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Building Successful Private Company Boards – By Bruce Werner

A Financial Poise column dedicated to the issues of private company boards work, what they should do, and how to get the most from their efforts.

choosing an advisory board

3 Advisory Board Styles to Fit Every Business

Advisory Board Roles and Responsibilities for Any Stage of Business The boards of directors of for-profit and non-profit organizations have the same fiduciary responsibilities: duty of care, duty of loyalty and duty of good faith.  While similar to fiduciary boards, advisory boards are not the same. The purpose and function of a board of advisors […]

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risk management

Creating a Risk Management System

Identifying and Managing Risks to Your Business Make It Stronger Most business owners are so busy running their business that they don’t have time to think about unlikely events. How can you think about possible  “black swan” events when you are struggling with today’s problems? To protect shareholders, boards and management need to make time to think about […]

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board member

An Experienced Executive May Make an Effective Board Member

What Makes a Successful Board Member? [Editor’s Note: if you are an experienced CEO, CFO or another executive, you may be thinking about putting your hat in the ring to be a director of another company. Or, perhaps you are the owner or a board member of a company looking for an outside director. Either […]

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family governance

Family Governance is Not Business Governance

Family Businesses Need Strategies to Govern Both the Family and the Business Family businesses are unique and the way they are run differs from family to family. Each business has varying degrees of corporate governance. Formal governance structures grow as the business grows and becomes more complex. Governance processes trail business needs in most situations. When […]

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selling a business

Banker, Broker or Sell it Yourself: Choosing the Right Method When Selling Business

So You’re Selling a Business: Now What? For most business owners, selling a business is a once-in-a-lifetime event. These owners want to maximize their proceeds and they may be super salespeople, but likely have little experience selling a business. In fact, their exit may be the only meaningful transaction they experience. This is why it is […]

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improve banking relationships

Guidelines to Improve Banking Relationships (What Does Edgar Allan Poe Have to Do With It?)

Good Character and Cash Flow Improve Banking Relationships Typically, there is significant triage to be done before determining if you can improve banking relationships. Most often, the problems come back to cash flow and misunderstanding what banks do. While Boards do not manage bank relationships directly, they are responsible for the firm’s capital structure, and […]

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family owned business

Always Balance Family and Business in a Family Owned Business

Family Owned Business: The Other Side of the Coin On February 19, 2018, Financial Poise published an article by Bruce Werner, the regular contributor to this column, entitled, “Effective Private Company Board Strategies Drive Goals to Completion.” Bruce highlighted that driving strategy is a principal responsibility of a private company’s board of directors, and that […]

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cash allocation

Building the Best Strategy to Drive Cash Allocation

Cash Allocation Challenges Businesses For most businesses, cash allocation is a challenge. Margin pressure, seasonality, credit risk, and bank covenants make it a constant chore. Cash is the oxygen of business. You can’t run low and survive. For successful businesses, the opposite is true. They have too much cash. Apple is a well-discussed example. The […]

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seeking help from the lender

Can Seeking Help from the Lender Fix Money Troubles?

Recently, bad practices caused a client’s accounts receivable to get extended well past 90 days. In fact, the client had 20% of its receivables dated further back than 120 days. Company staff knew that much of that would prove to be uncollectible, but no one really knew the extent of how bad it was. At […]

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designing board evaluations

Designing Board Evaluations for Private Companies to Succeed

Someone once told me that, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” We have all seen how constructive feedback improves performance and helps employees to avoid mistakes. The challenge is getting actionable feedback to people early enough for them to use it effectively. In a private company, designing board evaluations can be an efficient way to […]

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