Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Understanding Corporate Financial Planning©

By Cambridge Who’s Who Lifetime Member and Contributing Author Douglas K. Hyer, President of Asset Advisory Services, Inc.
July 2008

Many business owners are aware of their strengths (conscious competent), some are aware of their weaknesses (conscious incompetent) and others cannot identify the skills or talents that they lack that are needed to be successful in business (unconscious incompetent). The unconscious competent individual does not realize that he/she is good at what he/she does. Often we call these people “naturals.” This article helps to uncover the important, but often overlooked, areas of expertise that enable owners, entrepreneurs and executives to run successful businesses.

  1. Introduction: Why do entrepreneurs of small businesses feel that because they are super salespeople, brilliant finance professionals, efficient engineers or production people that they can become successful CEOs and run their own businesses? Why do the Small Business Administration statistics show that most small businesses fail within three years? The answer seems simple: very few individuals have the broad-based education, background, experience, technical skills, and finances to effectively manage a business.

    Research indicates that it takes four major strengths in personality or character to run a successful business. The owner/boss/president must first be a successful technician. A technician is usually a great marketing guru, fantastic product maker, creative engineer and financial maven who is excellent at damage control and has an “I can do better than where I am” attitude. Often times, the technician is also disciplined, organized, detailed and compulsive. He/she needs movement, action, accomplishments, success and progress.

    Somewhere along the way, the technician starts to feel that he/she can do it better, faster, more economically or with a new innovation or invention. Why stay where they are when they probably feel underappreciated anyway? The technician evolves into the entrepreneur who is the dreamer and future-oriented type of person. Change is the entrepreneur’s motto; the unknown is exciting and a challenge. Usually people get in his/her way. A spouse, banker, partner, accountant or co-worker does not or cannot see the future results of the entrepreneur’s efforts, invention, modification or dream. The entrepreneur will do whatever is needed to push the new concept, product, techniques and technology forward in spite of any obstacles; sometimes working 24/7 or to the point of almost abandoning his/her family.

    Most businesses are not owned or run by the manager-type personality. This person’s job is to get it done today. He/she is a pragmatic, no-nonsense individual who maintains order and systems at any cost. The manager usually looks and acts like the bookkeeper, internal chief financial officer or accountant and seeks problems. The manager cleans up after the technician and tries to convince the entrepreneur that things are okay as they were. This area is usually the weakest link in the business chain, as many companies suffer from the lack of adequate and/or professional management. This link is usually last to be hired, as the entrepreneur feels that they have it under control anyway.

    The last personality type is the salesperson. Without someone doing the marketing, sales and order generation, the technician would have nothing to work on or for. The entrepreneur would not be able to look ahead if there is no business to improve or foundation to build on. The manager would have nothing to manage were there not new customers, clients, patients or repeat business. So it is up to the sales/marketing personality to be the hunter and energy of the business. All types of business rely on someone to make this happen. Be it new orders, new markets, services and/or products, the sales personality is the dynamite’s fuse, the flashlight’s batteries or the water in the pipe.

    Unless the business is reasonably well-staffed and has been around for a while, there are probably overlaps in job functions and personality types. Often, existing staff will be pushed to work on tasks or in areas where they do not have experience or training.

    Ask yourself where you fit in these four types. Does your firm have a capable personality in each category? Which type do you lack and what can be done to remedy this? If you do not change directions by obtaining the necessary resources to succeed, you will get where you are going. Is that where you will want to be?

    Continue reading the full-version PDF

  2. Background: There are numerous areas that every business owner needs to focus on to survive. The first is having a product or service that can be marketed and sold. The second is to utilize labor, management and capital in an efficient manner...

  3. Concerns: Here is a list of legitimate problem areas that most small- to medium-sized, non-public companies need to review, a few of which may become new areas of interest for some senior executives/owners...

  4. Summary: By retaining a Corporate Financial Planner, the overworked, time-pressured, spread-too-thin executive/owner can leverage his/her talents and resources by having a dispassionate advisor or “hired gun” to help and evaluate accounting, legal matters, insurance and retirement options, employment agencies, travel agents, credit card providers, etc. For the fraction of the cost of a full-time accountant or clerk, a Corporate Financial Planner can provide a service for the business owner that will quickly flow to the bottom line of profits. Before hiring one, check their credentials, education and experience. Request confirmation of their skills and prior success with other satisfied clients. This new type of CFP (Corporate Financial Planner) may be much more valuable to the business owner than a personal CFP (Certified Financial Planner), CPA (Certified Public Accountant) or (ChFC) Chartered Financial Consultant. Remember, what you do not know may hurt you and your business.

Douglas K. Hyer, Financial Advisor, Consultant and Professor

Asset Advisory Services, Inc.
(Since 1978)
Great Neck, NY ~ New York City ~ Miami, FL
“We ask the great questions you don’t even think of.”
233 East Shore Road
Suite 208
Great Neck, NY 11023

Office: (800) 568-4059 X 11 or (516)829-3805 x 11
Cell: (516) 902-8814
Fax: (516)829-7075
Email: doughyer@aasny.com
Website: http://www.aasny.com/

Cambridge Who's Who Contributing Author Douglas K. Hyer


Douglas K. Hyer has been a member of Cambridge Who's Who since March 2008. Currently Doug is the branch manager for Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., an independent, national broker/dealer and Everbank, a web-based national bank. He is a registered financial consultant (RFC) and has worked with individual and corporate clients for more than 35 years to protect their assets and help them invest wisely. Doug has advised hundreds of pre-retirees from large companies (Exxon, Mobil, Citibank, Chase, First Boston, Paine Webber, LL Bean, Pfizer, Fortunoff’s, AT&T, MetLife and USLIFE) as well as medical/dental, CPA and law firms.

Over the years, Doug has helped his clientele invest over $100 million in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, fixed and variable annuities, alternative investments and investment-grade life insurance products. In addition, he has also helped his clients purchase long-term nursing and home care, disability income replacement and Medicare/Medigap insurance. He enjoys working one-on-one with his clients, helping them to preserve their personal and retirement capital plus increases their current spendable income. Managing income, gift and estate taxes together with assisting clients in organizing their investments, insurance and business affairs is his team’s primary focus.

Doug has been interviewed on CNBC and WLIR television and WOR and WNYC radio. He has spoken before top financial advisor groups at some of the largest independent broker/dealers in the U.S. He has consulted and lectured to Ernst & Young’s tax partners in Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, D.C. He has addressed the Young Presidents Organization, the American Management Association, various insurance, investment, CPA and bar associations and several chapters of the Estate Planning Council in New York and Florida. He has also served as a guest speaker at national conventions and local chapter meetings of the Financial Planning Association.

Doug is currently an adjunct professor and lecturer in personal financial planning at Hofstra University. Previously he served as an adjunct professor at New York educational institutions such as Adelphi University, Pace University and New York University. He has trained financial advisors at top firms, including Merrill Lynch, Metlife, Chase Bank and Prudential Securities.

Doug earned a Master of Science in Financial Services (MSFS) and bachelor’s degree in both accounting and psychology. He currently maintains his NASD series 7, 24, 51, 63 and 65 plus all life and health insurance licenses. His additional certifications and designations include: Accredited Estate Planner (AEP), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), Board Certified in Asset Allocation (BCAA), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Certified Annuity Specialist (CAS), Certified Senior Advisor (CSA), Certified Fund Specialist (CFS), Certified Estate Advisor (CEA), Certified in Long Term Care (CLTC) and is filed as a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA).

Doug is a member of the National Association of Accountants; Past President Long Island Chapter Registered Financial Planners; New York City CPA Club of Toastmasters International; New York City Chapter of Certified Mutual Fund Specialists; Section Head New York City Chapter of American Association of Individual Investors. He has published financial articles in Barrons, New York Times, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, Newsday, Money magazine, Today’s Investor, Business Insurance, Pension World, CLU Forerunner and Financial Advisor.

Articles by Douglas Hyer

Friday, July 18, 2008

Cambridge Who's Who Publications Releases the 2007-2008 Honors Edition of the Executive, Professional and Entrepreneurial Registry

Uniondale, NY, July 10, 2008, Cambridge Who's Who, the fastest-growing publisher of executive, professional and entrepreneurial biographies in the world, recently released its second quarter registry. The registry highlights the biographies of tens of thousands of talented individuals from a wide range of industries who have demonstrated leadership and achievement in their respective fields.

Meredith Y. Foster, Chief Editor of Cambridge Who's Who Publications, oversaw the production of the 2007-2008 Honors Edition of the Executive, Professional and Entrepreneurial Registry. “The hardcover registry acknowledges and memorializes the accomplishments of our members and makes a wonderful conversation piece to display in homes and offices,” said Meredith of the registry’s appeal. “Our members are justifiably proud of their professional achievements – be it receiving a long-deserved promotion, successfully starting up and running a business enterprise or being the recipient of a prestigious award. We’re pleased to underscore their triumphs.”

The exclusive 2007-2008 Honors Edition of the Executive, Professional and Entrepreneurial Registry also acts as a high-quality networking resource for job recruitment, career enhancement and new business development amongst members. As one member remarked, “I used the 2007-2008 Honors Edition of the Executive, Professional and Entrepreneurial Registry to identify members who would have an interest in a concept I’ve been developing: Business and Marketing Tridents. I contacted my fellow honorees, and they were more than willing to meet with me. If we had not had Registry membership in common, they probably would not have met with me so readily. It looks like we will be working together on some projects, and I have the Registry to thank for making the initial contact so easy!"

“Cambridge Who's Who Publishing is also set to go to press with our 2008 Top 101 Industry Experts book,” explained Meredith. “The book holds the top honor at Cambridge Who’s Who and endows members with the potential to build credibility and increase exposure on a global scale. The 2008 Top 101 Industry Experts book will feature biographical narratives, Q&A interviews and the contact information for 101 of our most distinguished members. Each was handpicked by our research department based on his level of achievement, longevity within his profession and exemplary leadership skills,” explained Meredith. The 2008 Top 101 Industry Experts book features members in a wide range of industries – from advertising, transportation, and finance, to insurance, the sciences, and media and entertainment,. Members featured in the 2008 Top 101 Industry Experts book will also be featured on http://www.cambridgewhoswho.com/ with an expanded profile.

About Cambridge Who's Who
The mission of Cambridge Who's Who is to ensure that Cambridge members receive recognition, support and credibility to advance their careers. Cambridge Who’s Who is also committed to delivering the highest quality networking resource for job recruitment, career enhancement and new business development. See who's making news and how Cambridge Who's Who is making a difference at our news blog: http://cambridgewhoswho.blogspot.com/.

Cambridge members have exclusive access to the biographical information of more than 250,000 successful executives, professionals and entrepreneurs at http://www.cambridgewhoswho.com/, where they use the database to share information, knowledge and services. Communication via the Cambridge Who's Who Registry travels in two directions, enabling Cambridge Who's Who members to reach out when they have a business need or opportunity as well as receive information on exciting new ventures.

Ellen Campbell

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Leaping into Entrepreneurship

How to Build Your Own Network of Experts

By Cambridge Who’s Who Member and Contributing Author Cheryl Nordyke

When my business partners and I decided that we wanted to venture into entrepreneurship by starting our own e-commerce business, we knew that there would be so much to learn. We had chosen an industry that we did not have any experience in but a great deal of interest.

It seemed a little overwhelming at times but then I would reflect on every position I had ever held. I thought about what made me successful in those positions and realized that my success had always come from reaching out to the experts in the industry I was working in at the time. If I had a problem or did not know how to do something, as long as I knew how to get the answer, I was okay. I also determined which responsibilities I loved and excelled at and became an expert in those areas. In the areas where I didn’t have an interest, I developed relationships and sought resources to provide me with the skill set I needed to succeed.

Another strategy I learned from numerous mentors was to document and share my knowledge. Following their advice, I became the go-to person in all of my positions. This made me more valuable to my employers and helped me to excel in my career. From the age of 15 at my first job until I started my own business, I never had to look for a job; I was recruited for every position I held.

Breaking New Ground
When my business partners and I made the decision to go into a new business area, the question became, “How do we start a business with no apparent experience?” I soon realized that between the three of us we had generated over $20 million during the last 10 years for other companies. Combined, we had backgrounds in business development, marketing, public relations, customer relationship management and finance. We had more than desire and focus; we had sound experience and knowledge in key business areas. And just as important, we knew that we could learn or find someone who had knowledge and experience in areas we were not familiar with.

My first visit to the bookstore got us started on our business plan. The Internet gave us statistics to analyze the industry. Our stop to the Small Business Development Center enlightened us with the funding obstacles we would face and gave us access to resources we never would have thought of seeking.

Next, we stumbled upon a website called StartUp Nation that takes a completely new outlook on starting a business. First you develop your life plan and then analyze the life you want before even considering writing a business plan. The website has a blog, forum and newsletter area – all of which offer a wealth of information.

We then took a trip to our local county’s Economic Resource Center, which provided us with even more information on preparing a business plan. At this point, the cost for all our outside informational resources was zero dollars.

Another great online resource was http://www.gobignetwork.com/. This website allowed us to connect with vendors through a program called Vendor Seek. This is what we used to find our web developer. We spoke to more than 10 web developers and focused our attention on those specializing in e-commerce. We found a company that has been developing e-commerce-based websites for more than 10 years and offers numerous features necessary to running a virtually seamless and efficient website. In addition to providing a great website, they act as a resource center for setting up our site and structuring our discounts and coupons.

Lining Up Your Team of Experts
When we set out to create jewelry, we were introduced to a designer, Jessica Fields. Jessica has been in the fashion industry for several years – her own high-end line of jewelry is sold in boutiques around the country. Her expertise in the industry and access to manufacturers, packaging companies and design resources has not only set our company apart from others, but has also saved us the time and energy needed to pursue these options on our own.

Other experts and vendors that we used to fill in the gaps in our own business skills included credit card processors and others who were familiar with online businesses. We decided on First Data as our processor and used Authorize.net as the gateway. Both companies have proven to be knowledgeable and efficient in handling the issues we face as an e-commerce business.

Starting a new venture is both exciting and stressful. Just remember that you do not have to be an expert in every area. You simply need to know where to find experts in areas where you lack expertise and how to utilize their knowledge base to build your business. Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to running a successful company:

  • Reach out to those who have experience in areas where you do not.
  • Ask questions and document the answers for easy reference.
  • Do that which you know and love and let your team of resources handle the areas in which they hold expertise.