Insights

Before You Hire Your First Employee

Before You Hire Your First Employee

After interminable effort, your sales have finally taken off. In fact, you’re grappling with the “high-class problems” associated with growth. You’re so busy fulfilling orders, you have little time to spend on social media or content development. (Forget about new products! )You’re lucky to get a little time with your family in the evenings after reconciling daily reports from your credit card payment processor. All this success is killing you. It’s time to hire…right? Before you hire your first employee, ask yourself a few questions. Then dig deeper into the root causes of your pain.

The Mom Test: How to Learn the Truth About Your Business Idea

The Mom Test: How to Learn the Truth About Your Business Idea

“The Mom Test” by veteran entrepreneur Rob Fitzpatrick is one of our favorite business books. Concise, clear writing describes actionable concepts that will instantly help you have better, more productive conversations with prospective customers about your business idea. Listen to our podcast conversation about why we love the book, and download our selection of key excerpts along with our annotations.

Mario Schulzke on 5 to 9ers

Mario Schulzke on 5 to 9ers

Dave Bayless spoke with Mario Schulzke about “5 to 9” projects. Unlike side gigs such as driving an Uber car, a 5 to 9 project is typically born from intense personal interest rather than an immediate expectation of financial reward. Even so, a 5 to 9 project is something you can own and build, so it offers the prospect for accumulated value over time in addition to intrinsic rewards.

Krista Morgan on P2Binvestor: Affordable Asset-based Loans at a Human Scale

Krista Morgan on P2Binvestor: Affordable Asset-based Loans at a Human Scale

P2Binvestor (“P2Bi”) is an online marketplace lender that provides asset-based lines of credit of $1 million or more. Typically, its borrowers are rapidly growing consumer products and professional services companies that can’t yet access bank credit. Through the application of technology, P2Bi has democratized access to this kind of debt financing by making it available to companies having annual revenues as low as $1 million. I spoke with Krista Morgan, co-founder and CEO, about what makes P2Bi different.

How to Encourage an Entrepreneur

How to Encourage an Entrepreneur

Many people cheer for entrepreneurship. Politicians support policies favorable to business start-ups. The Small Business Administration guarantees a portion of bank loans made to qualifying new enterprises.  Many cheer for entrepreneurs. The ones who “make it big” give interviews on television. Others write books explaining how you, too, can run your own business (or run […]

How to Calculate Your Free Cash Flow Margin

How to Calculate Your Free Cash Flow Margin

Free cash flow is an important measure of profitability for human scale businesses. As a metric, free cash flow takes into account the need to make ongoing investments in inventory and accounts receivable. It also acknowledges the need to make maintenance expenditures in any equipment or other fixed assets you might have. It represents the cash available to expand production, develop new products, pay dividends, and service debt.

Optimizing Revenues: When Sales Go Up but Cash In Your Pocket Doesn’t

Optimizing Revenues: When Sales Go Up but Cash In Your Pocket Doesn’t

We don’t become overweight because we eat too much over the holidays. We pack on the pounds because of the accumulated effect of excess calories over an extended period of time. The same is true for our business expenses. They become misaligned with our revenues not because we binge spend. Rather, they tend to grow insidiously. We stop noticing when we are making expenditures that aren’t truly necessary.