Berkonomics

Selling your business? Find the emotional buyer

Berkonomics

This is one of my favorite insights, since I lived this one in a positive exit from my computer business. Types of business buyers expanded. Most people will tell you that there are two kinds of eventual buyers for your business: financial and strategic.

Why not share your liquidity success with those who got you there?

Berkonomics

So, you are close to selling your company, and counting the profits a bit early. Well, that’s human nature. Here’s a thought for you to recall later when and if the event happens. Remember those who got you there.

Sales 624

Should a leader support constant change?

Berkonomics

The worrying that always precedes a change. When a new CEO or manager is hired into a company, for a while lots of energy flows from the top and new ideas seem to be generated daily.

Ideas 156

Take advantage of the good times to build stakeholder loyalty.

Berkonomics

Loyalty is a hard-earned commodity. There are several times when stakeholder loyalty is tested to the limit. For employees, a late or missed payroll is the ultimate test of corporate loyalty, divorced even from an employee’s ability to make do without a paycheck.

Reinvent your business!

Berkonomics

Businesses that forgot to reinvent.

Guide 156

Can you create a great customer case study?

Berkonomics

Attention spans are growing shorter by the second. Studies have shown that attention spans for engaging a reader or listener have fallen from eleven seconds to eight seconds on average. Eight seconds to reach someone in most any medium. Growing weary of paid advertisements.

What’s your story? Did someone else create it?

Berkonomics

It is an old warning in the entertainment industry. Define your persona the way you want others to view you – before someone else defines you by comparing you to someone not as flattering as you would like. Sometimes you win when others define your story.

Mentor 156

How much of my business do I have to give to an investor?

Berkonomics

If you’re looking for growth capital, this one’s for you. We’ll cover what information you’ll expect to provide, your range of expected values and amounts of investment to expect. All to help you set your expectations. Financial History and Projections. Let’s start with the basics.

Equity 190

Five ways to make your company stand out.

Berkonomics

There must be at least several companies out there right now positioning to compete with you. If you’re large enough, you may be the target, and if smaller, you are the minnow not the shark – and need to be agile and creative. The five strategies: Picking one to emphasize.

Insurance is always too expensive – until it’s needed.

Berkonomics

I expect that you have a story about how insurance saved you lots of money in your past. As usual, I have a story to make your hair stand on end. But first: here’s a fact.

Sites 283

Could you have created a “dirty cap table?”

Berkonomics

Oh, I know. When you started the business, you took investments from friends and family in small amounts just to get you started. Of course, that worked at the time. Enter the need for larger investments.

Invest 184

Can you defend your pricing niche against your competition?

Berkonomics

This week, we continue our series on marketing and positioning. There can be nothing more important in your business planning that selecting the proper pricing niche, making your story clear using that niche, and the defending your position against the competition.

Why buy IT? Why buy MINE? Why buy NOW?

Berkonomics

What a powerful set of three questions. These are so succinct, so well defined, so precise that everyone in sales and everyone involved in marketing must be able to answer these three questions without pause, and convincingly.

Sales 248

How much time do you spend “outside the box?”

Berkonomics

So, you’re managing all that work, all those interruptions, all those texts and pesky emails. You get home at some reasonable hour, kind of tired, and needing a recharge. Sound familiar?

Faster is sometimes more valuable than better.

Berkonomics

And d oing both well usually wins the day. This is one of those arguable insights, where both sides win. Dell is a great example of emphasis upon fast, creating a customized computer in 48 hours or less, bringing in assemblies and components just-in-time to make the assembly line.

Are you the bottleneck in your organization?

Berkonomics

Close. At many board meetings, I can be counted upon to ask, “Where’s the bottleneck this month?” Senior management is usually prepared with an answer, and a good discussion of resource availability and application follows. Sometimes, the bottleneck is not so visible to the CEO.

How do you pay an early stage board?

Berkonomics

Give one percent equity to each outside board member vesting over four years of service. Many early stage CEOs and board members have asked for some guidance regarding pay and time commitments for board members. Here is my best advice, based upon many boards and many years.

Equity 274

Are you thinking of the end game when managing your business?

Berkonomics

Ever think about growing your business with the plan to sell it someday, cashing in on your hard-earned work over the years? Or if you’re an employee with stock options, are you aware of the increases in value you can make with your efforts?

Class 248

Is your company or department as efficient as it should be?

Berkonomics

Close. There is more money lost in businesses today from inefficient processes than any other single area. Yet this is not a place where most managers feel comfortable deconstructing and rebuilding.

Your core competency and why not to stray

Berkonomics

Consider your core. It is the one skill, process or advantage you have over your competition. Then think of all the things you do to surround that core with people and assets that complete your company and allow you to release your product or perform your service.

Business risk: Bet the farm only when the crops are on fire.

Berkonomics

Close. How much risk you and your company are willing and able to tolerate over time? Most people believe that early stage companies should take risks aggressively because there is less to lose and much more to gain with each risky bet or decision.

You are watched, mostly when decisions are tough.

Berkonomics

we_are_wat we_are_watching_you. Close. If you have been in management or an entrepreneur long enough, you will have experienced the gray area of decision-making where ethics, the law, your needs and expediency all collide.

Course 248

Learn to never handle a paper or email twice

Berkonomics

Close. We all do it… to our own detriment. So, let’s make a pact that we will try, if not succeed, to handle our incoming messages more efficiently. Personal time management helps immensely to make a better manager of you and me.

Email 248

Any advice can be worthless, or worse.

Berkonomics

Close. Ever get bad advice? We all have in our past. Ever take that advice without question because the person giving it was an investor, a superior in rank, the chairperson of your board? I’ll bet you have at least one story of bad advice taken and being bitten as a result.

How can you let a talented employee go to pursue a new career?

Berkonomics

It is tough to lose your best employees wanting to advance their careers. Sometimes you can be the coach, helping them even if it means losing them.

Coach 248

I won’t serve on a board without D&O insurance!

Berkonomics

Close. I’ve been sued as a board member too many times over the past twenty-five years of board service. Five times. Does that shock you? It does me. Entrepreneurs blaming their board for failures of a fragile, early stage company.

How about your board members’ time commitments?

Berkonomics

Expect a board member to give a meeting a month, emails and phone calls between. Urgent issues require more of all. Board members are usually busy people, often running other companies or serving on multiple boards.

Email 263

You are your company’s moral compass.

Berkonomics

Here’s yet another story that you may identify with – or have yet to experience in your business life. It’s one of those that define your leadership for all to see, sometimes based upon decisions made in the moment – such as this one. A story of a CEO’s snap judgment call.

Have you been celebrating each victory?

Berkonomics

Here comes another story. Of course. This one may be like one or more you have experienced in your company. It is a story about focus upon the customer, first.

Custom 248

Here’s a rule for companies with outstanding loans

Berkonomics

Here is one that is so important to the continued health of a growing company that it cannot be overstated. It’s a bit complex for novices. But hang in there as I explain a bit about accounting classification of assets and liabilities. Differences between types of assets and liabilities.

Will tech kill your job?

Berkonomics

Close. Stop me if you’ve heard this story before. “My My job as a (newspaper publisher telephone installer, stockbroker, travel agent, retail store manager) is safe as this economy continues to grow.” Thought so. We are in a decade of creative destruction that will affect most everybody.

Coach 308

Niche marketing works. Here’s how.

Berkonomics

Close. How many of us throw away marketing dollars because our paid efforts reach an audience that is much larger than the target or niche audience we need to reach?

Hire a consultant; ignore the advice.

Berkonomics

At one time or another, most all businesses use consultants to fill the gaps in knowledge or to provide guidance for management. Consultants are good in that you can sample their work with short projects, change to other consultants quickly, and stop using them when a project is completed.

Sample 263

Here’s how NOT to define your competition

Berkonomics

We investors see this all the time. An entrepreneur pitches using a deck with no slide for competition. When asked (as we always do,) the response is “This is new. We have no competition.”. Niet! Unh unh. Professional investors laugh when they hear an entrepreneur come out with that one.

Have you made the mistake of hiring too soon?

Berkonomics

Well, you may not be alone. Many executives and managers have made the mistake of using the financial and sales forecast to plan and execute hiring of new employees – so that they could be trained and up to speed when the demand arrives. The balance between preparedness and cost.