Strategically Develop an Outstanding Organization

by Tom Northup | July 22, 2013

2008 and 2009 were the worst years in our economy since the 1930's. We have stabilized but we may not be satisfied with our recovery. Our "New Normal" is likely to be much different than our past. We must change old ways of doing business. Outstanding companies have a clear strategy, high productivity and strong leadership. Leadership is the catalyst that drives change and improved results.

Strategic transformation moves organizations from the present to a desired future.

Our organizational strength is challenged by the combination of stagnant revenue, higher costs and tight capital. The economic environment will continue to be weak. Under these conditions how do you strategically position your company to become an outstanding organization in the "New Normal"?

Politically and economically we face significant uncertainty. Huge deficits will be the norm in the next years. We will be impacted through higher taxes, new insurance regulations and tightened credit availability.

All organizations have two things in common: a present and a future. Between these two is process. The level of performance determines the quality of the process. The level of performance defines the future. Performance drives results.

(Nicole Newman) Business Tax Tip: Understanding The Balance Sheet

by Nicole Newman | July 16, 2013

Since the Corbett administration has nicely dismantled the women and minority business enterprise program, my business has to find a third party agency to certify our disadvantaged status. We selected the Small Business Administration 8(a) program because it is one of only a few free certification programs left. We spent 8 hours getting our paperwork in order on the SAM and GLS databases when we hit a snag in the requirements. One of the requirements is to have the last 3 years' balance sheets. We had the Profit/Loss (Income Statement) and the Statement of Cash Flows but we didn't have a balance sheet.

Richard Pittelkow, a business advisor for the West Central Indiana Small Business Development Center says "A Balance Sheet summarizes a company's Assets, Liabilities and Owners' Equity (Net Worth) at a specific point in time, usually at the end of an accounting period. The purpose of a Balance Sheet is to give users an idea of the company's financial condition along with displaying what the company owns and owes. It helps business owners quickly get a handle on the financial strength and capabilities of their business. Balance Sheets, along with Income Statements, are also the most basic elements in providing financial reporting to potential lenders such as banks, investors, and vendors who are considering how much credit to grant to companies."

Norm Brodsky, a seasoned entrepreneur says "Think of a balance sheet as a thermometer that provides a reading on the health of a business at the moment you take its temperature. You can quickly determine a business's solvency, for example, by checking its ratio of current assets (those assets expected to be converted to cash within the next year) to current liabilities (those that must be paid within a year). If the ratio is less than 1 to 1, the business is technically bankrupt. Granted, there's some wiggle room. You can postpone paying some bills or speed up collection of receivables and thereby keep the business afloat. But if the ratio falls below, say, 0.8, watch out. You're well down the path to insolvency--even if your company is profitable. Cash and profits are not the same. If you run out of cash, you're out of business."

If Employers Have Followed Employment Rules Dismissing an Employee By Text is Legal

by Alison Withers | July 15, 2013

Copyright (c) 2013 Alison Withers

At any time losing one's job can be a traumatic experience but being dismissed by a mobile phone text message or by email seems somehow to be much more brutal.

Despite the fact that communication via electronic media is so much a part of most people's lives this is perhaps one situation in which this type of communication can seem particularly cold and inhuman.

It is often asked whether this form of dismissal is actually legal.

Actually it is.  But this does not mean that the employer can also ignore all the steps that are required under employment protection law even if they choose this method of making the formal announcement.

Failure to follow the correct steps can result in an employer being challenged at a tribunal on the grounds of unfair dismissal.

There are some grounds where an employer can dismiss someone instantly, such as theft of company property or violence or assaults against colleagues, which are known collectively as gross misconduct.

Tips for Creating a Business Plan

by Michael Griffiths | July 09, 2013

It is essential that you create a comprehensive, well-thought of business plan. Management of your operations and promotion of your business all depend on developing a good plan. Think of it as a road map for your business, helping you determine what steps to take in order to get to your destination - which is, ultimately, success and personal fulfillment.

Writing your business plan will make you think objectively about your business, and you may even come up with new business strategies in the process. The plan will also serve as a record that you can revisit over time to remain on target or reassess your direction.

Below are some of the best tips for the creation of your business plan.

Create a Vision

Before you get lost in the details, outline a clear vision and a coherent set of values for your company. Develop a mission statement, and use it to define short-term goals and priorities. Once you have a clear, big-picture road map for your business, you can plan your journey with more confidence.

Pay to Play: M/WBE Certification

by Nicole Newman | July 08, 2013

On August 15th, 2012 all PA certified Minority and Women Business Enterprises (M/WBE) received the following e-mail. "Governor Tom Corbett and Secretary of General Services (DGS) Sheri Phillips are excited to announce the creation of the Small Business Procurement Initiative. The Small Business Procurement Initiative (SBPI) will reserve certain Commonwealth procurements for competition among only self-certified, small businesses: businesses with 100 or fewer employees that meet maximum revenue requirements. While the SBPI is a race and gender neutral program, it was developed in part based on feedback from MBEs/WBEs/VBEs, who expressed a strong desire to participate in Commonwealth contracts as a prime contractor."

The email further stated "The first step to participating in the SBPI is to self-certify your business through an online application accessed through the PA Supplier Portal." This website also contains specific program guidelines, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), and a step-by-step instruction manual for the self-certification process. Effective August 31, 2012, DGS will no longer accept applications for certification from small diverse businesses but will instead verify that small diverse businesses have been certified by an approved third party.

Approved third parties include:

Award-winning Charlotte author Chia-Li Chien received "HONORABLE MENTION" from 2013 DIY Book Festival on July 08, 2013

by Chia-Li Chien | July 08, 2013

Award Winning Finalist in the 'BUSINESS' category of the 2013 DIY Book Festival.

Bert Woodard, Next Level Communications (
For Chia-Li Chien/Work Toward Reward (,
336-978-0021 ,


CHARLOTTE – Chia-Li Chien has earned "HONORABLE MENTION" Award for her latest book, Working Toward Reward, by 2013 DIY Book Festival Awards. The 2013 DIY Book Festival News announced the winners and finalists of The 2013 DIY Book Festival AWARDS on July 08, 2013. The award celebration is held at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Sat. evening, July 20, 2013.

Work Toward Reward, which is available on at, guides small business owners toward gaining more value for their business by

*answering many of the questions small business owners have in terms of how to build equity value in the company without sacrificing the quality of their financial independence;

Choosing a Target Market - What You Need to Know

by Jason Deter | July 05, 2013

Knowing your target market is important if you want to effectively sell online and grow your business. When you market your services or products to the right buyers you'll make more real sales at an even higher rate. In this article we will explore some of the things that you need to consider when you are deciding which market to target so that you can get the best results possible.

Analyze Your Products and Services: Before you dive headfirst into figuring out your target market one of the first things you need to do is look very carefully at what you are selling or offering. If you've got a team then take some time out to do some of your own brainstorming with your colleagues so that you get a better idea of where your product stands and where it should be standing. You can begin by writing down all of the ways in which your product is helpful and how many of your buyers' needs will (and how well they will) be met. This will not only help you identify your target market, but at the same time it gives you a clear idea as to what separates you from the competition. Lots of business owners and entrepreneurs neglect this step and they wind up leaving all sorts of money on the table in terms of finding the best market.