I have been in business for 30 years, and owned my own since 2004. I was aware that my books contained a picture of where my business has been, is now and could go, but didn¹t know how to extract the information in a way that made it practical. The numbers told the story very clearly. RAI Stone Analytics translated the financial information I gathered over the years into a roadmap of future decisions that would lead to growth and continued profitability. It helped me get a better line of credit to support my growth when I switched bankers.
Small Business Owner, $1mm Distributor
In the spirit of connecting business people with action, innovation, and profit, we offer the RAI Stone Group’s newsletter. Our intent is to provide a forum for small business leaders with a passion to grow their companies.
You’ll receive resource updates and hear about lessons learned by other leaders, products to watch for, and ways to connect to new ideas, people, and best practices.
How do you compare?
Do you know how you compare to other companies in your industry? Is it human nature to want to compare ourselves to others to see how we stack up? Or is it the nature of entrepreneurs that we want to make sure we are at the front of the pack? Whatever your reason for wanting to compare, RAI Stone Analytics shows you at a glance how you measure up.
Show Me the Money
If you're like most business owners, you're always thinking about how to grow your business. But existing financial packages make it nearly impossible to figure out what to do to increase your profitability. Do you need to: a) Add more salespeople? b) Increase the price of your product? c) Decrease your expenses?
Data can be Fun
Data gets a bad rap. Simply mentioning the dreaded 'dword' creates a grimace on faces and a groan of boredom. Heck, even Lieutenant Commander Data on Star Trek is a dry, detached android in need of an 'emotion chip' to become a bearable character. But we're about to rock the status quo. Ready?
Superheroes, turnaround companies and other Extremes
I was recently asked "if you could create a superhero persona for yourself, what would it be? What would be your super power?" What a great way to kick off a meeting about challenging old ways of thinking! Just imagine--would you fly? Have laser vision? Wear jeans instead of the ridiculous, cliché tights?
Time is Money
Have you seen the new movie "In Time" starring Justin Timberlake? If so, you're a rare breed - the film received lukewarm box office reception and was largely panned by critics. It does, however, present an interesting interpretation of how we tend to view time. In the movie, set in the futuristic year 2161, time is used as currency. When you run out of time, you instantly expire. Dire, I know. But what if we viewed time as currency now? What if the sense of urgency displayed in the movie was present in real life? Would it inspire you to take a closer look into the near future and plan more efficiently?
Stress, Grief and other Negative Emotions
Did you know that stress, grief and other negative emotions shut down blood flow to the part of our brain responsible for making judgments? At the Nobel Conference I attended last month, Dr. Helen Mayberg presented her groundbreaking research on the effects of sustained negative emotions on the frontal cortex, which is home to our personality, interprets our experiences, and is critical to problem solving, impulse control, and memory.
Relevant and Irreverent Truths
One of our new Best Practice customers recently told me, "I don't need to read more 'newsworthy' expert advice or ominous predictions about where the economy is or is not heading. I have a business to run and it runs on hard truths." This was a timely comment that stuck with me because we were preparing this newsletter, and because it really sums up the mindset of our small business community - driven, smart, resourceful and low B.S. All the qualities that are needed to succeed.
Misleading Information about Small Business Growth
Did you know that: 1. Only a little over 1% of the small businesses in the U.S. are considered high impact companies by the SBA? 2. Only 38% of businesses survive beyond year 3 and only 9% are still in business after they hit the 9-year mark? The two most often cited reasons for these disheartening figures
are lack of financial responsibility, and failure to anticipate or react to new market conditions. High impact firms account for almost all of the private sector
employment and revenue growth in the economy.
Recovery in Action
Every day we take in information and interpret how we're going to respond. If it's cloudy outside, we may change our golfing plans or grab an umbrella. Simple. But what if those cloudy skies are the start of a freak flood that causes $1.5 million in damages to your warehouse? Certainly you couldn't have avoided or predicted this, so what do you do?
Growing Business this Spring
Whether you own a small business or consult to small businesses, you know you don't give or receive business if there isn't a foundation of trust on which to first build the relationship.