Wealth Management: BUILDING YOUR FINANCIAL FUTURE ALSO INSIDE: Business Efficiency In a Nonprofit World Jamrock Bar & Grill The Endangered Entrepreneur
Vol. 2, Issue 3
PowerHouse Anchor Management Consulting, Inc Business Accounting
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Unveiling the Fabric of Wealth Management Dear Reader,
Editorial Publisher/Editor-In-Chief Ethelbert Nwanegbo Marketing Director of Marketing and Public Relations LaTonya Lockhart Graphic Design Adam Price Web Design Eva Bailey Copy Editor Ryan Day Distribution Coordinator Frank Dinzey Contributing Writers Jeannette Bajalia, Ryan Day, Dr. Fitness, Adam O’Neil, Harvey Slentz, Bryan Smith, Kristen Tackett, Dianne Tribble, Liz Welding, Jo-Ann Yau Subscriptions (904) 265-0765 www.entrepreneursanchor.com ©Entrepreneurs Anchor Magazine may not be produced without written consent.
The theme of this issue is wealth management and how entrepreneurs are creating wealth through business, value-building and growth. For too long, entrepreneurs and business managers have drifted away from sound wealth management. Many forget that the aim of venturing out and taking the risk of walking away from regular paychecks is to secure a retirement by constructing a venture capable of sustaining ones retirement. In other words, your business is part of your retirement plan alongside other retirement plans like IRA, 401(K), investment in stocks, and other portfolio of investments. The standard business operating procedure took a look as a result of the present economic mayhem that ensued the wasteful business behavior and bad business ideas. It was H. Martz who said that “prosperity is when people buy things they can’t afford; recession is when the stop doing it.” Business owners and managers are creating wealth through self-education and reappraisal of the needs of the market place. They are building wealth by doing more with less resources. Entrepreneurs need to try and see this all from the customers’ point-of-view. In our American melting pot, business buying behavior and wealth creation has a cultural tone. However, business owners and entrepreneurs need to educate and define their wealth creation strategy and retirement goal. Do not walk away from your business after all that investment. You’ve poured years worth of time and money into it. Every business has a value. I’ve seen business owners walk away from a business with more than 15 years of life. This is a grave mistake! Understanding the value of your business is important in understanding how to make it grow. Your client list, your brand recognition, your business experience – they’re all worth more than you think! Entrepreneurs Anchor magazine is your anchor partner. We’re well connected to business icons that are ready to educate and help business managers and entrepreneurs make effective business decisions. Your wealth can only grow as much as you feed it. We’re ready to partner with you to grow your wealth. Entrepreneurs Anchor magazine is packed with wisdom and ideas vital to your business management skills. This issue is loaded with stories from executives from both the non-profit and for-profit worlds. This is to ensure that your learning experience is as well-rounded as possible. More so, we’ve included articles from professionals and subject matter experts in the field of retirement planning and wealth management. The future of your business may look grim at the moment, but with new vision, commitment, and partnership with Entrepreneurs Anchor, your future can look bright. Thanks and happy reading!
Disclaimer: Entrepreneur’s Anchor Magazine is intended to provide general information about business topics, but does not provide legal business advice. The views and opinions presented on all articles and advertisements are solely those of the authors, and do not represent those of the company. Therefore, PowerHouse Anchor Management, and the management of Entrepreneurs Anchor will not accept any liability in respect to any incorrect, incomplete, or unacceptable statement on the magazine.
Ethelbert Nwanegbo Publisher/Editor in Chief
content Entrepreneurs Anchor
Vol. 2, Issue 3
Hubbard House: Business Efficiency In a Nonprofit World
Jamrock: A Winner In All Categories
Finance, Accounting & Taxes 06
Helen Siler, CEO of The Hubbard House
SBA 504 Loan Program
Entrepreneurs Anchor 10 19 30
Ask the experts Motivational quotes Data! Back it up
Business Profile 18
The Harper Law Firm
Business Management & Compliance 24 34 40
How Sales is Like Dieting Inadvertent Internet Insults Focusing on Core Competencies
Mind, Body & Soul 26 36 44
Jamrockâ€™s view is tough to beat
The Endangered Entrepreneur Employment Transition Life Planning for the Smart Entrepreneur
Finance, Accounting & Taxes
504 Small Business Loan Program Provides Available and Affordable Capital for Commercial Expansion Words by Kristen L.Tackett
Vol. 2, Issue 3
ou may not realize it but the Small Business Administrationâ€™s (SBA) 504 loan program may be the best kept secret for commercial real estate financing. The 504 loan program exists specifically to help small to mid-sized business owners acquire commercial property without the financial hassles and high cash outlay requirements often associated with conventional loans. It also provides small business owners with up to 90% financing at below-market, fixed interest rates (no ARMs) and amortization terms up to 20 years on projects from $125,000 to $20 million. [continued on page 8]
Loan proceeds may be used for the purchase of fixed assets: either owner occupied commercial real estate and long-term machinery and/or equipment. Specifically, this includes the purchase, construction, expansion or renovation of owneroccupied commercial real estate; and/or the acquisition of industrial equipment or other fixed assets that have a useful life span of at least 10 years. Also, thanks to recent Congressional changes, small business borrowers can benefit from a temporary two-year program that allows for the refinancing of existing business debt. Small business owners holding commercial real estate loans with undesirable rates now have the opportunity to refinance these loans using the 504 loan program. This is a boon for small businesses that are having difficulty keeping current on existing high-interest loans since 504 loans are currently available at extremely attractive fixed interest rates. Businesses will be able to remain in their facilities while lenders are not left holding vacant real estate.
second mortgage. The borrower puts down just 10% (in most cases). The borrower makes one monthly payment to a central servicing agent. In todayâ€™s tightened credit market, the 504 loan program is a very strong financing alternative because the commercial bank or lending partnerâ€™s risk is cut in half making them a willing lending participant. Also, the low down-payment (usually 10%) is significantly less equity than lenders want under a conventional loan scenario. And since the required equity is so low, there is much less risk involved for owners of small businesses. The 504 program lets companies continue to use their hardearned capital, while gaining the capital-generating benefits of owning commercial property. Project costs are financed in their entirety with the 504 loan, unlike most conventional bank loans, which only finance a percentage of the purchase price/ appraised value. Additionally, if borrowers decide to sell their property, 504 loans are assumable.
Mechanics and Benefits of a 504 Loan
How to Get a 504 Loan
The 504 loan structure utilizes a distributed credit structure and works like this: a commercial bank or lending partner provides 50% of the loan and takes a first mortgage. A certified development company, like Florida First Capital Finance Corporation, provides 40% of the financing and takes a
The 504 program is administered by certified development companies like Florida First Capital Finance Corporation, which is a statewide, nonprofit organization authorized and qualified by the SBA to administer the program. The first step toward obtaining a 504 loan is to contact your
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Many 504 loans can be done in 60 days, which is just as fast as a conventional loan. Pre-approval can occur within 24 to 48 hours, with commitments in days, not weeks. local bank to determine if they work with certified development companies like Florida First Capital to offer the 504 program. If not, feel free to contact Florida First Capital directly. To be eligible, the borrower must be a U.S. citizen and the business must be for-profit and located in Florida; tangible net worth cannot exceed $15 million and two-year average after tax annual profits cannot exceed $5 million; and the project cannot be entirely income producing (i.e., relying solely on tenant income). The 504 loan process itself â€“ unlike in the past â€“ is very straight forward today, thanks to streamlining at the SBA and to certified development companies like Florida First Capital. Many 504 loans can be done in 60 days, which is just as fast as a conventional loan. Pre-approval can occur within 24 to 48 hours, with commitments in days, not weeks. With full-service offices throughout the state, Florida First Capital guides the borrower through the entire 504 loan process. It prepares the loan documents and handles all of the details, including credit underwriting, approval, closing and servicing of the loan for its life. Any small to midsized business owner would be hard
pressed to find a deal that beats a 504 loan, especially these days. Borrowers can enjoy better cash flow as well as the greatest cashon-cash returns that exist in the commercial mortgage industry. Again, the first step to obtaining a 504 loan is to contact your local bank to determine if they work with certified development companies like Florida First Capital to offer the 504 loan program. If not, feel free to contact Florida First Capital directly at the information listed below.
For the last seven years, Kristen has served as an FFCFC Business Development Officer in Northeast Florida based in Jacksonville. During this time, she has put together more than 400 deals resulting in $275 million in Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 loans. She has consistently been one of the industryâ€™s top producers. www.phanchor.com
Ask the Experts
A?K THE EXPERTS Harvey Slentz Harvey Slentz is an attorney and mediator who teaches law and ethics courses for Jacksonville University. He received his bachelor’s degree from Arkansas State University, a masters in Business & Economics from the University of Central Missouri, and a Juris Doctorate in Law from the University of Louisville. He is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator and has written law and ethics textbook content for major national college textbook publishers. He is currently writing a book on personal finance. Harvey served for 30 years in a professional and senior executive role for a $70 billion national service provider, and served in the U.S. Army. He has been recognized for a number of activities, including recognition in the United States Senate for public service.
QUESTION FROM ANDREW – Small Business Owner Jacksonville Florida As my business grows, I’ve found that I don’t have the opportunity to interact with every customer. I want to be sure that my employees not only meet the needs of our customers, but do so in a way that presents the high ethical standards that I want us to be known for. I’ve read some books on ethics, but they are pretty fuzzy. I guess I need some perspective that is more down-to-earth. Any thoughts? Andrew, your concerns are raised frequently by business owners. While most employees want to do the right thing, the owner is the only one whose name is on the front door. Owners very understandably have a much more personal interest in the ethical behavior of the business. As you discovered in your readings, there are several different schools of thought about ethical behavior. The two most fundamental are the deontological and the teleological schools of ethical theory. Deontological Ethics tends to evaluate the behavior itself, rather than the outcome of the behavior, while Teleological Ethics focuses on the results or circumstances of the behavior. Deontological ethics are applied to behaviors that are inherently right or wrong. All of us would view child molesting as inherently wrong. We wouldn’t waste time hearing someone argue against this. On the other end of the spectrum, many people view killing another human as circumstantial. We say that murder while committing a robbery or murderfor-hire is bad, but that killing a burglar to protect your family is defensible. Public opinion on some behaviors falls between these clear-cut examples. The proponents and opponents of abortion, for example, are both zealous about their beliefs. One thing to keep in mind about ethics is that it is a state of mind, not a specific application at a specific place. Most people are moral and honest folks, or they are not. They are not moral at home and unethical at work, or vice-versa. So while we can discuss ethics in a business context, we understand that it applies equally in almost all venues. On a down-to-earth practical level, there are some things that we can all do to be more ethical ourselves, and to encourage it in our children, our employees, and others with whom we interact. The first thing to understand is that ethical failures are like car crashes – a very few may be intentional, but most occur without the intent to have that outcome. Thus, I can ask you if you believe you are an ethical person, and you may truthfully answer that you think you are, but that only means that you 10
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don’t intentionally do things that you know are wrong. However, there are many choices we make every day that might be unintentionally unethical. Here’s an example: Some cities urge the passage of a living wage ordinance that applies to all businesses. The ordinance establishes a local minimum wage that is higher than the federal minimum wage rate. The reasoning is that people can’t live well while earning less than $8.00 per hour, so it requires employers to raise that wage rate to at least $9.00, or even $10.00 per hour. It sounds honorable, but the ethics of it only remain solid if you don’t consider the other stakeholders in the proposal. If we did stop to consider others, we’d see that if we raise wages, we absolutely must either raise prices, or use fewer work hours, or reduce the profit margin of the owners. That’s a mathematical certainty, right? So while the wage rate may help the employees, the owners may have to raise prices 20% or so to cover the extra cost. That means that the elderly couple who looked forward to coming to a fast food place on Wednesdays for a $2.00 burger special may now have to pay 20% more, or $2.40 each. If they usually bought two burgers, a small order of fries and a senior drink for $5.00, they may now find that this costs them $6.00. If they can’t afford that, then they may have to cut out the fries to keep it at five bucks. So the customer incurs the detriment that allows the benefit to the worker. If the restaurant doesn’t raise prices, then the owners may find that their profit margin drops. If it’s a family that saved and scrimped to get enough money for a down payment on the restaurant, they may now find that they can’t even afford to pay the bank for the loan they took out to buy the restaurant. Or, the owner may have to lay off a worker, or even go out of business because the higher labor cost makes the business operate at a loss. All this is a possible outcome of raising the wages to a living
wage level, but what about living price levels or living rates of return on investment? Why did the city ordinance decide to help workers, but hurt owners and customers? Not considering the impact on all stakeholders is unethical. Another example of an ethical breach can be found in the little things. For example, the owner may be utilizing computer software that he or she copied from the home computer. Owning Quicken’s QuickBooks is great, but if you allow the software to be used by anyone other than yourself, then it is not only unethical, but also illegal. Your employees will see this,
and then rationalize it so they can give the ‘employee discount’ on your products to all their friends. After all, you fudged on the software, didn’t you? Besides, she could just buy the pair of jeans herself and then sell them to her friends, so what’s the difference? The difference, of course, is ethics. There are only two things that a business owner cannot delegate to others who work for them: standards and ethics. That’s because if you say you don’t want to be bothered by dealing with those things, it is a clear statement that they are not a priority to you.
A8K THE EXPERTS
We want to hear from you If you have questions regarding any of the following areas, please contact our experts at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Vol. 2, Issue 3
in a Non-Profit World
How Hubbard House CEO Ellen Siler is leading one of Jacksonvilleâ€™s largest non-profits into business excellence words by Ryan Day, for EA Magazine
llen Siler, CEO of The Hubbard House, is a woman who is as driven as she is humble.
You might think the leader of one of Jacksonville’s largest and most recognized non-profits would need to be cold, calculated and business-minded. But Siler’s welcome is as warm as the mug of coffee on her desk. She’ll look you in the eye, but not to intimidate you. She does it so you’ll see a personality that says, “My door is always open.” That’s not to say that Siler and those leading The Hubbard 14
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House aren’t business-savvy. Since taking over as CEO in 1998, Siler and the Hubbard House have nearly doubled the annual budget, increasing it from $2.3 million to $3.9 million. The Board of Directors has developed innovative ways of raising funds and awareness while cutting costs. “The Hubbard House excels more because of the passion of the people working here than anything else,” Siler said. “It has to be everyone in the organization who helps. And it is.” According to its website, the Hubbard House seeks to see every relationship violence-free. It is a place that provides
disenfranchised, Siler has honed her skills and developed a model of business for her non-profit that is doing more for less money. Individuals versus small groups The first thing about the Hubbard House business model that Siler notes is how a shift from individuals to small groups made work go faster and more efficiently. “Say there’s a woman who is beginning abuse counseling and there’s already a group of women who meet,” Siler said. “It’s not only more efficient for us that counselors operate in groups at the same time, it’s better for the victim. It’s better that a woman be in a group where she feels understood, a group where others have experienced what she’s experienced. A one-on-one counseling session is not only less efficient, it further isolates that woman and removes the communal part of the rehabilitation.” Building community is one of the most important aspects of business. Without teamwork, ventures will either fail, or they’ll go in ten different directions. Proactive advertising and outreach Siler also noted that proactive outreach has made an incredible difference in who the Hubbard House is seeing and how many they’re able to see. “One of the truly innovative things we’ve been able to do is communicate with the Jacksonville Sheriff ’s Office and have them ask certain questions to every domestic abuse call,” Siler said. “We then review every police report that gets filed. Through this, we’re able to pinpoint where help is needed. We can contact the victims right away and go after them.” “We also have outreach centers attached to each of our thrift stores. A victim can go shopping and there’s help within the building.” Through these and other efforts, Siler said the Hubbard House relies less on its help hotline. The organization is no longer on the defensive and is interacting with 7% more victims than they were 10 years ago. Less equals more in fundraising
safety for victims and their children and social change through education and advocacy. Every woman, man, and child who comes to Hubbard House finds support, counseling, and education as they begin the difficult and dangerous transition to safety and peace. Victims of domestic violence and their children are not charged for the life-saving services they receive at Hubbard House. But as many who are involved in the not-for-profit world know, organizations like the Hubbard House can only go as far as their funds will take them. Through decades of work with the
The mission of a non-profit is what drives its employees, but it’s the funding that drives the non-profit. Nothing stops a good idea like not having enough finances. That’s where the Hubbard House is unique – they’re smart with how they pick and choose which fundraisers to be a part of and which ones should fall to the wayside. “We’re selective with where we spend our time, and that certainly includes fundraising,” Siler explained. “There’s a tennis tournament in its third year but it’s only grossing $17,000. For the work we put into it and the expectations we have of it, that’s not enough and we may need to reevaluate it in the future.” To Siler and the Hubbard House, fundraising is about quality, not quantity. If there’s any lessons to be learned from them it’s that it’s much better to pick a few things and do them incredibly well. The shotgun approach just will not work in the www.phanchor.com
non-profit world. “Also, my first year here, I did every talk, every training session,” said Siler. “I needed people to get to know me and know that there was a face to the organization and that I’d be a good steward of the donor’s money. As I kept going, I slowly delegated those things to other people.” Earning revenue, whether it’s for profit or not is about picking your battles and maximizing your opportunities. An organization’s leader needs to be at the forefront at the beginning of a campaign, but after loyalty has been built, the leader can hand duties off to members of his or her executive team. Family-friendly philosophy “At Hubbard House, we promote an environment in the workplace that is conducive to a balanced life” Siler said unapologetically. “We have a great benefits package. The hours are flexible. If someone is in here working 60-70 hours a week, I will talk to them on how to balance their workweek better. Where can you be more efficient? Where are you wasting hours? We can’t have people setting an example that 70 hours a week is the standard.”
At Hubbard House, we promote an environment in the workplace that is conducive to a balanced life To Siler, an employee base that’s balanced is effective. In the for-profit world, rewarding employees who forsake family, friends and health for the good of the company is all too common. At The Hubbard House, Siler is not only doing more with less revenue, but less work hours from employees. She knows that less hours and better quality are more effective and make more business sense than more hours and a disgruntled group of employees. As I left the interview, Siler hands me her card, making sure to give me her personal cell phone number, something that is out of place for the CEO of a multi-million dollar organization. But that’s what makes Siler unique. That’s what sets her apart. It’s also the reason that The Hubbard House will be operating smoothly as long as Siler is at the helm. The Hubbard House has been and continues to be an awardwinning pioneer in the field. In all the organization does, victim safety is its top priority. The Hubbard House values the experiences of survivors and learns from them. It shelters approximately 90 victims and their children each day and provides services to over 5,000 victims a year.
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THE HARPER LAW FIRM Aggressive, Proactive, Caring
Our Vision, Our Mission, Our Goal To achieve results for our clients using an aggressive, proactive, and fearless approach. With more than 35 years of combined legal experience and genuine care and concern for those we represent—we fight to help injured people every day.
“Kay Harper is excellent at what she does. People skills are a must and she possess this quality to the fullest. Everyone wants to work or deal with someone who cares...and Kay Harper cares. I would recommend Kay to any and everybody in need of her services.” -Michael, former client
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Toll Free 855-641-HELP (4357)
All lasting business is built on friendship. Alfred A. Montapert From: Connecticut
An advertising agency is 85 percent confusion and 15 percent commission. Fred Allen From: Massachusetts
MOTIVATIONAL BUSINESS QUOTES
And while the law of competition may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department. Andrew Carnegie From: Scotland
Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I’m not there, I go to work. Robert Orben From: New York
Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure it just means you haven’t succeeded yet. Robert H. Schuller From: Illinois
Government in the U.S. today is a senior partner in every business in the country. Norman Cousins From: New York
Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best. Theodore Isaac Rubin From: New York
I am certainly not one of those who need to be prodded. In fact, if anything, I am the prod. Winston Churchill From: England
A hero is born among a hundred, a wise man is found among a thousand, but an accomplished one might not be found even among a hundred thousand men. Plato: From: Greece
All virtue is summed up in dealing justly. Aristotle From: Greece
JA M RO C K B A R
G R I L L
A Winner In All Categories words by Ethel Nwanegbo, EA Magazine Exclusive
ost restaurants are either unique, offer new, innovative dishes or serve up a mouthwatering experience. It’s a rare establishment that has it all, but that’s just what you’ll find at Jamrock Bar and Grill. Owned and managed by Anthony Largura, a 26-year-old restaurateur, Jamrock delivers on its promise of creating a tasty, delightful and long-lasting experience to its customers. Established in 2010, Jamrock is named among the best restaurants in Jacksonville Beach, serving authentic Jamaican food, fusion-style dishes, and frozen drinks. Tucked away in the hustle and bustle of 1st Street, Jamrock Bar and Grill sits among several traditional American restaurants and hamburger joints. Where many would see opposition, Largura saw potential, saying, “Originality of concept, and creativity is a blend that leaves your customers with a life time experience.” Although Jacksonville has few Jamaican restaurants, those who frequent Jamrock love the food and excellent customer service. The experience comes from its friendly atmosphere and
the authenticity of the food. The name Jamrock reflects its value proposition. “Jam” which stands for Jamaica and “Rock” which reflects the Island of Jamaica. When next you visit Jamrock, the interior and ambience says it all. As to healthy food options, Jamaican fusion at Jamrock can hold its own against any other health-food restaurants in town. Largura does not believe that steaming food is the only healthy way of dining. Jamrock’s fusion is a harmonious combination of ingredients along with health conscious preparation. The list of healthy and mouthwatering delicacies goes on and on, with a list of appetizers including: Conch Fritters: Fresh conch seasoned with special blend of spices and breaded then fried to golden brown. Served with homemade remoulade. Jamaican Patty: Authentic Jamaican patty, made with your choice of beef, veggie, or curried chicken, blended with Jamaican Spices and wrapped in a warm flakey crust. [continued on page 22]
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Coconut Shrimp: Coconut battered shrimp fried to a golden perfection with a sweet chili mango dipping sauce. The restaurant’s fusion-style salad entrees also show its versatility, serving up dishes like Jerk Chicken Salad, Steak Taco Salad, Classic Chicken Caesar Salad, Tropical Fruit Plate, and Island Curry Chicken Salad. On the list of the true blue Jamaican entrees are: Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Kingston Curry, Jamaican Vegetarian Fritter Cakes, Jamaican Oxtail, BBQ Strip Steak, Rasta Pasta, Tropical Fish Tacos, Jamrock Sampler and other mouthwatering items on the list. Don’t worry, sandwich-lovers, because Jamrock will not disappoint. Its authentic sandwiches include the Jamrock Burger, Jerk Chicken Sandwich, Coconut Chicken Sandwich, Fresh Off Da Boat Sandwich, Island Wraps, and the Triple C’s Sandwich. Jamrock’s experience makes the game of eating pleasant and memorable. Tony Largura’s dream to own a Jamaican restaurant dates back to his childhood. As a teen, he and his family took family vacations to Jamaica and it was here that Largura developed a love for the island’s cuisine. This young visionary chose his passion against the family-owned residential and commercial construction company which he felt was an obligation and not a passion. His family supported his determination through help with funding, but his philosophy was that he wouldn’t take anything for free. He asserts “my passion was to build something from the ground up.” Very focused and full of vision, Largura steered Jamrock through its first year of operation. Tony’s business philosophy is based on two premises: enthusiasm and drive. He is also a firm believer of giving back to the community. Jamrock sponsors various not-for-profit activities like a volleyball tournament, a Jamrock softball team, an annual Breast Cancer Awareness event, as well as several other foundations in Jacksonville. To ensure success, he made sure that planning and preparation was at its best. For Largura, success was inevitable as long as the restaurant made it through its first year of operation. “We knew that we were going to succeed when we made it through the first winter,” said Largura. “After that, our customer base has increased exponentially.” To eliminate all fears of failure, sufficient financial planning was a key part Tony’s business success strategy. Despite his creativity in the restaurant business, Largura insisted he will not rest on his laurels. His goal is to make dining at Jamrock an experience, an event. Going into the restaurant business is a daily struggle, but he has hope for young and upcoming entrepreneurs. His advice? “Make sure you have an adequate plan in place, good funding and patience because nothing good comes easy. And do not jump the ship too fast.”
Above Photos - Starting at the top Jamaican artwork decorate the wallls A guest has a chat with the bartender Owner Anthony Largura, a 26-year-old restaurateur
Vol. 2, Issue 3
Entrepreneur Anchor Magazine presents...
THE WOMEN OF STEEL AWARDS
honor . inspire . celebrate . Celebrating outstanding leadership in business Tell us about the outstanding influence and achievement that your nominee has contributed to our grand community. Make your vote count. We want to hear from you.
Nominate your Women of Steel today! Limit 2 nominations per entry
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Exhibit and vendor space available For more information or event registration contact us at: 904.240.4292
Business Management and Compliance
Vol. 2, Issue 3
How Sales is like words by Liz Wendling Are you losing sales or gaining clients? The sales world can be a lot like dieting and working out. Sales, takes dedication, commitment, discipline and knowing when you are off track, just like eating healthy and exercise. If you’ve tried every diet and none of them have worked, it’s not the diet – it’s the dieter. Similarly, I tell my clients if they’ve tried every sales strategy and none worked, then it’s not the strategy, it’s the person implementing the strategy. It’s time for a new approach, one that you can stay committed to and that will produce results.
DIETING this, so they serve up limitless new-and-improved options to get consumers interested. This applies to all businesses, but especially to those that are in sales. There is no shortage of sales books on the shelves as well. All are serving up the next quick fix and a fast-track program to sales success. There is no such thing as a quick fix for anything, in life or in business. The only tried-and-true fix is to create a strategy, do some heavy lifting and begin the hard work it takes to make your business thrive. I have worked with many business owners who claim they’ve tried everything to sell more and grow their business. They may have tried everything, but they never stay
If you buy into the belief that there is a new-and-improved formula, that you can have immediate results, be on the fast track to success and never have to leave your office, you will soon be right back where you started. In sales and dieting, there really is no easy fix for instant results, and most of the hard work is done when nobody is watching. If it were really that easy to see results without lifting a finger, everyone would have the perfect body and a booming business. If you buy into the belief that there is a new-and-improved formula, that you can have immediate results, be on the fast track to success and never have to leave your office, you will soon be right back where you started. And probably off looking for the next quick fix after that one doesn’t work. Stop the insanity. When it comes to losing weight, people consider the various options available and choose the one with the best possibility of producing results. The sales business is similar. You will want to select a sales strategy that will produce the best outcome for you and your business and stick with it. Anyone can lose weight rapidly by eating nothing but cottage cheese and water and working out every day at 4 a.m., but that kind of commitment is impossible for most people. In a few weeks, you’re back to overeating and sleeping in. Sales and being in business are no different. You can’t just pick up a book, go to one class or listen to a free seminar and expect to have a strategy that you can use for the life of your business. Do you know why every year a new diet book hits the bookstores and becomes the latest craze? Because dieting is hard and consumers are hungry for the next quick fix and starving for an easy solution. Diet companies know
committed long enough to one strategy. Then they are off to the next and then the next. So, make the right choices, take action every day, start the heavy lifting and begin the process of dedication, commitment and discipline in your business. Just as a dieter who wants to get in those skinny jeans, you have to picture what your business will look like when it’s thriving. Call on the will power, be consistent, set realistic expectations, exercise your sales muscle and resist the temptation to cheat.
Liz Wendling, the sales coach for women and one of Denver’s top sales coaches. She coaches women business owners (and smart men) to create immediate sales results, achieve lasting business success and permanently raise their bottom line. She works with business owners who don’t have sales experience as well as those who have sold for years that need a tune-up to communicate more effectively and sell more efficiently www.salescoachforwomen.com
Mind, Body & Soul
ENDANGERED words by Dr. Fitness
he U.S. health-care industry is an unpleasant subject for many business owners. It’s not surprising when you consider that across the country approximately 45 million people are uninsured. A majority of them are entrepreneurs and it is still unclear what effect our new health legislation will have on the self employed. According to Todd Stottlemyer, President of the National Federation of Independent Business, among today’s uninsured workers, nearly 63 percent are self-employed or work in small firms.. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs are known to sacrifice healthy lifestyle practices to allow additional time for running the business. [continued on page 28]
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As a business owner, thinking about your health is low on the list of priorities. Many entrepreneurs trade exercise and healthy eating habits, for more time to grow their business. Like many of you, I give back to the community by volunteering and attending fundraising events for organizations that I believe make a difference. I regularly attend fundraisers for organizations that have a track record of helping people improve their overall health and well-being. What still surprises me, event after event, is there is always a cocktail party prior to the dinner. If you attend similar events, hopefully this article may encourage you to re-evaluate what you eat and drink at your next event.
business owner who had a drink every night after work. I’m sure he had no idea it was contributing to his weight gain. I lost my father due to obesity-related ailments and that painful loss devastated my family and me. He was a business owner and our family business was not able to survive this preventable health challenge. You can avoid having your family live without your loved ones by paying immediate attention to your self-inflicted health risks. So how does one get off the Endangered List? I’ve dedicated this three-part series to provide the tools you need to get yourself and your loved ones off the Endangered List.
Part One: Lay Off The Booze
We frequently mask our stress with a drink or two without even thinking about the effect it can have on our waist line, appetite and overall health. The average business owner is now in the worst shape of his or her life. Our jobs require more time in front of a computer than ever before. Nearly one out of four of us suffer from a very scary condition called Metabolic Syndrome. Metabolic Syndrome, which is a combination of insulin resistance, hypertension (high blood pressure), cholesterol abnormalities, and an increased risk for clotting leading to stroke, is the most expensive condition we business owners face. It’s. People with Metabolic Syndrome are frequently overweight or obese. This syndrome affects both men and women. One of the main indicators of Metabolic Syndrome is abdominal obesity, better known as belly fat. Is your belly hanging over your belt? If it is then you are in true danger! Are you an “Endangered Entrepreneur”? There are several other warning signs: poor nutrition, unusual sleeping patterns, infrequent medical checkups, little to no exercise and a lack of proper stress management tools.As we attempt to cope and deal with the business obstacles and pressures in our lives, alcohol consumption can also become a problem. My father was a small 28
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Entrepreneurs, on average, drink no more or less than the general population, but we as a group are now in the worst shape of our lives. The alcohol we drink exacerbates the problem. It’s no wonder many of my fellow business owners have more of a keg for a gut than a sixpack. Do you want to do business with someone a little tipsy? Neither would I, but most charities do. They realize that entrepreneurs, after a few cocktails, are far more generous, so they will start the party with an open bar. Alcohol plays a big role in most of our business lives - cocktail party’s at networking events, conferences and charitable events. We don’t realize how much it’s contributing to our growing belly. One of Metabolic Syndrome’s main indicators is belly fat. I am not here to bash having a drink or two, but I am going to encourage anyone who wants to lose body fat and remove themselves from the Endangered Entrepreneur list, to rethink their drinking habits.
How Alcohol Makes You Fat and Contributes to Metabolic Syndrome Here’s What Happens When You Take A Drink! When the alcohol reaches your stomach, 20 percent of it is immediately absorbed into your bloodstream. The rest travels to your intestines and is absorbed there. The alcohol in your bloodstream goes directly to your liver and is broken down — this is absolutely essential, as alcohol is toxic to the body. Alcohol breaks down into acetate and acetaldehyde, which immediately signal your body to stop burning fat. Even worse, another alcohol waste product, acetyl CoA, actually starts to make more body fat!
What Does This Mean? Your body can only effectively process up to one ounce of alcohol per hour. In both men and women, the more drinks per drinking day, the higher the abdominal measurement. For each ounce of alcohol you drink your body can store up to a half a pound of fat on your waist. Men who drink three or more drinks and women who drink two or more drinks, infrequently but heavily, have more abdominal fat than people who consumed less. How Much Damage Does It Really Cause? One 12-ounce beer contains about 0.6 ounces of alcohol. If you consumed five of these, your body would stop burning fat for up to six hours. If you don’t burn fat for six hours, your body could store up to a inch of new belly pooch creating that unattractive muffin top when wearing your favorite slacks. All of us do not store body fat the same, the amount of weight gain you will get varies based on your race, age, sex, height and amount of belly fat you already carry. Women will also always gain more belly fat then men. The more you drink, the longer your body is inhibited from burning fat, in addition to a greater fat build-up from excess acetyl CoA. As you can see, one day of binge-drinking can set you back a full week when you’re trying to lose fat! If you booze, you won’t lose the belly fat! What’s The Worst-Case Scenario? Mixing alcohol with sugary beverages promotes even more fat gain, because of the resulting insulin surge that triggers fat storage (e.g., cocktails mixed with soda and/or fruit juice). What’s The Bottom Line? If you want to be lean and healthy, you must minimize your consumption of alcohol: • Choose wine, over hard liquor, or “light” beer • Limit your alcoholic intake to one or two days per week, with a maximum of one drink for women per day and two drinks per day for men.
We aren’t always able to determine whether or not we are an Endangered Entrepreneur. I chose this career path after facing my own personal challenges with being overweight. Obesity and related ailments run in my family and after seeing the ravaging health consequences faced by my own family and the loss of my father due to obesity related ailments, you’d think I’d never allow it to affect me. But you’d be wrong. Obesity sneaks up on you, one pants or dress size at a time. It’s like putting a frog in cool water on a stove and turning the heating up slowly -- the frog doesn’t realize he’s in trouble until it’s too late and he’s cooked. I’ve dedicated my life to preventing other families from experiencing the pain and hardship of losing a loved one from preventable ailments. My life’s purpose is to provide fitness information, instruction and motivation to all that seek it. As well as those that aren’t aware they should be seeking it.
Part Two I’d be happy to facilitate a workshop for your team with more information on how alcohol reduces the productivity of business and impacts their health and fitness goals. Part two of my three-part series will be on procrastination. For 20 years I’ve been supporting busy professionals and helping them reach fitness goals that are too difficult to achieve on their own. Did you know procrastination is the number one killer of health and fitness goals? I will be sharing years of proven tools that you can use to start a successful health and fitness program and avoid procrastination on an ongoing basis. Max has 20 yrs experience assisting business professionals in reaching their fitness goals and is a an internationally recognized Fitness Presenter and Certified Personal Trainer. It is his life’s mission to provide fitness information, instruction and motivation to all that seek it.
BACK IT UP
Data! Words by Bryan Smith, for EA Magazine
Vol. 2, Issue 3
In the business world and IT, there is no such thing as a reasonable amount of lost data, whether it’s a database holding patient data, the cure for cancer or professors grades for the semester.
n anonymous professor at Umea University in northern Sweden was recently recovering from surgery, feeling a bit lethargic and desperately needed to launder his clothes. He didn’t want to take a separate trip to drop off his backpack, so he figured he’d cut a few corners thus saving himself the hassle. He thought it was a clever idea to hide his backpack behind a door in the stairwell and proceed to the laundry room and he’d later return to reclaim his goods. The professor returned only to find that his backpack and all of his belongings were missing. After reporting the incident to the police, the professor checked his hiding spot again and his backpack magically reappeared, but it was a bit lighter than usual. Upon close inspection he quickly realized that his laptop was missing, yet the rest of his items were safely returned. The professor admitted to never back up his data thus making himself a victim of his own reluctance to do what he deemed necessary. Over a week passed and the professor received a strange envelope in the mail with a single USB memory stick with no return address. The memory stick was stolen along with the laptop but what was it doing in his mailbox? The thief evidently had a heart, as the USB stick held all of the professor’s files that he never backed up. It would have taken hours to properly back up his files but miraculously they were all there. Don’t rely on your neighborhood thief to implement your back up plan! Dr. Sook Shin and her husband Dr. Ralf Jankech are cancer researchers that made astonishing breakthroughs in the fight
against cancer, storing over two years of hard research and data on Shin’s Macbook computer. After a long day at work the couple finished their meal at a local eatery later discovering their car window was broken out; Sook’s laptop was missing which held over two years of research and the potential cure for cancer. Shin didn’t have a back up so she basically let the cure for cancer slip right through her hands. These events took place in January 2011, which lead the two researchers to contact their local new media to air their pleas for the safe return of their research. The work would have benefited humanity as a whole, yet they never took the time configure their back up software, nor did they have a backup plan in place. In the business world and IT, there is no such thing as a reasonable amount of lost data, whether it’s a database holding patient data, the cure for cancer or professors grades for the semester. BACK IT UP!
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Vol. 2, Issue 3
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Business Management and Compliance
Words by Jo-Anne Yau, Esq. and Christina Rodriguez, Yau Law Firm
reating a name for yourself and your business has always been critical. Catering to the whims of capricious market demands has always been a challenge, but it has never been easier than in todayâ€™s technological age. Most people and businesses use social networking for their marketing needs. The World Wide Web has become a free speech forum, to which everyone has immediate and anonymous access. While social media and blogging web sites are virtual soapboxes for compliments and complaints, savvy businesses also use this type of media for their cyber commercials and videos. Accordingly, while promoting products, services, and a good reputation, care must be taken not to wrongfully tarnish a competitorâ€™s image. An inadvertent insult can lead to a lawsuit for libel or defamation.
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Internet Marketing: Compliance with Defamation, Libel, and Slander Laws Most commonly, defamation is the injuring of another’s reputation with false statements. Defamation can also occur when those statements deter others from associating with a person or business. There are two ways in which defamation manifests itself. Libel is when defamation occurs in written form, such as in a Facebook post or in a tweet. Defamation can also be in the form of slander, where the injurious statements are spoken, like in a video blog. Well-intentioned efforts to create buzz can backfire when inaccurate statements are made about another business. The most recent case that has caught nationwide attention is the lawsuit against Taco Bell, accusing them of not using real beef. Although that lawsuit was dropped because Taco Bell did, in fact, use real beef, the fast food mogul was forced to spend almost $4 million to combat the negative publicity about the quality of their product. To date, Taco Bell has not retaliated with a lawsuit for libel or slander. Sites like Yelp give members the opportunity to write a review about anything - restaurants, health care, and even religious organizations. While the intent is for bona fide consumers to give feedback, competitors have been known to write unflattering critiques. Because potential customers cannot differentiate between the consumers’ and the competitors’ feedback, their overall impression of the business is affected by any negative comments that competitors may have left. This is not to say that negative feedback or reviews are all defamatory. Everyone is entitled to express an opinion. As long as the opinion can be substantiated in good faith, it is not libel or slander. Thus, the hard-to-please critique should be ready to defend the opinion with facts. For instance, the comment, “Yummy Pizza, Inc. is Yucky Pizza, Ick!” is acceptable, as long as the writer can explain that a soggy crust or acidic sauce led to an unpleasant experience. Even if some people may enjoy soggy, acidic pizza, those who do not are entitled to voice their substantiated opinions. Furthermore, the truth can never be defamatory. If a patient tweets, “Don’t trust the doctors at ABC Clinic. They’re sick— literally!” the statement is permissible if the physician performing the examination was ill with a communicable disease. When people compare their business to others in the industry in blogs or on social media, care must be taken to not make inaccurate representations about their competitors. While opinions must be substantiated, the truth can never be libelous or slanderous. Controlling Internet Presence Businesses face a problem in the anonymous comments/ postings contained in most of today’s websites and the lack of accountability by the ISPs (Internet service providers). Due to the anonymous nature of the Internet, millions can post statements while hiding behind screen names and pseudonyms.
Complaint boards like Rip Off Report allow people to post their complaints, mostly listed anonymously, but they usually come across as defamatory statements. The difficulty lies in the law because the ISPs are immune from suit. To date, the only solution is to sue the person who posted the defamatory comments. The solution lies in vigilance. Many businesses regularly monitor the Internet, searching for references to their name, employees, products, or services. While this can be done in-house, standard practice for almost all businesses is to market through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and industry-specific sites. Since diligent Internet searches can be overwhelming, outsourcing this task to online reputation management (“ORM”) services is gaining popularity. ORM services not only catch defamatory statements, they can also find instances of copyright infringement, trademark or brand misappropriation, or other legal concerns. ORM services often report to a business’ lawyers. Those lawyers then use computer forensics, IP address traces, and other investigation methods to determine whether action can be taken against the parties who made the injurious representations. The attorneys can help issue take-down notices, send cease and desist letters, and get the courts involved in dispute resolution. Internet Marketing Today and Tomorrow Online savvy is a must. Beyond marketing strategies and networking opportunities, however, there is a two-fold lesson to be learned. First, business owners should regularly monitor customer feedback sites. Comments suspected to be left by an unscrupulous competitor should be reported to the manager or administrator of the website. Vigilance is the key when monitoring a business’ reputation in cyberspace. The second lesson is that posing as an unhappy patron of a competitor’s, is libelous. Computer forensics, IP addresses, and other methods can be used to trace the origin of statements that harm reputations. Businesses must be cognizant of legal land mines, particularly when making reference to their competitors. Today’s businesses rely on blogs, comments, and online marketing. Entrepreneurs, executives, and professionals continue to rely on social media for networking and promotions. Internet strategies continue to evolve, as the focus shifts from websites to blogs, pictures to video, and texts to apps. Taking advantage of these strategies responsibly offers a world of marketing opportunities to a diligent business. Jo-Anne Yau is an attorney at the Yau Law firm. Her areas of practice include Personal Injury, Patents, Trademarks, Franchising, Business Law, and Criminal Defense.
Mind, Body & Soul
EMPLOYMENT TRANSITION: A Holistic Approach To Accepting Change Words by J. Dianne Tribble
s the United States continues to recover from an economic recession, many organizations are still in a status of downsizing and reorganization. As a result, there are growing numbers of recently terminated employees who are increasing the unemployment rate. Should you find yourself in a similar position, know that there is hope. Upon researching and interviewing several unemployed workers, my findings reveal numerous benefits during an employment transition. Job termination can be very traumatic for the employer as well as for the employee. In fact, studies have found termination to be one of the leading causes of depression. However, with a positive outlook and a determination to make the best of the situation, unemployed workers can overcome depression and its effects. So, your job has ended. To lessen the blow, hopefully you were made aware well in advance of the scheduled termination. This allows time to prepare. On the other hand, the position may have ended with little to no notice at all. The bottom line is that you are without a job. How you handle the reality of being unemployed will play an important role in your mental, spiritual, and physical health. [continued on page 38]
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Many companies offer severance packages, provided the employee agrees to remain active, professional, and productive until the scheduled end date. The severance package details may vary with each company. Some companies reward their employees with lump sum packages, while others reward their employees with continued wages based on the number of... years of service. Terminated employees may also be eligible for continued benefits through COBRA insurance (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) According to www.COBRAinsurance.com, “COBRA requires most employers with group health plans to offer employees the opportunity to continue temporarily their group health care coverage under their employer’s plan if their coverage otherwise would cease due to termination, layoff, or other change in employment status (referred to as qualifying events).” In addition to these benefits, unemployment compensation may also be awarded. While in transition, there are numerous opportunities available to formerly employed workers: Begin your job search as soon as you can, but use this time initially to rest and de-stress. Catch up on your reading. There’s nothing like a good book. Reflect and take portions of the day to think and listen to your heart. What is your outlook? Employment transition affords former employees the opportunity to explore what they desire to do. For example, maybe you always wanted to pursue public speaking. This transitional period would be ideal for enrolling in a Toast Master’s program. Success in this could pave the way to taking the next series of steps to become a public speaker. Keep a positive attitude. Find something to be thankful for in every situation. See the glass as “half full.” Use this time to conduct a self-evaluation. What are your strengths? What are your gifts, talents, and abilities? What areas have you identified for improvement? Answers to these questions will assist you in determining your next steps. Selfevaluations can uncover your wants and needs. Based on the results of your self-evaluation, set new goals. Are you an entrepreneur? Now’s the time to invest in taking your business to the next level. Determine whether you need to pursue the business full-time, not returning as an employee to any job. Is your business a hobby? Do you desire to continue the business in addition to returning to the workforce? Explore various business opportunities and ask yourself questions you never allowed yourself to answer before. Maybe you would like to pursue a different career path; maybe you are interested in a part-time position for a season? Take care of household projects which have been on hold. Use this time also to have contractual work completed. 38
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Get organized. Employment transition provides an excellent time for this task. Start or re-do your budget during your transition. Be money smart. Exercise wisdom in your spending. Update your resume and tailor it for each position you apply for. This may be time consuming, but can prove to be very beneficial. Invest in you. Do some self-improvement. Join a gym and actively take advantage of your membership. Give attention to a past hobby or start a new one. Ponder. Ask yourself, “Is now the time for new career training as a step in getting back to work?” Education has proven to be powerful. Participate in daytime seminars and workshops, take advantage of any out-placement services provided by your former employer. Enroll in a course or two. Volunteer. There are many volunteer opportunities available. Keep active. During your job search, find an organization which would benefit from your skills, talents, and abilities. Sow into that quality organization as you await your “next.” Remain social. Stay connected and network. Maintain contact with previous co-workers which have also entered the job market. This will help you stay encouraged. Go where the people are. In the economic times we are living in, there are more people available during the day. They can be found on the highways, in the libraries, in coffee shops, in bookstores, and out shopping.
Build relationships with friends and family. Because the tendency is to have such busy schedules while employed, use this season to renew and enhance your personal relationships. Do some traveling. Time away from familiar surrounds may be the catalyst in determining your “next steps.” While most workers do not choose to have their jobs end, there are many benefits available to them as they prepare to transition to the next great thing, which we will discuss in our next issue. The transitional period can provide an opportunity to determine exactly what you would like to do next, as well as determine necessary steps to make the desires come to pass. Keep a positive attitude and know the present circumstance is going to change. Dianne Tribble is a certified Christian Life Coach with more than 20 years of leadership experience in various roles including mentor, focus group discussion leader, women’s development and empowerment group leader, employee development manager, supervisor, counselor, and life development coach.
The Quick Transition Guide: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Begin job search Catch up on reading Reflect Stay positive Self-evaluate Explore your entrepreneur side Explore unique business opportunities Finish household projects Get organized Update your resume Invest in you Pursue further education Volunteer Remain Social Build Relationships Travel
Business Management and Compliance
Vol. 2, Issue 3
Metrics for Ensuring Business Success:
Focusing on Core Competencies How to specify your strengths words by Eva Bailey, for EA Magazine
ell-shaped and mindful strategies allow a business to assess the goals that are critical. It is important that the goals of the business align well with the strategy. While the strategy itself is a descriptive vision of what the organization plans to accomplish, or of what the organization desires to be, the goals should be measurable and attainable. The process of aligning the goals with the strategy may be relatively easy. However, in business, it is crucial that the goals are executed successfully.
Having goals and a strategy may seem too sophisticated to undertake. Many small business owners do not give too much attention to these components, hence, they tend to associate the terms strategy and goals with the medium and large organizations’ activities. It is a common misperception and it may cost the business many opportunities. As a small business owner, the rule of thumb is never think small! Envision your business to be as successful as any other business in the market. You should be aware that it is imperative for your business to have a solid strategy in place. In order to define your strategy, it is important that you identify your core competencies – something you are the best at. For instance, if you own a catering business, do not try to cater food to every business and organization in your city. Think of what it is that distinguishes you from the other businesses and gives you the competitive advantage over them. It may be catering to weddings and family events or it may be catering to business events and conferences. Focusing on core competencies enables you to perform activities that lead to profit. Identifying core competencies is also deciding what activities do not contribute to profit creation and delegating these activities to the other businesses. The activities that are out of your core competencies are certainly within the scope of other businesses. For instance, accounting and bookkeeping activities. As a business owner with the defined core competencies, you do not want to spend
time learning how to bookkeep, while you could use your time to penetrate your market and expand your business. The concept of focusing on core competencies is widely used by the medium and large organizations. These organizations understand that determining which activities are within the core competencies is crucial in gaining competitive advantage and becoming a leader in the market. Many of the organizations have delegated non-profit creating activities to third parties in order to serve the customers more effectively and efficiently, and to gain more expertise in this area. Small businesses recognize that focusing on the core competencies is relevant in order to be successful. Make an effort to distinguish your business operations from the other market players by enhancing the portfolio of products or services offered. In the effort to capture higher market share, small business owners have become more creative when it comes to meeting customer’s expectations. Being an expert in their industry means higher profits, higher customer satisfaction, and more opportunities for growth. Focusing on your core competencies will ensure that you align your activities with your organization’s strategy, and ensures that you implement and execute the processes that are relevant to your goal attainment. That way, focusing on your core competencies create an opportunity for your firm to transform and become a business that is competent in meeting the customers’ needs.
These organizations understand that determining which activities are within the core competencies is crucial in gaining competitive advantage and becoming a leader in the market. www.phanchor.com
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Mind, Body & Soul
LIFE PLANNING FOR SMART ENTREPRENEURS words by Jeannette Bajalia
“Decisions determine your destiny!” How many of us may have heard this but never stopped to ponder what decisions will truly determine our destiny? As an entrepreneurial woman myself, and being in the baby boomer generation, I was never taught that the decisions I made throughout my lifetime could have a substantial impact on my financial security, including retirement. I made short-term decisions as many of us do but didn’t focus much attention on the major decisions that impact our destiny. Decisions such as choosing a career, getting married, buying a home, having children, saving and investing, all have impacts on the quality of life. So why is it that we spend more time planning a dinner party, a wedding, a vacation, or even an evening out, than we spend planning for the various stages of our life to ensure we have a secure financial future? The answer is quite simple: we, as women, are just not wired that way. In fact, one of the compelling statistics that drove me to develop a life planning practice is that 79% of the women who manage their finances have not planned for their elder years and are not managing finances toward some life goal. The fact that nearly 50% of women over the age of 65 44
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are either widowed or divorced, have worked in traditionally lower-income professions, or have no pension plans, means that the only way a woman can achieve financial health with confidence and trust, is to create a plan that ensures a healthy balance between her emotional, physical and financial wellbeing. So where do we get started – with a life plan that reflects the healthy balance between where you are now and where you want to be at a particular stage in life. For the purpose of this article, let’s think about a secure retirement, since we all dream of the day we can transition from career to the joys awaiting us in our golden years. Life planning necessitates a focus on understanding your legal, financial, emotional and physical requirements. This is essential to ensuring a smooth journey toward a successful financial future. The first step in a life plan starts with a personal financial check-up. As smart women, we take great care in ensuring we get our annual physical as a preventive measure to remain physically healthy and perhaps derail anything that could potentially lead to poor physical health. When was the last time you had a financial physical?
Here are some questions that are typically addressed in a financial physical: • Have you considered what annual income you will need in retirement or how long you might live during this phase of life? • What do you want to do in the next phase of your life and how much money do you need to do that? • Do you have the proper legal documents that protect you and your family from unexpected life events? • Are you concerned about having enough income in 10 – 20 years to keep up with inflation? • Are you concerned about having to change your lifestyle in later years due to loss of spouse and perhaps their Social security income or even a pension income? • Are you concerned about loss of principal due to stock market volatility? • Are you concerned about not knowing a way to “crashproof ” your estate for you, your spouse, and generations to come? • Are you concerned about the three taxes that can decimate your IRAs and other retirement accounts (i.e. estate, income, etc)? • Are you concerned that you’re paying too much in income and social security taxes? • Are you concerned about nursing home expenses financially devastating you or your spouse’s assets? • Have you thought about how you will handle your savings once you retire and what support you might need?
These items represent some of the areas that are typically addressed when you think about your life plan. They simply provide the necessary background information about the future to develop a roadmap for the journey to get there with predictable outcomes and minimal surprises. Surprises can be overcome when we are in our 30’s and early 40’s but if you find yourself in your mid-40’s or older, and can’t answer these questions, the journey through the golden years will be filled with surprises and emotional stress which will ultimately impact your physical well-being and wreak havoc on your financial well-being. Remember the old adage: “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. I highly recommend that you seek guidance in your journey towards the creation of a life plan that better ensures you will be prepared financially for the future. As you seek support, it is important that any plan developed is a goal-based plan with those goals being yours, and not the goals of a financial planner, investment advisor, life coach or estate planning attorney. Since our generation is re-defining retirement by working longer and staying active throughout our senior years, our life plans need to be addressed with great depth and breadth – because IT’S MORE THAN THE MONEY – IT’S ABOUT TOTAL WELL BEING.
As its new President, Jeannette brings to Petros Estate & Retirement Planning 35 years of professional experience in major corporations and as an independent business owner. She is regarded as one of the thought leaders in developing and deploying innovative retirement planning strategies to help pre-retirees and retirees to ensure their financial independence so they can have a dignified, successful retirement. www.phanchor.com
Entrepreneur Anchor Magazine
Feb/Mar 2011 7
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