Table of Contents March/April 2012

CONTENTS      
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
       
UPFRONT      
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
10
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.
16
BUSINESS TOOLS      
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:   Talent.me  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
THIS ISSUE      
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
       
SPECIAL SECTION      
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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Online Only

  • Desperate for a new logo, but don’t have a budget to hire it done? These tips may be just what you need to make an inexpensive, creative logo.
  • Mobile ads have a redemption rate 10 times higher than that of traditional coupons.  And it’s not just for the big box stores. If you’ve been thinking about trying text marketing, maybe now is the time.  Here are some ideas to help you get started.
  • Small business owners need help, especially if they’re new to starting and growing a business.  But where do you turn for reliable, ongoing advice?  These suggestions will point you in the right direction as you seek the right person to match your business needs.
  • You can use IRS Free File to prepare and e-file your federal tax return for free. Free File will do much of the work for you with brand-name tax software or fillable forms. The only way to use IRS Free File is through the IRS website.
  • Facts About the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit
    The small business health care tax credit benefits employers who:
    ·       offer coverage through the small business health options program, also known as the SHOP marketplace
    ·       have fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees
    ·       pay an average wage of less than $50,000 a year
    ·       pay at least half of the employee’s health insurance premiums
     
    Healthcare.gov offers information about insurance plans offered through the SHOP Marketplace.
  • The Secret Sauce
    To engage your employees, create an engaging workplace.
     
    The Gallup organization measures employee engagement annually and always discovers that the majority of workplaces do not really engage employees.  The survey results can help leaders design a workplace where employees are engaged and self-motivated.

    Using a feedback form can help employees focus on organizational and individual goals.

    Bruce Miles, Big River Group, has a variety of resources related to employee engagement available on his website. 
  • The 2017 Winter Institute is Thursday and Friday, Feb. 23-24. This year’s program features keynote speaker Deirdre McCloskey, a well-known economist, historian and rhetorician who will discuss “Liberal Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Make Us Rich.” 
     
    At noon on Friday, learn about innovation in action when a group of business owners share their stories.  From child care to farming you'll hear how following your passion and creatively serving your customers ends up in a better product and increased opportunities.  The session includes a combination of live presentations and video.  It is sponsored by the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce.
     
    The Winter Institute is an annual celebration of economic education organized by St. Cloud State University and sponsored by the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce and other local businesses and organizations. Registration is required and some events require admission fees.

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