Fraud! Red flags of invoice and payment fraud

This week a client of mine almost became victim to a scam – someone was masquerading as the CEO of the company and they sent an email to another member of the organization requesting payment of an attached invoice by the end of the day. This invoice was sent along to me to process payment. […]

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Employee turnover is a good thing

Don’t be afraid of change. Employees leaving makes for a great opportunity to change the way things are run. Humans are creatures of habit, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. Particularly when it comes to technology, and process. Some employees get really comfortable doing things “the way it’s always been done.” There may not […]

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How much markup do you need to cover overhead?

This question comes up frequently. The fact of the matter is it’s a moving target, because it’s based on a few variables that constantly impact each other, kind of like a circular reference in excel. What I mean is this – you can budget for your operating expenses for the year, and you have a […]

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What I learned from a delinquent Solar PPA offtaker

What a mess. A client of mine has a solar PPA with an offtaker that hasn’t paid the bill in quite awhile. Steps we have had to take to fix this: Terminate the PPA Negotiate a new net metering credit purchase agreement with another offtaker in the same load zone Get the site host (delinquent […]

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My favorite two KPIs you probably aren’t tracking

Everyone knows about metrics like the current ratio, gross and net margins, or Days Sales Outstanding. These are all important for their own reasons and we use them often. Here are two others that I like to use to draw other operational conclusions. Sales ROI: How effective is your sales team at generating revenue? Take […]

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Self-performing vs Subcontracting: What Should You Do?

The age old question – should I self-perform a particular function or sub it out to a qualified vendor? Let’s consider the benefits and drawbacks of each. Do you already have the internal human capital to perform the function? i.e. Do you have the HR staff on hand with the bandwidth to handle benefits tracking, […]

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How to tell if your growth is killing you

Two very clear indications signal that growth is not happening in a sustainable manner. First, if revenue growth accelerates and your margins start shrinking, then you’re probably under-pricing your services, which may be why you’re growing in the first place. Continued growth like this can can lead to future cash flow problems. Reviewing your pricing […]

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Budgeting and forecasting: why it’s so important to strategic planning

Budgeting

While mature businesses often have a better handle on forecasts than younger, higher-growth businesses, forecasting growth scenarios can be tricky. After all, there’s no single right way to do it. If you’re fortunate enough to work on long projects that build a backlog, then forecasting revenue is less of an art and more science. Businesses […]

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Business Plans and Pitch Decks – when do you need each?

Business plan or pitch deck

Lengthy, detailed business plans aren’t necessarily dead, but they have been overshadowed in recent years by the need for short and sweet pitch decks. So how do you know which approach to use? The answer requires you to consider two important factors — your audience and your purpose. Why are you writing this plan in […]

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Before you go to the bank for small business financing, be ready for this.

The trickiest component to obtaining bank financing for a small business is weighing whether signing a personal guarantee is worth the upside. These days, banks almost always ask for or require personal guarantees from small business owners, which eliminates several benefits of incorporating. Not only is it difficult to get a bank to provide financing […]

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