David Buslee

Providing CFO services and Business Transition Services in Milwaukee, WI

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About David

David Buslee

MIlwaukee, WI CFO

33 Years of Experience

Direct Contact

dbuslee@b2bcfo.com

262.271.2522

Universities:

Fort Lewis College

UC Irvine

Villanova University

Certificates & Licenses:

CMA

CFM

Organizations:

FEI

FENG

IMA

Contact David Buslee and receive a free Discovery Analysis™

  • A confidential meeting with the business owner(s), then interview company staff.
  • Look at the company’s financial information and computer systems.
  • Benchmark financial information against industry averages.
  • Create a confidential report of our findings in The Strategy Gameplan™







David’s Bio

David has 30 years of financial management and operational experience working as a CFO, Director of Finance and Administration, President, General Manager and Controller for businesses ranging from closely held start-ups to Fortune 500 divisions. David has worked in a variety of industries including software, beverage, electronics manufacturing, precision machining, Mil-Spec and FAA contracting, plating and coating and distribution. David has built successful businesses in Asia, Africa and Europe.

David considers himself a business man first, an accounting professional second — looking at overall business environment and company capabilities to develop the proper strategy for growth. David has implemented Lean and Six Sigma disciplines in a variety of organizations. David’s diverse industry experience allows him to quickly analyze all aspects of the business to identify problem areas and develop solutions that work. His understanding of finance and operations allows him to develop the financial systems to support the company’s operations as well as metrics which quickly tell the health of the organization. He possesses high-level skills in strategic business planning, establishment of operational/financial controls, transaction structuring, systems integration, human resources, and risk management. David has years of expertise in developing financial forecasts that have been used to raise capital and support business plans.

David has led MIS, HR as well as Material Management functions. He has successfully selected and implemented a variety of ERP systems for manufacturing and distribution organizations. David has been involved in numerous business acquisitions and possesses the keen ability to dissect legal language and translate the terms so that they clearly state the intentions of the parties. David is a hands on manager and enjoys solving his client’s problems. He works well with employees at all levels within an organization and fosters loyalty and top performance from staff members. He is respected for his superb business skills, insight, objectivity, honesty and integrity.

David holds a degree in Business Administration from Fort Lewis College in Durango Colorado as well as a Masters in Business Administration from UC Irvine. David earned his CMA in 1994 and his CFM in 2004. David has a certificate in Lean Management from Villanova University.

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Recent Articles

Aug 1David Buslee

Grow Strategically – Exit Successfully™

Aug 1David Buslee

Grow Strategically – Exit Successfully™ You are invited to “Grow Strategically – Exit Successfully™” – at Miller Park on August 24th. Every business owner will eventually leave their business. Learning about the options available to you early, and how each option affects you and your business, can enable you to maximize the value and attain your retirement goals.  The experts you will meet can help you to focus on your business and avoid the potential pitfalls. After the event, you

Mar 29David Buslee

Rickie Don’t Lose That Number

Mar 29David Buslee

The line from the 70’s song is one that plays in my head every time I work with a client company. Winning companies have fully engaged employees who know why their employer exists and how each employee’s performance contributes to the overall success of the company. How do these winning companies do this? Establish key metrics for the company – I was the CFO of an aerospace component repair company which grew at an extraordinary rate in the late 1990’s

Jul 24David Buslee

Improve your Business with SEX

Jul 24David Buslee
Helpful Tips Display Board

Why is SEX so important to your business?  Because it is a great reminder of the three things that you, as a business owner should be concentrating on. S – Strategy E- Execution X- eXcel S is for Strategy.  Your Strategy is best defined as your “Why”.  Why is your company important, Why is your company different…Why should anyone care if it still existed or not.  Have you, as an owner, defined you company Mission – and by Mission I

Mar 18David Buslee

Meeting to Move Forward

Mar 18David Buslee
White Street Arrow Pointing Straight

If you work at a company, you attend meetings…weekly, daily and sometimes hourly meetings.  If you are a manager or an owner, your job is meetings – to motivate and encourage the various stakeholders in the company to meet their commitments so that your company can achieve the vision.  But most people hate meetings because, to them, nothing gets done in meetings. How can you use meetings to move your company Forward? Establish a Consistent Cadence – meetings should be

Mar 11David Buslee

So you want to do an Acquisition?

Mar 11David Buslee
Picture Of Monopoly Gameboard

In the coming years, it will be a Buyers Market for people looking to acquire businesses (see The Exit Strategy Handbook for more information on that). Looking for a business to buy can be a daunting task – and intimidating. You need to have a great team – with a great CFO – to help you through a number of key issues: 1. The keys to the domain – not the keys to the building, but the keys to their

Mar 11David Buslee

Mar 11David Buslee

Unions are organizing smaller businesses – why?

Mar 11David Buslee
Reclaim Wisconsin Strike Rally

The Article “Backdoor approach to Labor Organizing” in the Wall Street Journal http://tinyurl.com/ltcholk highlighted a disturbing trend in labor organizing – they are organizing smaller businesses like car washes.  Why?  The key is local community groups and section of labor law that puts on hold any deportation actions while a union is organizing.  What businesses should be concerned about this organizing?  Companies that pay minimum wage and have a high percentage of immigrant labor.  We all know companies should have

Mar 11David Buslee

What is a Binder?

Mar 11David Buslee
Drawing Of Man Using Magnet

Jerry Mills, Founder of B2BCFO wrote the seminal book “The Danger Zone” which speaks to the real life cycle of a business. In it, he talks about the three basic types of people who work at a company – Finders, Minders, and Grinders.  Yesterday I heard a speech by the President of Ottawa University.  He talked about Finders, Minders and Grinders (he said he had never read the book) .   He added a fourth type – Binders.  A Binder –

Mar 11David Buslee

Where Angels fear to tread

Mar 11David Buslee
Cherubic Angel Statues On Building

Many company owners are looking for angel investors to help build their companies.  Access to risk capital has been tight, with many community banks struggling with new banking regulations. A key point for Angel investors is that they are investing more in the jockey than on the horse.  This means that they are as concerned with the owner’s commitment and fire as they are with the wiz bang solutions that the company is bringing to market. photo credit: Angels via photopin (license)

May 9David Buslee

Blind Faith versus Ruthless Trust

May 9David Buslee
Statue Of Justice On Building

I meet a lot of business owners who have developed their own “key numbers” that they use to run their companies.  A particular Gross Margin percentage or a “revenue per worker” or a billing rate per hour.  Many times those figures worked when they started their company – they often learned them from their prior position working for someone else in the same industry. Over the past 14 years, however, the economy has changed.  Investment in equipment and buildings have

Apr 9David Buslee

Habitude

Apr 9David Buslee
Stick Figure Leaning On Question Mark

What is your company’s “habitude”?  If you aren’t familiar with the word, it means “a customary condition or character” Recently I worked with a company who employs people who would tattoo the company’s logo on their arm.  The owner of the company is an industry legend – creative, driven… a true visionary. He surrounds himself with “true believers”, people who can also see, feel and touch the vision that the founder has for the future. Vision is important – being

Mar 26David Buslee

Not Ready to Exit?

Mar 26David Buslee
Illuminated Green Exit Sign

A recent national survey of the business ownerswho started Business Exit Strategy Planning found over 80% were not “Mentally Ready” to exit their business when they started planning. The survey tested the financial, mental and organizational preparedness of the owners for a potential exit. What does this mean for you? The Value of a Plan: “It’s not really a Code so much as a Guideline really”. Business Owners recognized the need for developing a long range plan for their business

Mar 16David Buslee

Knowing is better than Wondering

Mar 16David Buslee
Ceiling Lightbulb Turned On

There is a billboard ad that is running in our local area from a healthcare provider…”Knowing is better than Wondering”.  The message is that if you are seriously sick, it is better to know what is wrong than wondering why you don’t feel right.  If you know, then you can do something about it. Business is a lot like that.  To know what is wrong with the company’s performance is much better than guessing what may be wrong.  If your

Mar 9David Buslee

Think Different and Grow

Mar 9David Buslee
Twenty Dollar Bills Growing In A Pot

Most entreprenuers start their businesses not to do the “same old, same old”.  They start their businesses because they believe they can either deliver the same product with better service (and the meaning of “better service” is as varied as the rainbow) or that they can deliver a better product. But studies have shown the that most successful companies create a pattern of growth – not isolated incidences of huge growth – consistent incremental little jumps.  What matters is the PATTERN

Mar 9David Buslee

Blind Faith versus Ruthless Trust

Mar 9David Buslee
Statue Of A Blindfolded Man

I meet a lot of business owners who have developed their own “key numbers” that they use to run their companies. A particular Gross Margin percentage or a “revenue per worker” or a billing rate per hour. Many times those figures worked when they started their company – they often learned them from their prior position working for someone else in the same industry. Over the past 14 years, however, the economy has changed. Investment in equipment and buildings have

Feb 14David Buslee

Marketing and Finance

Feb 14David Buslee

Often, when I first meet marketing people they remark that CFO’s are the “death” of marketing. That bias is wrong. CFO’s care about anything that can profitably improve the top line of the company. The problem is the most marketing people don’t know how to speak “finance”. CFO’s don’t focus on flash, they focus on ROI. Explain the payback – or ask how to calculate it, and the CFO will be your biggest supporter.

Dec 9David Buslee

The Exit Planning Expo

Dec 9David Buslee

The Exit Planning Expo The Exit Planning Expo – February 5th at the Richard T Anderson Center at WCTC will provide business owners with the tools to answer the four key questions that need to be answered for any successful business exit – 1. How much do I need to have before I exit? 2. How much is my business worth and how can I effective change the value? 3. How can I prepare my organization? 4. How can I

Jul 22David Buslee

When CFO's think fast

Jul 22David Buslee

When CFO’s think fast, sometimes they don’t think at all…or so is the point in the article in the Wall Street Journal published 7/22/2013 http://tinyurl.com/kr3xd4d  When CFO’s have to provide a fast response to a new set of circumstances or opportunities, they tend to rely on a number of bad practices, rather than provide thoughtful analyses. 1. Rules of Thumb – these can be as innocuous as a valuation formula, or something specific to the industry.   Rules of thumb were developed in

Jun 19David Buslee

Growing your company through active listening

Jun 19David Buslee

I subscribe to a number of websites and emails as a way to bring value to my clients.  One recent posting on Results.com was particularly pointed…how do we develop thinking employees.  Some business owners like being the font of all information in a company.  But that can be very tiring – every problem can only be solved by the owner. Asking the right questions…and listening to the employee’s responses are keys to developing their ability to think of solutions and

Feb 15David Buslee

How a B2BCFO is helping clients reduce Gun Violence (Part Two)

Feb 15David Buslee

In considering how many clients of mine help reduce gun violence, it is hard to overlook building automation expert Greg Wilke at Wilke Systems. Imagine a school where each instructor has a wireless panic button.  Should an event occur, any one of the instructors can push their button which can put into motion a sequence which enables external doors, entries and foyers to lock down.  Classroom and bathroom doors to shut and lock.  Alarms to contact local police and safety

Jan 27David Buslee

How a B2BCFO is helping clients reduce Gun Violence (Part One)

Jan 27David Buslee

As a Partner with B2BCFO, I work with a number of companies helping each reach their potential and helping owners achieve financial peace of mind for their companies and their personal future.  So peace of mind is very important to me as I am sure it is important to each parent who sends their children off to school, to people who want to worship peacefully or to women who want to relax at a local spa. The recent events nationally

Dec 11David Buslee

What Did We Learn From the Last Recession?

Dec 11David Buslee

Many business owners are pondering the “Fiscal Cliff” and its potential effects on their business next year.  There are a couple of certainties – Income Tax Rates will go up, Federal Spending will not go down appreciably and economic activity will decline.  All this regardless of the final “Grand Bargain” set to be struck near midnight December 31st. So how to respond?  Well there are a few lessons that we should be looking to apply that we learned in the

Dec 10David Buslee

Pass Along Values before Passing along your Valuables

Dec 10David Buslee

As Baby Boomers age to retirement, many are looking at the companies that they have built and are trying to understand the legacy that they will pass along to their children and their children’s children.  If they have already done their homework, they have diversified their assets, so that their retirement won’t come just from the sale(s) of their company.  But they often face the question “Are my children ready to run my company?”  Equipping them with “Head Knowledge” is

Aug 22David Buslee

For the third consecutive year, B2B CFO© ranks among America's fastest growing companies

Aug 22David Buslee

Despite tough economy, B2B CFO continues record growth and takes spot in the prestigious Inc. 5000 list Phoenix, Ariz. – August 21, 2012 – B2B CFO, the nation’s largest provider of CFO services, has been named to the prestigious Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies in America for the third consecutive year. The annual ranking by Inc. Magazine judges US-based and privately held companies by their revenue growth. This year’s list was ranked on the percentage in revenue increase

Aug 1David Buslee

Dunbars Number and your business

Aug 1David Buslee

Robin Dunbar is an evolutionary psychologist who studied monkeys in the 1990’s.  He theorized that the maximum size of their social groups was limited by the small size of the neo-cortex…the part of the brain that is involve with language and concious thought.  Based on the size of the human neo-cortex, Dr. Dunbar calculated that humans can maintain no more than roughly 150 people at a time. Follow up research found that efficient businesses and military organizations form cliques of

Jul 11David Buslee

Using the New Sales Paradigm

Jul 11David Buslee

The Harvard Business Review had an article in their most recent edition on the process the authors called Insight Selling (The End of Solution Sales by Brent Adamson, Matthew Dixon, and Nicholas Toman, HBR July/August 2012).  In that article they described the characteristics of successful  salesmen that pursue a different process than traditional solution sales.  One of the key characteristics is finding an unrecognized need that the customer may have and helping them BEFORE they have pin pointed that need.

Jun 5David Buslee

Honesty in the workplace – its up to you!

Jun 5David Buslee

Dan Ariely, author of the new book, “The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty” wrote a short description of his research findings in the Wall Street Journal this past Saturday The findings are important for Business Owners because it turns on its head the normal perception of dishonesty.  Most people think that dishonest individuals perform some calculation – The value of what they can steal times the probability of getting caught multiplied by the severity of the punishment.  Logic would dictate that

May 29David Buslee

Are B2B CFO's like Navy Seal Team Six?

May 29David Buslee

Well, we get this all the time. When you have a team made up of the best of the best, a team where the individual members excell in their skill areas, a team where each one can depend upon the other to help deliver the prize – well yes we are a bit like Seal Team Six. No, I don’t rope into your company in the dead of night (fun though that might be) instead I develop an insight into

Nov 28David Buslee

Give the gift of a B2BCFO this season

Nov 28David Buslee

There has been a lot of focus at this time of year regarding Not-For-Profits (NFP).  The Wall Street Journal devoted a whole section to them today.  Wayne Breitbarth featured his weekly Linkedin E-mail on how to “pay it forward” to your favorite NFP.  During the holiday season, a lot of us donate money and goods to charities who do a lot of the good work in our communities.   Some are NFP organizations like the Salvation Army or Pregnancy SupportCenter.  Others

Oct 31David Buslee

Successful companies are like Zombies

Oct 31David Buslee

Zombies get a bad rap!  Sure they are the brain eating undead.  But they have many attributes that make GOOD businesses GREAT. First – Zombies are always after brains.  That is what they survive on.  Great businesses thrive on brains – smart employees build strong companies.  Great managers always try to hire workers that are smart and capable as well as retain the best and brightest of their employees.  Smart employees solve problems and create opportunities.   Great businesses are focused

Aug 24David Buslee

Creating Company Metrics

Aug 24David Buslee

As a CFO, I often talk to my clients about their METRICS – the key numbers or performance indicators that they use to decide and control the direction of their company. The analytical indicators should, and often do, change over time. The rule of thumb that may have worked ten or even five years ago simply no longer hold true today. Organizations that have learned to change their key metrics to support company-wide decision making have focused on seven basic

Aug 16David Buslee

Making "Work" Fun Again!

Aug 16David Buslee

“Sacha White is a rock star in the elite, $100 million handmade-bicycle industry” wrote Toni Greaves for The Wall Street Journal Sacha White  runs a Portland, Ore. custom bicycle maker “Vanilla Bicycle” .  They are known for their smooth ride and speed and for a unique look that blends retro features and unusual paint colors with hand-carved lugs and silver bonding. Customers wait five years and spend from $5,000 to $12,000 for his creations.  Mr. White, 34, won’t say what

Aug 8David Buslee

Controlling Insurance Costs

Aug 8David Buslee

Your insurance agent can often offer great advice on how you can control your insurance costs.  These controls rarely create immediate improvements in your rates – they demand consistent application over time. One great piece of advice I got from R&R Insurance is knowing your employees driving record.  If you have employees who have to drive a company vehicle, you should be reviewing those records on a regular basis anyway, and having alerts placed on them for any changes that may

Aug 3David Buslee

Checking Your Vision Before You Act

Aug 3David Buslee

I recently had my eyes checked as part of my annual physical.  The Optometrist was able to make minor changes in my prescription so ensure that I had 20-20 vision.  Annual checkups are important for your personal health and vital for your company’s health.  Checking your company’s Vision annually is the first step to maintaining your corporate health. August is the best time of the year for business owners  whose companies are on a calendar year end to sit down

Jun 16David Buslee

Your Business Broker's Dirty Little Secret…

Jun 16David Buslee

Yes, it is true.  Most individuals and companies these days who present themselves as Business Brokers have a dirty little secret.  Oh, it’s probably not what you think – they haven’t been tweeting while at the gym, but perhaps they have been acting in a way that is equally challenging. Two years ago, the SEC and FINRA introduced a Series 79 license.  The purpose of the license is to help regulate the lower middle market for those advising on or

Jun 6David Buslee

Oops, It Happened Again – Fraud in Southeast Wisconsin

Jun 6David Buslee

  For those of you who have received my newsletter in the past, one issue keeps coming up.  Employee Fraud.  You can call it what you will – Malfeasance, Theft, Misappropriation, whatever – the plain fact is that it is running at an all time high and most, if not all, business owners turn a blind eye to it.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on May 21st 2011 about a recent occurrence at Wisconsin Kitchen Mart that is a text

May 16David Buslee

The Mission Statement

May 16David Buslee

  Nine out of ten Fortune 500 companies use them, more than any other management tool. Why?  Because the cost is small and the benefits are many. Externally, the mission statement serves as a beacon in the fog.  It provides management a focus when they are faced with uncertainties due to corporate expansion, competitive pressures, or industry regulations.  Internally, it demonstrates leadership and helps to inspire employees. Every organization needs a written mission statement, especially a small business.  While the

May 10David Buslee

Why is a Business Plan like a Thong Bikini?

May 10David Buslee

Recently I read “Why a Good Script Is Like a Thong Bikini” by Katie Welch, an article in the Wall Street Journal.   In it she says that screenwriting is like a thong bikini because it has to cover a lot of ground with as few words as possible. If screenplays are the thong bikini of writing, then a Strategic Plan is the thong bikini of the business world.  It should clearly state the purpose and direction of the company in

May 2David Buslee

Do You have an Osama Bin Laden in YOUR company?

May 2David Buslee

Many companies have a hidden terrorist.  Someone who regularly negatively affects their company’s performance to their own benefit.  Like Osama Bin Laden, that person needs to be sought out and stopped to improve performance and moral in your company.  What are the signs of such a person?  Does you company regularly have crises?  Does it always seems that one person rides in on their “white horse” to save the day? Psychologists call this pathology “Munchhausen Syndrome”.  Typically this is a

Mar 1David Buslee

The President and the Plan – Part One

Mar 1David Buslee

The  President and the Plan –  Part One The Company President, Bob, sat at his desk staring at his computer screen.  His lunch with his CEO group had not gone as well as he thought it should.  Rather than be supportive of his new initiative, his CEO group had peppered his with questions– where was this intiative in his business plan? How did this tie into his current products?  They kept firing questions at him about his Business Plan.   What

Jan 24David Buslee

Sales and The CFO Part IV

Jan 24David Buslee

In the prior three newsletters, we explored three of the four basic ways of the increasing your company sales. CFO’s aren’t the “Deal Killers” that Sales Executives seem to perceive them as. CFO’s ask the questions that need to be answered before the company is put at risk. The CFO can provide the CEO the detail they need to boost profits during a time of sales growth. To reiterate, growing sales is simple really – not easy, just not complex.

Dec 26David Buslee

Sales and the CFO Part III

Dec 26David Buslee

Establishing the measurement of success before embarking on new product development is key to setting the appropriate budget/forecast targets. New products can be complimentary to existing products, so how have those products served to enhance sales of existing products, pre and post introduction.

Dec 16David Buslee

Sales and the CFO Part II

Dec 16David Buslee

Selling your products to new customers can place unusual demands upon your organization. New customers have different expectations. New customers can have new standards. Vendor qualifications can impose ISO standards, which may demand new quality systems, more people, more equipment, more systems. Those costs change the profit profile of the product.

Dec 13David Buslee

Goal Setting Mistakes Most People Make

Dec 13David Buslee

You never know where you may get either a great idea, or great, action provoking insight. This is an article from a blog on Interior Design – but very apropos to everyone this time of year. It was written by Gail Doby, ASID. Goal Setting Mistakes Most People Make – It’s that time again, when most of us are thinking about setting goals for 2011…and most of us won’t accomplish them. Why is that? We get excited and create those

Nov 24David Buslee

Sales and the CFO – Part I

Nov 24David Buslee

CFO’s are sometimes viewed as “Deal Killers”. Sales executives sometimes view CFO’s as a necessary hurdle to move past. But to the smart sales executives and CEO’s alike, the CFO can provide direction and boost profits during a time of sales growth.

Oct 25David Buslee

Saving Money with Safety

Oct 25David Buslee

While to some it may seem easily apparent how a documented safety program can save a company money – through lower workers compensation claims, few lost work days, better employee morale – one of the easiest to document ways is to save 15% on Workers Compensation claims. That is right 15%, up to $15,000 PER CLAIM. How? Wisconsin Stature 102.58 states “If injury is caused by the failure of the employee to use safety devices that are provided in accordance

Oct 15David Buslee

Is Your CFO a Value Integrator

Oct 15David Buslee

IBM recently released The 2010 Global CFO Study entitled “The New Value Integrator”.  The 2010 Global CFO Study – the largest known of its kind – involved more than 1,900 CFOs and senior-level Finance professionals from 81 countries and 32 industries.  Their study points to the value to an organization of a CFO who can provide strong Business Insight as well as drive Financial Efficiency.   The CFO who can provide both, the “Value Integrators”, have been able to achieve sustained

Oct 15David Buslee

Marketing Lessons From The Grateful Dead

Oct 15David Buslee

Do you have someone who’s really smart from outside your industry that you can ask to help you with this? The problem with creating a unique business model in an industry you grew up in is that you naturally get bogged down in the industry assumptions you’re trying to break.

Sep 1David Buslee

B2B CFO NAMED IN PRESTIGIOUS INC. 5000 LIST

Sep 1David Buslee

B2B CFO NAMED IN PRESTIGIOUS INC. 5000 LIST 184% Growth Earns B2B CFO Spot in the 2010 List of Fastest Growing Companies in America Phoenix, Ariz. August 24, 2010 – B2B CFO, nation’s largest provider of CFO services to small businesses, has been named to the prestigious Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies in America. Now in its 29th year, Inc. Magazine’s annual ranking judges US-based and privately held companies by their revenue growth. This year’s list was ranked