• December 14, 2018

The Trail Blazer: Business & Careers

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Business & Careers

Top Story

One industry's efforts to employ veterans

(BPT) - Following military service, many veterans feel overwhelmed by the transition to civilian life and the decision about what’s next. While veterans may feel that it’s challenging to identify civilian jobs that match their skills, there are job opportunities across the country and in their own backyard — they just need help finding them. 

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Recent Headlines

Tuesday 12/04/2018
How to Succeed in Selling Your Business
Posted: December 04, 2018

(NewsUSA) - As a larger proportion of the American population reaches retirement age, the issues of wealth transfer and asset management become even more prominent.

Thursday 11/29/2018
Steal the Show at Your Next Holiday Party
Posted: November 29, 2018

(NewsUSA) - For those who like to wear their holiday spirit front and center, it's the most wonderful time of the year. But it's also the season of charity, so why not feel good by making a fashion statement that's socially conscious as well?

Wednesday 11/28/2018
Junior Achievement Celebrates 100 Years
Posted: November 28, 2018

(NewsUSA) - Ask any young person what they want to be when they grow up and you most likely will get lofty answers, such as a pro-football player or a You Tube star. While admirable, it may be worthwhile to temper these expectations and get kids thinking about a Plan B that incorporates their dreams into the real world.

Thursday 11/15/2018
Bed and Breakfasts Give Travel a Personal Touch
Posted: November 15, 2018

(NewsUSA) - Travelers seeking a personal touch and insider stories would do well to consider staying at a local bed and breakfast (B&B).

Discover how Virginia entrepreneurship changed the world
Updated: November 19, 2018 - 2:33 am

(BPT) - If you really want to go deep and learn how the American tradition of innovation and entrepreneurship came about, there’s no better place to begin than the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Wednesday 11/14/2018
Online Portal Offers Quick and Easy Way to Charter Flights
Posted: November 14, 2018

(NewsUSA) - Savvy travelers recognize the benefits of flying privately, including convenience, comfort, and confidentiality. However, those who do employ private travel are not immune to the hassles of dealing with charter operators, a process that often involves waiting days for a flight confirmation.

Tuesday 11/13/2018
AI Meets Hip Hop in Innovative Music Partnership
Posted: November 13, 2018

(NewsUSA) - DigiTrax Entertainment, a pioneer in the music technology industry, brings its artificial intelligence (AI) expertise to the popular hip-hop segment.

Thursday 11/01/2018
Low-Cost Internet Program Helps Connect Families, Veterans
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(NewsUSA) - Most of us can't imagine life without Internet service at home. We use it every day for news and entertainment, as well as to research healthcare options for our families; to connect with friends and family; to search and apply for jobs, scholarships, or schools; or to shop and save time.

Friday 10/19/2018
Optimism Dips for Small and Mid-Size Business Owners
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(StatePoint) As the backbone of the U.S. economy, the success of small and mid-size businesses is an important economic indicator.

Wednesday 10/17/2018
Bringing digital to brick and mortar: Retailers invest in online services to make shopping more convenient
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(BPT) - Retailers are responding to increased digital competition by bringing a broad array of online conveniences to their stores. One leading membership wholesale club is showcasing its digital transformation by opening its doors to all.

Monday 10/15/2018
Are You a Job-Seeking Veteran? What to Know
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(StatePoint) With the veteran unemployment rate at a record low, many who have served in the military are now in the driver’s seat when it comes to civilian job hunting. This is in part because employers understand that veterans bring a wealth of translatable skills and experience to the workforce, including leadership, teamwork and attention to detail.

3 Reasons Women Should Consider a Career in Small Business
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(StatePoint) Talented, dedicated and ambitious women’s entrepreneurial spirits increasingly are driving the nation forward.

Thursday 10/11/2018
Microsoft Destaca La Innovacion Y La Transformacion Cultural
Updated: November 15, 2018 - 2:36 am

(NewsUSA) - Microsoft se unirá a Hispanicize LA por segundo año consecutivo. El evento, diseñado para creadores de tendencias y creadores de noticias latinos, tendrá lugar en Los ?ngeles del 11 al 13 de octubre, y dos ejecutivos de Microsoft abordarán algunas de las últimas innovaciones e ilustrarán la transformación cultural en Microsoft.

Tuesday 10/09/2018
Is Opening a Franchise Right for You?
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(StatePoint) If you’ve ever considered going into business for yourself, you may have wondered whether opening a franchise is right for you. Learning more about how franchise systems work can help you make an informed decision.

Monday 10/01/2018
Technology Breakthroughs Drive Clean Energy Success
Updated: November 13, 2018 - 2:30 am

(NewsUSA) - Ongoing concerns about reducing carbon emissions and identifying clean energy sources continue to drive demand for clean energy products and support the development of technology that produces them.

Monday 09/24/2018
How Parents Can Achieve Work-Life Balance
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(StatePoint) In the pursuit of having more time to spend with their families, an increasing number of working parents are requesting flexible working options from their employers, suggests new research.

Thursday 09/20/2018
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(NewsUSA) - National Hispanic Heritage Month is here! Microsoft shares inspiring stories about Latinos driven by passion, determination, faith, love - and everything in between. Join the celebration sharing your story using #MicrosoftLatinx and #HispanicHeritageMonth. 

Wednesday 09/19/2018
What Everyone With Disabilities Should Ask Before Accepting a Job Offer
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(StatePoint) October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and a good time to focus on the issue of inclusion in the workplace. With historically low unemployment rates among the general population, those with disabilities may enjoy expanded opportunities, particularly as more employers discover the power of a diverse workforce. But finding the right job fit is important, say experts.

Tuesday 09/11/2018
How This Startup Will Kill The Banner Ad
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(NewsUSA) - It has been 25 years since the first banner ad hit the internet. Yet, while the web has changed nearly every other aspect of our society, the way companies advertise online is still stuck in the stone age.

Wednesday 09/05/2018
Why your restaurant needs its own social mission
Posted: September 05, 2018

(BPT) - If you own or manage a coffee shop, bakery or restaurant, or if you’re thinking about opening one, you may want to consider supporting a social mission. Serving more than food or a cup of coffee can nourish your community and the lives of you and your staff.

A restaurant owner/manager has a lot going on, whether you're opening a new store or managing an existing one. From how to get more people in the door to managing staff schedules to food safety, your job is never done. One thing that often gets overlooked is the value of making a connection and an impact in your local community.

Millennial Marketing recently found that 50 percent of millennials are more willing to make a purchase when their purchase supports a cause. And it’s not just millennials who support social causes. A recent survey conducted by Deloitte of business leaders and HR professionals found that “citizenship and social impact” were rated critical or important by 77 percent of the respondents.

Supporting your community feels good, of course, but it also gives your staff something to be proud of and share with your customers. Small independent restaurants and multi-location operations can produce a significant impact when they focus their time and energy on the organizations that matter most to their teams and communities.

There’s no better feeling than making a difference in your community and in the lives of others. Having a focus, and sticking to it, will help you and your staff get behind a cause and create real change.

Focusing your efforts will pay off

Marketing research firm Toluna recently surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults and found that younger consumers expect more than a donation to charity; they expect brands to have a corporate responsibility platform. It should always feel good to make a donation and help your community, but is there a way to make a bigger impact? Think creatively. Where can you focus your charitable time and efforts? And remember, not all help is necessarily monetary.

You will make a difference — every day

Restaurant owners interact with hundreds of people on a weekly basis. Not only are you in tune with the people who dine in your restaurant, but you’re connected to other business owners and community leaders. Through these connections, you may start to notice a growing community need or a charitable cause that you’d like to support.

Established in 2010, The King’s Kitchen in Charlotte, North Carolina is a public restaurant that uses 100 percent of its profits and proceeds to feed the poor in Charlotte. Minister and restaurant owner Jim Noble also works with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Dream Center on “The Restoration Program,” a five-part training program that helps employ, train and minister to the homeless, poor, troubled youth, rehab graduates and others who need employment. Two passions collided in the mission of The King’s Kitchen — serving food and serving God.

Inspired by a magazine article about The King’s Kitchen, Vicky Ismael and Jim Freeze launched Carroll’s Kitchen in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2016. The nonprofit social enterprise restaurant is creating opportunities for single homeless women by empowering them through job training, life skills and housing. The endeavor has been such a success that Carroll’s Kitchen opened a second location inside Raleigh’s Morgan Street Food Hall in July.

Creating an L3C structure

While The King’s Kitchen and Carroll’s Kitchen are both 501c3 nonprofit establishments, you may decide that an L3C Structure makes more sense for you. Created 10 years ago in response to a growing number of socially responsible companies, the L3C business structure is a hybrid form of a limited liability company (LLC) and a 501c3. In an L3C, or low-profit company, companies can make a profit of 1 to 10 percent, but the profits are secondary to the company’s social purpose. The creation of the L3C structure has helped socially responsible companies secure more private investments, since the profits they do make can go toward investors. Find out more about L3C structures here.

Getting the word out

Choosing a social mission for your restaurant is not about being on trend. Social missions should never be considered as a way to increase publicity or gain more customers. How can you share your social mission with your customers and your community without over-promoting and coming across as insincere? The best way is to share your story. Everyone can appreciate the story behind why you’ve chosen to support a cause. Additionally, try sharing the stories of those you help. Do you have access to share success stories or can you interview those who have been helped through your program? The community members visiting your website and social pages will enjoy seeing that the work you do is making a change. Sharing your story could inspire a spark of hope or motivate someone to reach out for help.

There are hundreds of wonderful charities and causes that need your assistance. As a local restaurant operator, remember that you can make the most impact by exploring the needs of your own neighborhood first.

Whatever your mission and your reason, choosing to concentrate on one mission over many will help you and your business make a greater impact on your community in the long run.

Christopher Sebes has spent his entire career in hospitality management and technology. He received a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management in England and managed hotels and restaurants on three continents, including multi-unit restaurant operations in Europe and the U.S. He created the first Microsoft Windows point-of-sale company, Twenty20 Visual Systems, which he sold to Radiant Systems. He went on to become the CEO of Progressive Software before founding XPIENT in 2004. XPIENT was sold to Heartland Payment Systems in 2015 and he was tapped to become the president of Heartland Commerce, a major player in restaurant and retail management technology. Today Christopher is the president of Xenial Inc., formerly known as Heartland Commerce.

Wednesday 08/29/2018
3 Questions to Ask Before Accepting That Job Offer
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(StatePoint) Many people view their job search as an opportunity to prove their worth to potential employers. Yet, it is important to keep in mind that finding the perfect match goes both ways, and the right job needs to work for you, too – especially in today’s economy where employers need to work hard to make their job offers stand out.

Monday 08/27/2018
New Collar Jobs Redefining Labor Day
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(NewsUSA) - Labor Day originated as a celebration of American workers, but for many Americans it has become a time for barbeques and sales to celebrate the end of summer. What has happened to the support for labor in America when longtime stalwart industries such as the automotive industry are experiencing a skills gap and workforce shortages?

Friday 08/24/2018
Cream of the Crop: CME Group Awards Ag Scholarships at State Fair
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(NewsUSA) - After a year of hard work and preparation, thousands of students participated in this year's agriculture competitions at the Illinois State Fair. These events test students' knowledge through livestock exhibitions, practical competitions and academic tests.

Wednesday 08/22/2018
Savvy Marketers Scrap Ads for Stories
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(NewsUSA) - Marketing a product or service to consumers is arguably a subtle art form - especially these days.

Friday 08/17/2018
3 trends that can stimulate small business growth
Updated: December 14, 2018 - 2:39 am

(BPT) - Small businesses are far more influential than most people may realize.

Thursday 08/16/2018
How to Turn Your Side Hustle Into A Business
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(StatePoint) Whether you’re looking to pick up a side hustle or make the leap into starting your own business, there are many ways to be your own boss.  

Wednesday 08/01/2018
Mid-Size Companies Foresee Growth
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(StatePoint) Growth is in the future for America’s mid-sized businesses, suggests new research, and experts say that this indicates positive things for job seekers and the economy at-large.

Monday 07/30/2018
5 Ways to Blow Your Next Job Interview
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(StatePoint) The unemployment rate in the U.S. is at an all-time low, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics, and many employers are struggling to find skilled workers. To overcome the challenge, companies are connecting with job candidates using emerging technologies, like video interviewing.

Thursday 07/26/2018
Aim for Compliance by Design, Not by Accident
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(NewsUSA) - While a global economy is an advantage for many companies that operate internationally, compliance with the multitude of complex and ever-changing laws and regulations can be a burden to doing business, and the penalties of non-compliance can be severe. This is particularly true when it comes to environmental, health and safety (EHS) laws that can impact everything from public opinion and stock prices to your employees' well-being and safety. As multinational companies are faced with heavy scrutiny by many different governments cracking down on importing and exporting violations, increased regulations and heftier fines, it is clear that businesses need to consider compliance as a key tool for surviving in a global economy.

Monday 07/16/2018
Youth Learn the Dollars and Cents of Agriculture this Fair Season
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(NewsUSA) - For students around the country, summer vacation may be in full swing, but for many, that hasn't kept them from learning - especially those interested in a career in agriculture.

Wednesday 07/11/2018
Crowdfunding Opp Opens Door to Invest in Music Innovation
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(NewsUSA) - DigiTrax Entertainment, Inc., a pioneer in the music technology industry, is offering forward-looking investors a chance to get involved in the future of music.

Wednesday 06/27/2018
Music Innovation Company Scores Spot in Global Competition
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(NewsUSA) - DigiTrax Entertainment, a music technology company pioneering the use of artificial intelligence for the music industry, has taken semi-finalist honors in the Association of Chinese Professionals of Atlanta and US China Innovation Alliance's InnoSTARS competition in Atlanta, Georgia.

Thursday 06/21/2018
3 things your small business should be leasing
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(BPT) - Should I lease or should I buy?

Tuesday 05/22/2018
How to Build Better Relationships to Advance Your Career
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(StatePoint) Looking to get ahead in your career? Whether your goal is to raise your own level of performance, enhance customer engagement, or become a more effective leader, it all starts with bringing out the best in your co-workers, and in yourself, too.

Thursday 05/17/2018
Tips to Create a Resume That Lands You Interviews
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(StatePoint) Have you been applying for jobs and sending your resume out at every opportunity only to be met with total silence? The jobs are out there and you know you are capable, so, what’s the problem?

Wednesday 05/16/2018
New Insights and Resources for Small Businesses
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(StatePoint) Small businesses are critical to powering the national economy. They are also responsible for creating two out of every three new jobs in the country each year, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Wednesday 04/25/2018
7 essential cybersecurity tips all small-business owners should know
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(BPT) - It seems like every quarter there’s a new story about how hackers breached a major company’s cyber-defenses and stole millions of pieces of highly sensitive data. While most of the news coverage goes to data breaches that hit major corporations, small businesses are frequently the target of cyber attacks as well.

Monday 03/19/2018
Corn, soybeans and nuts: Top U.S. exports feed the economy
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:53 am

(BPT) - Politicians spend a lot of time talking about America-first trade deals. Even though the average person may not think about U.S. trade often, it's a key part of the economy — a topic that’s on everyone’s mind.

Tuesday 03/06/2018
Time to Take Charge: Tips for Women to Advance Their Careers
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(StatePoint) As more women feel emboldened to raise their voices and fight for workplace issues that matter most to them -- from equal pay and development opportunities to sexual harassment on the job -- it’s important to both reflect on progress made and recognize there are many more milestones to be attained.

Friday 12/22/2017
How to Help a Coworker With Cancer
Updated: November 09, 2018 - 2:43 am

(StatePoint) If you have a coworker who has been diagnosed with cancer, you may wonder, “what can I do to help?” Before leaping right in, the experts at Cancer and Careers, a non-profit dedicated to supporting people juggling cancer and work, say that it’s important to figure out how to provide the most effective forms of support.