Improve Your Nutritional Intake For Better Productivity

10 Reasons Why Better Nutrition Improve Performance

nutrient rich foodsIf you are a business owner you can’t afford to take sick days, staying healthy through proper nutrition is key to running a successful business and here are some reasons why eating healthier is going to help you accomplish more of your business goals. So, whether you are trying to shed weight to pursue success, get fit for health, or simply live a much healthier life, eating healthful supplies many different advantages. Regardless of your inspiration might be, here are our top 10 reasons why you need to sneak a couple more protein rich, nutrient-packed, health foods in your diet plan as soon as possible.

1. You Will Be More Effective:

Just like the vehicle you drive, your mind wants quality nutrition pumping through it so that it can operate economically. There is 1 study that found that eating unhealthy foods places you in a 66% percent higher risk of productivity reduction. As noted in the beginning of this article, if growing your businesses this year is something you are going to take serious, then obviously a 66% decrease in productivity isn’t going to work. Eating a healthful, balanced diet to ensure that your brain gets the fuel it needs to perform at the highest level and provide you with the energy needed to gain enhanced productivity on the job. This is also something that should be passed along to staff members, co workers, and business partners as a beneficial pick-me-up for everyone.

2. You Will Be Happier – I Promise (unless you are a miserable person):

The food we ingest impacts our brain function, good foods packed with nutrition can influence mood and the better the foods you are feeding your brain the better the chances are for you absorb that energy into your everyday activities leaving you in a better mood as a result of better productivity. Did you know organic bananas contain 10 mg of dopamine, a principal mood booster that the mind love to absorb? The health benefits of Dark Chocolate are well noted throughout history. Did you know that dark chocolate, packaged with polyphenol, is known to improve serotonin, a neurotransmitter that lots of antidepressants also aim to increase. Please note that if you are seriously worried about your moods you need to see a physician, unless you just have a case of the dumps then a drink with a good friend might help, otherwise take a shot at eating a dark-chocolate coated banana for breakfast. This is a great way to kick off the day.

3. Your Stress Levels Will Decrease:

There are Specific foods we can incorporate into our diet that have the capacity to moderate our body’s natural level of cortisol, the stress hormone that get’s us all… well, stressed. There are a number of studies that have found that nutritional foods packaged with vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, and magnesium help decrease cortisol levels naturally in our body. After the body reaches a chronic state of anxiety, it breaks down proteins internally to prepare for the battle ahead. This is not healthy as our bodies can use those proteins for more productive things like muscle growth. Eating a protein-rich diet, such as fish and milk, helps replenish protein levels in the body and maintain healthy cortisol levels.

4. Will Help You Control Your Weight:

There are some common sense efforts you can make to increase your health and controlling your weight through proper diet and exercise coachdiet and exercise is one of those things. healthy choices like substituting soda with water, picking carrots rather than chips, and ordering a side salad instead of chips not only can help you eliminate weight, in addition, it will be able to help you to save money. If your eating habits are something that you have trouble with you can join a local gym, or if your business is taking up most of your time you can hire an online nutrition coach that can help you plan your diet with the foods you love, just portioned so that you can still eat what you want but at the same time loose the weight needed to get healthier and more productive. The typical American family blows about $850 annually on soft drinks, which may easily be substituted with healthier alternative. I heard a Dr. say one time, “would you wash your car with soda? So why would you put it in your body?” Interesting thought for sure!

5. Better Health Equated To Less Eating:

As you transition your diet into something of quality foods and less garbage you tend to eat less because your body is getting the nutrition it needs to thrive and operate at a high level, quality will always trump quantity when it comes to fueling the body. Fresh foods in your diet include fewer low-nutrient fillers which the body burns off much faster than “filler foods”. If you’re getting and eating less food, then you are going to have less body fat, and more cash in your pocket for other things.

6. It Tastes So Much Better – Trust Me:

Ok, there is probably not a kid in the world that would exchange their Big Mac to get a beet hamburger right? But chances are there isn’t a kid in the world reading this article either. Though taste is subjective, when properly prepared, healthy foods can taste amazing. There are studies that study show that individuals tend to perceive that healthful foods taste better though they usually don’t. In a blind taste test, participants stated that organic coffee tasted better than the ordinary cup a Joe they were drinking, the funny thing is that  the 2 cups were exactly the same brew. So it’s always possible that a beet burger is better than a Big Mac….. or not.

7. You Will Gracefully From Older:

So many people pump their bodies with toxins that destroy the skins service, dry it out, and leave the body wrinkled in time. But why pay for expensive and painful Botox processes to cover up something that could have been prevented anyway. How about just taking care of your body and skin with proper nutrients and through better diet and exercise? Fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants can help protect your skin and clean your blood. Fresh berries and salmon contain super antioxidants and natural omega-3 fatty acids that equally help to enhance the health of your skin’s cells and slow premature aging.

8. You Can Get Fit:

Get fit so you can be more productive. Finding a local Gym to workout at with a personal trainer can benefit productivity and your desire to improve your health. If time is limited you can always look into an online nutrition coach to help you stay the course when starting off. Once the initial stages of dieting have begun, it is often times easier to navigate the process alone. But having an online nutrition coach to design the meal plans and walk you through he first few months can be extremely beneficial for improving success. There are personal problems people have like disordered eating that can be difficult to overcome. Issues that can surface as a result of these disorders, particularly over the long term may be a risk factor for chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, obesity and cardiovascular disease. If all you are eating is junk and you are missing out on the benefits of nutrient rich foods packed with protein, minerals, and vitamins your body needs, your muscle mass will decline as your own fat storage accumulates internally. There are some estimates that say at least 30 percent of cancers are associated with diet. This is sad since this means it could be avoided with diet and exercise. One study stated that six thousand girls were tested and it was found that the girls who ate the maximum amount of cabbage, turnips, broccoli, lettuce, and cauliflower had a lesser chance of developing breast cancer after menopause. I wonder how much cabbage that is exactly?

9. Diet And Exercise Will Increase Your Life Span:

eating healthier foodsThis isn’t a guarantee but it will definitely increase your odds if the alternative is eating fast foods and junk. By eating healthy you can avoid ailments that may decrease your life expectancy. There was another study that suggested that a daily diet of vegetables and fruit, in conjunction with exercise, prolonged life expectancy for women in their 70s. My mother is in her 70’s, this is a study I will be sharing with her. There was another group of researchers that examined a group of volunteers over the course of a year and the study indicated that  vegetarian or vegetarian low-meat diets might help you live a longer lifetime. And yet another study points to nuts as a means to lower your chance of early departure. However you want to digest this, a healthful diet may play a significant part in how long you will live. Get yourself an personal trainer if you need help, hire an online nutrition coach, find a local doctor, join a local weight loss club for motivation, just do something about if you are struggling with your health and weight.

10. Put More Money Back In Your Pocket:

A lot of the benefits of healthful eating contribute to possible savings. All the eating out you might be doing, the money spent on fast food, and junk food goes to the waste side. Also,iIf you are staying healthy with diet and exercise, you will have fewer health bills to pay and by cutting back on food, you will eat less which equates to fewer trips to the grocery store, which equals savings on not only food, but gas, and time. By taking care of your body properly through diet and exercise you can then take care of the rest of your life.

Repairing The Roof Of Our Oklahoma Vacation Home

Roof Replacement in Oklahoma City

roof replacementThere was a storm that blew through Oklahoma this winter that knocked one of the trees down on our vacation property in Oklahoma. There are two issues that came of this. First we had to hire a tree trimmer in Oklahoma City to come in and clean up the overhang from the other trees on the property. We have some much overhang on our property from the old growth trees it’s a disaster waiting to happen. In addition to getting the trees trimmed, we should probably have some cut down also. There is always the possibility that extreme winds rip through Oklahoma and de-root our trees. Cleaning the property up and preparing it for the eventual wind storm that is inevitable is the best thing we can do for preventative measures. The other issue that came of this was the reality that we needed to replace our entire roof. We knew we had to repair the damage, but when the roof estimator came out and evaluated the damage he was adamant that we replace the whole roof. I don’t think we had replaced it since we owned it. The roof was an old shingle roof that husband would maintain on occasion if shingle broke loose or rotted out. What we didn’t know was that there was water damage to the plywood underneath the shingles. So while the roof appeared healthy on the surface, it was a mess underneath. We hired an Oklahoma City roofing specialist to re-roof the entire home. We also found out while they were in the attic that the water had dripped through and damaged some items we had store in the attic. Fortunately most of it were things we could replace. The new roof was a composite shake that basically has a lifetime warranty. They look like real wood shakes, but are synthetic and last longer. We are excited about the repair being done and this shouldn’t be an issue again in our lifetime (hopefully). If you have a home or vacation home in Oklahoma and are in need of a roofing contractor or a qualified tree trimmer I would recommend both of the companies we hired. This is another Usable Resoure from your friends at YourUsabilityResource.com.

Owning And Detailing Classic Cars

How To Own And Care For Your Classic Car

fully detailed classic car

Some people collect stamps; some collect rare coins. When you’re really rich, what do you collect? If you are Ralph Lauren, Tim Allen, Jay Leno or Jerry Seinfeld, or a number of other filthy rich celebrities, you collect classic cars. It’s hard to imagine adding a fish tank to a car, but singer Wyclef Jean did just that. When you have money to burn, burning it with gasoline seems like a logical choice. This is another usable resource for those of you continuing to build businesses and make money. With more money comes more toys! If you have decided to diversify your portfolio with a classic car collection there are some things to consider. 

While there is no standard for a “classic” car, most classic car enthusiasts agree with the Classic Car Club of America—a classic is a car produced between 1925 and 1948. While many celebrities focus on newer sports cars, many love the older, more ‘established’ vehicles with a sense of history. Many states determine a car to be an antique after 20 years, but a classic transcends antique; a Pinto may be an antique car, but an older Mustang is a classic.

Unlike most classic car owners, Jay Leno asserts that he drives them all—all 169 automobiles and all 117 motorcycles. He’s the proud owner of such sought after cars as the 1930 Bentley G400 with its V12 engine; the 1970 Mazda Cosmo 110S, a limited edition car, and the aerodynamic and sleek 1963 Jaguar XKE Coupe. Ralph Lauren’s collection, the cars he DOESN’T drive, include a 1929 Bentley Blower and a 1958 Ferrari Testarossa. Tim Allen, of “Home Improvement” and “Last Man Standing” television shows, is an enthusiast of American muscle cars, including a 1965 Shelby Cobra S/C. And Jerry Seinfeld, who built a career on “nothing”, spent a lot of something to acquire a 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS and a 1955 Porsche 550 RS—as well as another rumored 44 Porsche models. When you have the money, you can literally burn it—with gasoline fuel.

Oklahoma car detailer The great thing about classic cars is they are the great equalizer—you don’t have to be insanely rich to own one. You may have gotten lucky and your old uncle may have left you his 1960 Ford Thunderbird for you to tool around in, or maybe you bought a classic before it was a classic and held on to it. If you weren’t lucky enough to happen onto a classic car, you can still save your money and invest in a sweet ride, or start your own collection! We spoke to an OKC car detailing professional about maintaining the vehicle in an effort to retain its value. He went on to say that the attention to detail monthly is dependent on how well the car is kept. Obviously the better it’s maintained, the less time you have to invest in detailing it when it’s time to sell.

So where do you begin to find these classics, and what can you expect? One great idea is to scout out classic car shows, held at various spots across the country. It’s an excellent way to see these cars up close and personal and to ask other car enthusiasts how they got their start. If you’re feeling very brave, and you have the dollars to back it up, you may even bid on one of the beauties, but you should do your homework first.

If you have your eye on a specific car, it is best to learn all you can about its history and its upkeep. You may get a screaming deal on the car itself, but if you intend on driving it and the parts are astronomical, you probably won’t drive it—or possibly own it—very long. If you intend to drive it, it doesn’t have to be in competition level condition, as long as it is maintainable. If you do plan to show it, it will need to be as original as possible, and you will want to try to keep the mileage low. The weather is another factor to consider; you don’t want to subject your car to the elements, if possible, so you’ll also have to factor in where you will keep the car. Parking it on the street is probably not the best idea for various, obvious reasons!

Once you have settled on a car, its purpose as a transportation vehicle or a show vehicle and where you are going to house the car, it’s time to start looking. You can scour classic car websites, go to shows or even join a club for car enthusiasts; all could conceivably lead you to that classic car you desire. Joining a car club would give you the opportunity to speak with other owners and learn the pros and cons of owning the vehicle, and they could also help point you in the right direction when acquiring the car of your dreams. When purchasing something from an online site, make sure to see the car before you purchase it. It may show well from one side of the car, but the other side may be dented or rusted; something you may not see in pictures. You will also want to drive the car, if the owner is agreeable, to ensure it is of sound quality, especially if you plan on using the vehicle on a regular basis. Once you have found a car you are interested in purchasing, treat it as you would if you were buying a home:  have a classic car inspector look at it to make sure it is in good shape and then compare other similar cars and their prices. You will also want to make sure the car has a clean title to make sure it does not have a lien against it and to ensure it is not stolen! You can also acquire a used vehicle history report to see how many previous owners the particular car had and if it had been involved in any accidents. Making a purchase of this magnitude requires due diligence.

If you decide to move forward with the purchase, recognize that buying the car is one expense; maintaining and housing it are ongoing, separate expenses. You will have to obtain classic car insurance which is costly, as well. However, if you budget in these additions, you should be able to enjoy your purchase without worry. Classic car owners find that these vehicles are well worth the effort and expense; owing a piece of history makes it worthwhile. Who knows, after buying your first classic, you may be on your way to an extensive collection!

Installing Granite Stone Countertops In Our AZ Office

Newly Installed Granite In Our Phoenix Office

granite contractorMany of us have the luxury of owning our own businesses, homes, and vacation homes. We just remodeled the interior of one of our offices in Arizona. My business partner had bought out an industrial space in Phoenix and completely remodeled the interior of the space before moving any employees into it. The new office space has an open floor plan and is equipped with a beautiful employee kitchen and eating area. As we discussed this project prior to completing it, we determined there were some touches we really wanted to make it unique to us and our business. Granite countertops was one of those must have items we wanted all throughout the office. We had a granite installer in Phoenix come in and measure all the surface areas and confirm path we could install the natural stone in both bathrooms and the kitchen area. They took measurements and confirmed that they had enough granite material to cover all the surface space in the kitchen and bathrooms. At that, I will leave you with this. Granite is beautiful, durable, and highly recommended. Below you will find my take on granite, enjoy!

As few as thirty years ago, the only people who knew about granite were geologists. When granite first made its debut as a countertop, it came in limited colors and it was very expensive. These countertops were so expensive, people who opted to have them installed could not expect a fair return on investment. Fast-forward thirty years, and granite is the go-to natural stone used in homes and businesses as the countertop of choice. Its varied designs and colors as well as its durability have made granite countertops increasingly popular in many American homes. Granite is something homeowners nowadays, well, take for granted!

Your parents or grandparents had to muddle through with tile, solid surfacing or plastic laminate countertops; not so anymore. Countertops have grown up and become their very own status symbol. Years ago, an entire kitchen would cost the same amount as a few slabs of granite today, but in its defense, the granite is much stronger and longer-lasting than any of the countertops of yesteryear. While laminate countertops peel and tile countertops chip, granite countertops will last until you decide to replace them, not because you must replace them. Plus, the granite’s natural colors can be used to highlight the kitchen, making it a showpiece of the home.

Granite is known as an igneous rock, which means “born of fire”. Granite is formed from molten magna far beneath the Earth’s crust and then it hardened as the Earth cooled. Formulated of quartz, feldspar and mica, these large mineral grains fit tightly together. As the most common rock in the continental crust, it is mined and cut into slabs, where it is polished and sold mainly for use as bathroom and kitchen countertops. While granite is generally lighter in color, it is noted for its “vein” or “flecks” of darker color that come from additional minerals in the granite. Granite does not crack or chip easily, and it is very easy to clean, making it a desirable kitchen workplace. It is highly scratch resistant and can withstand hot pots and plates without damaging its surface, making it an excellent product for both kitchen and bath counters. While it is scratch resistant, it is also a very porous material, so cutting directly on the granite is not advised. Germs and bacteria can build which can lead to some health hazards. It is important to have the granite countertop sealed preferably once a year to help protect against its porous nature and to ensure it doesn’t succumb to stains. Once granite has been damaged or broken, it is difficult to repair. A stone restoration professional should be called to assess the damage and to see if the stone can be repaired. The other major drawback to granite is that it is not a ‘green’ substance; its harvesting process requires digging up the Earth to retrieve it.

Having granite installed in the kitchen or bathroom is a great long term investment. preparing granite to cutSince it is so durable and easy to clean, it is very desirable, especially when it comes time to sell your home. Granite, when well cared for, will outlast even soapstone and quartz when used in a bathroom or kitchen. Aesthetically, they are beautiful, and you can select the colors and the amount of mineral color you would like to run through it. If you appreciate the veins and flecks, you can get something with more character, while granite offers subtle colorations, too. With so many different colors and patterns to choose from, and the durability of the rock itself, it’s no wonder granite is such a popular natural stone.

As with many types of natural stone, there are variations, and not just in the color. “Granite” is a loose term; natural stone dealers consider granite to be any type of rock with big grains and hard minerals which may not technically be considered granite by geologists. Natural stone dealers can have the granite quarried into a dimension stone, a natural rock that is cut into slabs of a certain length, width and thickness. Natural stone dealers know that granite, in the broad sense, can be used not only for durable countertops, but also for headstones and monuments. Found in such places as Yosemite Valley, California, and Pike’s Peak, Colorado, granite is abundant and beautiful. Even Mount Rushmore in South Dakota was carved in granite almost 80 years ago, and the presidents look like they haven’t aged a day. The rocks resistance to acid rain and general weathering make it an excellent outdoor choice for these purposes, as well. To say granite is rock hard is giving too much credit to the term “rock hard”; granite is virtually stronger than steel. Second only to diamonds in hardness, granite is an excellent choice for heavy duty jobs.

Granite is plentiful, especially in areas like India and Brazil, where it is less expensive to extract from the ground due to labor costs. Once it was determined that there was a demand for granite, more and more sites began mining it, causing costs to drop and the color options to increase. In the United States, the areas with the most granite are Massachusetts, Georgia, New Hampshire, South Dakota, and Idaho.

Granite comes in so many colors and styles, it is best to work with an expert when selecting which will work best in your home. Selecting a natural stone like granite will bring a warmth and elegance to your home, and its ease of care is unmatched. While initially the cost may seem expensive, the durability and longevity of the stone will give you your money’s worth. This natural stone is unique in each slab, and it never loses its brilliance, even as it ages. You will want to make sure that you seal your granite at least once a year to protect it from oils and stains. Since the material is so porous, items like red wine and mustard can’t add colors to your granite that you don’t really want! Like most materials, the better you care for it, the longer it will last.

Boulder Colorado

Take A Vacation And Enjoy Boulder Colorado

All business owners find themselves working real hard at some point in their business ventures. Regardless of how busy you get, you must make time for yourself and your family. Balance is key to a healthy work/family life. Your Usability Resources are meant for the busy individuals who can’t find the time to locate the information they require in a timely manner. This resource page is about Boulder Colorado and the various things you can enjoy should you decide to visit the popular tourist destination.

Exploring Boulder

When you picture Boulder, Colorado, snow and the Rocky Mountains may come to mind. Boulder, however, is more than just a mountain town; in addition to being home to just over 100,000 people, Boulder offers plenty of activities to keep any visitor busy. Just forty-five minutes north of the capital of Denver, Boulder offers the laid-back, outdoor lifestyle that makes it a popular tourist destination.

mountain range in coloradoActivities abound in Boulder, regardless of the time of year. A very outdoor community, Boulder offers an active outdoor adventure for novices to experts. Boulder features of 300 miles of beautiful hiking and biking trails of Boulder Creek Path that borders Boulder Creek. Rock climbing is also a very popular sport in Boulder, featuring unique rock formations at the Flatirons, Eldorado Canyon just south of Boulder and Boulder Canyon to the west. Boulder Creek is a hot spot, especially in the summer months. Tubing, kayaking and fly-fishing are attractive options on the creek and boat rentals on the Boulder Reservoir are available, too. To soar to new heights and truly see all of Boulder, try a glorious hot air balloon ride or helicopter ride. Horseback riding at one of the various stables near Boulder is another great way to explore the prairies. With almost 300 sunny days per year, outdoor adventures in Boulder beckon!

Of course, spring and summer are not the only months to venture outside in Boulder; fall offers fairly mild temperatures while winter brings an average of 90 inches of snowfall each year. Cross country skiing, ice climbing, and snowshoeing are all well-liked winter activities. Downhill skiing is just thirty minutes away, as well.

Colorado Sports

For professional sports enthusiasts, Boulder is a perfect place. Located just twenty-five miles north of Denver, a quick trip into the city to see the Broncos play football or the Rockies play a baseball game is totally feasible. Denver is also home to the Colorado Avalanche hockey team, the Denver Nuggets basketball team and the Colorado Rapids soccer team, so there is something for sports fans.

Boulder Art and Artist Attractions

Boulder residents enjoy an area celebrated not only for its outdoor activities, but as a mecca for artists. Named one of the Top 10 Cities for Artists byart museum in Boulder Business Week magazine, Boulder boasts a vibrant art culture. The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art offers educational programs and houses some of the finest in local and national contemporary art works. Food is also a favorite feature in Boulder, with the city being recognized as  America’s Foodiest Town by Bon Appetit magazine. If you’re looking to expand your arts, culture and culinary horizons, Boulder had a lot of options. From October to May, Boulder features a series of Bach-focused events and concerts, as well as the Boulder International Film Festival in February. Boulder also offers a series of summer concerts at the Colorado Music Festival. Boulder’s Art Week, March 30-April 7, this year, hosts art walks, exhibitions, performances, workshops and music all throughout the town. If you’re looking to enlighten your taste buds, the aptly named The Kitchen features farm to table fresh foods and features a community night dinner on Mondays where groups share meals family-style. Snarf’s, with its unique sandwiches, is a Boulder must-dine and for the special night out, Frasca, serves the finest pastas, seafood, and lamb, all paired with the perfect wine.

Fun Things To Do in Boulder

Boulder prides itself on offering unusual but fun events to attract visitors. The Bolder Boulder, a 10 km race run on Memorial Day, has been a Boulder staple since 1979. Runners of all abilities are invited to participate with the race ending at Folsom Field. It’s the fifth largest timed race in the world! If you’re into challenges like the Bolder Boulder, here’s an even bolder one:  the Polar Bear Plunge. On New Year’s Day, you can join in as others jump into the freezing Boulder Reservoir—just to say you’ve done it! Hot tubs are nearby for plungers to warm up after their dip in the reservoir.  Trick or treat takes on a whole new meaning in Boulder; dozens of people participate in the naked pumpkin run. Runners don just tennis shoes, and a hallowed out pumpkin on their heads to hide their identities as they maneuver through town wearing nothing but a jack-o-lantern grin. Another unusual Boulder event:  420 day. Since marijuana has been legalized in Colorado, groups of people gather on the University of Colorado at Boulder campus to partake in marijuana smoking at 4:20 in the afternoon, on April 20th. Marijuana can be purchased legally at this Colorado dispensary (https://helpinghandsdispensary.com/). Since Boulder is a college town, offbeat events are the norm in this city!

farmers market on Pearl StreetHowever, if you are looking for ‘normal’ fun while in Boulder, you can always check out the delightful shopping at the Pearl Street Mall. With four blocks of prime restaurants, and specialty shops, Pearl Street Mall is a favorite spot for tourists. Pearl Street is home of the Band on the Bricks, a weekly, free event featuring beer from local breweries, music and street acts. The local farmers’ market by Pearl Street is also a popular place to pick up fresh goods during the spring and summer months. Near the college campus, The Hill, features nightlife and stores geared towards the college aged crowd. While by the college campus, bring the younger kids to the Media Archeology Lab, home to technology of yesteryear. Kids will marvel at old typewriters, rotary telephones, microfiche, and the first home computers. This is a “hands-on” museum where visitors are encouraged to explore. Or, take the kids to Gateway Park Fun Center where they can race go-carts, play mini-golf or run through the human maze! Older kids may enjoy the shows and lectures at the Fiske Planetarium, featuring the Zeiss, a one of a kind stargazing machine. In addition to Eldorado Canyon State Park and Chautauqua Park, the whole family will love the challenge of Flagstaff Mountain, whose apex features a nature center, interactive exhibits and stunning views.

Boulder offers a great deal of activities, especially if you are an outdoor enthusiast. Visiting Boulder any time of year offers different opportunities for sporting adventures, nightlife, culture, excellent food and fun for kids. Plan your vacation to Boulder today!

48% Who Want to Sell Have No Exit Strategy

48% Who Want to Sell Have No Business Exit Strategy

Having an exit strategy when you start a business makes it that much easier to execute rational and informed decisions when you want to get out. But the UBS (NYSE: UBS) Q1 Investor Watch Report, “Who’s the boss?” reveals 48 percent of business owners don’t have a formal exit strategy.

This is the 22-second edition of the quarterly survey, and this time around it is looking at how investors feel about business ownership. The survey also explores the exit strategy of business owners, including selling their company and leaving it to their heirs.

In the report, UBS points out the majority of business owners don’t have a full understanding of what takes place in the selling of a business. It identifies a knowledge gap for the 75 percent of owners who believe they can sell their business in a year or less. This is on top of the 58 percent who have never had their business formally appraised, and the 48 percent without exit strategies.

Stewart Kesmodel, Head of Global Family Office, Americas for UBS Global Wealth Management, explained the challenge of selling a business this way in the press release. He said, “Selling a business successfully requires a great deal of planning, which owners often underestimate. Before pursuing a sale, it is important for business owners to not only have a view on the value of their business to potential buyers, but also an understanding of how that price applies to their personal needs post-transaction.”

In the survey, 1,085 of the 2,245 high net worth investor were identified as business owners (770 current/315 former). Their business had at least one employee and $250k in annual revenue.

Key Business Exit Strategy Findings

Selling the business is the preferred strategy of 52 percent of the respondents, which 41 percent plan to do within five years. Another 20 percent said they plan to leave it to family, 18 percent are going to close the business, and 10 percent don’t know.

As to the reason for leaving the business, 65 percent said it was a good time to sell and they are ready to retire, while 49 percent indicated they are looking to find a work-life balance.

So how do the heirs feel about inheriting a business?

More than 4 in 5 or 82 percent rather have the money from the sale of the business, and only 18 percent said they wanted the business. This is probably why 89 percent of owners said they won’t pass their business on because family members are not interested. Lack of qualification and wanting a family member to take another career path was sated by 21 and 9 percent of the respondents respectively.

48% Who Want to Sell Have No Business Exit Strategy

Takeaway from the UBS Survey

Plan early with different exit strategies in mind. This will allow you the flexibility you need to get the most out of your business, whether you sell it, pass it on to your family, or have someone else manage it for you.

You can take a look at the rest of the data here and the partial infographic below.

48% Who Want to Sell Have No Business Exit Strategy

Images: UBS

This article, “48% Who Want to Sell Have No Exit Strategy” was first published on Small Business Trends

5 Ways Tax Reform is Helping Franchise Businesses

5 Ways Tax Reform is Helping Franchises

The recent passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act could have a major impact on franchise businesses. The tax reform will likely lead to changes ranging from increased deductions to a more financially stable customer base.

Ways Tax Reform Is Helping Franchises

Here are a few of the specific ways this new legislation could help franchises.

Increased Cash Flow

Because of the lower corporate tax rates and larger deductions for pass-through business structures, the new tax bill is expected to help businesses of all sizes save money on tax payments. According to President of Franchise Marketing Systems Christopher Conner, who has worked with franchise businesses ranging from Blimpie to UPS, this increase in cash flow and the ability to keep and reinvest that money into growth opportunities is the number one potential benefit of the new bill.

He said in an email to Small Business Trends, “Franchisors and Franchisees now have more cash flow and capital to put towards hiring, growth and investment into the people who support their business’ operations.”

Ability to Invest in Employees

Because of that potential increase in funds, franchise businesses should have more money available to hire new employees, invest in training and provide more competitive wages for existing employees to keep them happy. This can help you retain those team members for longer, decreasing turnover costs and strengthening your company culture, things that can have long-term benefits for your business.

Better Options for Structuring Your Business

One of the tax reform changes that’s most pertinent to the small business community is the new 20 percent deduction for pass-through entities. This is any type of business where the income passes through to the owner’s individual tax returns, including sole proprietorships, partnerships and S-Corps. For some franchise businesses, this could offer some opportunity to reap even more financial benefits by adjusting the structure of the business, though the actual impact will vary for each individual business.

Conner says, “We always recommend speaking to a CPA, but it has been recommended by several to transition your business to an S-Corp. The new tax regulations offer a larger degree of benefits to corporations than other business entity structures.”

More Write-Off Opportunities

Owning a franchise business requires some investment in equipment and supplies, some of which you can write off as deductions on your tax returns. And the new bill raises the limit on how much of those expenses you can deduct, potentially making it more financially beneficial for you to grow your business by making those investments.

Conner says, “The write off for capital investments has increased substantially where businesses are incentivized to now invest in equipment, real estate and other capital investments where with the new tax reform, business owners can write off up to $1 million in asset investments in the first year of ownership which is incredible and extremely advantageous for business owners.”

Potential for Economic Growth

Of course, the most general goal of tax reform is to support a healthy economy. Since many franchise businesses, like fast casual restaurants and automotive service providers, tend to target middle class consumers, a tax bill that puts more money in the pockets of those customers is likely to be a benefit for franchise owners as well.

The new tax bill adjusts the some of the tax rates for middle class families, lowering rates by a few percentage points in many cases. There’s also a larger standard deduction and child tax credit that could lead to more deductions for average families. These benefits might not have direct applications to franchise businesses right away. But over time if they have the desired effects on the economy as a whole, it could lead to a customer base with more money to spend.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “5 Ways Tax Reform is Helping Franchise Businesses” was first published on Small Business Trends

Small Business Resources at RCPL

Small Business Resources at RCPL
An overview of the small business online resources available at the Richland County Public Library in Columbia, SC. For more information, visit www. myRCPL.com.

How to Use Technology to Take Charge of Your Business Meetings

Using Technology to Improve Meetings

Meetings pose an ongoing challenge for business leaders. The goal is to lead meetings more efficiently. However, that’s easier said then done.

Although they’re a necessary part of effective communication and collaboration, meetings can easily become a drudgery for attendees. For years, interoffice meetings meant handing out a paper-based agenda. Participants would take notes on pads of paper. Once the meeting was over, leaders found it difficult to gauge how things had gone. This made it difficult to get the information they needed to improve.

Once technology entered the workplace, meetings naturally evolved. Instead of relying on flat verbal presentations, PowerPoint made it easy to convey concepts.

Using Technology to Improve Meetings

Now, meeting leaders are so busy, they may not realize that there are now many tools that can take their gatherings to the next level. Here are a few top ways technology is providing ways to lead meetings more efficiently.

Idea Capture

One of the biggest failures in business meetings is that participants are expected to serve as little more than audience members. Tools like GoWall are changing that, giving attendees the resources they need to contribute to a meeting without being disruptive. As concepts are communicated, participants can add their own thoughts to an “idea wall” in real time. Since others can see these notes, they’ll naturally feel inspired to contribute.

The result is a more engaged audience. There is also valuable documentation that leaders can use to move forward and lead meetings more efficiently. Employees feel like contributors in this situation. Therefore, they get excited about future meetings. This technology can be used for on-site get-togethers and meetings with remote staff.

Attendee Feedback

When you think of meeting feedback, you likely think of the “How was our presentation?” surveys found at many conferences and seminars. However, solutions like ParticiPoll bring a poll tool to meetings of all sizes This includes standard staff meetings. The poll can be incorporated into aPowerPoint presentation. That way, you can invite attendees to rate each presentation and provide feedback at its conclusion. You can also include polls within the presentation, having participants rate various things in real time.

This type of tool is perfect for businesses that regularly host presentations for remote participants. You’ll be able to gather votes from your entire team and use that information after the meeting concludes. Not only will you see the results of your polls live, but you’ll also be able to access all of your polls after the fact. This will allow you to identify trends so you can lead meetings more efficiently.

Meeting Intelligence

Popular solutions like Google Hangouts have revolutionized videoconferencing, making it easy to launch virtual meetings where everyone participates. Google’s tool has itself evolved over the years, adapting to the always-changing demands of the businesses that use it. Like similar collaboration tools, Google Hangouts let employees move from text-based chat to file-sharing to video chat with ease.

Among the many benefits of Google’s tool is that many people already have an account, which means they can join without signing up. They’ll also be able to access other tools within the platform, including Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Docs. This makes it easy to initiate calls not only with your existing employees, but with outside sources such as clients and contract workers. Cisco’s WebEx has also expanded its offerings over the years to help participants move easily between chatting, making phone calls, and video chatting.

Whiteboarding

Brainstorming is a great way to lead meetings more efficiently. It can call upon the expertise of an entire team, since one idea can easily feed another. But standing in front of a whiteboard with a dry-erase marker is not an option for many businesses, now that some workers and clients attend by phone. A whiteboarding app can resolve that, starting with the meeting leader’s ability to demonstrate concepts using a finger on a smart screen.

Today’s popular solutions include apps like Cisco Spark Board, which incorporates screen sharing to let multiple team members participate in whiteboarding. This can be essential for brainstorming with remote workers, as well as with clients who might want to talk through concepts. All information is saved for later, which means your team will be able to use the data to inform the project that was the topic of the meeting.

Lead Meetings More Efficiently

Whether you choose one of these tools or a combination of multiple solutions, it’s important to create an environment that helps you lead meetings more efficiently. Make sure that you’re regularly gaining the input you need to improve your future meetings. Eventually, you’ll find that employees are not only excited about upcoming business meetings, but they’re scheduling their own video chats with the easy-to-use suite of solutions you’ve put in place.

Image via Due.com

This article, “How to Use Technology to Take Charge of Your Business Meetings” was first published on Small Business Trends

Small Business Checklist [MY RESOURCES]

Small Business Checklist [MY RESOURCES]
People are always asking me, “How do you have the time to do so much? You seem to be everywhere doing everything!”

I’m not going to lie. I am busy and I do have my hand in just about everything, but I have learned to make it easy on myself. How? With my small business checklist that is full of systems and automation.

To read all about what I use to keep my business running, read this: http://www.mediamavenandmore.com/small-business-checklist/

My small business checklist, or my resources, include:
Hootsuite
Tailwind
Teachable
ConvertKit
SEMRush
YouTube

Now, let’s get social:

For Business: http://MediaMavenAndMore.com
For Fun: http://ChristinaAllDay.com

http://Facebook.com/MediaMavenAndMore

http://Instagram.com/ChristinaAllDay
http://Pinterest.com/ChristinaAllDay
http://LinkedIn.com/in/ChristinaAllDay

” upload_time=”2017-06-12T13:23:17.000Z” description=”People are always asking me, “How do you have the time to do so much? You seem to be everywhere doing everything!” I’m not going to lie. I am busy and”]

Facebook Giving Businesses the Ability to Post to Crisis Response

Facebook Community Help for Businesses Now Available in Crisis Response Center

Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) has announced businesses and organizations can now post on its Community Help feature, designed to make it easier to ask for and give help during a crisis.

Facebook Community Help for Businesses

By enabling businesses to post on Community Help will assist firms in providing critical information and services for people when they need it the most. Facebook has started to roll out the feature for certain organizations and plans to make it more widely available in forthcoming weeks.

In times of crisis, interactivity and connecting people is more important than ever. By posting on Facebook in response to a crisis, the Community Help feature will enable businesses and organizations to provide people with urgent help, such as food, shelter and transportation.

This will help businesses meet aims of providing help and assistance during times of crisis and ultimately shape stronger, more interactive communities.

As Asha Sharma, Head of Social Good at Facebook, commented in a statement on Facebook about the Community Help development:

“Our priority is to build tools that help keep people safe and provide them with ways to get the help they need to recover and rebuild after a crisis. We hope this update makes it even easier for people to get the help they need in times of crisis and will give businesses and organizations and opportunity to build stronger communities around them.”

Since it was launched in 2017, Community Help has seen people engage more than 750,000 times via posts, messages and comments. People have turned to the Community Help feature for information and assistance during more than 500 different crises around the world.

By allowing organizations and businesses to post vital information and messages will help people get the crucial assistance they need during times of crisis.

Image: Facebook

This article, “Facebook Giving Businesses the Ability to Post to Crisis Response” was first published on Small Business Trends

2 out of 3 Service Contractors Won’t Get Hired if They’re Not Tech Savvy

Service Professionals Are Expected to Be Tech-Savvy: 2 of 3 Service Pros Won't Get Rehired if They're Not Tech Savvy

Being tech-savvy is fundamental to functioning in today’s highly connected world. A new survey commissioned by Verizon Telematics and carried out by KRC Research highlights the extent of this example as it reveals 2 out of 3 customers said they would not hire a service contractor who is not tech-savvy.

Service Professionals Are Expected to Be Tech-Savvy

The study surveyed service contractors and small businesses in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); construction; landscaping; plumbing and trucking/delivery. And in all cases being tech savvy did affect the bottom line across all the industries.

Service contractors are in most cases small businesses, whether they are a sole operator or part of a company that is slightly larger. For these organizations, technology is essential in optimizing operations and delivering the best possible service for their customers.

Jay Jaffin, chief marketing officer at Verizon Telematics, pointed out the importance of being technologically proficient across the entire workforce of a business. In a press release announcing the survey, he said, “In an age where nearly everyone has a smartphone, customers expect that mobility, connectivity and tech savviness will extend to the home service vendors they choose to work with,” said. “By simply connecting their vehicles and technicians, businesses can anticipate changes to schedules, handle more last-minute jobs, send a different technician to the next job if one is running late and most importantly, drive huge gains in customer satisfaction.”

The data was collected using an online survey with 506 participating service contractors working in the five service industries. It was carried out by KRC Research from Sept. 28 to Oct. 9, 2017, with a minimum of 100 professionals from each industry taking part. After the conclusion, the consumer side of the survey was completed seperately. A total of 1,026 individuals 18 years of age and older took part in the study online between Nov. 2 and Nov. 6, 2017.

Some of the Results Of the Survey

Another important data point from the consumer side of the survey was, 79 percent of U.S. consumers expect tech-savvy home service contractors.

On the service provider side, 70 percent of contractors have recognized ensuring future business success will require adopting new technologies. And contractors who have started using work applications on their mobile, tablet or laptops have noticed higher rates of customer satisfaction.

Mobile technology is especially important for this group as they are always on the move. The productivity levels of HVAC workers increased by 92 percent because of mobile technology. And 63 percent of construction workers experienced increased customer satisfaction, while another 53 percent said they saw higher sales.

The infographic below has additional information about the survey.

Service Professionals Are Expected to Be Tech-Savvy: 2 of 3 Service Pros Won't Get Rehired if They're Not Tech Savvy

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “2 out of 3 Service Contractors Won’t Get Hired if They’re Not Tech Savvy” was first published on Small Business Trends

Want to Step Up to Your Biggest Small Business Challenge? Read This First

Small Business Revolution-Main Street: Ty Pennington Says This is the Biggest Challenge Facing a Small Business -- And How to Overcome It

As a philanthropist and award winning television host of shows like “Trading Spaces and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” Ty Pennington has a proven track record of motivating people. That’s why Small Business Trends was happy to interview him and learn what he thought was the biggest challenge facing a small business.

“People who have small businesses are focused on what their passion is. They don’t always know what it’s like to try and market or the best way to accomplish that goal with their brand,” he said. Pennington will be co hosting the third season of the web series Small Business Revolution — Main Street.  He says finding a team that can focus on branding for you can revolutionize the way you look at your business and help to revitalize a small town that’s struggling at the same time.

Small Business Revolution-Main Street

Business Services

“Small Business Revolution — Main Street” is sponsored by Deluxe, a company that offers a variety of small business services. The show brings small town community leaders, experts and business professionals together to help small towns and smaller enterprises there. Over the first two seasons, small businesses in Indiana and Pennsylvania got help with business and marketing advice as well as physical improvements totaling $500,000.

Voting for the third season’s winner in underway here

Amanda Brinkman stars in “Small Business Revolution — Main Street” and she’s also the executive producer of the show. She told Small Business Trends she’s seen a few areas that challenge small businesses’ success.

 Know Your Numbers

“We’ve seen two things. First is their finances. Knowing their numbers and what their numbers are telling them is important,” she says adding the second big challenge is staying on top of and understanding the technology curves that help small business owners get the most from digital innovations.

“A lot of people didn’t start a business because they couldn’t wait to build a website or use email marketing to stay in front of their customers,” she says.

As well as working on the upcoming season of “Small Business Revolution — Main Street,” Pennington’s flagship show, Trading Spaces, is set to come back on air on the TLC network in April.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Want to Step Up to Your Biggest Small Business Challenge? Read This First” was first published on Small Business Trends

7 Ways A Cloud Based Virtual Assistant Will Make You a Better Entrepreneur

Sponsored Post

Cloud Based Virtual Assistant Benefits

Did you know that more than half of Americans want their own personal AI assistant, and why not? Having a cloud-based virtual assistant to hand your tasks off to is like a dream; your own guy or girl Friday that can handle everything from scheduling to research, project management, and even sales.

Happily, with the rise of cloud based virtual assistants, this dream is coming true. And, for entrepreneurs, there are many benefits to using one.

What is a Cloud Based Virtual Assistant?

Before we jump into the benefits however, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page as to what a cloud based virtual assistant is.

A cloud based virtual assistant is an app that understands “natural” language text or voice commands and can complete tasks on your behalf. In other words, you can talk to the app using real, everyday words. In addition, the app can live online or on a device like your smartphone.

What we’re not talking about here is a human virtual assistant. While those folks can provide many benefits of their own, they’re not part of this conversation.

Whether online or on a device, one critical feature of a cloud based virtual assistant is its ability to connect to multiple systems and sources of data. For this reason, they are “cloud-based” because they can reach into the cloud to access what they need. As you’ll see below, this is how they get work done for you.

Cloud Based Virtual Assistant Benefits

Cloud based virtual assistants help you be a better entrepreneur by taking on the tasks that can fill your time so you can focus on higher-value work like delighting your customers and finding more of them.

Here’s a look at some of the ways you can use a virtual assistant.

Onboarding Sales Leads

You can waste a lot of time with tire-kickers, folks who download your sales materials but aren’t really interested in buying anything.

Tools like Conversica help you discover your most promising sales leads by starting a conversation that eventually leads to contact with a human. Once you’ve got them on the phone, the business is yours to win.

Meeting Scheduler

One of the most time-consuming tasks is setting up a meeting. You send the invite, they say they can’t make it and off you go with that lovely game we call “let’s see if we can find a time and place to meet in under 10 emails.”

Wouldn’t it be great to hand off that whole process to someone else? Well, thanks to the rise of virtual assistants like x.ai, you can. This tool handles all the back and forth to set up meetings and all you have to do is provide some basic input at the beginning.

Now you can spend more time actually meeting rather than trying to set the meeting up.

Meeting Facilitator

Once your meeting is set up, a virtual assistant can help you make the most of your time together. This technology is still evolving, but we get an interesting peek into the future of virtual meeting assistants in the infographic below from Cisco; a future that is starting to arrive today. The future looks pretty sweet from here.

Cloud Based Virtual Assistant Benefits

Project Management Assistant

Project management is a key element of a well run business. Using project management helps assure that work gets done and delivered on time and as promised.

However, finding out what’s going on at any one moment can mean a lot of time spent running down updates and statuses.

Now you can get around that problem by using a virtual assistant like the one created by integrating Redbooth and Cisco Spark. This “virtual project management assistant” can run down questions like, “Where’s everyone with their tasks,” “How much time is left before this part of the project is done?”, and “How many hours should I bill my client this month?”

It’s nice to be able to spend your time working in your business rather than on your business, right?

On-Demand Info

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to get critical information on the fly just by asking a question? That’s exactly what Dickey’s Barbecue is starting to roll-out to their chain of franchise restaurants.

Laura Rea Dickey, CEO of the Dallas-based company, says franchisees can use an Amazon Echo to ask Alexa for “up-to-date data on daily sales, inventory levels, scheduled deliveries by suppliers, customer ratings, and even optimal smoking times.” And that’s all without leaving the kitchen.

Outside of the work area, folks can still access visual data as well.

Personal Assistant

Aside from scheduling, cloud based virtual assistants can make it feel like secretaries have come back in style. Some examples include:

  • Providing reminders so you never miss a meeting,.
  • Adding items to your to-do list,
  • Reading your email to you and even replying,
  • Making conference calls for you so you don’t have to remember to bring the number,
  • Finding flights, lodging and restaurants for you locally or when you travel,
  • Finding out the weather forecast and reporting news you’re interested in hearing.

Housekeeper

After a hard day at work, wouldn’t it be nice to come back to a comfortable home? Using cloud based connections with smart devices, a virtual assistant can make sure that the lights are on, soothing music is playing and the temperature is just right.

A well-rested and relaxed entrepreneur is an effective entrepreneur and a cloud based virtual assistant can help you enjoy your time out of the office.

Additional Resources

The links below lead to handy posts that can help you learn more and get started with a cloud based personal assistant today.

  • 12 Voice Assistants Available Today to Help Organize Your Business
  • 24 Ways Amazon Alexa Skills Can Help Your Small Business Today
  • Onboarding Microsoft’s Cortana to Your Small Business Team

For more on how to offer AI virtual assistance as part of a larger cloud based business service, contact Meylah today.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “7 Ways A Cloud Based Virtual Assistant Will Make You a Better Entrepreneur” was first published on Small Business Trends

Marcus Tartt shares resources available to small businesses in various districts of San Francisco

Marcus Tartt shares resources available to small businesses in various districts of San Francisco
This is the San Francisco Small Business Week interview with Marcus Tartt, Center Director for the Bayview Center

Discover a variety of resources & new members of your community at our event May 12-17, 2014