Archive for February, 2010

To Do Or Not To Do More With Less

So just how do businesses positively impact cash flow? First and foremost businesses must take an all of the above approach to maximizing their profitability. They must understand that they are not in this alone and reach out into the business community for partners who will provide them with innovative solutions that don’t require an extensive outlay of capital.

Continue Reading February 25, 2010 at 10:03 am Leave a comment

Without Light Nothing Will Grow

According to a Gallup poll released today, 19.9% of Americans are underemployed.  While double digit unemployment continues to wreak havoc on the economy, underemployment may be playing an even bigger part in declining revenues and opportunities. 

The findings indicated that the underemployed spend 36% less than the employed, resulting in a sharp decline in purchases needed to get the economy back on track.   While many who have been kicked to the curb continue to seek opportunities, there are also millions who have limited time on their hands to search for more rewarding careers as they are stuck in jobs beneath their skill level. 

All the while the government continues with a variety of spending bills that are doing nothing to reduce unemployment coupled with taxes that will stifle any incentive for employers to hire.  The real challenge that we as a nation should be confronting is how to get the unemployed and underemployed back on the market, maximizing their skills.

Historically, both job and revenue growth will come only when taxes are reduced.   When one considers that more than two thirds of all jobs are created by small business, whose owners compute their taxes on a Schedule C, this begins to make sense.  

In dealing with businesses of all sizes there is no question that most want to hire but are afraid of potential implications.  As one business owner recently shared with me, “why would I hire now, knowing full well that new government healthcare mandates and higher taxes could potential put me out of business.  I have to make do with what I have and will probably have to reduce my staff by 40-60% to pay for healthcare that I may be forced to provide.”

This sentiment doesn’t bode well for getting people back to work.   That said, there are others who are taking the approach that they have to “spend their way out of the recession”.   In fact, now is actually a great time to invest in your company due to substantial discounts on new products, labor and technology.  

I do believe that we will see an increase in hiring at some point because aggressive businesses will grow beyond current capacities.   What the federal government does will determine whether that employment will be in a traditional sense or an increase in the use of independent contractors so as to alleviate confiscatory rules and regulations that may very well come to fruition in coming years.   With t that said, keep checking back for new and interesting solutions to finding creative revenue streams. 

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Chris Tidball is the author of Kicked To The Curb: 20 Essential Rules For Coming Out On Top When Your Life Has Been Turned Upside Down.   He has extensive background in the financial industry and currently provides industry leading client’s in the banking, insurance, hospital and government sectors will ways to maximize their bottom line with NO NEW MONEY required.   He can be reached at chris@christidball.com.

February 23, 2010 at 12:13 pm Leave a comment

If You Don’t Shoot You Can’t Score

The purpose of the Finding Millions blog is to help those seeking new opportunities to find them. Whether you are looking for a new job, new opportunity or new start in life, the bloggers who post at http://www.findingmillions.wordpress.com are here to help.

Continue Reading February 19, 2010 at 7:55 am Leave a comment

Why You Should Use a Debt Calculator For Sorting Out Your Finances

Debt calculators are some of the most user-friendly and powerful financial tools that you come across on the Internet. You would be astonished to know that a handful of consumers use them.

Continue Reading February 17, 2010 at 7:22 am Leave a comment

Investing In Your Future

More than any other rule spelled out in my book, networking plays a pivotal role. Remember, while small businesses aren’t advertising jobs, they are nimble enough to create jobs for talented individuals.

Continue Reading February 15, 2010 at 7:23 am Leave a comment

Spending Your Way Out Of The Recession

One economic theory for getting our nation back on track is to increase spending; simply that we must spend our way out of the recession.   There’s a lot to be said for that, but the spending must be done wisely.   Without delving into politics, I will simply mention cash for clunkers and leave it at that. 

While the government should certainly exercise financial constraint, in particular during these trying times, the same may not hold true for private enterprise, which is the key to our regaining America’s stature as a world leader.   Right now many businesses are sitting on the sidelines with a wait and see attitude.   It’s hard to blame them, but the reality is that they may be letting opportunity whiz right by. 

With interest rates low, unemployment high and talent cheaply obtainable, the time is ripe for investing in your business.  From real estate to I/T infrastructure, deals can be found that will give companies a leg up during our economic recovery. 

The one certainty is that our economy will rebound.  It won’t be tomorrow, it won’t be next month, but it will happen.   The reason for this recovery will often be the result of people who have been kicked to the curb, many of whom have a wealth of experience and knowledge that will help new and fledgling companies gain market share in a variety of industries. 

When breaking down the various sectors of the American economy, the three main drivers of employment are government, corporations and small business.   Often the latter two are confused as a matter of semantics, but the commonly accepted definition a small business as one consisting of less than 500 employees.   While these can be structured as corporations, the actual flow of cash and organizational hierarchy are far different from the businesses that make up “corporate America”, which are larger companies, oftentimes hamstrung by bureaucratic inefficiencies. 

It is important to differentiate government, corporations and small business, as each provides employment to a large portion of the American public.   The key to our getting out of the recession is to limit growth of the former while expanding growth of the latter.   According to the SBA, small businesses drive our economy, providing more than 68% of all new jobs.   With the fear of higher taxes and more mandates, these same businesses have curtailed hiring until they have a clearer view of what is ahead.   Now is the time to incent these businesses to expand with something more than a minimal tax credit with an expiration date.  

Small business wants to grow; the unemployed want jobs.   This is a match made in heaven with one big barrier; uncertainty.   Until employers fully understand the implications of health care, they are going to be hesitant to hire more employees.   Until they know the future of capital gains and other tax cuts that expire at the end of 2010, they won’t be passing out job applications.   Further complicating matters is the future of cap and trade taxation, which could potentially limit their cash flow.   By providing answers, small business can provide solutions.  But until those answers are known, look for continued stagnation in the employment market.    

Chris Tidball is the author of Kicked to the Curb:20 Rules for Coming Out On Top When Your World Has Been Turned Upside Down.   He  also provides services to businesses in all sectors to help them maximize their bottom lines.  

February 11, 2010 at 7:24 am Leave a comment

There’s Gold In Them Thar Judgments

According to a recent study by the Haub School of Business, nearly 10% of medical dollars are left on the table during the claims process.   A leading insurance trade group found that 15% of all property casualty claims contain missed subrogation valued at $15 billion dollars.   Court records at all levels bear out that more than 80% of all judgments, valued at more than $150 billion dollars per year, go uncollected.   The amount of money being overlooked by businesses and individuals is staggering.   Fortunately, a good portion of this money is actually recoverable with the right tools and expertise.

When I am asked to assist a company what steps can be taken to maximize their bottom line, the first place to look is often their internal processes and procedures.   In particular, what procedures are in place for existing judgments, often overlooked or even cast aside during good times. 

During prosperous times, finding money was as simple as increasing sales.   As the economy deteriorated, the solution was to cut costs.   The challenge today is what to do when the sales dry up and the prolonged bad times result in every cost cutting measure being exhausted.   The solution is to get creative and perhaps nowhere is this more prevalent that pursuing existing judgments. 

If you are a hospital, insurer, manufacturer, municipality, utility or attorney the chances are pretty high that you have unpaid judgments, quite possibly collecting dust.    Now is the time to pull them off the shelves, make sure they are still valid, and begin the quest to put that money in your coffers. 

Judgments can be tricky to collect with debtors who are often hard to find and slippery as eels.   The state and federal mandates and regulations in the collection process can be as tricky as navigating a channel filled with landmines.  But when all is said and done, a competent collector can effectively find money to add to your bottom line.  

There are a number of on line resources to aid the ambitious in tracking down money such People Search, Pipl, Bigfoot, LexisNexis, Free Erisa and Skip Tracer.   There are also business partners who will provide expertise and knowhow that can have a dramatic impact on the bottom line recovery dollars.  

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Sequoia Financial is the preferred vendor of the Los Angeles County Bar, collection agent for more than three dozen cities, world renowned hospitals and multiple Top 10 insurers.   They pursue debt both domestically and internationally, including claims for faulty Chinese drywall. 

February 9, 2010 at 10:56 am Leave a comment

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Chris Tidball is a claims and revenue management consultant and author of the "20 Essential Rules" series of self and organizational improvement books. You can ask him a question at chris@christidball.com

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