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.

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How to make the most useful dashboard

Berkonomics

The need for real time information. From sports car to aircraft to super tanker, successful operation depends upon the pilot’s understanding and urgent timely use of a dashboard.

Crowdsourcing, collaboration, support groups. Oh my.

Berkonomics

At the MIT Center of Collective Intelligence, professors and graduate students are wrestling with an important opportunity – and gaining ground. With new collaborative tools available for use in the cloud, people are no longer isolated in their creative endeavors.

Can You Ask for Office Rent Relief? How to Manage Your Lease During COVID-19

Office leases are one of companies’ largest expenses, and if your whole team is working from home with no clear end in sight, you may be wondering what to do about your lease.

How to measure your power in the Internet marketplace.

Berkonomics

There are several key performance indicators that help new generation company management see more clearly their progress and corporate health. The old measures, including return on investment, percentage of profit against revenue or employee count, and more, obviously are still relevant.

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Three questions to answer about your COVID response

Berkonomics

Most of us are affected by this current crisis. Many businesses threatened with closure forever. Small businesses are the most vulnerable, even though most have furloughed employees. Rent and other fixed costs continue, even when revenues have dried up – a fatal combination.

Have you lost (some) enthusiasm for the job?

Berkonomics

So, you’ve been at this for years through thick and thin, great days and days in which you’ve had better times. Much of your job has become routine. But it feels good to see your “baby” grow and others buy into your vision. That daily routine.

Email 181

How much is that one additional unit worth?

Berkonomics

Most college econ courses teach marginal economics. So, not to scare those who didn’t take econ, here is a simple explanation. Let’s use breakeven as our test. Let’s say that your company is exactly at breakeven.

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Should you cast your net where the big fish swim?

Berkonomics

This is one of those “My dad used to say” homilies. You’ve probably heard the accompanying “It takes just as much effort to sell a small deal as a big one,” over the years. It is not that simple in the business world. The truth of this is more nuanced.

.Net 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.

Let’s talk about whistle-blowers

Berkonomics

Assuming that a corporate whistle-blower is not tooting about you individually, such a class of people have been granted protections under the law and serve a function that needs to be acknowledged. Motive of the whistle-blower.

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Which is more important? Workplace safety or profits?

Berkonomics

Its a new world out there. Some businesses never sent people to work from home, told they were “essential businesses.” ” Soon more will reopen as weeks and months go by. That’s a relief for most of us from the combination of boredom and lack of social interaction.

Have you experienced your disaster recovery event yet?

Berkonomics

Have you ever lost all your data on your smartphone, laptop, company server or desktop PC? If not, it is probably only a matter of time until you do.

Have you fallen into the buggy whip trap?

Berkonomics

Surely, you’ve heard the buggy whip analogy. A business making those necessary items ignored the signs of progress and found itself without a market. Perhaps that happened to sword smiths upon the invention of the rifle, and certainly to the makers of cassette tapes upon the dawn of the CD.

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Especially now: Play nice!

Berkonomics

To survive this nasty Covid 19 surge facing businesses of all types, leaders must make decisions that hurt but are necessary. Keep the employees for the SBA PPP requirements regarding loan forgiveness, or furlough or let good employees go, so they can file unemployment claims?

Email 156

Traditional marketing vs. social engagement

Berkonomics

Woe to those teaching yesterday’s methods. We all know that the world of marketing has turned upside down these past years through the power of the Internet. College professors teaching marketing must be having a real challenge keeping up with the new channels of communication, the relative values of advertising buys in this new world and explaining how to make the most out of these cheaper and more powerful channels. The new power model of marketing.

Cash control during these strange times

Berkonomics

And these are indeed strange times, especially if you haven’t lived through 2000-2002 and 2007-2008 recessions and difficulty in finding money from banks and investors. The simple economic truth. Here is a simple economic truth. Fixed overhead continues to eat into your cash month after month.

Warning: Contractors must really be independent!

Berkonomics

Our challenge is getting more difficult. How many of us have “hired” independent contractors over the years, a bit worried over the gray area between employee and contractor as defined by the IRS? Or separately the State of California?

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Could you be your company’s bottleneck?

Berkonomics

So many tasks; so little time. As a manager, you have a number of critical tasks that are general to your position as opposed to specific to your industry.

Do you even know what questions to ask?

Berkonomics

Great executives and managers seem to intuitively know what they don’t know. But it is not at all uncommon to not even know what questions to ask. Who would have thought about COVID 19 and public’s panic responses? Image credit: Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay.

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Does your company culture encourage employee curiosity?

Berkonomics

It’s more common than you think. Some of the world’s best companies to work for are those that encourage employees to spend time following their own paths of curiosity toward development of new products or services.

Remember the FAIRNESS doctrine

Berkonomics

Reduce the emotion; reduce the threat of lawsuit. You’ve certainly experienced the angry outburst from an associate or employee who has just learned of an event that the person took as “unfair,” no matter how rational the explanation by the decision maker.

Reduce five risks: Increase your valuation

Berkonomics

Why five risks? In the creation of a young company, there are five principal risks to be addressed by the entrepreneur. Professional investors will probe these five risk areas and make the decision to invest based upon comfort with each.

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.

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Does your company have a “dirty cap table?”

Berkonomics

How it happens. When you seek professional investors, whether organized angels or venture capitalists, one of the early questions you are asked is “How have you financed the business so far?” Investors love to see entrepreneurs who have used their own money to ignite their businesses.

CoronaVirus and small business: A discussion about economics

Berkonomics

By Harley Kaufman, guest author. Note from Dave: Harley is an old friend and avid reader of BERKONOMICS. With a background in management and technology, he gives us something to think about regarding today’s top-of-news subject. Addressing the issue to small and medium businesses.

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How about personal guarantees for company debt?

Berkonomics

Is the guarantee still required today? More than ever, the banks and lenders today require personal guarantees from entrepreneurs, and even from CEO’s of angel or some VC funded businesses.

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.

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Some thoughts about office politics

Berkonomics

Where’s the threat? It is hard to separate this kind of advice from economic lessons in running a business, when office politics can threaten a business in ways that are subtle, but sometimes just as devastating as economic shocks or continuing poor management. Examining the petri dish.

Where’s your sense of urgency?

Berkonomics

It is human nature to start in a new position with enthusiasm, lofty goals, new ideas, and a heightened awareness of those around us and their ideas for the business. After time in our job positions.

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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.

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Why document your company’s tribal knowledge?

Berkonomics

The processes you and your subordinates follow. It is not common for the CEO of a rapidly growing company to think of slowing down the furious pace enough to have each manager (including the CEO) document the job process managed, as well as see to the documentation for each process managed below.

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.

Data collection is about to get much more dangerous

Berkonomics

On January First, 2020, California will enact the toughest data protection laws ever, far outpacing Europe’s General Data Protection Act (GDPR.) Called the California Consumer Privacy Ace (CCPA), few of us are even aware of this and need to know.

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Special edition: Building semi pro audio video studio

Berkonomics

Like to make professional videos for a small cost? Postings to on-line sites? Dave takes you through the process, shows the results, and gives you the costs. There’s lots more information you will find as you experiment and may need when selecting and learning the tools Dave lists.

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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.

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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.

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?

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.

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.

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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?

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The dangerous game: Hiring from a competitor

Berkonomics

Sometimes it is the first thought you or your managers have when in need of skilled talent, especially for sales or product development. It is not hard to find and observe the best employees of a good competitor at work, skillfully moving the competitor forward in a visible way.