Archives

The 10-K is one of the most important financial filings required by the SEC. All companies with publicly-traded securities must file one within 90 days of the close of their fiscal year. If you need to conduct in-depth research into a competitor, potential client or strategic partner, the 10-K is a great place to start. They are available for free via EDGAR, the SEC’s online, searchable index of filings.

Go to the article:  How To Read And Interpret A 10-K

Hollywood producers need to spend more time with startups. The swashbuckling stories of how entrepreneurs turn ideas into companies are a complex mix of drama and comedy. In some cases, the stories are so surreal that one could easily confuse them for a movie script.  One example that we can all learn from is the case of Paul Ceglia and a startup you may have heard of: Facebook.

Go to the article:  What You Can Learn From Mark Zuckerberg’s Mess

When it comes time to pitch your company to investors, most business owners play it safe. They have their traditional PowerPoint presentation that includes the Mission, Vision, Product description, management team experience, sales strategy, financial projections and competitive advantages. That’s fine, but it isn’t enough to convince investors to write you a check. Experienced angel investors and venture capitalists evaluate dozens or hundreds of potential investments each year.

Go to the article: Take it Personally When Pitching to Investors

Building a good financial model isn’t easy. Many companies spend countless hours trying to get their Excel-built model just right. The purpose of building a model is two-fold: first it lets potential investors know that you have made an attempt to project the potential performance of your business, understand what the cost drivers are and (hopefully) identify key risks in the business model. Secondly, it helps you link strategic thinking to the nitty gritty of making enough money each month to pay your bills.

Go to the article:  3 Signs That Your Financial Model Is Flawed

The earthquake and subsequent tsunami that has devastated Japan is a human tragedy of significant proportions. The resilience of the Japanese people will be tested as they emerge from this crisis. In addition to the human toll, Japan’s economy is also suffering heavily. Barclays Capital estimates that the damage from the earthquake and tsunami will exceed $180 billion.

Go to the article:  How The Japanese Crisis Will Impact Your Supply Chain

I recently wrote about the importance of multiple sales channels for small business owners and how the economics of sales channels is an important consideration when determining which channels to use. Traditional sales channels like retail stores and wholesale distributors now also work in conjunction with e-commerce. Selling via your website or a third party site is accepted as a standard.

Go to the article:  Why Your Next Online Sales Channel Will Be Facebook

The traditional marketing mix framework of product, price, place (distribution) and promotion has been in existence for more than 50 years. Virtually all undergraduate business and MBA programs discuss the interplay of these four marketing elements and how they relate to the success of any business. Despite the obvious importance of the second “p”—price —small business owners have a difficult time figuring out how much to charge for what they sell.

Go to the article:  How To Set Prices When You Have No Idea How Much To Charge

Many companies – even small companies – have communications problems between their finance and sales departments. Even if each “department” consists of only one person, they still have a hard time talking to each other.  The problem can be even worse at smaller companies that don’t have sophisticated feedback or evaluation mechanisms and can’t afford expensive consultants to help them work through the problem.

Go to article: Getting Finance and Sales to Collaborate

When it comes time to pitch your company to investors, most business owners play it safe. They have their traditional PowerPoint presentation that includes the Mission, Vision, Product description, management team experience, sales strategy, financial projections and competitive advantages. That’s fine, but it isn’t enough to convince investors to write you a check. Experienced angel investors and venture capitalists evaluate dozens or hundreds of potential investments each year.

Go to the article:  Take it Personally When Pitching to Investors

According to the latest data from the Bureau of the Census, there are roughly 5.9 million businesses in the U.S. Virtually all of these can be considered “small.”  Only 18,469 (or less than one-third of one percent) have more than 500 employees.  Even getting to several dozen employees is a feat worth of recognition:  over 89 percent of businesses have 20 employees or fewer on their payroll.  Despite the diversity in industries, resources, location ,and stage of growth, “the 89 percent” have one thing in common: you.

Go to the article:  Protect Your Business and Your Family from Yourself

Archives