Before You Begin – Part 1

Many people dream of owning their own business. Some have a vision down inside they’ve replayed and worked on for years, and some are just tired of working for “The Man”. They want to call their own shots.

Owning your own business is much like raising children. (or sometimes running a daycare, but that’s another article.) There will be moments of great joy and pride, and there will be moments of frustration or even anger. And just like child rearing, if you guide and nurture them right, it’s hard to beat the moment when they come into their own, and you get to say, “that’s my child.”

Over the next several articles, I’m going to share with you some wisdom I’ve gathered over the years. These are not absolutes, but can save you from much self-inflicted frustration.

One of the first things to consider as you decide on when to launch into the great entrepreneurial sea is your own financial position. How will you pay the household bills until your business can afford to pay you? Does your spouse earn enough money to cover living expenses? How much money do you have saved? I’m not talking about just enough money to go through the mechanics of starting your business, I’m talking about how long you could fund your business and pay your bills without a paycheck from your business.

As entrepreneurs, we are naturally optimistic. However, the old adage of “hope for the best and plan for the worst” is certainly worth following here. There will be enough stress getting your business off the ground. You certainly don’t need to add stress that could have been prevented.

If you are the sole breadwinner and looking to jump in fulltime to your new endeavor, my recommendation is at least 12 months of expenses in savings. This is over and above what you need to start your business.

If you are not there financially, consider whether or not you can start your business part time while you still keep your job.

This is also a time to consider what sacrifices are worth making for the dream of owning your own business. Where can you cut the family budget to make it on one income or make the savings last longer? These are some of the things that make for great stories once your business is successful.

What does a chiropractor have to do with organizational change?

As my chiropractor was explaining to me the process she uses to get the spine and upper cervical vertebre back into alignment, I started thinking about the similarities to creating sustainable change in organizational culture.  (yes, I’m an OB geek. I can’t help myself.)

In chiropractic medicine, the biggest challenges to the corrective process are Continue reading What does a chiropractor have to do with organizational change?

Getting Employees to Act on Your Brand Promise

Robin Williams (from Gallup, not the comdian) shares some great strategies and examples for empowering employees to do the right thing for your customers and brand.  Getting Employees to Act on Your Brand Promise.

Travel and Entertainment: Maximizing The Tax Benefits Page | Rhodes, Young, Black & Duncan, CPAs

Duluth, GA CPA Firm | Travel and Entertainment: Maximizing The Tax Benefits | Rhodes, Young, Black & Duncan, CPAs.

Why we should think about dying more often.

The Cirrus team and I have spent quite a bit of time together these last few weeks talking about all client projects coming to a close, new client projects in the new year, and our own plans to continue to establish Cirrus as the single point of contact for consulting and out-sourcing needs of the SMB. (I know.  That was shameless.)

I decided to read back through a copy of Steve Job’s commencement address at Stanford University from 2005.  As I was reading, the third story Steve told really struck me.   Continue reading Why we should think about dying more often.

The Missing Ingredient of Dysfunctional Teams

Teamwork Cirrus Business Group Photo

Think you need to take your management team out to do some team building activities to get them working together? More than likely the problem goes much deeper than that. While it is good for teams to spend time doing non-work related activities together, it all comes back to this one thing. If your team has it, then maybe they are just out of sync and need some time together to recalibrate. If not, then you better start here.

Continue reading The Missing Ingredient of Dysfunctional Teams

The most important component of merger success.

Accretive. Synergistic. These are both words that get bantied about board room presentations on the business case justifying a strategic or opportunistic acquisition or merger. Many smart people pour over financials. Extensive preliminary due diligence is done. Financial models are built. So then, why do the overwhelming majority of M&A activity fail to produce the projected value? Continue reading The most important component of merger success.