The Main Reasons Why Businesses Hire Advisory Consultants

Any business to gain its zenith form needs several factors coming together in making it successful. No company can gain popularity or profits overnight, and continuous hard work, dedication, the right set of employees, investments, and several other factors come together and thus bringing about success to the business. The team consisting of the management are the ones that are responsible for decision making, implementing changes, modifying the work system, etc. and are capable of doing all of it by themselves. There are times when a business cannot handle situations or problems related to their business; they move out to hire consultants.

Who are advisory consultants?
Advisory consultants are those who are trained and specializing in dealing with business problems and coming with a solution to it. They at times pose as advisors for a business and ensure that everything goes about smoothly without any glitches. There are a few companies who do away with the help of such consultants while the rest feel that they form an essential part of their business. While you are one of those pondering over the idea to consult one, here are the reasons why most companies hire advisory consultants.

They need a second opinion
For those who own businesses, they are capable of making decisions all by themselves and that is the reason why they are still sticking to the industry. There are times when they doubt their decisions and feel it may not be implemented in the right way. It is then when they feel the need of an advisory panel who can contribute their inputs as there are times when they have had similar experiences with other companies that they have worked with. They, therefore, can come up with an opinion and term the decisions to be right or wrong or there are any modifications required.

They act as a third party
There are times when the management cannot surface to the open with their decisions or changes in the business. These professional then act as the third party and come up with the changes and communicate it accordingly. This helps to put forward the information in an unbiased manner and thus saving the management from facing the brunt if the new idea or implementation isn’t received well by the company and its employees.

Consultants have polished skills
They are trained in providing remedies and help to businesses, and that is why they are designated as specialists. Any organization hiring employees with similar skills can at times turn out to be expensive as there wouldn’t be work all the time for these set of employees and therefore allowing them to sit idle and thus wasting finances on them. An advisor can be hired anytime whenever required, and they are known to help out with instant help. The fees that the advisors charge depend on the type of services that businesses have availed from them.

The consultants act as an extra workforce
For companies who have a dearth of employees or have staff dedicated to handling other aspects of the business and not act as problem solvers. The employees aren’t even trained in being problem solvers and thus end up wasting time and resources to no avail. These specialists aren’t full-time employees and simultaneously know the way businesses function and are fast learners thus allowing the employees to continue with their work as designated.
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Our approach is to provide a definitive yet thorough assessment allowing you, and your company, to consider a broad overview of alternatives to manage the challenges and enhance the performance of your business.

In short, we identify opportunities, work with you and your organization, and enable you to take advantage of business potential and growth.

We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; a portion of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.

PETER DESMIDT has more than 48 years of accounting, cost accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons. Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Advisory Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.

Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss the immediate and long term benefits that we can offer you.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-252-9490

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

Contact us to learn more about how our Consulting, CFO and Management Services may be able to help your business.

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Advisory Consulting – Creating a Strategy Roadmap

An investment in business advisory consulting can pay for itself in no time if you have retained the services of a knowledgeable and experienced consulting firm. Many organizations have already realized how much unharnessed potential they have, and with business advisory services, they have been able to develop a healthy and sustainable level of growth and competitiveness. Consulting firms can help create a business environment that addresses the most critical challenges of the company, their industry and the global business market. Most importantly, a qualified advisory consultant can help create a strategy roadmap that addresses these challenges and guides the organization to a bright and promising future.

What Makes a Good Strategy Roadmap?
As mentioned above, advisory consulting is often the key to addressing the challenges that a business or organization faces in their unique environment, but that doesn’t mean that any consultant can come along and work wonders. A business consulting company that has developed many successful strategy roadmaps for satisfied clients in the past should be qualified to create a strategy roadmap that accomplishes several crucial goals. The most successful kind of strategy roadmap is one that addresses the organization’s needs, which might differ depending on which goals they have prioritized. The roadmap may focus on the organization’s short-term needs, long-term needs or both. The key is to find a balance between putting out fires in the organization’s current structure and addressing the needs that will become more important and apparent in the future, as the enterprise continues to grow and thrive. At the end of the day, the roadmap is really a step-by-step guide that shows the path, processes, technologies and people that will help achieve the organization’s strategic goals.

An Overview of Additional Business Consultant Services
Although the strategy roadmap is extremely important, a comprehensive advisory consulting service will involve more than just the creation of a roadmap. The leading business consultants prepare companies to engage new technologies and assess their current structures in order to develop a plan of action to achieve the most promising goals and objectives. These are a few of the most important business advisory services you can expect to find with a reputable, knowledgeable consulting firm:

Analytics
Business Process Optimization
Change Management
Client Management
Enterprise Portfolio Management
Integrated Marketing

Analytics are an important advisory service because they allow businesses to leverage the massive stores of data they have available regarding their customers, competitors, transactions, team members, systems, structures, financial records and more. This in turn allows for better business process optimization, because with a fuller picture of the business landscape, consultants can work with their clients to streamline their processes and maximize their capabilities. While optimizing a business’ processes, consultants must consider factors such as available workforce, budget, competition, economic conditions, infrastructure and more.

Many businesses bring an advisory consultant onboard so they can make a change, whether they’re changing the way they manage projects or reorganizing their entire management structure. This may involve such issues such as branding, corporate culture and workflow, in addition to the change itself. Change management consulting makes the most of these transitions; client management consulting makes the most of the company’s client base; and enterprise portfolio management makes the most of the company’s organizational capabilities.

One of the most popular business advisory consulting services is marketing. With an integrated, innovative marketing plan, businesses can navigate the massive and constant changes in the current business environment. Things like mobile computing and social media that weren’t even on most companies’ agendas a decade ago are huge marketing topics now, but without a knowledgeable consultant, many businesses fail to keep up with the trends. At the end of the day, though, this and all the other services mentioned here should be part of a good strategy roadmap. It is there to guide your organization to wherever you want and need to go.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7781729
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Our approach is to provide a definitive yet thorough assessment allowing you, and your company, to consider a broad overview of alternatives to manage the challenges and enhance the performance of your business.

In short, we identify opportunities, work with you and your organization, and enable you to take advantage of business potential and growth.

We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; a portion of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.

PETER DESMIDT has more than 48 years of accounting, cost accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons. Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Advisory Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.

Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss the immediate and long term benefits that we can offer you.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-252-9490

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

Contact us to learn more about how our Consulting, CFO and Management Services may be able to help your business.

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Getting Business Advisory Services: What It Means For Your Business

Let’s face it. The commercial arena is getting more and more competitive with every passing day. In such a scenario, it gets all the more important to adopt an all-pervasive approach to succeed. We will make it clearer for you. Think about all the responsibilities that a business owner typically has to fulfill- recruiting the right people, devising successful business strategies, ensuring client and employee satisfaction, getting paperwork in order and so much more.

The business advisory services work at tandem with businesses to help them secure the much coveted competitive edge. These companies are primarily engaged in delivering reliable business solutions to help enterprises attain business growth and maintain competitive advantage on a consistent basis. Want to find out how these companies guarantee market-responsive solutions for your business? Let us find out in the course of this post.

Fundamentally, a business advisory service provider gets the burden off your shoulders by taking care of important commercial tasks. However, it is not only about delegating tasks — it is about getting specialists on board. Read on to find out more.

What do these business advisories do?
As their name suggests, the primary purpose of the business advisory services is to “advise”. They work with companies to revamp their present system and help them maintain compliance with global requirements. For instance, if you are taking help of the HR Advisory service providers then they will recruit the right candidates for you and counsel them on an individual basis, define HR strategies clearly and improve payroll system.

Business advisory services typically aid businesses converting their ideas into reality by assisting them in preparing a result-oriented road map for success. The services of these advisories are generally backed by in-depth understanding of modern business dynamics. Once you get in touch with them for help, they will invest considerable time and efforts to understand specific business requirements and aspirations and then spell out solutions in this regard. Credentialed analysts study the nature of your business and apply tried and tested methodologies and industry benchmarks to understand both the challenges and opportunities for your business and devise a successful strategy in accordance.
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Our approach is to provide a definitive yet thorough assessment allowing you, and your company, to consider a broad overview of alternatives to manage the challenges and enhance the performance of your business.

In short, we identify opportunities, work with you and your organization, and enable you to take advantage of business potential and growth. The move to part time, on call, and virtual services has become more accepted in the business world over the past few years. For a fraction of the cost of a full time employee, a small business can have the Controller / CFO function filled by an experienced professional.

We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; a portion of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.

PETER DESMIDT has more than 48 years of accounting, cost accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons. Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Advisory Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.

Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss the immediate and long term benefits that we can offer you.

We provide part-time offsite and onsite Controller, CFO, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, and QuickBooks Training Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-252-9490

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

Contact us to learn more about how our CFO and Controller Services may be able to help your business.

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Initial Mark Up And Gross Margin

What is Initial Markup?
Initial Markup (IMU) is the difference between the cost and selling price of an item when it is first introduced for sale. It is also called Initial Mark On, Markon or Markup. The formula for this calculation is: Selling price – cost = Initial Markup Dollars. If a buyer brings in a new line of jeans with a cost of $25 per pair and initially prices them to sell at $55 per pair, the Initial Markup is $30.

Selling Price – Cost = Initial Mark Up Dollars
Initial Markup is normally expressed as a percent. The Initial Mark Up %, for the above example, based on the retail selling price, is 55% (calculated as $30 / $55). The IMU% should always be based on retail dollars, not cost dollars as some retailers and software programs too often do. After all, you own a retail store and record sales at retail. Your sales goals are expressed in retail dollars. Plus, net sales, at retail, are used as the basis for expressing account amounts from the financials (For example, what percent is your Occupancy Costs actually means what percent of your net retail sales are dedicated to Occupancy costs.). Use RETAIL.

An initial retail price must obviously cover the cost of the item, and any selling expense associated with the item. It also must cover a portion of the store’s day to day expenses for rent, fixtures, insurance, utilities, etc., also known as overhead, as well as leave you some profit. Stated another way, Initial Markup must be enough to cover Planned Markdowns + Planned Profits + Selling and Overhead Expenses. The Selling Price covers all that plus the cost of the item.

What is Gross Margin?
Gross Margin (also called Maintained Margin or just Margin) is related to actual sales. It is expressed as a percent of Net Sales. Gross Margin is the difference between Sales and Cost of Goods Sold. (Net Sales – Cost of Goods Sold = Gross Margin Dollars.) Gross Margin is always based on Net Sales and is always expressed from a retail viewpoint. Initial Markup addresses the aspect of price for merchandise: “How much can I get for this ___________?” Gross Margin answers the question: “How much did I make on this __________?”
Impacts on Initial Markup % and Gross Margin %

Many factors affect how retailers decide just how much Initial Markup will provide the best return on their investment. Things that affect Initial Markup are Brand, Competition, Market Saturation, anticipated Markdowns and perceived customer value to name a few. Perceived value is often most difficult to pin down. Occasionally there are certain labels that seem to perform magic when it comes to moving merchandise. A perfect example-Tickle Me Elmo (Tyco) in 1996-was a slow seller until being featured on an afternoon talk show. “In the weeks leading up to Christmas, Tickle Me Elmo dolls were in such scarce supply that ads cropped up in newspapers asking for as much as $2000 per doll.” The Brands (both the talk show and Elmo) were magic. Competition kept the prices up. Low Supply kept the market from becoming saturated. But, customer perceived value kept the prices unbelievably high.

Another major impact is Markdowns. No matter what your Initial Markup is, if it isn’t great enough to cover your planned markdowns and expenses, you will give up your profit to make the sale. When an item doesn’t move, most over-worked and stressed out retailers will take the path of least resistance, and take a larger markdown and keep taking those markdowns until the offending merchandise is gone. Some will keep the poor seller, hoping for the one customer who will come in “someday” and purchase that saved item… if that customer ever arrives and if you can find the item when he does. If Markdowns are higher than anticipated, net sales will be lower, and therefore, gross margin, a.k.a. Maintained Margin, or just Margin, will also be less. Brand, competition, market saturation and perceived customer value also affect Gross Margin–just like Initial Markup.

The Finer Points of IMU% and Gross Margin
It does not follow that each class of merchandise will realize the same IMU % or the same Gross Margin %. Each class and each style within a class (or category) is as unique as each vendor. Competition, pricing structure and perceived customer value may make it necessary to deviate considerably in actual IMU% and GM, but make a point to plan for your profit as well as you plan sales, markdowns or expenses. You want to make sure that you are achieving your Gross Margin plan at the store level, even though some classes may fall far short. The Gross Margin for other classes needs to be high enough to make up the difference for the lower performing classes.

For example, if your Initial Mark Up is 58% and you plan a 9.5% Markdown rate with a goal to maintain a 54% Gross Margin, you can use a “cost multiplier” of 2.40 to achieve your goal. The Cost Multiplier is a number you can multiply the merchandise cost by to achieve the desired Gross Margin percent. An item that Costs $20 will carry an Initial Price (Cost + Initial Mark Up) of $48 when using the 2.40 cost multiplier. If you plan Markdowns of 35% and require a Gross Margin of 54%, merchandise will carry a 66% IMU, using a Cost Multiplier of 2.95 to achieve the same 54% Gross Margin.

Markdowns do not affect IMU% after the initial price is set. The Initial Markup is what it is. However, Markdowns have a huge effect on Gross Margin %. Markdowns decrease profit. It doesn’t matter how much an item is marked up, if it must be marked down those markdowns come from your Gross Margin. Of course, the reverse is also true. When you bring in that unique item that your customers must have, you may not need to take planned markdowns. Then you get to enjoy your higher profit.

Ways to Increase IMU% and GM
Of course, you can just raise your IMU%, but if you raise it too much above the competition, you will lose sales. If you sell popular items that your customers feel a need to own, you may have lower than planned markdowns resulting in a higher Gross Margin. Another good way to boost both the IMU% and the GM is to make a practice of holding some money back from your Open-To-Buy when shopping and plan to rely on some in-season purchases to see you through. Generally, in-season purchases delivered immediately allow for a higher IMU% because you pay less for them.

Another thing we recommend is joining a Buying Group. Buying Groups have benefits for their members to save them time and money. Also, when you go to market, look for a new vendor or two to try. Generally, your customers value individuality as much as you. Give them some items to pick from that set you apart from the pack when possible.

If you feel there is little excitement for your inventory or it is developing “sameness” in appearance, try a different market. All vendors do not go to every market and by going to a new market you may be able to find just what you want. New vendors may offer a unique appearance in color, fit or style that appeals to your customers. Look for merchandise keeping with your quality line that offers a higher markup.

Using an Open-to-Buy is a great way to plan, record your actual results and then check yourself to see how you are doing as the year progresses. It can also help to prevent the high markdowns needed to clear out excess inventory.
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Our approach is to provide a definitive yet thorough assessment allowing you, and your company, to consider a broad overview of alternatives to manage the challenges and enhance the performance of your business.

In short, we identify opportunities, work with you and your organization, and enable you to take advantage of business potential and growth. The move to part time, on call, and virtual services has become more accepted in the business world over the past few years. For a fraction of the cost of a full time employee, a small business can have the Controller / CFO function filled by an experienced professional.

We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; a portion of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.

PETER DESMIDT has more than 48 years of accounting, cost accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons. Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Advisory Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.

Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss the immediate and long term benefits that we can offer you.

We provide part-time offsite and onsite Controller, CFO, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, and QuickBooks Training Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us http://www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

Contact us to learn more about how our CFO and Controller Services may be able to help your business.