Profit Peak for Entrepreneurs: A Practical Field-tested Guide to Maximizing Profit and Optimizing Cash Flow

By: Peter Baldwin

As a commercial banker to owner-managed businesses, for over 30 years, the topic(s) addressed in Peter Baldwin’s new book - Peak Performance for Entrepreneurs – represents subject matter and issues I see every day working with entrepreneurs and business owners.  Most people are surprised to discover that over two-thirds of today’s business owners either don’t have a college degree or, if they do, their degree is not in one of the business disciplines (management, marketing, finance, economics, accounting, etc.).  Baldwin choses topics where, in my experience, business owners don’t know what they don’t know.  

When we consider that business with less than 100 employees create approximately 80% of the net job growth in this country and pay over 65% of the federal income taxes, we should all agree that we need more resources to support the champions of free enterprise. Baldwins book hits the mark.

Peak Performance for Entrepreneurs tackles four critical areas where all business owners and especially young entrepreneurs struggle.  These include:

  • What should a business owner expect from and what are the specific roles of various financial expertise providers?  These include the CPA firm, the controller/bookkeeper, the CFO (financial strategist) and the business process designer.  What are the most important items to consider when choosing your financial team?  What are the common pitfalls?
  • Considering variables unique to the business, what is the appropriate structure of the accounting and finance department?
  • Understanding and utilize financial statements to improve performance.  This includes constructing a budget and forecast with on-going variance analysis.
  • Developing an in-depth understanding of operational cash flow and its drivers.

Strengths of the Book:

  • Baldwin utilizes his successful history as a fractional CFO by sharing real life experiences to make the point.  These are experiences business owners can immediately relate to.  Baldwin succeeds in bringing the theoretical and academic to real life.
  • Well-written well-organized, concise yet thorough.  It is clear Baldwin spent a lot of time choosing each word.  The book includes 10 chapters, appendices and an exceptional glossary of terms contained in 95 pages.

Given my profession, I may be bias.  Peak Performance for Entrepreneurs must be read by any business owner or would be entrepreneur.  A perfect go to desk manual for the champion of free enterprise.