Category Archives: Resources

Revenue is revenue, right?

by Kelly Dies, Soundpoint Consulting

A dollar is a dollar. That’s true. And, all revenue is equal. Right? Well no, not in an investor’s or potential buyer’s eye. So what makes some revenue good and other revenue better? 

Recurring

Recurring revenue is highly desirable because is it known and predictable. The best example of this is an auto-renewal fee or service charge periodically charged directly to a customer’s credit card. Once the initial sale is complete there are no more costs to acquire a customer. The revenue stream is much like an annuity. Continue to provide the goods or services as promised and the revenue keeps coming in. 

Great examples of this are insurance premiums and streaming fees. Once customers have decided to purchase the product – and assuming they remain content, they are happy to have their credit card billed automatically. 

In contrast, consulting and attorney fees are often one-time in nature. Revenue ceases when the project is complete and the engagement ends. 

High Switching Costs

Revenue generated from products or services that have high switching costs are more reliable than from those which do not. Switching costs can vary from technical reliance to data lock-up to high start-up costs with a new vendor.

A great example of high switching costs includes services which are outsourced, such as payroll processing. The cost to bring the work in-house is significant as you would have to hire and train a staff of people for this function.  Likewise, a bank account with automatic bill pay also has high switching costs, as unwinding those (recurring) transactions is a pain in the neck!

High switching costs in combination with recurring revenue results in some very high quality revenue. Take for example, my relationship with Constant Contact which reliably sends these monthly newsletters to you on my behalf. My credit card is billed monthly. And, it would be a quite an undertaking to transfer my email list to another email provider. Do you think

Constant Contact is at risk of losing my revenue? Absolutely not!

Loyal Customers

Revenue from a loyal customer base is extremely valuable. Not only does it guarantee repeat business but it potentially means additional business from referrals, thus significantly reducing the overall need for marketing and advertising spend.  

Good examples of this are a trusted relationship with your tax preparer or a favorite clothing store. Although switching costs may not be high, loyalty keeps you from looking elsewhere.   

Consider two comparable stores with the only difference being the loyalty of the customer base. The store with the more loyal customers has less customer churn and doesn’t have to work as hard for every dollar of revenue. Conversely, the store without the loyal customers has to work hard for every dollar earned. Not surprisingly, the investor/banker/ potential buyer will value the first store more. 

What are you doing to earn and keep the loyalty of your customers? 

High Margins

All businesses have revenue streams with different margins. Revenue that generates higher gross margins is more valuable than revenue which generates lower margins. Makes sense. You cannot generate much income from a revenue stream that is saddled with large variable costs.  

And, if a revenue stream costs more to produce than the dollars it generates, well that is not good. It’s like giving someone $1 in exchange for 85¢. Do this in too often and you will soon be out of business. 

The bottom line – know and manage your unit costs. Try to divert revenue from your lower margin products to those with higher margins. 

Diversified

Just like an investment portfolio, a diversified customer and supplier base is less risky than if you are highly dependent upon a handful of them. 

If one of your largest customers were to transfer business to a competitor, how quickly can your business recover? Or, if your largest suppliers were to run into financial difficulties, could you weather the storm? 

If your business model is highly dependent upon Google, Amazon or Microsoft, what happens if they change how they do business with companies such as yours? Trust me, you do not have much negotiating power with these guys. 

A good rule of thumb is that your top 5 customers should not be responsible for more than 15% of your total revenue. A similar metric should hold for suppliers. 

If you would like assistance improving the quality of your revenue, please give me a call. I would be happy to help.

Join the SBA’s Seattle district office to learn about the Restaurant Revitalization Fund

The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. 

During this live webinar we will discuss: 

  • What is the Restaurant Revitalization Fund
  • Who is eligible to apply
  • How much money you can get 
  • How funds can be used
  • How and when to apply 
  • Where to get help with your application

Staff from SBA will be answering your questions live throughout the presentation with dedicated Q&A time at the end. 

Who should attend: Current small business owners who have experienced pandemic related revenue losses who own a restaurant, bar, and other similar places of business that serve food or drink.

Business & Worker Newsletter

What you should know about

Business Grants

April 9 deadline for Working Washington Grants: Round 4

The application portal is still open! This program is administered by the state Department of Commerce and focuses on brick-and-mortar for-profit small businesses, especially those that were required to close due to public health and safety measures. Grant awards will be up to $25,000. Visit commercegrants.com for information. Materials are available in multiple languages and technical assistance teams are ready to help with questions.

WSDA COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Grants for ag-related sectors

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is offering grants to small agriculture-related businesses in sectors that have suffered economically due to the coronavirus pandemic, but have been left out of earlier relief programs.

The WSDA Relief and Recovery grants, funded through a partnership with the state Department of Commerce, are intended to assist small businesses in four agriculture sectors, which include:

  • Shellfish growers
  • Farmers market organizations
  • Agritourism farms
  • Small breweries, cideries, wineries, and distilleries that depend on tap and tasting room sales

The application period for the WSDA grants will be open for two weeks, beginning as soon as Friday, April 9. Visit agr.wa.gov/grants to learn more.

Small Business Administration’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program launches this week

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. The application portal is scheduled to open Thursday, April 8.

Eligible entities include:

  • Live venue operators or promoters
  • Theatrical producers
  • Live performing arts organization operators
  • Relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria
  • Motion picture theater operators
  • Talent representatives

More information about eligibility and the application process are available here.


What you should know about…

COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 vaccine distribution update

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) continues to make progress with their COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration efforts.

As of March 29, more than 3,325,998 doses of vaccine have been given across the state, which is 83% of the 4,006,330 doses that have been delivered to Washington state providers and long-term care programs. Washington is currently averaging 55,894 vaccine doses given each day. This information can be found on the DOH data dashboard under the vaccines tab, which is updated three times per week.

Inslee announces vaccine eligibility expansion to all adults April 15

Gov. Jay Inslee recently announced that effective April 15, all Washingtonians age 16 and up will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. 

Over the past four months since Washington began administering doses of the vaccination, the state has followed a tiered eligibility system, beginning with those most at risk of hospitalization and death.

The governor and the state Department of Health (DOH) have also prioritized equity issues in each phase to ensure vaccine access to populations disproportionately affected by the virus, including communities of color and low-income communities. 

The expansion of eligibility comes, in part, in response to a recent uptick in COVID cases in the state. 

Find more information on the COVID-19 vaccine here

Use the Vaccine Locator tool to register for a vaccination appointment here

For DOH’s COVID-19 Information Hotline, dial 1.800.525.0127, then press #. Language assistance is available.


What you should know about…

Resources for small businesses

Washington Requirements and Resources Webinars

Start a Business in Washington,” is a free, one hour webinar which includes information about business registration and licensing, other regulatory requirements, and resources for further assistance. The webinar is scheduled for April 14 at 2 p.m. Click here for more information and to register online or call 800-917-0043.

Additionally, the free, 90-minute “COVID-19 Impact Webinar” includes the Governor’s Office of Regulatory Innovation and Assistance and the state departments’ of Employment Security, Labor and Industries, and Revenue. These partners provide an overview of resources, updates, emergency rule changes, and other impacts affecting small businesses to create a new successful path forward. Subject matter experts are available online answering questions throughout the webinar.  The webinar is scheduled for April 22 at 2 p.m. Click here for more information and to register online or call 800-917-0043 and the Spanish webinar is at 9:00 a.m. Click here for more information and to register online or call 360-515-6101.

The Importance of Proofreading

Eats Shoots and Leaves vs. Eats, Shoots and Leaves.

What a difference one comma can make in terms of readability and even meaning.

The above is the title of Lynne Truss’ book about grammar. Like many people, I am on social media, and notice misspellings and typographical errors. I don’t actually correct these errors, as I understand that people often dictate posts and messages into their phones. It does seem to me, though, that proofreading has fallen on hard times. Using my own skills, I attempt to help when appropriate.

Naturally, I proofread my own papers when in school, and even other classmates’ writing occasionally. The first time I remember realizing this is my particular skill is in college. If only I’d been on the college yearbook staff!

In my current nostalgia, brought about by remembering happy times before COVID-19 lockdowns, I’ve revisited college yearbooks and unfortunately noticed many errors. I even took to marking corrections in my old yearbooks. After so many years, it wouldn’t hurt anyone, right? Continue reading

Business Recovery Assistance in Washington

Your Go-To Resource for Small Business Recovery

Small businesses are the backbone of Washington’s economy and many have been devastated during the pandemic. Many have closed, others are barely hanging on. Small businesses owned by people of color have been particularly impacted. In response, Congress has passed several aid packages and the State of Washington has provided relief, along with many local communities. But resources can be difficult to find, and the applications can be challenging to navigate.

On this website you’ll find answers to frequently asked questions, information on how to find individual technical assistance, how to find a lender, training opportunities and where to find more detailed program information.

Our goal is to help as many Washington small businesses and non-profits as possible access the help they need. 

Click here… https://www.smallbizhelpwa.com

WorkSource Kitsap Can Help You Solve Your Hiring Needs.

WorkSource Kitsap is hosting a Virtual Job Fair for Kitsap County businesses that have positions open. The event is set for 30 March 2021, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Please complete the interest form via the link below. Once complete, we will register your business on Brazen.com where you will complete your “virtual booth”. We will hold weekly information sessions to offer assistance for the setup of the event.

Limited booths available. We have 50 booths that can host multiple staff from your company. Again, this is not a link for job seekers, that will come in the following week.

This link will lead you to a fillable form to express interest in participating.

WA State Biz Fair Is Going Virtual 202

This year the event is VIRTUAL for the first time!

Join hundreds of experts and thousands of small business owners and managers from home – or anywhere.

MEET with mentors, advisors, trainers, educators, fellow small business owners, and entrepreneurs. 

LEARN from savvy business experts who will share their knowledge and real-life experiences. 

CONNECT with federal, state and local government agencies to find out about starting a business or contract opportunities. 

FIND OUT how non-profit organizations can help you with funding, legal support, and more. 

NETWORK with Chambers of Commerce, Economic Development Authorities and statewide Business Associations. 

CHECK OUT the Digital Marketplace for products and services to help you do business.

NO COST TO ATTEND! – NONE – NADA – ZIP

For more information go to www.bizfair.org        Questions? Email info@bizfair.org

 If you would like to register to attend the 24th Annual
Washington State Small Business Fair, use this link. Register Here

Tips on Successfully Working Remotely With Your Employees

The power of technology has made it possible to do business not only across town, but across the world. Who knows — your small business might not even have an office, complete with rent, a mail slot and utility bills. If your small business specializes in services or digital products, you may never even meet your employees in person!

Teams who work remotely have the flexibility to do great work regardless of location, time zone or method of transportation. Thanks to online collaboration tools and mobile devices, working remotely is just as routine now as using a fax machine was 15 years ago. Continue reading