Right Where You're Supposed to Be

Posted by JasonBlumer on Sep 27, 2016 in

Maybe you are right where you are supposed to be in your business. Ever thought of that? I know you read Inc. Magazine and feel like crap because you didn't grow your business like that guy on the front cover. But maybe you are right where you're supposed to be. Just maybe you were meant to grow a small company at a reasonable pace, and be part of the journey of that young employee you just hired. Maybe your companyis the place that person was supposed to work at just the right time in their career to make them into who they are becoming.And you are becoming someone too. You are on a journey. None of us have arrived (no matter what you read in that magazine article). Stop beating yourself up for 'not arriving' yet. Learning how to build a business is an intricate process, and…

Knowing Your Gifts Helps You Define Your Work

Posted by JasonBlumer on Sep 20, 2016 in

Running my businesses by myself for so long has meant that I am often unaware of what my strengths and weaknesses are. I often can't realize why or when I've stepped into a work routine that does not match my strengths. Or I am often unaware of why stress hits me sometimes. Or maybe I am in the middle of a project that is subpar simply because I shouldn't be doing that type of work."Know thyself" is such an important maxim, but one that is hard to attain. I have experienced that if you surround yourself with smart people that love you and that you trust, you can come closer to knowing yourself. And when you know yourself better, you can start adjusting your work to match your strengths.You have to admit what your strengths and weaknesses are. I have shied away from this in the past, but…

Controllership Services for Creative Agencies

Posted by JasonBlumer on Sep 16, 2016 in

Virtual Controllership services for creative agencies is a special service. Part of it is taking over the financial platforms of a company, but there is another important aspect to successfully delivering controllership services for creative agencies. Defining the business model is part of what we do for agencies, and it is often overlooked. Let's look at these two aspects.Financial ControlsThis one is obvious. We take over the cash in and cash out aspects of agencies that we serve with our Controllership services. That is, we help create the invoicing side of their business that brings in money, and we help manage the bill pay side that spends their money. We may not necessarily do both of these things, but these are part of the services we can provide for agencies. Agencies in the $1 million to $5 million in gross revenue are smart to outsource the financial Controllership side of their…

Creating a Sticky Culture

Posted by JasonBlumer on Sep 4, 2016 in

I've learned so much about culture this past year. I've been given an education. Team members that I thought would have stayed at our company are no longer here, and I think it's in large part due to a lack of culture. Our culture failed to bond them to our company. We are implementing some new things to create a culture that our team does not want to leave (shared in the last sentence). We want to add some stickiness to our culture.The CEO of Airbnb, Brian Chesky, wrote an article on culture, and it's one of my favorites on the topic. You can read it here. He talks aboutdefending and building the culture. So true. Your culture is a precarious thing, and defending and building culture in companies is an active thing that someone has to own. Chesky says culture is the foundation of their company,…

Adjusting Your Business Model

Posted by JasonBlumer on Aug 29, 2016 in

Some coaching I was doing with a small business owner the other day reminded me of how much friction there is in a business model. Depending on how big you want to get as a business, and how fast you want to grow, you need to consider the things that slow down your processes or things that speed them up.As an example, let's say we want to be a global leader in accounting for creative agencies by the end of the year 2018. That's a pretty big goal since we only serve in the US right now. To expand to international markets would take a lot of infrastructure and team training to propel us to the world by the end of 2018. One thing to consider about this goal is our pricing structure. We value price. Value pricing is notoriously slow, and creates a huge amount of friction in our processes.…

Sometimes You Can't Price Up Front

Posted by JasonBlumer on Aug 12, 2016 in

We calculate all of our prices up front with clients so that they know how much they will have to invest in our firm. Many clients are very similar, so pricing work in this way is not that difficult. But sometimes you can't price up front very easily.My partner and I were meeting with a potential new client yesterday trying to understand what they are doing now, and how we might be able to help them. Their business was a bit more complex than we had anticipated, and I was struggling to think through how we might craft a price that would effectively help them, but allow us to make money too.Then the client suggested that we do a paid discovery. Aha! The good old paid discovery - I had forgotten about that pricing technique! It's been a few months since we've done one.Here's the deal: when…

What To Do With Your Cash

Posted by JasonBlumer on Jul 7, 2016 in

Getting cash is one thing. That's what most of us work on (including me!). There is a lot of work that goes into getting cash.But knowing what to do with cash once you get it is a completely different story. Cash is the lifeblood of a business, so it's important to put fences up around how you use it. If you are not good at managing cash (like me), then it is a healthy practice to find someone you value and trust to help you manage the cash. Here are the ways (or the fences) to using your cash wisely (from Greg Crabtree's book Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits!):First, pay your taxes. I know we want to buy toys, but it is surprising how many entrepreneurs fail to set cash aside to pay their taxes. You will be sorry if you don't set cash aside to pay…

I Want To Pay For Overhead

Posted by JasonBlumer on Jul 5, 2016 in

"We have low overhead" is an often heard phrase when a company is trying to convince us to buy from them. This phrase is an explanation to the buyer of why their prices are lower. But what company really wants to "pass their savings onto the customer"?A company's value is inherently proven in it's ability to create high margins. Valuable companies don't just give their profit away. They use their profit to invest in overhead. And overhead is the thing that really sets these companies apart, allows them to deliver on big promises, and offer serious care to their customers.I want to pay for overhead.I've hired people with low overhead, and most of the time it has turned out to be a mistake. Companies or service providers with low overhead also don't have support to answer my questions, solve problems, be consistent in their service, develop processes,…

3 New Secrets You Can Find Now

Posted by JasonBlumer on Jun 24, 2016 in

Peter Thiel's book, Zero to One, is one of my favorite business books. And perhaps one of my favorite chapters in the book is Chapter 8, Secrets:"Every one of today's most famous and familiar ideas was once unknown and unsuspected." Peter Thiel (think Uber and Airbnb, this decade's best examples)Thiel takes the chapter to explain how you need to think different to find secrets, and why most people are notlooking for secrets. Why is he even talking about secrets? Because whoever uncovers a secret in business has uncovered a gold mine (again, think about Uber and Airbnb).Thiel's thoughts around Secrets and how they relate to your business are best summarized in this quote:"Recall the business version of our contrarian question: what valuable company is nobody building? Every correct answer is necessarily a secret: something important and unknown, something hard to do but doable." Peter ThielThiel's…

The Business Mastery Map

Posted by JasonBlumer on Jun 23, 2016 in

Here are some of my favorite business books that offer clear, concise guidance on building a business: Traction by Gino WickmanPositioning for Professionals by Tim Williams, andSimple Number, Straight Talk, Big Profits by Greg CrabtreeWhat if you could boil these books down to the most important concepts that I have read through the years and have coached other business owners on? Well, I did! It's called the Business Mastery Map, and you can get a copy of the Map here:The Business MasteryMap is meant to help you think through some of the most important concepts a business should be contemplating. It's super helpful if you have a partner, because the conversations you have with your partner about these concepts is almost as important as what you put on the Map.It is meant to help you have the conversations you have not been having.he…