May 2013 Features

  • How Would Your Hospitality Rate?

    May 31, 2013

    Your brand goes far beyond a name and logo. It is your entire image and the way you are perceived. It’s your reputation, and the emotions and attitudes that are associated with everything you do and all that you stand for. Rita Suiter with FiveStar Customer Service Strategies gives some ideas and examples on how to make sure your hospitality exceeds your customers expectations.

  • How to Use Knowledge to Connect to Your Customer

    May 29, 2013

    Knowledge is dead. Have you heard this? Any question can be answered with a quick web search. We don’t have to know anything, we can Google it. Well, I’m here with good news for you. Knowledge isn’t dead. Knowledge isn’t even sick. What knowledge is, however, is fundamentally misunderstood.

  • CooperCraft Communication Continues Growth With Select-Tel Merger

    May 28, 2013

    On May 23rd, CooperCraft Communications, which specializes in the installation and upgrades of security systems, telecommunication systems and cabling infrastructure, completed a merger with network specialists, Select-Tel Systems. The combined company, called CooperCraft Communications, has approximately 45 employees and offices in Albany and Tifton.

  • The Difference Between Managing And Directing

    May 24, 2013

    Let me tell you a tale of business. A small businesses starts out as a one man show, just a guy who “bought himself a job.” Let’s call our guy Bob. Bob’s got no one to manage and nothing to direct. Just do the work; go home; repeat. And then it happens: Bob succeeds. Bob’s business starts getting busy, really busy. It’s a nice problem to have but it’s a problem all the same.

  • U.S. Entrepreneurship Rates Reach Highest Level In More Than A Decade

    May 23, 2013

    U.S. entrepreneurship rates climbed to the highest level in more than a decade according to the 2012 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor U.S. Report by Babson College and Baruch College. In 2012, the average Total Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity rate increased to nearly 13 percent, an all-time high since GEM first began tracking entrepreneurship rates in 1999.

  • Commentary: Let’s Amend, Not End, Capitalism

    May 22, 2013

    The United States prides itself as being the “land of opportunity”. With the U.S. being a favored destination for immigrants across the world, that distinction still has merit. However, there are disturbing trends where many are questioning the value of capitalism due to its contribution to income inequality. Even so, we must acknowledge the role that capitalism played in lifting not only Americans out of poverty and into prosperity.

  • Facing the Firing Squad: Speaking Before a Group

    May 20, 2013

    Jerry Seinfeld once said, “According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Does that seem right? That means to the average person, if you have to go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” If you make your living as a salesperson, you will eventually reach the place where you need to speak before groups, either in boardrooms or ballrooms. So let’s wake up and smell the coffee in preparation for that fateful day.

  • Checking Email at Night, on Weekends & Holidays the New Norm for U.S. Workforce

    May 17, 2013

    The conventional, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., five-day work week is a thing of the past for the overwhelming majority of workers at small to mid-sized businesses, according to a new survey on work-related email habits. Due to the widespread availability and use of smartphones and tablets, email is more accessible than ever and, as a result, it has become deeply embedded in the daily workplace and personal lives of most employees.

  • Business Owners Face Emotional, Financial & Timing Issues in Business Succession

    May 16, 2013

    Many business owners find their wealth is mostly tied up in their businesses, which provides well for them and their families. When it comes to protecting their business, however, business owners often have not quantified how they would replace their income when the time comes for them to exit or sell their business and retire. Wells Fargo Financial Advisor Scott Hunter shares how to navigate this issue that all business owners face.

  • Hughey & Neuman Sells Albany

    May 15, 2013

    Founded in 1954, Hughey & Neuman, Inc. is a third-generation family-owned real estate firm that is dedicated to its industry and to Albany itself.

  • What If the U.S. Economy Operated Like NFL?

    May 14, 2013

    On one hand, we have the U.S. economy where President Obama and Congress draft laws and regulations to oversee economic activity. Then there is the National Football League (NFL) and the English Premier League (EPL), who each have administrations that develop policies and rules to regulate their respective brands of football or ‘futbol’, as known by my soccer aficionados. When looking at the U.S. economy, one could argue that the U.S. government has more closely reflected EPL over the last couple of decades, rather than the NFL. Is that ideal or should they look to the NFL as a better model for governance?

  • Commentary: Is Two-Tiered Minimum Wage The Elixir for Poverty?

    May 13, 2013

    During Obama’s State of the Union, he brought up raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00 an hour. If Congress passes this piece of legislation, then all employers cannot pay any worker below $9 an hour. However, poverty and income inequality remain troubling concerns that need to be addressed.

  • 4 R’s Boost Engagement: Respect, Respond, Relate, Recognize

    May 10, 2013

    So much of our success in business and life depends on our ability to be a “people person” and our likeability factor. We spend a great deal of time interacting and dealing with people in person and equally online now. Not everyone is a people person, or cut out to be a social butterfly. But it is an important skill that impacts our success.

  • Governor Deal Inks Ethics Overhaul Aimed at Lobbyists

    May 08, 2013

    Gov. Nathan Deal signed two pieces of ethics legislation Monday that will bolster Georgians’ confidence in their state government.

  • Sheriff Speaks: If You See Something, Say Something

    May 07, 2013

    May is probably one of the most “feel good” months of the year. Unfortunately, recent events in Boston have reminded us that we cannot completely relax and just “throw caution to the wind” while we are out having a good time. Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul reminds us that no matter where we are or what we are doing, we must maintain some level of awareness of our surroundings.

  • How to Build Employee Engagement: Open-Plan Offices

    May 06, 2013

    With the latest unemployment numbers showing that U.S. businesses are steadily adding new jobs and the Dow Jones breaking records, the economic outlook in much of the country is brighter than it’s been in years. As a small business owner, it’s essential to take advantage of these economic indicators to expand your operations and keep your business growing. And study after study shows that, by simply increasing employee engagement, business owners can improve nearly every area of their performance.

  • How To Set Up and Structure Multiple Businesses

    May 03, 2013

    Today’s small business owners often earn income through a variety of ventures. For example, a restaurateur may open a wine shop or a caterer may also double as a part-time copy editor. If you’re running multiple business projects, you’ve probably wondered what’s the best way to structure all these ventures. Should you form one corporation to cover them all? Should you form an LLC for each one?

  • Is Saving Money By Hiring Independent Contractors A Good Idea?

    May 02, 2013

    Businesses utilizing independent contractors rather than employees can save significant money when payday rolls around, with some savings estimates at 25%. Given the obvious benefits, doesn’t it make sense for every business to use contractors exclusively?

  • FiveStar Customer Service Strategies Focuses on Front Line to Grow the Bottom Line

    May 01, 2013

    Every company needs customers to stay in business. Rita Suiter built FiveStar Customer Service Strategies from scratch over the last 12 years by focusing on that one commonality for all businesses. Suiter provides customized training to a diverse client base with an approach that helps employees upgrade interpersonal skills, improve attitudes and develop positive "customer service" habits.