Alexander Abramson January 2019

Your Business Matters AlexanderAbramson.com • (407) 649-7777 January 2019

FROM THE DESK OF

Ed Alexander

Welcome to 2019! MMIXX! Ab urbe condita 2772! The Year of the Dog!

As a time for new beginnings, January is when businesses form and implement long-term proposals for business development and growth.

But, to paraphrase Robert Burns, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

What start as exciting strategies for improvements in January quickly fall by the wayside and business owners lose sight of their larger visions. In effect, everyone goes back to“business as usual.” Here are some of the steps we’re taking at Alexander Abramson to avoid breaking our New Year’s business resolutions.

It’s the time of year when business owners and their leadership teams sit down to draft up their plans and goals for the coming year. Some businesses use this exercise as a chance to nail down their trajectory, while others engage in the process simply because they feel they have to. If you fall in the latter camp, you could stand to devote a little more time and energy to determine how the coming year will look. After all, it’s hard to guide your teams forward when you don’t have a destination in mind. As a business owner, it’s up to you to set the tone for how the next 12 months will look for your organization. While every company’s goals will be unique, there are a few universal aims that will affect nearly every business in 2019. With that in mind, let’s take a look at three New Year’s resolutions that you should consider adopting. 3BUSINESS INITIATIVES TO PROPEL YOUTOWARDYOUR BEST YEAR EVER According to benefits-consulting company Hodges-Mace, millennial employee turnover costs the American economy upward of $30 billion per year. The number is so big because recruiting, hiring, and training new team members is an expensive and time-intensive process. Holding onto your talent matters regardless of the economic climate, but it’s especially crucial when the job market is strong. When good people walk out your doors during a talent shortage, you’ll struggle to replace them with candidates of equal caliber. Don’t assume that your staff’s eyes will never wander. According to Fortune magazine, 86 percent of currently employed workers are actively looking for better opportunities. To help keep valued staff in place, you need to provide themwith competitive pay, appealing Continued on page 2 ... RESOLVE TO RETAIN EMPLOYEES

Condense Goals: Prioritize 1–2 goals at a time to keep the focus on achieving those goals.

• Measure Measurables: Identify and measure the controllable tasks (e.g., working out, sales calls) that are required to achieve the big goals (e.g., losing weight, more sales). Seeing constant improvement provides continued motivation. Foster Accountability: Short, weekly meetings ensure consistent commitment and follow through on measurable tasks. This is what we’re doing, but we want to hear from you. What plans is your business making in 2019? How are you and your team going to ensure that you stick to them? •

Let us know at bit.ly/2019bizplans.

–Ed Alexander

(407) 649-7777 • 1

... Cover story continued

benefits, and a sense of career and personal development. Focus on creating programs that reward tenure and make employees feel acknowledged and appreciated. Otherwise, you can expect to spend large chunks of the year rehiring for roles that have been left vacant.

Brad Sugars, founder of ActionCoach. “It’s something that’s truly unique. It grabs people’s attention. It can’t be easily copied. And it offers a clear-cut, marketable benefit to your customer.” Understanding and communicating

strong is what separates the companies that rise and fall with the market from those that excel no matter the broader economic climate. Here’s a word of caution: When looking for weaknesses, don’t let them overwhelm you or turn you into a pessimist. If your company is doing well, you can fix inefficiencies without making them life-or-death issues. That’s the advantage of proactively solving these problems rather than waiting for them to metastasize. There are countless resolutions that will help spur your business to greater heights in 2019. While these are excellent starting points, they’re by no means a black-and-white guide to the best resolutions. You know better than anyone else what will help your business this year, but you have to take the time to think about it and express it throughout your company if you want maximum results. AND THESE ARE JUST THE START

your USP will increase your chances of attracting new customers this year.

RESOLVE TO DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF

RESOLVE TO LOOK FORWEAKNESSES

In today’s marketplace, it’s almost impossible for your company to offer something your customers can’t get anywhere else. Every product in the world is just a few clicks away, so articulating what makes your company different is a matter of defining your values. If you haven’t already formulated a unique selling proposition (USP), the time to start is now. A USP provides customers with a brief, compelling snapshot of what makes your business different than your competitors. “Think of a USP as your secret sauce — the special ingredient your business uses to prevent becoming a ‘me too’ company,” says

This one is especially important for businesses that are doing well. If you’re struggling, you already know to look for problem areas and attack them before they cause too much damage. But if you can analyze those weaknesses while you’re growing, you could stop a downturn before it starts. Too many business owners use growth as validation that they’re doing everything correctly. The truth is that no business — not Amazon, not Google, nobody — is firing on all cylinders all of the time. Taking the time to assess where you’re weak when you’re feeling

2. GIVE NEW HIRES THE CHANCE TO GROW. The best employees constantly hunger for new growth and development opportunities. Show prospective hires the potential heights they can reach at your organization. First, your business has to have a growth mindset that promotes loyal employees and empowers them to step into exciting new roles. Then you need to present prospective employees with challenging, rewarding projects and responsibilities and show examples of how those who’ve come before them have succeeded. Annual reviews and raises are a start, but you should also explain how a job at your business will improve your If you already offer a legitimately competitive salary, an expansive benefits package, and a good work environment with opportunities for growth, the only challenge left is to get on your ideal candidate’s radar. One of the best ways to do this is to implement an employee referral program. Ask your team if they know anyone who’d fit the empty role. If you end up hiring their prospect and they stay on the team for, say, six months, then reward the referrer. Cash, PTO, and other benefits will encourage your loyal employees to bring in their skilled friends. How to Draw the Best New Hires in a Record-Breaking Labor Market 3 Strategies for Success prospect’s skills, career, and life. 3. GET THEM IN THE DOOR.

Finding good employees has always been hard, but in the economic environment of 2019, it can feel downright impossible. At the end of 2018, U.S. unemployment was the lowest it had been since 1969. For months, unfilled jobs outweighed the number of people seeking employment. In a market where job seekers have the pick of the litter, employers face stiff competition when courting prospects. Here are three strategies to draw in top performers and keep them. 1. PAY MORE. Excellent benefits, fancy perks, and flexible hours are important items on any job seeker’s checklist, but virtually every prospect’s top priority is adequate pay. Workers today have unprecedented bargaining power, and yet, according to ADP, small businesses with fewer than 50 employees boosted wages only a little over 3 percent last year, an amount quickly swallowed up by inflation and increasingly steep living costs. There’s just no way around it. To attract top-tier talent, competitive compensation is paramount, especially in 2019.

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Strategies You Need to Try in 2019 Creating a successful marketing campaign requires foresight and adaptability—especially these days. Technology and consumer habits are rapidly changing, and using what worked in 2018 won’t necessarily be the right move in 2019. To help you determine your strategy for the coming year, here are a few rising marketing trends worth your consideration. A New Year in Digital Marketing

MARKET WITH A TRUSTED SOURCE eMarketer found that 30 percent of internet users have ad-blocking software installed on their devices, meaning that a big chunk of your audience will never see your online ads. But even users who do see online ads often don’t trust them. A 2015 Nielsen study found that consumers are far more likely to choose a company to do business with based on word of mouth, branded or editorial sites, and reviews. When planning your digital marketing strategy, learn how to incorporate these trusted sources in order to get your brand out there. OPTIMIZE FOR VOICE SEARCH How are you ranking on voice search? Asking Siri or Alexa to find something online brings

up fewer results than searching through a web browser. ComScore estimated that half of all online research will be done through voice search by 2020, which means that if your website isn’t voice-search friendly, half of your audience may never hear about you. Hubspot has some advice on optimizing your website SEO for voice search at Blog.hubspot.com/ marketing/how-to-optimize-for-voice-search. SAY HELLO TO CHATBOTS We didn’t listen when science-fiction movies warned us, and now AI is taking over the world. But maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Programs like chatbots have become more sophisticated and are being hailed as the future of lead generation. Deployed on websites,

through Facebook messenger, or even via text message, chatbots can answer common questions and shepherd visitors through your digital funnel. Start learning the basics about chatbots at Bit.ly/ChatBotMagazine. Technology continues to evolve and is constantly affecting the business world in new ways. As a result, it’s shaping up to be an interesting year in marketing. Keep an eye out for opportunities to incorporate these trends into your marketing strategy.

Take a Break!

PEANUT BUTTER AND BERRY FRENCHTOAST Ingredients

• • • • •

8 slices brioche, 1/2-inch thick 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

• • • • •

2 cups cornflakes

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 large eggs

2 cups mixed berries

1/8 cup heavy cream 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Powdered sugar, to sprinkle Maple syrup, for serving

Directions

1. On a large baking sheet lined with wax paper, place 4 slices of brioche and spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on each. Cover with remaining slices, creating sandwiches. 2. In a pie plate, beat eggs with cream and vanilla. In another, coarsely crush the cornflakes. 3. Lightly soak sandwiches in the egg mixture, then dredge in cornflakes, pressing to adhere. Return to baking sheet. 4. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Once melted and up to temperature, add sandwiches, cooking on one side until golden and crisp, about 2–3 minutes. 5. Return sandwiches to baking sheet, add remaining butter, and repeat on other side. 6. Top sandwiches with berries, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve with maple syrup.

Solution on page 4

Inspired by Delish

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Alexander Abramson

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AlexanderAbramson.com info@alexanderabramson.com

Inside This Issue

From the Desk of Ed Alexander PAGE 1 3 Resolutions Every Business Should Make in 2019 PAGE 1 3 Essential Strategies to Court New Hires in 2019 PAGE 2 3 Marketing Trends to Watch in 2019 PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Peanut Butter and Berry French Toast PAGE 3 Watch Out for Rogue Champagne Corks This Year PAGE 4 For many people, preparing for the New Year’s countdown is the most exhilarating part of the holiday season. You tune your TV to the Times Square ball drop, hand out party hats, confetti, and noisemakers, and meticulously line up some champagne flutes. What’s left to do? Pop open the champagne! There are many partiers who pop the cork with enthusiastic and careless abandon, while others point the bottle away from their faces and anxiously twist the cork until they hear those bubbles surge to the surface. Turns out, while the latter practice may be slightly less fun, it’s certainly the safer approach. On April 8, 1978, Charles J. Murray was injured when a natural cork stopper spontaneously ejected from a bottle of previously unopened Almaden Blanc de Blancs champagne and struck him in the left eye. He was preparing to serve the bubbly to a party of 40 people, so he

PUTTING THE ‘PAIN’ IN CHAMPAGNE Spontaneously Ejecting Cork Causes Lawsuit

AFTER THE WIRE HOOD REMOVAL. TO PROTECT AGAINST INJURY TO FACE AND EYES, POINT AWAY FROM SELF AND OTHERS WHEN OPENING.” When it comes to bubbly-induced mayhem, the greatest potential trouble lies in the eye of the beholder — literally. With an estimated velocity of 60 miles per hour, uncontrolled

placed 12 bottles on a rolling cart and removed the foil and wire retainer from three or four bottles — including the one that eventually injured him. Once he started to roll the cart toward the guests, the cork shot out of the bottle all on its own. Due to the severity of his injury, Murray sued Almaden Vineyards, Inc., National Distillers and Chemical Corporation, and Carbo, Inc., alleging that they were responsible because they failed to include a proper warning label on the bottle. The defendants, however, argued that the cork stopper did not and could not spontaneously eject unless Murray had handled the bottle improperly. The case was argued by both sides for two years, but eventually, Murray won. Almaden Vineyards now prints the following on its bottles: “WARNING: THIS BOTTLE IS UNDER PRESSURE. THE STOPPER WILL EJECT SOON

corks do in fact fly faster than the blink of an eye. To avoid having to explain a not-so-fashionable eye patch at work on Monday, handle those fizzy drinks with care.

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Published by The Newsletter Pro • www.NewsletterPro.com

OFF THE PRESS

EVERY YEAR, ENTREPRENEURS AND BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS START BUSINESSES IN THE HOPES OF TAKING PART IN THE AMERICAN DREAM.

But according to a 2016 SBA study, 50% of those startups will fail within 5 years, and about 90% will fail within 10 years. But you don’t need to start a business to be a business owner! Buying a business can bring the same financial and personal benefits, and it can also be less risky. The same SBA study found a 90–95% likelihood that the buyer of a successful existing business will be in business after 5 years.

If you want to be your own boss, secure your financial future, and build wealth for your family, buying a business is a smarter alternative to the traditional startup. This book shows you why buying a business is the better path to business ownership. You’ll discover how to avoid the headaches and heartaches of a startup and still achieve the financial and personal benefits of business ownership.

WE ARE GIVING AWAY 10 FREE ADVANCE COPIES of “The Guide to Buying a Business,” which is chock-full of a legal insider’s secrets to buying and running a successful business.

To claim your free copy now, call 407.649.7777 or go to bit.ly/bizbuyingsecrets!

“‘The Guide to Buying a Business’ is a must-read for anyone considering owning a business. Ed Alexander shares tips and lessons learned over years of actual experience in guiding entrepreneurs to success. His step-by-step approach and legal definitions alone will bring clarity to even the most complicated transactions.” –Jennifer Barrows Business Development Executive WithumSmith+Brown, PC

INSIDE YOU’LL LEARN:

The benefits of buying a business Why understanding the buying process is vital to a successful purchase The importance of finding a business that’s right for you Tips for selecting and working with business brokers, CPAs, and business attorneys How the purchase structure affects price and the cost to you

Negotiation tactics to keep your purchase on track Why due diligence review is fundamental to your purchase The significance of the purchase contract Why you need a business attorney to help you avoid lurking legal landmines And so much more!

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