Newsletter

  • 12 Nov
    November Newsletter

    November Newsletter

    November Newsletter

    “Charity can be the outward expression of faith and hope.”
    – Joseph B. Wirthlin

    We all know how important it is to give back to our communities. Besides helping our companies build a positive reputation, philanthropic endeavors can improve employee morale. And more and more consumers like buying from socially responsible businesses.

    Many of us are already doing an exemplary job of contributing. But what if you want to step up your game? Where do you begin? With money or time?

    Monetary donations are always a logical starting point. Before you write that check, I recommend vetting the organization to ensure your funds are being used to their best effect. Are your contribution dollars being allocated appropriately? Look at the nonprofit’s history, check out its online presence, talk to other donors and volunteers, and see how transparent they are with their real numbers. A few clicks on Candid.org or on an organization’s website can reveal financial statements, 990s (the tax documents that federally tax-exempt organizations file each year with the IRS) and other information such as administrative salaries, total contributions, and total assets available to serve their charitable purpose.

    Of course, there are plenty of other ways to help with your time and talents. You can donate your knowledge and expertise to schools and startups; provide internship or mentorship opportunities; coach or sponsor a youth sports team; participate in food drives, clean-ups and 5Ks; build a house; or volunteer at your place of worship. You may want to look for opportunities at JustServe.org.

    Many businesses are now encouraging employees to volunteer as a vital part of their community. It’s important to regularly show support for the residents and businesses who support you. Discovering the causes or projects that you would like to support can become a vital part of your company culture.

    Fundamentals:Financial – Part 2

    “I’m a big advocate of financial intelligence.”
    – Daymond John

    As we discussed in our previous issue, a fundamental dynamic of business is paying attention to the organization’s financial performance and stability, not just for now but sustainably into the future. A reliable method for doing this is through the development of financial and nonfinancial benchmarks.

    Benchmarking measures performance to track current results and improvements made to the business. In addition, trends are created when benchmarks are compared against different time periods. This information is used to develop strategies as well as responding and taking action.

    Industry and trade associations provide standards against which benchmarks can be measured. The idea is to track benchmarks in all key areas of the business, to monitor progress and success. This is an excellent way to engage employees in the process. They get to see objective measurements that clearly show improving performance, which can involve them and lead cultural change.

    Because this is such an extensive topic, we will address some common benchmarks in Part 3 with our December issue.

    Over the last few newsletters, we have been discussing the concept of the “Five D’s,” five major events that can create severe disorder in a business. These are:

    • Disagreement
    • Divorce
    • Disability
    • Distress
    • Death

    As a reminder, 50% of business exits are NOT voluntary, a profound reinforcement of the importance of having a plan in place for each possible occurrence. Today we are going to talk about the Fourth D, “Distress.”

    Distress generally refers to pain or suffering affecting the body, a bodily part, or the mind. This can be a “mental, physical, or social, force or pressure that puts real or perceived demands on the body, emotions, mind, or spirit, and which (when it exceeds the stress-handling capacity of the individual) can lead to a breakdown,” according to BusinessDictionary.com.

    Financial issues are often a major cause of distress. Others include overwork, problems with employees and/or partners, unexpected increases in expenses, loss of a key team member or customer, substance abuse troubles, unexpected damage to property, and many more. As you can see, the boundaries between the Five D’s are not hard and fast, but fluid, with one event often causing or leading to another.

    Depending on the type of distress you are dealing with, consulting with an appropriate outside professional, whether a therapist, spiritual advisor, business coach, mentor or other trusted specialist, may be the most suitable course of action. Regardless, you need to have a plan established and documented for dealing with the wide variety of factors that can become an issue for you or your business.

    UPCOMING EVENTS

    Join me at the AM&AA Southern Nevada Chapter:
    Middle Market Insights for Trusted Business Advisors
    November 19
    REGISTER HERE

    Business owners often feel as though they have no one to talk to, no one who really understands the frustrations and loneliness of entrepreneurship, not to mention the occasional sleepless night. They find it difficult to truly open up and share everything with employees, friends, family, or even business partners, who may mean well, yet don’t have the experience, ability, or objectivity to provide meaningful support and direction.

    It’s as though the business owner is sitting at his or her desk, with piles of obligations and concerns, while across the desk sits an empty chair.

    Chuck Mohler often walks in and claims the previously empty seat as the best person to fill the void. Chuck uses his 25+ years of experience in business and his multiple professional certifications to guide owners, after careful listening, with sound advice and action. In his role as a qualified, trusted advisor, coach and mentor, he shares hard-won lessons, addresses specific challenges and helps implement vital systems and processes, all while lending an empathetic ear. Or, sometimes, a needed kick in the pants.

    By chuck Newsletter
  • 09 Oct
    October Newsletter

    October Newsletter

    “Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour and it seems like a minute.
    That’s relativity.”
    – Albert Einstein
    And yet, for those of us not blessed with an astronomical IQ, time does seem to be speeding up. I often compare the second half of a year to the second half of a gas tank. The first half seems to take forever; the second disappears in the blink of an eye. Which is how we find ourselves, ready or not, in October with the holidays staring us in the face.

    Before things spin too wildly out of control, this would be a good time to step on the brakes, at least temporarily, and do one of those quarterly business goal assessments we talk about from time to time.

    As a reminder, the most worthwhile goals are SMART, a handy acronym that helps ensure they are clear and reachable, and stands for:

    Specific
    Measurable
    Achievable
    Relevant
    Time-bound

    In the words of noted French poet and author Antoine de Saint Exupery, “ A goal without a plan is just a wish.” In the remaining sections of this newsletter, we talk about specific ways to plan and budget properly.

    For now, think about where you’ve been so far in 2019, and just as importantly, what you will accomplish during the balance of this year.
    Fundamentals: Financial – Part 1
    “I believe that through knowledge and discipline, financial peace is possible for all of us.”
    – Dave Ramsey
    A fundamental dynamic of business is paying attention to the organization’s financial performance and stability, not just for now but sustainably into the future. The best way to do this is dropping the old mentality that the accounting and finance department is strictly for reporting history and counting widgets.

    The financial department should be proactively involved in supporting the future of the organization through value-added activities. These include contributing to leadership discussions, identifying areas for improvement, leading cost effective design, detecting inefficiencies in processes, changing the way accounting is utilized, participating in the implementation of strategic plans, conducting benchmarking studies, developing best practices, supporting integrated information systems, analyzing trends and opportunities, and building relationships throughout the organization along with outside stakeholders from investors to lenders with capital funds for expansion. Simply put, the financial team members are critical to building, shaping and developing a successful transferrable business.

    With today’s technology, the old transaction processing and data entry of the traditional bookkeeper should not make up your entire financial department.

    More to come in our next issue.
    The Five D’s: Disability

    Over the last few newsletters, we have been discussing the concept of the “Five D’s,” five major events that can create severe disorder in a business. These are:

    Disagreement
    Divorce
    Disability
    Distress
    Death

    Every business needs a contingency plan for Disability, the third D. Even the Constitution of the United States makes allowances for questions raised by presidential disability, which has happened a number of times throughout our history.

    Before age 65, we are all more likely to need the benefits of disability insurance than life insurance. All owners and executives stand a reasonable chance of becoming disabled for three months or longer during their time at the helm, anywhere from 21% to 38% according to some insurance studies. Long before you or your executive team might need it, define and understand the parameters, protections and obligations of your company, your partners, your spouse and others in the event of your disability. Disability can create many problems, including questions of who will make the emergency decisions, how to keep the company running, who will make the long-term transition choices, and how to support the disabled owner and their family.

    Beyond visiting with insurance advisors and financial planners to discuss disability insurance policies to shift some of the risks, you need to craft the necessary contingency plan documents to grant the proper authority to trusted individuals.

    Disability insurance might be an added expense, but it’s not as expensive as losing your company and your livelihood in the event of accidents, medical issues like cancer or being the victim of a violent act.
    All too often, business owners take a “set it and forget it” approach to budgeting. They plug in some numbers on a spreadsheet, hit “save” and smile with satisfaction knowing this cursory task is out of the way for another year.

    What they fail to realize is that a business budget should be a living, breathing document, something not just thrown together to keep the bankers happy, but a useful instrument to keep your business on track. As a planning tool, it combines past trends with realistic forecasts to enable you to evaluate your successes and failures, and determine what’s happening with important metrics like your gross profit margin and anticipated capital expenses. Meanwhile, it is updated as resources are reallocated every time decisions are made to adjust to changing market conditions or goals not achieved or exceeded.

    Budgets help with setting goals and establishing priorities. A budget should detail where funding will come from to execute new strategies and how much revenue can be generated by executing the strategies successfully.

    Budgeting should also account for long-term needs. These can include costly expenditures such as additional staffing or wage increases, upgrades to computer hardware and software, purchasing equipment, adding a new location, or developing a new product line.

    As we prepare for 2020, we know that many external forces are beyond our control. If our company procures raw materials or finished products from China, for example, budgeting will indicate how ongoing tariffs are cutting into our margins and will necessitate proactive response measures. These may consist of raising consumer prices, finding a new product source, or even abandoning that product line entirely.

    Regardless of which path or paths we choose, budgeting the dollars helps direct our most vital decisions. As a reminder, 2020 isn’t just a year, but a term used to express visual acuity for hindsight. And foresight.
    Business owners often feel as though they have no one to talk to, no one who really understands the frustrations and loneliness of entrepreneurship, not to mention the occasional sleepless night. They find it difficult to truly open up and share everything with employees, friends, family, or even business partners, who may mean well, yet don’t have the experience, ability, or objectivity to provide meaningful support and direction.

    It’s as though the business owner is sitting at his or her desk, with piles of obligations and concerns, while across the desk sits an empty chair.

    Chuck Mohler often walks in and claims the previously empty seat as the best person to fill the void. Chuck uses his 25+ years of experience in business and his multiple professional certifications to guide owners, after careful listening, with sound advice and action. In his role as a qualified, trusted advisor, coach and mentor, he shares hard-won lessons, addresses specific challenges and helps implement vital systems and processes, all while lending an empathetic ear. Or, sometimes, a needed kick in the pants.

    By chuck Newsletter
  • 10 Sep
    September Newsletter

    September Newsletter

    Do You Remember Your “Why”?

    What are you working on today? What will you accomplish this week or month? Who is demanding your time and attention? Are you really satisfying their requests? Why did you get out of bed this morning? Why are you the owner of your business? What is your passion and purpose? Do you remember your “Why”?

    Many times, individuals become business owners out of frustration with their prior employer or due to a curiosity of finding a better way to do something; few open businesses to get rich. There was an initial spark that caused you to venture out and challenge the norm or old way of doing things. The spark grew into a flame of desire and passion, which was your purpose and reason why. Do you remember your “Why”?

    Now that you have the wonderful life as a business owner — serving your customers and clients with happy long-term employees, maintaining relationships with vendors, and enjoying the many recent years of economic growth along with outstanding profits, without too many cares, have you planned for what is coming next? Do you remember what you were trying to accomplish many years ago and “Why”?

    My why or purpose in life is to serve others by helping them reach their goals. I know I will not become rich compared to many people and I do not care, if I can be a part of their success. I have the love and support of my family and friends along with a strong witness of my Savior, Jesus Christ, who has provided an example of how I can best serve others.

    Are the things you are doing today and this week really helping you achieve your why? Do you remember your “Why”?

    These questions may also relate to your business, yet you need to be sure you, individually, are truly satisfied and happy as well.
    Fundamentals: Operations – Part 2
    “To achieve great things, two things are needed;
    a plan and not quite enough time.”
    – Leonard Bernstein
    What are Operations?

    As discussed last time, the purpose of operations is to manage the resources needed to create your company’s products and services. It involves having the systems and processes in place to deliver on the promises made to your customers in an efficient and effective manner, while providing the opportunity to scale up, thereby increasing the value of your business.

    A basic operations function encompasses development of a detailed plan to achieve optimum balance of needs or demands with the available resources. The planning process addresses the following:

    (1) identifies the goals or objectives to be achieved
    (2) formulates strategies and tactics to achieve them
    (3) arranges or creates the means required
    (4) implements, directs, and monitors all steps in their proper sequence

    At this point, you may want to consider bringing on a Chief Operating Officer (COO), either as a fulltime C-level team member or on an outsource basis. Many owners, especially in smaller firms, run all aspects of the company, including operations. COOs take on a large share of this responsibility when it comes to day-to-day operations and continual improvement of the firm’s efficiency. They must know what’s going on in every area, including marketing, sales, manufacturing, and finance. COOs report directly to the CEO and oversee various department heads and mid-level executives. A strong COO reduces the company’s risk, which increases its value.

    Especially for those thinking about making a successful transition out of the company, it is important to begin giving up some operating responsibilities now. Ask yourself, is it time to create a COO position and fill it with a good leader?
    The Five D’s: Divorce
    “In every marriage more than a week old, there are
    grounds for divorce. The trick is to find, and continue to find,
    grounds for marriage.”
    – R. Anderson

    In our last newsletter, I introduced the concept of the “Five D’s,” five major events that can create severe disorder in a business. These are:

    Disagreement
    Divorce
    Disability
    Distress
    Death

    It is imperative that owners have a contingency plan for each to give the business a fighting chance of surviving with the business intact. According to Web MD, the second item on our list, divorce , is also the second most stressful life event, wedged between the death of a loved one and moving to a new home.

    The mental, emotional and financial trauma of divorce can create serious consequences insofar as how owners run their businesses, treat their employees and customers, and even pay their vendors. At the very least, it provides distractions that can keep your organization from running at peak efficiency; at its worst, the cost of divorce can drain the company coffers and drive it into bankruptcy.

    Many owners don’t see it coming or think it could never happen to them.

    Early preparation is the best defense, which may include a prenup, placing the business in a trust and creating a detailed buy-sell agreement.

    If looming or in process, with the court classifying your business as marital property (acquired during your marriage), it is important to maintain good records and obtain a professional independent valuation. Then if you need to transfer a portion of the business or pay for a portion of the business under a court-order to your ex-spouse, it will make things easier to have arranged to make payments over time.

    One piece of good news is that it’s unusual for a business to be sold off completely to satisfy a divorce settlement, as it would deprive the business owner of the future income needed to pay support payments.
    “Inspect what you expect! In my career I have often found that ownership and managers rely on staff reports without ever taking the time to actually conduct a physical inspection. We all have different standards for cleaning, organizing, presentation, etc. If you aren’t inspecting what your people are cleaning, how do you know they are meeting your standards? If you haven’t checked the stock room lately, how do you really know it’s ordered properly? If you haven’t watched how your team greets a guest, how do you know it’s an acceptable greeting?” -Sheri Long

    If you’d like your favorite saying featured in a future newsletter, please email it, along with a brief commentary, to ChuckM@EagleCorporateAdvisors.com .
    Henderson Chamber of Commerce
    -Roadmap to Success Series
    October 3, 2019

    Business Valuation: What’s it Worth to You?

    Business owners frequently wonder, “What is the value of my business?” The answer is, “There’s no easy answer.” It depends on your goals, your transition timeline and the overall business climate, among other factors. In this workshop, I will discuss the many methods of business valuation, as well as how to enhance business value to maximize your long-term benefits, no matter your ultimate goal.

    Please join me Thursday, October 3, 2019 from 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. in the HBRC Seminar Room (in the Wells Fargo Building), 112 S. Water St., Henderson, NV 89015.

    I look forward to seeing you there.

    Complimentary coffee, bagels, pastries and fruit will be provided.

    Registration:
    Free for Henderson Chamber Members
    $25 non-members
    Additional $10 for walk-ins
    REGISTER HERE
    Entrepreneurs, when starting out, often wear many hats and perform many tasks. But if the company is going to grow and evolve over time, the owners need to perform less hands-on technician work — in the words of “E-Myth” author Michael Gerber — and more process-driven managerial work. But how do they break out of their rut to make that leap?

    It may require bringing in an objective outside specialist to provide professional assistance. This is one of the reasons Eagle Corporate Advisors was founded — to bring Chuck’s more than 25 years of experience to bear on challenges facing business owners. And to show them a new way of doing things that can put them on the right track; no matter their goals.

    By chuck Newsletter
  • 13 Aug
    August Newsletter

    August Newsletter

    Recharging Your Batteries
    “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes . . . including you.” – Anne LamottMany business people, especially owners, consider vacations “guilty pleasures.” That’s assuming they take one at all.
    Vacations should be a necessity, not a luxury. From a company perspective, most of us understand that people working for banks or finance departments are required to take time off to ensure monetary systems and protocols are not being overridden by employees. This should apply to all positions to limit fraudulent activities. Having individuals take time off also ensures you do not have a “critical keeper” or a person the company cannot function without.
    Individually, have you ever had a brilliant business idea halfway through your trip, seemingly out of nowhere? And then kick yourself because you should have thought of it before? That’s the power of disconnecting. Does the mere thought of it make you break out in a cold sweat? Go somewhere without service: a camping trip on a remote mountain, a tropical island in the middle of nowhere, a cruise where the signal is spotty at best.
    Recently, I took off an entire week to drive through the mountains of New Mexico on the Backcountry Discovery Route to enjoy of lot of great scenery and ignore the daily pressures of life. The best part was not having access to the internet or phone service so there was no reason to even worry about what others were doing or not doing.
    Then a couple weeks ago I took a short trip to tour Dodger Stadium, watch a live L.A. Dodger game, and then go for a hike in Griffith Park the next morning; each time leaving my cell phone in the vehicle so I was not interrupted from giving my older children 100% of my attention.
    If a week-long trip or weekend getaway is not practical, limit access to your devices to once per day. You’ll find that those closest to you will be only too happy to help and appreciate the attention.
    Fundamentals:

    Operations – Part 1
    “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then,
    is not an act, but a habit.”
    – Aristotle
    What are Operations?
    Jobs or tasks consisting of one or more elements or subtasks, performed typically in one location. Operations transform resource or data inputs into desired goods, services or results, and create and deliver value to the customers. Two or more connected operations constitute a process, and are generally divided into four basic categories: (1) processing, (2) inspection, (3) transport, and (4) storage.
    (business dictionary website)
    The purpose of operations is to manage the resources needed to create your company’s products and services. These may include customer service; planning, designing or engineering products; scheduling work; buying or making components; assembling or manufacturing products; testing quality; maintaining inventory; and delivering the services or products. Operations are also affected by the location, size and type of facilities required and available; worker skills and talent; technology or special equipment; and scalability. When your organization has the systems and processes in place to deliver on the promises made to your customers in an efficient and effective manner, while providing the opportunity to scale up or into new markets, the value of your business increases.

    It all starts with an operations strategy to ensure that your resources work together, while aligning with your marketing, finance and overall business strategies. This is a written plan that addresses best practices to ensure that all operational aspects are being utilized properly.

    We will discuss your operations plan in more detail in next month’s newsletter.
    The Five D’s: Disagreement
    “The aim of argument, or of discussion,
    should not be victory, but progress.”
    – Joseph Joubert

    I often talk about the “Five D’s,” as five major events that can create severe disorder in a business. These are:

    Disagreement
    Divorce
    Disability
    Distress
    Death

    While none are pleasant to think about, it is imperative that owners have a contingency plan for each to give the business a fighting chance of survival should one or more occur. The good news is there are definite steps within our control that we can use to minimize the negative impact.
    The first D, “Disagreement,” can occur with a customer, an employee, a supplier, a vendor, or many others; yet often takes place at the ownership level. Business partnerships are like marriages, and the relationship, even among former friends with the best of intentions, can disintegrate under unrelenting pressures, particularly when money, egos and negative emotions are involved. These kinds of rifts can filter through the entire organization, causing employees to take sides, and can even result in costly lawsuits that cause the company to fail. Don’t say it can’t happen to you. I’ve seen business partnerships reach critical meltdown more than once.
    No matter how rosy things my appear now, spelling out intentions, agreements, policies and procedures early, before there’s an issue, is essential in working through potential disagreements over decisions such as reinvesting for growth or taking dividends; how to structure benefits or taxes; when to sell or bring in another investor; and which exit option to pursue.
    Depending on your business structure, you will need an operating agreement, partnership agreement or shareholders’ agreement to set expectations and provide procedures to be able to address and resolve these issues effectively. Upon reviewing what you are trying to achieve, using a good business attorney to assist in the process is something I highly recommend so the many dynamics can be articulated properly without later misunderstandings.

    UPCOMING EVENTS
    AM&AA Southern Nevada Chapter:
    Planning Strategies for a Successful Business Transition
    August 20
    REGISTER HERE

    Business Valuation: What’s it Worth to You?
    October 3
    REGISTER HERE

    Owning a business can be the most exhilarating time of your life. And the most challenging, because working without a net is both thrilling and terrifying.

    No matter where you are on the business rollercoaster, Chuck understands those sleepless nights feeling all alone while a million thoughts race around in your head. He knows because he’s been where you are. It’s the reason he started Eagle Corporate Advisors in the first place. To provide just the right kind of coaching, advising and mentoring support for any issue, milestone or decision, to help you and your business perform at a higher level — smoothly and with the best information at your fingertips. And to give you back that sense of controlling your own destiny.

    By chuck Newsletter
  • 30 Jul
    July Newsletter

    July Newsletter

    In screening potential clients, one important characteristic that I require from owners is being humble and teachable. In order to improve and change for the better, all of us need to be interested in and open-minded about education and lifelong learning.
    Beyond the time I spend with personal religious studies, I am continually reading or listening to business-related books for new concepts, so I do not get caught up in complacency. I make a point to attend occasional webinars to obtain the perspectives of others. Additionally, with my thirst for knowledge along with the various licenses and certifications I maintain to assist clients, I am required to complete continuing professional education hours annually. To give perspective to the level of this type of education, I have already completed approximately 60 hours of live training this year and have registered for a few more multi-day conferences, which may double the number of live training hours in 2019.
    Money, things and stuff are all temporary, while education and knowledge are forever. Are you wrapped up in your daily routine? Are you seeking new understanding and learning on a consistent basis? Would you qualify to be considered a potential client of ECA? The best way to improve the value and growth of your company is to make a commitment to improving yourself.
    By chuck Newsletter
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