“Charity can be the outward expression of faith and hope.”
– Joseph B. Wirthlin
We all know how important it is to give back to our communities. Besides helping our companies build a positive reputation, philanthropic endeavors can improve employee morale. And more and more consumers like buying from socially responsible businesses.
Many of us are already doing an exemplary job of contributing. But what if you want to step up your game? Where do you begin? With money or time?
Monetary donations are always a logical starting point. Before you write that check, I recommend vetting the organization to ensure your funds are being used to their best effect. Are your contribution dollars being allocated appropriately? Look at the nonprofit’s history, check out its online presence, talk to other donors and volunteers, and see how transparent they are with their real numbers. A few clicks on Candid.org or on an organization’s website can reveal financial statements, 990s (the tax documents that federally tax-exempt organizations file each year with the IRS) and other information such as administrative salaries, total contributions, and total assets available to serve their charitable purpose.
Of course, there are plenty of other ways to help with your time and talents. You can donate your knowledge and expertise to schools and startups; provide internship or mentorship opportunities; coach or sponsor a youth sports team; participate in food drives, clean-ups and 5Ks; build a house; or volunteer at your place of worship. You may want to look for opportunities at JustServe.org.
Many businesses are now encouraging employees to volunteer as a vital part of their community. It’s important to regularly show support for the residents and businesses who support you. Discovering the causes or projects that you would like to support can become a vital part of your company culture.
Fundamentals:Financial – Part 2
“I’m a big advocate of financial intelligence.”
– Daymond John
As we discussed in our previous issue, a fundamental dynamic of business is paying attention to the organization’s financial performance and stability, not just for now but sustainably into the future. A reliable method for doing this is through the development of financial and nonfinancial benchmarks.
Benchmarking measures performance to track current results and improvements made to the business. In addition, trends are created when benchmarks are compared against different time periods. This information is used to develop strategies as well as responding and taking action.
Industry and trade associations provide standards against which benchmarks can be measured. The idea is to track benchmarks in all key areas of the business, to monitor progress and success. This is an excellent way to engage employees in the process. They get to see objective measurements that clearly show improving performance, which can involve them and lead cultural change.
Because this is such an extensive topic, we will address some common benchmarks in Part 3 with our December issue.
Over the last few newsletters, we have been discussing the concept of the “Five D’s,” five major events that can create severe disorder in a business. These are:
As a reminder, 50% of business exits are NOT voluntary, a profound reinforcement of the importance of having a plan in place for each possible occurrence. Today we are going to talk about the Fourth D, “Distress.”
Distress generally refers to pain or suffering affecting the body, a bodily part, or the mind. This can be a “mental, physical, or social, force or pressure that puts real or perceived demands on the body, emotions, mind, or spirit, and which (when it exceeds the stress-handling capacity of the individual) can lead to a breakdown,” according to BusinessDictionary.com.
Financial issues are often a major cause of distress. Others include overwork, problems with employees and/or partners, unexpected increases in expenses, loss of a key team member or customer, substance abuse troubles, unexpected damage to property, and many more. As you can see, the boundaries between the Five D’s are not hard and fast, but fluid, with one event often causing or leading to another.
Depending on the type of distress you are dealing with, consulting with an appropriate outside professional, whether a therapist, spiritual advisor, business coach, mentor or other trusted specialist, may be the most suitable course of action. Regardless, you need to have a plan established and documented for dealing with the wide variety of factors that can become an issue for you or your business.
Join me at the AM&AA Southern Nevada Chapter:
Middle Market Insights for Trusted Business Advisors
Business owners often feel as though they have no one to talk to, no one who really understands the frustrations and loneliness of entrepreneurship, not to mention the occasional sleepless night. They find it difficult to truly open up and share everything with employees, friends, family, or even business partners, who may mean well, yet don’t have the experience, ability, or objectivity to provide meaningful support and direction.
It’s as though the business owner is sitting at his or her desk, with piles of obligations and concerns, while across the desk sits an empty chair.
Chuck Mohler often walks in and claims the previously empty seat as the best person to fill the void. Chuck uses his 25+ years of experience in business and his multiple professional certifications to guide owners, after careful listening, with sound advice and action. In his role as a qualified, trusted advisor, coach and mentor, he shares hard-won lessons, addresses specific challenges and helps implement vital systems and processes, all while lending an empathetic ear. Or, sometimes, a needed kick in the pants.