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Business Health

How to Set Up Your Finance Department

By | Wish Group, Business Insights, Business Growth, Business Health, Planning for the future | No Comments

How to Set Up Your Finance Department

Everyone is well aware that having a finance department is essential for any business in all industries to progress. However, when comes to startups its more about when is the right time to set one up, and who will be responsible for overseeing the company’s finances. We’ve seen the difficulties many startups are having with this conundrum and came up with a few tips to help you get started on setting up your finance department.

When a company is just getting started and can’t afford an accountant one of the best moves is look into accounting software programs. Options such as QuickBooks is reasonably priced and will do the number crunching for you. Most startups do their own accounting using multiple spreadsheets, ledgers etc. but technology has created a way for startups to save time on doing math and more time on marketing the business. Utilize the ability to let a computer do the work for you and start figuring out a way to get paid from any outstanding receivables.

Live within your means when it’s time to expand. As the business grows in revenue, you’ll need more help handling the finances, and hiring an accounting firm can be very time costly experience if you don’t know what you’re doing. Research both large and smaller firms, be clear about your expectations and budget when speaking to their agents. Do not discredit smaller firms because on occasion they can produce the type of financial assistance you require within your budget and building business relationships never hurts. A lot of startups can get swept up in the appeal of a large financial firm taking over but unable to maintain the costs associated. There is nothing impressive about going with a big firm if you don’t have the big budget to match it. Keep it simple.

Finally, consider hiring contract, part-time, or freelance bookkeepers to complete your finance department. Not every business needs a full time dedicated finance department. Take advantage of these options and seek outside help who can pick up some of the workloads where your business may be falling short. It’s usually just as effective and keeps costs low while you wait for your business to take that next step up in revenue to hire full-time staff.

Find time Today and for the Future

By | Entrepreneurial, Achieving Wealth, Business Insights, Business Growth, Business Health | No Comments

As you’re reading this I hope this finds you well. How was your Canada Day? I hope it was relaxing. This day means a lot of things to many different people but for me besides getting a chance to kick back and celebrate the birthday of one of the greatest countries on earth, I like to remind myself how wonderful it is to be in a country where anyone with a dream and a product or service that people need and can afford can compete in the free enterprise system.

This week I want to address an issue I’ve heard leading up to this holiday which is the question of time. I’ve heard this so many times: “but I don’t have time for that”. While it’s true that time is limited, time is our most precious and limited resource, when I start talking to people about why they don’t have enough time, the picture becomes a little clearer as to how they could take their power back and really clean their calendar. I’m going to share with you some of my real time-saving strategies, because ultimately if it’s not on your calendar and if it’s not a routine or a ritual in your life, it will not come into fruition. Whatever you want to create, whether it’s an incredible healthy body or a successful business or whatever it might be – whatever you want to create requires time to be scheduled in your calendar and requires you to actually show up!

If your calendar is full of all kinds of other stuff from other people you’re never going to find time for you, and unfortunately you’re just going to slide into a mediocre boring life. You will become so resentful that you either just resign and say that’s just the way life is, or you get fired up and you hit a bottom and you say I’m never going to let this happen again. Maybe you’re at that place where you’re feeling frustrated that you want to do that creative project or work on your exercise and diet but just don’t have the time. If your ambition is to become successful, time shrinks the more successful you become. I found I had more time when just getting started than I do now with all these pressures and different deadlines. The key is to get your time and calendar right, and here’s how you got to do it. It’s very simple:

Learn to say NO: That’s the word you want to learn. No is how you detox your calendar, because if you look at your calendar and all the time that you’re spending with other people or on projects that you don’t want to be on, you would probably be shocked. Or if you’re honest, how much time are you spending on Netflix, HBO, twitter, Instagram, Facebook, doing things where you just let time pass by? People ask me all the time, how do you manage all those companies and still find time to travel, golf, give back to students and young entrepreneurs? It’s because I’ve become really good at saying the word no to distractions. When you have a hard time saying no, there’s usually two emotional issues. The first one is being okay with letting people down from time to time. You can do this without being out of integrity by being in communication with that person and re-negotiating the timing of when you can be present with them. The other emotional issue is when you create time to work on your projects, usually you’ve been spending so much time focusing on other people that there’s usually unfelt negative emotions inside you that you’ve been running from such as fear, guilt, or anger. We got to work on those emotions, because ultimately if you want to work on yourself and really take your business to the next level, exercise and take your body to the next level, or take your relationship to the next level, you’re going to have to work on yourself.
When you clear your calendar, all those emotions are going to well up, mainly the emotion of fear. Fear of whether it’s going to work out or fear if whether you’re good enough. Then we get to the real issue, which is not time, but rather the negative emotions and fear. How well you manage unfelt negative emotions and fear will determine the quality of your life. If you want to detox your calendar, believe in yourself and develop a daily ritual or a behavior every single day that leans you in the direction of getting all of your goals met.

For me, I need to read and do yoga or work on my body every single day. I always struggled with the time to do both with all the pre bedtime routines so I found that I can perform some stretches while reading every night before I go to sleep. It gives me time to distress and tune out all the distractions before bed so I can have a sound sleep and be recharged for what always seems to be a powerful day. You want to set yourself up so that you can actually do the behaviors and the rituals that make you the most fulfilled.

With that said, that would be my advice for you this week. Really take your calendar back to get the business results you want, the body you want, the relationship you want and ultimately the life you want.

Yours,

Frank.

The Art of Doing

By | Entrepreneurial, Business Growth, Business Health, Leadership | No Comments

Leading a company takes a lot of guts and hard work. It starts with having a vision, and an idea that you’re passionate about but it doesn’t stop there. You must assemble a team, and bring that concept to life. The ability to successfully execute your vision or idea is what separates the dreamers from the entrepreneurs.

Here are some key qualities that every good leader should possess, and learn practicing every day:

Honesty

Your business and its employees are a reflection of yourself, and if you make honest and ethical behavior a key value, your team will follow suit. Honesty and Integrity is everything. Be as transparent as you can with your team to ensure success.

Delegating:

As a leader you must learn to delegate tasks accordingly and in the right way. Your brand’s vision is everything and it is essential to creating a trust with your team to help progress to the next level.

As things continue to grow for your company, more and more work will begin to pile up, and the more you stretch yourself thin, the lower the quality of your work will become, and the less you will produce great results. In addition, you want to keep your team motivated towards the continued success of the company, and keep the energy levels up. Keep the office mood a fine balance between productivity and playfulness.

Confidence

Confidence is key to leading the success of any business. It’s very important to keep your confidence at a high level especially when things are going in a downward spiral. Your team will look to you for support and leadership to help pick things up. There’s nothing worse than a leader who’s lost all confidence in his/her abilities.

Communication

“Miscommunication leads to complication.” I’m sure you understand where I’m going with this. Knowing what you want accomplished may seem clear in your head, but not always to everyone else. Being able to clearly describe what you want done is extremely important. If you can’t relate your vision to your team, you won’t all be working towards the same goal.

Ability to Inspire

This is very important. Creating a business often involves a bit of forecasting and speaking things into existence. Do we all know what the future holds? Probably not. But it’s important to write your goals down and work towards them. Especially in the beginning stages of a startup, inspiring your team to see the vision of the successes to come is essential to success. Make your team feel invested in the accomplishments of the company. Being able to inspire your team is great for focusing on the future goals, but it is also important for the current issues. It is your job to keep spirits up, and that begins with an appreciation for the hard work.

I wish you a great and productive week.

Frank.

What DRIVES You to Succeed?

By | Success & Inspiration, Business Health, Leadership | No Comments

As we embark another week, I couldn’t help but look outside and see another SNOW day in Toronto. The shovelling, the treks in the 2 feet snow all seems a lot of fun right? Well, I think so. One thing I noticed while travelling for another day’s work was that many people either looked very happy to see the snow, or really angry that there was another day of bad weather and slushy sidewalks while commuting to work.

I couldn’t help but think to myself,does everyone’s place of business care about how or whether or not they will come in to work? For me, it’s always about Safety first. Communicating, and establishing an amazing rapport with my employees. I’ve heard many stories about companies forcing their employees to come in to work regardless of their location, personal issues or weather conditions and I think that’s terrible. As a company, it’s important to understand that your employees are your driving force! They are the front line in our daily battles. If they are not happy and successful, then most likely your company will not be either. So if you’re a business owner or manager, I have one word of advice: LISTEN.

At the end of the day we all have goals. I do, you do, and your fellow employees do too! So as you embark on another work day I have shared this image below as a daily reminder and I hope you can agree.

WorkForACompanyThatCares

Sharing is caring,

Frank.

Stopping Yourself Before You Even Try

By | Sales Advice, Business Health, Foundations of Success, Personal Accountability | No Comments

Stopping-Yourself-Before-You-TryHow many times have you wanted to try something, only to stop yourself before you even attempt it? Travel to a country where you don’t know the language, jumping into a cave with a pool at the bottom, asking someone on a date… or perhaps more relatable, asking for the close when fear has the nasty habit of making you say “I can’t do that” before you even attempt it.

I’m not going to go into the psychology or anything too heavy about fear, but what I am going to try and do is convince you that you’re you own worst enemy. Thinking about it logically, the reason that you think that you can’t do something is because you’re afraid of the negative outcome. If you’re scared about jumping into the cave with the pool at the bottom, you’re most likely scared that you’ll hit something on the way down. If you’re afraid of asking for the close, you’re most likely afraid that they’ll turn down your offer and all your hard work will be for nothing.

When it comes to fear holding you back when you’re selling, I can offer you two points of advice based on my own experience:

You Won’t Know Until You Try – Why would you put in all the work of building a connection with a prospect, getting to know them and realizing that your service can genuinely help them, only to stop yourself before asking for a close? Getting cold feet near the end of the sales process can be tricky, but the absolute worst case scenario is that they’ll say no. Afterwards, the solution is simple…

Worst Case Scenario: Move On – So you do the big ask and they say no. Was it as bad as you imaged? The reality is that it probably stung a bit, perhaps it was a tad frustrating and threw off your day, but you moved on right? Even if we don’t admit that we can, moving on is just something that people do naturally. Of course, it comes easier to some than others, but no matter what it’s important to simply deal with whatever outcome has happened and grow from it, instead of dwelling on it and letting it prevent future opportunities.

It’s better to cope with failure than live with the “what-ifs”, both in life and in sales. Trust me, once you get rid of all fear when selling, you’ll excel further than you thought possible and soon enough be sitting on that cash throne.

What Does Professionalism Mean To You?

By | Entrepreneurial, Achieving Wealth, Business Health, Foundations of Success, Planning for the future | No Comments

logo-subheadingThis past weekend was the annual Wish Group Kickoff event, where we meet up with all of our employees to discuss what we accomplished in 2014, where we met our goals and, more importantly, where we didn’t meet our goals. I truly believe that in order to move forward, you need to take an honest look at your shortcomings and use those to get a better understanding of where you need to improve.

We always tie in a theme with these events to drive home our focus to the team. This year our theme was professionalism, and what that means to us. To communicate this better, we compared the professionalism of pro athletes and the incredible lengths they go through to achieve success. These were the most important comparisons that we made:

Visualize It – One of the biggest differences that you’ll notice when pro athletes get interviewed is that they mention that they have been dreaming of playing at the pro level since they were a kid. They would visualize hoisting the Stanley Cup over their head, along with the feeling of immense pride that comes with it. Visualisation is a powerful thing, especially when setting personal or professional goals. If you can picture your company doubling their sales or experiencing immense growth in a year, then that image will be a powerful motivator to continue pushing forward.

Cool Down Time – Once a big game is over and done with, athletes generally take some downtime to cool off both physically and mentally. This is a time for them to figure out what worked during a game and what needs improvement. Cooling down is critical for any profession, as it gives you a chance to take re-evaluate. Let’s say you had a really good client pitch – why did it go so well? Is there a chance that you can replicate it? On the flipside, if something didn’t go well in a meeting with a potential client, why didn’t it go well? Always try to analyze things when you have time to do so, as you’ll be able to look at things free from all the pressure that you were facing at the time.

Have A Coach – Natural talent is certainly beneficial, but that will only get you so far. All of the best athletes have enthusiastic mentors behind them, pushing them to their physical brink and helping them improve their techniques along the way. Without these coaches behind them, it’s debatable to see how far these athletes would have gone on their own. I’ve discussed the importance of mentorship in the past, and how having someone who can offer you advice is a crucial asset. A seasoned professional can offer you many insights to help guide towards better running your business, as well as avoiding any pitfalls that they’re encountered in their career.

This kickoff event is important for the Wish Group, and a tradition we’ve had for 11 years now. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend gathering together with your team to discuss the direction that you want to go in 2015.

Find Out What’s Important in 2015

By | Comments & Opinion, Entrepreneurial, Achieving Wealth, Business Growth, Business Health, Planning for the future, Leadership | No Comments

1325784419new-years-resolutionLet’s be serious – there is no doubt going to be an overabundance in blog posts detailing the importance of setting resolutions for the new year. Be it lose weight, get a promotion, go traveling or anything in between, resolutions are something that most of us set at this time of year.

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you’ll know that last year I had mentioned that New Year’s resolutions are something that I’m not a big fan of. Personally, I find that this time of year has people motivated to make this year all their own, but then usually give up by February (gyms are the perfect example of this). I believe that you shouldn’t have to wait for a new year to motivate you to get what you want. You should always be striving to be the best person that you can be, and taking the proper steps in order to reach that goal.

I think it’s much better to use this time of year to set some guidelines for the bigger picture. I feel that the whole point of resolutions is to start thinking about areas of your life that you want to improve. Once you’ve figured out what exactly needs changing, it’s dramatically easier to make a list of objectives that you need to accomplish to reach your final destination. The main difference between setting a goal and a resolution is essentially the thought that you put into them.

This of course doesn’t mean that I’m completely against New Year’s resolutions though. I’ve known many people who don’t even state a resolution unless they’re completely adamant about accomplishing it. The difference between these people and those who I’ve known to not accomplish them is the fact that they turn these into long-term goals – much like I stated above.

And while the goals I’ve discussed are all personal, there’s no reason that they can’t be adapted for growing your business. Be it with a specific sales target, company revenue or anything else, don’t simply make a bold statement to your employees without backing it up. Rather, make them into a long term goal, and discuss with your team what it will take to reach these goals.

No matter how you do it, make sure that you do everything you can to grow personally, and professionally in 2015.

Holiday Homestretch

By | Comments & Opinion, Entrepreneurial, Business Insights, Business Health, Foundations of Success, Planning for the future, Personal Accountability | No Comments

With 37 days left in 2014, families and organizations are undoubtedly feeling the pressure of holiday crunch time. I’m pretty guilty of waiting last minute to buy all of my Christmas presents, but when it comes to prepping for the next year I try hard not to lose my focus and keep it going.

This time of year it really does feel like everything is working against you, though. The dreary weather sometimes makes it impossible for you to even get into the office, unexpected family visiting, hysteria at every store you visit regardless of what you want to buy…. It seems endless. During this chaos though is when you need to carve time to review how the year has been, since you’ll be busy the next couple of weeks preparing for 2015.

Revisit Your Earlier Goals – Hopefully you made a list of goals at the beginning of the year to guide your business. With so little time left in the year, you shouldn’t be looking at your list and attempt a mad dash to the finish. Rather, it’s a time to look at your list and see what has worked well for you. Hopefully you’ll find that you not only surpassed some goals, but that you also surpassed goals you added on a little later in the year. You’re bound to find something that was meant to be your focus that you may have let slip through the cracks…

Tie Up Lose Ends – If you do see a few loose ends that you were supposed to focus on for the year, you should do one of two things: (a) see why you weren’t able to meet this goal and attempt it next year or (b) decide if you should make it a priority for the coming year or if it’s actually a critical goal. Losing sight of a particular goal isn’t always a bad thing. Perhaps you subconsciously realized that this goal wasn’t essential to growing your business – especially if you’ve experienced tremendous growth in the year without it. On the flip side, if your business didn’t grow as quickly as you expected, then you should probably make it a priority in 2015.

Plan Your Time Off Accordingly – You’re not seriously planning on neglecting your family over the holidays, are you? No matter what holiday you observe, this time of year is important to spend with your family. I’ve talked about balance before, but I can’t stress how important it is to actually put your phone and computer down for a bit and spend time with loved ones. I can completely sympathize if a 100% disconnect is impossible, but don’t completely neglect your family either!

I’m very interested to know what your game plan is for the final weeks of the year. Please share your thoughts with me in the comments!

Do You Treat Success Like Turkey And Pumpkin Pie?

By | Comments & Opinion, Business Insights, Business Growth, Business Health, Planning for the future, Leadership, Personal Accountability | No Comments

I hope that everyone enjoyed time with their family during Thanksgiving and that everyone had a chance to eat to their heart’s content. I have a very soft spot for pumpkin pie and as such I happen to over indulge a bit over the past weekend, along with a bunch of other food. If it’s in abundance, it’s the time to enjoy it as much as you can, correct?

I don’t think I need to tell you the consequences of enjoying too much pie, but I’ve found that many business owners treat success the same way as Thanksgiving treats – they gorge themselves on it without thinking of the consequences of the future. Here are some things to consider when it comes to celebrating your success:

Success Isn’t Given, It’s Created – It’s always nice to not be the host during Thanksgiving every now and then because it means that you’re not the one who is preparing the food. But just because it was handed to you doesn’t mean that it didn’t take hard work to make it happen. Don’t get lazy once your company starts seeing a lot of success, because it won’t always come as easily to you. You shouldn’t depend on success being given to you, you ALWAYS need to work hard and earn it.

Save Some For Later… – I don’t think I need to tell you, but I hope that once your company starts seeing financial success that you’re not spending it on unnecessary and extravagant expenses. There’s hardly any worse feeling than realizing that all of this infamous pie is gone, so imagine how it must feel when you realize that enjoying too much of your financial success and you’re almost back where you started or worse. It’s a good habit to keep an ongoing tally of your success and budget, and make sure that you’re properly investing in areas of your company that will ensure growth.

…But Still Enjoy It – Of course, we’re only human so don’t take this as me simply telling you to not enjoy your success. If your team worked hard to land an account, or your business has been consistently growing for a few months, treat your team and show them that this success was entirely possible because of their hard work and dedication. As with everything in life, balance is important. Be responsible with your celebrations.

It’s always tempting to go for more and want more, but as long as you’re responsible about how you do it, there’s nothing wrong with indulging every now and then.

Build A Relationship With Your Prospects

By | Achieving Wealth, Sales Advice, Business Growth, Business Health, Foundations of Success | No Comments

build-relationshipWhen you’re selling to potential customers, I sincerely hope you’re not taking a “one night stand” approach with them, for lack of a better term. As always, this was a point I touched on in my last blog post that I really want to elaborate on. No one wants to be sold to, which shouldn’t be a surprise to people anymore. The question then, is how do you sell to people without selling to them? The answer is to build a potentially long lasting relationship with them.

There are many benefits to establishing a relationship with your prospects, but the most obvious advantage is the fact that they’ll trust you, and people are more accepting of products and services being offered to them from people that they trust. Here are some insights to help you keep a personal touch with potential customers.

Don’t Treat Them Like a Target – Stop the sales pitch and start a conversation. In order to build a sincere and serious relationship, you need to have real conversations with people. That means that your sales pitch can’t sound ANYTHING like a sales pitch. Even if you’re just having a conversation, the instant that anyone thinks you’re trying to sell them something it’s over. Talk with them, find out their problems and treat them like real people.

Take Genuine Interest In Them – Taking the last point a little further, don’t feign interest in something a prospect brings up just to impress them. A critical part of building a relationship with people is that you have to be yourself. I know it’s cliché, but you shouldn’t have to put on a “sales persona” every time you talk with a potential customer – in fact, that’s probably the WORST thing you can do. Even though you may think that you might be doing a good job feigning interest, I guarantee that the person you’re speaking with knows and are just politely playing along. Only take an interest in topics that are of actual interest to you, and you’ll get a much better response.

Take Notes And Follow Up – When you’re talking with potential customers, a habit you should already be into is taking notes while you’re chatting. But try and take some notes on comments they make that might be interesting later, like if they mention they’ll be away on vacation or mention they’ll be out of the office to see their child in a play. When you follow up with them and bring up these little anecdotes, you’ll definitely stand out.

What kind of techniques do you use to build a genuine relationship with potential customers? I look forward to your feedback in the comments.