Increase the Wealth in Your Community
Many of us have noticed how some nearby communities seem to be "wealthier" than other nearby communities. They seem to have more shopping markets, more restaurants, more choices; items often cost more in these communities than they do in surrounding areas, yet the affluence remains where the prices are high; people are drawn to these communities, bringing even more resources and more wealth.
The idea behind supporting local economies involves more than just agreeing with a concept, or voting in favor of regulations that favor local business. It involves putting our money where our mouth is?..to spend our money in the community in which we live, for the benefit of those around us. Too many times we are willing to drive long distances to find "exactly what we want" or purchase from internet providers and catalogs, that on a global scale causes large sums of money from a given area to migrate farther away, not to return as a benefit to the community in which it was spent.
There are a variety of reasons as to why this occurs, and all of us are guilty at some point or another. But in order for local economies to survive??.and thrive??.local neighbors must adjust their own mindset to being more receptive to goods and services provided in their own communities. When local business makes money, this in turn revolves back to the public, in terms of growth, more choices, new business creation, and money spent by local business men and women back into the communities from which the money was received. It takes years, and perhaps even decades to see the results sometimes, but a focus on community development, through the spending of your dollars locally, will make a difference in the long run.
About 20 years ago a number of businesses began the acquisition of large quantity goods at extremely low prices, and passed on this savings to the public. The idea caught on like a wave, and mega-stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Home Depot have been popping up all over the United States. Most of us have shopped at one of them, and all of us use products that are available there. We may drive 25 or 30 miles to reach one, and because of the time and distance traveled, we are willing to spend hundreds of dollars on one visit to justify the travel expense.
Large supermarkets of this type bring benefits to the community in terms of jobs. But it brings jobs that often pay single digit wages, perhaps hiring people who were laid off from better paying jobs.
What it does do is put tremendous pressure on local business to compete with pricing. Often they cannot compete well, due to lower customer volume or supply sources, and so can be forced into financial stress, or even bankruptcy, because of the new market's arrival. Many studies have been conducted to determine if the arrival of a national chain market has an overall net benefit to a community, or just weakens the local economy by collecting local dollars and transporting them elsewhere. While studies are inconclusive, many areas are suggesting there is a net loss.
In order for local economies to thrive, jobs must be plentiful and businesses must thrive. By this process, the money-----and that is the largest determining factor of the condition of a local economy---must recycle through that same community in which it was generated. Furthermore, a community must attract the dollars and resources of its surrounding areas, bringing in funding sources from "the outside". Growing economies have a positive net in "dollars recycling", where money is coming in from distant communities and staying there. Depressed economies have a net loss----where more money is leaving the community to buy goods and services elsewhere, rather than being applied in the community from which it was generated through jobs or business.
So one conclusion that can be drawn from this is that to improve our local economy (which involves spending dollars there) we must perhaps change our thinking. By developing a fondness for our home community, and a connection with people in our neighborhoods, it is more likely that we will be willing to spend money in our home areas. The grass is NOT always greener on the other side of the fence. It is greenest where the fertilizer was placed.
-----Tom Clouser Madisonburg, PA
Tom Clouser is a 38 year old farmer in Pennsylvania. In addition to farming, he and his father publish a monthly 16-page newspaper called "Trees 'n' Turf", which targets subjects of interest to those in land use industries and activities. View their website at http://www.clouserfarm.net
The Perilous Franchise Agreement: What Did You Sign?
Purchasing a franchise has become one of the most popular avenues for individuals looking to escape the rigid work day of a 9 to 5 job and take the leap into the world of independent business owner. After all, who doesn't dream of being their own boss and controlling the limits of their own financial future? For anyone looking to act on their entrepreneurial spirit, franchising can indeed offer many attractive qualities that can provide excellent growth and earning potential, as well as satisfy that longing for independence. On the other hand, individuals that jump into franchising too quickly without adequate planning can find themselves mired in financial and legal problems. Even the most sophisticated businessperson can fall into this trap and be left scrambling to understand exactly what they signed.
An observation while returning home from a seminar: Getting away from the everyday allows room for analysis and new thoughts. Stimulation while away from the everyday energizes analytical and concept ional thinking.
Covenants Not To Compete: Another Franchise Quandary
Imagine that you have operated a successful franchise business for the past several years. Your franchise agreement's term expires in the near future and you are contemplating whether renewing the agreement would be a wise business decision. In the past couple of years it has become all too apparent that you are receiving little, if any, benefit or assistance from your franchisor. Yet, you continue to pay the franchisor thousands of dollars each year in royalties and other fees. You therefore decide that it would make better "business sense" to operate independently after expiration of your franchise term. After all, you are very familiar with the business and have worked extremely hard in developing and establishing a solid client base to enable you to continue running a profitable and prosperous operation.
Be Prepared When Business Investors Look Beyond Your Business Plan
You have spent considerable time pulling your business plan together, contacting potential business investors, making management presentations and pitching your business plan to prospective business investors. Now you finally have a serious investor who wants to conduct "due diligence" before investing real cash into your business.
Business Relationships Defined
What makes a business relationship?
432 Page Franchise Report by the FTC
The Federal Trade Commission is upgrading the franchise law and they have made a report. Recently I have been reviewing the FTC's franchise rule report page by page. I have was shocked to learn that after commenting on the first two paragraphs in the first page of information directly following the table of contents, it took me 19 pages. I see now the reason for the 432-page report on franchising; the FTC has put forth a 432-page report and used the mass data approach to BS and Baffle potential commenters. It appears to be working. No one wants to bother to read and understand it all. However one franchisor, one entrepreneur sees this for what it is worth. So on to the next paragraph we go, I wonder how many pages it will take to comment on the next line of malarkey?
Virtual Assistance for Healthcare Professionals
Administrative and clerical tasks are the bane of every industry. No matter how small or large your business is, you will eventually find yourself with stacks of paperwork that need your attention and phone calls that need to be made. And when will you find the time? If you are busy seeing your clients during the day, then the paperwork waits until the evenings and weekends. This can make for some very long days and total exhaustion. Hiring a virtual assistant is becoming the best option for many professionals.
Small Business Opportunities And The Tens
You may find this Newsletter a little long winded but it's for a good cause: It's all designed for Your Success!
Four Reasons Why Small Businesses Succeed (or Fail)
The American system of business management has been admired and emulated around the world. This system is characteristic of two traits in the American psyche: (1) enthusiasm for the future and making things better, and (2) an openness and willingness to change in order to achieve that end.
Asking the RIGHT Questions
Which questions do you need to ask to even get a hintif you really want to know something about another person's business pain?
Big Successes Never Happen Overnight
Treat your business as a serious, full-time business and be serious about making it work. Put your plans on paper. Neglecting to develop and follow a consistent marketing plan can be devastating to the growth of your business. Big successes never happen overnight. Market and promote your business everyday. There are subscriptions available that can assist in your conquest to success.
How To Create A Business Note That Is More Attractive To A Note Investor
You are selling your small business (business value under $1 million for this article). You would like the buyer of your business to come in with an all-cash offer, or be able to qualify for an SBA guaranteed loan. However, in many cases the owner of the business ends up taking back the financing because the buyer is not able to make an all-cash offer or does not qualify for an SBA guaranteed loan. So you create a "business note" and you now become the "bank". At first that may seem okay, but after a couple of years of receiving payments you may decide you want to get back into business and you need the cash that is tied up in your business note on which you are receiving payments. So now you want to sell your business note to raise cash for your next business venture. What is it worth? That will depend a lot on how you structured the note.
How to Become Successful in the Field of Financial Consultants
Financial Consultants are one of the fastest growing industries today. More and more people are requiring the services of a finance consultant to get out of debt, and/or prepare for educational and retirement expenses. The knowledge these consultants have creates an income potential for everyone involved.
Is This The Way Its Always Been Done?
Let's face it, we all tend to get stuck in doing things 'the way they've always been done', and creating products, or services, in a similarly conservative mode.
Top 10 Record Keeping Mistakes Business Owners Make (and How To Avoid Them)
If you interviewed business owners of failed businesses, a majority will tell you that they didn't understand or feel comfortable dealing with the "book work". Your ability to understand and perform day to day accounting tasks in your small business is a critical success factor. Here are some tips to help you avoid the most common mistakes business owners make.
Is Brick and Mortar A Passing Fad?
Q: Is the online world the best place to sell a product or service these days? My friends seem to think that brick and mortar stores will totally disappear in the future. I debate this all the time with them, but it seems to be heading that way. Your thoughts?- Alex H.
Small Business Savvy: Reaching Key Big Business Decision Makers
As a solo entrepreneur or small business owner, one of our key challenges can be reaching key decision makers in larger companies. Getting to the right person who can seal the deal can be a frustrating experience, especially if you don't have a game plan. Here are three ways to connect with the right people.
Mobile Detailing Environmental Concern in the Deep South
Macon, GA goes after garage-gas station conversion detail/hand car washes for allowing storm drain pollution. I can remember a time when we were in the Macon GA. we stopped and talked to be head of the DEP and showed them pictures of people polluting after someone complained about our company we knew it was a competitor. They looked at the pictures and then looked us in the eyes and said "we do not want any problems around here, you must be from somewhere else are you from California?" we said yes, we were from California, but that makes no difference, because you are not allowed to pollute anywhere in this country no matter where you are because the NPDES permits requires that you follow EPA laws.
How to Protect Yourself & Your Business
As a business owner, you already know how important it is for your customers to feel safe about doing business with you. After all, if a customer even suspects he may not receive everything he was promised, then chances are he's taking his business elsewhere. So to prevent that you offer guarantees, secure payment methods, prompt customer service, and more. You do whatever it takes to show each customer that you are sincere and trustworthy.
Is It Recess Yet?! Confessions of a Self Employed Workaholic
I have a confession to make. My name is Caroline and I'm a workaholic. I try to pretend I don't have a problem. I try to cover it up. But, in the end I'm faced with the cold hard truth that I am a person who works too much. I even tried to take work with me on my honeymoon! (I got busted!)
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