% of what they hear after 3 hours and only about 50% of that after 24 hours. If you really want to build the relationship take notes and study them as if you were studying for an exam. People have a genuine need to know people care. Remembering their birthday, their favorite restaurant, their pets name goes a long way. I always ask permission to take notes and share that I can remember things much better if I write it down. Most people consider it a compliment that you would actually want to remember what they’ve told you.

 

7. Keep your word.

Maybe this one is so simple people undervalue the power of doing what you said you were going to do when you said you were going to do it. Remember, if people trust you they will do business with you. Miss a scheduled meeting, forget to send information you promised you would send or fail to meet a deadline that you assured them would be easy to meet and you’ve probably lost their trust. You may gain it back eventually. However, the process of building the relationship and the trust starts all over again.

 

8. Understand the power.

Many business owners don’t understand the power of relationships. Everything you do in life can be successful or fail because of a relationship. Marry the wrong person and end up divorced. Chose the wrong CPA and end up with a drowning business. Chose and build the right relationships with the right people and it will change your life. Business is an ever evolving target and so are your clients. If you are a small business that relies on local shoppers your time is better-served building relationships than your marketing campaign. Yes, it’s that serious. Small businesses can live and die by a referral. Do a great job for someone who knows, likes, and trust you and you’ll get more business from them. Break their trust and you will lose more business than you will ever know.

See the power.

Here’s a simple example of the power of relationships. Ms. Jones purchased a house. Mr. Ross was her realtor. Mr. Ross recommended Mrs. Davis to provide the financing for the home. Mrs. Davis recommended Miss Scott to provide the home inspection. Miss Scott recommended Mrs. Wright to close the loan. Mrs. Wright recommended Bob Green to help the Jones move. Bob Green recommended Mr. Smith to provide the homeowner’s insurance. Mr. Smith recommended Ms. White to provide the move in and move out cleaning. The Jones family was taken care of through the entire process. Each business gained a client and new business…with zero marketing. All they did was build the right relationships with the right people.

 

9. Block time.

We all have the same amount of time. So, why are some people so successful and others are not? The difference is simple. Successful people block the time to do what’s important. Building relationships is important. Even if you only block a couple of hours a week, block it. Make a half of one day a week your meeting or relationship building day. If you block every Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. to build relationships you could meet 4 people every week. That’s 16 new or a combination of new and existing relationships every month.

 

10. Go give!

We live in a society of go-getters. Be a go-giver. Look for opportunities to help others achieve their goals or just meet their needs. Ask who they would like to meet. Make the introduction for them. Ask what you can do to help them and then do it. Another favorite Zig Ziglar quote of mine is “you can get everything you want out of life if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want”.

 

So, the next time someone invites you to a networking group, get excited for the opportunity to create and build a new relationship!

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Confused business owner employee expense

The 2 Largest Employee Expenses in Business that CEO’s, CFO’s and Even Business Owners Don’t Consider!

I’ll cut right to the chase. #1 Disengaged employees and #2 Employee Turnover

Give me four minutes of your time to explain and possibly change the face of your business and it’s bottom line!

First of all, you must know the answers to these questions.

  1. What is your employee retention rate? If you don’t know, find out, today. If you’re tracking turnover stop today. Rather, track retention, to ensure retention. If the focus is on retaining employees, you are much more likely to retain them!
  2. What do you do to ensure your employees are accessing their strengths, doing what they do best every day, and are completely engaged? If you can’t answer this question immediately, with certainty and excitement start asking yourself this today and every day going forward.

Why?

Because, how long an employee stays and how productive they are while they are there is a direct result of their relationship with their leader.

If you’re like most businesses that I’ve worked with during my 20 plus year career, talent acquisition and employee (talent) retention is a huge challenge. If you think employees are leaving for pay think again.

Have you had an employee leave you recently or do you continuously have employees that leave while you’re caught in the continuous daunting process of filling roles in your business?

Here’s your challenge. It’s easy to see. Grab a mirror. What do you see? You will see the challenge or the real issue. It’s you, or the person responsible for hiring, acquiring talent for your organization. Remember, how long a person stays at a company and how productive they are while they are there is a direct reflection of their relationship with their leader.

I’d be willing to bet, having never even met you, that I know what you’re thinking. “That’s not true.” “They left because………”
“The other company offered them more money.”  “They just didn’t have the skills required for the job.”
“They weren’t a good team player.” “Good help is hard to find in my business.” “People don’t want to work these days.” “People just don’t like change.” Trust me. I’ve heard them all. So, sure, you can come up with a million excuses. Or you can make a change. Right now, today, realize that you are completely responsible for finding the right talent for the roles within your organization. Decide that you are responsible for matching talent with roles, for developing the strengths of your team, for managing them to outstanding performance.

Therefore, if you are the manager or organization with a high turnover the truth is you, (or the person responsible for hiring)  didn’t select the right person with the right strengths for the role. Again, although I’ve never met you, I’d venture a guess and say that you/they focused on skill set. The average employer and employee gorge themselves on skill set while never truly uncovering or even understanding what their natural abilities are.

So, in this war for talent, how do you find the right person with the natural talents required for the role and keep them?

 

  1. First of all, commit to transformation across your entire organization.

  2. Most of all, dig deep. Be all in. What do you have to lose? What you’re doing now isn’t working anyway.

  3. Create a culture of coaching, not  a culture“employee benefits”.

  4. Also, focus on a purpose driven workplace, rather than a paycheck driven workplace.

  5. Foster an environment of engagement champions and leaders. Coach them, develop them, engage them in their work, their purpose.

  6. Uncover, allow every employee to access and help them develop their strengths.

  7. Set excellence as the bar.

  8. Be willing to recast. If your employee doesn’t have the talent to be successful in their role, recast them in a new role that aligns with their talents. That new role may be within your organization or it may be with a different organization.

  9. Let the actively disengaged employees go. You are doing a disservice to them, your business, and your customers by continuing to allow them to be miserable.

Look, you, your organization, all organizations have to adapt to the needs of today’s workforce or you, they will quickly find themselves struggling to attract and keep talent and ultimately customers.

So how do disengaged employees and employee turnover so drastically impact your bottom line?

Per Gallup Polls, 51% of employees are not engaged.

Therefore, they are just there. 16% of all employees are actively disengaged. They are miserable. One actively disengaged employee costs YOUR organization four times the salary of a fully engaged employee. Think of one of your greatest employees, the one who’s job seems to come naturally to them. They love their job! Multiply their salary by four, then multiply that number by 16% of the number of employees in your business. I’d venture another guess and say that number may be higher for your business. In my experience about 35% of the employees we’ve polled have been actively disengaged. Do the math.

Multiply their salary by four, then multiply that number by 16% of the number of employees in your business. I’d venture another guess and say that number may be higher for your business. In my experience about 35% of the employees we’ve polled have been actively disengaged. What it costing you? Thousands? Tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands?

The competitor wins.

You’ve spent time training this employee. Your employee has spent time developing relationships with your clients. They’ve been at your organization long enough to hone their skills. However, their strengths were not accessed. They were not encouraged to do what they do best. They were disengaged and looking for an opportunity elsewhere. Trust me again when I say they were looking while working for you.

71% of the American workforce is actively looking for other opportunities. Now that they’ve honed their skills, developed relationships with your customers, they are ready to leave. Where are they going to go? Directly to your competitor. They are going to take their skills and talents with them. Your competitor may have embraced the new workforce demands. Look out if they have! That’s not all. People quit people. People also work with people, not institutions. You better count on your customers, at least a portion of them, going along with your employee to the competitor.

Turnover is budget killer.

In my experience, the average time frame for an employee to provide a return on your investment is about 18 months. Don’t believe me? Think about your hiring process. Countless hours and dollars are spent by your internal team. While they are marketing for the position, interviewing people, reviewing resumes, and piling through those lists of skills the clock is ticking.  How many hours are spent in the on-boarding process for a new employee? And how many hours are spent training your new employee?

Furthermore, what about your current team? How many of your current teams’ hours are spent showing the new guy or girl the law of the land? What about the learning curve? How long is the learning curve for the new employee to become the expert in his or her role? All, only to have them leave you. So, the next time you hire based on skill set alone be prepared to budget, or spend, one and a half times your employee’s annual income and benefits for naught, or for your competition.

Here’s the bottom line about your bottom line.

Consequently, the greatest determining factor in the four major business outcomes is your team. Let’s face it. If you have a great product or service with large profit margins and low overhead but if your employees are miserable, spreading the word, undermining your purpose, searching for other work while you pay them, being actively disengaged, you may not be around to offer your product or service. Pay attention to margins, cash-flow, and projections, but if you really want to increase your bottom line pay attention to and develop your employees! Are you ready to develop your team? Optimum Impact is changing the face of the business world with innovative, engaging, and results oriented TEL training!

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Finally, an Easy Way to Project Cash Flow and the Sustainability of Your Business!

How many times have you been asked for cash flow projections only to throw something together based on what you think the banker or CPA needs? One time is too many!

If you’re ready to see the future of your business, verify that it’s sustainable, this article is a must read!

While most business owners see cash flow as a daunting process it doesn’t have to be. As a matter of fact, it can be very exciting to see the financial future of your business! Projecting cash flow allows you to see the financial picture, allows you to create a budget, and arrange your ebbs and flows of cash in order to sustain a profitable business. Sounds more exciting now doesn’t it?

Here are a few simple steps to successfully projecting cash flow.

  1. Create an easy to use template. Something as simple as excel can be a very useful tool for projecting. You will need tabs/pages for the following. You may also download a cash flow projection sheet if you’re not the expert in excel.

    1. Cash In (All of your revenue broken into weekly columns)
      1. This will be a weekly forecast of all expected income
        1. Columns
          1. Sources of income such as retail sales
        2. Rows
          1. The week ending date for 3 consecutive months
        3. Cash Out (All of your expenses broken into weekly columns)
          1. This will be a weekly forecast of all expenses
            1. Columns
              1. Sources of expenses such as rent
            2. Rows
              1. The week ending date for 3 consecutive months
            3. Cash Flow Summary (This is the page that calculates a combination of your cash in and cash out tabs.)
              1. Columns
                1. Beginning Cash
                2. Cash In
                3. Cash Out
                4. Available Credit
                5. Available Cash
              2. Rows
                1. Corresponding weeks
  • Let excel do the calculating for you.
    1. Sum each column on the cash in and cash out pages
    2. Connect the corresponding total to the cash flow summary columns
  1. List all of your reoccurring expenses with monthly amounts and due dates. Such as…

    1. Rent
    2. Insurance
    3. Payroll
    4. Marketing
    5. Professional Fees
    6. Dues
    7. Subscriptions
    8. Auto Expense
    9. Loan payments
    10. Owners Draw
  2. List all of your expected revenue with expected amounts and dates of receipts. This can usually be easily found in your accounts receivables.

  3. Enter the data into your template weekly. For example, if your rent is due on the first of every month, enter the total rent due in the first week of every month on your template. In the same manner, enter all of your expenses on their corresponding due dates. Likewise, enter all of your projected income on the dates you expect to receive them.

Viola! You’ve successfully projected cash flow and the sustainability of your business. Well, for the next 90 days. You must continue the process every 90 days. Review, update and manage your cash flow on a weekly basis. Schedule recurring time weekly to do this.  Do you want to take the fast track? Email me at crystelsmith1012@gmail.com for a complimentary cash flow projection workbook!

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Are You Tired of Always Playing Catch Up with Your Business Finances? Stop Juggling and Start Projecting Cash-Flow Today!

Yes, cash is important. However, cash-flow is imperative! Do you find yourself always playing catch up financially? Do you seem to have more than enough cash some weeks and not nearly enough others? Are you constantly juggling your financial resources? But somehow you always seem to manage or just make it through? You’re not alone. And that can stop today!

Cash is important but cash flow is vital to the sustainability of your business!

Would you consider a business that generated $150,000.00 in revenue, had expenses of $134,000.00 (including owners draw), with an 11% profit margin and net income of approximately $16,000.00 over a 90 day period to be a financially sound and successful business? Did you answer yes? You may be right. However, you may be very wrong. Many businesses fail, not because of cash, but because of cash flow.

This business while generating $150,000.00 in cash over 90 days, did not project cash-flow and ultimately almost closed it’s doors several times within the 90 days. Thankfully, the owners had family and friends that believed in their business and provided loans to fund the cash gaps. Otherwise, the show would have been over within 3 short months.

Let me give you a very high-level brief example.

Business A generates 2,500,000.00 per year. There expenses total 2,000,000.00 per year. Half a million dollars in profit sounds great. Doesn’t it? Think again. Let’s look at Business A again from a cash-flow perspective.

Business A Generates $280,333.00 per month, every month for 12 months ($2,500,000.00 in Gross Revenue). $2,000,000.00 of the expenses are paid by September 30th of each year. By September 30th the business has only generated $1,875,000.00. As a result, this company could be out of business by September. This is an extreme example. Most businesses have income and expenses throughout the entire year. However, break this into a weekly cash-flow scenario and we could end up with the same result.

You must project cash-flow for the health AND SUSTAINABILITY of your business. Sure, you can balance your accounts. You can calculate what income and expenses you have each month. You can review your P&L and Balance Sheet. But the bottom line is when cash comes in vs when cash goes out can make or break a company very quickly. You must project it weekly. Too often businesses project monthly. That’s not good enough. Let me show you why.

The example below is a prime example of the power of cash-flow, not cash.

This business generated $150,000.00 in cash over a 90 day period. Their expenses were only $134,000.00 for that same 90 day period of time. Again, if we were looking big picture the business looks profitable. However, look at cash flow on a weekly basis and the business probably won’t succeed. This business has such swings in cash flow that it’s sustainability without a line of credit or another form of working capital, or a means to manage their cash flow, is little to none. That’s the difference in balancing your books and projecting cash-flow.

Reviewing your balance sheet or P&L will give you a snapshot of the health of your business. However, it will not give the insight to the sustainability of your business!

If you want a sustainable, healthy, and profitable business projecting cash-flow is a must!

So, project, adjust, and project again. Then wash, rinse, and repeat! Understand the financial health AND sustainability of your business! Are you ready to start projecting but aren’t sure how? Get our free 90- Day Cash-Flow Projection Workbook by emailing me at Crystelsmith1012@gmail.com!

cash flow pic

 

 

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