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The Meat of the Matter

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steakOwning and operating a business is not all fun and games. You probably have found that to be true as well. When fighting all the issues that we “enjoy” it is difficult, if not impossible just to think about the process of how we go about running our business. This month’s article attempts to address this issue. We hope you enjoy it and take away something of value.


If you own the company you work in, when was the last time you asked yourself the question “Why are you in business?” Through the years I have heard many answers to this query- I wanted to be the boss, it’s what I know, to make money, to do what I want to do, when I want to do it, etc. Superficially, these seem to be reasonable answers and in today’s PC world we don’t judge, we are told that there are no right or wrong answers. The only problem though is that there is a right answer to almost everything. In this case the answer to the question is based on several premises and perceptions:

  • Does the knowledge I possess allow me to be an expert in my industry and do I have the skills to run the business?
  • Does the industry I serve value the services/products that I offer?
  • Do I enjoy being in the industry I work in?
  • Have I created a niche in my industry that is both profitable and relatively secure?
  • Do I have an “exit strategy” that is central to my plan? Is that why I am in business; just to get out?
  • Do I give enough thought to the changes around me and adjust to fit changing conditions?
  • What is my emotional state? Is it compatible with the need to be in business?
  • Finally, can you state that you are seriously in business?

If you are trying to check off these bullets like a score, stop. This is not a test. Think of it as more of a reality check that all of us need to take from time-to-time. For a basically white/black kind of person like me, this leaves a lot of grey to deal with. Last month we talked about the importance of taking advantage of growth opportunities and how reticent most people are to shake off the disasters of the past four plus years and move forward. We understand. Where that blog left off is where we dig in today a bit deeper.

In many ways everything is more difficult today. People you deal with are stretched pretty thin and more difficult to talk to in general. There is a significant degree of difficulty in getting folks to make decisions in a timely manner and plenty of mixed signals to be had in the general media, from lenders and the government. Yet, some people, perhaps quite a few are doing well and well into rebuilding their businesses. Are you?

This article entitled “The Meat of the Matter” is our way of helping all of us to understand that growth is an inevitable attribute of being in business. We sometimes grow “up” and unfortunately, we sometimes grow “down”. Whichever way the curve is trending, all of us must have a strong foundation or grounding if you will that supports our endeavors. This starts with you and your level of dedication, motivation and the personal energy you are willing to impart into your endeavor. Be realistic about your goals and direction and do all the little things that are so important to being successful but aren’t always immediately recognized as important. Tend to your garden’s weeds lest they choke off your crop; tend to your business’s base from which all good things flow.

We recognize that some of the foregoing might not appear to be immediately actionable and additionally might be considered a bit soft and fuzzy. We agree. What is not soft and fuzzy, and is actionable is the continuous planning that you must do, especially when change is in the wind as it most definitely is at the moment. Planning is not what you daydream about, planning is what takes the four corners of your business into account (your market, the company’s capabilities, financial wherewithal and personal desire) and is put down on paper and then dated. A plan must contain the elements of where you are today, where you want to be at some point in time and the means to get from point A to point B. Then, go ahead and date it and put it up on the wall to remind yourself that you are working a plan of your own design. Periodically, you will need to take a good hard look at that plan, reassess and make whatever requisite changes that make good sense. Planning and execution without periodic review is likely to be pretty much a waste of time; wouldn’t you agree?

Ultimately, everything we wind up with, as opposed to what we do, is influenced greatly by the market as a whole. Who among us doesn’t remember just five or six years ago when anyone could make money selling building materials or subbing whatever. If you were minimally alive, you could get work and get paid, damn the quality. That was then and this is now. Today, whether you are picking stocks or putting up sheetrock, you have got to watch your fundamentals:

  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Skilled Personnel
  • Back Office and Operations
  • Quality products and services delivered on time
  • Collection

Keep your eye on the ball, watch the fundamentals and you’ll do just fine. Oh, and keep buying the best intelligence service in the business….DEC International Reports.

We’re glad you’re reading our blog. Please feel free to contact me with questions, comments or just to let us know what subjects are of interest to you.

Good Selling!

Allan J. Feifer

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Guest Tuesday, 11 December 2018


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