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The Official Publication of Latin Business Club of America

Marketing Basics for Small Business Budgets

www.latinbiz.net

Building Your Reserves: A Guide to Improving Cash Flow

The Business of Growing:

The Top Nine Challenges of Growing an Entrepreneurial Business and How to Tackle Them latinbiz

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The Official Publication of Latin Business Club of America

The Official Publication of Latin Business Club of America

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Editor

Monica Puig EDITOR editor@latinbiz.net

latinbiz latinbiz

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Monica Puig editor@latinbiz.net PublishEr

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The Official Publication of Latin Business Club of America

Latin Business Club of America MAGAZINE DESIGN publisher@latinbiz.net

BusinessRise info@businessrise.net MagazinE dEsign www.businessrise.net Cris Ascunce, CAT Graphix, Inc.

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The Official Publication of Latin Business Club of America

info@catgraphix.net

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PUBLISHER Contributing WritErs Latin Business Club of America Gavin info@latinbiz.net Berkey, Daniel Burrus,

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Luz Canino-Baker, Jennifer DelCamp, VossCONTRIBUTING Graham, Mika Hamilton, WRITERS Robert Heber, Paul A. Herman, Steven M. Demar, Doug Dvorak, Lyle Mark Holmes, David Leonhardt, Evans, E/The Environmental Magazine, Mark Aurelio Lily Faden, Carl B.Sandate, Jenks. Tamara Vaughm, Amy Wells

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STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS staff Joshua Stier PhotograPhErs William Bruce Franklin

Cris Ascunce, Joshua Stier, Rodolfo Barandiaran COVER PHOTO Yuri Arcurs CovEr:

©Norman Pogson ADVERTISING SALES sales@latinbiz.net onlinE at:

www.latinbiz.net latinbiz is the officialsalEs quarterly advErtising publication of Latin Business Club of 305-573-1369 • sales@latinbiz.net America, a networking organization latinbiz is the official quarterly publication of dedicated to promote businesses within Latin Business Club of America, a networking organization dedicated unite to promote businesses the Latin community, Latinos in our within the Latin community, unite Latinos in business efforts, and foster understanding our business efforts, and foster understanding between Latinos between Latinosand andother other Americans. Americans.

Printed in the U.S.

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www.latinbiz.net © 2003 – 2008 © 2000 - 2011 4

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inside.. .. . inside. 8 7 10 8 12 10 13 12 14 14 16 15 18 16 21

The Business of Growing: The Top Nine Challenges Ana Remos: Brings her high power Circulo to Television Evie Hernandez Become a sales superstar: 10 skills to Master Eddie Sierra. Evelyn Lissette Rios The seven Failures of Business Growth Lazaros Chasomeris Latin Business Club of America Turns Seven The Not-So-Secret Secrets to Making It Big Quality, Comfort and Style In Outdoor Furniture Roxy Quevedo Empower Yourself Through Any Setback The Five Pillars of Fung Shui to Achieve Gigantic Success HACE Launches A Latino Career Forum in Miami What is Social Entrepreneurship?

in inevery everyissue. issue.. .. . 7 Message from the Editor 6 Message from the Editor 20 Marketing 18 Media Survivor 21 Security 19 Security 22 Finance 20 23 BizFinance Ethics 22 RealEstate Estate 24 Real 23 small 25 Small BizBiz: small Business Prosperity in a down economy 24 Auto 26 Sales Talk/Coffee Break 25 Travel 27 Travel 26 Biz Announcements/Earth Talk 28 Earth Talk 27 Technology/Law 29 Technology 28 30 BizNetworking Community 31 latinbiz Networking Events


messagefromtheeditor

Wednesdays 11:30am • WZAB 880 AM The Biz Robert Schuller once asked, “What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?” Somewhere along our journeys, we embraced the false notion that failure is the opposite of success. I choose to believe that failure is just one of the many steps we need to take to achieve success and therefore, failure often must be present for success to be reached. How can we label our success as a failure if there’s still so much that needs to be accomplished to reach it? Think about it; how many inventions or discoveries have been made without first failing at them? Take Thomas Edison for example; he held 1093 patents for different inventions, yet the ones we are more familiar with are: the light bulb, the motion picture camera, and the phonograph. Some of his inventions were total failures; but, they did not make the others less successful. Sometimes, we falsely label approaches that don’t work as general failures and forfeit our success and dreams because our methodology was wrong. Our dreams fall hostage to our mathematical view of life— you can’t fit a square peg in a round hole (we forget that in dreams we can do that and much more). Life is the same way. It is filled with possibilities and the only mathematical truth in life we must remember is that if we keep doing the same exact things, we will get the same results. In this reality, we understand that there is no such thing as failure. There is only indifference and judg-

ment. Knowing this, empowers us with the courage to follow our dreams, to build our businesses, to go back to school, to seek new opportunities, etc. After all, we are in charge in the sense that we can always choose to be indifferent and stop chasing our dreams (which is not the same as failure) or we can discard that which does not work and keep charging ahead seeking what does work. We also study our mistakes, learn to be adaptable, seek new materials for our inventions, new markets, new investors, and sometimes even erase all plans and start over with a total new design or new company. Sometimes we think that he have not succeeded because even before we get started, we have already limited our success by placing judgments on it. We are so busy judging others and everything around us that we are enslaved by our own fears and reflect our fears onto everything. Maybe Maria’s dream is not my dream and I don’t get it, but who am I to impose my own limitations onto her. We may even judge our companies based on how far along other companies are. We each have our own definition of success and these values we should embrace into all we do. But be careful not to let society set forth your definition of success (or failure), nor let said definition define your transition from failure to success. Success might not always look like a particular outcome. For example, Thomas Edison’s interest in building eve-

rything out of cement (including pianos and furniture) brought him to establish the Edison Portland Cement Company in 1899; but that idea failed at that time because concrete was just too expensive. Yet, an extremely hard and durable concrete that Edison developed was eventually used for the original 1923 Yankee Stadium’s walls, resulting in a different outcome from his initial idea of his business, but still a success. Success of your project or business should allow you the maximum amount of freedom and the ability to adapt, to stay true to yourself and plan, and allow the outcome to be free to evolve into something greater or different than perhaps you initially dreamed up. Remember that in the world we live in, success has more to do with material riches and popularity than truth; be careful not to get caught up in that worldly definition and seek your own truth. Truth can only move you to greater freedom. Greater freedom can only move you to success. So, you see my dear readers, there’s no way that we can fail at anything. So I ask you, “What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?” In unity, Monica Puig President and Founder Latin Business Club of America

(Left) Congratulations to our Florida representative, U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on her election as Chairperson of the Democratic National Committee and also for being honored with The SAVE Dade Champions of Equality Award. This annual event established to honor members of the community who have significantly advanced the cause of equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in Miami-Dade County. 2011 honorees also included: US The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida, the law firm of Greenberg Traurig, and local heroes, Liebe Gadinsky, Damian Pardo, and Juan Bosco Talavera. Eddie Sierra, U.S. Rep. Wasserman Schultz and daughter, Monica Puig. (Right) Congratulations to our new Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. Monica Puig, Carlos Gimenez, Lourdes Portela Gimenez and Eddie Sierra at Save Dade Champions of Equality Awards Reception. Event photos page 30.

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The Business of

Growing

For many, achieving the American Dream means taking control of their destiny, quitting their 9 to 5, and opening the doors to their very own business. These brave entrepreneurial souls have shaped American enterprise, and today, they’re playing the very important role of helping to drive the nation’s economic recovery. And if you’re one of these brave souls—pouring your blood, sweat, and tears into running your own business— Professor Ed Hess stresses that there’s no time for rest. Once you’ve got your start-up off the ground, he says, the daunting task of growing your business to the next level must begin.

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rowing a business presents a whole new group of challenges for entrepreneurs,” says Hess, author of the new book Growing an Entrepreneurial Business: Concepts & Cases and professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business. “The good news is that most businesses experience the same or very similar challenges when it comes to growth. There is no need for any entrepreneur to reinvent the ‘growth wheel.’ You just have to be willing to learn from those who grew before you.” With his own research and his new book, Hess aims to make the growth process even easier to navigate for the nation’s brave entrepreneurs. He recently studied 54 high-growth entrepreneurial companies based in 23 different states, all of which were designated as successful growth companies by leading magazines or accounting firms. The 54 companies in Hess’s study operated product and service businesses, had been in business on average 9.6 years, and had reached an average revenue level of $60 million with the range being from $5 million to $350 million. His research findings are the subject of an MBA course he teaches at the Darden Graduate School of Business and the subject of Growing an Entrepreneurial Business, which he wrote for entrepreneurs and students. “What I found was that these successful companies all faced very similar challenges when it came to growing,” says Hess. “But what sets them apart from those companies that didn’t survive or didn’t reach the same level of success is how they approached that growth. The companies in my study understood that growth is change and change is risky. Entrepreneurs who understand this and the challenges that come with it are the ones with the best chances for successful growth.” Hess found the following top nine growth

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challenges facing today’s entrepreneurs: Getting overwhelmed by growth. Growth is change. Growth requires more processes, controls, and people. Too much growth too quickly can create financial, quality, and reputational risks that if not properly managed can lead to the demise of the business. Keeping tabs on all of these factors can easily overwhelm business owners. “Growth is like Mother Nature,” explains Hess. “She can be good or she can wreak havoc with hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods. To properly manage company growth, successful, experienced entrepreneurs recommend the ‘gas pedal’ approach—when you start to feel overwhelmed, let up on the gas to allow processes, controls, and people to catch up.” Knowing when to say “no.” Most successful start-ups have a plethora of opportunities. The challenge is choosing the right ones. Good opportunities are those that will enhance your company’s strengths and result in a compelling customer value proposition. “Opportunities that don’t fall into that category should be met with a ‘no, thank you,’” says Hess. “Determining and having the discipline to maintain a narrow strategic focus is critical to success, and that will require that you turn down certain opportunities. Successful entrepreneurs often call it ‘sticking to your knitting.’” Learning to effectively delegate. For a business to grow, the entrepreneur must grow. When growth begins, you’ll quickly find that you can do only so much and that you need help from others to properly serve customers. You must evolve from being a doer to a manager of employees and then eventually to a manager of managers (a leader). “This may sound easy, but it isn’t,” says Hess. “Most entrepreneurs don’t like to give up control of any aspect of their business.”

The Top Nine Challenges of Growing an Entrepreneurial Business and How to Tackle Them


Transitioning from owner to leader. When you get to the point where you’re delegating tasks and relying on your employees to drive your business, you must also transition from thinking of yourself as just a business owner and start developing as a leader and coach. Evolving toward becoming a leader and coach is challenging, because both roles require emotional intelligence, people engagement, and the ability to relate to individuals in a way that they find meaningful. “Coaching requires that time be spent getting to know people, listening, caring, understanding their emotional needs, and helping them grow,” explains Hess. Hiring smart. Hiring mistakes are costly, time consuming, and create quality and financial control risks for small businesses. When confronted with impending growth, entrepreneurs often panic and hire employees too quickly, making snap decisions based on little data. “In my research, bad hiring practices often continued when entrepreneurs tried to hire managers who needed to have functional or technical experience,” notes Hess. “In many cases, the companies had to make multiple costly hires for the same position before finding someone with the right competencies who also fit the company culture. Many of these entrepreneurs frequently stated that they should have ‘hired more slowly and fired more quickly.’ They made much better hiring decisions when they learned to hire against a competencies and cultural scorecard; conduct multiple interviews; have multiple people interview prospects; hire on a trial basis; establish mentors for new employees; develop a good on-boarding process; and encourage good employees to make hiring referrals.” Managing cash flow. Many times entrepreneurs get overly engaged in the joy of growth and lose sight of the need to manage cash on a daily basis. Cash flow management during growth periods is critical, because in many cases growth requires investments in people, technology, supplies, etc., ahead of the receipt of cash from customers. Thus, there is often a mismatch between expenditures and receipts. Spending too much time putting out fires. A high-growth environment is hectic, sometimes chaotic, with multiple mistakes needing to be corrected almost every day. “Entrepreneurs can easily get sucked into playing the role of ‘firefighter,’” says Hess, “spending their days putting out fires. The problem with that is that growth requires the entrepreneur to plan for more growth, to put in place new and better processes, and to be constantly upgrading processes and resetting priorities. Entrepreneurs in my study found that they had to be disciplined in getting away from their businesses for short periods of time to think and plan.” Creating a high-performance “family.” Entrepreneurs often struggle with creating a highperformance “family” or team environment. The challenge, of course, arises when someone in the “family” just isn’t meeting expectations and has to be terminated because they couldn’t grow their skills as the business grew. “Here entrepreneurs

face an uphill battle in balancing loyalty and changing performance needs,” notes Hess. “Let someone go who everyone else at the company loves and you’ve created morale and emotional issues. Let a poor performer stay and you’ve created morale and emotional issues. See the challenge? The entrepreneurs I researched learned that you can have a ‘family’-like culture and high performance by having clear job expectations; a fair, transparent, and frequent feedback process; and by giving people a fair chance to improve or to step into a role that they could do well.” Understanding that upgrading never ends. The people, processes, structure, and controls needed to manage a business with $1 million of revenue generally do not work for a business with $10 million of revenue. “Entrepreneurs often learn the hard way that growth means continual change,” says Hess. “Growing a business is an evolutionary process.”

“There is no need for any entrepreneur to reinvent the ‘growth wheel.’ You just have to be willing to learn from those who grew before you.” -Edward D. Hess “Growth is messy. Growth is change. Growth has spurts, detours, downturns, and spikes. Growth requires constant learning and improvement. And if not well planned and managed, it can outstrip the capabilities of companies. These are important points that must be heeded,” concludes Hess. “Growth should be a strategic decision made only after the risks of growing and not growing have been assessed. My advice is that rather than focus on growing for growth’s sake, base your goals around how you can constantly improve your business. When you do this, you will be able to meet the challenges of business growth head on and with great success.” Edward D. Hess is a professor of business administration and Batten Executive-inResidence at the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia. He is the author of nine books including Growing an Entrepreneurial Business: Concepts & Cases (Stanford University Press, 2011), and Smart Growth: Building an Enduring Business by Managing the Risks of Growth (Columbia Business School Publishing, 2010); he has also authored over 60 cases, and over 60 articles. His work has appeared in over 200 media outlets around the world. His book was named a 2010 Top 25 Business Book for Business Owners by Inc. magazine. www.EDHLTD.com latinbiz

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bizfiles MEMBER

Inspirational Speaker and Coach

Evie Hernandez With a coaching style that’s authentic, personal, spiritual and practical, Coach Evie is determined to inspire people, one person at a time, to “Transform the world by Transforming Themselves.” Evie helps her clients deal with stress management, time management, goal setting and other key areas of change to lead more balanced lives that better reflect their personal values and priorities. She combines her spirituality and marketing acumen to create inspiring courses for entrepreneurs to succeed at their business by using both their mindset and skill set.

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s a business strategist, one of Evie’s greatest joy is helping budding entrepreneurs with strategic planning. She designed the Affluent Entrepreneurs Mastermind as the premier business strategy forum for entrepreneurs eager to grow their business fast. Evie teaches her clients how to take complex issues and makes them easy to understand through the application of Metaphysical Principles, NLP Techniques and some of her very own life changing tools. Coach Evie attributes her success to the daily application of the The SATORI Process of Inner Integration which she personally developed. This program helps transform limiting BS, which actually stands for Belief Systems, to help one embody affluence.

Smile and Wave Eddy Update IF YOU ARE HAPPY AND YOU KNOW IT, SMILE AND WAVE! Edward Rodriguez, or Smile and Wave Eddy as he’s known to many, is still on his walk to Washington, sharing smiles and waves with all whose paths he crosses. “In the 109 days and 871 miles walked, my journey has surpassed all expectation! People have received me with open arms and energetic smiles. America is alive and open for positive reinforcement!! People are reaching out, it’s up to us to join hands and create the path to a happier tomorrow! Share your smile today!” said Eddy. “Walking 871 miles has been an eye opening experience!! From Florida to North Carolina, doors have flown open by locals to help happiness spread in their cities. America is ready to reclaim its joy!” You can follow Smile and Wave Eddy directly on Facebook at: “1054 miles for Happiness!!” group.

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What have you been up to since receiving our latinbiz 2006 Woman of Virtue Award? I have been Transforming my personal life and my Self- Development and Coaching business. With the emergence of Social Media my business has been undergoing a major makeover, as can be seen by the new services and products (Group Masterminds/Teleseminars/Webinars) that I now facilitate for my clients in order to help them grow their business during these challenging economic times.

“The toughest challenge for me as an entrepreneur has been to keep a strong mindset amidst the seeming turmoil of the current economic challenges.” - Evie Hernandez

What are some of your favorite moments of coaching entrepreneurs? Seeing Breakthrough Results through the application of Inspired Action - when a client learns how to balance their Mindset (Spiritually) and their Skill Set (Practical). What are some of the toughest challenges that you’ve faced as a professional and how did you overcome them? The toughest challenge for me as an entrepreneur has been to keep a strong mindset amidst the seeming turmoil of the current economic challenges. The only way I have been able to maintain balance, equanimity and a strong mindset has been through the daily application of the teachings that I have learned and share with my clients: The first concept I live by is: “The Only Constant in Life is Change; therefore, I must remain equanimous and remember that “This Too Shall Pass”  and the second concept is the one I created called The SATORI (Enlightenment) Process of ii (Inner Integration) which is a process for aligning my Inner Knowing or my Spiritual Higher Self with the Lower Self (the EGO/the physical experience). What advice, from your experience, would you like to offer other professionals? Stay Connected. Stay Connected with your Higher Spiritual Self and Stay Connect with people. How do you define success? To me success means: spirituality; unity, understanding our oneness and how we are more alike than different; being centered and remaining balanced and in alignment with my personal, professional and global purpose; being connect to my higher source and remaining connected with people; remembering that everything is energy and therefore I must be mindful of how I give and receive it; being self-confident and allowing my inner voice to be heard by me and the world; and self-acceptance, which means loving and accepting all parts of me—the so called “Good,” the “Bad” and the oh sometimes “Ugly.”


bizfiles

Fifth Annual Women of Virtue Awards - and -

Alba Award (Must be 50+)

Friday, October 14, 2011 12 noon - 1:30pm

Tickets on Sale June 22, 2011 • Sponsorships opportunities are now available More info: www.latinbiz.net/wov or 786.357.7998


bizfiles MEMBER

MEMBER

Eddie Sierra

Evelyn Lissette Rios

CEO & President SIMA Financial Group eddie@simafinancials.com

What is the mission of SIMA? SIMA’s mission is to assist Main Street families be properly protected, debt free and financially independent. Sima Financial Group is a premier financial services organization dedicated to providing quality financial products and services to help empower clients to make informed decisions. We work together as a team, with individuals and businesses alike, to develop customized solutions that are in alignment with our client’s goals and objectives. What services does SIMA offer? We are offering a complete line of Life, Health, Dental, Disability, Long Term Care, Medicare and International Insurance along with Accounting and Investment opportunities.

What are some of the toughest challenges that you’ve faced as a professional and how did you overcome them? The first thing that comes to mind is how to advise Hispanics and AfricanAmericans on planning well for their financial well-being by being free of debt, properly protected and aiming on being totally financially independent. It’s very difficult for working class people like us to realize that we must pay our selves first, by implementing a savings plan to secure our retirement. Social Security is insolvent and the cost of health care is nothing but soaring to records highs, therefore, we must 12

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Patience, perseverance and consistency are key factors in succeeding.

Has attending networking events had a positive impact on your career? I think it is one our biggest marketing vehicles. This gives us the opportunity to expose and connect with local leads and run neck to neck with social networking web sites.

consider, now more than, ever meeting and consulting with a financial advisor at least twice a year. Then last but not least, is convincing working families that financial planning is not just for wealthy people, but for everyone as well.

Evelyn Rios is determined, committed, strong and powerful, and very real. Success to her is being fulfilled and living her true potential. Evelyn is a pillar in South Florida’s Latin community. Some of you might even remember when she served as Vice President of Latin Business Club of America in 2003. Since then, Evelyn has faced many challenges both in her personal and professional life but in her journey she learned in her own words to “experience every challenge along the way with fierce determination and a winning attitude, knowing I would get the intended result no matter what got in the way!” What have you been up to since receiving our latinbiz 2007 Woman of Virtue Award? Creating more and more of my ideal life; a new career as a Licensed Self Discovery Trainer supporting and empowering individuals to manage their consciousness and therefore manage their lives deliberately and create their ideals in every area desired... creating and experiencing business and personal relationship that are empowering and support the growth and evolution of humanity... transforming the world one person at a time... a new penthouse apartment overlooking the inter-coastal, enjoying my beautiful grandson, my family and friends... Living a more fulfilled and purposeful life! Working with awesome clients who are ambitious, driven and committed to fulfilling their potential and making a difference in the world. How do you assist entrepreneurs? I support entrepreneurs by helping them connect with their Vision and Purpose and feel their passion and commitment towards it, setting real and attainable goals and taking action that accomplish tangible results. I believe to be successful in any area of your life you have to be able to feel your ideals and have a clear Vision that inspires and drives you forward and from there set your goals and take deliberate and inspire action to accomplish the results you want. “A Vision without goals and actions or ac-

Passionately love what you do and do it from your heart.

To many success means financial wealth, to Eddie Sierra success is ending each day having helped at least one family become more educated about our financial system and getting them on their way to realizing their financial goals. Eddie is personable, humble, yet forthright and honest in his dealings and conviction to look at the needs of others when defining his business opportunities.

Licensed Self Discovery Trainer evelyn@selfdiscoverytechniques.com

tions without a vision or goals – neither is an effective strategy for success. A balance flow creates power and Effectiveness.” What are some of the toughest challenges that you’ve faced as a professional and how did you overcome them? Getting clear on my purpose, on what was truly important to me and fulfilling it. I felt a complete disconnection with myself and a lack of passion for life and what I was here to do, then I discovered how to manage my consciousness and how to focus my attention on my ideals, I started to feel passionate about what I was doing and felt completely alive! Once I was clear and decided what I wanted, there was no stopping me, I just went after it. What advice, from your experience, would you like to offer other professionals? Passionately love what you do and do it from your heat, live a purposeful live… everything else will follow!


bizfiles SPONSOR

Vice President and General Manager Taverna Opa Dolphin Mall

Lazaros Chasomeris With its great traditional Greek food, amazing drinks, and unforgettable ambience, Taverna Opa summons Kefi or the Greek spirit to Dolphin Mall. Music can be a little loud if you are looking for a quite evening, but if you are looking to come alive with great Latin sounds after a long day at work, or just have fun with friends and family on the weekend, Taverna Opa at Dolphin Mall is definitely the place to be.

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he warmth, friendliness and joyfulness of its staff is typical of the Greek people. latinbiz sat down with Lazaros Chasomeris Vice President and General Manager, Taverna Opa Dolphin Mall to learn more about this hard working restaurateur and the great advice he can share from his experience. How long have you been in the restaurant business and what made you become a restaurateur?   My journey in the restaurant business started in1999, at the age of 17. I was very lucky, having next to me experienced restaurateurs, teaching me all the secrets to being a successful one. My dream since I was a kid was to be a successful chef, because I loved cooking, not just to cover the basic hunger need, but as a creation. What inspired you to start Taverna Opa Dolphin Mall? The atmosphere and the ambience in combination with the amazing Greek food they offer. I saw this concept as something unique and very close to the Greek habits. When somebody comes to Taverna Opa they feel as they are in Greece with the amazing Greek food that follows the traditional Greek recipes and the fun great ambience. What are some of the toughest challenges that you’ve faced as a business owner and how did you overcome them? Being a restaurateur is by itself a great challenge. Every day you deal with people, not only customers, but your own staff, suppliers, the city etc. This is an everyday routine and sometimes it is very tough. Every challenge has its own rules so each time I am trying to overcome everything through my experience and guidelines from the previous years.

What is the greatest advice that you’ve ever received? Always being you and always being true. This is how you will succeed. What advice, from your experience, would you like to offer other professionals? This is a tough question. Every professional has its own way to overcome problems and run their business. The only thing I can say is “Your staff is your money. Treat them well and they will treat you awesomely.” How do you define success? Success is achieving your goals; every time you have a goal and you succeed when you reach it. But then, it is time to set another goal and keep the show going on.

“Only if you are frank and respectful you can go on successfully.”

Lazaros and Monica Puig preparing for latinbiz 10th Anniversary event.

When latinbiz asked Lazaros what is next for him and Taverna Opa, he smiled and replied “This is something that I have to keep to myself at least for now.” We can’t wait to see what this happy and friendly restaurateur will create next. [Editor’s Note: I lived in the mostly Greek populated Floridian town of Tarpon Springs for a few years when I was a kid and the food at Taverna Opa has the same Greek authenticity.]

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The Not-So-Secret Secrets to Making It Big

Surprisingly Doable Steps That Will Propel You to the Top

No, there’s no easy, top-secret, and foolproof recipe for succeeding in business. Instead, says OfficeMax Cofounder and former CEO Michael Feuer, the components of reaching the top are available to everyone, and they revolve around focus, discipline, and follow-up.

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ave you ever said to yourself, How in the world did [insert name of powerful business executive] get to where he is? He’s not any smarter than I am! Well, chances are you’re right. That executive who made it big probably doesn’t have more powerful brain cells than you…but what he (or she!) probably does have are three non-glamorous but crucial qualities: focus, discipline, and followup. These three qualities might not sound extraordinary, but they can truly set you apart,” says Michael Feuer, cofounder and former CEO of OfficeMax and author of the new book The Benevolent Dictator: Empower Your Employees, Build Your Business, and Outwit the Competition (www.benevolentdictator.biz). “The truth is, there isn’t a simple magic bullet that will propel you straight to the top. Success in any endeavor, especially business, really comes down to specific character traits and habits. If you have those qualities, you’ll excel. And if you don’t, you probably won’t.” Read on to learn what these three qualities look like in practice, and how you can make them work for you: Take good notes. Taking notes in business is just as important as it was in your advanced economics class in college. Your brain isn’t always as powerful as you think it is, and having a written record of your boss’s project analysis or your colleague’s sales strategy can save you from having “oh darn” moments, and can set you apart from the pack and put you on a straighter path to success. Do what you say you will, period. In today’s dog-eat-dog environment, a person’s word isn’t always his or her bond. And that’s a shame.

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When you fail to follow through on promises and commitments, you imply that you lack discipline and—perhaps—shouldn’t be trusted with more important tasks and objectives. However, if you cultivate a reputation for being completely reliable, you’ll enjoy more responsibility and success as well as better business relationships. Give homework assignments. A leader’s job is to make people think and discover alternatives. It’s a great way to determine who on your team you can rely on and who is capable of taking a project to the next level. You can afford to invest in developing someone who is interested in developing. Scrap your iron-clad five-year plan. Being able to work with focus and discipline is generally a good thing…unless you’re focusing on things that won’t help you or propel you forward! To help prevent this, Feuer recommends developing a short-term plan with a six- to nine-month outlook. This plan will help you get through the year. He also recommends creating a longer-term plan with a seventeen- to eighteen-month strategy. It will encompass the goals and benchmarks you need to achieve during this time period. Why have two plans instead of one? Well, the world is simply evolving too fast to rely on a one-size-fits-all fiveyear plan. “You must always be ready to modify your plans when necessary, change quickly, and deal with the unexpected,” says Feuer, “That’s what will make the difference between a company that might get by and one that is good or even great.” Use a rifle, not a shotgun. When you fire a shotgun, your shot hits a wider area, but it lacks focused precision. In business, a shotgun

approach gets the job done…but usually doesn’t yield outstanding results. Sure, you’ll hit something with a shotgun, but the price in doing so seldom provides the big payback. Yes, a rifle or laser-sharp approach will take more planning and forethought, but in the end you’ll probably save time and resources. It pays to identify exactly what needs to be done and then focus relentlessly on accomplishing those objectives. “Trying to cover a wider area and hoping that something resonates is inviting your efforts to fall short of the mark or even backfire,” Feuer asserts. “A laser-sharp strategy is much more practical, productive, and economical. So make sure that you’re ready, and that you aim well before you fire!” “When you take the time to focus, have discipline, and require follow-up, whether you’re a business owner, a manager, or an employee moving up the ladder, you’re creating a road map that documents what has to be accomplished and by when,” Feuer concludes. “Few things ever fall through the cracks when you follow this process. It is the most direct way I know to set yourself up for success!” Michael Feuer cofounded OfficeMax in 1988 starting with one store and $20,000 of his own money, a partner, and a small group of investors. As CEO, he grew it to more than 1,000 stores worldwide with annual sales topping $5 billion. He is also CEO of Max-Ventures, a venture capital and retail consulting firm, and founder and CEO of Max-Wellness, a comprehensive health and wellness retail chain that launched in 2010. After opening initial laboratory test stores in Florida and Ohio, a national roll-out is now underway.


We need real and substantive change to our County government. - J.C. Bermudez

Photo courtesy of: www.doralfamilyjournal.net

Doral mayor wants to bring his experience to Miami-Dade county Doral Mayor J.C. Bermudez recently announced that he is running to be Miami-Dade county mayor. Latinbiz sat with the Mayor to learn more about his plans and vision. Why do you want to be Mayor of Miami-Dade County? It is not an issue that "I want to be Mayor of MiamiDade County", I am running for the position because I believe I can make a difference for my community and do a good job as Mayor of Miami-Dade County. I have lived here since I was five years old and believe that many of the ideas that have made the City of Doral a success can be taken to County government to make Miami Dade County the best place to live in our state. What will be your top three priorities as Mayor? • Creating new jobs by attracting new business to our County; • Ethics and Charter reform, specifically term limits for commissioners and paying them a reasonable salary so the inherent conflict of interest in having outside employment is eliminated; • install a program which is performance based for all employees and County initiatives with the goal of increased efficiency and transparency, including public access to government.

of living in our City for "all the right reasons" and we are the only City, through our "Doral Dashboard" program, that places all it awarded major contracts on the internet and lets our residents know who the contract was awarded to, the amount of the contract and measuring, on a monthly basis, if the contract is on schedule and on time. What is holding Miami-Dade county back from reaching its true potential? I think our County is held back in large part by the fact that there is a general malaise and lack of confidence in our government due to lack of transparency and ethics and faith in our elected leaders. There is a lack of a "partnership" between the public and private sector which is seen many times in large communities across the country and is critical for growth and for improvement in quality of life.

What do you feel is lacking in Miami-Dade’s local leadership? We need to incorporate the business community in the process. Our leaders need to regain the confidence of the citizenry and that can only be done with more openness and transparency. Our leadership also needs to be assertive and creative by setting public policy that will create new opportunities for small, medium and large businesses.

With no tax increases and over $40 million in reserves, you have done an outstanding job with the City of Doral's budget. How would you handle Miami-Dade County's budget differently than our current Mayor? First of all, I would look to see where we can consolidate departments and create efficiencies. Second of all, I would look to where adjacent municipalities can work with the County to provide services more efficiently and where the private sector could do the same. Additionally, depending on what happens in Tallahassee, we would need to look into a serious analysis of the long term costs of our pension systems.

What successes that you’ve accomplished as Mayor of Doral are you most proud of and is there anything you feel you could have done better? I am proud of helping create community, creating a government that is open, transparent and responsive to our residents and businesses and doing this while never raising taxes. People today are proud

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Miami-Dade County ended 2010 with a 13% unemployment rate. Hence, the question you’ll probably be most asked? What will you do about jobs? First of all, incorporate the business community into the equation. Government is not here to create

TOP LEFT: J.C. Bermudez, the Mayor of Doral, filing county mayor election papers on January 31, 2011. TOP RIGHT: Latin Business Club of America 10th anniversary at Taverna Opa in Dolphin Mall. Felipe Madrigal, President of Greater Doral & Airport West Chamber of Commerce; Mayor Bermudez presenting Monica Puig with a Proclamation making November 12, 2010 the official Latin Business Club of America Day in the City of Doral; Michael DiPietro, Vice Mayor City of Doral. BOTTOM: Event MC Dr. Susan Angulo; Curra Alba, Honoree, Alba Award; Mayor Bermudez; Monica Puig at Latinbiz Fourth Annual Women of Virtue awards.

jobs it is here to help create the conditions to help businesses create those jobs. This cannot be done until the public sector (government) and the private sector (businesses) create a true partnership. Can more be done at the local level to help individuals facing foreclosure? There is a limited amount that can be done at the local level to limit foreclosures. Many of these properties are "upside down" because individuals took a risk understanding that if it worked there was a great return. Any proposal to better the situation would have to include the private banking sector and the individuals. Do you have any goals to create a better pedestrian and mass transit infrastructure in MiamiDade county? The issue of transportation must be looked at from a short, mid and long term perspective. For too long we have looked for simplified answers for our traffic issues. Light rail, coordination between Municipal and County transportation programs and good long term planning would be a start. In Doral we have started the construction of our City wide bike path and began, despite not receiving our fair portion of the half penny sales tax, our trolley program. Any true transportation solution would require true coordination as transportation is a regional issue. What is the number one message you wish to convey to Miami-Dade County’s residents? We live in the most beautiful place in the world, we have one of the most diverse communities in the world with so many different cultures and we have great natural resources. Miami Dade County can and should be the greatest community in the US. Together, not just through government, but through a collective effort of all we can be the premier place to live, work, play and learn in the United States.

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bizfiles strategic partner

Roxy Quevedo Early this year, a star was born, Latin Events Network. Founded by the very passionate and equally talented Roxy Quevedo, the company is an international event industry resource targeting the relationships surrounding the Hispanic market. Latin Events Network is soon launching www.latineventsnetwork.com, a comprehensive website that will be a platform for all event professionals to showcase their businesses and build strategic alliances while creating opportunities for members to receive global exposure and connect with an exclusive clientele.

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atin Business Club of America and Latin Events Network recently announced a strategic partnership to expand the networking opportunities between both organizations.  Under the agreement, Latin Events Network will be the senior producer of all future latinbiz events. Latin Business Club of America and Latin Events Network will crosspromote their organizations. latinbiz sat down with Roxy to learn more about the honest hardworking individual that dreamed and created the strategically focused Latin Events Network. What is the mission of Latin Events Network? Our mission is to create a platform and comprehensive website where top event industry professionals can profile their businesses for those planning events to find the “best of the best” in the industry. Through strategic partnerships, alliances, networks and promotional events, our event industry professionals have the opportunity to personally present themselves and their business to potential corporate and social clients to build lasting relationships and increase exposure. What benefits does Latin Events Network offer professionals in the event planning industry? We offer the event planning industry professionals the opportunity to showcase their services/talents/ company to an exclusive clientele who are in need of highly professional services.  We offer the ability 16

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to be face-to-face with these potential clients, instead of waiting for a client to call you from just another website listing. We also offer a multi-level profile placement providing maximum exposure to leading event professionals. We believe in building long term relationships and offer even a “free” vendor directory in order to build an extensive platform of vendors in the industry. How long have you been in the event planning business and what made you choose this as your career choice. I had worked for a prestigious fortune 500 company for close to 20 years and was very involved in planning their national sales meetings and conventions. I worked closely behind the scenes with the top executives and speakers on their presentations, speeches and planning the meeting flow. After leaving the corporate world, I was very intrigued by the social side of event planning. My husband had his entertainment company and suggested I join him to a DJ conference in Vegas. After that conference, I evaluated the social side of event planning and I ended up loving it. It was very refreshing to me after leaving a corporate job. It was then, that I decided to become a Certified Wedding Planner. The ability for me to bring my experience and create the magic of bringing an event to another level immediately ignited me. I absolutely loved the close interaction with people and knew quickly that my passion was event planning. Now, it’s not work for me anymore, it’s something I enjoy to do and love getting lost in the planning and creating a different vision all the time.  

“Every day and every event is a learning experience.” What are some of the toughest challenges that you’ve faced as a professional and how did you overcome them? As a planner, it’s particularly challenging when something doesn’t turn out as planned, or even times when you have to start all over. I have been able to quickly overcome those situations because I have had the courage, faith and discipline to stay focused and remain determine to obtain my goals and objectives. I have learned that the faster you get up when you are down, the less of a blow it becomes even when the process is very painful. I also make it a point to learn something from everyone I meet, or from every situation or challenge I am faced with. I believe if we take time to observe a bit more, we find many answers to our obstacles.   What advice, from your experience, would you like to offer other professionals? Be yourself, and don’t try to be someone you are not.  Find what you do well, do it, and above all, never disappoint a client.  Do whatever it takes to satisfy the client’s needs, even if it’s at a cost to your bottom line.  Education is another big one never stop learning.  Every day and every event is a learning experience.  Take both the good and the bad.  Learn from the bad and continually improve the good.  There is no better PR than a satisfied client!


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bizfiles

The five pillars of Feng Shui to achieve gigantic success

By Sadiya Anjum

Just because you are a practical, head on shoulders type of person, it doesn’t mean that you can’t believe in the affect your surroundings can have on you. The energy that surrounds us is affected by our environment and every piece of item that is in it. Feng Shui is the science of harnessing chi (energy) and harmonizing the elements of nature in living spaces. Even if you don’t believe in this science, believe that you have the ability to manipulate your surroundings to achieve stability and success in your work and life.

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onald Trump®, Oprah® and giants like Pepsi®, Sony®, and Procter & Gamble® – all have embraced Feng Shui to maximize their success. With Feng Shui they have added value to their service, created great work settings for their employees and have made some big bucks. Feng Shui has definitely set them apart from their competitors and no proof needs to be provided for this. You can achieve this too even if you aren’t a billionaire or a global corporate giant. Try out the simple rules of Feng Shui and surprise yourself with the results you will achieve. Feng Shui is the science of placement of items and design of buildings to envelope yourself with positive moving energy that has a great impact on your emotional, physical and mental well being. This in turn will reflect in your work and your relationships. Feng Shui unites Yin/Yang (opposite polarities) and provides simple methods to harmonize the five elements of fire, earth, water, metal and wood. To implement this science in your life, here is what you should start with- understanding the five basic principles of Feng Shui: ENERGY – As silly as it may sound every piece of item in existence either exudes or influences

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the energy of an environment. So this means every item in your office- plants, furniture, machines, animals, people etc. are either exerting a positive or negative influence. To make sure that you achieve success and well being, surround yourself with items that will enhance your surroundings. SIMPLICITY – Have you heard of the adage ‘keep it simple’? Well feng shui believes in this too. This translates to keeping your environment free of clutter. Clutter influences your life more than you think it does- less clutter means more opportunities and good fortune. Clutter in specific areas indicates problems in specific areas of your life. For instance, clutter on your desk means you find the need to control everything or you’re just frustrated. Clutter underneath furniture indicates that you lay too much importance on appearance or clutter everywhere in your office represents frustration, anger and dissatisfaction. BALANCE – Everything in nature has been created in balance and it is a different story that we as human beings tend to disrupt that. The balance of the five elements of fire, wood, earth, water and metal is vital as they exert a huge influence. Too much of one element of the complete absence of another is a big no-no. Achieving balance of the

elements in your office is essential for fortune and prosperity. HEALTH – Without this, there really is no getting forward with anything in life. Invisible energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation can disrupt your health. Gadgets including cell phones, computers, fluorescent lights, etc. radiate this energy which has a negative impact on you and your surroundings. Electromagnetic radiation is often overlooked but you need to understand that it affects your body- the brain, reproductive system, endocrine system and almost every organ. Protect yourself and your employees/ colleagues from this to create a healthy atmosphere for a conducive work environment. POWER –Feng Shui in relation to power dictates specific directions for almost every activity you do. There are specific directions for selling, negotiating, communicating, even for sleeping and exercising. This power idea comes from one of the classical schools of Feng Shui called Eight Mansions which has probably help create the most number of millionaires than any other school. With the help of chiquiz.com you can determine your power element. The implementation of this power element in your work space can help you reduce stress and achieve success. Understand and implement these five basic principles in your office to let in good energy which will bring out the best in you and your colleagues/ employees. Even if you are still skeptical, just remember that this old science has been tested and embraced by some of the biggest names in commerce we have ever seen. So go on and bring in some fortune and prosperity in your life! Article Source: ChoiceOfHomes.com - Home Selling and Renting made easy.


marketing

Marketing Basics for Small Business Budgets By Monica Puig Many small business owners consider marketing a total waste of their hard-earned money. This is often due to their eagerness to reach large audiences with their limited or at times non-existent marketing budgets. Their tendency to try everything once and inability to stick with a marketing campaign for a minimum of three months, also comes into play in yielding negative results. And to be fair, many small business owners, also feel this way because they cannot tell you what results they got from their last marketing efforts, as they are not creating traceable marketing campaigns. These issues are easy for any small business owner to resolve through a clear determination of: budget, target audience, consistency, and result-tracking. Here are some recommendations to put these into action:

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et your budget and stick with it. How much money should you spend in marketing? This all depends on how quickly you want to grow and your sales projections. To give you an idea, the variable for a proper B2B marketing budget should be between 2% and 10% of sales, this can be over 20% for retail and pharmaceutical companies and B2C marketing budgets. To stick with your budget break it down into quarters, set up quarterly reviews to see how your advertising and your budget is doing and invest your budget for next quarter. This will give your campaigns an opportunity to prove their worth. If you don’t have time for this and prefer a yearly approach to marketing, then be sure to follow up with an annual review. There are many cost-effective ways to maximize and even increase your marketing budget without adding more money to it. For example if you are a business attorney, why not combine your marketing efforts with a business accountant? You are both going after the same audience and by advertising together, you just doubled the size of your marketing budget. Be the center of attention. Think about it, if you are standing in a crowd of a thousand people raising your arm out and holding your business card, and someone else is holding up a huge sign, who is sure to get noticed? Now try raising your arm out holding your business card in a group of ten people; except for the guy that’s on his cell phone, you are sure to get the attention of the

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other nine. If you are going to invest your hardearned dollars, wouldn’t you want the results of the latter example? Start concentrating your efforts in markets that can get you these results. Sponsor local events, advertise with local television, radio and cable stations, and local and trade magazines. You can grasp a lot more attention that way. Define a niche market. Don’t just be a Wedding Planner; find a niche: Weddings on a Budget, or Caribbean Style Weddings. Be the guru of that market. Don’t just be an accountant, specialize in LLCs, or solo entrepreneurs or businesses under $2 million annual sales, and go after that target market, and be the go-to-accountant for anyone in that market. Become familiar. Remember that guy that we met once. What was his name? Don’t be that guy. Anyone can build a bad reputation in one minute; sadly, the word of good deeds, great service and great value doesn’t travel that fast and a good reputation is certainly not built in one day. Others can’t talk about you if they don’t know you. Consistency is one of the keys to successful marketing. Be constant with your marketing campaigns. Do not waste your money on one-time advertising campaigns. Unless you are promoting an event or a going-out-of-business sale, any campaign requires a minimum of a three month investment, to not only allow the campaign to prove itself, but also to prove yourself to your audience. For example, if you are going to participate in events with our organization Latin Business Club

of America, or any other organization or chamber, sign up for at least three events. Be seen and be constant and then you become familiar. People do business with people they like and know. Expect results. You work too hard for your money and just because, you don’t have time or don’t have a marketing department at your disposal, doesn’t mean you cannot track your marketing investments. There are simple ways to do this. When you exhibit at an event, keep a database of the people you meet, how many sales emanated from them (either with them or through them), keep track of the revenue that has been generated from this. If you are placing an ad in a magazine, conducting an email campaign, or handing out flyers at an event, be sure to include a code; this way you will know exactly where your calls are coming from. Placing an ad on radio? You could include something as simple as “Mention The Biz 880 am and get a 5% discount.” You work too hard for your money to spend it blindly. Successful marketing is a must for any business to succeed. Be confident with your budget. Try new things and expect results within three months of any marketing campaign. Stick with what works and abandon what doesn’t. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater and discard marketing simply because past marketing efforts haven’t worked. Get excited about your new campaigns and communicate that positive energy and excitement to your audience.


security

Could New Technology Reduce Airport Pat-Downs? New Device Can Detect Security Risks Without Invading Privacy

In the pre-9-11 world, getting on a plane was as easy as emptying your pockets and walking through a metal detector. Today, airline passengers must take off their shoes, their belts, empty their pockets and be subjected to invasive body scans and pat-downs that add submission of dignity and privacy to the price of an airline ticket. We are happy to report that there’s a product on the market that could change all that. AllClear, anew handheld scanner may signal the end to some of those more invasive security checks.

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety,” —Benjamin Franklin.

“While I can’t disagree with the idea of using security screening to make our airways safer, I knew that there had to be a better way than taking naked pictures of people or patting them down like common criminals. That’s why we developed the AllClear,” said Mitchel Laskey, CEO of Brijot®, maker of the AllClear™, a handheld screening device that the company claims can scan for security risks without patdowns or invasive imaging.

sives, currency (paper), ceramics, drugs (various types), and contraband (including CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, cell phones, etc.)

The AllClear is batterypowered, passive millimeter wave people screening device that detects metallic and non-metallic objects and provides an alternative to the need for patdowns, according to Laskey.

According to the company’s website, the device does not need to be in contact with a person’s body. All surfaces of a person can be scanned without contact — including the hair, top of head, chest, arms, sides, groin area, legs, and ankles. Laskey added that the device could not only end the lion’s share of invasive security procedures, but also speed up the lines at airport security checkpoints.

“The AllClear addresses the world’s need for concealed item detection while protecting the safety and privacy of people being screened,” Laskey said. “Instead of being a metal detector that only looks for metal objects, or an imaging device that takes a picture, it uses millimeter waves to detect concealed objects. Millimeter waves are naturally occurring forms of electromagnetic wave energy ranging from approximately 30 GHz to 300 GHz or 1 mm to 10 mm in wavelength. The AllClear is a passive millimeter

“The AllClear only requires one operator, minimal training, and is easy to use,” he said. “The time it takes to screen a person using the AllClear is similar to using a handheld metal detector and takes less time than a pat-down. What’s more, it’s not just for airports. It can be used anywhere security measures are taken to keep the public safe – schools, public buildings, courthouses, concert venues, theme parks and more. We think that it’s time Americans feel safer again, without having to give up their privacy or dignity to do it.” More info: www.brijot.com.

“The AllClear’s passive millimeter wave system is different from other scanners that use active millimeter waves, so there is no radiation involved with the screening,” Laskey added. “It poses no health risks, so it’s safe for everyone, including children, pregnant women, and people with pacemakers.”

wave system that measures the natural millimeter wave energy naturally generated by bodies and objects, enabling screeners to detect anomalies without the need for a pat-down or an imaging scanner.” The new technology enables the device to detect without ever touching the person being screened: metallic objects, liquids, solids, powders, explo-

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finance

Building Your Reserves:

By Steven M. Demar, CPA

A Guide to Improving Cash Flow Cash flow is one of the most vital indicators of how well your business is performing. Access to credit is still very difficult, and proving your company has sufficient cash flow can help secure a line of credit. Projecting and managing the cash flow of your company is a critical process, and implementing procedures to improve the numbers and improve your cash flow management process will help you navigate through volatile market conditions. First project, then monitor.

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ake the time to accurately project your cash flow. After you establish your annual operating budget, estimate each month’s expected income, and each month’s expected expenses. There are plenty of valuable resources to help project accurately. Quickbooks and other accounting programs offer straightforward cash management tools that assist with the creation of these projections based on your prior period’s actual figures, and then let you adjust for known variations. Continually check your actual results against projections and monitor how accurate they were. Seeking some cash flow relief? Look at your largest expenses.

Review the structure of your deals and renegotiate vendor contracts. When looking to acquire big-ticket items such as equipment or machinery, research whether any significant tax credits are available, and how to minimize the net bill by tweaking the payment schedule. On a regular basis, renegotiate contracts or request competitive bids. This will ensure you’re getting the best pricing available and ultimately have more cash to allocate elsewhere. Your vendors appreciate your business and will work with you to ensure 22

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your satisfaction. You’d be surprised how altering the structure of a deal could provide great savings. Consider leasing instead of purchasing. When you’re looking to obtain new equipment or machinery it may be wise to lease rather than purchase depending on the scope of your company. Try to position yourself to pay off the loan quickly to avoid massive finance charges. Are you paying too much for insurance? Review your insurance coverage, as you may be able to negotiate lower rates. If you were adequately insured before, you may be over insured now depending on the current scope of your company. If cash flow is tight, consider increasing deductibles in order to significantly reduce premiums. Keep a cash buffer. Having cash available for slow months will improve your business’ chances of continuing to operate efficiently. It will also reduce the risk of an unforeseen event derailing your progress.

“Bill and collect! Bill all of your clients punctually and follow up with collections. Having an organized and automated approach will get invoices issued timely and allow adequate time for response.”

Bill and collect! Bill all of your clients punctually and follow up with collections. Having an organized and automated approach will get invoices issued timely and allow adequate time for response. Maximizing your company’s cash flow by increasing incoming revenue and reducing outgoing expenses, is a crucial discipline for any business regardless of economic conditions. Even subtle tweaks to your approach can net big savings over time.

Steven M. Demar CPA, is a principal at Kaufman, Rossin & Co., one of the top CPA firms in Florida. He can be reached at sdemar@kaufmanrossin.com


bizethics

Where Does Integrity Come From? By Carl B. Jenks A perusal of internet articles on business or career will yield many good points on what integrity looks like or does, but I have yet to find one that answers the question “Where does integrity come from?” If it is an important principle and behavior for me to cultivate to promote my career, which it certainly is, I think it would be important to know where the idea comes from.

can have these qualities because it’s rooted in a “state of being of sound moral principle” Integrity is not built on shifting sand. Integrity is securely anchored to a base of sound moral www.learntolead.com principle. This base is characterized by “uprightness, honesty, and sincerity”.

By Dave Anderson

Making integrity a hallmark of your career or business begins with knowing what you believe, why you believe it and drawing a line in the dirt that says, “I will not cross this line. I will stay true to these principles.” The firmer and clearer they are the easier it will be to walk them out.

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ntegrity it turns out is a very old idea. Our word comes from the Middle English, but the word and concept dates back all the way to Rome. [And long before I’m sure] Integrity comes from the Latin, “Integritas” and “Integer” Integer is still used today, and is therefore a good place to begin. Webster’s New World Dictionary informs us that integer in Latin means: “untouched, whole, entire” In modern English it means: 1. Anything complete in itself; entity; whole 2. A whole number – distinguished from a fraction” 

From integer we glean two important ideas – the concepts of wholeness and singularity. In math, a whole number is sometimes referred to as an integer. This distinguishes it from fractional numbers. Fractions are numbers that have been divided. If we are going to walk in integrity we must remain whole and singular in our dedication to the principles that we embrace. Professionals conducting themselves in this way can be counted on to be undivided in their commitments, decisions, and actions. A business can thrive with these men and women.  Integrity and

situational fidelity are incompatible for a career path known for integrity. Another word that comes down to us from the Latin “integer” is integral. Integral comes from the same root as integer and integrity. It means: “Necessary for completeness; essential, not fractional” Building on the idea of wholeness, integral adds the understanding of how necessary it is for that wholeness to be made complete. Integrity is a solid building block for every enterprise of humanity. Integrity in a structure means that it is solid, well built and dependable. A bridge that has integrity will support the traffic that travels across it. A manager who walks in integrity can be depended upon to get the job done. His role and integrity are integral to the success of the company.

Finally we come to the word integrity itself. Turning once more to Webster’s New World Dictionary we have the following definitions: 1. The quality or state of being complete; unbroken condition; wholeness; entirety 2. The quality or state of being unimpaired; perfect condition; soundness 3. The quality or state of being of sound moral principle; uprightness; honesty; sincerity” Right away we see the similarities with integer and integral. Integrity is all about wholeness, singularity, completeness, soundness. What we learn in addition is that integrity

Integrity is a career decision reflected in honesty, wholeness, sincerity, and steadfastness in the face of the winds of subtle character erosion. Many persons have set out to be people of integrity, but along the way have lost sight of its origin. Now that you have seen where it comes from may you be better equipped to lead the way.   Carl B. Jenks is the Founder and President of Mountain Takers Inc.; a Training and Coaching enterprise, dedicated to “Equipping exceptional people to achieve extraordinary results.” Coupling his own marketing and business experience with 30+ years of coaching, counseling, training and leading people through all manner of life situations in his role as a pastor, he comes to the task uniquely prepared. Through public teaching, private counseling and coaching, as well as his numerous published works, he has helped individuals and organizations on four continents discover their purpose and learn what it means to be empowered to “take their mountain” of influence.  Carl also sends out a weekly email E-ncouragement that is received in more than a dozen nations.  At Mountain Takers Inc., “Your Success is Our Passion”. More info: www.mountaintakersinc.com. Reprinted with permission from: http://www.articlesbase.

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realestate

How to Find a Good Realtor Real estate is a huge market with many agents signing up regularly. Picking the right agent or deciding if you should use a realtor at all are decisions that can affect your bottom line. Things to consider before signing up with a realtor?

The key is to find the agent that will work with you, give you good service and has a good track record. Again beware that some agents list lots of properties but have a very low success rate.

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ime frame for selling your home can be a determining factor in deciding if you need a realtor or not. If you are in a hurry to sell because of a change of job, etc., you may want to list with a good agent, after doing your homework. If you have time to sell your home, you may consider selling it yourself if you need the equity money for a down payment. If you do decide to sell it yourself, you will want to put even the smallest details into the contract. This will help avoid problems later. Doing a little homework to find the right agent can help you sell more quickly and help you have a positive experience. Always interview several agents before deciding on one. Here is a list of potential questions to ask: • Where do they do their marketing? How will they get your home the exposure you need to sell? Do they advertise in the real estate magazines, TV, radio, newspaper or other publications? Ask them to give you specific details and describe successes they have had with their advertising.

“Remember, you, as a seller, call the shots.”

table agency and a member of the state and national Realtor Associations?

• How long does it typically take them to sell a home? What price range of homes do they list? Are they generally within the same price range or do they go after the really high-priced homes in order to make a higher commission? How many homes do they represent at one time?

• What is the commission percentage they are willing to accept? See if they will list your home at a lower percentage. (A word of caution to the seller; don’t list with an agent who has really low commission percentages. They will not focus or give your property the necessary attention to sell it.) Most realtors want six or seven percent commission. If you can get them to work for a percentage point or two lower commissions, that is money in your pocket.

• Have they sold homes similar to yours before and what success have they had? Get names and address of satisfied customers from the agent. • Is the prospective agent with a repu-

• Will they refund part of their commission if you also purchase a home with them? Some realtors will give you up to one percent of their commission back if you use them for both selling and buying.

• What is their background? How long have they been an agent? How many houses have they sold?

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Tell the prospective agent that you will only sign a contract that gives you the ability to cancel the contract if you are not satisfied with their progress after a predetermined amount of time. If the agent tells you that that’s not possible, ask whether you can list the property for three or four months instead of a year. Listing the property for an entire year with one agent is not recommended. If you list for a year with an agent that does not work your property or get you results, you are locked in for a long period of time. Avoid agents that require you to lock in for a year. Remember you, the seller, are in control because you are hiring them. There are lots of real estate agents and you can find one that has good credentials and will be flexible on the length of time required to list with them. Also be sure that when you finish listing with an agent that they will release your property so that you can pursue other options if your property has not sold. These tips should help you if and when you need a real estate agent. Remember you as a seller call the shots. If you find the right agent, you will increase your chances of selling your home and should have a good experience. © Simple Joe, Inc. Lyle Evans is a quality control specialist for Simple Joe, Inc., makers of the popular Simple Joe’s Expense Tracker PC software. Expense Tracker is a quick and simple way to keep track of your expenses and stay within your budget. Expense Tracker is ideal for tracking personal, business, home and club expenses. http://www.simplejoe.com/ expensetracker/index2.htm


smallbiz Ever since the economic downturn in 2008, small business owners across the country and the globe have been coping with one of the most difficult effects of the recession: rising costs. The price of gasoline, raw materials, food, and almost every other product involved in making your small business run has increased in the past few years. To add insult to injury, customers also have less to spend on your product, as they too are facing rising costs, and in many cases, unemployment.

How to Deal with Rising Costs at Your Small Business

Wealth? By Tim Connor

By Lily Faden www.entrustcashadvance.com

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here are several solutions that you as a business owner can implement to insure that your business stays afloat during tough economic times:

Consider the exchange rate Even if your products aren’t doing as well at home in the U.S. – the weakening of the U.S. dollar makes U.S.-made products more desirable abroad. Consider what’s in demand in other countries and try marketing your product to these different customer bases. It could also be the case that your product faces less competition abroad because of its unique status as an exported good. Make more affordable versions of your product Even if your current customers associate your business with having more high end, expensive products, in this economy, no one is going to complain about spending less money. Introducing a different version of your product for a lower price could be the very move that saves your business during tough times. Best of all, the more affordable products will still carry your business’ name, which could even draw in a whole new customer base to your product. Ensuring that

you have items available for a lower cost means that your most loyal customers won’t have to look elsewhere if they too are cutting costs. Tell customers about your rising credit card costs

Implement small price increases Don’t wait till the last minute. If it’s necessary to increase the prices of your product, it is easier for the customer for it to occur in small doses instead of one fell swoop. Many customers won’t even notice if you are implementing small, across the board price increases. You will find that your customers are more willing than you think to accept small price increases, especially those that have been loyal to your business for some time.

Many customers don’t think twice before pulling out the plastic. But for you as a business owner, every credit card transaction could be costing you a hefty amount, especially as credit card companies are charging more for each credit card transaction. One strategy you can implement Article source: http://www.articlesbase.com/ is being open and honest with your customer. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, a coffee shop in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, Download your FREE called Ula Cafe, has done 2011 Salary Guide or use just this: they posted a sign that says “Please our salary calculator at reserve use of your credit rht.com/SalaryCenter. cards to pay for purchases of $10 or more.” Though it may be blunt, it helps the customer remember that you are doing your best to cut costs as well. Coral Gables • 305.774.7860

There’s a better way to compensate your IT staff.

© 2011 Robert Half Technology. An Equal Opportunity Employer. 0910-4301

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sales

How to Build Confidence in the Age of Uncertainty By Doug Dvorak

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uilding confidence in sales in the age of uncertainty is about making sure everyone knows their job, as well as the entire scope of the company. Each team; production, service, sales, marketing, human resources, management, and administration needs to be organized at a micro and macro level. But this doesn’t come easy. The uncertainty spoken of here is economic competition. With commerce globalizing since the internet wiped clean the barriers of distance and communication, competition is no more localized. Now, a manufacturer in Latin America has to compete with someone similar in Australia! Even the overall production capability of your business doesn’t really matter if your management is effect.

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As any company needs to boost their sales to make profit, salesmen and women are the some of the most important people to the company. These dedicated individuals generate revenue for the company, and it is a fact that most of CEOs and big business honchos of the world come from the sales industry. However, 80% of these people coming into their first sales job will fail within a year, and 50% of these people will shift industry. The competition in the current market is not just plenty; it is intense. Is your company ready to build the confidence of its employees in this age of uncertainty? Is it ready to make sure every team is well coordinated, expertly organized, and equally motivated for holistic success?

For keeping your entire company in shape, build your team’s confidence. They are merely looking for job security. An old employee has more potency than any fresh blood, and the young employee has immense potential only if it learns from its seniors. The game involves defining hierarchy within showing respect for each individual’s contribution. Every employee should be commended equally for each achievement, no matter how small. Many tiny bricks come together to build a skyscraper, remember? So how would you achieve this feat of perfect organization? Well, honestly, it depends on more than a single factor. Your target market, competitor level, unique selling points, client base, portfo-

lio, and a thousand other nitty-gritty details come into play while you build confidence in sales in the age of uncertainty for your employees. However, one major aspect you need to look into is make sure your administrators and managers are aptly trained to motivate and extract sustained performance by keeping your field and production teams satisfied and secured in a job that develops into a full career. Doug Dvorak is a professional sales training speaker offering  sales skills training, sales management training and motivation programs that your sales force will enjoy. Visit www.The-sales-coach.biz for more details.


travel Photo Courtesy of Ed Massery, VisitPittsburgh

Editor’s Pick

Pittsburgh Pennsylvania By Monica Puig Pittsburgh’s transformation from a steel industry city to a world class metropolis leaves much to be admired. I was fascinated by its resilient recent history, as it reminded me of a humble caterpillar that spent priceless time spinning its own silk (strong steel industry days) and then remained dormant in its cocoon (in the 80s, with its steel industry waning) and hatched out to reveal a beautiful butterfly. This second-largest city in Pennsylvania, boasting 453 bridges, has something to offer visitors and residents of all ages and interests.

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vidence of the steel power it once was can be found all throughout Pittsburgh’s splendid, long-standing converted buildings blended in with their grand modern counterparts. As an entrepreneur, I could not help but feel a sense of solidarity with this beautiful place. Pittsburgh’s struggles, triumphs, and adaption to change, breed the sublime message that it is never too late to change courses or to start anew. Today, Pittsburgh’s economy mainly emanates from healthcare, technology, robotics, financial services and education bringing also about an environmental makeover that caused Pittsburgh to trade in its infamous title of “Smoky City” for America’s “Most Livable City” label. Today, the city ranks among the top 10 in the United States for green certified building space. To beat the heat, I split my two day stay between some outdoor activities and indoor museum exhibits. Below are my top recommendations for must visit places: Senator John Heinz History Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is a wonderfully organized 275,000-square-feet museum, including six floors that is not only devoted to the history and heritage of Western Pennsylvania, but it also takes anyone over 40 on a nostalgic tour of childhood through a series of old Heinz product displays, television commercials (even international ones in their original languages) and full size sets. The History Center also features a vast collection of archives and artifacts that accompany a well told story of African American History in the

Photo Courtesy of VisitPittsburgh

(TOP LEFT) Duquense Incline and view from Mount Washington. (TOP RIGHT) Heinz History Center. (CENTER) Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. (BOTTOM) Pittsburgh harmoniously blends the old with the new architecture.

Pittsburgh area. Clash of the Empires: The British, French & Indian War, 1754-1763 is also a permanent exhibit depicting a wide range story of the French & Indian War and its impact as a turning point in American history. The Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, at the center, features a collection of one-of-a-kind sports artifacts and interactive exhibits.  Ben Franklin has his own dedicated 8,000 square-feet, temporary, special exhibit filled with more than 150 artifacts with nearly 30 hands-on interactive activities, as well as a life size figure of the Founding Father. This museum is a must see for all ages, as it offers something for everyone. If you have time and a passion for American history, Fort Pitt Museum, located nearby at the historic Point State Park in downtown Pittsburgh, is dedicated to sharing Western Pennsylvania’s pivotal role during the French & Indian War, the American Revolution, and as the birthplace of Pittsburgh. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History hosts an absolutely impressive exhibit of over 1,300 mineral and gem specimens at its Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems that is also a must see. Mount Washington provides a breathtaking view of the Pittsburgh skyline. This must visit site is located three miles from downtown and easily accessible by car and bus. To get the full experience, ride the incline! You can spend a short time here or stay a while; visit the city’s newest park, Emerald View Park, and have lunch or dinner at any of the restaurants in the row. I recommend having lunch at Village Tavern and Trattoria on South Main Street. It is a casual and

accommodating, and has a varied menu sure to please any palate. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is also a must place to visit at least one time, and often if you live in the area, as it encompasses a variety of permanent and seasonal exhibits. This generous gift by steel baron Henry Phipps was commissioned in 1893 and is still today one of our nation’s largest and oldest Victorian greenhouses. This magnificent glass house contains 13 rooms hosting thousands of exotic flowers and plants. The 2.5 acres of gardens surrounding the outside of this enormous glass exhibit are just as impressive. You will want to spend a couple of hours here, as there is so much to see and the enchanting energy created by the lily ponds, butterflies and multicolored gardens makes you want to relax and slowly savor the moment. I was quite impressed with Pittsburgh. Its neighborhoods including: Squirrel Hill (hosting award winning Mineo’s pizza and great bagel shops and a favorite restaurant of mine Mad Mex), East Liberty (home to Google), the Strip District (a gourmet haven from baked goods to coffee), Oakland (the real “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood”) and North Side (location for Heinz Field, PNC Park, The Andy Warhol Museum), and many other neighborhoods all have their special charm and deserve to be explored. For more info on this remarkable city, visit: www.visitpittsburgh.com latinbiz

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earthtalk

GREEN JOBS By the Editors of E The Environmental Magazine earthtalk@emagazine.com / www.emagazine.com/subscribe

With the environment now high atop the public agenda, green jobs are more popular than ever. Defined by eco.org (a leading green jobs website) as any job in any company where the primary focus is on reducing the impacts of our activities or products on the environment, green jobs serve to maximize efficient use of resources while minimizing degradation of the planet from pollution and waste. “Ecojobs can range from engineering a photovoltaic solar cell to designing a building for more energy efficiency to landscaping a yard to minimize erosion to finding more sustainable forestry techniques,” reports www.eco.org.

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hile you may be hard pressed to find environmental job opportunities on general employment search websites, sites like eco.org that specialize in green job listings can make your search easy. Also, many general environmental sites have employment sub-sections. Green job seekers and employers alike use these websites to find each other and get their work done, whether in the non-profit or for-profit worlds. Eco.org prides itself on hosting a wide range of listings from colleges, environmental and other nonprofit groups, media outlets and government agencies. With Google and Bing listing the site first for the search term “eco,” the website generates hundreds of thousands of page visits per month from thousands of green job seekers and employers, and also keeps its audience engaged through social networking. 28

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Another leader in the field is the nonprofit Green Jobs Network, which provides online services including a green job board and a 20,000 member group on the professional networking site LinkedIn. The group also uses its GreenJobs.net website as a platform for webinars, and is the home of the frequently updated Green Collar Blog, which provides career resources and information on the green jobs sector. Environmental Career Opportunities (ecojobs. com) is another tried and true source for green job listings. Some 50,000 targeted job seekers subscribe to the company’s bi-weekly newsletter that contains unique green job opportunities. Still other places to look for green jobs include EcoEmploy.com and the Environmental Career Center. Another site, www.greenjobs.com, focuses on job opportunities specifically in the renewable energy

sector. Jobseekers can use the website to apply for jobs, post their resume, obtain guidance on finding and applying for jobs, gain background information on the renewable energy sector, and access a directory of relevant companies and organizations. Employers can take advantage of the firm’s recruitment services. Browsing job listings at other more general environmental websites could also turn up that perfect opportunity. SustainableBusiness.com and the U.S. Green Building Council feature extensive green job listings as sub-sections of their websites. And yet another way to find a green job is to sniff around the website of a company, organization or institution in your field of interest for specific job listings—or better yet, call them on the phone to find out if there are any openings.


technology

AirRun:Where laziness meets unemployment

Need somebody to run an errand for you today? There's an app for that! AirRun, a new iPhone app, perfect for folks who are either lazy or unemployed, is a pioneer in a new generation of social media applications that enable peer-to-peer (P2P) commerce or "crowd commerce," as it is sometimes called.

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kay, so you don’t necessarily have to be lazy to use of this, if you are like most of us, you probably just lack the time to run all the errands you need to run, and don’t have the luxury for a full time personal assistant.

This app is a bit like Napster was to music. Remember how Napster allowed perfect strangers to exchange music online? That was a P2P music service. This is a P2P commerce service. The idea is that if you want anything, you hop on your iPhone and place a request via AirRun. Maybe, you are out of coffee and want someone to bring it to you or you need somebody to come and mow your lawn, or hold you a place on line at the DMV office. In addition to defining the task, you also note how much you are willing to pay for somebody to do the task for you. In AirRun parlance, you are a Seeker—a person who is seeking somebody to do something. Once your request is posted, anybody in your area who wants to do the job for the price you've offered can inform you of their availability and willingness to do the job. Those folks are called Runners—they make money by running errands or doing similar chores. It's all very localized. A Seeker's jobs are only seen by local Runners. This makes sense. There's no reason for a Runner in Tokyo to see a Seattle Seeker's request for someone to go to the office supply store and buy them a printing cartridge. To enable localized commerce between individuals, the service uses the advanced geolocation features of the iPhone. In the past, you needed to know somebody who you could call to do something for you. Now, you just put an AirRun request out and it magically happens as soon as you select a Runner. Runners are rated by Seekers so over time the best and most reliable Runners will be well known to Seekers. With the service just transitioning from an early beta program to being up and running, the trick for AirRun now is to get a critical mass of local Seekers and Runners. Obviously, the first Runner in a given area who signs up might not see any Seekers online. The first Seeker to post a request might not get a response from any Runners. But, this is a fun new (and 100% free) iPhone app, and word of mouth seems to spread pretty fast.

“In the past you needed to know someone who you could call to do something for you. Now you just put an AirRun request.”

So how does this app help the lazy and the unemployed? Put simply, AirRun's founders created an app they thought they would use because they often feel "lazy" and want somebody else to do something for them. At the same time, it occurred to them that P2P commerce could alleviate some of the unemployment problem that is ruining the country. By matching up Seekers (whether lazy or time-constrained), with unemployed Runners, the founders creatively introduced supply and demand to each other. We are in the early days for P2P commerce, but there's huge potential for this new way of doing business and for AirRun's location-based community job hub. You can find some additional information at www.airrun.com but the best thing to do, if you want to understand AirRun better, is to download it from the Apple App Store (provided that you own an iPhone) and give it a try for yourself. latinbiz

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bizcommunity

SAVE Dade 2011 Champions of Equality Awards, Miami, Fl

Art Fest at Doral by Doral Rotary Club. Doral, Fl

Diego’s Tapas presented Jorge Plasencia with the X Sancho Panza Award, Miami, Fl.

The Art of Appreciation by The Sonesta Bayfront Hotel Coconut Grove, Fl

100 Years of Machu Picchu by PeruvianAmerican Chamber of Commerce South Florida, Miami, Fl.

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latinbiz networking events Andalus, Miami Art District, FL

Hilton Bentley, South Beach, FL

Sushi Siam, Miami Financial District, FL

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