Tips for Surviving the Open Office Space

by Kay Oder

Insperity

Kay Oder has owned six companies, has been a resource to thousands to businesses and brought solutions to help business owners minimize risk, improve business performance and navigate today’s highly regulated and complex “business of being an employer”.

Today, Kay uses the insights gained throughout her career as a speaker, business owner and business advisor. Audiences enjoy her candid, informed perspective on HR related topics as well as her razor-sharp southern wit.

Kay is also a Certified Business Performance Advisor with Insperity, the $2.6 billion business performance solutions provider she has called home since 1993. Kay has consistently been among the company’s top producers during her 20 plus years with the organization, earning Insperity’s highest honors, including the Top Volume, Circle of Excellence and the Chairman’s Club awards.

Prior to Insperity, Kay was the President and Co-founder of Texas Valve Specialists, a supplier in the oil and gas industry. She has also owned companies in the construction, demolition, machining and promotional apparel arenas. She spent four years as a client of Insperity and upon selling her last venture, joined the Insperity team.

From an early age Kay demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit, beginning at age six when she sold cantaloupes from her parents’ front yard, which she offered three for fifty-cents, with a free puppy.

Kay and her husband, Dale, relocated to Austin from the Houston area in 1996 when a theft occurred in their family: their granddaughter was born and stole their hearts, so they had to follow.

Insperity, a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses for more than 30 years, provides an array of human resources and business solutions designed to help improve business performance. Insperity® Business Performance Advisors offer the most comprehensive suite of products and services available in the marketplace. Insperity delivers administrative relief, better benefits, reduced liabilities and a systematic way to improve productivity through its premier Workforce Optimization® solution. Additional company offerings include Human Capital Management, Payroll Services, Time and Attendance, Performance Management, Organizational Planning, Recruiting Services, Employment Screening, Financial Services, Expense Management, Retirement Services and Insurance Services. Insperity business performance solutions support more than 100,000 businesses with over 2 million employees. With 2016 revenues of $2.9 billion, Insperity operates in 61 offices throughout the United States. For more information, call 800-465-3800 or visit www.insperity.com.

Open office spaces, lacking walls and cubicles, are becoming increasingly popular. In fact, a study by the International Facility Management Association found that approximately 70 percent of companies have an open seating plan. But for some workers, open office spaces can be difficult to navigate.

For some, concentrating and staying on task can prove to be difficult without walls to block distractions. Those distractions can include coworkers’ phone calls, loud meetings, or office gossip sessions. Here are a few tips employees can use to navigating an open office space and avoid actions that might rub coworkers the wrong way.

Topics: Human Resources

CD Secured Loans – They Don’t Seem Logical

by Dwayne Kolly

Business Bank of Texas

Dwayne Kolly brings a wealth of financial management and operations experience to Business Bank of Texas. Kolly has served community banks in south and central Texas for nearly 30 years, and is the bank’s Chief Financial Officer. He is a graduate of the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at SMU (1993).

 

Back in the day when I was new to banking and I first heard about people taking out loans secured by their own bank deposits it seemed, well, illogical. If a borrower already has the money, why does he need to borrow at all? It’s a good question, and sometimes the answer is that it is better just to use the money on hand and not borrow. There are circumstances, however, in which borrowing against one’s own money on deposit makes perfect sense, even to Mr. Spock.

Topics: Bank Customer Tips

Tax time: Is filing an extension really so bad?

by Mark Puzdrak

CPA

Mark Puzdrak is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with more than 13 years of professional experience helping small to medium-sized businesses with their tax and accounting needs including individual, corporate, and partnership income tax returns along with business and individual tax planning. Mark is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants. He is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in Texas and Pennsylvania. He earned both of his bachelor of arts degrees in accounting and finance from Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA. Mark is committed to delivering tax and planning services that meet each client's unique objectives with a focus on services for small to medium-sized businesses as well as clients in the Real Estate, Manufacturing, Entertainment, and Professional Services industries. Mark lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, Kelly. He enjoys reading biographies, visiting small Texas towns, and the occasional scotch and cigar.

There is a common phrase that will soon be uttered by clients in many CPA firms across this country:

“I have never filed an extension...” It’s often too quickly followed by, “…and I will not be filing one this year.”

So many people are afraid to ask for help when they actually need it. This holds true when it comes to taxes. Oftentimes, people will want to rush through their tax return to meet the April 15th deadline and avoid filing an extension. Rushing to finish any project is never advisable, especially when it comes to something as important as taxes. It’s ok to ask for more time, and it may even save you money.

Topics: Taxes

Turning 50: What I thought I knew

by Dave Sather

Sather Financial Group

Dave Sather is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and President of the Sather Financial Group, Inc. Sather Financial Group is a $400 million “fee-only” wealth management firm based in Victoria. Sather Financial is ranked as one of the top independent wealth management firms in the country according to Financial Advisor Magazine. Dave was raised in El Paso, received his B.A. in Business Management from Texas Lutheran University and received his M.B.A. from Texas A&M University. He has spent the past twenty years in the financial analysis, investment and banking industries. Dave is an adjunct professor in the business program at Texas Lutheran University. Additionally, Dave is a director of Business Bank of Texas as well as the Chairman of the Finance and Investments Committee for the Brownson Children’s Home and is a member of the Executive Advisory Council at Texas Lutheran University. He resides in Victoria, Texas.

This week, I broke the half-century mark. Professionally, the last 25 years have been spent neck-deep in the financial industry. Hopefully, I learned a few things along the way.

Once, I thought 50 was really old. However, some of the people I respect and admire most were very productive well into their 80s, if not their 90s. They opened my eyes as to what can be accomplished north of 50. If you stay active, there is much truth in the adage that “age is a frame of mind.”

Topics: Strategic Planning

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Exit Planning with a New President

by John F. Dini

John F. Dini is a consultant and coach to hundreds of business owners, CEOs and Presidents of companies with over 11,000 hours of delivering face-to-face, personal advice to entrepreneurs. He is the author of three business books including Beating the Boomer Bust and 11 Things You Absolutely Need to Know About Selling Your Business, now in its second edition. He is a serial entrepreneur, but prefers the term “chronically unemployable.” John holds a BS in accounting from Rutgers University, and an MBA from Pepperdine University, and has six additional certifications in exit planning, business brokerage, behavioral analysis, medical practice management, facilitation and coaching. John writes numerous articles on small business topics for newspapers, magazines, and in his own blog at www.awakeat2oclock.com. He speaks frequently to business groups and national associations, and is a 15-year member of Jim Blasingame’s “Braintrust,” appearing regularly on “The Small Business Advocate,” a nationally syndicated radio program, as an expert in the issues of business ownership. His latest book, Hunting in a Farmer’s World: Celebrating the Mind of an Entrepreneur, has won recognition including “Best Business Book” at the New York Book Festival and the National Silver Medal for business books from the Independent Publishers’ Association.

The biggest single factor in successfully selling a company is the current condition of the financial markets. With the election of Donald Trump, those markets seem confident that good times lie ahead. If you are considering an exit from your business, should you accelerate your plans or slow them down?

Since the Great Recession, the Federal Reserve has poured new cash into the system at very low interest rates. This "cheap money" has trickled down to fund a wave of leveraged buyouts by financial professionals seeking a better return than that from more traditional investments.

Internal benchmarking: how to monitor the health of your business

by Dwayne Kolly

Business Bank of Texas

Dwayne Kolly brings a wealth of financial management and operations experience to Business Bank of Texas. Kolly has served community banks in south and central Texas for nearly 30 years, and is the bank’s Chief Financial Officer. He is a graduate of the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at SMU (1993).

As a small business owner, you may be too busy with an endless list of daily tasks to spend much time staring at numbers. Or maybe it’s just that while you enjoy the actual work you do, you dread the accounting activities necessary to keep your business running. Whatever the reason, many business owners dread and put off the important work of examining their business’s financial health.

While it’s understandable that frequent deep dives into the nitty gritty of your business’s finances might not be your favorite task, it’s incredibly important to regularly take stock of how well your business is doing. Sustainable growth requires the ability to understand and articulate your financial history, current standing, goals, and strategies.

Topics: benchmarking

Legal Considerations for Restructuring a Business

by Kathy Tremmel

Tremmel Law

Kathy Tremmel has significant experience both as a business attorney and corporate executive. Her career spans both legal practice and business management and she opened her own solo law practice in January 2010. In additional to running her own practice, she also is of Counsel with Selman, Munser & Lerner, which is a business transaction law firm in Austin, Texas. Ms. Tremmel has more than 10 years’ experience as a business attorney, providing transactional legal services to a diverse client base, from start-up ventures to well established companies. She helps companies with all their contracts, including customer agreements, non-compete agreements, employment agreements, buy-sell agreements, loans, and leases, helps people set up new businesses, and represents buyers and sellers of businesses. In addition, Ms. Tremmel has 10 years of management experience working with start-up companies. As VP of Operations at Tusker Group, an international litigation support company, Ms. Tremmel led international teams, managed production and quality issues, handled price negotiations, worked closely with clients to determine the scope of their projects, provided project management services, and developed, implemented and documented best practices for processing and training. Ms. Tremmel earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Colorado School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College. She is a Texas licensed attorney and a certified Project Management Professional.

Successful companies evolve over time. It may be necessary to restructure the ownership, legal organization, or operational processes of a company in order to make your business more profitable.

You may need to perform one or a combination of the following actions:

Topics: Legal

A logical approach ten years later

by Dave Sather

Sather Financial Group

Dave Sather is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and President of the Sather Financial Group, Inc. Sather Financial Group is a $400 million “fee-only” wealth management firm based in Victoria. Sather Financial is ranked as one of the top independent wealth management firms in the country according to Financial Advisor Magazine. Dave was raised in El Paso, received his B.A. in Business Management from Texas Lutheran University and received his M.B.A. from Texas A&M University. He has spent the past twenty years in the financial analysis, investment and banking industries. Dave is an adjunct professor in the business program at Texas Lutheran University. Additionally, Dave is a director of Business Bank of Texas as well as the Chairman of the Finance and Investments Committee for the Brownson Children’s Home and is a member of the Executive Advisory Council at Texas Lutheran University. He resides in Victoria, Texas.

The last 10 days have seen the stock market march consecutively higher. Since the presidential election, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up more than 13%. As investors analyze their statements, they often encounter a nervousness as they appreciate the increase in values, but recognize that stocks cannot go up, unimpeded, forever.

Topics: Investing

Should Employers Use Social Media to Screen Potential Hires?

by Kay Oder

Insperity

Kay Oder has owned six companies, has been a resource to thousands to businesses and brought solutions to help business owners minimize risk, improve business performance and navigate today’s highly regulated and complex “business of being an employer”.

Today, Kay uses the insights gained throughout her career as a speaker, business owner and business advisor. Audiences enjoy her candid, informed perspective on HR related topics as well as her razor-sharp southern wit.

Kay is also a Certified Business Performance Advisor with Insperity, the $2.6 billion business performance solutions provider she has called home since 1993. Kay has consistently been among the company’s top producers during her 20 plus years with the organization, earning Insperity’s highest honors, including the Top Volume, Circle of Excellence and the Chairman’s Club awards.

Prior to Insperity, Kay was the President and Co-founder of Texas Valve Specialists, a supplier in the oil and gas industry. She has also owned companies in the construction, demolition, machining and promotional apparel arenas. She spent four years as a client of Insperity and upon selling her last venture, joined the Insperity team.

From an early age Kay demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit, beginning at age six when she sold cantaloupes from her parents’ front yard, which she offered three for fifty-cents, with a free puppy.

Kay and her husband, Dale, relocated to Austin from the Houston area in 1996 when a theft occurred in their family: their granddaughter was born and stole their hearts, so they had to follow.

Insperity, a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses for more than 30 years, provides an array of human resources and business solutions designed to help improve business performance. Insperity® Business Performance Advisors offer the most comprehensive suite of products and services available in the marketplace. Insperity delivers administrative relief, better benefits, reduced liabilities and a systematic way to improve productivity through its premier Workforce Optimization® solution. Additional company offerings include Human Capital Management, Payroll Services, Time and Attendance, Performance Management, Organizational Planning, Recruiting Services, Employment Screening, Financial Services, Expense Management, Retirement Services and Insurance Services. Insperity business performance solutions support more than 100,000 businesses with over 2 million employees. With 2016 revenues of $2.9 billion, Insperity operates in 61 offices throughout the United States. For more information, call 800-465-3800 or visit www.insperity.com.

Social media is no longer new. Millions of people post the detailed inner workings of their lives on a daily basis via Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and other online communities. Society’s collective interest in sharing means that this same information is also easily accessible by potential employers. Depending on what is shared, employers can learn the names of a candidate’s favorite bands. They can learn what foods a potential employee likes and where they took their last vacation. In some cases, employers can also easily locate embarrassing photos or comments made by a job candidate.

Topics: Human Resources

2017 Tax Filing Deadlines

by Mark Puzdrak

CPA

Mark Puzdrak is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with more than 13 years of professional experience helping small to medium-sized businesses with their tax and accounting needs including individual, corporate, and partnership income tax returns along with business and individual tax planning. Mark is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants. He is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in Texas and Pennsylvania. He earned both of his bachelor of arts degrees in accounting and finance from Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA. Mark is committed to delivering tax and planning services that meet each client's unique objectives with a focus on services for small to medium-sized businesses as well as clients in the Real Estate, Manufacturing, Entertainment, and Professional Services industries. Mark lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, Kelly. He enjoys reading biographies, visiting small Texas towns, and the occasional scotch and cigar.

Tax laws are ever-changing, and this year is no exception. This year for 2016 tax filings, the usual April 15th deadline for Partnerships (Form 1065) is March 15th.

This change is due to a bill that was signed in 2015 called the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act. Though this bill deals primarily with highway infrastructure funding, it has a large impact on business tax returns, including the deadline change.

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