Our Contributing Authors
Gregory Steffens is a talented writer with a strong interest in business strategy and strategic management. He is currently completing his MBA degree, with an emphasis in finance, at the University of Missouri.
Articles written by Gregory Steffens
Gregory has written several excellent articles covering current management strategy issues and other topics small businesses face regarding their strategic decision making processes.
- Behavioral Finance - Are stock and security markets really efficient? How do they explain abnormalities like the technology bubble of the late 1990s to early 2000s? A new field called behavioral finance may offer an explanation.
- Building Brand Equity - Wonder how to promote a brand? This article offers some excellent advice on branding best practices.
- Common Problems with Acquisitions - Growing a business by acquiring other companies is a popular business strategy. However, there are many problems with acquisitions that you'll need to be sure to avoid.
- Cybersquatting - Over the past two decades, firms have discovered the immense commercial opportunities of the internet. Premium domain names are a vital for the success of a company's website and online business. However, individuals and organizations known as cybersquatters specialize in purchasing premium domain names in order to sell them to companies for large profits. This article introduces cybersquatters, their tactics, and methods for companies to legally fight against them.
- Debt Ratios - Ratio analysis is a fundamental tool for management, investors, or other stakeholders to evaluate the health of a firm's operations. This article introduces you to leverage ratios and how they are calculated.
- Efficiency Ratios - Ratio analysis is a fundamental tool for management, investors, or other stakeholders to evaluate the health of a firm's operations. This article introduces some common efficiency ratios and how they are calculated.
- Efficient Market Hypothesis - The belief that markets are efficient is central to modern-day economic theory. As an entrepreneur, it's important that you are at least conversant in efficient market theories.
- Feedback Controls: Analyzing Strategic Decisions - Feedback is an essential means for companies to evaluate the effectiveness of their strategic decisions. Through the use of budgets, ratio analysis, audits, and objectives, companies are able to measure the performance of management, departments, and/or individual business units.
- Interacting with Company Stakeholders - Are you making the most of your company's key stakeholders. Ignore them at your own peril. This is part two of a two-part series of articles addressing each of the most common stakeholders and how to maximize their satisfaction with the company.
- Investment Strategies Part I: Call Options - Although many alternatives exist with securities, call and put options offer a variety of opportunities for firms to realize returns while minimizing the amount of risk involved. This article introduces the hedging instrument of call options.
- Investment Strategies: Bear Spreads - Equity investors are able to hedge certain risks involved in their portfolios through different arrangements of call and put options. Various strategies use spreads which involve the purchase and sale of options with either different exercise prices or expiration dates. One particular type of spread is a bear spread, a strategy which profits from decreases in a particular stock's value. This article introduces the option strategy of bear spreads, how they are created, and how investors profit from their designs.
- Investment Strategies: Box Spreads - Through different combinations of call and put options, equity investors hedge particular risks associated with their investment portfolios. Money spreads allow investors to profit from certain movements of a stock's price while limiting their amount of exposure. One specific type of money spread involves box spreads which combine put and call options to earn risk-free profits. This article will introduce box spreads, how they are created, and how investors profit from their designs.
- Investment Strategies: Bull Spreads - By combining call and put options in various ways, equity investors are able to hedge certain risks involved in their portfolios. Various strategies use spreads which involve the purchase and sale of options with either different exercise prices or expiration dates. One particular type of spread is a bull spread, a strategy which profits from increases in a particular stock price. This article introduces the option strategy of bull spreads, how they are created, and how investors profit from their designs.
- Investment Strategies: Butterfly Spreads - Although an endless amount of strategies using puts and calls exists, some combinations are more widely used than others for equity investments. Many popular methods for managing the riskiness of portfolios involve the use of spreads. One particular type of spread, called a butterfly spread, profits from the lack of volatility in a stock's price during a given period of time. This article will introduce the options strategy of butterfly spreads, how they are created, and how investors profit from their design.
- Investment Strategies: Covered Calls - The use of covered calls allows investors to profit from relatively stable stocks. This article introduces the hedging strategy of covered calls, how they are created, and how investors profit from their design.
- Investment Strategies: Protective Put - Protective puts which allows investors to limit the downside risk of their investment while maintaining the upside profit potential. This article introduces the hedging strategy of protective puts, how they are created, and how investors profit from their design.
- Investment Strategies: Put Options - Many companies have excess cash or other assets on their balance sheets that must remain relatively liquid for their operations. A company could be preparing to make a large capital investment or participate in another strategic action in the near future. Whatever the reason, companies can benefit by investing their short-term or excess capital in securities. Although many alternatives exist with securities, call and put options offer a variety of opportunities for firms to realize returns while minimizing the amount of risk involved. This article introduces the hedging instrument known as put options.
- Investment Strategies: Straddles - Many equity investment strategies utilize both call and put options to decrease the amount of risk investors face with their investment portfolios. One such strategy involves straddles that use calls and puts to capitalize on volatile stock prices.
- Investment Strategies: Strips and Straps - Different combinations of call and put options offer many strategies to investors that want to hedge the risk of their portfolios. Such strategies include strips and straps which are variations of the straddle technique discussed in a previous article.
- Liquidity Ratios - To effectively evaluate the credit worthiness of a company, one must calculate its liquidity ratios from the business' financial statements. This article introduces you to some common liquidity ratios and how they are calculated.
- Maintaining Market Leadership - How do market leaders like Wal-Mart and Dell maintain their dominance? They focus on implementing a single strategy more effectively than their competitors, and as market leaders, meet and exceed consumers' expectations. Understanding how they accomplish this gives rival firms a chance to decrease their market shares and dominance.
- Partnering with External Stakeholders - Because organizations face increasingly complex and competitive markets, the relations with their external stakeholders become vital. This is part one of a two part series of articles addressing each of the most common stakeholders and how to maximize their satisfaction with the company.
- Profitability Ratios - To effectively evaluate a company's successfulness at generating returns and profits from its operating investments, one must utilize profitability ratios. This article introduces some key profitability ratios and how they are calculated.
- Strategic Management Models - How do companies create and maintain a sustainable competitive advantage? Through a combination of unique resources and stakeholder relations, organizations strive to outperform their competitors.
- Strategies for Selling to Upper Class American Society - What possesses people to buy a five dollar cup of coffee at Starbucks rather than one for a dollar at McDonalds? Why does one buy a $400 climbing jacket when he or she has no intention of ever summiting Everest?
- SWOT Analysis for Strategic Decision Making - All businesses have goals that involve creating a sustainable competitive advantage over their competitors. This requires companies to develop effective business strategies that exploit their operational advantages over competitors, while minimizing their disadvantages. An effective strategic development procedure that links internal organizational strengths and weaknesses, with external opportunities and threats, is SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis.
- Theories of Strategy Formulation - Past and current theories in the strategic management field are as varied as the industries they try to guide. These business climates may explain the lack of a universally accepted set of theories. Although numerous methods for companies to approach their strategic development exist, some are more widely used and accepted than others.
- TOWS Analysis for Strategic Decision Making - How does a firm decide to pursue one course of action over another? Along with SWOT analysis, TOWS analysis is a process that requires management to think critically of its operations. By identifying several action plans that could improve the company's position, TOWS analysis allows management to choose those strategies that most effectively capitalize on the available opportunities.
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