The right guide can get you over the rocky waters and on to success!

by Chia-Li Chien | Sept. 08, 2011


This summer, I was lucky enough to go on my first whitewater rafting trip! As you can see from this photo, there were six of us in each raft with the guide seated right behind me. That’s Lee guiding the raft through the rapids for us.

We were on Nanthahala River, the coldest river in the Appalachian gorge in North Carolina. The entire run was two hours on the water, through many heart-pounding rapids, excitement, getting splashed and soaking wet, along with tons of laughther. I even sustained a hard hit from a hanging tree branch along the river bank. Lee tried to warn me with a “watchout!” just two seconds before I saw it, but it was too late. Luckily I did not get knocked out of the raft and into that cold water. I’m still wearing that bump and scar on my forehead today. This photo was taken as we were just about to navigate the 9-foot drop of Nanthahala Falls. Lee repeatedly told us, as we approached the falls, “paddle with your life, non-stop!”

There were many boats on the river that day, many without a raft guide like Lee, and many were stuck on the riverbank or hopelessly stranded on the rocks sticking out of the river. I asked Lee his “fall out rate,” and he confidently told me “zero!”

“People want to save money and go down this river on their own. Unfortunately, only the experienced guides know the river well enough to maneuver and navigate the boats toward finish line successfully,” said Lee.


Did you know that 60% of business owners feel challenged to maintain a healthy profit margin? According to our recent research, it’s true, yet many businesses receive their company profit and loss statement an entire three months after the fact.

Here are three additional mistakes you must avoid if you’re serious about taking your company to the next level.

1.    Not setting expectations of turnaround time and deadlines with an outsourced partner.
2.    Having no real-time access to your business data.
3.    Having no ownership of your business data.

What can you to do avoid these three additional mistakes?

1.    Have real-time online access to your financial information.

Streamline your financial processes so that you will always, know with a click on your keyboard, your P&L, payables, receivables, inventory, etc. at any given time. It’s your business. Make it a priority to keep up with your numbers.

2.    Regularly monitor and compare your current year projection vs. actual finances.

Run your projection numbers and actuals side-by-side in your accounting programs or spreadsheets. You may want to add a column for the previous year as well to see your growth!

3.    Regularly monitor a set of key performance indicators (KPI) that matter to your business.

Know your KPI’s and watch how your numbers stack up against them.

Business financials don’t have to be a painful process, but like my recent whitewater rafting experience I told you about, you must have the RIGHT guide in today’s turbulent business waters. Are you actually sustaining a healthy profit margin? Or are you paddling with your life — non-stop?

As I’ve described in my whitewater rafting experience above, you must have the RIGHT guide to get you through the turbulent business waters of today. Maybe you’ve been stuck on the rocks in the middle of river for a while. Or perhaps you’ve drifted to the riverbank, simply waiting until deeper waters come to take you back out into the flow. Perhaps you believe the economy has caused your business to overturn in its unstable wake.

Even through today’s economy, my clients are navigating their businesses to success, perhaps because they have the RIGHT GUIDE.

Why risk going down the river without a guide? Without one, you may drift to the bank or get stuck on the rocks. I can guide you through today’s turbulent business waters. Sign-up for my 90-minute webinar today and find out how Profits Matter® can get you back into the flow and lead you to a successful run.


Let me guide you through the turbulent business waters. Sign-up for my 90-minute webinar today and find out how PROFITS MATTER® can get you off the rocks, into the flow, and lead you to business success.


Date: Various dates, please click on the big orange button to see the dates.
Time: 11:00 am to 12:30 pm EST

In this 90-min. webinar Chia-Li will cover three things:

1. What makes a business valuable? (form investors/buyers' perspective)
2. What mistakes to avoid while building your business?
3. Strategies you can put to use today to begin building value for your business

Upon completion of the registration, you will receive a separate email to confirm along with webinar URL and conference call information.

Wishing you the best in business,



Chia-Li Chien, CFP®, CRPC, PMP; Chia-Li "like JOLLY!" Passionate leader of small business strategic value creation and implementation Mastery. She is CEO and chief strategist of Value Growth Institute –Creating business value that transforms your world. She is the Award-Winning author of "Show Me the Money." Grab a free sample of "PROFITS MATTER® 1GAP" to grow your business at


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