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  • Members Only: IT Spending in the Lodging Industry Three-year Analysis: 2015–2017

    By Agnes DeFranco, Ed.D., CHAE; Arlene Ramirez, CHE, CHAE; and Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA. PART II: An analysis of IT spending data in the lodging industry based on reporting in the new USALI Schedule 6 — Information and Telecommunications Systems.

  • HITEC Special: Revenue Strategy: Not Just a Fancy New Name for Revenue Management

    By Cindy Estis Green. A strategic view of revenue calls for proactive business mix planning and decision-making around deployed resources, well beyond reacting to what comes over the transom. Excerpt from the 2018 HITEC Bytes Special Report.

  • HITEC Special: Forecasting Accuracy: The Living Forecast

    By Jill Wilder. Forward-looking, continuously updated statistical trend analysis is emerging as a strategic tool that performs the practical magic of creating an accurate forecast you can take to the bank.

  • Members Only: IT Spending in the Lodging Industry

    HFTP Research Report: The new USALI Schedule 6 — Information and Telecommunications Systems and the effects thus far on the industry. An analysis of IT spending data in the industry and compliance practices by lodging executives.

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Are you thinking of the end game when managing your business?

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus· 5 July 2018
Ever think about growing your business with the plan to sell it someday, cashing in on your hard-earned work over the years? Or if you’re an employee with stock options, are you aware of the increases in value you can make with your efforts?
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Is your company or department as efficient as it should be?

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·28 June 2018
There is more money lost in businesses today from inefficient processes than any other single area. Yet this is not a place where most managers feel comfortable deconstructing and rebuilding. Somewhere out there is a consultant or future employee (or even suggestions from present employees) that will provide the roadmap toward making your processes run more smoothly, more quickly and more inexpensively. As a byproduct, process quality is likely to improve as well.
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Business risk: Bet the farm only when the crops are on fire.

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·21 June 2018
How much risk you and your company are willing and able to tolerate over time? Most people believe that early stage companies should take risks aggressively because there is less to lose and much more to gain with each risky bet or decision. Common thinking goes on to address large, public corporations by expressing that the relative tolerance to risk is decreased, in favor of protecting the brand or financial health of the enterprise.
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You are watched, mostly when decisions are tough.

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·14 June 2018
If you have been in management or an entrepreneur long enough, you will have experienced the gray area of decision-making where ethics, the law, your needs and expediency all collide. This is the time when you are paid the big bucks, and when others aware of your plight will be watching most carefully. It is also the time when you demonstrate your true courage to your contemporaries.
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Learn to never handle a paper or email twice

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus· 7 June 2018
We all do it… to our own detriment. So, let’s make a pact that we will try, if not succeed, to handle our incoming messages more efficiently. Personal time management helps immensely to make a better manager of you and me. All of us have time management tips and tricks to help us get through the day. I have a mantra I try to live by, and it has helped me more than you know over the years. “Never handle a paper or email twice” may be extended to include reading and acting upon other forms of messages, and any written distraction.
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How can you let a talented employee go to pursue a new career?

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·31 May 2018
It is tough to lose your best employees wanting to advance their careers. Sometimes you can be the coach, helping them even if it means losing them. And, as in today’s story, sometimes it can mean the beginning of an amazing journey leading to a story for the ages.
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You are your company's moral compass.

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·24 May 2018
Here’s yet another story that you may identify with – or have yet to experience in your business life. It’s one of those that define your leadership for all to see, sometimes based upon decisions made in the moment – such as this one.
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Have you been celebrating each victory?

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·17 May 2018
Here comes another story. Of course. This one may be like one or more you have experienced in your company. It is a story about focus upon the customer, first. And about reinforcing the culture of the company in support of that important focus by senior management, and by all employees who see that leadership in action.
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Here's a rule for companies with outstanding loans

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·10 May 2018
Here is one that is so important to the continued health of a growing company that it cannot be overstated. It’s a bit complex for novices. But hang in there as I explain a bit about accounting classification of assets and liabilities.
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Entrepreneurs: Employment law is not on your side!

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·12 April 2018
Small companies most often scrape by with borrowed or invested funds, doing everything possible to grow and prosper with limited resources. So, it is like a punch in the gut when an employee makes a claim against the company for a perceived or actual but unintentional violation of a law or regulation. Or when a former employee strikes out with a suit claiming discrimination for one of a thousand causes.
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Insurance is always too expensive - until it's needed.

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus· 5 April 2018
I expect that you have a story about how insurance saved you lots of money in your past. As usual, I have a story to make your hair stand on end. But first: here’s a fact. Business insurance is one of the more poorly managed mitigationof risk in small and many medium sized corporations, often because of failure to assign the responsibility to an individual or department, and sometimes just from the willingness to bet against the event and save cash.
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Any advice can be worthless, or worse.

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·29 March 2018
Ever get bad advice? Sure. We all have in our past. Ever take that advice without question because the person giving it was an investor, a superior in rank, the chairperson of your board? I’ll bet you have at least one story of bad advice taken and being bitten as a result.
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I won't serve on a board without D&O insurance!

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·17 March 2018
I’ve been sued as a board member too many times over the past twenty-five years of board service. Five times. Does that shock you? It does me. Entrepreneurs blaming their board for failures of a fragile, early stage company. Shareholders unhappy over the same loss, reaching out to sue every name available. Employees reaching out to anyone above to redress grievances. In one case, an aggressive lawyer finding all the members of an LLC, and suing every member found. Whew!
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How about your board members' time commitments?

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·15 March 2018
Board members are usually busy people, often running other companies or serving on multiple boards. Early stage boards usually meet once a month for two to a maximum of four hours, enough to ruin the rest of a day for those who travel even short distances. Inaddition, most all board members freely receive phone calls and emails from the CEO during the month, all considered part of service.
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Bankers: love 'em or hate 'em. They may affect your future.

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·15 February 2018
Let’s get right down to it. Your banking relationship can be like a great marriage or a bad trip to the DMV. In most cases it is strictly your choice. But the results of that choice will reverberate for what could be years. For a start…
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Take only 'smart money' investments

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus· 8 February 2018
This statement could be considered controversial. We have previously made the case that professional investors demand more in the form of restrictive covenants and lower valuations. Now we explore the other side of that coin. Professional investors usually bring “smart money” to the table, defined as money that comes along with good advice and great relationships for corporate growth. Often, that money is worth more than the cash invested, because the investors who often become members of the board, bring a wealth of experience, insight, relationships and deeper pockets to the table.
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Accounting: What kind of bean counter do you need?

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·25 January 2018
Accountants are trained, certified and usually quite experienced in financial analysis, both creating and reviewing data. Bookkeepers are often trained on the job although sometimes more formally and handle the physical work of accounting for the transactions. To expect a bookkeeper to provide analytical planning is to ask for something they often cannot provide, except in a cursory way.
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What's a company board good for, anyway?

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·11 January 2018
Some of you have gotten along forever without a board of directors, or used your spouse as the “other” board member from the start. But there are some very good reasons to build a great board composed of some outside members. And good board members can add real value to you and the company.

How well do you use your business time?

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·28 December 2017
As you follow these insights from ignition to liquidity event, you’ll detect a continuing theme, emphasizing the need for deep and wide relationships that the CEO and senior staff can call upon for advice and guidance. This is the time to elevate those insights to the level of highest value for the corporation, one that cannot be listed on a balance sheet nor included in an appraisal of corporate worth.
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Several more real costs of taking outsider investments.

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·21 December 2017
Let’s talk about the reality of taking money from professional investors. It is not the first time we’ve covered this general subject nor the last. But this time, we concentrate upon governance changes.

An experienced coach has seen your movie before.

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus· 7 December 2017
Business coaches come in all sizes and shapes. Entrepreneurs will have a relative willing to devote time, a school friend with business experience, professionals who charge for the service, investors with a reason to promote your success and more. But by far the best coaches are those that have lived through the process you’re going through and built successful enterprises in your same industry. Especially if they have sold their companies and live comfortably upon the proceeds, these people are often the most willing to help and the most patient through the process.
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Avoid 'The tyranny of the new office' syndrome.

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·30 November 2017
One of the most obvious observations I make with growing company CEO's is that planning for a new office is done with an optimistic view of the future, incorporating planned space that compromises only slightly the measured needs for the ...

Sign short term leases early on. Move as you grow.

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·23 November 2017
It is statistically true that at least half of the young companies funded by angel or venture investors will not survive three years from funding to demise, and more than that percentage will die with two years if not well financed. The greatest burden of either a growing company or one needing to retract and reduce expenses is the office lease. Although payroll is almost always the greatest cost, companies have flexibility as to how to handle both rapid growth and rapid decline in the personnel arena.
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Are you uncomfortable with home-based workers?

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·16 November 2017
Do home-based employees work with the same dedication and productivity as those in office cubicles next to each other? That depends upon the management as much as the employee. I have a friend who is a CEO of a recruiting firm who “virtualized” her company after a decade of maintaining a fixed office location. She organizes morning conference calls, has each employee tweet the others in their department when starting work and ending the day, creates the feel of closeness with employee contests, and rewards her best sales people by assigning them the best leads, creating an environment where the best excel and those unable to cut it in a virtual environment fall out on their own accord for lack of revenue.
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Niche marketing works. Here's how.

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus· 9 November 2017
How many of us throw away marketing dollars because our paid efforts reach an audience that is much larger than the target or niche audience we need to reach? Whether it be for publications, social marketing, or even those once-necessary postal mailers, we have tools now that were not available just a few years ago.
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Are you ready to take on an office lease?

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus· 2 November 2017
Several years ago, I became involved with a Southeast Asian company looking to expand into the United States. During the discussions with the CEO about hiring North American managers, he made it clear that he wanted us to find a first-class office facility from which to start the search process, and proceeded to name cities that attracted him. Even after discouraging him from this backwards method of infrastructure-building, he kept bringing up the subject in subsequent months as new senior managers and sales people were hired, each starting with an orientation week at the Asian headquarters then returning to work from home.

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