This is the Week 8 Video List for Management 464… If you like and personally find value in these videos, do please share them further.
Video 35 - 10/8
THE FORMER HEAD OF THE CIA REVEALS THE BEST ADVICE HE'S EVER GOTTEN
Short Link: http://bit.ly/2ucLZCT
Video 36 - 10/9
BRAND YOU: EVERYBODY IS A SALESPERSON
Short Link: http://bit.ly/2vSGNbk
Video 37 - 10/10
ARE MILLENNIALS BEHIND THE RV COMEBACK?
Short Link: http://bit.ly/2fxOyNC
Video 38 - 10/11
WHY NEW JETS COULD DESTROY AIRLINES
Short Link: http://bit.ly/2v5XBsY
Video 39 - 10/12
GROCERY STORE WARS: HARD ON BUSINESS, GOOD FOR CONSUMERS
Short Link: http://bit.ly/2hufBdk
(BPT) - A challenge for any entrepreneur is getting access to capital. If you’re like many, you’re constantly looking for ways to reduce expenses and free up cash flow so you can be ready for anything, whether it’s a slow season or an opportunity to expand.
When tax season rolls around, you’re already taking a deep dive into your expenses and income for the past year. Don’t stop when you file. With all that information at your fingertips (and fresh in your mind), it’s a great opportunity to take a big-picture look at the health of your business and make sure it’s running as efficiently as possible.
Use the following tips to take your tax preparation efforts a step further and boost your cash flow in the upcoming year.
Dust off your business plan: No doubt when you started out in business, you were eager to put your vision to paper. Most entrepreneurs get busy with the day-to-day pressures of deadlines, and that vision can recede into the background. Schedule some time with your board members or business partners to revisit and update the business plan. Now that you understand the realities of your market, you should have plenty of ideas on creating the 2.0 version of your enterprise. When finished, it’s important to not allow it to gather dust again. Set goals and schedule check-in meetings with your team to make sure everything’s on track.
Update your budget: The nature of entrepreneurship is being agile in the face of change. Market trends, price changes from vendors and suppliers, effects of new laws and ordinances, even road construction are variable forces that can send anyone’s budget into a new direction. That’s why your budget isn’t ever going to be a spot-on prediction. Think of it as a plan. If you stay on top of it, you can spot the trends early and make adjustments right away so you can reap the full advantage — or head off problems before they become unmanageable.
Check your credit score: If you’re planning to raise capital to expand or make improvements in the next year, checking in on your credit score is an important first step you can take several months before you apply for the loan. Even if you have a business credit score, certain business loans still require a look at your personal credit score, especially if you’re a sole proprietorship. Visit Your.VantageScore.com to find free resources to learn your credit score. There’s also helpful information on what factors influence your score and things you can do that can help increase it over the coming months to help you get the best rate possible.
Create a tax strategy: The tax break Congress passed in December will save small business owners 20 percent on their tax bill this year. In the coming year, small business owners have many opportunities to capture more tax savings with the right plan and strategy. For example, if you’re planning a large equipment purchase, you may find yourself in a better tax bracket in 2019 if you time it before Dec. 31, rather than waiting until the following year as planned. Have a meeting with your accountant to discover more ideas.
Pay down debt: One way to use the windfall of your 20 percent tax savings is to pay down revolving loan debt. Doing so is a great way to raise access to working capital should you need it down the line. Depending on the source of credit, reducing your credit-to-balance ratio is one factor that could raise your credit score. Before you do so, make sure you have enough cash flow to meet your expenses.
Improve accounts receivable: If your business extends lines of credit to your customers, it may be worthwhile to implement a credit check policy on all new customers. Knowing they’re creditworthy before the fact can help you create the appropriate plan for them and protect your business. Credit reporting is also an effective way for even a small business owner to let customers know they are serious about collecting what’s owed. In the end, you’ll get paid faster and increase cash flow.
The life of an entrepreneur means things can change drastically on a dime. A thorough check-in with your finances can put you in the best position for success. To learn more about the tools and solutions offered by VantageScore, visit Your.VantageScore.com.
(BPT) - The Wright Brothers knew they were going to crash, yet tried to fly anyway. Unlike their competitors, the former bicycle mechanics brought extra parts to the sand dunes to make onsite repairs and reduce cycle time. Their creative courage resulted in not just a new product (the aircraft), but also a process for failing quickly, learning fast and outpacing their competition.
There are myriad inspiring tales of similar legendary so-called fails.
The multibillion-dollar success of Post-it(R) Notes is directly attributed to two employees at 3M, Spencer Silver and Art Fry, who mistakenly formulated an adhesive that didn’t stick well, but which just happened to unstick as needed. The duo persisted, despite management recommendations to abandon the project, and because of their resilience, their failed glue formula was transformed into the ubiquitous office product we can’t live without.
Einstein advocated for this type of combinatorial creativity and Steve Jobs famously quipped that creativity is just “connecting things.”
In fact, it’s creativity that most often drives success. Virtually all companies — from startups to Fortune 500s — need it. Corporate stagnation is real. Innovation is happening at breakneck speed, and even historically successful corporate stalwarts are finding themselves staring in the face of irrelevance. No matter how knowledgeable a team may be of their market, product portfolio and competitive landscape, they face a perilous proposition: grow or fold.
And nothing prompts growth more than creativity and innovation.
To boost your own creative thinking powers — whether at work or for your own personal needs — try these tips from Dalí Museum Innovation Labs' executive facilitator, Nathan Schwagler:
High-performing creative people learn to bend the status quo and they do it by optimizing their conversations. These successful creative thinkers temporarily suspend judgment during idea generation. In the context of innovation, one of the most prohibitive things to do is to attempt to both generate and evaluate new ideas at the same time. Instead, try splitting a brainstorming session into a few parts:
Once you have a solid list of solutions to consider, force yourself to stretch further. Feel tapped out? Go even further! A good goal is to get to that challenging third round of ideas, which research suggests will be the most innovative. When you’ve truly exhausted your ideation, take a break and come back to the challenge with evaluation criteria in hand — define what success looks like and then deliberately apply that criteria against your list of ideas.
Salvador Dalí famously quipped, “Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.” The Museum has adopted the artist’s approach in its Innovation Labs program. “When it comes to solving the complex problems of our inter-connected global economy, Dalí’s fear-free, trial-and-learn approach is the type of creative thinking that we optimize for at The Dalí Museum Innovation Labs,” said Schwagler.
From Dalí’s fearless artistic prowess to the creative and courageous examples set forth by the Wright Brothers and the Post-It Notes inventors, there are numerous shining examples of great things that can emerge from creative thinking and a never-say-never spirit. Even the most impactful products and solutions can be sparked by an open mind and fresh perspective.
The Dalí Museum, in St. Petersburg, Florida, is a world-renowned Museum featuring an unparalleled collection of art works from celebrated artist Salvador Dalí. The Museum’s Innovation Labs offers one-of-a-kind programs that carefully combine more than 60 years of psychology and management research on creativity, creative problem solving, and innovation, infused with Dalí’s philosophy and methods to unlock a team’s true untapped creative potential.
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