Monthly Archives: November 2009

Re: New York Times: U.S. Racing Toward Debt ‘Shock’

The reason this headline is so important is because while many companies and entrepreneurs will continue to do well in this country, what is possible to accomplish is being extinguished by our government and what is being achieved has a high probability of being extinguished  by the burden of debt.

For a long time I would look at our politicians and the general trends and conclude that is not an arena that I appreciate and it is somebody else’s life.  Now I look in the mirror.  I and all the voting citizens in this country are responsible.  That is right. As a nation, we voted for people who look to the latest trend of what is popular so they are re-elected. We voted for a president who campaigned on being critical of the debt of the prior administration and then came in and drove that debt into the stratosphere. Obama should be fired now for that fact alone among others. Just for the record, there are a lot of people who should be fired and leave with him. Nothing personal …this is business.

Have we ever voted for a person who stands for the principles of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution? Actually I am not aware of anyone winning on that platform. I am aware of people running on that platform. We didn’t like that idea because that platform holds us as individuals accountable for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It does not say, I am from the government and will solve your problems.  That formula clearly does not work.

This is a business blog with my focus being to offer sound guidance on helping companies and entrepreneurs move their businesses forward in profit at accelerating rates of profitability. Notice I said at accelerating rates of profitability, not accelerating debt like our government is doing.

So Why The Political Platform?

This is not a political platform. It is a business platform on the topic that our policies are going to drain America unless we take action. The action I recommend is based on business principles as I am not a politician at all.  If the US Government were a consulting client this is how I would approach it:

1. Clear definition of purpose: I feel there is a clear definition of purpose for our government and we the people have allowed people in office to ignore it. So let’ s use our foundation principles as the evaluation point and if our elected officials have not demonstrated compliance, we fire them.

2. Who replaces the masses that are fired?  People with experience running large organizations and know what it means to be accountable for compliance with the charter of why you are formed. Who are these people?  There is no shortage, there just is not a system in place to elevate them including a fair compensation system.  Get past the “you have to have been an angel all your life standard and we are only going to pay you $400,000 a year for being President. I would vote for paying the right leadership $100 million dollars a year  and link that to performance standards with base pay of $25 million. Now you have the attention of  some talent.

3. Key Tenant: basic economic and universal laws.

4. Tough stuff: the one way for this to be accomplished is to recognize the difficulty people have with change and then have leadership in place prepared to deal with the constituencies that say these changes are unacceptable.  These opposition groups should be in the minority if the leadership and related communication is in place.

Who Am I To Speak?

I am an American and I have my share of successes and failures. As a human, I have made good choices and some I would do differently. Do I have all the answers? No  but I do know this…I support  the founding principles of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness and our government does not. I am tired of that and I am speaking out .. and you?

Sending you energy of health, happiness, prosperity

Steve Pohlit

Business Consulting, Executive Coach
Turnaround/Crisis Management
Temporary CEO, CFO, Controller Services
International Business Resources

Social Media Services
New Digital Media, Inc.

727-587-7871
Email

About: Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies.  Steve is a business owner and an expert business consultant focused on building profits and net asset value. He is very experienced with Internet marketing and social media marketing.  All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

More

There is going to be more from me on this and I hope a lot of others as well. For now here is the article that resulted in my conclusion I have had enough.

New York Times: U.S. Racing Toward Debt ‘Shock’

Monday, November 23, 2009 1:51 PM Article Font Size
A page one, top-of-the-fold New York Times report Monday warns that U.S. debt is rising so fast that the federal government is careening toward a “payment shock” in the not-too-distant future.

The Times lead headline read: “Federal Government Faces Balloon in Debt Payments: At $700 Billion a Year, Cost Will Top Budgets for 2 Wars, Education, Energy.”

The Times headline appears eerie just as the Senate moves to push forward on a radical healthcare reform — with CBO estimates for a final bill costing nearly $1 trillion dollars over the next year.

The national debt now stands at over $12 trillion and the White House estimates that the cost of servicing the debt will rise to more than $700 billion a year in 2019, up from $202 billion this year. The Times suggests that $700 billion annual payment cost may be conservative.

The additional $500 billion a year in interest payments would surpass the combined budgets this year for education, energy, homeland security, plus the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Times observes.

Treasury officials face not only huge new debts incurred in response to the economic meltdown but a balloon of short-term borrowings coming due in the months ahead, and interest rates that are certain to return to normal levels when the Federal Reserve concludes that the fiscal emergency has passed.

“Even as Treasury officials are racing to lock in today’s low rates by exchanging short-term borrowings for long-term bonds, the government faces a payment shock similar to those that sent legions of overstretched homeowners into default on their mortgages,” The Times reported on Monday.

Interestingly, the alarming Times analysis comes as the nation is in the midst of a debate over healthcare reform proposals that could add many billions of dollars to the overall debt.

Record deficits have arrived just as payments for Medicare and Social Security benefits are set to explode, with the oldest Baby Boomers approaching age 65. This will result in what experts have long warned will be a “fiscal nightmare” for the government, the Times article notes.

“What a good country or a good squirrel should be doing is stashing away nuts for the winter,” William H. Gross, managing director of the Pimco, a bond management firm, told The Times.

“The United States is not only not saving nuts, it’s eating the ones left over from the last winter.”

As for the balloon of short-term borrowings coming due, that debt now accounts for 36 percent of overall debt, compared to the historic average of less than 25 percent, and more than $1.6 trillion is due by March 31.

Another problem: The Federal Reserve’s purchases of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities to prop up the economy pushed down long-term interest rates by about half of a percentage point, but the Fed is set to reverse those policies — that alone could add $40 billion to the government’s annual debt service expense.

The Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee, a group of market experts that advises the Treasury on debt management, declared this month: “Inflation, higher interest rate and rollover risk should be the primary concerns. Clever debt management strategy can’t completely substitute for prudent fiscal policy.”

And The Times warns: “There is little doubt that the United States’ long-term budget crisis is becoming too big to postpone.”

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Impact Hookup: Social Media In Person: Tampa, Florida Dec. 3, 2009

Please Note: If you are not in Tampa Bay , please visit Impact Hookups and see the other cities hosting this event.
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Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more are all great social media tools for expanding your network and building relationships.  Ultimately business is done with people. Even when the  transaction is an on line order form  there are people at the foundation of the transaction helping all of that happen.

Ken McArthur is at the top of the list of people who not only understand the importance of  relationships, but has built several successful businesses founded on people getting together, meeting and sharing what is working and not working in business.  What has evolved from Ken’s idea and first meeting six years ago in Philadelphia has been an expansive business, many very solid relationships and joint venture deals.

The event in Philadelphia   was named JV Alert. I was able to attend and you can only be in the first group once.   Today I am honored to say my friendship with and respect for Ken McArthur has grown.  JV Alert   literally started with  an email  asking who is interested in meeting for  lunch to talk about Internet Marketing.  That first email had a larger response rate than Ken anticipated and first JV Alert went from an idea of lunch to a three day event.

Now have an opportunity to be in the first group of people who are coming together to make a difference in how your business and the business of others moves forward.  It is your opportunity to connect and to cement synergy for your business and your business ideas.

Impact Hookup Tampa, Florida and around the country is much more than another networking event. You see there are concurrent meeting all over the country and Ken is developing a centralized data base with contact information, JV interests and much more. Yes you physically will be meeting in Tampa and you will be part of a new network of business owners, rainmakers and people who you help and be helped in return.  For more information on Impact Hookups please click here.

WHO

As the registrations are confirmed, I will ask each person to provide a  brief bio on their business and their interest.  Jean Levi who works with me in several ventures  will be helping me with your questions and any other details related to this event.

Regarding who I am, you are welcome to visit my resume at http://stevepohlit.com My goal with facilitating this event is to increase the awareness of my consulting, coaching and social media network services.  I can normally relate to business success and failure stories 🙂 You will also find that I am a very forward focused person recognizing the past is just that – over.  I look forward to meeting you and I look forward to facilitating your success in any way that I possibly can.

WHEN

IMPACT Hookup First Event is December 3, 2009.

WHERE

I am hosting IMPACT Hookup Tampa, Florida   at 600 Druid St., Clearwater, Florida

6:30 PM to 8:00 PM

COST

$8.00 contribution for bottled water, soft drinks. (not refundable)

Reservations Required

Your $8.00 payment is your reservation.

Register Now ( this is not refundable)

Registrations accepted up to 12:00 Noon EST 12-3-09


QUESTIONS

Email Me

Better: Email Jean Levi

Sending you energy of health, happiness, prosperity

Steve Pohlit

Business Consulting, Executive Coach
Turnaround/Crisis Management
Temporary CEO, CFO, Controller Services
International Business Resources

Social Media Services
New Digital Media, Inc.

727-587-7871
Email

About: Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies.  Steve is a business owner and an expert business consultant focused on building profits and net asset value. He is very experienced with Internet marketing and social media marketing.  All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

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Build Profits: 7 Step Marketing Plan plus How To Market With No Cash

Jay Conrad Levinson is known for his “gorilla marketing”  advice.  He recently listed on Rich Shefron’s blog his 7 Step Simple Marketing Plan.  I read this today and thought you might like it before we get to the main topic. This is a very good guide to remember.  Here they are: (for the complete blog article Click Here )

1) What is the purpose of your marketing? (What action do you want them to take?)

2) What is the main competitive advantage you stress to achieve that action/purpose? (What main benefit do you offer that your competitors do not?)

3) Who is your target audience?

4) Which marketing “weapons” will you use to achieve that action/purpose? (Expressed as a list.)

5) For your market niche, what do you stand for?

6) What is your identity, your personality?

7) What is your marketing budget? (as a percentage of your projected gross sales)

How To Market Your Business With Little or No Cash

Most consultants and authors offering training programs and services assume you have the cash to implement a sound marketing plan.  That is often a misguided assumption and this begins  to address a common issue of marketing with little or no cash. Many entrepreneurs and companies are experiencing a cash crunch.

The following steps are essential for marketing your business when you have no cash. They are also essential when you do have cash. Cash will help you advance your results faster.

The  Most Important Step – Always –  and There Are No Exceptions:

Spend Most of Your Time Marketing Your Business. This is a mindset coupled with a commitment and knowing what is productive time. Jay did not list this. Most do not. This is the number one item I work on with companies and with people I coach. This is the number one item I work on for my own ventures.  This is also a challenge for most people since it is easy saying “I was busy today”.  I say if you are not working on building new business and strengthening what you have,  most other activities are just busy work.

Second Step: Know How To Use The Tools Requiring No Money and Those Most Helpful When You Have Money

If you are reading this you are on line somehow and I realize there is a cost for a connection. A computer and a connection are required.  They cost money.  They are essential tools.  This article is how to market when you have little or no cash. You have to have a connection to market even if you are an off line based business.

How To Market When You Have Little or No Cash.

1. A web site is now required for credibility  and I recommend using  blog technology in most cases. If your business needs an html based web site fine.  You still need a blog.
2. Use social media to drive traffic to your blog.  The primary social media sites for driving traffic are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
3. Your goal is strengthening the relationship with your visitors and encouraging them to become part of your list. Even when you are selling a product on line, your primary goal when using the no money marketing approach based on social media traffic is to move your target audience from your social media network to your list where you can communicate with them.

Facebook groups have similar characteristics of an email list.  However, at no time will pounding on your network to buy from you be an effective marketing  strategy.  The Build Profits Group on Facebook is a good example.  All the content sent to the group is intended to be of value. At the same time there is no secret as to my business ventures and professional services.

I used and continue to use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for the development and growth of three businesses that have cash profits this year. Last year two of the three did not  exist.  Two of the Three took less than $100 cash. Manifest Mastermind was less than $1,000.  Today all are marketed using social media.. time yes, cash no.

Manifest Mastermind:
New Digital Media, Inc
IR Consulting, Inc

I use one autoresponder account for all businesses and lists. I use one hosting account for all domains. If you have no cash you can use blogger and by-pass the autoresponder.  When you have some cash, convert your blogs to a WordPress based platform with individual C-Panel access. If you don’t know why you need these tools,  learn. I feel an autoresponder is a must have tool for building a list. No matter what is being discussed in social media circles, email is still very important and valuable.  So if you cannot afford an autoresponder, then track your email list manually until you can afford it.

Once I had built some cash flow, I outsourced certain of the work required to continue building the social media network and continue to do so.  Notice earlier I mentioned I do not spend cash on marketing. However, I do leverage my time which is very valuable. I view the development of your own social media network essential for business and your social media network is an  asset. I work on this everyday – everyday.

I do not outsource content origination meaning blog articles, posts to Facebook groups,  Tweets and autoresponder messages. Some of this work can be outsourced. I do all of it now and some of it soon, will be  outsourced.  However, some content cannot be outsourced as it is my voice.

I will cover key points in building your social media network in the next article.

The easiest way to follow this series is to become a member of  my Facebook Group Build Profits. Register for my list.  What is in it for you?  Candidly the information you receive here in most instances is more valuable than programs you will pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars for.  Why do I offer this information?  Because some people will want me to become part of my Executive Coaching Program,  some companies will want my consulting services and some will want help in building their social media network. Most of all some people will write and say ” I followed what you wrote and it worked – thank you”  That my friends is the greatest reward of all.

Sending you energy of health, happiness, prosperity

Steve Pohlit

Business Consulting, Executive Coach
Turnaround/Crisis Management
Temporary CEO, CFO, Controller Services
International Business Resources

Social Media Services
New Digital Media, Inc.

727-587-7871
Email

About: Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies.  Steve is a business owner and an expert business consultant focused on building profits and net asset value. He is very experienced with Internet marketing and social media marketing.  All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

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The First Step to Building Profits

It is important to understand that in order to build profits, a profit must first be earned. If your business is a start-up or has been losing money, the main focus of all your activity is to make a profit.. not  just any profit, but a cash profit. Cash profit is where your cash balance is growing after you cover all your expenses whether they be paid daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually.

If your business is not in a cash profit situation, you will not be able to stay in business indefinitely.  There will be a point when you run out of cash and you have to close your door. In the Proof of Concept article I mentioned Twitter as an example of a company whose business model is exciting but whose excitement will eventually die if it does not turn profitable.

One of the best ways to begin making a cash profit and then make even higher cash profits, is to develop a financial performance picture twelve months in advance. This financial picture is how you want you business to look financially a year from now. I always advise clients when doing this work to look at what the business has been able to earn in the past and then increase it  significantly.

Individuals  use a technique know as vision boards to focus on things they want including lifestyle improvements. The financial model of what you want your business to look like is your business vision board. “If you can see it you can achieve it.”

There is more to it than creating a picture twelve months out but that is a key starting point.  For purposes of building profits I do not advocate going beyond a twelve month horizon as there are two many variables.  However, when doing strategic planning a more forward outlook is appropriate.  For now we are focused on building profits near term.

Sending you energy of health, happiness, prosperity

Steve Pohlit

Business Consulting, Executive Coach
Turnaround/Crisis Management
Temporary CEO, CFO, Controller Services
International Business Resources

Social Media Services
New Digital Media, Inc.

727-587-7871
Email

About: Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies.  Steve is a business owner and an expert business consultant focused on building profits and net asset value. He is very experienced with Internet marketing and social media marketing.  All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

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Profits Are Proof of Concept

Proof of Concept

The phrase Proof of Concept is one I learned from my friend Russell Brumfield, a successful business builder and entrepreneur.  Proof of Concept means the business model is viable. Viable means it is making or will be making a profit.

If you are not making a profit you are not in business. Does this mean that any business idea that is not instantly profitable is not viable? No it does not. Twitter is not profitable. Twitter has attracted over $100 million in investment funding.  Does this mean Twitter is viable as a business? No it does not mean that either. Ultimately Twitter must be profitable or all the interest and investment funding dries up. That is true for any “for profit business”.

Note: People interested in paying you money for what you are offering is key and having enough people pay you so you are able to make a profit is Proof of Concept. You don’t have to have a business model of a Google or a Twitter.  You have to have a business where your revenue exceeds your costs. Once you are in profit then you can focus on strategies that will help you further increase the profit percentage for your business. Increasing the percentage of profit being earned by your business is part of the scope of what is covered in the Build Profits Group on Facebook.

Video Version

Now if this all seems obvious I can assure you I have consulted with some very large companies that no longer had Proof of Concept. They once may have profitable, but part of my work was to help them regain their viability as a business. Key point: you may be profitable today but there are no guarantees you will be profitable tomorrow. Managing change is key.

If you are in business, take a hard look as to whether you have proof of concept. If you do not now, you need to have that soon. I have not kept track of the number of ideas that seemed great but failed.  Does failure mean the idea was not a good one? It does not. It may mean the timing was not right, a rapid change in the competitive landscape or decisions by owners that were not good for the business.

If you are thinking about getting into business be sure there sufficient evidence as to proof of concept. This applies to starting a company, buying a business, joining a network marketing company, it also applies to considering a job with a company. I encourage you to be particularly careful with new start-ups. As this is written there is a major buzz surrounding a business opportunity backed by several well known celebrities.  This could be great and maybe not. If it is great, there will be Proof of Concept and there will be plenty of time to become involved and make money.

Finally on this topic it does not matter what other people are experiencing with a business, Proof of Concept applies to you and your experience. In the next article, we will review the primary key success factors for most business that evidence Proof of Concept.

Sending you energy of health, happiness, prosperity

Steve Pohlit

Business Consulting, Executive Coach
Turnaround/Crisis Management
Temporary CEO, CFO, Controller Services
International Business Resources

Social Media Services
New Digital Media, Inc.

727-587-7871
Email

About: Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies.  Steve is a business owner and an expert business consultant focused on building profits and net asset value. He is very experienced with Internet marketing and social media marketing.  All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.


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Carl’s Jr. Very Effective Use of Social Media, Internet Marketing, Video, More

Carl’s Jr. has over 1100 locations with 772 in California. They have no locations in my current home state of Florida. However, because of my business consulting experience in the restaurant industry along with a controversial video commercial released by Carl’s several years ago, I became aware of this restaurant business. I learned it was  founded with the purchase of one hot dog cart for less than $500  in 1941.

While reviewing a Facebook  application recommended by a friend I noticed an ad on the site for Carl’s.  Of course I remembered the original video that was absolutely outrageous and wondered if they had posted it on Facebook.  (They did not.)  What I did notice was they have almost 68,000 fans, they are promoting a new sandwich, offering an incentive coupon and their fan page wall is extremely active.

I went a little deeper and clicked to their website.  I stayed there maybe 5-8 minutes watching all their video commercials. They are very entertaining. I registered for their newsletter. The visuals, sounds and messages of the videos and the images of the graphics are terrific. If there was a location nearby I would be a customer.  I also feel that the next time I visit the West Coast I will look them up. Their presentation is that good.

Carl’s Jr has links to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flicker on their website.  I am not sure if they have expanded onto other social media sites. If  asked I would  recommend they be on every major social media venue. Clearly the visuals and sound are huge assets for their messages about their food.

Food isn’t the only attraction as evidenced by one YouTube video with Audriana Partridge in a hot gold bikini eating one of Carl’s Jr.’s famous sandwiches. This video has already been viewed over 545 thousand times with most others by Carl’s Jr.  being viewed in the range of 20 thousand.  Think about the value of one YouTube video being viewed over one half million times.

I did a brief review of Facebook to see if key competitors are using social media. Facebook members have activated McDonald’s and Wendy’s fan pages. Neither company seems to have an active Facebook presence.

I am a major advocate for using social media to build business profits. But here is the key as demonstrated by Carl’s Jr.: you have got to have a hook.  Carl’s is kicking butt in their ads for size, quality and price vs. McDonald’s.  Then they add amazing visuals, incentives, and are definitely on top of their game when it comes to strengthening social relationships.  So they are hitting on all cylinders including the use of a well toned body wearing little excited about a huge order of food. What an amazing contrast and Carl’s Jr. pulls it off marvelously just as they did a few years back with a famous celebrity promoting their food wearing near nothing on the hood of a car.  It was amazing.

On video and in pictures, Carl’s Jr. looks like  great tasting food. I assume that is the case with more than 1,100 locations. Of course that is key for sustained growth in same store sales as well as sustained growth in the number of locations. Somehow I suspect the food experience is great and I will confirm that one of these days. If you have eaten at Carl’s Jr. please share your experiences including what you ordered.

Great  example Carl’s Jr. of executing very well on fundamentals.

Sending you energy of health, happiness, prosperity

Steve Pohlit

Business Consulting, Executive Coaching
International Business Resources

Social Media Services
New Digital Media, Inc.

727-587-7871
Email

Google Buzz

Carl's Jr. Very Effective Use of Social Media, Internet Marketing, Video, More

Carl’s Jr. has over 1100 locations with 772 in California. They have no locations in my current home state of Florida. However, because of my business consulting experience in the restaurant industry along with a controversial video commercial released by Carl’s several years ago, I became aware of this restaurant business. I learned it was  founded with the purchase of one hot dog cart for less than $500  in 1941.

While reviewing a Facebook  application recommended by a friend I noticed an ad on the site for Carl’s.  Of course I remembered the original video that was absolutely outrageous and wondered if they had posted it on Facebook.  (They did not.)  What I did notice was they have almost 68,000 fans, they are promoting a new sandwich, offering an incentive coupon and their fan page wall is extremely active.

I went a little deeper and clicked to their website.  I stayed there maybe 5-8 minutes watching all their video commercials. They are very entertaining. I registered for their newsletter. The visuals, sounds and messages of the videos and the images of the graphics are terrific. If there was a location nearby I would be a customer.  I also feel that the next time I visit the West Coast I will look them up. Their presentation is that good.

Carl’s Jr has links to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flicker on their website.  I am not sure if they have expanded onto other social media sites. If  asked I would  recommend they be on every major social media venue. Clearly the visuals and sound are huge assets for their messages about their food.

Food isn’t the only attraction as evidenced by one YouTube video with Audriana Partridge in a hot gold bikini eating one of Carl’s Jr.’s famous sandwiches. This video has already been viewed over 545 thousand times with most others by Carl’s Jr.  being viewed in the range of 20 thousand.  Think about the value of one YouTube video being viewed over one half million times.

I did a brief review of Facebook to see if key competitors are using social media. Facebook members have activated McDonald’s and Wendy’s fan pages. Neither company seems to have an active Facebook presence.

I am a major advocate for using social media to build business profits. But here is the key as demonstrated by Carl’s Jr.: you have got to have a hook.  Carl’s is kicking butt in their ads for size, quality and price vs. McDonald’s.  Then they add amazing visuals, incentives, and are definitely on top of their game when it comes to strengthening social relationships.  So they are hitting on all cylinders including the use of a well toned body wearing little excited about a huge order of food. What an amazing contrast and Carl’s Jr. pulls it off marvelously just as they did a few years back with a famous celebrity promoting their food wearing near nothing on the hood of a car.  It was amazing.

On video and in pictures, Carl’s Jr. looks like  great tasting food. I assume that is the case with more than 1,100 locations. Of course that is key for sustained growth in same store sales as well as sustained growth in the number of locations. Somehow I suspect the food experience is great and I will confirm that one of these days. If you have eaten at Carl’s Jr. please share your experiences including what you ordered.

Great  example Carl’s Jr. of executing very well on fundamentals.

Sending you energy of health, happiness, prosperity

Steve Pohlit

Business Consulting, Executive Coaching
International Business Resources

Social Media Services
New Digital Media, Inc.

727-587-7871
Email

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