Staying Alive: What It Takes to Be a Thriving Neighborhood Business

by Eric Jay Toll

“There’s almost nothing like the moment you’re able to take home your first paycheck from the store,” Amy Wulfert reminisces. She’s talking at the front desk in Hair of the Dog, a dog-grooming parlor in Scottsdale. “It took me about three years to get to that point. Three years of hard work, being there every day, and working with a good staff.” The neighborhood shopping … [More]

Rick Murray, Arizona Small Business Association

from Rick Murray

Small business is big in Arizona. It is both an economic force and an important employment producer, and comprises 97 percent of all businesses in the state. Contributing to this is the level of entrepreneurship here. In recent years, Arizona has been ranked by such respected sources as the Kauffman Foundation and Fast Company as the No. 1 state for entrepreneurial activity. … [More]

Bridge the CIO vs CMO Divide

By Rich Karlgaard

Behind closed doors, in the corner offices of companies throughout the nation, a heated C-suite battle rages on. On the surface it looks like a battle waged over the corporate budget — a tale as old as time — with both sides seeking to claim a bigger portion of the pie. But a closer look at the classic fight between chief marketing officers (CMOs) and chief information officers … [More]

Even in the Matrix, Labor Does Have a Price

by Russell Harley

Matrix teams — formed by bringing together under a new project leader people who already report to another supervisor — is a common method of staffing projects. This is one alternative to outsourcing a project when a business has no team already available that has the requisite skill set. Matrix teams have their benefits and their challenges. There are pitfalls, however, that … [More]

Lead Us Not into Crisis

by David Wimer

Crises are hard enough in any business. But there are a number of ways to turn a crisis into a catastrophe with very little effort. Unfortunately, some of the behaviors that increase the odds for failure are considered by many to be “leadership.” The following are some of those common leadership responses. Be overly optimistic. There is a vast body of literature out there that … [More]

Hiring Practices Face Emerging Challenges 

by RaeAnne Marsh

“If you’ve been convicted of a felony, you need not apply.” This type of hiring policy has long been accepted — but such blanket policies are now starting to come under scrutiny by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The issue of blanket hiring policies, from education level to criminal history, is on the EEOC’s hot list, says Lisa Coulter, an attorney in the Phoenix … [More]

Coffee to Cash Flow

by Marc Kellenberger

Coffee beans. Espresso. Fresh-baked goods. Granola. Garden-grown vegetables. Herbs … It may come as a surprise that these items are synonymous with the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center. Sold in SARRC’s Beneficial Beans® Cafés and through its catering programs, these products represent a growing trend among nonprofit organizations to diversify their revenue … [More]

Chas Roberts A/C & Plumbing: Changing and Adapting for 70-plus Years

by Alison Stanton

In 1942, Chas and Alice Roberts founded Chas Roberts Air Conditioning Inc. in Phoenix. Sissie Roberts Shank, current president and CEO and granddaughter of the original owners, says her grandfather handled the repairs while her grandmother stayed in the office and answered the phones. “My grandfather was one of those men who could fix anything. Over time, they hired my uncle, … [More]

New Aquarium to Make a Splash as Destination Tourist Attraction

by Alexandra Lyon

OdySea Aquarium, a tourist attraction scheduled to begin construction within the next 60 days, is an extension of current attractions Butterfly World and OdySea Mirror Maze located in Scottsdale. “What we are doing is selling an experience,” says lead developer and principal founder Amram Knishinsky as he explains the exciting visuals and unique opportunities guests will … [More]

The Power of the PAC Can Aid Businesses

by Alexandra Lyon

Dozens of local political action committees (PACs) are up and running in this election season, and local businesses as well as major corporations are finding them a viable vehicle for influencing public policy and supporting candidates who best represent their industry or interests. “Being able to be involved in the political process through a political action committee is … [More]