Rapidly growing companies. Companies with a great new product. Both of these sorts of entities typically have a need for capital. Banks generally don’t loan money for capital needs. Those funds come from friends and family, angel investors, or venture capitalists.
We have tough choices. We’ve been requiring the use of ethanol in our fuel, to lower our consumption of foreign oil. Now, we find we can (actually, now that the price of fuel is high enough, it makes sense to) obtain even more fuel from American sources, or at the very least from Canadian sources.
Regardless of what happens with the fiscal cliff, there are some pretty major changes to our tax situation. Of course, some of them will only affect those at the upper ends of the income scale, but it’s worthwhile to evaluate what your net income will be starting next week- now.
I was reading some ideas from a law blog recently as to what these lawyers were doing now that a lot of their clients are disappearing. Some of these losses were attributed to the downturn in the economy, others to the retirement of their rainmakers, and others gave (or had) no clue as to the reasons. But, I did find some great ideas I thought I’d pass on- because these work for more than just lawyers. More importantly- they are the things we all should be doing…OFTEN!
With the fiscal (cliff, bump, curve, impediment) approaching, everyone is writing about how this will affect (investing, jobs, taxes, mortgages, home building, charity). I figured that gave me the right to write (had to use that one) about their crazy thoughts. The chart that is seen right below is the one that forced me to respond.
When we setup our first consulting firm, we had long discussions about rates and collections. These are not idle issues- and they are related. Having a written plan makes it easier to deal with problems when (not if) they arise. To do this properly, we had to understand our market. Were we going to be a local entity, a national entity, or an international one? And, if we were to offer our services internationally, would there be different prices for different regions? Who would be our typical client- and would it be the same in different regions? We eventually decided to start nationally and then expand to international vistas. ((OK, so we were more than a little cocky. And, that change in market focus- it turned out to be less than 18 months, when our first international client approached us.) And, we decided that our fees would not be based upon geographical region, but upon the financial size of the client. (This was a pretty radical decision back in the 70’s.) While we offered the same quality of service to all, we wanted to have the chance to be more involved in more aspects of the projects, which would typically occur with the smaller firms- and a lower pricing wouldn’t hurt our chances, either. This was before the age of websites- or we would have developed one right away. But, we did develop a logo, prepare our business cards, brochures, and secure office space immediately. And, while we were reluctant, we did elect to buy furnishings that would last at least a decade and fit the image we chose for our logo. Our logo was big and bold- certainly novel at the time. And, we wanted visitors to our office to develop that same feel- knowing they were in the office of a firm that took interest in their firms, would develop bold products and stances for their needs, but always deliver solutions with substance. That was an expensive choice, but one we felt was necessary to obtain our “ideal” clients. Would you expect to obtain a fine meal if you visited a restaurant whose furnishings were chipped plastic and school house seats- or one with clean tablecloths, decked with silverware, and plush seating? Continue reading Rates and Image