How Our Changing Economy Is Shaping Money

by Don Rodriguez

Small business is getting its shot at securing loans once again. But in a new regulatory environment, banks are more cautious about getting left holding the bag with bad loans that could come back to haunt them. Even credit unions are facing potential changes in laws that could affect their ways of operating as nonprofits. This makes it more challenging for businesses to get … [More]

Paul Hickman, Arizona Bankers Association

from Paul Hickman

Capital to start a business, capital to grow a business — capital is the essential element in any business endeavor. The types of sources that businesspeople can turn to are varied, and access to funding has become increasingly complicated. But it’s not just the final borrower who is facing these challenges; issues are impacting lending institutions as well, while they continue … [More]

Arizona’s Growing Wine Industry

by Alison Stanton

From an economic standpoint, Arizona’s wine industry is doing really well, according to Peggy Fiandaca, president of the Arizona Wine Growers Association and owner and marketing director of Lawrence Dunham Vineyards. “It is growing; there are new acres of grapes in the ground and new wineries opening up. Between 2011 and 2012, we doubled the number of gallons of wine that were … [More]

Put Client Interest Over Self-Interest

by Joseph Callaway

Any entrepreneur willing to endure the proverbial “blood, sweat and tears” it takes to start a business knows how important clients are. They write the checks that pay the bills, so keeping them satisfied is rarely just lip service. In fact, most business owners believe they are putting their clients first — and would be shocked to hear they’re putting clients last. But in … [More]

The Changing Dynamics of Negotiation

by RaeAnne Marsh

“The advent of greater use of technology and social media has changed the way businesses are going about negotiating,” says attorney John DeWulf, of Roshka DeWulf & Patten. Parties are better able to negotiate thanks to technology that enables them to access more information not just about the subject matter (i.e., market trends) but also about the other side of the … [More]

Leadership Control vs. Business Growth

by Doug and Polly White

Most entrepreneurs want to grow their companies. However, the road to success is often a bumpy one. While many businesses start quickly growing revenues and profits, they frequently plateau well short of their potential. This often leaves the owner confounded regarding why his or her once-thriving enterprise has fallen on hard times. It can be a frustrating … [More]

Go to Bat for Innovation-Nurturing Approach to Business

by Terry Jones

In baseball, you can fail 70 percent of the time and still be considered a strong player. Why is it that businesses give an employee with a new idea just one chance? Pitchers lose games, batters strike out, fielders make errors. Instead of firing them or sending them back to the minor leagues, managers study what went wrong. CEOs need to do the same thing. Kill the project, not … [More]

Base Website Design on Your Sales Process

by Thomas Beyer

If you want your website to generate new business opportunities, you need to make sure it is designed to attract leads while it is guiding your prospect through the sales cycle. If you’re an e-commerce company, like Amazon or e-Bay, specifically focused on selling your product or service on the Internet, your site was probably designed to move a prospect through the buying … [More]

Dan Harkins: Getting ‘Reel’

by Lauren Caggiano

Dan Harkins is the man behind the curtain — literally and figuratively. As president of Scottsdale-based Harkins Theatres, Harkins is the man behind the scenes of the largest family-owned theater chain in the country, operating more than 400 screens. Most are in Arizona, predominantly the Metro Phoenix area, with a handful in California, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas. It can … [More]

Local Car Care Seizes Niche Op in Hybrids

by RaeAnne Marsh

With the growing popularity of hybrid cars, Good Works Auto Repair in Tempe has moved into a niche those car owners were not finding at their dealers — battery conditioning. “There’s no incentive for the dealer to do this,” explains Nathan Merrill, co-owner of the car repair business, noting the dealer would see more profit in replacing the battery and that maintenance is … [More]

Healthcare Business Shows Healthy Growth

by RaeAnne Marsh

Connextions health services’ foray into Arizona, which is bringing about 500 jobs to the Phoenix area, was prompted by the Valley’s “talented and strong work force,” according to John Hernandez, Connextions vice president of operations, who is leading the Phoenix office. The company, part of UnitedHealth Group’s Optum health services business, works with seniors to help them … [More]

‘Lose Wait’ App Grows Business

by RaeAnne Marsh

Customer service lay behind Great Clips’s development of its online check-in app, aiming to get customers to the most convenient location, according to Ken Hand, a franchisee in the Phoenix market. The app provides users with a map of Great Clips stores near a zip code entered by the user or determined automatically near the location of the iPhone, Droid or Internet browser … [More]

Core Values Key to DIY Dinner Success

by RaeAnne Marsh

Laura Prefling and Sara Hinkel, sisters and partners in the Dream Dinners franchise in Phoenix — a sort-of kitchen away from home where individuals can prepare a large number of dinners all at one time — have come out of the recession with the opening this month of their third location. The success of their survival Prefling attributes partly to their low-budget, DIY approach … [More]

Why Sales Tax Fairness Matters for Online

by Mike Hunter

In conjunction with the release of a new set of House Judiciary Committee principles, which lay out a legislative roadmap for addressing the collection of online sale tax, the National Retail Federation released a video on sales tax fairness. The two-minute video features small-business owners and retail leaders — from Arizona, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Vermont — … [More]

SiriusXM to Launch Business Radio Powered by the Wharton School

by Mike Hunter

SiriusXM channel 111 is set to deliver invaluable business advice for business owners, entrepreneurs, executives and those who dream of starting their own companies. The live, call-in format offers millions of people unprecedented access to world-renowned Wharton professors, distinguished alumni and expert guests. Coming in early 2014. … [More]

Get Bumped

by Mike Hunter

Sharing documents just got easier. With the recent-Google-acquired Bump app for the iPhone and Android devices, individuals can share contact information, photos, videos and files by simply bumping two phones together. Users can also share contacts, photos and files with others and sync with their own computer. The app will sync to the user’s devices or update others.   … [More]

Simplify Your Expenses

by Mike Hunter

With Expensify, employees, executives or house husbands and wives can simply record expenses for daily receipts, card transactions, mileage, travel and more. The mobile app syncs with the program back at the office for full download of expenses to an available accounting package that integrates to most office accounting programs.   … [More]

Economic Growth Up in Valley and Nation

by Mike Hunter

Real GDP increased in 305 of the nation’s 381 metropolitan areas in 2012, led by growth in durable-goods manufacturing, trade and financial activities, according to new statistics released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Real GDP in metropolitan areas increased 2.5 percent in 2012 after increasing 1.7 percent in 2011. Greater Phoenix-Scottsdale-Mesa was among the … [More]

The Gladly

by Mike Hunter

Self-proclaimed the new Camelback Corridor hot spot, The Gladly is a creation by the people behind the very successful Citizen Public House. This new concept is housed in the space once occupied by Ruth’s Chris Steak House in the newly renovated Anchor Center. The proclamations seem to be accurate. The powerful lunchers are spending their noon hour at The Gladly, and not … [More]

Celebrity Chefs Do Lunch, Too

by Mike Hunter

The Valley is known for many celebrity chefs — too many, in fact, to mention. Here are a few of their lunch hot spots that will tempt your palate and likely allow you to engage with the on-property celeb chef himself. (They are also all longtime community supporters who work with hundreds of local nonprofits to help raise money.) Christopher’s Crush Gourmet lunchtime fare … [More]