Generalist or Specialist?

There is an ongoing debate as to whether a business should hire those who are generalist or those who are specialist. Here are a few thoughts on that.


A generalist is a person with a diverse base of knowledge. They are sometimes viewed as not being particularly strong in any one area, although they would obviously be stronger in some areas than others. While I am sure there are some who fit that mold, my belief is that the role they fill often distorts our perception of Read the rest of this entry »


Poor Quality Sales

Not all sales are created equal. Let’s talk about one of the key criteria to determine if a sale is high quality.

Some Background

In the post 3 Reasons Past Due Receivables May be Worthless we established some background on the danger of past due receivables. That focus was on the customer and warning signs of a possible uncollectible receivable we should know about. Now let’s look at how your company may be impacted internally. To do that we can use Read the rest of this entry »


QuickBooks Non-Inventory Items

If you are a user of QuickBooks you are most likely familiar with the importance of items to use the software correctly. You probably also know that there are several types of items, such as Inventory Item, Fixed Asset Item, Sales Tax Item, Sales Tax Group Item, Sub-total item and others. Let’s take a look at one in particular; QuickBooks Non-Inventory Items.

How are Non-Inventory Items Used?

QuickBooks non-inventory items (non-inventory parts) are used to Read the rest of this entry »


Customer Confidence

Consumer Confidence

The consumer confidence index is a macro measure, but for individual companies there is a more important confidence to track. Most of you who read this are probably somewhat familiar with the consumer confidence index that is regularly announced. In essence it attempts to state consumers’ confidence in the economy in light of their Read the rest of this entry »


Internet Sales Taxes

By a vote of 69-27 the U.S. Senate has passed a bill called the Marketplace Fairness Act which allows states to collect sales taxes from online sellers whose out of state sales are $1 million of more. Whether the House of Representatives also will pass it is yet to be determined. There are pros and cons about the bill.

Some Pros

It is indeed true that states have not been able to collect internet sales taxes on Read the rest of this entry »


3 Fallacies about a CFO

If you are a business owner you likely have either a full or part-time CFO or Controller. Fallacies can prevent you from getting the most from this person? Having filled these roles as both a full-timer and a part-timer, I can tell you from experience that there is a high likelihood that you don’t need someone full time to fulfill either of these roles. See Spend Wisely – Go Part-Time for more on this. Regardless of whether this person is full or part-time, Read the rest of this entry »


Cross Sales and Up Sales

Nearly every company is trying to figure out ways to increase sales and generate sales that deliver better margins. But are they turning over every stone to do so?

The Typical Approach

One of the first things most companies do is put pressure on sales people to generate more sales. Along with that they often become more lenient in sales terms, thus creating more accounts receivables and in the process likely increasing days to collect. Be careful when you decide to relax your credit terms. This can be a recipe for disaster and reduced cash flow. See 3 Reasons Past Due Receivables May be Worthless and 3 Low Cost Sources of Cash – Part 2 for more on this. But suppose it is not practical to grant more lenient sales terms? What are some other ways to generate increased sales? Read the rest of this entry »


Cut Your Losses

There are some businesses or products and services that stick around way past their time. Sometimes it is better to cut your losses and move on.

Know When to Say When

You may have a company or product that has performed very well for quite some time. Then one day you look up only to find that either what you offer is losing demand or somebody else has something better. If you cannot revamp or rebrand to become competitive, it may be Read the rest of this entry »


80/20 Rule for Receivables Management

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Pareto Principle that is better known as the 80/20 rule. Simply stated, it says that for many events roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

Some Examples

A school may find that 20% of their students create 80% of their problems, while another 20% achieve 80% of their positive results. It’s true in other organizations. In churches, 80% of the volunteer work often is done by 20% of the membership. Though the actual percentages may vary slightly, it still is fundamentally accurate much of the time, sad as that may be. If you own a business, look carefully to see who is accomplishing the work. Again, you may find that Read the rest of this entry »


Customer Service | It Really Matters

Every last one of us had experienced it. And, none of us will forget it. What am I talking about? Quite simply, I’m referring to an experience with a company that just simply leaves us with a bad taste in our mouth. In other words, the experience where we walked away thinking, they have no idea what customer service is all about.

The Customer Has Expectations

Several weeks ago I blogged about how the old saying, “The customer is always right” was not actually true, but it should help us understand how a customer expects and deserves to be treated. You can read that here. Is the Customer Always Right? The bottom line is that a customer should leave their interaction with a company believing they were treated fairly and as if they were right, even if they realize they were not entirely correct in their position.

A Personal Experience

Recently I had an issue with my TV service when it was necessary to Read the rest of this entry »


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