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

Let your board help with “what” and “why” – but rarely “how.”

Berkonomics

I am sure you can argue with this one. Sometimes a board member is valuable in teaching the “how” to get things done inside the company.

Help 156

Does your board give you good advice?

Berkonomics

This may be news, but boards of directors can offer bad advice. Having served on more than forty boards, I’ve seen such a variety of good and bad advice that my stories could fill a book. (oh, oh, wait.

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.

Where’s your team playbook? Hmm?

Berkonomics

This one comes straight from football.

Coach 156

Hire for your core. Partner for the rest.

Berkonomics

A trend for businesses large and small. There is a major trend shaping up that is worldwide, already identified by hundreds of thousands of startup and small business CEO’s.

Are you a remote manager? A good one?

Berkonomics

Are you a virtual manager? Can you be effective if you are a “virtual” manager, commuting from home or a home office and being with your employees only part time? Measuring your performance.

Email 156

Can you name the two most powerful words for business?

Berkonomics

Here’s a puzzle where the answer come first. Help me.”.

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

Do you take those loyal, key customers for granted?

Berkonomics

We know that an executive’s job is not easy. Nor is there much time in a typical day for outreach of any kind.

Custom 156

How much do you spend on R&D? Is it enough?

Berkonomics

Why do profitable, mature businesses die away?

.Net 156

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

Everyone needs to manage their mantra or move on.

Berkonomics

Ever stand with someone you’ve never met when at a party, a trade show or just meet someone in the hallway? We all have. And then that person opens his or her mouth and spends a boring two minutes describing their business to you?

Coach 170

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.

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.

Reinvent your business!

Berkonomics

Businesses that forgot to reinvent.

Guide 156

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

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.

Angel 263

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

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 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

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

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.

Class 308

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

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.

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.

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?