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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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.

Retain Clients — Grow Your Business

How much time and money do you spend trying to get new customers? How much time and money do you spend keeping your existing customers? Ray Kroc, founder of McDonalds was quoted as saying “It is much more profitable to sell multiple products to one customer than to sell just one product to many customers.”

What is a 1035 Exchange?

Greg Koch's picture

Do you have a current annuity or insurance policy that doesn’t fit your needs? If you are on the lookout for a new policy, a 1035 exchange may be a good option for you.

How a 1035 Exchange Works

ESTATE PLANNING Part Two - Last Will versus Living Trust

The correct strategy for you last will or living trust depends on your individual

circumstances and objectives. A last will determines how your assets pass to your heirs or others

at your death; whereas, a living trust is created in your lifetime and affects your property during

your lifetime and upon your death. If you establish a living trust, then it is advised that you have

a “pour-over will” for any assets that may not be in trust at the time of death.

A last will generally costs less and is very easily established, but cost should not be a

Recognizing Spatial Separation Resulting in Racial Segregation

There is a spatial separation of minorities in Chester County. Minorities are not evenly distributed throughout the county. The information in this column is from a National Institute of Health (NIH) study which was published and later interpreted in a book by Massey and Denton in 1993. I gleaned the information from that book.

Three Tips for Better Video Conferencing: How to Look Like a Pro

Sitting in front of a webcam for hours a week is now normal (both for business meetings and personal calls, like virtually celebrating someone’s birthday). Making a good impression during a video call is important, which means figuring out how to appear presentable on your colleagues’ laptop screens, and learning the importance of camera angles, a good internet connection, and clear, understandable audio.

Want to master video conferencing? Here are our three tips to help you video call like the professional you are:

Change — The Isolation Blues

Life in America has changed for a while. Now we know how people encountering the black death (Plague) felt.  When in school, we were all freaked out about learning about the Plague; the teacher said to us, "now it is not a problem we have antibiotics." Time is a cure-all, both in memory and in science. 

Change in Habits

Change has hit the world.  The Coronavirus has everyone in hiding. There has been a necessary change in the way we live our lives. All of the challenges and reactions around the virus are certainly dominating the news.  The body counts, and the local effort will no doubt dominate the headlines for the near future, as no sports, no concerts or entertainment events will be happening. 

Recognizing a Cyberattack: Save Your Data by Looking for These Signs

It may not have hit the headlines like the Coronavirus or election season, but the United Nations recently suffered a major security breach. A vulnerability in their system — caused by a failure to patch a known problem! — was exploited by hackers to hit a variety of targets world-wide. What does the fact that the UN is lagging behind on necessary cybersecurity precautions mean for the rest of us?

The Gold Whistle Award

In August of 1963 I entered the Freshman Class at Lock Haven State College to pursue a degree in Health and Physical Education. At Freshman orientation, we were made aware of a prestigious award that was presented each year to the outstanding Male and Female graduating Physical Education Major. This award was based on academic achievement, participation in sports, clubs and extracurricular activities and finally a vote of faculty members and the other PE Majors. It was like the Academy Awards of Physical Education and a lofty goal to culminate four years of a College Education.

Lead Like a GOOSE

There have to be thousands of resources out there on the topic of Leadership. I have accumulated a library of my own and have used them frequently over my 50 years of being in business. However, about 15 years ago my wife and I were browsing through an antique store and I found an old picture frame with a picture of a gaggle of geese flying in formation. Under the picture was an interesting story about why geese fly in formation and I couldn’t help not to see a correlation between their story and a very important, but sometimes overlooked, role of a great leader — Sharing Responsibility.

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.

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