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Employment & Entrepreneurship Making your way in the NewAmerican Economy

Why Small Businesses Aren’t Hiring Working Together Managing Teams









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Samsung S2 Portable 3.0 External HDD Faster than Ever Those who shopped for portable hard drives earlier this year might as well fail the Marshmallow test for good things come to those who wait – and the new Samsung S2 Portable 3.0 external hard disk drive is a testament to that. The new high performance external HDD features a built-in SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface and a 7200RPM spindle speed, delivering faster performance over previous versions. The S2 Portable 3.0 brings the benefits of top of the line performance and quality, and consequently, lowers the power usage and improves the efficiency of the external hard drive. The SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface delivers a blazing fast transfer rate of 5 gigabits per second (Gbps) as compared to the 480 megabits per second (Mbps) of the older USB 2.0. To boot, the 7200RPM rotation speed delivers high and speedy performance, while the Samsung exclusive low vibration Dynamic Balancing technology and the low noise technologies SilentSeek and NoiseGuard are utmost welcome additional hard drive features. Also, there's the on-board USB technology that effectively

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Live the Digital Life Everywhere and Anytime with Dell Streak Dell just released its own little 5-inch gadget wonder – the new Dell Streak, an Android-based tablet with a 5-inch display clad in a menacing carbon black enclosure. The Streak is specifically designed to deliver an unparalleled mobile entertainment, social networking, and navigation experience. The seemingly small 5-inch screen is surprisingly made just right for viewing a number of Android Market widgets, games and applications without any form of strain on the eyes. The capacitive multi-touch WVGA display is even large enough to accommodate Web pages in their normal form and make turn-by-turn navigation simple. It is a perfect balance between readability and portability. There's also the wide array of connectivity options including an integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth capability and support for 3G connectivity. Dell Streak makes downloading and listening to music, real-time update of social networking status, and keeping in touch with friends and family through e-mail, text, IM, and voice calls possible almost anywhere and a whole lot easier. The Dell Streak is powered by a Qualcomm's Snapdragon solution with built-in 1GHz processor to merge the full functionality and benefits of a laptop in a mobile tablet. It is also outfitted with a 5 MP Autofocus camera with dual LED flash and a VGA front facing camera. For storage, it has 2GB of internal storage and a user accessible Micro SD memory that supports up to a whopping 32GB upgrade.

Blackberry Torch – Sizzling Hot Sliding QWERTY Phone Not all that is blazing hot, fast and sexy is Johnny Storm – introducing the new Blackberry Torch. This latest and flaming just off the grill gadget from Blackberry features a brand new operating system. The Blackberry Torch features a 3.2 inch touchscreen with a slide out keyboard for comfortable typing. The phone also comes with Wi-Fi, 5 megapixel camera and 4 GB of storage. The sliding keyboard is a first for blackberry, as well as the new blackberry OS 6, which is made to improve the mobile internet experience. Additional feature of the OS includes media synch, a service which enables users to stream audio content from their home to their mobile device. Can this hot baby burn brighter than its competitors? Look at these features from Blackberry and

decide. Slider form factor with touch screen plus QWERTY keyboard and optical trackpad BlackBerry 6 OS with all-new browser featuring tabbed browsing for access to multiple web pages at the same time and pinch-to-zoom capability Next-generation messaging including group messaging for up to 10 people and locations Social networking feed application for one view of all your favorite sites such as Facebook, Tw i t t e r a n d M y S p a c e Integrated search from home screen 5 MP camera with flash, autofocus, and environment settings Latest Wi-Fi “N” network support (Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n) for home and office use Plenty of memory including 512

MB RAM + 512 MB Flash + 4 GB Flash + 4 GB MicroSD Extended talk time of GSM: 5.5 hrs UMTS: 5.8 hrs and even longer standby time of GSM: 17 days UMTS: 13 days

TheBook eReader not Just Displays but Literally Reads Books to You If you want to take part in saving the environment while still enjoying a recreation, you should get an e-book reader soon. Imagine the number of trees being saved because of this digital publication novelty, all your favorite books will lay on your palms without bothering mother earth. TheBook by Augen is an ideal eReader that can support almost all formats of eBooks, making it possible to carry more than a thousand of publications with you back ache free. As with other eReaders, TheBook allows you to download your favorite books and other contents at any place where there is Wi-Fi connection. The better part is it incorporates security software that protects the works of authors and their publishers from being plagiarized. This scheme is equivalent to security

software of MP3 against piracy. Moreover, the 7-inch eReader has a web browsing function that can read simple texts of websites including Google and Wikipedia. Reading is made simple using TheBook since you can adjust the text size of a book or publication up to four sizes depending on your preference using the touch of a button. In case your eyes got tired reading but you still want to take information, TheBook has a Text-to-Sound feature that reads the book to you vocally through the builtin speaker. This feature is unavailable if the rights holder does not offer text-to-sound for the content. The eReader accommodates up to 1,500 eBooks through its 2GB internal memory, has standard SD card slot expandable up to 32GB, uses rechargeable Li-ion battery, supports MP3/MP4 and video player, and includes accessories like leather carrying case, data transfer USB cable, UL certified AC adapter, and user guide.

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Best Laptops 2010 Review


ith the number of best laptop brands available, it can be quite mind boggling for a person to zero in on the most appropriate laptop for one's needs. While no laptop can be tagged as the best laptop to buy, because every laptop comes with a different set of features and the one suiting your needs will be the most appropriate one for you. If you are out to find the best laptop deals - how to find best deals on laptops, it is important for you to know that there isn't a single laptop that's the best. While laptops like Sony Vaio and Apple Mac are the best, their high prices may burn a hole in most people's pockets. With price as a constraint, the way one rates laptops will differ. Let's have a look at some of the best laptops 2010 reviews.

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Del Inspiron Dell has been a default choice for scores of laptop computer buyers across the globe. Their inspiron and studio laptops have gained a lot of popularity. Dell Inspiron 15R, the most popular laptop of the inspiron range comes with 500 GB hard drive and 4 USB ports to connect various devices. With its HDMI feature, you can hook the laptop to a high definition (HD) external monitor or TV, which enables you to watch videos and snaps on a larger screen from your laptop. The highlight of Dell Inspiron is its fantastic 15.6-inch screen, color reproduction, brightness and its 1,366 x 768 pixel resolution, which is perfect for people using it for daily work. The color reproduction is not as fantastic as Sony VAIO VPC-Z11Z9EB or Lenovo's W701, however, at Dell's low price (as low as $

380), this color reproduction quality is very good. However, all said and done, Dell Inspiron 15R does not possess good quality speakers. Thus, people planning to listen to music will need to get additional desktop speakers or else a headphone jack. The laptop battery life is also known to be low; 186 minutes because the bright screen and processor debilitate battery life quickly. Moreover, the Intel Core i5 processor conduces to quite a bit of heat, to counter which a fan is placed, which again causes a lot of noise. Its noisy fan, positioning of USB ports and semi-irritating touchpad are some other drawbacks. The touchpad is highly responsive, causing disturbances in typing due to accidental brushes made on it while typing. But, hot key next

to the F12 button helps disable the touchpad, thereby solving the problem. On the whole Dell Inspiron is one of the best laptop for college students, as it comes with all necessary features at a low price! HP Pavilion dv3510nr, Gateway FX P-7805u, etc. are also among some of the best laptops 2010 for college students.

Asus UL30A-5X's fast boot technology has the Asus notebook start in just 30 seconds flat. Its exclusive express gate feature enables ultra-fast boot, such that one can connect to the web in just 10 seconds. With its HDMI port, you can connect it to an HDTV at home. Asus UL30A-5X has great Altec Lansing speakers plus SRS surround, which conduce to a virtual home theater experience.

Asus UL30A-5X While Dell laptop is one of the best laptops for college students, its battery life is a major drawback, especially for business associates. People flying from one country to another need a longer battery life to work on a flight or during traveling to prevent time wastage. The Asus UL30A-5X is the perfect laptop for this need. It comes with an outstanding battery life of 12.5 hours. Its ultra-low voltage Intel core 2 duo SU7300 processor and 13.3-inch LED-backlit display increases energy efficiency and allows it to work non-stop for 12.5 hours without recharging.

Priced at about $680, this laptop has great aesthetics, with its stylish features and feels really nice to work on. It's really light in weight and 1-inch thin, making it the best laptop for travel purposes. It's the perfect laptop that meets one's mobile computing needs.

These were just two of the best laptops 2010 deals one can get. One for its diverse range of features at a fair price, while the other known for its outstanding battery life. Let's not forget the famous Sony VAIO VPCZ11Z9EB, which is also a part of the best laptop deals if price is not an issue. Its high-powered processor from Intel's cuttingedge Core i7 range is simply fantastic. Some of the best laptops under $1000 are Apple MacBook MC207LL/A, Fujitsu LifeBook S7211, Toshiba Satellite Pro A210-EZ2201, Acer Aspire 5920-6954, Acer Aspire 5920-6954, etc. Moreover, Lenovo IdeaPad Y460 0633, Dell Alienware M11x, etc. fall in the best laptops 2010 for gaming category.

4GB RAM, 500GB hard drive, 1.3GHz Intel SU7300 core 2 duo processor, 3 USB slots, multi-format memory card reader and integrated webcam are core features of the Asus UL30A-5X. Moreover, it also has Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium operating system (64-bit version), preinstalled into the laptop, which makes sharing photos, videos and music on a home network simply very easy. Windows 7 gives you greater speed to carry out everyday tasks.

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Why Small Businesses Aren’t Hiring

In the recoveries from the previous two recessions, small businesses led job creation. This time, however, small businesses aren't hiring. That about-face has left a lot of economic prognosticators scratching their heads. I think the reason is clear. The collapse in home prices is holding back small-business

hiring. And unless we fix the residential real estate mess, we won't see small business hiring anytime soon. The weak residential real estate market is keeping small businesses from hiring in five ways: 1. Declining house prices have softened demand for small

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businesses' products and services. The 29.5 percent drop in home values from the first quarter of 2006 until the end of the first quarter of 2010 has led to a huge drop in household wealth, which has led to reduced consumer spending. Studies show that consumption falls by about 8 cents for every


dollar of decline in wealth. Thus, housing price declines have taken a bite out of consumer demand. Also, because small businesses generate half of non-farm gross domestic product, they are the recipients of a big part of the housing-price-driven decline in consumption.

Just over half (51 percent) of small business owners indicate that their number one problem is weak sales, according to a 2009 National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) survey. As long as consumer demand remains weakened by slumping house prices, small business owners will face slack demand that will dampen hiring. 2. Small businesses are overrepresented in the real estate-related industries that have been decimated by the residential housing market collapse. Falling home prices have devastated employment in construction and real estate businesses, virtually all of which are small companies. According to the Small Business Administration's annual publication, “Small Business Economy,� 99.9 percent of all employer businesses in the construction sector and 99.6 percent of all employer businesses in the real estate sector have fewer than 500 employees, the cutoff for small businesses. Business borrowing of more than one in five small business owners is tied to the value of their homes. From the start of 2008 through the third quarter of 2009, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show a net loss of 1.8 million jobs in construction alone. While a decline in the value of residential real estate only accounts for some of these job losses, they are nevertheless at least partially responsible. Small business employment was relatively high in these sectors. In 2006, the latest year data are

available, 10.4 percent of all people employed in small businesses worked in construction. That's more small business construction workers than small business manufacturing workers. Add another 2.5 percent who work in real estate and rental and leasing businesses, and we had more than one in eight U.S. small business workers in construction and real estate. 3. Small business owners use their homes to obtain business credit. According to the 2009 Gallup/NFIB survey, 16 percent of small business owners finance a business with a home mortgage, and an additional 6 percent pledge that real estate as collateral. As a result, business borrowing of more than one in five small business owners is tied to the value of their homes. As home prices have fallen, small-business-owning households have seen their personal balance sheets weaken. And the NFIB survey shows that 9 percent of owners owe more than their homes are worth. The more fragile financial position of small business owners has made expansion difficult. In addition, as home values have fallen, the 22 percent of small business owners whose business debt is linked to residential real estate have faced demand for more collateral by lenders. The weakened balance sheets and demand for additional collateral has meant that fewer small business owners have been able to expand. 4. Banks have tightened lending standards in response to a rising November 2010 | 9

share of non-performing real estate loans. The banks with real-estate problems are among the biggest small business lenders. A February 2010 congressional report explains that, “smaller banks with the highest exposure—commercial real estate loans in excess of three times Tier 1 capital—provide around 40 percent of all small business loans.” These banks have tightened up their lending standards. The Federal Reserve's survey of bank loan officers shows that from the first quarter on 2008 through the first quarter of 2010, in every single quarter more banks tightened their lending standards for small businesses than loosened them. Tighter loan standards mean fewer small businesses can get capital for expansion that leads to hiring. 5. Small business owners were major customers of residential real estate loans during the boom, making them among the consumers hardest hit from the collapse in home prices. Small business expansion depends a lot on small business owners'optimism. And that optimism is influenced by the owners' personal financial position. Small business owners took on a lot of mortgage debt during the real estate bubble and are now suffering from the fall in residential real estate prices. Data from the Fed's consumer finance survey indicates that from 1989 to 2007, the portion of people with their own businesses who had home equity loans went up 10 | Communiqué |

82 percent, nearly four times the rate among people who work for others. This heavy borrowing increased by 48.4 percent the home equity debt held by the typical selfemployed head of household. (It shrank 28.9 percent among those worked for others.) As a result, in 2007, the average debt load for a self-employed household was $123,000, roughly 50 percent more than the average debt load for wageemployed households. Tighter loan standards mean fewer small businesses can get capital for expansion that leads to hiring. Waiting for small business owners to begin hiring in this economic recovery has become like waiting for Godot. Rather than continuing to wait (while chanting the mantra that “small businesses are the major job creators in economic recoveries”), we should acknowledge why small businesses aren't leading job creation this time around and come up with solutions to the residential real estate problems that are holding them back. Doing this is imperative. Slightly more than half (50.2 percent) the private sector works in small companies. If the residential real estate mess keeps the small business sector from hiring, it will be awfully difficult to reduce our unemployment rate to a reasonable level.

Applying For Small Business Loans Successfully Most start ups soon feel the need for extra money to expand, advertise, and generally reach a size where the return on investment is good. Once the initial investment corpus earmarked by the entrepreneur is used up, they turn their thoughts to small b u s i n e s s l o a n s . H o w e v e r, successfully applying for a small business loan is no easy task. Bankers and lenders look for certain qualities in the entrepreneur and their business before they decide to grant the loan. If the borrower is aware of what the lender expects, then the borrower can prepare their a p p l i c a t i o n a c c o r d i n g l y.

personal funds in the business. When asking for small business financing, it is up to the borrower to sell their idea to the banker. As bankers consider small business loans risky, they are not usually willing to grant such loans. However, if the entrepreneur persists with a well prepared business plan that clearly outlines the strategies for taking the business forward and shows how the repayment will be made, bankers are much more willing to give a fair hearing. When applying for small business credit, you need to ensure that you are putting in at least 25 to 50 per cent of the money needed. This will convince the creditor that you are serious about your business. The papers you prepare for your potential creditors should clearly show that you have invested your

Small merchants and those running restaurants can also apply for a merchant cash advance. One advantage of this kind of financing is that you can use the funds at your discretion. You need not tell the bank how you are going to spend the money or on what heads. You can use the funds to pay staff or redo the premises. Of course, you need to establish a clear method of repayment and a strict schedule to repay the loan. Small business loans of this kind are relatively easier to obtain. One way of obtaining a lower rate of interest from small business lending institutions is to approach the Small Business Administration for help. If this institution underwrites your loan, the risk to your lender is reduced. You will

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then be in a position to ask for a lower rate of interest on your loan. By reducing your interest outgo, you will be able to garner better profits from your business. Yet another way of ensuring that you get the loan is to offer collateral. In the event that you need a business credit line to expand your business or spend on advertising and marketing, you should offer the lender some collateral. If your business owns property or machinery, use it as collateral, that is, pledge it to raise the cash you need. Again, this reduces the risk to the lender, helping you to ask for a lower rate of interest as well. When bankers look at an application for small business loans, they will primarily be looking at the business viability, the business assets, and the personal credit rating of the entrepreneur. If you want to obtain the loan, your presentation to the banker should cover these points. You need to show that the business plan is sound and will generate sufficient revenues to repay the loan on time. You also need to show that your credit rating is good, as the banker is ultimately lending the money on your word.

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It’s Time To Save TARGET

November 2010 | 13

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Back in 2008, when BizVeo was little more than a business plan in a home office, its two founders joined the Youngstown Business Incubator in northeastern Ohio. Today, two of the eight-person startup's clients each pay around $65,000 a year to use its software, a video communication tool linking doctors and patients. Chief Executive Tony DeAscentis says the business should be profitable by mid-2012, about four years sooner than he had expected. Incubators are "without a doubt the best thing someone could ask for," says DeAscentis, 49, who also used the Youngstown incubator to launch, with partners, his first venture, Turning Technologies, now a 200-employee, $40 million maker of software that conducts real-time polling of audiences while they're watching a presentation. Business incubators, the bulk of which are independently operated nonprofits that provide startups with cheap office space and professional advice, took off in the 1980s only to stall after the dotcom bubble burst. They're now back to a record high, according to the National Business Incubation Assn. (NBIA), with some 41,000 startups using 1,200 incubators across the country. Participants' survival rate after five years is 87 percent, compared with 44 percent for companies that didn't use incubators, according to the group. High unemployment and the need to replace jobs lost at dying industries have been driving forces behind incubators since the first one was created in Batavia, N.Y., in 1959. Increasingly, lawmakers in Washington are embracing incubators as a relatively easy and cheap way to fuel future job creation. "This is definitely the highest interest we've seen from Capitol Hill," says Linda Knopp,



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WORKING TOGETH Getting your team in

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HER n order

Management Skills List The main role of a manager in any given organization is to get things done by the employees in order to achieve the organizational goals. To achieve the goals, a manger has to plan, organize, lead and control the available resources including the human resources of the organization. When the manager is involved in managing the resources, he needs to possess certain skills and qualities, so that he is able to perform his job to the best of his ability. Below is the management skills list, which includes some of the most important qualities that a manager should possess in order to be successful. Business Management Skills List Interpersonal Skills A manager should be a peoples' person. He should have the ability to deal and work with people of different temperaments, backgrounds and educational qualifications. He should be well aware what motivates each of his team member,s in order to bring out the best in them. A manger should be good at building relationships with all his subordinates and be fair in his dealings with them, so that there are no ill feelings among the team members. A manager should be good at relationship and team building. Communication Skills It is very important that a manager is good in communication. A manager who is a good communicator is very aptly able to explain to his team members their individual jobs, as well as the main goal that has to be achieved by the team collectively. Along with being a communicator, a manager has to be a good listener too. A manager should give value to the opinions

of his sub-ordinates. If a manager is able to develop both these skills, it will earn him loyalty of his team members, as well as help in keeping their motivation levels high. Decision-making Skills List of management skills will be incomplete without decisionmaking and problem-solving skills. In a single day, a manger has to take a number of decisions with regards to people, procedures, certain situations, etc. A manager should thus have the capability to arrive at the right decisions after weighing the pros and cons of all the options. A manager should be a quick thinker, because there may be times when decisions have to be made right away. In such situations, a manager should know how to keep his calm, so that he is able to take the most appropriate decision. Leadership Skills Whether its business or project management skills list, both are incomplete without the mention of leadership skills, which are a must for all managers. A leader is a person who motivates, guides and leads his team members, provides them with the right resources so that goals can be achieved. A leader recognizes the strengths and weaknesses of all his team members and allocates them tasks accordingly. A good leader is the one who empowers his team members to act independently if the situation demands. A manager should possess all these leadership skills to be successful. Technical Skills Since, majority of the organizations today depend upon computers and softwares to carry on their activities, it has become mandatory for managers to have adequate knowledge of computers and other technical skills along November 2010 | 19

with the basic management skills. Also, a manager should be well versed in the usage of tools, equipments, etc. needed in his work. For example, a manager should have full knowledge of some of the controlling tools used today, such as charting techniques, budgeting, standard operating procedures, scheduling, etc. as only then he will be able to keep a check on and monitor the organizational resources.

If you are looking for a complete management skills list for resume writing, there are three more skills worth mentioning i.e. conceptual skills, ability to foresee change as well as multi tasking skills. A manager who possesses all these effective manager skills is much more likely to generate profits for the business, which is the ultimate goal of all businesses.

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Communique Magazine  

Lake County Communique Magazine focuses on small businesses, organizations, and local resources within the community.