Fire Some Of Your Customers

by Mike Romanie

FUEL Marketing and Sales

Michael is a hands-on Executive with more than 25 years experience profitably driving marketing, branding, sales, and operations for public and private companies ranging from start-ups and turn-arounds to divisions of multi-billion dollar multi-national entities. Michael’s career milestones include executive teams; raising more than $75 million from public and private sources, producing 2 IPOS (NASDAQ), being an officer of two Publicly traded companies and a divisional executive of three multi-national and two multi-billion dollar companies. Michael has managed operations with full P&L responsibility and has recruited and managed teams from start-up to more than 350 employees with national and international staff, highlights include; • At a technology products and services company reversed an operating loss and posted profits at 300% above plan within one year of accepting P&L. • Chief Marketing and Sales Officer for an imbedded microprocessor company securing 180 design-in’s with major companies including Nortel, IBM, Lucent and others. Lead the Recruitment of U.S. and Canadian Independent Sales representatives (70+), and 15 Design Support Development Partners, to rapidly gain market presence and design support. • Virtual Marketing and Sales Officer for a consumer software company: Increased revenue from $1.3MM to over $6.1M in less than 18 months. Closed key retailers including; QVC, BigLots!, Penney’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, TJX, Walgreens.com, The Shopping Channel (Canada) and others. Co-Managed multi-national Independent Rep. Firm covering accounts including; Costco, SAM’s Club, BJ’s, Target, Office Max, Office Depot, Best Buy and others. Developed Australian distributing accounting for 15% of annual revenue.

Most every business eventually has to, or should, fire some customers at some point. It’s counter intuitive to most businesses and entrepreneurs that some customers may just be customers that they cannot afford. It may be your oldest or highest volume customer, or a friend of a friend that you do business with, it doesn’t matter sometimes it just can no longer be justified or make sense.

Topics: Sales, Management, Blog Posts

Have you ever wondered why lenders require personal guarantees?

by Mary Ann Hebel

Business Bank of Texas

Mary Ann Hebel is organizer, director, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Business Bank of Texas, N.A. With over 37 years of banking experience, Mary Ann has contributed to the success of three national banks in the areas of accounting, data processing, human resources, and more recently as chief operations and chief financial officer. Mary Ann has also served as a consultant to the Texas Department of Banking in the capacity of liquidation agent for failed trust companies and private banks.

In the world of banking (20+ years ago), many loans were made with a handshake. Loan documentation occasionally even happened after funds were advanced. Banks and their business customers were neighbors, friends, and often had long-term relationships.

Topics: Featured, Management, Articles, Accounting & Finance

Why business owners should know what their company’s NAICS codes are

by Mary Ann Hebel

Business Bank of Texas

Mary Ann Hebel is organizer, director, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Business Bank of Texas, N.A. With over 37 years of banking experience, Mary Ann has contributed to the success of three national banks in the areas of accounting, data processing, human resources, and more recently as chief operations and chief financial officer. Mary Ann has also served as a consultant to the Texas Department of Banking in the capacity of liquidation agent for failed trust companies and private banks.

Every industry in the United States has a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. The code is used for a variety of purposes that may affect your bottom line as well as your ability to access business loans.

Topics: Operations, Management, Blog Posts

Sales leads – part 1

by Mike Romanie

FUEL Marketing and Sales

Michael is a hands-on Executive with more than 25 years experience profitably driving marketing, branding, sales, and operations for public and private companies ranging from start-ups and turn-arounds to divisions of multi-billion dollar multi-national entities. Michael’s career milestones include executive teams; raising more than $75 million from public and private sources, producing 2 IPOS (NASDAQ), being an officer of two Publicly traded companies and a divisional executive of three multi-national and two multi-billion dollar companies. Michael has managed operations with full P&L responsibility and has recruited and managed teams from start-up to more than 350 employees with national and international staff, highlights include; • At a technology products and services company reversed an operating loss and posted profits at 300% above plan within one year of accepting P&L. • Chief Marketing and Sales Officer for an imbedded microprocessor company securing 180 design-in’s with major companies including Nortel, IBM, Lucent and others. Lead the Recruitment of U.S. and Canadian Independent Sales representatives (70+), and 15 Design Support Development Partners, to rapidly gain market presence and design support. • Virtual Marketing and Sales Officer for a consumer software company: Increased revenue from $1.3MM to over $6.1M in less than 18 months. Closed key retailers including; QVC, BigLots!, Penney’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, TJX, Walgreens.com, The Shopping Channel (Canada) and others. Co-Managed multi-national Independent Rep. Firm covering accounts including; Costco, SAM’s Club, BJ’s, Target, Office Max, Office Depot, Best Buy and others. Developed Australian distributing accounting for 15% of annual revenue.

Sales leads and prospects come from a variety of sources. A long time ago, and dating myself with my copyright statement in the image below, I had to present to investment bankers that were providing interim financing and representing our company in a pending IPO. The investment community wanted to know how we were going to market and sell our products, and spend our healthy marketing budget, to attain the fast growth in revenue we were committing to.

Topics: Sales, Management, Blog Posts

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The power of a cash flow dashboard

by Philip Campbell

Consultant, Author

Philip Campbell is a CPA, consultant, and author of the book A Quick Start Guide to Financial Forecasting: Discover the Secret to Driving Growth, Profitability, and Cash Flow Higher. This new book provides a straightforward, easy-to-understand guide to one of the most powerful financial tools in business: a reliable financial forecast. He is also the author of the book Never Run Out of Cash: The 10 Cash Flow Rules You Can’t Afford to Ignore. The book is a step-by-step guide for business owners and managers who want to better understand and manage their cash flow. Since 1990, Philip has served as a financial officer in a number of growing companies with revenues ranging from $5,000,000 million to over $1,000,000,000. He has been involved in the acquisition or sale of 33 companies (and counting) as well as an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. Philip loves helping entrepreneurs and business owners think strategically about the financial side of their business. His consulting work is focused on providing the financial insights that leaders need to increase profits, improve cash flow, and enjoy the fruits of financial success in business. What really sets Philip apart from the average financial person you meet is his passion and excitement about helping entrepreneurs and CEOs take control of their cash flow. In fact, early on in his career, he focused and “preached” so much about the importance of cash flow that people now call him CASH. Philip is the founder of Financial Rhythm, a website devoted to people who are serious about creating financial health, wealth, and freedom in their business. If you're an entrepreneur or business owner, Financial Rhythm is a place to get simple, actionable strategies for creating a financial future that is bigger and brighter than your past. Philip lives in Austin, Texas. You can email Philip at pcampbell@pdq.net.

Insight and focus are two powerful tools for improving your business and increasing its ability to generate more and more cash over time.

Topics: Business Best Practices, Management, Accounting & Finance

Should you put the value of your business on your personal financial statement?

by Ed Lette

Business Bank of Texas

Ed Lette is Founder, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at Business Bank of Texas. Serving as a licensed CPA since 1983, Ed’s extensive experience in the banking industry has led him to become the founding president of four national bank charters including Business Bank of Texas, N.A., and the chief financial officer of five national banks during his 45 year career. Ed serves as director of the Texas Bankers Association District 4, chairman of the Executive Advisory Council to the School of Business at Texas Lutheran University, and is a life member of the Texas Association of Business.

Ideally, personal financial statements are used to show your personal assets, net worth, income and expenses. As a normal part of applying for a business loan your bank will ask you to complete a personal financial statement. You might even keep a personal financial statement in an excel spreadsheet or in some other program which would only require minimal updating.

Topics: Management, Accounting & Finance

How to become an american success story

by Daniel Diner

Business Success Center

Daniel Diener is the Chief Financial Officer of the Business Success Center (BSC), a City of Austin certified green business. It provides sales and financial strategies and advice to owners of product and service businesses. It received a Small Business Administration (SBA) five-star national award and the Austin Business Journal named it a top 20 management consulting firms. Diener is an NCRC Certified Technical Advisor and a speaker on entrepreneurship and other issues. He is also co-creator of the award-winning “City Management Academy”, the “Owners MBA” and the SBA’s monthly marketing workshop. He owned and ran the Entrepreneurs’ Association and ran a business hatchery and accelerator. Along with partner/wife Jan Triplett, Ph.D., he developed the Business Navigation Matrix that maps the business goals from Idea Stage to Transference. They also are authors of the OnCourse Business Assessment™
, OnCourse Business Glossary & Bibliography and Power Processes for Business Success. He is a small business and neighborhood activist. He was a delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business and has served on several boards, including the Governor’s Small Business Advisory Board, Students Involved in Free Enterprise, and the Allandale Neighborhood Association. He is a member of Central Texas Association of Guaranteed Government Lenders and has been active with traditional and alternative funding sources for many years. He is a QuickBooks and Aclivity software partner. For his successful work with small business, the SBA named him its Financial Services Champion of Texas and the five-state region.

Another Owners MBA program is about to start. Over the years, we have had brand new owners and established entrepreneurs hoping to make their business sustainable in a downturn and their futures more secure.

Topics: Management, Strategic Planning

Knowing your key performance indicators

by Curt Finch

Journyx

Curt Finch is the CEO of Journyx (http://pr.journyx.com), a provider of web-based time tracking, project accounting and resource management software designed to guide customers to per-person, per-project profitability. He is a frequent speaker at major events and conferences, has many articles published in numerous business magazines, and his latest book, “All Your Money Won't Another Minute Buy: Valuing Time as a Business Resource” is available in most bookstores. He is a featured blogger for Inc. (http://www.inc.com/tech-blog), and you can follow him on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/clf99).

Do you know your company’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)? These are the very few things that you are measuring which you believe will make a huge difference to your business long-term. In other words, a KPI measures progress toward a strategic goal. If you have 100 KPIs, then you’re not going to be able to use any of them to drive organizational behavior because your company doesn’t have 100 strategic goals. Ten KPIs can be effective, five KPIs are better, and one KPI is ideal.

Topics: Management, Blog Posts

Managing your traditional working capital line of credit

by Ed Lette

Business Bank of Texas

Ed Lette is Founder, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at Business Bank of Texas. Serving as a licensed CPA since 1983, Ed’s extensive experience in the banking industry has led him to become the founding president of four national bank charters including Business Bank of Texas, N.A., and the chief financial officer of five national banks during his 45 year career. Ed serves as director of the Texas Bankers Association District 4, chairman of the Executive Advisory Council to the School of Business at Texas Lutheran University, and is a life member of the Texas Association of Business.


Many businesses have a traditional working capital business line of credit with their bank but haven’t sat down with their lender to really understand how the credit line should be used.

Generally, lines of credit are short-term loans (one year or less) that should be used to finance current assets on your balance sheet. A good rule of thumb is that short-term debt should always be used to support short-term assets. Long-term debt should be used for purchasing assets that have a life of one or more years.

Topics: Management, Bank Customer Tips, Accounting & Finance

Picking a commercial collection agency requires doing some homework

by Sam Thacker

Business Finance Solutions

Sam Thacker is a partner in Austin Texas-based Business Finance Solutions. He has spent the last 16 years in the banking and finance industry as a commercial lending officer, banking consultant and advocate for small business financing. He has originated over $400 million in loans to hundreds of businesses in many industries. Sam has been on the financing end of numerous businesses over his banking career. Sam is a nationally respected working capital finance professional and writer. In addition to helping small companies obtain working capital financing using a variety of assets, Sam writes a widely read finance column which appears three times a week in many traditional and online news outlets throughout the United States. He writes about the challenges of small business finance, accounting, and best business practices. He has been praised by readers for his ability to explain a complicated financial concept in easy to understand terms. Sam also writes a once a month business column for the Austin Business Journal . Sam regularly teaches classes at Texas State University’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) on financing small businesses, financing government contracts, and other topics of interest to small businesses.

Even the best managed company will occasionally need to use the services of a commercial collection agency. Picking one that fits your company’s personality while still being effective in collection efforts can require some research and homework.

Topics: Operations, Management, Blog Posts, Accounting & Finance

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