What are the a must have systems in a business?


My answer to What are the a must have systems in a business?

Answer by Ken Larson:


From strategic planning to marketing, from forward pricing to job cost accounting, from subcontracting and vendor/contractor management to human resources policies, the small firm itself undergoing a business system design projects.

Understand the requirements first, review existing processes and tools next, develop a thorough requirements statement of what must be done in the way of enhancements and then consider automating. While performing your analysis keep the following 5 rules of thumb in mind:

1. An electronic computer software package is not a system. One cannot acquire a system by acquiring computer capability.

2. One acquires a system by conducting systems analysis, achieving a design and processes by working with the people who will run the system. This is hard work and time consuming. Processes are improved and made more efficient by modifying user behavior not by automating it.

3. Once system and analysis and system design are complete one chooses tools to assist in running the system. The adequacy of a computer tool is driven by the requirements of the most efficient system design.

4. The biggest mistake implementation teams make is to believe they are buying a system when they buy a software tool or let the software drive the systems analysis process. That is like asking a mechanic to drive a wrench from New York to St. Louis. It has resulted in millions of dollars wasted and plummeting efficiency in many organizations, large and small.

5. It is necessary to design a system and processes unique to the company to meet user requirements before going shopping for computer tools. If you do not you will be pigeon-holing your company into a COTS mentality and become a slave to the company that owns the source code. If you want anything changed it costs a big buck.

What are the a must have systems in a business?

Air Force Chief: Lack of Defense Budget More Dangerous Than Any Enemy



Image: Senior Airman John Linzmeier/Air Force


“The chief of staff of the Air Force on Thursday warned decision-makers that failing to pass a defense budget will damage his service like no foreign enemy can.

“There is no enemy on the planet that can do more damage to the United States Air Force than us not getting a budget,” he said, adding the service has “serious challenges.”

“There is talk right now of going to a year-long continuing resolution,” Gen. David L. Goldfein told an audience at a Feb. 23 Center for Strategic and International Studies event.

Of the many responsibilities the Air Force maintains, guaranteeing air superiority is at the top of the list, Goldfein said.

“I don’t ever want a Marine or a soldier or a sailor or airman who hears jet noise — I don’t ever want them looking up,” he said. “I want them looking directly into the eyes of their enemy because I want them to know in their heart that that is me. I don’t ever want them thinking that is somebody else.

“If we don’t invest in those capabilities, I’m going to have them looking up, and that spells failure,” he said.

The Air Force is also responsible for two-thirds of the “nuclear enterprise, the bomber leg of the triad and the missile leg of the triad,” Goldfein said.

Currently, there is an executive order to review the country’s nuclear posture and ballistic missile defense to determine, “Do we want to walk away from the attributes that were built into the triad?” he said.

Missiles are the most responsive part of the triad, giving the commander-in-chief the quickest capability, Goldfein said. “The bomber leg is the most flexible; it’s the one you can call back. It’s the one that you can deploy forward.”

The U.S. Navy’s nuclear submarine force is the most survivable, he said. “Do those three attributes still make sense? If so, modernization of all three legs is still required.”

If a continuing budget resolution is put into place, readiness will suffer, Goldfein warned.

“I’m not going to be able to hire the people I need to get those aircraft airborne or have the pilots I need to actually fly those missions,” he said. “I’m not going to be able to get aircraft in a depot; the lines are going to stop. The civilian hiring freeze will continue for the remainder of the year.

“I’m not going to have the flying hours to get those planes airborne, I’m not going to be able to invest in the training and I’m not going to have any relief on the time,” he said.

At Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, “You are going to find one squadron that’s down range, one squadron that just got back and one squadron that is getting ready. That’s the story of where we are right now,” Goldfein said.”






Why do most of the larger and medium sized firms are exporting their products and avoid doing business in local or domestic market?


My answer to Why do most of the larger and medium sized firms are exporting their products and avoid doing business…

Answer by Ken Larson:

It is not a matter of avoidance. It is a matter of markets and supply and demand. Businesses will take actions to achieve profits. They often do so far operating far above governments.

Bringing jobs back to America” is an antiquated phrase.

We must bring America to the jobs and we are doing so with our unmatched technology and internationally wired economy. There simply is no other way forward.

Companies like IBM and GE are camped out in China, relocating high tech and aircraft manufacturing personnel from the US to where the demand is greatest.

IBM To Build Massive China Cloud Data Centers – InformationWeek

GE jet engine joint venture to power China's new plane

Supply and demand has always prevailed throughout human history. America needs to elevate education and industrial cooperative programs to bring our work force up to where the bulk of our labor force can lead the world anywhere in the world.

Asking industry to invest in this concept is a great way to fill open labor requisitions in the top firms with experienced people.

IBM Defends the Radical 6-Year High School It Founded To Get Young Minorities Into Tech

Why do most of the larger and medium sized firms are exporting their products and avoid doing business in local or domestic market?

Does the U.S. military need to be expanded?


My answer to Does the U.S. military need to be expanded?

Answer by Ken Larson:

Expansion in the form of manpower and technology for cyber warfare, low cost UAV’s and state of the art communications – yes.

But billions of dollars for F-35 aircraft and other politically engineered White Elephants is foolish while our countries infrastructure is crumbling. As the below figure illustrates we can carve a considerable amount of these excesses out.

Image: Rose Covered Glasses

Red Flags of Waste in the FY 2017 Defense Budget

Does the U.S. military need to be expanded?

How does the change in technology affect human norms and values?


My answer to How does the change in technology affect human norms and values?

Answer by Ken Larson:

We are constantly in a mode of playing catch up to the enormous advances in technology, communication and the wired world. This causes stress and eventually results in changes to norms and values.

But it is not an easy process and it can be extraordinarily risky, as we have seen with events in the Middle East wars, Arab Spring and Geopolitical stresses like the Russian role in U.S. elections.

Human intellect is an ever restless endeavor and we struggle to evolve in other aspects fast enough to adapt to our technology. The human physiology has not evolved to match the pace at which we live today. We are prone to overweight, mental disorders, and many other weaknesses as a result. In many cases these maladies are all reactions to the stress of change and perceived expectations by others and ourselves.

We are sensitive and vulnerable creatures, designed in a complex and vastly varying ways. The pace of life these days requires cultivation of expectation management and everyone must evolve their own unique form of that art in accordance with their values.

How does the change in technology affect human norms and values?

What casualities did 9.11 bring about? What’s the response from U.S. and the national world?


My answer to What casualities did 9.11 bring about? What's the response from U.S. and the national world?

Answer by Ken Larson:

There are the physical and the moral tragedies and then there are the continuing cause and effect impacts leading up to and then after 911 that still resonate today. 911 was an inevitable result of massive strategic error and cultural misunderstanding in the Middle East. As the presentation below specifies, we must never let these roots grow again.

Image: “Rose Coveredglasses”

Applying “Cause and Effect” to US Military Incursions

What casualities did 9.11 bring about? What's the response from U.S. and the national world?

Can you sell anything to the goverment?


My answer to Can you sell anything to the goverment?

Answer by Ken Larson:

There are many agencies and government prime contractors to whom you may be able to sell your products or services.
 Like any other customer, the government expects you to finance your business, meet your payroll, pay your expenses and submit a bill for products and services delivered or rendered. The federal payment cycle is often 60 to 90 days, depending on whether or not you are a subcontractor to a prime corporation.
 In federal government contracting you must also comply with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and associated Cost Accounting Standards (CAS). Although these requirements are not "Rocket Science", they are different from commercial rules and generally accepted accounting practices (GAP). They have evolved over the years as the federal government has grown in the volume of goods and services it buys. Very few universities make FAR and CAS part of their curriculum and CPA's do not encounter them on a certification exam. Several articles at this site address the practical implications of FAR and CAS requirements for a small business.
 The prudent, small businessperson reviews the potential impact of FAR and CAS on his or her business systems and processes before undertaking a government contract, particularly a cost plus or a time and materials contract. In many cases job cost accounting and long range budget planning are required to support pricing, overhead and general and administrative rates. Government contracts can run several months or even years.
 Federal agencies form large-scale projects and use companies to service their needs by contracting specialized skills, sometimes bringing the contractors on site by labor category under time and material, cost plus or fixed rate contracts or by purchasing services or products at company facilities and remote sites.
 In other cases, pre-established pricing and terms and conditions are negotiated with several suppliers in advance under omnibus contracts and separate delivery orders are issued competitively based on changing requirements. The General Services Administration (GSA) negotiates pricing and terms on multi-year schedules from which both federal and state agencies are permitted to buy.


Can you sell anything to the goverment?

What are the most important steps to succeed in the corporate world?


My answer to What are the most important steps to succeed in the corporate world?

Answer by Ken Larson:

Understanding the difference between good politics and bad politics:


Good Politics: Seeking to influence others with ideas that further the interests and success of the organization.

Bad Politics: Seeking to influence others with ideas that further the interests and success of the individual.You can always discern the practitioners:

The Good Politician – Company officers, board room members and successful executives.

The Bad Politician – The individual in the corner office with no apparent function having both hands over the gluteus maximus and looking over the shoulder worried about all the people stepped upon on the way up.

What are the most important steps to succeed in the corporate world?

What should I do to sell goods on the Internet?


My answer to What should I do to sell goods on the Internet?

Answer by Ken Larson:

Understand the difference between a successful business and the tools successful businesses use.

As a small business counselor I have noticed there seems to be a belief that automation, the Internet and social networking can make the business succeed when in fact the real design of the enterprise itself is lacking (niche, market base, business plan, competitive analysis and financial forecasting)

I hear from many clients who ask, "What Now?" having launched an enterprise that is going nowhere because they are driving the tools and not the car.

I take them back to the garage; design the auto to see if it can run and then apply the wrenches retroactively if that is possible. It is usually a traumatic experience and could have been avoided with strategic and business planning before launch.

Below is a simple test to develop your potential idea for a business.

1. Do you have a product or service niche in mind?

2. Do you believe you have a market for 1 above and the means to reach it?

3. Are you willing to develop a business plan using the tool kit linked below to validate 1 and 2 above before you launch?

If the answer to the above questions is "Yes",use the below planning aids to design your business vehicle and the road map you intend to follow on your journey:

General Planning Considerations
 Market Research Guidance

Free Sample Business Plans
 When you have completed the above definition and planning process you will then be in a position to astutely select the tools you wish to use along the way and apply them successfully.

You will be able to network your vehicle, pick up riders as industry partners, and attract revenue fuel in the form of customers by marketing and social networking based on the thorough definition and content of your business plan.

Are You Driving the Tools & Not the Car In Launching Your Small Business?

What should I do to sell goods on the Internet?

How long does it take to start making money on your blog?


My answer to How long does it take to start making money on your blog?

Answer by Ken Larson:

I have been blogging for 10 years. I have found through hard experience that it is best to divide opinions from professional assistance offerings.

I have Google Adsense and site metering on both the sites I maintain.

The Blog containing professional assistance to small business earns orders of magnitude more traffic than the opinion blog and proportionately more earnings. People want help more than they want opinions. See below graphic for traffic comparisons on the last 7 years. Neither site has made me rich and I did not set them up for that purpose.


Rose Covered Glasses

It took the better part of a year to build up traffic. I view blogging as an auxiliary enhancement to marketing my non-profit foundation as well as the foundations I support and staying in touch with Veteran Issues.

The most useful feature of blogging to me is a time saver. I can write an article once and send 50 clients to it in the course of my advisory work. That saves me enormous amounts of time.

I spend roughly 3 hours a day blogging and site maintenance, maintaining books and reference materials in BOX at the site free to the public. The majority of my time is devoted to counseling specific small business clients and blogging is vital to that mission.

How long does it take to start making money on your blog?