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  • HFTP Research Report: Pre-opening Expenditures in Hospitality

    A study of the pre-opening budget; the timeline for these expenditures; timeline for onboarding of staff; and the selection, installation and training of the technology component. By Agnes DeFranco, Ed.

  • New Global Directors Join the 2018-2019 HFTP Board

    The HFTP 2018-2019 Global Board of Directors was installed during the association's 2018 Annual Convention and introduces new directors Toni Bau, Carson Booth, CHTP and Mark Fancourt. These extensive director profiles give insight into the distinguished professions and personal goals of HFTP's newest association leaders.

  • Letter from the HFTP Global President: At the End of the Year, We Reflect on the Best of the Year

    As we prepare to transition to the new HFTP Global board at the 2018 Annual Convention in October, I would like to take the time to reflect on my year serving as HFTP Global president.

  • 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.

Can you become a master negotiator?

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus· 7 February 2019
Think you don’t use negotiation most every day of your life? From the time we learn to manipulate our parents from the crib to today, we learn to negotiate to obtain our wants and needs. As we grow, we negotiate constantly with our parents, then with our peers. As we enter the business world, we negotiate with our bosses and our subordinates. We negotiate with our suppliers, customers, investors, and even our auditors. At home, we certainly negotiate with our spouses or significant others.

What would you do if told to "fail fast?"

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·17 January 2019
Here’s a question that should strike close to home. Professional investors like to quote this mantra to anyone who will listen. “Fail fast,” they say. But what if you believe so strongly in your budding enterprise that this seems to be the most ill-advised directive you’ve ever heard?

Investors, your board, and you: Who controls strategy?

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·10 January 2019
You’re building a company from your vision and a passion, and lots of people are going to tell you that you have this or that wrong, and that it just won’t work.

Missed Expectations and The Eighty Percent Acquisition Rule

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus· 3 January 2019
Eighty percent of all businesses purchased by another company or by a new investor-operator fail to meet the stated expectations of the buyer after one year.

Risk, insanity, and the 50% startup rule

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·27 December 2018
Fifty percent of all businesses formed fail within the first two years. There are many variations of this number since there are a number of ways to measure failure. But the number is a startling reminder that creating a business is not easy, nor is it any assurance of success.

Should I license my IP, sell a royalty stream, or just produce products?

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·20 December 2018
This week we contacted royalty licensing expert, the well-respected Arthur Lipper, asking the magic question. Why are you so strongly sold on royalty licensing as the most effective way to finance a tech-based early stage company?

Can a revolutionary concept be too late to market?

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·13 December 2018
Too many startup businesses, especially in the technology world, are built upon brand new concepts that have not yet been proven in the field against products from other companies that already have revenues flowing.

The most satisfying life journey is never about the money.

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·15 November 2018
Allow me to reminisce. This is the final post of this cycle. Next week we return to the start of the journey, focusing upon the “what and how” to ignite a successful enterprise from start-up to exit.

Money is not the only measure of success.

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus· 8 November 2018
I am sure you heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs that motivate our behavior, in which Abraham Maslow laid out a human’s needs – from the physiological, to safety, then love and belonging, on to esteem and finally self-actualization. A little too esoteric for you? Let’s make it more personal.

Why not share your liquidity success with those who got you there?

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus· 1 November 2018
So, you are close to selling your company, and counting the profits a bit early. Well, that’s human nature. Here’s a thought for you to recall later when and if the event happens. Remember thosewho got you there. And for tax reasons, remember them before the closing of the deal, so that you can do so by sharing a bit of your proceeds without paying personal income tax upon those amounts.

Everyone wants to leave a legacy.

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·25 October 2018
Be honest now. Have you ever thought of what legacy you’ll leave behind? If you are an entrepreneur or CEO, surely you’ve thought of how you’ll be remembered by your associates and stakeholders after you move on.

Take advantage of the good times to build stakeholder loyalty.

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·18 October 2018
There are several times when stakeholder loyalty is tested to the limit. For employees, a late or missed payroll is the ultimate test of corporate loyalty, divorced even from an employee’s ability to make do without a paycheck.

Will your company's sale be celebration or silence?

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus· 4 October 2018
I’ve been involved with well over twenty successful exits and four initial public offerings over the years, some of them with monstrous gains, some more modest. Then in addition, there are the exits that returned some portion of capital, but nothing more. And finally, there are the thirty-plus sad exits that were complete write-offs for the investors, sometimes regaining some portion of note-holder or creditor money in the process.

Another personal story: Timing is everything in a sale.

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·27 September 2018
Almost anyone who has sold a company has a story to tell about their good deal, the problems with the buyer, a last-minute change of terms, or more.

Can you list ten buyers for your business?

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·20 September 2018
Most entrepreneurs and certainly all investors would like to see “a positive liquidity event” (a good sale of the business) someday. Boards of directors should be aware that one of their duties could be to evaluate offers from potential buyers, or even to initiate efforts to sell the business for the benefit of all stakeholders.

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.


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