March 24, 2015 § Leave a comment
Challenges to your business are never ending. Just when you take care of one, another appears, often times completely unforeseen. How is a business to thrive, let alone survive?: by building a business plan on a solid foundation – one that isn’t put in jeopardy the first time a challenge appears. While every business is unique, there are a couple of basic fundamentals I believe apply to all.
Saving for a rainy day. I have read that one of Bill Gates absolutes from when Microsoft started to the time he retired was that the company always have one year’s worth of operating expenses in cash. Presumably, he thought this allowed him to weather any storm without needing to rely on outsiders. While that might not be possible for your business, it speaks to how important cash is to a business. During the last economic downturn, many of the businesses that struggled did so because of a lack of cash in the business. When the economic headwinds turned, they found themselves struggling to meet basic operating expenses and service debt. Cash is still king.
Investing for the Future. Solid businesses invest for the future. Whether that is equipment, people or systems, prudent investing for the long haul is a must. Any short-term cuts or decisions not to invest need to be carefully examined to ensure you aren’t putting the company at risk in the long term.
Building your business on the rock of these two fundamentals will help bring peace of mind when the next storm hits your business.
Dan Schwarz, CPA/ABV
Partner – McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith, P.C.
March 9, 2015 § Leave a comment
“I’m in a hurry to get things done. Oh I rush and rush until life’s no fun.” Catchy lyrics to a 1992 song by country group Alabama have been brought back into popularity lately when Florida Georgia Line did a remake of the song. The song often gets stuck in my head and most of the time I think back to when the original song came out. I was 10 and it really just seemed like a catchy song. Now at 32, I see a different truth to those catchy lyrics.
I mean, I’m a working mother of four children from age 7 to 9 months, busy is the definition of my life! I often find myself rushing from one place to the next to get to a work meeting, kids to a school event, grocery shopping, etc. The majority of the time, we make it to where we need to be on time and everyone is enjoying themselves. Then there are the times where the 2 year old is throwing a fit, the baby is hungry and the older 2 are just annoyed with the whole thing. Fortunately, most people I know don’t see those times!
After all, when I was looking for suggestions on what to write for my blog post, the marketing department DID suggest “How to Juggle a Busy Family with a Busy Job”. While I appreciate the suggestion (thanks, Rose, for making me feel like I somehow pull this busy life off!), my post would be 3 suggestions and done. 1) Have a good team 2) Have a good schedule and 3) Have LOTS of patience! I certainly am no super mom and think that Parents magazine has already written those suggestions several times over!
So instead, and to gather my scatterbrained thoughts and circle back to my original topic, I think about this song and my life and want to recommend to everyone to take the time to SLOW DOWN A LITTLE! Life is busy but we all need to make sure we are enjoying the simple moments of each day. Take the time to talk with a friend, have lunch with a co-worker, and do things for yourself.
I’m sure this song will have a new meaning to me at 54, 76, and, if I’m lucky enough to make it that far, 98! But I certainly hope I can look back at each of those ages and know that I took the time to slow down and enjoy life!
Jenny Smith, CPA