Archive for November, 2010

Thankful for our clients
November 23, 2010

It’s well-known that clients and customers are the lifeblood of any business, small or large.  Furthermore, most business owners know that earning clients in today’s economy is tough and keeping them is even tougher.   For a business to succeed, it must redefine the concept of service.  It’s not enough to believe that good service is simply the absence of bad service.  Exceeding expectations at every turn by focusing on the core values that matter is what is really important.  As Thanksgiving approaches, all businesses should remember to say thanks to all the people who have chosen them over their competition.

Q:  How do you say thank you to clients at your business?

Don’t Tase Me Bro
November 10, 2010

In September 2007, a University of Florida student enjoyed short-lived fame with his ubiquitous quote, “Don’t Tase Me Bro!”  That was good for a laugh but I think what he really meant to say was, “Don’t Tax Me Bro!”   Government spending and taxation in the US are out of control!   Between taxes levied at the local, state, and federal level, it’s a wonder there is anything left for personal expenditures at all.  Add to these taxes all the other miscellaneous fees and charges levied on individuals and businesses and the situation becomes very grim indeed.  Don’t just take my word for it.  Instead, the next time you open your water bill or cable TV bill really take a close look at it.  Shocking isn’t it.  As for me, I recently paid a required fee to have the fire department come through my office and inspect it.  They checked the fire extinguisher to ensure it had enough pressure and looked around the office.  The mandatory inspection process only lasted 5 minutes if I’m being generous and the charge for this inspection – $40.  I’m not sure who receives this money or what it goes toward, but that fee equates to $480 an hour.  Multiply that times the number of businesses who pay the fee and the city has racked up some nice revenue for itself.  Anyway you slice it, $480/hr is a pretty hefty sum.  If you are like me, then you probably wonder how much of this money actually makes its way back to the fire department.  I pay this mandatory fee to the city each year with the hope that most or even a small portion of it does find its way back to the fire department but I wonder.  Instead of Don’t Tase Me Bro!, maybe the real battle cry in America should be Don’t Tax Me Bro!  I’ll take the taser over taxes any time.  Very simply, America will recover from the Great Recession when the local, state, and federal government stops overspending & over-taxing and starts really supporting small businesses.  One good place for local government to start – do away with fees such as the $40 annual fire inspection or at the very least consider a more reasonable charge for the inspection.  Don’t tax me bro!  Don’t tax me bro! Don’t tax me bro!  Don’t ta….

Q:   Are you tired of paying too much in taxes?  If so, just reply with the rally cry – Don’t Tax Me Bro!

Economy picks up steam in 4th quarter
November 7, 2010

The FED started its next round of economic stimulus but that’s not the good news.  The good news is that 151,000 jobs were created in October 2010 and fewer jobs were lost in August and September than expected.    That’s good news, not great news, but at least it’s positive momentum.  If the American economy is missing anything, it’s positive momentum.  Although we have a long way to go before we hit the 5% unemployment rate that some economists consider full employment, many companies are starting to hire again.  That’s something that small business owners can really hang their hats on.  Maybe, just maybe, this is the beginning of a more robust and sustainable economic recovery.  More job growth sure would be a shot in the arm for the real estate industry which, in turn, would further help the overall economy.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the recent job growth figures are more than just an anomaly and the national economy is truly moving full-steam ahead.

Q:  Do you think that hiring by companies will continue into 2011?

Eureka – gold reaches new high
November 4, 2010

Did someone shout eureka?  Currently it seems that many people have gold rush fever.  Not surprising given that the price of gold has eclipsed $1,300 an ounce.  Personally, I think gold is near its peak, but I read the other day where a proponent of gold investments was speculating that gold could reach $10,000 an ounce.  I don’t see that happening but I don’t claim to understand the gold craze either.  I certainly get that it’s a precious metal and that it is a hedge against inflation.  I get that we once operated on the gold standard, and I get that gold makes nice jewelry.  As an investment, however, it seems very overpriced and it costs money to store and secure.  Furthermore, there are other hedges against inflation such as oil, raw land, antiques, or fine art that are less speculative in nature.  As for me, I like oil and raw land.  Call me crazy, but I’m staying away from the current gold rush unless I’m betting the price will drop.      

Q:  What’s your take on investing in gold?