WESST Workshop Helps Businesses Orient to Customers With Disabilities

By Sandy Nelson and Taura Costidis for Finance New Mexico

Disabilities Welcome montageBusiness owners who don’t consider the impact of dollars spent by people with disabilities are missing a market opportunity. Complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) can raise a business’s costs, but the rewards of making a business accessible to members of America’s largest minority community more than compensate for the investment.

More than 58 million Americans live with some type of disability, and that number is expected to grow as the last of the post-World War II baby boomers reaches 65, according to Julie Ballinger, a disability rights consultant affiliated with the Southwest ADA Center — one of 10 ADA centers nationwide. Continue reading

Mind Your NTTCs: Avoid Penalties by Verifying Document Accuracy

By Paul Braverman for Finance New Mexico

In 2009, Gregg Hull was running a shipping company in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, when he got news that would strike fear into the most lion-hearted soul: The New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department would be auditing his finances for the past three years.

In a recent interview, Hull related the surprise he felt when the auditors focused on transactions involving Non-Taxable Transaction Certificates (NTTC). Surprise turned to despair when the audit expanded to six years, and to shock when Hull was told that he owed the state $120,000 in taxes that he had failed to collect. The amount threatened to shutter his business. Continue reading

SWOT Analysis Helps Businesses Plan for Growth

SWOT analysis business strategy management process concept diagram illustration

By Finance New Mexico

A business of any size can analyze its internal strengthens and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats — a process known by its acronym, SWOT — to gain insight into the forces it does and doesn’t control and to set realistic goals.

Strengths and weaknesses are within a company’s control: Strengths give it a competitive edge; weaknesses give rivals an opportunity to gain the upper hand. Opportunities and threats originate outside the company, and a company only can control how to anticipate and react to them: Opportunities are conditions a business can leverage to its benefit, and threats are dangers that are best avoided. Continue reading

Simple Steps Can Keep IT Networks Safe

By Steve Resnick, Owner, Capitol Computer

The information age and rise of the internet have changed the way people live, work and interact. But along with better communication come virus attacks, hijacks and hostile invasions that can make the internet seem more like a war zone than a social and information network.

Savvy business owners can protect their frontlines by acting like commanding officers of their internet armies, ensuring that multiple levels of security are in place to repel and combat enemies.

Protection starts with a good enterprise-grade Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliance — also known as a firewall — as the primary defense against invasion of the business’s network, computers and data. Continue reading

Investment in Knowledge Can Pay Early Dividends

Market intelligence

By Finance New Mexico

Before putting money into a new venture, savvy entrepreneurs make another kind of investment: the dedication of time for market intelligence. They learn everything possible about the market they wish to enter, who’s succeeding or failing in it and what alternative products or services are currently filling the need the entrepreneur aims to meet.

Market intelligence helps predict demand for a product and can lead to changes in the proposed offering or result in a pivot to another market sector. Continue reading

Details Can Be Weighty When Renting Commercial Space

By Finance New Mexico

Renting a commercial space is a move many entrepreneurs postpone as long as they can, because it’s one of the biggest expenses and most consequential commitments a startup or young company faces.

A commercial lease binds landlord and tenant to a variety of promises. A well-executed lease can benefit both parties, but a hasty, vague arrangement can break an embryonic enterprise. Continue reading

Financial Literacy Essential for Business Owners

Carmen Martinez, director, Small Business Development Center at San Juan College

By Carmen Martinez, Director, Small Business Development Center at San Juan College

Business owners don’t need a degree in accounting, but they do need to know how to read basic financial statements and when to ask the accountants who prepare them to explain what they don’t understand.

No one wants to be like the business owner who believed she was making a profit because her checkbook had a positive balance. But even business owners who diligently record financial transactions using basic accounting software don’t always comprehend the reports their CPA generates based on these records.

That means they’re not using the expertise they pay for, and they’re not using the numbers as tools to build their business. Continue reading

Hospitality Disrupter Eyed for State, Local Revenue

AirBnb

By Finance New Mexico

AirBnb is not just another billion-dollar Silicon Valley start-up, although with a market value estimated at $30 billion, the company certainly qualifies. No, AirBnB is a disrupter, a company that has caused a fundamental change in the hospitality industry. And like any change, this one has produced winners and losers.

The winners include almost 3,500 people across New Mexico who have turned their spare bedrooms — and second homes — into a source of income. In Santa Fe, for example, there are nearly 1,000 people renting space. Continue reading

Tax on Out-of-State Business Purchases Aims to Keep New Mexico Competitive

Compensating Tax

By Finance New Mexico

Lots of New Mexico business owners don’t realize they’re required to pay a “compensating tax” for business-related purchases they make on the internet or in a state that doesn’t charge sales tax.

Some know they’re supposed to but they ignore it, assuming the state will never discover the nonpayment.

Most of the time, that’s a safe assumption because the state can’t monitor everything a business does. But it’s risky, nevertheless, because an audit could uncover the nonpayment and this discovery could result in a hefty fine — especially if the business acquires much of its raw materials from out of state, depriving New Mexico of significant tax revenue. Continue reading