GENOA BUSINESS ADVISORS combines their unique and complementary skills to ensure the successful and complete development of the necessary tools, skills, capabilities and resources to plan and execute a successful strategy.

Reflections is a publication of the Genoa Business Advisors and is intended to provide management, boards, advisors and business leaders with insights on how to deal with companies in transition.

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News & Reflections

Sailing Through Worlds of Change: Plan for Succession [New!]
What's that, Mr. CEO? Now that "The Big Seven-O" is creeping up on you, you'd like to spend less time in the boardroom, you say? With the economy less than the growth engine it used to be, and with some of your top management approaching retirement age too, you're spending more hours on business issues than you'd like?... Read more from The Suit Magazine

Reflections: Customer-Centric Post Merger Integration
When combining ingredients in a recipe, execution is key to producing a delicious product and avoiding something inedible. Similarities can be made when moving through the process of combining two companies. Careful planning and a well-executed post-merger-integration (PMI) strategy can avoid a recipe for disaster and produce a desired outcome... Read more

Four Strategies for Staying Relevant
A serious threat facing most brands in dynamic markets is the loss of relevance because the category or subcategory they are serving is declining. Customers are no longer buying what the brand is perceived to make. New categories or subcategories emerge as competitors' innovations create "must haves." This dynamic can happen even if the brand is strong... Read more at hbr.org

Reflections: Increasing Profits by Managing Costs
It is no secret that business decisions are frequently made with incomplete information. Whether this is due to a lack of time, resources, or just misguided information, the decision is made and the outcome, good or bad, is soon to follow. This cycle happens quite often in pricing. In order to compete... Read more

5 Steps to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy
Entrepreneurs always work hard to create an innovative product or service, but often count on standard seller marketing for sales. But the reality is that sellers are no longer in charge of the customer buying process. Recent reports suggest that 90% of today’s shoppers skip marketing pitches, to research online before they buy, and over 50% check user reviews before making a decision... Read more at forbes.com

Reflections: Striving Towards Strategic Alignment
Alignment within an organization can often be a daunting task. With the shear magnitude of many companies, it can be difficult to keep all people within the organization "singing off of the same song sheet". Organizations often become stuck in the mud or even start migrating in the opposite direction... Read more

Think You're Communicating Enough? Think Again
"Good communication is critical to making a big change take hold in any organization, especially in complex enterprises. Most managers and leaders recognize this, but it’s difficult to put into practice. Gaining an understanding of and commitment to a new direction is a challenging intellectual and emotional task..." Read more at forbes.com

Reflections: Driving Change in Your Organization
Rallying the troops around a common objective is a difficult task, even for the most successful leaders. Each year, that task becomes more difficult as management is inundated with a multitude of programs designed to...Read more

The Innovation-Deficit Tax: Advertising
"Want an easy way to know whether your product or service qualifies as sufficiently innovative to get people talking about it? Look no further than your ad budget. Here's a startling fact: For what equals a rounding error..." Read more at businessweek.com

Reflections: Fundamentals of a Distribution Business
Distribution businesses need to focus on critical levers that drive profitability and growth. Leveraging existing infrastructure is important and fraught with distractions that take business owners away from what truly adds value...Read more

How to Set Goals for Employees
"What should we do? That is the first question the manager must answer. What is the mission of the organization I am managing? What is the strategy for accomplishing that mission? What are my goals for the future, consistent with strategy and mission?..." Read more at wsj.com

What Management Strategy Should I Use in an Economic Downturn?
"Like dangerous curves on a racetrack, economic downturns create more opportunities for companies to move from the middle of the pack into leadership positions than any other time in business..." Read more at wsj.com

Risk Management and Innovation
"How an organization conceives of risk management will in large part determine how effectively innovation is pursued [...] many people see risk management as largely preventative or as the opposite of the bold risk-taking that breakthrough innovation is assumed to entail..." Read more at businessweek.com

Three Keys to Giving Great Presentations
"Few things in the business world are scarier than public speaking and making presentations to large groups. Intelligent, typically confident executives turn into quivering teenagers when they get up on the podium. Voices squawk. Shirts get stained with sweat. Once the lights go off and the PowerPoint goes on..." Read more at forbes.com

Reflections: Financing in Distressed Times
After several years of growth and profits, many companies find themselves in an unfortunate financial crunch. Perhaps sales have declined or there have been some unexpected costs. Maybe one of the biggest customers.. Read more

Raising Prices Pays Off for Some
"The majority of small-business owners are lowering or holding firm on price points as consumers keep close tabs on their spending, according to the NFIB [...] But some research indicates that racing to lower prices—even if it lures more customers—doesn't usually put a company ahead. Even in down economies, raising prices just slightly can have a greater bottom-line impact than lowering them..." Read more at wsj.com

Reflections: Businesses in Trouble
Board Members, Lawyers, Accountants and Other Trusted Advisors should act quickly with management to position them properly for some potentially rough times ahead. Problems won’t go away and management will have to make rapid decisions, even faster than before. Although good companies.. Read more