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Archive By Section - Business Columns


Reasons not to retire

More and more present and future retirees are finding that the traditional idea of retirement is passé. What's more, there's plenty of evidence that keeping your hand in the game, or even finding a new calling, will yield a longer, healthier and happier latter stage of your life. And given rising health care costs, that adult child who suddenly has returned home or the aging parent who needs care, working a little longer may well be as much a need as a want.

June 19, 2008 | By Jim Lentini | Business Columns


Try running your business as if it were a bank

Banks are in the business of making money, and most banks are profitable, extremely so. Peter Ueberroth, the head of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, started a bank because he said something to the effect of "Šif you get the business model set up correctly, it becomes a money-making machines"

June 17, 2008 | By Kenneth W. Keller | Business Columns


Borrowing from retirement plans full of pitfalls

With the weakening of home prices and lenders tightening credit, an increasing number of Americans are borrowing money from their retirement plans. A Duke University Magazine survey found in December that nearly 20 percent of companies have seen increased hardship withdrawals and loans from 401(k) accounts, often to cover mortgage payments or to avoid personal bankruptcy.

June 12, 2008 | By Jim Lentini | Business Columns


No tax on gain from sale of primary residence? Think again!

One of the most depressing moments I had during this tax season (of which I had several) was having to tell a retired lady that she owed close to $40,000 in taxes when she thought she was going to get a refund. The culprit that caused this unfortunate surprise involved the sale of her primary residence. Here is her sad story.

June 11, 2008 | By D. Frank Norton | Business Columns


Just what can you learn from a basketball coach?

It's finally over. Sixty-five teams playing 64 games and scoring 8,853 points between them. It's official, the University of Kansas is the NCAA basketball champion, coming from behind in regulation play to force the game with Memphis State into overtime.

June 10, 2008 | By Kenneth W. Keller | Business Columns


Social Security & you

Today, Social Security covers about 163 million workers with 49 million people receiving benefits. Many people think that Social Security contributions are held in interest-bearing accounts to be used for their

June 05, 2008 | By Jim Lentini | Business Columns


Planning for your pet's welfare upon death or disability

What happens to your pet if you become incapacitated or die? We have seen many beloved pets abandoned or taken to the animal shelter because an owner has failed to include provisions for the care of their animals in their estate planning documents.

June 05, 2008 | By Gina MacDonald | Business Columns


When should your children start thinking about estate planning?

Many people consider estate planning as something that is only necessary for the elderly or for the rich. I would argue that estate planning is necessary for anyone over the age of 18. Before you stop reading, let me describe some actual incidents that have occurred in the past couple of months that illustrate the need for estate planning by younger adults.

June 04, 2008 | By Randall D. Armour | Business Columns


Endure or even prosper during job squeeze

With all the bad news going around about recession or economy in slow-growth, the one thing that's not debatable is that the employment market is weaker than it was a year ago. Let the economists figure out what's going on these days but you can do something about your income situation.

There are two ways for you to go. You can sit at your desk or in your shop with a "the sky is falling" attitude, or you can take the bull by the horns and become the master of your own fate. The time for depending on ...

May 30, 2008 | By Dr. Maureen Stephenson | Business Columns


Selecting a litigation attorney for your business dispute

This is the second part in a series of columns by David Poole, a partner in the law firm of Poole & Shaffery, LLP.

In Part 1 of this article, we discussed the need for the prudent purchaser of legal services to represent them in a business dispute to have a thoughtful and thorough approach to the attorney hiring process.

May 29, 2008 | By David Poole | Business Columns


Your economic stimulus check could be in the mail

In an effort to boost the U.S. economy, Congress passed the Economic Stimulus Package Act of 2008 on Feb. 7.

May 28, 2008 | By Julie Sturgeon | Business Columns


Lessons to be learned from businesses that fail

It seems that nearly every day the media is touting that some brand name business or an industry is on the verge of collapse. The reality is that every day businesses fail and industries consolidate, meaning companies are purchased by competitors or go by the wayside.

Those businesses that cannot adapt or change will ultimately fail.

May 27, 2008 | By Kenneth W. Keller | Business Columns


Avoid communication breakdowns when growth occurs

As a company grows, one area that often becomes a bottleneck is communication. There are certain dynamics that take place in communications, as the number of involved people increases.

For example, in a small two-person company, there is the greatest opportunity for direct conversation and discussion throughout the day.

May 23, 2008 | Commentary by Dr. Maureen Stephenson | Business Columns


When to 'hire' your children to care for you

As people get older, they often hire individuals or companies to perform services for them, such as housekeeping, cooking, driving, paying bills and personal care.

May 15, 2008 | By Gina MacDonald | Business Columns


Painful financial screw-ups can be fixed

You goofed! You just found a credit card bill stuck in your car's sun visor and it's due today. You forgot to file your tax return, and you're afraid to "fess up" to Uncle Sam. You got nailed for running that tail-end yellow to red light, and you're worried that you'll get your rates raised when your insurance company learns of the ticket.

May 09, 2008 | By Dr. Maureen Stephenson | Business Columns


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Articles by Section - Business Columns


Ken Keller: Unmasking the mediocre company

Books like "Built to Last," "The Breakthrough Company," and "Good to Great" were written to help business people improve the companies they own, lead and run.

March 02, 2014 | By Ken Keller Brain Food For Business Owners | 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


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