Numbers show up all over the place, in many professions. The magician says, “Pick a number, any number.” The carpenter says, “Measure twice, cut once.” The quarterback says, “I threw it right between the numbers.” I’m curious to know what you have to say about numbers. Specifically about monitoring and managing the numbers in your …Read more
True story ahead. Years ago I was at a client’s office closing up the books for the month. I’ll call this client Fred to save him some embarrassment. Fred ran a successful business, with consistent positive cash flow. He had recently implemented some pricing changes that our firm had helped him figure out. The results …Read more
As an English major who wandered into accounting, I often tell people I help clients understand the stories behind their numbers. Who’s the hero? Who’s the villain? Where are we in the plot? And if the story of your business is headed toward tragedy, how can we play with the characters to achieve a happy …Read more
I’ve been reading a lot about CEO pay lately. You’ve maybe read the same articles about the impending SEC requirement for disclosing the ratio between CEO pay and the median salary at those same companies. At Walmart the ratio was 1,133:1 for 2014. Starbucks came in at 669:1. UPS delivered a 533:1. Obscene numbers. And …Read more
When I was a boy I recall asking my Dad questions like “Which is better – Cubs or Sox? Or mountains versus oceans for a vacation? Or stick shift or automatic for a new car?” And whenever my question basically boiled down to a choice between two equally compelling options, Dad would reply, “Well, that’s …Read more
What Can I Learn Today to Improve Our Financial Performance?
You can hear when an engine is running smoothly—or racing or sputtering. The same is true for the financial drivers of your business.
You just need to know what to listen for. The good news is that your numbers are talking all the time!
Here are the best ideas we can find on how to ask your business for the information you need, to understand what it says, and take action on what you learn.
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What’s on Your Reading List?
- The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It, by Michael E. Gerber
- Profit First: A Simple System to Transform Any Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine, by Mike Michalowicz
- Managing by the Numbers: A Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Using Your Company’s Financials, by Chuck Kremer, Ron Rizzuto and John Case