Workshops Give Business Owners Financial Foundation

By Damon Scott for Finance New Mexico

Intimidating financialsCustomers, workers, partners and associates have seen it: Business owners with incredible drive and energy who fall into the habit of working harder, not smarter.

This phenomenon may be especially true when applied to understanding business finances. And it can happen to someone who has been in business for 20 years or just two months.

A long-running program at WESST in Albuquerque has sought to change the equation when it comes to the language of business finances, which can be intimidating for both startup entrepreneurs and seasoned business owners. Continue reading

Partnership-Style Loan Helps Cedar Crest Grocer Thrive

By Damon Scott for Finance New Mexico

Triangle Grocery, Cedar Crest, NMThe era of big box retailers and internet giants like Amazon have made it easy to write off local independent businesses. But Rita Riebling, co-owner and managing partner of Triangle Grocery in Cedar Crest, has built a business that local and surrounding communities rely on. Nevertheless, you won’t hear Riebling say that running an independent grocery store is an easy task.

To stay relevant and keep business buzzing, Riebling has worked hard and made strategic moves at opportune times. She recently purchased the building that’s home to Triangle Grocery and bought out her partners so that she and her husband Morey would have controlling interest in the grocery store. Continue reading

Diversity Among Advisors Is Good for Business

By Sandy Nelson for Finance New Mexico

Diverse advisory teamWhether it’s a sole proprietorship or a multinational corporation, every New Mexico business needs an individual or group of people whose job it is to advise the owner or leadership team.

Those advisers might be family members or mentors in the case of a small business, or they might be experienced executives providing a larger company objective, expert feedback and wise direction as members of a formal board of directors.

Big or small, the group of people offering counsel should reflect the business’s stakeholders, most especially its customers. It should be as diverse as its audience. Continue reading

Making Manufacturers: Events Aim to Inspire Next-Generation Workers

By Sandy Nelson for Finance New Mexico

Young people can be hard to impress, but students from Albuquerque’s Academy of Trades and Technology (ATTHS) charter school were visibly stoked by a tour of Rader Awning during 2016 Manufacturing Day events.

ATTHS students during Manufacturing Day 2016 tours at Rader Awning (left, center) and OGB Architectural Millwork; photos Jane Phillips Photography

Before-and-after shots of the 15 ATTHS students who visited the factory where Rader manufactures awnings, shade panels and fabric products illustrate what can happen when young adults get a close look at the world of manufacturing: a transformation from bored detachment to delighted engagement. Continue reading

Employers Have Duty to Stop Employees Who Harass Co-Workers Online

Cyber harassment

By Sandy Nelson for Finance New Mexico

Employers who fail to protect employees from a co-worker’s racist, sexist or otherwise derogatory and defamatory comments on social media platforms can find themselves on the losing end of a workplace harassment lawsuit.

Case law on work-related cyber-harassment is evolving with the popularity of social media as a way for people to connect, communicate and commiserate, but one trend is clear: Courts expect employers to intervene immediately when they learn of workplace disputes spilling over onto social media, and the law increasingly considers online harassment and bullying just as egregious as the kind that happens obliquely or directly in an office or other physical job site. Continue reading

Summer Camp for Job Creators

By Damon Scott for Finance New Mexico

Silver City economic development course 2016 participants

2016 participants; courtesy © Western New Mexico University

The last day of a typical kid’s summer camp is usually reserved for the wacky and fun talent show. Silver City’s adult version, instead, culminates in the presentation of an economic development case study.

The New Mexico Economic Development Course at Western New Mexico University (WNMU) July 23 – 27 in Silver City offers much more than the title suggests. The intensive week involves a series of lectures, workshops, training, activities and instruction — all designed to motivate attendees toward one overarching takeaway: spur job creation in their communities. Continue reading

International Business Opportunities Thrive in New Mexico

By Damon Scott for Finance New Mexico

A road map to exportingInternational trade and export opportunities have been a consistent bright spot in the New Mexico economy. Edward Herrera, director of the Office of International Trade at the New Mexico Economic Development Department, would agree.

The longtime trade expert hopes business owners will take advantage of the services his office offers.  Finance New Mexico asked Herrera what small businesses can do to boost their bottom line through exporting. Continue reading

New Program Helps Small Businesses Prepare to Become Federal Suppliers

By Sandy Nelson for Finance New Mexico

xEnergizeGovernment organizations save money on procurement the same way private companies do — by finding volume discounts on products and services. Such economies of scale benefit the companies that can afford them, and they stretch taxpayer dollars, but they also squeeze out small businesses that don’t have the capacity to complete large, national jobs or work on tight profit margins. Continue reading

Farmington Manufacturer’s Growth Doubles With NM MEP’s Help — and ‘Poka-Yoke’ 

By Damon Scott for Finance New Mexico

Tom Gibbons in his shop

It was a strategy Farmington business owner Tom Gibbons didn’t see coming. Let alone one that would help position him to achieve big results for San Juan Closet Works, his custom closet manufacturing company that specializes in storage and organization solutions for residential and business clients.

The New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NM MEP) used a little Japanese-inspired ingenuity, “poka-yoke,” to help Gibbons not only grow business, but focus on his next goal. “I have a plan to retire in two years,” Gibbons said. “I’ve reached the ceiling for how much work I can do with two people.” Continue reading