Making your business valuable

The cycle of life in business

by Chia-Li Chien | Nov. 08, 2013

I started my first business in the U.S. in 1993; a software consulting firm that specialized in financial modeling and financing applications for nuclear power plant bidding. At age thirty-six, I reached financial independence and decided to retire early. However, I quickly became bored and started my second business in 2005, helping small businesses to build value and reposition for a profitable sale of the business in the future.

Through experience, I’ve learned what impacts business value from investors’ or buyers' perspective. But first, I’ll ask you a question that you most likely know the answer to—what are the three major factors impacting real estate value, marketability and desirability? That’s right—

Uniquely You

The difference between your business and someone else’s business

by Chia-Li Chien | Oct. 31, 2013

Chia-Li Chien Uniquely YouWe already know every business has its own unique culture, determined by the personality of its team, location, industry, customer audience, and other factors that may or may not affect profits and business value.

It’s also true that each business has its own internal processes. Systematized proprietary processes are valuable intellectual property and necessary to your business. Your unique processes and systems can help make your business more valuable.

However, if your processes are not systematized, you may want to consider an overhaul to build value and increase efficiency. If your processes can’t integrate with your other systems such as accounting or order fulfillment, you’ll have inefficiencies that result in higher costs passed on to your customers.

And if you have very high volume seasons, without systematized processes, your company may be hindered in handling the good problem of a flood of business. If there is lack of underlying processes in your core competency, the result could be varied outputs, creating an inconsistency in profitability.

The right processes in place create more opportunities and uncover pockets of money.

If automation is not a possibility yet, start with a paper process. It can help you streamline your internal process and eventually increase the efficiency within your team. Having any type of streamlined process will enhance the consistency of your overall quality for delivering your service and ultimately increase your profits.

Best Practices: Becoming a Business Architect

Make a change to M:M selling.

by Chia-Li Chien | Oct. 05, 2013

Chia-Li Chien, Best Practices: Becoming a Business ArchitectYou work only three hours a day, three days a week and take twelve weeks of vacation each year. Your business pays you an annual salary of six or seven figures.

Does this describe you? Then congratulations. You are a Business Architect.

If this does not describe you, beginning now, you should strive to become one. Through years of working with business owners, I’ve come to the conclusion there are three categories of entrepreneurs:

Technician—Your business provides you a salary of less than $100,000 a year. (Please make a note here; I said “salary” not “revenue.”)

Manager—Typically, you’ve managed to create a lifestyle in which the business provides you a salary of around $250,000 a year.

Business Architect—Other than the fact that the business provides an annual salary of greater than $250,000 for the owner/architect, there is usually also a minimum of three to five times of business value back to the owner when you become the Architect of your business.

Award-winning Charlotte author Chia-Li Chien received "HONORABLE MENTION" from 2013 Southern California Book Festival on Oct 05, 2013

by Chia-Li Chien | Oct 05, 2013

Award Winning "HONORABLE MENTIONS" in the 'BUSINESS/TECHNOLOGY' category of the 2013 Southern California Book Festival.

Bert Woodard, Next Level Communications (
For Chia-Li Chien/Work Toward Reward (,
336-978-0021 ,


CHARLOTTE – Chia-Li Chien has earned "HONORABLE MENTION" Award for her latest book, Working Toward Reward, by 2013 Southern California Book Festival Awards. The 2013 Southern California Book Festival News announced the winners and finalists of The 2013 Southern California Book Festival AWARDS on Oct. 5, 2013. The award celebration is held at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Sat. evening, Oct. 18, 2013.

How is your business doing?

Take time to assess numbers and understand your bottom line.

by Chia-Li Chien | Sept 15, 2013

Chia-Li Chien, How is your business doing?Business owners have so much going their way. Control, flexibility, personal and professional satisfaction. As a matter of fact, most business owners I talk to for my annual Business Value Drivers survey cite those reasons as some of the major motivators for getting and staying in business. The other main reason, of course, is the ability to build business value—the financial potential.

Of course, business owners take on risks that many other professionals do not face. Financial potential swings both ways—the potential for great gain and the potential for great loss. So how do business owners manage that risk? What can they do to make the pendulum stay on the upswing?

In my experience, a business owner must manage that risk through three different channels:

•    Customers
•    Employees
•    Investors


To oversimplify it a bit—if you have a product or service, you’ve got to have someone who will buy it. Those people are your customers. So here’s a trick question—do you know who your customers are?

Do you know who your best customers are?

2013-2014 Books List

by Chia-Li Chien | Sept. 11, 2014

Award-Winning Author Chia-Li Chien speaks at Winthrop University on Sept. 05, 2013

by Chia-Li Chien | Sept 05, 2013

Bert Woodard, Next Level Communications (
For Chia-Li Chien/Work Toward Reward (,
336-978-0021 ,


CHARLOTTE – Chia-Li Chien Chia-Li Chien, successful business owner and award-winning author speaks at Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC on Sept. 5, 2013. Founded in 1886, Winthrop University is a public, coeducational, comprehensive university that teaches students to live, learn, and lead for a lifetime.


Chien, a Charlotte business consultant, has recently released her latest book, Work Toward Reward. The book is available on at