San Francisco Bay Area has given the world some of the greatest business success stories. Business By The Bay is established to share the wisdom and experience of the business leaders. The purpose is to talk about challenges and possible solutions that will help business owners to get better. The show is sponsored by Payroll Vault. Payroll Vault is a boutique-style local payroll service provider for small businesses. Payroll Vault fully handles the payroll tasks and take over complex payroll activity from the business owners so that they can focus on what they do the best – running their companies.
Weight loss with hormonal balancing
Debbie Harris mentioned that convenience and marketing of unhealthy food are two big reasons people gain weight. As we are over scheduled, it is natural for us to pick the food that is easily available and unfortunately junk food is marketed well and is very easy to buy. Debbie explained that she got wonderful results for herself and her clients by balancing the hormones. It helps not only getting rid of the weight, but also ensures maintaining the ideal weight. Being aware of the food that works for us and having an accountability partner or mentor help people to stay on track. Debbie believes that her love for people and maintaining balance in life are two big factors that helped her achieve success in life.
How is the health of your business?
Most business owners don't know the health of the business because they are not maintaining and monitoring the financial statements in a timely manner. It is hard to 'do it yourself'' because most of the time is spent on running the business. So it is better to have a good accounting professional helping the business. It is also important to find an accounting professional you can trust and it happens if the values are aligned. Shamal also suggested that it is important to hire well, both in-house and outsourced.
Financial solutions for businesses
Joanthan Pop spoke about how from having a Music and Education major in college, he became a wealth management advisor. He sees that many of the successful business owners need help when it comes to retention of key employees and tax optimization strategies. He mentioned that if a business owner is looking for a good financial advisor, it is important to make sure the advisor acts as a fiduciary, is in the same space (for example specializes in working with businesses and not just focusing on investments) and is a good connector who has a solid partner network because one person or a team of advisors cannot be experts in every field. He also highlighted that having a written business plan is critical in making sure there are no blind spots and the business can continue to grow in the right direction.
Learning social media marketing
Deborah Finestone spoke about her journey from being a journalist to starting her social media marketing company. She talked about her group training program, which is to help small business owners and non-profits who are not in a position to hire an expensive marketing agency. She says that quite often such organizations assign the social media marketing role to a young employee thinking that he or she has been active on personal social media and is comfortable with the various platforms. Being an active social media user doesn't mean that the person is also good at marketing strategies. As an example, one has to know the expectations from the social media marketing efforts - brand awareness, coming across as an expert, providing information, becoming likeable to the target market by sharing personal stories, etc. She suggested thinking about what the target market likes and creating content accordingly. Then analyze what types of posts are gaining traction and then consistently engage with your followers.
Creating compelling visual narratives
Creating compelling visual narratives can feel like a difficult skill to master. Mark Bullock shared his experiences and how he being an introvert with no desire to be in front of a camera has created thousands of videos. Following are some of the valuable suggestions he made: Willingness to learn and coming out of the comfort zone can produce incredible results. We don't need to become a TV news reader. Learn to be yourself because people like authentic people having real conversations. Willingness to be vulnerable can make you authentic. Remember you don't need to be perfect in every video because if you forget to make a point in one video, you can always create another one. 4.If you are willing to learn, share and express yourself, feel free to visit https://videosocials.net/ and click on 'Be Our Free Guest'.
JJ spoke about retirement solutions available to small business owners. He said that the California state mandate requires businesses with five or more employees to offer a retirement plan, else they will be fined. However, in spite of being a cost in terms of time and/or money, it also allows businesses to attract talent because offering good benefits to employees shows that they care about the employees. Also, there is a Federal credit available for the first three years to compensate for the cost incurred in setting up a new retirement plan. JJ suggests that there are many options available and it is important for the business owners to give time to come on a quick call and evaluate the benefits of going with a private company like Human Interest and compare it with the CalSavers state plan.
Integrated tax planning
Al Arias outlined various strategies for saving on taxes, emphasizing an integrated approach to tax planning. This involves creating multiple business entities to enable business owners to minimize their effective federal income tax, typically falling within the 12 to 20 percent range. Through the strategic use of trusts and the structuring of business entities, business owners can achieve federal income tax free exit. For instance, Al loves separating the marketing function of a business into a distinct entity, say a C-Corporation. When properly configured, this separation helps avoid the affiliated ownership rules and leads to significant tax savings.
COBRA compliance: Yvonne described the COBRA compliance requirements and also the best practices for the employers. Do you have 20+ employees with group health plans? If yes, then Yvonne mentioned that there are federal and state penalties for non-compliance. Beyond the fines, non-compliance can lead to civil penalties that may make your company liable for medical payments, legal fees, and more. She suggests that the best time to discuss implementation of COBRA plan is at the time of setting up a group health plan because waiting till a qualifying event happens would result in panic for the business.
Cash management and pain free growth
Are you struggling to keep up with the growth that is taking place in your company? Are you closing your books within 7 days or are you really behind with your accounting? Brit Summerill made some very good suggestions regarding best accounting practices and he recommends small businesses to operate with an exit in mind.
Business Process Excellence
Dr. Shree Nanguneri explains his method to remove or reduce the 3 Ds - defects, delays and deviations from organizations. His team uses the socratic approach to not only fix the problems of his clients, but also train them how to handle issues on their own. They convert defects into delights, delays into 'just in time' and deviations into dollars. Dr. Nanguneri says that one of his keys to success has been having the right mentors.
Hiring the best talent
Hiring the best talent is challenging, especially in industries where supply is less than the demand. Jason suggested that an employer needs to feed the hiring funnel and then have an efficient process to screen, interview and hire the right candidates. An employer needs to generate interest among job seekers, validate the opening, convince the candidates that the company is a great place to work and then close it.
Getting the right help
Doug Kennedy emphasized on the importance of keeping an end goal in mind when we are starting the business journey. He said that businesses either grow or shrink. The tools and the people that achieved initial success may not be enough to continue on the growth path. Getting the right help becomes critical and Doug said that the 2GO advisory group offers solutions for executives for all lines of management.
Taking organizations from friction to function
Whether your organization is growing or finding it difficult to grow, Belle provided some great suggestions to make your company function smoothly. Some of the things she highlighted are as follows: Create roles, assign ownership, and build a system of well-defined processes. If there is friction, get to the root of the problem. For example, you may ask 5 whys. Make sure the role of your key performers are defined in a manner that is sustainable, reasonable, and logical. Else, it could become very painful to find a replacement if any of the key employees leave for any reasons.
Want to start a business?
Want to start a business? Rick Morgin says that so many people have mentioned to him that they wish they had known him when they were planning to begin their business journey. A good business or a franchise consultant can help people navigate through so many options out there, instead of following a hit and trial method. Once you open a business, it is extremely important to hire the right team and ensure marketing never stops. Rick shared his personal experiences and he believes some of the reasons behind his success are - Persistence Knowledge, being an expert in his field. Asking the right questions.
Differentiate yourself from your competitors
As a small business owner, have you ever wondered that the competition is tough and there are many people offering similar products or services? Realtor Yun Tong shared her business journey and explained what has made her very successful. Some of the useful tips she gave are - Be open to learn - take certifications and specialize in your field. Read! For example she learnt the truth and lies about why we buy from reading the book Buyology. Rather than looking for sales, look for ways to serve others and business will come to you. Network - we all have so many needs and if as a business owner you know good like minded professionals, you can help others and gain trust.
HR compliance can be tricky and ignorance is not an excuse. Attorney Robert Nuddleman explained some very important things which every employer should be aware of. For example, some of the common mistakes employers make are not addressing any issue when it shows up first or paying a salary when it should be hourly with overtime. Lack of communication and making the employees feel that they are not being treated fairly result in troubles for employers. To avoid problems, employers need to treat employees fairly and should also be aware of the employment laws by being proactive in educating themselves and their employees.
Power of video marketing
Bill Knowland explained the power of video marketing. A picture paints a thousand words and a video shows thousands of pictures. However, at times when businesses are on a tight budget, it is natural for the return on investment question to come. There are tools and metrics available that provide the impact of videos. He also mentioned the different types of videos an organization can create to reach its target audience - marketing videos, training videos, customer testimonial videos, how to videos, meet the owner videos, thought leadership videos, inspirational videos, interactive videos, etc.
Is franchising the right option for you?
Peter Niles explained the benefits of owning a franchise and also mentioned some of the disadvantages of owning a franchise. He shared his views on what makes a good franchise owner and also spoke about some of the businesses that have flourished in the last couple of years.
Trustegrity - building relationships
Trustegrity - building relationships, which results in the sharing of ideas, solutions, and opportunities. Laurie Pearce provided an overview of Trustegrity and how its members benefit from this networking and mastermind group. Laurie suggests that never give up because when the going gets tough, you may actually be very close to success.
Choosing a Retirement Plan
Choosing a retirement plan can be tricky for a small business owner. Many states have mandated businesses to have a plan in place. Taylor and Parker provided good information regarding the options businesses have. 401K plans provide a lot more flexibility in comparison to a state Roth IRA plan. They believe that some of the reasons Farther has seen a good growth are that they listen to their clients, are able to offer the right solutions and have great communication.
Health is wealth
We all know that health is wealth, but still for many people it is difficult to eat right and exercise well. Rebecca Walker said that there are various factors like availability of junk food, marketing and what is going on in our bodies that makes us develop unhealthy eating habits. There is so much advanced testing available today that under the guidance of a professional, one can overcome health challenges and maintain optimal health. She provided great tips regarding proper sleep and recommended getting morning sun and avoiding drinking tea or coffee for at least one hour after waking up. Healthy business people have more energy and it helps them work more effectively. Rebecca hires people who are passionate about their work and she says that having people in the right place results in optimal output.
Grow your network
Grow your network of diverse people to grow your business. Maile says that effective networking is a learnable skill. When we team up with other people, opportunities are exponential compared to trying to do things alone. She explains that when we are interested in others and understand them really well, we become unusually very successful. Maile says that networking with people is not taught in school. So people make basic mistakes like entering a room of business people to sell to the room, rather than through the room. Follow the law of reciprocity - give to others, work together and reap the rewards.
Get your accounting under control
Vivek highlights the importance of getting the accounting under control. He says that when a business owner is looking at the accounting at 2 AM, then it is a clear sign to outsource the accounting function.
Role of destination marketing organizations in supporting the local economy
Patricia Snowden talks about the role Stay Pleasant Hill plays in promoting visitors to the city and region. The tourism industry was severely affected by the pandemic. Patricia provided some insight on how to look into the available data to update your marketing strategy. She believes that being a good listener and listening to a diverse group of people help a leader to lead successfully.
Lead by example
Mony Nop talks about leadership and what made him succeed against all odds. He explained his love for Livermore, why he is running to be a mayor and what all he plans to do.
Learning is a treasure
Learning is a treasure. When students and industries collaborate, a win-win situation is created, and true development takes place. Dr. Dyrell Foster discusses some of the wonderful things Las Positas College is doing in Livermore, CA.
Ensuring your long term financial health
A small business owner has a lot on his or her plate. Judith Feuer provides an overview of the value a right financial advisor brings. She also talks about what are some of the common things business owners do that make them financially successful.
Plan to succeed as success is not an accident
Plan to succeed as a successful business requires knowing where things stand and what needs to be done to achieve the goals. Joel Smith explains that rather than looking at accounting as a cost, small business owners need to look at outsourced CFO services as the help that can ensure the business is healthy and cash rich.
Power of collaboration
Kathy talks about how the Tri-Valley Nonprofit Alliance is harnessing the power of collaboration and creating a big impact by bringing in talented and passionate people together to share great ideas.
What gets measured gets done
Candice suggests not to ignore your books, put yourself out there to network with the right people, and keep your business in a healthy state by being proactive.