Monthly Archives: May 2016

Six Reasons for Availing Certified Business Appraisal

b20The fast changing economic scenario entails companies to keep track of their value for having a better hold on the market. The highly competitive market environment is making the assessment of enterprises fluctuate drastically. Also, you will find many companies that have disappeared from the list few months down the line. Hence, it is crucial to get a certified business appraisal. It will not only serve as a benchmark, but also help businesses in many other ways.

Here are the top reasons why you should get certified business appraisal:

Reporting – You have the responsibility to report the assessment of the company to investors on a quarterly or annual basis. It provides financial health of the enterprise and increases investor confidence.

Fundraising – If you want to raise funds for your business, you would need the appraisal report. It is necessary for both conventional fundraising from banks or for current options which include crowd funding.

Merger or Acquisition – You need a detailed appraisal report of the entire business to enter into any merger, or you decide to sell your business. It is the first step in the whole process of selling. It will help you negotiate a better price.

To Acquire Seed Capital – If you are planning a start-up, you need to determine the value to give investors a reason to raise seed money. A business appraiser values the start-up based on future business potential rather than the current monetary value.

To issue ESOP to employees – If a private company wants to issue ESOP (Employee stock options) to their staff, they need to get the valuation done. The assessment helps them determine the contribution of shares employees can receive annually.

Litigation – It is important to have clear valuation report to face any form of dispute on company assets. The insurance may not cover the loss when and if a business is sued and loses the case. The valuation report makes it easy to come to a decision on selling assets to settle the litigation.

In conclusion, a certified business appraisal is crucial for the worth of the company ultimately depends on its assessment. It is always best to get the report from a certified business appraiser holding a valid license and relevant experience in the field. A report is valuable to find the real worth of your business as well as to know the weaknesses so that you can take steps to correct them, which can increase the value of the firm in the future.

What Is the Definition of Work

b19I have worked for many years all over the world. Ten of those years, I spent in Japan. Work there was always different somehow. It seemed more exciting and fun. I had wondered why. I also saw that the Japanese had a work ethic second to none. After my time was up there, I left, having never really understood why they worked so hard and so well.

After a decade, I returned. This thing called work still plagued me. Was it because of their Buddhist and Shinto cultures? I wondered. It had something to do with their culture and beliefs. But I could not put my finger on exactly what it was.

Then one day I was receiving my change from a convenience store attendant. The attendant was bowing and somehow I could tell she wished me well. It was not a job thing. It was not something she was doing for her. She was doing it for me.

I thanked the attendant and looked at her.

I turned to my wife, who was Japanese. “Can I ask you what your definition of work is?” She laughed, as sometimes I asked unusual things about Japan. I then said that actually I had wanted to tell her what I thought their definition of work was.

She nodded. I then explained the following. “Work is an opportunity, to give back to society, from which one has been drawing upon since birth. And for that, you get paid.” My wife looked at me strangely as if I had said nothing unusual. “Of course,” was all she said.

Then after we left the convenience store she asked what I had thought work was, if it was not giving back to society. I just shook my head. I did not really think we had a real definition for work in the West. It was about bettering self, or something. There was nothing noble in its definition, and as a social function, it often failed.

Later I thought of all the parks I had used, all the roads, hospitals, schools, beaches, clean air, the views from mountains, and a whole lot more. I realised I still had a lot to give back to make up for the wonderful use I had made of this world. This really affected me. I also realised that my work was putting a future society here, so that others not-born-yet, could later pay it back. I somehow feel good about that.

I tell this to almost everyone I meet in the West now. Work is not some self-betterment exercise. It is an opportunity to pay back those who had worked so hard before, putting our society together, here for me, my friends, family and the rest of us. I feel happy that I finally I understand that work is my chance to discharge this great obligation.

I also found something else interesting. I was no longer upset if work took longer. And the money I received for my work seemed far less as important as the work itself. It was all in the definition.

The Rise of the Global Boutique Production Company

b18Production companies working with film and photography have seen the industry change over the course of the 20th century. Once relegated to the mega-studios or individual advertising companies, now it is common to find a production that is small enough in size to serve the individual needs of each of its customers, but able to do so on a global scale. With modern technological advances and partnerships with the right niche contractors around the world, these companies handle every digital branding need for businesses large and small.

Global Impact, Local Service

As industries grow, it’s been common for businesses to evolve into massive corporate entities, with huge staff and presences around the world. While this made it effective for these companies to handle a volume of work, each individual client that they served often lost out on that personal touch that is so necessary to effectively building and maintaining a brand presence. For example, a company looking to target customers overseas may find that working with a large company means they never know who they will be talking with at any given time, while instead, finding a German production company will help them develop the exact right materials to target that market, all with a devoted staff guiding them through each stage.

Able To Handle The Largest Jobs

The benefit of these smaller-scale production companies is that they can handle just about any needed job, wither in-house or through a network of related partner contractors. For example, in the above scenario, the German production company would know the right people – from casting directors to camera operators – to film a video job in the country, without the client needing to leave their home base.

A single boutique production company can handle any print media elements that may be needed for a campaign or event, including ad campaigns, catalogs, and even published interviews or editorials. If it comes to a special cause, a company can help put on an event from start to finish, even something as unique as an art exhibition or fashion show.

Not to mention, a company means that clients are able to access Hollywood’s resources. Whether the goal is to have a particular celebrity endorse a product or an ad, or to cast a group of actors for roles in a promotional video, the production company will have all the means to handle every single aspect, from start to finish.

Size Matters

It can’t be said enough that one of things attracting large-scale clients to smaller, boutique production companies is that they can have more or less of a role in the entire branding or marketing process. Some clients prefer to be entirely hands-off, in which the above resources can be utilized to take care of every aspect. Or, if a client prefers to attend castings or visit locations, a smaller team will be more than happy to accommodate requests.

Finding Your Critical Numbers

b17As a Business Coach I have created and reviewed hundreds of annual business plans. I find many companies do a poor job of creating their plans, which seriously diminishes their growth in revenue and profits. On the surface, these plans look like they have the right ingredients for success. However, a closer look shows that the leaders inadvertently led themselves astray. They then lose valuable time and energy, creating a profit leak.

As a certified Gazelles coach, I help clients implement the concepts found in Scaling Up by Verne Harnish. The “One-Page Strategic Plan” is a key tool that everyone looks forward to using in our annual planning process. Whether your company uses this business planning tool or something else, the issues you must consider are the same. Only the presentation of the business plan is different.

At the bottom of each of the “priorities” columns of the “One-Page Plan” is the “Critical Number” section. I have found that selecting the “Critical Number” may be the single most important decision in the planning process. The “Critical Number” is a key performance indicator that you have identified as the essential leading indicator for any given planning period. Whether you are planning the year, the quarter, or your personal priorities, it is essential to pick the one or two Critical Numbers that must be achieved to drive all of the other desired outcomes. If you are not sure which Critical Numbers to select, you’ll find some clues by asking yourself questions like:

• What is the key weakness in our business model?
• What is the biggest weakness in our operations?
• What is causing us not to gain customers?
• What is causing us to lose customers?
• What is causing our cost structure to be out of line with that of our competition?

Revenue is a common number clients use. However, this is not a good choice for a “Critical Number.” If growth is an issue, you need to go deeper and find the leading indicator at the root of that problem. For example, are you not able to generate enough leads? Do you generate enough quality leads?

A great example of failing to identify the correct Critical Number in a technology company that recently ran into trouble. This company had been mildly successful for years and achieved moderate revenue growth and great profit margins. But, this company always experienced inconsistent performance in its sales team. Revenue had always depended on a yearly home-run sale. There was no predictability in the sales performance. However, the company recently found that sales were more challenging and customers now preferred the products of competitors. After deep consideration, the company found it did not meet its number-one brand promise. I had challenged this client a few years ago to put more specific measures around their brand promises. They had failed to do so, and this was now coming back to haunt them. In this case, believe it or not, their most important promise was that their product could do what it was supposed to do. My client failed to “Get it Right.” So we developed a way to measure the “% of known issues unsolved” within their technology. That became their Critical Number.

Once you find your Critical Number, ask the question, “If we focus too much on this Critical Number, what could go wrong in the company?” If the answer is nothing, then you only need that one Critical Number. However, if you find focusing on that number hurts other areas of business, you’ll want to balance the first Critical Number with a second one. This will prevent you from unintentionally injuring your progress. In the case above, the company had a cash concern. They responded by focusing the sales team on closing a minimum number of quarterly transactions. They broke that number into 20 qualified leads that were already in the pipeline and needed to be accelerated in the sales cycle.