Today’s Global Society: How Are Arizona Businesses Getting a Piece of It?

by Don Rodriguez

Attorney Karen Dickinson recalls the earlier days of her career when she traveled on business from Arizona to other countries. “I spent most of my career with people saying, ‘You’re from where?’” she recalls. Not exactly what anyone would want to hear after a flight to the other side of the world. She even found it challenging to build her credibility simply because she was … [More]

Eric Nielsen, U.S. Commercial Service Arizona

from Eric Nielsen

There was a time when businesspeople from Arizona struggled to become known on the world market. Doing business with Mexico and Canada was common trade in Arizona, but doing business with China, Brazil and others of today’s best-known trade hot spots was nearly unthinkable for even the largest companies located here. However, with 95 percent of global consumers living … [More]

Rx: When a Website Needs Surgery

by Joe Thomas

... So the guy stands there with his mouth agape and says, “But Doc, why do you have to operate on my foot? The splinter is in my finger!” What does this punch line have to do with fashioning a successful website? Its underlying lesson applies to about 80 percent of people who can’t figure out why their website doesn’t “work.” Pretend your website is the patient in my … [More]

How to Set Owner Compensation

by Greg Crabtree

You may have decided to take no wages or below-market wages at the start of your business. But, by not accounting for the real cost for your services as if you paid someone else to do your job, you have distorted net income (or loss!) from your business. You are not at breakeven until you are paying yourself a market-based wage and you are profitable. Salary vs. Return on … [More]

Strategic Planning Vitalized

by Samantha Howland

It’s that time of year again: strategic planning season. As annual planning and preparation tasks begin popping up on corporate calendars across the country, leaders cringe at the distraction. Given the current atmosphere of uncertainty, many executives approach planning with urgency and impatience — simply looking to get it over with — rather than approaching the process with … [More]

What Manufacturing Means to the Valley Economy

by RaeAnne Marsh

“Thirty years ago, manufacturing accounted for about 15 percent of output in [Arizona’s] overall economy. Now, it’s about 8 to 9 percent. That’s because other parts of the economy have gotten bigger,” says Research Professor Lee McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. He sees … [More]

The Life, Death & Rebirth of America’s Global Leadership

by Mona Pearl

One of the main challenges of the U.S. economy is mind-set. As trade borders become seamless and the world becomes more dependent on technology, U.S. companies and their executives must scramble to acquire the tools and skills necessary to survive and thrive in the increasingly competitive global market. The basic reason for our nation lagging behind and suffering from a … [More]

Matt Widdows: Advancing Real Estate through Technology

by Alison Stanton

When it comes to technology and the many ways it can help real estate agents do their jobs better and more efficiently, Matt Widdows, founder and chairman of HomeSmart International, is a true visionary. Even before he opened his Phoenix-based company in January, 2000, Widdows recognized the need for better technology in the real estate business. “I saw a lack of technology … [More]

Bytes: August 2012

by Mike Hunter

Legally Speaking FordHarrison, a national labor and employment law firm with offices in Phoenix, has launched its KnowledgeCenter, which is a virtual library offering blogs, publications, alerts, news and training materials. SourceBook is a subscription-based service that provides information on state and local employment laws. fordharrison.com Job Find Most are not … [More]

Building Profits in Pampering

by RaeAnne Marsh

Having survived the recession that hit the economy only a couple of years into their entrepreneurial endeavor, Chandler-based Fuchsia co-owners Lisa Vukovich and Erin Owens recently moved their day spa into double the space. They attribute part of their success through the downturn to providing the pampering of a spa at an affordable price. Says Vukovich, “Clients who were … [More]

Business Model Innovates Insurance Sales

by RaeAnne Marsh

Exploding out of its home base of Jacksonville, Fla., Brightway Insurance is bringing its new model of insurance brokerage and franchise opportunity to Arizona. It plans to follow its recent opening of one store in Scottsdale with 52-68 stores throughout the state in the next few years. Calling Brightway an “insurance retailer,” David Miller, co-founder and CEO, explains … [More]

Consulting Concept Supports U.S. Economy

by RaeAnne Marsh

The trend of businesses outsourcing IT support to overseas companies not only reduces employment opportunities domestically but depletes our pool of knowledgeable workers from which innovation and future advances will come. Businesses’ gain, of course, is saving money, but the talent drain is an issue that has been recognized by economists. Amerishore, an IT service provider … [More]

Pay at the Top: Executive Pay Cut Down to Size

by Mike Hunter

Arizona is ranked 25th in the nation for highest executive pay, according to U.S. Department of  Labor statistics, reported in May of 2011. That means we are middle of the road. The average pay for an Arizona chief executive is $172,279. That is $82.82 per hour. Delaware is first among the states in executive pay at $218,900 and $105.24 per hour while Montana is at the bottom … [More]

Go Ethnic and Taste Broader Horizons

by Mike Hunter

Make lunch exciting with these ethnic Valley favorites for lunch. Fogo de Chao — Brazilian Gaucho chefs provide more than 15 cuts of fire-roasted meats tableside for diners to choose from. Hit the salad and sides bar for more than 30 vegetable and sides dishes to enhance the experience. 6300 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale (480) 609-8866 Golden Buddha — Chinese Try … [More]

WM Sacks: Business Success Makes for Tasty Lunch

by Mike Hunter

Chances are when you think about what to do for lunch, you think about Sack’s. At one time or another, with or without clients in tow, lunch-goers stop in to have one of the best sandwiches money can buy. WM Sacks Art of Sandwicherie is just that — a virtual sandwich factory that is all about making the best combinations of breads, meats, vegetables and condiments. Original … [More]

Accounting for It

by Mike Hunter

Businesses look to accounting software to do the day-to-day bookkeeping, budgeting and billing. Here are some easy-to-learn programs that include features for businesses of all sizes and types: Sage 50 2013 This software is easy to learn and provides good quality support for users. For 2013, there are no significant improvements, but reporting and analysis features have … [More]

Powerful and Efficient: All-new Cadillac XTS

by Mike Hunter

With a rocky economic climate over the past few years, it is no wonder that carmakers are looking for an edge when it comes to luxury. A time of substance has meant that frills are gone. The engineers at Cadillac have created a vehicle that has proven to be luxurious, efficient and priced right. Replacing the DTS, Cadillac’s larger “town car,” the XTS is a new generation … [More]

Social Media Is Bullshit

by Mike Hunter

In this guide, journalist and social critic B.J. Mendelson skillfully debunks the myths of social media. Listening to the pundits, Internet gurus, marketing consultants and even the mainstream media, one would think social media was the second coming. Mendelson illustrates how the notion of “social media” first came to prominence, why it has become such a powerful presence in … [More]

Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business

by Mike Hunter

Socialnomics is an essential book for anyone who wants to understand the implications of social media on our daily lives and how businesses can tap the power of social media to increase their sales, cut their marketing costs and reach consumers directly. In this revised and updated second edition, author Erik Qualman presents new material based on meeting with 75 Fortune 1000 … [More]

Social Media Marketing All-in-One for Dummies

by Mike Hunter

This bestselling guide to social media marketing has been completely updated to cover the newest vehicles, including Groupon and Rue La La, location-based services like Foursquare, and new social networking sites like Google+ and Pinterest. Checklists, case studies and examples will help readers decide the best places to spend their marketing dollars, and learn about valuable … [More]