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PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT A Division of Champions School of Real Estate®

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SBT Houston Staff May 2013




DIGITAL VS. HARD COPY MAGAZINES I guess you could call me “Old School”. I prefer the magazines that I subscribe to be printed and not online versions. With 3 email addresses, 2 websites, 3 Facebook pages and one blog, I spend way too much time facing my laptop. Add to that the extra time spent creating Evites for our networking events and then checking the responses for the RSVPs and comments, I look forward to settling into a comfortable chair or reclining on the sofa with my magazines or newspaper. Ever since I received my first copy of “Boys Life Magazine” as a Cub Scout at age 8, I was hooked on the idea that someone designed a magazine with me in mind that included my interests, my needs, and my enjoyment. I would read every issue cover to cover and then go back and reread the articles that I wanted more information about. Even though my career path took me in other directions (Hotel Management, Apartment Management, and later, Residential Real Estate, I fantasized about being the Publisher of a magazine. I loved the way the character, Darren Stevens on “Bewitched” would take an idea (usually from the situation caused by his mother-in-law, Endora) and create the perfect ad campaign for his clients from the advertising agency, “McMann & Tate”. This is where my passion for creating successful advertising and promotion for clients and managing all of the “working parts” of a magazine came from. I finally was given the chance to learn publishing and advertising from Marshall Haas (creator of the apartment guides that I used for my apartment communities in Florida and Georgia) and accepted a position from him in 1979 as the Publisher of the Metro Houston Apartment Guide, which was his first apartment guide west of the Mississippi. From apartment guides to the Perfect Wedding Guide to Homes&Land Magazine to Real Estate Executive and now Premier Agent Magazine and Small Business Today Magazine, my career in publishing and advertising sales spans over 34 years. That’s 34 years of creating high quality print magazines. Over 30 years ago, Bill Gates stated that “Print was dead” and that people preferred their publications and information online. Although print is certainly not dead, people do seem to prefer an online publication to a printed magazine (not me, of course). Digital magazines have many advantages for a publisher over print publications (mass distribution, hotlinks to email and websites, Google searches to locate them, etc), but there is still something about the feel (and for me, smell) of a beautiful, high quality print magazine. My partner, John Cruise and I recently made the decision to cease the printing of our Premier Agent Magazine publication and offer it only as a digital version every quarter versus it being monthly as it has been for over 11 years. It is a decision that has as much to do with the preferences of the readers as it has to do with the financials of printing a quality magazine. The decision was/is an emotional one for me. The Publisher in me, knows it is just a sound business decision; the consumer in me is very sad to see the print publication go. Moving on to this beautiful publication, Small Business Today Magazine, with over 90,000 online readers and 3,000 hard copy readers; our cover honoree this month is Mrs. Jennifer Dean of Dean’s Professional Services. Jennifer is an ideal candidate for our “W.B.E.A. Conference Issue”. She is a strong business owner who believes in developing other business leaders and customizing every client’s service program based on their needs. Truly, Dean’s Professional Services’ success can be equated to that of a “Super Bowl Team”, they’re in the game to win! For Jennifer and her team, winning means surpassing the client's expectations to earn a testimonial and/or referrals! It is time for me to let you start enjoying this month's issue. Good Reading, Good Sales, & Success to You,

President John Cruise Executive Publisher Steve Levine Associate Publisher / Creative Director Barbara Davis-Levine Contributing Editors Tammy Moshay Devon Ray Battaglia Business Development/PR Sonia Guimbellot Bill Huff Tammy Moshay Donna Rooney Graphic Design Vanessa Vara Photographers Eric Kleiman Contributing Writers Errol Allen Don Brown Barbara Davis Dr. John Demartini Mila Golovine Lorraine Grubbs Steven Kay Craig Klein Hank Moore Amy Olivieri Sweta Patel Devon Ray Rita Santamaria Alvin Terry Holly Uverity Jack Warkenthien Chief Advisor Hank Moore Publisher’s Advisory Board Cyndi Barnett John Cruise Dirk Cummins April Day Dr. John Demartini Maya Durnovo Kathie Edwards Leonard Faucher David Holt Richard Huebner Julie Marie Irvin Jeffrey Jones Steven Kay Darryl King Craig Klein Wea Lee Bertrand McHenry Hank Moore Lisa M. Morton Mike Muhney Maria Rios Rita Santamaria Allen Shapiro Pam Terry Jack Warkenthien Doug Winnie Aaron Young

Phone: 832-460-2020 E-Mail: Or Write: Small Business Today 5380 West 34th Street, Ste 230 Houston, TX 77092 See us on the web at

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What is Professionalism? 8


Jennifer L. Dean DEANS PROFESSIONAL SERVICES The 'super bowl' champions of staffing...



Credit Policy and Cash Flow 9 6 Inspiring Business Lessons for Small Business Owners 10 Networking Tips When Dealing with International Prospects 11

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Fine Wine, Aged Cheese and Valuable Antiques 12 How Targeted Email Lists Benefit Small Business 14

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SMALL BUSINESS TODAY MAGAZINE MAY 2013 |onPG 7 20 continued page


What is Professionalism?


By Rita Santamaria


rofessionalism is defined as a “person engaged or qualified in their field, an expert, someone certified in an area of their profession”. The word “professional” is tossed around a lot. Everyone has their own image and their own definition of what the word professionalism means to them. Companies have in writing and policy how professionalism is defined and should be demonstrated within that company. The following are universal agreements on the subject of professionalism within most industries. Always performing to the best of your abilities in every aspect of your career is at the top of the list. This may sound ambiguous and all encompassing. It is all encompassing. Most career minded individuals know the basics of their day to day jobs. Pull those basics apart and then evaluate yourself as to whether you are the best at all of your job skills and abilities. Become an expert at the skills needed to perform your job. This often means ongoing education in your chosen field. No one can stay qualified in their field in this changing world if they are not constantly educating themselves. Keep your knowledge up to date. Customer satisfaction is primary in all professions. If all employees understood that satisfying the customer’s needs is the company’s main goal, the fear of being laid off would not be realistic to its employees. The employee who understands the concept of outstanding customer relationships is always a valued employee by the successful business. How to satisfy the customer and keep the customer’s loyalty is the foundation of professionalism. These cornerstones are the building blocks for that solid foundation.

Professionals are not time clock tethered. Their time is managed by the tasks at hand. Daily goal setting and follow through to complete the tasks at hand is self-satisfaction. There are plenty of opportunities to self-manage. Self-management begins when the individual starts their day. The clothes, shoes, and tools they choose for their work day sets them apart from others as soon as they appear at work. The attitude they carry into the office sets them apart. They are someone everyone is happy to see. The person who at the end of the day is still demonstrating a dependable

attitude is the one every employer wants to acknowledge. The customer does not want to see an overly stressed person. Keeping personal issues personal and taking time to recharge is what goes along with self-management. Never would an employee undermine, bully, gossip, or swear at the customer or fellow associates. This is not professionalism. It’s the formula for dismissal; therefore, knowing acceptable communication skills is one of the building blocks for professionalism. Continued on page 38


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Entrepreneurs Tool Box Credit Policy and Cash Flow


By Alvin E. Terry, MBA / Business Consultant, Dynamic Business Builders

Credit Policy”, if not thoroughly thought through and implemented at the beginning of your sales process can be the early demise of your business without you being aware of it. We all get caught up in the excitement and exhilaration of sales and purchase orders. This is the reason why we have decided to go into business as entrepreneurs. To realize those bank deposits on a consistent basis is what drives us to pursue our dreams as being a successful small business. We have all been naive in believing that when a buyer requests credit from you, whether you offer a product or service that you will receive the cash necessary to continue to operate your business in a responsible manner on time. You have overhead, payroll, paying yourself and stakeholders if you have them. Your credit policy terms are of the utmost importance. You have to do your due diligence in checking out those “great references” that was giving to you in the credit application that was turned in with their order. You have to pick-up the phone, call people and talk to their Bankers and other credit references to get a real feel of their creditability and their paying cycles. We all go through cycles where someone did not pay us and we could pay someone else on time which lead us to borrow more money to keep our own creditability in-tact. We cannot control the economy and the marketplace, stuff happens. The only thing that we can and must do is to manage our customers and their cash capability as best as we can. There is no fool proof way of doing this, but being diligent and attentive is the best medicine that we have as a tool on our side. Your credit policy should have guidelines that identify those prospective customers that deserve credit.

and money. A more restrictive credit policy has a tendency to reduce sales and restrict growth. There has to be a balance between the two and in reality there is. The key is constant communication and relationship cultivation with transparency and the truth at all times. We understand that we can all reduce some risk by requiring cash, credit card or debit payments. But, as we truly try to grow a business on a larger scale, we have no choice but to extend credit to help others grow their businesses. You cannot remove all risks, no-one can. It is the nature of the business, of being in business. Keep hope, all is not lost. You may have to explore the avenue of having a “Credit Insurance Policy”. A company that provides this kind of coverage provides coverage for losses suffered from any of a /company’s accounts receivables that become uncollectible. Policies vary between companies. Credit insurance can cost between ¼% or up to1% of your annual sales depending upon the volume of annual gross sales. The value of credit insurance is invaluable in helping to reduce the risk of saving your business. Once again, it has been a pleasure to bring to you valuable information that will get you thinking in the right direction which can ultimately save you time and money! Good luck, stay diligent and be prosperous!

You may contact Alvin E. Terry, MBA @ or by Cell @ 713-392-9107

As an example, a liberal credit policy may bring in and contribute to more sales, which can make all of us happier, but the realization of actually getting that money in the bank may become a daunting task that causes time



6 Inspiring Business Lessons for Small Business Owners By Dr. John Demartini


Confidence Trap

When your mind is not busy, it tends to conjure up all kinds of doubts, insecurities and fears. Such dead time can become an energy and confidence trap. Any time or space that’s not filled with high priorities can automatically become filled with low priorities and if you don’t know your high priorities, you’ll fall into the lows. Have you noticed that when you’re busy you often accomplish and create much more? The more intensely you’re focused and active and the longer you maintain such a focus the faster your accomplishments (time multiplied by intensity equals results). Time spent on doubt, fear or low-priority actions slows down your accomplishment process. When you take your mind off your focus all you see are obstacles. When your mind is focused on your dreams you don’t have time for the many self-doubts that block them. 2. Raise Your Standard Anything you do consumes time. To maximize the value of your time, prioritize your interactions. People who are less busy and want to consume your time may think you’re being rude when you say no to their invitations. However, busy people understand immediately that you’re just choosing to prioritize and wisely manage your time. People who don’t value their own time want to take up yours with small talk. If you keep associating with people who talk small, you could end up with a small life. You’ll find out what kind of people they are by putting a fee on your time and raising that fee regularly. If people really value your skills and time, they’ll pay for it.

you deserve can become the weak link in your business. In addition to undermining your motivation, inefficiency and ineffectiveness can also reduce profit margins. When you or your employees take effective actions in an inefficient way, ineffective actions in an efficient way, or ineffective actions in an inefficient way, your business becomes diminished. Business masters are those who love what they do, do what they love and work efficiently and effectively. They delegate everything else to those who desire to do the same. How can you streamline the actions you take in your business? Ask yourself, “What can I delegate?” You’ll be far more productive, energized, and inspired at the end of the day when you can stick to high-priority actions. Unless you value your time, neither will the world. The following six questions will help you weed out unnecessary activities: a. What am I doing that I can stop doing right now? What is superfluous? When you discover things that aren’t necessities - let them go. b. What can I redistribute? Maximize your employees’ skills by making sure they’re all doing what they’re best at. c. Can I standardize and mass produce this? d. What am I doing excessively and what am I doing deficiently? e. What am I not confronting? f. What products can I produce in the shortest time period to provide the greatest profit? Once you identify what they are, focus on them.

3. Efficiency and Effectiveness

4. Desperation vs. Inspiration

Often when you perform a service for less than you feel you deserve you lower your worth and enthusiasm and slow your business. Even though you may be working like a dog, it’s neither efficient nor effective.

When you hire don’t rescue desperation. Anyone who says, “I’ll do anything, you can pay me whatever you like” is desperate and if you hire desperation, you’ll breed it in your business.

Any aspect of your work that pays less than you truly feel

Many skills you can train, but inspiration isn’t easy to deContinued on page 36



Networking Tips When Dealing with International Prospects By Ludmila (Mila) Rusakova Golovine


etworking is about meeting someone, establishing a connection or shared interest, and channeling that connection in order to develop a mutually beneficial business opportunity. Especially in Houston, you can be faced with meeting people from any culture at any time so the challenge and opportunity in networking with international prospects is remarkable for the culturally savvy.

entire meeting completely straightfaced. His American counterparts may take this as hostility but in fact he is merely demonstrating that he is serious about his work.  Conversely, in many Asian cultures a smile is used in unpleasant or awkward situations to smooth over a conflict or misunderstanding.

can have negative implications on the social dynamic.

In a networking situation, even if you are unfamiliar with a particular culture, observe the individual and mirror their actions. For example, when meeting a Japanese businessperson, the presentation of a business card is a very ceremonial exchange. He Eye contact is another ambiguous most likely will present it while holdnon-verbal cue. In American culture, ing both corners and possibly even it is important to make eye contact bowing to offer it to you as a sign of While most cultures adopt the Ameri- upon meeting someone; however it respect. When receiving the card, it can way of dealing with other people is rude to stare.  In the Indian and is appropriate to accept it with both when doing business in the United Arab cultures staring at someone is hands, take your time to read the inStates, each person still carries his quite common behavior and abso- formation, and hold it for the duraor her own cultural habits and behav- lutely neutral in meaning.   On the tion of your exchange. In Japanese iors. Nevertheless, spoken commu- other hand, in the Chinese tradition culture a business card is considered nication is only one part of human looking someone in the eye is con- an extension of the individual so that interaction.  While the number of sidered disrespectful.  Americans is why you must treat it with care. non-verbal cues may be limited, their view a lack of eye-contact as being Additionally, it would be considered cultural meanings vary from people dismissive or dishonest, something fitting to bow as a response to acto people and can have serious per- that can have negative ramifications cepting the card. It is actually not sonal and professional implications on personal interaction and business considered culturally correct to put when they are misconstrued.  Smiling dealings. the business card in your wallet or is probably the most prominent non- The concept of personal space elicits in your back pocket. It is preferable verbal cue and usually every Ameri- many non-verbal cues as well.  Per- to carry a special case in which you can takes its meaning for granted.  sonal space is important in all cul- may carefully place the card. This Nevertheless, something as seem- tures, however the amount and the action will demonstrate that you are ingly straightforward as a smile can meaning of it can be very different.  offering proper respect to the busihave various cultural meanings and Typically, Americans will stand at nessman. interpretations.  In American culture, least an arm’s length away from their Obviously, it is not possible to learn a smile is used as an acknowledge- interlocutor.  If a person tries to stand every specific non-verbal cue in evment of presence and an expression closer, the American will perceive ery culture, nor is it expected, howof friendliness.  For example, strang- this as an act of aggression or intimi- ever the most important skill to cultiers who pass on the street will smile dation.  It is important to note that in vate in cross-cultural communication at each other as a polite greeting.  To most European cultures, such as the is open-mindedness.  The realization a French person this would be taboo.  French, people will talk to each other and acceptance that different culThe French only smile at people that with just inches of space between tures express themselves physically they know otherwise it would seem them.  The closeness is important for in different ways will allow you to bestrange.  In fact, most cultures be- them because it makes both people come more attuned to and tolerant of lieve that Americans smile too much.  feel more engaged in the conversa- such differences.  The best advice is A Russian businessman, for exam- tion.  Conversely, too much space is to enter every encounter with a perple, most likely will sit through an viewed as cold and impersonal and son of another culture with a clean Continued on page 41



Fine Wine, Aged Cheese and Valuable Antiques.


Professionals Who Go the Distance. By Hank Moore / Corporate Strategist™

A professional's career and their collected Body of Work encompass time, energy, resources, perseverance, and lots of commitment in order to produce. This holds true for any company, institution, and for any person. There are three key ingredients in developing deep leadership roots. Long-term success for the company and a healthy career for the individual are attributable to: 1. T he manner in which an organization or professional lives and conducts business on a daily basis. I symbolize this with the analogy of fine wine. 2. T he evolution, education, enrichment, professional development, training, and life experiences that one amasses. This continuum is symbolized by the analogy of aged cheese. 3. W hat of value is really accomplished and left behind. This shows that the business or person actually existed and contributed meaningfully to society, rather than just filling time and space on this earth. This is symbolized by the analogy of valuable antiques. Wine. Just because it is a bottled alcoholic beverage doesn't mean that it contains great wine. In the marketplace, there exist large quantities of fair wine, some bad wine and some good wine. There's very little great wine. Defining what is "good" is a matter of judgment, perspective, and prejudice. When one assigns the term "great," then the wine (used as an analogy for one's daily process of living and working) takes on rare proportions. The general public is not exposed to the wine vineyard process and, thus, is not familiar with the characteristics of that special reserve: • •

A good crop of grapes from which to draw. Skilled processes in picking and processing the grapes.


• • • • • • • • • •

nowledge in the making of wine. K Care for the industry, the product and the process (a defined Vision). Skilled technicians, who transfer the intent of the wine maker into the bottle. Packaging, distribution and marketing of the product. Reputation of the winery that is steadily built and carefully preserved. An informed clientele, with the ability to appreciate and enjoy the wine. The right settings in which to showcase the product. A body of pleasurable and memorable experiences from which customers will build brand loyalty. A reinforced manufacturing process that assures consistency in all areas. Stated, refined strategies for the winery to remain in business, producing a quality product and maintaining clientele appreciation. Cheese.

We all eat and enjoy cheese, in some form. If it's a brand or flavor we recognize, we think it's good. When cheese is part of a favorite recipe, then it's an essential ingredient, though we might not eat it by itself. The process of creating and curing the cheese (used as an analogy for the process of sharpening and amassing life and professional skills) is both an art and a science. When it comes to cheese, people generally uphold these constants: • • • • •

heese is made from milk. C It is manufactured in various places, utilizing various processes. Some sources of cheese making (Switzerland, Wisconsin) are acknowledged for their expertise. Cheese is wrapped and packaged in various forms: sliced, chunks, rounds, and barrels. It comes from packages that are neatly wrapped and


• • • • • • • •

arranged for eye appeal in a clean, well-lit and suitably refrigerated dairy case. The flavor of cheese we buy depends upon the use we have for it as an appetizer, as an ingredient in an ensemble dish, as a salad enhancer or just to munch on. Most often, we mix the cheese with something else. Various styles of cheese are often served at a time, or mixed into recipes. If it tastes good, we consume it again. If not, we will not likely give that flavor or brand another try. If guests like it, we will serve it again. If not, their preferences will influence ours, and, thus, the cheese will not reappear. If it is really good, we refer it to others...sometimes giving it as a gift. The better it appears to be (marketing, wrapping, price, place of purchase) affects our viewpoint on its quality. It is often served with wine, sometimes on antique trays or dishes.

• • •

Nourishing a Body of Work (Antique). No company or individual sets out to create an antique (lifelong Body of Work). It just works out that way, depending upon such factors as: • • • • • •


Antiques are rare, interesting, fanciful and out of the ordinary. They tend to stimulate affection, admiration and appreciation. They are generally thought of as joyful, artistic and quality-reflecting possessions, which are in rare supply.

Everyone owns and buys possessions, including clothing, equipment, furniture and household items. A small percentage of the public views unique versions of these same items as antiques, creating a preferred place for them in their lives.

s friends take up sub-specialties in collecting and A preserving, we support their passions and interests. Once one gets acclimated toward antiques, one does not "go back." As an interest, it becomes a "way of life." The nature of value continually changes and evolves.

The crafting artist, as a person and a professional. The arsenal of tools which the creator has at hand. Combinations of experiences, training and assimilation, which were gleaned by the artist. Unexpected twists, turns and situations, which the crafter saw and seized upon. Vision for the project, from concept through execution. Sets of standards, with mediocrity not a rung on the ladder. An innate sense of perspective, with the reality that no such thing as perfection exists. Marketplace sensitive considered in the overall project, but not pandered to. Applications for the concept and durability of the product for the long run. Continued on page 35

Antiques are perceived in different manners. The substance of antiques (used as an analogy for what one does-accomplishes with his-her life and organization) is that of the creator, not the seller or the collector. Among the truisms of antiques are: • • • • • •

• •

he creator sets their quality and workmanship with T inspiration from diverse sources. The seller, who often is an appreciator or, at the least, has a profit motive, sets their market value. The buyer, who also believes that getting a bargain enhances the value of the antique, sets their purchase price. The collector appreciates collectibles as a whole and their own specialties in particular. The collector appreciates those who appreciate. As one attaches value to the unique, one finds value in other things around them. Appreciation for value becomes a quality of life ingredient. Definitions of antiques vary from collector to collector, depending upon interest. To one, it may be a rare painting. To another, it is custom-made furniture. To still another, it may be a Roy Rogers wristwatch, one of Elvis Presley's scarves or a Partridge Family lunchbox. Seeking out new and unique places to find antiques is great fun, and one seeks to include friends in the quest. The hunt is worth as much or more than the actual find.



How Targeted Email Lists Benefit Small Business MARKETING STRATEGIES By Amy Olivieri, Constant Contact Regional Development Director Amy Olivieri


mail lists are not just handy for keeping contacts organized. If they’re segmented with customer information in mind, they can be important relationship-building tools. This is particularly important for small businesses, whose key advantage over bigger corporations is the ability to cultivate and maintain crucial customer relationships.

will carry over long after the purchase. Keep the power of a list in mind as new customers walk through the door. Asking people if they’d like to receive email updates about the product they just bought can be a great way to continue the relationship, make your business top-of-mind, and keep the customer coming back for more.

Here are three ways to begin segmenting your lists: 1. Get customer information up-front If a customer purchases a product from your business, put them on a specific list that pertains to that product. You can still send a general newsletter, too, but this way you’ll know what they’re interested in and will be able to send them targeted promotions in the future.

Amy E. Olivieri is Regional Development Director of Constant Contact. Reach her at: or (713) 401-2841

2. Make a list for loyalists Repeat customers are a huge source of business, so make sure to show them they’re appreciated. Having a list for veterans can help give them a personal experience and, every once in a while, a reward for their loyalty. 3. Create a personalized email for a personalized experience If customers purchased a certain product or service, follow up with an email specific to that product or service. That way, you can build on the initial relationship, provide them with your expertise, and leave a lasting impression that


“The key advantage of a small business over bigger corporations is the ability to cultivate and maintain crucial customer relationships”



STOP Wasting Money on Internet Leads in 5 Easy Steps By Craig Klein, CEO of SalesNexus


orecast, projection, sales goal, or annual quote…. Whatever you want to call it, you know what it is but, do you have one? Is it just a number you dream about hitting? Most of today’s businesses know that they need an internet lead generation strategy. But a large portion of effort to turn internet leads into viable buyers is a complete waste of money. It costs a whole lot of money to get an exceptional SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy in place and it often doesn’t come close to a good return on your investment. If you use a PPC campaign, it usually either is like throwing money down a hole – or – you get a surprise deluge of inquiries that bury your sales team and too often don’t turn into closed orders. Either way, money and time seems to be totally wasted. Take these five steps to update your approach to prospecting for new business: Step #1 - Increase Number of Ideal Prospects The internet is full of ways to get targeted lists of people who fit the profile of your potential clients. Our favorite is LeadFerret .com. You can have access to more than ten million contact records. Each record includes an email address. Step #2 - Clearly Identify Your Prospect’s Pain When you know exactly what pain your product/service resolves for your customers, you can engage your prospects with useful – even educational – content. Although you may have ways of pushing out content

to the public already, the magic of this system is how you deliver the content to your prospects.

you to get good qualifying questions and a whole lot more. It will even help you identify the prospect’s pain.

Step #3 - Create Content

Step #5 - Develop FAQ’s

Take five of your prospect’s greatest “pains” and create useful content pieces to send to them via email. WARNING: Do not send the entire content piece via email. Stay with us to find out how to use the articles effectively.

You may already have an FAQ section on your website. At the least, you can think about the questions asked by most of your clients before they made the decision to purchase your product or service.

You want your email to sell the content piece. In other words, you want to send only a short email that addresses the prospect’s pain and offers more information if they click on a link. If you have a good email program, you can track each time the email was opened and when they click on the link to get the content piece. This 5-Step System works like magic when you have your CRM integrated with your email program . That way you don’t have to transfer data from one program to the other. It all just works seamlessly. Step #4 - Qualify All Prospects Once your sales team sees that the articles have been opened, you have a “warm lead.” In other words, you know a lot more about the prospect than you would have with sending them the articles directly. The prospect has shown some interest in resolving a pain they are currently experiencing. You will want to qualify them further with carefully crafted qualifying questions. We use SalesScripter .com to develop qualifying questions. In fact, the webbased and self-paced program allows


Use the FAQ’s as the basis of a second email campaign. Any prospect that is not qualified enough by the questions you asked when you called them can be sent emails to guide them along your sales process without any pressure from you. We’ve covered a lot of territory in this short article. It may be hard to digest in this small amount of space. To learn more, please take advantage of our Business Growth webinar series at Buyers are different these days. They want to stay in control of every step of the buying process. This system allows the buyer ultimate control. It saves you lots of time and money chasing down unqualified leads and offers a huge return on investment. Isn’t ROI what you really want after all?

Craig is the founder of a leading provider of CRM, Email Marketing and Lead Generation solutions to business 2 business sales teams.


The Top 3 Things Successful Entrepreneurs Do To Build Employee Loyalty Through Recognition By Lorraine Grubbs


n a recent SBT article, I learned that “more than 60 percent of small businesses have fewer than five employees.” That means, “all hands must be on deck” to keep things running smoothly. Employees of these small companies are cross-trained to do several jobs in order to maximize efficiency. The question is, how do you keep these seemingly overworked employees engaged? Research from industry experts such as Mercer, Gallup, and Hewitt proves the best way to show employees that you care is to recognize and reward them.

an animal, promotion of a spouse or partner, achievement of an anniversary with the company, birthday, etc. shows them you’re paying attention to what is important to them. The small stuff also includes the bad: deaths, illnesses, loss of spouse’s job, etc. A cupcake on their birthday or anniversary can go a long way. One hug or card during difficult times will mean a lot. Ultimately, you want the employee to know two things: You value what’s going on in their life and you care.

Successful small business owners make recognition of employees an important part of the business plan. They know that having a consistent recognition program results in higher employee loyalty, enviable productivity and award-winning customer service. Altogether, this adds up to increased profitability.

Consider creating a batch of multi-colored business cardsized handouts with a different message on each: Great Job! Excellent Service!, Thanks…couldn’t have done it without you!, etc. Every time you see an employee doing something special, whip one of these out, jot a quick personal message on it and put it on their desk. Sound hokey? Well, it did to me too when the program was introduced at Southwest Airlines. One morning a few months later, I was walking through my department and I noticed how many of the little cards were pinned up on people’s walls…I was amazed. This little “program” really worked.

Recognition and reward programs (R&R) should be standard operating procedure for any company, regardless of size. After all, who complains that they get too much recognition? But, you will “hear” when employees are not recognized for their efforts when you experience high turnover and lackluster performance. Many small companies don’t have R&R programs because they think they can’t afford them. My argument is that if you want to be successful, you cannot afford not to implement an R&R program. There are many things a small business can do to recognize employees and it doesn’t have to cost much. I’m talking about the small stuff, the stuff that lets employees know that you saw what they did and you appreciate it. Here are the top three things that successful small business owners practice to make employees feel valued and ultimately create a sense of loyalty to the business. Recognize the Milestones Recognize all milestones no matter how big or small. Just a word to your employee is sometimes all he or she needs to know that you care. Paying attention to events like a child’s graduation from school, adoption of

Acknowledgement of a Job Well Done

Awards Create special awards that can be rotated from person to person. No matter what business you are in, customer service is important. Create a plaque with some clever name such as “Voice of the Customer.” Give the award to the person who best represented the “voice” that quarter. Did they come up with an improvement for a product? Did they go above and beyond for a customer? Add a $10 Gift Card and you’ve just made that person feel special – for a whole quarter! Ask employees to come up with award ideas, low cost being the key. By doing this you are making them feel like they have a voice in this all-important initiative and you also will give them things they really want, not things they don’t value. One business owner I know keeps a treasure chest in her office. Any time an employee sees another Continued on page 43




Your Next Step Technology Firms Need A SALES Culture By Jack Warkenthien


n high-tech, the rules have changed. To survive – and thrive – your company needs “culture.” The only culture that will dramatically increase sales and boost profits is a sales culture. Any organization can soar to new heights, or recover from the depths of the valley with the right one. If you are a high tech principal, you are only a few steps away from the top of the mountain! Let’s start up the path together by first reviewing where we’ve been. One of the largest trends that have been occurring in high tech firms today is the refocusing on business fundamentals. It wasn’t that long ago, when young technology companies that were interested in obtaining outside financing (as most all of them were), the VCs would ask questions such as: “How large is your market space?” “How does this new technology help prospective clients?” “How many years of experience does your management team have?” These were great questions when the Nasdaq was around 5000 and companies were going public a year after inception. Today, with the Nasdaq steadily climbing back—just north of 3,200 as I type this article-- and dot com companies are much more cautious in their respective pursuit of capital, most investors are focusing on revenue growth and profitability, and rightly so. The question du jour is “Are you profitable?” or “How soon will you be cash flow positive?” There’s

only one problem. The majority of the companies who received funding recently don’t have a leadership team that is focused on sales and profitability, have the skill set and background to convert contacts and candidates into paying customers and clients. At the end of the day, don’t let anyone fool you: getting “ink” (aka a signed contract) from clients is hard, and getting harder, and that’s the metric that really matters today.

Technology), sales and marketing expertise is now available, on a contract basis. Firms, such as Chief Outsiders, help clients gain revenue traction by providing a team of highly accomplished professionals. By converting technology solutions to client benefits, they help their clients get in front of buyers, while helping to build an internal sales culture at the same time.

For example, one CEO, “Paul,” has one of the most brilliant minds around: Ph.D., NASA “Researcher of the Year” - literally a rocket scientist - and he can write in 25 different programming languages. However, he lacks the sales and marketing savvy needed. His technology is amazing. He can share his idea and get audiences very excited about his invention. But when the people leave a meeting with him they often say, “Wow, brilliant tech guy, cool idea, but I still have no clue what his product does.”

Anybody can “open” one or two relationships—or new accounts-(formerly known as closing deals). To grow an organization and create a sustainable revenue stream, you must standardize your sales approach to the market. The most profitable sales processes are easy to replicate, measure, and enforce. When direct (ie. employees) sales reps are used, their sales plan must reward desired behaviors.

The challenge: how can firms like Paul’s, convert their solutions into sales, their passion into profits? The answer: get on the right path, and it’s not B2B, B2C or C2C, that matters. It’s P2P – the Path to Profitability. There are really twelve steps on this path. The following sample few represent the most critical first paces. Seek Help From Experts Outsourcing is here today and here to stay. Just as firms have been outsourcing functions like HR (Human Resources), and IT (Information

Adapt A Sales Process

Focus on Relationships and Communication Skills The two most critical ingredients in any sales culture are the number and depth of client relationships, and the ability to articulate an idea. Imagine the power in converting your technology to dollars added to the top line or dollars earned on the bottom line. When you focus on the client relationship, you’ll realize that your product is just an “enabler,” enabling your client to enjoy many quantifiable financial benefits.

Continued on page 36


continued from page 7









Audacious Audacity By N D Brown


uccess comes after risk, but before risk comes audacity.

Bingo! This was an audacious move that more than paid for itself.

Churchill said, "The first quality that is needed is audacity." His audacity led him to defeat and victory. We remember the victories.

Always remember the press loves the audacious. And also remember you have to tell the press you are being audacious! A perfect job for social media, a few surprising notes can become a rousing march.

Karl von Clausewitz, whose brilliant book “ON WAR� should be on every executive's reading list said, "Never forget that no military leader has ever become great without audacity." When asked who he thought the best generals were Napoleon answered, "The victors." Lots of testosterone military stuff here but simply put: Want to be a victor? Start with audacity. You already did. It took a lot of audacity just to start your small business. So never stop doing the audacious. What's audacious? When you are surprising, different, challenging. When you zig while the rest zag. You may have read how Texas Governor Rick Perry recently went to California to solicit business for Texas. Using what might be described as pocket change, the Governor bought a radio schedule in select California cities. The commercials touted the benefits of moving business to Texas. But it wasn't the advertising's message that was important; it was the audacity of even airing a miniscule advertising campaign. Governor Perry had the audacity to visit a competitive state and exclaim that running a business in Texas could be much easier, better, more profitable than running one in California. He, or his team, was audacious enough to think spending a small amount would have big results. The campaign was a whisper, probably costing a few thousand dollars, but the press coverage it received was worth millions. Media around the nation reported on the audacious radio campaign from the state of Texas. And just about every news story itemized the benefits of doing business in Texas.

In 1984 Apple computer was a blip on the radar screen of personal computing. It was about to launch Macintosh, which was well in front of the industry's leading edge. The Apple promotional budget was, much like Governor Perry's radio schedule, a grain of sand on an enormous beach. Steve Jobs, and thus Apple, believed in audacious. Working with Chait Day, an advertising agency noted for its push-the-envelope work, Apple made an enormous gamble. They took all their money and produced a very expensive television commercial and scheduled it to run one time in the Super Bowl. (Sorry I can't resist - they put all their apples into one bowl. Groan!) Unlike Texas' small radio schedule that reached a few thousand listeners - maybe, around 50 percent of the nation was watching when the Macintosh commercial ran. While that commercial in the Super Bowl turned a large corner for Apple brand, it is not the real story. Apple made sure every news medium was aware Apple had gambled the entire promotional budget on one commercial running one time. Unheard of! The result: The commercial was aired over and over again on national and local media. In fact, 30 years later the commercial is still being aired to demonstrate the power of audacious. One of our clients sold women's intimate apparel. During a time when women's fashion resembled men's corporate suits, intimate apparel made a turn to being a fashion statement. On the outside a woman looked like a corner office executive but underneath she could be her own fashion statement. Fashion sold best on TV, but TV stations refused to show females in underwear. Manufacturers resorted to showing their product on women in black leotards or other tricks to get around the rule. Continued on page 40


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Put Your Customer’s Shoes On By Errol D. Allen


ow I want you to put your consumer hat on for a minute. How often have you as a consumer grumbled about a not so great customer experience? The product or service did not meet your expectation. The service provider was a little curt during the interaction. It was somewhat difficult to locate the items you wanted to purchase. The website was not very user-friendly. An issue was resolved in a less than timely manner. These are just a few items that can cause a customer to refrain from doing business with your organization. In knowing how you feel when in the "consumer mode,” how about "putting your customer's shoes on" and examining your organization from the customer's perspective. Here are a few ways to do this. Put Your Customer's Shoes On and call your organization to see what your customer encounters. Is the receptionist robotic or pleasant and courteous? It's important to put the right person in front of your customer. Did you know that your receptionist or other persons answering the phone are the face of your organization? This initial encounter is an opportunity to make a lasting impression on a customer. What about that other robot - the interactive voice response system (IVR)? Are the menus user-friendly or do you become confused or worn out? If it's confusing to you, it's probably confusing to your customer. Put Your Customer's Shoes On and visit your organization. Ok, now I hear someone saying, "Errol, I'm already here at my organization!" Ok, then determine where a physical visit starts for your customer. Usually

when the customer physically visits an organization, their experience begins outside and down the street. Can they easily spot your organization's signage? In what condition is that signage? Is it visible during your evening hours? The next step for most customers is your parking lot. In what condition is it? Is it well-lit for evening hour customers? Depending upon your industry (the medical industry comes to mind hospitals, clinics, doctors' office, etc.), distance from your parking lot to your organization's entrance may be an issue for your customer. Taking that into consideration and your customer, is there adequate parking available? What options can you think of that may improve the exterior experience for your customer. Now let's go inside. What does the customer see upon entering? What about your interior signage? If there is a receptionist available, is he or she pleasant? (You may have to observe this behavior from a distance.) Is it easy to locate items or specific areas within your facility? If it's difficult for you, it's probably difficult for your customer. Put Your Customer's Shoes On and visit your organization's website. How often do you visit your organization's website as a customer? Attempt to make a purchase just as your customer would. How easy is it to do so? Were you allowed to confirm what you were purchasing? Did you receive a confirmation of your purchase and expected delivery date? Did you get a follow-up email providing tracking information? Are items easy to locate on your website? Is the information regarding your products and services up to date? Is that information clear and easily


understandable? Is the information free from industry acronyms and unexplained jargon? Are all of the links fully functional? Whatever you experienced, your customer is experiencing the same. If your site offers web chat, put on your customer's shoes and chat with your organization. Is the "conversation" tone friendly and upbeat? Are you asked open-end questions that allow you to elaborate about your reason for chatting? Does the chat person able to quickly provide the information to address your needs or issue? Again, whatever you experience, your customer is probably experiencing the same. Put Your Customer's Shoes On and file a complaint. Try doing this via the phone, website email or chat. How long does it take for your complaint to be acknowledged? What type of questions are you asked in regards to your complaint? What steps are taken to resolve the issue? How long does it take to resolve the issue? Once again, whatever you experience, your customer probably experiences the same. Remember, it's important to know what your customer is experiencing when interacting with your organization. To get their perspective - Put Your Customer's Shoes On!

Errol Allen – Customer Service Engineer can be emailed at errol@ or call him at 1-800-830-4167 1-800-830-4167

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Getting Organized: What’s Holding You Back? Holly Uverity CPO®, Office Organizers

Holly Uverity


he consequences of a disorganized office can be far reaching; no longer is a messy desk the sign of a brilliant mind but is more likely the cause of lost time and productivity and a feeling of being overwhelmed and out of control. Statistics show that two-thirds of business managers surveyed reported tension with colleagues, loss of job satisfaction and strained personal relationships as a result of being disorganized. The phrase “getting organized” often brings up negative feelings. The papers piled on your desk and stacked on your floor are reminders of work you haven’t done and calls you haven’t made so instead of seeing paper, you begin to see obstacles and issues. As a result, you get stuck, make no changes and the clutter continues to accumulate. It can be debilitating and even paralyzing to begin to work through those stacks, and those feelings, but if you are truly committed to making meaningful changes in your life, you can absolutely get and stay organized. It’s never too late to begin; spring is the perfect time to assess your office and your feelings about your office. By doing things differently now, you are guaranteeing greater success throughout the rest of the year. Below are listed some of the most common excuses people have for not getting organized; I challenge you to see if any of these excuses are yours and to see if you can eliminate that obstacle and begin the process of ‘getting organized’. I don’t know how or where to begin; I’m absolutely overwhelmed by my piles. It’s understandable to feel out of control when your desk and floor are covered with papers. Start small (e.g., work in 15 minute increments, work through only one paper at a time, organize one desk drawer at a time) and attack only one area. Take your time – you don’t have to do everything all at once. One of the biggest mistakes people make is to pull everything out and try to organize the entire office at once. If you do that, you will get overwhelmed, bored, and end up worse off than you were before you started.


I’ve tried organizing before and I always go back to my old habits. Organization must be learned. It’s unrealistic and self-defeating to believe that you will IMMEDIATELY remember all the new organizing techniques and not periodically slide back into old habits. Make incremental changes one at a time so the new behaviors have time to sink in; a success can be keeping the floor clear of piles or keeping track of phone messages. It takes time, trust, and a commitment to the process. Every person who truly wants to get better organized does. My business is paper intensive. Being organized does not mean you have no paper, it means you can find the paper you need when the need arises. Your business may be paper intensive, but it’s still critical that you are selective about what you keep and where. Organization is not measured by how much paper you toss; it’s measured by how quickly you can find what you need when you need. I don’t have time to get organized. It’s true that getting organized requires an investment of both time and money, so it’s critical that you schedule time in your calendar to work on it or it will never get done. Assess your schedule, plan accordingly and remember that it doesn’t have to be done in one or two days.

I’m afraid it will stifle my creativity. Organization frees your mind and allows you to tap into your creativity. When you have a simple, effective system for your working files, project files and reference materials, you waste no time looking for them, thereby creating time. Systematizing the routine parts of your day allows your mind to work on the fun parts of your job - solving problems, coming up with new ideas and looking at old things in new ways. Holly Uverity, CPO® is the owner of Office Organizers – The Entrepreneur’s Organizer. She can be reached at 281.655.5022, or .


Qualifying for a Real Estate Mortgage through the SBA Loan Programs By Bruce Hurta


ost small business owners focus upon Business Cash Flow conserving cash for working capital and for The business’ income is recognized as the primary the growth of their businesses. Governmentsource of repayment for a small business real estate loan. backed financing, with SBA loans, is a popular The historical track record of the business’ income is the form of small business real estate financing to achieve this best indicator of its profitability and success in the future. goal. Small businesses can qualify for financing with longer A small business lender typically uses the business’ repayment terms, lower down payment requirements, last three years income tax returns, plus current interim and more lenient underwriting guidelines with the SBA financial statements, to evaluate the amount of cash flow 7(a) and SBA 504 loan programs. Qualifying for a small available to make loan payments. The available cash flow business real estate loan is different than qualifying for in each period is compared to the proposed loan payment an investment real estate loan. With investment real requirements to compute debt coverage ratios. Small estate, the lender focuses upon the quality of tenants in business lenders generally like to see debt coverage ratios the project along with the quality of the location. With of 1.2 times or better. A debt coverage ratio of 1.2 times small business real estate indicates the business financing, the lender focuses has available cash flow, upon the health and viability which is 120 percent of its of the small business which “ With small business real estate operating expenses and will own and occupy the real loan payments. That 20% financing, the lender focuses upon estate. A small business cushion gives the lender lender uses five components the health and viability of the small comfort that the small in his analysis of a small business has adequately business which will own and business loan request. planned for unanticipated Business Management Experience

occupy the real estate. ”

The foremost reason for business failure, and therefore a loan default, is the lack of sufficient management experience in the industry in which the small business owner participates. A lender will gather information about the business owners to evaluate the education and business track record of the owners to ascertain their likelihood of continued success in the subject business. The more education and successful industry experience the business owner has, the less risk is perceived in lending money to that business.

business expenditures. Equity

While a small business lender becomes a partner in the business by extending credit, they are not an owner. A business owner (or equity partner) invests in the business, assumes risk, and he or she is rewarded for that investment risk with dividends and other forms of compensation. A small business lender, however, receives only a stated rate of interest on the money they have invested, and their risk should be commensurate with limited return on their investment. The small business lender expects to see a small business borrower with sufficient “skin in the game” Continued on page 32


Continued from page 31 Qualifying for a Real Estate Mortgage...

to work hard and achieve success. Once again, the lender will employ ratios to ascertain safe levels of owner equity when making loan decisions. The most common ratio is the debtto-equity ratio. Small business lenders have access to statistics for various industries which indicate an appropriate level of leverage for the type of business for which a loan is being considered. Fortunately with SBA lending, lenders are more flexible with types of equity (or “skin in the game”) which can be considered. Not only can the SBA lender recognize cash dollars invested in the business by its owners; but also, assets outside the business pledged as additional collateral for the loan, will enhance what the lender considers equity. Finally, if a small business owner is buying business assets, and the seller agrees to subordinate standby financing, the SBA lender can enhance its debt-to-equity ratio this way. For instance, a seller of real estate may not be willing to negotiate a lower sale price; however, they are willing to carry a second lien note to help the buyer qualify for financing with a lower down payment requirement. If that seller agrees not to require payments before the SBA loan is paid, the SBA lender can add that amount to the buyer’s qualifying equity. Credit History Lenders love statistics. The best indications of how a borrower will meet his loan obligations in the future are the statistics reflected on a credit investigation that shows how other creditors have been paid by the borrower in the past. Small business lenders evaluate the repayment records of the individuals who own the business, as well as for the business itself. Credit reports are available from credit reporting agencies, as well as from direct contact with previous creditors. The more debts which reflect satisfactory payments in accordance with the loan terms, the more comfort the small business lender will derive from them. Collateral We have established the fact that a lender is not an owner, and the lender should only assume a level of risk which is appropriate for the limited income they will receive from lending money. It should be evident, therefore, that the lender will look for other ways to decrease their lending risk when approving loan terms. Besides evaluating risk based upon management experience, “skin in the game”, cash flow repayment ability and credit history, the business lender will also look at collateral offered for the loan. Collateral is represented by assets which can be sold to recover losses if loan payments can no longer be made by the small business borrower. Typically a lender will use the assets being financed as collateral. Other business assets and personal assets can be added to the collateral package to decrease the lender’s risk and to enhance a borrower’s chances for loan approval.

For more information, or if you have questions, please contact Bruce Hurta, Business Lending Manager at Members Choice Credit Union. 281.754.1112 office Follow Bruce’s Blog: SMALL BUSINESS TODAY MAGAZINE MAY 2013 | PG 32




Results Driven Content Strategy For Small Businesses By Sweta Patel

Sweta Patel


any businesses today have tuned into the “social media boom,” but how effectively are they reaching their marketing initiatives with these social networks? Many small businesses struggle with results driven social media campaigns due to their content strategy. There are a handful of small businesses that believe a content strategy consists simply of posting quotes, funny pictures, their company information and other media on their social networks. There is no purpose for these types of posts. A content strategy is catered to a useful experience for the target audience. This includes being aware of the tone, media type, and content type. “Content is story. And content strategy is storytelling.” Prateek Sarkar of Walt Disney. Where Do You Start? Businesses need to first look at what their assets are, as far as content. For example, is there a webpage the audience should look, and then are they directed to an app? What will maximize the information your audience absorbs through a series of different medias? Purchase decisions are made differently within every audience group. Make sure the story and the experience for your target customer stays consistent. When the business puts their content assets on the table, they will be able to create a story. This story will then be prescribed different content and media type methods (i.e., app, website, video, podcast, pictures, article, press release, etc.) to reach its audience and create an unforgettable experience. After the content method has been prescribed, you can arrange the different tactical decisions based on your target audience’s preferences. What color scheme stimulates your target audience? What do they enjoy reading? What is your business trying to communicate to the audience? The last item of course is to keep everything maintained. It is like a fad diet, once the content strategy has been brought to an end, your organization will have to start over. Auditing The Content Strategy Ask your organization, what are the specific

goals in terms of your website? For example, one organization wanted their website to inspire the feeling of nostalgia because it would keep their audience coming back. They also wanted to reward their contributors on the website so they would have a weekly featured article dedicated to a contributor. The website was full of opportunities and the layout made it fun for its target audience. Now, I want you to go back to your website and make a spreadsheet of all the links to every page on the website. Then, next to those, write down: relevant, current, and appropriate. We want to make sure each of these is checked off for every page of your website. Relevant means that each page on the website resonates with the purpose of the website. Make sure the SEO metadescriptions, tags, and keywords are relevant to the content on that page, as well. This will help Google (and other search engines) crawl your website and index it. As an organization, it is vital to have appropriate and professional content. Try to stray away from anything that does not contribute to the target audience’s experience. Your content strategy has the power to leave a bad taste in the mouth of your target audience, if you're not careful. Use content that will leave your audience enlightened, educated, and coming back for more. You want them to scroll through all the pages on your website and actually stay on the page. For example, there was a business selling aesthetic services. The owner started involving politics in her copy. Many prospects viewed the content and found it offensive. As a result, they had a change of heart when it came to using her services. Another reason prospects may turn away could be due to how current your content is. Always keep your content current and update it consistently. When businesses do not update their content on a consistent basis they can face missed opportunities. For example, a small business could receive media attention, but once the reporter sees the blog is not current (nor are the social networks) they may think otherwise. Keep it current, appropriate, Continued on page 35


Continued from page 34 Results Driven Content Strategy For Small Businesses

and relevant! Maintaining The Content Strategy Every time a business adds content to their website they should make sure their content is findable. Check the backend to see if the alt tags are filled in, the metadescriptions are present, the H1 and H2 tags are filled in, and if the data is linked to other content on the site as well. After you get them in the door by finding your business, make sure your content is readable. This means no long essays, using bullet points, and keeping it simple. A part of keeping it simple is making sure it is understandable to your audience. Articulate everything in your content so it matches the reading level of your audience. The more they are able to resonate with it, the more engagement you will receive.

On that note, the engagement should lead them to take an action. It is important to include call-to-actions through out the different pieces of content. Whether they have to comment, share it, or link to the content make sure they have to do something. Sharing the content will take your sales and organization buzz to another level. Add different sharing icons and make it easy for your audience to share what they enjoy reading the most! In this case, the more personable you make their sharing experience the more they will want to share the content! What’s going to be your reason to share content? Sweta Patel is a young, leading entrepreneur and expert in mass marketing. She is the founder of Global Marketing Tactics. Contact her online at

Continued from page 13 Fine Wine, Aged Cheese and Valuable Antiques

The phenomena of people liking and admiring antiques, years after their creation, is like a successful wine and cheese party. But, this isn't why the wine and cheese were made. There are many forces and outside influences that set standards for quality. Normally, it's the marketplace. Who should be the arbitrator and benchmark? You should. Your company will. Your family must. 7 Plateaus of Professionalism: 1. L earning and Growing. Develop resources, skills and talents. 2. 2 . Early Accomplishments. Learn what works and why. Incorporate your own successes into the organization's portfolio of achievements. 3. O bserve Lack of Professionalism in Others. Commit to sets of standards as to role, job, responsibilities, and relationships. Take stands against mediocrity, sloppiness, poor work and low quality. Learn about the culture and mission of organizations. 4. C ommitment to Career. Learn what constitutes excellence, and pursue it for the long-term. Enjoy wellearned successes, sharing professional techniques with others. 5. S easoning. Refining career with several levels of achievement, honors, and recognition. Learn about planning, tactics, organizational development, and systems improvement. Be an active decision maker, able to take risks. 6. M entor-Leader-Advocate-Motivator. Finely develop skills in every aspect of the organization, beyond the scope of professional training. Amplify upon philosophies of others. Mentoring, creating and leading have become the primary emphasis for your career. 7. Beyond the Level of Professional. Never stop paying dues, learning and growing professionally. Develop and share own philosophies. Long-term track record, unlike anything accomplished by any other individual...all

contributing toward organizational philosophy, purpose, vision, quality of life, ethics, long-term growth. Criteria for Assessing and Nurturing Professionalism. Fine Wine Core Values: Ethics, Professionalism, and Quality. Work with Colleagues: People Skills, Executive-Leadership Abilities, Collaborative Team Experience, and References. Aged Cheese Expertise: Talents, Skills, Education and Training, Resume, Industries Served. Business: Marketplace Understanding, Business Savvy. Valuable Antiques Track Record: Experience, Accomplishments, Case Studies, and Professional Reputation. Body of Knowledge: Original Ideas, Concepts, SelfCreated Expertise. Vision: Uniqueness, Creativity, Value-Added Contributions, and Substance. Characteristics of a Top Professional: •

Understands that careers evolve.

repares for the unexpected turns and benefit from P them, rather than becoming the victim of them.

Realizes there are no quick fixes.

inds a truthful blend of perception and reality...with F sturdy emphasis upon substance, rather than style.

as grown as a person and as a professional...and H quests for more enlightenment.

Has succeeded and failed...and has learned from both.

as a good "will be," taking enough time in early W career years to steadily blossom...realizing that "fine wine" status wouldn't come quickly.

as paid dues...and knows that, as the years go by, H one's dues paying accelerates, rather than decreases.


Continued from page 19 Technology Firms Need A SALES Culture

Remember Paul? When he outsourced his sales needs, the sales strategy firm helped him to understand and communicate the true value of the product. Paul’s solution allows publishers to reuse existing content and turn it into a new revenue stream. His software automatically customizes content to fit any individual’s goals and level of knowledge. “I knew that it was a cool technology, but never before had I been able to articulate the value of the product,” Paul quipped. Without outside assistance, his Leadership team built the sales and marketing plan and within 90 days helped him win two new customers, with over 30 companies in his candidate pipeline. Only now is Angel investors and venture capital firms interested in putting more money into his company. As we scan the market today, we see a large number of entrepreneurs who are brilliant. These people have

invented great technology and are already so “sold” on their ideas that they don’t realize others may not be. Because the market has changed so dramatically, it’s no longer good enough to have a great idea. Executives need to be able to communicate their idea to others, and most importantly get other people to pay them money for the value delivered. If you don’t build a plan and a team with a strong sales culture and organization, it is highly unlikely that you’ll gain a positive response when the venture capitalists ask, “Are you profitable?” Jack Warkenthien, CEO, NextStep Solutions. Email him at: or call him at 832-344-6998

Continued from page 10 6 Inspiring Business Lessons for Small Business Owners

velop and actually takes a bit of work. Take the time to evaluate the whole person and not just their resume. 5. Busy-ness When you have fewer demands you become more easily distracted and/or anxious. When your employees have fewer demands, they become less productive. It’s up to you to manage them and yourself to keep your employees busy, focused and inspired. If you’d love to have your employees be productive, give them just a bit more than they think they can do and they’ll do more than they ever thought possible.

Dr. John Demartini, a native of Houston, is a world renowned human behavior specialist, success consultant, educator and internationally published author. He is the founder of the Demartini Institute, a private research and education organization headquartered in Houston with a curriculum of over 72 different courses covering multiple aspects of human development. For more information and to download a free Value Determination Process Workbook, please visit

6. Working on Your Business Business fulfillment doesn’t automatically result from hard work; working smart is just as important. Part of that is raising your fees. Knowing all the details and costs of your business is vital if you’re to have clarity and certainty. Knowing where you stand financially tells you how flexible or firm you can be and prevents you from making unwise business decisions. Take the time to work out all of your costs and put a true value on yourself and the many portions of your business. It will pay handsomely in the long run, saving you years of undervalued work. By spending just one day examining every cost and profit you have over a year you’ll see where you’re doing things that have low effectiveness, where you’re undercharging and overpaying, what your profit margin is and where the greatest profits are possible. Know your Dollar value or you’ll sell yourself short.

Make NextStep your firSt Step towardS reachiNg your SaleS treaSure!

Competitors Sales


Treasure! Sales Goal (1Q)

Sales Training

Networking Gold Sales Goal (1Q)

Large Account

Prospecting Activities X

Your Sales are here...


Sales Tools

Low Payoff ActiviSales Goal (2Q) 832.344.6998


Continued from page 8 What is Professionalism?

Understanding basic good manners and using these guiding principles are a building block for attaining the job and becoming more valuable within your career. Basic good manners including honesty, trustworthiness and acceptable etiquette skills are what companies expect. The professional knows how to address the customer at an initial meeting by using respectful introductions and conversation skills. The professional would know how to handshake, communicate, introduce the product and lead the customer to a successful sale. If invited to be in a social setting such as lunch, the professional is confident with the basics of proper dining etiquette. Some companies take the candidate to lunch as part of the hiring process to know how well this person can perform in a stressful situation. For the company’s peace of mind it also demonstrates how this candidate will perform when out with a valued customer. One’s professionalism can be quickly judged by all individuals in just a few seconds. You must speak positively and have excellent communication skills coupled with good manners. Acceptable attire for the career you enjoy or the career you wish to attain is a huge statement for your first impression when meeting a customer or on a job interview.

National National Association Association of of Women Women Business Business Owners Owners Houston Houston Chapter Chapter Connecting Women Who Connecting Women Who Mean Mean Business Business Why NAWBO? • Women own an estimated 10.6 million businesses in the United States • They employ 19.1 million workers (1 in 7) • Their businesses account for $2.5 trillion in sales • Women business owners are philanthropically active: seven in 10 volunteer at least once per month; 31% contribute $5,000 or more to charity annually; 15% give $10,000 or more. Shouldn’t you be involved in an organization that takes women business owners seriously? To find out more log onto or call 713-487-8475

Self- management in the area of completing the job accurately and thoroughly is the sign of a true professional and the final building block for a solid career. Professionals are expected to manage their time and work habits for outstanding company results. They are given wide latitude in their daily self-management and there is a personal sense of accountability about not abusing the privilege. Those who achieve more than expected from themselves will always grow within their company and will always be referred to as a “true professional”.

Rita Santamaria is the owner of Champions School of Real Estate in Houston TX. Champions have campuses in Houston, Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and On-line Campus. For more information SMALL BUSINESS TODAY MAGAZINE MAY 2013 | PG 38

print + identity

Custom logo design


Do you have the creative team to reinforce your brand?

stationery systems

Marketing Collateral

annual reports & long documents

Is your brand’s online presence engaging dedicated users?

Website development & Maintenance

Mobile site design & development

proposals + presentations

social Media Branding

e-newsletters & digital Campaigns

Are new markets responsive to your brand?

The quick, brown fox jumps over a lazy dog. The quick, brown fox jumps over a lazy dog.

trade show Booth design

electronic presentations (e-Books & powerpoints)

proposal Management, development & design

Creative. dedicated. responsive.


Continued from page 26 Audacious Audacity

We suggested the client be audacious enough to break the rule. By extending the clients family value reputation, we developed an idea that stayed well within the bounds of good taste. The stations agreed and our client's share of intimate apparel sales went through the roof. We did the unexpected and while the industry zagged we zigged. Maybe you have heard this story, or one just like it. It's true. A little known company manufactured a complicated submersible pump. Performance was key. A pump failure could cost enormous amounts in total plant shut down to make repairs. This company's pump tested well above demands made for all competitive pumps and was cheaper to manufacture. Conventional wisdom suggested it be priced lower than competitors. Unexpectedly sales lagged far below projections. The CEO's sales staff complained it was still too expensive because it was new. Without a brand reputation customers were afraid to purchase, install and run the risk of failure. To paraphrase Gene Kranz mission controller of Apollo 13, "Failure was not an option."

The CEO made the audacious move. She increased price above the leading competitor. It worked. The higher price let purchasers believe that if it cost that much more the performance testing must be correct and it must be better. Audacity does work. And when you get ready to zig, remember it takes courage to take the risk. It takes confidence to know you can handle the outcome of any risk. And being audacious is one of the biggest risks of all. But the pay offs ... If your small business does things the way your competitors do them, then why are you in business? Step over the line and make an audacious decision today. Go ahead. Zig.

N D Brown is a Principal of brownchild ltd inc 3754 Sunset \Houston TX 77005 You can reach him at 713 807 9000 or cell 713 822 8370,

       Discover how you can‌ Ward off potential lawsuits Dramatically slash your taxes Greatly reduce your chances of an IRS audit Gain a more credible business image Protect your assets and family for the future Since 1972 we’ve made it our business to make sure you get the most out of your small business. Reap the rewards. Savor your privileges. Join the ranks with the mega successful. Start now with a complimentary consultation from a Laughlin Associates business advisor today.



Continued from page 11 Networking Tips When Dealing with International Prospects

slate and with as few presuppositions as possible.  This will allow for a much more fluid and natural interaction.  Finally, thanks to globalization there is a plethora of knowledge in published works and online about social interaction between cultures.  If you know you are going to have personal or business dealings with someone from a particular culture, it makes good sense to utilize such tools and prepare for your cultural interchange. Therefore, the most important takeaway is that in a networking opportunity, you want to make the other person feel as comfortable as he or she can by mirroring their actions and behaviors. This kind of mutual respect will allow you to go far in multicultural business dealings and create long-lasting relationships.

Ludmila (Mila) Rusakova Golovine is the Founder, CEO and President, MasterWord Services, Inc. Contact her at or 281-589-0810



Breaking Beyond Belief!


By Steven Kay, Steven Kay Media LLC Talk Show Host & Producer, Media Buyer & Consultant Steven Kay Steven Kay Media


here are many people who talk about how to achieve goals. The message is usually the same or similar, although each of them may have a somewhat original or tweaked technique, and their own unique story, the basic principles of achieving goals are always the same. You must have a clearly defined goal and be as precise as possible, you must write them down and review them regularly, you must have a plan that breaks down your long-term goals into short-term goals and then into tasks that are steps towards your vision, and finally you must believe in yourself and your vision and exercise that faith and perseverance so that no matter what gets in your way, you will ultimately make your dream a reality. Yes, we’ve all heard it time and time again. So if we all know what it takes, why aren’t more of us living our dreams? If we all know the steps, why haven’t we already arrived to our destinations, or at least walking the path toward them every day? The answer is both simple and frightening. Even though we believe we can and will, and we tell ourselves that we can and we will, we also believe and tell ourselves we cannot. For every thought of confidence and belief we have in ourselves and in our dreams and in our ability to achieve our goals, we have two or five or ten thoughts that we believe we cannot. Sounds crazy? Absolutely! Here’s a little reality check. Think of one of your goals. Name it. Write it down. Be as specific as possible (if it’s money, then how much, if it’s weight loss, then how much, etc). Now look at it and ask yourself this one simple question… Why have you not achieved this goal already? Ask yourself that question, but then here’s the important part, write down the answers. I’m serious. Write down every reason that comes to mind. Whatever your goals are… make more


money, travel more, spend time with family, be healthier whether it’s getting fit or losing weight, grow your company, hit a new sales level… whatever your specific goal is just ask yourself why you don’t have it yet. Be just as specific with the answers to this question as you are with the goals themselves, because in these answers you will find the things you believe in that stop you from getting what you want. These are called limiting beliefs, and unfortunately they live up to their name. Even more unfortunate is that this is where we spend most of our mental focus when we are working toward our goals. These beliefs are what take our eye off of the target, and if it is true that what we believe becomes our reality, then this is why most never reach their true full potential. The sad part is that we keep doing it to ourselves. I said this sounds crazy before, and it truly is. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The good news is that we all have the power to change this, we can do it at any given moment and a moment is all it takes to change our life. There are many things we can’t control in life, and that’s where these limiting belief come from. For example, if your goal is to make more money but your limiting belief is that your boss won’t give you a raise, then yes, it is true that you really can’t control your boss but you can certainly control the quality of work that you do or where you work. If your goal is to make more sales but your limiting belief is that you don’t have enough contacts or the right clients, then the answer is get out there and meet new prospects and find the right clients! You see, limiting beliefs do also provide answers. Identifying them and writing them down is extremely important, because they

BTM_hispanicchamber_ad.pdf 1 3/27/2013 3:30:25 PM

can be tasks that you take on that will help you achieve that goal. All you have to do is change your focus. If you stay focused on the goal, and everything you do takes you a step closer toward that goal, then you will get there. And the moment you find yourself doing something or even thinking something that does not serve that purpose, then all you have to do is stop doing or thinking it and get back to what does.



International Summit & Business Expo Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 7:30AM - 10:30AM DoubleTree Hilton, 6 East Greenway Plaza


This is what I call “Breaking Beyond Belief.” You have to get your mind away from the limiting beliefs that stop you and stay focused on the belief that no matter what you will become what you are destined to. M



Steven Kay, Talk Show Host & Producer Media Buyer & Consultant, Steven Kay Media LLC, 713-STEVEN-K (713-783-8365),,





Energy Summit & Business Expo

Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 11:30AM - 1:00PM Hilton - University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Rd.

Procurement Summit & Business Expo

Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 7:30AM - 10:30AM Hilton - University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Rd.

Health Summit & Business Expo

Wednesday, August 28, 2013, 7:30AM - 10:30AM Hilton Americas - Downtown, 1600 Lamar St.

Elected Officials Reception

Thursday, September 26, 2013, 5:30PM - 7:00PM Hotel Zaza, 5701 Main St.

Networking and Business Development Breakfast Wednesday, October 9, 2013, 7:30AM - 9:00AM Hilton - University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Rd.

Call (713) 644-7070 or visit us at

Continued from page 17 The Top 3 Things Successful Entrepreneurs Do

doing something special for a customer or team member, they bring that person to the treasure chest and let them pick out something. Inside the treasure chest are gift cards for local vendors, a free lunch on the company, and cards with “get off an hour early,” etc. As a way to keep the cost low, ask your vendors for donations to the treasure chest. By showing your employees that you care enough to recognize the little things they do, you will be creating a culture of caring which ultimately leads to loyal employees and a better bottom line. Utilizing the ideas mentioned in this article, you can do it within a budget. So go ahead, give them a pat on the back for a job well done or a hug for a loss, they’ll appreciate it and will go above and beyond for you. And, if for no other reason, it’s the right thing to do.

Lorraine Grubbs is the president of Lessons in Loyalty. You can contact Lorraine at 281-813-0305 or by email at

Odds of a child becoming a professional athlete: 1 in 16,000 Odds of a child being diagnosed with autism: 1 in 88

Some signs to look for: No big smiles or other joyful expressions by 6 months.

No babbling by 12 months.

No words by 16 months.

To learn more of the signs of autism, visit © 2012 Autism Speaks Inc. “Autism Speaks” and “It’s Time To Listen” & design are trademarks owned by Autism Speaks Inc. All rights reserved.











Advertiser’s Index

2013 Females are Fabulous Conference ................... 4

Nerium ..........................................................................14

Autism Speaks ............................................................. 43

Next Step Solutions......................................................36

Champions School of Business Development ........... 1

Quality Hospitality Travel d/b/a Cruise Planners ......... 32

Champions School of Real Estate .................................. 8

ROAR! Women's Leadership Conference 2013.................

Courthouse Direct.........................................................44

..............................................................Inside Back Cover

EEE Management ......................................................... 37

SF Language Services, Inc. ........................................ 22

Eric Kleiman Photographer ..........................................41

Sales Nexus ...................................................................27

Houston Hispanic Chamber ........................................ 43

Steven Kay ....................................................................25

Houston Minority Supplier Development Council .......18

Suzanne Chadwell ........................................................ 13

Hughes & Cruise............................................. Back Cover

TG Design ....................................................................33

Keystone Resources .................................................... 39

VIP Orbit .......................................................................29

Laughlin Associates ......................................................40


Main Street Chamber of Commerce .........................41

Westpark Communications ............... Inside Front Cover


NAWBO .........................................................................38


Ms. Mogul™ and The Global Mogul® Center for Leadership presents Roar!® Women’s Leadership Summit 2013.

Local Community. Global Opportunity. Thursday, May 23 | 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. E.B. Cape Center - 4501 Leeland - Houston, TX 77023

Conference Host: Chairidee Smith Ms. Mogul™

Speaker Lisa N. Alexander Topic: Building a Successful Global Brand

Keynote Speaker Lioness Leadership™ Award Recipient Elizabeth A. Campbell

Speaker Tonya Hofman Topic: Garner a Global Audience with Speaking

Speaker Catherine Flowers Topic: Global Supply Chain Diversification

Speaker Nancy J. Li Topic: Global Team Building

Poetess Cloris LaRue Author of HERstory

Soloist Mary Loy The National Anthem

2013 ROAR!® HONOREES Beverly Denver, Founder of Houston Woman Magazine Roar’s® 2013 Legacy Lioness™ Award, Recipient

The Honorable Imelda Reyes-Castillo

Roar’s® 2013 Legacy Lioness™ Award, Recipient

Registration is $35 | Vendor Space Available Live streaming for T.E.E.M Members in Baltimore, MD. Visit the site for more info.



Small Business Today Magazine - May 2013 Edition  

Small Business Today Magazine - May 2013 Edition

Small Business Today Magazine - May 2013 Edition  

Small Business Today Magazine - May 2013 Edition