Local Buying Gets Boost From Internet Platform

yellCast

By Finance New Mexico

Bill Foster is a digital marketing master. The serial entrepreneur developed keyword and search-engine ad revenue for pioneering companies such as Infoseek and Excite and now wants to use his experience and knowledge to help local businesses compete with national chains and internet behemoths.

Foster is a founder of yellCast, a New Mexico startup that connects buyers with local merchants by providing search-engine results that go a step beyond Yelp, Google and Bing and offer an interactive portal where buyers and sellers communicate directly.  Continue reading

Business Altruism Pays Off Even When Payoff Isn’t the Point

By Finance New Mexico

By Finance New Mexico

For many businesses, philanthropic giving has an element of self-interest: It’s giving with the expectation of getting something back in the form of tax breaks and image building.

But more and more businesses are discovering that unselfish giving has a value that’s immeasurable and that reverberates throughout the community, the workforce and the economy.

Community Quality of Life

Businesses that create and nurture an organizational culture based on gratitude can drive significant change that benefits everyone, not just their customers, especially if they can involve likeminded entrepreneurs. Continue reading

Veterans Get Break on Contract, Vendor Bids

Boots to Business

By Finance New Mexico

Business-savvy veterans already know the benefits of becoming a federal government contractor.

Through initiatives like the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Boots to Business program, active-duty service members who are transitioning from military to civilian life and want to launch or build a business receive training in the basics of being an entrepreneur. And they learn about special low-interest loans, veterans’ preferences and other resources designed to help former military personnel succeed in the business world. Continue reading

Value Stream Mapping Boosts Productivity for Awning Maker

Rader Awning shade sails

Rader Awning shade sails; courtesy Rader Awning

Sometimes it just takes a fresh perspective — and expertise in lean manufacturing — to help a respected manufacturer streamline productivity and increase profitability.

The owners of Rader Awning & Upholstery Inc. requested that type of feedback when their 70-year-old company, New Mexico’s leading supplier of quality custom awnings and shades, faced challenges satisfying growing demand.

The company asked New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) to evaluate its operations and offer ideas for improvement. And the rewards of the collaboration were tangible: Productivity improved by 20 percent per salesperson, production defects decreased by 15 percent and installation corrections dropped by 25 percent. Continue reading

New Mexico Employers Should Plan Now for New Overtime Rules

By Randy S. Bartell and Randi N. Johnson, Montgomery & Andrews, PA, Employment Law Group

flsa-overtime-graphicbyfnmAbout 20,000 salaried “white-collar” employees in New Mexico might be eligible for overtime pay in 2017 when an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) takes effect the last day of this year.

The U.S. Department of Labor in May published its final rule revising the FLSA’s overtime exemption regulations. The most significant change was to the minimum salary levels that salaried employees must be paid to be considered exempt from federal overtime requirements. Continue reading

Multigenerational Workforce Can Be Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

By Finance New Mexico

Multigenerational workforceThe generation gap of the early 21st century is different than the one that led sociologists to coin that term in the 1960s, when young adult baby boomers were advised not to trust anyone over 30.

Today’s workplace might include people in their late teens up to their 70s. Managing that multigenerational mélange presents many of the same challenges as managing a multicultural one, but it also offers a rich resource for businesses that understand the strengths and benefits of diversity and appreciate that every employee, regardless of age, wants to work with others toward a common goal and feel productive and valued. Continue reading

Entrepreneurs Work Together to Get Help From Lab-Affiliated Program

By Finance New Mexico

Greg Scantlen, Chuck Bulow, and Paul Saxe

Left to right: Greg Scantlen, Chuck Bulow, and Paul Saxe

Entrepreneurs Greg Scantlen, Paul Saxe and Chuck Bulow depend on high-speed, sophisticated computers to run their individual businesses. And even though they’re developing different products, the trio decided to apply collectively for free technical assistance from scientists at Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories through the New Mexico Small Business Assistance (NMSBA) program.

Scantlen owns CreativeC, a Los Alamos and Albuquerque company that works with graphic processing units (GPUs) — chips composed of thousands of parallel processing threads that can process multiple calculations simultaneously at computing speeds about 100 times faster than the traditional central processing units (CPU) used by most home computers. Continue reading

Businesses Find Advice at UNM Small Business Institute

By Finance New Mexico

SBI client with UNM Anderson students and UNM professor Dr. Raj Mahto; courtesy UNM Anderson School of Management website

SBI client with UNM Anderson students and UNM professor Dr. Raj Mahto; courtesy UNM Anderson School of Management website

Albuquerque transplant Chris Mayo was 47 when he decided to ditch social work and build his chimney sweep/masonry/handyman sideline into a full-time business. Within a decade, Amrak Enterprises was growing by 30 percent each year and Mayo was paying a subcontractor to help with the workload and aiming to compete with the city’s top chimney-cleaning company.

“I’m 57 years old and need to position myself to either sell the business and be a silent partner or manage a fleet of chimney sweeps,” Mayo told Finance New Mexico. To help him prepare for the future, Mayo took the advice of his friend Dimitri Kapelianis, associate professor of marketing at the University of New Mexico School of Management. Continue reading

New Mexico Angels Welcome Entrepreneurs to Monthly ‘Office Hours’ at WESST

New Mexico Angels President John Chavez at the 2016 Angel Capital Summit in Denver; photo courtesy New Mexico Angels

By Finance New Mexico

The folks at WESST never stop thinking of new ways to help small businesses succeed and thus strengthen New Mexico’s economy.

The 27-year-old nonprofit’s newest partnership is with New Mexico Angels — a 501(c)6 organization that, besides its educational and promotional mission, acts as an intermediary between its members and early stage businesses that present promising investment opportunities.

NMA (www.NMAngels.com) has been around since 1999. Just this year the organization began hosting office hours from 3 to 5 p.m. on the first Monday of each month at the WESST Enterprise Center in Albuquerque so entrepreneurs can seek information and advice about financing and angel investing. Continue reading

Local Manufacturers Empowered by Visual-Workplace Training

Visual Workshop Participant Discussion_First Choice

Left to right: Armando Soto (in Orange sweatshirt) of Relios, Phillip Vanderwall of MARPAC, Kent Dahlinger of Relios and Christina McGrady of La Puerta Originals; photo courtesy Visual Lean Institute

By Finance New Mexico

Armando Soto is a convert to the visual-workplace concept. The director of operational excellence at Albuquerque jewelry-maker Relios Inc. attended a two-day workshop this spring that was sponsored by the New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership. He came away with the tools he needed to put Relios on the path to being a fully functional visual workplace.

The point of visual-workplace training, according to guest speaker Gwendolyn Galsworth, Ph.D., founder of the Visual-Lean Institute, is to “convert the physical (work) environment into a visual one” and “to share vital information about the task at hand at a glance, without speaking a word — in short, to let the workplace speak.” Continue reading