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You’ll find the 20% of leadership information that produces 80% of leadership results in this newsletter. This is well-researched leadership information that, when consistently implemented, will produce bottom-line results.

Mind Your Business

Sounds like great advice on many levels, and it is. In this case, though, start with answering the question, “What is my business?” It’s interesting to find how few people know what their business is. Oh, they can name it but they don’t necessarily know how the company makes money. If you’re in a not-for-profit or tax funded, the principle is the same. Who give you donations? Individuals? Government? Foundations? Who pays the taxes? Both not-for-profit and tax funded entities have a duty to steward funds wisely just as a business has to make more than it spends.

Everyone has shopped in a big box warehouse store at one time or another. What business are they in? Groceries? Dry Good? Electronics? Nope. Warehouse retailers make virtually no profit off of any of the goods they sell. Warehouse retailers aren’t in the goods business; they’re in the membership business. Profit comes from memberships. Again, what is your business? Does everyone in the organization know?

A savvy manager in a warehouse store would make sure every employee knew that they stay in business based on memberships. Think of the potential power this would have. If I understood that my job depended on memberships, I just might smile and be friendly toward customers. I might be more helpful.

Not only should every person in the business know where the money comes from to pay their salary, they should have a basic understanding about the cost of doing business. When employees have access to top line numbers, they often mistake those numbers for profit. For example, if my job is invoicing customers, I might think we’re rolling in money. If I’m in receiving and I see what the company pays for goods that I then mark up by 2 or 3 hundred percent, I might get a little cranky at my 10 cent raise because I’m confusing markup with profit.

Most people in a business don’t need or want detailed financial information. However, it helps if they have enough financial information to understand why it’s important to drive pennies out of the costs. Basic financial information can focus energy on your core business and eliminate some hard feelings based on misunderstanding.

If your business could benefit from the energy of employees focused on what makes a profit, I provide customized training sessions, both classroom based and webinars.

As a special thanks to the HR community which have been very supportive of the message:

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EBIT-Duh!™ Finance for the HR Professional
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Webinar 1, May 10, 12-1:30 pm EDT 90 Minutes:

  • Strategically link to the company's financial goals
  • Income and Assets

Webinars 2-5, Noon-1 EDT are 60 Minutes:
  • Expenses and Liabilities: May 12
  • Tracking the Money: May 16
  • Measures of Profitability: May 18
  • Financial Health: May 20