Business Brief is a quick read for sourcing relevant industry information, as well as informative insights to promote and support your success. You may even be amused as founder Libby Seamans, puts a new twist on everyday occurrences in Selling Epiphanies . To subscribe, simply input your name and email address directly below.



Selling Epiphanies

Volume II, Issue 5, May 13, 2013

Full Disclosure in Times of Trouble

It was 3:30 a.m. and someone was banging on our door. A bit dazed and confused, Frank and I went to the front door… no one was there. We peered through the blinds of the window facing the street and saw some commotion around my car, and then saw a SUV drive away. Upon venturing out, my heart sank as I surveyed the damage done to my Lexus IS300.

As the police approached, the driver’s wife also returned to the scene in another vehicle. Their damaged vehicle was in the middle of the road with blinkers flashing. I got all the necessary insurance and contact information, and started the claims process the following morning. Much to my surprise, I learned that the offending driver had not fully disclosed their insurance situation… they had no coverage while using their car for commercial activities (they were throwing papers on a paper route).

Also, my insurance adjuster did not fully disclose that I had to accept salvaged parts when using their recommended preferred repair shop… I discovered this on my own. Fortunately,  I know the law.

As you can imagine, I am frustrated that I am the one dealing with the dishonest practice of “non-disclosure“. My insurance agent, who is an advocate for me, is the only reason I will stay with my current auto insurer… which is a lesson all in itself: your sales force and/or account managers should be advocates for their clients, which by-the-way are your clients!

Regulators today have little patience for organizations who do not fully disclose business practices and procedures to consumers. Deception in any form will catch up with you. You may find yourself under a “Memorandum of Understanding” with the OCC, being fined by a governing agency, or losing customers to competitors… it is not worth it! Don’t compromise stakeholders or shareholders for a momentary gain, be transparent and operate with full disclosure.

By the way, I’m looking for a pre-owned Lexus ISF in excellent condition.


Business Tips… delivering success

2 Online Valuation Tools for Small  Business

By Donna Fuscaldo    |    Published May 10, 2013    |   FOX Business

Selling a business can be hard to do. But add the wrong valuation to the mix,  and it can be nearly impossible. Medium and large-sized businesses have no problem coming up with their worth,  given the legions of investment bankers more than willing to value a company  with IPO potential. But small businesses don’t generate as much interest from  financial gurus, that’s not saying they’re not worthy.

“Very few business owners have any clue what their business is worth even  ones that deal with accountants,” says Nick Gugliuzza, founder and president of  Empire Business Brokers. “They are not in the trenches every day, they don’t  have a historical record of comparables for what businesses actually sold  for.”

As the baby boomers age, small businesses are expected to change hands at a  fast clip. According to Michael Carter, chief executive of, the  Federal Reserve predicts 7.7 million businesses will be bought and sold in the  next ten years, potentially representing $3 trillion in value. Whether it’s a  small physician’s office, or a larger software developer, these businesses will  need to know their value in order to have a successful sale.

“The whole problem facing small businesses is they need to have the Wall  Street knowledge of what it’s worth to sell the business, but can’t afford the  traditional methods,” says Carter.  According to Carter, small companies  often end

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Resources… building on exceptionalism

Want to speak like a true pro? Preparation is one of the keys

Deborah Boswell of Professional Speech Services of Alabama shares tips to prepare better presentations.

I just finished a phone call with a gentleman who owns several businesses. He flatly stated that his speech is the most important tool he has for being successful as a business owner.

I agree. Speech is a broad term. When referring to “speech” many people think of public speaking. Presentation skills are key to your success. There is a great deal of attention placed on “executive presence.” Among the many characteristics identified with executive presence, one of the most important is the ability to present information to any audience with clarity and confidence.

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Knowledge Sharing… having an edge

The first and primary step in developing a High Efficiency Model is changing the corporate mind-set from being “client-centered” to being “employee-centered.” I know this goes against the grain of all that is holy in the business world, but again, I say that if an organization promotes employee exceptionalism and wins employee loyalty first, client loyalty will follow. Exceptional products and processes flow from the ideas and efforts of exceptional people operating in a trusted environment. Of course, it is critical that you hire the right people. No secret there. The secret is how to ensure that you now have, and that you are keeping, the right people. (Chapter 3)

“Knowledge in itself serves no purpose; knowing what to do with what we know and doing it brings the result.” L. Seamans

In The News

This is a long article, but well worth the read.

Comptroller Discusses Changes to Bank Supervision

May 10 – Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry spoke before the 49th Annual Conference on Bank Structure and Competition in Chicago on May 9, 2013. Curry explained the changes being made at the OCC to enhance supervision of large banks. In particular, how does the OCC spot risks? And how does it ensure that it can take action, when needed, in a timely manner? His speech is below.

It is a great pleasure to be with you at this historic moment in banking and bank supervision in the United States. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the National Currency Act, which created the OCC and the national banking system. It also marks the 100th anniversary of the Federal Reserve Act.

Coincidentally, it was 150 years ago on this exact date, May 9, 1863, that the OCC began operations, with a staff consisting of the comptroller, a single deputy and a small cadre of clerks. That was roughly 10 weeks after President Lincoln signed the Currency Act into law — a quick start-up by any standard, especially for a law as ambitious as this one. The new law provided for the first uniform national currency and authorized the first federal banking charter.

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Current News & Events

May, 2013 – Hamrick Discuses FP&A in Banking in FP&A May Edition

Up Close: FP&A in Banking  |  By John Hamrick               

Margin Maintenance

Traditionally, banks derive most of their revenue from their margin, which is the net difference between what they earn on money lent or invested (interest-earning assets) and what they pay for deposits or other sources of funds (interest-bearing liabilities). Therefore, pricing, measuring and projecting that margin is of crucial concern to the financial analyst. Banks price their products to cover their operational costs and expected losses and still provide reasonable profit to the owners. An increasingly competitive market dictates the price, however. To compensate, banks manage their margin more by manipulating the mix and types of assets and liabilities on their balance sheet.

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