Alphabet Soup: “W”

The Speaking of Business blog is running a bit behind this month due to my taking some vacation time. This is the first blog of the month, and that means time for Alphabet Soup, the series that takes a letter of the alphabet in turn each month and examines some business concepts, topics, and words that begin with that month’s letter. This month the letter is “W.” As readers have suggested, instead of lightly describing a plethora of words in summary, I will take one and examine it in more detail. I found it difficult to find a single “W” word that would cover a number of business aspects, so have chosen a basic word. The “W” word for the month is “Why?”

“Why” in this case is the adverb, meaning for what? for what reason, cause, or purpose? “Why” is the word many three year old children ask as they try to understand cause and effect. “Why is it dark at night?” is a good example of that. “Why” is the word that adults fail to ask often enough as they become frustrated or repeat bad behaviors. Psychologists and Psychiatrists try to get patients to strengthen their cognitive self-examination skills by asking, “Why do you think that is? Why do you think that happens? and just “Why?” in response to patients describing a problem or issue.  Read more here:

Speaking of Business Blog by Dr. Philip R. Geist, Florida SBDC at UNF

The Best Time to Sell A Business

Yearly there are nearly three quarter of a million small to medium sized businesses that change ownership. They are owner-operated businesses like retail shops, restaurants, gas station, print shops, landscapers, bookkeeping or accounting services or any number of local types of franchises.

Regardless of the type of business that you own, when the business is priced right and properly packaged, there is a buyer. Finding the right buyer and selling the business for the right price and terms takes time, work and lots of planning.  Read more here:

By Kimberly Deas, Murphy Business Brokers & SBRN Member

Employees… Pay, and Benefits

As the economy improves, a number of small businesses have reported not only having employees leave, but that they are having difficulty attracting a replacement. They have asked, “How much do I need to pay to get a good employee?” The glib answer is, “As much as it takes to hire and retain one.” The precise answer is considerably more involved…

The Bureau of Labor Statistics [] states that in 2015 there was a 25.8% average voluntary turnover in employees. They projected that to rise by three to four percent in 2016, and higher in 2017 if the economy continued to improve. Employees will move to another company for a variety of reasons: the job offers better pay or benefits than similar jobs in the area; they are attracted by the corporate culture of the company and want to be part of it; the job offers benefits like a flexible work schedule or an easy commute, that offset pay considerations; or any number of other factors.

Employers must look at the local job market and determine what the competitive factors are. If their company is the only one of its type in the area that requires specific job skills, employees may need to commute elsewhere if they don’t work for you. They will take the cost of that commute in dollars and time into consideration when considering your job offer or determining whether to move on to another company. If, however, other companies in your area employ people with the same skills, you will have to be competitive with pay and benefits in order to attract and retain quality employees. This is especially true if new, larger employers are moving into the area, and offer higher pay and greater benefits.  Read more here:

Speaking of Business Blog by Dr. Philip R. Geist, Area Director, Florida SBDC at UNF

Meet Heather Borders, Registered Dietician and Owner of Kailo Nutrition

With a background in engineering and business, what motivated you to go back to school and change careers to become a Registered Dietitian?  My husband’s cholesterol! It was always very high but several years ago, his total cholesterol finally reached 311 and his triglycerides were 305. He didn’t want to take medicine, so we changed our diet.  His numbers plummeted, revealing how diet can prevent and even reverse conditions that are thought to be primarily due to our genetics, or even fate.

What services does Kailo Nutrition provide?  Kailo Nutrition offers a wide array of nutrition and culinary programs that are engaging and interactive, demonstrating how to make healthy food taste great. As a Registered Dietitian, I offer traditional nutrition counseling for common health issues and weight management. Guided tours of grocery stores, farmers markets, and monthly meal/recipe planning services round out other services clients find helpful as they continue on their health journey.   Partnered with Chef Lisa Franzino, we also offer culinary wellness classes with cooking demonstrations that anyone can do any day of the week. End with a meal tasting of the dishes prepared during the class, exploring new flavors and foods that will move everyone closer to their individual health goals.

What exciting events does Kailo Nutrition have scheduled for the spring?  Spring is already very busy and we are excited to launch some new culinary wellness programs.  Our next culinary wellness class will be the Northeast Florida Plant-Based Culinary Nutrition Course held at High Tide Yoga at Jacksonville Beach every Monday in March!

We are thrilled to launch our Culinary Wellness for Health & Performance Women’s Retreat at the exclusive Stafford House Residence on Cumberland Island to be held May 4-7, 2017. This women’s retreat is an opportunity to relax with island yoga, participate in chef-led culinary workshops, and learn how to fuel your body for optimal health and performance. Disconnect and enjoy delicious, local cuisine over this four-day, three-night island adventure while staying in this exclusive, private residence. The deadline to register is March 17 and attendance is limited to 10 people.  Visit for more information.

Why is there a need for your services?  There is a high prevalence of chronic disease, cancer, and obesity in America, and through a healthier diet and lifestyle changes, these conditions can be prevented, managed or even reversed without medications. Many people are initially hesitant to experiment in the kitchen, but become incredibly creative and adventurous once given the basic tools and know-how. Kailo Nutrition’s mission is to Make Healthy Happen.

How has the SBDC helped you in starting your business?  Cathy has been instrumental in helping me focus on the most pressing needs of starting a business. There are many exciting opportunities and she has helped me choose which ones are best to pursue and which ones are best to table for the moment. The SBDC has connected me with a variety of resources to help my company grow and ensure continued success.

What to look for when selecting a business broker

Leveraging your time when selling your business

A business owner can try to sell their business on their own, but due to the time it takes to find a strong buyer pool and work with each buyer, many savvy business owners choose to hire a business broker.

What professional helps coordinate the sale of a small business?

A business broker is a trained professional in the sale and transfer of small businesses (those under $1M EBITDA and often 100 employees or less).

Merger and Acquisition Specialists work with businesses over $1M EBITDA to find large companies or private equity groups to buy these businesses. These larger businesses look for companies with deep infrastructure and significant management teams.

Small businesses will want to work with a business broker in selling their business.

Who can sell a business?

In the state of Florida, the only requirement to be a business broker is to have a real estate license.

Sadly, the education required to earn a real estate license, does not have any information on selling a business. It is geared mostly to the sale of property and homes, not the sale of businesses.

There are many licensed real estate professionals that are open to “taking a crack” at selling a business. So you will want to take time to interview brokers to find the best fit to sell your business.

What to look for when picking a business broker

Here are some the key items to look for when selecting a professional to sell your business:

  • Trained professional educated in selling businesses– not a part time person looking to make extra money on the side. Ideally, they should have extensive training and hold a Board Certified Intermediary (BCI) certification and be actively taking more classes to educate themselves.
  • A thought leader that is watching the trends and can give you the best advice. They should also leverage technology to use your time efficiently and respond promptly to all requests
  • Complete a full analysis of the financials and look deep into the business to determine a selling price that the market will support and will satisfy you. They should work together with the existing advisors.
  • Have an extensive written marketing plan that includes many strategies to attract the best buyers so that you do not have to settle due to lack of interest. This strategy should include targeting both individual buyers and small business buyers (2 very different approaches), if your business type id a fit for this.
  • Strong networks with accountants, attorneys, bankers, other business brokers and consultants for the broadest reach for buyers. Having a national team to support them will expose your business to more buyers.
  • Actively Lead the buyer through the process beginning with understanding their needs and best-fit businesses; guiding through evaluations and offers on a business; recommending lending; packaging the buyer for the lending and the landlord; and attending all meetings with lender and the landlord. They should leave NOTHING to chance.
  • Higher than 50% selling ratio. You want to make sure they actually sell businesses, not just list them. The national average is 20%.

By taking the time upfront to interview business broker can save yourself many headaches down the down.

By Kimberly Deas, Murphy Business Brokers & SBRN Member

Timing is everything…

As I made a mental note to set my alarm clock an hour earlier than usual for tomorrow in order to have time to drive to an early meeting in another county, it occurred to me that timing is everything in business. There is of course, the adage of, “being in the right place at the right time,” which is useful in finding business opportunities. There are also many other timing events which can be crucial to the success of your business. Here are a few that come to mind:

Access related – You can only make a sale when a customer can connect with your business. Your hours of operation, both clock time and days of the week are important in this regard. I have had several business clients over the years that made a point of being open when their industry or profession usually wasn’t. They encompassed a range of types from dry cleaners open late at night for customers who couldn’t come in until their workday ended, to doctors and veterinarians who had office hours both late in the day and on weekends. They were successful because they found a customer need or niche and filled it. When dealing with millennial clients who want service availability on their terms, having the ability for them to order via the Internet and then pick up their order or have it delivered may be important.  Read more here:

Speaking of Business Blog by Dr. Philip R. Geist, Florida SBDC at UNF

Get to Know Our Client: ClaimMedic, An Experienced Medical Advocate

daniel_mary-7917b claimmediclogoWhat made you think of being a medical billing advocate? After over 25 years in medical practice management I knew that most patients don’t truly understand their medical benefits and what their insurance actually covers. When I became a caregiver for my husband’s parents many years ago I also learned that medical facilities make frequent billing errors that cost patients money. I realized there was a real need for a patient advocate who could simply confusing medical bills to ensure that patient’s never again pay a medical bill that they don’t owe.

Why is there a need for your services? Health Insurance can be extremely confusing and most people, including patients and their caregivers don’t have the time or the desire to learn what is necessary to navigate through the world of medical billing. Because of my extensive experience in medical billing I realized that I could provide a service to help people concentrate on what matters most –  getting well or taking care of their loved ones, not struggling with the burden of medical bills.

Where do you see the industry in 3-5 years? As our population ages more and more the field of patient advocacy will grow tremendously. Patient advocates can help patients and their families navigate the world of health care by meeting the various needs of a patient who requires extensive medical care or attention but may not have the ability or the desire to tackle their situation alone.

What is the hardest part of starting a business? Having the courage to get started. Even if you strongly believe in your company, the fear of leaving a steady paycheck to take a large financial risk can be paralyzing. So paralyzing that many just don’t do it!  

How can patients and caregivers ease the burden of medical debt? Know your insurance benefits and review every bill for errors. All providers of services make mistakes. If you know what should be paid, you’ll be able to determine if indeed it has been paid. The more knowledge you have about your coverage the more likely you are to obtain the benefits you’ve paid for.

How has the SBDC helped you in starting your business? Kevin Monahan and the team at the Florida SBDC at UNF offered a variety of resources that helped educate and prepare me to open my own business. Because I knew this was a risk for my family I wanted to be sure that I did everything I could to prepare and plan before I ever opened for business and the FSBDC has helped me do that.


Mary S. Daniel


The Third Sector Blog is Moving!

We are moving our blog!  Don’t miss out on any of the FSBDC at UNF’s Third Sector blog posts!   
Keep up with us here: /category/non-profits/.

Tony Allegretti to be featured Panelist on Nonprofit Crisis Management September 16th

There are very few certainties among nonprofits, but one thing that’s just as sure as 990 filings is that at some point, some time, your group will face a crisis.  Perhaps a spokesperson or executive said something ill-advised and it got picked up, or maybe a staffer made a mistake.  These things happen to every group, and it is important to have a swift response.

Join Tony Allegretti, executive director of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville and the rest of our panel of experts as we explore nonprofit crisis management in depth.

LeAnn Daddario from Hands On Jacksonville will facilitate this highly anticipated panel on nonprofit crisis management. Besides Tony, the panel of experts includes Shannon Nazworth, executive director of Ability Housing,Cathy Hagan, Area Director, FSBDC at UNF, and Simon Keymer, founder and lead consultant at Keymer, a public and corporate affairs consulting firm.

Tony Allegretti is the executive director of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville champions the appreciation, relevance, and expression of art and culture. Previous to this position, Mr. Allegretti was director of Downtown engagement for JAX Chamber. He has advocated for business and growth Downtown and the urban core for more than a decade. In 2004, Mr. Allegretti won the individual award from the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville for his work establishing the First Wednesday Art Walk with Downtown Vision. He was the founding director of the Riverside Arts Market and created Community First Saturdays Downtown while at JAX Chamber. He is a stakeholder and entrepreneur as well with his partnerships that own Burrito Gallery and Uptown Market. Mr. Allegretti serves on the board of the Downtown Investment Authority, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, the Downtown Marketing Collaborative and Westside Soccer Club.

To register for the FSBDC Nonprofit Conference click HERE.

LeAnn Diddario, to Facilitate Panel on Nonprofit Crisis Management September 16th.

Whether it’s turmoil in the executive suite, a failed fundraising campaign or financial fraud such as embezzlement, every organization hits bumps along the way.

And many of those organizations make it worse with their response (or, more often than not, lack thereof) to a crisis. Join us at the FSBDC Nonprofit Management Conference on Friday September 16th. 
LeAnn Daddario will facilitate this highly anticipated panel on nonprofit crisis management. The panel of experts includes Shannon Nazworth, executive director of Ability Housing, Tony Allegretti, executive director, Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, Cathy Hagan, Area Director, FSBDC at UNF,  and Simon Keymer, founder and lead consultant at Keymer, a public and corporate affairs consulting firm.

LeAnn Daddario is the President and CEO of HandsOn Jacksonville. She joined the team in 2013.  She is a native Floridian and fell in love with the Non-profit sector when she got out of graduate school. LeAnn quickly developed a deep passion for charitable work. She loves promoting service and volunteerism because paying it forward is both one of her personal and professional values.
She is responsible for all operations of the organization including Marketing and Communication, Finance and Administration, Agency Relations, Programs, Project Management and events. She has been employed in the non-profit sector for five years.  Before she joined the non-profit sector she had an extensive career in corporate America.  She holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science and an M.B.A. with a concentration in Sales and Marketing. She is a graduate of Leadership St. Johns, Blueprint for Leadership and is in the current of class of Leadership Jacksonville.  She volunteers her time with the American Fundraising Professionals, Make a Wish, The Players Championship Golf Tournament and the Sheriff’s Training committee.

She and her husband and son call St. Augustine, FL their home.  In her spare time she loves to cook, travel and enjoys many outdoor activities.  Adventure spurs her on and she has been known to jump out of a plane at 12,000 feet just for fun!!

To register for the FSBDC Nonprofit Management Conference click HERE

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