Think Daily for Businesspeople Messages

October 24, 2016

Your Breakeven

Larry Janesky: Think Daily

Your breakeven is how much business you have to do each month to pay fixed expenses before you make a profit.  If you sell and deliver your breakeven each month, you just pay your bills and make NO profit.

Calculate your breakeven this way.  

Fixed Costs/Gross Margin = Breakeven.

Fixed costs are ones you have to pay even if you do NO business.  Rent, insurance, utilities, loan payments, and payroll – besides sales commission and labor cost tied directly to producing what it is you produce (office staff for example).  

Gross Profit Margin is the sales price of what you sell less the cost of materials, sales commission, and labor tied to producing and delivering the product.  (So if I sell a widget for $100, and it cost me $10 in sales commission, $20 in labor and $30 in materials, my direct costs are 60% and my gross margin is 40%).

So if your fixed costs were $15,000 a month, and your gross margin was 40%, your breakeven is ($15,000/.4) $37,500 per month.

If you cut $2,000 of fixed cost per month, how much will it bring your breakeven down?  $13,000/.4 = $32,500. So by cutting $2,000 of fixed cost per month, you have to sell and deliver $5,000 less to start making a profit.  


What if you then cut direct sales cost by 2% to bring your gross margin up to 42%?  

$13,000/.42 = $30,952 breakeven each month.  We’re getting better – more efficient and easier to make a profit.

Do you see the relationship between fixed costs and gross margin?  How does this affect your decisions to add overhead and other fixed costs?

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October 21, 2016

Qualities to look for in a prospective employee

Larry Janesky: Think Daily

There are qualities to look for in a candidate for this tyoe of position or that, but two qualities to look for in any candidate are-

1) Willing to learn and even WANTS to learn.

2) Wants to be here in this industry at THIS company.

Of course, the second one is somewhat dependent upon you casting a vision if your company isn’t much yet, but you need people who want to be with your team, and aren’t taking the job just for a paycheck.

What other qualities do you look for?

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October 20, 2016

Improving Relations with Your Employees

Larry Janesky: Think Daily

The number one reason people leave a job is that they don’t like/get long with/feel respected by their immediate supervisor.  And the number one reason managers leave a company is that they don’t like / get along with/ feel respected by the number one guy they work for.

So, if you have some good people, it makes sense that you’d want to keep a great relationship with them.  It sounds obvious, but a leader needs to conciously ask himself the question – how is my relationship with my key people?  Am I taking them for granted just because they have been here a long time or because I implicitly trust them so I don’t have to do anything to acknowledge them anymore?

Here are some ideas for improving relations with your key people –

Acknowledge their work (publicly). Write a thank you note. Ask for their opinion and listen to them. Take them out to lunch. Take them and their spouse out to dinner or a show. Tell them what you are thinking of doing and ask for their advice. Keep them “in the loop” on important decisions. When there is trouble, give them the benefit of the doubt first, and ask what happened.

Keep good relations with your people, and they will work harder and look out for the organization better.

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October 19, 2016

Reducing Stress

Larry Janesky: Think Daily

Sometimes I have to go out on a limb. An idea that would take 20 pages of context has to be presented in a few paragraphs. But I trust my Think Daily audience to ponder these ideas and see what is in there for you. Here we go today –

Your feeling stress is not due to anything that happens outside of you. “Bad” stuff happens, but that does not cause stress in your mind and body.

What causes stress is your internal reaction to what happens. Your resistance to what happened; your not accepting what happens; and the fact that what happened was not in alignment with your expectations. Was it what happened that was foul, or was it your expectations that were not correct or flexible or ready for what happened?  

If we learn to resist nothing, and accept what happens, we won’t feel stress.  

Did I just say resist nothing? How can I strive to make change in my life and the world around me if I resist nothing? How can I just accept what happens if it is not in alignment with my goals and desires?

Things that happen are in the past, even if just a few seconds in the past – we can’t change them.  If we learn not to resist, much stress is gone.  And acceptance of what happens and what is, isn’t the same as resignation or settling for less than we want. It’s just to accept what is now. We can still strive to make tomorrow better, but we accept today, and we don’t fight it just because it’s not what we ultimately want.

This is the best way I know to reduce or even eliminate stress.  Is it easy?  With our habitual patterns of response to things we have developed, we’ll have to work on it.  But if you master it, there is little that can upset or stress you.

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October 18, 2016

A leader's gotta lead!

Larry Janesky: Think Daily

Leading a group or company is a big responsibility. A leader can not take it casually, and expect to thrive or even survive.  

The marketplace does not care what a leader wants to do, is willing to do, or what is in or out of the leader’s comfort zone. When you buy something, you don’t think about that at all. You want what you want, with the best value you can get.

A leader has to be on top of the leadership job, and often this requires being a person you are not naturally inclined to be. Personal growth, and stretching your limitis and capabilities are necessary for a leader.  It’s not easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight, but it is necessary for a leader to grow, so that her organization can grow too.

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October 17, 2016

Adjustment to Feedback

Larry Janesky: Think Daily

The marketplace is giving you feedback.  It says “I like this (a lot or a little)”, or “I don’t like this (a lot or a little)”.  It’s giving your competitors the same feedback.

What adjustments do you need to make to give the market what it wants?

Be stubborn at your own peril.

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October 14, 2016

How big is your dream?

Larry Janesky: Think Daily

If you dream small, you won’t go beyond that.

If you have little desire, you can’t get far.

If you give up easy, you won’t accomplish much worth talking about or remembering.

Want it, define it, go after it, and don’t give up!

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October 13, 2016

Your Best Asset – A Trained Experienced Team

Larry Janesky: Think Daily

When a business or a new team starts out, you assemble a group of people who have not worked together before. They must be trained and that takes time. They will still make mistakes as they get experience and really learn. Some will not play nice with others and there will be disharmony.  Some will leave.  You have to start all over again with their replacement.

All this is expensive, and is a good part of why you won’t make money at first when you have new people. If you have constant turnover, these problems will persist.

Contrast that to a team that is trained and experienced and has worked together for years.  They can get the results you are looking for with little trouble, less management oversight, and light training for touch up and maintenance of their skills.

As the leader, your job is to build this kind of team quickly and keep it together.

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October 12, 2016

The number one cause of business failure

Larry Janesky: Think Daily

Sales aren’t high enough.

Does your organization have a strong sales effort?

Wouldn’t an organization twice your size sell double what you are now through it’s sales department?

What do you need to do to make it better?

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October 11, 2016

Courage has everything to do with it

Larry Janesky: Think Daily

Chasing a goal and being successful at it takes courage. Courage to step out of safety to the unknown.

But what happens if you don’t step out and you play it safe?

You’re not going to like that either.

Be courageous.

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