General Business Coaching and Consulting articles that cover how to save time, make money and increase your business efficiency.

How Will You Value the Sale of Your Business

9881157_sWhen deciding whether to sell your business you probably have one question: How much will I get?

There are different ways to find the answer.

The value of your business is constantly changing. Some industries have standard valuing practices, such as selling for three times estimated book value or a multiple of cash flow, but transaction specialists use several standard ways to value your business.

1. Income Approach

This is a standard valuation. The buyer of a business looks at the transaction as an investment, so they focus on cash generating and growth metrics.

Pro Tip: Ask your analyst to focus on the Discounted Cash Flow Analysis approach. This approach factors in the future value of the cash-generating potential of your business and not the standard five- to 10-year outlook.

2. Market Approach

Under this approach analysts will compare your business to other businesses. They make comparisons to public companies or, similar to residential real estate, they will look at recent transactions in your area.

Pro Tip: Obtaining a valuation on a routine basis will help you take immediate advantage of market opportunities.

3. Asset Approach

Use this approach as a last measure. Analysts will use this method to determine the value of your company’s assets. No potential value-adds or growth will be reflected in the sales price using this method.

Pro Tip: Know your definition of financial independence. When the sale of your business meets your definition of financial independence, don’t hesitate to sell!

Knowing how transaction specialists calculate the value of your business allows you to focus on the key metrics that will ultimately impact the sales price of your business. 

I found this tool while looking to find ways to measure the growth of some of my clients business.  We found it really helpful and I would like to invite you to get your Value Builder Score.  There is no cost or obligation.  It will only take 13 minutes to complete.
Our research shows that companies achieving a score of 80+ out of a possible 100 get offers that are 71% higher than the average company. Whether you want to sell soon or run your business for decades, getting and growing your score makes economic sense.

Get your copy of the FREE REPORT… “12 Fatal Mistakes You Can Make When Transitioning Your Business”

I wish you all the insight and wisdom need to set your plans in place.  Until next week.

Health, Happiness and Abundance

Michael Stelter   Advanced Business Coaching, Inc.

“We help entrepreneurs leave their businesses with health, sanity and fair compensation for what they’ve created”

Watch the video and download your Free Report to learn how we can help!

6 Habits Business Owners DON’T Want

Learn how to avoid these common small business pitfalls so you can work smarter and truly enjoy being your own boss.

Advanced Business Coaching Vision Mission and CultureAs a small business owner, you’re building a company from the ground up, and there are a lot of competing priorities and pressures. When you’re caught up in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of running your business, it can be easy to fall into some bad habits along the way.

Below we’ll explore six of the biggest bad business habits and reveal how to break them.

1. The Habit: Wearing Too Many Hats

In a recent survey, 35% of small business owners said they wished they could take on fewer roles and responsibilities.

Numerous studies show that multitasking is harmful for a variety of reasons—it increases stress, decreases productivity, and you’re far more likely to make mistakes in your work—but many entrepreneurs find themselves trapped wearing too many hats.

How to Break It: Delegation is key, but having someone to delegate to is the first step. Building a strong team that you trust allows you to feel more comfortable placing responsibilities in their capable hands. So, take your time during the hiring process. Reach out to reliable contacts in your industry to widen your net, and consider not only work history, but also disposition and personality when interviewing.

2. The Habit: Getting Hung Up on Old Ideas

You probably dreamed about your company for a long time before you actually opened for business, and that means you have a strong vision for what you want it to be. While it’s important to have vision, trying to stick to a plan for achieving that vision—even when the plan has proven itself outdated or flawed—can cause big issues.

How to Break It: In order to change course, you have to be willing to let go of what was once a brilliant idea. As Dr. Alex Lickerman notes in Psychology Today, we tend to form biases towards our own ideas and opinions. Releasing those biases allows you the latitude to regroup and re-strategize as your company changes and grows.

3. The Habit: Over-Promising

Many small business owners have the urge to say yes to every request. However, agreeing to something that your company’s infrastructure or team can’t support ends up creating more ill will than just saying no in the first place.

How to Break It: Know your limits and stick to them. Take time to consider the request, but if it’s really something you can’t do, then offer a firm and simple “no.” Don’t go into details, as that invites the requestor to push the issue, and try to decline in-person or over the phone, since the tone of an email can sometimes be misconstrued.

4. The Habit: Not Taking Risks

The flip side of over-promising is not taking enough risks. Whether it’s fear of rejection, embarrassment, or financial failure, some small business owners lose their nerve just as their company is on the brink of a big breakthrough, thereby becoming their own worst enemies.

How to Break It: The first step to overcoming fear of failure is acknowledging that it exists; speak to trusted colleagues, friends, or family about your fears. The next step is focusing on things that are within your control. Turn your attention to tangibles, like redesigning your website or creating a new organizational tool for your merchandise.

5. The Habit: Micromanaging

Your business is your baby, and you want to do everything possible to make sure it succeeds. But micromanaging your employees is a guaranteed way to breed disengagement and resentment amongst your staff.

How to Break It: The urge to micromanage frequently springs from your own fear of failure or feelings of powerlessness. Facing those fears (see habit No. 4 above) will allow you to let go of those control-freak tendencies. Also strive to create a workplace culture of open communication; if your employees feel comfortable speaking to you when an issue arises, you’ll be at ease granting them more freedom.

6. The Habit: Not Taking Care of Yourself

With only 24 hours in the day, many small business owners aim to dedicate as many of those hours as possible to their business. Sleep, healthy eating, exercise and vacation time are de-prioritized or forsaken altogether. Not only is this dangerous for your physical and mental health, it can also take a toll on the health of your company.

How to Break It: The normative social influence, a force defined in social psychology, drives us to conform to a societal standard or preconceived notion of our role. Since the entrepreneurial role is seen as someone who works day and night, that’s what entrepreneurs feel pressured to do. Letting go of this pressure frees you up to achieve a healthy work-life balance, and to work with more focus and efficiency during the hours you do dedicate to your business.

Running your own business can be challenging, but it can also be one of the most rewarding endeavors you ever pursue. When you know how to avoid these common pitfalls, you’re able to work smarter and truly enjoy being your own boss.

Ways To Fight The Impact Of Dementia For Business Leaders (or anyone)

3D running manHaving lost my father to dementia in the recent past, I’ve had a keen interest in learning more about the disease and it impact on the quality of life for me, and my clients.  I’m finding myself going to more events and programs providing information on the current state of the illness and what we can do to combat its affects.
As I walked around the poster presentations and listened to the different scientific sessions, I noticed an increasing number of studies that suggest exercise can boost brain function and protect against dementia. The Washington Post published an article recently about another new study that showed how interrupted sleep may lead to Alzheimer’s disease, and sleep will be the second topic in this four part series of articles about what everyone can do to protect against Dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease.
A recent study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s disease, which was reported in Time magazine, showed that people who did more moderate-intensity physical activity were more likely to have healthy patterns of glucose metabolism in their brains – a sign of healthy brain activity – compared to people who exercised less.
But this shouldn’t be shocking news.
The Federal Government published its first guidelines, regarding the recommended amount of physical activity for Americans ages 6 and over back in 2008. These guidelines also include individuals at increased risk of chronic disease – and provides science-based advice on how physical activity can help promote health and reduce the risk of chronic disease, including dementia.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans suggests that adults should exercise for at least 2.5 hours per week, compared to children who need at least an hour per day. Exercise not only improves your physical health, but also cognition. It has global effects on the brain, enriching function in areas that traditionally have not been thought to be related to exercise.
 
How does exercise improve brain health?
There are many ideas about how exercise helps improve cognitive health. Aerobic exercise (also known as cardio), raises your heart rate and increases blood flow to your brain. This leads to neurogenesis – or the production of neurons — in certain parts of your brain that control memory and thinking. Your increased heart rate is accompanied you breathing harder and faster depending on the intensity of your workout. As more oxygen enters the bloodstream due to faster breathing — more oxygen is delivered to your brain.
If we really want to get technical, another factor that mediates the link between cognition and exercise is neurotrophins. You’re probably thinking great – but what the heck is that?
Neurotrophins are proteins that aid neuron survival and function. It has been noted that exercise promotes the production of neurotrophins, leading to greater brain plasticity and therefore — better memory and learning. As well as neurotrophins, exercise drives an increase of neurotransmitters in the brain, specifically serotonin and norepinephrine, which boost information processing.
Numerous studies support the notion that maintaining an active lifestyle provides a cognitive advantage over being sedentary. Obese adults and obese children are overall outperformed on cognitive tests by their more fit counterparts. If you sustain an active lifestyle, this has benefits that can last for decades.
In a study conducted by Dr. David Jacobs, exercise tests were administered to a group of subjects to determine their fitness levels. Those who were the most active in 1985 tended to still be on the fit side of the spectrum decades later. That same “fit” cohort also performed better on cognitive tests decades later. These data suggest that activity in early and mid life may produce protective cognitive effects across the life span.
Physical activity serves as a protective factor against Alzheimer’s disease, because exercise increases brain volume through neurogenesis, and it is thought that this cognitive reserve helps buffer against the effects of dementia.
 
Does the type of workout matter?
Yes. Both the type of workout and method of staying fit are important to whether or not there are cognitive benefits. If you’re one of those lucky people that can eat whatever and stay thin, just staying thin and counting calories isn’t enough. You still have to do exercise. In fact, there is a term in medicine for people that are not healthy overall but stay thin: TOFI.
Between three sets of people—individuals losing weight through restrictive eating, people who lost weight through exercise, and another group that used a combination of the two—only the groups who had exercise as part of their weight loss regimen noted an improvement in cognition.
Exercise’s effects on cognition aren’t necessarily dose-dependent, so working out five hours a day won’t generate a massive leap in cognitive ability.
In closing, it’s more important to concentrate on the type of exercise if you’re looking to maximize your cognitive health. A multi-component routine focusing on balance, flexibility, and aerobic fitness is better than focusing on just one type of exercise.
So pick your mode of choice! Go walking, running, swimming, hiking or biking. Enjoy the fresh air. Get in touch with nature. There are so many health benefits – both physical and mental, to exercise.
If you would like learn more about how you can make exercise work for you for increased health and productivity , call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.

To-Do List vs Time Blocking Which is best for you?

time tredmillA few years ago, my to-do list was an endless source of frustration. At the end of every day, it seemed like it had more items on it than when I started. I never seemed to get it all done.

So, in an effort to understand what was going on, I began to track how I was spending my time and saw some interesting patterns emerge. As I learned more, I started applying a productivity-changing principle to my daily “get it done” list: TIME BLOCKING.

Time-blocking is essentially organizing your day in a series of time slots. Instead of writing a list of tasks that take as long as they take, with a time-blocked approach, each of these time periods is devoted to a task or tasks. It immediately lets you see where you’re being unrealistic about your time and keep yourself focused on what you’re supposed to be doing.

Giving every hour a job typically lets you make much more efficient use of your time, says Georgetown University professor Cal Newport, author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. “This follows because it allows you to schedule work for the time where it makes the most sense—batching together small things, tackling hard things when you have the long stretches to make progress, and so on. The other advantage is that it provides you more accurate feedback on how much free time you actually have most days and how long certain recurring tasks actually take,” he says.

WHY TIME BLOCK?
Organizing your day through time blocks instead of to-dos makes sense because of the discipline and order it applies to your tasks, says time management expert Kevin Kruse, author of 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management. Research by productivity blog I Done This found that 41% of to-do list items are never completed. In Kruse’s own research he says the high-performers he interviewed never talked about their “to-do lists,” but instead talked about their calendars and how they were organized.

Organizing your time instead of your tasks also has psychological benefits, Kruse says. There is also a psychological reason why time-blocking makes more sense. In what is known as the Zeigarnik effect, which basically states that we remember what we haven’t done better than what we have done, and uncompleted tasks weigh on us. “This can lead to stress and insomnia. However, when we have all of our tasks placed into a specific date, time, and duration, we sleep more soundly knowing everything that needs to get done is in its place,” Kruse says.
So, if you’re ready to give it a shot, pull out your calendar and keep these tips in mind.

PAY ATTENTION TO CYCLES

Before you start slotting in tasks every 30 minutes or hour, think about how your energy and work both flow, says business strategist David Horsager, CEO of the Trust Edge Leadership Institute, and an avid time-blocker. Are there work cycles that could affect how much uninterrupted time you will have? And what times of day do you have the most energy or are best suited to do the tasks you need to do?
For example, if you know that Fridays are typically very busy in your office, you might want to allow more slack in your schedule than you ordinarily would. Also, if you know you hit an afternoon slump at 3 p.m., don’t schedule work where you’re going to need deep focus or creativity, as you’re likely to come up short, he says. Look at the times of day when you’re at your best and least likely to be disturbed and, as much as you can, plan your work accordingly.
“Don’t schedule a hard task in a time of day where you typically lag, and don’t schedule a big task in a small amount of time. Wishful thinking can’t change the reality of your schedule,” Newport adds.

ALLOT ENOUGH TIME

“We chronically underestimate how long things will take,” Kruse says. So, we are constantly running over our time allocations and not getting to the things we have on our schedule. Kruse suggests including time-block buffer zones. In other words, add one to three 30-minute blocks of time so if you run over, you can bump another appointment into the buffer zone. And if you are on schedule, you can use that buffer time to think and recharge, or to get a jump on another event, Kruse says. If you’re chronically running late, revisit the amount of time you’re devoting to your tasks.

OFFLOAD DISTRACTIONS

You can be pretty sure that, as you’re being so productive in your time blocks, interruptions will try to take their toll, Horsager says. Do your best to eliminate them by turning off push notifications and, if possible, turning off your phone and letting calls go to voicemail. “I keep a stack of Post-it notes nearby so when I think of something else that needs to be done, I just jot it down so I remember it, then keep working on what I’m doing,” he says. He and his team also integrate a “power hour”—which is actually a “power 90 minutes”—where employees can focus on their work with no meetings and minimal interruptions, he says.

MAKE IT FLEXIBLE
“People’s biggest misconception with time-blocking their day is that the goal is to stick with the schedule no matter what,” Newport says. A better ways is to rework your time blocks throughout the day as circumstances change. The goal is to make sure they you always have an intentional plan for the time that remains in the workday, he adds.

If you would like learn more about how you can make better use of your time and train your team to be better stewards of their time , call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.

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Digital Marketing: Should You Hire an Employee, Pay a Firm, or Do It Yourself?

14664976_sSmall business marketing can mean the difference between success and insolvency.

What’s your best option for getting started?

I saw this article this morning from Manta and wanted to share it with you… great stuff!

Marketing budgets are tight—even nonexistent—for small business owners. But digital marketing is key to retaining your customers and attracting new ones. Let’s say you’ve set aside a budget or budgeted some time for marketing. Where do you begin?

You begin by deciding which is right for you: hiring a marketing employee, hiring a marketing firm or doing it yourself.

What’s the right move for your business? Here’s a chart with the pros and cons of each of option:

OPTION 1: HIRE A MARKETING EMPLOYEE

IDEAL FOR:Established employers

Businesses with sales that fluctuate throughout the year

Businesses that rely on marketing & advertising to drive sales

Businesses with the revenue to support a dedicated marketing employee

Businesses with the revenue to fund a marketing expense budget to be spent on tools, collateral & campaigns

NOT IDEAL FOR:One-person businesses

Companies that operate on shoestring or variable budgets.

Businesses that generate consistent, sales through referrals, RFPs or other business development avenues

Companies that already have all the business they can handle should not invest heavily in marketing unless it supports a growth plan.

OPTION 2: PAY A MARKETING FIRM

IDEAL FOR:Businesses who can’t afford full-time help, but can support a small to medium investment in order to grow

Businesses who only need occasional help (say, around a launch campaign or website refresh) on a project basis

NOT IDEAL FOR:Business owners who prefer to work daily on-site with their full team

Businesses with largely fluctuating incomes that cannot guarantee paying invoices on time each month

OPTION 3: DO-IT-YOURSELF

IDEAL FOR:Very small businesses that don’t have the option of hiring

Businesses that have been relying on word-of-mouth referrals, rather than marketing for business development

Business owners with marketing training or experience

Owners who supplement their DIY with affordablemarketing tools & products

NOT IDEAL FOR:Small companies with multiple lines of business or complex marketing needs

Businesses heading into a growth period

Business owners unexperienced with marketing concepts & strategies

Business owners without a moderate amount of time to devote to marketing on a regular, consistent basis

If you would like learn more about how you can make a good decision on which option is best for you and your business – AND get a measurable ROI, call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.
To take a Test Drive on our system visit http://abcgrowthacademy.com/guidedtour

To your success,

Michael Stelter

P.S. Please remember that at any time you feel ready and qualified to move forward and acquire the professional help that can enable you to build the business of your dreams, just click here and check out our ABC E-Learning Marketing System™. It’s helping small business owners just like you get the answers and the help they need to build the business they have always wanted.

We created the ABC E-Learning Marketing System™ with the perfect combination of online resources, tools and support to get you out of any financial distress you’re presently experiencing… help you get laser-focused on your highest income-producing activities… and help you develop and then apply the fundamentals that build multimillion dollar businesses. click here to see for yourself.