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3 Ways to Recession-Proof Your Company & Why Right Now Is the Best Time to Do It

David Barrett survived the Great Recession by making his business as boring as possible.In 2007, the founder and CEO of Expensify was trying to launch a prepaid debit card that would enable–and hopefully encourage–charitable giving to panhandlers in San Francisco. But, as forecasts of economic turmoil mounted, investors were interested only in ideas that sounded “sane and reasonable,” he says. So Barrett started pitching the safest related product he could imagine: an automated expense-report management system.

That worked; Barrett secured enough money to quit his full-time job in April 2008. He still intended to pursue the card idea, but soon hit a production snag–and with the economy in free fall, Barrett recalls thinking, “Shit, I really need to make a business out of this right now.” So he doubled down on business-expense management.

Almost 1.4 million small businesses with employees closed from 2008 through 2010, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Expensify, now with five offices and a staff of 120, wasn’t one of them–a feat Barrett attributes to those pre-recession pivots. They taught him to “build a product that is needed in a downturn,” he says. “Sell aspirin, not vitamins.”

Recession war stories may seem out of place during this prolonged period of economic growth, but there are signs that a slowdown is on the way. A June 2019 survey from the National Association for Business Economics put the risks of a recession beginning before the end of 2020 at 60 percent. A third of the 2019 Inc. 5000 CEOs expect a recession to begin this or next year, with another third bracing for one in 2021. Whenever the downturn hits, these steps can help your business weather it.

Fundraise.

Build your cash reserves while you can. Serial entrepreneur Mitch Grasso had a potential downturn in the back of his mind while raising capital for his latest venture, Beautiful.ai. The presentation software company raised $11 million in Series B funding in March 2018, just 17 months after a $5.25 million Series A round. “I chose to raise money earlier than I would have otherwise, even though it cost me probably a little more” in terms of valuation, says Grasso. “If there’s money on the table, take it sooner rather than later. You’ll always find a way to spend it.”

Conduct consumer research.

You might not be able to pivot your entire business model, so figure out what products and services your customers will need even in poor conditions, says Carlos Castelán, managing director of the Navio Group, a retail business consulting firm.

Ryan Iwamoto, co-founder of caregiving service 24 Hour Home Care, started asking his customers for their input when the federal government introduced sweeping rules for home health care agencies in 2016. He wanted to be “the first in market to educate them on all the regulations coming down in our industry,” Iwamoto says. “It allowed us to build better relationships”–and has helped boost his company’s revenue by more than 68 percent since the law changed, he reports.

Ink multiyear contracts with clients, not vendors.

Earlier this year, during a regular assessment of her company’s revenue targets, Sandi Lin considered the potential impact of an economic slowdown. The co-founder and CEO of Skilljar was happy to discover half of the customer training platform’s revenue was on multiyear contracts, meaning “at least theoretically, that even if all of our other customers went bankrupt,” Skilljar would have some runway–and less pressure to scramble for new business.

Lin applies the opposite approach for vendor contracts; while Skilljar is sponsoring a major customer conference this fall, she negotiated a minimal commitment on room nights and seats with the hotel and venue. Which is a smart business practice in good times, too; as Lin says, “the most important job of an entrepreneur is to survive.”

By: Jeanine Skowronski

Source: 3 Ways to Recession-Proof Your Company–and Why Right Now Is the Best Time to Do It

WATCH MY PREVIOUS VIDEO ► https://youtu.be/SCCMp_PVxz8 WATCH MY NEXT VIDEO ► https://youtu.be/9Pa7mAcKmXo ———————————————————– FINANCIAL STEWARDSHIP ACADEMY (USE DISCOUNT CODE: “FREEDOM” FOR 30% OFF) ► http://bit.ly/Buy-FSA-Webinar ———————————————————– ▼ 30 DAY GUIDE TO REDUCING STRESS AT WORK▼ ============== EBOOK FOR MOMS (30% OFF DISCOUNT CODE: STRESSFREE30) ► http://bit.ly/Reduce-Stress-eBook PAPERBACK (AMAZON) ► http://amzn.to/2yvaQaS KINDLE (AMAZON) ► http://amzn.to/2lUZ57W AUDIO (AUDIBLE) ► http://amzn.to/2oEp3sJ iBOOK (APPLE) ► http://bit.ly/StressiBook ———————————————————– FREE DETOX SYSTEM FOR MOMS ► http://bit.ly/10DayMBDS SMART MOM’S TRANSFORMATION SYSTEM ($100 OFF DISCOUNT CODE “TRANSFORM”) ► http://bit.ly/Buy-SMTS ———————————————————– Brief Overview: Small and Large businesses can get hit pretty hard during recessions so it’s important to choose a business that can withstand the ups and downs that come with the economy. There’s lots of different options and ideas to choose from if you are new to small business, but there’s also some ideas that you can choose to diversify your income streams if you already own a business or multiple businesses. The key is to pick a person, product, and/or company that you know, like, and trust to make sure you have the best chance of success during the ups and downs. ———————————————————– ▼ NEXT STEPS▼ ============== SUBSCRIBE ► http://bit.ly/LanceMcGowanYT SHARE ► This video with someone that would benefit from it COMMENT ► On what you liked most about this video! ———————————————————– ▼ SEARCH ▼ =========== #lancemcgowan #fsa #financial #financialstewardshipacademy #finances #finance #stewardship #biblical #bible youtube for more videos! ———————————————————– ▼ BUSINESS INQUIRIES▼ ===================== Email Lance at support@lancemcgowan.com with questions OR Email Tanner at frigaardtanner@gmail.com ———————————————————– ▼ SEND ME MAIL▼ ===================== Lance McGowan 11700 W Charleston Blvd #170-415 Las Vegas, NV 89135 ———————————————————– Disclaimer: The information contained on the Lance McGowan YouTube channel and videos are provided for general and educational purposes only and do not constitute any legal, medical or other professional advice on any subject matter. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional prior to starting any new diet or treatment and with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.

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The Greatest Fund Managers Midyear Review

An updated spreadsheet of the greatest fund managers is available to download at the link at the end of this article.

An updated spreadsheet of the greatest fund managers is available to download at the link at the end of this article.

At the midpoint of the year, it’s time to review the performance of the greatest fund managers. I have received many emails from readers asking how to use the spreadsheet listing the greatest fund managers that I make available for download. Many readers start by sorting the spreadsheet by year-to-date returns. Let me explain why that does not get you to funds I would recommend as top choices.

The top 3 funds on the spreadsheet sorted by year-to-date (YTD) return are Kinetics Internet (WWWFX) up 38.47% YTD, Virtus Zevenbergen Innovative (SAGAX) up 36.58% YTD, and Artisan Mid Cap (ARTMX) up 33.95% YTD. Here’s how I look at each of them.

Kinetics Internet

Murray Stahl has been at the helm for 18 years. For the last 10 years, he has beaten his category benchmark by 0.26% a year — including the past 6 months of stellar returns. If you invested $10,000 in this fund 10 years ago, you would have beaten the category benchmark by $263.06. Beating his benchmark for 10 years is an achievement for Stahl, but the outperformance is not enough to make a difference for investors.

Virtus Zevenbergen Innovative

Brooke de Boutray has managed this fund for 11 years. Over the last 10, she beat her category benchmark by 3.21% a year which translates to an additional $3,715.69 return on a $10,000 investment over 10 years — that’s more like it. The only problem is the fund has a hefty 5.75% load. Although the manager has proven her skill, I would prefer not to pay a load unless there was no other alternative.

Artisan Mid Cap Investor

James D. Hamel has managed the fund for 10 years, outperforming his benchmark by 1.19% a year which means Hamel added $1,255.79 over 10 years on a $10,000 investment on top of the benchmark return.

My Take: The best evidence of a manager’s skill is the margin of outperformance over a market cycle (10 years minimum). The bigger the gap between the manager’s return and the benchmark the more confident you can be of a manager’s skill.

Stahl’s outperformance of 0.26% a year, is better than about 98% of mutual fund managers, but it is not large enough to be compelling. I leave him on the spreadsheet because he may be the best one available in many 401k plans, but he would not be among my top choices.

Even when a great manager outperforms by a large margin (as Boutray did) the fund company can make it a bad choice for investors by loading up the fees. I leave Boutray’s fund on the spreadsheet, because a lot of 401k plans only offer load funds. In that case, Boutray’s fund could be your best choice, even if it would not be among my top choices.

Hamel’s Artisan Mid Cap Fund is the best of these three, but there may be others what have performed slightly less well year-to-date but with much bigger margins over their benchmark for the past 10 years. There is a trade-off to make between recent returns and long-term returns. I will do a deep dive on this next time.

Click here to download the most recent spreadsheet listing all the funds that passed muster.

To see previous articles in this series, click here.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I am the CEO and founder of Marketocracy, Inc.,and portfolio manager at Marketocracy Capital Management, LLC. My firm maintains a database of the world’s greatest

Source: The Greatest Fund Managers Midyear Review

Forbes Mutual Fund Ratings: The Honor Roll

These funds have done well over the long pull while beating peers in bear markets. We evaluated 1,261 domestic stock funds. Twenty-six were good enough to make our Honor Roll. The select list includes some familiar names, like Vanguard Primecap and Fidelity Contrafund, and some less familiar ones like Parnassus Core Equity. Honor Roll members cleared three hurdles. They had to beat the stock market over three market cycles going back to October 2002. They had to hold up comparatively well in down markets, earning an A+ or A. They had to keep their expenses to a reasonable level: below the 1.5% median for this collection of mutual funds……

Source: Forbes Mutual Fund Ratings: The Honor Roll

60% of Small Business Owners Never Apply for Funding to Support Innovation

60% of Small Business Owners Never Apply for Innovation Funding

The Creating Wealth through Business Improvements report from BMO Wealth Management reveals 60 percent of small business owners never apply for funding to support innovation.

With the development of digital technology and advances in smartphones, apps, artificial intelligence, and social media to name a few, small businesses have to support and implement the latest innovation as quickly as possible. According to the report, innovation drives financial success for businesses of any size.

This is especially true for small businesses because the right innovation allows for the creation of new products, services and marketing as well as ways to reach consumers. In addition to the improved external capabilities, it also makes internal teams more productive.

Innovation Funding is Important

Even if small business owners would like to innovate, they are often either unaware or not capable of accessing the funds they need. In a press release announcing the results, Tania Slade, National Head of Wealth Planning at BMO Wealth Management (U.S.) explained the importance of access to information for small businesses.

Slade said, “Having access to information about funding options and support networks is essential to the continued success of a small business, particularly in its early stages. Business owners who take advantage of the numerous resources at their disposal have an immediate advantage, and a far greater chance of seeing their innovation initiatives realized.” The challenge is funding, but small business loan numbers are looking much better today.

The report comes from a survey conducted with the participation of 1,021 small business owners across the US. They were asked about keys to innovation success, experiences funding their innovation through business loans and grants, and knowledge of and participation in accelerator and incubator networks.



Key Findings

As to the 60 percent of small businesses which never applied for funding, owners gave a number of explanations for never seeking the capital they needed. More than a third or 36 percent said they didn’t want to incur additional debt, while 22 percent believed they would be rejected. Another 21 percent stated the process was too complicated.

Alternative sources of funding were also explored in the survey, including government grants and incubator and accelerator networks.

When it came to government grants, 34 percent of responding small business owners said they were not aware grants were available. Of a reported 44 percent who did know, they didn’t know where to apply.

The number of small businesses who were not aware of incubator and accelerator networks was high — 63 percent. And there was also a gap in this knowledge between men and women. Specifically, 72 percent of women entrepreneurs said they weren’t aware of funding options  from incubator and accelerator networks while only 54 percent of male entrepreneurs seemed unaware.

Why is Innovation Important?

The number one reason given by small business owners for implementing innovations in their organization was to meet the needs of clients. Sixty-nine percent of respondents gave this as the reason for innovating. Meanwhile, 61 percent said innovation was important  for maintaining growth while 60 percent said it was necessary to create a better product.



The report further indicates older entrepreneurs looked to improve the client side of the business, while their younger counterparts were focused on creating better products or services.

Key to Innovation

In the survey, business owners identified four keys to innovation. Sixty-six percent of respondents indicated funding was most important, while 64 percent said it was networking. Another 61 percent said partnerships with staff were the key to successful innovation while 40 percent identified mentoring programs as most important.

So how do small business owners continue to innovate? In the report, BMO makes the following suggestions:

  • Join a local Chamber of Commerce and attend monthly events.
  • Seek counsel from local banks to get an overview of potential loan options.
  • Read small business blogs which often highlight local, state and federal funding programs.

Conclusion

In today’s highly competitive and technologically evolving economy, small business owners can’t stop innovating. As the report rightly points out, “Innovation should be a never-ending process.” And getting informed is the best way to do it.

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