Protecting Your Profits

January 11, 2017 Leave a comment

20 Under 40 20_3This is my monthly column for the Kitsap Sun / Kitsap Business Journal. It’s Part 2 of a 3-part series but will stand alone in it’s value to you. Enjoy!

Last month’s column unveiled Part 1 of creating a strategic growth plan with eschewing the traditional business plan model and focusing on a strategic marketing plan. This month, we dive into a topic that most business owners and entrepreneurs should care a lot about – profits. A strategic growth plan better include profitable growth or you’re just messing around.

There are three components in my strategic growth plan — marketing, protection and financial. This column will cover protection, with the final one to follow next month.

Let’s face it; talking about growing profits is a sexier topic than protecting them, right? The problem is that there are so many monsters out there ready and willing to devour those profits that you need to build a fence around them.

I hate the phrase “risk management.” To me, it implies that “risk” is a bad thing. Without a healthy dose of risk, there are no rewards. Risk is simply a function of your tolerance for it. As an entrepreneur, you need a lot. That’s why I suggest you need to be resilient. My personal definition of resilience is this – the ability to take a punch; jump back up and throw two more of your own. Heck, as a business owner, this may be a daily discipline!

The “burden of reactive chaos” is a state where you’re constantly putting out the proverbial “fire” at the office. Instead of having a plan of attack to deal proactively with chaos, you’re seen constantly running around stamping out those flames with the same vigor and angst as kids hitting a Whack-a-Mole at a carnival. You are reacting to outside crisis and allowing that effort to exhaust your time, your energy, and your mindset. Left unchecked, you’ll find your profits dwindling because you and your employees are working less effectively, while also leaving gaps for those profit monsters to eat at your bottom line.

In order to avoid the “burden of reactive chaos,” you need to have a strategic resilience plan. Have no fear. I’m about to tell you how to get started with one!

How to Create a strategic resilience plan:

— Commit to investing time and money for the protection of your profits and sanity. This is the same concept as preparing your house for a disaster (which I’m certain you all have done). If you as the boss don’t commit to this investment, then who will? That’s right, nobody. Consider your ROI gobs of discretionary time, dramatically improved performance, and happier employees.

— Identify the monsters. What are the most probable obstacles to being wildly successful? The answers are bunched into four categories: physical (e.g. fire); human resources (e.g. employee issues); liability (e.g. negligence to someone else); and loss of income (e.g. brand/reputation). You can’t plan or prevent without identifying what can hurt you. This is the most important step.

— Assess the threats. Are these “monsters” lying in wait under the bed, or almost non-existent? Based on your industry, geography, and best practices, you can determine the likelihood of the chaos. You can also guess how bad it might be (e.g. lost days versus lost weeks). You can build a plan around certain calamities or create a “plug and play” model.

— Write it up. Once you’ve got a plan, write it down and share it with everyone. Create a committee or task force in charge of implementation. Make sure that everyone knows what to do in case of an emergence, especially how to evacuate. If it’s not written, it won’t be followed and your work will have gone to waste.
Practice. When I coached basketball, we would drill daily on end of game situations so we would be prepared when it happened. You need to do the same thing. Ask yourself how many employees can actually use one of the many fire extinguishers in your building. If there is no confidence in carrying out a plan, then reactive chaos flourishes and eats away at your profits like a hungry dog on a bone.

— Build a team. There are plenty of experts out there that can help you. Insurance brokers, consultants, technology specialists and more should be part of your team. Once a year, bring everyone together and brainstorm. Your resilience program needs to be nimble. Things change all the time, and your plan needs to be ready for that.
Patience. This isn’t the most fun thing you will do in your business, but it may be the most important. The main reason smart people let this slide is because they get impatient and allow it to not be a priority. In this case, patience isn’t only a virtue; it might save your business.

There are three key factors that keep otherwise savvy entrepreneurs from getting out of the “burden of reactive chaos.”  They are apathy, complacency, and arrogance. They think it will never happen to them, they’ve done all they can, or (worst) they will figure it out when it happens. Don’t be that guy or gal. Too many people need you to be profitable and open for business – your employees and their families, your clients and customers, your key vendors and partners, and your community. Invest your time in slaying those profit monsters, escape the burden of reactive chaos, and stay constantly in the pink (or in this case, the black!).

Next month: Strategic Growth Plan #3: Financial Fitness

Dan Weedin is a strategist, speaker, author and executive coach. He helps small business and middle market business leaders and entrepreneurs to grow more profitably and create a better life. He was inducted into the Million Dollar Consultant™ Hall of Fame in 2012. Contact Dan at 360-697-1058, dan@danweedin.com or visit his web site at http://www.DanWeedin.com.

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Shrimp Tank Redux #7

January 10, 2017 Leave a comment

shrimptanklogoOne of the highlights of 2016 for me was being part of a new nationally syndicated podcast, The Shrimp Tank.

My co-host Brad Berger and I had a blast with seven fascinating guests starting in September. We begin 2017 with a switch in times – now 3 pm PST every other Wednesday. The next episode with stream live on January 11th with our guest Ryan Fournier of Fournier Insurance Solutions in University Place, WA.

Since the calendar is flipping into a new year, I thought it might be a great time to review our fantastic guests from last year! You’ll find each episode of our first seven guests on a daily blog post – both the audio podcast (45 minutes) and the video wrap-up (5-6 minutes). I encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter (on our website above) and to our show on iTunes.

Episode 7: Michele Doyle / Owner MD Design Group: LINK

Michele Doyle is the founder of MD Design Group, formerly known as Michele Interiors, Inc. Good design is her passion. Before pursuing that passion, she spend 20 years in the corporate IT sector supporting Fortune 1000 where she became well disciplined in software design and development, project management and designing business solutions by thoroughly assessing clients’ needs. The discipline skills necessary to be successful in that environment translated beautifully in the interior design world and uniquely qualified her to serve her clients’ needs fully.

She completed her design education at Seattle Art Institute’s intensive Residential Design Program, where she developed a solid foundation as an interior designer. Ready to apply her design education, and with the help of her successful corporate background and lifelong experience as a do-it-yourselfer, she incorporated Michele Interiors in 2005 to provide professional interior design services to Kitsap County and surrounding communities. She had a vision to grow her company and to be a learning organization that could provide an exciting working environment and offer living wages and benefits to her employees. The formation of MD Design Group in 2014 was the realization of that vision.

Local contractors she works with respect MD Design Group’s ability to clearly communicate their clients’ design and project goals to them and their subcontractors. MD Design Group values the business and collaborative relationships they have with these talented and skilled local craftsmen who possess excellent work ethics. They believe their clients deserve the best and they always endeavor to provide it.

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Shrimp Tank Redux #6

January 9, 2017 Leave a comment

shrimptanklogoOne of the highlights of 2016 for me was being part of a new nationally syndicated podcast, The Shrimp Tank.

My co-host Brad Berger and I had a blast with seven fascinating guests starting in September. We begin 2017 with a switch in times – now 3 pm PST every other Wednesday. The next episode with stream live on January 11th with our guest Ryan Fournier of Fournier Insurance Solutions in University Place, WA.

Since the calendar is flipping into a new year, I thought it might be a great time to review our fantastic guests from last year! You’ll find each episode of our first seven guests on a daily blog post – both the audio podcast (45 minutes) and the video wrap-up (5-6 minutes). I encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter (on our website above) and to our show on iTunes.

Episode 6: Ingemar Anderson / President Kitsap Publishing: LINK

Ingemar Anderson is a founder of four successful businesses, book author, professional speaker, investor, analyst executive offering 25+ years of experience leading cross-functional teams of technical experts and business management.

Ingemar received his Master of Business Administration M.B.A. with a specialty in Finance in 2004 and has over twenty years of experience working with and leading cross-functional teams to invent, design, implement, validate, market, sell and operate business systems. He has advised and supported executive management of many Fortune 500 companies in diverse industries like finance, life science, manufacturing, retail, logistics, media/entertainment, education, legal, software, and automotive. Ingemar Anderson has extensive experience in successfully converting complex business ideas and technological challenges into profitable business solutions.

Ingemar started Kitsap Publishing in September 2014 in response to a strong demand from many local and regional authors for a service to convert their manuscripts into physical and electronic books. Quickly, Kitsap Publishing has evolved into a known authority for book publishing, and has since 2016 started offering a new program called “Publishing for Professionals (TM).” With several professional authors and speakers already onboard, Kitsap Publishing thrives to provide reliable and high quality services for authors who are looking for book design work, book printing, fulfillment and other logistical services to complement their own business activities like professional speaking, business or life-coaching.. (www.KitsapPublishing.com)

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points:What’s Your Punching Bag?

January 9, 2017 Leave a comment

This Week’s Focus Point: What’s Your Punching Bag?Dan Weedin Unleashed-40

I got a great birthday present last week from my wife and kids. They banded together to get me something I really wanted…a heavy (and speed) bag for my exercise room. I’d started using one in a class at the gym, but I wanted to have access to create my own routine. It’s a great core and endurance work out, and the new year was the perfect time to get going on it!

One of the advantages of working from home for me is that I can access this bag any time I need it. We all are susceptible to periods of frustration, stress, angst, anger, and sadness. It doesn’t need to be a mountain of a problem; often it’s a pebble in our shoe that while temporary, still has consequences to our comfort and peace of mind.

When in a bad mindset – that will happen to all of us – my practice is to change the brain chemicals. That means getting physical. In order to stabilize your emotions and optimize your “smarts” (e.g. mental acuity) to more successfully deal with issues, you’ve got to change the brain chemicals. For me, I can put on the gloves and go thump on the heavy bag until I’m tired. That physicality changes your brain by getting your emotions steadier, and allows you to make better decisions, improve performance, and create a better perspective.

You may not have a heavy bag to thump, but you have something. Go for a walk (even around the office). Do knee bends. Do push-ups. Heck, go on the internet and find dozens of ideas on how to increase physical movement while at work. The important thing is this – if you allow yourself to get emotionally out of sorts, it will kill your productivity, poison your self talk; and lead to poor decision-making. And worse, it will continue the cycle until you break it.

Change your mindset by changing your brain chemistry. The quickest way to do that is by (with apologies to Olivia Newton-John) getting physical.

If you’d like to discuss how I can help you and your company punch out the obstacles in your way for success and unleash your potential, then please call me at (360) 271-1592 or email me.

Quote of the Week:

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

~ Muhammad Ali

punch

 

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Shrimp Tank Redux #5

January 7, 2017 Leave a comment

shrimptanklogoOne of the highlights of 2016 for me was being part of a new nationally syndicated podcast, The Shrimp Tank.

My co-host Brad Berger and I had a blast with seven fascinating guests starting in September. We begin 2017 with a switch in times – now 3 pm PST every other Wednesday. The next episode with stream live on January 11th with our guest Ryan Fournier of Fournier Insurance Solutions in University Place, WA.

Since the calendar is flipping into a new year, I thought it might be a great time to review our fantastic guests from last year! You’ll find each episode of our first seven guests on a daily blog post – both the audio podcast (45 minutes) and the video wrap-up (5-6 minutes). I encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter (on our website above) and to our show on iTunes.

Episode 5: Jeff Rounce / Founder of The Business Examiner (Tacoma): LINK

Jeff Rounce is a graduate of Washington State University and a veteran of the United States Airforce. Before founding the Business Examiner in 1986 he had a career in on-air news management throughout each of the four Pacific Northwest states.

Early on, the Business Examiner came in the form of a bi-weekly newspaper exclusively covering the local South Sound business community. After three decades, the Business Examiner left the newspaper medium behind and moved to a monthly glossy magazine starting in 2016. This is in addition to a robust digital presence – both in extensive web content and e-newsletters.

A believer that businesspersons ought to be participants in their communities, Jeff is a past-president of the Rotary Club of Tacoma #8, past director of both Tacoma-Pierce County and Olympia-Thurston County Chambers of Commerce, and current member of PLU School of Business Advisory Board. This is in addition to numerous other volunteer leadership activities with local industry and non-profit organizations.

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Shrimp Tank Redux #4

January 6, 2017 Leave a comment

shrimptanklogoOne of the highlights of 2016 for me was being part of a new nationally syndicated podcast, The Shrimp Tank.

My co-host Brad Berger and I had a blast with seven fascinating guests starting in September. We begin 2017 with a switch in times – now 3 pm PST every other Wednesday. The next episode with stream live on January 11th with our guest Ryan Fournier of Fournier Insurance Solutions in University Place, WA.

Since the calendar is flipping into a new year, I thought it might be a great time to review our fantastic guests from last year! You’ll find each episode of our first seven guests on a daily blog post – both the audio podcast (45 minutes) and the video wrap-up (5-6 minutes). I encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter (on our website above) and to our show on iTunes.

Episode 4: Mark Lunde / CEO Cuz-D Industries: LINK

Mark Lunde brings over 30 years of senior management and strategic business development experience.  He was formerly the President of BluHaptics and Vice President of National Sales at LINE-X.

Mark holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the United States Naval Academy and an MBA from the University of Washington.  He is a Captain in the U.S.  Navy Reserve and qualified nuclear submarine officer.

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Shrimp Tank Redux #3

January 5, 2017 Leave a comment

shrimptanklogoOne of the highlights of 2016 for me was being part of a new nationally syndicated podcast, The Shrimp Tank.

My co-host Brad Berger and I had a blast with seven fascinating guests starting in September. We begin 2017 with a switch in times – now 3 pm PST every other Wednesday. The next episode with stream live on January 11th with our guest Ryan Fournier of Fournier Insurance Solutions in University Place, WA.

Since the calendar is flipping into a new year, I thought it might be a great time to review our fantastic guests from last year! You’ll find each episode of our first seven guests on a daily blog post – both the audio podcast (45 minutes) and the video wrap-up (5-6 minutes). I encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter (on our website above) and to our show on iTunes.

Episode 3: Jim Tschimperle / CEO Pacific Machine, Inc.: LINK

Pacific Machine Shop was established in 1912. Jim became the 4th owner in October of 1985 and it became Pacific Machine Inc. and just started 32nd year of ownership. At the time of purchase, the business was located in Tacoma on the Theo Foss Waterway in a 1,600sq ft. building with 3 employees.

In 1988, they relocated to a 5,000sq/ft. building a mile from Foss Waterway location. As the business grew, they continually expanded their manufacturing space to 10,000sq/ft. and in 2014 moved to their present 20,000sq/ft. facility. They have continually changed and evolved as their customer base and needs have changed thru the purchasing automated equipment and computer software to run the machines and operate the business.

The business is based on the following principals:

They are committed to continually strive for excellence in providing a quality product and service to their customers.  To continually improve their skills as craftsmen to the highest possible levels.

Their integrity, excellent quality and exceptional service to customers will continue to the foundation of their future.

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved