Business Finance | Does EBITDA Bury Its Own Dead?

Does EBITDA really tell you what you need to know?

I have enough money to last me the rest of my life … unless I buy something.–         Jackie Mason


Does this sound like you?

Someone recently told me that they’re bored by finance. “Don’t distract me with strategic finance stuff, just let me run my business the way I know how.”

“No problem,” I said, “if you’ll just answer one question. What if the way you’re running it is causing increasing strain on your financial resources, cash flow is dwindling and you’re destroying market value every year. Do you care about any of that?”

“Of course, I do, but when sales start picking up again, all of that will go away and my EBITDA will return to normal levels.”

“Really?” I said. “How do you know that?”

“That’s the way it’s always worked.”

“Have you had any problems with your banking relationship?” (more…)

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Vol. 54: The road to cost control


The North Bay Business Journal, a publication of the New York Times, is a weekly business newspaper which covers the North Bay area of San Francisco – from the Golden Gate bridge north, including the Wine Country of Sonoma and Napa counties.

This page provides the Print-Friendly Version of the article, as published.

Any related materials or articles referenced in the column, or otherwise applicable, will also be referenced below:

The electronic version of the article, as published, may be found here.


Article published -November 30 2009larykirchenbauerhdr

Is fear or kindness the road to cost control? You decide

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”

– Albert Einstein

Last time I presented the dichotomy of two opposing cultures and posed the question: If measured by financial performance, how can dramatically different organizations be equally successful? In this continuing series, we’ll explore some of the combinations and permutations of sound business principles and cultural patterns that often collide within an organization’s walls.

In many ways, it doesn’t seem fair that both charitable and churlish cultures can thrive. It’s easy to embrace the benevolent culture created by Sid Rich (we’ll call it Company South, “S” for Sid) as profiled in my last column.

That company deserves to be successful. Wouldn’t it be great if that was the company I worked for? Contrarily, when you look across the aisle at the rough and tumble world of Company North (“N” for Nasty), highlighted by temper tantrums, public floggings and a petulant devotion to spending a dime on anything, we’re either glad we’re not working there … or wishing we didn’t.

Some powerful lessons are evident as we compare and contrast these companies, their styles and culture, although some lessons are not very inviting. (more…)

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