By Senator Blanche Lincoln, Chairwoman, It’s My Business coalition
Solo entrepreneurs — some of whom are independent contractors, others just one-person companies with no employees — make up 77 percent of New Mexico’s businesses, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007 Small Business Survey, and they generate about $4.5 billion in revenue each year.
While at least part of the revenue generated by independent contractors is subject to New Mexico’s gross receipts tax, companies that engage independent contractors are exempt from collecting and paying payroll taxes that would be required if the contractors were classified as employees.
By Joe Justice, Loan Officer, The Loan Fund
Steven Horwath spent his career as a fitness trainer working at Albuquerque-area gyms with highly motivated, competitive athletes. Two years ago, he leased a 3,000 square foot building on San Francisco Road and opened his own gym to cater to this elite crowd. Turning Point Strength and Conditioning provides structured, individualized workouts and state-of-the-art equipment designed to build strength, speed and agility.
Despite his years of expertise and a 40-page business plan, Horwath found a traditional bank unable to lend him $60,000 for his startup. However, the bank’s loan officer referred the aspiring business owner to The Loan Fund, a nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI) that helps business owners and nonprofit organizations throughout New Mexico by providing loans, training and business consulting.
By Finance New Mexico
Sooner or later, an entrepreneur has to know his limits and acknowledge that some tasks can and should be done by others to allow him to focus on the bigger picture. That requires delegation — trusting others, whether subordinates, partners or independent contractors, to complete an assignment as directed.
As obvious as that sounds, an entrepreneur can have a hard time trusting others with his “baby,” ultimately defeating many business objectives and stunting the company’s natural growth.
Many businesses in New Mexico start small, with the owner doing all the work that’s required to get off the ground. Continue reading
By Margaret A. Graham, Attorney, Montgomery & Andrews P.A.
Employment discrimination is toxic for the employer, the perpetrator and the victim. It cripples productivity, creates a hostile work environment and hurts employee morale.
If allowed to continue, it can lead to costly lawsuits and damage a business’s image, reputation and brand.
The best way an employer can avoid being found liable for employment discrimination is to make equal opportunity the company standard — from recruitment to promotions, pay, benefits and training opportunities. Employers should know enough about employment law to recognize discrimination and the potential for discrimination when they see it and to ask for expert help if they are unsure.
By Kathy Keith, Executive Director, Regional Development Corporation
When the 20/20 campaign was conceived in 2011, the Regional Development Corporation of Española aimed to identify at least 20 local businesses as high-growth companies that would double their work forces or revenues by 2020. Organizers anticipated nurturing two to three businesses each year to get to 20 robust companies by the end of the decade.
At a reception on October 24, eight Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Taos businesses shared the honors as the Northern New Mexico 20/20 campaign’s Class of 2013. They join another eight companies honored at last year’s event.
By Jim McCormick, Senior Vice President, Century Bank
One loan isn’t the same as another when borrowing money to build or sustain a business. Bank loan agents act as matchmakers, fitting business owners with the type of credit they need for specific business needs.
Most banks offer a menu of loan options tailored to an entrepreneur’s individual circumstances — his or her credit history, cash flow, collateral, capacity and capital. The loans can be conventional, or they can be guaranteed with backing from the U.S. Small Business Administration if the business would otherwise have a hard time qualifying for a conventional loan and the owner needs more flexible loan terms, such as a longer repayment schedule and less stringent collateral requirements.
The Internet has linked New Mexico businesses with a worldwide web of customers, and it’s also provided a universe of cost-cutting and time-saving tools that are simplifying many aspects of running a business. Better yet, many of these tools are free or affordable.
Many businesses already use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to advertise products, offer discounts and interact with customers. Even critical comments from customers help businesses by pointing out correctable problems with service or products; they’re a cheap form of damage control and quality control. Continue reading
By Justin Hyde, Accion Loan Officer
Hoa Tran Luong and her husband, Vi, were in a relatively enviable position when they approached Accion New Mexico ∙ Arizona ∙ Colorado in 2012 for a loan to expand their Boba Tea Company beyond Albuquerque.
The Luongs had financed their own startup in 2005 using money from another Albuquerque business — Noble Collectibles. Over the next seven years, that first Boba Tea Company location spawned four more stores.
“Boba Tea came to us with strong fundamentals in place for their loan request and a great vision of the next stage of their business’ growth,” said Jordan van Rijn, a senior loan officer at Accion.
By Cindy Wilson, Regional Program Coordinator and Trainer, WESST
Anthony Urquidez sees two types of clients at the Roswell office of WESST, where he is regional manager: the aspiring entrepreneur who walks in the door – almost on a whim – armed with little more than an idea, and the would-be business owner who arrives with a business plan and a clear idea of what she needs, whether it’s a loan or instruction in computer skills or tax preparation.
All are welcome at WESST, which serves small businesses from offices in Roswell, Albuquerque, Farmington, Rio Rancho, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.
The nonprofit small business development and training organization helps clients find loans when traditional lenders have turned them down, and it provides expert advice for people who don’t have the resources to hire a certified public accountant or attorney, Urquidez said.
By Finance New Mexico
Business leaders are a hardy breed, loath to admit trouble and express anything but optimism and confidence. This tough façade is handy when applying for loans, seeking investment capital and competing in the rough and tumble marketplace.
But it’s hard to maintain when customers are drifting away, employees are quitting, cash flow is falling short and a new product is taking too long to reach market. It’s hard to stay externally cool when internal fears wear down nerves and mental stability.