Four tips of keeping your fingers on the performance of your business

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.

As a business owner, you should be able to answer the details of these four financial performance questions about your business with little or no preparation. Knowing the details of your company’s profitability, costs, cash flow, and more, is critical to staying on top of your finances, and growing your business.

Topics: Operations, Featured, Business Best Practices, Management, Blog Posts

How do you spell S-U-C-C-E-S-S in your business?

by Mike Wilke

River City CFO Services, Inc.

Mike Wilke is the president of River City CFO Services, Inc. and is a 15-year resident of Austin. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Mike has lived in Sierra Vista, Arizona (twice), Charleston, South Carolina and has commuted across the Arizona\Mexico border for three years. He is a graduate of Charleston Southern University (Bachelor in Business Administration\Accounting) and the Racine Technical College. During a 30 year career, Mike has worked with businesses and non-profits ranging from start-ups to organizations with a world-wide presence. His broad industry experience includes manufacturing, services, distribution, government contracting and non-profits. He has held progressively responsible management and executive level positions in Finance, Accounting, Operations, Administration, Business Development and Strategic Planning. He founded River City CFO Services, Inc. in 2008. Mike’s inspiration for the company is rooted in the belief that smaller organizations are generally “resource starved”. Smaller organizations often cannot afford (nor do they have a full-time requirement for) professional staff members such as a CFO, Human Resource Director or Quality Manager, etc. His vision was to start a business that would provide owners of smaller organizations affordable, professional level CFO services, on a part-time basis. Mike is recognized by the CEOs he has worked for as “. . . a guy who has no agenda other than to watch my back . . .” In his spare time he has been active as a volunteer, supporter and advocate for several organizations including: Meals-On-Wheels and More, Lifeworks (Adult Literacy Tutor) and a local Food Pantry\Bank.

Quick, what is the secret sauce that has made your business successful in your customers or clients eyes?

Topics: Operations, Featured, Blog Posts, Strategic Planning, Content Type

Want to improve business operations? Teach somebody something... . and be amazed at what YOU learn

by Mike Wilke

River City CFO Services, Inc.

Mike Wilke is the president of River City CFO Services, Inc. and is a 15-year resident of Austin. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Mike has lived in Sierra Vista, Arizona (twice), Charleston, South Carolina and has commuted across the Arizona\Mexico border for three years. He is a graduate of Charleston Southern University (Bachelor in Business Administration\Accounting) and the Racine Technical College. During a 30 year career, Mike has worked with businesses and non-profits ranging from start-ups to organizations with a world-wide presence. His broad industry experience includes manufacturing, services, distribution, government contracting and non-profits. He has held progressively responsible management and executive level positions in Finance, Accounting, Operations, Administration, Business Development and Strategic Planning. He founded River City CFO Services, Inc. in 2008. Mike’s inspiration for the company is rooted in the belief that smaller organizations are generally “resource starved”. Smaller organizations often cannot afford (nor do they have a full-time requirement for) professional staff members such as a CFO, Human Resource Director or Quality Manager, etc. His vision was to start a business that would provide owners of smaller organizations affordable, professional level CFO services, on a part-time basis. Mike is recognized by the CEOs he has worked for as “. . . a guy who has no agenda other than to watch my back . . .” In his spare time he has been active as a volunteer, supporter and advocate for several organizations including: Meals-On-Wheels and More, Lifeworks (Adult Literacy Tutor) and a local Food Pantry\Bank.

Do you want to do something that has immediate, as well as lasting benefits for one of your employees, your business and yourself at the same? Gotcha. You can’t resist can you?

Topics: Operations, Featured, Management, Blog Posts

Free or low cost practical business education in Central Texas

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.

Texas certified public accountants (CPAs), attorneys, and physicians must all attend many hours of professional continuing education each year. When we engage the services of one of these professionals we are glad they had to stay up to date on their specialties.

Topics: Operations, Featured, Management, Blog Posts, Marketing

guide.jpg

What should you do when a lender turns down your loan request?

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 borrowers don’t follow up with their lending officer when their loan request gets turned down. If you are working with a bank that values its customers, they will be glad to sit down with you, explain their decision in a way that makes sense and let you know how you might be able to correct any issue that may allow your loan to be presented again. They may even change their decision if new information dictates.

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

Bad News Trumps Good News!

by Mike Wilke

River City CFO Services, Inc.

Mike Wilke is the president of River City CFO Services, Inc. and is a 15-year resident of Austin. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Mike has lived in Sierra Vista, Arizona (twice), Charleston, South Carolina and has commuted across the Arizona\Mexico border for three years. He is a graduate of Charleston Southern University (Bachelor in Business Administration\Accounting) and the Racine Technical College. During a 30 year career, Mike has worked with businesses and non-profits ranging from start-ups to organizations with a world-wide presence. His broad industry experience includes manufacturing, services, distribution, government contracting and non-profits. He has held progressively responsible management and executive level positions in Finance, Accounting, Operations, Administration, Business Development and Strategic Planning. He founded River City CFO Services, Inc. in 2008. Mike’s inspiration for the company is rooted in the belief that smaller organizations are generally “resource starved”. Smaller organizations often cannot afford (nor do they have a full-time requirement for) professional staff members such as a CFO, Human Resource Director or Quality Manager, etc. His vision was to start a business that would provide owners of smaller organizations affordable, professional level CFO services, on a part-time basis. Mike is recognized by the CEOs he has worked for as “. . . a guy who has no agenda other than to watch my back . . .” In his spare time he has been active as a volunteer, supporter and advocate for several organizations including: Meals-On-Wheels and More, Lifeworks (Adult Literacy Tutor) and a local Food Pantry\Bank.

Do you know anyone who refuses to watch televised network or cable news programs because there is too much bad news reported? I certainly have.

Topics: Operations, Featured, Management, Blog Posts

5 Tips to Keep Your Business From Becoming a Victim to Phishing Scams

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.

Phishing is a term used to describe a type of fraud whereby someone tries to get sensitive personal and financial information from you by pretending to be a legitimate bank or other business that regularly keeps sensitive data. Even the most seasoned email and Internet users can occasionally be fooled by phishing scams which are becoming more and more sophisticated. Here are five tips to help keep you and your business from becoming a victim of phishing.

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

Thinking Big, Staying Small by Jan Triplett, Ph.D.

by Jan Triplett

Business Success Center

Jan Triplett, Ph.D. is the CEO of the Business Success Center (BSC), a City of Austin certified green business, that provides sales and financial growth strategies, planning, and implementation. She is also a professor in Business and Professional Skills for the online MBA program at Mary Baldwin University. Triplett is a national and international speaker, author of A Networker’s Guide to Success and co-author of Thinking Big, Staying Small and Easy to be Green. She published The Networker ” magazine for over ten years and moderated KUT radio’s nationally syndicated program, “The Next 200 Years”. She was co-creator of the award-winning “City Management Academy” and the “Owners MBA” and co-founded the Entrepreneurs’ Association Hatchery incubator and accelerator. She is a small business activist. She served as a White House Conference on Small Business and Congressional Summit delegate, served on the Mayor’s Task Force on International Infrastructure, initiated the Northcross IBIZ District and recommended portions of Austin’s Big Box Ordinance. She was a founder of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Texas and the Greater Austin International Coalition. The SBA honored her as Texas’ Small Business Advocate. She has also earned her CBTAC and Director credentials. Her company received a Small Business Administration (SBA) five-star national award and the Austin Business Journal named it a top 20 management consulting firm.

Thinking Big, Staying Small: Communication Practices of Small Organizations

Topics: Operations, Business Best Practices, Management, Blog Posts, Content Type

Is having an 800 lb gorilla as a customer worth it?

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.

All business owners want to grow and be successful. It is part of the entrepreneurial spirit that made them want to be in business to start with. To many, supplying products or services to extremely large businesses on a large scale is the holy grail of sales.

Topics: Operations, Sales, Featured, Blog Posts, Customer Service

Calculating your business’ cost of goods sold

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.

Cost of Goods Sold or (COGS), represents the basic cost of products sold by a merchandising or manufacturing entity during the year. The standard COGS formula is a way of determining the costs attributable to the products sold, after determining how much of the inventory stocks are still on hand.
The formula is used to determine gross profit margin and is important in calculating deductions to your federal income tax return.
The basic formula for calculating COGS is

Topics: Operations, Featured, Management, Accounting & Finance

1
...
2
3
4