Archive for the 'Leadership' Category

01
Dec
11

irs announces new settlement …read now!


90% off

  The IRS has a new settlement program that allows businesses to voluntarily reclassify their workers as employees and avoid 90% of the normal taxes and penalties. 

This is a very important issue because the federal government loses $2.7 billion annually over misclassification – and there is significant pressure to balance the government budget by closing these loopholes (so we can avoid raising taxes and/or avoid reducing federal and state services).

The IRS is giving businesses an opportunity to voluntarily reclassify and only pay 10% of the taxes that would normally be owed.

We have prepared a 9-minute video that explains how to use independent contractors correctly and the IRS settlement program if they are unable to comply with the rules.  

 

 Watch this 9-minute video

For more informatino please visit with your tax advisor before taking any action.

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13
Jul
11

Seven Reasons EVERY Business and Non-profit Organization Should Be A Member of Their Local Chamber of Commerce In A Challenging Economy


 Article By: Tony Rubleski

 In a world loaded with marketing options and information overload I’m often asked by new and existing business owners for a simple, inexpensive way to increase their local visibility and marketing efforts to produce more opportunities and sales. Without a doubt, I always ask a stunningly simple question, Are you a member of your local chamber of commerce? I get one of three answers:

1. Yes
2. No, but tell me more
3. We used to be a member

Now I know every person has opinions but I’d like you to take a moment to read this brief article to discover seven reasons why I strongly feel that every business and non-profit organization should be a member of their local chamber regardless of the size of their organization, marketing budget, years in business, or even if they’ve heard or possibly had a negative chamber experience in the past. In light of the current challenges in the economy, this article is even more relevant than when I first wrote it two-years ago.

1. Visibility. Yes, you’ve heard it said time and time again, that out of sight means out of mind. This is not a smart strategy for any business, especially when times are good. A market can change quickly. As Jim Collins says, good is the enemy of great. This is a great statement, but I’d like to add to it as it relates to marketing. While good is the enemy of great, complacency and short term thinking is the enemy of sustained marketing breakthroughs.

Let’s look at a real world example of chamber complacency in action. Having worked with hundreds of chambers throughout North America, I’m simply baffled that within many communities how few real estate agents and automotive sales reps are either non-existent or barely active within their local chamber. In these two highly competitive and crowded markets you’d think these folks would do anything to stand out from the competition and fully leverage the chamber to get an edge. Nope. It’s as if they have no idea the local chamber exists and how it can benefit their business.

2. Access. Unless you’re crazy or like consistent rejection, no one enjoys making cold calls all day long. It’s a painful, tedious process that often wastes far too much time and mentally drains even the most upbeat and friendly person after a while. When you join a chamber and actively get involved you’ll discover that meeting prospects who may have an interest or who can refer you to key contacts you’re trying to reach, is a huge benefit of membership. From being on committees, serving as an ambassador, or attending specific events where prospects are likely to be, you’ll find yourself in situations where you can identify and meet decision makers face-to-face versus making cold calls.

3. Ongoing training and education. Unless you have the luxury of a training budget or can afford to bring in local, regional or nationally known experts on different topics, I firmly believe that there’s no other organization in America that delivers timely programs at such an affordable price as the local or regional chamber of commerce. By spreading costs among fellow members through registration fees and sponsorships, members can stay updated, informed and educated at a bargain price.

4. Networking. From seminars, leads groups, luncheons to business expos and various business and community committees, there’s absolutely no excuse for not being able to meet new contacts, referrals and people who can help you with ideas and additional ways to grow your business.

The old adage, out of sight, out of mind, is so true when it relates to networking. The chamber gives your several different venues to meet new people. My entire career I’ve utilized the power of networking in my home chamber’s ranging from serving as co-chair of the ambassador league to sponsoring and speaking at different events. The positive outcomes on the bottom line and great people I’ve met have been great. In addition, doing business with fellow member who offer wonderful products, services, and ideas has also been a big plus.

5. Low cost advertising opportunities. As far as visibility at the local level, a chamber offers a wide range of affordable advertising options and sponsorship packages for just about every business or non-profit, regardless of how big or small their budget may be. I’ve bought and sold traditional media and I can tell you it’s not cheap. For the price of a few ads within a major media outlet, you can often sponsor an entire program with the chamber, give a short commercial about your company, meet new prospects and follow up with the list of attendees who may have a need for your offering. This is a wonderful way to hold your marketing dollars accountable and see them working hard right before your eyes.

A common area to get low cost or free advertising is submitting updates or news briefs for possible inclusion within the chamber “Member News’ section of the newsletter or eletter. Amazingly, a lot of members do not take advantage of this wonderful free marketing opportunity provided with their membership. The chamber is always on the lookout for member related news. I make it a goal to get over a small news update or announcement at least every two to three months to my local chambers because I know many times it will get printed and read by key people in the business community.

6. Advocacy. A foolish belief among large companies, especially national retail outlets, is that they’re too big or not local enough to care about getting involved or joining their local chamber of commerce. A few things they should think about: Are their employees and customers local? Are taxes and school systems important to finding and retaining a high quality work force? These are key areas that the chamber researches, lobbies and routinely discusses with local and regional government units, politicians and the media to keep people up to date on central issues of importance pertaining to their membership and the community.

What happens to your local employees and customers does have an impact on your business even if you’re a national chain. In addition, missing out on networking, sponsorship and other business building news and benefits, I think it looks incredibly tacky if four or five local businesses are active in the chamber and a national firm in the same market area won’t even join. In my mind this sends an incongruent message to the market when the national company claims to be ‘a good corporate citizen’ but they won’t join and get involved with their local chamber of commerce.

7. Money saving discounts. If you fully leverage the cost saving discounts ranging from health insurance, office supplies, to discounted phone service to other items your business currently uses or will need, it’s not uncommon for a small business to easily find enough savings in the first 30-60 days upon joining with endorsed providers or member to member discounts to recoup most, if not all of their membership dues. Being a small business owner, I can attest to the fact that being a member of the chamber and shopping around for discounts and services available makes joining achievable for any company regardless of how limited their marketing budget may be.

Well, there you have it! Seven great reasons to join or get more involved and fully leverage the benefits that your home town or regional chamber of commerce can provide your business or organization.

©2011 by Tony Rubleski. Tony is a #1 Bestselling author with Amazon.com and currently the president of Mind Capture Group. For additional information including blogs, articles, free resources and his newly released book visit: http://www.MindCaptureGroup.com.

 

 

 

17
Jun
11

Economic Indicators remain strong for Longview TX


Cautious optimism remains in place for the Longview economy as unemployment numbers continue to be below state and national averages coupled with another strong monthly sales tax report from the State Comptroller’s office.   Yesterday, the Texas Labor Market Information services released their latest report for the Longview MSA.  Unemployment is at 6.7% compared to the State ‘s 7.9% and US’s 8.7%.  Mining, Logging and Construction experienced a 9.4% growth rate compared to the same time last year.  Manufacturing reflected a 3.8% increase with Professional and Business Services at 3.7%.

The Longview Chamber builds hundreds of relocation packet for member companies to aid in their recruitment process stated Kelly Hall, President/CEO.   Over the past 60  days we have seen the volume of relocation packets  increase immensely compared to the same time last year.  HR teams from several sectors have requested high volumes of relo packets for their recruitment efforts.

Additional good news comes from WIRED Magazine.  Adam Davidson did an article recently on “The Emerging Epicenters of High Tech Industry”.   He created a map utilizing the Cluster Mapping Project at  Harvard Business School. The  provides the top 20 job-creating areas for the following fields: Plastics, Chemicals, Automotive, Aerospace vehicles, Information technology, Biopharma, Metal manufacturing, Communication technology, Medical technology, Analytical instruments, and Electrical equipment.  Eastman Chemical of Longview Texas is spotlighted at http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/05/ff_jobsclustermap/.  Davidson reports Eastman dominates the chemical industry in Longview, an area spread over 3 counties in East Texas.  The company produces more than 40 products but ethyl acetate NF – solvent also used in pharmaceutical production and cosmetics – is as Longview specialty (even comes in kosher variety).

Longview Texas economic recovery continues to outpace the state and country.  If you would like to share more good news about your companies growth patterns in Longview  please contact Kelly Hall at president@longviewtx.com.

16
May
11

Have you seen Waiting for Superman


This week the Longview Chamber  is screening the groundbreaking film Waiting for “Superman,” on Wed., May 19th,  11:15am – 1:30pm.  The purpose is  to spark a desperately needed conversation on the state of public education in America.  If you would like to attend please be sure and RSVP your spot today at 903.237.4000!  The program is FREE and includes a lite lunch.

 Waiting for Superman” tells the story of five children as they try to make their way out of the low-performing public schools to which they are assigned and into charter schools of their choosing. Along the way, viewers are exposed to the low expectations and dismal student achievement results that exist in too many schools—and what they mean for children, their families, and communities. The facts are alarming. Among developed countries, the United States ranks 21st out of 30 in science literacy and 25th out of 30 in mathematics literacy. The achievement gap between low-income and minority students and their peers is gaping.  

But the movie is at its most powerful when it goes beyond facts and figures to show the impact of a failing education system on real children, their families, and communities. Take, for example, Anthony, a fifth-grader living in Washington, D.C., who wants a different life than the one that caused his father to die from drug addiction. Anthony’s path to a brighter future—acceptance into a high-performing public charter school—will be determined by a lottery. The school to which he is applying has only 24 slots for 61 applicants. This is tragic—and maddening.

We send our children into the classroom with an expectation that they will learn and succeed in core academic subjects and ultimately be prepared to enter college or a career upon graduation. For students who are lucky enough to attend strong schools and receive instruction from effective teachers, this is the case. But far too many young Americans are not so fortunate. These students—not all of them low-income—are trapped in low–performing or mediocre schools, often with no way out. While school reform has been debated for years, there’s been too little serious action.

Because a superhero isn’t coming to save our schools, it’s up to every American to demand more from the educational establishment. A good K–12 education isn’t just for the privileged few; it’s the birthright of every American child.

This screening is part of a nationwide effort by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s National Chamber Foundation to use the film as a catalyst to discuss the crisis in the nation’s schools, the forces standing in the way of needed change, and the steps toward reform.  For more information about the film and campaign, visit www.uschamber.com/waitingforsuperman.

If you can not attend the May 19th screening please mark your calendar for  July 13, 7:30 am – 9:45 am or August 25, 4:00pm – 6:15pm.  RSVP’s are needed.

04
May
11

Bussey receives standing ovation at Chamber luncheon


Balloonist Bill Bussey Recognized as 2011 Tourism Partner

Bill Bussey received the 2011 Tourism Partner of the year award Tuesday, May 3rd at the Longview Chamber of Commerce luncheon.   In 2007, the Longview Convention and Visitors Bureau began a tradition of recognizing a Tourism Partner of the Year.  This recognition is awarded to a local business or person that has demonstrated a commitment to supporting tourism in Longview through service, sacrifice and individual involvement. 

This year’s recipient opened his dental practice in Longview, Texas in 1971. He continues his practice of general dentistry and placing implants today with no plans to retire from the profession he loves.

Our honoree is also a professional balloonist and has logged over 3,000 hours flying hot air balloons. His awards, honors and accomplishments are so numerous we are able to mention only a small fraction of them here today.

  • Ranked No. 1 pilot in the National Balloon Racing Association – 1988
  • Ranked No. 1 pilot in the Balloon Federation of America – 1989
  • Set 29 United States National Records for Distance and Duration in a balloon
  • Set 15 World Records for Distance and Duration in a balloon
  • Recipient of Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta “Spirit of Ballooning Award”
  • Shields-Trauger Award for Most significant flight in a hot air balloon
  • NAA Award for One of Ten Most Memorable Flights in Aviation
  • Only balloonist inducted into Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, 2007
  • Montgolfier Diploma, the Highest International Award in Ballooning

Thirty four years ago, this year’s recipient organized a hot air balloon event in Longview that became the largest event of its kind and class in Texas and second only to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in scope and importance.  Thirty years ago, he created the Balloon Glow which has been copied around the world and is a part of almost every hot air balloon event. 

This year the recognition goes to an individual that has worked selflessly for more than 34 years to help Longview attain elite status in the international world of hot air balloon racing.  It is because of his dedication to bringing excitement, prestige and recognition to Longview, Texas.   His resolve packaged with experience, knowledge, and reputation has helped Longview be selected to host the United States National Hot Air Balloon Championships in 2012, 2013, and 2014. 

For this commitment and passion for our city, Longview, Texas, we select Dr Bill Bussey for the 2011 Tourism Partner of the Year.

29
Apr
11

Johnson and Pace Chamber’s Small Business of the Year Award Recipient


Johnson & Pace, Inc.

On Tuesday, May 3rd at the Lognview Chamber’s Small Business Celebration Luncheon Johnson & Pace will be name Small Busienss of the Year.

Johnson & Pace Incorporated, headquarters in Longview with additional offices in Shreveport and Tyler.  Johnson & Pace has grown into a full-service engineering, architecture, and surveying firm in less than 15 years. The company provides a broad range of services including; land development, structural design, and construction administration.

Johnson & Pace’s entrepreneurial spirit is transparent throughout their team. Key team leaders took time to research and meet to develop the company’s core – mission, vision, and strategic plan.  Although it took time, Johnson & Pace staff members now know what the company prioritizes–personal communication and quality deliverables.

Johnson & Pace is committed to setting a good example as a corporate citizen through community service. As a company they participate in Keep Longview Beautiful and Adopt-A-Park by having been a sponsor for Kidsview Park, as well as participate in Relay for Life and Junior Achievement.  In addition the company sponsors and donates to many Longview Ballet, Taste of Longview, American Heart Association/Go Red, Safe Haven, LISD Foundation, Junior League and Preservation Longview.  Employees are also engaged in the community by volunteering for Junior Achievement, Longview Symphony, The Ty that Binds, Longview Rotary, Salvation Army, Longview South Rotary, Pilot Club, and a host of religious organizations.

“Since founding Johnson & Pace (formerly FWJ Engineering) in 1995 our company has developed and/or utilized innovative business strategies to grow our company.  Because of our successful business model over the past 3 years when companies have had to lay off our company has expanded services and added 20 additional staff members.” – Wade Johnson, PE – Majority Owner

For more informatino about the Chamber’s membership luncheon contact 903.237.4000 or visit www.longviewchamber.com.

29
Apr
11

Edible Art Specialty Cakes and Cookies name 2011 Minority Small Business Champion of the Year


Edible Art Specialty Cakes & Cookies

The Longview Chamber will be recognizing  Edible Art Leaders Debbie Fontaine and Joyce Yuen the 2011 Minority Small Business Champion of the Year on Tuesday, May 3rd, during the Chamber’s small business celebration luncheon. 

Edible Art Specialty Cakes & Cookies, LLC is focused on keeping clients coming back for their one-of-a kind products that taste as good as they look.  Edible Art Leaders Debbie Fontaine and Joyce Yuen have led their business for four years. They are committed to constantly strive towards providing uniquely designed specialty cakes, cupcakes, and cookies packaged in a manner that brings pure joy to their customers.

Debbie and Joyce believe their success is due to the “Edible Art Experience”.  Their specialized service requires a meeting with each customer to sketch out their customized order to ensure specific design elements are incorporated into the clients dreams.  Creating the “Edible Art Experience” has created a niche market with a boutique bakery offering like no other in East Texas.  

Success has not been an easy task for these entrepreneurs during these rocky economic times. However, their commitment to exceeding customer expectations has allowed them to grow their business and become debt free as well as being able to employ several “Confection Designers” to meet customer requests. 

Giving back to the community is important to Edible Art Leaders Fontaine and Yuen.  Their community involvement includes LISD’s Technical Students Association, LISD Orchestra Booster Club, Longview youth Symphony, church, Partners in Prevention Steering Committee, and Culture Arts Advisory Commission.

 “Many small businesses within the Longview area are worthy of this award. We at Edible Art are honored to have been chosen among this deserving group of businesses. We take pride in working with other organizations in our community, and accept this award knowing that we would not be successful without our customers. Our goal is to continue to strive for excellence while expanding our products and services and creating new jobs.”

– Joyce Yuen – Edible Art Leader

For more information about the membership luncheon contact the Chamber at 903.237.4000 or visit www.longviewchamber.com.