WHAT IS YOUR HOLIDAY MESSAGE?

Year-end holidays starting with Thanksgiving are the times for sending messages of gratitude, goodwill, wishes for happy holidays, happy and successful New Years, etc. to clients, customers, employees and various business partners and vendors. Mostly they are mass-produced and -printed, and in a business context are of dubious value.  For example, how many beautifully-designed holiday cards are sent to executives with scarcely a personal signature, to be opened by an assistant and then taped to

CEO ROUNDTABLE SET FOR EXIT AND SUCCESSION PLANNING

By Tony Mulkern If you are a business owner and hope to sell or may want to sell your business sometime within the next five years, you need to start preparing now.  As explained last month, only 17% of businesses put on the market actually sell: https://mulkernassociates.com/leadership/can-sell-business-time-comes. To help ensure that you are among that 17% when the time comes, Mulkern Associates is pleased to announce the launch of the Exit and Succession Planning Roundtable. 

Can You Sell Your Business When the Time Comes?

If you own a business, you plan to sell it sometime in the future. Unless the sale will be to a family member for a nominal amount, your expectation is probably to gain a substantial monetary reward for all your years of hard work, risk, and personal sacrifice to build a valuable enterprise.  Unfortunately, the odds are not in your favor. According to Department of Labor statistics, of all the private companies put on the

Can You Professionalize and Stay Entrepreneurial?

Every leader of a growing and successful entrepreneurial firm, with its informal and loose management controls, will inevitably be advised by consultants that as soon as possible the enterprise should become professionally managed.  This transformation, it is implied, is the formula for future growth and success, not to mention survival.  My experience is that this can become a dangerous illusion. Some brief definitions: entrepreneurial firms are privately held, founded by an entrepreneur, and tend to

Waiting for Winds to Fill the Sales

     The economy essentially flat-lined in the first quarter with a growth rate of 0.1%, notwithstanding the addition of 288,000 jobs in April and the fact that the overall outlook for 2014 remains positive.  In this slow recovery, the sense of frustration experienced by many businesses calls to mind a scene from one of those adventure movies with tall ships from the 18th or 19th century, such as Master and Commander, one of my favorites. 

Will Your Successors Be There when You Need Them? Lessons from the Trump Empire on Orderly Transitions

Donald Trump made headlines again last Fall when he announced that instead of naming one of his three eldest children as heir to his fortune, as would have been customary, they will all share equally in ownership and responsibility in leading his multi-billion financial and real estate empire.  Also notable is how carefully he and they prepared for this decision, since each of the heirs has contributed significantly to the family brand and has been

Sales: What is Myth, What is Reality?

No one buys the product or service your organization provides, unless someone sells it, whether this be the necessities that sustain life or the most refined intellectual creations. If someone is exchanging their money for what you sell, someone else persuaded them to do so. Because successful selling is so fundamental to business and the economy, Mulkern Associates recently developed a sales training seminar based upon many years of successful sales experience, a synthesis of

Hedging High Dollar Investments in Executives

Would you be willing to make a six-figure investment on behalf of your company that had about a 50% chance of failing, especially if failure would cost you many times your initial investment? Very likely you would say, “No way,” but may be surprised to find that corporations actually do it quite frequently. It happens when they hire new executives. According to studies cited by Michael Watkins in his book The First 90 Days, 40%

Recruiting Recruiters for Top Talent

Three million jobs currently go unfilled in the U.S. due to a lack of candidates with the requisite skills. Meanwhile, the national unemployment rate hovers just below 8% officially, or much higher unofficially, counting those who have given up or are “under-employed,” and workplace participation is at a 31-year low. These statistics illustrate that even during economic slowdowns finding the talent to fill certain highly skilled jobs is difficult. This is especially true in executive

Serious Business: Why it Matters

A painfully slow recovery, such as the one we are in, wears on the nerves of all business owners. It also provides the opportunity for the kind of self-reflection that we have little time for in boom times. Facing our deepest doubts can not only strengthen endurance but eventually help take the enterprise into new areas and heights previously unimagined. It is natural in stressful times to ask oneself, “Why be in business?” “Are the