The Winning Way – Calculate Part 2

Know Your Numbers – Carrying Charges

In this post we continue to look at how you, as a business leader, can achieve more when you know your numbers.  (Read Part 1)

Cash Flow Management is a key factor for most businesses but often balancing the movement of funds within your business is challenging.  Determining whether you should pay for products or services in one large payment or take advantage of a multi-pay option may feel like a “no-brainer” but at what cost?

What carrying charges are you incurring?

The goal of a vendor is to get you to buy their product or service.  This is the same for you in your business.  Many vendors offer you an opportunity to opt-in to a “multi-pay” situation rather than paying a large lump sum.  In retail this may be in the foBudget Expensesrm of a “buy now, pay later” scheme.  Many service providers to small businesses offer you the ability to pay for a program monthly, or in 2, 3 or 4 payments.   Those multi-pay options may be labelled “easy pay” or “cash flow friendly” but don’t lose sight of the fact that whenever you opt for a later payment, you will incur carrying charges.

There is no right or wrong answer unless you look at each situation individually and determine the value of the product or service, its ability to help you achieve your business goals and the impact on your cash flow.  I flex between the two options, depending on circumstances, but I enter a multi-pay agreement with my eyes wide open.

Let’s look at the cost of multi-pay options.

One program I recently reviewed targeted top level leaders.  This program offered a full range of training modules – both in person and virtual, tools and resources as well as some private covalue price ID-100287427 Stuart Milesaching sessions. The full cost of the program was $54,000 but if you chose the monthly option, you would pay a total of $64, 850 – a full $905/month or  $10,850/year more.  This may feel like its an extreme example but it clearly demonstrates the impact of carrying charges.  I have seen carrying charges of $1200 on a $5000 ticket item (a 24% surcharge).

Consider this…

If you are interested in purchasing a product or service from a vendor, such as a training program or coaching, what are the carrying costs you will incur if you do not pay at one time?  If you paid at one time, what impact would that have on your cash flow – this month & for the next 3+ months?  Can you pay off the balance at any time if revenues increase?Do you have other sources of money which you can use and have a lower carrying cost than the vendor is charging?

The Winning Way – Calculate Part 1

Know Your Numbers – Recurring Charges

When September began I had numerous subscriptions and annual expenses (like insurance) come across my desk.  As I was already spending time decluttering filing cabinets and electronic files,  I thought it would be a good time to really take stock of my own business so that I could tweak my goals as I enter the final half of my fiscal year.  I  regularly lead clients through this process but, like any specialist, I don’t always set aside the time to do the same for myself.

This lead me to thinking about my chapter of the best selling book “The Winning Way“.  In my chapter I share three key attributes to ignite the leader within. One of those attributes is the ability to know your numbers.

 “When you know your numbers, you have a unique method of measuring your own success, and the effectiveness of the methodologies you have in place.  Key performance indicators (KPI’s) allow you to better understand how well the systems deliver the results you want to achieve. ” 

As a business leader, whether you are a business owner or executive, manager or a project leader, you probably have to manage a budget, a team (in-house or out-sourced), suppliers, inventory and more. To effectively do your job, you need to know your numbers at different points in a week, month, year, or in the project. My question to you – how well do you know your numbers?

Over the next week, I will share with your my deep dive into my own numbers and saved myself thousands of dollars!   Asking yourself these questions could save you too!

 What are your recurring expenses?  What value do they bring to your business?

Every year I sign up for different programs, journals, magazines, which incur recurring charges – either monthly or yearly.  These expenses are automatically billed to a credit card and I acknowledge them when they are on my statement, but frequently forget about themcircles-free in the months between.

I have now taken stock of all of the subscriptions and other recurring expenses I incur each month.  Mapping it out provided me with a visual map of when the expenses occur and how much they are.  I was then able to review each expense and evaluated whether I used it, how often etc.  I also looked at other options.  Frequently other companies may have introduced some new features to their product line which better fit your needs.

In my review I realized I wasn’t using 3 of the services I pay for each month.  I had the subscriptions for “just-in-case” situations.  I realized it was better to pay the slightly higher cost for one-time use rather than having a low recurring expense and therefore I cancelled the three services – saving me $500/year.  Another recurring expense is an annual fee with no refund potential.  Again, I realized it was costing me  more than I realized and the quality and options I could now get in that package were no longer worth that pricetag.   I have now calendarized the renewal date so that I can cancel this subscription.  This will save me another $500/yr.

Download my Recurring Expense Tracker to review your recurring expenses.  How much can you save your business?

I Took the Ice Bucket Challenge

This weekend, I was challenged by my sister living on the East Coast to take the ALS Society’s Ice Bucket Challenge.  She also challenged my niece (her daughter) and my other sister — so we all accepted!

ALS is such a horrible diagnosis.  I have known 2 people with this disease and it was terrible to see and hear of the decline in their health.  Therefore, in addition to taking the challenge, I have also made a $50 donation to the ALS Society as part of my More Than Green (TM) approach.

I have now challenged the following three people to participate

1. Paul Holden, CEO – Burnaby Board of Trade
2. Susan Scott Gabe — Managing Director – Care At Home Services Inc.
3. Maureen McKinnon — CEO – McKinnon & Associates

If you haven’t been challenged yet, you don’t have to wait… I’m happy to challenge you too!

New… Strategic Huddles

The Strategic Huddle: Focused Sessions to Align. Activate. Advance Your Business

 

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached,

don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.

Confucius

 

According to the definition, a huddle is used in sports and “is an action of a team gathering together, usually in a tight circle, to strategize, motivate or celebrate.” Canadian, American, Association football, cricket and Australian rules football all use a form of a huddle during games/matches.

In business, a huddle offers many opportunities to strategize, plan, motivate, communicate and build teamwork between teams. I have successfully implemented the huddle concept in a large not-for-profit with 5 different departments. Through daily huddles, the teams are more integrated, focused on top priorities, and more proactive. The daily huddle has become the hub from which operations flow.

You may be thinking I’m not on a sports team so what’s this have to do with me?

What if….

  • I am a solo-preneur and juggling all the tasks and responsibilities of my business.
  • I’m overwhelmed and lacking focus – I want to get back on track so I reach my goals.
  • I’m stuck in my middle-manager role – it’s time for a change.
  • I want to take my business into new areas but not sure how.
  • I want to motivate myself to get more out of my career and find time for life.

Well— Strategic Huddle Sessions are for you!

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They combine the key attributes of the sporting huddle and offer you an opportunity to gather together with me to strategize, plan, and move forward in a more innovative and effective way.

Unlike a traditional coaching session, these 90 minute strategic huddles are working sessions. I’m not there to just listen and ask more questions. Yes, I do ask a lot of questions, but I will also help you cut to the chase and find the right solution, approach or resource to make things happen quickly. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves, take out the paper and pencil, computer or tablet and join me to dig deep, think outside the box and take action! Where we find a gap, we’ll brainstorm and problem-solve together – that’s the fun part!

So, step up, make the decision and you won’t be disappointed.

 

I have gained so much more focus for myself and my new business – even my friends are noticing that I’m calmer. I’m psyched about what can be achieved. Boosting my income is top priority and I already see that happening within 3 months. Joyce Sagi – Disaster & Associates LLC

 

Before Your Session

Like any sporting event, you must come prepared to the Huddle. This means taking time to really look at the issues and what your goal(s) are. To assist you in this process, I will send you a short questionnaire. Your responses will help me zero in so we maximize the benefit you gain.

 

Your Strategic Huddle Session

Align

We will look at where you are now. What your dreams and goal are for the coming quarter and beyond. What is happening now and in the near future that can impact or deactivate you plans. You set the direction and I’m there to help you through coaching, exploration, brainstorming, and more!

Activate.

Knowing where we are starting from will allow us to create the plans that will map out what you want to accomplish and how you will navigate through the maze of challenges, obstacles and opportunities – everything from day-to-day operations, identifying and accessing the right resources at the right time, and more!

Nothing can happen to stretch and achieve those goals and dreams unless you hit the accelerator and take action!

Advance

When staying still is not an option, we will help you ensure your plan keeps you advancing with forward momentum. Growth is an advancement of a seed to a plant that provides food or other materials used for many purposes. Together we will take your seed of an idea, surround it with the right systems and resources so it too can grow and develop to be of use to you, your clients, team or superiors and your support network. We will identify where you add value and how to reap the benefits along the way.

If you are the CEO of your life, career or business these Strategic Huddle sessions are for you!

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Catherine looked at my skill set and very quickly made recommendations to transform my business in a way that totally fit with my vision. She then took me through a step-by-step description of exactly what needed to be accomplished in order to achieve the end result.

If you believe your business can operate more efficiently, or you want to shift your focus to increase productivity, Catherine Rocheleau will amaze you. Thanks Catherine.                                                                                     Bruce Langford, Stand Up Now!

 

But that’s not all….

If you want to ramp up your execution and extract more out of our time together, take advantage of the Strategic Huddle Add-On package.

You can

  • Extend your Strategic Huddle to dig deeper on the same issue,
  • Start anew and focus on something different,
  • Choose a coaching session to brainstorm, problem solve or role-play,
  • or mix it up – You decide!
  • Decide when you want to book your second session… the following week or in a month’s time… whatever meets your needs and will bring the greatest value.

What’s included in the Add-On?

  • More focused time in your 60 minute call with Catherine
  • A copy of the recording so you can extract even more out of our work together.
  • A copy of my Networking Worksheet so you can expand your connections and interact effectively with others who can become customers, suppliers, supporters, colleagues or employers.

 

“Catherine is highly gifted in giving clarity to one’s thoughts and vision.   She will be a great asset in initiating change in an organisation which is willing to move forward to the next level.”

Grace Ng – FInd Business Solutions

 

Now is the time… Don’t let Your 4th Quarter be less than spectacular!

Book Your Strategic Huddle and Add On Session Today!

Only 15 spots are available at these execptional prices!!

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Note: If the dates or times I’m offering don’t quite work for you, book your session and send me an email sales@igniteleaders.com and I’ll see if I can adjust the time (no guarantee). All Strategic Huddle Sessions must be booked on or before September 18th, 2014. Add-On Sessions must be booked by October 31, 2014.

Three Steps to Consider when Facing Obstacles

motivational-quotes-motivational-pictures-2How do you react when you face obstacles?

Is it a challenge to be over-come or a barrier that stops you in your tracks?

Every week I work with executives or professionals who are leading their business efforts in new directions.  More often than not, these highly motivated and successful people can become stuck and unable to move forward.  It may be a fear, a past experience or a lack of clarity which holds them back from making the progress they desire.

When you “hit the wall”, you can view it as a barrier  that will stop you or one in which you will overcome.  Alternatively, you can view it as a challenging opportunity leading you to shift and move forward.

Last week at a networking meeting the speaker discussed  creativity and leadership.  Interestingly enough, he presented examples of how two leading chocolate companies in North America (Hersey and Mars) have navigated the challenges and opportunities in the competitive confectionery world.  Over several decades these two companies have jockeyed to be number one.  The one common denominator in their path has been how they each  have overcome obstacles and converted them into an opportunities to grow and diversify.

Creativity in their thinking and leadership were two key factors.  Here are three more tips you can consider when facing obstacles.

 

1.  Keep it Simple.

How many times have you faced an obstacle and viewed it as a huge problem, only to later realize it wasn’t nearly as bad as you first imagined?   At first glance, a set back or obstacle may look insurmountable yet a simple change in your perspective, the  integration of some creativity and keeping things simple can quickly change the landscape in front of you.

One of simplest steps is to review your current situation and the actions taken to your plan.   Observe where you are now and how you got there.  Your observation skills will offer valuable information.  Gain the insights from your team.  Now consider where you want to go and what steps are needed to move you in that direction.  Stepping back, giving yourself some space and taking a more strategic look at your business can help simplify and infuse a spark of creativity.

 

2.  Stay Focused

When things get challenging, it is so easy to get distracted by new ideas or things that are within your comfort zone (but may not be moving you and your company forward).  If you get distracted in this situation, you are not alone.

One of the best ways to stay focused is to break down your challenges into simple action steps that allow you to make small steps forward to a solution and your goal!  Then identify which step you need to work on and set aside time to work on that step.  Set a time limit for working on that step.  It’s easier to make progress when you know you only have to work on that activity for a short time.  Remove yourself from distractions.   If your office isn’t working for you, can you move to another room or another location.   One of my favourites in the summer is to move outside under a tree where I still have wi-fi.  The calm surroundings revitalize my thinking and help spark my creativity and focus.

 

3.  Embrace Support

One of the most important things you can do is to reach out to others for support.  If you work with a team, what can they do to help you find the solution or take the necessary steps to over-come your obstacle.  Can you delegate or outsource tasks to others.  For example, if you have lots of ideas but get blocked by writing, can you record your thoughts and have someone else transcribe your story.  If you don’t like marketing yourself, can you StudyBuddy2hire a marketing person, a copy writer or the services of a Virtual Assistant to connect with potential customers, set appointments etc.

Working with an Executive Business Coach can offer you the support, encouragement and accountability you need to keep moving forward.  Your Coach offers a confidential and safe environment to share, explore and overcome obstacles.  Together with your Coach, you can brainstorm challenges, identify fears and distractions, face new situations and create a plan.  Your Coach can also offer different perspectives, help you explore options , identify action plans, timelines and solutions.   A Coach can also help you revitalize your approach, your leadership style and guide you through the changes you need to take to ensure your business is successful under your watch.

A mastermind is another option where you can bring your A-game and build you confidence, expand your network and your thinking.  A mastermind, facilitated by and integrated with coaching will create greater results faster  – its the key to the success of many top leaders so why shouldn’t you tap into the same system?

 

Whether the obstacle or challenge you face is a new opportunity, a goal that stretches you outside your comfort zone, a downturn in business or revenues, or a change you must, or want to undertake, these three tips will help you overcome the obstacle and allow you to achieve the results you envision.

 

 

 

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