Hurricane Preparedness: Is Your Company Ready?

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.

Whether it comes in the form of a hurricane, fire, earthquake or any other natural or man-made disaster, businesses that properly plan for crises reduce the chance of costly disruptions in operations. They’re also able to resume normal business operations more rapidly than business that get blindsided.

So the question is: How can small companies make sure they survive these catastrophes? Experts believe proper planning is the solution. And with hurricane season fast approaching, now is the time to lay the groundwork.

Topics: Operations, Human Resources

Granting business trade credit in 5 steps

by Ed Lette

Business Bank of Texas

Ed Lette is Founder, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at Business Bank of Texas. 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.

Taking these five steps when granting trade credit to your customers will minimize credit risk and improve your overall accounts receivable collections efforts.

Step 1: Credit Application from Your Customer

Your credit application doesn’t need to be complicated, but it should help you gather information necessary to make a good credit decision. The application should indicate the legal name of the business and ownership; provide banking information, and information on trade credit grantors. Business often provide a preprinted “bank and trade references" list to you, but the importance of your application is that the customer, by signing it, grants you permission to contact their bank and trade creditors for payment history.

Topics: Operations, Featured, Management, Articles, Accounting & Finance

Lenders care about your concentration of credit and sales

by Ed Lette

Business Bank of Texas

Ed Lette is Founder, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at Business Bank of Texas. 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're a small business owner, you're likely aware of various risks related to your line of work. One that you may not be familiar with is a high concentration of sales or credit. This threat arises when a small number of customers represent a large percentage of your annual sales or accounts receivable.

Topics: Operations, Featured, Management, Blog Posts, Accounting & Finance

UCC Filings: What Business Owners Should Know

by Ed Lette

Business Bank of Texas

Ed Lette is Founder, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at Business Bank of Texas. 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.

Federal law has a large section of interstate commerce laws called the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) which, among other things, provides for lenders to see what other lenders have secured as collateral for a business loan. Normally this is all collateral other than real estate. There are several forms within the UCC that business owners should understand because they affect their ability to secure future loans.

Topics: Operations, Featured, Management, The Corner Office, Articles, Accounting & Finance

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What business owners should know about cash and accrual basis accounting

by Ed Lette

Business Bank of Texas

Ed Lette is Founder, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at Business Bank of Texas. 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.

Whether you are setting up a new business or running a well established one, it is important to know the basic differences between cash vs. accrual basis bookkeeping. It is also helpful if you are applying for a loan to understand why your banker wants to see your books in an accrual format.

Accounting standards in the United States are called Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). These are the accounting standards for all U.S. businesses. GAAP recognizes and provides principles for both cash and accrual accounting methods, as does the Internal Revenue Service.

Generally speaking, cash basis bookkeeping recognizes income and expenses when they are received or paid. If you are a cash basis bookkeeper you may have accounts receivable but they don’t show as an asset on your balance sheet. Your accounts payable also don’t show up as a liability on your balance sheet.

Topics: Operations, Management, Accounting & Finance

3 Ways to Prepare for a Texas Workforce Commission Unemployment Hearing

by Daniel Diner

Business Success Center

Daniel Diener is the Chief Financial Officer of the Business Success Center (BSC), a City of Austin certified green business. It provides sales and financial strategies and advice to owners of product and service businesses. It received a Small Business Administration (SBA) five-star national award and the Austin Business Journal named it a top 20 management consulting firms. Diener is an NCRC Certified Technical Advisor and a speaker on entrepreneurship and other issues. He is also co-creator of the award-winning “City Management Academy”, the “Owners MBA” and the SBA’s monthly marketing workshop. He owned and ran the Entrepreneurs’ Association and ran a business hatchery and accelerator. Along with partner/wife Jan Triplett, Ph.D., he developed the Business Navigation Matrix that maps the business goals from Idea Stage to Transference. They also are authors of the OnCourse Business Assessment™
, OnCourse Business Glossary & Bibliography and Power Processes for Business Success. He is a small business and neighborhood activist. He was a delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business and has served on several boards, including the Governor’s Small Business Advisory Board, Students Involved in Free Enterprise, and the Allandale Neighborhood Association. He is a member of Central Texas Association of Guaranteed Government Lenders and has been active with traditional and alternative funding sources for many years. He is a QuickBooks and Aclivity software partner. For his successful work with small business, the SBA named him its Financial Services Champion of Texas and the five-state region.

If your business has employees, it’s only a matter of time before you get audited. It will happen even if you did everything right. We’ve even had it happen to us.

Topics: Operations, Featured

3 Dos and 3 Don’ts - Tips for Moving Your Office Space

by Jennifer Smith

Austin Tenant Advisors

Jen Smith is the go-to source for smart, savvy Facebook marketing and advertising. Equal parts tech researcher and social media maven, Jen brings over 15 years of online marketing experience to the table, helping her clients connect powerfully with their consumers – and injecting serious know-how into their brand's social presence on Facebook. Jen gives businesses the tools to use Facebook to grow their bottom line and whip their customers into an excited frenzy, while making the Facebook marketing process "like"-able for everyone She is also the owner, along with her husband Nathan, of Austin Tenant Advisors, an Austin commercial real estate firm that specializes in tenant representation. In addition to being an active commercial real estate advisor, Jennifer also brings more than 15 years of marketing and sales experience in the high tech industry to the Austin, TX. 

After living in Austin for 15 years, she is also a self-proclaimed Austinite and loves everything about Austin from shopping to eating at trendy restaurants to catching a live music show.

3 Dos and 3 Don’ts - Tips for Moving Your Austin Office Space

Topics: Operations, Blog Posts, Content Type

Office Moving Guide: An Office Checklist

by Jennifer Smith

Austin Tenant Advisors

Jen Smith is the go-to source for smart, savvy Facebook marketing and advertising. Equal parts tech researcher and social media maven, Jen brings over 15 years of online marketing experience to the table, helping her clients connect powerfully with their consumers – and injecting serious know-how into their brand's social presence on Facebook. Jen gives businesses the tools to use Facebook to grow their bottom line and whip their customers into an excited frenzy, while making the Facebook marketing process "like"-able for everyone She is also the owner, along with her husband Nathan, of Austin Tenant Advisors, an Austin commercial real estate firm that specializes in tenant representation. In addition to being an active commercial real estate advisor, Jennifer also brings more than 15 years of marketing and sales experience in the high tech industry to the Austin, TX. 

After living in Austin for 15 years, she is also a self-proclaimed Austinite and loves everything about Austin from shopping to eating at trendy restaurants to catching a live music show.

The Office Moving Guide: The Dos and Don'ts of Moving Your Office

Topics: Operations, Business Best Practices, Content Type

The Benefit of Managed IT Services for Small Business

by Tommy Wald

White Glove Technologies

Tommy Wald is CEO of White Glove Technologies, a leading IT services firm based in Austin. Wald regularly speaks to Austin professional associations regarding developments in business and computing. He lives with his wife, Michelle, a bodyworker and painter, and his daughter, Sasha, age 9, and son, Devon, age 6. Wald enjoys time with his family and also plays saxophone in a local blues band. A Temple, TX native, Wald began his college on a music scholarship at Temple Junior College before transferring to the University of Texas at Austin. After graduating from UT with a business degree in Accounting and MIS, Wald joined the accounting firm of Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co, now known as KPMG, as an Information Systems Consultant. He parlayed this experience into independent consulting before starting a computer backup service company which grew into NETForce Technologies in 1995 and into RIATA in 2001. In 2010 RIATA merged with White Glove Technologies which resulted in creating one of the largest Managed Services Provider in Texas and the US.

For small businesses in today’s high-tech society, Information Technology (IT) has become a significant consideration. Implementing new technology is a challenging job for small business owners and can cause numerous difficulties in day-to-day operations. Many small businesses are finding Managed IT Services as a solution to get the most from their IT investment.

Topics: Operations, Technology

4 Steps to Determining Your Office Space Needs

by Jennifer Smith

Austin Tenant Advisors

Jen Smith is the go-to source for smart, savvy Facebook marketing and advertising. Equal parts tech researcher and social media maven, Jen brings over 15 years of online marketing experience to the table, helping her clients connect powerfully with their consumers – and injecting serious know-how into their brand's social presence on Facebook. Jen gives businesses the tools to use Facebook to grow their bottom line and whip their customers into an excited frenzy, while making the Facebook marketing process "like"-able for everyone She is also the owner, along with her husband Nathan, of Austin Tenant Advisors, an Austin commercial real estate firm that specializes in tenant representation. In addition to being an active commercial real estate advisor, Jennifer also brings more than 15 years of marketing and sales experience in the high tech industry to the Austin, TX. 

After living in Austin for 15 years, she is also a self-proclaimed Austinite and loves everything about Austin from shopping to eating at trendy restaurants to catching a live music show.

Being a business owner can be exhilarating and daunting. There are so many hats you have to wear that you can't possibly be an expert at everything. That's why being informed is the best way to make decisions. When it comes to finding office space for your business, some business owners are new to finding office space, while others have new considerations such as expansion due to company growth.

It can be tough to determine what all you need to consider when choosing your office space. By following these 4 Steps to Determining Your Office Space Needs, you can be sure you're on a solid path for success.

Step 1: Determine how many square feet you need

This is an important question that must be properly researched and answered before signing a lease, whether you are launching a new company or you are an existing one who is considering an expansion or relocation.

If a mistake is made and you lease too little office space, you could end up needing more space before your lease expires, or you could face a possible lease default if you exceed the buildings parking ratio. Lease too much space and you end up being stuck paying for more space than you need for the duration of the lease term.

As a general rule of thumb you will need 175 to 250 usable square feet per person; however that depends on the type of space you are leasing, building parking ratios, the space efficiency, your ideal layout, and any other special needs you may have. For an accurate determination of your space needs, it's a good idea to engage a professional office space planner.

Step 2: Estimate the number of employees you'll have in the next 3 years

This is the primary factor in determining how much space you need. How many employees do you have now? How many do you estimate you will hire over the next 1, 2, or 3 years? Do any of them work from home? You don't want to sign a 3-5 year lease agreement based on the number of employees you have today without considering your growth needs. If you're planning to increase your headcount by 5% year over year, then you'll want to factor that in to your office space needs.

Step 3: How do you want your space laid out?

You'll need to consider how many offices you'll need vs. cubicles vs. open space. The more offices you have, the more space you'll require. If you want a more collaborative office, then open layouts might be best for your business. They also tend to provide more flexibility, allowing more room for headcount now and later.

While the general rule of thumb is to allow approximately 175 to 250 square feet per employee, this can change depending on if you are looking for office, retail, medical or warehouse space.

Step 4: Determine the number of people who require parking

Office buildings parking spaces are in limited supply so most buildings have parking ratios that only allowing tenants XX number of occupants per XX number of square feet. For example, average parking ratios for Austin Office Space buildings are 3.5 to 4 people per 1000 square foot. What that means is that each tenant is only allowed to have 4 occupants for every 1000 square feet that they lease. If you lease 4,000 square feet, you are only allowed to have 16 employees occupy that space. Questions you might want to ask your employees to estimate how many parking spaces you will need: How many drive to work each day? Do any ride public transportation? Do any carpool?

By following these 4 Steps to Determining Your Office Space Needs, you'll be well on your way to finding the best office space needs for your business.

Topics: Operations, Featured

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