The Biz of Pacelinebiz

Turning things on end to achieve results!

Archive for May 2015

Ready Or Not, Here It Comes

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Summer Is Here!

Summer Is Here!

Before getting into today’s topic let me give my annual reminder that in the summertime I cut back on the business related topics.  I will publish a business topic on the first Monday of every month instead of every other Monday.  I will resume the normal schedule on Monday September 7th with a business topic.  This happens to be Labor Day and the latest day on which it can fall.  That means this year the unofficial summer – beginning on Memorial Day and ending on Labor Day is 105 days long.  The tally of summer days looks like this; 7 days in May, 30 in June, 31 in July and August and 6 days in September with Summer Ending on Labor Day the 7th.

Speaking of summer; that is the topic of today’s blog.  Since I have already established it will be 105 days long, I thought I would give you a run-down of summer by the numbers this year.

1 – Today, Memorial Day the unofficial kick off to the summer season.  Have something on the grill to celebrate our freedom and remember the Veterans who served to provide it.

15 – The number of weeks from Memorial Day to Labor Day – make them count!

24 – This summer, consumers will buy a lot of products that contain this many cans in the package. 

36 – This many days of summer will have elapsed on June 30th.

40 – Independence falls on day 40 of summer.  Be careful with the fireworks.

53 – Day 53 of summer falls on July 17th.  There are 52 days of summer before this day and 52 days of summer after this day.  The Mid-point of the unofficial summer is July 17th, are you getting nervous that summer is going too fast?

57 – The number of Heinz varieties, all of them can be delicious with a summer meal.

61 – The record for the number of home runs hit in a 162 game season by a non-steroid aided baseball player.  The record holder’s name is Roger Maris and I recognize his contribution to the game played by the “boys of summer”. Hank Aaron holds the career mark of 755.

68 – August 1st is the 68th day of unofficial summer.  Until I moved to Georgia, I always dreaded when August came because that meant time was running out and summer would soon be over.

75 – Happy Birthday!  You turn 75 today if you were born on August 8th 1940.  August 8th is the 75th day of unofficial summer.

80 – My preferred year round Fahrenheit temperature with a relative humidity of 50%.

97 – Reasons I can think of that summer is the best season.

105 – The number of days in the summer of 2015 – make everyone count.

Have a great summer it is finally here.

Written by pacelinebiz

May 25, 2015 at 8:01 am

Facebook Revisited – What Can We Learn

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Success and Failure Road Sign

On this date in 2012, Facebook became a public company with an Initial Public Offering (IPO) that raised $16 Billion.  Read about it here.   I was skeptical – read about my thoughts here.  One of the problems with Facebook at the time of the IPO was their inability to get traction in the mobile browsing area which was rapidly becoming the most common way people were using the internet.  They needed to get advertising revenue in this area or they were going to be left behind.  In short, they have figured it out.

A snap shot of Facebook’s first quarter results this year is as follows:

  • Revenues of $3.543 Billion
  • Net Income of $512 million
  • Earnings per Share of $.18

You might want to point out the stock price has been around $80 per share and that it is trading at about 80 times earnings for the trailing twelve months.   In contrast, the S & P 500 stocks traditionally trade, on average, at 15-17 times earnings.  Facebook has a lot of upside potential and that growth potential is part of why it trades at such a higher multiple.  The stock price is not Facebook’s “fault” the market determines the value so let’s move on.

What can we learn from this?  I can think of a couple of things; persistence and addressing weaknesses.  Facebook leadership knew they had to figure out the mobile advertising revenue problem and they didn’t stop until they got it right.  According to the management’s discussion and analysis section in the Q1 2015 SEC 10Q filing, they have 936 million daily active users worldwide and 798 million of those are on a mobile device.  Mobile growth is averaging about 44% per year since Q1 2012.  The number of daily active users from traditional personal computers have decreased on average by 19% during the same period.  It seems like they figured it out at the right time as mobile advertising is no longer the future of advertising growth it is the present.

Have a great week overcoming your challenges.

Written by pacelinebiz

May 18, 2015 at 8:02 am

What To Do When Things Don’t Go As Expected

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I am not thinking pleasant thoughts

I am not thinking pleasant thoughts

Sometimes things don’t work out like you would want.  You can accept that fact and respond by making the best of the situation (make lemonade out of lemons like I advocate) or you can let it bother you.  People who know me well understand that I always try to make things work out for the best*.  For today’s blog I will try my best to think of ways to react if you let it bother you.  Please be mindful this will be difficult since letting things bother me is such a foreign concept.  Below is a list of ten ways to react to the normal bumps in the road that you encounter.

  • Try imagining the demise of the person place or thing that was the cause of your inconvenience. If you incorporate boiling oil, dynamite or a locust swarm in your evil thoughts you get bonus points.
  • Use your limited vocabulary in sign language to express your displeasure with the offending person, place or thing.
  • Stomp your feet and shake your fist in the air until your face turns beet red. If you pull a muscle while doing this you know you are doing it right.
  • Take your bad luck out on the person that loves you the most. That makes sense and they probably deserve it since they love you.
  • Yell at subordinates at work. This might get you fired and then you will really have something to be mad about.
  • Internalize it until all of your pent-up frustration blows up in spectacular fashion and you get on YouTube. See, now you are famous so your strategy worked.
  • Immediately break something valuable – more bonus points awarded if it is your hand or your favorite technology device.
  • Kick something really hard. Breaking your leg or ankle in the process will really prove your point.
  • Here is a simple one everybody can do since it does not involve kicking or stomping – just let it ruin your day.
  • Hold a grudge, boycott the person place or thing or vow revenge and set about your plot to get even. This may be useful because it may distract you from your anger but your quest for revenge may not be deemed as “healthy” – or so say those in the psychiatric community.

Have a great week responding appropriately when things go awry.

*If you believe this you do not know me well.  However I am trying to improve.  For example, this blog was the product of a last-minute cancelled meeting.

 

Business Lessons From Elephants And Mosquitoes

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Many Small Bites Can Take Big Toll

Many Small Bites Can Take Big Toll

I owe this topic partially to a mentor I had back when I was working for a CPA firm early in my career.  He used the example of the elephant and mosquito.  He asked me if I had ever been trampled by an elephant and of course the answer was no.  Then he asked if I was ever bitten by a mosquito and of course the answer was yes.  He then dropped the punch line.  He said; “that just goes to show you that it’s the small things that will get you.”

Let’s apply the lesson of elephants and mosquitoes to a business setting.  Large amounts of transactions or a large volume of activity can lead to a potential opportunity to save significant money.  In conjunction with the elephant and mosquito lesson my mentor also liked to say “the little things can add up to make a big difference.”

Let’s look at an example how little things can bite you by adding up to make a big difference.  Let’s assume a delivery company has 5 trucks and delivers 6 days a week.  That amounts to 300 delivery days per truck or a total of 1,500 delivery days.  If the company can find a way to save just 10 miles per day per truck they will save 15,000 miles traveled.  Big delivery trucks get about 8 miles per 1 gallon of fuel.  At 8 miles per gallon at $2.80 per gallon for diesel fuel cost, those 15,000 miles add up to a savings of $5,250 per year.  This savings is substantial – at just 10 miles per day per truck.  Keep in mind this savings is every year and right now diesel fuel at $2.80 is almost $1/gallon cheaper than average.

How do you save those 10 miles per truck?  This is where it gets interesting.  In the case I am speaking of it was a very low tech solution.  The delivery drivers were delivering in an established route in a local area and had gotten in a habit of returning back to the office for their lunch break.  On average it was about 5 miles each way from the delivery route back to the office.  It made sense after the savings was determined to stay out on the route until the truck was empty or at the end of the day whichever came first.  Most days the end of the day came first or was simultaneous to the truck emptying.

Route efficiency is extremely important for a delivery company and various software exists that can optimize daily deliveries.  These software options can also generate invoices and into the accounting software and save input time for clerical staff.  It is an investment that typically has a pay back of less than 2 years and should be considered if the current accounting software can easily be integrated.

I hope this example can lead you to discover where your little things are adding up to make a big difference that you can exploit to your advantage.  Have a great week hunting mosquitoes.

Written by pacelinebiz

May 4, 2015 at 8:01 am