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Business Insights


Business Basics

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Business Basics
Insurance: Not Just “Set It and Forget It"

Offer your vendor the distinction of being a "preferred vendor." Let them know they can count on you for repeat business and a specific annual volume.

Business Basics
Strategic Cost Management

Cost-cutting and cost-containment tactics and techniques are common to any business. And, when tied to the budget, they're a necessity. Although it's often confused with those first two terms, "cost management" is another issue entirely.

Business Basics
Vendor Discounts: You Don't Ask, You Don't Get

The number one principle involved in getting a discount is this: Ask for it. If you don't ask, you will never get a discount. There is nothing lost in asking. However, before you ask, think through the terms and what you're asking for.

Financial Tools

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Financial Tools
Building Long-term Value: Plan on It

"Everything has a price, as the saying goes, but a lot of people struggle with figuring out what the right price is," responds Brodksy.

Financial Tools
Business Valuation: What's It Worth to You?

Understanding what your business is worth can be a critical issue in several circumstances. They can run the gamut from divorce, partnership dissolution, estate issues, buy/sell agreements, ESOPs, or, most commonly, the sale of the business to a third party or key employee. The ultimate determination requires a business valuation.

Financial Tools
Model Behavior: Know When It’s Time to Innovate

At some point in the lifecycle of your business, you’re going to need to change your business model. “Just as every product has a lifecycle, so does every business model,” advises Larry Gable, founder of Arlington, Massachusetts-based business consultancy LDG Associates. “The pace of change in technology and society continues to accelerate, thus shortening product and business model lifecycles.”

Management

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Management
Charting New Growth Directions

Companies are considering how their capital structures can protect against a broad range of catastrophic risks. But that's like a health plan that pays out only for the most costly, life-threatening diseases. Did BP envision a drilling accident that would shut off its access to short- and medium-term capital markets and result in worldwide condemnation? If it did, it certainly didn't prepare accordingly.

Management
Cash-Flow Sensitivity: Modeling the Future

It’s hard to anticipate how the activities of any company—and the market—might impact cash flow in and out of the business. That’s where cash flow sensitivity modeling can help. Whether it’s based on capex, financing, or operations, cash flow sensitivity modeling can assist in making cash flow shortfalls more predictive, creating opportunities to take proactive steps before real issues occur.

Management
Buying into Growth

At some point, it makes sense to consider purchasing the real estate your company occupies. “It can be a strategic play,” states Jeremy Blanche, vice president of commercial banking at Salem Five. “It can be a great way to diversify, grow ownership’s personal investment portfolio, and act as an asset that can be integral to the purpose of the operating company.” To the latter point, he says, it’s not just an investment in your land and/or building(s). “In its simplest form, a business owner should look ...