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2nd quarter 2012

The Official Publication of Latin Business Club of America

www.latinbiz.net

Recharge Your Leadership Mojo Reignite Your Passion Reignite Your Company

Oops! Top Mistakes Small Businesses Make

Your habits will determine your future


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The Official Publication of Latin Business Club of America

EDITOR

The Official Publication of Latin Business Club of America Monica Puig

editor@latinbiz.net Editor

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Monica Puig editor@latinbiz.net MAGAZINE DESIGN

latinbiz latinbiz

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BusinessRise PublishEr info@businessrise.net The Official Publication of Latin Business Club of America Latin www.businessrise.net Business Club of America

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publisher@latinbiz.net

PUBLISHER MagazinE Latin Business ClubdEsign of America Cris Ascunce, CAT Graphix, Inc. info@latinbiz.net The Official Publication of Latin Business Club of America

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info@catgraphix.net

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Contributing WritErs Frank Bucaro, Keith Douglass E/The EnviGavin Berkey, Daniel Burrus, ronmental Magazine, Les Hewitt, Sharon Luz Canino-Baker, Jennifer DelCamp, Housley, Dave Kahle, Chia-Li Chien, Voss Graham, Mika Hamilton, John Mitz, Mohan Nair, Jorge Rey, Scott Robert Heber, Paul A. Herman, Roemermann, Eddie Sierra

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William Bruce Franklin Joshua Stier staff Modern Studios PhotograPhErs JohnAscunce, Christie Photography Cris Joshua Stier,

Rodolfo Barandiaran COVER PHOTO CovEr: FotolEdnar ©Norman Pogson ADVERTISING onlinE SALES at: sales@latinbiz.net www.latinbiz.net advErtising salEs

305-573-1369 sales@latinbiz.net latinbiz is the• official quarterly latinbiz is the of official publication publication Latinquarterly Business Club of of Latin Business Club of America, a networking America, a networking organization organization dedicated to promote businesses dedicated promote businesses within within theto Latin community, unite Latinos in ourLatin business efforts, andunite fosterLatinos understanding the community, in our between Latinos and other Americans.

business efforts, and foster understanding Printed in other the U.S. between Latinos and Americans.

www.latinbiz.net www.latinbiz.net 305-573-1369 © 2008 © 2003 2000 - –2012

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Mark Holmes, David Leonhardt, Mark Aurelio Sandate, PHOTOGRAPHERS Tamara Vaughm, Amy Wells

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INSIDE. . . 26 Recharge Your Leadership Mojo: Reignite Your Passion Reignite Your Company inside. .. 10 Alexa Holguin 12 Julio Corea 7 Ana Remos: Brings her high power Circulo to Television 14 The Risk of Living Uninsured in America 8 Become a sales superstar: 10 skills to Master 16 Oops! Top Mistakes Small Businesses Make 10 The seven Failures of Business Growth 18 Your Habits will determine your future

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Latin Business Club of America Turns Seven Quality, Comfort and Style In Outdoor Furniture Empower Yourself Through Any Setback HACE Launches A Latino Career Forum in Miami What is Social Message from Entrepreneurship? the Editor

IN EVERY ISSUE. . .

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

Technology/Law Networking

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messagefromtheeditor

Wednesdays 11:30am • WZAB 880 AM The Biz

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ao Tzu once said, “To lead people, walk beside them ... When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves!’” I believe that leadership is about empowering others. Empowering others doesn’t mean using our influence to persuade others to follow our views and goals. It means inspiring others to choose the best for them, to think for themselves and reach their own conclusions. I believe that the greatest legacy a leader can create is an army of empowered confident doers not a herd of followers. In business, we might share an ultimate outcome with our employees, meaning a job that must be done, but it is very different to tell someone what needs to be done, than to tell someone how it needs to be done. Other than making sure the ethics code that we set for ourselves, our company and employees has been followed, do we measure success by the methods or by results? If we insist on measuring the methods and hovering over our employees while they are executing the task at hand, we project little faith in their capabilities and our own capability to choose the right team for the job. Furthermore, the issue at hand now is more about what and how they are performing the task rather than the results. If instead we specifically and clearly share with them the desired result and our confidence in their capability to achieve it, we’ve just empowered them. There’s a line that’s stuck in my head, “a good leader inspires people to have confidence in him; a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves.” Every day, we are given the opportunity to empower others. By the way we treat our employees, our children, our friends, and others, we choose to empower them or undermine them. Nothing is more empowering than trust in another, recognizing their value, and giving genuine praise when the task at hand has been successfully executed.

Great leaders should choose their employees, based on their qualifications, their ability to think on their feet, and the innovative methodologies they can contribute to the company, not based on their ability to do things “the way we’ve done things in this company for years.” By empowering our employees, we create a culture of unity and accountability within our companies.—We are now a team, working towards a common goal with each team member executing his or her task and bringing to our company individual innovative ideas and methodologies. We empower our employees by allowing them the freedom to think for themselves and think about the task at hand. They are doers, not followers. They might often surprise us and teach us better ways to achieve the same results or even greater results. Great leaders should choose their employees, based on their qualifications, their ability to think on their feet, and the innovative methodologies they can contribute to the company, not based on their ability to do things “the way we’ve done things in this company for years.” An empowering leader always seeks to share the spotlight with others and her vision must also empower others in the process. Share the light and you will feel the love.

Congratulations to my son Joshua on his high school graduation and his excellent academic accomplishments. Most of all, congratulations for the amazing, warm, genuine, and ethical man you’ve become. Keep shining and go Seminoles!

In unity, Monica Puig President and Founder, Latin Business Club of America second quarter 2012

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coverstory

Recharge Your Leadership Mojo: Reignite Your Passion. Reignite Your Company By Mohan Nair

It’s been a grueling five years. On the global stage we’ve seen bailouts, rampant unemployment, sluggish consumer confidence, declining home values, and rising prices. For those still lucky enough to be employed, all this doom and gloom has manifested as insecurity, fear, stress, and overwork. We may be technically in recovery, but at this point, employees are over it. They’ve been “harassed into productivity” for so long they’re either actively seeking new jobs or running on autopilot and dully hoping things will change.

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nd let’s be honest: As a leader you’re as burned out as they are. You know in your heart that the only way you’ll ever make it in the global economy is to get people engaged, motivated, and passionate about their work. But trying to do so with your worn-down spirit and kit of blunt leadership tools is a bit like fueling a rocket ship with tepid bath water.

a direction that’s good for others. That requires a business model in which there simply are no sharply defined leaders and followers. Without a doubt, the old “daycare” employment model is obsolete. It’s no longer acceptable for people to enter the office looking to be told what to do next. (For one thing, employees are as likely to be a continent away as parked in the next cubicle over.) And yet, many organizations simply paint a “new economy” façade on a rigid old top-down hierarchy paradigm and expect people to thrive. Guess what? They won’t. So let’s say you are a leader who recognizes the need to transform your organization. How do you break the self-destructive cycle and change the unhealthy employer/employee dynamic that is crippling everyone? Quite simply, you start by transforming yourself. Here are eight ways to recharge your leadership:

The old ways of leadership, the old rules, might as well be hieroglyphics on a cave wall. Since our brave new world is dominated by “unknown unknowns”’—and powered by serving rather than winning—organizations have to change the way they lead their people.

Admit you have a mojo dysfunction. Your company has been operating in survival mode for a while now, and that’s not good for anyone. But before you can reignite others, you must reignite yourself. That means much like the alcoholic who must admit she has a problem, you must (metaphorically) say, Hello, my name is ______ and I am an old-paradigm command-and-control leader. Worse, I have been running on empty for a while now. It’s time for me to rediscover my basic leadership beliefs and leverage them into a new beginning.

The future belongs to those companies that have the mojo not just to withstand change but to actually create change in their favor—and hopefully in

Sure, it can be hard and scary and exhausting to realize everything you’ve built your leadership legacy on is wrong. It’s a lot easier, in the short term

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coverstory

“Seeing the world as existing to serve you is obsolete. It’s not about you anymore; it’s about others you serve. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, and other social reformers had it right: They did not start out to be social reformers; they just wanted to make things right. They started with themselves, then their neighborhood, and then the world. So, mojo starts with you. You can change any circumstance if you change your view of the situation.” – MOHAN NAIR

anyway, to go on pretending nothing has changed. But once you find the courage to face the truth, you take the first step toward a new paradigm that’s so much better for all concerned. Realize that you, personally, have to change. Business transformation begins with personal transformation. Recycling your usual skills only recycles your past. Only by recharging your leadership mojo—getting back to your basic beliefs and rediscovering your passion in light of a new reality—can you transform yourself and your company. Find your competency. Acknowledge to yourself and to others what you’re good at and not so good at. (Don’t be bashful: Vulnerability helps people connect to you and makes you a better leader.) But this is only a starting point. To be a great leader, you need to know what you’re great at. This is the skill set around which you will package yourself inside your organization. Think competence, not capacity. Being capable of performing is not enough. That will seldom give you the advantage you need to spark real change. Finding your competency is more about the recipe than the ingredients. Think of yourself as an artist, not a painter; an author, not a writer; a composer, not a musician. Translate competency into value. Ask yourself: How can I put my competency to work inside my organization? How can I use it to provide value differently to a transformed world? Great leaders can put value into any object, notes Nair. We see hints of this when we hold onto a simple object because it reminds us of someone or some event. A rose? A pen? A lucky outfit you wear on special days? Mother Teresa’s value is compassion for children. That was her brand. What do others feel when they hear your name? What is your mojo? Once you figure out how to provide value to your organization, your organization will be able to share that value with its customers. It may be that your value requires you to move into a new part of the organization. That’s okay. Many people find that they are in the right organization but in the wrong department to maximize their best selves. Be open-minded about where you belong and can do the most good.

Create a solid platform for work. The skeleton of your platform was constructed a long time ago. It is made up of your skills, your experience, the knowledge that defines you. But are there missing planks? Knowing what you want to do, where are the holes that will hinder your ability to execute? To innovate? Figure out how to fill in the holes with new skills, new experiences, new knowledge. Do this now. Make it a priority. A résumé is not a record of your jobs but a recipe of the platform you call your skills. A new job, or a new role inside a current company, is not merely a place to land. It is the next step of your evolution as a leader. Think about it this way as you make your decisions. Awaken your cause. Find the one thing inside your company that you feel passionate about. (If you can’t find a cause, you may as well forget being a leader!) Maybe it’s customer service. Maybe it’s mentoring. Maybe it’s product innovation. Whatever your cause may be, make it your mantra. Let it drive everything you do. Mojo begins and ends with your realized purpose. Cause is so much more powerful than mission. Causes are realized while missions are given. Causes transform while missions inform. Causes start with an individual. Leadership mojo is unstoppable if powered by a cause. Commit to servant leadership. Gandhi was not capable of being a good lawyer. In fact, he was laughed out of his first case. Eventually, he realized he was at his best when he was serving others. It was his power source. It can be yours, too. Being successful in business today means bringing back your leadership mojo in a different way—not based on ego but in service to a higher order. How can you take all we’ve discussed so far—competency, value, platform for work, cause—and use them to serve others? That truly is the million-dollar question. How can you take all of these facets and apply them to transforming a situation for your customers or your employees? Find and leverage momentum. This is where mojo finds its true fulfillment (not to mention financial reward). What is momentum? The force of an idea and the acceleration you give to take hold of a market. The Pet Rock from the ’70s represents speed, which is just force applied to an idea. On the other hand, the iPhone represents momentum: It’s something people needed and wanted without realizing they needed and wanted it. So do Starbucks and Disney: The former filled the need for coffee communities; the latter filled the need for a business model based on happiness. Momentum is a unique way to view the market. Companies that don’t understand it will miss the drivers that indicate where momentum is going. Those that do will get there first with products designed to be hot sellers. If you think about it, leveraging momentum is the pinnacle of servant leadership. You’re so tuned into your customers that you know them better than they know themselves. We live in exciting times. What a wonderful privilege to live and work in an age where the marketplace rewards the best of humanity—our desire to create, to innovate, to take risks and fly without a net, to serve the needs of others! We leaders have the opportunity to make a living by realizing our higher selves and bringing out the higher selves of those around us. We must not squander that gift.

Mohan Nair, author of Strategic Business Transformation: The 7 Deadly Sins to Overcome is chief innovation officer of a health plan in the northwest/mountain region. Born and raised in Singapore, Nair observed and participated in a nation in transformation from a city-state to a strategic business center and community. As an infantry soldier, he learned the art and science of discipline, teamwork, and leadership. More info: www.wiley. com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0470632224.html second quarter 2012

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bizfiles

MEMBER

ALEXA HOLGUIN Young Entrepreneur GetIn2Action@gmail.com Independent, funny, loving and smart fashionista, Alexa Holguin is living proof that you are never too young to make a difference. Alexa is the youngest of three children, she has a brother Sean, who is part owner of her company Get In2 Action™, and a sister Natalia. This thirteen year old Colombian-Cuban-American (as she describes herself) is focused and determined to make the world a healthier place. Her science team was selected atop of their school in the Fairchild Environmental Challenge. In addition to doing great in school, Alexa’s passion for animals brought her to volunteer at Friends Forever this year. She also helps her mom Maria Elena Holguin, President of Holguin’s Interiors, collect furniture and kid’s items for Chapman Partnership and assisted her mom with the design of a terminally ill girl’s room for Kim’s Good Karma Group. Alexa, tell us about your business. We started the business in late 2011. Get In2 Action is a company that promotes wellness through the use of sports and recreational activities. I am the Vice President and spokesperson for the Teen Division and Sean is the President and manages the Adult Division. How did you come up with the idea? And funding? I always knew I loved sports and fashion, and I want to study sports medicine but I did not know how to put them together. Last summer my mom enrolled me in the Ultimate Life Entrepreneurial Youth Camp. I learned how to put all my passions together into one company and it was going to be about giving health tips to

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teens. At the same time, Sean, who is studying Sports Management at FIU, was putting together his ideas for a business of promoting sports and recreational activities. We decided to merge and open Get In2 Action. With the help of our family, we have raised some funding and want to raise more with sponsors, events, products and my modeling career. If anybody would like to sponsor us now that would be cool! What has your experience been in running the business so far? It’s a lot harder than we thought to put all the ideas on paper, raising the money for design, trademarks and operations. I did not like it when the accountant told me I could not

be a shareholder until I was 18; but I made them notarize a paper saying that I was already part owner. One cool thing that I love is that as time goes by, we come up with more ideas on expanding the business and making it more unique. What have you done to grow the business? Sean and I met with our accountant, did our budgets and business plan which was super hard! Then the fun part began when we started all the social media to get the word out! We also trademarked our name/logo. What is the greatest advice you have ever received? I get a lot of great advice from my family but one of the simplest and silliest is the one I always believe. My dad always says I am the best because I came from him. It makes me want to work harder. What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs? Dream big, don’t give up and try to be creative with your ideas! Get as much advice from successful people that you can. There is a lot of free information on the web that you can search for, saving time and money. How do you define success? Doing what you love and being happy! Accomplishing the big dream that you had in your mind.


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bizfiles MEMBER

JULIO COREA

Account Executive, Rewards Network Successful, confident, kind-hearted, funny and friendly, Julio Corea is the perfect example of someone truly enjoying his work while achieving his daily and long term goals. His cheerful, down-to-earth nature coupled with his eagerness to help others succeed, naturally attracts people to him. Since 2003, Julio has been representing Rewards Network, the leading provider of frequent dining programs in North America. What services does Rewards Network offer? For over twenty five years, Rewards Network has offered products and services to help restaurant owners reach the frequent diner, meaning we can help Restaurants’ reach new customers and grow the business.

breaking trends in sales & marketing. But coming from the hotel industry, I had no experience in sales; but thru networking, I got and interview with Rewards Network got the job and finished number one in the east of the United States my first year with the company.

What type of business is your ideal client? Any restaurant that’s looking for new customers and to reward and retain customers and increase sales by encouraging repeat visits from our members.

What is the greatest advice that you’ve ever received? An ancient advice: “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to everyone you can.”

What are some of the toughest challenges that you’ve faced as a professional and how did you overcome them? By the time I graduated high school, I knew I wanted to study marketing. From that point on, everything fell into place. My life revolved around the Hotel industry and public relations with the concierge association. After 9/11 the hotel industry crash and I decided I wanted to work for a major player to be at the forefront of

What advice, from your experience, would you like to offer other professionals? To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. How do you define success? Happiness. I believe success is really found when a person is happy and fulfilled doing whatever it is that they are doing.

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bizstory

The Risk of Living Uninsured in America By Eddie Sierra

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mericans take great risks by not taking advantage of lower premium costs while they are young and insurable and the affordability of health insurance plans created by recent mandates. Most Americans forego the necessary routine health checkups that can treat some of the most preventable health issues Americans face today. Dr. Sherry Glied, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Public Health at Columbia University recently stated that “the people who are most at risk today are those who have no health insurance at all. They’re at risk of not getting regular care when they need it. They’re at risk of not catching real problems before they get serious enough to not be treatable. They’re at risk of not getting the best treatment when they actually do get sick. And they’re at tremendous financial risk. They could lose everything that they’ve saved in their lives because of some even fairly minor health problem.” I agree. We risk so much by remaining uninsured, that a fairly minor health problem can spiral us out of control and into the most unfortunate of events – financial catastrophe. What are the biggest risks that you face if you do not have health insurance? Illness could bring financial drain or ruin your credit and financial viability in the future. If you’ve worked hard and saved enough to go on your dream vacation, buy a new car, or perhaps that condo on the beach, or are indeed saving towards

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About 44 million people in the United States have no health insurance, and another 38 million have inadequate health insurance. these goals, a medical setback could wipe out your progress and your savings. Imagine that you’ve had an accident around the house; perhaps you’ve fallen while cleaning your marble floors. If you hurt your back, and require a spinal fusion, on average you might expect to have bills of $59,000. If you don’t carry insurance, you can expect to be billed, and be held responsible for the full amount. If you don’t have money saved to cover this expense (through an HSA account or else), and cannot work out a payment plan when you’re able to work again, then you might have to sell your assets and/or borrow from your home to pay for the medical expenses.

If you still cannot pay the amount, or are unable to support yourself and your family financially, you might end up in bankruptcy or worst in court with the aggressive collection companies trying to collect from you on behalf of the hospital and the doctors who treated you. Then you’ll have to start all over again, saving, with a big credit blemish that will cost you thousands to repair and thousands more in high interest whenever you borrow on credit. What’s worse after you’ve been through the worst of your nightmares and at the end decided you want insurance later, you may not be able to get coverage. Except in states with community rating (and Florida is not), you are likely to be “medically underwritten” for health insurance if you buy it as an individual. This means that an insurer will take a look at your medical history and current health status to determine if you are eligible for coverage and at what price. In some cases, you won’t be denied coverage, but you could face stiff premiums. The lesson here is that even if you don’t buy health insurance now, you might end up with a much bigger problem than just your health later. Buying health insurance takes the risk out of the equation.

Eddie Sierra is a Registered Insurance Broker for the State of Florida with an MBAFinance from Nova Southeastern University and is an insurance consultant for private organizations.


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! s p Ooi

Top Mestakes Small Businesses Make By Sharon Housley

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any small businesses make mistakes, and smart entrepreneurs will learn from the mistakes of others. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of some common mistakes that small business owners often make. Knowing It All. Business owners who think they have learned it all will very often tend to fail. Even the most experienced entrepreneurs have to be willing to learn continually. There are always new technologies and markets emerging. It is very important to learn these new technologies and adapt to changing markets. Blindly Taking Advice From Others. What works well for one business may or may not work as well for another. It is important that all advice be considered and weighed. When evaluating advice, be sure to consider the source, the similarities, and the dissimilarities to your situation, and then make a determination of whether the advice is applicable or relevant. Avoid the urge to just blindly follow the advice of others, no matter how successful they might be. Not Using Targeted Marketing Efforts. The most effective type of marketing is “targeted” marketing. A locally-based retail store that spends money on a global marketing campaign will likely spend that money reaching customers who will never cross their threshold. Target your audience with a clear message, and focus your advertising in ways that will target legitimate prospective customers. Believing That If A Little Is Good, Then More Must Be Better. This applies to a wide variety of business aspects. Not everything in business will scale equally. For example, if you conduct an

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email marketing campaign once a week and have great results, that does not necessarily mean that increasing the frequency of the mailings will lead to even more positive results. Such assumptions can often lead to big and costly mistakes. Not Listening To Customers. Your customers are the best source of ideas and inspiration available to you. Welcome both compliments and criticisms from your customers. Small businesses can learn a lot from their customers, so listen carefully to what they are saying, and more importantly, listen to what they are not saying! Lack Of Diversification. Having all your eggs in one basket can be a serious mistake that many small businesses fall into. Small businesses should make an effort to diversify their income streams whenever possible. The key to doing this successfully is to strike a balance between diversifying your business interests to create multiple revenue streams, yet not spreading yourself or your staff too thin to adequately handle everything. Hiring Friends And Family. They are your family. You know them, you love them, but... can you really afford to hire them? Hiring family members, as well as close friends, can often do serious damage to otherwise strong relationships. How someone behaves in a social situation is not always a good indication of how they will perform as an employee. Many small businesses staff their companies with friends and relatives, and at times it works just great; but when it doesn’t, it can be really messy, and can often lead to seriously damaged personal and family relationships outside the business. Avoid the urge to hire friends and family members as employees.

Failure To Adapt. Businesses may need to make changes due to shifting economic conditions or advances in technology. Small businesses have the advantage of being agile, and most can quickly and easily adapt to changing market conditions and advancing technologies. Yet many still fail to do so, and that can lead to serious problems. Failure To Build Brand. Regardless of a company’s size, building a brand is all about establishing a reputation. Do not make the mistake of thinking your company is too small to need a brand. Identify an image or logo with your product or service in order to effectively establish a brand, and then use that image to reinforce your brand on an ongoing basis. Failure To Track. It is critical that business owners track what works in their business, and what does not. Why waste precious and often limited advertising funds on marketing efforts that do not result in sales. Monitor and track all marketing efforts carefully, so you will know the best and most successful options to spend your marketing funds and efforts on. These are just a few of the more common mistakes that small businesses often make. Watch for and avoid making them yourself!

Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts.In addition Sharon manages marketing for RecordForAll www.recordforall.com audio recording and editing software.


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coverstory new opportunities. And what if you created more than four new habits every year? Think of the possibilities! As mentioned earlier, many of our daily activities are simply routines. From the time you get up in the morning until you retire at night, there are hundreds of things you do the same way. These include the way you dress, get ready for the day, eat breakfast, brush your teeth, drive to the office, greet people, arrange your desk, check your email, set up appointments, work on projects, attend meetings, answer the phone and so on. If you’ve been doing these same activities for years, you have a set of firmly entrenched habits. They involve every area of your life including your work, family, income, health, relationships and many more. The sum total of these habits determines how your life operates. Simply stated, this is your normal behavior. As creatures of habit we are very predictable. In many ways this is good because others may view us as reliable, dependable and consistent. (It’s interesting to note that people who are very unpredictable also have a habit—the habit of inconsistency!)

Your Habits Will Determine Your Future

However, with too much routine, complacency sets in and life becomes boring. We settle for less than we are capable of. In fact, many of the activities that make up our everyday normal behavior are performed unconsciously—without thinking. Here’s the point: Your everyday normal behavior has a lot to do with the results in your life. If you’re not happy with these results, something has to change. And remember, NOTHING MUCH IN YOUR LIFE WILL CHANGE, UNTIL YOU DO!

By Les Hewitt

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ow long does it take to change a habit? The most common answers to this question are, “about twenty-one days,” or “three to four weeks.” This is probably true for making small adjustments in your behavior. What you’ll find is, that after twenty-one to thirty experiences with a new habit, it’s harder not to do it than to do it. Before you can change a habit you need to first check how long you have owned it. If you have been doing something repeatedly for thirty years you may not be able to let go of it in a few short weeks. Acknowledge the fact that a deeply entrenched habit has long roots. It’s like trying to sever a multi-stranded fiber that has molded itself, over time, into a single powerful rope. It’s very hard to break. Long-time smokers know how difficult it is to break the nicotine habit. Many never do, despite the overwhelming evidence that proves smoking can significantly shorten your life expectancy. As well, people with a long history of low selfesteem won’t transform themselves into highly confident individuals, ready to take on the world,

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in twenty-one days. It may take a year or more to develop positive belief systems. These important transitions can affect both your professional and personal life. Another factor about changing habits is the potential for slipping back into your old patterns. This can happen when stress levels rise or an unexpected crisis occurs. The new habit may not be strong enough to resist these circumstances, and more time, energy and effort will be required. To ensure consistency, astronauts use a checklist for every single procedure to ensure the same results every time. You can create a similar failsafe system. It just takes practice. And it’s well worth the effort, as you’ll see shortly. Imagine if you only changed four habits every year. Five years from now you would have twenty positive new habits. Now, here’s the thing—would twenty positive new habits make a difference in your results? Of course. Twenty successful habits can bring you all the money you want or need, wonderful loving relationships, a healthier and more energized physical body, plus all sorts of

Les Hewitt is an international bestselling author and business coach. His latest book The Power of Focus-10th Anniversary Edition, was co-authored with Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen creators of the Chicken Soup for the Soul phenomenon. Les can be reached at 403-295-0500, or info@thepoweroffocus.ca.


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marketing What do Larry King, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Barack Obama have in common? They all are ‘brands’ on their own. Larry King is famed for his CNN show, Bill Gates for Microsoft, Zuckerberg for Facebook, and Obama for the White House. But at the same time they all are brands, personal brands. They are so powerful personal brands that if they leave their present positions to join another, their move will seriously impact their respective organizations.

Branding Yourself By Joan Lazarou & John Mits

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he power of personal branding is highly acknowledge, especially in star power. Celebrities name charities after themselves and launch products branded under their names. Also, professionals in different fields of life have risen the ladder of success and fame and have eventually become inspirations, icons or simply put ‘brands’. In recent years, technology has changed the landscape of personal branding. What used to be possible for a selected lot in the society is now accessible and doable for anyone and everyone. Personal branding is no more about being at the pinnacle of stardom. Today, anyone can become a personal brand with carefully channelized effort and professional assistance. Let us see how it works. If you are a professional, you must have been through recruitment process of at least one organization. What was this process about? Wasn’t it all about the employer trying to identify whether you are the ‘product’ he is looking for? Wasn’t it all about you trying to ‘market’ yourself and assure that you were the right ‘product’? Just like in marketing where the brands make it convenient for us to make the purchase decision because of the aura of trust they exude, personal branding, if done rightly, would make you breeze through the whole recruitment process. What all is included in Personal Branding or Branding Yourself. Perhaps the single most important thing is to get the ‘self-positioning’ right. How do you want to be known and seen? Let us assume you work in an investment bank. You would want to be associated with the leading organizations in the industry and have worked on top-notch projects. But it cannot be practically possible for all or at least most of the professionals in the investment banking. Thus, you identify something where you are good and where you have outshone others. In this area, you create an image of yourself as an expert in the field. Someone who knows it all once it comes to this particular niche in investment banking. Creating the Online presence – Your own website. The process of Personal branding, which begins with identifying the positioning you’d want to have,

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goes on to what kind of platforms you’ll be using and how. For instance, you will create a CV but will it be accessible online all the time. For that, you need a web space. Today, you can have web space on mainstream internet i.e. have own website and/or use social media. We will discuss personal branding using social media a bit later; first, let us talk about your website for branding yourself. The power of <yourname.com> is still underrated. It gives you your own unique space, your own island on the internet where the whole canvas is dedicated to you. Creating a website used to be a cumbersome process in early years of the internet. But today, you can engage easily available professional help to create an awe-inspiring website which focuses on you and your professional strength in the area of your preference. This helps achieve a certain positioning which is the core focus of this whole exercise of personal branding and is discussed earlier. Using social media for personal branding. Power of social media in internet cannot be emphasized more. Social media in different forms and from different platforms has become more important that mainstream internet in many scenarios. For personal branding, it has its own importance and after you establish your online presence through personal website, you should focus on creating a resounding social media presence. It should be done in a well synchronized manner and in total coherence with the website. For instance, the positioning that you take in the website should be similar in social media profiles. You should consider creating profiles using platforms like Facebook and Linkedin. These profiles should augment your personal website. You may also consider using Twitter, provided you can keep it reasonably up to date with quality tweets. There is an important caveat of using social media particularly the social networks like Facebook and Twitter where friends and family also flock to your profile. You should be cautious in sharing content which is not incoherent or detrimental to your positioning, your image and eventually your own brand. For instance, if you are creating an image of an investment banker with astute observation of financial markets and a reasonably mature career outlook, do not even think about getting associated

with anyone’s content repudiating Wall Street and profession of investment banking. Managing the Search – the Online Reputation part. If you create a reasonable online presence as discussed above, you should focus on ensuring that search-based visibility of ‘you’ is also in the desirable manner. So, now if someone (read: a prospective intrigued employer) is searching for you and has Googled your name, what does he see. You should attempt that at least searches related to your name (full and partial) should yield content which positions you the way you have planned in your selfpositioning strategy. This can be done by engaging professional experts on Personal branding who understand the tricks of trade related to search engine optimization. Such professional ensures that the first set of results shown for searches conducted related to you are the ones which are favorable for your personal brand. Engaging professional help for Personal Branding. Do you know of a mainstream brand which has gained its status without professionals at helm of affairs? No? Then how can you leave the brand called ‘you’ unattended. If serious about personal branding, you should engage an expert who understands the contemporary dimensions of this arena. Someone who is an expert in developing websites, creating powerful social profiles and managing search engine optimization is the right resource to engage for personal branding. Once you have your personal brand developed and matured over a certain period, you can take care of it yourself. But the beginning part, which is also the most crucial one, must be looked after by professional experts in personal branding. Personal Brand for non-jobseekers. “I have my own business and I am my own boss, why should I care about personal branding? I am certainly not looking for a job!” Well, this is a very appropriate comment if you don’t need customers and investors! Are you sure you don’t need them? Being your own boss means you don’t need to go through the recruitment process which the above discussion mainly focused. But does it mean that your company needs no marketing? It certainly needs marketing, whatever business it conducts. For effective and professional marketing, you can leverage your own brand to your own company and vice versa. There are countless examples of CEOs influencing investors decisions because of their presence or otherwise in the company just because the CEO himself would be a strong personal brand. Conclusion. In the modern world of internet, CVs are being replaced with online profiles and background checks are being replaced with online searches. People can find you within few keystrokes and clicks and create an opinionated impression of you. Achieving successful personal branding implies that the impression created on the target audience is the one which you desire.


security

Protecting Your Business Jorge Rey CISA, CISM, Against Identity Theft By CGEIT and Keith Douglass Since 2005, we’ve seen many news headlines reporting how businesses have lost thousands of dollars, and some have even faced bankruptcy because cyber-criminals stole money from their accounts. Unfortunately, seven years later cyber-criminals continue to target businesses, and we haven’t really been able to prevent and stop this type of fraud, especially in small and medium sized business.

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ccount takeover, or business identity theft, occurs when a cybercriminal steals a business owner’s or employee’s online banking login credentials for their business accounts. Once the cyber-criminals have the credentials, they have a window of opportunity in which money can be stolen. They can initiate funds transfers through ACH or wire transfers to their own bank accounts within the U.S. or abroad.Often these funds can’t be recovered by the business, causing disruption and financial loss. To obtain access to business accounts, cybercriminals lure employees with different techniques and cause them to spread viruses or malware designed to steal corporate online banking account log-in credentials, this is known as “phishing.” For example, a business may be compromised by: • An infected document attached to an email A link within an email that connects to an infected website • Employees visiting social networking websites andclicking on infected documents, videos, or photos posted there, and • Transferring documents infected from another computer. Recently, RSA, the security division of EMC, published a report stating that in 2011 one in every 300 emails circulating the web contained elements of phishing. Although phishing scams have been around for a while, email users still fall

Once the cyber-criminals have the credentials they have a window of opportunity in which money can be stolen. They can initiate funds transfers through ACH or wire transfers to their own bank accounts within the U.S. or abroad. for this scam and reveal personal and confidential information. As a business owner, what can you do to prevent business identity theft? Enhance the security of your computers and networks • Install and maintain real-time anti-virus and anti-spyware desktop firewall and malware detection and removal software. • Use these tools regularly to scan your computer. Allow for automatic updates and scheduled scans. • Install routers and firewalls to prevent unauthorized access to your computer or network.

• Perform IT Security evaluations periodically. Security auditors will evaluate whether you are actually protected against malware.

“The Year in Phishing” January 2012; http://www.rsa.com/phishing_reports.aspx

Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida

Soraya Rivera-Moya Executive Director Miami House 1145 NW 14 Terrace Miami, FL 33136 305.324.5683 Fort Lauderdale House 15 SE 15th Street Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 954.828.1822

Cell. 786.355.6352 soraya@rmhcsouthflorida.org www.rmhcsouthflorida.org

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finance

DON’T LET A FLAWED ATTITUDE ABOUT CASH DISRUPT YOUR CHANCE TO SUCCEED By Chia-Li Chien

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our personal attitude toward money will impact both your personal and business finances. I work with many businesses and find that if an owner’s personal finances include savings, emergency funds and positive cash flow, her business finances tend to be in alignment. She’ll have enough working capital in cash plus extra savings. However, if she has personal debt, her business will also be in debt. So how can you improve your current personal financial situation and thereby help your business finances? Go back in time and find out whether “money wounds” are blocking your wealth opportunities. “Money belief systems were developed since childhood and later became money wounds,” says Jaden Sterling, a wealth guru who owns many successful businesses and has helped many people manifest wealth. “The universe brings us abundant opportunities, saying yes to opportunities that are in alignment with your passion,” Sterling says. Sterling relies on what he calls his Inner Guidance System. “Many opportunities come to me,” he says. “Will they meet my three criteria?” He defines his criteria as: 1. Will it make a positive impact on others? 2. Can I make a lot of money from it? 3. Can I have fun doing it? “This Inner Guidance System provides the experience in balance between giving and receiving,” Sterling says. “When you become panicked or fearful of the economy, stock market or government bailout, your emotional state 22

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Your personal attitude toward money will impact both your personal and business finances. actually blocks the opportunities that are coming to you.” Obviously, removing money wounds takes time and persistence. So you wonder whether you can cure yours. Perhaps the opportunities are already in front of you; you just don’t know where to begin. To prevent blocking the money opportunity coming to your business, consider the following: Pay yourself, the owner, at market rate and on a regular basis. You pay every vendor, employee and everyone else except yourself equitably. You wait until your business cash flow turns and then pay yourself a big check. Unfortunately, you’re telling the universe that you don’t need money. Don’t be a bank for your customers. If your customers or clients are not paying after you send an invoice, pick up the phone and call. Don’t let them use you as a bank to finance their purchase, especially the invoices that haven’t been paid after more than 30 days. You also have to be aware that it’s been more than 30 days. Monitor your aging accounts receivables regularly, and make calls to resolve overdue accounts quickly. Don’t tell the universe otherwise.

Don’t act as your own bank for your business. You put your own house on the line when your business needs working capital, because it’s easy. Don’t. Your business needs to be self-sufficient, with its own working capital. Set a goal to achieve that; the universe will provide. Don’t chase a fantasy. You may not even know that you’re not making any profit. Regularly examine your financial status and cut loose any areas that aren’t profitable. Give up unnecessary material things. Don’t let material things define your social status. You might look great and feel good driving a BMW 650i; but if you can’t afford it, it can create unnecessary stress for you, your family and your business. Be true to yourself. Money is an integral part of your business. You need to demand proper return on your investment, which will have a direct impact on your personal finances. To get the money you need flowing into your business, align with your own Inner Guidance System, or use Sterling’s method. Don’t let money wounds block the opportunities coming to you.

Chia-Li Chien, CFP®, CRPC, PMP; Succession Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs. She is chief strategist of Value Growth Institute dedicated to helping private business owners increase the value of their firms. She is the award-winning author of Show Me The Money and faculty member of American Management Association. Her blog is named a top small business resource by the New York Times. http://valuegrowthinstitute.com. Source: http:// www.submityourarticle.com


bizethics

Values, Virtues and Leadership By Frank Bucaro

In these challenging times for many businesses, leaders need to periodically take a step back and spend time in reflection as to what their real influence is in their respective workplaces. Take time at the beginning and at the end of each day to ponder on how well you’ve done in staying true to values, mission, purpose and relationships.

Here’s an example of reflective questioning.

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Did I practice any virtues today?

• Were you a person who shared and modeled integrity, trustworthiness, honesty or compassion? • How did people around react to you today? • Think of the best teacher you ever had and then make a list of all those characteristics of what made that person the best teacher. Every day before you go to work read the list and decide this is what you want to be remembered for.

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Were you more positive than negative in your attitude and behavior?

• Consider the short term vs. long term consequences of your actions. • Did you affirm, in some way, every person you encountered today? • Remember, affirm self-esteem and disagree with behavior and work at recognizing this distinction every day.

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Did I treat people with dignity and respect?

• All human beings have the right to be treated with dignity simply because they are human. • Did you consciously try to separate personhood from behavior in each difficult situation?

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How did I practice justice today?

• In what ways did you benefit those around you? In what ways were you a hindrance? • On what basis did you decide what was just,i.e. Mission Statement, Code of Ethics, Values statement, the law? • How did you explain the decision? How was it accepted? What could you have done differently?

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Did I make my organization better because I was there today?

• Was I better because I was a part of this organization? • Was I able to get beyond my own interests to make the organization stronger? • Was I able to draw upon the strengths of the organization to help me become more human? It is important to remember that people tend to listen with their eyes more than with their ears. What you do, says so much more than what you say. Consistent role modeling along with ongoing education in behavioral ethics, values and virtues, is a “slam dunk” combination for personal and business success. Frank Bucaro is an ethics expert, who is a leading advocate-- speaking, training and writing-- on the benefits of ethics and the power of ethical leadership. Frank’s programs are challenging in contact, practical is application and entertaining in delivery! He can be reached at: 630483-2276 or frank@frankbucaro.com. More info: www.frankbucaro.com second quarter 2012

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realestate

The Power of Goal Setting By Scott Roemermann The power of goal setting has been well documented and communicated so before you skip over this point because you’ve heard it all before I’d like you to consider how well you are doing it. I’m a firm believer that you don’t truly understand something until you are doing it.

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f you are an avid goal setter, you will want to read this to learn some specifics associated with real estate investing. If you are not a frequent goal setter, please read on and consider that setting goals really is a powerful tool, does have some magic about it, and is critical to your investing success. Consider the following example. In 1953, researchers interviewed the graduating class of Harvard University about their career goals for the future. It was found that only 3% had written goals and specific plans for achieving them. Twenty years later the researchers re-interviewed the class of 53’. They discovered that while all students had shared the best education money can buy, the 3% with written plans for the future were worth more, in financial terms, than the other 97% combined. Whilst this only examined financial or career goals I think it illustrates the true power of written goals. I’m tempted to offer some goal setting basics here, but for the sake of brevity, all I’ll say is that your goals should be: specific, measurable, realistic, in writing and have a deadline. Know also that they will evolve over time; so you don’t need to worry about getting them perfect; just start with something! With respect to real estate, you need to first figure out what your primary investing objective is: 1. quick cash / equity 2. cash flow 3. capital growth Let’s say, for the sake of an example, that you want to focus on cash flow properties. Consider the difference in the following goal statements: • I want to invest in some real estate that will supplement my income and help me retire faster. or • I will acquire sufficient property in the next 12 months to produce an average of $4,000 per year of additional income.

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The latter is much better because it is getting specific, is certainly measurable and has a deadline. It is also realistic and in writing. But when you go to see a realtor or other people who will help you acquire that property they will ask things like, “in what area?” and “what type of property?” so as you learn more, you need to add those details. Once you have these clear goals, realtors will suddenly treat you much more seriously. Even if you don’t have all the answers, imagine walking into a realtor’s office and hitting them with those two goal statements. Which one will get you further? Even if you don’t know which area or what type of property they won’t treat you

The most successful companies in the world track their progress against their goals because it is effective to do so. like a tire kicker. They will ask those important questions of you and you can learn from them and go away and make your goal even clearer before getting back in touch with them. And the next realtor you visit won’t even know that you hadn’t thought about that. They’ll just see someone who knows exactly what they want and will be able and willing to help out. My final point about goals has more to do with the measurement part than with setting them. I know that sounds tedious, but it can be really exciting. The most successful companies in the world track their progress against their goals because it is effective to do so. Imagine putting a simple graph on your wall that has the months along the bottom

axis and the cash flow you’ve developed on the vertical axis. You can draw a red line across the graph representing your target of $4,000 per year and then you can draw an angled line that adds another $333 to the cash flow each month. This gives you some very good feedback as to how you are progressing and motivation while there is still time to do something about it. That’s obviously much better than just seeing how you went 12 months later and finding that you only acquired property that produces $1,000 per year. It’s a very simple and powerful tool. If you are really disciplined, you can take this one step further and use the same approach for the activities that produce the outcomes that we are measuring on the other graph. This really helps ensure the result. For example, if you know you need to evaluate 100 properties and make offers on 10 to acquire that amount of property, then you could graph those drivers as well. Scott Roemermann is president of InvestingSecrets.com; a website dedicated to helping consumers in their search for sound investing advice from honest and experienced professionals rather than self-proclaimed ‘real estate gurus’. Scott does not claim to be a guru or advisor himself, he says he’s ‘just an average guy’ who has also experienced the bewilderment and uncertainty of trying to get started in real estate investing when there are so many alleged experts claiming to hold the secrets of the rich. To solve this problem Scott has authored a guide in which he compiles and reviews 17 of the leading strategies being promoted by the true gurus that he has come to respect after many years of research. That guide is available at http://www.investingsecrets.com/


smallbiz

What is an Acceptable Response? Many online marketers work odd hours, with no beginning of the day and no real end. How does this impact support and customer service inquiries? Some small businesses are afraid to reply to customer queries off-hours, fearful that the message time-stamp will betray them as a small business. The Internet however is timeless. The fact is customers appreciate a quick response. With the globalization of the Internet, federal holidays are blurred. Customers expect timely responses and often make little note of the time zone of the vendor they are working with.

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hile large corporate businesses have a large amount of resources (staff and money) for sales, customer service and marketing are often tied to traditional methods of communication with customers. Sales are in person; customer service is over the phone and marketing by advertising and mail. Email is often used to funnel customers into these traditional channels of communication. When emailing often the reply back is to call back or a request you show up in person. More so in the past then recently, many companies do not respond to email at all. While communicating by telephone and mail is important, email is part of the fabric of how people interact and companies often do not take this into account. As many small main street businesses are offering a more personalized service, email can be more personalized than large corporations are able to provide. Since customers have become accustomed to looking on the Internet to either make or research purchases email is an easy way to communicate. Besides an easy way to get an answer, some customers want reassurance there is a human behind the web page, and not just some wizard speaking out of a microphone.

Service and forum queries are typically handled by online businesses within 24 hours; rarely do weekends or holidays alter response rates. Customer demands and the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;needâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; for instant answers have driven the standard. If you do not respond in a timely fashion a competitor will. Customers are used to surfing the web and emailing. They want instant information whether it is 4pm or 4am. They want an immediate response. Many companies provide 24-hour customer service. While some people expect responses immediately, others will think business is slow if you respond right away. This is difficult to gauge, if the answer is simple respond as soon as possible. If research is required then at least email a response that you are looking into and will get back to them. Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for RecordForAll www. recordforall.com audio recording and editing software. second quarter 2012

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sales

Your Most Powerful Sales Tool By Dave Kahle

Did you enjoy what you had for dinner last night?

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ou are probably wondering what that question has to do with sales. Bear with me a moment, and answer the question. Now, pause a moment, and think about what you did when you read that question. Your mind probably flashed back to yesterday evening, and you saw a picture in your mind’s eye of what you had for dinner. Then you recalled your response to the dinner, and made a judgment that you did or didn’tenjoy it. I was able to direct your thinking by asking you a question. You thought about what I wanted you to think about, and you thought about it in the way I wanted. That’s an illustration of the power of a question. It directs an individual’s thinking. That’s what makes asking a good question the single-most effective thing you can do with a customer. A well-phrased, appropriately-timed question is your most powerful sales tool. Here’s what good questions will do for you: Good questions direct your customer’s thinking. When you use a good question, or a series of good questions, you enter your prospect’s mind and direct his/her thinking. There is something that makes it almost impossible not to think of the answer when we are asked a question. Now, consider where the decision to obtain your products or services takes place—in the mind of your customer. A good question from you helps focus and shape the direction in which your customer’s mind works. Similarly, you perform a service for your customers when you ask them good questions. Your questions direct their minds along certain paths, and help them clarify their thinking. 26

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A good question is your best means of collecting the information that will help you construct a sale. How do you know what a customer thinks, or what his/her situation is, unless you ask a question? If you’re selling a new surgical glove, for example, you first ask questions to learn the surgeon’s concerns so that you are able to point out the specific features of the glove that meet those needs. Without first asking questions, you’re reduced to working on assumptions about the needs and interests of your customers.

A well-phrased, appropriatelytimed question is your most powerful sales tool. You will do far better at selling your products and services if you first use good questions to understand your customer’s needs and interests. Good questions help you to see into the mind and heart of your customers, and equip you with the knowledge necessary to make the sale. Good questions build relationships. The act of asking good questions shows that you care about the person and his/her problems. The more

questions you ask about your customer, the more he/she feels your interest. The law of reciprocity indicates that the more interest you show in a customer, the more likely that customer will be interested in you. You can make use of this principle by asking good personal questions of your customers and thereby building strong relationships. Good questions convey the perception of your competence. In other words, your customer sees you as competent and trustworthy -- not necessarily by what you say -- but rather by what you ask. The focus and precision of your questions does more to give your customer the perception of your competence than anything else. Every one of your customers wants to feel that the sales person he/she is dealing with is competent. You convey that perception by asking good questions about the details of your customers’ needs and applications. Mastering the use of good questions — the sales person’s single most powerful interpersonal tool — in every aspect of your sales interactions will dramatically improve your results.

Dave Kahle has trained tens of thousands of distributor and B2B sales people and sales managers to be more effective in the 21st Century economy. He’s authorednine books, and presented in 47 states and eight countries. Sign up for his weekly Ezine. For a limited time, you can obtain his latest book, How to Sell Anything to Anyone Anytime, and receive $534 in no cost bonuses. More info: www.davekahle.com or 800.331.1287.


travel

Belgium Six Must-See Gems Bruges

Belgium has a long and rich history offering many fascinating destinations to enjoy. It would be impossible to describe everything that this country has to offer in a short article but below is a glimpse into six of Belgium’s must-see gems. Antwerp Diamond Museum. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend (so they say) and if you like diamonds then a visit to the world’s largest diamond museum in Antwerp is a must. The city of Antwerp in Belgium is now regarded as the center of the diamond trade in Belgium and it is said that about 80% of the world’s diamond jewelry is made there. The diamond museum reflects the important role that Antwerp plays in this industry and has several inter-active displays which showcase the skills of the diamond cutters and polishers. There are also weekly exhibitions by expert diamond polishers. Popular exhibits include replicas of the British crown jewels and the Koh-I-Noor diamond. Spa. The Ardennes region of Belgium is wellknown as an area of outstanding beauty, ideal for touring and taking in the views. One of the major towns in the Ardennes is the town of Spa, whose name is now synonymous with baths and springs of healing waters. Spa has been on the map as a center for baths and hot springs since the 14 century and was considered as the resort to go to by the European aristocracy in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today Spa retains its old world charm but the baths have been extensively modernized and expanded. The main complex of baths is located at “Les Thermes De Spa”, where the visitor can relax in the healing waters or take a sauna or massage. The modern world of motor racing visits Spa once a year as it is home to the historic Formula One Grand Prix circuit at SpaFrancorchamps. All in all an area to be included in any visit to Belgium. Waterloo. Most people will recall learning about the Battle of Waterloo in their school history lessons. The city of Waterloo where the battle took place in 1815, is located not far from the Belgian capital, Brussels. For visitors wishing to find out more about the events of 1815 there are museums and monuments commemorating the Duke of Wellingtons victory over the Emperor Napoleon. The battlefield has been preserved and it is

possible to wander over the fields where the battle took place. A panoramic view over surrounding area can be had from the top of “La Butte du Lion”, a mound with the statue of a lion at the top, said to have been built as a symbol of the the allied forces’ victory. The Wellington museum, housed in the former allied army headquarters and reputed to be where Wellington stayed during the battle, has many exhibits of items from the time. Bruges. In the province of Flanders, near to the Dutch border, stands the ancient city of Bruges. The historic center of the city was one of the first tourist venues, attracting visitors from all over Europe in the late 19th century. The city

center is surrounded and entwined by a series of canals and this has given rise to the nickname “the Venice of the North”. The canals, together with the many narrow cobbled streets and lack of motor traffic, can give the tourist the feeling that he/she has stepped back in time. This feeling is further enhanced by the abundance of wellpreserved medieval buildings which seem to be on every street. As if these attractions were not enough, Bruges still has more to offer its visitors. In the world of lace making Bruges is probably the most well-known center, famed for the quality of its lace products. There are a multitude of shops

and stalls selling lace souvenirs, many of them at bargain prices considering the work that has gone into the making of the items. The Royal Museum of Fine Art. One of the largest and well-known collections of Flemish art can be found at The Royal Museum of Fine Art in Brussels. There are more than 20,000 works ranging from Flemish and Dutch Old Masters to paintings from the present day. Flemish paintings by such illustrious figures as Rubens and van Dyck are well represented and include 20 works by Rubens. These are housed in their own salon. Paintings by many Dutch Old Masters such as Rembrandt are also featured. This is a very large collection of art, spread over two buildings, and if you want to make the most of it you will need to allocate plenty of time. Groeninge Museum. Among the many fine museums to visit in Belgium, the Groeninge Museum in Bruges needs to near the top of the list. This museum specializes in paintings of artists who lived and worked in Bruges. There, you will also find the works of painters from many other areas are also on display. The Groeninge Museum has what is probably the best collection of paintings of the group of artists known as the Flemish Primitives. Artists in this group include painters of the caliber of van Eyck. There are also many examples of more modern works including the Herbert Collection of expressionist paintings. Of course Belgium has many more sights to see than the six mentioned. Hopefully after reading the above your appetite will have been whetted and you have been encouraged to consider paying a visit. If you can, seek Belgium travel advice from experts who know the country well. This way you can relax knowing that you have all the information that you need to have a good stay. More info: www.traveladvice.tv/europe/belgium

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earthtalk

The “Fair Trade Your Supermarket” campaign

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

A project of the non-profit Green America, the “Fair Trade Your Supermarket” campaign aims to empower consumers to advocate for more “Fair Trade” products on store shelves at their local supermarkets. Fair trade is a system of exchange that honors producers, communities and the environment by ensuring that farmers and artisans throughout the developing world are paid fair prices for their work and have direct involvement in the marketplace. The goal of the wider Fair Trade movement, according to Green America, is to build real and lasting relationships between producers in developing countries and businesses and consumers around the world.

Fair trade is a system of exchange which ensures that farmers, artisans and other producers throughout the developing world are paid fair prices for their work and have direct involvement in the marketplace.

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rice, sugar, honey, wine, fresh fruit, and olive oil.” Scan the relevant aisles for third-party certifier Fair Trade USA’s distinctive black-and-white “Fair Trade Certified” label, which is only attached to imported goods where the producers receive fair prices for their products and where strict socioeconomic and environmental criteria are met during production. Alternatively, look for the logos of other third-party certifiers such as “Fair for Life” or “Fair Trade Federation” on product labels if you think fair trade versions may be available in a given product line.

And just how does Green America expect us to do this? “First, take stock of Fair Trade products in your supermarket—look for coffee, tea, chocolate,

“Then, you can encourage the store to stock more Fair Trade products by talking to the store manager as a loyal customer,” adds Green America. They suggest using comment cards, which can be key to getting a store with no Fair

nd that’s where your neighborhood grocer comes in. “While the Fair Trade movement is gaining steam nationwide, most of our supermarkets still carry few–if any– Fair Trade products on their shelves,” reports Green America. “Together, we can put Fair Trade products within reach for millions of Americans.”

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Trade items to start carrying them. “Every time you go grocery shopping, drop a comment card in the box asking your manager to stock Fair Trade items.” Of course, talking to a store manager in person may be even more effective, especially if you are armed with a pile of your receipts from the store from the previous month or two to show how much spending power you alone would be able to allocate toward Fair Trade versions of the items you are buying there. Another creative way to spread the Fair Trade gospel would be by volunteering to hand out free samples of Fair Trade products that the store already sells in order to raise awareness and build consumer demand. “Stores sell more of a product when a sampling table is set out, and if you, your friends and family are working the table, the labor is free for the store too.” But why stop with your local market? If there is a chain supermarket outlet in your area, take it to the top by writing an e-mail, letter or postcard to corporate headquarters informing them of your desire to buy Fair Trade items in all of their stores. Check out the Fair Trade Your Supermarket website (link below) for more tips on how to make your next shopping trip fairer to the planet and its people.

CONTACTS: Fair Trade Your Supermarket, www.fairtradeyoursupermarket.org;Green America, www.greenamerica.org; Fair Trade USA, www.fairtradeusa.com.


technology

FOR A LIMITED TIME, FLORIDA’S SMALL BUSINESSES CAN GET FREE WEBSITES By Mark Etinger Intuit to provide its popular Intuit Website offerings for free, including Google’s statewide initiative, Florida Get Your Business an easy-to-build website, a customized domain name and web-hosting Online will help drive economic growth by giving Florida for one year. businesses the tools and resources to establish a website, find new customers, and grow their business. Increasing “As a leading provider of small business solutions, we have witnessed the number of small businesses online is one of the the growth small businesses have seen from getting best ways to expand the Florida economy. online,” said Megan Bhattacharyya, product manager at Intuit. “We are excited to offer Intuit Websites for Through research conducted, 97 percent of free to all the wonderful small businesses in Florida Americans look online for local products and and to help them create a customized presence that services, and in Florida, 68 percent of small 68% of Florida represents their unique brands.” businesses do not have a website or online Businesses do not presence. According to Google, businesses limit their exposure

T

have a website.

he perception that getting online is complex, costly and time-consuming has prevented many Florida small businesses from taking the first step,” said Scott Levitan, director of Small Business Engagement at Google. “This program makes it fast, easy and free for businesses to get online.” For the next year, participating Florida businesses can go to www.floridagetonline.com to get a free website as well as free tools, training and resources to help their business succeed online. Google is partnering with

to customers if they don’t have a website. Small businesses need to be online because that’s where their customers are. In America today, no matter the size of the business, having a website is as vital as having a phone.

“I am certain that Google’s ‘Florida Get Your Business Online’ initiative will be of great value to the over 100,000 small businesses established in Miami-Dade County. In today’s competitive business environment, penetrating new markets via the Internet is critical,” said Carlos Cardenas, regional director of the Small Business Development Center at Miami-Dade.

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Dr. Carmen Harraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Birthday Celebration Kimberly Shenker- Bacardi received the Humanitarian Icon Award from Women in the Arts Miami.

SAMA (Southern Automotive Media Association). Designer Anthony Prozzi presented Fordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2013 Fusion.

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KGKG, Creed and Saks Fundraiser for Food for the Poor.


latinbiz networking events Baru, Doral, FL

La Gorce Country Club, Miami Beach, FL

Miami Science Museum, Miami, FL

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You are already connecting professionals to our network. Why not make money from it? Join our Referral Partner Program at:

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Latin Business of America, 2nd Quarter, 2012  

Businessrise hapilly announced that the new issue for the second quarter of 2012 is delivered to Latin Business of America. Read on page 20...

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