One of our organization’s mantras, if not obsession, is our desire to implement systems within our client’s operations to allow for streamlined operations. A beautiful thing occurs when an entrepreneur is not bogged down by administrative muck: he or she is able to dream. When an American small business owner dreams, special things happen. Expansion plans, acquisitions, diversification of product lines: a business owner must have the peace of mind to think in bold macro terms.
This is part of the American historical mindset. Some of the greatest transformative acts in our history came with much resistance. Let us look at several bold, transformative decisions and that decision maker’s ambivalence towards the vehement opposition resulting therefrom.
Acquisition of The Louisiana Territory was a long-term goal of President Thomas Jefferson. Seeking control of the vital Mississippi River port of New Orleans, Jefferson...
Shield Advisory Group had the privilege of hosting a Clubhouse Room last night with a special guest appearance by baseball icon Dwight “Dr K” Gooden.
As a 3X World Series Champion, Cy Young Award Winner, Rookie of The Year and 4X All Star, Dr K shared his experiences about the tools needed for winning. At the highest levels. We learned these tools were transferable to other facets of life. From Dr. K’s warm recollections of his childhood under his father’s mentorship and tutelage to his time amidst the media spotlight and fanfare we were given a brilliant display of humanity.
It was soon evident Doc was not only physically gifted as an athlete, but he was also usually the hardest working guy on the training grounds.
Doc shared insights into the discipline and work ethic necessary to take any career to the highest levels. Moreover, he regaled us in tales of the teen phenom transitioning into a league competing against the best players in the world.
How the Karate Kid Taught Us To Read The Wall Street Journal
Face it. We are ensnared in a world of spin where true journalism has given way to opinion. Analytics has ceded to biased promotion. Taking this into account, how can we make sound investment decisions, develop strategy, and even decipher, ally from rival?
Let us look to the Ancients for guidance, Daniel-San:
A skeptic is simply someone who demands good evidence before accepting something and is willing to change their view when it conflicts with the evidence. These requirements are easy to say, but often hard to follow. Nevertheless, everyone should strive to be a skeptic.
The philosophy of skepticism goes back to the ancient Greek and Roman world. One version was Pyrrhonic, founded by Pyrrho of Elis. He gave us the Pyrrhic Victory: Win the Battle but lose the War. Pyrrhonist’s aims are psychological. It urges suspension of judgment to achieve mental...
Franchising is a form of business by which the owner (franchisor) of a product, service or method obtains distribution through affiliated dealers (franchisees). This type of license grants a franchisee access to a franchisor's proprietary business knowledge, processes, and trademarks, thus allowing the franchisee to sell a product or service under the franchisor's business name. In exchange for acquiring a franchise, the franchisee pays the franchisor an initial start-up fee, management and/or annual licensing fees.
The franchise business model has an interesting history in the United States. The concept dates to the mid-19th century, when two companies - the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company (we were an agrarian economy in those days) and the I.M. Singer Company - developed organizational, marketing and distribution systems recognized as the forerunners to franchising. These then novel business structures allowed McCormick...
“Consistency is found in that work whose whole and detail are suitable to the occasion. It arises from circumstance, custom and nature.” – Roman author, architect, civil engineer, and wanna-be-accountant Vitruvius
No field is this one sentiment more critical than in accountancy. Bookkeeping and accounting standards are designed to ensure consistent presentation of financial statements, making it easier for people to read and comprehend the information contained in the statements.
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles were eventually established primarily as a response to the Stock Market Crash of ‘29 and the subsequent Great Depression, which were believed to be at least partially caused by less than forthright financial reporting practices by some publicly-traded companies. The federal government began working with professional accounting groups to establish standards and practices for consistent and accurate financial reporting. Generally Accepted...
In this corner weighing in at an imposing, muscular 240 pounds is the heavyweight HM/LV. In the opposing corner weighing in at meagerly bantam weight of 118 pounds is the lightning quick HV/LM. Now keep it clean and no punching below the profit margins.
Today’s business environment offers us rapid technological evolution, an ever-changing retail landscape as well as amorphous customer trends. Some companies have become infamous for their fast sale-cycles and large customer attrition. Back in the day when I was still wet behind the ears, we were taught high consumer attrition equated to weak business models. However, some of these aggressive folks generate positive cash flow. Closing high volume transactions at incredibly low rates; perhaps with supplementary accords like one-time set-up fees, or a term contract, these fishermen cast wide nets....
This is the tale of a couple of small-town German brothers, Adolf and Rudolf Dassler, from the rural town of Herzogenaurach, at the turn of the last century. Rudolf, the 3rd born, and Adolf, 4th born, humbly assisted their Mom Pauline with her laundry service by delivering the cleaned linens and clothing to their neighbors.
Upon completion of his high school education, fulfilling a promise to his father, Adolf began an apprenticeship as a baker. However, his true interests revolved around sports, so he occupied his free time playing athletic competitions in track and field, soccer, boxing, ice-hockey, javelin, as well as skiing and ski jumping. After finishing his apprenticeship, ‘Adi’ pursued these other interests.
Adi soon becomes an accomplished athlete, and more relevantly to my lesson today, a careful observer. He recognized the athletes of each discipline he participated in...
Keep Abreast of Market Trends and Your Clients’ Tastes or They’ll Shop Elsewhere.
Markets evolve quickly. Businesses can be likened to sharks in that they must be constantly propelling forward to prevent from sinking. Whether you maintain a comfortable market share or are chasing a competitor, awareness of your strategic market and client’s preferences is paramount.
Since prehistoric times, when cavewomen wanted shinier rocks and softer animal skins than their neighbor caveperson, early humans learned the skill of bartering. As we learned advanced agricultural techniques bartering became more sophisticated and increasingly challenging. I imagine it was difficult to trade twenty bales of hay with a palette of eggs without some fatigue. As these scenarios progressed and carrying excessive goods is made impractical, we started using coins or their paper equivalent.
Hanna-Barbara were both underrated Economists
Soon, our tastes evolve and desire for...
Now Wishing You’d Taken That Speech Class in Middle School…
For those of you with a sweet tooth, you will relate. To treat a cavity, a dentist removes the decayed portion of the tooth and then “fills” the void created. Fillings are used to repair cracked or broken teeth and those worn down from nail-biting or grinding. First, the dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area to be filled, followed by a drill, air abrasion instrument or laser will be used to remove the decayed area.
We can all agree this is not a pleasant act.
“Filler Words” have the same effect on conversations — as well as my ears. These words; or more precisely: utterings, are such a part of the common vernacular I am going to resist the urge to list any of them.
Often, these ticks of speech serve as crutches when we find ourselves unnerved. Whether distracted or at a loss for what comes next, it is easy to lean on filler words. Friends, this...
Distinguishing your Brand and Products is No Fairy Tale.
True originality is difficult to achieve. When it comes to products, logos and branding that are entirely unprecedented, they are few and far between. Your company can outsource to a white shoe Madison Avenue PR firm, source bespoke fabrics, create unique designs but that does not assure relevance to a persnickety public.
Iconic brands are a cultural phenomenon that inspire unbreakable loyalty in their following. Greater than its products or services, an iconic brand identity has such a strong influence and reputation within an industry that it needs no introduction. Nike Swoosh. Golden Arches. Prancing Horse.
Iconic brands, whether subliminal or overt, are experts in psychological marketing. These are businesses that have spent years developing a unique identity that advocates ideas and concepts that resonate with the people they want to sell to. As iconic brand identities play an important role in their...