4 Strategies if You Fear Missing Year-End Forecasts

How to strategically manage a financial crisis



Are you sweating over cash flow? Are you losing sleep over the prospect of missing your annual goals?

Well, if so, certainly you’re not alone. Many business owners and executives have suffered from the same anxiety.

But fear can be a great motivator for success.

ID-100217182 ChaiwatThe first four things to do:

1. Even though you’re facing the big problem now, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water

A characteristic of successful businesspeople – they don’t panic in the face of adversity. They see problems as opportunities for growth.

Take some deep breaths and repeat these truths: – “No matter what, there are no big deals – no matter what.” – “This, too, shall pass.”

Next, here’s an important point: To improve your profits, don’t impulsively take short-term actions that will destroy your foundation for the long term.

Many businesspeople make critical mistakes when they suddenly slash marketing budgets, lay off talented workers or cut research and development.

These expenses might appear to be expendable, but don’t do it in a rash manner. They are all intangible assets. Slashing them will diminish your long-term prospects. Learn how to work smarter, not harder.

2. Focus on short-term profit initiatives. Consider that for every problem, there are 10 possible solutions. To use a sports metaphor, defend your business with a strong offense.

Query your customers and their customers to search for sales opportunities. Launch an all-out marketing offensive in public relations and social media. (If you can, a secret to success in a weak economy is to expand marketing.)

Hoard your cash. Cut all fat (not the muscle of marketing, human resources and R&D). Implement shorter work weeks and cut all temp assignments.

Do these things and you’ll get into a positive mental zone, and you’ll suddenly find that you’re developing additional solutions.

A characteristic of successful businesspeople – they don’t panic in the face of adversity. They see problems as opportunities for growth.

3. Continue to analyze and strategize – prevent mistakes. Many companies don’t have a clear picture of their situations. They complacently assume that they do, but most don’t.

Consequently, nine out of 10 fail because they self destruct – not because they’re defeated by competitors. This is true in any sector.

Early-stage companies fail because they try to grow at a pace inconsistent with their capabilities. The term for it is “premature scaling.” Don’t accelerate unproven ideas unless you’ve done enough homework.

Otherwise, you’ll inadvertently make matters worse. For more explanation on premature scaling, see the reasons why startup companies fail and how to win.

4. Figure out how you can operate leaner by engaging your employees. On a daily basis, your employees are where the tire meets the road. For profit drivers, partner with your employees

Use the proven strategies when sales drop and costs cut into your profits. Use free tools to operate and market your business.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related resources:

Step-by-Step Solutions for a Company Turnaround — Difficult economic conditions have exacerbated the woes facing many businesses. But business success is possible for companies suffering through red ink. Here are financial solutions that will help facilitate a company turnaround.

Why Kaizen Philosophy Works in Lean Principles for Business and Public Sector— Lean thinking has become imperative for business and government. Budgets are strained, but pressure continues to mount for better customer service. The bottom-line: Both the private and public sectors need to save time and money while providing exemplary service – with existing resources.

When Should You Develop an Exit Strategy? Now…Here’s How — You should always have an exit strategy in place – no matter what. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a veteran business owner, you should always have an exit strategy.

Need PR, But No Budget? Here’s How to Leverage News Media — Social media is OK for promotion. But if you need blockbuster publicity, use best practices in marketing. Play a trump card — leverage the news media for public relations.

6 Tips to Create New Sales with Successful Cold Calling — For most businesspeople in a lackluster economy, it’s important to create new opportunities with successful cold calling. Yes, it’s necessary to concentrate more efforts to create new sales. Attending mere networking events or depending on a high marketing budget aren’t sufficient for strong sales. OK, cold calling isn’t always easy, but you must if you want to dramatically increase sales in double-digit percentages. Develop and implement the right strategies. You’ll be in the all-important groove for a happy buying environment.

“Behind every successful man is a woman, behind her is his wife.”

Groucho Marx

__________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy of Chaiwat www.freedigitalphotos.net

Is it Time to Police Pay at Wall Street Banks?



Updated March 4, 2015 –


As a longtime free-market advocate, I never thought I would be writing this – but the time has come to regulate the Wall Street compensation of senior banking executives.

The Federal Reserve has been trying to discourage excessive risk-taking by many banks, including their permissive lending by regulating bank executives’ pay. More than 5,000 banks would be covered.

Such practices helped lead to the deepest financial crisis in decades. The behavior was so bad — in addition to the billions in Obama Administration bailouts — it also helped exacerbate problems with the agency that insures consumer accounts to $250,000.

ID-10076594 ZuzzuilloFederal Deposit Insurance Corp. was forced to consider borrowing money from the U.S. Treasury. FDIC’s bank insurance fund paid out $70 billion through 2013 after 123 banks collapsed by Thanksgiving in 2009.

Since then, big bank profits skyrocketed and bank employees are still getting massive pay and bonuses.

The 2013 profits were up an aggregate 21 percent — $74.1 billion for Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo.

Uninsured business accounts

Businesses have suffered because their accounts are not insured.

“Wall Street greed and irresponsibility have nearly destroyed the U.S. economy,” said Dr. Peter Morici, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Maryland School of Business and former chief economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission. “Big bonuses for bankers encourage reckless risk taking and were a principal cause of the credit crisis and Great Recession.”

Here are some examples:

“Banks wrote mortgages and sold those to Wall Street financial institutions, who bundled loans into bonds and sold those to investors, such as insurance companies and foreign governments,” said Dr. Morici. “From loan officers to the Wall Street bond salesmen, opportunities to exaggerate the quality of loans emerged. If local banks or Wall Street financial houses could pawn off high-risk, high-fee loans as reasonably safe, they enjoyed big paydays.”

SWAPS

He bluntly criticized the behavior on SWAPS, a financial instrument called a derivative. Simply put, it pays face value to the buyer if a company does not meet its debt obligations.

“Wall Street bankers wrote bogus insurance policies called SWAPS that were supposed to limit losses for investors when mortgages defaulted,” added Dr. Morici. “AIG wrote many SWAPS without capital to back them up, and banks even wrote SWAPS on each other’s mortgages – like two homeowners on a North Carolina beach promising to pay one another in the event of a hurricane.”

SWAPs and bad bonds victimized investors and the bankers garnered mega paychecks. But when the homeowners failed to pay mortgages, banks faltered and the huge losses rippled throughout the economy. But only the banks were bailed out by the government (taxpayers).

To add insult to injury, banks have been allowed to borrow at extremely low interest rates. But they failed to make funds available to consumers and business, and once again enjoy enormous profits. And they have been paying huge paychecks to management.

“Consequently, widows relying on Certificates of Deposit for income, now receive much reduced interest rates” wrote Dr. Morici. “That’s right – Ben Bernanke is taxing grandma to bail out Goldman Sachs.”

Five years later, grandma is still getting negligible interest on her CD.

Credit Cards

Receiving comparatively little attention has been the continuing predatory behavior on credit card customers – banks and credit card companies are still geting away with bogus reasons for jacking up credit card rates and fees.

But a year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, another SWAPS practitioner, SWAPS lost their stigma, according to published reports.

Dr. Morici agrees:

“Flush with profits, the banks are up to their old tricks – again creating highly engineered financial products, selling swaps, setting aside massive profits for bonuses, and manufacturing conditions for another crisis,” said the business professor. “If Wall Street banks are too big fail, then they are too big to let go on with this irresponsible behavior.”

But he points out the Fed would be over-matched in its proposal to regulate bankers’ pay.

“The latter is too complex to be realistic – the banks would run circles around such rules, much like lawyers creating tax shelters,” he said. “Better to limit bonuses and salaries of bankers to a fixed percentage of net income that aligns financial sector salaries with those of other industries.”

Agreed.  In addition, I would add two caveats:

  1. Strictly reduce the amount of risk that banks undertake.
  2. Require high reserves – much higher.

And on a related topic while we are cleaning up Wall Street practices, let us correct the predatory behavior of banks and credit card companies that dramatically increase rates and fees for bogus reasons. The companies are domiciled in a handful of states that permit such behavior.

In other words, here is what is really needed: Police the behavior of these people.

But are the Obama Administration, Congress, certain state lawmakers, and regulators conscientious and determined enough to do the right thing and stop the madness?

From the Coach’s Corner, here’s a related article:

Legal War on Wall Street Chicanery Isn’t Finished — Updated Sept. 9, 2014 Wall Street continues to prove again and again that it needs a moral compass. True, JP Morgan Chase was fined $20 billion in fines in 2013 and Bank of America was fined more than $16 billion for their companies’ behavior in Wall Street’s collapse in the Great Recession.

“The point is ladies and gentlemen that greed, for lack of a better word, is good.”

-Gordon Gekko, a character in the movie, “Wall Street”

 __________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Image courtesy of Zuzzuillo at www.freedigitalphotos.net


Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.