Above Header Navigation

Finance Library

Business Finance is one of the areas where CEOs and other business leaders do not have a clear understanding of some basic concepts … but we are committed to help you turbocharge your business with practical tips and techniques to improve free cash flow, the lifeblood of business.

Please check out the Featured Articles from our Business Finance Library to get you started.

The Devil IS in the Details – But These are Details Worth Finding

Every business goes through its ups and downs and cash is particularly precious when things aren’t going so well.

W hile it absolutely helps to have a financial professional nearby, there are certain steps you can take – they’re FREE – to get underneath the hood and diagnose some key issues that can make a big difference.


Here are 3 of the Most Powerful Tools I Have Used.

Never neglect details. When everyone’s mind is dulled or distracted the leader must be doubly vigilant. ~ Colin Powell

It’s a phrase we’ve all heard ad nauseum, but yes, the devil’s still in the details.

So, how do you keep your perspective on the more strategic elements of your company while capturing and controlling sufficient details to calibrate and validate the execution of that strategy?

Here are a 3 powerful and proven methods to uncover and gain insight into some of these intricate details.

Keep reading to learn the THREE FREE tools to find extra cash


The 12 Days of Christmas | What does is cost this year?

The cost of the fanciful mix of gifts described in the classic carol, The 12 Days of Christmas, has been tracked for over a quarter of a century.

W ho knew how expensive the Seven-Swans-A-Singing would be?


12-Days-of-Christmas resizedWhat a difference 5 years makes!

It was a pretty fowl year back in 2010.

Who knew the price of a French hen would increase by 233%?

Or that two turtle doves would cost 78.6% more? That a lone partridge would go up 20%?

Not that there’s anything wrong with a basket of assorted swans, geese, French hens and turtle doves … I’d prefer a beef tenderloin myself … but who would have expected in 2010, the “Christmas Price Index”, which has closely tracked the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for most of its 27 years, would rise by 9.2%, the 2nd largest increase over that period (2nd only to a 16% jump in 2003).

What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day. ~ Phyllis Diller

PNC Wealth Management has carefully tracked these costs for more than 25 years. This year, they’ve even created a Gingerbread House to explain this index and educate people about the economy.

Keep reading to find out how much this will cost you this year ….


How Close is Your Business to a Colossal Screwup?

Have you established a written Code of Conduct in your organization?

Our prescriptions for acceptable behavior are too vague. Get started now to spell it out more clearly to avoid that potentially colossal screwup.


Have you heard this phrase before?

“Conduct unbecoming”

You may have heard this phrase before, perhaps from the clenched teeth of a military JAG officer about the same time you learned that “Crystal” is a perfectly apt response to “Are we clear?”

What is the Standard of Conduct in Your Office?

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” – Mark Twain

Throughout my service as a U.S. Army officer, this phrase was constantly refreshed as the highest standard to apply to the official actions of military officers.

How Do Organizations Define Acceptable Behavior?

Keep reading to learn more about how to define acceptable behavior


Do you ever calculate ROI and Present Value? Watch these Short Videos | Cheat Sheets

Present Value and Internal Rate of Return are not difficult concepts to understand.

Take a look at the Cheat Sheets I’ve prepared along with 2 very short videos to explain these concepts.


For 20+ years, I’ve been carrying an old plastic card around in my wallet that is a great cheat sheet for investment-minded folks to quickly assess various return options.

I decided to recreate it here because it’s very useful as a handy cheat sheet you can use for quick reference. (You can click on the table to open a printable image.)

You just won the $10 million lottery

Let’s have some fun and assume you just won a $10 million lottery jackpot in California’s MEGA Millions game.

Don’t miss both Cheat Sheets and the accompanying videos


Get More At Bats

A good hitter knows he has to get more hits to be great. A great hitter knows she has to get more at bats to get to the Hall of Fame.

In the wake of the fading scars from the recent recession, most companies have turned their focus to revenue enhancement, a fancy term for “get more sales”. What are the key metrics that will help you drive that achievement?

Get More At Bats - Exkalibur.com

What could be easier than to focus on top line growth?

There is probably no clearer metric to measure and analyze. Check the ledger: sales are up or they’re not.

But, where do sales come from? From Prospects who become customers … so if you’re not tracking how you’re developing Prospects, and treating them as importantly as customers, your sales are unlikely to grow much.

Here’s the real key to getting more sales

Get more at bats.

If you need more customers, find more prospects.  If you own stores, figure out how to get more people through the door.

If you don’t have enough prospects, find more suspects.  If you sell services, talk to more people.

Sales result from developing Suspects … nurturing them to become Prospects … all the while recognizing most of them never become customers   …  but without them, there will be no new customers at all.

“At Bats” are not the same as “Plate Appearances”

Baseball distinguishes between “plate appearances” and “at bats”.

Just showing up at the plate isn’t enough. Keep reading so you don’t miss the metrics checklist…

Happy Thanksgiving!


It seems like everyone is ready for a little R&R these days … and there’s no better time than the Thanksgiving holiday for a restful weekend with family and friends.

We can skip all of the pageantry for now ….

Thanksgiving kicks off a long holiday season … and … thankfully … it’s devoid of the frantic gift-buying, holiday card creation and party circuit pageantry that surrounds Christmas (unless you’re parked in a tent in front of Target waiting for the store to open).

Don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot of fun in all of that … but don’t we often get to the end of the Christmas season … exhausted, drained and looking for another holiday to REALLY get a break?

Leave your trials and tribulations behind

So, let’s enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday and take a moment to leave our trials and tribulations behind and reflect upon all of our blessings. We have a lot to be thankful for living in the greatest country on earth, with all of its blemishes, and for the families and friends who nourish our lives.

Savor these moments.

Enjoy each others’ company, catch a little football, watch Santa arrive in the Macy’s day parade … but don’t let the moment pass by without loving the ones you love and who love you … and enjoying and embracing the blessings that fulfill our lives.

Let the gratitude pour forth~

I offer my special thanks today to everyone who contributes to the blessings and favor that grace my life and extend best wishes to you for a restful and bounteous weekend with your families and friends.

Have a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday!


What do Magicians, Grifters and Financial Legerdemain Have in Common?

It's the money

Magicians are pretty amazing, aren’t they?

They do stuff right in front of our eyes

… we’re on the edge of our seats …

expecting the unexpected …

and even then we have no idea how they just did what they did.

Somehow, he gets you to look one way while he’s doing something else right in front of you … and you completely miss it.

Watch Apollo Robbins, the best pickpocket it in the world, and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

Financial Legerdemain: A Magician’s Trick by any other name

I’ve always loved the term, “legerdemain”. The shorthand definition is “sleight of hand”, kind of “now you see it, now you don’t”. Like Apollo.

But when it’s applied to financial metrics, with an unstated intention of distracting you from focusing on the right thing, it’s a particularly destructive force.

It’s the worst if you turn it on yourself … and end up deceiving yourself about what performance metrics really count. Read the entire article to avoid a fool’s errand ….


Quotation: Is Pricing a Powerful Tool, a Slippery Slope or a Crap Shoot?

Over the years, I’ve written often about pricing … an enigma wrapped in a conundrum for most businesses.

It comes up in many contexts, from evaluating revenue performance, using pricing as a powerful offensive weapon and evaluating the slippery slope of price discounting.

If you’re the buyer, this quote by John Ruskin neatly summarizes the pricing challenge:

It is unwise to pay too much, but it is worse to pay too little. When you pay too much you lose a little money – that is all.

When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.

The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can’t be done.

If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is wise to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that, you will have enough money to pay for something better.

Question: What’s the biggest pricing challenge you face in your business?