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John Amour David Armstrong Alonzo Cantu Alfonso Cavazos Janet Cavazos Enrique Garza Marco Garza Javier Hinojosa Albert Lopez Dr. Arturo Lopez Shavi Mahtani Dr. Teofilo Ozuna Carol Schmitt Danny Smith Andrew Yoo Maggie Yoo

The Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce is a contributing member of Business Adviser Magazine.


GET OUT THE MOST OF YOUR CURRENT CUSTOMER

ANGRY CUSTOMERS WHAT CAN WE DO WITH THEM

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WHAT MAKES A GOOD BOSS?

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EMPLOYEE RETENTION BUILDING COMMITMENT

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BITCOIN: HOW A MAN TURNED $26 INTO $880,000 IN 4 YEARS

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: 9. INCLUDE PRICES IN YOUR ITEMS. 17. BREAKING THE CHAINS. 20. WHY WORKPLACE GIVING AND VOLUNTEERING DRIVES EMPLOYEE

ENGAGEMENT?. 24. THE 7 DEADLY SINS OF BUSINESS PEOPLE. 26. THE GREATER MISSION CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. 28. SIGNIFICANCE OF A WELL-MADE LOGO DESIGN. 31. WHAT IS BLACK FRIDAY?. 32. PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT MYTHS & FACTS. 34. PUBLIC SPEAKING: 9 CHARACTERISTICS OF THE GREATS. 36. ONLY 10% OF QUALIFYING PROJECTS UTILIZE THIS DEDUCTION. 39. CUSTOMER RETENTION. 40. TAX ADVANTAGES OF NEW PROPERTY IN YOUR BUSINESS BEFORE YEAR END. 43. STOP THE REVOLVING DOOR OF EMPLOYEE TURNOVER. 50. HEB FEAST OF SHARING.


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?

What Makes a

These include:

• Including all levels of employees in decision making. • Concentrating on the company’s mission, not just its ability to make money. • Demonstrating the value of learning new skills. • Encouraging employees to advance their careers. • Setting an example of a positive attitude and work ethic.

Assigning Responsibilities

The organization of your small business will be determined by your determination of who should be doing what and when – in other words, assigning tasks and duties to your employees. At the center of any organization are its people and those people have to know what is expected of them in order to perform satisfactorily. Usually a small business will start with a few (maybe even one) person(s) performing all of the day-to-day functions. However, as the business grows it will be necessary to hire others to perform specific roles within the firm. As a manager, you will be required to recognize when new needs emerge and to hire the appropriate personnel to address those needs.

Business Teams

You should not be the only one responsible for the success of your small business. The ultimate in organization is the formation of a business team that allows you to delegate authority and, as a result, increase productivity. Your business team should consist of those employees who are in charge of the major functions of your organization. To be effective, a business team must have a leader that is respected by all of the team members. In return, the leader must respect all of the member’s individual abilities. A team spirit should be evident as each member uses his or her strengths to compensate for the weaknesses of others. Mistakes in the workplace should result in correction not retribution. Each member of a team should realize their own importance to the organization and feel free to explore other areas of activity.

According to Rob Sheehan, director of executive education at the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership at the University of Maryland, “Being a good boss is important in any organization, but it’s particularly important for small business. With smaller businesses, you really have the opportunity to set the tone for the entire company.” There are several characteristics, traits, and attitudes that seem to be prevalent among executives that are viewed as “good bosses” by their employees.

Communication

Tips for Employers Try out a few of the following suggestions:

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Listen. Actually pay attention to what your employees are saying. As simple as this sounds, try this exercise; Tape a conversation then after you have finished communicating, try typing as much as you can of what the other person said. When you are finished, play the tape while reading your notes. See how accurate you’re listening and memory is.

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Designate specific times to meet with your employees one-on-one at least twice a month. Not allowing interruptions during these meetings will convey to them that they have your undivided attention and that you value their input.

3

When changes are going to have to be made in the workplace, let those affected know as soon as possible. Tell them personally and don’t let them find out through the grapevine.

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Let your employees know what you stand for. When they are aware of your value system, they will be able to make better decisions, or at least decisions that will be more pleasing to you.

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Let your employees know how they are doing on a regular basis. Don’t let an employee find out that they are not performing up to your standards at their yearly performance review.

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Improve your public speaking skills. Your credibility with your employees is directly tied to your ability to convey information to them successfully.

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Don’t use e-mail to do your dirty work. Whenever a situation involves strong emotions, it should be dealt with in person.


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Include Prices in Your Items

Consider this situation: A man walking down the street noticed an attractive spring overcoat in a clothier’s window. The material, the cut and everything about the overcoat strikes him right. But there is no price card in the window and even though he wonders what the overcoat’s price is, his interest in the coat is not strong enough to induce him to enter the store and inquire. He is like any other shopper who knows that somewhere along he will see another overcoat just like the one he saw with the price displayed with it. And if this happens, the business who advertised with the price won the customer and the other who did not lost a deal. Keep in mind that money makes the loudest noise in the commercial world. It is the most powerful of all arguments and enticements. That is why prices should be included in every advertisement that aims to sell goods. Think about this: when you see an overcoat or a shirt that you like, the first thing that comes to your mind is “how much?” When this thought is met to your satisfaction with the price tags included in the products, you can immediately invest to you own and perhaps the business’ benefit. The most successful businesses understand the importance of having printed prices. They save the necessity of asking question, thus, they facilitate easy shopping. Aside from having the prices attached to the products in the store, another best place to include them is in the catalog. By and large,

catalogs contain the description of the product, some pictures and the price. Most consumers would request for a catalog before purchasing. When you have a catalog at hand, you will immediately be able to provide your customer what he needs and as a result you will have a successful sale. Understand that a great and unique design is the first that is being noticed in catalogs. Hence, when you are able to create a visually appealing catalog it can speak in behalf of you and your business. In the past, only a few retailers use catalogs to showcase their products. But today, almost all businesses use catalogs to catch the attention of their target customers. Thus, prices are absolutely necessary. Every customer, whether a man, woman or child, wants at first sight to learn the price of goods in which he or she may be interested. And as a business owner you should deliver your advertising in an easy, cultivated manner. The items, arguments and prices will make a better and long lasting impression when delivered in this tone. So, give clear, clever and satisfactory details in your items and never forget your best prices. When you have done this you can rest easy that your adverting is just right.


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Get the Most Out of your current The customers you already have could be your biggest lead source, and you may not even realize it. Think about it this way, every customer you have, most likely has brothers, sisters, parents, cousins, and friends, so why not tap into it. Here are a few ideas to draw leads out of your current customers.

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Whenever you come in contact with one of your customers, give them two of your business cards, and tell them directly that one is for them and the other is so they can refer someone to you. Send them greeting cards on their birthday and on holidays with the same approach, this will keep you in their thoughts and they will be happy you were thinking of them. Once you have closed the sale with a new customer, be sure to send them a thank you to let them know how grateful you are for their business. However, don’t send it to their home, send it to their place of employment. By sending it to their place of employment, all of their co-workers will want to know who sent it and why. So now your customer will be forced to tell all of his co-workers all about you! And don’t forget the business cards.

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Every three months designate some time out of your evening, lets say about an hour or so. Put together a list of customers names that have become new to you in the last three months. Give them a follow up call to see how everything is going, and if they have any questions you could possibly answer for them. While you have them on the phone, inform them of the second reason you are calling, and that would be to see if they had anybody in mind that they could refer to you. If they say no, than thank them and tell them to have a good evening. Don’t say things like “are you sure?” Or “would you like to think about it?” Just thank them and hang up. Believe me, this technique works, for every twenty customers you call, at least one will refer someone to you. Your current customers are by far one of your greatest referral sources, so don’t think of them as statistics only, go after more of their business, and that of their friends and family.

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Employee Retention:

Building Commitment A

committed employee is extraordinarily valuable. You can gain staff commitment by meeting people’s key needs: paying attention to people at all levels; trusting and being trusted; tolerating individuality; and creating a blame-free, can-do culture. But why go through all these? What is the importance of gaining trust and commitment? It all goes down to the fact that when a company gains the trust and commitment of their employees they establish employee retention. And employee retention is vital in establishing a firm foundation as the company proliferates and achieves their goals.

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What Is Employee Retention? Basically, employee retention is all about encouraging the people to commit themselves throughout in the company. Through employee retention, the company is able to lessen the additional expenses of hiring and training new people and at the same time build trust and commitment within coworkers, the result of which is happier, harder working employees.

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The Basics Of Gaining Trust The quality and style of leadership are major factors in gaining employees’ trust and commitment, thereby, initiating employee retention in the long run. Clear decision-making should be coupled with a mutual and emphatic approach. This entails taking people into your confidence and clearly and honestly valuing their contributions. In turn, you gain employee retention. As the boss, you should also

Make yourself as visible as possible.

Show yourself to be approachable. Always be willing to listen to others.

Never ask an employee to do something you would not be willing to do yourself.

Learn to trust those who work for you - trust is a two-way street..

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Sense Of Ownership In The Organization A company can gain trust and commitment and expand their shareholders at the same time by offering employees the opportunity to purchase shares in the company, or better yet, implement a rewards program where shares in the company are offered instead of monies. By letting them feel that they will realize that the success of the company is their success as well, and its downfall is their failure too.

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Pride If your employee takes pride in being a part of the organization or the company, chances are that employee will surely stay for good. Employee retention is achievable when the employee feels good about the work, loves the company, knows that they are in good hands, and takes pride in their work.

Commitment Commitment is the highest form of employee retention. If your employee is already committed to the company by expressing his or her desire to uplift the status of the organization, to boost productivity, and to refurbish mistakes and failures then you can be sure that the employee will stay for good.

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Keep in mind that when employee retention is achieved, the company should, in turn, keep that retention as well by remunerating effectively and expressing appreciation through employee recognition. If this is all incorporated, then, a harmonious relationship between the employee and the company is at hand.

Creating A Strong Sense Of Team Spirit Employee retention can be achieved if you know how to foster a sense of team spirit. If this is achieved, you can be assured that your employees will serve best for the interest of the group and their individual satisfaction as well. Corporate events and challenges between departments (or even between store locations) are examples of how you can foster team spirit.


The Only Way To

Resign

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O

nce you’ve accepted the offer with your new employer and set the start date, obviously the next step is to let your current employer know you’ll be leaving. Write a brief letter of resignation (the operative word there is “brief”).

The first thing you need to know is that a counter offer is NOT - IS NOT - a sincere and genuine statement of their desire to keep you around for as long as you might decide to stay should you change your mind and accept their counter offer.

If you feel a need out of loyalty or guilt to write anything more than a few short sentences, curb it. The only information your letter needs to contain are the following two (possibly three) items: That you are leaving your current company

What you’ve just done by resigning is put the company at a disadvantage. You are creating an opening within the company, and you’ve left your company at a loss. By resigning, you’ve basically said, “I’m not interested in this company any more.” You’ve caused your loyalty to be questioned. You are in control, and they are not.

If you feel comfortable adding a sentence or two about how you enjoyed working for your current company, and you appreciate the opportunity to have been a part of the organization, tack that on

If your boss invites you in for a concerned chat, you’re better off sounding like a broken record - repeating your “thank you” and “my last day is...” than you are involving yourself in what appears to be a caring conversation about your ensuing future.

What your last date of employment will be, and,

It should NOT include: Why you are leaving

Where you are going

What you will be doing in your new position

How much you will be making when you get there

How bad you feel about leaving (or conversely, how glad you are to be going!) Make an appointment with your boss and hand deliver the letter. Tell him verbally the same words that your letter says, because the face-to-face is courteous and professional, while the letter is a formality for record of your employment. And be prepared for one of three things to happen. Either your boss will professionally acknowledge your resignation, say how sorry he is to have you go, and shake your hand, or he will become very silent - just before he asks you what it would take to keep you. Or quite possibly, he’ll do the former, and you’ll be asked to another meeting later so that he can find out what it will take to keep you. If your company is truly professional, you’ll resign, shake hands, and that will be that. But it doesn’t always go down that way, which takes us into the second way to resign, which actually is in danger of not being a resignation at all. It only starts out that way.

It doesn’t matter what you want or what you ask for, because they’ll give it to you - in one form or another - or possibly offer you something tasty before you even speak up. After they’ve lulled and flattered you into submission, and as you walk out the door smiling, they’re calling the newspaper or a recruiter and ordering up a confidential replacement.


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Breaking

!

THE CHAINS E

veryday, customers and business owners are bombarded with billboards, logos, print and electronic ads from huge corporations. With annual ad budgets that are more than our businesses’ SALES in an entire year, our small independent businesses are getting squeezed out of consumers minds (and wallets) more and more each year. But the good news is, there are ways to fight back and “break the chains”: Build that website and perfect your online presence. The Internet is one place where, compared to print and other forms of electronic media, the playing field is relatively level. A website filled with loads of great content will be loved by the search engines like Google and Yahoo!, and because of that, customers that may not even know where you are can find you and buy online. If you own a retail store, start an e-store. If you own a restaurant or a service-related business, offer a gift certificate or printable coupon. Starting a mailing list on your website with the latest news, events and special offers is a great way to get (and keep) loyal, regular customers. The options are endless, and best of all, content is the Internet king, not slick, flashy, repetitive advertising. If you aren’t comfortable with all things Internet, there are many companies that are, and can help you with web design, web hosting, search engine optimization, and web marketing. Join (or start) a co-op or business association. “Strength in Numbers” is more than a catchy phrase, it is becoming a necessity in our current business climate. Trade organizations can purchase products together to get better rates and buys, they can

advertise together with direct mail coupons and newsletters (another big money saver), and they carry more political clout by appointing representatives to call on state legislatures or even Congress in order to promote legislation favorable to small independent businesses. If your area doesn’t have a trade organization, or does but you feel it doesn’t meet your needs, start one! The National Federation of Independent Business is a great resource with representatives in all fifty states and Washington D.C. Advertising is not cheap, because the prices that the large corporations are willing to pay for it have priced it out of the reach of most small businesses. This is not necessarily a bad thing; let them have all of the cold, impersonal, beat you over the head repetitive advertising! People only care about this on Super Bowl Sunday anyway! Always go for the personal touch. If you own a restaurant or retail store, introduce yourself. Let them know you appreciate them coming by, and you can’t wait to see them again. Always offer coupons or incentives, and be as unique, creative and memorable as you possibly can. Remember that “word of mouth” advertising is so great you can’t put a price tag on it. Put yourself in the customers shoes, and stay there! Don’t ever do what you want; do what they want. Don’t just market your business, market yourself. It leaves an impression, and with the sorry state of customer service today in most (chain) businesses, people won’t forget it!

Remember, you are an independent business because you wanted to do something new or different, so promote yourself accordingly. Here’s to you “breaking the chains” and becoming successful with your chosen endeavor.


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Why Workplace Giving and Volunteering Drives

Employee Engagement? by Marco Garza

As we enter the fast approaching holiday season, many companies contemplate giving to local charities through donations of time, money or both. A company that has a structured giving and volunteering program can have a profound timpact on employee engagement. A handful of successful companies have already found rewards for engaging with the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley located in Pharr, Texas.

“We’ve had companies like TJ Maxx, Chase Bank and Starbucks not only give monetary donations to the Food Bank RGV, but engage their employees in volunteering opportunities with our special events division,” Omar I. Rodriguez, Mgr. of Communications & Advocacy, said. “They have found many advantages to employee engagement that have a number of valuable intangibles.” A recent report from Realized Worth provides some scientific insight into why this works and challenges some of the traditional approaches to employee engagement and retention.

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hat we have recently discovered is that increases in salary, while effective, may not be the only motivation employers can use for retaining strong employees. It is human nature to define ourselves within the broader context of our communities. Providing employees with opportunities to connect with the community and give back through workplace activities supports their need to feel like an active community participant and strengthens their commitment to the organization.

Finding a Place in the Community The term, it’s better to give than to receive may be true! This concept is known as prosocial behavior, a set of voluntary actions taken by an individual intended to benefit another. We engage in this when we share, donate time, or volunteer. Prosocial behavior is also how we have managed to survive as a species throughout evolution. Helping one another and caring for a broader community is one of the ways that civilizations have thrived. People have developed an evolutionary need to know who they are within their communities and what they can do to help their community improve. Workplace giving and volunteering activities help employees to make sense of their place within the organization in a positive manner. This reinforces that they aren’t just part of the faceless masses toiling away for a corporate mission. Instead, they are part of a larger, movement based on values, social justice, and giving. These feelings brought on by workplace philanthropy help employees see their com-

pany in a new light. When they recognize that they are working for a company with a broader mission to help the community at large, it strengthens their commitment to the organization and nurtures feelings of company pride and loyalty.

Driving Employee Engagement While engagement might be new for management, you’ll find that your employees may already have years of volunteering experiences that you can draw upon. In fact, many employees in Fortune 500 companies actually drive management towards worthwhile causes. But bear in mind the capacity of the charity. Many don’t have the capacity to utilize 40-50 volunteers like the Food Bank RGV. Do your homework and find out if the charity is a good fit logistically and philosophically. Remember, if your employees are congealing, getting motivated and having fun doing it, there’s no need in forcing the issue. Philanthropic activities help build employee engagement by strengthening four key areas: Productivity: An engaged worker is a more productive worker. Employees become more engaged with their team as they all work toward a common goal. This drives down absenteeism and apathy while driving up productivity and employee satisfaction. Ethical Behavior: As employees engage in altruistic endeavors, they develop a personal identity that leads to more ethical decision making. Working ethically becomes a part of


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the corporate culture.

Employee Volunteer Grants

Gratitude: When companies give employees the opportunity to give back to the community, they feel a sense of gratitude to the organization for giving them this chance, and this strengthens their emotional connection with their employer.

Volunteer grant programs are charitable giving programs created by corporations in which the company provides a monetary donation to eligible nonprofits as a way to recognize employees who volunteer.

Pride: When employees feel proud about the work they do with giving back to the community, this sense of pride is transferred back to the company. Corporate pride ties in directly with the employee engagement equation.

Turning Science Into Action If you don’t already have a workplace giving or volunteering program, the first step is to implement one. If you are interested, please contact Maggie Yoo at Business Advisor Magazine, and from the Food Bank RGV; Brenda Perez, Manager of Development, or Omar I. Rodriguez, Manager of Communication & Advocacy. They can help you get started with setting up a new program or reinvigorating your existing program.

Workplace Giving Programs Options Employee Matching Gifts Corporate matching gift programs are charitable giving programs created by corporations in which the company matches donations made by employees to eligible nonprofit organizations

Two types of volunteer grants: Individual volunteer grants - These are grants that individual employees earn for a nonprofit after meeting certain volunteer thresholds. For instance, if a company awards grants after an employee volunteers fifty hours with an organization. In many cases, companies also offer programs where they recognize a few employees each year who exemplify corporate volunteerism. Team volunteer grants - Companies create an incentive for employees to organize joint team building / volunteer events. In these cases, companies offer a donation to nonprofits where the team volunteers.

Employer Benefits:

Employee Benefits:

Sends a strong message that the organization is interested in engaging employees.

Employees are able to give back to their community

Helps build a sense of community among the workforce.

Able to help others

Workplace giving is another demonstration of being a good community citizen and helps improve an employer’s image locally and among key stakeholders. Employees look favorably on their employer for conducting a charitable giving campaign. Provides opportunities for employee involvement and team-building experiences. Effective tool to improve employee morale, relations, and retention. Depending on the non-profit, company may receive public exposure (get their name/ brand out into the community.)

The campaign is an opportunity to provide exposure to charities and the services they offer in the community. The campaign provides a one-stop charitable giving opportunity to employees. Break from their traditional ‘workplace’ environment, assigned tasks. Employees continue to value the ease and convenience of payroll deduction


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The 24

# 2 ENVY

This is a very destructive sin. It has to do with jealousy and malice. It is perverted love. To feel envy is to love other people’s things, status, skills, character, luck, etc; but this love is obsessive. You want that which other people have and you want it badly. If you can’t get it, then you start hating the people that have that which you want. When it comes to envy, there is no limit. People can envy anything and everything. Individuals that have this tendency imagine things about others which aren’t true. It is hard to deal with them, because they feel bad about you already. They may think that you don’t deserve what you have. They see ghosts in other people that aren’t real. They judge and criticize without reason. They resent your prosperity. This tendency is associated with the desire to see others fail and come to harm. Often when you feel envy, you also feel that person who is awakening those feelings, deserves to be punished. You perceive that somehow they hurt you in an invisible way, but you don’t have prove or reason enough to fight against them and that makes you even angrier. You just want to fight or get rid off these fastidious people. You want to put them down. The envious individual believes that others are too proud of themselves. They can not stand proud people. The funny thing is that many haters, are also very proud of themselves, which makes it even harder for them to cooperate with others. They want to have what other people have and they want it now. They suffer because of this. They can not resist the prosperity that others receive. The truly envious person seeks the harm of others. Their pleasure is to see other people’s fail. If you feel envy for someone, anything that person does to you, to bother you, will be magnified several hundreds or thousands of times. Anything that person does to you, to help you, will be seen with suspicious eyes. You believe the person you envy is evil. If they help you in some way, you may feel bad about it. Why would they want to truly help you, if they are evil, right? They are scum. They have everything made up for them and you have nothing while you have to work a lot for the pittance that you get. Can you see how this tendency gets you far away from prosperity? Instead of focusing on building your own wealth, you spend time thinking, judging, criticizing and telling defamations about the people you envy. You spend time unproductively and you reap what you sow. Then you don’t get what you want. In fact you put it far away. The Bible says: “Do not covet your neighbor’s house, do not covet your

deadly sins neighbor’s wife . . . nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” One of the reasons people steal is because they feel envy of others. They want what other people have, they can’t get it by other means, so they just steal it. There are some things that can’t be stolen though, like an individuals’ character, age, luck and intelligence. I think this makes the jealous person even more jealous, because they know that they won’t be able to steal those things. The haters cannot love. They are angry, sad, frustrated. Based on this fact, the thing they hate the most is to see the person they hate happy. If they perceive that despite their efforts, you keep on loving other people, everything you do and you are joyous in life, they will feel like dying. Remember that envy is an unjustifiable desire to harm others. When someone feels envy, the only justification for this desire to do evil is that they want other people’s stuff and they can’t have it, so they hate the people because of this. Envy is undistinguishable from pride at times, because to feel envy you must compare yourself to others. Then you say: “He/she has something that I don’t have. I want it, and I want it badly! I don’t care about working for it. I just want it! Why does he/she has it and I can’t get it? This makes me so mad. I will change my mind. I will work twice as hard to get it, and if I still can’t


of business people get it, then I will hate them to death.” As you can see, envy is competitive. If you do not compare to others and you feel happy with what you have, you do not need to covet other people’s stuff. Also, keep in mind that other kind of envy arise completely out of fear. It happens when you are above, in a high position or situation and you don’t want others to reach you there. In this case you fear that they take your place, so you envy their sudden prosperity. The point with envy is that the hate it produces have no justification. You can envy other people’s prosperity even if you are more prosperous than they are. Now, let’s talk about how you can apply all this knowledge to your business. Let’s start by saying that you can not completely block the envy that people feel for you. You can drastically reduce it though by implementing some procedures. Do not show off! Live a normal life without trying to pretend to be better than others. If you are wealthy, enjoy your wealth. Do not hide it and fear that you would offend somebody. Fear will arise other negative tendencies within you. Enjoy your wealth, but do not flaunt it. If you are truly wealthy, you won’t need to seek other people’s envy, they will envy you anyway. If you like jewelry, buy jewelry. Now for example, let’s say that you just purchased a new ring and went to a party with your business partners. It is a very expensive ring and you decide to start showing off. So, you put your hand

in such a way that everybody sees the diamond and says: “Wow I want that diamond!”; Do you get the point? Even if you are humble, some people would still want the diamond, but by not showing off you will reduce the envy other’s feel for you. The same with everything else: your house, your car, your business, your profits. Some people show off because they fear to be inferior. They want to intimidate. In my opinion showing off is a sign of immaturity, excessive pride and weakness. Now, it is important that you don’t let other people rip you off. As a strong business person you don’t have to contemplate any kind of injustice. Do not argue with liars. Send them out. Stay away. Resist evil people and they will desist and leave. You are not supposed to give anybody what you need for your own support and maintenance. The example that I show above works better with people that are not asking you for anything. They may show obvious signs of envy, but they do not request anything from you. They just resent that they can’t have your stuff. There is a stereotype about wealthy people. Once you are rich, people automatically tend to think you are selfish and greedy. This is specially true for those who tend to envy others. It is often better to share your stuff with people who have not requested anything from you; with people that do not try to trick you, deceive you, lie to you, ask from you, etc. If you realize that you feel envy for some people (you hate them without reason), you may find the following technique useful. Do something for them. Do something that really, from the bottom of your heart, can be interpreted as a truly act of love. Let’s say that you envy an employee because he seems smarter than you while you are the business owner. Do something for that employee to help increase his/her knowledge or intelligence. If you envy your friend because he has a house and you have none, offer him to cut the grass on his backyard for free. Do the same with everything else you feel envy for. Love defeats envy many times over! If you read the other articles on this series, you will realize that the common characteristic behind this negative tendencies is: selfishness. If you are absolved with yourself, you will show one or more of these tendencies on your daily actions. The solution is to live a less selfish lifestyle. By changing your attitude, you may change the outcome of your actions. You may be amazed at the results and you will feel happier and successful.

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The Greater Mission

Chamber of

Business Adviser : A Fresh Approach to Chamber News

George Myers

ith a fresh approach, fresh design and fresh content, The Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce has joined forces with one of the premiere business publications in South Texas to bring you the Business Adviser, our new monthly magazine.

George Myers serves as President & CEO of the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce.

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Each month, you’ll receive a new issue packed business advise news about our members, upcoming events and programs. It’s a great opportunity to get know some of your fellow Chamber members a little better. Members, we invite you to send us news about your business to include in upcoming issues. We are looking for information on new hires and promotions, ribbon cuttings/grand openings, awards and accomplishments, upcoming community events and other news about your business. We also want to know what types of stories you want to see. Email your news and feedback to us at info@badviser.net

Prior to becoming President & CEO of the Chamber, Myers was Director of Sales and Marketing for Hunt Valley Development where he developed strategies for the sales and marketing efforts of Sharyland Plantation, one of the largest master-planned developments on the Texas-Mexico border. Before joining Hunt, he was responsible for the leasing, facility management and administration of the JP Morgan Chase Bank real estate portfolio located in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Additionally, he has held several management and marketing positions with shopping mall developer, Simon Property Group. He holds a BBA in Marketing as well as an MBA from the University of Texas-Pan American.


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About the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce The Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce works to improve the areas economic environment and quality of life by providing programs and services which stimulate economic growth, promote business prosperity, nurture educational opportunities and serve the best interests of the community. At the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce place a considerable amount of focus and attention on satisfying our members, a practice that continues to be the pinnacle benchmark of the Mission Chamber’s success. This includes: Holding quality networking events, mixers and learning workshops. Continuing to be a strong advocate for business interests through our lobbying efforts with local, state and federal elected officials And most importantly, everything that we do is done with one primary question in mind. Is what we are doing creating value for our members and for our community? A great example of that will be our revamped Go Mission Campaign which will co-inside with both the streetscape project and the MEDC’s downtown façade improvement program. Its primary objectives will be to create awareness and drive traffic to the merchants in the new and improved Downtown Mission…and to generate increased sales tax revenues. At the heart of every great city is an active and thriving downtown and The Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce is 100% committed to doing our part to ensure that the Mission streetscape project is a huge success. One thing I can assure you of is that the Mission Chamber has never been more member-focused, more visible or more active. Find out more about what the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce can do for your business at 956.585.2727 or at www.missionchamber.com.


28

Significance of

Well-made Logo Designs

P

rior to start designing your print materials, websites or choosing for the appropriate colors and designs you need a logo. Logos are considered to be a significant element in developing your materials for it features your companies name and are designed with an inflated color and few graphic touches. Additionally they are important designs because it is the basis for all your packaging materials including – stationery, promotional materials, signage and packaging.

In making your company recognized in the market you can gratify to have a chance in making notable impressions. Your targeted potential customers can immediately form an impression may it be positive or negative about your business within seconds. Corporate identity logos are extremely an influential for it is the first thing that customers are able to see immediately. Once your customers became familiar of the logo or the identity that your company has for sure they can immediately give an impression that will boost the companies standing. A well made corporate identity logos design incorporates simple, recognizable and affectivity that conveys a desired message to the public. Mainly in designing them each aspect should be well detailed and carefully analyzed in order to rightfully communicate the message. Sequentially the significance of having a well-made logo designs helps business to impart a good standing in market. The unique and original designs created mark a good identity that would keep in the minds of the customers. Primarily with its impressive and sole identity it would help your company to turn out visitors into potential clients. And mainly by just simply observing your surroundings you can indeed tell that competition is everywhere. Businesses are vying for recognition and as well as gaining their customers attention. Businesses are competitive enough and are working to make means and ways in order to meet the needs in the market. And through the help of a well made logo designs or corporate identity logos businesses are able to stand out among their competitors. So therefore in order to attain and success a logo should always be primary tool that should be given of attention. For it is through this medium that you will be able to attain recognition and success.


30

Angry customers what can we do with them

“You are the worst company I have bought from!” - writes the client. Oops, bossss! What should I write back? It is very hard to select words when some of your customers is angry and complains about your company. All is well when it ends well. And until it ends be sure not to panic; no matter how bad it looks. Your customers only want you to do your best when they complain. They can see things that you might miss and every complaint will give you insight on how to improve your business. Here are some tips of handling with complains:

Be empathetic and come them down

Do not defend yourself

Which means that you should acknowledge the person’s feelings (you don’t have to agree with them to do that). For example, you can say: “I understand how upsetting that might be...”

You will surely want to say something to defend yourself - don’t! Getting defensive will never help. The issue is not about who is right, it is about helping a disappointed customer and keeping their repeated purchases.

Make commitments

Make some offer before they ask for refund

Only that way the customer is assured that something will be done in a precise time interval. You have to state your actions clearly, for example: “Our

team will come to your place tomorrow at 15:00”.

Do more Every company can do things the regular way. We are sure you can come up with something more. After all, the complaining customer only wants you to be better, and you can use this interaction to prove that you can.

That’s what most of your customers say in cases of dissatisfaction: “We want our money back”. But that is the least you want, because it leaves your customer disappointed in your company. You will have to be cleverer and offer them something of a value for their trouble and time before they ask a refund.

Take responsibility No matter whether you are guilty for the complaint or not, you still represent your company. Therefore, you should take the “blame”. By doing that, you emphasize the company’s trustworthiness and reliability. If you can’t handle the issue alone, be sure to hand the customer off in a classy manner.

Follow up Check back with them after some period. Phone them up or e-mail them and ask if they need anything else and if the arrangement you made works properly. That way you show them that you care and can also trigger word-of-mouth referrals.

At the end, let’s use the statistics as a guide: it shows that about seven out of ten complaining guests will do business with you again if you resolve the complaint in their favor.


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What is

?

BLACK FRIDAY

B

lack Friday is the day that follows Thanksgiving, in most cases it is regarded as the beginning of the Christmas season shopping. This year black Friday will be on November the 29th. In years before, most major retailers have opened extremely early and offered promotional sales to kick off the holiday shopping season. Black Friday is not a federal holiday, but to some people believe it should be. Many individuals have both Thanksgiving and the day after off. This in turn increases the number of potential shoppers. Based on Black Friday sales last year, most Black Friday sales will start earlier on Thanksgiving and extend later throughout the weekend and into Cyber Monday. It has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year. For many years, it was common for retailers to open at 6:00 a.m., but lately it seems like 5:00 or even 4:00 is the norm. This was taken to a new extreme, when several retailers open their doors at midnight. Black Friday shopping is known for attracting aggressive crowds, with annual reports of assaults, shootings, and numerous number of people trampling on others in an attempt to get the best deal on a product before the stores run out. Here is a couple of tips before going out there and mingling with the crowds.

1 2

Do your research. — scan all of the circulars .

Pay in plastic. Plenty of credit cards have price protection policies, which means they’ll offer a refund if an item’s price is lowered within a certain timeframe of when you purchased it.

3 4

Stay up late on Turkey Day. get out there at mid night.

Make a plan. The big box stores that are outside a city center are less likely to be as mobbed so consider heading a little bit out of town.

5

Bring circulars to other stores. Say there’s a hot price on a TV, but your best friend dragged you to a different store. Bring along the flyer— even a snapped photo of it on your

phone will do. Many retailers will match the price for the different store.

6

Follow your favorites. Become FB friends with the stores you like best, or follow them on Twitter. This year many spots will be sending out last-minute deals and coupons via social media. Customers flocked in to early store openings on Thanksgiving day to scoop up “doorbuster” deals. About 139.4 million adults visited stores websites over the 4-day weekend, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation in 2012. Total spending over the four-day weekend reached a record $59.1 billion, a 13% increase from $52.4 billion last year, according to the NRF. But not everyone wanted to

wait in line. Online sales soared more than 17% on the Thursday of Thanksgiving, followed by a nearly 21% increase on Friday over last year, according to IBM Benchmark. Sales made from mobile devices climbed by 16%, with more than 24% of consumers using mobile devices to visit a retailer’s website. I know exactly where I will be on November the 29th at midnight. In the crowds fighting for the bargains that I can’t get any other time of the year. I will though pick the places and the items that I will purchase very carefully. I am going to make sure there is plenty of product to go around and the price is worth it. If not I will just leave them for the next person in line.


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Myth: Performance is the sole responsibility of management.

Fact: The most successful individuals take

responsibility for their own growth and manage their own performance. After all, most people no longer work for one company or one department for their entire lives. Individuals are usually the only ones with intimate understanding of their career goals, progress, and learning. It makes sense that people should be accountable for their performance. That said, often people can’t see themselves objectively. Managers help by providing direction and feedback throughout the year. At the same time, people receive performance feedback from customers, peers, and partners. The most successful performance management systems involve and take into account all perspectives: those from managers, performers, customers, peers, and partners.

Myth: It’s important to lock in goals at

the beginning of the year and hold people accountable for them.

Fact: Adaptability is a new part of the performance management process. For years, companies were satisfied with identifying goals at the beginning of the year and then reviewing them at year end. The world has

evolved. It’s likely for markets to shift, new competitors to emerge, and priorities to change during the course of a year. Adaptability is important in this world. Performance management systems must have the flexibility and adaptability to evolve along with changing circumstances. That said, new goals needn’t be written every month. Instead, organizations strong in performance management identify overarching strategic priorities that remain in place while supporting goals and activities adjust. These strategic priorities create consistency amidst chaos and provide a beacon for employees to follow even as they adapt their individual priorities to fit the environment.

Myth: Performance management works

best when it focuses solely on the individual.

Fact: Ideally, individual contributors

should be able to trace their own goals to department goals to division goals and up to corporate goals. The best performance management systems link individual and organizational goals clearly. These cascading goal systems help ensure that the organization is entirely aligned and focused on its overarching strategies and priorities.

Myth: Performance management happens when setting goals at the beginning of the year and when reviewing performance at

the end of the year.

Fact: Performance management works most

successfully when it is integrated into daily work. The best performance managers solicit, give, and receive feedback constantly. After all, if people aren’t doing what they need to do, isn’t it better that they find out quickly so they can change?

Myth: Performance management always focuses on the individual.

Fact: Innovative performance management

systems include groups or teams by creating goals that require staff to collaborate in order to achieve results. Team goals help individuals think more holistically about the needs of the organization and its customers. While team goals can be complex and difficult to achieve, they have the potential to bring much value to an organization.

Myth: Performance management is primarily an administrative task.

Fact: There’s a portion of performance

management that is administrative: logging performance review information into an online tracking system and completing performance review documentation. However, the best companies take performance management way beyond administration. At its most effective, performance management


Performance Management

Myths & Facts is an ongoing, dynamic interplay between performers, managers, and goals. Performers work to clarify goals, create action plans, and execute. Managers help by letting performers know when they are off track. Goals evolve in response to changing environmental conditions, causing managers and performers to adjust. All three-performers, managers, and goals-evolve throughout the year as people learn what it really takes to achieve corporate objectives.

Myth: High performers are best left alone to achieve their goals without interference.

Fact: High performers need attention. All

too often, managers spend their time and energy on their lowest performers. This can be a mistake. High performers are most likely to become stars-and those most likely to be wooed away by competitors. To keep high performers challenged and happy, good managers spend time talking with high performers about their career goals and how the company can help achieve them. They also help high performers grow through stretch goals, mentoring assignments for junior staff, and special projects.

Myth: The best thing to do with low performers is to show them the door.

Fact: While there certainly can be a misfit

between performers and organizations, it’s

a mistake to jump to the conclusion that low performers no longer fit in the organization. Before making that decision, consider these questions: Are the performance problems recent or part of ongoing patterns? If the problems are recent, there may be logical reasons for problems that can be resolved. For example, the performers may lack clarity about expectations. Perhaps they shifted to new positions that don’t capitalize on the performers’ strengths. Or there could be process bottlenecks getting in the way of success. Taking the time to investigate the problems can help save the time, energy, and cost of releasing employees that could become a high performer. Are the performers willing to learn and change? If the performers are willing to hear feedback and improve, chances are that it is worth helping them. Positive attitudes and willingness to learn are invaluable. If low performers have these qualities, they probably can overcome their performance issues. Myth: Performance management is easy. Fact: Performance management is a skill that takes time to build and refine. There are many resources out there to help build performance management skills: books, training courses, association events, and company advisors such as HR staff and senior managers.

About UniueHR UniqueHR serves as a trusted HR partner to growing businesses, helping them to contain costs, minimize employer-related risks, relieve administrative burden, and keep focused on their core business functions. From routine employee benefits service and payroll processing to high-level human capital consulting, UniqueHR expertise is integrated with every facet of a client’s organization. Its solutions specialize in serving fast-moving companies in fields such as retail, tourism, healthcare, and services, who recognize that keeping employment cont contained will keep their business growing.

33


34

9 1

Solid Content. Even a person lacking charismatic gifts can develop solid content. Always share something the audience finds valuable to their lives.

4 5

PUBLIC SPEAKING:

Characteristics Of The Greats There’s more to speaking than sharing a few words. Here are the top nine characteristics of public speakers that you can use too

2

Humorous. It’s hard to hate someone you laugh with. The best speakers find a way to get people smiling early in the program. It opens hearts and makes the group receptive. You don’t have to be hilarious, just humorous

Approachable. Some speakers try to get in and get out as fast as possible, but the audience likes to know the speaker is available an approachable. One of the best ways to make a good impression is to get to the event early and meet people as they come in.

Authenticity. It’s said that honest arrogance is preferred over false humility. We all want to know people are being honest with us and that what we see is what we get. Be true to yourself and others by being the same around everyone. That way you don’t feel like one person in front of an audience and another person at other times.

8

6

Growing. Great speakers continue to grow in the knowledge and application of the craft. They don’t rest when reaching a particular level. Instead they continue to stretch and become better.

Natural. Last night I actually watched BookSpan for the first time. I’ve flipped by before and mostly viewed it as a cure for insomnia. However, Walter Isaacson author of Benjamin Franklin An American Life was speaking. Having read the book I wanted to see how well he presented the material. He did a great job. I got the impression that he would be the same off the podium as he was in front of the microphone. A great example of natural expression.

9

3

Organized. There’s no excuse for rambling through a presentation. Have your notes structured in way that keeps you on pace and on target. Listeners should feel they received a message that made sense and was easy to remember.

7

Giving. The best in this profession give without expecting return. Most big name speakers give anonymously to the charities and organizations they cherish. This giving attitude in private creates warmth and welcome in public.

Passionate. Speaking transfers energy with words. The more passion passes through the message the greater the chance of it being remembered and applied. No one has ever said, “I sure hope the speaker is boring.” Instead they like to say things like, “Wow! She sure was excited about her message.”


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10% On ly

36

of qualifying projects utilize this deduction...

DON’T MISS OUT! Due to the increased cost of energy, the dependence on foreign oil, and the environmental impact of current energy use, companies have elevated the concept of “Going Green” to the Top of their agenda. This “Green” focus is also being followed by the government which is using tax incentives to drive corporate, and public behavior. Here’s the IRS Energy Efficiency Tax Deduction: Energy-efficient commercial business deduction (Section 179D) Businesses can deduct up to $1.80 per square foot of space in new or existing buildings where they install interior lighting, HVAC or hot water systems, or building envelope property that reduces power use to 50 percent compared to a reference building. A $0.60 per square foot deduction is available for certain lesser reductions. Certification is required and the provision expires for property placed in service after 2013. You may qualify for these incentives TODAY. Remember project must be completed by December 31, 2013. Take advantage of this deduction and upgrade your lighting, with enviro-friendly LED Lighting.”Going Green” can be great for the Environment and Your Pocket! Here are 5 more reasons to make the switch to enviro-friendly, high efficiency LED Lighting:

1

Energy savings: LED lights use 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs and as much as 75% less than Fluorescent and HID lights and their ballasts.

2 3

Current incandescent and some fluorescent lights are being phased out by 2014.

ment.

5

LED lights are mercury and lead free- safer for you and the environ-

By switching to low energy LED lighting you can help reduce the Carbon Footprint.

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The Average life span of LED lights is 50,000+ hours. Longer life span equals lower maintenance and replacement costs!

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Bitcoin: 37

How a man turned $26 into $880,000 in 4 years

T

he online world never ceases to amaze us. A great example of this is the cryptocurrency called Bitcoin. If you’ve never heard of the term “cryptocurrency” or “Bitcoin”, welcome to the future. A cryptocurrency essentially means a decentralized currency that is internet-based and takes no physical form such as coins or bills. It is a digital currency that, as weird as it sounds, is challenging how we see today’s world currencies. Back in 2008, an unknown person which adopted the pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto” published a paper describing what would one year later become the Bitcoin protocol on the internet. The real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto has never been revealed, although there are some groups that speculate it was not a single person, but an organization which created this currency. Bitcoins, due to their online-based nature, are somewhat difficult to understand. However, here’s my best attempt at giving a compacted, brief summary of what they are and how they work. Essentially, the Bitcoin currency works like any other currency (or stock), in the way that every Bitcoin is worth “x” amount of US dollars at any given time, which varies by simple supply and demand rules. Bitcoins are stored in Bitcoin Wallets, which could be online-based or local based like in your iPhone or laptop. Being a decentralized currency, there is no governing entity involved and transactions are 100% peer-to-peer. There are no regulations and the Bitcoin system automatically regulates the amount of Bitcoins being generated to allow for a stable currency. This

sounds like a scam, but I assure you it is not. Such is the story of a Norwegian man, who purchased a total of 150 kroner ($26.60) in 5,000 Bitcoins back in 2009. This man’s name is Kristoffer Koch, who discovered the cryptocurrency while writing a thesis on encryption. Fast-forward four years, and his already forgotten investment of $26.60, totaling 5,000 Bitcoins, are worth a little over $880,000 in today’s Bitcoins value ($216). Talk about ROI! If you’re getting excited over reading this and want to rush over and purchase some Bitcoins, not so fast. Understanding exactly how this digital currency works, its history and the latest trends is essential in making a smart investment in the Bitcoin world. I personally know of a couple of friends which turned 4 figure investments into 6 figures overnight simply by investing in the currency while the 2012-2013 Cypriot financial crisis was at its peak. However, I have other peers which have lost massively, especially recently in April of 2013, when the price of Bitcoins fell from $266 to only $76 in a single day. It later went back up and stabilized to $160 within 6 hours, but that’s still a hefty depreciation. If you’re still interested in finding out more on Bitcoins, the largest Bitcoins Exchange website today is MtGox.com, where you can see daily prices, including daily highs and lows. You can also keep updated in the latest trends in the online world at my company’s blog at www.amartec.com/blog


39

A

customer Retention

re your customers coming in and going out like they’re in a revolving door?? Are you a shining, new star in your industry, or are you just the flavor of the week? Customer Retention is how you can answer these questions, and it is a vital part of any business. After spending time, money, and effort to acquire a client, how long will this customer\client choose to do business with your company? This is an important question to ask yourself. But even more important to ask is, “what am I willing to do to keep my customer?”

B

usiness, just like life, is comprised of relationships. Our relationships with family and friends are especially important to us because they are what make life worth the living. With that, our business is how we feed and support our families. Therefore, it makes the people involved in your business just as vital to your success. Relationships are valuable and should not be easily discarded. If you plan on being successful, you must appreciate the people that choose to work with you. Like any marriage, a relationship takes work and dedication. Things don’t always go as planned. There will be rough spots. How should you handle the pressure and maximize the retention of these relationships and your success? First, you must always be truthful and forthcoming. Integrity is the primary ingredient and most dominating characteristic of successful people, and it is much needed to keep any working relationship healthy. Second, you must be keep the lines of communication open.

Third, be willing to exhaust every avenue at your disposal to keep your customers happy. Fight for your relationships. Be willing to give and not simply receive. Working relationships are two way streets, not my-ways and highways. Last, don’t lose your cool if it doesn’t work out. They will be back. Humans and animals alike seem to believe the grass is always greener on the other side. Its cliché, but true. However, if you can keep your cool when losing a customer and maintain that friendship, with time, they will return.


40

Tax Advantages of New Property in Your Business before Year End Bonus Depreciation This provision extends the current 50 percent expensing provision for qualifying property purchased and placed in service before January 1, 2014. This means that for qualifying property, ½ of the cost will be expensed in the year new equipment is purchased and put into use. You can make an election to not have bonus depreciation taken. For assets placed in service in 2012 or 2013, the first-year limit on the total section 179 deduction, special depreciation allowance, and depreciation deduction for cars and light duty trucks and vans increases to $11,160 ($3,160 if you elect not to claim the special depreciation allowance).

Section 179 Expense This provision increases the maximum amount in 2012 and 2013 to $500,000 that a taxpayer may elect to expense annually with the phase-out threshold of $2 million. This proposal expires at the end of 2013, after which the amounts revert to $25,000 and $200,000, respectively. To qualify for the section 179 deduction, your property must have been

acquired for use in your trade or business. Property acquired only for the production of income, such as investment property, rental property (if renting property is not your trade or business), and property that produces royalties, does not qualify. Within the thresholds mentioned above, the proposal would also allow a taxpayer to expense up to $250,000 of the cost of qualified leasehold improvement property, qualified restaurant property, and qualified retail improvement property. Qualified leasehold improvement property. Generally, this is any improvement to an interior part of a building (placed in service before January 1, 2014) that is nonresidential real property, if all the following requirements are met. The improvement is made under or according to a lease by the lessee (or any sublessee) or the lessor of that part of the building. That part of the building is to be occupied exclusively by the lessee (or any sublessee) of that part. The improvement is placed in service more than 3 years after the date the building was first placed in service by any person. The improvement is section 1250 property.

However, a qualified leasehold improvement does not include any improvement for which the expenditure is attributable to any of the following. The enlargement of the building. An elevator or escalator. Any structural component benefitting a common area. The internal structural framework of the building.


41

Carol Schmitt If you are considering buying equipment for your business you need to be aware of the tax benefits available for the 2013 year. The American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) of 2012 (signed into law on January 2, 2013) extended many of the incentives for businesses through the end of 2013. Some of the provisions extended are 50% Bonus Depreciation, Section 179 expense, and favorable recovery periods for qualified property.

Generally, a binding commitment to enter into a lease is treated as a lease and the parties to the commitment are treated as the lessor and lessee. However, a lease between related persons is not treated as a lease. Qualified restaurant property. Qualified restaurant property is any section 1250 property that is a building or an improvement to a building placed in service after December 31, 2008, and before January 1, 2014. Also, more than 50% of the building’s square footage must be devoted to preparation of meals and seating for on-premise consumption of prepared meals. Qualified retail improvement property. Generally, this is any improvement (placed in service after December 31, 2008, and before January 1, 2014) to an interior portion of nonresidential real property if it meets the following requirements.

1

The portion is open to the general public and is used in the retail trade or business of selling tangible property to the general public.

2

The improvement is placed in service more than 3 years after the date the building was

first placed in service. The expenses are not for the enlargement of the building, any elevator or escalator, any structural components benefiting a common area, or the internal structural framework of the building.

3

Favorable Recovery Periods 15-year straight-line cost recovery for qualified leasehold improvements, qualified restaurant buildings and improvements, and qualified retail improvements. The bill extends for two years, through 2013, the temporary 15-year cost recovery period for certain improvements (leasehold, restaurant, and retail) and new restaurant buildings which are placed in service before January 1, 2014. The extension is effective for qualified property placed in service after December 31, 2011. Seven-year recovery period for motorsports entertainment complexes. The bill extends for two years, through 2013, the special seven-year cost recovery period for property used for land improvements and support facilities at motorsports entertainment complexes.

Planning If you are a business owner, you have to make decisions to provide for adequate cash flow for your business. The effects of the above mentioned provisions of the ATRA of 2012 are a timing difference of what year the deduction for the cost of an asset is taken. They can have an impact on the amount of tax you pay which can have a major impact on the cash flow for your business. You need to consider the tax impact on all the years that you will utilize the asset, not only the year the asset is placed in service. For additional information, see IRS Publication 946: How to Depreciate Property, and IRS Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax.

Balmer, Mary. “The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012: A closer look at the fixed asset provisions.” CPA Practice Advisor. Cygnus Business Media, 14 Jan. 2013. Web. 7 Oct. 2013. Miller, Marla K. “Fixed-asset implications under the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012: Tax Clinic.” The Tax Adviser. American Institute of CPAs, 01 May 2013. Web. 7 Oct. 2013.


43

Stop the revolving door

of employee turnover

T

he challenge and cost of employee turnover is one of the most discussed, most frustrating and most misunderstood problems businesses face. CEO’s have identified employee retention as one of their key challenges in 2013. Yet organizations continue to struggle with this costly issue. The science of psychological assessments has recently advanced, allowing the development of much more predictive assessment tools. If you do not know what your employee turnover cost is, many experts agree that you can come surprisingly close to the cost of a single turnover incident by simply multiplying the annual salary for the position times 2.5 – that will cover productivity loss, recruiting and hiring cost, training cost, liability, unemployment and the other 101 hidden costs that we usually try not to think of when we lose an employee. Employee turnover often begins with a poor hiring decision. When we hire someone who is a poor job fit, we have already begun an almost inevitable course that will end with failure – and another turnover casualty. Part of the problem of poor hiring lies with our poor tools: One comprehensive study of the hiring

process indicated that, if an interview is your only tool, you have only a 14% chance of making a good hire. Add good reference checking (and we all know how difficult that can be), you can raise your success ratio to 26%. If your goal is to beat one out of four odds, you need better tools! Fortunately, the science of employee assessments has produced increasingly useful tools to add to the art of hiring. While no assessment, or even a combination of assessments, guarantees success, the same study showed that use of personality, abilities, interests, and job matching measures can raise your success rate to 75% or better. Equally important, valid pre employment screening assessment tools in all of those areas can be applied for well below 1% of the projected cost of a bad hire. Why don’t more of us use employee assessments to improve our hiring (and lower turnover)? Part of the an swer lies in lack of education on the topic – not many of us have even attended a single seminar on use of scientific assessment tools. Part lies in reluctance to spend any money on new processes. Part of it, frankly, is the already overwhelming load we place on the people who are doing the hiring – they are so busy bailing the boat, they can’t take time out to turn on the bilge pumps! To change the course of turnover, you must recognize that the costs are killing you, that you can change course, and that the rewards are well worth the trouble.


46


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50

E

very year during the holiday season H-E-B proudly hosts H-E-B Feast of Sharing dinners in 26 communities across Texas and six “H-E-B Fiesta Navidenia” in Mexico. These dinners allow us to give back to our neighbors in need who otherwise would go without during the holiday season. They also give us the opportunity to work with local volunteers to create events filled with music, entertainment, hot meals and fellowship. Since 1998, we have had the pleasure of serving more than 250,000 hot meals to thousands of people. Every year H-E-B Feast of Sharing dinners represent the culmination of our year-round commitment to fighting hunger in the communities we serve. Without the help of our vendors and up to 3,200 total volunteers for the dinners held in the Valley, these community events would not be possible. We, at H-E-B are extremely thankful to all that take part in these events because once they volunteer, they keep coming back, year after year and this is what attributes to the success of our dinners. Depending on the venue, the H-E-B Eddie Garcia Mobile Kitchen prepares this traditional holiday dinner on site. This kitchen is manned by a kitchen crew of 8 H-E-B retirees, the head chef and approximately 5 transportation crew members to maneuver the kitchen and supply trailers.

Valley Dinner Dates and Locations: Dates November 13, 2013 November 19, 2013 November 17, 2013 November 20, 2013 November 22, 2013 December 5, 2013 December 14, 2013

Location Port Isabel High School Raymondville Our Lady of Guadalupe Church McAllen Convention Center Brownsville, Jacob Brown Auditorium Harlingen Community Center Rio Grande City Fort Ringgold Elementary Weslaco, St. Joan of Arc Church

Time of Event

6pm – 9pm 11am – 2pm 3pm – 7pm 11am – 3pm 11am – 3pm 6pm – 9pm 11am – 3pm


Business Adviser Volume 1 Issue 3