7 Voice Tips for Professionalism If You Can’t Get Face Time



Face time certainly is best when making sales calls, negotiating with associates and clients or when hunting for a job.

In all such scenarios, building trust and showing confidence are paramount.

So to get what you want even when you can’t meet face-to-face, use the techniques of top-rated broadcasters and phone sales professionals. The successful pros use the same techniques.

That’s right. I speak from decades of on-air broadcasting experience. Candidly, in fact, long before my consulting practice I earned No. 1 ratings as an on-the-air broadcaster (see my bio).

Even while in college, I learned several lessons in calling prospective employers whom I telephoned to request recommendations for classes to enhance my career prospects. By using the techniques, I not only got in-person appointments but job offers, too.

After getting the gigs, I used the same techniques when I was on-the-air as a disc jockey or as a news broadcaster in radio and television. Throughout my career changes, the techniques were applicable in sales and management, too.

Here are the voice tips you need to know:

Breath support for credible authority

Learn to speak from your belly button – or diaphragm – with strong breath support.

By developing proper breath support, you will sound confident and in control with full-voice resonance.

That’s because your heart rate will slow, and your brain will get the needed oxygen for effective speaking.

Effective breath support can only come from your diaphragm. It’s a large, dome-shaped muscle at the bottom of your rib cage. When it contracts, air flows into your lungs.

Speak with warmth by smiling

Not only will you come across as friendly, smiling actually tells your brain how to think creatively.

Listeners won’t consciously aware that you’re smiling, but they are more likely to respond favorably to your message.

Vary your inflection

It’s boring to listen to people who speak in a monotone. As you smile, vary your inflection. You will be better able to keep the attention of your listener.

So talk with the person as you would a lifelong friend with vocal variety and an up-and-down pitch.

Stand when talking into the phone

When you sit complacently, your brain often gets the signal that it’s time to rest. But that’s not what you want in important phone conversations.

So stand to energize your thoughts and to reach the highest-possible level of communication.

If for some reason you can’t stand, don’t rest your back against the back of your chair.

Pace the floor

You’ll find you do your best thinking when moving. It energizes you and loosens any cob webs in your brain.

Not only will your thinking-level improve, you’ll speak with more conviction which is important for building trust.

Gesture with your hands 

Use your whole body.

If you ever witness recording sessions, you’ll see that the best broadcasters make gestures as they speak into the microphone.

Gesturing enhances their speaking ability by improving voice pitch, tone and timbre.

Invest in a wireless headset

With a wireless headset, you’ll have more freedom and flexibility to stand, walk, and make gestures.

Applicable for great public speaking

And oh, by the way, most of these techniques will help you to be an effective, authoritative public speaker.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are cold-calling tips:

For Strong Sales, How and Why to Cold Call Prospects — Are you lacking in sales? Do you get enough face time with the right prospects? Here’s how and why in-person cold calls will help you make sales.

6 Tips to Create New Sales with Successful Cold Calling — Attending mere networking events or depending on a high marketing budget aren’t sufficient for strong sales. OK, cold calling isn’t always easy, but you must if you want to dramatically increase sales in double-digit percentages. Develop and implement the right strategies. You’ll be in the all-important groove for a happy buying environment.

You Will Overcome Cold Calling Anxiety Using 5 Strategies — One of the worst pieces of advice for business owners and salespeople is don’t cold call. That’s a very short-sighted idea. Cold calling is very effective in footwork to generate revenue.

7 Tips for Setting B2B Appointments with CEOs — As every salesperson knows, face time with B2B prospects gives you a foundation for sales success. Execution in the appointment-setting process is, of course, is key to being successful.

Increase Your Job Chances if You Have to Interview on the Phone — Face time, of course, is best if you’re interviewing for a job. However, headhunters and many companies schedule introductory telephone interviews. Pat yourself on the back. Even if it’s not an in-person meeting, a telephone interview is a good omen. The employer already thinks enough of you to schedule a discussion.

“Oh no. Don’t smile. You’ll kill me. I stop breathing when you smile.” 
-Tessa Dare


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 




The 6 Most Important Steps for Success as a Consultant



In order to succeed as a consultant, bear in mind it’s a challenging occupation. It entails a lot more than just being knowledgeable and providing good counsel.

Get used to writing. In this piece, you’ll see a common thread among writing, self-awareness, communication and thought leadership.

id-100150877There are six important elements needed for success in consulting:

1. Develop a track record of success

Before you embark on a career as a consultant, choose a field you love and earn your stripes. Become adept in marketing, sales, accounting, strategy and continuous self-development.

In other words, lay the groundwork for becoming a thought leader — an important characteristic for consultants.

2. Know your strengths and weaknesses

You must know how talented you are. Review your life and career. Take a sheet of paper and pen or pencil. Then divide the sheet into two columns: Your strengths and weaknesses.

At the bottom of the page, itemize your goals.

Then, develop a one-page vision plan. Outline what you plan to achieve, indicate a timeline, and how and why you will achieve your objectives.

This is instrumental in developing a branding slogan and value propositions for your prospective clients.

3. Enhance your brand

You must build credibility to build trust with clients.

Become well known to create new sales opportunities. Book speaking engagements, get quoted in the media, and develop a forum for content marketing by writing a newspaper column or blog, and become adept in social media.

4. Monetize your networking

Consider your circle of associates, friends and relatives. You’ll be amazed at your opportunities for clients or client referrals.

Write a complete list. There’s something magical about putting thoughts and ideas in writing.

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door”

-Milton Berle

5. Continuously learn

Even if you’ve mastered the learning curve so far about consulting, always remember you must stay relevant. The only way is to never stop learning.

New challenges will appear on a regular basis. By staying abreast of marketplace changes, you’ll help your chances for success.

So read, read and read. Get a mentor. Join the right groups.  I’ve done all these things.

6. Hone your sales ability

You must prepare to deal with rejection. Even if you’re an introvert, you’ll have to approach people you don’t know.

You’ll face obstacles. Not everyone will want to hire you. So master the secrets for sales success.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are links to relevant articles:

Grow Your Business by Appearing Rich but Conserving Cash — You’ll find it easier to grow your firm if you appear to be wealthy. This will enable you to build relationships with successful entrepreneurs who will introduce you to key people and facilitate growth opportunities for you.

Consulting: Effective Management of Difficult Clients — Start with this premise: You should be focused on the continuous, improvement and performance of your firm. If you have difficult clients, here’s what you can do about it.

7 Tactics to be Memorable but Respected in Sales Calls — In this frenetic marketplace, creating a lasting impression on your prospects and clients – so they become loyal as repeat buyers – your approach should include seven tactics.

Performance Gap Solutions for Consultants in Income and Image — If there’s a disparity between your income goals and your current financial situation, it would appear that you have a performance-gap issue.

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door”

-Milton Berle


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy of stockimages www.freedigitalphotos.net


Want to Take Your Company Public? Here are 5 IPO Tips



Companies enter the IPO market for a myriad of obvious reasons – as an entrée to capital markets, for higher status and visibility, or to attract talented employees.

If you’re salivating over the prospect of an initial public offering, bear in mind the market for IPOs began to slow in 2015.

That’s not to say it’s impossible but an IPO program does require analyzing your needs and prospects, and taking the proper steps with substantial lead time.

ID-100261264 stockimagesIn a lot of ways, credibility is king – here are five steps:

1. Evaluate your situation

You have to view every detail as though it would appear in a business headline. What do your details look like and how will they be perceived by investment bankers, investors and regulators?

Therefore, you must thoroughly review all your agreements, documents and processes.

Look for details that will have to be corrected, explained or renegotiated – from illogical stock-option pricing to tax issues.

A certain amount of burnishing will be required. Every company has closet skeletons that must scrubbed and polished like old office floors.

In your approach, it’s almost as though you can’t be thorough enough.

2. Assemble your players

Internally, evaluate your current employees. Make certain they have the abilities to perform as you prepare to make the major jump from a privately owned business to a public company.

In other words, look at the big picture – your involvement with investors and regulators will be a much bigger ball game for you.

Sadly, you’ll probably find some loyal employees who can’t make the grade for your company’s next level.

Your accounting and finance staff must be authoritative and credible. Your executives must have deep wisdom and talent.

Externally, your advisors must have public company experience – attorneys, auditors, investment bankers, and valuation professionals should prepare you for IPO, obviously, but also for what comes afterward as well.

3. Learn governance requirements

To go public, you must change your organizational structure. You won’t make it if your board of directors is comprised only of investors and company executives.

You’ll need to take months and months of hard work to recruit the right people as independent directors to satisfy the requirements of a stock exchange.

In a lot of ways, credibility is king

There will be unexpected and undesirable changes. It’s commonplace for a company to have to replace recruited directors en route to an IPO.

One of the biggest needs will be for an audit committee comprised of credentialed, financially savvy members.

All board and committee proceedings will be formal and heavily structured.

4. Build Sophisticated financial systems, processes and controls

Your old accounting and finance functions will greatly accelerate. You must meet new standards of reporting. Your financials will be published quarterly.

Your internal controls in financial reporting will have to be assessed for effectiveness. You’ll encounter stakeholders who will be relentless and unforgiving in eyeballing your financial data – from budgets to forecasts.

You’ll be expected to set and meet expectations in revenue and earnings.

Expect to build systems and processes that will meet all requirements for efficiency, risk management and scalability.

5. Determine the best approach for telling your investment story

Know your core audience. Your IPO will be considered by a sophisticated audience – analysts, customers, employees, brokers, investors, and vendors.

You must develop strong positioning and messaging – key statements about your company, your management team, and prospects for success.

Design your communication tactics. Prepare to maximize every opportunity in your IPO program.

Develop a reputation for candor and transparency. You’ll be aware of some issues, but others will rear their ugly heads during your IPO process. Deal with them effectively and quickly.

As a CEO, you must be ready to tell a compelling story. You must understand it’s not all about numbers. The numbers need a presentation that propels your success. Interview and presentation training is strongly advised.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are other funding considerations:

Applying for Bank Loan? Here’s How to Shorten the Process — Business owners generally have two concerns when trying to get a bank loan or line of credit. Either they can’t qualify or they face scrutiny beyond belief. Wouldn’t it be great to save time and shorten the process?

Investor Risk: Almost 60% of IPOS Fail to Use GAAP — GAAP – an acronym for generally accepted accounting principles – is vital in financial reporting. But nearly 60 percent of companies fail to provide financials fully based on GAAP, according to a study by PwC US. Entitled, How non-GAAP Measures Can Impact Your IPO, the report analyzes 400 initial public offerings (IPOs) from 2011 to 2013. 

Trends in Attracting Start up Tech Capital, Exit Strategies — Good news if you’re concerned about obtaining capital for your startup, as long as you’re in mobile or other technology. Money is available.

Will SEC’s Crowdfunding Rules Jump Start Economy? — Need capital for a startup? Just about anybody can invest in startups now that the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved equity crowdfunding.

How to Attract an Angel Investor — Now that a UNH study indicates early stage financing by angel investors is more advantageous than venture capital money, what now? An angel investor offers seven tips.

Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those who take the subway.”

-Warren Buffett


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Photo courtesy stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net


Money – Your Net Worth Matters More than What You Earn



When it comes to finance, most business owners and other individuals strive to increase their wealth to have more opportunities. Ostensibly, for travel, hobbies or retirement.

The trouble with some, however, is that they focus on income and not their net worth. That means, of course, spending less than they earn.

Because people have a tendency to spend all their salaries, they stay stagnant financially.

ID-100383529 Serge Bertasius PhotographyBenefits of a high net worth

Some examples of why net worth is more important than a higher income:

— You aren’t taxed on net worth, but you are on annual income.

— You develop a positive big-picture outlook. You’re more likely to focus on building assets instead of just your day-to-day job.

— You’re more financially secure. This means your self worth improves because you’ll feel better.

— You tend to benefit from relationships with other high net-worth individuals.

So, it’s best to determine your net worth – a gauge of your financial standing so you know where you are to strategize for your goals.

Your net worth is a total of all your assets minus your liabilities.

For example and not to simplify, you total your assets – from the value of your house to your cash in the bank – then, you must subtract your debts – your mortgage, other loans and credit card balances.

How to determine your net worth:

Assets

  1. Make sure you keep a secure file containing your financial assets and liabilities. Add to it as situations arise. Formally update it annually.
  2. This will insure your financial advisor or spouse can easily access the information.
  3. Be conservative in listing your biggest assets. Don’t over-estimate.
  4. Typically, this means the values of your home and cars. If you own a business, estimate its value (even though it’s more complex).
  5. Look at your latest statements of your assets such as checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs, brokerage and retirement accounts.
  6. List your valuable personal items, worth $500 or more, such as jewelry, musical instruments or coin collections.
  7. Total all the dollar amounts, which are your total assets.

“Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.”

-Benjamin Franklin

Liabilities

  1. List your large liabilities such as the balances of your home mortgage and car loans.
  2. List your personal liabilities from debts such as credit cards or student loans.
  3. Total all the balances. This is your total liabilities.

Calculating your net worth

  1. To determine your net worth, subtract all the liabilities from the total assets.
  2. Don’t panic if it’s a low or negative number. It’s just a starting point so you can start strategizing to improve your net worth.
  3. Calculate your net worth each year. This will help you assess your progress in achieving your goals.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related tips on finance:

7 Steps to Wealth and High Net Worth — Creating wealth and enjoying high net worth doesn’t result from pure luck. It takes a certain mindset and strong action. Here are seven proven steps.

Finance: 10 Year-End Tips for Entrepreneurs — If your business slows down in Q4, the holidays are a great to assess your year and plan for the New Year. Like wellness checkups with your doctor, it’s a good time to evaluate your financials.

4 Best Practices to Refinance Your Business Loan — Would you benefit by refinancing your small business loan to get a better interest rate and lower loan payments? Certainly, you would benefit from a lower interest rate and loan payments if you have cash flow issues. But there other matters to consider before refinancing your loan.

Dos and Don’ts for Writing a Top Business Plan — There are many valid reasons to write a business plan. They’re not necessarily to attract capital. Whatever your reasons, avoid writing a mediocre document. To ensure success, there are key essentials.

Drowning in Student-Loan Debt? How to Pay it Off in 1 Year — You’re not alone if you’re drowning in student-loan debt. The average college graduate in 2015 was saddled with student loans totaling $35,000, which takes 10 to 20 years to pay off. Here’s what you can do to stay afloat.

Finance Checklist for Strategic Planning, Growth — Strategic planning in finance for growth means avoiding trendy fads. Instead, it requires an ongoing down-to-earth approach in order to create value. Here are seven steps.

“Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.”

-Benjamin Franklin


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.


Photo courtesy Serge Bertasius Photography at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Don’t Think You Need a Business Plan? Consider These Reasons



Many people believe the purpose of a business plan is try to raise capital via angel investors or venture capitalists, or to borrow money from a bank.

True, however, whether you’re a startup or you’re ready to get on a fast track to scale your business to higher levels, there are many reasons you need a good business plan.

Why? You’ll be more successful with a business plan to guide you – it will help manage your growth proactively.

ID-100208147stockimagesBut your success depends on a lot of factors.

For example, it’s important to analyze economic trends and market challenges.

Instead of merely reacting to events and putting out fires, you need a guide so you can be proactive in defining goals and achieving them.

Best practices in management necessitate allocating resources effectively, assigning responsibilities, monitoring progress, and planning cash flow.

Unless you’re a magician in achieving growth, growth costs money. That’s where a well thought-out business plan helps.

For more specificity, here are 15 reasons:

1. Build your company

Identify problems, solutions, and resources for strategic planning. A business plan is useful whether you want to grow in your community or whether you want your business to grow globally.

2. Provide documentation to borrow from a bank

Bankers want to see your data and expertise.

3. Attract capital from investors

Angel investors, venture capitalists or participants in crowdfunding will want to see the salient detains before they invest.

4. Launch a new enterprise

You need a roadmap to start a new business. It will remind you what you need to do and identify resources for you to achieve your desired outcomes.

Unless you’re a magician in achieving growth, growth costs money. That’s where a well thought-out business plan helps.

5. Get a valuation

Businesspeople often need to develop a business plan to give outside experts to determine a value for their business – for a divorce, estate planning, inheritances and tax issues. If you’re in one of these situations, an expert needs to see your business plan to fully understand your business.

6. Develop exit strategies 

If you want to sell your business, a business plan will help you deal with all the inherent obstacles. Plus, buyers will need to comprehend the business and its intrinsic value so they can make the decision to buy from you.

7. Interface with professional service firms

Let’s say you need to hire a firm for accounting, legal or consulting reasons. Any or all of them might need to see your plan so they understand your business in order to provide applicable services.

8. Partner with key employees

You might want to explain your business goals with your staff – managers, key employees or even when you onboard new employees.

9. Develop goals for your staff

You need to anticipate what you need to do. You might think you can remember everything, but you’ll find that isn’t the case. A business plan will help plan specific goals, track and fine tune them.

10. Sharing information with a partner, spouse or a significant other

In a family situation, it helps to share business information with a person who is close to you. Such a person will be in a better situation to understand you and the company.

11. Acquiring new assets

A business plan will aid in your decision-making as it pertains to your short and long-term needs and whether you should be buying or leasing assets.

12. Human resources

If you plan to grow, chances are you need more human capital. You need to determine your needs in human resources – how it will help, and how many new employees are needed. But as a fixed cost, labor impacts your risk-management strategies, which should include tactics to maintain your culture.

13. Decision-making to lease, rent or buy more space or replace what you have

Another fixed cost is your monthly obligation for your office and/or facility. A business plan will help you decide whether to incur more expense.

14. Forming strategic partnerships

If you plan to develop new alliances, you’ll find it helpful to share excerpts of your plan. You should also effectively strategize for a partnership.

15. Displacement and prioritizing

A critical business factor that’s rarely considered is displacement. In other words, everything you do displaces things you can’t do. A business plan will help you understand how displacement will affect your company so you can better prioritize.

From the Coach’s Corner, editor’s pick for related information:

Dos and Don’ts for Writing a Top Business Plan — There are many valid reasons to write a business plan. They’re not necessarily to attract capital. Whatever your reasons, avoid writing a mediocre document. To ensure success, there are key essentials.

Finance Checklist for Strategic Planning, Growth — Strategic planning in finance for growth means avoiding trendy fads. Instead, it requires an ongoing down-to-earth approach in order to create value. Here are seven steps.

To Realize Your Business Vision, 8 Best Practices for Setting Goals — Whatever your situation, to realize your vision, focusing on the right details is a skill conducive for strategically setting goals. Here are eight best practices.

Applying for Bank Loan? Here’s How to Shorten the Process — Business owners generally have two concerns when trying to get a bank loan or line of credit. Either they can’t qualify or they face scrutiny beyond belief. Wouldn’t it be great to save time and shorten the process?

How to Attract an Angel Investor — Now that a UNH study indicates early stage financing by angel investors is more advantageous than venture capital money, what now? An angel investor offers seven tips.

“Strategic planning is worthless – unless there is first a strategic vision.”

-John Naisbitt

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy of stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Employees Will Help You in Strategic Planning If You Use 3 Tips



Have you developed your strategic plan? It’s important not to procrastinate in implementing it without engaging in self doubt.

It helps to get input from your employees. But are you concerned about involving your employees?

Another way to put it – are you getting paralysis from too much analysis? That’s understandable.

If so, it appears to be time to implement strategies to realize your vision for the business — with input from your employees.

ID-100290410 stockimagesThis is the hard part – implementing your strategies for success. There are three closely related basics in working with your employees to get the job done.

Communication is the common thread in three strategies:

1. Communicate your objectives

Employees should be fully informed of your values, vision and definitions of success. Have a continuing dialogue with every person in the organization.

They need to know how their work contributes to achievement of the goals.

Your employees need to prioritize their work on a daily basis in order to align it with your vision for the company’s objectives.

Put actionable steps in writing. You’ll need to focus on dates and deadlines. Baby steps are important.

Determine your key performance indicators and measurements. Decide on responsibilities – determine who will do what and when.

Every person needs to be on board to make certain you have pricing power.

It’s hard, time-consuming work. But the return on investment is terrific.

2. Inspire your staff

Motivation company-wide is of paramount importance. Your staff should act as a team – employees need to communicate with one another and understand what they must do to work toward the common good of the company.

Your supervisors naturally need to be aware what your employees are doing to achieve your vision. You need feedback on their progress.

You need to quantify the results of their work. They need to be accountable for implementation of your strategies.

Savvy employers know how to profit from their human capital. Such knowledge is a powerful weapon for high performance in a competitive marketplace. There’s a correlation among excellent sales, happy customers, and high employee morale.

… are you getting paralysis from too much analysis? Communication is the common thread in three strategies …

Proverbially speaking, employees are where the tire meets the road. They daily experience firsthand a wide variety of problems, so they what’s going on. You need to be in the business of listening without judging them, and continuously motivating employees to offer profitable ideas.

3. Insure focus

Know that achieving success with a complex strategic plan is often more difficult than with a simple set of strategies. Cohesion with and among employees is vital. That includes continuous monitoring and tracking for results.

Not to reiterate strategy No. 2, but engage your employees – communication counts. Discerning people are the most successful in business, and listening skills are important for discernment.

Make it a priority to use all your listening skills. They’ll help to keep the team focused on progressing, being action-oriented and achieving of the goals.

To optimize profits, you’ll need to partner with your employees. Encourage ideas and performance.

From the Coach’s Corner, more relevance in strategic planning:

5 Reasons for a Strategic Plan and its 6 Key Elements – Are you ready to compete? Is your company like many that need to rethink their strategic plans? Here are some tips in strategic-planning basics.

To Become a Leader, Develop Strategic-Planning Skills in 5 Steps – A salient characteristic of leadership is strategic thinking. If you’re ambitious, the ability to be a strategic planner is critical for your success. Here are five ways to achieve your goal.

How to Avoid Failure in Risk Management and Strategic Planning – Incredible as it might seem, companies fail because they underestimate strategic risks – yes, strategic blunders instead of common sense – according to an authoritative study. Here are three recommendations.

7 Thought Leadership Tactics for Strong Performance – For a company to achieve strong performance, its culture and employees must be aligned with business strategy to provide value. But more and more, it seems employees can’t even articulate business strategy. Therefore, management must identify and communicate effective programs that are aligned with employee behavior in order to blaze new paths and fuel business growth.

Sports Offers Lessons on Strategic Management and Planning – Lessons from sports, including baseball and football, are applicable for business innovation and strategic management.

“Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.” 

-Tom Landry


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy of stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Union Demands ‘Repeal or Complete Reform’ of ObamaCare



April 25, 2013 – 


It’s huge that a staunch union supporter of President Obama since 2008 has launched an effort to rid the nation of his signature legislation. The union clearly has buyer’s remorse over ObamaCare.

Implying that ObamaCare is not a true “Affordable Care Act,” the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers insists on a “repeal or complete reform of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA).”

The union and its president, Kinsey M. Robinson issued what they label as their “political action” statement.

“Our union and its members have supported President Obama and his administration for both of his terms in office,” acknowledged Mr. Robinson. “But regrettably, our concerns over certain provisions in the ACA have not been addressed, or in some instances, totally ignored.”

Mirroring opponents’ complaints

The unions’ objections mirror that of other ObamaCare opponents.

“In the rush to achieve its passage, many of the act’s provisions were not fully conceived, resulting in unintended consequences that are inconsistent with the promise that those who were satisfied with their employer sponsored coverage could keep it,” he added.

“These provisions jeopardize our multi-employer health plans, have the potential to cause a loss of work for our members, create an unfair bidding advantage for those contractors who do not provide health coverage to their workers, and in the worst case, may cause our members and their families to lose the benefits they currently enjoy as participants in multi-employer health plans,” explained Mr. Robinson.

Employer-partnership success

The union president remembers the past.

“For decades, our multi-employer health and welfare plans have provided the necessary medical coverage for our members and their families to protect them in times of illness and medical needs,” he pointed out. “This collaboration between labor and management has been a model of success that should be emulated rather than ignored.”

So he throws down the gauntlet:

“I refuse to remain silent, or idly watch as the ACA destroys those protections. I am therefore calling for repeal or complete reform of the Affordable Care Act to protect our employers, our industry, and our most important asset: our members and their families.

My sense is that he’s right. Roofers have among the most-dangerous jobs in America. The workers and their families deserve their true, affordable healthcare.

The remaining questions are: Will other unions do the right thing? Will ObamaCare supporters rescind this hugely detrimental law?

From the Coach’s Corner, see these healthcare-policy articles:

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.”

-Groucho Marx


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

 





Finance: The Intrigue of Sovereign Wealth Funds



Some eyebrows were raised during the last week of the 2012 presidential campaign when the second-oldest son of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney journeyed to Moscow.

Matt Romney was there to sound out potential Russian investors for his firm, Excel Trust, a U.S. shopping center developer. 

Mr. Romney is a senior vice president for the real estate investment trust with $820 million in assets. It distributes 90 percent or more in dividends. That allows investors to avoid double taxation.  

ID-100290583 jiggojaHis Russian trip was surprising for two reasons:

Firstly, it was just before the epic event in his father’s career, and perhaps our debt-ridden nation.

Secondly, his father had criticized the Obama Administration for a soft-yogurt stance with President Vladimir V. Putin’s government.

You might recall the missile-defense controversy when Mr. Obama was caught on videotape telling Russia’s Dmitri A. Medvedev “…after my election, I have more flexibility.”

During a presidential debate, Mr. Romney asserted: “I’m not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Russia or Mr. Putin. And I’m certainly not going to say to him, ‘I’ll give you more flexibility after the election.’ ”

Despite the politics, there was a potential prize for the younger Romney’s company – a massive amount of money – part of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund (SWF). 

Origin of SWF concept 

Not to over simplify, an SWF is a government-owned investment fund that a country invests globally in a variety of ways. SWFs funds are often managed in nations’ banking systems or are invested by government agencies for a financial return. 

Governments generally generate SWFs out of budgetary surpluses. Budget surpluses? Hmm. That’s why a member of the Romney clan would go abroad for funds, and why the company that runs Heathrow Airport sold a 10 percent stake to the China Investment Corporation.

Now, even tiny Angola has entrepreneurs salivating — it created a $5 billion sovereign wealth fund in October 2012. 

In 1953, oil revenue prompted Kuwait to form its investment vehicle even before the country left the United Kingdom. The Kuwait Investment Authority is now believed to be worth at least $300 billion. 

So, the concept has been around for decades, but the term was coined in 2005 by Andrew Rozanov when he wrote “Who holds the wealth of nations?” in the Central Banking Journal. 

Before you ask, yes, several SWFs were invested on Wall Street in Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley amid the financial crash. 

Espionage potential 

But SWFs can be a mixed bag. For example, such foreign investments can cause national security concerns.  

Incredibly, a Chinese company, Sany Group Ltd. is suing President Obama in U.S. District Court because he issued an order preventing the firm from consummating a deal for four Oregon wind farms. Sany’s subsidiary, Ralls Corp., bought the wind farms this year.  

The younger Romney hasn’t been the only one on a hunting trip for funds. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron toured the Middle East seeking sovereign wealth to fund job creation. Seeking funds for Britain’s wind farms and other sectors, he met with the managers of the region’s largest sovereign wealth funds.”Our job is to support neighboring countries to develop industries that are complementary to China’s growth,” published reports quoted Mr. Lou Jiwei, chairman of the China Investment Corp. “We hope a stronger Chinese economy can benefit our neighbors.”

With all the sovereign wealth worldwide, it’s ironic that the most-prosperous nation in the world is so debt-ridden, and 23 million Americans can’t find family wage jobs. Wouldn’t be nice if the U.S. would rack up budget surpluses instead of $16+ trillion in debt and greatly reduced the unemployment rate?

Now that’s an intriguing thought.

P.S. Here’s a hint: Perhaps you’ve caught on — if you have investment skills, these developments would appear to be career-enhancing opportunities.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are articles on financial matters:

“The Obama administration’s large and sustained increases in debt raise the specter of another financial crisis and large future tax increases, further chilling business investment and job creation.”

-Glenn Hubbard

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Image courtesy of jiggoja at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Was 5th Time Around be the Charm for Washington State Voters?

We’ll soon know if lawmakers will listen to voters on taxes as the Legislature convenes Jan. 14

Updated Jan. 12, 2013

In terms of time management and aggravation, people in Seattle and throughout Washington dislike having to perform the same chore twice. Especially, when the chore is necessitated by politicians’ disingenuous behavior. 

But when it comes to taxes, many lawmakers in the Washington State Legislature mistakenly think it’s OK to annoy voters on the same issue over and over again.  

Five times in the past two decades, voters have passed initiatives directing the Legislature not to raise taxes without a two-thirds majority or voter approval. The initiatives require that lawmakers wait two years before voting to circumvent the will of the people.  

So, just like clockwork — as soon as the two-year period expires — guess what? The merry-go-round ride starts again, as lawmakers proceed to violate the will of the people. Repeatedly, voters complain they don’t enjoy the rides and have passed tax initiatives.  

Voters most-recently spoke on Election Day in 2012 when they easily passed I-1185. In approving the initiative, voters also told the legislators to rescind their two tax hikes passed in the 2012 session. 

On many occasions over the years, lawmakers haven’t been transparent in their behavior. Fortunately, the state’s leading think tank – the Washington Policy Center (WPC) – uses terrific investigative techniques to inform the electorate with excellent analyses about lawmakers’ chicanery. 

“Just in case a translation for these votes is really needed, lawmakers should focus their attention on balancing the 2013-15 without tax increases,” blogged Jason Mercier, WPC’s director, Center for Government Reform. His piece was entitled, “Olympia: Can you hear taxpayers now?” 

He also wrote:

“Since I-1185 was anything but new policy (most recently passed by 64% of the voters in 2010) our policy analysis advised voters to treat the decision as an opportunity to clearly frame the budget debate and send a message to Olympia that voters weren’t kidding the last four times they adopted this requirement with the hope that our elected officials will feel some obligation to their constituents to end this debate once and for all by referring the question to voters in the form of a constitutional amendment.”

Prior to the 2012 election, WPC queried 128 candidates and lawmakers:

“If Initiative 1185 is adopted, would you vote to allow the people of Washington to have the opportunity to vote on a state constitution amendment to require a supermajority vote in the legislature to raise taxes?”

Unfortunately, only 109 of them – 52 percent — responded. See their replies here. (WPC will update the survey to show which of them were elected.)

Recently, in a Tacoma News Tribune op-ed, Mr. Mercier also called for even-more legislative action:

“A constitutional amendment would provide the public and businesses with predictability about whether this tax protection will exist from year to year and whether or not the four-time (pending fifth) approval of the voters for this policy was a fluke or actually reflects their consistent and ongoing desire for lawmakers to build a strong public consensus on the need for any proposed tax increase.

“With voters and lawmakers repeatedly enacting the supermajority vote for taxes requirement over the past 20 years, what could be more representative of the public will than allowing a vote of the people on a constitutional amendment to help end this debate once and for all?” he asked.

Good question.

From the Coach’s Corner, WPC has often been a great source of information for this portal – here’s a handful of articles:

“The people are hungry: It is because those in authority eat up too much in taxes.” 

-Lao Tzu

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

In Q4, Businesses Should Plan to Use at Least 5 Strategies for 2012 Tax Returns

Oct. 17, 2012

Where has the year gone?

Know your rights with the Internal Revenue Service. Businesses should start planning their 2012 tax returns – ASAP. Some IRS changes are expected to expire or be reduced after this year.

So, it’s best to take advantage of opportunities, especially if you’ve made certain investments to benefit your company. But every business situation can be unique.

For the most benefit, you should see your qualified tax advisor to at least discuss these five tax topics:

1. Section 179

Businesses can expense or deduct 100 percent of the cost of specific property this year for as much as $139,000. That can include certain personal property and off-the-shelf software –new or used – if it’s used by your company this year. Of course, you’ll be limited by the cost of your Section 179 property, and by your taxable income.

Note: The expensing allowance is scheduled to decrease to $25,000 next year.

2. Fifty Percent bonus depreciation

Under Code Section 168(k), it’s possible to take half of certain assets’ costs that acquire and use in 2012. You’d benefit because depreciation is increased to permit 50 percent cost deductions in their first 12 months of depreciation. That’s for depreciable property with less than a 20-year recovery period, interior improvements in your leased property, and off-the-shelf software.

Note: This is scheduled to expire.

3. Bad debts

Code Section 166 allows for bad debts to be deducted in the year they’re incurred. Yes, it’s universally acknowledged – even by the IRS – that the economy is soft, and businesses are suffering from uncollectable receivables. But they must be documented.

So, you must prove the debt is valid and worthless whether it’s a partial or whole amount. Make certain you have documentation of the bad debt so you can claim it. See this article:  Tips on Understanding the Mindset of IRS Auditors.

4. Retirement plans

Benefits of the right retirement plan for your situation: You can save for your retirement to benefit your tax situation while getting a deduction on your taxes.

You can select from multiple options – a 401(k), profit-sharing, simple IRA, or a simplified employee pension plan.

Again, your goal should be to reduce your taxable income while building your retirement fund.

5. Tax classification

It’s advisable to periodically review your tax classification – whether you’re a sole proprietorship, partnership, C corporation or S corporation. Perhaps your situation has changed. Obviously, each business classification has benefits and downsides.

The IRS will, of course, allow you to change your tax classification.

So, review all your options to prepare for a year from now. If you’ll be better off under a different classification, you really can’t do anything about it for this year. The best time to make changes is at the start of a tax year. In this way, you can take advantage of all opportunities in making transactions, tax filing and structuring.

From the Coach’s Corner, see these resources:

On April 15th you count your blessings . . . and then send them to Washington.

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

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Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.