Table of Contents March/April 2012

President's Letter:   Are We There Yet? 6
Editor's Note:   Office Work 8
Business Calendar:     14
Network Central:     18
Top Hats:     20
Cover Story:   Home Work 32
News Reel:   What's happening and who's moving 10
Book Review:   The 3rd Alternative Solving Life's Most Difficult Problems,      
by Stephen R. Covey
Your Voice in Government:   Just a Shell Game? In 2011 the Legislature replaced the Market Value Homestead Credit program with a Homestead Market Value Exclusion. So what changed? 12
People to Know:     15
The Trouble with Business:  
Profit Killer  The cost of employee turnover isn't just time and training.  There are also hard costs that can hurt your bottom line.
Entrepreneurism:   Building Investor Confidence  Spend the time, effort and money to communicate realistic financial statements clearly and convincingly.  It can be the key to successfully finding an investor. 22
TechStrategies:  This new professional networking app on Facebook helps professionals leverage their friend network to advance their careers and showcase their skills.. 24
Tech News     25
Going Green     26
Economic Central presented by Falcon Bank:     28
Feature:   Changing Faces  Ignoring one out of every 10 potential customers is not a good recipe for business success. 38
Special Focus:   Preparing Your Business for Sale 42
Business Spotlight:   Beth Huber, The Quick Fix Massage Shop 46
Commercial Construction, Real Estate and Leasing     43
Online Only:   Maximizing Twitter  
    Six Key Trends for Innovation      
    Creating a Business Plan      
    Great Business Ideas to Start Today  

News & Events

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  • The Taxpayer Advocate Service of the IRS has developed several tools for individuals and employers to assist in estimating their Affordable Care Act related credits and payments. For instance, The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit Estimator can help you determine if you might be eligible for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit and how much credit you might receive.  Learn more here.
  • Some of the most common errors include failure to create a contract, not establishing clear payment terms, and neglecting to follow-up with customers who don’t pay on time.  Find the other nine here.
  • Doing too much, doing too little, and wanting it for free are some of the biggest mistakes small businesses make when it comes to social media marketing.  Read about other mistakes and how to avoid them here.
  • Some simple precautions can go a long way toward protecting your business from hackers.  Here are five simple tips that will help keep your data safe.
  • Minnesota claimed the top spot in the CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, ninth annual list of America’s Top States for Business. Minnesota, which took sixth place last year, came out on top, scoring 1,584 out of 2,500 points.  The rankings for all 50 states are available here.
  • We celebrated 15 years in business at an open house with the Chamber of Commerce.  Jim McAlister, Tell-A-Vision Productions, put together a video for us.  Among the stars are associate publisher Wendy Hendricks, Hendricks Marketing.  You can watch the video here.
  • On November 3, 2015, the St. Cloud Area School District is asking voters to decide on a proposed Bond Referendum.  Take time to educate yourself before you cast your ballot.  You can find referendum information, including the tax impact for individual homeowners and businesses here.

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