May 2011 Features

  • Daniel Titus Offers Tips for Creating Successful Websites

    May 31, 2011

    With widespread adoption of smartphones, Facebook and Twitter, more people are connecting online than ever before. That means everyone – from a small business to a stay-at-home mom – needs a web presence, according to Daniel Titus, website developer and graphic designer.

  • Counterintuitive Economics

    May 31, 2011

    This week’s column is a collection of comments and links to a variety of items that might seem counter-intuitive to prevailing thinking found in the economics press. I hope you enjoy them.

  • Selling is a Process, Not an Event!

    May 27, 2011

    Traditionally the Lean Process focuses on principles related to efficiency in manufacturing. The purpose of the “Lean” approach is to continually improve all processes to increase effectiveness and productivity in an effort to positively impact the company’s overall performance. The goal is to reduce waste (e.g. time, raw materials, and redundancy), improve quality, reduce inventory levels and reduce lead time. This approach requires a very different culture incorporating a multi-departmental synergy, teamwork and a strong commitment from “C” level managers.

  • Georgia Manufacturers Succeed on Change

    May 26, 2011

    Output from U.S. factories rose in March for the fifth straight month and consumer confidence as measured by the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index increased. Georgia manufacturing is also on the upswing as companies operate with an increasingly positive mindset, according to Art Ford, Regional Manager for the South Region of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute.

  • Target Marketing: Hitting the Bull’s-eye

    May 26, 2011

    In a challenging and competitive market environment, it is vital to effectively use all resources, capabilities, and capital to produce goods and services that customers desire. Realistically, no company can do everything and satisfy everyone’s needs. Resources will not stretch that far. Today’s successful organizations are targeting customers that need and want their products and services, while setting aside the customers that do not fit that profile.

  • Urgency Gets No Summer Vacation This Year

    May 24, 2011

    There were many companies that were blindsided by the Internet in the mid-1990s. It looks like another communications, advertising, and promotion upheaval is about to get underway late this year and in 2012. This time, pretend it's 1994, the year prior to the Internet avalanche, and think about that old saying “if I knew then what I know now.” What would you do to take advantage of the changes ahead?

  • Pouring Another “Cup O Joe”: the Essentials of M&A Valuation

    May 23, 2011

    Why do many industries use multiple-of-EBITDA to determine the value of companies? It’s because this method provides a good and relatively simple way to estimate cash flow. Multiple-of-EBITDA also is the best parameter for comparing one company’s financial condition with that of others in the industry. It removes distortions by adding back interest expense (which could be due to different capital structures) and depreciation (which could be a function of depreciation policies or write-offs).

  • Marietta Presents the Albany Advantages

    May 19, 2011

    Albany Mayor Pro Tem Roger B. Marietta is optimistic about the future of the local economy, citing the presence of Albany Tech, Darton College and Albany State as evidence of the area’s potential.

  • Training – The Fuel for Your Company’s Growth and Development

    May 19, 2011

    Perhaps you should take advantage of the current business environment to stockpile the fuel that drives your business’s growth and performance, as well as the knowledge, skills and capabilities of the people that work with your organization

  • New Home Construction on the Rise in Southern Georgia

    May 18, 2011

    Residential construction activity continues to improve in southern Georgia. Growth was limited in 2010, but it was a much better year for new home builders than 2009. Low appraisals have been an issue. Existing homeowners whose property appraises for less than the outstanding mortgage balance find themselves unable to trade up to a new home. However, Chris Strawn, division president for custom home builder America's Home Place, Inc. believes these issues will “start to self-correct by end of this year or mid-2012.”

  • Get More Sales with Social Media

    May 18, 2011

    Social Media is a great marketing tool to use to promote your business, but how can your individual sales representatives use social media to target specific markets and demographics? By using Twitter and LinkedIn, they can find prospects in a variety of ways.

  • Inflation and Worker Earnings Moving in the Wrong Directions

    May 17, 2011

    At the end of last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released their latest Producer Price Index and Consumer Price Index data. Things are not good. We are still concerned about the size of the gap between producer prices (prices at the manufacturer level) and consumer prices (prices on store shelves). Last time they were wider than usual to this degree was in mid-2008. We know what happened then: prices crashed as the economy plummeted into recession.

  • Is Anybody Listening?

    May 16, 2011

    Have you ever been frustrated because an employee didn’t follow directions? Have you ever had to redo a job or an order, at your expense, because a customer service representative or sales person misinterpreted your customer’s requirements? Have you ever had to referee a conflict between competing departments? Have you ever encountered any of these or similar situations? If so then you have dealt with the repercussions of ineffective communication.

  • 10 Ways To Get More Buzz For Your Business

    May 13, 2011

    Do you really need a PR firm to get your product or service noticed by the press? Maybe not. If you are willing to spend a little time developing your story and business relationships, you may be your own best option.

  • The Customer is Always Right- Are You Right About Your Customer?

    May 12, 2011

    Your customers are the key element to your business success. You need to attract, maintain, and maximize your customer base. Understand customer patterns. Analyze their behavior. And in the end, give them what they want, when they want it.

  • Vancleave Construction Customers Seek More Energy-Efficient Homes

    May 10, 2011

    As the new home construction market continues to improve, more customers want to invest in energy-efficient homes, according to Fred Vancleave, owner of Vancleave Construction. At the same time building codes are also pushing “green.”

  • Competition - The Pros and Cons

    May 10, 2011

    Today we are going to talk about competition. For most businesses, competition is a given. When I walk to work, I am often struck how many local businesses have competitors literally right across the street. Clearly competition is something you can learn to live with and still operate successfully. In fact, there are some very good things about competition. And there are some challenging things. This post will attempt to outline both.

  • The L-Shaped Recovery Rolls On

    May 10, 2011

    Friday's unemployment report was certainly nothing to write home about. The ballyhooed increase of +268,000 private payroll jobs was met with the reality of a rise to 9% for the unemployment rate and decrease of -190,000 in the household survey, which includes self-employment and small business. The number of people not in the labor force went up by +131,000, not a good thing, and that same figure is more that +2.9 million than last year.

  • Devil in the Details: Issues and Answers in M&As

    May 09, 2011

    A company may depend on a few accounts - or sometimes just one customer - for the largest share of its business. This kind of concentration, say NDP and MargolisBecker, can be a two-edged sword, especially when negotiating a multiple of EBITDA for sale of the company.

  • Manage Your Future...Building your personal brand

    May 05, 2011

    Have you ever wondered why certain people always appear to be in the right place at the right time? You know the ones I’m talking about; they always seem to get the next great opportunity; the promotion, the new job, the big order. These are the people that others want to meet and get to know. They are regularly chosen to be on the “best” team and most often are recognized for the work they do.

  • Place 4 Hope Reaches 1,000 Client Contacts

    May 04, 2011

    Open for only six months, A Place 4 Hope, a resource center for those who find themselves homeless, has made 1,000 client contacts, according to David Blackwell, chair of the Albany-Dougherty Coalition to End Homelessness. The center provides showers, laundry facilities, phone and Internet access as well as job training to help individuals and families move into stable housing conditions.

  • YouTube: The Video Revolution

    May 03, 2011

    For a truly great social media marketing campaign, it’s imperative that your company integrates video. Having a customized YouTube channel gives your online efforts depth and diversity.

  • Q1 GDP Disappoints, but No One is Surprised

    May 03, 2011

    GDP was reported as +1.8% by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, a disappointment compared to Q4′s +3.1%. The economy began its recovery at the end of the second quarter of 2009. In Q4-2010, it finally surpassed the level it was at when the recession began in Q4-2007. So both the recession, and the recovery, are over. Recoveries are usually highlighted by about two quarters of very high growth of between +5 and +8% or so, and that has not happened.