Route 422 Business Advisor

From the Editor's desk at Route 422 Business Advisor — Relevant news and information of interest to business owners and operators along the Route 422, Route 100 and Route 30 corridors in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Please visit www.422bizmag.com

 

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Benefits and Challenges of AI-Enabled Recruitment Chatbots

As Hureka has successfully delivered AI-enabled recruitment bots, we have an animated discussion on the benefits and scope of these bots for a small business. In this article, we discuss the benefits and challenges of recruitment chatbots and how it can help a small business streamline its hiring process, make it more efficient and improve candidate experience.

Long-Term Care Planning — Why You Can't Afford to Ignore It

Greg Koch's picture

Long-term care planning (or LTC planning for short) isn’t the most exciting topic. But most people can’t afford to ignore it in retirement. It’s the four-ton elephant in the room. "Long-term care is the unsolved problem for so many people," said AARP. Not only the fact that seven out of ten seniors will need some type of LTC, but there’s also the hefty price tag to consider.

What is Long-Term Care?

Should you payoff debt or save more for the future?

The answer is “it depends.” It depends on your goals, income, expenses, stage of life, the interest rate on your debt, the term of the debt, the return you are receiving on your cash in the bank, the return you are receiving from your long term investments and other various factors. Consider that the best case scenario is doing both in order to get ahead financially.

Many Applications for “Chatbot” Automated Assistants

Hureka has built a new app for restaurant owners. Talking with Roopak, I hear the excitement in his voice when we discuss the new chatbot. From many conversations we’ve learned the average restaurant owner is having a tough go of it — miniscule margins, high rent, staff retention, spoilage and numerous challenges to keep the customer engaged and to encourage repeat customers. The new restaurant app can solve these issues. Consider it an automated service executive, with zero downtime which takes milliseconds to answer customer queries.

Starting a Business, What You Need to Consider

If you’re thinking of starting a business, congratulations, as this can be one of the most rewarding experiences you could ever have. However, to have a successful business there are several factors to seriously consider before taking that first step.

You should consider a team of professionals to help your business get started on the right foot.  A good accountant and lawyer are critical in the beginning. 

Here are a few initiatives that you want to get right… from the start.

TAX & ESTATE PLANNING Charitable & Gifting Strategies

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in December 2017 preserved tax benefits associated

with charitable giving to qualified charities. Common charitable organizations include:

❏ Religious - church or other affiliations

❏ Charitable - hospitals, Alzheimer's association, Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, etc..

❏ Education - private high school, college or university

❏ Scientific - medical research, such as the Cancer Research Institute, etc..

❏ Veterans - Wounded Warrior Project, Hope for the Warriors, etc..

What is Sequence of Return Risk?

Greg Koch's picture

Sequence of returns risk can affect your long-term income the most in your early-retirement years. That is the timespan just before and right after you retire. You may have heard of that period called the “retirement red zone,” or generally the 10-year spread prior to and after retirement.

Thinking About Owning or Growing a Business?

Owning or growing a business is certainly challenging. The level of responsibility on the business owner is tremendous, increasing as the business grows. Availability and accessibility are key and absolute critical elements in growth. Hiring employees to help diffuse the pressure by means of delegation brings on its own new set of challenges and difficulties.

How Machine Learning Can Improve Small Business Operations?

One way is real time advertising.  Ads served up on Facebook or the same ad showing up on the next website you visit… because of your search behavior moments ago.

Hurekatek.com recently listed five ways to use chatbots for marketing to assist any business regardless of size. Customer support, digital assistant, research assistant, marketing automation and email marketing were covered because of published research indicating the need for all businesses, large and small, to take some form of action to employ at least one of the methods named.

A Few “Take Homes” After 50 Years in Business

If someone had of asked me 50 years ago, “Why are you going into business for yourself and what do you expect to get out of it?”, I probably would have responded, “ Because I want to be my own boss and I want to control my future.” Fifty years later, I can honestly say, my journey was far more than being my own boss, and the future turned out totally different than I expected. Actually, What I have learned about myself and, what the real meaning of being a “boss” was, totally changed my life.

Change in the Way Americans Interpret the Past

Change is random. One might say that one random event leads to another. Recently something happened that gave me pause, as the Philadelphia Flyers removed the statue of Kate Smith as part of an effort to respond to people outraged that she sang a song in 1931 which had racist lyrics. 

What Does an Exceptional Leader Look Like?

Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” In a Google search I found a Leader defined as “the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.” Abraham Lincoln predicted that our Nation had to abolish slavery in order for our Nation to truly be the “land of the free and the home of the brave,” and he led our Nation to that vision. This was a very bold and challenging undertaking in our Nation’s history. Through his Leadership skills, he helped create and shape the America we know today.

Wave of New Investment Accelerates Pottstown’s Revitalization Process

When the Third Annual Pottstown Investors Conference gets underway at The Hill School on April 12th, presenters and attendees will no doubt be encouraged by the veritable tsunami of recent investment along East High Street in the heart of the downtown, as evidenced by the sale of several dozen properties over the past few years, including seven transactions in the last seven months. And the good news is that multiple investors and investor groups are acquiring these properties for reasons that will ultimately bring enormous benefit to the borough and the downtown.

Your Biggest Security Threat!

By Scott Guinther, I.T. Shield, LLC

Member, Small Business Resource Association

Most business owners today know they need IT security to keep their businesses safe.  Antivirus/malware protection and firewalls are the basic security measures used by most businesses today. But with these necessary and valuable security measures, none of these can prevent the biggest threat to your company — Your People!

“Success Thinking”—It’s All About Attitude

As a small business owner, you’re not just “the boss.” You’re also the leader, the person employees, vendors, customers, and prospects look to for guidance, support, and confidence. And being a leader is easier than you think. It begins with a positive, “can-do” attitude that your business delivers what it promises, and can achieve any goal.

Managing Your Business Website: 7 Things to Consider

At Hureka Technologies, we have served over 50 businesses with new website designs and digital marketing services. Consequently, we understand the challenges business owners face while managing a website. Be it for just maintaining the online presence, or as a key driver in your business’s value delivery cycle, a website makes a huge difference, yet it’s astonishing that over 46 percent of small businesses in the U.S. still don’t have a fully operational website.

New Tax Savings for Your Business

There’s good news if you’ve purchased depreciable property for your business in 2018!

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which has reduced taxes across the board, has several new mechanisms to reduce taxes paid by small businesses that will be applicable for the upcoming tax filing season.

One of these mechanisms is depreciation.

Businesses have always been able to deduct the cost of tangible property placed into service with their business, over the useful life of the property.

RISK MANAGEMENT Insurance Coverage Considerations

Risk management is an important aspect of the financial planning process. As a financial

advisor, it is essential to assess a person’s insurance coverage to determine areas of strength and

areas for improvement. Any person who is not adequately covered with life, disability, medical,

automobile, homeowners and any other appropriate insurance may have a serious risk

management problem. For retirees, an appropriate medicare supplemental plan and possibly a

long-term care policy should be in place.

The Changes in SEO Process in Last 10 Years

The ever-changing SEO landscape has put many well-known SEO experts out of business; making the space only for real marketers who understand customers and combine their SEO knowledge with effective marketing techniques.

But it was a gradual change. For a while, everybody thought Google would never be able to stop the spammy websites from manipulating search engine rankings. Black hat and grey hat techniques were rampant. One by one, algorithm updates were rolled out, changing the entire SEO process over the last decade.

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