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Tuesday, 21 March 2006 12:10

Glenn Goldman

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Glenn Goldman knows that without clients, he wouldn’t have a $180 million business, so he continuously works to cultivate strong relationships with them. The CEO of AdvanceMe Inc. has honed his skills through 20 years of experience in the financing, building and strategic positioning of national consumer and commercial finance companies. In 2001, Goldman joined AdvanceMe Inc., which provides working capital for businesses based on a company’s projected future credit card sales. He has also worked at ContiFinancial Corp. and Merrill Lynch, and was a founding partner of G2 LLC. Goldman spoke with Smart Business about how he approaches customer…
Tuesday, 21 March 2006 11:59

Refueling mission

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A 36-inch mainline pipe in Greenville County, S.C,. ruptured just before midnight on June 26, 1996, leaking nearly 1 million gallons of diesel fuel into the Reedy River. The event marked the low point in Colonial Pipeline Co.’s 44-year history. “The Reedy River spill was a bit of a wake-up call for us, the board of directors,” says David L. Lemmon, president and CEO of the company at the time. “I had been through a similar transition at Amoco. The old oil (industry) mentality was, ‘I’ll compromise on the courthouse steps.’ We changed that mentality at Amoco in the ’70s…
Monday, 13 February 2006 19:00

Taking all due credit

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Whether adding employees, purchasing capital equipment or researching ways to develop new technologies and create new products, businesspeople who invest in their own companies or establish new enterprises drive the economy in ways that extend well beyond their own industries. According to Amy Lee, tax manager for Tauber & Balser PC, an Atlanta-based accounting and consulting firm whose clients include public and private firms in the construction, hospitality, manufacturing, real estate, professional services, not-for-profit and technology industries, the federal government offers a variety of incentives that encourage business owners to keep their own economic engines humming. Known as general business…
Wednesday, 01 February 2006 19:00

Measuring success

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When companies expand, they often risk losing the quality that propelled them to success in the first place. That is something that Dan Kohl, president and CEO of Pediatric Services of America Inc. (PSA), is well aware of. He knows that consistency and communication, paired with employee growth and education, are paramount to ensuring that each of his company’s 100-plus locations remains dedicated to providing the highest level of care to its patients and their families. “When you’re looking at taking care of medically fragile kids, what we do is critically important,” Kohl says. “We’ve got to ensure that the…
Monday, 30 January 2006 19:00

Asset protection

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For business owners and executives, potential creditor claims may damage their net worth far more than taxes. Liability can arise from contractual or tort claims. Increasingly, liability is being imposed on those who personally did no wrong. For example, liability may be incurred for damages caused by someone for whom you are deemed responsible (e.g., employees) and for accidents that occur on your premises. Advisers who focus solely on tax reduction strategies are not providing comprehensive planning for you and your business. Identifying potential creditors, valuing potential claims and implementing protective techniques are essential to protect your business and personal…
Monday, 30 January 2006 19:00

Protecting your bank account

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It happens every day from Sacramento to Savannah — employees and strangers commit fraud, stealing businesses’ money. And with each person involved in a company’s finances, the organization becomes more exposed. “It sounds scary,” says Catherine Iconis, forensic associate with accounting and consulting firm Tauber & Balser PC, “but there are a variety of things that companies can do, and that’s what make this less scary — you can protect yourself.” Smart Business spoke with Iconis about how companies can identify, prevent and protect themselves against fraud against their bank accounts. What kinds of bank account fraud should businesses be…
Friday, 27 January 2006 05:36

Building a bridge to success

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After years of working for Accenture and PeopleSoft, Satish Shah fulfilled his dream by founding SkyBridge Global, a consulting firm specializing in Oracle, PeopleSoft and government solutions. Shah, president of SkyBridge Global, started the company in 1999 with no partners, no clients and no venture capitalists, and has grown it to more than $10 million in revenue and 200 employees. Shah says he has built his business by developing relationships with clients and employees, and he acquired Meridian Systems Consulting, a huge contributor to SkyBridge Global’s growth, after he developed a relationship with one of the company’s founders. Developing and…
Wednesday, 28 December 2005 06:06

Building the team

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Productivity, job satisfaction, morale and communication contribute to strong teamwork, and without teamwork, companies cannot be successful, says Timothy Duffy, president and CEO of Fighter Associates. “At the end of the game, it’s all about success — trying to form a good team,” Duffy says. “You can define success however you like, whether it’s job satisfaction, more money, more time off, whatever it is. At the end of the day, people want to be successful. Teams, sharing the opportunities and the risks, are the best way to do it.” Smart Business spoke with Duffy about how to foster teamwork within…
Tuesday, 27 December 2005 05:30

Innovative ideas

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Patience is a virtue, and W. Thomas Green Jr. has found that sometimes patience pays off. Although the founder and CEO of Greenway Medical Technologies had to wait three years before his company made any revenue, it is now growing rapidly — revenue increased from $8.8 million in 2004 to $17.6 million in 2005. Green started the company in 1998 but didn’t see any revenue until 2001 because it took that long to build the product — software solutions for the health care industry. The goal is to integrate business and clinical functions to enable physicians to better serve their…
Monday, 21 November 2005 19:00

Leading the pack

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Female business owners account for nearly half of all privately held firms in the United States. In fact, according to the Center for Women’s Business Research, in 2004 there were an estimated 10.6 million businesses that were privately held and that had woman ownership of 50 percent or more, accounting for 47.7 percent of all privately held firms. The largest share of these firms is in the service sector at 45 percent, followed by retail trade (16.4 percent), finance, insurance or real estate (8.9 percent), construction (6 percent) and other unclassified industries (12.5 percent). The growth in the number of…
Tuesday, 22 November 2005 09:52

Franchise frenzy

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Combine the sports knowledge of a former Olympic coach with the expertise of two successful businessmen and you get a thriving business that provides athletes with advanced sports training. Velocity Sports Performance, created by David Walmsley, Richard Kissane and former Olympic track and field coach Loren Seagrave, helps athletes of all ages reach their athletic potential through training programs scientifically designed to maximize sports performance. “It’s been a great business to be involved in, where you can do something that is really new and also do something that is really beneficial to people,” says Walmsley. The company began franchising in…
Monday, 10 October 2005 12:06

The Johnson file

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Born: 1950, Phoenix Education: Bachelor of science degree, law degree, Western State University College of Law First job: Working in a restaurant, Beefeaters. I was there nine years. I started off as a dishwasher and ended up in management. Career moves: Previously, senior vice president, international, for Ruby Tuesday Inc. Served as vice president of international operations for Carlson Restaurants’ T.G.I.F., Italiannis, Front Row Sports Grille and Friday’s American Bar. Also worked with Bennigan’s, a division of S&A Restaurants Inc. What is the greatest business lesson you’ve learned? Close my mouth and open my ears. That is very important. I…
Monday, 10 October 2005 11:31

Musical carriers

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Most employers have heard from a benefits broker, agent or consultant that if they change carriers too often, the market will decline to quote on their group. Is this true? Are there penalties involved with changing carriers too often? There has been a tremendous amount of misinformation regarding this subject, and the following facts should be considered when reviewing your benefits. Myths debunked Even if you change every year, the market will still quote on your group. The myth has been used to scare groups into renewing with carriers even when better alternatives were available. Some carriers may decline you…
Monday, 10 October 2005 10:50

External control

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Last month, we discussed the main functions of a document management system, with regard to documents that are internally generated and, therefore, already available electronically. This month, we want to concentrate on external documents. External document management External documents can enter your company in a number of ways. Mail Courier Fax E-mail Hand delivery The documents received via e-mail are the easiest to manage. They are already available in an electronic format and can be imported into the archiving system and processed from there. Fax documents are as easy, as well, if the implemented solution for fax allows an incoming…
Tuesday, 27 September 2005 09:11

Competitive benefits

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Why offer employee benefits? This core question often gets lost during the review of a group’s employee benefits program. Owners, CFOs and even HR directors are starting to look at benefits as just another expense. However, if your lose sight of the reason why you offer benefits, then you may be throwing good money after bad. Benefits are offered for two primary reasons: recruiting and retaining employees. The best test of a successful benefits program is employee participation level. Although medical is only one of many benefits that can be offered, it is a core benefit. Over the years, participation…
Tuesday, 27 September 2005 06:31

Document management systems

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The main functions of a Document Management System (DMS) are: Generation Distribution Storage Retrieval Retention The DMS processes for documents that are internally generated, typically from an ERP application, are described below. GenerationWhile document generation might be as simple as consuming an existing file or printed output, it can turn into the involved task of defining the sources of information, processing this information and defining the desired output. However, the result of this task will always be a piece of information that can be passed to the next steps of the DMS. DistributionOnce the document has been made available by…
Monday, 26 September 2005 12:58

Road to success

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Earl Scott spent 18 years working for companies in the environmental industry before venturing out his own. Scott, president of Premier Environmental Services Inc., founded his company in 1998 to provide strategic environmental and consulting services. Today, Premier has grown from a one-man business to one with more than 100 employees in 10 offices across the United States and Canada. In 2003, it posted revenue of $7.7 million; in 2004, that grew to $11 million. Smart Business spoke with Scott about the challenges of running a fast-growth company, attracting the best employees and the importance of communication. How do you…
Monday, 22 August 2005 07:24

Finding your balance

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Recently I had lunch with Susan, a successful managing partner at a large financial services firm. After she recounted closing a major deal with a new client, celebrating her 10th year of marriage, becoming president of her nonprofit association and agreeing to serve as room mother for both of her kids’ classes, she paused and looked at me with eyes filled with tears. “I’m exhausted,” she said. “I feel like I’m running as fast as I can, but I’m not really getting anywhere. I’m not sure what it all means anymore.” Her story illustrates a key lesson for all of…
Monday, 22 August 2005 05:48

Is faxing obsolete?

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When it comes to Document Management Systems (DMS), there is one field in particular that many people don’t even consider being a part of DMS. I am talking about faxing. It’s easy to think that e-mail might make faxing obsolete, however, quite the opposite is true. According to IDC, an IT market intelligence and advisory company, the faxing industry is an $83 billion global market today and will grow past $90 billion in the next few years. These numbers represent only the transmission revenue and do not include hardware, software, maintenance costs or the most significant cost of traditional faxing…
Wednesday, 17 August 2005 12:13

In the entrepreneurial zone

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If things had held to form, IN ZONE Brands Inc. would simply be another company on the list of those co-founded by Jim Scott. But something happened along the way, and after an attempt to step away, Scott finds himself back at the helm of the $54 million company that manufactures Bellywashers and Tummy Ticklers. Not familiar with those names? You can bet your pre-teen kids know about these juices packaged in cartoon-themed containers. “In 1982, I dropped out of college and I built two companies,” says Scott, IN ZONE’s CEO. “One was a moving company called Bulldog Movers. The…
Wednesday, 27 July 2005 07:24

Movers & Shakers

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Roslyn Ridgeway, president and CEO of entertainment production company De Roz Productions Inc., was elected president of Business and Professional Women/USA (BPW/USA), the nation’s leading advocacy organization for working women on work/life balance and workplace equity issues. Ridgeway is the 64th national president and the second African-American to head BPW/USA. She is the first person from Georgia to hold this position. Previously Ridgeway, who also is founder of the National Council of Women in Entertainment, served in various capacities with BPW/USA for 20 years. She is also a member of the Atlanta Urban Chapter of BPW. Ridgeway has received numerous…
Monday, 25 July 2005 20:00

Types of entity declaration

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The type of business entity utilized for a new venture is one of the most important decisions facing a new business owner. Choosing an inappropriate entity can have devastating effects, while an appropriate choice can reap tremendous benefits. While there are many variations, the three main business entity choices are sole proprietorship, partnership (or limited liability company, LLC) and corporation. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, and each may be treated differently among the 50 states. This discussion will focus on broad characteristics. As always, it is recommended that you seek professional advice when determining which entity is best…
Tuesday, 26 July 2005 12:25

Be a leader to your clients

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For most financial advisers, successfully meeting a client’s financial goals defines the completion of a successful case. The exceptional financial adviser will fulfill a client’s goals, but understands that he or she also needs to perform three distinct roles — adviser, counselor and leader. The adviser role entails educating clients as to how a specific strategy or financial instrument should work. Most advisers understand this role and believe developing this skill is all that is required to be successful. However, the role of counselor is more what clients are looking for when searching for a financial adviser. A counselor is…
Friday, 24 June 2005 09:26

Flying high

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For more than 30 years, Monica Teplis has helped people get from one place to another. And while that concept hasn't changed, the company and the way it conducts business are light years away from the small agency she and her late husband opened in 1972 to plan travel for groups. Teplis, president and owner of the $85 million Teplis Travel Service, kept getting the same question from early clients -- do you do corporate travel? "The answer was no at that time," says Teplis, a native of England who came to the United States in 1968. "But we looked…
Wednesday, 08 June 2005 11:45

Chamber music

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When Sara Gonzalez came to the United States in the 1960s from Cuba, there was no infrastructure in place to teach Hispanic immigrants the intricacies of the American way of life. Today, as president of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, she works to make sure that the thousands of Latino immigrants arriving in Georgia each year have advantages that were unavailable to her 40 years ago. "It's very important to educate," she says. "When in Rome, do as the Romans do. We all come from very different backgrounds, very different countries (with) many different rules and regulations, and we…
Monday, 23 May 2005 09:12

Tax-deferred

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As important as we all know it is, saving for retirement isn't always easy. For most people, there are bills to pay, children to educate and businesses to manage -- expensive undertakings that often relegate saving for retirement to the back burner. Unfortunately, by the time many people are finally in a position to start putting substantial amounts of money aside for retirement, federal tax law limits the amounts they are able to defer into 401(k) and other retirement savings plans. If you are a small business owner, professional, independent contractor or are in your peak earning years, you may…
Sunday, 22 May 2005 20:00

Financial forecasts and projections

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Financial forecasts and projections are useful tools in the planning process for your business. These forecasts and projections, when developed using a sound methodology, help reduce uncertainties and provide the backbone for management's key business decisions. The forecasting process forces you to proactively identify, analyze and document the strengths and weaknesses of your business. Further, it allows you to consider the external forces facing your business --both opportunities and threats. Combined, this SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis not only allows you to evaluate the impact of various factors but more important, form the impetus of your response tactics.…