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Getting Digi With It DigiFest 2013 Set for this Month

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September 2013

Don’t Plan to Fail

Setting a Direction and a Budget are Keys to Future Success

APP of the

MONTH Page 8

DELIVERED TO BUSINESS LEADERS THROUGHOUT SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER


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Biz. Magazine • September 2013


The First Word

Selling the Sizzle

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When it comes to marketing, make sure the product matches up with the hype

convenience store I frequent near my office is located next door to a Burger King® fast food restaurant. From time to time, you can smell the flame broiler cooking burgers as the place gets ready for lunch rush. That smell is enough to make anyone hungry for a Whopper®. In fact, there are time I have left the convenience store, smelled that aroma and immediately got in line in the drive thru. With my mouth salivating in anticipation of the product which produced that aroma, I take a big bite — and am usually disappointed. The taste is rarely even close to the aroma that brought me to the drive thru in the first place. Not only am I disappointed, I make a mental note not to be duped in the future. This is not necessarily Burger King’s fault. The method by which they cook the burgers can’t help but produce that aroma. However, the disconnect between the two is real, and probably affects a great deal of customers. My friend Jerry Frentress speaks of “selling the sizzle.” In our marketing, we should connect to our customers through their sense and emotions — creating a strong bond. Telling someone that you have a great steak isn’t as effective as showing it sizzling on the grill. However, the steak had better be great. As we market ourselves and our products, we need to make sure our sizzle matches our steak. If we claim to be professionals, then we should appear and act professionally. If we claim our product is the best, then we must make sure it truly is. Marketing only shines a brighter light on your shortcomings if you aren’t careful. My dad always told me that advertising can only bring people into the doors of a business. It cannot make sure the floors are clean, the employees friendly, or the products great. The over-hyping of everything in our world makes people wary of any claims that are made. There is no shame in promoting yourself and your business, just make sure you are doing it the right way. I heard a speaker at a leadership conference say, “If you are the only hot dog stand in town, the hot dogs don’t have to be that great.” The problem is that there are hot dog stands everywhere now. You can probably even buy hot dogs on Amazon.

David Specht Jr. President of Specht Newspapers, Inc. Read his blog about leadership at www.DavidASpecht.com

So put as much effort into people, products and training as you do in promotion. Don’t let the “aroma” be the best thing about your business.

He may be reached via email at dspecht@bossierpress.com.

September 2013 • Biz. Magazine

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Contents 20

Getting “Digi” With It

DigiFest South 2013 is set for this month.

On the Cover

12

The Rubber Band Plan

You need more than a “Plan B” in this volatile business climate.

Planning and Budgeting are rarely words entrepreneurs want to hear. However, they are cruicial to the long-term success of any business. Starting on Page 14.

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BIZ Tools

We share practical tools to help you and you business succeed.

Regulars

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BIZ. News Online

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The BIZ. website at www.bizmagsb.com is Shreveport-Bossier’s home for business news, updated as it happens. In addition, users can sign up for a free BIZ. Daily Report to keep up with BIZ. news from the comfort of their Inbox.

Want to advertise? http://bizmagsb.com/2013-advertising-kit/ Volume 4, Number 6 | ©Copyright 2013 by Specht Newspapers, Inc. All rights reserved. BIZ. is published each month by Specht Newspapers, Inc. at 4250 Viking Drive, Bossier City, LA 71111. Telephone (318) 747-7900. Information in this publication is gathered from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness of the information cannot be guaranteed.

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Biz. Magazine • September 2013

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Selling the Sizzle

5

You have 30 seconds...

6

Help me be patient

11

Social Media Marketing Plan

17

Lessons in Planning

23

Dave On Small Business

Your product/service needs to match the marketing

Businesses need to be prepared to tell their story

Patience is a virtue of great salespeople

Do you have one? If not, get one

Cost of sales is a good place to start.

Put on the professional hat when dealing with family in business together.


Tools You Can Use When it comes to winning in Business, it helps to have the right “tools” for the job.

You Have 30 Seconds...

Go!

Win-Win Powertools

I

You Should Always Be Prepared to Tell “Your Story” Quickly to Others n early August, I had the pleasure of talking with construction equipment renters in Alexandria. We spent three hours talking about my favorite subject….The Basics of Sales and Service. I caught them all off guard when I asked them for what I call “Your 30-second commercial”. I received 35 blank stares.

I tried again with a better explanation. “You are on an elevator or at a Chamber of Commerce or Rotary club meeting and meet someone. You exchange names and then the other person asks you… “What do you do?” You’ve got their undivided attention one-on-one. You never know, they may be your next largest client. What is your response? The blank stares continued and the silence was getting louder. One sales representative mustered the courage and jumped in. “I’m an account rep for XYZ.” I responded…. “Is that what you do”? When I started Win-Win ten years ago, my soon to be good friend and author Judy Christie agreed to help me discover what I was going to be. Her first question was… “Jerry, you’ve got 60 seconds, tell me what you are going to do at WinWin?” I was embarrassed because I should have known the answer. I couldn’t put it into words. She asked again with a minor change. “Jerry, what are you going to do? You’ve got 30 seconds.” Beads of perspiration appeared on my upper lip. Essentially, she told me to go away and come back when I could put into words for my prospective clients what I would be doing for them….and that is more than the title on my card! Do you know what you do for your clients or customers? Can you put it into words punctuated with enthusiasm, excitement and passion? I always envision a question printed across the forehead of my prospective client. At times, the wording changes but the challenge to answer is always there. That question is “So what?” At Win-Win, my goal is to help my client WIN. I am determined to help them grow their business, be successful, achieve their goals and reap the benefits. When they win, I will win.

Jerry Frentress Speaker & Coach, Win-Win Power(ful) Tools for Sales, Service and Employee Interviewing. Website: www.WinWinPowerTools.com. Business Facebook: www.Facebook.com/WinWinPowerTools . 453-6080 / Bossier City

Ah ha, here’s another sales meeting topic. I wonder how your salesperson or sales team will answer the question… “What do we do… and what does it mean to our customers or clients?” Good Selling! Jerry

September 2013 • Biz. Magazine

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Marketing B-S (Bossier-Shreveport)

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Help Me to Be Patient hen I was in the fifth grade, I had a teacher who told us each and every day to always remember that “patience is the key to success.” From that point forward, I have always remembered and tried my best to apply that quote. The older that I get, I find this statement to have even greater value and benefit. Those that know me say that I am a patient person and a good listener. That is one of the things that I pride myself on and I feel this has really helped me in all facets of my career and especially as a salesperson. In short, that’s what I do.

Randy Brown

Advertising/Marketing Guru He is the Advertising Director for Bossier Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc., publishers of the Bossier Press-Tribune and BIZ. Magazine Randy may be reached at rbrown@bossierpress.com

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Biz. Magazine • September 2013

However, when it comes to my internal marketing efforts and projects that I want to develop and make happen, I can sometimes be very impatient. “The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.” (Ecclesiastes 7:8, NIV). I try to apply this Biblical teaching in both my

business and personal life each and every day. I pray to the Lord about it before leaving home in the morning - not only for me, but also to help me be an example to/for others in this regard. The Serenity Prayer also comes to mind: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.” Essentially, patience is a real virtue for anyone, but it is an especially important characteristic of a successful salesperson. No one wants to buy from a “pushy” salesperson. A “pushy” salesperson can take the buyer completely out of their comfort zone and make the buyer start to feel as if they have lost total control of the process. Furthermore, a “pushy” or impatient salesperson can come across as totally insincere and will give the buyer the perception that this is more about the salesperson than it is about what is best for the buyer. In trying to build the relationships that are crucial in the sales process,

being perceived as pushy or insincere will blow the entire relationship right out of the water. Many times throughout my career, I have experienced “pushy” salespeople, either in working together as colleagues, working with me as a part of our sales team or on the buying end with me as the buyer. No matter the situation, I totally tune out to this method of selling. There are a world of salespeople out there that expect everything to happen right now. As a salesperson, you will often have to deal with situations that are out of your control. As such, you must be patient or else you will risk your success. We have all heard this said many times: “Power = Patience + Persistence!” Great salespeople make this all look easy. In reality, it is not easy, but it works and you must do it !!


“BIZ NEWZ” www.bizmagsb.com

September 2013 • Biz. Magazine

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Biz Tools

Do Something The speed of business is ever increasing. The successful business leader stays on top of the tools and information to help his company grow.

Books

What are we reading? If you’ve never read The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, you’ve been missing out on one of the best-selling leadership books of all time. If you have read the original version, then you’ll love this new expanded and updated one. Internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, and author John C. Maxwell has taken this millionseller and made it even better: Every Law of Leadership has been sharpened and updated Seventeen new leadership stories are included Two new Laws of Leadership are introduced New evaluation tool will reveal your leadership strengths—and weaknesses New application exercises in every chapter will help you grow Why would Dr. Maxwell make changes to his best-selling book? “A book is a conversation between the author and reader,” says Maxwell. “It’s been ten years since I wrote The 21 Laws of Leadership. I’ve grown a lot since then. I’ve taught these laws in dozens of countries around the world. This new edition gives me the opportunity to share what I’ve learned.”

What are they reading?

The Wizard and the Warrior: Leading with Passion and Power, Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal

Raving Fans, Ken Blanchard & Sheldon Bowles Jerry Frentress

Why Men Hate Going to Church, David Murrow

Getting Things Done, David Allen

David Specht Jr.

Amy Kinnaird

Jim Henderson, BPCC Chancellor

App of the Month Have you ever kept a “to-do list” on a yelow pad? Have you ever wondered if there was an “electronic” way to do the same thing? Well, “Wunder” no longer. Whether you're planning an overseas adventure, sharing a shopping list with a loved one or simply keeping track of your daily to-dos, Wundelist can keep it all straight. Nowadays, we are all using several different devices throughout the day, from mobile and tablets to desktop and web. Knowing this, Wunderlist has gone native on all major platforms — Mac, iPhone, iPad, Web, Android and Windows PC. The switch to native apps guarantees a fast and stable performance no matter how many different devices you are using. What’s more, thanks to the brand-new server architecture your lists will automatically be synchronized via Wunderlist’s incredibly clever Cloud Sync. So clever in fact, the synchronization will happen without you even recognizing.

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Biz. Magazine • September 2013


More Tools Listen Up Podcast of the Month The Mark Gungor Show

While, not geared toward Business, the Mark Gungor Show tackles other aspects of life, love and marriage. Relationships and character are the cornerstones of leadership, and Mark doesn’t shy away from sensitive topics. Join Mark, co-hosts Diane Brierley and Phil Gungor as they discuss any and all issues concerning life, love and marriage, by answering listener emails. http://www.markgungorshow.com/

Worth Following Blog of the Month Leadership Freak with Dan Rockwell http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/ Leaders often complain they don’t have time for this or that. Here is blog that eliminates that excuse when it comes to leadership growth. Dan Rockwell is the Leadership Freak. He is a blogger and leader of a local nonprofit. He regularly consults with organizations and authors on ways to extend their reach and expand their influence using social media. He teaches people how to escalate engagement and create sustainable online communities. SOURCE: LEADCHANGEGROUP.COM

September 2013 • Biz. Magazine

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S p k a

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Uncommon Sense Marketing

What’s the Plan?

D

If Social Media Isn’t Plart of Your Plans and Budget, It Can Cost You

oes it seem like a frivolous pastime for your business to spend time on Facebook or any other social media networks? If so, you may not be looking at social media as the marketing tool that it is. That would lead to a waste of time, money and effort. Instead, consider updating your marketing plan by including social media as a component. By starting with a plan and a strategy, you will likely find it to be a useful way to increase exposure for your business.

Amy Kinnaird

Social Media Evangelist She trains business owners and entrepreneurs how to use the latest marketing tools and techniques to attract and keep clients. View Amy’s website at www.uncommonsensemarketing.com.

You can get started by looking at your overall business objective for each social network and determine the kinds of information you are going to post, and how often you are going to post. Both of these things are guided by your audience needs and wants, but you should plan to participate pretty much daily. Facebook gets good re-

sults from multiple posts per week, and for some businesses- a couple of times per day. Twitter, on the other hand, will get best results by engaging others maybe 5 or 10 times each day. Or more! How can you make the best use of your busy days with social media? By creating a system and sticking to it. Here are some ideas to help you get back on track. 1. Budget time to your social media. Create a system or check list that ensures the time each day is being spent on the right things that build relationships with your followers. 2. Budget funds for social media. You may need to outsource some of it to a Social Media Manager or Virtual Assistant. You may also want to have a small budget for Facebook ads, for example, or a nice camcorder to create videos. 3. Find at least a dozen outside content sources for posting, in addition to just talking about your own products 4. Plan what, where and when you will post by putting it all in a social media calendar. 5. Save time by using scheduler tools that allow you to pre-post. (ex. HootSuite, Facebook’s

scheduler tool) When you have a social media plan, you won’t be wasting time on Facebook each day! Instead, you will be connecting with hundreds or thousands of prospects and clients, and using social media as the engaging marketing tool that it is.

September 2013 • Biz. Magazine

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Business Etiquette

The Rubber Band Plan

T

You need more than a “Plan B” to

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” Mike Tyson

take on today’s business challenges eresa has been at her job for two years and feels she has earned a promotion. She plans a meeting with her manager and makes a list of her contributions and accomplishments. After a pleasant meeting, Teresa’s manager denies the request. Ask people what they envision when you mention “Executive, Professional, and Leader.” Chances are, you will hear words such as confident, business suits, polished, respectful, authoritative, formal, well-spoken, and well-groomed. Rarely will you hear the word “flexible”, and yet flexibility is required in effective leadership. How do professional business leaders obtain those characteristics and how can you claim those qualities for yourself? The answer is simple; use a Rubber Band Plan. A Rubber Band Plan is simply plans B, C, and D. It is the flexibility plan that holds it all together while stretching to accommodate the unexpected. As the above quotes tell us, a plan is worthless without planning for alternatives. Things rarely happen as we expect them. One of the reasons professional business leaders are successful is because they developed the habit of thinking beyond their plan in preparation for dealing positively with the “what ifs” that occur in business and life. How we handle disappointments, failures, and set-backs speaks volumes about our character. The road to becoming a quality leader begins with flexibility. Teresa has two basic ways of dealing with the promotion denial. She can be deeply disappointed or view it as opportunity for positive growth. With a well prepared conversation back-up plan, Teresa could discover why she was denied the promotion. It is timing or funding? Is Teresa lacking some of the qualifications of the position? If so, what does her manager recommend for growth? Will her manager agree to coach or mentor her in obtaining the necessary skill set for the position? Determine what you want from your career. Develop a rubber band plan to obtain the skills, image, and reputation necessary to your success. What will you do when obstacles “punch you in the face?” Will your opponent claim a TKO or will you be Rubber Band Man and come back swinging?

Teri Haynes Business Credibility and Etiquette Consultant

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“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” Dwight D. Eisenhower


Business Development

Connecting Businesses to Information

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BDC committed to providing opportunities to benefit all businesses in Shreveport-Bossier

arket research can seem like a luxury for small businesses, but at some point, it becomes necessary for continued growth. How can you make a competitive plan, when you don’t know anything about your competition? North Louisiana entrepreneurs are fortunate to have many agencies willing to connect businesses with resources. That includes the Business Development Connection (BDC) of the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce. The BDC is a council of volunteers dedicated to offering networking and educational opportunities that benefit all businesses, while emphasizing the strength of diversity in our business community (shreveportchamber.org/bus-devconnect).

On September 17, the BDC will host a luncheon to educate second-stage businesses (not startups, but not quite established) about their eligibility to receive access to hyper-relevant, market-specific information. The data is received from Fortune-500 caliber researchers courtesy of the Louisiana Economic Development’s Economic Gardening Initiative. The Economic Gardening Initiative is only available to small businesses based in Louisiana, at no cost, for qualified companies. The research can answer questions such as: What are the threats to our business plan? Are we missing a niche market? We’re ready to expand outside the Louisiana border. What kind of markets await on the other side of the state line? The luncheon will feature David Bennett, Business Development Officer, Small Business Services, of Louisiana Economic Development. Bennett will tell attendees success stories from companies who have benefited from the Economic Gardening Initiative. A program this valuable comes with a list of eligibility requirements. Bennett will break that down, too (for a sneak peek, go to louisianaeconomicdevelopment.com/page/economic-gardening-initiative). This luncheon will aid hardworking North Louisiana entrepreneurs.

Jill Macchiaverna Jill is Programs Committee Chair, Business Development Connection for the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 “Economic Gardening: an entrepreneur centered approach to economic development” Guest Speaker: David Bennett, Business Development Officer, Small Business Services, Louisiana Economic Development Petroleum Club 416 Travis Street (15th floor) $20 (includes lunch buffet) To register: 318.677.2500 or bdc@shreveportchamber.org

September 2013 • Biz. Magazine

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Cover Story Planning & Budgets

STORY BY Sean Green

Suck it Up and Do It.

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CPA says budgeting is a critically important tool for business

hat do you think when you hear he word “budget”? Do you cringe? Do you fall asleep? Or do you hear the chime of a cash register and dollar signs dance around in your head? With the connotation of a “four letter word,” budgeting is the one of the most dreaded processes of owning or running a business. But CPA for Shreveport-based Heard, McElroy and Vestal, Walker Coburn, said despite the void of attractiveness, budgeting is a critically important business tool. “There is nothing sexy about grabbing your calculator and sitting down with your accountant, but budgets serve an important purpose,” Walker noted. “This should be a common tool used by management to identify resources needed to help accomplish their goals.” Walker even goes as far as saying the word “budget” should be scrapped altogether. Instead, think of the process as a plan for profit and growth. “Management should really be putting time into thinking about how they performed last year and where they would like to be financially for at least the next two years,” he advised. Heard, McElroy and Vestal, with offices in Shreveport and Monroe, serves the entire north Louisiana region. The firm prides themselves in being able to provide a more innovative service than the normal tax return preparation or accounting assistance firm by understanding their client’s short and long term goals and, with that knowledge, can help them develop a roadmap to achieve those targets. “Businesses have to make difficult decisions relating to the use of their funds each and every month. A lot of owners have been successfully running their business for the same way for the past 10 to 15 to 25 years and might be resistant to change. Anytime that you can take away a layer of uncertainty, I believe you are better off. I have had people

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tell me that now they can sleep a little easier knowing they have a plan in place,” said Walker. The budgeting process can be made as easy or complex as management sees fit. But there is a lot to be said for keeping your budget and planning process as uncomplicated as possible. “If you try to add too many variables or get too detailed, than the whole process can get unwieldy. When this occurs, it is hard to obtain management’s or your employees’ buy-in,” said Walker. There are primarily two types of budgets: short term — monitoring how revenues and costs behave based upon various operating factors — and long term — emphasizing growth by analyzing your future investments in people, capital improvements or new product lines/services. Some questions that should always be asked when compiling these are: What are the margins of our product/service mix? Is there room for growth? What will our cash flow look like if we invest in capital expenditures or hire a new employee? What happens if we raise or lower prices? Are there any competitors entering into the market? Are existing ones getting stronger? “These will serve as the outline, and hopefully, give direction to management’s objectives and help employees be committed towards meeting those goals,” said Walker. Finally, he advises to make any budget a living document — something that can be altered and updated throughout the year. “Revised forecasts input some realism into what you are trying to accomplish. Also, our natural tendencies will either place us in the overly optimistic or overly pessimistic bucket which means our resources won’t be allocated properly,” said Walker. “Try to find a balance that is realistic for the year.”


Cover Story

Planning: A Q&A With Dave Ramsey Dave Ramsey has made an empire out of helping people make sense out of the chaos and worry that comes with budgeting. So who else better to turn to when you have questions about planning 2014 and securing your budget?

Question: You’ve become a leader when it comes to financial planning. What issues are most common among the clients who seek your guidance? Dave Ramsey: Every small business owner knows that the challenges of growing a company change from day-to-day. You might have inventory problems one day, and the next you could be facing budget issues. These things are just part of life for an entrepreneur. But many people I talk to don’t realize that to be successful they have to also be a leader. I’m not talking about being a boss or a manager, but a leader. We came up with the term “EntreLeader” because I felt it encompassed the best parts entrepreneurship and leadership. In my mind, this is what a good business owner will be; someone who is a strong and ethical leader, who also has the energy, drive and imagination of an entrepreneur. You must have a vision for your company and your team members beyond simply telling them what to do and making money off a product or service.

Q: Even though it’s not the most exciting part of running a business, how important is planning your year? DR: Planning makes all the difference in the world. Think about it this way. You wouldn’t go on a trip to a place you’d never been without first doing some research and mapping your journey. I mean, you could do this, but chances are you’d get lost and waste a lot of money on gas. With a business, you can’t afford to get lost and waste a bunch of money. It’s your business, and that means it’s your livelihood. It’s the livelihood of your

team members, too. A business owner owes it to himself, his team and his customers to know what he’s doing, and to plan for every contingency along the way. If you don’t plan ahead of time, and plan well, your customers will know it and so will your team. If this happens, neither one of them will hang around very long.

Q: For a business leader, what are the crucial elements to plan for, and how early should he/she start planning for the following year? DR: I think it’s a good idea to plan everything, from top to bottom, a year in advance. Having a five-year plan in place is not a bad idea, either. A year may seem like a long time, but the days and months have a habit of flying by. Things will be up on you in the blink of an eye, and you want to be ready so things don’t suddenly start to spiral out of control. A five-year plan doesn’t have to be quite as detailed as your plan for next fiscal year, but as a business owner you should be thinking about growth and opportunities, what you want your company to look like in the future and how to get there.

Q: If a leader plans and budgets efficiently, how big an impact can that have on their business, their life and the lives of their team members? DR: Planning and budgeting efficiently makes all the difference in the world. Some people think they can manage and grow a business on the fly, but these enterprises don’t last very long. When you’re constantly reacting to what’s going on around you, instead of planning ahead and taking progressive action to make your goals and visions a reality, you’re robbing yourself, your company and your team members of their potential and chances for success. Not everything goes according to plan, but you must have a plan and you must apply it to every aspect of your business. Flying by the seat of your pants, and hoping for the best, is like trying to nail Jell-O to a tree. It just won’t work!

September 2013 • Biz. Magazine

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From the Bossier Chamber

Lessons in Planning

M

Figuring costs of sales is a good first step in annual business planning

any small businesses usually start because of a particular interest or itch of the owner. I like cakes or I’m a great cabinet maker or I can sell this or that better and more of it than anyone else. Few business owners start a business by saying I’ll start this business because “I’m good at business.” Some intuitively are good at business and tend be the owners of sustainable and successful endeavors. These tend to be people who understand the importance of a well-thought-out business plan and generate reasonable and realistic budgets on a yearly basis. These budgets and plans may remain in the head of the owner; but as the sophistication of the business grows, most often the best are always written and reviewed. One of the first lessons a business owner learns is that cash flow is the key to sustaining any on-going concern. Understanding and planning for the cash flow cycles is an important element to any business plan. Here are a few business truisms related to cash flow that might interest anyone developing a solid business plan. First, a business owner should know what it costs for an additional $1.00 in sales. As you look at the costs involved in your business, it becomes like a race to the bottom line. To generate that additional dollar first you have to take away any variable cost (any costs that change directly with sales). The resulting number of cents becomes your contribution margin. For example, if your variable cost is usually around 70% of your sales, then your contribution margin becomes 30 cents for each dollar of sales. Then you have to include those fixed costs related to the business. And as we will see with the next truism, fixed costs are never fixed in a growing business. For example, let’s say that we’ve determined that fixed costs grow at 25 percent as the business grows. All of sudden we realize that at the price we are selling our product or service, for every dollar of additional sales, we have to spend 95 cents! And then, don’t forget that is income before taxes. This number may be good or it may be bad, but it is an important number to know as you develop your business plan and budgets. Which leads us to our next truism which is called the SAF rule. If you are budgeting for an increase in Sales, this growth will cause an increase for Assets (it’s a simple rule of the “balance sheet”). An increase in assets will cause an increased need for Funding. It’s almost like the law of physics. Sales create a need for assets which creates the need for funding. Funding can come from many sources: capital infusion from the owner, debt from lending sources like banks or additional owners, or even from existing profits. The point is sales have to funded and many good businesses have run out of money and had to shut their doors because they have grown faster than their funding. Understanding and budgeting for a sustainable growth rate within a business is vital piece of the cash flow cycle for any business plan. And, as any successful business owner will tell you cash flow is everything. Debt and access to credit are great tools to leverage a successful business. Just be aware, the more your debt-to-equity ratio increases, the riskier the business becomes for you, existing creditors and to any new potential creditors or equity owners. One rule is to plan on borrowing short term for short term needs and borrow long term for long term needs. Never confuse the latter for the former; it hardly ever ends pleasantly. Finally, as you develop your business plan, remember that assets should generate sales. If you are accumulating assets that are not turning into sales, they still have to remain funded. The more of these lazy assets you collect, the more funding you’ll have to acquire. It is not a good cycle and puts more and more pressure on the company’s cash flow.

Rod Taylor Barksdale Federal Credit Union Rod is a member of the Board of Directors for the Bossier Chamber of Commerce.

So, here were a few little suggestions as you develop a successful business plan and model. I hope each of you continue to make the best cheesecake, coy pond, or portable building, or be the best plumber, roofer, cabbie or seamstress in town. And I wish all of you good cash flow.

September 2013 • Biz. Magazine

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I

On the Economic Development Front

Exporting to Increase Sales 95 Percent of the World’s Consumers Live Outside the U.S.

n today’s interconnected world, exporting your goods and services should be an essential component of any company’s growth strategy. With 95 percent of the world's consumers outside of the U.S., selling overseas can help your business grow at a faster rate than just selling within the U.S. market. Exporting enables companies to increase their sales, diversify their portfolios and to weather changes in the domestic economy. Free trade agreements have opened up markets in Australia, Chile, Singapore, Jordan, Israel, Canada, Mexico, and Central America, creating more opportunities for American companies.

development organization, North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP) encourages local businesses to export as a way to increase wealth within our region.

Additionally, exporting can help improve your company’s competitiveness by exposing your business to new ideas, best practices, new ways of doing business, technology, and processes- thereby improving your chances of competing both at home and overseas.

To educate North Louisiana companies about how to start exporting, NLEP has partnered with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) to host a two-day, national exporting seminar, covering nearly everything a company

Southland Printing, a family owned producer of parking lot tickets, sells its high quality products in all 50 states, 49 countries, and on nearly every continent. Twenty years ago, this Shreveport business was hungry for new opportunities and found them overseas. “Southland Printing has been able to increase our revenue by exporting. We are living in a global economy and exporting gives us a new customer base. However, you have to be patient with it. Learn the exporting regulations by attending seminars and take advantage of state and federal programs that help American businesses export. It’s worth it in the end,” said John Manno, Jr., Southland Printing Vice President. As a public-private regional economic

Scott Martinez President, NLEP He is the President of North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP), a publicprivate partnership dedicated to promoting economic development in North Louisiana. Send comments to feedback@nlep.org.

18 Biz. Magazine • September 2013

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, companies that export create jobs that pay 15% higher wages. However, exporting carries certain risks, including increased costs, complex regulations, legal risks that may arise from operating under different laws and regulations, and political risks if you’re trading in a politically unstable country. Companies who are well-prepared with information can avoid some common pitfalls.

needs to know to beginning selling overseas. “Complying with U.S. Export Controls” will be held on September 18-19, 2013 at Shreveport Convention Center, Ballroom C, 400 Caddo Street, Shreveport, LA 71101. The seminar costs $435 and includes breakfast, coffee breaks, lunches and course materials. The seminar runs from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm with registration and breakfast beginning at 7:30 am. You must preregister by calling 318-6772557 or emailing drasberry@nlep.org. For more information or to download a registration form, visit www.nlep.org/bis-seminars.aspx. North Louisiana companies can greatly benefit from expanding opportunities overseas. This seminar is the first step toward preparing to compete globally.


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September 2013 • Biz. Magazine

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NWLA Tourism

STORY BY Chris Jay

Getting DIGI With It

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Second DigiFest to take place Sept. 20-21 in Bossier City.

igiFest South, a digital arts festival organized by the Bossier Arts Council, will return for its second annual event, Sept. 20-21, at various locations throughout Shreveport-Bossier. The festival consists of juried digital art exhibits, live music, panel discussions and more. Since debuting in 2012, the festival has increased its geographic footprint; this year’s events take place at locations ranging from Bossier Civic Center and Margaritaville Resort Casino in Bossier City to CoHabitat and the Red River District in Shreveport. Leigh Ann Chambers, executive director of the Bossier Arts Council, is proud of the festival’s ability to unite organizers and audiences from both sides of the Red River. The digital art exhibition, for example, is being sponsored by the Shreveport Regional Arts Council, who will present a group showcase of DigiFest’s winning artworks, entitled “DigiBest,” at Central Art Station in October.

20 Biz. Magazine • September 2013

“One of the things that’s most exciting about this year’s event is the level of collaboration happening between the participating non-profits,” Chambers said. “We’re working together to demonstrate that art is an integral part of economic growth and development.”

One of the more popular elements of the festival, DigiJam, is a weekend-long competition in which video game designers compete to conceptualize and build a video game, from start to finish. Teams of sleep-deprived game designers will unveil their creations on Sunday, Sept. 22.

While the 2013 festival will retain the educational elements of last year’s event, DigiFest organizers have also added more live music to the line-up. Popular rock group Super Water Sympathy will kick-off the festival with a free 8 p.m. concert on Friday, Sept. 20 in downtown Shreveport’s Red River District. On Saturday night, electronic dance music artist Nanolog will perform in the Red River District at 8 p.m. Both concerts are free to attend and open to all ages. Another fun aspect of the festival is the Phenom Film Festival, an independent film festival which takes place during and is marketed as a part of DigiFest South. For more information on the Phenom Film Festival, visit www.phenomfilmfest.org.

Throughout the weekend, special guest speakers will present lectures on topics ranging from 3-D printing to staying motivated and maintaining focus. Speakers on tap for the festival include Jacques Rodrigue, executive director of the George Rodrigue Foundation, and Brook Drumm, inventor of the revolutionary Printrbot, one of the world’s first commercially-manufactured 3-D printers. For more information on DigiFest South, visit www.digifestsouth.com. For more information on things to see and do in Shreveport-Bossier, visit www.shreveport-bossier.org.

The band Super Water Sympathy will perform a free concert to kick off DigiFest South.


September 2013 • Biz. Magazine

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22 Biz. Magazine • September 2013


Dave Says — On Business

Business Q&A Put on the professional hat Dear Dave, My father is one-third owner in our family business. He isn’t involved with the company anymore, but he still insists on taking a salary. I’ve become a little bitter over the situation, and I was wondering if you think there’s a solution or if I should just get over it. Tracy Dear Tracy, As an owner, especially one who is no longer actively involved in the company, he should be getting a distribution of the profits, not a salary. Specifically, he should receive one-third when the profits are distributed. From what you’ve said, three owners form a board, or counsel, and you three direct the leadership and management of the company. If two of you outvote your dad on issues, he has to live with it because he’s what’s known as a minority owner. Let me give you a visual. Draw three concentric circles so that they all overlap in the center. Any given two of them overlap on the sides, correct? It should look a bit like the Olympic symbol—a Venn diagram. In each circle write “owner,” “management and leadership” and “family.” This is a standard family-business diagram. Most problems in family businesses come when someone forgets which circle they’re in. You could be a member of the family but not have any ownership or be in leadership. You could be in leadership but not be part of the family or be an owner. You could also be a member of the family and be an owner but not work at the company. That would be your father. I think you guys have to reset things in your business. It’s time for the working owners to sit down with your father and have an adult conversation about the mistakes that have been made where salaries and profit distributions are concerned. The discussion should be professional and gentle and go something like this: “Dad, we all set this up in the beginning. But we’ve made some mistakes because we shouldn’t be paying a salary to people who don’t work in the business. “You’ve been repaid for your venture money and, from this point forward, you’ll be getting a distribution of profits instead of a salary. We think this is fair and reasonable. If you don’t agree, then we can discuss buying you out of your third of the company.”

Dave Ramsey Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He’s authored four New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover and EntreLeadership. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 6 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.

I have two daughters and a son-in-law who work for me at my company. I love them with all my heart, but when we’re inside the building at work, we put on our professional hats and my name is Dave. I’m the boss and the CEO, not “Dad.” They work within their departments and answer to their leaders and to me. Then, when we sit down to dinner or get together for weekends and holidays, we switch gears and put on the family hats. It’s just Dad and the kids. But you’ve got to have a professional relationship inside the family business. Otherwise, stupid things will happen or you’ll end up wanting to kill each other! —Dave

September 2013 • Biz. Magazine

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24 Biz. Magazine • September 2013


Briefly

Greg Doyal

Trey Culverhouse

Home Federal Announces Promotion, New Hire Home Federal Bank (“HFB”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Home Federal Bancorp, Inc. of Louisiana (NASDAQ: HFBL), announced the promotion of Mr. Greg Doyal in the Commercial Banking division. Mr. Doyal has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Commercial Banking. Since joining HFB in 2009, Mr. Doyal has been instrumental in expanding the bank's commercial business and acquiring new client relationships. Moving forward, he will continue to focus on developing new commercial loan opportunities. "Greg has a track record of strong leadership, strategic thinking and a passionate drive to take on new career opportunities. We're pleased to recognize him for his hard work and dedication by promoting him within the bank," said Mr. Jim Barlow, president and chief executive officer of HFB. "On behalf of the bank, I congratulate Greg and look forward to seeing him continue to contribute to the overall success of HFB." Mr. Doyal is well respected in the community for his regular participation in and support of many of the HFB’s community initiatives and activities. He is also a Holiday in Dixie ambassador and a Military Affairs Council member. Prior to joining HFB, Mr. Doyal was a business banker for a regional bank. He resides in Shreveport with his wife, Lisa, and their two boys. Home Federal Bank also announced the hiring of Trey Culverhouse in its Mortgage Lending Division. “We are excited about Trey joining the Home Federal Bank team,” said Jim Barlow, President of Home Federal Bank. “He is an experienced and capable lender who values customer relationships, and he will support the continued growth of our mortgage division.” Mr. Culverhouse joined HFB as a Mortgage Lending Officer in July. In this position, he strives to make the dream of home ownership a reality for customers. He will be working at the Viking Drive Location in Bossier City.

Lisa Jennings

Maureen O’Neal

Business Administration. He lives in Bossier City with his wife Bethany and three children, Carter, Bennett and Preston.

LSBDC Hiring Toolkit Workshop Hiring Toolkit, a two-part workshop on Hiring Smart and Managing Employees, will be Sept. 3 & 10 at the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at LSU Shreveport. Classes meet 6-8:30 pm each night. Cost is $55. This class will discuss selecting the best qualified candidate, legally hiring and firing employees, key employment and labor laws and effectively motivating and retaining employees. This class will be taught by Mary L. Webber of L & R Human Resource Consulting. She has more than 20 years of human resource and business management experience in state government, non-profits, oil & gas, retail, education and medical industries. Preregister by Aug. 30 because space is limited. Pay online with a credit card at www.ce.lsus.edu — type “sbdc” in the search box or call 318-797-5144 for more information. Class will be held at Louisiana SBDC at LSU Shreveport (LSUS Bus/Ed Bldg. 103).

Ameriprise Announces Designations Lisa Jennings, a Paraplanner with the practice of Mark McCrocklin, a Private Wealth Advisory Practice with Ameriprise Financial in Shreveport has achieved the professional designation of Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor SM (CRPC®) through The College of Financial Planning. Jennings successfully completed the rigorous requirements that include course work and a series of examinations that cover pre-and post-retirement needs, asset management, estate planning and the entire retirement planning process using models and techniques from real client situations. Maureen O’Neal, a Paraplanner with the practice of Mark McCrocklin, has earned her Series 7 General Securities License and the Series 66 Uniform Combined State Securities Law Examination. O’Neal has worked with the practice of Mark McCrocklin since January 2013. She currently holds her Louisiana Life, Health and Accident license.

Mr. Culverhouse brings more than 15 years of mortgage lending experience to HFB. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University Shreveport, where he earned a degree in

September 2013 • Biz. Magazine

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26 Biz. Magazine • September 2013


Lunch Break

Not Your Typical “Filet o’ Fish’ Shockley’s catfish filets only come in all-you-can-eat.

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Shockley’s Fish and Fixins: An Oasis for Catfish Lovers or a country-boy-turned-city-dweller like me, the rural location of Shockley’s Fish and Fixins, 1332 Robinson Road in Elm Grove, was reason enough to visit. The 32 year-old catfish restaurant, considered a treasure by in-the-know locals, is located about 20 minutes south of Bossier City via Barksdale Boulevard and LA-154.

Chris Jay Public Relations and Social Media Manager, Shreveport Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau. He is a monthly contributor to Biz. Magazine. He may be reached via email at cjay@sbctb.org.

When guests arrive, several catfish-eating accoutrements are placed at the table, free of charge: hush puppies, coleslaw, pickled green tomatoes and onion slices. The majority of the menu consists of fried seafood platters, including shrimp, oyster and crab, but catfish is clearly king at Shockley’s. Catfish can be ordered as fillets or whole fish, and “All You Can Eat” is the only option. When my catfish fillet platter arrived, the sheer quantity of fillets surprised me.

“A platter usually has 16 or 18 fillets on it,” my waitress, the granddaughter of restaurant owner Jimmy Shockley, said matter-of-factly. “But it’s all you can eat, if you want more.” The fillets here are completely different from the fried catfish served many places in northern Louisiana. They’re light and airy, crunchier and smaller than most. To me, they bear a striking resemblance to the world-famous thin catfish fillets at Middendorf’s in Akers, La. As Mr. Jimmy Shockley rang me up, he pointed out an LSU Tigers-themed puzzle he’d recently completed on a nearby table, and we chatted about the business. “Been here 32 years,” he said with a smile. “Enjoyed every day of it. Hope to be here 30 more.” Shockley’s Fish and Fixins has very limited hours. The restaurant only serves dinner, Wednesday through Saturday nights, 5-9 p.m. They can be reached by calling (318) 987-2333. The average diner will spend $10-$15 to eat here. Beer (served by the pitcher or in cans) and wine coolers are available.

Shockley’s Fish and Fixins is located in Elm Grove and is only open for dinner.

Chris Jay reviews local food every Tuesday at www.20x49.com.

September 2013 • Biz. Magazine

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BIZ. Magazine - September 2013  

The Sept. 2013 edition of BIZ. Magazine. Stories include: Planning & Budgeting, A Q&A with Dave Ramsey, DigiFest South 2013

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