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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Florida Economy Diversity

You would think it is Tourism and Retirees that drive the Florida economy. Well there are other growing elements according to a Well’s Fargo report. Transportation, Logistics, Technology and Life Sciences are on the move. Growth in these industrial sectors have added over 9%  to employment in engineering and architectural services, almost 5% to computer systems as well as good growth in financial and business services. All of this keeps Tourism. Retail  and Housing on a growth path as well. Government is growing too, so keep your eye on the ball here as well.

What does this mean for your business?

Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor


Monday, May 18, 2015

The Future is NOW

A recent article in FA (Financial Advisor) by Ric Edelman focused on the future caught my interest. One of the points made in the article is: “It is unlikely that children under the age of 5 will ever drive a car.” When I consider the fact that the first self-driving car is currently trekking across the US continent this seems more realistic.

The article goes on: “Google’s test vehicles have cumulatively driven nearly 1 million miles with no accidents, and they are legal for street use in five states. They’re already permitted on every major highway in the United Kingdom.”

This could mean: “…you’ll never park a car again, run errands, fuel up or shuttle kids to soccer practice.” “Forget Uber. . self-driving cars will cause Uber—currently accused of threatening the livelihoods of cabbies—to itself become extinct.”

“… taxi drivers (will) be gone, so too will truck drivers… With no human drivers making long-haul trips, no greasy-spoon joints will be needed. … chiropractors; no more auto accidents means far fewer back injuries”

“Hospital emergency rooms will have far fewer patients …the entire automobile insurance industry might disappear; and… police officers can’t issue citations for traffic violations anymore (speeding tickets alone generate $6.2 billion in annual revenue for local governments, according to the National Highway Safety Administration).”

And more….will change.

How about your business? Are you planning ahead?

Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor




Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Why Florida for business?

Here are some of the reasons Florida is right for business:

  1. Innovation can start and flourish here
  2. Market Access - domestic and international - large population and ports
  3. Skilled Workforce
  4. Quality of Life – keeps drawing even more growth

How do these reasons impact your business plans?

Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor


Friday, May 8, 2015

Bartering Value

Not to long ago Bartering was a very popular approach used by some small businesses. Maybe it still has value for you. So consider some of the items you may use and/or need.

How about slow moving inventory bartered for some painting or construction your business may need? Consider bartering lawn care, office or window cleaning for a product or service you have on some regular schedule. Like dinner for two (if you have a restaurant) once a month for cleaning service. You can check on line for bartering services or talk to your current providers.

Try it, you may like it. But remember, if it is ongoing, to predefine an exit plan as well. For example the plan can end with two weeks notice.

Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor





Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cuba and your business

In December 2014 the Sun Sentinel published an article looking forward into 2015. Among the items to watch was this one”

Cuba: Few foresaw President Obama's go-it-alone approach to normalize U.S. relations with the island nation. His directive drew mixed reaction in Florida, from hostility in parts of Little Havana to anticipation from Florida business owners. While Rubio promises to block the naming of an ambassador and any funding for an embassy in Havana, all eyes remain fixed on the Cuban government for signs of political and economic change. On just one measure, can you imagine the difference unfettered Internet access would make in one of the world's most unplugged nations?”

USA Today published an article in January 2015 that said in part:

“Opening trade with Cuba not only provides U.S. businesses a new market where telecom, construction, agriculture and tourism firms could flourish, but it also will improve U.S. trade with the rest of Latin America, which would view the move favorably, said Paul Johnson, vice chair of the recently-formed U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba. The group, consisting of more than 30 firms, plans to lobby Congress to end the embargo. "We have the momentum," Johnson said. "We're carrying it forward."

Even if the embargo were to end tomorrow, huge doubts linger on doing business with Cuba, said John Kavulich, senior policy adviser to the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council. For starters, all trade transactions still go through the Cuban government, not individual Cubans or companies, making business cumbersome. Also, Cuban officials will only allow as much telecom infrastructure and free market leeway they feel they can control, he said. "They're not going to embrace something that's going to put them out of businesses," he said.

The island of 11 million — roughly the size of Ohio — has little-to-no dispensable consumer income and the government also defaults on contracts, making it a less-than-attractive choice for U.S. firms now, Kavulich said.

"This is not Dubai 93 miles south of Key West," he said. "There needs to be meaningful commercial and economical change in Cuba before anything that the president announced is going to be beneficial to U.S. exporters."

What plans do you have for your business?

Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor


Friday, May 1, 2015

Phishing with the best (or worst) of them

On line security is a major concern for most companies. Employees are often trained to minimize some exposures. Just like a fire drill, repetition is often the best way to teach.  I can attest to this first hand as a real fire in a building I was in that had a number of “drills” (not all intentional) enabled everyone to exit safely.

There are businesses that can help you teach and repeat. One of the methods they use is Phishing. Phishing is the attempt to acquire sensitive information using malware under cover of a trusting email. Your teaching surely encourages your employees and yourself to watch out for these possibilities. But people forget, or become careless or haven’t had the training, etc. So, you could hire a business to keep on top of this for you. They will send Phishing emails to your employees to see if they can get someone to “take the bait”.

Then you can provide better and targeted training.

If this interests you, search out an organization or do it yourself, but consider doing it.


Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor