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Posts by TFOSLLC

KISS

Simplicity.  Unnecessary complexity. Overthinking things.

Applying the KISS principle to our business lives can pay dividends.  Originated in the 1960s by US Navy design engineers, it emphasizes that simplicity should be the key goal in design.

Carry that over from fighter jets to business, think about all of the things that could benefit from being looked at from an uncomplicated point of view: operations, marketing, sales, finance.

That last one really could benefit from simplicity.  And actually pay dividends.

Uncomplicating things could mean simplifying processes.  Do you have the latest software that manages your?

  • Accounting
  • Payroll
  • Project management
  • Email campaigns
  • Social media

Having plug-and-play options makes your implementation of things work more smoothly and efficiently.  Fewer steps can eliminate work and even reduce errors.

While getting to simple could be harder in the beginning, once you get there, it could (and will) pay dividends.  The process to get there will uncover things and reveal simple options to you.

We love simplicity.  If you are looking to simplify the financial aspect of your company, call or write to us.  TFO Solutions is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and business owners with their financial strategy from the back office to the boardroom.

*photos courtesy of Unsplash (Tim Mossholder and Etienne Giradet, photographers)

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Set Yourself Up for Success

We all want to be successful—in life, our career, business, relationships.  It is a desirable state and one that is quite achievable.

And, like just about everything, it is either a process or the result of a process.

What are you doing to set yourself up for success?

To get to be where you want to be, try taking these steps.  You can make up the order, but the individual elements are important, so you can reach the success you want.  Usually to be successful, we each need to:

  • Set a goal or goals
    • Make them achievable and quantifiable
  • Know your strengths
    • And your weaknesses, too
  • Stay healthy
    • You can’t get there if all systems aren’t working
  • Be a risk taker and be fearless
    • It is impossible to live without failing at something
  • Think long term, be methodical and process oriented
    • Take small steps in a well-thought out order
  • Follow your gut
    • “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant,” –Albert Einstein
  • Use your network; ask for help
    • It really is who you know in addition to what you know
  • Do what you love, and the money will follow
    • What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

Success is within reach for all of us.  Sometimes it is one thing, sometimes it is the culmination of many things. Success powers us.  Be empowered.

We’ve worked with many successful people and we’d like to work with you. Call or write to us.  TFO Solutions is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and business owners with their financial strategy from the back office to the boardroom.

**photos courtesy of Unsplash (Chris Curry and the blowup, photographers)

 

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Ask for What You Want

Mom used to always say, “if you don’t ask, you won’t know.”

Still true today.  If you want to know something, get something, give something, meet someone, try something new or just want to start a conversation, you have to ask.

Seems way too simple, right?

We run into this all the time with our clients.  Truth is, we spend a lot of time asking questions of them to pry the information we (both) need to get things done.  And, like most everything in business and life, there is a simple process:

  1. Identify what you need or want.
  2. Formulate or identify the request.
  3. Make the ask (“Would you be willing…”)

What you will also find is that the process will help you weed out whether you really wanted or needed the stuff, thing or action you wanted. You might stop at step one.  Or in trying to put the want into a request, it starts to crystalize what you really are looking for.  And then there are those things that make it to step three and beyond.

And it all started with having the gumption to ask.

Keep in mind asking for something isn’t always about tangible stuff and goodies we want.  It can also be for information, data, things we need to know to run our business, make a decision, or to take the next step in another process.  We are always asking questions of our clients to get information from them that benefits them.

Maybe next time we will talk about giving versus receiving.  But that’s another topic.

In the meantime, for more on how to ask for what you want and how to get it, call or write to us.  TFO Solutions is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and business owners with their financial strategy from the back office to the boardroom.

**photos courtesy of Unsplash (Ana Municio and Artem Maltsev, photographers)

 

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A Win is a Win is a Win

Victory. Success. Achievement. Knockout. Capturing the prize.

No matter how you express it, a win is important in business.  From the big ones (that big, new contract) to the small ones (the keys work in the door!), a win is a win is a win.

Celebrate them.

Because even small victories lead to the achievement of larger goals. By celebrating your wins you note the advancement and growth of your company.  It also helps with your attitude and the demeanor of the whole enterprise. It also influences your company culture and helps create a forward-looking business.

Having success in any activity you didn’t think you could finish is a win! Consider these thoughts on celebration.

  • Notice things. Talk with your staff. Ask them about their achievements.
  • Get excited. Be happy about the small things.
  • Let people know—staff, friends, family, customers, prospects.
  • Look at how you accomplished the win and figure out how to do it again—form a habit!
  • Live in the moment.
  • Reward yourself and those who achieved the goal.
  • Relate the small wins to the larger goal(s).

You can do this.  You have to walk before you can run. You have to crawl before you can walk.  Step by step, inch by inch, you will achieve your bigger (and biggest) goals.

For more on how to get into the win column more often, call or write to us.  TFO Solutions is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and business owners with their financial strategy from the back office to the boardroom.

**photos courtesy of Unsplash (Jimmy Conover, Drew Beamer and Anne Nygard, photographers)

 

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It’s Already the Fourth Quarter!

Uh, oh.  Don’t look now, but the clock has just ticked into October and it’s…wait for it…THE FOURTH QUARTER!

And just like in football, you need to be managing your clock to make sure that you finish ahead.  Or maybe you’re playing catch up. Or you are so far ahead, you are coasting.

Whatever you do, don’t waste time or let up.  Just because you are on plan doesn’t mean that it’s time to let up on those players, coaches and officials…or yourself. A few things to think about leading into and during the fourth quarter:

  • Evaluate your business position. Are you on track to make plan?
  • Check up on inventory. Is it where it is supposed to be?
  • Be aware of your tax situation as the year ends and what you need to do going into the new year. Do you owe and are you prepared to pay?
  • Finish up your planning for the new year and begin preparation for first quarter. What are your expectations?
  • Talk with your staff—they are on the front lines and know what is going on and can help you finish those plans for the new year.
  • Plan for the holiday season—staff bonuses, partner and customer gifts and how to handle time off at the end of the calendar.

Above all, keep a positive outlook.  Yes, while this is a time of not letting down and pushing across that goal or finish line, it is also a time for reflection.  Of a job well done.  Positive companies thrive and succeed!

For more on how to prepare you and your company for the fourth quarter and beyond, call or write to us.  TFO Solutions is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and business owners with their financial strategy from the back office to the boardroom.

**photos courtesy of Unsplash (Dave Adamson, photographers) and Paul Maynard

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Making Midseason Corrections

After the first two weeks of the NFL season it seems some fans are already looking ahead to next year.  Their teams have gone oh-and-two and the prospects for winning this year and making the playoffs are somewhere in the range slim to none.

“Better luck next time,” as the saying goes.

Whoa, hold on, isn’t it a 17-game season? Are they giving up too early?

Well, the truth is, as it is with business, an NFL team is really a week-to-week, real-time enterprise.  The defense and offense can make subtle or wholesale changes to get on track.  Two loses don’t make a season.

Same goes for your business.  It’s not that we don’t want to look ahead to next year, but we can manage this team from week to week (or financial quarter to financial quarter) quite successfully.

Remember when we talked about goals? By setting (and keeping on track with) goals you give your company direction, momentum and, really, lift.

Let’s say that at mid-year, your sales are slow or behind projections.  That’s when you gather your team together to reexamine your goals and discuss your options to getting back on track.  If sales are down, talk over how each part of the enterprise can help sales meet their goals. If production is behind, what can the team come up with to help meet customer demand if the supply chain is challenged?

You get the idea. This is about stepping up and taking action as a team that results in success for the greater good.

If you need help with the financial part of that equation, call or write to us.  TFO Solutions is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and business owners with their financial strategy from the back office to the boardroom.

**photos courtesy of Unsplash (Manasvita S and Behnam Norouzi, photographers)

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