First, a very important announcement. In the next four months NAPL/NAQP (along with my company QP Consulting) will be publishing two key studies on behalf of our industry—one dealing with wages & benefits and the second one dealing with key financial ratios. Normally, these studies sell in the $155-$225 range and are worth every dollar, in my estimation. But if you participate by completing a survey you get a copy of the final study absolutely free!
The first survey is already in the mail as you read this column. Check your email. We just sent out close to 30,000 emails announcing the 2012-2013 Wage & Benefits Survey. If you did not receive an announcement, please go to: http://www.surveyadvantage.com/2012NAPLWages.
This site contains both the worksheet and the actual survey. Unlike many of our studies, this survey is simple enough that it can be filled out online without even completing a worksheet. The survey is the most comprehensive ever, and covers 19 key positions in the industry. The new Wage & Benefits Survey has also expanded its coverage of compensation practices for outside sales representatives, as well as examining key questions addressing the size and impact of healthcare costs within our industry.
Future Industry Profitability
The second industry study to be published this year will be the 2012-2013 Financial Benchmarking Study. This study will explore, like never before, industry profitability and where it is going in terms of profit leaders and profit laggards. The initial survey will be distributed in mid-February under the same terms and arrangements as the Wage & Benefits Study mentioned above. You participate, send your survey in by the deadline, and you get a free copy. It’s as simple as that! Look for more details next month.
A Study in Contrasts
I just finished up with two company valuations and the differences between the two companies are stark and shocking. There’s not enough space to answer all of the questions about these two different firms.
One thing I can tell you is that the owners of Mike’s Digital are going through a divorce. The unusual twist here is that the least experienced spouse has sort of been stuck with the business while the other spouse is pursuing other interests. Note that regardless of what this business might end up selling for, there remains approximately $412,000 in debt that needs to be settled up and paid off at the time of sale.
What about Triangle Impressions? Wow, with only a couple of exceptions (one being the place is messy and needs a thorough cleaning), this business is outstanding in almost all respects. Its SPE is $170,000 and it runs very smoothly. It has all the right ratios and is very healthy.
Oh, one last thing I forgot to mention. Remember Bob from my December 2011 column? Bob had made a promise to God that if he would spare his son who had been involved in a terrible car accident, Bob would dedicate the rest of his life to paying God back. Well, Bob is the owner of Triangle Impressions and as soon as he sells this business and the house, he and his wife are headed to a small town in Ecuador, where he intends to begin fulfilling that promise.
Blaming Government Regulations for Low Profits?
Some of you may remember my October 2011 column where I chided folks who seem all too eager to blame most of their business problems on the government—specifically rising healthcare costs, illegal immigration, and the all time favorite target these days, “increasing government regulations.”
Interestingly enough, there are two groups that most often cite these issues as the cause of most problems facing business. First, there are the conservative politicians. Despite the fact that the vast majority of these politicians have never run a small business themselves, they love to cite increasing government regulations because they know a good sound bite when they hear it. The second group that loves to complain about government regulations, etc. is small business owners, who always seem eager and anxious to blame their current crop of problems on anyone but themselves. They’ve been doing this for years, during good times and bad, and during Republican administrations as well as Democratic ones. They are always complaining!