Solomon Bruce Consulting Blog

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How Veterans Become Entrepreneurs!

Here is an interesting read:

Let us know what you think!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Fraud Recovery Plan—A key Ingredient Today!

      Recently, we attended a fraud prevention seminar held by one of the big banks with branches in the Fort Worth area.  This seminar addressed many factors that businesses are facing today, especially with fraud.  We will have additional blog posts on many of the points identified at the seminar, however, today, we wish to address the idea of having a fraud game plan developed if indeed you are faced with fraud.

      Fraud can be employee embezzlement, internet theft, identify theft, false parts which fail to conform to manufacturer specifications, etc.  Actually, there is no end to the ways in which a business owner in today’s world can be defrauded.

      The first step in the process is to recognize that this will happen to most all business owners.  In one time or other, you will be defrauded.  The real key is how do you address this matter?

       Developing a plan is the first step.  The initial steps are easy—call the bank, change the passwords, change the bank accounts, review internal operating procedures.

        The secondary steps are more complex.  Here, one must think through what was done initially and now enhance and build upon those ideas.  It is in this phase of operation that a business consultant can be of significant value to you.  Our experience and background will allow you to develop a plan which will support a strong fraud recovery plan.  The best plan is to have a plan before you are faced with having to address this matter after something bad has happened to your business.  Give us a call to discuss the possibilities today.

The Restaurant Just Closed! The Food Was Delicious? What Happened?

     Recently, a new restaurant that opened abruptly closed.  They were open all of 4 months; had built out a historic building, ordered new furnishings, new kitchen equipment, dishware, flatware, glassware, changed executive chefs 2 times and changed hours of operation, in only 4 months of operation!

     The restaurant was in a historic building where everything was taken down to the studs and rebuilt up.  The before and after pictures are amazing—they look real sharp.  Architects, builders, other individuals were all involved in this new enterprise, which took over 3 years to transpire from concept to reality.

     Discounts were offered to every type of individual—public safety workers, health care professionals, and spiritual leaders each day of the week.

     The web page was superb, the Facebook, Twitter, Social media presentation was outstanding—as was the food—so, what happened?

     Well, we’ll never know for sure.  However, let’s explore some probable possibilities which, we suspect probably occurred.

A.      Lack of understanding of the restaurant business.  Just because one is a good cook does not mean that he/she can run a successful, profitable restaurant.

B.     Lack of adequate cash flow and business planning.  Optimistic sales forecasts not grounded in reality were probably also a causal factor.

C.     Great advertising, discounted meals, involvement in the community and charity events, giving the food away as an advertising approach.

D.    Staff not fully trained and managers not careful to pay strict attention to portion size or drink pour size.

     The failure to use a good business consultant to review and test all of the underlying assumptions that the business owner postulated!  Was there a good business plan developed, showing how cash flow would run for 12-18 months?  Was there an advertising budget developed to show how to increase overall brand awareness of the firm. 

     Whenever a restaurant offers discounts to the meal price that is normally a sure sign of business stress.  The idea is to decrease price of the offering, generate higher sales and make up the difference.  This normally never happens!  This is the first sign of failure and the beginning of a downward spiral to overall enterprise failure.

      A business consultant’s fee is never better earned than when you are thinking about going into business.  Our job is to test all of the assumptions and make sure that you have not forgotten or overlooked some assumptions that could create business failure.  This may mean suggesting that your ideas are not robust enough or financially strong to sustain a business.  May not be the words that you wish to hear, but the money spent on our advice is well worth it if we find that you can save all of the hard earned money that you were going to use to start the business.  Of course, the decision is yours.  If after we analyze the data that you have developed, we may suggest that “go for it”.  However, we may also identify weaknesses that may cause you to strongly consider rethinking your business enterprise.

      If you are thinking about an entrepreneurial activity, a consultation today may save a large amount of money in the near future.  Give us a call and let’s have conversation about the possibilities.