Aron

About Aron Brajtman

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So far Aron Brajtman has created 37 entries.

How To Make A Business Case For Starting the Business

How To Make A Business Case For Starting the Business
Businesses get started for many reasons. Some of them are not very valid. Far too often it’s to provide a job for the owner. At other times it is an entrepreneurial seizure (see M Gerber ,”The E Myth”). The future owner simply decides that enough is enough. The scenario may look like this:

The owner has a skill, a trade , or a profession and thinks this is enough to go into business on their own
The individual wants to be independent and not have a boss to deal with
The individual sees how much money the owner makes and wants the same. Why be an employee? Have it all.
The individual is unable to hold down a job. Constantly getting fired or quitting
The individual is unable to find a job so being self employed becomes a necessity
It may search for a better lifestyle with more free time
There is the personal satisfaction of taking on a challenge
It may be an attempt to build a future for the family

Some of the above […]

By |May 31st, 2016|Survival|Comments Off on How To Make A Business Case For Starting the Business|

Pricing Your Wine

If only the wine sold itself.
You want to create it and share it with friends and visitors to your winery. If only someone would take the bulk of the production from you at a great profit to you wouldn’t life be great?
Unfortunately, you must sell your wine, and to sell it the wine must be correctly priced.
Price the wine too low, and you don’t make enough to cover the costs. You also feel like an amateur (chose your own word) for not reading your market correctly.

Price the wine too high, and you will be storing it in inventory.

Correct pricing is not guesswork.
It is the result of selecting your market segment, knowing what your customers like, why they buy from you, and assessing competitive offerings. Your own costs come last.
So how well do you know your market? Are you selling

directly to the consumer,
to restaurants,
and/or to the LCBO?

If you said all of them then you may want to reconsider.
The table below illustrates four broad segments related to wineries that require different strengths and provide different rewards. Not all wineries need to play in all arenas.

Segment
Why […]

By |September 30th, 2015|Wines|Comments Off on Pricing Your Wine|

Making Great Wine and Great Money

I stand in awe of the individuals I have met that established and operate a vineyard and a winery here in the County. They had a dream and the strength to carry it out.
Having a dream, a vision and passion are necessary ingredients of creation. They permit a dream to become reality. These visionaries have talents and energy that the rest of us can only dream about.

However, once the vision has become reality a different skill set may be required. The ship builder needs a captain to pilot the ship. The winemaker needs someone to sell their wine.

Few of us are blessed with the ability to visualize the dream and then continue on to create an enterprise that is self-sustaining, grows over time and produces the financial and psychic satisfaction to reward the efforts that have been invested.
Most of us are good at some things and less strong in other areas. So once the dream has become real we often need a team to help carry on and build a healthy and vibrant enterprise. The early building blocks of that team are the right […]

By |September 30th, 2015|Wines|Comments Off on Making Great Wine and Great Money|

Opportunities not Problems

 
Opportunities not Problems
 

Too many of my clients and prospects reach out to me for help only when their problems become overwhelming. As long as there are no problems they think that all is good. Well, it’s not true.

We are all in business to achieve results. A business does not achieve results by solving problems; it does so by exploiting opportunities. Solving problems brings the business back to a normal state. Solving problems enables the business to function as it was meant to do.

Results come from exploiting opportunities. Consequently, resources must be allocated to opportunities, and not to problems.

Any new and existing business must focus on opportunities. Often, listening to our customers will point to these opportunities. Sometimes we can find opportunities by studying our competitors, and other times by studying those who are not consumers of our industry.

Searching out and finding an opportunity comes from being attentive to the market’s needs.  Making a meaningful contribution to that select market will lead to profits.

By |March 26th, 2015|Strategy|Comments Off on Opportunities not Problems|

Supervisory Styles

Supervisory Styles
 

How is it that coaches succeed with some teams and fail with others? Why do players succeed with a team after failing with previous teams? Why do successful executives fail at their next position?

There are obviously many models that endeavour to explain why this happens, but I particularly like the notion that the style adopted by a supervisor must match the competence of the employees supervised.

For instance, managers used to delegating responsibilities to their reports will do well with a well trained and competent team. These managers will provide the necessary resources to the team, come to an agreement as to what it means to succeed, and stay out of the team’s way.

The same style will fail dismally if the team is composed of newcomers with a low skill set who need to be taught the fundamentals. The team will require a supervisor with a very controlling and directing style. Allowing the team independence is allowing the team and the manger to fail. Similarly, a directing style will fail with a team composed of competent and self motivated professionals capable of directing themselves.

Far […]

By |March 26th, 2015|Leadership|Comments Off on Supervisory Styles|

Making a Case for Your New Business

Making a Case for Your New Business
 

Creating a business case prior to actually starting a business may help prevent a disastrous venture doomed to failure. All of us are prone to falling in love with an idea and thinking that the world will embrace it. It won’t. Too often businesses are built on wishful thinking. Instead, an idea for a business must be examined and tested for validity.

Here are the steps that need to be taken:

Crunch the numbers of your idea

Develop a forecast showing your best and worst scenarios.
When will you break even?
Develop a cash flow projection. Will there be adequate financing to pay for it all?
Develop individual projections for various pricing environments.
Develop individual projections for each competitive reaction.

 

Examine user needs

Ask prospective customers   whether they like, want and need your business. Will they receive value and benefits from your offerings? This step is often skipped because we think we know best. The goal is to hear from customers what they want, need and will be delighted by.

 You need to answer the following questions:

How are the prospects currently solving their problem?
What problems are left unsolved?
Where […]

By |January 28th, 2015|Business Model|Comments Off on Making a Case for Your New Business|

Competitive Advantage through Differentiation

Competitive Advantage through Differentiation

 

For a business to achieve earnings superior to the average in the industry it must have a competitive advantage. Without possessing a competitive advantage a business is doomed to depend on the economic fluctuations in the markets. When the economic conditions are favourable it does well, and when the economy is poor it suffers. I suggest that depending the economy is looking for scapegoats. The real weakness is commoditization of the business. In good times and in bad times having a competitive advantage will earn superior returns.

 Last month I discussed the importance of achieving a competitive advantage through having a low cost advantage. In today’s post I discuss differentiation as the source of competitive advantage.

 Without differentiating a business we will earn the average income in its industry. For some high paying industries like cardiac surgery or specialized dentistry the average industry income may be satisfactory, however that is not the case for most businesses. The average lawyer, accountant, dry cleaner, renovator, wine grower, or graphic designer will make an average living for their industry. Their income may be at times satisfactory […]

By |December 23rd, 2014|Growth, Strategy|Comments Off on Competitive Advantage through Differentiation|

Running a Business for Cash

Running a Business for Cash

 

When faced by a financial crisis a business owner must focus on the following three important areas:

 Reassessing the business model.

Changing operations to reflect the new environment.
Ensuring that enough cash is available.

In my last two posts I discussed the importance of a business model, and addressed the need for a business to make operational changes. Today I will focus on the topic of running the business for cash.

 No matter how profitable a business, running out cash will lead to insolvency. Keep in mind that unless you have a successful business model and the business is run effectively the business will eventually fail. Assuming the first two criteria exist, how do we manage a business from a cash perspective?

 Understanding the various elements of a balance sheet may be helpful.

 

If we carry debt it may be wise to convert debt to equity. Equity is more expensive but does not require repayment and is therefore cash saving. This is easier said than done because a bank will not ordinarily agree to this arrangement, but another type of lender might.
The proper use of debt may […]

By |December 23rd, 2014|Growth, Strategy|Comments Off on Running a Business for Cash|

Value Chain -Cost Advantage

Value Chain -Cost Advantage
 

Last month I introduced the concept of the value chain. I emphasized that a successful value chain can provide a competitive advantage by creating either cost advantage or a differentiation advantage.

Today’s post focuses on the importance of creating a cost advantage.

At the outset let me say that creating a cost advantage is not merely about charging lower prices than the competition. Any price reduction is likely to be matched by others in the industry, and unless a business has a real lower cost position then lowering prices has merely created a benefit for the consumers but lower profits for the industry. Consequently, it makes little sense to lower prices unless the competition is unable to match the reduction or will be unable to match the lower price for a long period. However assessing the competitors’ value chain is definitely not a trivial matter, and I will address it in a future post.

A firm’s cost position derives from the activities that the firm performs to provide value for its customers. Provide these activities more efficiently and you have a cost advantage. For […]

By |December 1st, 2014|Strategy|Comments Off on Value Chain -Cost Advantage|

Threats to Accounting Practices

Threats to Accounting Practices
I recently attended a webinar run by the Proactive Accountant’s Network that reflected my thoughts concerning accounting services.

Fundamentally, they contend that standard accounting compliance work provided by CA firms is being threatened.

They list 3 threats:

Cloud accounting
Globalization
Commoditization of compliance services

Their premise is that the world has changed in the way services are being delivered, which has resulted in the demise of organisational giants. For example:

Formerly
Replaced by

Kodak
Digital photography

Blockbuster
Netflix

Bonders
Amazon

Yellow pages
Google

Travel agents
Expedia

 

 

What is the likely impact of these changes on accounting and bookkeeping work?

Cloud services are taking over and they will do to the practice of accounting what Netflix did to Bonders and Google to Yellow Pages. See http://www.nicksinclair.com.au/2013/05/why-your-accounting-costs-will-decrease-by-30-and-why-your-accountant-doesnt-want-you-to-know-about-cloud-accounting/

Globalization is here and services are being off shored. For instance:

Repetitive tasks can be performed anywhere in the world at lower costs.
Bookkeepers and overseas accountants will offer their services for less

Commoditization of compliance services is here. Clients are more transient and more price resistant. Among other things:

Clients want and expect answers to their business problems
Coaches are providing some answers and competition
Young clients want an accountant who is technologically aware
[…]

By |November 1st, 2014|Public Accounting|Comments Off on Threats to Accounting Practices|