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Buck Knives Goes Lean(er) for Growth

As Buck Knives, Inc., celebrated a century in business, it also faced a cash crunch that was putting it out of business. CEO CJ Buck shares how his team took dramatic action (including moving the company from Southern California to northern Idaho) to fend off high-quality global competitors and to turn the historic and highly regarded company around with its own version of the Toyota Production System (TPS).

Getting “Lean”

After leaping into “Lean,” Southern Vinyl Manufacturing gained efficiencies in nearly every area of its operations. Specifically, entrepreneur Rod Matthews explains the challenges and rewards of involving employees in finding and eliminating waste using the “Five Why” process. As a result of “getting lean,” the company resolves manufacturing problems by digging deeply to identify root causes instead of just treating symptoms.

An Overview of Six Sigma

The Six Sigma manufacturing process drives production to near-perfect levels, seeking less than 3.4 defects per million output units. Here, the basic purpose and process of the Six Sigma methodology, and its connection to “lean” manufacturing, are clearly explained for entrepreneurs. The article also provides tips on getting started and guidelines to successful implementation.

Surviving the Lean Years

How do you deal with things when your business is on the verge of going bust? This author lays out a financial plan for working through lean years to sustain a business. Key tips: stash away cash during good times, downsize quickly if need be, and consider relocating to a lower-cost area of the country.

Valuation of Pre-revenue Companies: The Venture Capital Method

This informative piece explains a well-known method that venture capitalists use to determine “post-money valuation,” which is a company’s valuation at the time of investment. Perhaps more important, it provides valuable insights into why the returns expected by investors are often perceived as “too high” by entrepreneurs.

Doing It the All-Cash Way

Running your own business on your own terms can mean freedom in your schedule and business approach. It can also mean slim funding. This serial entrepreneur and cofounder of The Baby Einstein Company sought to avoid entanglement with venture capitalists and discovered doing business on a cash-only basis was the answer for him.

Design the Right Compensation Plan for Your Business

Much work is involved in developing an executive compensation plan that keeps your company competitive, integrates short- and long-term goals, and contains performance measurement systems that tie back to compensation. Well-devised packages drive organizational goals and objectives and your top talent.

Trade Shows: a Key Tool for Marketers

Participating in trade shows is a significant way to earn press coverage and publicity for your company. This author provides a nine-step plan to execute a solid trade show presence, such as meet with media at the show and allow attendees to demo your product or service.

Leading Change

As the entrepreneur, you have to give your support to change efforts, whether you are the project champion or not. This article will help you communicate your support widely and regularly, providing resources and time to help the effort succeed.