When do you know to stop and make a change?

One of the big headlines today is that Canada Post is eliminating doorstep delivery and cutting up to 8,000 jobs in an attempt to make a dent in the $6.5 billion (yes billion) dollar pension shortfall.  Imagine the problem the government would have on their hands trying to figure out how to solve that problem while keeping the population happy about getting door to door service!  The comments and debate is interesting but misses a key point – when a business is not covering their obligations they are bankrupt.  It’s simple.  As any small business owner or individual can attest, you cannot keep ignoring your bills forever – at some point the music stops.  Here are three common responses from businesses I talk with about their costs exceeding their cash:

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Christmas is coming…what does this mean for your business?

With Christmas around the corner, many businesses may be getting ready to wind down for the year.  Amongst the Christmas parties, cheer and celebrations make sure you take a moment to think about what happens after Christmas.  Is the first part of the New Year your busiest time or is it at some other time during the year?  No matter when it is as your business gets back to business in the New Year here are some things to think about:

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Don’t bother me…what are pro forma statements?

As much as I enjoy working with small businesses, one of the points of friction when discussing business loans (or commercial mortgages in some cases) is the matter of pro forma financial statements.  As I have written in the past, most businesses run their business plan from their profit and loss statement.  A profit and loss statement shows revenue less expenses to equal what’s left over in the form of net income.  Many small businesses don’t bother looking at their balance sheet which shows them the other side of the ledger – what their business owns versus what their business owes.  A prudent business owner will look at their profit and loss in addition to their balance sheet on a regular basis to measure the performance of the business and some even go further to project what they think their balance sheet and income statement will look like over the next few years.  These are referred to as “pro forma” financial statements.

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Things Thursday – it all points to one thing

Between the US government shutting down and BlackBerry selling off its real estate things this week seem to point one direction – planning (or lack there of).  When we observe really great companies it’s hard to argue that they “just wing it”.  Planning ahead is clearly something they consider and anticipate as they move forward each day.  When we meet with people and businesses to discuss a mortgage or loan they are considering the same theme is at work and generally speaking there are two distinct groups of requests: Continue reading “Things Thursday – it all points to one thing”

So BlackBerry is selling some real estate. Is there a lesson here?

It’s all over the Canadian headlines today – BlackBerry (who owns more than 20 buildings and reportedly controls 15% of the total office market in Waterloo, Ontario) is selling some real estate.  Aside from the fact that many of us (myself included) are very disappointed to see where BlackBerry has ended up, are there some lessons here with respect to businesses owning real estate?  We quite often get inquiries from business owners who are considering purchasing real estate to turn their lease payment into a mortgage payment and hopefully build some equity for the future.  We are not in the real estate sales and leasing business but providing mortgages and loans to businesses is something we do all the time and here are some rules of thumb we have learned: Continue reading “So BlackBerry is selling some real estate. Is there a lesson here?”