Saturday, September 26, 2009

Taylor Business Group Starts with a Bang

Just finished two days with my first face to face meeting of my Autotask Profit Makers Taylor Business Group. Talk about hitting the ground running!

Our facilitator is Josh Peterson. Josh has the coveted 8:00 AM Sunday speaking slot at SMB Nation in Vegas. See the SMB Nation Agenda. Get there early to insure you get a seat.

Anyway, we have a great group of business owners and they all came ready to open their businesses and get to work on topics that will them more successful. We covered the basic numbers, of course, and addressed a set of benchmarks that would lead to an acceptable level of success.

That's actually a pretty good way of looking at a benchmark. If you have X% on this measure and Y% on that measure, etc., you will end up with Z% of EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization). The first set of benchmarks we looked at would create a return roughly equivalent to the average performance of the stock market.

After all, if you're not out-performing the Dow Jones, you might as well just dump your money in a mutual fund and live off that.

If you want to do well in your business you have to figure out how to lift the bottom line a little every year. The numbers result from a huge set of interlocking variables. So you can't affect one without affecting the others. But understanding how they all work together is critical.

Consider my own company. Our average profit per employee is lower than the benchmark for that variable. If I somehow raise that rate, I will increase earnings (EBITDA). But one of my goals is to hire a sales person. And then I need to hire a service manager. Ooops. If I add two warm bodies, my earnings per employee will go DOWN because I have more employees.

A few months ago my EBITDA was described by a business consultant as "unsustainably high." I guess hiring more people will help bring that in line. ( :-) )

No one said it was easy.

Anyway . . . Our group gelled very quickly. Rather than just show up and see if anyone else was willing to address the tough topics, everyone was very eager to get value from the group as quickly as possible. This was due in large part to an excellent moderator.

I was worried about the new group because I had such a great Heartland Technology Group. So I'm thankful that I'm now in a great Taylor Business Group.

Next meet up: New Orleans. Hope we get some work done. I think we'll be fine.

- - - - -

You don't have to be an Autotask user to be in a Taylor Business Group. In fact, most people aren't. But TBG is working with Autotask to help develop some groups who just all happen to use the same tool.

See http://autotask.com/press/news_and_press_releases/061809.htm

:-)

1 comment:

  1. Karl,

    I was eagerly anticipating this post. I must tell you that I am very please with what I read.

    It was great seeing you this week and I wish you and your new TBG group all the best.

    Rick Bahl
    rick@qualitysystemssolutions.com
    http://www.qualitysystemssolutions.com

    ReplyDelete

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