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Published:February 29th, 2008 08:29 EST
What is the Real Cost?

What is the Real Cost?

By Joel G. Block (Mentor/Columnist)

In my travels, I have the opportunity to meet the most interesting people, and likewise, in my everyday networking, I`m fortunate to get to know some of the most fascinating and talented people in their fields. One person, that I consider a personal friend and terrific resource, is Gerard Mekhsian. I would like to introduce you to him so that he can become a resource to you as well. From time to time, I will use my blog to introduce truly outstanding resources.

Gerard is a CPA but he is unique for at least two reasons. First, he was born in Armenia and educated in France. That means that he learned the accounting business from the French perspective. Their outlook is completely different than that of the United States because, while the United States system is a self-regulated one, the French system is controlled by the government - so the rules are entirely different. This international perspective has proven invaluable to Gerard`s clients.

When Gerard came to the United States, in spite of his financial training, he didn`t focus on traditional financial accounting the way most accountants do. His interest was more in computers and information systems. This second distinction is powerful because it gives him insight into business in a way that most accountants simply never grasp. Gerard answers one of the hardest questions that manufacturers ask, a question which seems so simple:

"How much does it cost?"

Manufacturers have a very difficult time knowing exactly how much something costs because it`s not just the price of the materials that they have to take into account; it`s the amount of the overhead, the labor, and other factors that burden the price of the item.

Some manufacturers have it easy. They go overseas and have their product manufactured. For those companies, the cost is whatever they have to write the check for. But for companies that actually manufacture in the United States, not knowing how much something actually "costs" can contribute to the most unpleasant situations. Imagine getting the cost wrong. Try under pricing your materials and charging the wrong price to your customers. Guess how long these businesses last?

It may seem dry, but that`s part of what fascinates me about Gerard. His international background is interesting, but so is his attention to detail, his perception of numbers, and his insight as it relates to the cost of the inside of the manufacturing process.

If you have need to speak with Gerard, he is with the Los Angeles based CPA firm of Lippe, Hellie, Hoffer & Allison LLP. You can learn more about this well known firm at

I personally know how complicated it is to cost any manufacturing process and admire Gerard`s ability to precisely identify costs in a powerful way.

So, as you are working hard every day to build your company or your career, take notice of a few outcomes from this encounter. First, meeting new and interesting people is a continuing process. Be sure that you`re strategically networking all the time with lots of different kinds of people because you`ll never know which people will provide insight and assistance to you in the future. Secondly, make sure if you`re selling or reselling goods, that you price them correctly. Know exactly how much those things cost because at the end of the day, if you price wrong, you`ll sell wrong, too. And if you can`t figure it out, call my friend Gerard.

About Joel G. Block, President of Growth-Logic, Inc.
Often dubbed a "Growth Architect" by his clients, Joel Block advises companies on explosive growth strategies by driving revenue and sales. Well known in the capital markets, Joel is a successful entrepreneur, speaker and advisor. To bring Joel into your company, please visit or