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Chairman John Cruise President/Executive Publisher Steve Levine Vice President/Publisher/ Creative Director/Editor Barbara Davis-Levine Chief Financial Officer Ervin Hughes Publisher’s Assistant Jerome Davis Graphic Designer Genera Media Photographers Gwen Juarez Contributing Writers Nick Darlington Archie Elliott Barbara Davis Robert Fifield Ruben Gonzalez Laurie Mitchell

Hank Moore Christi Ruiz Gail Stolzenburg Pam Terry David Zimmerman

Chief Advisor Hank Moore Publisher’s Advisory Board Denise Adjei Sonia Clayton Donna Cole John Cruise April Day Dr. John Demartini Maya Durnovo Kathie Edwards Mila Golovine Dory Gordon Greg Grant David Holt Richard Huebner Ervin Hughes Jeffrey Jones Darryl King Sandy Lawrence Craig Klein Wea Lee Bertrand McHenry Hank Moore

Lisa M. Morton Mike Muhney Leisa Holland Nelson Annise Parker Page Parkes Howard Partridge Susan Repka Ingrid Robinson Maria Rios Grant Sadler Tony Samper Rita Santamaria William Sherrill Gail Stolzenburg Pam Terry Linda Toyota Mayor Sylvester Turner Jack Warkenthien Carlecia D. Wright Aaron Young

Phone: 832-419-2814 E-Mail: Or Write: Small Business Today P.O. Box 31186 Houston, TX 77231 See us on the web at




rowing up in Upstate New York, I had the occasion to attend a lot of events that were held in restaurants and hotels (Bar Mitzvahs, weddings, anniversaries, etc.). I would often wonder what it would be like to work in the hotel/ restaurant industry.

My very first job (thanks to a referral from my steady girlfriend’s dad to the hotel owner) was for a bellman’s position at a nearby hotel, The Tappan Zee Motor Inn, when I was 15 years old. Not only did I carry luggage, I did a variety of other things including delivering room service trays, bussing tables in the dining room, babysitting guests’ children, and sometimes caring for the guests’ pets. Most of my early summer and after school positions through college were either in the hotel or restaurant business. You name it, I did it all … from pot washer to assistant to chef to front desk clerk, and all before I was 20 years old! My passion led me to pursue a degree in Hotel/Restaurant and Institutional Management at the State University of New York in Delhi, New York. I graduated with an Associate’s Degree in May 1971 and headed to Orlando, Florida (prior to Walt Disney World opening) where I knew hotel management jobs would be plentiful! I was right. Even though my career path took me from hotel management to multi-family housing to real estate to publishing, I appreciate anytime that I see a restaurant or hotel providing an exceptional customer experience! Such is the case with this month’s cover honoree, Mr. Phil Mitchell of Phil and Derek’s Restaurant and Jazz Bar! Phil’s passion for the culinary arts began when he was still a child. “The appeal started with my mother,” he recalls. “She ran a weekend business making special dinners for small black businesses in the community of Third Ward. She and my dad would prepare dinners for the business owners and I would help my dad deliver them. I would watch my mother cook and taste the different Southern foods that she was preparing for the business owners. Not only was my mother cooking on weekends, she was also cooking for 15-20 people a day at her house. She was cooking in bulk. I grew up seeing nothing but big pots and cast iron skillets, daily. From there I have just been in the restaurant business all my life.” I know you will enjoy Phil’s story. Also, if you happen to be hungry and you are in Houston, visit Phil and Derek’s Restaurant and Jazz Bar located in Midtown Houston at 1701 Webster Street. It’s time to let you get started enjoying this month’s issue. Success to you.

Steve Levine

Executive Publisher






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Publisher’s Column Entrepreneurs’ Guideposts to Real Business Success. Gut Buster Routine How to Create: Your Signature Talk        4 Data Protection Tips from Internal and External Threats



19 How Millennials Provide a Fresh Perspective to Employee Wellness Programs 20

3 Tips for Going Green – Small Business Insights on Saving Time and Money  

21 22

Networking & Introverts

Financial Astrology August 2017




Phillip Mitchell Phil & Derek’s

Restaurant and Jazz Bar Serving Up Success with Deep Passion and Commitment



ome people spend their whole life searching for their passion. Others find their passion but don’t believe in it enough to act. Then there are those lucky enough to be born into it and who pursue it with hard work, care, and commitment. Phillip Mitchell was born into cooking. Phil’s passion for the culinary arts and inspiration to serve others began when he was still a child. His earliest memories were of his mother cooking for his family that included 11 brothers and sisters. There was always a slew of pots of food on the stove. In addition, Phil’s mother had a successful weekend business cooking special dinners for the local businesses in her community. Over the years, Phil’s passion for cooking grew from watching his mother caring for and serving others. As a result, not only was Phil inspired to serve others but he was committed to do it in a successful way. Phil Mitchell loves restaurant customer service. He loves going to the table and talking to his guests. He loves people eating his food. Photo by Gwen Juarez 06 SMALL BUSINESS TODAY MAGAZINE [ AUGUST 2017 ]

Growing up in the Third Ward community of Houston, Texas, Phil attended Jack Yates High School before studying management at Houston Community College. But his true passion was always cooking. Out of his family’s 12 children, he was the only one who made it his life’s work. “The appeal started with my mother,” he recalls. “She was a kitchen manager for HISD school kitchens. In addition, she ran a weekend business cooking special dinners for small black businesses in the community of Third Ward. Even though my dad was in the newspaper business, he would help my mother prepare dinners for the business owners every weekend and I would help my dad deliver them. I would watch my mother cook and I’d taste the different Southern foods she was preparing for the business owners. Not only was my mother cooking on weekends, she was also cooking for 15-20 people at our house each day. She was always cooking in bulk. I grew up seeing nothing but big pots and cast iron skillets on a daily basis. From there I have just been in the restaurant business all my life.” At age 13, Phil got his first job in a restaurant starting as a busboy at George Dentler’s Pier 21. But Phil’s culinary journey truly began when he became a bartender and waiter at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel. He greatly admired the chef there, Hans Guy, and learned a lot watching him prepare dishes. After leaving the Shamrock, Phil worked again as a bartender at the Great Caruso Dinner Theatre. After three and a half years, Phil began working at the Lakeside Country Club and got his first professional culinary experiences working with Chef Abi Safari. His culinary adventures led him to become a short order cook and a fry cook as he continued working with many other top chefs including George Gee of Bistro Calais and the chef at Bistro Provence. These formative years taught Phil an essential lesson that passion was simply not enough to be successful. He observed the detail that each chef put into what they were doing each day. As an apprentice, he realized, “If this was

something I was going to do, my standards had to exceed what I was already doing.” Phil was committed to improving his skills and worked constantly to outdo even his mentors. He also refined his restaurant management skills. Throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, he managed several restaurants for companies including Bennigan’s, Olive Garden, Ryan’s Family Steak House, and the Pappas Family Restaurants. In the early ‘80s, Phil then became the assistant director of management training for the BlackEyed Pea Restaurant Company and trained managers for their operation. Using his passion for food, refined skills, and restaurant experience, Phil launched a family restaurant by the name of Aunt Jessie’s in 1989 with the help of a group of friends and investors. They served Southern comfort foods such as chicken fried steak, meatloaf, and pot roast. The venture only lasted a year but it taught Phil a lot. He got a good business experience from that and he learned that he wasn’t as detailed in the finances and paperwork as he should have been. Even though the restaurant had failed, Phil was not deterred from wanting to be a restauranteur. After Aunt Jessie’s, Phil started another short venture in the early ‘90s where he had contracts with the city of Houston for three vending carts selling Nathan’s hot dogs in downtown Houston. Though lucrative and interesting, he decided restaurant management was his true passion. He closed the business to once again return as a restaurant owner. “The business has always been in my blood,” he remarks. “It’s something you have to be dedicated and committed to.” So once again with the help of investors, Phil created Bistro Calais located in an 1880-era cottage on Bammel Lane in River Oaks. It was named after France’s Northern port city and focused on French food and wine. Bistro Calais lasted five years until the partnership dissolved. “As I was buying out that partnership, a friend of mine, Derek, who I had been friends [ AUGUST 2017 ] WWW.SBTMAGAZINE.NET 07


Certainly one of the focal points of the restaurant is the beautiful bar area. Photo by Gwen Juarez.

Guests often comment that the food quality and entertainment are excellent, but combined with the knowledgeable and personable staff, dining at Phil & Derek’s is always a memorable experience and worthy of return visits. Photo by Gwen Juarez

with for about 12 years and was in the engineering business, said, ‘Well, why don’t we start our own concept?’ I had always wanted to do something urban with a little Cajun/Creole flair to it so that is how Phil & Derek’s came about.” Drawing on Phil’s love of Southern, Cajun, and Creole food, Phil, Derek, and Phil’s wife, Kim came up with the idea of adding live entertainment to the mix in creating a truly unique experience in Houston because no one else was doing anything like that. They approached local jazz musicians and radio stations even though they didn’t have any money to advertise. They 08 SMALL BUSINESS TODAY MAGAZINE [ AUGUST 2016 ]

found a way to overcome their zero dollar advertising budget by bartering with local radio stations for the exposure. Most of all, they remained positive that with good food, great entertainment, and quality customer service delivered by the 15-strong team, people would love it, and they were right! Six months later, Phil & Derek’s was a big hit! People loved the live jazz bands each night and they especially loved the Sunday brunch that included an omelet station, bacon, grits, gumbo, fried chicken and waffles, red beans and rice, peach cobbler, and many other great desserts.

Customers were constantly calling on the phone asking questions and leaving messages. On some days, there were up to 30 or 40 voicemails. Kim took over customer relations to ensure that every person was called back. “Kim was really adamant about that,” Phil recollects. “She just took it over and was on the phone for hours in the evening. I would say, ‘Honey, are you sure you want to do that?’ She would say, ‘This is real important’.” She was right: the personal touch more than doubled our sales. Despite the success, life had a curveball in store. Out of the blue, their landlord sold the property and gave them a year to move. This was a terrible shock. Phil only had enough money to run the current site and changing locations is notorious for killing the restaurant trade. How could he fund a new place and maintain business? Facing the problem head-on, they realized it could be a blessing in disguise. The restaurant had outgrown the current location, and a move could be an opportunity for greater things. Through a friend, Joseph Jackson, they met with John Cruise and Shon Johnson. “Together we sat down and formed a partnership,” Phil remembers. “I tell you it has been a great partnership, having John, Shon, and Joseph come in to assist me and my wife; to help keep the name of Phil & Derek’s and to help it grow. It has just been a great blessing having that group together.” With the power of the partnership providing financial backing, they closed Phil & Derek’s for 10 months and prepared for a re-launch on January 26th, 2017, only a day before the Super Bowl. They weren’t 100% sure what the new Phil & Derek’s would look like, but they got moving. They arranged the beer and wine license. Phil and John handled the new social media group. Kim looked after the old social media group. Old customers called constantly to find out the opening date, and when the doors finally opened, the Houston community still showed their support for Phil & Derek’s. To Phil, Kim, and the partners’ delight, Phil & Derek’s were and continue to be packed! This is a testimonial to Phil’s emphasis on great food and great

service. The fact that some customers have the personal phone numbers of Phil and Kim epitomizes their dedication to customer service. Their team has now grown to 75 members and they continue their focus on elevating customer service to a whole new level by their stringent employee vetting and training. Nobody gets hired at Phil & Derek’s without a close look at their experience, education, and personality, plus the obligatory minor background check. After they are hired, the detailed training begins. “The most important thing about this product is training because the restaurant business is a turnover business,” Phil remarks. “That’s the nature of the beast.” With new hires, Phil stresses the focus on quality customer service, having a neat appearance, and being not only punctual but early, too. He explained, “If your schedule is at 8:00 am and you’re showing up at 7:59 am, that’s a red flag, right here.” He adds, ‘When I’m not at the restaurant, I have a couple of floor managers. I tell them I want them in the customers’ faces when that plate hits the table, then to give them a couple of minutes before asking them how everything is. I need to know if there is something they don’t like or if something’s wrong so we can correct it. We don’t make excuses. We just solve the problem. That’s the motto here.” Phil talks to his staff daily and gets weekly reports from his floor and bar managers. He is always accessible. “I tell my managers when I train them that you have to earn people’s respect. From my dishwasher to my hostess at the door, I want them to know that I am working with them together on trying to make this a successful operation. They know they can knock on that office all day long.” The results speak for themselves. Phil estimates 80 percent of the diners are repeat customers. It’s especially for those regulars that they keep the menus updated. “We do season[ AUGUST 2017 ] WWW.SBTMAGAZINE.NET 09


Phil & Derek’s dining room is both beautiful and comfortable! Photo by Gwen Juarez

al changes and then sometimes look at what’s selling,” remarked Phil. “I monitor the sales each day and the product sales, and then I look at what is not selling. So, if I see something is not moving, I will tell John that I think we should change it. Every three months you will see something new on the menu.” Phil & Derek’s reputation for great food and great service is spreading quickly. People all over the country are showing interest including North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama. The restaurant is a must for visitors to Houston. But despite the growth, “The most important thing to me is that we have become job creators in the City of Houston,” reflects Phil. “We are creating jobs for families to thrive and take care of themselves.” Indeed, family is very important to Phil. Married to Kim for 22 years, they have two gorgeous children. He and his wife are the perfect complement to one another and rarely argue about work. Kim and her daughter helped Phil from the early days. When they had a small team, Kim waited tables, cleaned toilets, handled administrative work, and prioritized customer service. Phil was the chef, restroom cleaner, bottle washer, and more. They still have a clear


division of roles, with Phil in the kitchen most of the time and Kim in the office. In the evening, they spend quality time together as a family. Much has changed since moving to the new location. The sheer size of the operation dictates that Phil and his wife share responsibility and delegate work. Phil now has 20 cooks instead of five. With the increasing workload, he’s documenting his recipes, explaining the dishes to the cooks, and training them in preparation for when he’s not there. A strict operations manual also streamlines the workflow. A lot has changed on the entertainment front, too, with an outside patio and late-night lounge. The patio is ideal for gatherings, parties, and live music. And for many, it’s the standout of the new location. It’s warm, inviting, and feels like a party with friends. The late-night lounge lends itself to professional mixers. With the new additions come more responsibility and work. Phil elaborated, “You are talking about 30 days a month of entertainment having to deal with all of those different entertainers on a monthly basis and some on a weekly basis while trying to run a restaurant that is pumping out about 250

guests each day on average. And with a staff of about 75 people, it gets cumbersome.” Phil has now hired an entertainment company to deal with booking the bands so he can focus on the food, customer service, operational issues, and growing the Phil & Derek’s brand. Phil has his eyes set on opening more restaurants in other states but the focus right now is on the current operation. “We still have a lot of kinks to work out here,” says Phil. “We have spoken briefly in ‘cocktail moments’ about doing something in a year from now, but we will see how it goes.” Phil has also considered launching products to sell to the public, like cookbooks and food products. “I’ve talked to a couple of food tasters for different companies like Sam’s and H-E-B. They said, ‘Philip, one of the things I think you should do is slow down because that

product can sell, but I don’t think you’re ready to produce it’”. He’s being cautious and focusing on the existing Phil & Derek’s. Phil’s caution stands them in good stead. When a business starts growing quickly, it’s easy to lose the original vision and passion. So, as they look to the future, they are searching for people who share the same deep passion for food and commitment to the restaurant business. “I have a couple of people in mind and some people I am setting up meetings with because it’s getting bigger than I ever The patio is ideal for gatherings, parties, thought.” Looking back, there’s not much Phil would change, but one thing he wishes is that he knew more about banking before he started. He would’ve been in a better position to deal

and live music. And for many, it’s the standout of the new location. It’s warm, inviting, and feels like a party with friends Photo by Gwen Juarez


COVER STORY The beautiful late night lounge is a welcome addition to Phil & Derek’s. Photo by Gwen Juarez.

with the financial nuances of getting money for their new location. Banks aren’t known for easily giving money to restaurant owners. He has the following advice for aspiring restaurateurs. “The restaurant business is a hard business. If I can say anything to anyone, before you get into this or talk about starting one of these [restaurants], take some financial and banking classes. Get yourself some financial banking help before things get out of hand.” Regardless, Phil is thankful for his involvement in the restaurant business. It’s been good to him. From the early days where his mom inspired him to serve others and helped him grow his passion, to learning from top chefs, refining his culinary skills, and later establishing Phil & Derek’s, it’s been a long, sometimes bumpy journey. But together with his passion, he’s remained committed and created a truly


exceptional dining experience; one where people keep coming back for more. With Phil’s love for cooking and serving people, Phil & Derek’s will continue serving up success long into the future. No one says it more aptly than Phil, “I have always prided myself on customer service. I love restaurant customer service. I love going to the table and talking to my guests. I love people eating my food. I told my wife this when I took over as a chef. I said that I’m going to be the chef of this company. I said that one thing I know is that if people eat this food, then I know I’m doing something right. When I took over as the chef and started putting this food out there and watched people eat this product and saw the comments they were making online and across the city - that let me know. That was it. That touched my heart. I know I can do this now!”

Through a friend, Joseph Jackson, Phil and his wife met with John Cruise and Shon Johnson. Together they sat down and formed a partnership,” Phil remembers. “I tell you it has been a great partnership, having John, Shon, and Joseph come in to assist me and my wife; to help keep the name of Phil & Derek’s and to help it grow. It has just been a great blessing having that group together.” Photo by Gwen Juarez

Phil’s Recipe for Success 1. Before you get into any business, especially the food and beverages business, make sure you’ve done your research.

customers. Follow-up with customer bookings. Add that personal touch to differentiate yourself.

2. Starting a business is hard, especially a restaurant, and banks don’t easily give loans. Take financial and banking classes to equip yourself with the necessary knowledge.

6. Plan and prepare. If you go in prepared for your shift, that’s more than half the battle won. That’s particularly true in the kitchen.

3. Starting a business is stressful. It’s important to find a balance; make time for yourself and your family. 4. Be hands on. If you’re not actively involved, from the finances, operations, to the staff and branding, things will fall through the cracks. 5. Pay meticulous attention to customer service. High-quality customer service is a reflection of your brand and ensures you have repeat

7. Work hard. If you’re not willing to work for 24 hours a day on some days in the restaurant business, you’re wasting your time. 8. Make sure your staff is properly trained to deliver the highest quality service. 9. Always be accessible to your staff as this builds a good working relationship and allows you to gather crucial feedback on what’s happening at an operational level. You can’t fix what you don’t know about. [ AUGUST 2017 ] WWW.SBTMAGAZINE.NET 13


Entrepreneurs’ Guideposts to Real Business Success. BY HANK MOORE CORPORATE STRATEGIST™


here are many romantic notions about entrepreneurship. There are many misconceptions.

a society of highly ambitious achievers without the full roster of resources to facilitate steady success.

People hear about entrepreneurism and think it is for them. They may not do much research or may think there are pots of gold at the end of the rainbow. They talk to other entrepreneurs and learn that it all about perseverance and building sweat-equity in companies.

Every company must and should put its best face forward for the public. Public perceptions are called “credence goods” by economists. Every organization must educate outside publics about what they do and how they do it. This premise also holds true for each corporate operating unit and department. The whole of the business and each sub-set must always educate corporate opinion makers on how it functions and the skill with which the company operates.

The wise entrepreneurs have mentors, compensated for their advice, tenured in consulting and wise beyond reproach. Advisers are important to fitting the entrepreneurs to the right niche. Mentors draw out transferrable talents to apply to the appropriate entrepreneurial situation. The corporate mindset does not necessarily transfer to small business. Just because someone took early retirement is not a reason to go into a startup business. People who worked for other people do not necessarily transfer to the entrepreneurial mode. Those who have captained teams tend to make better collaborators and members of others’ teams. Entrepreneur is as entrepreneur does Make an equitable blend of ambition and desire: Fine-tuning one’s career is an admirable and necessary process. It is quite illuminating. Imagine going back to reflect upon all you were taught. Along the way, you reapply old knowledge, find some new nuggets and create your own philosophies. We were taught to be our best and have strong ambition to succeed. Unfortunately, we were not taught the best methods of working with others in achieving desired goals. We became 14 SMALL BUSINESS TODAY MAGAZINE [ AUGUST 2016 ]

Gaining confidence among stakeholders is crucial. Business relationships with customers, collaborators and other professionals are established to be long-term in duration. Each organization or should determine and craft its own corporate culture, character and personality, seeking to differentiate itself from others. Every business, company or organization goes through cycles in its life. At any point, each program or business unit is in a different phase from others. The astute organization assesses the status of each program and orients its team members to meet constant changes and fluctuations. I’ve talked with many entrepreneurs and founders of companies which rapidly grew from the seed of an idea they had. Most admitted enjoying the founding phase but lost interest shortly after giving birth. Over and over, they said, “When it stops being fun, I move on. “ After the initial honeymoon, you speak with them and hear rumblings like, “It isn’t supposed to be this hard. Whatever happened to the old days? I’m ready to move on. This seems too much like running a business. I’m an idea per-

son, and all this administrative stuff is a waste of my time. I should move on to other new projects.” When they come to me, they want the business to transition smoothly and still make the founders some money. They ask, “Are you the one who comes in here and makes this into a real business?” I reply, “No. After the caretakers come in and apply the wrong approaches to making something of your business, I’m the one who cleans up after them and starts the business over again.” The reality is that I’m even better on the front end, helping business owners avoid the costly pitfalls attached to their losing interest and abdicating to the wrong people. Entrepreneurial companies enjoy the early stage of success...and wish things would stay as in the beginning. When “the fun ends,” the hard work begins. There are no fast-forward buttons or skipping steps inn developing an effective organization, just as there are no shortcuts in formulating a career and Body of Work.

Questions to ask entrepreneurs:

1. Do you have goals for the next year in writing? 2. Are the long-range strategic planning and budgeting processes integrated? 3. Are planning activities consolidated into a written organizational plan? 4. Do you have a written analysis of organizational strengths and weaknesses? 5. Do you have a detailed, written analysis of your market area? 6. Do detailed action plans support each major strategy? 7. Is there a Big Picture? SBT

Contact information for Hank Moore. Website: Email: Phone: 346-777-1818. Hank Moore has advised 5,000+ client organizations, including 100 of the Fortune 500, public sector agencies, small businesses and non-profit organizations. His Legends books have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Gaining confidence among stakeholders is crucial. Business relationships with customers, collaborators and other professionals are established to be longterm in duration.


Gut Buster Routine                 BY: ARCHIBALD C ELLIOTT

“You’re training today for your future you don’t let that person down you owe it to them” “Train Hard Live Longer”

go in order complete A before moving to B finishing with exercises for section C

It’s true when they say that abs are made in the kitchen.

A1) Renegade Rows 6 on each side with pushups A2) Reverse Crunch 15 A3) Sprint 30 seconds Repeat with no restx 4 Rest :60-:90 secs B1) Side plank 30 seconds each side B2) Mountain climbers 30 seconds Rest 30 seconds then repeat x 4

However, that doesn’t mean you can neglect working on your abs and expect diet alone to give you a shredded midsection. Both tasks are synonymous they go hand in hand. Often we as humans look for the quick solution for obstacles we tend to struggle with and we end up putting more stress than the situation demands. Fitness is the ultimate psychological battle. It’s a battle between the Old you vs the New you. Let’s give the new you an advantage.

This total body workout is designed to do a few things:

First, it is a high intensity workout intended to increase your heart rate and burn calories (EPOC) exercise post oxygen consumption. Second, it’s meant to work your midsection to build those abdominals that you’re working so hard to reveal in the kitchen. Third its intended to jump start your RMR (resting metabolic rate) we burn most calories while sleeping. Getting appropriate rest is key when expecting to see results from any fitness program. It is imperative to your performance, let not give the old you an unfair advantage.

Give this a try and let me know how you do!

Warmup: Start with a light jog for 30 seconds then walk for 1 minute. Keep repeating this, however increase the jog speed every time. Complete around 10 sets of this and for your final interval it should be close to a sprint at maximum effort. Then do a light stretch accompanied with myofascial release. Some terms may seem foreign to you, try using google to help with any confusion. Here is the workout let’s get started! Make sure to 16 SMALL BUSINESS TODAY MAGAZINE [ AUGUST 2016 ]


Rest :60-:90 secs C1) Front plank 30 seconds C2) Sprint 30 seconds Repeat with no rest x 10 Rest a minute or two between each set of exercises but keep the rest during the sets to a minimum. You’ll only need dumbbells for the first set of exercises. Other than that, you can do this work out without any equipment. If you have questions, feel free to comment or reach out to me via website. I can answer all your questions there relatively quickly. Be safe and give your best effort. Let me know how it goes. SBT

Archibald C Elliott is the Founder of Symmetry Fitness LLC (404) 307-3421


How to Create:

Your Signature Talk BY PAM TERRY


y phone rang (“waves” of chimes actually). When I answered it, it was a friend who asked me if I could help her come up with her core signature talk. Surprised, I said, “Sure, I would be glad to help you with that.” I knew that my friend had no problem speaking in front of group, but I had no idea that she didn’t know what to talk about. I began by asking her a series of questions. The first was: “Why do you want to do public speaking?” The answer to this question was going to tell me a lot about how she would deliver her talk but not so much about the topic. Yet, it was the first thing that I needed to know. She said that she wanted to get clients for her intuitive breakthrough coaching and retreats. Wow, that’s great because being clear about why you want to do public speaking is essential in creating your core talk.

Your objectives will be to continue a relationship with your audience from connecting with you on social media to buying a service or product from you and everything in between. causes people to feel that they know, like, and trust you. It’s also important for you to be passionate about your knowledge and inspired about what this knowledge can do for people. In my friend’s case, she has knowledge that can help people be free of the constraints of their past thereby opening doors to the things that they want in life. After your “why” is determined and you have accepted the fact that you need to impart value for your audience and not try to “sell” anything, your next step is to prepare your talk. Create an outline beginning with objectives for you and objectives for your audience.

Knowing her why, we were ready to come up with her core talk. Since she wanted to get clients for her coaching and retreats, her talk needed to be informative and educational, providing value for the audience whether or not they signed up for any of her services. The mistake to avoid is worrying that if you give away valuable information, people will have everything and you’ll have nothing left to for people to buy from you. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Your objectives will be to continue a relationship with your audience from connecting with you on social media to buying a service or product from you and everything in between. Meeting those objectives will be as simple as having a feedback form and a speaker or company “one sheet” that they can take with them. Your speaker “one sheet” should be blank on the back so that they can use it to take notes. It should contain at least you’re your social media platforms for connecting with you.

Because no matter how much information you provide, when it’s valuable, it

Your objectives could include one or all of these examples: attract clients; sell

a coaching session, book, or event; build your mailing list; increase your community of followers; make new partnerships; create your know, like, trust factor; build your brand; build your speaking skills; and get more speaking engagements. The objectives for your audience will center on what you want them to get out of your talk. The mistake to avoid is to think that the objective for your audience is for them to buy from you – that is your objective not theirs!! In my friend’s example, the objectives for her audience could be for them to have a breakthrough or an “aha” moment about their lives, to be inspired about what’s possible for them by having a breakthrough, or to see where they would like to have a breakthrough in their life. When preparing your outline, your opening and close will be tied to your objectives and that of your audience. The body of your talk should contain 3 main points and as many sub-points that your allotted time will allow. Last, but not least, rehearse your talk and give it over and over again so that you know it by heart. But, even after you know it be heart, always prepare and practice it for each new audience. SBT

Pam Terry is a highly recognized speaker coach and marketing strategist. For a complimentary copy of her eBook, “How to Easily Develop an Award Winning Presentation,” visit www. Pam can be reached at 832-276-4153 or



4 Data Protection

Tips from Internal and External Threats



ost companies run on data. Even if a small business sells a physical product, they still have to manage sales, marketing, and inventory while using data. And even the smallest of companies could have information flowing in from multiple sources, including sales data from a CRM, customer surveys, or image and video content from digital cameras. Nearly every business function utilizes data, and small companies should do their utmost to treat data as one of their most valuable assets. Small business owners should also understand the greatest threat to their company’s data usually resides within their own office. While hackers and malware are a risk, losing data often happens in a much more “low-tech” manner. Whether it’s an employee who leaves their company laptop in an Uber, or a business owner who shares their login information with a friend, data loss occurs through many different routes. Thankfully, small business can take preventive measures to protect their data and hardware:

1. Develop a Data Management Plan

A formal plan is essential for any small business owner who wants accountability and transparency regarding their data. The plan should act as a dynamic roadmap that details where data is coming from (email, sales efforts, customer transactions), and then who has responsibility for managing the data. A plan delineates every person’s role in the business. For example, if a company has a customer service representative, that person needs access to customer infor-

mation, but not their financial/payment information. A plan creates boundaries between staff and certain types of data, which inherently limits the chances of loss due to accidental or intentional actions.

2. Create Multiple Layers of Backups

Protecting data with backups is a classic “risk/reward” proposition. The risk in this situation is paying to backup your data. The reward is the peace of mind that comes with knowing you can access data at any time without interrupting the business. Small businesses should first compile all of their data sources, and then pick several storage options. The worst option is to keep data on physical on-premises storage. For example, if the business owner keeps all of the data on unencrypted external hard drives in a drawer in the office. The key is redundancy. Use a mix of both physical (hard drives) storage and cloud services such as Amazon or Google. Create “backups of the backups” to provide additional coverage. Both types of storage are very inexpensive, with five terabyte hard drives available for less than $200. The big cloud providers offer terabytes of storage for low monthly fees, with the benefit of access through any internet connection. Data backups mean the business can operate as normal, even if it suffers a data loss.

3. Consider Compliance

You’ve likely read about compliance standards for companies that handle personally identifiable information (PII), or those involved in healthcare. Many smaller companies assume regulatory and compliance rules for data only ap-


ply to larger firms. However, it’s important to understand it applies to any firm that handles sensitive data. When developing a data management plan and data backups, consider any compliance implications. These guidelines dictate how certain types of data should be held and how that data can legally “move” between various systems or other entities.

4. Control Access

Even a one-person operation should follow smart data and system control best practices. For example, complex passwords are crucial for protecting hackers and other rogue elements that want to gain access to data. As the business grows, there must be an access control solution in place that grants (or removes) data access to employees. This control should be able to restrict the types of data that each employee can download or review based on their particular job description. If the employee has no business need for customer’s financial data or internal proprietary information, then restrict the access to lessen the chances of theft or inadvertent loss. Small business managers and owners should develop a culture that views data as a precious asset. By properly organizing and controlling data, companies can greatly lessen the risks of loss and ensure they can operate the business without interruption. SBT

David Zimmerman, CEO of LC Technology International,


How Millennials Provide a Fresh



illennials will comprise more than one of three adult Americans by 2020 and 75 percent of the workforce by 2025, according to the Governance Studies at Brookings report How Millennials Could Upend Wall Street and Corporate America. Attracting the best of the millennial workforce is critical to the future of your business. Employers can strengthen recruitment and retention and advocate a culture of health by rethinking workplace benefits through the eyes of millennials.

Providing Choice to Add Value

Younger employees seek more flexibility and control over their benefits. They’re also strongly interested in programs that include mental health support and promote physical health. In response to this, some employers are providing more choice to appeal to these needs. One way employers can do this is by offering a menu of voluntary benefits, such as disability, accident, critical illness and hospitalization insurance that employees can choose from to meet their individual needs. This type of coverage provides a safety net for today’s financially fragile employees and helps bridge the widening gap between what employees’ health insurance covers and their resources for unexpected expenses.

Offering Work/ Life Balance Support via EAPs

A new study from Bensinger, Dupont & Associates revealed millennial employees may suffer from depression more than any other generation in the workforce. Insights such as this show the need for employers to make a measurable difference in em-

ployees’ overall health and productivity by adopting a more holistic approach to connecting employees and the workplace. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPS) provide confidential access to professionals who can assist with areas of concern causing employee distress — from work-related or family issues  to mental illness. Another option is to contract with a health insurance vendor that offers a 24/7 nurse hotline or virtual solutions allowing employees and family members to speak with a doctor or behavioral health professional anytime about health concerns from a mobile device or computer.

Using Technology to Modernize Health Solutions

According to technology consultants, Endeavors Partners, 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 18 owns an activity tracker and by 2018, U.S. employers will integrate more than 13 million wearable health and fitness tracking devices into employee wellness programs. It’s clear companies are continuing to make large investments in activity-based challenges, weight maintenance programs and other physical health initiatives. However, to appeal to tech-savvy, social networking millennials, it may be worth looking into programs that ‘gamify’ wellness with friendly competition and encourage social interaction alongside wellness efforts. This could include things like live fitness coaching delivered to employees via two-way video conferencing.

Health Incentives Aren’t the Silver Bullet

Health incentive programs appeal to mil-

lennials, specifically those that are action and progress-based. For action-based incentives, employees are required to improve their health after going through a risk assessment. Actions may include joining a weight-management program or getting preventive screenings. The model motivates employees to start changing unhealthy behaviors. Progress-based plans offer rewards for making improvements towards optimal benchmarks for cholesterol, blood pressure and weight. Employees are financially motivated to improve their health, instead of being penalized for not being perfect. While some of the most popular incentive programs offer financial rewards they may not achieve long-term behavior change. This is because sometimes people act irrationally, counter to their best interests and don’t always focus on longterm benefits if they receive a short-term reward. Insight provided by millennials suggests a healthy company culture and office environments should be built with intention. Offering flexible work schedules, benefits that can be tailored, tech-based health programs and EAPs are just some of the steps employers can take to help establish this while appealing to the growing number of millennials in the workplace. SBT Laurie Mitchell Assistant Vice President, Global Wellbeing & Health ManagementColonial Life Email: Website: Twitter: [ AUGUST 2017 ] WWW.SBTMAGAZINE.NET 19


3 Tips for Going Green – Small Business Insights on Saving Time and Money BY ROBERT FIFIELD


nvironmental initiatives are back in the limelight as the U.S. withdraws from the Paris climate accord. Among those paying close attention are small business owners. An estimated 51 percent of small business owners have actively tried to go greener since 2016, with many more wanting to follow suit. Despite the desire to reduce their carbon footprints, some small business owners hesitate to switch because they believe it’s expensive to incorporate green initiatives and are fearful the changes may cause operational burdens.

for nearly 50 percent of all paper check use in the U.S.

The reality is in today’s digital world, virtually nothing requires paper. Not only can technology replace paper, but it often does the job better, cheaper and faster – allowing you and your employees to spend more time growing the business.

2. Store documents electronically – filing cabinets are a thing of the past.

With small businesses making up more than 99 percent of all U.S. business, the environmental impact could be very significant if the small business community joined forces in going paperless by accepting mobile payments, generating digital receipts/invoices, inputting bookkeeping data online, and making all business-related payments electronically. Not to mention, the convenience of e-payments for you and your customers.

The average U.S. business uses thousands of pounds of paper each year for business documents, and this can climb into the millions based on industry and size. Not only does paper – and its storage –

1. Digitize the payments process – stop using take up space, but filing paperwork and searching for documents can cost busipaper transactions. As many already know, payments, receipts, invoices and bookkeeping can be done electronically.

What you may not know is more than 250 million gallons of oil, 10 million trees and 1 billion gallons of water are consumed each year to create receipts in the US, generating 1.5 billion pounds of waste. Cutting back on 55,000 receipts can spare an entire tree. And that’s just receipts. Paper checks are yet another significant source of waste – with small businesses being the major source of this medium of issuing payments. NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association found that small businesses accounted

nesses countless hours in lost productivity. Not to mention the human error component – paper can get lost. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found that one lost document can cost businesses more than $120, and nearly 8 percent of all documents are lost permanently.

Digital storage lets you to search for files quickly and efficiently rather than rummaging through filing cabinets. It also allows for multiple points of access and, perhaps most importantly, it ensures your documents are saved forever. Statistics show an estimated 70 percent of businesses would fail within three weeks if they suffered a major loss of paper-based records – whether it be from flood, fire or theft. By leveraging a secure


digital storage platform for your files, you can be confident your business is protected.

3. Communicate and transfer files digitally – technology has replaced snail mail.

If you’ve already switched to digital payments, you know the ease of not writing and sending paper checks. And as most of us already rely on email and social platforms to correspond with employees, clients and vendors, using a managed file transfer (MFT) software program to transfer sensitive documents is the next step in digital communication. The days of worrying about a check or document getting lost in the mail are behind you! Communicating and sharing documents electronically has many additional benefits such as increased collaboration as team members and clients easily edit documents and provide feedback in real-time, no matter where they are geographically. It also helps with clarity – gone are the days of smudged ink or illegible handwriting, all feedback is clear and easy to read. Going paperless not only reduces your carbon footprint, but it can also yield substantial bottom-line benefits for your business. The federal government even offers tax incentives for “going green.” By streamlining daily processes, green initiatives allow you to get the job done quicker, cheaper and easier. Additionally, paperless processes afford you and your employees the flexibility to conduct business on-the-go. SBT Robert Fifield, co-founder of Payably,, (877) 338-8112,


Networking & Introverts BY GAIL STOLZENBURG


o, what is an introvert? Introvert comes from Latin intro-, “inward,” and vertere, “turning.” It describes a person who tends to turn inward mentally.  Introverts  sometimes avoid large groups of people, feeling more energized by time alone. The opposite of an  introvert  is an extrovert, who finds energy in interactions with others and is very comfortable networking in small or large groups. Many people define introverts as shy, rude, dislike talking, anti-social, retiring, unlikable, reclusive, aversion to public speaking, cubicle-loving hermits, but in reality they are just thoughtful, introspective, deep-thinking people, who think before they speak and need some time alone to recharge. They focus on developing close relationships rather than numerous superficial relationships. That is the sign of a good networker. By the way, dislike of public speaking can apply to extroverts also. Do you know of any introverts? How about Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Albert Einstein or Steve Jobs? On the Houston scene, how about best-selling authors, speakers, and coaches like Jonathan Sprinkles and Michele Scism? When they are on the stage, even though they are introverts, they exhibit traits of extroverts and are some of the best networkers (connectors) around. They are also goal oriented, motivated, and excel in many fields rather than the generally accepted definition for introverts. Introverts make up anywhere from 25% to 50% of the population and you’ll find many in careers such as accounting, engineering, IT, writing, and research. Are you an introvert? Psychology Today says there are a number of behavioral signs of  introversion. See how many you feel honestly apply to you:

• You enjoy having time to yourself. Spend time reading, playing video games, or just listening to music. • Your best thinking occurs when you’re by yourself.  Time on a problem allows you to make the maximum use of your ability to engage in original thought. • You lead best when others are self-starters. Introverted leaders will draw the most potential out of them. • You’re the last to raise your hand when someone asks for something from a group. Sit back and let others take center stage. • Other people ask you your opinion. Keep their views to themselves and let the noisy extraverts take control. • You often wear headphones when you’re in a public situation.  Like you used to keep your head down and look straight in front of you. • You prefer not to engage with people who seem angry or upset. You’re likely to try to avoid people who seem like they might be in a bad mood. • You receive more calls, texts, and emails than you make, unless you have no choice. You don’t reach out voluntarily to your social circles. • You don’t initiate small talk with salespeople or others with whom you have casual contact.  People don’t really know how you’re feeling or thinking.

Good advice is to listen 70% of the time and introverts are good listeners. Whether networking to locate a job, develop connections, or build business relationships, here are some ideas for introverts:

So when it comes to networking, introverts will attend more morning sessions to develop relationships or lunch meeting for education rather than evening social meetings. If you are an introvert, one of the best conversation topics is to introduce yourself as an introvert so the other person can know how to relate to you better.

To learn more read Networking For Introverts by Rob Brown or Susan Cain’s book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Watch for next month’s article on extroverts! Gail “The Connector” Stolzenburg is Author of “Connections Now – Contacts to Clients” Contact him via or 281 493 1955

All business is about relationships and networking is an integral part of relationships. They say no man is an island and there is a longing for a belonging and networking can fill that requirement. Networking can occur anywhere rather than just at networking events. Consider dining, dancing, sports activities, school functions, etc. Some introverts could be intimidated with networking meetings, but they must participate anyway, because it is an integral part of connecting for success. Networking events are never the place to sell anyway. All you want is the appointment, a change to meet one-to-one to see how you can help each other build your businesses. Introverts are especially good at being friendly without making the other person feel uncomfortable and with following up after meeting someone. Making connections with people who have a lot in common with you is important and introverts do a better job of being selective, Accoring to Swiss Psychiatrist Carl Jung, no one is an introvert or extrobert, rather a combination. Understanding the opposite personality type in a new and positive light is the key to developing good relationships with mutual respect for long term success..



Financial Astrology


unar Eclipse Full Moon in Aquarius will be on August 7th prepare for sudden change, long-range goals, and avoid overreacting to situations.

Solar Eclipse will be in Leo on the 21st bringing confidence and practice of self-expression, time to take control of our destiny, and brings creative power. This will be accompanied by a New Moon in Leo. Mercury Retrograde in Virgo on August 12th until September 19th pay attention to details do not make major decisions at this time and identify errors. It is a time to look inward. Grand Fire Trine (large cross in the sky) of Saturn, Uranus, in Aries and the N. Node in Leo on the 25th you will feel much passion and you must keep promises or commitments to others and ourselves. “These eclipses are for our county to focus on our spirituality, the greater good, and finding ourselves. 1776 was the last time we had such a complete eclipse in the US. The Solar eclipse will bring war, hate, tolerance and conflict especially for the USA, but will be also influencing the world.” Aries March 21st to April 20th – Full Moon many projects and activities will arise make sure to express yourself. The New Moon sets the stage for the next six months take advantage of travel, creativity and education. Seek the benefits of any disruption in your life at this time. This is the time for freedom and pleasure. Avoid becoming too evolved in others problems. Taurus April 21st to May 21st – The Full Moon will bring up issues in balancing your business and home life. This has to do with time management. The New Moon you will be energized to be creative and seek freedom. Focus on renovating your base of operations. Avoid forcing issues to a conclusion. Gemini May 22 to June 21 – The Full Moon will have you expanding your social, geographi-

cal, educational and relationships. Consult with advisors and network to get the full benefit of this moon cycle. The New Moon marks the beginning of major change in your viewpoint about your business. Avoid letting communications deteriorate. Cancer June 22nd to July 22nd – The Full Moon crosses your money zone, making you emotional about spending, debt, and credit. This is time to create a better budget. The New Moon it’s all about boosting your money opportunities. The doors of luck and bonuses will open. Avoid rash spending and seeking hasty profits. Leo July 23rd to August 22nd – The Full Moon puts the spotlight and helps you to benefit from your drive and initiatives that you have had. Are you ready to take the challenge and become a leader in your field or business, now is the time. The New Moon will highlight your independence and good taste. Now is the time to show off your unique talents. Avoid going to extremes with your emotions. Virgo August 23rd to September 23rd – The Full Moon is a signal to make sure you have a good balance between your work duties and your private time. You will need time to rest and recharge to not become ill. The New Moon opens a new way for your business success. Avoid making the world’s problems your own. Libra September 24th to October 23rd – The Full Moon will ignite your creative expression and many social activities. The New Moon will generate many new partnerships and alliances. A sudden change redefines your relationship status. Now is the time to overhaul your finances.

Scorpio October 24 to November 22 – The Full Moon may bring an urgent situation between business/home. The New Moon will be in your business zone giving you many new opportunities and good luck in improving your


cash flow. Now is the time to be responsible and diplomatic to get the most out of others. Sagittarius November 23 to December 21st – The Full Moon will bring you very energetic people that may have your same objectives. Decide if it is to your benefit to stand your ground or eliminate them. Focus on becoming a good listener; it will benefit your business. The New Moon will bring you challenges that will shake your beliefs. Hold off in making any decisions until after the eclipse. Do not neglect your important correspondence. Capricorn December 22nd to January 20th – The Full Moon will be in your fiscal zone where money matters will be very important. Don’t get frantic and make no sudden moves get financial counseling and create a new budget. The New Moon brings a positive sudden event so take advantage of the opportunity. Take much care in borrowing and lending funds. Aquarius January 21 to February 19th – The Full Moon will bring many challenges some will motivate you and others will provoke you. This will be a time to stand up for you. The New Moon will bring a positive effect on relationships, partnerships and alliances. Some destabilizing and some breakthroughs you will also see with others and yourself. Pisces February 20th to March 20th – The Full Moon will have you focusing on rest to maintain your business. The New Moon will be time to show your talents and new opportunities will begin for your business. Improve your eating habits and work habits. Take time to pamper yourself. SBT Love & Light, Christi Ruiz Business and Spiritual Life Coach O: 713-773-0333 C: 281-904-2658


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Phil & Dereks Restaurant and Jazz Bar SBT Radio Shweiki Media


Symmetry Fitness W.B.E.A.

Profile for Digital Publisher

Small Business Today  

August 2017 / Houston

Small Business Today  

August 2017 / Houston

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