Business Financial Strategy


Financial strategy examines the financial implications of corporate and business-level strategic options and identifies the best financial course of action. It can also provide competitive advantage through a lower cost of funds and a flexible ability to raise capital to support a business strategy. Financial strategy usually attempts to maximize the financial value of the firm.

The trade-off between advancing the desired debt-to-equity ratio and relying on internal long-term financing via cash flow is a key issue in financial strategy. Many small and medium-sized companies try to avoid all external sources of funds in order to avoid outside entanglements and to keep control of the company within the family. Many believe that only by financing through long-term debt can a corporation use financial leverage to boost earnings per share, thus raising stock price and the overall value of the company. Higher debt levels not only deter takeover by other firms (by making the company less attractive), but also leads to improved productivity and improved cash flows by forcing management to focus on core businesses.

A very popular financial strategy is the leveraged buy out—a company is acquired in a transaction financed largely by debt—usually obtained from a third party, such as an insurance company or an investment banker. Ultimately the debt is paid with money generated from the acquired company’s operations or by sales of its assets. The acquired company, in effect, pays for its own acquisition. Management of the leveraged buy out is then under tremendous pressure to keep the highly leveraged company profitable. Unfortunately the huge amount of debt on the acquired company’s books may actually cause its eventual decline by focusing management’s attention on short-term matters.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir - Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, and my Lectures.

Profits from Competences


A firm’s ability to profit from its competences is a function of how core the competences are, and the extent to which competitors can quickly acquire such competences. The profits come from the low cost or differentiated products that the firm can make as a result of having the inimitable core competences. If a competence is non-core and inimitability is high, then one may not be able to make profits from it, all else being equal. If it is non-core but inimitable, the firm may be able to make some negligible profits, from it. If however the competence is core but easily imitated, the firm can make some profits, but these will only be temporary as competitors will have time to imitate. If the acceptance is core and inimitable, then the firm can make long-term profits.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir - Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, and my Lectures.

Role of Government


In general, government has three basic economic functions. First, government provides a legal foundation and an appropriate social environment for the conduct of economic activity. Second, government both encourages competition in the marketplace and controls it. This is accomplished through legislation and government agency rules and regulations. Finally, government redistributes income from some segments o the economy to others. Government acquires revenues through taxation—taxes on income, property, sales, and payroll. These revenues are channeled back into the economy through spending and transfer payments to veterans, the aged, welfare recipients, and others in society. In short, government is a consumer of goods and services and not producer of them.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir - Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, and my Lectures.

Nourish your Dream Seed


Think some more about your tomato seed. It is an excellent seed, the soil is well prepared, and you have planted it. But to grow and pay off with good-tasting tomatoes, the seed needs nourishment – sunlight, fertilizers, and water.

Your dream seed also requires nutrition – imagination, encouragement, and ideas – to grow and make you prosper. In the US alone, some two million businesses are started each year but only a small fraction succeeds. In one way or another, neglect is the main reason.

Those who make their dream of financial independence and prosperity grow in a multi-level marketing business. The basic idea – the dream seed has all the potential you need. Other people make it work. People who aren’t any smarter or better than you are.

Once the dream is planted, feed it. Attend seminars. Go to school if necessary. Join trade associations. Talk to successful people. Read.

Let other success-minded people help you. Birds of flock together. That rule always stands. So, if you want to make a large income and accumulate wealth, affiliate with people who are comfortable earning large incomes and who are determined to acquire even more net worth. You become like the people you associate with every day. If your circle of friends is people who are resigned to mediocrity and the whatever-will-be-will be philosophy, in time you will be one of them. Your dream will die, your vision will shrink, and your spiritual death will come.

As you grow your dreams, surround yourself with people who are positive. Positive people want you to win, to achieve, to enjoy the good life, to find genuine satisfaction, and to make a contribution to others.

Negative people want you to accept life as it is, to be content with boredom and mediocrity, to be satisfied with a small income, and to miss out on the rewards that come from helping others.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir - Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, and my Lectures.

 

Company Demographics


For all customers or prospect records the following basic attributes will lay a solid foundation for numerous segmentations:

  1. Category code: A four-digit code is usually a sufficiently descriptive definition your market is concentrated in several Standard Industry Codes, then going to the six or eight digit level may be appropriate. Remember the SIC is currently undergoing revision, so be flexible with this field.
  2. Company size: There are two choices – sales volume or employee size. It is probably best to use employee size, as it is more easily obtained and more accurate than company revenue. Record employee numbers by site so that they can be rolled up to the corporate level.
  3. Site Type and Linkage: There are some standard definitions here such as branch, division and corporate headquarters. It is important that you take time to develop a site definition that fits your business as this might include plant, research center, etc. secondly, link the sites to a corporate structure, so that a roll-up to the enterprise level can be carried out to look at the customer picture.
  4. Financial year: For those selling situations that involve the customer needing to budget for your product or service, the knowledge of the fiscal year becomes critical, as this will drive the buying process and therefore your selling cycle. Most companies are on a calendar/fiscal year, but about 20 percent are on a different fiscal year basis. In the consumer market this might also be relevant – for example in acquiring expensive items.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir - Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, and my Lectures.

 

Post-sale Customer Loyalty


Maintaining the loyalty of major current customers can be crucial for improving a business’s profitability as its markets mature. Loyal customers become more profitable over time. The firm not only avoids the high costs associated with acquiring a new customer, but it typically  benefits because loyal customers a) tend to concentrate their purchases, thus leading to larger volumes and lower selling  and distribution costs, b) provide positive word-of-mouth and customer referrals, and c) may be willing to pay premium prices for the value they receive.

Periodic measurement of customer satisfaction is important, then, because a dissatisfied customer is unlikely to remain loyal to a company over time. Unfortunately, however, the corollary is not always true. Customers who describe themselves as satisfied are not necessarily loyal. Indeed, 60 to 80 percent of customer defectors in most businesses are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” before their defection. In the interim, perhaps, competitors improved their offerings, the customers requirements changed, or other environmental factors shifted. Businesses that measure customer satisfaction should be commended, but urged not to stop there. Satisfaction measures need to be supplemented with examinations of customer behavior, such as measures of the annual retention rate, frequency for purchases, and the percentage of a customer’s total purchases captured by the firm.

Defecting customers should be studied in detail to discover why the firm failed to provide sufficient value to retain their loyalty. Such failures often provide more valuable information than satisfaction measures because they stand out as a clear, understandable message  telling the organization exactly where improvements are needed..

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir - Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, and my Lectures.

 

Converting Needs to Wants


Every consumer must acquire goods and services on a continuing basis to fill certain needs. Everyone must satisfy the fundamental needs for food, clothing, shelter, and transportation by purchasing things or, in some instances, temporarily using rented property and hired or leased transportation. By focusing on the benefits resulting from these goods and services, effective marketing converts needs to wants. A need for clothing may be translated into a desire (or want)  for designer clothes.

As easier-to-use software has enabled millions of nontechnical consumers to operate personal computers and as falling retail make these computers affordable to most households, computers have become fixtures in many offices and homes.

Companies that adopt the marketing concept focus on providing solutions to consumer problems. They promote product benefits rather than features to show the added value that computers will receive from the product.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir - Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, and my Lectures.

 

Knowledge Management Strategy


What does it mean for an organization to have a knowledge management strategy? If we think of a corporation as an individual, then a corporation’s knowledge management strategy may be likened to individuals’ strategy to obtain an education and to apply their knowledge and learning to advance their career. If an individual’s education consisted of nothing more than acquiring information (as was largely the case some 50 years ago) he or she would be woefully unprepared to deal with today’s rapidly changing business environment. By the same token, if an organization’s knowledge management strategy focused solely on information flow, it would also be unable to deal with the challenges of doing business in the knowledge era.

Developing a knowledge management involves four basic steps:

  1. Dialogue, discuss, debate and define your objectives;
  2. Formulate a strategy;
  3. Devise the tactics; and
  4. Then act.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir - Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, and my Lectures.

 

The Seedbeds of Managers


Good managers are not born; they are made. An organization acquires managers in three ways: promoting employees from within, hiring managers from other organizations, and hiring managers graduating from universities.

Promoting people within the organization into management positions tends to increase motivation by showing employees that those who work hard and are competent can advance in the company. Internal promotion also provides managers who are already familiar with the company’s goals and problems. Promoting from within , however, can lead to problems: it may limit innovation. The new manager may continue the practices and policies of previous managers. Thus, it is vital for companies—even companies committed to promotion from within—to hire outside people from time to time to bring new ideas into the organizations.

Finding managers with the skills, knowledge and experience required to run an organization or department is sometimes is difficult. Specialized executive employment agencies—sometimes called headhunters, recruiting managers, or executive search firms—can help locate candidates from other companies. The downside is that even though outside people can bring fresh ideas to a company, hiring them may cause resentment among existing employees as well as involve greater expense in relocating an individual to another city.

Schools and universities provide a large pool of potential managers, and entry level applicants can be screened for their developmental potential. People with specialized management skills are specially good candidates. Some companies offer special training programs for potential managers just graduating from college.

When exposed to advertising, the consumer is not merely drawing information from the ad but is actively involved in assigning meaning to the advertised product.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir - Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, and my Lectures.

 

Concentric Diversification


Grand strategies involving diversification represent distinctive departures from a firm’s existing base of operations, typically the acquisition or internal generation (spin-off) of a separate business with synergistic possibilities counter-balancing the strengths and weaknesses of the two businesses. Diversifications occasionally are undertaken as unrelated investments, because of their high potential and their otherwise minimal resource demands.

Concentric diversification involves the acquisition of businesses that are related to the acquiring firm in terms of technology, markets, or products. With this grand strategy, the selected new businesses possess a high degree of compatibility with the firm’s current businesses. The ideal concentric diversification occurs when the combined company profits increase the strengths and opportunities and decrease the weaknesses and exposure to risk. Thus, the acquiring firm searches for new businesses whose products, markets, distribution channels, technologies, and resource requirements are similar to but not identical with its own, whose acquisition results in synergies but not complete interdependence.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir - Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, and my Lectures.

 

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