Are you satisfied with your profitability?

by Philip Campbell

Consultant, Author

Philip Campbell is a CPA, consultant, and author of the book A Quick Start Guide to Financial Forecasting: Discover the Secret to Driving Growth, Profitability, and Cash Flow Higher. This new book provides a straightforward, easy-to-understand guide to one of the most powerful financial tools in business: a reliable financial forecast. He is also the author of the book Never Run Out of Cash: The 10 Cash Flow Rules You Can’t Afford to Ignore. The book is a step-by-step guide for business owners and managers who want to better understand and manage their cash flow. Since 1990, Philip has served as a financial officer in a number of growing companies with revenues ranging from $5,000,000 million to over $1,000,000,000. He has been involved in the acquisition or sale of 33 companies (and counting) as well as an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. Philip loves helping entrepreneurs and business owners think strategically about the financial side of their business. His consulting work is focused on providing the financial insights that leaders need to increase profits, improve cash flow, and enjoy the fruits of financial success in business. What really sets Philip apart from the average financial person you meet is his passion and excitement about helping entrepreneurs and CEOs take control of their cash flow. In fact, early on in his career, he focused and “preached” so much about the importance of cash flow that people now call him CASH. Philip is the founder of Financial Rhythm, a website devoted to people who are serious about creating financial health, wealth, and freedom in their business. If you're an entrepreneur or business owner, Financial Rhythm is a place to get simple, actionable strategies for creating a financial future that is bigger and brighter than your past. Philip lives in Austin, Texas. You can email Philip at pcampbell@pdq.net.

The Sizzling Texas Economy

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.

As the thermometer hits triple digits, it is hard to believe there is anything hotter than the Texas weather. This may be true, with one exception: the Texas economy.

Although the entire nation has benefitted from low unemployment, much of the economic growth and job creation has originated in the Lone Star State.

Top 4 technology challenges for businesses: Agility

by Mark Johnson

President of Xtrii, and Global Technology Advisor

Mark Johnson is a global technology advisor with more than 30 years of successful business results. His experience includes roles as a global Chief Information Officer, Chief Technology Officer, and innovative, business leader for organizations ranging from $15 Billion+ and 100,000+ employees, to small, fast-paced, rapid-growth companies. Mark currently serves as President of Xtrii (www.Xtrii.com), an executive-level, technology consulting firm that works with C-level executives to provide proven technology leaders that help them address their most pressing technology challenges and risks. He has worked with companies to achieve extraordinary success that is globally recognized for technology excellence, such as the 4-time repeat winner of the national award for the best Information Technology organization, the national “Innovator of the Year” award, and Microsoft’s “Global Technology Innovation” award. Mark has been featured in Bloomberg Business Week, Computerworld Magazine, CIO Magazine, and many other national publications. He is a frequent keynote speaker and technology advisor on how companies can best leverage technology for optimal business outcomes.

In nearly every industry, modern business owners rely on technology to manage key parts of their businesses. That’s why I’ve written a series of articles that share tips to help business owners overcome some common technological challenges they face in 2018. In the first two articles, we’ve talked about cybersecurity and skills shortages. In this article, we’ll look at the third challenge: agility.

Why Central Texas Manufacturers Should Join a Trade Association

by Ed Lette

Business Bank of Texas

Ed Lette is founder, president and chief executive officer of Business Bank of Texas, N.A. and serves as chairman on the company’s Board of Directors. Serving as a licensed CPA since 1983, Ed’s extensive experience in the banking industry has led him to become the founding president of four national bank charters including Business Bank of Texas, N.A., and the chief financial officer of five national banks during his 45 year career. Ed serves as director of the Texas Bankers Association District 4, chairman of the Executive Advisory Council to the School of Business at Texas Lutheran University, and is a life member of the Texas Association of Business.

If you feel like a little fish in a big pond, you’re not alone. It’s easy to feel lost in a field with so much complexity to navigate amid globalization and advancing technology. Gleaning from insights we gathered about the future of manufacturing in central Texas, experts advise tapping into associations to keep up with evolving needs and conditions of the manufacturing ecosystem.

Joining a trade association can help you boost your business, enhance your reputation, and find solutions with a community of like-minded professionals and industry experts. Moving forward, committing yourself to continued education and resources is one of the best ways to stay on top of ever-changing news, trends, and legislation.

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Texas Commercial Leases: What Business Owners Should Know

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.

Demand for commercial lease space in Texas continues to be strong. According to Commercial Loan Solutions:

  • In Austin, developers are doing their best to keep with demand from growing and relocating tenants. The office market continues to attract investors as vacancy remains tight and rents rise.
  • In Dallas – Fort Worth office space is in continuous demand. Until recently, rental rates have been rising faster than the annual rent escalations found in most commercial leases.

On March 1, 2018, Bisnow Houston reported that Texas leads the nation in commercial real estate development for warehouse/flex, including e-commerce distribution, fulfillment facilities and retail real estate. It ranks second only to California in office development.

Preparing the Next Generation of Leaders

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.

Most small business owners recognize that maintaining a talented workforce is key to their company’s success. Although the majority of workers provide value to their companies, some have unique traits that make them high-potential employees. These workers are especially important to a business, as they can enhance a company’s bottom line and also become the next generation of workplace leaders.

High-potential employees often exhibit similar qualities as those of effective leaders. They are frequently self-motivated, goal-oriented and able to recognize the actions needed to meet objectives. They can be ambitious, rarely resting on their laurels, are often reluctant to sit back and let others take charge, and are unafraid of making mistakes that, ultimately, can provide them valuable experience. These leaders tend to be strong communicators who collaborate well with others and, as a result, are often respected by their colleagues.

To help the career development of high-potential employees, it is important for employers to devise a plan that includes the following steps:

Following the Money: Books and Records Needed for Financial Investigations

by Edmond Martin

Since retiring in October 2001, Martin launched Sage Investigations, LLC a Private Investigation and forensic accounting firm where he and his team investigate various financial cases for individuals and attorneys. In 2006, Martin received from the Texas Association of Licensed Investigators (TALI), a Meritorious Service Award for Investigative Excellence. In 2007 Martin tested and received the Texas Certified Investigator (TCI) designation and in 2015 he received the Hudgins- Sallee Award from TALI.

Any financial investigation—specifically income tax (civil or criminal), embezzlement, shareholder derivative suit, and divorce matters— require books and records to be successful in tracing expenses and following the money. Without them, the chances of success are diminished.

Do You C What I C? Differing Perspectives on C Corporations and Tax Savings

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.

A little over two years ago, there was a Facebook post that caught national attention. The post simply asked “What color dress do you see?” Was it blue and black or white and gold? Some people saw it one way and couldn’t imagine it be anything else. Others were uncertain because they saw it one color one day and another color the next. For the people who were sure they were right, they weighed in on the public debate, while others that were unsure may have chosen to hold back from weighing in. After a few weeks, the fervor died down and life went back to normal.

Such is the situation we find ourselves in with the conversion to a C Corporation. When the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed, articles were written that touted all business owners would make the conversion to take advantage of the reduced tax rates. Nothing could shake these authors from their thoughts. There were other authors who were uncertain. Turns out, they are both correct. No matter where you land on the issue, business owners will respond based on how they feel.

The Omaha Education

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.

When I tell people we are headed to Omaha for the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, some vaguely nod their heads. Others ask why we go when we can watch Warren Buffett and partner Charlie Munger online.

I first started going to Omaha fifteen years ago. As each year passes, the experience becomes more impactful.

Top 4 technology challenges for businesses: Skills Shortage

by Mark Johnson

President of Xtrii, and Global Technology Advisor

Mark Johnson is a global technology advisor with more than 30 years of successful business results. His experience includes roles as a global Chief Information Officer, Chief Technology Officer, and innovative, business leader for organizations ranging from $15 Billion+ and 100,000+ employees, to small, fast-paced, rapid-growth companies. Mark currently serves as President of Xtrii (www.Xtrii.com), an executive-level, technology consulting firm that works with C-level executives to provide proven technology leaders that help them address their most pressing technology challenges and risks. He has worked with companies to achieve extraordinary success that is globally recognized for technology excellence, such as the 4-time repeat winner of the national award for the best Information Technology organization, the national “Innovator of the Year” award, and Microsoft’s “Global Technology Innovation” award. Mark has been featured in Bloomberg Business Week, Computerworld Magazine, CIO Magazine, and many other national publications. He is a frequent keynote speaker and technology advisor on how companies can best leverage technology for optimal business outcomes.

Technology plays a key role in all businesses today. That’s why I’m sharing a series of articles to discuss the top four technology challenges that businesses face in 2018, and to provide practical solutions for each of them. In the first article, we talked about cybersecurity challenges. In this article, we’ll look at challenge #2: the technology skills shortage.

Across the country, companies are seeing a significant shortage of qualified candidates for key technology roles. The most pressing shortages are for proven, experienced technology leaders in high-demand specialty roles.

To be successful, a business can’t just hire more “techies;” they need tech-savvy business leaders that can quickly assess needs, leverage cloud services and new technology opportunities, chart an optimal course of action, and drive timely results. So how can your company best fill these roles and acquire the top talent?   

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