Roger Kohl

Providing CFO services in Metro NY/NJ and surrounding areas

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About Roger

Roger R. Kohl

Springfield, NJ CFO

36 Years of Experience

Direct Contact

rkohl@b2bcfo.com

(917) 912-9176

Universities:

Boston University (BS BA)

Certificates & Licenses:

Organizations:

Financial Executives Networking Group

(FENG)

Contact Roger Kohl and receive a free Discovery Analysis™

  • A confidential meeting with the business owner(s), then interview company staff.
  • Look at the company’s financial information and computer systems.
  • Benchmark financial information against industry averages.
  • Create a confidential report of our findings in The Strategy Gameplan™








Roger’s Bio

Roger has over 30 years experience in the Financial & Operational Management of small to mid-sized publicly and privately held companies. An accomplished Senior Executive, he draws upon extensive P&L/general management, finance, accounting and operations background to drive profit and efficiency gains. His leadership roles have also included managing strategic planning, human resources, technology, legal, business development and risk management in his capacities as CFO and COO.

He is experienced in a broad range of industries, including financial services, advertising, software development, news gathering, government contracting and entertainment. Much of his work has focused on the reengineering of underperforming businesses and managing other high growth operations. He has consistently effected measurable, material bottom line and shareholder equity improvements.

Roger has designed several management reporting systems, developed numerous incentive programs, re-worked pricing and positioning, restructured staffing and positively impacted corporate cultures while working closely with owners, management and staff to identify needs, remedies and, most importantly, effectively implementing change. He has raised both commercial and private equity funding to support growth as well as day-to-day operations. He has spearheaded multiple proprietary operating system designs and led numerous accounting system conversions from needs-identification through implementation.

Select accomplishments include:

  • Improved $100K annual loss to $1.5 million profit while supporting growth from $9 million to $48 million; built solid fundamentals managing 5-fold volume increase with only 2-fold staff increase; boosted margins 42%; positioned organization for successful sale and expedited post-merger integration.
  • Led turnaround of $18+ million business unit, driving $1 million loss to $1.5 million profit; consolidated 3 locations and restructured processes, reducing labor requirements 60%+ and overhead $1+ million; improved margin 80%.
  • Repositioned $12 million organization, standardized contracts and upgraded terms; developed short and long-term plans to restore profitability; eliminated $10 million in annual losses; improved 3-year revenue 50%; led direct reports in US, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Latin America; rationalized processes and right-sized company, saving $4+ million per year.
  • Led SEC Reporting, Budgeting, Risk Management and SOX 404 Compliance for $84 million publicly held company.

Roger brings exceptional analytical, negotiation and problem-resolution skills that motivate and empower organizations while reshaping processes and procedures to achieve success. With a reputation for integrity, follow-through and commitment to excellence, he consistently "get's the job done".

Roger holds a Bachelor of Science Business Administration (Accounting and Finance) from Boston University. A native of New Jersey, he lives in Springfield with his wife June and when he's not working he enjoys golf (at least on some days), the outdoors, cooking, sports and photography.

When you hire Roger as your B2B CFO® you are not only getting his expertise and knowledge as a trusted advisor, but also thousands of years in combined experience of the other 150+ B2B CFO® partners. This wealth of knowledge and resources is an unprecedented asset to any client, giving them a significant competitive advantage in the marketplace.

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Recent Blog Posts

Jun 3Roger Kohl

5 Ways to Successfully Negotiate Anything

Jun 3Roger Kohl

Some good negotiating fundamentals in an article by Inc Know when to shut up. Think of the long-term. Say no. Look at what’s good for all concerned. Always be ready to walk away.   From those suggestions I’ve had most success knowing when to keep still and being prepared to walk. Read the full article I’d add: Know your upper/lower limits, your non-negotiables going in. Focus on the key requirements to you – the minutiae can always be sorted if the

May 30Roger Kohl

7 Short Books Worth More Than an MBA

May 30Roger Kohl
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I don’t know that these are worth more than an MBA but based upon the three that I have read from this list by Geoffrey James contributing editor at Inc. I thought a worthwhile share: As a Man Thinketh Rich Dad Poor Dad Who Moved My Cheese? The Elements of Style The One Minute Manager How to Lie With Statistics The Greatest Salesman in the World I highly recommend As a Man Thinketh as well as Who Moved My Cheese and The

May 25Roger Kohl

Remember Our Fallen Heros

May 25Roger Kohl

History Memorial Day originated after the American Civil War to honor both the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the war. The holiday was extended by the 20th century to include all American soldiers. Memorial Day is formally known as Decoration Day. This day is not to be confused with Veteran’s Day which celebrates the service of all United States military veterans.

May 25Roger Kohl

What makes us Unique

May 25Roger Kohl
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    Connect with Roger on Google+

May 20Roger Kohl

Are your Forms I-9 in compliance?

May 20Roger Kohl

    US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has increased dramatically the number of I-9 audits in recent years.  Violations can result in criminal and civil charges and significant monetary penalties.     Here are 5 tips to help you reduce your exposure. Do require all new hires to complete and sign Section 1 of Form I-9 on their first day of work. Do be sure to use the most current I-9. Do make copies of all documentation and keep on file

May 15Roger Kohl

Leadership … Thoughts after 30 years in the trenches …

May 15Roger Kohl

… and much of what I see as critical qualities of effective leadership: Collaborative – Effective leaders set aside ego in favor of fostering the talent and diversity of those they lead. They create an environment or trust and creative free thinking. Communicative – Effective leaders understand the need for clear, open communications. They recognize that gaps can surface and reinforce their vision and intent as often as it takes to stay on charted course. Dedicated – Effective leaders exude

May 13Roger Kohl

Do You Want Your Customers To Love You?

May 13Roger Kohl

Josh Patrick at Stage 2 Planning Partners consistently offers great business insight – I encourage you to follow him.   In my SMB world I don’t see a lot of great vendor/customer service, customer satisfaction, Patrick offers some really good suggestions on how to improve in this area: Do you think about your services from your customers’ point of view? Do you have a customer advisory board? What sort of language do you allow in your company when you talk

Aug 20Roger Kohl

“Ban the Box” Becomes the Law in New Jersey

Aug 20Roger Kohl

On August 11, 2014, New Jersey enacted the “Opportunity to Compete Act” (“OCA”) prohibiting employers with fifteen (15) or more employees from making any inquiries into the criminal background of job applicants until the completion of the “initial employment application process.” According to the state legislature, the purpose of the law, which becomes effective on March 1, 2015, is to remove obstacles to employment for the roughly 65 million American adults with criminal records. New Jersey is the sixth state

Jul 3Roger Kohl

HAPPY JULY 4TH!

Jul 3Roger Kohl

As an unaccomplished air guitarist, drummer and backup dancer I’m sharing one of my favorite renditions of our National Anthem … it still gives me the chills every time and it even includes a snippet of my boyhood idol.  Can you spot him? How good was that? Connect with Roger on Google+

Jun 24Roger Kohl

Say No Without Burning Bridges

Jun 24Roger Kohl

I’ve spent a fair portion of my career working with a CEO or two that weren’t overly comfortable with saying “no”. More than once I was responsible for sorting through two or more yeses on our charted course when there really was only one. Many of us don’t like to say no to a coworker or a boss—for instance, when the boss asks for a tighter deadline, or a team member needs a longer one—because we’re worried about damaging the

May 23Roger Kohl

PEOs are often an efficient, cost effective solution for your HR requirements

May 23Roger Kohl

In the past I have assumed the HR hat in my COO/CFO roles. The two operative words are “past” – in today’s every changing climate of regulation and benefits management/administration the arena has become rather complex – often Professional Employer Organizations are the solution I now turn. And we both know what they say about “assume”? My partner, Joe Worth, has authored an article for Entrepreneur, “What’s a PEO and How Can it Help My Business?” that’s a good entree

Apr 29Roger Kohl

Start with Why

Apr 29Roger Kohl

We serve owners of privately owned companies Everything we do is to improve their lives Each owner is unique Each owner is important to our society We improve their lives by removing barriers that get in their way Such as. How do I … Improve Cash Flow Increase My Company’s Value Increase Personal Wealth Get Loans from a Bank Get Cash to Grow My Company Secure My Family’s Future Sell My Company See our Does Our Why Benefit You? video

Apr 16Roger Kohl

In Business and Love, Emotional Intelligence Rules

Apr 16Roger Kohl

I’ve long been a follower of Daniel Goleman and his writings on Emotional Intelligence who once wrote: “If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.” Recently Eric Schiffer shared Five Practices that people with high EQs use to achieve success at both work

Apr 10Roger Kohl

The ‘Heartbleed’ Bug – a quick test & a fix

Apr 10Roger Kohl

Recently you may have read that it was discovered that OpenSSL, Internet encryption software that protects nearly 2 of 3 websites has a security hole that puts your data, user names, passwords and the like at risk. Even if your site may display a URL prefix as “https://” you may still not be properly safeguarded. Fortunately there is a quick test and a remedy if you’re vulnerable. Step 1 – Check to see if your website is vulnerable CLICK HERE

Mar 13Roger Kohl

The World Wide Web turns 25

Mar 13Roger Kohl
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On March 12, 1989 Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the web and most of our lives were forever changed. The image at left depicts the first server used by Berners-Lee.   In commemoration Entrepreneur published “10 Fascinating Facts About the World Wide Web on Its 25th Birthday”     The internet is not the web and the web is not the internet. Don’t get them twisted like most people do, especially not if you’re in Silicon Valley. The internet was a thing long

Mar 7Roger Kohl

Warren Buffett – 5 Takeaways for Entrepreneurs

Mar 7Roger Kohl
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Inc. recently published 5 Takeaways for Entrepreneurs culled from the Oracle of Omaha’s Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report. Know your company’s intrinsic value. Build business templates. Know the difference between types of growth. Invest in management. Use your money effectively. That’s some good advice for every small business owner to consider as well Click Here to read the full article. The Berkshire Hathaway 2013 Annual Report is always filled with great business insight, particularly the Chairman’s letter, it’s worth a read again

Feb 11Roger Kohl

Estate Planning with gifting is likely to get much more expensive & complicated for NY Residents

Feb 11Roger Kohl

For those who live in New York, the opportunity to implement a Trusts-based Estate Plan with gifting is about to get much more expensive & complicated if Governor Cuomo’s proposal makes it through. “Gov. Cuomo has proposed a change to New York’s estate and gift tax law that will require all taxable gifts made by a New York resident after March 31, 2014, to be included as part of the gross estate for purposes of calculating the New York estate

Jan 20Roger Kohl

Government Itself Still Cited as Top U.S. Problem

Jan 20Roger Kohl

Narrowly leads the economy, unemployment, healthcare Gallup reports: by Lydia Saad PRINCETON, NJ — Americans start the new year with a variety of national concerns on their minds. Although none is dominant, the government, at 21%, leads the list of what Americans consider the most important problem facing the country. The economy closely follows at 18%, and then unemployment/jobs and healthcare, each at 16%. No other issue is mentioned by as much as 10% of the public; however, the federal

Jan 11Roger Kohl

JERRY L. MILLS NAMED AMONG TOP 5 FINALISTS OF THE MIDDLE MARKET THOUGHT LEADER AWARD

Jan 11Roger Kohl

Prestigious award honors individuals for meaningful contributions to middle market M&A Jerry L. Mills, founder and CEO of B2B CFO® and B2B Exit was named among the five finalists for the Middle Market Thought Leader Award, an annual honor bestowed by the Alliance of Merger & Acquisition Advisors® (AM&AA), the leading association and credentialing body for middle market M&A professionals. This annual award was designed to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions and impact on the middle market M&A

Jan 1Roger Kohl

Inc.’s Top Stories of 2013

Jan 1Roger Kohl

Every year, Inc. aims to uncover the best entrepreneurial stories and discuss a range of issues that impact the small business community. Some stories hit home more than others and circulate among readers throughout the year. Below are the top 10 most popular stories of the year (calculated by number of clicks). America’s Coolest College Start-ups 2013 12 Great Motivational Quotes for 2013 6 Big Tech Debuts in 2013 Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman on Making Smarter Decisions 3 Phrases That Will Get You Noticed Your

Dec 25Roger Kohl

Dec 19Roger Kohl

A baker’s dozen …. Things Mentally Strong People Avoid

Dec 19Roger Kohl

Resources abound on advice to executives and entrepreneurs about things successful people do every day. Recently Amy Moran, a licensed clinical social worker and guest blogger on Forbes wrote about Things Mentally Strong People Avoid. If you may have found yourself “stuck” there is some very good advice in Moran’s article that is a worthwhile read — even if you aren’t. In my estimation … Wasting energy on things you can’t change Dwelling in the past Making the same mistakes over and over

Nov 22Roger Kohl

50 Years – Time Flies

Nov 22Roger Kohl

Photo credit HO/Reuters Connect with Roger on Google+

Oct 10Roger Kohl

Dysfunctional Gov’t Surpasses Economy as Top U.S. Problem

Oct 10Roger Kohl

Highest percentage citing dysfunctional government in Gallup history by Frank Newport This article is part of an ongoing series analyzing how the government shutdown and the debate over raising the debt ceiling are affecting Americans’ views of government, government leaders, political parties, the economy, and the country in general. PRINCETON, NJ — Americans are now more likely to name dysfunctional government as the most important problem facing the country than to name any other specific problem. Thirty-three percent of Americans cite dissatisfaction

Sep 23Roger Kohl

What is Stunting Small Business Growth? …. and a fix

Sep 23Roger Kohl

I was surprised by this infographic on NFIB Greater than 1 in 2 facing less than ideal demand don’t expect to change their marketing strategy – that’s a surefire strategy to stunt growth in my experience – if you’d prefer to not be among the “stunted” you’ll need a GamePlan™ a proven process to achieve your goals. If you’d like to change your direction — Read more about achieving your goals here  — then give me a call. Connect with Roger

Sep 13Roger Kohl

Small Business CEO Survey

Sep 13Roger Kohl

With much of the health of our economy grounded upon confidence/belief it was refreshing to see the trends espoused by small business – the backbone of our economy – CEOs in this WSJ/Vistage survey. See the full survey here. Connect with Roger on Google+

Sep 6Roger Kohl

Is Your Business Sellable?

Sep 6Roger Kohl

The eventual sale of your business should be the biggest deal of your lifetime, with the potential to change for the better the lives of both you and your loved ones. And it will do exactly that, provided your business is sellable. Unfortunately, just one in five companies put up for sale are ever sold. Will yours be one of the 20 percent that finds a buyer, or will you be one on the 80 percent of owners who walks

Aug 31Roger Kohl

How to Give Great Advice

Aug 31Roger Kohl

Effectively providing advice can contribute to better decisions.  Entrepreneur offers four tips that may help: Only give advice when asked.  Offer information about the options.  Help think through the problem.  Express confidence in their judgment. Two of those suggestions I agree with completely, the other two  the first and last –  particularly if you are in a senior leadership position – I generally but do not always agree. Read the article. What do you think? Connect with Roger on Google+

Aug 29Roger Kohl

U.S. Small-Business Owners’ Capital Spending Plans Brighten

Aug 29Roger Kohl

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. small-business owners’ capital spending intentions have been trending upward this year; the 26% who now say they are planning to increase spending is up from 20% in the end of 2012. Still, business owners aren’t yet as optimistic about their capital spending as they were prior to the recession. From 2003 to early 2008, owners were much more likely to say they were planning to increase rather than decrease capital spending. Today, they are about equally

Aug 27Roger Kohl

Make Time for the Work That Matters

Aug 27Roger Kohl

I spend much of my professional effort working with CEOs and owners of emerging businesses on freeing their time from more administrative tasks to enable more time for them to focus on business development.  “Make Time for the Work That Matters“ a study of 39 companies on Harvard Business Review offers some sound insight into the challenges of becoming more productive, some good advice to help identify critical tasks and differentiate from those that should be delegated or outsourced and

Aug 13Roger Kohl

10 Must Reads

Aug 13Roger Kohl

HBRs 10 Must Read series is an exceptional resource that I return to again and again. Each of volumes: The Essentials Leadership Strategy Change Management Managing People Managing Yourself contains a compilation of 10 articles and invaluable insight (for a fraction of the cost of 1 credit at The B School – that I didn’t attend – but did enjoy thumping them at The Beanpot almost every year). I heartily recommend this resource. Connect with Roger on Google+

Aug 9Roger Kohl

Doctors are reconsidering their business model as the industry changes.

Aug 9Roger Kohl

Roseland, NJ law firm Brach Eichler conducted a survey of nearly 150 doctors throughout the state. The physician’s outlook concerning their medical practice for the coming year was a fairly even mix:           The most common answers from those with an unfavorable outlook, why? Increasing insurance premiums Declining reimbursements – Nearly two in three (63.4%)  indicated a decline Increasing competition, particularly from hospitals Declining autonomy Increasing regulation and paperwork Declining quality of patient care The common

Aug 7Roger Kohl

Disaster Recovery – it’s not as simple as having your data backed up

Aug 7Roger Kohl

In my cozy corner of paradise many were hit pretty hard by Hurricane Sandy last Fall. We were very fortunate in that we only lost utilities – electricity, heat, hot water for 8+ days (I won’t mention much else except one of my in-laws was living with us at the time, as that’s not relevant … and there’s a chance my loving wife might read this). Many local businesses endured severe external & internal structural damages.  Many of the more

Aug 4Roger Kohl

PPACA Playbook for Small Businesses

Aug 4Roger Kohl

NFIB  has put together one of the best plain English guides I’ve seen to date on compliance with PPACA that is current through the Employer Mandate that was pushed out to 2015 last month. If you have questions on: Timeline Mandates Tax Implications Compliance the below link is a good resource. NFIB Healthcare Playbook – Guide to PPACA for Small Business Connect with Roger on Google+

Jul 27Roger Kohl

Some good advice from Top Small-Business Owners

Jul 27Roger Kohl

The U.S. Small Business Administration recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners in their annual selection of their  State Small Business Persons of the Year. Entrepreneur has published advice from several of these successful  small business owners.  Not surprisingly much of their advice revolves around a few central themes: Goal Clarity – start with the end in mind and work backwards Collaboration – you cannot do it alone Honesty & Integrity – deliver what you promise, when

Jul 24Roger Kohl

Crackdown on Misclassifying Employees as Independent Contractors

Jul 24Roger Kohl

Classifying employees as independent contractors is a hot button with The Department of Labor. It is anticipated that the DOL will ramp up this scrutiny. If workplace  “Right To Know” legislation, that could require companies to provide workers with written notice of their classification, is passed, that would likely further enhance DOL scrutiny. Businesses attempting to manage their healthcare expense and work within the FTE parameters of PPACA may face greater temptation to classify employees as independent contractors. In today’s market

Jul 20Roger Kohl

CFO or not?

Jul 20Roger Kohl

I think we’d all agree that a CFO is responsible for managing cash flows, overseeing timely, accurate reporting, protecting assets, budgeting, minimizing risks,  running a tight back office.  Back in the day that often fit the traditional definition. Today, if your CFO is not contributing significantly to your overall strategy, culture and the like,  AND importantly,  a catalyst that effectively implements your strategy … spearheads change … your CFO is a Controller masquerading otherwise. Connect with Roger on Google+

Jul 10Roger Kohl

For Aging Entrepreneurs, Assistance With Exits?

Jul 10Roger Kohl

Our founder & CEO Jerry Mills discusses exit strategy & “the boomer tsunami” that lies ahead in his recent interview with PEHUB that I’ve  shared below.         Buyout pros pride themselves on their ability not only to do deals and build companies but also to exit their investments in an efficient, profitable manner. Jerry L. Mills suggests they might find it beneficial to offer some of that expertise to small businesses that could become deals for them in years

Jul 3Roger Kohl

Happy 4th of July ~ God Bless the USA

Jul 3Roger Kohl

The Star Spangled Banner by Madison Rising. Connect with Roger on Google+

Jun 30Roger Kohl

Americans Say Economy Is Top Worry for Nation’s Future

Jun 30Roger Kohl

1) Economy 2) Debt/Deficit 3)  Jobs 4) War and 5) Dysfunctional Government sweep the top 5 concerns of Americans per Gallup Poll. Federal debt ranks as second-most common worry by Alyssa Brown WASHINGTON, D.C. — Economic issues dominate Americans’ concerns about the nation’s future. Americans say the economy (17%) is their greatest worry or concern for the future of the United States, followed by the federal debt (11%). Five percent or more also mention jobs and international wars and conflicts.

Jun 29Roger Kohl

How your personal information is used online

Jun 29Roger Kohl

Image credit: Baynote Connect with Roger on Google+

Jun 25Roger Kohl

4 Ways to Show Employees They’re Appreciated

Jun 25Roger Kohl

Teamwork is critical to success – a team that is appreciated will pay dividends.  Some good tips from Entrepreneur on how to demonstrate your appreciation. Don’t treat people as transactions. Invest in those you value. Be involved, but know your limits. Show your gratitude. Read the article. Connect with Roger on Google+

Jun 20Roger Kohl

What makes a Great Chief Financial Officer?

Jun 20Roger Kohl

Over the years I’ve been asked what makes a great CFO countless times. When our marketing team alerted me, that this question is a frequent search query that results in visits to our firm website – I thought I’d share my views on what separates the good ones from the invaluable ones. Before we get to separating the wheat from the chaff let’s talk a bit about a few minimum essentials of a CFO so we don’t confuse the multitude

Jun 20Roger Kohl

5 Keys to Inspiring Leadership

Jun 20Roger Kohl

Face challenges Win trust Be authentic Earn respect Stay curious Read the article on Entreprenuer Connect with Roger on Google+

Jun 20Roger Kohl

A favorite inspirational performance

Jun 20Roger Kohl

The irony of chosen song perhaps lost in the performance. Some might think this has no place in a business blog – I think it does.  What do you think? Lyrics Connect with Roger on Google+

Jun 8Roger Kohl

When is the best time to sell your Company?

Jun 8Roger Kohl

Click Here! Connect with Roger on Google+

Jun 6Roger Kohl

Employee Risk Management – Arbitration may not always be the best avenue

Jun 6Roger Kohl

Companies have long sought to avoid the expense and at times the unpredictable outcomes of jury trials that “may” be swayed more by emotion than facts and perhaps the risk of excessive punitive damages juries sometimes award by having employees waive their right to a trial by jury and agree to settle disputes in arbitration. Yet arbitration is not without risk nor is it a free ride. Arbitrators are selected by both parties and their attorneys and obviously earn their

May 30Roger Kohl

Smart 25 Award Winners Announced

May 30Roger Kohl

Sponsored by Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and B2B CFO, The Smart 25 Awards Highlight America’s Most Dynamic Businesses and Entrepreneurs Mesa, Ariz., May 30, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — B2B CFO and Morgan Stanley Wealth Management recently announced the 2013 “Smart 25 Award” winners. The winners were honored at a formal awards ceremony and dinner reception that took place at Disneyland’s Stage 17 on April 26. Now in its second year, the Smart 25 Awards program honors privately-held, growth-driven businesses across

May 30Roger Kohl

Steve Jobs and Bernie Madoff: What They Have in Common

May 30Roger Kohl

Regular readers of this blog know that one of my mantras is to caution small business owners on the risks of theft in their business – it’s far more prevalent than many think – and working with them to protect their assets and reduce their risks. You might not think that one of the most creative business minds of our generation and one of the most notorious con men would have anything in common — yet it turns out they

May 19Roger Kohl

From Ivy League to Intimates

May 19Roger Kohl

Angela Newman, a Harvard B School grad left her high-paying McKinsey consulting position to launch her own line of women’s undergarments. In an article on Inc. she shares 5 lessons learned from her startup. Play the Field Stay close to the customer Enter business competitions Don’t forget to live Be willing to let go I agree with each of those points particularly if 1 & 5 are balanced very carefully – the visionary should be very mindful to always keep up a

May 13Roger Kohl

Shodan – ever hear of it? What you need to know & why

May 13Roger Kohl

CNNMoney refers to Shodan as the scariest search engine on the Internet. Shodan positions themselves as “the world’s first computer search engine that lets you search the Internet for computers” and is a tool hackers use to track down their targets.  Actually, Shodan searches for ANY DEVICE connected to the Internet – that includes your cell phone, tablet, refrigerator, you name it, if it’s connected to the internet you’re at risk.   Who’s most at risk? A recently released data

May 13Roger Kohl

How great leaders inspire action

May 13Roger Kohl

There is some very good advice in this video – The Golden Circle … “communicate from the inside out” … why, how, what not what, how, why … subtle yet very different. [ted id=848] Connect with Roger on Google+

May 13Roger Kohl

How to get more traffic to your website

May 13Roger Kohl

I’m not a SEO expert so I look for straightforward solutions. Dynamic Business suggests: Video clips Undertake link building activities Make use of social media Blog regularly Use keywords on your website Read the article Connect with Roger on Google+

May 8Roger Kohl

Cellular turns 40 … the 10 Best And Worst Cell Phones Of All Time

May 8Roger Kohl

Forty years ago this month an inventor named Martin Cooper made the first cell phone call in history in Midtown Manhattan. 10 years later, the first commercially available cell phone, the DynaTAC 8000x (pictured at left below) went on sale March 6, 1983, weighed in at about 2.2 pounds was 10 inches long and cost $3,995.             Today there are almost as many cellular subscriptions as people.               In commemoration

May 6Roger Kohl

U.S. Small-Business Owners Slightly More Optimistic in April

May 6Roger Kohl

Owners rate their cash flows at their best levels in nearly five years by Dennis Jacobe, Chief Economist PRINCETON, NJ — U.S. small-business owners became slightly more optimistic in April, with the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index rising to +16, from +9 in January. Owner optimism had plunged to -11 after last year’s presidential election. Although improved, the index is still below the +23 found in April 2012. That’s good news on $ flow! Read the full report Connect with

May 3Roger Kohl

Finding The Exit®

May 3Roger Kohl

Do you want to be in the 1-2 in 10 who will successfully sell their business and be happy with the deal after it’s done? It will take a team, all working together and well, very well, managed, if you want to get it done right, that will only include: M&A Firm/Investment Banker Tax Specialists Wealth Managers Appraiser Banker Auditors IT Specialists Key Employees Insurance Advisor Attorney Do you have all of those arrows in your quiver? Many SMB owners

Apr 18Roger Kohl

Does Your Business Face Foreign Currency Exposure?

Apr 18Roger Kohl

There’s a worthwhile read on NYT Small Business blog “You’re the Boss” particularly if your business has international elements – travel, sourcing of product, overseas sales. Perhaps the simplest strategy to hedge this risk  is to lock into US$ as the basis of compensation particularly if it seems that the dollar may weaken. Many times this can be negotiated as a purchaser of goods or services, on overseas sales this practice can be a bit more problematic. Read the article.

Apr 15Roger Kohl

Managing Cash

Apr 15Roger Kohl

The phase “Cash is King”, is absolutely true.  Positive cash  flow is the lifeblood for any company and without it, a company will simply wither and die.   Cash flows like water. 3 simple things you can do to improve Cash flow: 1st – get paid faster! If your customers are paying on average in more than 30 days, implement processes that will reduce this delay. 2nd – reduce inventory on hand! How much, and how long you hold inventory ties up

Apr 14Roger Kohl

How Companies Manage Social Media

Apr 14Roger Kohl

Ever wonder what other companies are doing with Social Media? Nearly 2 of 3 that have adopted Social Media as part of their marketing mix have added the management to existing staff responsibilities. Image credit:  Entrepreneur   Only 1 in 20 are “highly satisfied” with their Social Media Campaigns. Image credit:  Entrepreneur 58% post at least once a day Image credit:  Entrepreneur   Read Entrepreneur’s full article. Connect with Roger on Google+

Apr 14Roger Kohl

When is the Best Time To Sell Your Company

Apr 14Roger Kohl

At B2B CFO®, our business owner’ clients often ask us, “When is the best time to sell their company?” This is a very delicate question because selling a business is a major life decision. According to Woodbridge International (M&A Advisors to the Middle Market); owners need to come to the decision to sell after a long period of reflection so that they are mentally and emotionally prepared to transfer their company to new owners and move on to other pursuits.

Apr 13Roger Kohl

Employee Theft

Apr 13Roger Kohl

Let’s talk about Employee Theft — won’t happen to you? —  You might want to think again … An AICPA survey found that 82% of all small businesses suffered employee theft— to the tune of 125,000 dollars per crime.  Astonishingly, most of the thieves were not prosecuted! Another study revealed that a typical organization loses 5% of its revenues to fraud each year!!!! So what can a business owner do?   The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners has created an

Apr 12Roger Kohl

So You Think You Know What Your Company’s Organization Chart Is?

Apr 12Roger Kohl

Everyone in a company knows about the organization chart — you know, who does what and so forth.  But did you know that businesses also have an “unofficial organization chart” and understanding its makeup can help your company avoid the financial risks associated with growth. Every company’s “Unofficial Organization Chart” is comprised of just three types of employees:  Finders, Minders, and GrindersSM Finders are entrepreneurial and are ‘Future Thinkers’ who generate new business and build new & leveraged relationships that

Apr 11Roger Kohl

The 5 Cs of Credit: Successfully Obtaining a Business Loan

Apr 11Roger Kohl

All business owners know that Cash is the life-blood of their business.  Maintaining a good relationship with their banker and a healthy Line-of-Credit is vital.  Many business owners ask, “What will the bank look for to loan my business money?”  Most bankers look at “The 5 C’s of Credit” which are: • Character • Cash Flow • Collateral • Capitalization, and • Conditions (Economic)   Character is evidence of your Willingness to pay back your loan… A good credit report.

Apr 10Roger Kohl

Think it’s expensive to hire a professional?

Apr 10Roger Kohl

      Connect with Roger on Google+

Apr 9Roger Kohl

What Kind of Entrepreneur Are You?

Apr 9Roger Kohl

Fun 2-minute quiz on Entrepreneur. Are you most? An Advisor A Salesperson A Creator A Diplomat A Doer Something else? Connect with Roger on Google+

Apr 8Roger Kohl

Some Small Businesses Opt for the Health-Care Penalty

Apr 8Roger Kohl

Interesting article in The Wall Street Journal on how some small businesses are coping with health care.   By EMILY MALTBY And SARAH E. NEEDLEMAN Small-business owners across the U.S. are bracing for the health-care law that kicks in next year, fearing it will increase the cost of providing insurance to employees. But Rick Levi, a business owner in Des Moines, Iowa, is among those considering the government’s escape hatch: paying a penalty to avoid the law’s “employer mandate.” Under the Affordable Care

Apr 6Roger Kohl

So far out … they’re in!

Apr 6Roger Kohl

There’s a good article on HBR on the impact of handwritten notes.  This is a practice I absolutely embrace — I just picked up a new box of thank you notes just yesterday specifically for this purpose … and a few are already in the mail.  Think how many emails you send/receive … how many handwritten notes did you send or receive in the past year?  I can all but guaranty if you do this, it will enhance your “connection” with recipient and have

Apr 2Roger Kohl

Credit Card Processing Fees and the fine print ~ Part 4

Apr 2Roger Kohl

In Part 4 of Paul Downs small business blog on “You’re the Boss” – Conclusions. Choosing a Credit Card Processor (and Drawing Some Conclusions) By PAUL DOWNS [emphasis added]   My search for a credit card processor started last April and dragged on through the end of January. Like many small-business owners, I have plenty of things to keep me busy, so my search was an on again/off again thing. As it progressed, I found that the more carefully I looked at the terms

Apr 1Roger Kohl

Credit Card Processing Fees and the fine print ~ Part 3

Apr 1Roger Kohl

In Part 3 of Paul Downs small business blog on “You’re the Boss” – The Big Banks Come Knocking.   My Search for a Credit Card Processor, Part 3 By PAUL DOWNS   In [Paul’s previous post], I wrote about my decision not to accept the credit card processing offer I had received from Emerald World. That left me at PNC, where I had my business accounts and where I now understood that I was probably paying more than necessary for card processing.  

Mar 31Roger Kohl

Credit Card Processing Fees and the fine print ~ Part 2

Mar 31Roger Kohl

In Part 2 of Paul Downs small business blog on “You’re the Boss” – Reserve Accounts and how they can hold up your receipts.   My Search for a Credit Card Processor, Part 2 By PAUL DOWNS   At the conclusion of [Paul’s previous post] I had just applied for cheaper credit card processing from Emerald World, and I had received an unsettling phone call about the status of my application. The events I am about to describe took place in June 2012, at

Mar 30Roger Kohl

Credit Card Processing Fees and the fine print ~ Part 1

Mar 30Roger Kohl

Among the many blogs I follow is  “You’re the Boss” on the New York Times. One of the contributors on that blog is Paul Downs, who is the owner/CEO of Paul Downs Cabinetmakers in eastern Pennsylvania (for some reason I’m unable to link to his site but if you’re looking for quality woodworking I encourage you to look him up), and writes under the title “Staying Alive.” You can find his blog here. This past week Paul shared his experience looking for the best deal

Mar 27Roger Kohl

Twelve Points for Your Business Compass

Mar 27Roger Kohl

Every day, management and employees are faced with difficult challenges. At times confusion, uncertainty and frustration can slow or interrupt the organization’s progress toward success. These twelve common sense ideas can provide the fundamental principles that will help your organization be successful and reach its goals. Keep it Simple The organization has grown so quickly and our business has become so complex that sometimes it is easy to get overwhelmed. When we look at the forest we sometimes forget it

Mar 24Roger Kohl

How simple Visual Basic coding can improve your Excel workbook applications

Mar 24Roger Kohl

Excel is a powerful tool that many of us use in our day-to-day business.  To promote efficiency some understanding of Visual Basic is a big step up.  Earlier today I came across a blog by fellow partner Chase Morrison who wrote about Visual Basic basics that’s a good starting point.  I thought I’d share. Connect with Roger on Google+

Mar 18Roger Kohl

Finders, Minders & Grinders℠ and what’s the difference between a CFO and a Controller

Mar 18Roger Kohl

Last week after a network group meeting that I had been the chosen professional for our “5-minute spotlight” I was approached by a CEO after my Finders, Minders & Grinders℠ snippet who literally began “Business is good, I have a Controller, why do I need you?” before Mr. Smith (not his real name) even mentioned his name.  Clearly he was successful, no-nonsense, a cut straight to the chase individual.  After spending a few minutes, very few actually, warming up, I was able to learn: Business

Mar 7Roger Kohl

Confused about how the new health reform law really works?

Mar 7Roger Kohl

On a chance that you may not have finished reading the Affordable Care Act – The Kaiser Family Foundation has put together a good, plain English  overview video on the subject. Illustrating Health Reform: How Health Insurance Coverage Will Work Connect with Roger on Google+

Mar 7Roger Kohl

Where’s the Budget Washington?

Mar 7Roger Kohl

Most of us have probably heard a fair amount of … um … “words” from our country’s leaders on revenue (the “new” taxes), spending, deficit and to my point, budget – where is it?  I’ve been around the block at least once and do know politics has no place in a business blog – yet I do not think the time-proven, fundamentally sound practice of budgeting is at all partisan.   I don’t think I’d be sticking my neck too far out

Mar 2Roger Kohl

Americans’ Reactions to Sequester

Mar 2Roger Kohl

My Dad was born in 1921, Mom in 1926 –  I think that 5 year age difference made a big difference  on how well each remembered the Great Depression. I’ve often thought this made a difference in their fiscal outlook – Mom a bit more free spending, Dad, well let’s just call him thrifty.  My view on our Federal Deficit and related Sequester runs closer to Dad’s view. That said, below is Gallup poll on reaction to Sequester. More Americans

Feb 26Roger Kohl

Demystifying ACA – FTEs & Penalties

Feb 26Roger Kohl

I think it’s fair to say that many of us don’t have a full command for all aspects of the Affordable Care Act.  I’m certainly not going to clear it all up in one blog post, yet, perhaps the most common question I am asked is “How are penalties determined?” One of my partners recently attended a seminar hosted by Scirocco – who presented a clear explanation to this question. A key determinant is your number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employees

Feb 25Roger Kohl

7 Ways to help ensure your emails get read

Feb 25Roger Kohl

I’m old school, typically preferring verbal communication to email yet I have a suspicion that email may be around for a while.  According to this article on Time Business & Money only 20 to 40% of email communications actually get opened. Perhaps that shouldn’t come as a surprise – battling email in-boxes has become an ever-increasing challenge – yet I can still remember the day when I never had an unread/un-replied email.  There are some good suggestions in this article to help making

Feb 23Roger Kohl

IRS audits of small business software files – IRS agents are starting to request client QuickBooks and Peachtree backup files

Feb 23Roger Kohl

Tax practitioners have always been cautious with the records they provide to the IRS in an audit to control the depth of an IRS inquiry. But IRS agents are starting to request client backup files from small business accounting software such as QuickBooks and Peachtree, and many practitioners are concerned about how much information the IRS is requesting and how it is using that information. This article explores the IRS’ legal authority and long-standing use of electronic records in audits

Feb 22Roger Kohl

Buy-Sell Agreements – they’re like a pre-nuptial for your business

Feb 22Roger Kohl

We all go into business with grand expectations – often times in partnership with others.  A key yet often overlooked concern is planning for a smooth transition in the event an owner leaves the business – eventually we all do – for whatever the reason. A Buy-Sell Agreement is a legal document that spells out how ownership will transition when such an event occurs.  Often this transition phase is a critical crossroad for the company with a multitude of challenges.  This

Feb 19Roger Kohl

Independent Contractor (Self-Employed) or Employee?

Feb 19Roger Kohl

This is a real hot spot now more than ever – it’s critical that you determine this correctly.  If you treat “employees” as “independent contractors” this could be a very costly mistake. IRS guidelines follow: Generally, you must withhold income taxes, withhold and pay Social Security and Medicare taxes, and pay unemployment tax on wages paid to an employee. You do not generally have to withhold or pay any taxes on payments to independent contractors. Select the Scenario that Applies to You:

Feb 16Roger Kohl

8 U.S. Presidents Who Started as Entrepreneurs

Feb 16Roger Kohl

“While the jury’s still out on whether business know-how makes for a better president, here’s a look at eight U.S. leaders who were hard-working entrepreneurs.” Read the article on Entrepreneur Connect with Roger on Google+

Feb 14Roger Kohl

10 Penalties That I Would Call if I Were a Management Referee

Feb 14Roger Kohl

Excellent general management/leadership sports analogy by Dan McCarthy on the Great Leadership Blog where you can find a wealth of excellent leadership advice — I urge you to consider as a resource if you aren’t already. “What if we created a new job called a “Management Referee”? Just like those NFL-like referees that roam the airports in the Southwest Airlines commercials throwing penalty flags for bag fees and poor customer service, these referees would patrol the workplace looking for flagrant management malpractice violations.” Top

Feb 11Roger Kohl

LinkedIn

Feb 11Roger Kohl

Of all the social media options LinkedIn ranks right at the top for business development purposes in my view.  Still I was a bit surprised when advised  … It really is a powerful tool yet you have to work it.  Here are a few tips that will help: Join some relevant groups and take part in discussions. Promote events your network is involved by sharing with your full network. Pick a few of your key contacts and write an unsolicited recommendation. There’s

Feb 10Roger Kohl

4 Tips for Getting a Business Loan

Feb 10Roger Kohl

Some good advice on Inc. “4 Tips for Getting a Business Loan” Get your financial house (and documentation) in order. Tell your company’s story. Go local. Look at alternative financing for short-term needs. Read the full article I’d amplify point 2 – presentation counts!  Don’t be shy about polishing your story up  and including your narrative that may not be flushed out in the loan application Q&A.  When complete, deliver it in person  to your bank officer … that you have a personal relationship with,

Feb 7Roger Kohl

The IRS Just Sent Me $160,000. Can I Keep It?

Feb 7Roger Kohl

What would you do if you knew it was a mistake? There is a superb article on Harvard Business Review on ethics. “It’s easier to hold to your principles 100% of the time than it is to hold to them 98% of the time.“ Read the article  

Feb 6Roger Kohl

7 Lessons From The Beatles’ Biggest Failure

Feb 6Roger Kohl

Some may be surprised to learn that even The Beatles experienced a few bumps in the road prior to their success.  There’s a good article on Inc. about lessons business owner’s might learn from The Beatles early setbacks. Know your product Know your audience Gather the right team Timing is everything Know what you’re getting into Set expectations Critics can be wrong Numbers 3 and 6 were key factors in my very first successful turnaround.   If you read the article, who was the

Feb 3Roger Kohl

Useless but Entertaining Super Bowl Facts

Feb 3Roger Kohl

Super Sunday ranks 2nd only to Thanksgiving Day for food consumption in the US. Of the top 44 prime time broadcasts in the US 21 are Super Bowls – The Top 10 broadcasts are: There are more alcohol related  accidents on Super Bowl Sunday than any day of the year aside from St. Patrick’s Day. Players on the winning (NY Giants) team in last year’s Super Bowl XLVI received $88,000 each, losing (NE Patriots) team players received $44,000. The average

Feb 1Roger Kohl

Federal Income Tax turns 100 …. Happy Birthday?

Feb 1Roger Kohl

For those of us still under 100 it’s probably difficult to imagine no income tax, yet prior to ratification of the 16th Amendment, February 3, 1913, there was no Federal Income Tax in the USA as it exists today. To be fair the Federal Government had imposed income tax twice prior to the 16th Amendment: To help pay for the Civil War.  Rates ranged from 3% to 10%.  Income, in today’s dollars, below approx. $14K was exempt and the top

Feb 1Roger Kohl

5 business lessons to learn from Lance Armstrong

Feb 1Roger Kohl

I’ve been a fan of cycling – the Tour de France specifically – since back to the days when Bernard Hinault, Greg LeMond & Laurent Fignon were the riders to beat.   Lance Armstrong certainly brought the Tour more to the mainstream here in the US with his battle with cancer, LIVESTRONG Foundation, cycling success and most recently his fall from grace.   From all that I’ve read I may be among the minority rooting for him to right himself.

Jan 26Roger Kohl

10 Things Extraordinary People Say Every Day

Jan 26Roger Kohl

Excellent article on Inc. about a few ways to communicate that you and your whole team can benefit. “Here’s what I’m thinking.” “I was wrong.” “You’re welcome.” “Can you help me?” Click here for the remaining 6 and to read the full article.

Jan 22Roger Kohl

Application for B2B CFO® 2013 Smart 25 Awards™

Jan 22Roger Kohl

The Smart 25 Awards™ are presented annually by B2B CFO® to honor fast-growing and successful USA companies.  The top 25 companies upon which we shine the national spotlight and promote each year. The 2013 Smart 25 Awards ceremony will take place in Disneyland on April 26, 2013. For additional information, details or to apply please visit online at www.Smart25Awards.com.   We invite companies to apply.  Benefits to honorees include: Increase your company’s brand recognition and national sphere of influence. A

Jan 17Roger Kohl

Debt, Gov’t Dysfunction Rise to Top of Americans’ Issue List

Jan 17Roger Kohl

Fewer Americans now cite unemployment as most important problem by Frank Newport PRINCETON, NJ — Americans’ concerns about the federal budget deficit and government dysfunction rose high enough in January to knock unemployment out of the top two slots on Gallup’s “most important problem” list for the first time since 2009.” Read the full Gallup article

Jan 10Roger Kohl

“A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action.

Jan 10Roger Kohl

If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.” ~ Tony Robbins

Jan 9Roger Kohl

The 10 Most Hated Companies in America

Jan 9Roger Kohl

This article by 27/7 Wall Street reminded me of another top 10 list.  Some years back I worked for a, since acquired,  large public company that shall remain nameless but was referred to in film as “Engulf & Devour”.  A business publication – I don’t remember which – it was in the 80s – ran an article “The 10 Toughest Bosses in America”.  After I read that article I wasn’t sure “toughest” was what they meant.  What are the odds

Jan 8Roger Kohl

A short primer on making 2013 a better year

Jan 8Roger Kohl

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other” ~ Abraham Lincoln The start of a new year * is a great time to take stock and refocus … Review – take a look at last year’s results, what worked?  Do more of it!  What didn’t work?  Take some time to realistically review why.  Is there market demand?  If that answer is yes – here’s where aforementioned “realistic” comes in – what are we doing

Jan 6Roger Kohl

Health Insurance Rates

Jan 6Roger Kohl

PriceWaterhouseCoopers Health Research Institute reports that medical costs will increase 7.5% for 2013, the 4th year in a row of “relatively” flat growth.   One of the primary “intentions” of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was to control the cost of health insurance premiums.  Still insurers are submitting double digit rate increase requests — that under the law regulators are required to “review” all proposed rate increases greater than 10%  – you can track those requests and regulator’s evaluations at www.healthcare.gov  

Jan 5Roger Kohl

Americans Have Mixed Reaction to Fiscal Cliff Agreement

Jan 5Roger Kohl

Democrats much more positive about agreement than Republicans by Frank Newport PRINCETON, NJ — Americans have a decidedly mixed reaction to the “fiscal cliff” agreement reached by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama this week, with 43% saying they approve and 45% saying they disapprove. Two-thirds of Democrats approve of the agreement, while almost as many Republicans disapprove. Independents are slightly more likely to disapprove than approve. Read the full Gallup Report. In my view the deficit

Jan 3Roger Kohl

Cracking the 2013 tax code

Jan 3Roger Kohl

The WSJ’s Bill Bischoff has posted a good, plain English,  summary of the major changes to individual taxation with the just adopted “avoid the so-called fiscal cliff” deal. Read the article.

Jan 2Roger Kohl

10 Incredibly Simple Things You Should Be Doing To Protect Your Privacy

Jan 2Roger Kohl

Good advice from Forbes by Kashmir Hill on protecting your privacy. Password protect your devices: your smartphone, your iPad, your computer, your tablet, etc. Put a Google Alert on your name. Sign out of Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, etc. when you’re done with your emailing, social networking, tweeting, and other forms of time-wasting. Don’t give out your email address, phone number, or zip code when asked. Encrypt your computer. Read the full article for more details and the remaining top 10.

Dec 31Roger Kohl

Forbes: The Most Important Stories of 2012

Dec 31Roger Kohl

      President Obama Is Reelected Hurricane Sandy Hits New Jersey The Internet Goes Dark Against SOPA Second Presidential Debate Vice Presidential Debate Grammy Awards First Presidential Debate 2012 Olympic Games – Opening Ceremony 2012 Olympic Games – Closing Ceremony Academy Awards Apple Introduces iPhone 5 Third Presidential Debate Tragedy At Sandy Hook Elementary ‘The Hunger Games’ Premieres Neil Armstrong Passes Away Read the Forbes article

Dec 30Roger Kohl

The Wall Street Journal’s 10 most read articles of 2012

Dec 30Roger Kohl

    Facebook Sets Historic IPO Next iPhone to Slim Down An Apple Exit Over Maps Facebook’s IPO Sputters Apple Tries to Keep Edge With New iPad No More Résumés, Say Some Firms Twinkie Maker Hostess to Close Facebook Readies IPO Filing Apple’s Secrets Revealed at Trial Investors Pummel Facebook 8 of  the top 10 relate to either or . Read the WSJ article

Dec 30Roger Kohl

U.S. Consumer Spending Surges During Pre-Christmas Weekend

Dec 30Roger Kohl

Three-day average of $119 for Dec. 21-23 tops pre-Christmas comparables Gallup reports: WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ self-reported daily spending surged to $119 during the pre-Christmas weekend spanning Dec. 21-23, easily the highest three-day average for the holiday season and for the year. This is also the best pre-Christmas showing since Gallup began daily tracking of consumer spending in 2008.” [emphasis added]   So much of economic growth is based upon confidence and the movement of money – This is welcome news

Dec 26Roger Kohl

The JOBS Act and ineffective Government

Dec 26Roger Kohl

Or more specifically the Jumpstart Our Business Startups act was signed into law this past April 5, 2012 with a fair amount of fanfare. This law is a bit of a misnomer in that it is not about jobs per se rather intended to encourage funding of United States small businesses by easing various securities regulations (granted there is often a direct relationship between jobs creation and available funding). A fundamental facet of the JOBS act is a provision that

Dec 25Roger Kohl

Quiz: Check out your ‘fiscal cliff’ knowledge

Dec 25Roger Kohl

Who knows if we’ll head over the cliff or not.  My guess is that we will albeit briefly with whatever changes coming down the pike enacted before January’s end. How much do you know about the cliff? Test your knowledge in this brief quiz from Bankrate, Inc. How did you do?

Dec 24Roger Kohl

Inc.’s 10 Most Popular Stories of 2012

Dec 24Roger Kohl

Inc. offers some really good info to small business owners, below are their top 10 stories for 2012.  There’s something here for most of us. 9 Beliefs of Remarkably Successful People  5 Toxic Beliefs That Ruin Careers  6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers Listening to Complainers is Bad for Your Brain 7 Things You Are Doing Wrong on LinkedIn  Business Etiquette: 5 Rules That Matter Now True Secret to Success (It’s Not What You Think) 3 Interview Questions That Reveal

Dec 24Roger Kohl

Dec 22Roger Kohl

Tax Impact for Small Business Hard to Gauge

Dec 22Roger Kohl

The so-called Fiscal Cliff still remains very much up in the air.  It seems where the hang up is, is at what income level the Bush tax credits would expire — the Republicans appear to favor a $1,000,000 threshold [opinion – that doesn’t look likely in the moment] the Democrats perhaps $400,000. The WSJ reports that at a $500,000 threshold approximately 750,000 owners of small businesses would see their taxes increase according to a 2011 report by the Treasury  Department. Read the full WSJ article.

Dec 20Roger Kohl

What Do People Want from Their Leaders?

Dec 20Roger Kohl

“Effective leadership excites people to exceptional performance”  Gareth Jones, London Business School fellow, lists four attributes you must exude to secure loyal followers and succeed. Watch the video    

Dec 19Roger Kohl

What You Need to Know About Hiring a CFO

Dec 19Roger Kohl

This article authored by fellow Partner, Joe Worth was originally published in the January 2013 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: One For the Books.   Q: How do I know when it’s time to hire a CFO? A: I’m glad to hear business is taking off to the point that you realize you need someone you can trust to handle the money side of the operation. Let me start my answer by explaining exactly what a chief financial

Dec 18Roger Kohl

The 5 Biggest Twitter Marketing Fails of 2012

Dec 18Roger Kohl

Social media has obviously become a key component of the marketing mix in the past few years.  A big part of the attraction is the reach and frequency without traditional “placement cost”.  In my estimation that sometimes tempts some of us to deviate a bit from our “brand” focus and not think our social media strategy all the way through.  Yesterday Entrepreneur, on The Daily Dose blogged some words of caution specifically as it relates to the use of #hashtag. Two lessons

Dec 17Roger Kohl

Hurricane Sandy Business Impact Survey

Dec 17Roger Kohl

Governor Christie has announced the implementation of a business impact assessment for small businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy. The survey will help inform the Administration and industry leaders about the most pressing needs of small businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy. The results will be used to formulate strategy and programs to assist small businesses in their recovery. The survey kicks off this week. Key components of the survey cover loss information including cause, category and estimated value of loss; whether

Dec 17Roger Kohl

The Economist explains: The fiscal cliff

Dec 17Roger Kohl

The Economist has published a very good short video (a bit over 4 minutes) explaining the history leading up to the fiscal cliff, options and scenarios.  It’s a worthwhile listen. Watch the video

Dec 14Roger Kohl

The Fiscal Cliff – in plain English

Dec 14Roger Kohl

Overview Absent action by the federal government tax increases and spending cuts estimated by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) at $671B will take effect.  That estimate for 2013 represents a reduction of the 2012 estimated federal deficit of $1.1T of roughly 60%.  This sharp decrease is why the matter has come to be known as the fiscal cliff.  A recap of where the tax increases and spending cuts would come from is illustrated below: Source Sidebar: With all the polarized

Dec 13Roger Kohl

Americans Say When Big Business Profits, It Helps U.S.

Dec 13Roger Kohl

Gallup reports: Views unchanged since 2010, prior to start of Occupy Wall Street movement by Lydia Saad PRINCETON, NJ — Americans think the U.S. economy benefits when big businesses or small businesses make a profit, although, by 84% to 64%, more consider small-business profits helpful. Relatively few believe profits made by either type of business are harmful to the economy. None of these views have changed appreciably in nearly three years.”     See the Full Report

Dec 11Roger Kohl

Unusual Things Great Bosses Do

Dec 11Roger Kohl

I’ve long held the belief that understanding what makes people tick, what motivates and contributes to success goes a lot further in the work place than the mumbo jumbo (a technical term) they teach in business school.  There’s a good concise article on Inc. that offers some good suggestions what many good bosses do: They give a glimpse of vulnerability. They give a nudge. They give unexpected attention. They give employees a break. They give a peek inside. They give

Nov 29Roger Kohl

Are You Ready for Another Year?

Nov 29Roger Kohl

Are you ready for another year? Do you have a marketing and sales plan that helps you know which customers to target in the upcoming year? With that information, have you created a budget for the year? Do you have clear goals for the year and do you have a way of measuring your success in achieving those goals? The best companies that I’ve encountered have tremendous focus on their customers and know whom they want as new customers. In

Nov 26Roger Kohl

PPACA Health Care Reform

Nov 26Roger Kohl

WHAT WE KNOW TODAY AND WHAT EMPLOYERS ARE REQUIRED TO DO NOW A fair amount of compliance remains unknown, contingent upon court decisions and political process, yet please allow me to share a few observations and then I’ll get to the actions that are fact certain … at least as of the moment. Overview Average total health care costs per employee are expected to rise 5.9%, to $11,664 for 2012 … the total health care cost that employees now shoulder

Oct 16Roger Kohl

10 Must-See Documentaries for Entrepreneurs

Oct 16Roger Kohl

“As an entrepreneur, you’re no doubt in constant search of new ways to grow your business. But who wants to slog through another lengthy how-to book on the entrepreneurial process? There’s another way. If you want some entertainment with your education, the documentary film may be your medium. Grab some popcorn and sit back to take in the business lessons in these 10 must-see documentaries.” To be fair I’ve only seen two of these:  Steve Jobs: One Last Thing –

Sep 7Roger Kohl

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Announces Alliance with B2B CFO

Sep 7Roger Kohl

Professional alliance offers more holistic approach for business owners Sep 6 2012 | New York Morgan Stanley Smith Barney has announced a new national alliance with B2B CFO, the largest CFO services firm in the United States.  This agreement provides an innovative blueprint for a coordinated effort to meet both the corporate and personal wealth management needs of privately held businesses and their owners. The relationship, formalized through Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s Professional Alliance Group, allows B2B CFO to refer

Jul 31Roger Kohl

Americans Want Next President to Prioritize Jobs, Corruption

Jul 31Roger Kohl

I’m generally a bit cautious about polls in that results can often be swayed by the questions [more below] that are asked, how the questions are asked, etc. My general belief is that Gallup tends to be among the less biased or “leading”. Who are the pollsters that you tend to trust? I thought it was only a small minority that felt corruption in the federal government is a significant problem (and I’m not minimizing other key concerns as economy/jobs/deficit

Jul 31Roger Kohl

Ways You’re Wasting Time and May Not Even Know It

Jul 31Roger Kohl

Worthwhile read on Entrepreneur You overload on administrative work. You put off quick tasks. You micromanage employees. You let daily developments drive you. You try to reinvent the wheel. You repeat the same things over and over. Read the full article.

Jul 15Roger Kohl

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-07-15

Jul 15Roger Kohl

Re-tweet blog archive … : Americans’ Economic Confidence Stable at Four-Year High http://t.co/doEQ0xOz #ceo #b2bcfo Re-tweet blog archive … : Weekend Effect http://t.co/aG3gyyGR #ceo #b2bcfo Re-tweet blog archive … : Poor Wellbeing Is Killing Your Business http://t.co/kvOlPIR8 #ceo #b2bcfo Re-tweet blog archive … : JPMorgan http://t.co/er94Ygjd #ceo #b2bcfo Powered by Twitter Tools

Jul 8Roger Kohl

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-07-08

Jul 8Roger Kohl

Re-tweet blog archive … : Weekend Effect http://t.co/aG3gyyGR Re-tweet blog archive … : 125 technology quick tips http://t.co/9wVmBHrj Re-tweet blog archive … : The Post-PC Era http://t.co/5qcQejXz Powered by Twitter Tools

Jun 24Roger Kohl

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-06-24

Jun 24Roger Kohl

Re-tweet blog archive … : 401(k) – Fees & Some changes you should be aware http://t.co/ngOJSbIa Re-tweet blog archive … : Facebook’s IPO Compared to Those of Other Tech Giants http://t.co/srdUqqnw Re-tweet blog archive … : Finding the Exit® … we all do eventually, some more successfully… http://t.co/HY6XeIUU

Jun 21Roger Kohl

Poor Wellbeing Is Killing Your Business

Jun 21Roger Kohl

Employees who are thriving in their overall wellbeing have 41% lower health-related costs compared with those who are struggling and 62% lower costs compared with those who are suffering. Overall wellbeing relates to illness, which is associated with lower employee productivity and missed work. People who have thriving wellbeing have a 35% lower turnover rate than those who are struggling. Your culture is key – taking care of each person’s overall well being will pay you dividends. Read the full

May 30Roger Kohl

4 Signs You’re a Terrible Communicator

May 30Roger Kohl

Good snippet by Inc. on less than ideal communication … You talk and think at the same time. You muse, but never follow through. You encourage high-level debates. With everyone. You give solutions for problems that don’t exist. Two of those I see quite a bit, at least one almost never but don’t doubt it occurs.  What’s your experience? Fortunately with some awareness – and it’s not likely you would have started your business if you aren’t – there’s a

May 29Roger Kohl

Americans’ Economic Confidence Stable at Four-Year High

May 29Roger Kohl

Slight improvement in current perceptions offset by slight decline in outlook by Lydia Saad PRINCETON, NJ — The Gallup Economic Confidence Index held at -16 last week, the highest the index has reached in the four-plus years of Gallup Daily tracking in the United States. This is slightly improved over the -18 readings in the first half of May, and up significantly from -27 at the start of the year.                    

May 25Roger Kohl

Finding the Exit® … we all do eventually, some more successfully than others

May 25Roger Kohl

A business owner (we’re been friends since the Johnson administration) asked me about selling his business awhile back.  Obviously we know each other well.  I have no doubt he anticipated a short answer so I distilled it down to the bare minimum.  Knowing him as well as I do I was in a position to gloss over the key assessments of 1) financial preparedness (he’s personally in a pretty good position, the business while profitable needs some attention for him

May 22Roger Kohl

How to get more out of your meetings ….. End them!

May 22Roger Kohl

We’ve probably all sat through meetings that exhausted their utility hours ago. A practice that I’ve found results in more productivity is to wrap up sooner than later, once decisions have been made and the actions by who and by when have been determined. Write it down and distribute – if not in the meeting ASAP thereafter. Make it part of your routine if it isn’t already — better results will follow.

May 22Roger Kohl

Facebook’s IPO Compared to Those of Other Tech Giants

May 22Roger Kohl

statista compares Facebook’s IPO to the initial public offerings of some of the other large tech companies. While Facebook’s IPO was one of the largest ever their stock didn’t have the first day pop of some of the others. In my view that was largely due to an aggressive valuation in excess of 100 x 12 month trailing earnings. “How Facebook’s bankers saved an IPO, kept shares above $38″ Facebook, Inc. (FB) $34.03 May 21, 4:00PM EDT

May 14Roger Kohl

125 technology quick tips

May 14Roger Kohl

There really are some pretty good quick tech tips that may help you work more efficiently in this JofA article.

May 12Roger Kohl

JPMorgan

May 12Roger Kohl

If this past week’s news from JPMorgan (the largest bank in terms of total assets at 12/31/11) isn’t a strong argument to reinstate the Glass–Steagall Act (enacted 1933 and repealed 1999) or something largely similar …. I don’t know what is. What do you think?

May 8Roger Kohl

The Post-PC Era

May 8Roger Kohl

The arrival of The Post-PC Era has been trumpeted for some time. IDC & statista report 2011 marks the first year combined smartphone and tablet unit sales (563 million) exceeded PC sales (353 million). Even with 5 year forecast PC unit sales growth of 47% that is dwarfed by the 141% forecast growth for smartphones and tablets I hardly think the PC has been relegated to the role of doorstop. What do you think?

Apr 29Roger Kohl

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-04-29

Apr 29Roger Kohl

Re-tweet blog archive … : Job Creators in the News http://t.co/3djc0NoK #ceo #b2bcfo # Re-tweet blog archive … : Americans Favor Televising Supreme Court Healthcare Case http://t.co/ZrFtjH6B #ceo #b2bcfo # Re-tweet blog archive … : “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare … http://t.co/jpPdcDti #ceo #b2bcfo #

Apr 17Roger Kohl

South Dakota, Texas Top List of Best State Tax Systems

Apr 17Roger Kohl

  reports: The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) just published its Business Tax Index 2012. The list covers what the SBE Council’s formula determines is the ” Best to Worst Tax Systems for Entrepreneurship and Small Business.” Topping the list of the most favorable states for small businesses and startup entrepreneurs and investors are: The Top 10                                                 The Bottom 10 1. South Dakota                                                42. Connecticut 2. Texas                                                            43. Hawaii 3. Nevada                                                         44.

Apr 15Roger Kohl

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-04-15

Apr 15Roger Kohl

Looking for a Loan? Don't Wait For a Big Bank – http://t.co/NDV4Gi9f # From the archives … : Who is your Typical Thief? http://t.co/SygTc1Eo #ceo #b2bcfo # From the archives … : "The Top Ten Lies Leaders Believe" http://t.co/Z5taNXVF #ceo #b2bcfo #

Apr 14Roger Kohl

4 Ways to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

Apr 14Roger Kohl

Be smart on Facebook and other social media sites. Monitor your credit. Guard against being a data breach victim. Consider identity theft insurance. Read the full article on Entrepreneur.

Apr 12Roger Kohl

Looking for a Loan? Don’t Wait For a Big Bank

Apr 12Roger Kohl

If your looking for capital don’t overlook your community bank, credit union, or any number of alternative lending sources, such as account receivable financiers, microlenders, or Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). Worthwhile read on on some options. Read the article.

Apr 6Roger Kohl

Great Leaders Make Room for Up-and-Comers

Apr 6Roger Kohl

I’ve long held the belief that participation in team sport helps form the foundation of teamwork, playing your position and the like that is often reflected in how we manage in the business world.  I enjoyed this article on Inc. and the Wally Pip analogy. “Giving it up for the team is something that all leaders need to do. And sometimes that means turning over the reins voluntarily so that the next person can lead. That is a measure of

Apr 6Roger Kohl

Weekend Effect

Apr 6Roger Kohl

What does it mean? A phenomenon in financial markets in which stock returns on Mondays are often significantly lower than those of the immediately preceding Friday. Some theories that explain the effect attribute the tendency for companies to release bad news on Friday after the markets close to depressed stock prices on Monday. Others state that the weekend effect might be linked to short selling, which would affect stocks with high short interest positions. Alternatively, the effect could simply be

Apr 4Roger Kohl

Hiring at U.S. Workplaces Jumps in March

Apr 4Roger Kohl

Monthly Job Creation Index rises four percentage points, now highest since mid-2008 PRINCETON, NJ — U.S. job market conditions in March reached their best level since August 2008, with Gallup’s Job Creation Index now at +18, up from +14 in February. This four-percentage-point increase is the largest one-month jump in the index that Gallup has recorded since instituting the measure in 2008. See Gallup’s Full Report

Jan 4Roger Kohl

Put the Big Rocks in First

Jan 4Roger Kohl

One day, an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget. As he stood in front of the group of high-powered over-achievers he said, “Okay, time for a quiz” and he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouth mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. He also produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at

Jan 2Roger Kohl

Dec 31Roger Kohl

New Year Traditions from around the World

Dec 31Roger Kohl

Denmark- Break dishes on neighbor’s door, the family with the most broken items is considered to be the luckiest because it means they have lots of loyal friends. Others ring in the New Year by standing on chairs and then jumping off them together at midnight. Leaping into January is supposed to banish bad spirits and bring good luck. Mexico and Spain – Eat 12 grapes and make a wish; one for each month and with each chime of the

Dec 31Roger Kohl

Happy New Year!

Dec 31Roger Kohl

Best Wishes for a Healthy, Happy & Successful New Year!

Dec 29Roger Kohl

Job Creators in the News

Dec 29Roger Kohl

George Will: Choking on Obamacare Los Angeles December 2, 2011 “In 1941, Carl Karcher was a 24-year-old truck driver for a bakery. Impressed by the large numbers of buns he was delivering, he scrounged up $326 to buy a hot dog cart across from a Goodyear plant. And the war came. So did millions of defense industry workers and their cars. And, soon, Southern California’s contribution to American cuisine — fast food. Including, eventually, hundreds of Carl’s Jr. restaurants. Karcher

Dec 29Roger Kohl

U.S. Economic Confidence Posting Ample Gain in December

Dec 29Roger Kohl

PRINCETON, NJ — The Gallup Economic Confidence Index has averaged -38 thus far in December, up from -45 in November — putting December on track to be the most positive month for consumer attitudes since June. However, confidence remains depressed in comparison to the already weak levels seen from January through March. The trend is positive – See the Full Gallup Report

Dec 29Roger Kohl

Fraud – Small businesses are particularly vulnerable

Dec 29Roger Kohl

certified fraud examiners estimates in their 2010 survey that the typical organization loses 5% of it’s annual revenue to fraud. In their study of  1,843 fraud cases the median loss was $160,000.  Private Companies sustained higher median losses, $231,000 then all other (Public Companies, Government & Not-for-Profit).  In the US, Small Businesses, that ACFE defines as under 100 employees, sustained higher median losses, $150,000 than companies with 1,000 to 10,000+ employees. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to fraud. In general,

Dec 28Roger Kohl

401(k) – Fees & Some changes you should be aware

Dec 28Roger Kohl

As of April 1, 2012, Department of Labor regulations will require the disclosure of investment expenses as both a percentage of assets and a dollar amount to 401(k) participants.  Prior to the enactment of: ERISA 408(b)(2) – that governs disclosures that must be made by service providers to plan sponsors, and ERISA 404(a)(5) – that governs disclosures that must be made by plan sponsors to plan participants these fees were tucked away in the annual Form 5500 filing.  This reporting

Dec 22Roger Kohl

Excess cash in your business? Consider yourself lucky & A few thoughts on what to do

Dec 22Roger Kohl

First – well done if you’re in this enviable position! Kudos! Before we jump to any hasty conclusions, check your rolling Cash Flow Report and make sure it truly is excess cash. Are there extraordinary/balloon payments coming up? Is it related to customer prepayment or timely billing that there will be expenses to pay? Is your business seasonal and may be needed to reach the next busy season (although if that obvious point was overlooked you probably don’t have excess)?

Dec 21Roger Kohl

Finishing Strong

Dec 21Roger Kohl

Success in life, in our careers is merely an accumulation of successful days. Often a moment’s pause at the end of the day reinforces focus and sets the tenor for tomorrow. 1) How well did I plan for today? 2) Man­age interruptions? 3) How much of today’s plan did I complete? 4) How can I better plan for and execute tomorrow? 5) What can I do before today’s done to better prepare for tomorrow? Most days that only takes about

Dec 20Roger Kohl

Entrepreneurship vs. Wall Street – Can you cut your way to growth? And a few thoughts on weasels.

Dec 20Roger Kohl

I read with interest the article “This One Mistake Can Eat Your Business Alive” on Inc. earlier that’s worth a read particularly for small business owners that are beginning or in the midst of Finding the Exit® or someday will (everyone eventually does, no?).  If that’s you it’s worth your while to read that article before you may read my comments … a real world example of cost cutting and P&L targets eating a business alive. I’ve toiled in both

Dec 19Roger Kohl

“Google Chrome Passes Internet Explorer As Top Browser”

Dec 19Roger Kohl

I rarely use Internet Explorer anymore and I’d all but forgotten about Netscape. I sometimes shy away from some Google applications for no other reason than “all they know” already. Some years back I gradually began migrating to Firefox. Over the past year or so I’ve been using Chrome more and more – it’s straightforward, elegant in simplicity and considerably faster in my experience. Read the full article on 24/7 Wall Street.

Dec 17Roger Kohl

Dec 17Roger Kohl

“The 15 Most Hated CEOs In Technology” & a short story about Darth Vader

Dec 17Roger Kohl

Generally I try to keep my posts upbeat, hopefully informative, at least somewhat interesting.  When I came across the above titled article on Business Insider this morning it prompted memory of an old short story that used to bring about a bit of a wry grin.  It was back in the mid/late 80’s.  I was working at Paramount Pictures, a then subsidiary of Gulf+Western.  Business Week ran an article “The 10 Toughest Bosses in America” although after reading that article

Dec 17Roger Kohl

Americans Prioritize Economy Over Reducing Wealth Gap

Dec 17Roger Kohl

Gallup reports “More Americans say it is important that the federal government enact policies that grow the economy and increase equality of opportunity than say the same about reducing the income and wealth gap between the rich and the poor.” Read the full report.

Dec 15Roger Kohl

In U.S., Fear of Big Government at Near-Record Level

Dec 15Roger Kohl

Gallup reports “Americans’ concerns about the threat of big government continue to dwarf those about big business and big labor, and by an even larger margin now than in March 2009. The 64% of Americans who say big government will be the biggest threat to the country is just one percentage point shy of the record high, while the 26% who say big business is down from the 32% recorded during the recession. Relatively few name big labor as the

Dec 15Roger Kohl

Every Business Owner Needs Two Bosses. Do You Have Them?

Dec 15Roger Kohl

I just stumbled across an interesting 2 boss post from a couple of years ago on BusinessBlogs that’s worth the couple minutes it takes to read. The two bosses suggested? #1 – A Strategic plan (let’s not split hairs, if you read the article, over whether there’s a difference between a Business Plan vs. a Strategic plan — there’s no difference.  Your BP had best consider your strategy, your strategy best consider your business.  It’s that simple – 1 Plan,

Dec 14Roger Kohl

When Should an Entrepreneur Hire a CFO?

Dec 14Roger Kohl

Similar to the conclusions reached by The New York Times in this article that I recapped here EntrepreneurWeek concludes similarly. “Not every small business or company requires the services for a Chief Finance Officer or CFO, and as such, it is important that an entrepreneur knows the right time to hire one. To hire or not to hire a full-time CFO is dependent on many factors. When a Company has Enough Revenue to Justify Salary Expense of a CFO Regardless

Dec 14Roger Kohl

The Discovery Analysis™

Dec 14Roger Kohl

The Discovery Analysis™ is the first step of The GamePlan™ and consists of four parts. A confidential meeting with the business owner(s), then interview company staff Look at the company’s financial information and computer systems Benchmark financial information against industry averages Create a confidential report of our findings in The Strategy Gameplan™ This analysis is valued at $1,600 — the cost to you is always $0.00 The Strategy Gameplan™ is yours to keep and use however you may chose. Please

Dec 13Roger Kohl

How to Accomplish More by Doing Less

Dec 13Roger Kohl

Good article by Tony Schwartz on Harvard Business Review on the positives of taking intermittent breaks throughout the day to improve productivity.  The article concludes: “Stress isn’t the enemy in the workplace. Indeed, stress is the only means by which we can expand capacity. Just think about weightlifting. By stressing your muscles, and then recovering, you gradually build strength. Our real enemy is the absence of intermittent renewal.” Read the full article.

Dec 13Roger Kohl

2011’s all but done – did you achieve the goals you envisioned a year ago?

Dec 13Roger Kohl

For those of you who have kudos! For everyone else we’re approaching the 2 minute warning in football parlance (for any real detailed folks the literal calendar year 2 minute warning is 8:00 PM on December 19th and it’s 48 minutes earlier on leap years – but let’s not split hairs, OK?). Do you still have a chance to pull it off or is it next year that will be the breakout year? I’ve been involved in multiple successful turnarounds

Dec 12Roger Kohl

Record 64% Rate Honesty, Ethics of Members of Congress Low

Dec 12Roger Kohl

Gallup reports “Sixty-four percent of Americans rate the honesty and ethical standards of members of Congress as “low” or “very low,” tying the record “low”/”very low” rating Gallup has measured for any profession historically. Gallup has asked Americans to rate the honesty and ethics of numerous professions since 1976, including annually since 1990. Lobbyists also received a 64% low honesty and ethics rating in 2008.”

Dec 12Roger Kohl

Americans Favor Televising Supreme Court Healthcare Case

Dec 12Roger Kohl

Gallup reports “Nearly three-quarters of Americans, 72%, think television cameras should be allowed into the U.S. Supreme Court when it hears oral arguments in its upcoming review of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law.” And it’s pretty consistent among Democrats, Independents & Republicans — When was the last time we saw that? I personally think, regardless of whether you’re pro, con, split or simply undecided that transparency is a positive. Actually, I don’t see the position by roughly 1 in 4

Dec 11Roger Kohl

“The Top Ten Lies Leaders Believe”

Dec 11Roger Kohl

Frankly when the above blog post popped up for an instant I thought I’m going to have to bite my tongue to not disagree – as it turned out – I agree – it’s pretty spot on! What did you think before? After? Read the article.

Dec 11Roger Kohl

How to Get a Ton of New Subscribers to Your Blog

Dec 11Roger Kohl

Michael Hyatt’s blog is an invaluable resource on leadership and productivity. If you might like to attract new subscribers to your blog he offers some great tips in this article.

Dec 11Roger Kohl

Mind Control

Dec 11Roger Kohl

Excellent succinct article ~ 3 fundamental thoughts ~ by Tim Enochs a Building Champions blogger. “Stud­ies indi­cate that the human brain pro­duces, on aver­age, 70,000 thoughts per day. Con­sid­er­ing that there are 86,400 sec­onds in a day, a new thought is pro­duced about every 1.2 sec­onds. Some­times I believe it may be more than that.” 3 guides to help us manage 70K thoughts sounds like a pretty good tradeoff to me. Does that make sense? “Plant the seed of great­ness

Dec 9Roger Kohl

Dec 9Roger Kohl

Why Venture Capitalists Love NY

Dec 9Roger Kohl

“With 48 percent of the total venture capital pie, California remains the undisputed king of the American VC hill. But in the battle for second place, New York supplanted Boston in the third quarter of 2011 with 10 percent of the total VC investment — $831 million — to Boston’s 9 percent share from $710 million invested. This data is according to CB Insights, a venture capital database service in New York.” Read the article on Entrepreneur that concludes “the

Nov 30Roger Kohl

One is Silver the other is Gold

Nov 30Roger Kohl

In today’s market where many times “flat is the new growth” I often see an unwavering commitment to acquiring new business, new clients, new customers — sometimes servicing existing business and retention end up playing second fiddle. It’s always a juggling act between retaining existing business and growing new yet in my experience growing businesses tend to spend too much of their time and money acquiring new customers and overlook their best source of growth – retaining and growing their

Nov 30Roger Kohl

Interesting picture

Nov 30Roger Kohl

The vastness of space intrigues as I’ve mentioned before … … so did this picture. The largest star yet discovered in the Universe is VY Canis Majoris (VY CMa). It is a red hypergiant star located in the constellation of Canis Major. It is about 2000 times the size of our Sun with a diameter of 3,063,500,000,000m. If this star replaced our Sun in the Solar system, it would extend up to Saturn. It is about 4,900 light years away

Nov 28Roger Kohl

Moving to the Cloud

Nov 28Roger Kohl

There’s no denying that moving to the cloud presents some very real opportunity to control software, hardware and IT support expense – just be sure you’ve done your due diligence before making any switch. Three Issues to Consider Before Moving to the Cloud from Entrepreneur. Pretty straightforward advice — but still not to be overlooked either.

Nov 27Roger Kohl

“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare …

Nov 27Roger Kohl

… it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.” — Seneca

Nov 25Roger Kohl

Succession Planning – How Are Family Owned Businesses Failing?

Nov 25Roger Kohl

The short answer is that often no one is talking about it. 10+ million baby boomer small business owners are approaching this crossroad, reaching an older age. Scant few of these boomers relish admitting “I am older” … I speak from experience — I am one. That there are family members in the business often makes this discussion more of a challenge – relatively few SMB owners are having the conversations they should be having. If you, the next generation

Nov 25Roger Kohl

Mentor Support Key to Starting a Business

Nov 25Roger Kohl

Gallup surveys in 83 countries indicate that adults who have access to a mentor are three times more likely to say they are planning to start a business (14%) than those who do not have a mentor (5%). See the Full Report

Nov 24Roger Kohl

Nov 22Roger Kohl

Economic Growth now up to 2%

Nov 22Roger Kohl

Earlier today the reported: “Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 2.0 percent in the third quarter of 2011 (that is, from the second quarter to the third quarter) according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 1.3 percent.” While that is considerably less than forecast 2.5% it

Nov 21Roger Kohl

Leadership & The CEO’s Role – Bernie Marcus co-founder Home Depot

Nov 21Roger Kohl

Robert Reiss founder & host of the conducts some exceptional, succinct interviews with top CEOs promoting best practices.  In this week’s video his guest is Bernie Marcus one of 4 co-founders in 1978 of Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer and fourth largest overall retailer. Marcus offers up some salient points on culture – it stems from the top – leadership, courage, customer relations, free enterprise and job creation. Watch the Interview Video – It’s well worth the

Nov 20Roger Kohl

Top 10 Ways Your Employees are Stealing From You

Nov 20Roger Kohl

In B2B CFO®’s latest E-book, you will learn the Top 10 Ways Your Employees are Stealing From You. The book is authored by Ron Baker, a CFO with over 33 years of experience. This book will show you how to protect yourself and your business from your employees. Download the Free E-book

Nov 14Roger Kohl

Are You Leveraging Your Strengths? Focused on Core Metrics?

Nov 14Roger Kohl

Two years ago Target, the 2nd largest retailer in the US announced that they would no longer use the world’s largest e-commerce business, Amazon’s tech platform to run Target.com. That Target management may not have wanted a competitor running their website is certainly an obvious consideration — Amazon is well ahead of Target’s largely brick-and-mortar operations on the e-commerce front – they’re ahead of Wal-Mart’s too.  Target, no doubt, wanted to completely control their online operations and that certainly makes

Nov 14Roger Kohl

Leadership & The CEO’s Role

Nov 14Roger Kohl

Over 2 decades ago it was a division of Ogilvy & Mather that was my first successful turnaround.  Back then Shelly Lazarus was running our cash cow, O&M Direct.  Today she’s CEO of O&M and shares some great insight in this interview on the core values of an effective CEO and the critical role culture plays in a strong organization: Vision – Where the organization is going and can express it in a way everyone understands Inherent optimism Honest, Realistic,

Nov 14Roger Kohl

U.S. Exports Reach Record High, Boost Economic Recovery

Nov 14Roger Kohl

Last Thursday, Acting Deputy Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank indicated, “U.S. exports of goods and services in September 2011 increased 1.4 percent from August 2011 to a record $180.4 billion. This month’s exports of goods ($129.3 billion) were the highest on record, with record exports in both industrial supplies and materials ($44.4 billion) and consumer goods ($15.4 billion).” “Small- and medium-sized businesses are a major contributor to the increase in U.S. exports,” Blank went on to state. These are welcome signs!

Nov 13Roger Kohl

Nov 12Roger Kohl

10 Lessons from America’s Greatest Military Leaders

Nov 12Roger Kohl

Nice write up by Kara Ohngren for Entrepreneur on leadership that holds true in business as well. George Washington – Trust your core team Winfred Scott – Never compromise Robert E. Lee – Respect your team Ulysses S. Grant – Don’t give up George S. Patton – Help your team achieve greatness Lester B. ‘Chesty’ Puller – Stay positive Dwight D. Eisenhower – Create a cooperative culture Dudley ‘Mush’ Morton – Keep everyone motivated Eugene B. Fluckey – Recognize your

Nov 11Roger Kohl

Employer-Based Health Insurance Continues to Trend Down

Nov 11Roger Kohl

From above chart, top to bottom – from Q1 ’08 through Q3 ’11: % Employer-base – declined 5.3% to 44.5% % Government plan – increased 2.2% to 25.1% % Uninsured – increased 2.7% to 17.3% % Something else – declined 0.2% to 11.4% Presentation is important — a chart really should come across at a glance in most cases.  They really could make this very simple chart easier to read — at a glance.  And I expect on a chart

Nov 10Roger Kohl

Jerry Mills featured in IN Business

Nov 10Roger Kohl

Read the article about his Breakthrough CFO Model

Nov 10Roger Kohl

Google+ Pages

Nov 10Roger Kohl

Google launched Pages for Business earlier this week.  Rachel Parker blogged a good summary “setting up a Google+ Page for your business is dead simple“. I’m not particularly savvy at all this yet it  it only took an hour or two to set my page up to largely mirror my blog here — check it out. Perhaps you might want to consider in your marketing mix?  

Nov 9Roger Kohl

What’s Your Fraud IQ?

Nov 9Roger Kohl

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), indicates the average U.S. business loses 5% of revenue to fraud and abuse each year.  In a recent study of 1,100+ fraud cases nearly one in four was $1 million or more. 5% of Revenue – On Average – Per Year.  That’s a startling fact! In the current issue of Journal of Accountancy they’ve published the below 10 questions “What’s Your Fraud IQ?” Much attention is given to safeguarding financial and physical assets

Nov 8Roger Kohl

Small Business Health Care Tax Credit ~ Fewer than 10% have taken!

Nov 8Roger Kohl

Part of last year’s health care reform included a small business health care tax credit that generally applies to small employers who pay at least one-half the cost of health insurance coverage for their employees (specifics below). This past September 19th the Department of the Treasury issued a report addressing progress, problems and the like, interestingly: The IRS estimated that as many as 4.4 million businesses potentially qualify for this credit. Through mid-May the report indicates that just over 228,000

Nov 7Roger Kohl

More, Better, Faster—But How?

Nov 7Roger Kohl

An in the current issue of CFO Magazine reports on productivity at privately held business: Productivity has shot up since the beginning of the recession. Profit per worker, increased by more than 50% between 2009 and 2011. It now stands at what is at least a 10-year high of $15,278, according to recent data from Sageworks, which aggregates private-company financial information. A Deloitte survey of nearly 700 CFOs and other executives at middle-market companies indicates: Fully 70% of respondents indicated

Nov 6Roger Kohl

Corporate Taxes — Payers & Dodgers

Nov 6Roger Kohl

Please allow me to be very upfront — the arena I work in is serving as part time CFO to small businesses and it is my belief that economic growth that will ultimately lead us out of our recessionary doldrums will be driven by the SMB sector. To be fair there are many facets of our current economic position that are intertwined and have contributed to our sloth-like recovery. The Deficit is a big part of the problem — If

Nov 5Roger Kohl

U.S. Unemployment Improves in October

Nov 5Roger Kohl

Underemployment is at 17.8%, with 9.4% working part time but seeking full-time jobs. Gallup reports “Unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, is at 8.4% at the end of October, down from 8.7% in September and 9.2% in August. Unemployment was at 8.3% in mid-October — its lowest level since Gallup began continuous monitoring in January 2010. Gallup’s unemployment measure is also now much lower compared with a year ago — it stood at 9.4% at the end of

Nov 4Roger Kohl

Americans Trust Small-Business Owners Most on Job Creation

Nov 4Roger Kohl

A recent survey indicates that confidence in small and local business on job creation is nearly double their confidence in Congress and the Federal Reserve. Gallup reports, November 3, 2011 “Americans put the most trust in the ideas and opinions of small-business owners and local business leaders on how best to create jobs.” Rank ordered by % reporting “a great deal”/”a moderate amount” In a survey late last month the most important problem small business owners indicate they face is

Nov 2Roger Kohl

Are you a “mover” or a “head-shaker”?

Nov 2Roger Kohl

Anchor Advisors’ EnMast recently conducted a study of 130 small businesses mostly under $10 million in revenue and mostly still led by their founders.  Their study revealed that two classes of SMB owners have surfaced in our recent economics – those driven towards growth, the “movers” and those struggling that EnMast refers to as “head-shakers”.  Below is EnMast’s profile of the businesses included in their study: Key traits of the “movers” in EnMast’s Study: Spent 58% more time Meeting with

Nov 2Roger Kohl

Dr. Hamilton’s Website

Nov 2Roger Kohl

There’s a wealth of business and otherwise interesting information on Dr. Hamilton’s site. It’s well worth a browse.

Nov 2Roger Kohl

B2B CFO’s Record Growth

Nov 2Roger Kohl

B2B CFO’s Record Growth Surpasses 200 Partners and Shapes New Leadership Team B2B CFO Appoints Joseph C. Worth to Vice President of Operations and Expands In-House Digital Media Team See the Press Release on Business Wire. Contacts: ANGLES Public Relations Ania Kubicki/Brooke Rodda, 480-477-8686 ania@anglespr.com

Nov 1Roger Kohl

Online Ad Spending

Nov 1Roger Kohl

Five Companies Control 64% Read the write ups by Dave Herman and Business Insider.

Nov 1Roger Kohl

Key Metrics

Nov 1Roger Kohl

Business metrics are simply any type of measurement used to gauge some quantifiable component of a company’s performance — Revenues, gross margin, inventory turnover, return on investment, customer churn, EBITDA, each examples of financial metrics. The soundest way for any organization to turn their mission statement into success is with fundamentally sound metrics – adopting a holistic approach to their business that incorporates: Quantifiable Objectives and Targets – Where you’re at and where you want to be Clear Measurement Criteria

Oct 31Roger Kohl

World Population

Oct 31Roger Kohl

Experts indicate the world population has now reached 7 billion — and it’s increasing at a pretty steady clip. If you have any interest in estimating your number among the 7 billion, BBC News World has provided a calculator. That calculator indicates: When I was born, I was the the 2,706,590,438th person alive and the 76,044,892,501st person to have lived.  My Mother-in-Law’s # is 1,949,405,196th …. How about you? Learn more at 7billionandme.org.

Oct 30Roger Kohl

The Top 3 Leadership Blogs

Oct 30Roger Kohl

Leadership Blogs: The Ultimate rank   # Blog Title RSS Site Score Badge 1st How to Change the World 146,882 n/a n/a 677,304 7 100 2nd Seths Blog 488,392 n/a n/a 618,242 7 99.87 3rd Education Week: Leadership And Management n/a 11,854 30,579 248,085 7 97.94

Oct 30Roger Kohl

The S&P 500 is up 14% this month …

Oct 30Roger Kohl

… we still have to go —  but so far —  there hasn’t been a stronger month for the S&P in 27 years

Oct 30Roger Kohl

Android vs iPhone … who’s winning?

Oct 30Roger Kohl

… here’s how it’s shaping up by phone manufacturer And by OS I use them both … which is your preference?

Oct 30Roger Kohl

2012 Tax Law Changes affecting your 401(k), IRA … eligibility for Savers Credit is Expanded.

Oct 30Roger Kohl

Several changes go into effect in ’12 … each for the better. You may contribute more to your 401(k) Plan or other Employer-Sponsored Plan. The IRA Income Limit restrictions have been loosened for 2012 Roth IRA Income Limit Restrictions have also been relaxed for 2012 Eligibility for Saver’s Credit has been expanded See the details on Investing Answers.

Oct 30Roger Kohl

In U.S., High Interest in National Politics for Non-Election Year

Oct 30Roger Kohl

Gallup reports “Americans’ interest in national politics is holding at the elevated level seen in 2009 after record-high attention paid in 2008. More than one in three Americans (35%) say they are following news about national politics “very closely,” a greater percentage than Gallup has found in non-election years prior to 2008.“ See the Full Report

Oct 30Roger Kohl

Small Business Blogs: The Top 10

Oct 30Roger Kohl

Small Business  Blogs: The ultimate rank # Blog Title RSS Site Score Badge 1st Small Business Trends 112,549 23,521 7,891 463,145 6 100 2nd Consumerism Commentary: A Personal Finance Blog Since 2003 10,595 18,730 24,388 178,230 5 99.44 3rd Mobile Marketing Watch 10,872 125,890 39,898 61,873 6 98.99 4th Small Business SEM 6,728 140,038 33,301 90,416 5 98.65 5th danny brown 5,795 n/a 35,736 56,565 5 98.57 6th Selbständig im Netz 3,852 n/a 10,580 85,621 5 98.38 7th Small Business

Oct 28Roger Kohl

Game 6 … a little sloppy but still quite a game

Oct 28Roger Kohl

And there were a few firsts …

Oct 28Roger Kohl

Do you have an Advisory Board?

Oct 28Roger Kohl

Let’s not confuse Advisory Boards with Boards of Directors (BOD) – there are some very real differences.  Without getting into the myriad of regulatory requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank, major stock exchange governance and the like that public companies must comply there are many dynamics that hold true for CEOs of SMBs and their BOD – the tenor with an Advisory Board – if you have one – is very different. Just a few of the “plain English” distinctions, hopefully some

Oct 27Roger Kohl

When Should a Small Business Hire a Finance Chief?

Oct 27Roger Kohl

Small Business Guide concludes “most small businesses would benefit from the skills of an experienced chief financial officer … The bottom line is probably this: hire a C.F.O. as soon as you can afford one.” What has made our firm successful, an   fastest growing private company the past two years is that we fill the CFO role for small businesses that simply do not have a full time requirement — on a part time, scalable to your needs, basis.  Struggling

Oct 27Roger Kohl

How Much do America’s Big Corporations Pay in Taxes?

Oct 27Roger Kohl

             Click Chart For Expanded View

Oct 26Roger Kohl

Tuna on toast, cole slaw, cup of coffee …

Oct 26Roger Kohl

George : Yeah. No, no, no, wait a minute, I always have tuna on toast. Nothing’s ever worked out for me with tuna on toast. I want the complete opposite (see clip) of tuna on toast. Chicken salad, on rye, un-toasted with a side of potato salad and a cup of tea. Elaine : Well, there’s no telling what can happen from this. Jerry : You know chicken salad is not the opposite of tuna, salmon is the opposite of

Oct 26Roger Kohl

What’s Your Klout Score?

Oct 26Roger Kohl

Klout gives users of Facebook, Twitter and other social networks a score based on their online influence. WSJ’s Andy Jordan discusses how this social currency score is calculated and why it’s valuable to advertisers. Watch The Video.

Oct 25Roger Kohl

How Hiring Managers Are Using Social Networks

Oct 25Roger Kohl

A survey by Reppler and Lab42 (I received a warning “can’t confirm that connection is secure” when I tried to connect to lab42.com site so I didn’t link … but it did cause me to ponder) conducted a “random study of 300 individuals involved in the hiring process of their company” —  Nonetheless that study indicates: 91% Use social networking sites to screen candidates 47% Indicate they turn to social networking sites use upon receipt of application 68% Hired a

Oct 24Roger Kohl

Top of Small-Business Owners’ Problem List

Oct 24Roger Kohl

Gallup reported earlier today that complying with government regulations is the biggest challenge to small business owners. See the Full Gallup Report.

Oct 24Roger Kohl

New 3.8% Medicare tax has frequently been misreported as a 3.8% sales tax on real estate transactions

Oct 24Roger Kohl

This confusion was prompted by The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), one of the bills we had to “pass it to find out what’s in it“, that along with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, are collectively sometimes referred to as “Obamacare”.  Federal statutes signed into law on March 23, 2010. This is complicated legislation and does contain a 3.8% Medicare surtax that has been frequently misreported as a 3.8% “sales tax” on all real

Oct 23Roger Kohl

THE TAX SYSTEM EXPLAINED IN BEER

Oct 23Roger Kohl

Nothin’ like a couple of beers to clarify things! Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.  If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this. The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing The fifth would pay $1 The sixth would pay $3 The seventh would pay $7 The eighth would pay $12 The ninth would pay $18 The

Oct 23Roger Kohl

Who is your Typical Thief?

Oct 23Roger Kohl

Employee theft and fraud is probably more common than you think. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), indicates the average U.S. business loses 5% of revenue to fraud and abuse each year. In a recent study of 1,100+ fraud cases nearly one in four was $1 million or more. 5% of Revenue – On Average – Per Year. That’s a startling fact! Profile: Male 36 – 45 years old Commits fraud against his own employer Works in the finance

Oct 22Roger Kohl

What Happens on The Internet in 60 Seconds

Oct 22Roger Kohl

13,000 iPhone apps are downloaded 695,000+ Facebook status updates 98,000+ Tweets 6,600+ photos are uploaded to flickr 600+ new videos added to YouTube 168 million emails are sent Source: go-globe.com

Oct 21Roger Kohl

New rule is making Flexible Spending Accounts less easy to use

Oct 21Roger Kohl

Smart Money reports “A provision in the health-care overhaul that went into effect this year says that people who want to use their flexible-spending accounts for over-the-counter medicines need to get a prescription first. But experts say the hassle of visiting a doctor before heading to the pharmacy has proven too much for many Americans. While chain drugstores have yet to release data, online pharmacy FSAStore.com says sales of OTC medicines have plummeted from 67% to 3% of their total

Oct 20Roger Kohl

Twitter Optimization Tips: Part Deux – Confessions of a Twitter Tyro

Oct 20Roger Kohl

What’s a financial guy know about marketing anyhow? The answer to that is – not so much. Yet the below chart clearly demonstrates blogging is a big part of the B2B/B2C mix. It was less than 3 years ago when someone first asked me “do you tweet?” prompted a perplexed “huh?”, I wasn’t sure that I hadn’t just been insulted. I couldn’t tell a hashtag from a hash brown back then but at least I knew what the latter was.

Oct 19Roger Kohl

Emotional Intelligence Starts as Invitation for a Response

Oct 19Roger Kohl

I’ve long been a follower of Daniel Goleman, a believer that often emotional intelligence is as important as IQ to perform at our best ~ particularly in crisis or highly charged situations. Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™ offers some good every day advice in this blog post. I recommend you follow them both.

Oct 19Roger Kohl

401(k)s: When Opting Out Makes Sense

Oct 19Roger Kohl

SmartMoney reports “For those who aren’t in dire financial straits, conventional wisdom holds that dropping out of one’s 401(k) is generally as foolish as dropping out of high school. But there are some exceptions. If there is no company match, says Charles Buck, a financial planner in Minnesota, investors may be better off with a Roth IRA, if they qualify. A Roth IRA at a brokerage will offer more investment options, he says, many with lower fees. Also, for young

Oct 18Roger Kohl

RIM in Slow Motion!

Oct 18Roger Kohl

Please let me get straight to the point …. Blackberry’s Blowing It! I don’t think it’s any big secret that Android and iPhone have been eating Crackberry’s market share lunch even before last week’s well publicized outages. The itty bitty keyboard and screen are just not user friendly for me. You? C’mom RIM you once owed the market! Now RIM’s make good for the service outages is $100 credit towards a bunch off apps you probably don’t want! And unless

Oct 18Roger Kohl

Yelling and whispering

Oct 18Roger Kohl

Good post by Seth Godin on his blog. He’s a really good source of insight! Speak to people and they listen, holler and all they do is hear you … and wish they weren’t. “Have you ever encountered a really stressed, undertrained gate agent at an airport? She starts yelling into the microphone, strangling her words and insisting, demanding and EMPHASIZING just how urgent it is that David Johnson come to the gate immediately… It doesn’t work, because we shut

Oct 18Roger Kohl

New iOS 5 Tips & Tricks

Oct 18Roger Kohl

Business Insider has a good article on some of the new features of iOS 5.

Oct 17Roger Kohl

The Fastest Selling Tech and A Few Busts

Oct 17Roger Kohl

The fastest selling game: Call Of Duty: Black Ops, November 9, 2010, 5.6 million. And a few notable busts: Qwikster, 23 days HP Touchpad, 49 Days New Coke, 77 Days RJ Reynold’s smokeless cigarettes, 4 months Google Lively, 4 months Mobile ESPN, 8 months JooJoo,11 months Orbitz soda, 1 year Microsoft Bob, 1 year McDonald’s Arche Deluxe, 1 year Pepsi A.M. and Crystal, Both 1 year Cosmopolitan Yogurt, 18 months HD DVD, 2 years Joost, 2+ years Ford Edsel, 3

Oct 16Roger Kohl

What the …

Oct 16Roger Kohl

… so let’s try a few pictures. The above chart evidences the sharp ’08/’09 decline of Corporate After Tax Profits as well as a recovery to record/near record highs. Chart above shows wages are close to/at an all time low as a % of GDP. There are many reasons for this — principally a relatively new global economy with a less expensive labor pool overseas. China and India, the two most populous countries are the primary source of this less

Oct 16Roger Kohl

A few thoughts from a maverick

Oct 16Roger Kohl

I don’t think that it’s a complete coincidence that the NBA team that Mark Cuban owns is the Dallas Mavericks. Since he’s owned the team he’s been fined at least $1.6M, he and Commissioner Stern don’t see eye-to-eye on a few matters. Yet he’s clearly been successful in business. Founding system integrator and software reseller MicroSolutions that he sold to CompuServe in 1990 for $6M. Moved on to co-found Audionet in 1995, starting off with 1 server and an ISDN

Oct 15Roger Kohl

Oct 14Roger Kohl

An impassioned speech!

Oct 14Roger Kohl

In my opinion Dylan Ratigan nails it in this harangue. THAT’s a guy I could vote for!!

Oct 14Roger Kohl

Interview With Jerry Mills: Take a Break to Be Productive

Oct 14Roger Kohl

Good interview with Jerry Mills our Founder & CEO by Susan Payton on Small Business Trends. Read the article.

Oct 14Roger Kohl

iOS 5

Oct 14Roger Kohl

Apple released  for the iPhone and iPad earlier this week. There seems to be a few, fairly well documented bugs still to be worked out.  I recommend holding up on the upgrade until some wrinkles are ironed out. I’ve tested this empirically …. I wish I had waited.

Oct 14Roger Kohl

Keeping Employees Engaged in Tough Times

Oct 14Roger Kohl

There’s a good interview with Douglas Conant, former CEO of Campbell’s Soup Company on Harvard Business Review discussing the importance of keeping employees engaged in challenging circumstance. Conant had good success as CEO of Nabisco under challenging circumstances as well. He makes some very good points on: People First – Make it personal, people aren’t mind readers Leadership – Both Art and Science Issue Identification, Action Plans, Execution and importantly Tweaking along the way Being Likeable and Approachable – you

Oct 13Roger Kohl

The Bulls lead the Bears among the American Association of Individual Investors!

Oct 13Roger Kohl

Bespoke Investment Group reports “it should surprise no one that bullish sentiment on the part of individual investors increased for the third straight week. According to the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII), bullish sentiment rose to 39.77% this week, which is the highest level since late July. Last week we noted that “sentiment still has a ways to go before breaking its recent string of lower highs and lower lows.” This week was a step in the right direction

Oct 12Roger Kohl

CFO Magazine Reports: revenues surging, companies are investing in capex and revenue

Oct 12Roger Kohl

Amidst all the otherwise news  CFO Magazine reports a “sales surge of 15% and a rise in median cash flow of 4% between the first and second quarters of this year.“ “If companies were overly concerned about a decline in GDP, we would likely see declines in inventory levels and capital expenditures, instead of the increasing levels observed in the data. Moreover, the spurt in median revenues observed during the second quarter suggests that companies are growing and not declining,”

Oct 12Roger Kohl

Let’s keep it simple

Oct 12Roger Kohl

Is this perhaps why S&P downgraded U.S. credit rating? Tax Revenue *              $   2,162,000,000,000 Spending *                    $   3,456,000,000,000 Deficit/New Debt *      $   1,294,000,000,000 National Debt (est)      $ 14,271,000,000,000 Budget Cuts (est)         $        40,000,000,000 Let’s remove some zeros (as I mentioned in this post really large numbers can sometimes get a little confusing) and look at this as if

Oct 11Roger Kohl

The SBA Reports Record Lending Volume …

Oct 11Roger Kohl

… So Why Are SMBs Having A Hard Time Securing Loans? The Wall Street Journal reports on a “Tale of Two Loan Programs” and how “U.S. Funds Targeted for Small Business Instead [were] Used by Banks to Repay TARP. Read the WSJ article.

Oct 11Roger Kohl

Social Media Tips & Trends

Oct 11Roger Kohl

There are some pretty good tips on managing social media in this Small Business Trends article.

Oct 11Roger Kohl

Corporate Tax Reform is Overdue

Oct 11Roger Kohl

The US Corporate Federal Tax rate tops out at 35% — That’s second only to Japan’s 39.5% rate for calendar year 2010 (Japan has gradually reduced their rate from roughly 50% in the 1990s – a 5% reduction was being contemplated (perhaps since passed) for 2011 that would put the US and Japan essentially on par).  Our top rate is 10% points higher than China and nearly triple Ireland’s. Yet …. General Electric had a pretty good year in 2010

Oct 10Roger Kohl

Best catch ever … and it was the ball girl!!

Oct 10Roger Kohl

OK it’s a lazy, warm Sunday evening in October on a long holiday weekend. I’m a baseball guy, as many of you may know, but my team’s out of the playoffs.  The Catch among baseball aficionados refers to a memorable defensive baseball  play by the “Say Hey Kid” Willie Mays on September 29, 1954, during Game 1 of the 1954 (the year I was born)  World Series between the New York Giants and the Cleveland Indians at the Polo Grounds in

Oct 9Roger Kohl

Report: Steve Jobs Left Behind Plans For Four Years of Apple Products

Oct 9Roger Kohl

Glad to hear it! See the full PC Mag article.

Oct 7Roger Kohl

A Truly Valuable Service

Oct 7Roger Kohl

If you work on multiple computers, your data is valuable or find yourself away from your office needing access to a file there are several backup & syncing services that provide invaluable, economical solutions. I’ve been a satisfied SugarSync user for about 5 years now (so I’ll focus on that service).  DropBox is another similar service that is highly rated, there are a number of others. Here’s what I like: All of my devices (PC, MacBook, Android and iPhone) have

Oct 6Roger Kohl

Why Good Leaders Pass the Credit and Take the Blame

Oct 6Roger Kohl

There’s a interesting post on the HBR Blog today that’s worth a read even as I don’t completely agree. The author, Tobias Fredberg, writes “It’s no big news that leaders in turnaround situations tend to play a more prominent role in their companies than leaders in business-as-usual scenarios. What’s interesting is, in interviews, the CEOs who had led turnarounds took personal responsibility when things went wrong and did not hesitate to share the credit with their teams when things went

Oct 5Roger Kohl

Private Colleges Offering Tuition Discounts

Oct 5Roger Kohl

Some private schools are cutting tuition, in some cases significantly (Seton Hall, Benedictine, Northwestern). Some of the cuts are across the board, others to specific groups or for specific majors. Tuition is still higher in most cases than in-state public schools that average $7,600 but it’s worth reading this WSJ SmartMoney article if you or a dependent have your sights set on any of the below listed schools (or perhaps they’re a good economic alternative). Bluefield College Duquesne University Sewanee:

Oct 5Roger Kohl

The Best Recruits May Not Be Who You Think

Oct 5Roger Kohl

There are some interesting tips on hiring technique in this article by Mike Michalowicz, author of “The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur” focused upon hiring values, willingness, work ethic — you can teach them your way — attitude, not so much. I’d previously passed over this book – “judged the book by its cover”. I’ve now downloaded and will give it a read.

Oct 5Roger Kohl

5 Twitter Optimization Tips

Oct 5Roger Kohl

I found this 5 Twitter Optimization Tips article helpful.

Oct 4Roger Kohl

Don’t forget Social Media POLICY

Oct 4Roger Kohl

Social Media has been all the buzz for a few years now.  Sometimes I wonder if actual conversation may one day go the way of cursive that fewer and fewer seem to use anymore. Interesting to me is that some seem quite comfortable telling everyone just about everything about themselves.  That’s fine by me — some is really rather entertaining. BUT when it comes to your business such sharing is a horse of a different color.  There are many goings

Sep 30Roger Kohl

Best Record in Baseball – How do they fare in the World Series?

Sep 30Roger Kohl

I love baseball!  Back in the day I’d watch every pitch of every game I could.  Anymore it’s rare I watch a full game — until the playoffs that are now upon us.  I still remember the days when the game was always played outdoors, in the sunshine and without any designated hitter.  Like it should be. The Philadelphia Phillies ended the season with the best overall record.  Honestly going into the season I thought they’d handily win 110+ games. 

Sep 28Roger Kohl

Tech Buzz – Tablets & Amazon Kindle Fire

Sep 28Roger Kohl

A lot of the buzz lately is all about the cloud, SaaS, Tablets and the death of the PC – I think the last a bit premature. Earlier today Amazon announced the release (November 15) of their entry into the tablet arena the Kindle Fire that’s very competitively priced at $199. It will be interesting to see how this tablet compares and how much market share the Fire can acquire that the iPad owns nearly 70% today. Some irony and

Sep 28Roger Kohl

The Most Expensive Tickets in the 4 Major Sports

Sep 28Roger Kohl

Not surprisingly 4 out of the top 5 most expensive average ticket prices are from the NFL with their fewer number of games and comparatively larger rosters.  Market size and team success impacts prices as well. Top 5 Overall 5. Dallas Cowboys $210 4. Green Bay Packers $230 3. Chicago Bears $234 2. Los Angeles Lakers $246 1. New England Patriots $261 Top 5 by Sport MLB – New York Yankees $86, Runner Up – Toronto Blue Jays $72 NFL

Sep 26Roger Kohl

Top 10 most / least stolen vehicles

Sep 26Roger Kohl

According to CarBuzz: Most likely vehicle to be stolen – Cadalic Escalade, least – Audi A6 with 10.8 and 0.5 thefts per 1,000 respectively. State with the most thefts – California, fewest – Vermont. Most likely brand to be stolen – Ford, least – Audi. Overall 2010 thefts (737,404 stolen vehicles) are down nearly 42% vs. 2003. With the downturn in our economy that came as a surprise to me. READ THE FULL ARTICLE from CarBuzz.

Sep 26Roger Kohl

“You are …

Sep 26Roger Kohl

… what you repeatedly do. Excellence is not an event – it is a habit.” — Aristotle

Sep 26Roger Kohl

Majority in U.S. Continues to Distrust the Media

Sep 26Roger Kohl

“The majority of Americans still do not have confidence in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly” according to a poll released by Gallup last week.   See the full poll

Sep 24Roger Kohl

Imposing higher tax rates on the wealthy …

Sep 24Roger Kohl

… can have unintended consequences. There’s an excellent in the article in The Economist that goes into some good detail on the pros and cons of imposing higher tax rates on the wealthy.  The Economist states “Higher rates on the rich are not, then, a free lunch.”  The free lunch they conclude is stifled short term growth — “At low levels rate increases will lift revenue, but not without a cost in efficiency and short-term growth. If the budget is

Sep 23Roger Kohl

Needs & Equity Financing

Sep 23Roger Kohl

There’re are books and guidance from here to Cheyenne on how to secure equity financing to turn your dream into reality.  Much as I would like to assist in raising capital almost every successful entrepreneur I know protected their equity and grew organically with no early equity financing, many never.  Inasmuch as we’d all like to achieve our success yesterday except in relatively rare circumstances protecting equity and a more measured approach is usually the best approach.  Consider: Have you

Sep 23Roger Kohl

Top 10 Best / Worst Home Renovation ROIs

Sep 23Roger Kohl

Forbes reports the Top 10 Best and Worst home improvements for return on investment. Replacing point of entry with a steel door tops the list, renovating a home office affords the lowest return. Forbes did not indicate how they measured ROI (I do wonder how) nonetheless I’ve summarized their findings below.  

Sep 22Roger Kohl

“Victory …

Sep 22Roger Kohl

… belongs to the most persevering.” – Napoleon

Sep 22Roger Kohl

The Forbes 400

Sep 22Roger Kohl

The Wealthiest People in America. Forbes 400 List

Sep 21Roger Kohl

How Not to Grow

Sep 21Roger Kohl

Excellent article on CFO.com “How Not to Grow“. Highlights summarized below. Going after the wrong market. Get focused by creating a “not-to-do” list. Scaling good ideas too fast. Leave some opportunities for tomorrow. Waiting too long to invest in the future. Make innovation part of the company’s culture — and cultivate the fine art of killing unpromising projects. Hiring superstars who don’t fit the company culture. Maximize the employees you have before hiring more. Read the article.

Sep 21Roger Kohl

Ray’s Pizza

Sep 21Roger Kohl

I’ve lived most of my life in the NY metro area. Best Pizza is often a debate — Two Boots is my personal favorite. Often people argue “Ray’s” … which one?

Sep 21Roger Kohl

Higher Education

Sep 21Roger Kohl

The 2011/2012 Top 5 Universities overall according to QS World University Rankings®: University of Cambridge Harvard University Yale University University College London Massachusetts Institute of Technology Overall tuition only for the Top 50 Universities averages $16-18K for resident under and post graduate study $23-25K for non-residents. US only tuition for the 20 Universities included in the Top 50 is considerably higher averaging $31-33K for resident under and post graduate study and $35-38K for non-residents. Not only does University of Cambridge

Sep 20Roger Kohl

Stockpiles of Cash

Sep 20Roger Kohl

Most of us have likely heard that large companies, venture capital firms are sitting on considerable levels of liquid assets, of cash. Often I’ve heard this explained in the media as attributable to our economic downturn and uncertainty. Clearly the rate of accumulation has increased, accumulation is at record levels. I have little doubt this is related to recent economics, however, this buildup is evidenced by NPR as beginning well prior.

Sep 20Roger Kohl

“The Progress Principle”

Sep 20Roger Kohl

Most of the books I read are leadership,self-improvement, process focused or biographies. The Progress Principle by Terese Amabile & Steven Kramer is a very good team building, leadership, goal attainment read.

Sep 19Roger Kohl

Some straight talk on taxes and who’s paying what

Sep 19Roger Kohl

I don’t know about you but I’m a bit disenchanted with all the partisan politics particularly regarding our deficit and economic concerns. Frankly I take just about everything with a grain of salt anymore. So when time permits “I Look it up“. Taxes and who’s paying what or what they should pay is a central theme between the parties. Summarized below is what the IRS Reports. Click on Chart for Expanded View Tax Foundation link

Sep 19Roger Kohl

Startup America Partnership announces $330 million in startup aid

Sep 19Roger Kohl

Startup America Partnership, a nonprofit organization — A movement by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs — is working with the government to fund small business innovation. Businesses can register here to access this resource.

Sep 17Roger Kohl

WSJ Survey: In-Person Banking on the Rise

Sep 17Roger Kohl

“Until recently, owners were relying on Internet banking more and more. About a quarter of owners surveyed in December 2009 said the Internet was the single most important point of interaction with their bank, while 48% cited their relationship manager. Today, only 18% say the Internet is the most important point of interaction and 53% cite their relationship manager.” At times your relationship with your bank can make the difference on an approval.  I’m glad to see this trend. See

Sep 17Roger Kohl

“You can have anything you want …

Sep 17Roger Kohl

… if you are willing to give up the belief that you can’t have it.” –Robert Anthony

Sep 17Roger Kohl

A necessary ingredient of success

Sep 17Roger Kohl

TRUST …. …. fosters belief, belief fosters success.  Honesty and integrity are key to building and keeping this common element of successful company’s culture.  Shared expectations are key.  Promises and agreements that are kept.  Leadership that delivers on commitments.  Employees work harder for leaders they trust and respect – for leaders they don’t want to disappoint. Noted economist Ken Arrow wrote “Virtually every commercial transaction has within itself an element of trust, certainly any transaction conducted over a period of

Sep 17Roger Kohl

A window of Opportunity

Sep 17Roger Kohl

Last December 2010 the exemption from Federal Estate Taxes was increased from $3.5M to $5.0M.  Also at that time the lifetime Federal Gift Tax Exemption was raised from $1.0M to $5.0M through 2012. There is a window of opportunity to take advantage of the $4M Federal Gift Tax Exemption increase through the end of next year (legislation does not specify beyond 2012, whether this exemption will remain or remain $5M.  In view of current economics in the US – I

Sep 16Roger Kohl

“Simplicity …

Sep 16Roger Kohl

… is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

Sep 16Roger Kohl

Astronomers confirm some science fiction is now reality

Sep 16Roger Kohl

During 2009 NASA launched a planet discovering telescope named Kepler to search for other planets in our universe hopeful of finding other planets similar to Earth. Kepler has recently discovered an inhospitable, frozen planet they are calling “Tatooine” some 200 light years (1,176 trillion miles) distant that orbits two stars and is named after the fictional body that had a double sunset in Star Wars. There had been speculation that there are planets that orbited multiple stars but this is

Sep 15Roger Kohl

Time out?

Sep 15Roger Kohl

Federal agencies are currently working on 4,200+ new rules. At the same time businesses have clamored for tempering of Dodd-Frank regulations that have yet to go into effect. A group of 18 legislators have now recently sponsored a “Regulatory Time Out Act of 2011″ bill.  This legislation would delay any pending “significant” regulation by one year. The bill covers any rule that increases business costs, could materially affect the economy, or “raises novel legal or policy issues”. The Oval Office

Sep 15Roger Kohl

The State of New York R&D Credit Opportunity

Sep 15Roger Kohl

Over the past few years, legislative changes have expanded the opportunity for many industries to qualify and claim the research credit. Through the research credit, the federal and many state governments are providing subsidies for your investment in a product or a process to remain competitive. How Can the Credit Benefit Your Company? • May provide a source of capital through significant cash refunds of previously paid state taxes. • State credit rewards companies up to $250,000 per year credit

Sep 12Roger Kohl

2020 Hindsight

Sep 12Roger Kohl

On April Fool’s Day 1976 Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple when they were 21 and 26 respectively. Apple’s sales in that first year were $174K, 2nd year sales $2.7M, 2010 $65B, Q3 ’11 sales have already surpassed 2010. There was a sometimes overlooked third founder, Ronald Wayne, then 42 whose role was largely experienced oversight with the younger Jobs and Wozniak. Wayne sold his non-dilutive 10% equity less than 2 weeks later for $800.00. Today those shares are

Sep 11Roger Kohl

The WSJ Reports SBA lending is up overall … on track to have a record-breaking year.

Sep 11Roger Kohl

Good news for Main Street. See the full WSJ article here.

Sep 10Roger Kohl

It is amazing what you can accomplish …

Sep 10Roger Kohl

… if you do not care who gets the credit. –- Harry Truman

Sep 10Roger Kohl

10 years ~ Where were you?

Sep 10Roger Kohl

It’s hard for me to grasp that it was 10 years ago tomorrow. The weeks seemingly got longer, the years seemingly shorter. Where were you? I was traveling on the Long Island Railroad in transit to New York City when a good friend received the first call. Initial reports were sketchy. In my mind I envisioned a small, non-commercial passenger plane. Shortly thereafter it seemed everyone’s cell phone was ringing. “A second plane has hit” rang through the train car

Sep 8Roger Kohl

Investing for your children’s future

Sep 8Roger Kohl

Some alternatives to 529 Plans.

Sep 8Roger Kohl

Top 10 Industries with the most loyal customers

Sep 8Roger Kohl

Noteworthy to me was that Cellular Phone Service even made the list — I don’t know many who are particularly pleased with their service — and that one company USAA had the most loyal following in two categories, Homeowner’s and Auto Insurance. The top 10 industries for most loyal customers and the top company in the segment. 1. Groceries and Supermarkets – Trader Joe’s 2. Online Shopping – Amazon 3. Department, Wholesale and Specialty Stores – Costco 4. Online Search

Sep 8Roger Kohl

The % of new hires who would prefer a woman as a boss …

Sep 8Roger Kohl

… is up 340% and is now now at it’s highest since Gallup first began tracking 58 years ago.

Sep 7Roger Kohl

Leadership and a Great Coach

Sep 7Roger Kohl

I’ve spent most of my professional life working with under-performing companies, managing high growth.  The dynamics of those challenges are what make me tick.  Identifying and measuring key performance indicators is paramount to success.  Care to be surprised?  Follow up on a few KPIs you” think” are being measured and managed but haven’t reviewed in some time.  If at least a third of the KPIs that you think are being managed aren’t ~ lunch is on me.  In a challenging

Sep 7Roger Kohl

Growth market

Sep 7Roger Kohl

Creativity counts!

Sep 6Roger Kohl

A number of sources have indicated that Google Maps …

Sep 6Roger Kohl

… is reporting their business as “Permanently Closed” when indeed their business is very much in business. You might want to check into this. If I come across a remedy I will add to this post.  If you come across a fix please feel free to post in “comments”, thanks.

Sep 5Roger Kohl

“People looking for ‘more of the same’ aren’t actively looking

Sep 5Roger Kohl

While there may be a lot of them, they’re satisfied with what they’ve got, which means that they’re hard to attract. No, the real opportunity is in reaching out to the dissatisfied, to those in search of something new.” — Seth Godin

Sep 1Roger Kohl

How’d he do it?

Sep 1Roger Kohl

His maverick management style pure legend. He’s defied considerable odds: founding-leaving and a triumphant return, cancer, stock option debacle, liver transplant, ran against the entire PC industry with proprietary products, some notable flops (Apple III, Newton, MobileMe), litigious shoot from the hip legal policy, battles with Adobe and Google, Reuters, high prices, some dubious labor practices, IPO that raised more capital then since Ford in 1956 … the list goes on. As you likely know he recently resigned as CEO,

Sep 1Roger Kohl

It’s not all numbers …

Sep 1Roger Kohl

I’ve been the #2 guy in several organizations for 20+ years now. Throughout, the Chief Financial Officer, several times I’ve worn the COO hat too. Typically my roles included handling some of the less desirable but necessary actions. Good cop – Bad cop goes with the territory. The CEO is Champion #1, unless they choose to handle some of the un-pleasentries, it’s my job. But and it’s a BIG BUT that many CFOs sometimes fall into don’t be the NO

Aug 31Roger Kohl

What are you doing to enhance your Company’s value?

Aug 31Roger Kohl

According to BIZCOMPS, Business Valuation’s data base of private company sales since 1995 only 5.7 percent of private businesses sold for more than $1 million. I’ve had some pretty good results turning around under-performing operations — I’m sure we can come up with something.

Aug 30Roger Kohl

Finding the Exit® – Do you think pure coincidence?

Aug 30Roger Kohl

I’ve read countless books, periodicals, journals, etc. on transition, buying and selling businesses, alternatives, strategy, due diligence, coaching, team, preparedness, taxes and the like, been involved in both buy and sell side sales, studied back to my University days. I’ve also spoken with quite a few SMB owners who have sold their business.  In my less than scientific estimation easily 1 in 5 owners would not sell their business as they did if given a second chance.  Studies indicate that

Aug 30Roger Kohl

Preparing for a cash crunch

Aug 30Roger Kohl

Earlier today Imagination Publishing posted a podcast interview with our founder and CEO Jerry Mills on preparing for a cash crunch.  So far the podcast is getting raves from the folks over at Wells Fargo. Three absolutely critical areas I’d like to amplify/expand: 1.  You must have timely, accurate cash flow reporting in place to anticipate cash crunches to enable any proactive remedy. 2.  You must regularly review your customer credit limits and terms, considering both payment history and credit

Aug 29Roger Kohl

Pivot Tables & Excel

Aug 29Roger Kohl

Excel is a powerful tool. I have found PivotTable to be one of the most valuable capabilities in Excel for analyzing data. A significant new enhancement to PivotTable is PowerPivot particularly when data is in multiple databases/in different systems even from the web. PowerPivot is a free MS plugin not included in Office 2010. Click here to learn more, try hands on, watch demo or download. Or click here for an excellent article on these capabilities.

Aug 26Roger Kohl

16 Rules for Success in Business and Life in General

Aug 26Roger Kohl

Bob Parsons is a brilliant entrepreneur and businessman. After almost flunking out of high school, Parsons enlisted in the USMC.  He was wounded on duty, medically evacuated and spent two months at a naval hospital recovering from his wounds. As a result of his service and injury he earned the Combat Action Ribbon, the Vietnam Action Ribbon and the Purple Heart. In 1984, he founded Parsons Technology and began selling MoneyCounts, a home accounting program. In late 1987, Parsons was

Aug 24Roger Kohl

Can something be too good?

Aug 24Roger Kohl

I have a Classic iPod one of the 160 GB jobbers (actually I have more than one of the various iterations but in case my wife reads this let’s leave it at that OK?). I just looked it up 12,031 songs. Sounds like a lot yet one of my nephew’s friends has over 40K songs in his library and that was 5 or 6 years ago (Name that tune — I bet I could stump him on at least a

Aug 24Roger Kohl

B2B CFO’S FOUNDER AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER NAMED AMONG THE TOP 100 SMALL BUSINESS INFLUENCERS

Aug 24Roger Kohl

Jerry L. Mills Named in the Inaugural Ranking that Honors People and Corporations with Significant Impact on North American Small Business Market Phoenix, Ariz., August 23, 2011 — Jerry L. Mills, founder and chief executive officer of B2B CFO was named among the “Top 100 Small Business Influencers” in North America in an inaugural awards program created jointly by Small Business Trends and Small Business Technology. Small Business Influencer recognition was established to honor companies, organizations and people who have

Aug 22Roger Kohl

Planning, Analysis and Turnarounds – Part 1 – Staffing

Aug 22Roger Kohl

Current economics have forced many CEOs to look closely at their businesses, at their bottom line. The most common action I see taken is cost cutting, oftentimes headcount. I’ve been a CFO for17+ years and spearheaded multiple turnarounds. Prior to that I was the senior most financial & operations executive for a division of a multi-billion dollar organization charged with stemming several years of low 7 figure (annual) red ink. I’ve long held the belief that pure cost cutters are

Aug 20Roger Kohl

8 Ways To Use Your Blog To Improve Your Business

Aug 20Roger Kohl

August 18, 2011 Kim Bhasin The Internet represents an unlimited opportunity for your brand, and blogs are just one of many platforms that can benefit you. Blogs can not only get your brand name some exposure, but they can provide value to your consumers. So what exactly are you supposed to do with your blog? Most importantly, you have to keep it updated. An eerily quiet blog won’t do anything for your company or its followers. But beyond that, there’s

Aug 19Roger Kohl

What do each of these persons have in common?

Aug 19Roger Kohl

CLICK HERE FOR ANSWER I thought you might enjoy that.

Aug 19Roger Kohl

“Confidence is more precious than gold”

Aug 19Roger Kohl

I agree with the above quote attributed to Xi Jinping during this week’s economic summit. A not insignificant aspect of “the economy” is grounded in belief, belief that tomorrow can be better than today. The only way to build critical confidence and success is with with responsible, proactive, fiscally sound, consistent, clear thinking that manages expense to/and income. Leadership when others may fear they may be lost. Not exactly something I had to go to business school to learn, no

Aug 19Roger Kohl

Sports Diplomacy

Aug 19Roger Kohl

As you may know we deployed a diplomatic envoy to China earlier this week spearheaded by our Vice President intended to find some common ground on some key issues. This diplomatic visit coincided with a few basketball games also taking place in China, a nation estimated to have upwards of 400 million hoops fans. The Georgetown Hoyas were selected to represent the US, on a 10-day trip which has been cited by the U.S. State Department as an example of

Aug 19Roger Kohl

The end of the PC era

Aug 19Roger Kohl

By Erica Ogg Aug. 18, 2011, 2:00pm PT For nearly 30 years, personal computers as we have known them have been the drivers of the technology engine. From Intel to Microsoft to Dell to HP to Micron Technology — many fortunes were made on the back of the PC. But the rise of mobile computing is upending the technology business and is simultaneously redefining what is a personal computer and how we use it. On Thursday Hewlett-Packard, one of the

Aug 17Roger Kohl

B2B CFO MAKES INC. 500/5000 FASTEST GROWING COMPANIES FOR 2ND YEAR

Aug 17Roger Kohl

Dear Jerry, Congratulations: For the 2nd time, B2B CFO has made the Inc. 500|5000 list of the fastest–growing private companies in America. With this accomplishment B2B CFO joins the rarified company of enterprises that have appeared on the list on the list multiple times, many of which have grown to become national icons. Your extraordinary success is truly worth celebrating. One way to do so is to join your colleagues and peers at the 30th Annual Inc. 500|5000 Conference and

Aug 17Roger Kohl

Small Business Credit

Aug 17Roger Kohl

Last week the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported only one third of small businesses in the NY region applied for credit in the first quarter. Earlier this week The Wall Street Journal reported that fully 27% of these small businesses didn’t apply because they thought they’d be turned down. Three intangible suggestions that will help: 1. Cultivate your Bank Relationships – Get to know your key bank officers personally so they already know you and your business before

Aug 12Roger Kohl

History proves …

Aug 12Roger Kohl

…. that the greatest men and kingdoms have been the humblest, that nothing succeeds like honesty, that there is no substitute for labor, that patience builds and impatience wrecks, and that charity has sweet fruits. — J.C. Penney in Lines of a Layman Wise words indeed that hold true beyond just the business world. There is no substitute for fundamental values. Credit to my partner Mark Gandy for a heads up on a good read – I love my Kindle

Aug 12Roger Kohl

30 Years Ago Today …

Aug 12Roger Kohl

IBM released their first Personal Computer, Model 5150, Storage: dual 160KB 5.25″ floppy drives, CPU: Intel 8088, 4.77 MGz, RAM: 16K, 640K max., Price: $1,565 – $3,000.

Aug 11Roger Kohl

Growth results …

Aug 11Roger Kohl

… from the willingness to go through periods of fear, uncertainty and discomfort to reach a higher level of normal. — The Strategic Coach

Aug 11Roger Kohl

Closing a Deal

Aug 11Roger Kohl

That we are at an attention grabbing point in our economic history is no novel observation on my part. Yet this presents some interesting dynamics to the estimated 10 to 12 million SMBs that are forecast to sell over the next 10 to 15 years. Some of these businesses that would like to sell may not be at the top of their game at this time. It’s no trade secret that buyer’s will value your company based upon current earnings

Aug 10Roger Kohl

Progress, Focus and Goals

Aug 10Roger Kohl

I certainly didn’t invent the concept of the importance of goal clarification and writing them down, but are we doing that? For those we lead? Achieving even small goals uplifts. A worthwhile read supporting that position is The Progress Principle whose authors compiled some very comprehensive research on the subject. Goal Clarification, Support – including valuing their support and their views and Autonomy were the common denominators of each successful turnaround I’ve contributed. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Obstacles

Aug 10Roger Kohl

It’s not enough to be aware …

Aug 10Roger Kohl

… of the domain you’re working in, you need to understand it. Noticing things and being curious about how they work is the single most common trait I see in creative people. Once you can break the components down, you can put them back together into something brand new. — Seth Godin

Aug 10Roger Kohl

The trouble with talking too fast …

Aug 10Roger Kohl

… is you may say something you haven’t thought of yet. — Ann Landers

Aug 9Roger Kohl

Building a Budget from the Ground Up

Aug 9Roger Kohl

Building a Budget from the Ground Up A bottom-up approach to budgeting is the best way to track and channel funds Professional accountants call it “zero-based’ budgeting and liken it to starting out with a blank piece of paper. But no matter what you call it, building a budget from the ground up is the best way to go for most small businesses. One of the biggest benefits this approach provides is that starting at the lowest level of detail

Aug 9Roger Kohl

Alternative Financing Solutions – Asset Based Lending

Aug 9Roger Kohl

Alternative financing for companies that do not have the earning history, positive equity or credit rating for traditional financing. If you’ve been turned away by your bank there are alternatives to raising cash through Asset Based Lending. This lending, often a quick remedy is secured by pledging as collateral assets (Accounts Receivable, Equipment, Inventory, Purchase Orders). The 3 primary types of asset based lending are: Revolving Lines of Credit– Revolvers offer the greatest opportunity to maximize working capital with the

Aug 6Roger Kohl

Do you know how much a polar bear weighs?

Aug 6Roger Kohl

Networking and Ice Breakers Many of you who read this blog are CEOs of small businesses. Business development is a top priority that’s crucial to your company’s success. No doubt you’ve attended numerous networkers, conventions, mixers, retreats and the like principally to make new connections. From time to time I’ve watched others to see what works. Sure we all want to talk about what we do – that’s why we’re there and everyone likes to talk about their family. But

Aug 3Roger Kohl

America’s pastime, Role models and the Evil Empire

Aug 3Roger Kohl

I’m a sports guy … The Yanks are my team, Mickey Mantle was my boyhood idol. Love ‘em or hate ‘em the Bronx Bombers’ success is hard to argue. Today my thoughts turn to Derek Jeter – in my view one of the few role models in sport today I can embrace our kids looking up to. Probably a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee. It took the Yankee Clipper, Joe DiMaggio, a career .325 average, at the time of

Aug 2Roger Kohl

The New Math

Aug 2Roger Kohl

I don’t know about you but I was glad to see our elected leaders come to an agreement to avoid any default on our nation’s obligation – I think. Otherwise I’m pretty steamed and I’m going to tell you why. There was no reason why the remedy that was reached could not have been reached weeks, even months ago. There’s an old adage “a timely bad decision yesterday is better than a good decision tomorrow”. I don’t always agree with

Jul 30Roger Kohl

Apple $76B, Treasury $74B and Waterloo

Jul 30Roger Kohl

I’m not sure why I mentioned the cash reserves in the subject other than I’m amazed that our Treasury has lower cash reserves than a successful technology company and I’m advised  that when I Tweet this later, Tweets with #s are something  in the order of 10x more likely to be read or re-Tweeted.  The real subject is about why some companies succeed, others fail.  More specifically why do companies that once held a significant market share slip. iPhone vs.

Jul 29Roger Kohl

17 Countries have AAA Credit Ratings

Jul 29Roger Kohl

Amidst all the debt ceiling, balanced budget, cut spending, increase revenue (when did raising taxes inherit the moniker “revenue”?), partisan backbiting and other wearisome matters I thought I might focus on some facts. There are 17  countries that S&P and Moody’s (the same folks who blessed Fannie & Freddie) have bestowed their highest AAA rating. With all the talk of S&P and/or Moody’s downgrading our debt — surely not a good thing — the inability of our elected leaders to

Jul 28Roger Kohl

30 Years Ago Today

Jul 28Roger Kohl

July 28, 1981 Microsoft released DOS ~ We’ve come a long way.

Jul 27Roger Kohl

Finding the Exit®

Jul 27Roger Kohl

We’re at an interesting crossroad where 78 million or so baby boomers will be retiring over the next 12 to 15 years.  12+ million of these boomers own their own business.  Yet the younger generation isn’t stepping into these businesses nearly as often as day’s gone bye.  Likely 2/3rds or more of these businesses will not be passed down. Something will happen to those businesses – sale to a 3rd party, sold to employees/ESOP, liquidation among the possibilities. Few SMBs

Jul 27Roger Kohl

Employee Theft & Fraud — Some Telltale signs – Part 2 of 2

Jul 27Roger Kohl

Still probably not something you want to think about but still no small matter for small businesses. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), indicates the average U.S. business loses 5% of revenue to fraud and abuse each year.  In a recent study of 1,100+ fraud cases nearly one in four was $1 million or more. 5% of Revenue – On Average – Per Year.  That’s a startling fact! ACFE also indicates that most costly abuses occur in organizations with

Jul 27Roger Kohl

Employee Theft & Fraud — Part 1 of 2

Jul 27Roger Kohl

Probably not something you want to think about but it’s no small matter for small businesses 30 percent of small business failures are directly related to employee theft or fraud according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. An employee is 15 times more likely to steal than a non-employee according to The National Federation of Independent Business, who also indicate that employee theft accounts for more than vendor fraud and shoplifting combined. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimate employee

Jul 27Roger Kohl

The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 and …

Jul 27Roger Kohl

Some sometimes overlooked, very real benefits to Main Street! I’ve heard many perspectives on the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008.  Along the way perhaps the most common comment is that the Act did very little (I chose those words very carefully) for me or my business — for Main Street. Let’s focus on some positives! Sometimes overlooked in the Act are the incentives of Section 179 Deductions that have been materially improved.  Contrary to the benefits of the somewhat similar

Jul 27Roger Kohl

10 iPhone Features That Android Phones Had First

Jul 27Roger Kohl

I don’t think many would disagree that  revolutionized the smartphone market with their introduction of the iPhone back in June of 2007.  Yet they haven’t been first with all the features that we’ve come to embrace, the  has had a few firsts as well. Multitasking Drop-down notifications Wireless syncing Opening apps from the lock screen Customizable wallpapers Over the air updates Front-facing camera LED camera flash Multiple carriers Deeply-integrated voice control (unconfirmed) Maybe that’s really only 9 —  I’m not

Jul 25Roger Kohl

Lions and Windows

Jul 25Roger Kohl

The folks out of Cupertino have surely been making quite a splash lately with their pads, pods, phones and recent OS upgrade at $29 bucks. I use both — desktop PC in my office, MacBook Pro at clients, when travelling.  That the Mac can run both OS X and Windows 7 without rebooting is pretty convenient. I thought I’d share this article 10 Ways To Speed Up Your Computer’s Boot Time that’s fairly straightforward and can help you keep your

Jul 25Roger Kohl

Pork barrels, fertilizer, shutdowns, fear mongering and the like …

Jul 25Roger Kohl

I’m not expert at either politics or economics, I don’t know about you – BUT I’m pretty darned disillusioned with partisan politics, extreme right/left leaning journalism, and our irresponsibly high deficit. I found this  article by Robert Longley informative and worth a read (to be fair I haven’t followed Longley enough to know if he may be a “leaner”,  his article sounds factual to me but I do take much with salt lately). According to Longley: Since 1981 there have

Jul 24Roger Kohl

“Courting Venture Capital”

Jul 24Roger Kohl

For anyone in the market to raise venture capital there’s a good primer in the June, 2011 issue of the Journal of Accountancy, “Courting Venture Capital”, by J. D. Kern. Two key elements are face-to-face and the elevator pitch that captures their interest quickly NOT with the numbers, rather market demand and why you exist. Get quickly to the: market you are in demand / problem you solve size of the opportunity. Make it personal, compelling and memorable. They will

Jul 24Roger Kohl

The Universe and the Federal Deficit

Jul 24Roger Kohl

I’ve always been intrigued by the vastness of space.  Earlier today I found it fascinating to learn that two teams of astronomers at the California Institute of Technology and the University of Colorado Boulder discovered what they believe is the largest and furthest reservoir of water ever detected in our universe.  The amount of water is estimated to be 100,000 times the mass of the sun or 34 billion times the mass of the Earth in a quasar some 12