Business Calcium Blog

Improving Sales: Five Techniques

For a myriad of reasons (economic recovery, increased global competition, or simply tired of sluggish growth), there has been a renewed focus on cranking up the sales side of the business with frequent requests for recommendations on effective sales training and techniques. So, in the spirit that it takes a “village of gurus” to help a company, I have recommended several books and techniques, which when woven together, will give…

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Where Good Ideas Come From: A Must Read Book

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There are a handful of authors whom I suggest business leaders read everything they write: Jim Collins, Pat Lencioni, Malcolm Gladwell, and Steven Berlin Johnson – the latter likely the lesser known of the group. In fact, it is one of my best-read mentors, Reade Fahs, who first turned me on to Johnson’s work, hammering me for not having read Steven Johnson’s earlier book Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants,…

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Competitive Advantage: Juggling Six Balls

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Four times the revenue growth, twelve times the stock performance, and over 700 times the profit growth over an eleven year period. What competitive advantage led to this huge margin in performance of one group of companies over another in similar industries? In a landmark study of over 200 firms by Harvard professors John Kotter and James Heskett, it was found that companies which equally focus on three key stakeholders…

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Basics of Retail Math (Part 3)

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To read Basics of Retail Math (Part 1), please click here. To read Basics of Retail Math (Part 2), please click here. How to Increase Your Margin Obviously, the question here becomes, “How do I increase my margin?” An additional question must be, “How do I increase my margin while still keeping my customers happy and therefore my sales rising?” Relax. There are several different tactics you can use to…

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Basics of Retail Math (Part 2)

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To read Basics of Retail Math (Part 1), please click here. Inventory Turn Turnover of inventory, or turn, is the calculation of how many times you sell and replenish the merchandise in your store over the course of a year. To figure out your turn, divide your annual sales by your average inventory (at retail). For instance, if your sales are $400,000 for the year and your average retail is…

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The 80/20 Rule

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I read a book recently which changed my life. It is called The 80/20 Principle: The Secret of Achieving More with Less. I’ve read many business books, and this one has had one of the largest impacts in the shortest time. First: the concept. What is it with this 80/20 rule? The Pareto principle, or the 80/20 rule, is the law of the vital few. About 80% of effects come…

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4 Trends Shaping the New Decade

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Dr. Hermann Simon, my favorite growth company researcher, is at it again – racing around the globe (in Japan as I write this), sharing what he sees are the trends shaping the new decade. He was kind enough to let me preview his latest research and share the results. Here’s my interpretation of four of his trends most likely to impact growth firms: Accelerating Globalization We’ve only seen the tip…

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Basics of Retail Math (Part 1)

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Retailing is all about change, because consumers change and so do their tastes. If you don’t change, you don’t grow. —MARVIN TRAUB, former CEO of Bloomingdale’s Financial freedom. Setting your own schedule. Being your own boss. Take your pick. No matter what your collateral reasons for opening a retail store, the numbers are obviously what drive your decision about whether or not to invest the large and intense amount of…

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Is the M&A Market Back? (Part 2)

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This post is the last part of a two-part article. Read the first part of the article here. In regards to the lower valuation of deals, we do not have any empirical data that suggests that valuations have increased, but would point out that greater access to credit markets and economic growth may push valuations slightly higher in the near future. In the article last year, we pointed out that…

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Is the M&A Market Back? (Part 1)

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Last year we wrote an article titled “Is the M&A market back?” In that article, we framed an answer by questioning whether the glass was half full or half empty with the thought that an argument could be made either way. We presented five factors to argue that the glass was half full and another five factors to argue that the glass was half empty. The five factors that supported…

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