If you are in business for yourself, it is important that you “keep your eye on the ball,” especially in today’s economy. What does this mean? It means watching all aspects of the business closely, particularly the financial end. I just read an article in the TradeOnlyToday’s e-newsletter about a long time employee of a Florida marina who bilked the company out of $243,000. That is a major hit on the bottom line! The employee had worked for the marina for over 20 years and was considered to be part of the family. How sad it must be to have such trust violated by an employee. The employee who embezzled the money was the office manager for the business and she was authorized to write and sign checks on several of the marina’s bank accounts. Huh? Apparently a lot of the checks she wrote over a 7 or 8-year period ended up in her pocket. Where were the “checks and balances” in this situation? I’ll bet the marina owners are monitoring the financial end of the business closely now.
One of my older brothers, who was quite an entrepreneur, bought a run-down Lincoln Mercury dealership on what you might call a financial “shoestring.” He did not have a lot of operating capital when he bought the business and borrowed a lot of money to get started. But Jim was a great motivator, a fantastic salesman and it was said he could sell snow to Eskimos. Soon he was selling new and used cars in increasing volume and began to build up the business and his operating capital. Or so it showed on the books. His big mistake was focusing mostly on sales and not keeping an eye on his office manager/bookkeeper, an accounting-type guy he trusted completely. Very big mistake! He didn’t keep his eye on the ball! Continue reading Keep your eye on the ball!