Small Business Owner

If Bankers Want More Sales – Start Here

If Bankers Want More Sales – Start Here

As I work regularly with bankers, commercial lenders specifically, I’m frequently involved in conversations about the pressure of sales growth. Revenue growth isn’t unique in business by any means, but it takes on a slightly different angle in banking. Banking resides in a sales category one step removed from where sales typically resides.

What I mean by that is — most bankers I talk to call themselves relationship bankers. In fact, Relationship Manager is the most common title used for this position. They are set-up very well by the bank. They have branding and fantastic products behind them. They have a great presence about them, — their dress, ability to communicate and demeanor.  I love the sales environment they’ve created. When a business owner walks into a branch, the relationship manager exudes confidence and personality. He’s in the best spot in the world from a sales perspective. But the next moment is critical.

Darwin Would Love Today’s Mom and Pop Stores – In Celebration of National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day

Darwin Would Love Today’s Mom and Pop Stores – In Celebration of National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day

Survival of the fittest. That’s exactly how I would describe the conditions created in recent history within many American communities. The rise of the mega stores, or shopping clubs, create an intense amount of pressure for the traditional Mom and Pop stores. Lower prices and a seemingly unending amount of choices, combined with overwhelming advertising, make it virtually impossible for a small store to compete. 

Like Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, many of today’s mega corporations evolved from smaller business entities. Through a series of generations, the corporations took on different attributes and naturally evolved to meet the conditions that surrounded it. There can be microevolution where the original organism changes shape or color. Or macroevolution where the old version no longer exists.

How Much Is Too Much Inventory?

How Much Is Too Much Inventory?

One thing I know is that business owners love their inventory.  Every consulting engagement I enter into always begins with a tour of the operation.  I see how the work flows through the office administration, into the production areas, and out to the customer.  The ins and outs of the business are exposed with the hope that inefficiencies can be identified.

Each owner self identifies areas of their operation they envision as the “killers of cash flow.”  They point to their invoicing and collection process, or the low billable hour employee utilization rate.  Rarely do they identify their warehouse as a problem.  In fact, it’s just the opposite.  They stand in the door with pride beaming from their eyes and point to the vast amount of options they have for their customers.  Then they say things like: “We have the best selection. Or you can’t sell it if you don’t have it.”

Marketplace Lending – Some Players Small Business Owners Should Know

Marketplace Lending – Some Players Small Business Owners Should Know

The past three years have been an exciting. I’ve witnessed the rise of the alternative lender, also known as the marketplace lender. In any industry where there is a void, there is an entrepreneur with an idea to fill it. This happened in the last eight years in small business lending. As traditional banks contracted their offerings to small businesses for various reasons, the marketplace lender stepped into this opportunity.

How to Destroy Your Small Business

How to Destroy Your Small Business

I wouldn’t think that anyone in the world would be interested in this topic, but they should be.  Weekly, I have conversations with business owners who find clever and unique ways to destroy the business they are so passionate about.  They get a taste of success and get hungry for more.  So if you’re interested in destroying your business, keep reading.

How each subscription is like a grain of sand.

How each subscription is like a grain of sand.

A subscription based business model can be highly lucrative for a business, but a growing burden for the consumer.  As monthly subscription rates drop to prices “less than you spend on your morning coffee”, consumers jump on the idea of a product or service helping them.  Businesses are betting on the low cost/benefit analysis of their subscription to build an enormous customer base.  Both are adding a grain of sand to their monthly cash flow.  The question is when is enough, enough?

How to know when to pull the “trigger.”

How to know when to pull the “trigger.”

Would have, should have, could have. All statements made by small business owners when they see they missed an important opportunity in the direction of their company.  Statements that indicate that hind sight is always clearer than looking forward.  Being able to identify threats and opportunities before they happen is a skill mastered by the best operators, and one you can learn to employ in your own business.