Monday, January 4, 2010

Obama Tells The Banks To Lend - Martin Harshberger Of Measurable Results LLC Believes More Must Be Done

Martin Harshberger, CEO of Measurable Results LLC and author of Bottom Line Focus, offers advice to business owners and CEO's regarding the current lending situation. Harshberger, widely known as The Bottom Line Coach, has also just released Bottom Line Focus. The book details how strategic planning can make the difference between success and failure in today’s rapidly evolving business environment

A newsletter from the Small Business Administration dated September 2008 provides the following interesting figures about U. S. small businesses. It says that firms with fewer than 500 employees:

• Represent 99.7% of all firms with employees.
• Employ about half of private sector employees.
• Create between 60% and 80% of all new jobs during the last decade.
• Generate more than half of non-farm gross domestic product.
• Employ 40% of our nation's scientists, engineers, and computer workers.

In spite of that information loans are tough to get for small to mid-sized businesses. Banks are looking for businesses that present no risk. Loans, if they make them, must be over capitalized and in nearly all cases personally guaranteed by the owner. Even profitable small to mid-sized businesses in the U.S. have trouble getting asset-based financing using receivables and inventory as collateral.

"These days," Mr. Harshberger stated, "business owners must understand the New Golden Rule - he that has the gold makes the rules. It is important that any business learn to conserve cash. If you don't, the day may come when you can't get any more."

Mr. Harshberger also believes that businesses should look inside the organization for cash before looking outside. Businesses can seek to free up working capital by:

• Reducing inventory. Inventory is cash on your floor. Even asset-based lenders generally won't loan you more than 50 percent of the value of your inventory.

• Reducing rework and scrap. These soak up cash for materials and labor, but they generate zero sales.

• Retraining or dismissing underachieving employees. The investment for underperformers is about the same as for high producers, but the return is far less.

• Increasing quality. This frees up cash by reducing the amount of rework, scrap, and customer returns.

"If you don't have a clear vision," stated Mr. Harshberger, "a well-constructed plan and well-defined goals, you can burn lots of cash going down blind alleys and chasing false opportunities. That can cause you to lose credibility with your lenders and investors. When you need additional capital, know how much you need and exactly how you're going to use it. With every trip to the well, you may have to pay higher costs in terms of equity dilution, additional personal guarantees and additional debt service costs."

A no cost bottom line assessment tool is available for download at Mr. Harshberger's website. Mr. Harshberger's book, Bottom Line Focus is available at the company’s website and most online book retail outlets. Mr. Harshberger is available for interview and can be reached using the information below, or by email at


Martin Harshberger is the founder and President of Measurable Results LLC. He has extensive executive management experience in both Fortune 500 companies, as well as start-ups and mid-sized organizations spanning over a 30 year period.

Mr. Harshberger held senior executive positions with Control Data Corporation. He founded Logistics Management Inc. in Memphis, TN. He served as CEO of LMI for ten years. LMI was a pioneer in value added logistics management and grew from a startup to over $40MM in sales within five years. Martin also owned a small logistics company in Germany and operated that company as a subsidiary of LMI. The European operations grew from 2M DM to over 12M DM in four years. LMI was named to the INC 500's prestigious list of America's fastest growing companies in 1997.

After selling out of LMI in 1999, in anticipation of changing market conditions, Martin served as CEO of a mid-sized manufacturing company in the HVAC industry.

Martin Harshberger’s passion for results and common sense approach to business problems coupled with his varied experience makes him a natural fit in the consulting industry. He brings that experience to the table for his clients.

Martin Harshberger
Measurable Results LLC