Author Archive

Acquisitions – 10 Steps To Buying the Right Target

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So how do you ensure you get in front of companies that are potentially attractive to you? How do you find the right target? You don’t want to buy what’s for sale. You want to buy what you want to buy! Here is a simple 10-step plan that we use with clients as part of our Acquisitions Approvals Model.

10 STEP PLAN

  1. Be crystal clear on your positioning. Know your ...

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How To Choose A Venture Capitalist

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I’m approaching Venture Capitalists and Private Equity players for one of my technology portfolio companies at the moment. It reminded me how difficult the process can be for the uninitiated. So for all those folk who are trying to choose a financial backer here’s my punch list:

Early Work 

  1. Study their web site to discover:
    • their portfolio
    • previous exits
    • investment criteria
    • bio of partners
    • Status of their various funds?
    • Are they ...

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3 Examples Why Budgets Are Irrelevant to Sales

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Sales teams worldwide are often met with the dreaded – I’m sorry we just don’t have budget! Well let me give you some simple logic why budgets are totally irrelevant to spending decisions.

3 Examples

  1. Just because a line item has been created in the budget doesn’t mean it’s authorized. Let’s say you have budgeted a trade show cost at $20,000. Does that mean that no matter what happens in the ...

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5 Reasons Why Order Takers Will Kill Your Business

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If you’re selling to businesses, private companies, public companies large and small you need to be careful not to fill your sales ranks with order takers. An order taker may be just fine in a retail environment although I’d be careful. But in a B2B environment order takers will kill your business.

An inbound sales lead arrives by phone, by web form, by email. A precious thing indeed! It ...

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The Secret of Life (and business) is Simplicity

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A few years ago the WSJ ran an article titled “Speech of the Year” which highlighted a speech delivered by Jackson Hole, a Bank of England regulator. The thesis of his speech? The dog and the frisbee. Basically Jackson explained, border collies can often catch frisbees better than people, because the dogs by necessity have to keep it simple. He went onto explain that banking regulations are ...

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New HR Bootcamp

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One of my portfolio companies HR Knowledge is running another of their superb HR Bootcamps. This is a great event for all HR professionals but especially those new to the role and non HR professionals (business owners, managers and front-line supervisors) who have HR-related responsibilities.

Here are the key deliverables:

  • Basic Principles of HR Management
  • Effective and Compliant Interviewing and Hiring
  • Essential Federal and MA Regulatory Compliance
  • Identifying Problem Employees
  • HR “Every Day”: Coaching, Employee ...

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The Secret of Where 141 Million Americans Are Employed (& why I blog)

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I started blogging in 2008. I wanted to share some hard lessons I’d learned after 30 years in business (maybe training to be an accountant shouldn’t count)! Of course gradually a few people started following the blog. Slowly a few more people passed it on and now it attracts a readership in the thousands with a 15% open rate. It’s led to great clients, speaking gigs, a ...

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So You’ve Just Raised $20m Now What?

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Scaling a private company without an injection of capital is tough. Waiting for each new sale to generate cash, to allow the business to invest in new hires, new systems, and new technology is tough. So if you’ve successfully raised $1m or $20m or more, you can immediately execute. But what’s the priority of events. Here is a little set of guidelines for new management teams, ...

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Building the Perfect 2015 Budget!

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A classic post from last year tweaked.

For many management teams the months of October and November represents the Budget sign off time. However they are so often badly done. Frankly they are recklessly compiled representing the classic “hope over experience” document instead of an operational blueprint.

First definitions: a Budget is a set of rigorously thought through policy statements translated into a Financial Plan that you believe ...

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Strategic Account Management – The Punchlist

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You know it has to be easier going back to the well! Cold calling strangers, even ones that should have the right problem you can solve, is tough. So why don’t more companies have a measured, tactical approach to “farming” their existing clients? Who knows, but here are my top 10 ideas to maximize your revenue from your fan base.

Top 10 Actions  

  1. Establish a Company ...

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