Insight News

Aug 31st


Better Business Bureau Offers Tips for Hiring a Professional Organizer

The start of a new year kindles enthusiasm in some homeowners to create a more organized household.  But when it comes time to actually do the work, we realize organization takes more time and patience than most of us have.  We may need the help of a professional organizer. The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) offers advice to homeowners before they hire someone to come into their homes to sort through confidential paperwork and valuables.

“Organizing our homes is an important task and often helps us feel happier in our surroundings,” said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of the BBB.  “But you want to be certain you understand what an organizer does – and doesn’t – do, and how he or she operates before you allow them access to your home.” 

First-of-its-kind business plan for Minneapolis–Saint Paul

Mayor Chris Coleman (Saint Paul) and Mayor R.T. Rybak (Minneapolis), last week, gave a presentation on ‘metropolitan business planning’ in the Twin Cities metro area at the Brookings Institute’s Global Metro Summit in Chicago.

Global Metro Summit is an initiative sponsored by the Brookings Institute’s Metropolitan Policy Program, the London School of Economics, the Alfred Herrhausen Society and Time Magazine to promote efforts across the globe that position metropolitan areas as innovative engines of economic growth.

Rapid growth continues for ALANA firms

Minnesota—now’s time for a new vision—ALANA (African, Latino, Asian, and Native American) capital will make Minnesota a global competitor. These firms are rebuilding the inner city, expanding the high tech corridors and creating jobs and wealth in Minnesota.

Interesting and encouraging trends are revealed in the Economic Census, 2007, on ALANA businesses in Minnesota. For example, during the period 2002–2007, the number of minority owned firms grew 43% compared to 12% for all firms in Minnesota. Blacks own the largest number firms among the minorities, followed by Asians.

Getting your banker to say “yes”

“If you own a business or are thinking of starting one, chances are you will have to deal with a banker. The best way to deal with a banker is to know what they are thinking and what they are wanting,” says Greg Morse, co-author of the book Getting to YES With Your Banker: A Practical Guide for Small Business Owners, published by Mike French, Inc.

Morse, founder and CEO of Worthington National Bank in Tarrant County, Texas, partnered with Ron Sturgeon, Fort Worth commercial property developer, entrepreneur and author, to write this sometimes-humorous, always-helpful guide to obtaining financing for your business.

Public Speaking: You’ll live through it.

Public Speaking:  You’ll live through it.Eat glass, pay taxes, be locked in a box with snakes, or die… these are a few things most people would choose to do rather than speaking in public.  Yet, only the most reclusive of us gets through life without ever giving a toast, running a meeting or making a presentation.  So, why the irrational fear of speaking in front of a crowd?  And how can a person get over it?

Presentation Trainer Olivia Mitchell describes three reasons humans dread the podium: an ancient survival instinct, a personal memory of a botched presentation, and the conscious awareness of what’s at stake.
Survival instincts tell us that if we are separate from the group, we might die.  In giving a speech, we are noticeably outside the group; see, they are all out there staring, and I am alone up here with my laser pointer. 

Making a career comeback

Making a career comebackEvery survey, article and prediction published lately says 2011 will be better than 2010 for business.  This good news means people who have exhausted their unemployment benefits and patience for TV reruns will be returning to work.  If you are among them, plan your career comeback to make it a long-term triumph.

First, choose work you know how to do.  If you are unemployed, your best chances of getting hired and succeeding on the job will be in work you are familiar with – and good at.  It’s like riding a bike… there are some things you never forget how to do.  Whether your strength is sales, administration, vending machine maintenance or something else, your past success will make you confident and effective from day one.

Claim those tax deductions: Social Security numbers for kids

“Now is the time to apply for your child’s Social Security card and number if you want to claim them as dependents on your tax return in 2011,” according to Rhonda Whitenack and Jim Czechowicz, Public Affairs Specialists for Social Security in Minneapolis. 

In most cases, parents request a Social Security number for their child when applying for a birth certificate at the hospital.  However, if you didn’t apply for the number at the hospital, you must apply at a Social Security office* or by mail.   To do so you will need :

•A completed Application For A Social Security Card (Form SS-5);
•Original documents proving your child’s:
•U.S. citizenship;
•Age; and
•Identity; and
•Original documents proving your identity.
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