Solomon Bruce Consulting Blog

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I Think They Have a Lot of Money!

     While visiting with a business owner the other day, we were discussing a variety of matters.  As we talked about some folks who lived in a certain neighborhood,  he mentioned that he "Thought That They Had A Lot of Money."  Now, not knowing anything about the neighborhood, I had to explore that idea more thoroughly.
     My first idea was how one can think that "They Have a Lot More Money?"  Is it the car they drive, the neighborhood they live in, the watch,clothes and shoes they wear?  Having been a student of human nature for many years, I have come to the conclusion that "You Cannot Judge a Book By Its Cover."  The same is true for human beings.  What you see externally may have no bearing or relevance to anything.
      I met with an insurance broker the other day and he talked about "Faking It Till You Make It."  We were talking about new cars-- the insurance broker said that he was going to buy an expensive foreign import car to show how successful he has become.  I mentioned that was a great idea, however, I would stay with my domestic made car, because if some mechanical breakdown occurred, I could probably get it fixed easier than owning a fancy foreign import car.  The truth of the matter is that the foreign car would be nice, but, if broke down out in the middle of Montana, it makes no difference-- you are not going anywhere fast!  A domestic car at least has some chance of repair in the middle of state.
     Car salesmen are taught never to judge anyone who comes to look at a car.  An individual who wears a pair of old overalls with a gimme hat may be a multi gazillionaire, while a well dressed, flashy dresser may be one paycheck away from the poor house. 
      The key point here is that appearances can be very deceiving.  As a business owner, if someone wants to buy your product or service, don't make any judgements about anything.  Identify how much the product is going to cost and how your payment terms work.  If someone is seriously interested in purchasing, they will continue the discussion.  If an individual does not have the fiscal resources to continue the transaction, they will walk away.  If someone walks away, you know that either you did not have the right product or they could not afford it at this time.  Either way, you did not waste any more time on a client that could not purchase today.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I Love it HERE!

   I went to the Dentist the other day and the dental hygienist told me that "She Loved it HERE" as she was cleaning my teeth!  Today, you don't find very many people that are open and honest about why they like their jobs or their boss.  I had to know more.
   So, I asked her why she liked working for this particular dentist.  Here is what she said--- We work as a team, She was a respected team member, she enjoyed her other team members and the doctors in the practice actively sought and respected her opinions about various dental cases as the patients were been seen by the doctor.
    The hygienist also told me that she had worked for another doctor who always screamed and yelled every day.  She said his work was very, very good, however, the working environment for staff members was real difficult-- to the point where she decided to leave and find another opportunity-- which she did!
    How is your work environment?  Can you honestly say that your staff/team members would say, "I Love it it Here?"  That is a question that needs some heavy duty thinking--- but as the business owner, you are the one who needs to do the thinking!  Our experience with many businesses, both large and small is that I seriously doubt that most folks can say, "I Love it Here."  If that is the case in your business, you need to find out why.  In some cases, you can never please everyone.  However, in other cases, some changes may be all that is required to increase the satisfaction and joy that staff members feel about working in your firm.
    Think about this carefully-- there are probably some things that you could change that will aid and assist your firm in ways that you may never have considered.  Ask the staff-- they will tell you what is eating at them and how it can be fixed.  In most cases, small changes will result in large returns in increased staff satisfaction and increased profitability.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Look What We Found In the Storage Closet!!

   A business owner told me that the other day when I was in his store!  The product, small, but quite expensive, read over $4000, was a product that his store carries.  The product was in new condition, the original wrapping still on it, never having been opened or touched.  The store owner put it on the shelf for sale, hoping that the product will sell.
    Now, as I listened to the story, my first thought was how did this product get lost?  What about the inventory records?  Did not the inventory records get reconciled each year when inventory was taken?  Or, Was Inventory taken each year?  How could a store owner "loose" a $4000 value product?
    The questions continue to come as I sit and think about this matter.  Here is what is important--- you always need to reconcile your inventory records with the product on the floor.  In this case, this product must have gotten "lost" in the storage closet and never found.  Now, I don't know what happened, I doubt that the store owner does either.  What I do know is that the inventory records must not have been very thorough or this "discovery" would have been found at the end of the first year that it was identified as not on the shelf.
    The key point here is to make sure that your inventory records and product on the shelf match.  If they don't, find and figure out why!!  Yes, the product could have been lost, stolen or misplaced.  However, someone needs to identify what happened.  In this particular case, it appears that nobody in management paid close attention to what the store actually owned.  How this could have been done when inventory was taken or the financial records reconciled is beyond me!
    Know what is in inventory, what you have marked on the inventory records and what is marked on the financial records.  If all of the records do not match, figure out why!  Record reconciliation is tough stuff, however, this is the only way you know what you have in inventory, what the product costs and how much capital you have tied up.  With working capital always a challenge, this is a matter that cannot be overlooked.  Attention to detail is the key to matters such as these.