The Road Ahead
Conventional Wisdom and Dialogue for Business Executives to consider when mapping out the journey
There is no denying that the details of finance can be challenging. With a gamut of terminology, phrases, and specialty topics, comprehending what things really mean can make your head spin very quickly. You thought you had your financing needs understood, then a new growth opportunity came about, or a dip in your sales created a cash flow shortfall. Even more challenging, the very nature or your company growth or sales slide made it necessary to adapt your borrowing style or product, based on the way your company operates, rather than simply because you needed to borrow cash. What does it all mean!?
Both new and experienced Business Owners alike can be challenged by financial matters. Many of you entered your business with great expertise in the product or service you provide, but not necessarily an acumen for what it would take to finance and capitalize your operations. When sales are good and margins are strong, that might be something that is overlooked, but it remains very important. When sales are dragging and operations are challenged, financing can become the most daunting specter you encounter every day. The answers are in the details, so understanding what leads to improvements in meeting your financial needs is very critical.
When it comes to both seeking out and maintaining your financing and capital needs, understanding what is going on, and having the ability to answer the questions that will be asked is critical. When the answers are not apparent, and the terminology begins to sound a bit foreign, asking for HELP is okay. HELP is not a bad word at all.
With over 30 years of finance, banking, and capital experience, Mile Marker Business and Consulting Services, LLC is the great resource you need for navigating your journey. Finding the right answers and understanding how you can be the most effective in your financing will provide you the peace of mind you need. It will allow you to get back to the business of showing the market that your products and service are the best. Stop at the Mile Marker, and develop a solid financing strategy. Let’s start a conversation.
David R. Alexander
Mile Marker Business and Consulting Services, LLC
A Prospective Client of mine recently reached out with a plea for assistance.
“I need help! I have a project approaching, I have some ideas, but I need to fine tune my approach. I want to be ready for questions, and have the right presentation. I need to be the most informed person in the room, and I want everyone to be well informed when I finish!”
The plea was followed by a few email communications, which asserted that the need was NOW!
Making time for a Prospective Client or Client can be a must, especially under such pressure. I agreed to meet THAT DAY, at their convenience. Despite icy and winding remote roads, I blocked out the afternoon, and spent the remains of the day discussing their need. Good information, and while the projects scope changed a bit in our meeting, we identified a point where our process should move forward. My Prospective Client identified a specific date to schedule the session for building strategy and planning for the meeting.
Several calls and communications later, with no response, I could begin to ask if perhaps I had done something wrong. Just shy of identifying a point at which things went strange and out of bounds, the real answer is “No. There is likely indecision that has entered the picture.”
People have a variety of reason why they do not pursue well planned strategies:
- Price – the obvious killed of many GREAT ideas, and likely a COMMODITY decision
- Distractions – these can happen at any time, and depending on personal style, can block vision
- Focus – Is this person serious about the request, or is this simply the flavor of the moment?
- One More Thing – too many issues, and not enough people to assist.
Or, maybe it is…..
- Indecision – A word that reveals a gamut of reasons, most of which are driven by an inability to establish a sound platform for actually moving forward.
Decisions can be difficult. On a minor scale, it an be something as simple as finding the place to have lunch, but you can’t decide. It can be as major as having a critical deadline, and a decision based on the options is too daunting. Regardless of reason, the fact is that not making a decision will only accomplish one thing: that a decision will not be made.
Ultimately, RELATIONSHIPS, REOURCES, TIME, MONEY, and PROGRESS, amongst other things, are jeopardized or wasted due to indecision. Worse yet, when others are affected by lack of decision, TRUST can be lost by those who are relying on good decision making: a facet of relationships that might be permanently lost.
So what became of my Prospective Client? Who knows? They have yet to respond, and their deadline is still approaching. Perhaps they have found another answer, or direction, or perhaps they are hiding under a rock. I am hopeful for their wellbeing, but the quality of their response and lack of communication leads me to wonder how much more I can put into the solution if they reappear: there are other things going on that might take priority due to greater reliability of other Clients.
When it comes to a decision, why let INDECISION take the lead? Consider making the one decision that will help the process move forward: stop at the MILE MARKER. Mile Marker Business and Consulting Services, LLC knows how difficult decisions can be, and has the acumen to help navigate through obstacles that create indecision. Let’s start a conversation!
Mile Marker Business and Consulting Services, LLC
A great start of the year for my Client! 2018 has many new opportunities looming on the horizon, with many new aspect to the existing business:
- New lines of business that could expand client services and breadth of delivery.
- Challenges with revenue sources, including growth, competitive threats, client needs, and focus.
- Personnel challenges requiring fine tuning, good incentives, and fair compensation.
- Exciting goals requiring informed capital decisions on facilities, working capital, and maintenance.
Whose business would not want to be up to the challenge of making the most informed and practical decisions? Certainly not this company. Over the past several months, amidst the daily grind, my Client found time to make a plan.
- Prepare a Budget: Check!
- Outline new lines of business, with details on who is served, which services are provided, and when sales would likely occur: Check!
- Assess the competition: Know who they are. Know their customers. Know their strengths and weaknesses. Leverage this company on its best qualities. Check!
- Reviews with people. Know what drives them to perform. Ask and understand what they like and perceive as incentive to work at their best, with good quality of life choices, and a satisfing payroll each payday. Check!
- Outline Goals for 2018. Determine capital needs in all areas, and plot out a long term strategy for achievement. Check!
A Perfect Strategy? Not necessarily. But the game plan for the year was well thought out, with time to spare, and a mindset of setting goals ahead of action, actively developing a PLAN (not just having plans), and being at the starting line when the starting gun sounded!
I would be remiss in not mentioning that my Client reached out a few months back, and started a conversation with Mile Marker Business and Consulting Services, LLC about being ready for 2018. It would be very easy to avoid planning, or to throw caution to the wind in favor of luck, which happens more often than most of us realize. But taking the proper steps to be ready in ANY effort put this company in a position to move forward on January 1, and to plan accordingly when things are happening.
What is holding you back from starting this year out right? Hopefully, nothing! Then again, have you taken the right steps to be at the starting line and ahead of your competition? If you aren’t there yet, perhaps a good place to stop, and make that strategy, is at the Mile Marker. Let’s start a conversation!
David Alexander, President
Mile Marker Business and Consulting Services, LLC
The New Year is just around the corner. You are ready for the challenge and excitement of a fabulous coming year:
- You are closing out the efforts for the current year in smooth fashion. No problems there!
- Your budget, planning, and preparation are all in order
- You have a handle on all of the goals for 2018.
- The pipeline is full, and the calling efforts are in motion.
- Capital equipment is in place for future success!
It sounds like a planning dream come true; a recipe for successful planning, likely built by a fully capable team of people ready to take on the next task at hand. Let’s go get that business!!
In many cases, all or many of these pieces are in place. A prudent business owner or manager has the foresight to create a proper plan for readying the team, placing the tools, and knowing the market. In most cases, however, companies are missing parts of this plan.
It does not mean you are doing things wrong, but it’s tough to have all of the areas of business covered.
- You have a limited number of people doing an unlimited number of things.
- You don’t have the right financing to support the next piece of equipment, or the game plan.
- Your competition is poaching your clients.
- You didn’t have the time to put the budget in place.
- You don’t have a true action plan in place.
It may be alarming to know this exists in your business. It might also alarm you (or provide a bit of relief) to know that other companies are in the same boat. But, that’s no reason to avoid doing the right thing: DEVELOP THE PLAN.
It’s also great to know that there are resources to help you create solutions to these problems, and when you need help, you should ask. Asking for help is not a crime, or a sign of weakness. It’s the right thing to do!
Mile Marker Business and Consulting Services, LLC believes in your company, and believes that, with the right actions, you can have the plan to create a successful 2018. It’s not too late to create that strategy for success, and to empower your people to achieve great things. It’s a great time to develop a financing and capital plan that works, and puts you “at the ready” for new opportunities. Why not start today?
On your journey, a great place to stop and develop a strategy, is the Mile Marker. Let’s start a conversation, today!