PPP and EIDL are options to get things done in your business but there are plenty more if you look further than those related to debt or equity. These slides from a presentation to a local chamber of commerce will give you some ideas of what is out there. If you find more, let me know!
Your sales projection formula is key to more accurate financial projections and to the success of your business.
Sales projection formulas are always wrong. Here are six ways to improve them.
Sales projections are wrong because…
- Sales projections are not supposed to be right. They need to be relevant.
They’re a snapshot. They are a specific point in time, based on relevant data and criteria and are defensible within limits. They give you an idea of what to expect each week or month or year. Improve your sales projections by making sure you don’t accept the projected sales numbers without question — including your own numbers. The answers you get from salespeople in terms of what they think will close have to be reasonable and with some sort of basis not just hype and hope. [Read more…]
Get a partner or set up a strategic alliance — which is better for your business growth? Many business owners want a “partner” to share the load. Partners exert a lot of control no matter how little of the business they own. Use a strategic alliance instead to grow your business and keep more control.
What is a Strategic Alliance?
“If we are together, nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail.” Winston Churchill
In 2005, companies reported that 18% of their revenue was generated through strategic alliances. The economy has changed but there are still thousands of alliances formed each year and are critical as we re-think business post COVID-19.
According to Ard-Pieter de Man and Dave Luvison, authors of Collaborative Business Models: Aligning and Operationalizing Alliances (from Business Horizons Volume 62, Issue 4, July–August 2019, Pages 473-482), “the big challenge is to align company interests with alliance interests”. This peer-reviewed article is definitely worth reading and thinking about especially for larger organizations.
It pays to know more and think more before deciding that a strategic alliance is right for you.
Contract negotiations and re-negotiations can be risky business. Both parties go into it with the assumption of the potential for conflict. If you are the provider, you do have a secret weapon: your existing customers and their contracts.
These existing contracts give you precedent that you can use in the negotiations. This is especially true if you do business with a government entity. As my colleague Sandra Stenzel, founder of the Bid Resource Centers in Texas that became the model throughout the US has often said to clients, “the government wants the lowest responsive, responsible bid”. That translates in contract negotation to “we want the best deal” — unspoken is “than you give anyone else”.
In our case, our client was faced with a customer who wanted the same terms as the government got and not an increase in price from the last contract. Reasonable, but not in line with the contracts of their other clients. Our client’s goal was to provide parity with his other non-government contracts for the same work. Also reasonable and necessary for his growth in order to simplify his pricing structure which was definitely not standardized. [Read more…]
Austin’s Family Business Loan was described as a way to encourage small businesses to hire at an Austin Human Resource Management Association meeting.
It’s financed under the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Section 108 Loan Program in association with the U.S Small Business Administration, private banks and credit unions. The funds are to benefit businesses and people who fit the profile of “HCU”, hard-core unemployed. [Read more…]
Protect your small business with this year’s IRS Tax Calendar. This is also known as “The Tax Calendar for Small Businesses and Self-Employed” (Pub. 1518, Catalog Number 12350Z). It’s a scary world out there!
It’s back in print. Hurrah! We’ve missed having them. We used to give these out each year to our clients because they are really valuable. They have also been known to cause nail-biting and hair-pulling. Unfortunately, all the Spanish language wall calendar print versions are gone and will not be re-printed. Maybe next year they will print more since Hispanic businesses are one of the fastest growing startup groups. [Read more…]
In 1789, Benjamin Franklin said in a letter that there are only two things you can be certain of death and taxes.
He was certainly right about the taxes. Especially sales tax. We are hearing from clients and accountant colleagues about the increase in sales tax audits. These are turning out not to be friendly, let’s talk audits but somewhat nasty, prove you’re innocent audits where the assumption is that your business is not paying what it should.
The real issue is not whether you’re paying but whether you’re collecting, then paying. Since that’s what you are really doing. You’re the Sheriff of Nottingham and Prince John wants his due. [Read more…]
There’s nothing wrong with Cost-plus or Value-based pricing when they are done right. Both are good strategies but incomplete in my opinion.
In the case of Cost-based pricing, basically you look at the costs and then add a percentage for profit on top of that number to arrive at a price.
In my experience, those who set the prices don’t know, forget, or leave out costs that they shouldn’t. Sometimes it is the cost of the salary of the principals or putting in enough for contingencies. Just as often they don’t include all the costs involved in being able to provide this product or service before and after getting customer #1. Then there are the true total costs to support and maintain this customer with this product or service. [Read more…]
I have proposed a topic, “Best Practices in Pricing”, for ProductCamp Austin. If you’ve never been or ever heard of it, it’s a great day of free business information for product managers, business owners, and those thinking of starting a business. Attendees select the topics the day of the event so they get to hear what they are most interested in that day.
Although the session has sold out, there is a waiting list. I encourage you to get on it. For more information on Austin Product Camp, go to http://productcampaustin.org. For information on my session on Pricing and the 39 other great sessions, go to http://bit.ly/e6chc0. [Read more…]
How are we doing? Since there is no legislature in session, the Governor will not give a state of the state address this January. So Ben Philpott of KUT radio (90.5FM) and the Texas Tribune asked some of us who are living through it to give our perceptions.
The interview, entitled “Their State of the State”, is worth a listen. You’ll hear what I, the Comptroller’s representative R J Desilva, and others have to say about how well Texas business is doing. [Read more…]