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Archive By Section - Business Columns


Kenneth W. Keller: A few tips for evaluating your business model

Every business can do better. Research suggests that there are 12 areas where a company might make slight changes and see dramatic improvement in a very short period of time. In no special order, here is my list.

April 29, 2009 | Signal Staff | Business Columns


Jim Lentini: Make a plan and work it

Under the most common pattern of employee benefits being offered today, workers accumulate substantial savings before retirement. They then gradually draw down those savings during retirement.

April 28, 2009 | James Lentini | Business Columns


Oscar Dominguez: Cut expenses to build profit

As a small-business owner in the Santa Clarita Valley, a tougher economy may provide an opportunity for you to increase your bottom line by carefully examining each expense and cutting out the extras.

April 25, 2009 | Signal Staff | Business Columns


Kevin Yeam: Plan for long-term care and estate-asset protection

People are living longer than ever. As a result, they are incurring more expenses related to their older years (nursing homes averaged about $5,500 per month per person).

April 24, 2009 | Signal Staff | Business Columns


Kenneth W. Keller: Why every business needs a ‘sergeant’

Sergeant is a rank used in some form by most military and police forces around the world.

April 22, 2009 | Signal Staff | Business Columns


What the zero rate of savings means

The personal saving rate in the U.S. has declined sharply in recent years.

April 21, 2009 | By Jim Lentini | Business Columns


Businesses get new bite from COBRA changes

Hidden in the voluminous American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 - otherwise known as the Stimulus Bill passed by Congress last month - is a provision that may prove to be a dangerous trap for many American businesses.

April 17, 2009 | By Brian E. Koegle It's The Law | Business Columns


Kenneth W. Keller: Six steps to better your business

It's easy to be beaten down by the constant trumpeting of how bad the economy is, and it's just as easy to feel overwhelmed by opportunities. There seems to be no middle ground.

April 15, 2009 | Signal Staff | Business Columns


Jim Lentini: Positioning yourself for market recovery

No one knows when the market will reach the bottom, or whether it already has. A few good indicators of the market moving positively are that the S&P 500 gained 8.8 percent (total return) in March 2009 - the best monthly performance since October 2002 - and the fact that total capitalization of the U.S. stock market increased by $700 billion during the month of March to $9.4 trillion.

April 14, 2009 | James Lentini | Business Columns


Gina G. MacDonald: Tools for caregivers

The Family Caregiver Alliance has compiled a list of practical tools and resources designed to address the needs of informal caregivers and the professionals supporting them. While a plethora of online information exists, specific tools and resources had not been gathered into one collection where professionals and caregivers alike could quickly and easily access them - until now.

April 11, 2009 | Signal Staff | Business Columns


Maureen Stephenson: Handle potential billing snafus face-to-face

An entrepreneur called me the other day for some brainstorming. It seems that he discovered his company had been billing a client half of what he should have been billed. This client had been difficult in the past and the entrepreneur wasn't looking forward to dealing with him. He knew he had to do something though, and his partner felt it had to be done in a face-to-face meeting with the client. They felt the client had to know what was going on before getting revised pricing and a bill for the oversight.

April 11, 2009 | Signal Staff | Business Columns


Julie M. Sturgeon: College tuition and tax credits

In February, Congress enacted the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which includes a new $2,500 college tax credit for 2009, 2010 and possibly beyond. Your family may have not qualified for earlier college tax credits, but it just might for this one.

April 09, 2009 | Signal Staff | Business Columns


Kenneth Keller: Making your balance sheet stronger

Those who have passed Accounting 101 understand that business owners should focus on building the net worth of their business by adding to their asset base while reducing liabilities. The difference is owner's equity, the value of the business.

April 08, 2009 | Signal Staff | Business Columns


Jim Lentini: Why consider in-service withdrawal?

Most investment options offered by company-sponsored retirement plans are designated for the accumulation phase of retirement, and not the income phase.

April 07, 2009 | James Lentini | Business Columns


Maureen Stephenson: Grab the low-hanging fruit on the sales branch

I like to call "referrals" the low-hanging fruit on the tree of sales because they are a reward for a job well done.

April 04, 2009 | Signal Staff | Business Columns


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Articles by Section - Business Columns


Nancy Starczyk: Upbeat outlook for housing

The housing market in the Santa Clarita Valley started the New Year tentatively, yet encouraging news abounds as the traditional Spring home buying season approaches.

February 26, 2014 | By Nancy Starczyk Real Estate Talk | Business Columns


Ken Keller: Improving effectiveness

If you wonder why your sales people aren't more productive, aren't making enough presentations and are slow to close deals, it might not be the industry you are in, your location or the economy not cooperating.

February 23, 2014 | By Ken Keller Brain Food For Business Owners | Business Columns


John Milburn: Keeping SCV strong

According to the recent news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics the US economy added 113,000 jobs in January 2014 and, "…job gains occurred in construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, and mining…Employment in manufacturing increased in January (+21,000)…Manufacturing added an average of 7,000 jobs per month in 2013."

February 19, 2014 | By John Milburn Entrepreneur's Corner | Business Columns


Ken Keller: Hubris is a disease that kills

Years ago a major manufacturer hired a research firm to conduct a survey of the cultural climate of the company.

February 16, 2014 | By Ken Keller Brain Food For Business Owners | Business Columns


Nancy Starczyk: Information for buyers

Under the federal Ability-to-Repay rules that went into effect Jan. 10, lenders received guidelines on the type of financial information homebuyers must provide lenders when seeking a loan.

February 12, 2014 | By Nancy Starczyk Real Estate Talk | Business Columns


Ken Keller: Leaders set tone

Research suggests that employees do not leave because of the company they work for, but they quit because of their manager.

February 09, 2014 | By Ken Keller Brain Food For Business Owners | Business Columns


Pete Bellas: What’s the forecast?

What is our fascination with forecasts? Are they really helpful and how can we use them for planning purposes?

February 05, 2014 | By Pete Bellas Entrepreneur's Corner | Business Columns


Ken Keller: Meet your objective in 2014

At the end of the first month of the year, are your objectives for 2014 being met? Have the results versus your goals left a gap? Are you worried that what happened or what didn't happen in January can spread to February? Or March?

February 01, 2014 | By Ken Keller | Business Columns


Ken Keller: Move always forward, never backwards

In May, 1976 I had just finished what I first thought was my junior year of college. When I put a pencil to things, I discovered I was not 12 months away from graduation, but closer to two years.

January 26, 2014 | By Ken Keller Brain Food for Business Owners | Business Columns


Joe Klocko: Criteria for business success

When you think of California do words like innovative, leading-edge and trendy come to mind? A place where new ideas first take root before they become woven into the very fabric of the national culture and industrial base before becoming recognized around the world as being uniquely "American". If so, you may be surprised to learn that in one area, the critical business process of selecting and hiring new employees, California is lagging behind the rest of the country.

January 22, 2014 | By Joe Klocko Entrepreneur's Corner | Business Columns


Ken Keller: Is the next level for you?

I recently conversed with the owner of a profitable company. She was interested in addressing some issues so she could return her attention to growing the business.

January 19, 2014 | By Ken Keller For The Signal | Business Columns


Nancy Starczyk:New rules aim for safer loans

Federal rules that went into effect Friday, Jan. 10, provide homeowners and consumers shopping for a home mortgage new rights and greater protection from harmful lending practices, while also probably slowing the pace of home price increases and forging a stronger, more stable housing market.

January 15, 2014 | By Nancy Starczyk Real Estate Talk | Business Columns


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