Resource Partner: Accounovation

Don’t Worry About Accounting Ever Again With Accounovation

Good business consultants provide clear-eyed analysis of issues that business owners and staff are often too emotionally invested to recognize. Unfortunately, fewer than half of those consultants can grasp the big picture and develop processes that solve multi-departmental problems. Of that minority, only a tiny percentage of consultants possess the self-confidence and integrity to teach those skills to their clients. Nauman Poonja, CEO of Accounovation, is among that tiny minority. He’s a dedicated problem solver and financial assets are simply the tools of his trade.

Understanding how to use a pair of wire cutters doesn’t make someone an electrician. Understanding which wire to cut and when to cut it makes the difference between success and disaster. Nauman’s extensive background in manufacturing provides him with a unique ability to gauge which elements of the process are absorbing too many assets and which elements could make the best use of additional funding. He intuitively understands where and when to cut.

Unlike many consultants, Nauman possesses a burning desire to work himself out of a job by passing his skills on to his clients and helping them wield financial tools more effectively for themselves. If you’re looking for a good consultant, try the Yellow Pages. If you’re looking for one of those rare consultants genuinely dedicated to your personal success, check out Accounovation.

Garland’s new Bankhead Cultural Arts District features a unique piece of outdoor art. This one-of-a-kind street sign was created by the machining wizards at Kimbrell’s Kustom Machine Shop, a Garland-based DCMA member.

Kimbrell’s is no stranger to local manufacturers. Their team has been pulling rabbits out of its hats for 18 years — in the form of emergency equipment repairs, custom tool and die jobs and premium quality fixturing.

As business owners who value being known for the quality of their work, Scott and Holly have developed lifelong relationships with nearly all of their customers. They’ve also managed to hire top-notch talent like Kayli Henry and Joe Prill, who share their devotion to craftsmanship and innovation.

Located in a 13,000-square-foot shop in the heart of Garland’s manufacturing district, Kimbrell’s combines old-fashioned machining talent with state-of-the-art equipment and services. If your next project needs a touch of magic, they have a seriously robust bag of tricks.

sales@kimbrellskustommachining.com
(214) 227-5633
2921 National Court
Garland, TX 75041

Getting Your Business Ready To Sell: What’s Your Score?

Now, more than ever, it is vital for business owners to make sure their business is ready to go to market.  There are eight drivers that are measured in the due diligence process of an acquisition.  Most owners think their business is attractive, but if they have not done their own analysis of these eight drivers, they may be shocked by the discounted offers they get or possibly none.

At Gardner Wallace we have assessments that are easy and quick to complete.  The assessment scores you in eight drivers that are assessed by potential buyers, investors, or bankers. They also show your score compared to your industry average. By understanding your score, it is easier to improve the areas that your business falls short in. This will help you to target the areas that are most beneficial to your business and the value of your business. Often, owners believe if they grow the revenue, they grow the value of the business. This is not always the case. It should be done by increasing your score in the drivers which increases the value and increases the multiple of EBITDA.

The other area which commonly gets ignored is the wealth gap. The wealth gap is the amount of income needed to remain in your lifestyle. Is the potential value of your business enough for you to live on? Don’t forget taxes and fees!  If it is not, you either need to have saved outside of the business, or you will need to increase the value of your business before selling.  It is important to know well in advance if you are on track for retirement.

One last thing that is overlooked, is a formal written succession and contingency plan. Only 30% of businesses survive the second generation if they have not formalized this. Only 10% survive a third generation without a formal plan. We do not only help formalizing the plan we make sure there are retention strategies for your key employees so that when a business is sold or a transition occurs the next owner is not worried about losing the most important people needed to be around after the transaction. It is very important to de-risk key people leaving new ownership. That brings more cash to the seller. As a seller of your business, you want to be sure the terms of the sale are in your favor.

At Gardner Wallace Financial Solutions, we are a team of advisors that treat every relationship with the care it deserves. We offer holistic and proactive financial services and work with you to understand, work towards, and achieve your goals. We work with business owners to help them mitigate business risks, become more efficient in their business and their personal financial plans, and help them to visualize how to get on track to reach their financial goals.

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. Kestra IS or Kestra AS are not affiliated with Gardner Wallace Financial Solutions. Investor disclosures:   https://www.kestrafinancial.com/disclosures

Robert Gardner, CEPA, CFEd®
Partner, Business Continuation
rgardner@gardnerwallace.com
972-833-2570

Streamlining Manufacturing Payroll and HR: A Revolution in Workforce Management

In the fast-paced world of manufacturing, where precision and efficiency are paramount, a well-structured and organized workforce is essential. However, ensuring that employees are paid properly and that their schedules align with production goals can be a daunting task. This is where innovative payroll and human resources software companies step in, leveraging their expertise to provide tailored solutions that meet the unique needs of manufacturing businesses.

Dominion Payroll is at the forefront of this transformation, collaborating closely with manufacturing clients to understand their day-to-day challenges and crafting software solutions that revolutionize how companies manage their workforce.

Understanding Manufacturing Challenges

Manufacturing companies face many challenges in their day-to-day operations, from maintaining tight production schedules to ensuring employee safety and adherence to labor regulations. Managing a diverse workforce with varying schedules, pay rates, and job roles can be an administrative nightmare without the right tools and strategies in place.

Tailored Solutions

Our approach begins with listening to the unique challenges faced by manufacturing clients. By collaborating closely with these companies, we gain valuable insights into the specific pain points and requirements of the manufacturing sector. We then combine this input with industry expertise to provide cutting-edge software solutions that streamline workforce management.

Some key features of our solutions include:

Efficient Scheduling and Attendance Tracking: The software simplifies the creation and management of employee schedules while also providing robust attendance tracking capabilities. This ensures that the right people are in the right place at the right time, helping manufacturers meet production targets.

Effective Communication: The platform facilitates seamless communication of shift times, productivity goals, and crucial safety information to all employees. This ensures that everyone is on the same page, promoting a safer and more productive work environment.

Overtime Calculation: Calculating overtime rates can be tricky in manufacturing, where employees often earn based on production output. We calculate overtime rates that consider both piece earnings and hours worked, ensuring fair compensation.

The Impact on Manufacturing Companies

Manufacturers that have adopted Dominion Payroll have experienced a significant transformation in their workforce management processes. They have witnessed:

Reduced administrative burden: Automation of tasks related to scheduling, attendance tracking, and payroll calculation has freed up valuable time and resources.

Improved productivity: Clear communication of productivity goals and incentive-based pay structures has motivated employees to enhance their performance.

Enhanced compliance: Accurate integration of labor and production data ensures compliance with labor regulations and union rules.

Better decision-making: Provides real-time insights into workforce performance and production efficiency, allowing for data-driven decisions.

Increased employee satisfaction: Fair and transparent compensation practices within our self-service portal have boosted employee morale and job satisfaction.

As manufacturing continues to evolve, these solutions will play an increasingly critical role in ensuring the success and competitiveness of manufacturing businesses worldwide – to learn more about our solutions contact Casey Stratmeyer, cstratmeyer@dominionpayroll.com.

Manufacturers face multiple challenges when embracing new technologies, from hiring skilled workers to upskilling current workers. The experts at Amatrol provide technical training solutions that can be utilized by manufacturers of any size to train workers in a wide variety of topic areas, from basics like electrical and fluid power to advanced subjects like automation and programming. 

As noted in a recent eCampus News article by Simon Leigh, Senior Manager of Design & Manufacturing Education Strategy at Autodesk, manufacturers everywhere “have embraced digital transformation in the workplace, welcoming in advanced technology, new tools, and greater efficiency” and leading “to the creation of new jobs and opportunities.”

Unfortunately, because of the ongoing skills gap in manufacturing, “the existing workforce isn’t equipped with the skills necessary for these emerging roles.” Where are manufacturers looking to fill these highly-skilled positions? They’re counting on today’s students about to enter the workforce.

This creates a daunting challenge for educators. How do you adequately prepare today’s students with both the foundational knowledge they need and the advanced skills manufacturers so desperately desire? Leigh, whose background includes curriculum development and teaching engineering, believes he has the answer.

He encourages instructors to seize the day with their students:

“The lessons that we teach and the skills that we build with them in this short time are the foundation for their careers and could mean the difference between them getting hired for their dream job or getting passed over for a more experienced worker. At this crucial junction, educators have a powerful opportunity to equip students with real-world skills that they’ll use every day in their jobs. That’s why it is so important for us to understand what the most valuable skills are now, and what they will be in the future.”

Leigh strongly recommends partnering with local industries to learn firsthand what skills are needed now and into the future. Then, educators “must incorporate practical, hands-on learning opportunities for students to fully grasp design for manufacturing skills.” He also encourages instructors to “embrace less reliance on traditional degrees and welcome more specialized certifications developed in partnership with industry.”

Manufacturers must seize the day by partnering with local educational institutions to ensure that the skills they need are being taught. Moreover, they must take responsibility to upskill their current employees so that they can make the most of the new technologies they’re implementing, such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, augmented and virtual reality, and advanced robotics.

While the task of preparing workers for successful careers in manufacturing during a time of digital transformation is a difficult one, manufacturers don’t have to shoulder the burden alone. The experts at Amatrol have been working alongside industry for years to design unique training programs featuring eLearning curriculum and hands-on industrial trainers.

This combination of foundational knowledge and practical, hands-on skills is essential to give learners the edge they need to be successful in a manufacturing career. Moreover, Amatrol offers a wide variety of training programs featuring the latest technologies. For more information about how Amatrol can help you prepare your students for the future of manufacturing, contact an expert at Amatrol today!

As a bank that was built by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, Texas Security Bank has redefined what it means to be a community bank and true business partner. The founders of the Bank, and its leadership, understand the unique needs of business owners — from personalized service and products to online banking capabilities. With a mission to ‘Elevate the Champions of Free Enterprise,’ Texas Security Bank operates specifically with business owners in mind. With decades of banking experience, Texas Security Bank bankers understand that for entrepreneurs, banking is not just about numbers. Being an independently owned and operated bank allows the bankers to provbrensonide a different perspective, which makes the team the type of financial partner its clients trust and rely on. Texas Security Bank works seamlessly with small businesses. The pandemic allowed the Bank to demonstrate its commitment and partnership to business owners throughout the PPP process. Many banks talk about their superior customer service, but the pandemic allowed Texas Security Bank to prove that it is truly a differentiator for their business. The Bank’s true partnership with business owners, paired with its forward-thinking innovation and tools, makes it an example for community banks around the world.

Texas Security Bank values people who seek to learn and improve. We encourage people to invest in their development and take ownership of their careers. This is the person we want on our team and our customer’s team. Texas Security Bank’s commitment to educating its employees and clients separates it from others. Texas Security Bank invests more resources in Business Education for Owner Managed Businesses than other banks. Our focus on continuing education is truly unique and needed. The Bank also provides ongoing education to its bankers on the aspects of running a business, so that they can speak their clients’ language.

“Growth is one of our core values at Texas Security Bank and we foster this through our business education initiatives. It’s important to have a growth mindset, especially as a business owner. Our speaker series and TSB Academy programs are structured to bring foundational, strategic, and functional knowledge in addition to actionable takeaways business owners can use to run better businesses”.  

To learn more about our bank including our continuing education programs visit us online at www.TexasSecurityBank.com, stop by one of our local branches, or give contact me directly.

James Harrod

Associate Director – Garland

469-398-4846 – James.Harrod@TexasSecurityBank.com

Marketing is a critical part of running a successful business. It’s how you communicate to the wider community about your business and create opportunities for them to engage with your products and/or services. But marketing can be tricky. It’s not always clear where to start, which marketing tools to choose or how to know if your marketing efforts are working. Here are five of the biggest marketing-related challenges small business owners face and insights on how to navigate them.

To answer these questions, we reached out to Garland marketing professional Ruben Amesquita to hear his insights on five common challenges for business owners developing their marketing strategies.

Challenge #1: I feel confused between branding and marketing…what’s the difference?

The difference between marketing branding is a common point of uncertainty for many business owners. Both marketing and branding are forms of communication. Marketing and branding work together to:

  • Help the wider community become AWARE that you exist
  • Clearly communicate who you are and what you offer
  • Persuade people to take some kind of action, ideally, to become a customer!

 

Branding and marketing work together. “Branding is how the market perceives your product or business,” explained Ruben. “It is the “outside perception” of who you are and what you do.” The key is to make sure your outside perception and internal reality match. The perceptions and promises you make through your branding should be aligned with who you are and what you offer as a business.

Marketing on the other hand, involves all of the strategic actions you take to get that message out to your target audience. Ruben breaks this down into two stages. “Strategic marketing is crafting the message and the planning side of sending it,” he said. “Tactical marketing is where the rubber meets the road. It is how you get your message out… it can be via a postcard, a radio or tv ad, a newsprint or magazine ad, a billboard, the side of a bus, a social media post, an email or a networking event.”

Challenge #2: Marketing and branding take a lot of time, but outsourcing seems expensive. What should I do?

Download the Marketing Planning Kit

It’s always valuable to leverage the skills of marketing and branding professionals as they are equipped at keeping up with trends, applying best practices and effectively capturing your message and identity. It can be an investment, but doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive; you can always come back later and invest more in your branding and marketing strategies as your business grows. Be sure to interview several before choosing one and select one who has a proven track record of success with a variety of clients.

Challenge #3: How do I market to a specific community like Garland?

If your product or service is Garland-specific, then you’ll want to spend time getting to know your target audience. Spend time where they spend time, conduct surveys and get to know possible competitors at a local level to see how your business could stand out. The more you talk to your target audience, the more clarity you’ll have about how best to introduce them to your business.

Challenge #4: There are so many different marketing tools these days. How do I choose between in-person, paid and organic marketing strategies?

As a constantly evolving field, the marketing industry is constantly experimenting with new tools, technologies and techniques. While this makes marketing exciting and extremely customizable, it can also make it overwhelming to know what best fits your business. For example, how should you choose between digital marketing or more tactical measures like postcards and fliers?

“One is not necessarily better than the other,” advises Ruben. The key is to know your target audience: What are their pain points? How do they make purchasing decisions? Where do they get information about which brands and businesses to trust? The answers to these questions will inform your marketing strategy, including the tools you use.

For example, if you’re trying to reach a younger audience, you’ll probably want to lean more heavily on social media, which might not be the case if you’re trying to reach an older target audience. Once you develop a database of target customers, Ruben explains that the next step is to tailor the message to their needs, choosing the best strategies and methods to do that.

Challenge #5: What’s the best way to use social media?

“Social media is great and should be integral to your marketing strategy,” recommends Ruben. “It can increase your brand exposure, and it allows you to engage with your target audience. This way, you build brand trust and loyalty while developing your personality.”

The key is to know which social media platforms are best for your business and which are most utilized by your target audience. You should answer these questions as part of your branding process. You don’t want to waste time developing a persona on platforms irrelevant to your target audience.

Once you decide which platforms to use, it’s important to develop a personality or style that fits your brand identity and the platform you’ve chosen. Think through everything from the colors and graphics you use to your tone of voice in writing. Lastly, Ruben urges consistency: “The more active you are, the more your audience will be engaged with your brand. If you’re not involved, people will eventually forget about you.” Creating a weekly schedule is the best way to develop a consistent presence.

As a rapidly growing region east of Dallas, Garland is an ideal location for a small business. At the Garland Chamber, we are excited to work with business owners spanning dozens of industries from banking and accounting to beauty salons and restaurants. We believe more entrepreneurship is critical to our city’s long-term success, but we know that opening a small business can be challenging. It can be helpful to have a clear roadmap to follow so your business can succeed.

Here are five essential steps to take to launch your business well.

Step 1: Test your idea and get feedback from your target customer

Many entrepreneurs launch products full of enthusiasm only to realize thousands of dollars and hours later that their intended customer is actually looking for something different. To avoid this, you’ll want to test your idea with individuals who represent your target customer.

This might seem overwhelming or discouraging…what if you hear feedback that requires major changes to your original idea? This is one of the risks of conducting market research, but it’s much better to face those potential changes now than to realize your product is entirely failing to reach your ideal customer down the line.

You can test your idea incrementally by asking friends and family, setting up a booth at a farmer’s market, attending fairs or doing research interviews with folks who fit your customer profile. Take the feedback you collect to incrementally refine your product or service and scale up as your product secures greater and greater market fit.

Step 2: Conduct competitor research

As an entrepreneur, you likely have an interesting product or service to offer the community and you’re understandably convinced that it’s truly amazing. While that may be true, it’s also likely that someone else offers a product or service similar to yours in the same geographic area. Before you invest significant time and money developing your idea and bringing it to market, you’ll want to take some time to investigate what’s already out there that’s similar to what you’re offering.

Download the Small Business Checklist

Depending on your product or service, this could be as simple as running a Google search for your business idea in your city (i.e., “Cinnamon rolls in Garland Texas” or “Dog washing in Garland Texas). Map a map of all the providers in your target area. Make some time to visit these businesses to get a feel for their product or service, their marketing and their clientele. The goal is to be able to identify how exactly your business will stand out from these alternatives.

Starting a business involves a lot of risk including putting yourself out there to compete against similar businesses. There’s no way to eliminate this risk entirely, but with some planning and research, you can put yourself in a position to have good success standing out.

Step 3: Get familiar with city codes, certificate requirements and licensing rules

Early in your business planning process, you’ll want to meet with someone from the Economic Development office to better understand the required processes and procedures. Be sure to ask about the following as they are essential to ensuring your business launches without a hitch:

  1. Pre-submittal meeting
  2. Commercial building permit or certificate of occupancy
  3. Zoning compliance
  4. Parking requirements
  5. Licensing requirements (if relevant)

Step 4: Outline your budget with extreme clarity

The concept of profit sometimes gets a bad rap, but a business that is profitable is one that can exist for a long time. In other words, if you believe your product or service can make life better for the people in your community, then you have a duty to make sure your business can make a profit.

Achieving profitability requires having a clear idea of your revenue and your cost and this requires creating a budget. This is probably the least-glamorous part of starting a new business, but it is simply essential. Many small businesses struggle or fall through the cracks because of large, unpredicted costs.

Avoid this pitfall by conducting a thorough cost analysis and writing down every single operational cost. If you’re not sure how much to budget for, pick up the phone and call business owners in similar fields and ask for their estimates. In fact, informational interviews with other entrepreneurs are a brilliant way to get an idea of costs you might not have known to plan for. Set up your free call with the Chamber and talk to us about our networking opportunities! We love introducing business owners to each other.

Step 5: Develop a brand and marketing strategy

Last, but not least important is having a brand and marketing strategy in place. These tools are important for communicating to the community more about who you are, what you offer and what makes your business worth visiting.

A brand includes aspects such as your logo, color scheme, fonts and motto or catchphrases that you’ll use in advertising. But a good brand is more than aesthetics. A good brand leverages design to tell the story, mission and vision of your business.

A marketing strategy includes the various ways you plan to communicate with target customers about your business. You should package your marketing communications in your brand and utilize various tools like social media, emails and even snail-mail or fliers to get the message out there. Promotions, discounts and special offers should also be part of your marketing strategy as a way to attract new customers, especially at the beginning when fewer people will know about you. Just be sure to budget for these discounts.

Marketing is a big part of running a business and it’s often something outsourced to a professional. If you’re looking for help in this area, reach out to us. Not only do we provide business coaching but we can connect you with a marketing partner in the Garland area.

Starting a new business is easily one of the most exciting undertakings an individual can take on. It has the potential to be extremely challenging but also extremely rewarding. Following these steps will help you have a more informed (and less stressful) beginning to your entrepreneurial adventure.

The Company:

As one of the leading producers of prepared foods and sauces, the Garland Kraft-Heinz plant has been in operation since 1949. With a staff of 1,500, it’s the largest employer in Garland.

About Chris:

After almost a decade of serving as a Naval aircrewman and a rescue swimmer in the Navy, Chris transitioned to the private sector, joining the Heinz company as an Employee Development Coordinator. After 21 years and various roles that took him to every plant in the country, he was promoted to plant manager and moved with his family from Jacksonville, Florida to Plano, Texas.

His new role overseeing a plant with 1,500 employees and a huge production volume was a great fit for someone who prefers to be on the ground moving rather than sitting in a cubicle looking at a computer. He takes daily walks around the factory floor to say hello and speak to every employee. He eventually hopes to memorize everyone’s name.

Currently, one of his biggest challenges at work is reducing turnover by increasing engagement. Part of that strategy has involved designing a new facility with expanded amenities for employees.

Download the DCMA Brochure

The Case:

In 2023, the company began exploring the possibility of expanding its building to make room for expanded production. Chris met with Paul Mayer and Ayako Schuster, Garland’s director of economic development. Together, they’ve been helping Chris navigate the ins and outs of property expansion from the approvals process to advising on signage and the flow of traffic in and out of the company’s large parking lot. They’ve also provided information on utility and tax incentives that might be available.

Value of joining the Chamber:

“The support structure. If I need something I can pick up the phone, call Paul and Liz or any other team member there…and find answers and resources.”

The Business:

CarrollCLEAN specializes in the mixing and production of cleaning products for both domestic and commercial use.

About Peter:

Originally from Canada, Peter moved to Texas about twenty years ago and has been living in Garland since 2021. After various career shifts, in 2018 he acquired CarrollCLEAN and set up his own sanitation product manufacturing and packaging business. The past few years have brought a variety of challenges including supply chain and hiring issues. As a member of the Chamber and the DCMA, Peter has been able to crowdsource ideas from other manufacturers in the same boat. “It makes a difference to talk to other people who are having the same challenges and to swap ideas with them,” he said.

Download the DCMA Brochure

The Case:

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and a growing demand for cleaning products, Peter and his team needed to scale staff up to 270 people within six weeks. Working with the Chamber gave them the resources they needed to spread the word about job openings, access grant funding for training and install health protocols and screening practices in place to keep staff safe.

Value of Joining the Chamber:

“The contacts, the business and personal contacts through the Chamber with other businesses and with government agencies.”

Main Takeaway:

You don’t have to go it alone! Connecting with the Chamber can help you access professionals in similar industries who can help you brainstorm solutions to your biggest challenges.

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