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Servant Leadership for Business Success

Leadership is a hot topic in the business world. Many keynote speakers and books focus on helping leaders learn how to be the best they can be for their teams. My belief is that leaders like myself can learn the most about ourselves and others when we set out to be more servant-like rather than by using our position and/or titles to ‘get our own way.’

Servant leadership is both a leadership philosophy and a set of leadership practices. Traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid.” By comparison, the…


Opportunity is Brewing for Pennsylvania Small Businesses

Small business owners in the restaurant and craft brewing industry have historically approached the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board with one emotion: dread. Fortunately, the modernization of liquor laws in the Commonwealth has created a thriving craft industry centered on the production and sale of alcohol. Small business owners and craft beer, wine, and liquor enthusiasts…rejoice!

Prior to 2016, Pennsylvania’s archaic liquor laws severely limited the ability of small business owners to obtain a liquor license and cash-in on the lucrative spirit industry. With licenses topping out at more than $400,000 in Montgomery County, for example, virtually no “mom & pop”…


What Companies Should Know When Planning a Holiday Party

There are many benefits to hosting a company holiday party. It can build culture, boost morale and allow employees to interact with co-workers and management whom they may not otherwise. It is also a way for the company to show gratitude.

Planning an end of year holiday party is no easy task. Many companies find success creating a committee to plan and execute the holiday gathering. For a company with 100 and more employees, the HR Department should ask for volunteers from every department to help ensure opinions from the various areas of the company are represented when making decisions.

Ideally,…


Why Your Business Needs a Long-Term Benefits Strategy

You know the drill, renewal time rolls around and for many it’s a scramble to re-evaluate the benefit options you’re providing employees. Often times, you don’t even know what new options or emerging strategies are available for your organization. So, with the clock ticking, you start the process of reviewing how to potentially cut costs and make critical decisions that will impact your business and employees.

Starting this process at renewal time is often too late. Instead, your organization needs to develop both short- and long-term strategies to accommodate the ever-changing environment. Without a plan, you may be forced to…


Capital Call Lines 101

A capital call line is a revolving line of credit that a lender provides to a private equity group (PEG). The line of credit is collateralized with a pledge of the right to call and receive capital contributions from the fund’s investors. Advances from the line are primarily used to bridge capital calls and for short-term working capital. To better understand, here is a review of the common terms associated with capital call lines:

  • PEGs are closed-end investment companies that invest in businesses and/or commercial real estate.
  • Investors in PEGs are typically high-net-worth individuals, institutions (such as insurance companies,…

Agricultural Diversification: Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

For hundreds of years, Americans and the world have benefitted from farmers working their land. Over the same centuries, farmers have lived through many boom and bust cycles, dry and wet seasons, and fluctuations in commodity prices and input costs. They’ve had to diversify their income streams by working smarter – not harder. Through it all, the American farmer has learned the validity of the age old lesson of ‘not having all of your eggs in one basket’.

Applying this old adage to their everyday lives, farmers have diversified their income streams in a variety of ways. For example, many…


Protecting Your Business from Social Engineering Fraud

Fraud has been around for thousands of years, probably since the existence of man. As technology continues to advance, thieves are adapting as well. The FBI has identified more than 14,000 U.S. companies that have been plagued by social engineering fraud. This type of attack is on the rise – since January of 2015 incidents have increased more than 1300%.

Thieves use social engineering fraud to attack businesses that send wire transfers on a fairly regular basis, typically targeting CFOs and controllers who pay the bills. The fraudsters will hack into an email server to see who requests these wires…


Is an SBA Loan Right for Your Business?

Are you looking to start a business or is your small business poised for growth? Access to capital is often one of the biggest challenges facing small businesses, however an SBA loan could be the solution.

What is an SBA Loan?  

The Small Business Administration provides a number of financial assistance programs for small businesses that have been designed to meet key financing needs, however, the SBA does not lend the money directly to business owners. Instead it provides a guarantee to banks and lenders for the money they lend to those businesses owners. This guarantee protects the lender’s interests by…


Increase Business Efficiency and Mitigate Fraud

Business owners and their bankers often spend time talking about how to obtain the best loan, interest rates and terms, but it is also important to discuss the fundamentals of running an efficient operation. Cash management services are a key component to improving the cash flow process and they can also be a valuable tool in fraud prevention. Here are a few cash management services to consider that can help increase efficiency and mitigate fraud.

E-services – Online banking services have valuable tools to streamline the payable and receivable process such as Automated Clearing House (ACH) transactions. ACH times are becoming…


What Changes to Obamacare Could Mean for Employee Benefits

In the midst of the national debate surrounding what will happen next with the proposed replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there are some key trends that have emerged regarding the options and strategies that all employers face at benefits renewal time each year.

As the benefits industry braces itself for inevitable changes, there is certainly a feeling of uncertainty. Employers and advisors who embrace change and have strategies that incorporate these emerging trends will be prepared regardless of what happens next. Any employer offering health benefits plans should be aware of these key topics:

American Health Care Act: The…

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