Our weekly thoughts and general ramblings about everything related to business – from industries and investments to management and operations.

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Words Matter 2.0

This week, we, like everybody else in the US, have been reading about the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsberg.  Don’t worry, we aren't going to jump into the foray of Supreme Court nominations.  We will, however, outline a great RBG story from WNYC’s More Perfect podcast series.  From a talk RGB gave about her 1970’s strategy to provide women legal protections against discrimination:  

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Gross Profit

At Chenmark, we live and die by our Free Cash Flow numbers.  Free Cash Flow is a no BS way of knowing how we’re doing; it tells us how much cash we have in the bank after operating our business and meeting all of our financial obligations. On a day to day basis however, we actually speak much more frequently about gross profitability and work with all our companies to make sure we understand it at a customer and service line level.

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Seriously?

We recently listened to a Radiolab segment on Translation, part of which investigated how words can have different meanings depending on your perspective–which can lead to misunderstandings.  The word in question for this segment was “serious”.  As Greg Warner, NPR’s East Africa Correspondent highlighted, the word “serious” in East Africa has a different meaning than it does in North America

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It’s the Pricing, Stupid!

A common area of anxiety in a small business is pricing. The central tension is a concern that a price increase will automatically result in reduced demand (and angry customers).  A reluctance to increase prices can lead some companies to chronically underprice their goods and services. 

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Mind Blown

The Chenmark team is not a big drinking group.  We’re generally the type that opt for water during a work dinner and club soda with lime at a cocktail party (boring, we know).  That said, when back in beautiful British Columbia, we always make an exception for a delicious Okanagan Cider (apple or peach, preferably).  These ciders are simply delicious and unlike anything we’ve been able to find in America. 

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Tax or Return?

At Chenmark, we try to maintain a bias for action. This means we attempt to drive toward decisions with an eye toward championing those initiatives that will earn a return (make things better), while trying to identify and eliminate those things which will result in a tax either now or in the future. Importantly, we don’t necessarily mean ‘return’ or ‘tax’ in the traditional finance sense of the word, as benefits or costs can manifest themselves in many forms across many time frames.

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