February 2003

Business Builders

Business vehicle tax deductions

For business owners, your car, truck or SUV can carry significant tax savings if given the right conditions and if ownership is structured correctly. While it's important to not make a decision on a new vehicle just for tax purposes, it is also important to consider the tax impact when investigating your options. Continue reading →

How bankers judge the quality of company’s books

Small-business owners need to understand the numerical intricacies of ratios, profit margins and traditional cash flow, but they also need to have a basic grasp of the specific language and vocabulary of commercial lending.

It?s a tall order. Here are some basics and technicalities involved in financing and operating and operating a successful and well-capitalized small business.
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Websites Legal Audits

Web site-related lawsuits have been big news recently.

In the Twin Cities, a judge forced a South St. Paul man to shut down Web sites he registered to domain names very similar to those of McDonald?s, PepsiCo, and The Washington Post, which he used to push his anti-abortion views. Recording artist Alanis Morissette sued a Canadian man for using the site www.alanis.net to sell unauthorized celebrity merchandise. Madonna, Sting and Kevin Spacey have all filed similar lawsuits within the past year.
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Rewarding teamwork

Our country has a proud and long-standing history of honoring the individual. Not surprising, given that it was founded upon the principles of individual freedom and rights. Individualism has crept into many facets of our lives and culture, including the ways we manage, measure and pay people.

But organizational life has changed. Our companies are no longer stand-alone, hierarchical entities. They are built on layer of connections. On the outside, they are part of a bigger web of partnerships, networks, strategic alliances and outsourcing relationships. On the inside, they are increasingly made up of ad-hoc committees, project teams and matrix relationships. Continue reading →

Print and Web Marketing Tools

It?s no doubt that your Web site is a needed communications tool. But the printed piece is not dead- an effective marketing strategy blends both.

When a marketing needs arises, don?t limit your thinking to a specific tool. As with any marketing solution, you need to think in terms of what your audiences need and how they want to receive their information. Continue reading →

Steps to Control Spam

Minnesota workers are drowning in a cesspool of e-mail pitches for get-rich-quick schemes, pornography and health products.

Spam, otherwise known as unsolicited commercial e-mail, currently comprises about 50 percent of all e-mail traffic, resulting in an expensive drain on Minnesota businesses? bottom line. Considering the time needed to deal with it, spam?s cost for a company of 100 employees can easily reach tens of thousands of dollars a month in lost productivity.

While legislators and technology gurus continue to grapple with big picture solutions to control spam, there are steps that employers can take now to reclaim their e-mail boxes. Continue reading →