Bruce Gernaey

Managing Partner

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Management and Strategy
Create a Planning Team for Decision-Making

In a small or medium-sized business, it’s common to be the only one making decisions about every aspect of your company– thus the saying, "it’s lonely at the top." No matter how large or small your business is, being the sole decision-maker for the company can be difficult and may impede your company’s success. It can become challenging for one person to constantly think of better ways to improve the business or make sure he or she has the most innovative ideas. Having the contributions of a planning team will help your company grow and become more successful, and should be an essential part of your strategic business plan…

That Which Gets Measured Gets Improved

In our TAB Board meetings, we often discuss opportunities to improve financial performance, including the importance of identifying and consistently measuring the key metrics driving the business. Preparing financial statements each month takes time and the statements are often unavailable for several weeks. Additionally, financial statements provide a comprehensive view of performance and the impact of a single business change is too easily masked over. For this reason, we identified a few key metrics that can be calculated quickly and help us measure the "cause and effect" of planned changes…

Sales and Marketing
Would You Play Football Without a Strategy?

As I watched my son’s football game this weekend, I was struck with how important it is to have a solid strategy to win the game. I know many would debate whether the game is won by good defense or a strong offensive line, but these are mere executables– the game, very few can deny, is won on the best game strategy…

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Scheduling Strategic Planning

Schedule your corporate strategy planning sessions during your slower business periods. There are peak times for some businesses when it may be necessary for a business owner to work IN his or her business. Review your sales trends and block off strategic planning time during the sales "valleys." One obvious strategy may be to look at opportunities to develop business opportunities during these "valleys" to even out cash flow.

By : Kim Christie, TAB-Winnipeg
Strategic Industry Analysis Tool

In deciding whether to pursue a new line of business, it is helpful to have a tool to help in making the decision on more than gut feelings and optimism. I use "Porters Five Forces" industry analysis, a simple but powerful tool for understanding where power lies in a business situation. The five forces are:

  1. Supplier Power
  2. Buyer Power
  3. Competitive Rivalry
  4. Threat of Substitution
  5. Threat of New Entry

This analysis is useful because it helps you understand both the strength of your current competitive position, and the strength of a position you’re considering moving into.

By : Daniel Marriott, Spectra Symbol
Updating Your Fiscal Budget Strategically

All too often we find our new TAB Members going through the exercise of creating a fiscal budget for the first time, then shelving it and not using it to monitor their progress and make adjustments as the year progresses.

Set your budget up in a line by line comparison to your Profit and Loss statement, set review targets such as line items that are different by greater than 5%, and bore in monthly to change the budget for increased revenue or to adjust your yearly plan to the actual progress being made. What is most important is that you use your budget to help you manage your business. A budget can be a management tool in many ways not the least of which is helping you focus on where you are committing the resources you possess.

By : John Unger, MIS Corp.
This Holiday, Have a Relaxation Plan

As business owners, I know you are sincerely passionate about your business, But at this time of the year, even while your business may be enjoyable, it doesn’t mean that your body and your brain don’t need a break from the constant stimulation.

As a mentor to many business owners, burnout, exhaustion and overwork is something I see often. Sometimes, we may feel guilty taking a break knowing that there is always work to be done and room for improvement. Don’t let yourself forget that innovation, new ideas and renewed energy are products of mental and physical rest. If the only reason you take a break this season is for your business to reap the benefits of a well-rested leader, then make sure that you do it!

This holiday season be as diligent with your relaxation plan as you are with your business plan. Turn off your devices and let your mind breathe through exercise, a good night’s sleep, getting caught up on some leisure reading and engaging with the people around you. You, and your bottom line, will thank yourself later.

By : Philip Spensieri, TAB York Region
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