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  • Members Only: 2018 HFTP Compensation and Benefits Report

    By Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA. Results to the biannual survey conducted by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP). Information includes data on compensation and benefits trends for finance and technology professionals in the club and lodging industries.

  • 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.

  • Letter from the HFTP Global President: Budgeting and Planning are Integral to Success

    HITEC Houston, which attracted HFTP’s largest event attendance in history, may now be behind us but the year is far from over. At the end of this month on July 28 is the new Club Forum in Sarasota, Florida USA.

  • 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.

Selling your business? Find the emotional buyer

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·13 September 2018
This is one of my favorite insights, since I lived this one in a positive exit from my computer business.

Everything you do adds or reduces company value

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus· 6 September 2018
Each decision you make to commit resources – your money or your use of corporate or personal time – affects the future value of your business.

Can you profit by serving early adapters?

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·30 August 2018
I am a gadget freak, often purchasing new technologies in their first release. And my closet is full of such gadgets, from early pen-based computers to early brick-sized cell phones to an electronic handwriting recognition pad received as a gift to test. These early dives into new technologies serve a purpose for me. They keep me at the leading edge of new development as it is productized, even before mass production. They allow me to preview new devices and technologies before release so that I might write about and speak about them in my “Tech Trends” keynotes. And they are always the center of attention with my tech-savvy friends, some of whom are in the habit of asking, “So what’s new today” each time we meet.

Catch up to your market or be lost!

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·16 August 2018
Markets and competitors change. Are you being left behind? Over the years, I have often heard the complaint from CEO friends that they have become so swamped by the demands of their growing businesses that they feel themselves further and further from the center of their industry, no longer at the forefront of information and competitive development.

Have you experienced your 'Every Three-Million Dollar Crisis?'

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus· 9 August 2018
Here is a phenomenon I discovered over time when dealing with many small start-ups in their early revenue period. A very predictable series of rotating crises seemed to befall most every one of these young companies. These became so predictable that I could accurately label them as occurring about every $3 million in gross profit (or revenue for service companies). By defining this in terms of gross profit, we can include distributors with 15% gross margins as easily as software companies boasting nearly 100% gross margin.

Can you defend your pricing niche against your competition?

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus· 2 August 2018
This week, we continue our series on marketing and positioning. There can be nothing more important in your business planning that selecting the proper pricing niche, making your story clear using that niche, and the defending your position against the competition.

Why buy IT? Why buy MINE? Why buy NOW?

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·26 July 2018
What a powerful set of three questions. These are so succinct, so well defined, so precise that everyone in sales and everyone involved in marketing must be able to answer these three questions without pause, and convincingly. Turning these into statements instead of questions provides a framework for the sales presentation from the highest levels of collateral materials and marketing support, to the salesperson on the front line. It would pay you to work over this set of questions in a special session with sales, marketing and senior management in the room at once. It is that important.

Faster is sometimes more valuable than better.

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·19 July 2018
This is one of those arguable insights, where both sides win. Dell is a great example of emphasis upon fast, creating a customized computer in 48 hours or less, bringing in assemblies and components just-in-time to make the assembly line. However, if Dell quality were poor and returns high, the company surely would not have survived on speed of response alone. If someone were to ask, “What is the secret sauce, Michael Dell?” Dell’s response would be something like “Quality custom computers more quickly than the competition.” And in this company example, both quality and speed are the critical factors in competitive advantage.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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…

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.

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.

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.


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