You, Me and a Budget Spreadsheet

Budgeting.  UGH.

I call it the “B Word” because so many people are resistant to the word BUDGETING. Nobody wants to Budget, right?  Budgeting is all about deprivation and doing without.  It’s like…gulp…dieting.

Budgeting doesn’t have to be a soul-sucking, frustrating experience.  The way I teach it is fun, easy and powerful.  From Main Street to Wall Street, simple budgeting is a great way to create goals and achieve them.  You create a workable selling price as a bonus.  Neat!

Budgeting focuses on spending.   You don’t want to be wasteful or thoughtless when it comes to expenses.  Little things add up. […]

By |March 18th, 2014|Accounting, Budgeting|0 Comments

5 Tips for Financial Goal Setting!

“What’s the point of setting financial goals?  I have no idea what will happen each day for sales.  Unexpected expenses crop up all the time, too.  If it’s just a ‘guess,’ then why bother?”

That’s what one of my clients just shared with me.  I appreciate his candor and his frustration.  However, if you want tomorrow to be better than today, it starts with intention and imagination.  So, set financial goals…no matter how awkward it is.  As you clarify your intention and take aligned action, you will make those dreams come to pass.  It’s OK if it takes a little longer and costs a little more than you hoped.

Here’s more help!  I put together 5 Tips for Financial Goal Setting.  Enjoy! […]

By |March 11th, 2014|Accounting, Budgeting|2 Comments

How To Raise Your Prices

Year end is a great time to consider the year to come.  Review the wins and losses and vow to make 2014 even better.  Update your Budget.  Consider what costs are going up. Health insurance?  Yep.  Retirement benefits?  You aren’t getting any younger.  New trucks?  Hey, it’s time.   Then, create a top line Sales Goal that will cover your guesstimated costs and deliver your desired amount of profits.  Business 101.  

Now, consider what that will do to your Selling Prices.  Or, put another way, consider what you will have to sell each hour or widget for to hit that Sales Goal.  Time to raise prices?  Yep.  Prices go up…year after year.   The truck you just bought […]

By |November 18th, 2013|Budgeting, Getting it Sold, How Much Should I Charge, Pricing|4 Comments

Phenomenal Financial Blast!

Anthony and Rose joined me and Shauna (aka Sha-nomenal!) and the Phenomenal Team at Howard Partridge’s Inner Circle program in Houston.   There, we hosted the FUNomenal Financial Blast.  Owners from 21 companies cleaned up their financials, crunched budgeting numbers, determined selling prices and explored the Financial Quick Check report.  Super Nerdy Fun!  And powerful […]

Why Kooky Family Businesses Matter

Recently, I chatted with Monaica Ledell of about what it takes to be successful in business.  We agreed that a winning business of your own can expand peace, prosperity and freedom.  It can also help make the house payment and pay for dance lessons.  Here’s the interview.  Lots of tips and a few rarely shared stories from my colorful business past!  

A family business can help you make ends meet, and it can help you build a dynasty.  Spanx is a family business, started by a busy mom.  Mary Kay Cosmetics is a family business, created by Mary Kay Ashe and her sons.  The best companies I know […]

3 “Aha” Takeaways From My Business Planning Retreat

Wow.  It is the 10th annual A.G.E. Business Planning Retreat.  Al Levi, Gail Gudell and I have met every year since 2004 to review our respective business plans.  It’s our time to reflect and recommit to our highest intentions.

This year we met at Al’s place in Scottsdale, Arizona.  We mixed in a yoga class and some world class dining…as we discussed what we really, really, really want, and what we are willing to do […]

Time is Money – Spend it, and Sell it, Wisely

“I would willingly stand at street corners, hat in hand, begging passersby to drop their unused minutes into it.”  ~Bernard Berenson
Our most precious commodity is time.  You can always make more money.  You only have so much time.   In order to be successful in business, you must account for your time:  the time you spend and the time you sell.

How are you spending your time?  Try this…

Fill out a time card.  Yep, you, the boss, the owner, the executive…whatever role you play that allows you to walk past the time clock.  Figure out how you are spending your day.  Record your activities and hours spent.  How much time is spent doing tasks that won’t lead you closer to your hopes and dreams?  You don’t need to ‘clock – in’ forever.  Just do a study for two weeks and confront how you spend your time.
Do it, dump it or delegate it.  Be willing to make changes.  Ask yourself, about each task you perform… […]

Post-its + a Sharpie + Excel = Your Org Chart

Does it make you cringe to think about imposing the formal structure of an Organization Chart on your small shop?  Fear not!  The Organization Chart can be a wonderful tool.  Recalling my many, many jobs, I can count on three fingers the number of times I actually knew for what I was responsible and to whom I was required to report.  I would have loved that information on every job.  It’s frustrating to not know what your responsibilities are.  It’s confusing to have someone tell you what to do just to have another person tell you to do just the opposite.

Your Own Organization Chart – The Bare Bones Basics

You will need…

A large unadorned wall or dry erase board.
A stack of Post It notes…the 3×3 inch size is good.
A sharpie!

Begin with the end in mind.  What is your […]

How Much Should I Charge?

What price would you put on the gift of life?  Priceless?  Beyond measure?  No way to put that value in dollars?

But we attach a price tag to ourselves every day.  How much do you charge for an hour of your life?  How much for your knowledge, experience, physical and technical skills?  What are you worth?

Let’s work through a little exercise that will help you figure out what you’re worth.  The work you do takes time.  And time is the most precious resource.  Time reflects your life, sands through the hourglass.  When you exchange your time, your life, to go to work, you should be justly compensated.  How much do you need to charge to make this business worth your while?

For the sake of keeping this exercise simple, let’s assume that you are 40 years old and run a one-person heating company:  YOU.  You wear ALL the hats…the exquisite heating systems, running around for parts, general janitorial work around the shop and all the accounting and administrative work.  (Whew.) […]

By |March 11th, 2013|Budgeting, How Much Should I Charge, Making Money|5 Comments

Who Taught You Business Basics?

Business is pretty easy.  I wish we taught accounting and finance basics in sixth grade.  Alas, I didn’t even learn how to balance a checkbook during my high priced stint at a private college for a Business Administration degree.  However, once I learned business basics – stumbling through our family business and with the help of great mentors, including Warren Buffet, Frank Blau – I was gob smacked by how easy it is.  When you charge more than it costs for something you create a profit.  You manufacture your own money.  When you take that profit in cash (as opposed to letting it decompose in Accounts Receivable) you can use that cash to grow your business.  You can use that cash to turn around a bad financial situation.  Money buys options.  Money can fix things.  Not everything.  But just about everything is easier with some cash on hand. […]

By |March 4th, 2013|Accounting, Budgeting|4 Comments