Nov 142014
 

It was my honor to have the President of the Public Service Commission, Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh, visit our office and discuss with me the greatest challenges Alabama businesses are facing. She also presents the key pieces of legislation that businesses should pay particular attention to that can impact them.

I highly respect President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh and I’m grateful for her dedication to businesses in Alabama and her unwavering principles. I’m sure you will enjoy this interview.

Greg Powell, CIMA
President/CEO
Wealth Consultant

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Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh is called the “Working Commissioner” because she comes to work each day striving to keep Alabama’s utility rates some of the lowest in the nation. She has a three pronged approach to regulating utilities. Twinkle insists on reasonable rates and reliable utilities for consumers, which facilitates recruiting jobs to our Great State. During her term in office she has achieved many accomplishments, some of which include:
Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh

Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh accomplishments

  • Sponsoring and passing a strong Ethics Policy,
  • Demonstrating her commitment to reducing the size of state government by reducing the size of the Commission by about 20% and concentrating the talent within the Agency by creating a stand alone Electricity Division,
  • Saving tax payers money by refusing a state car and all other perks associated with her office,
    Promoting business incentives that help small businesses thrive and encourage development of new businesses in Alabama,
  • Consistently taking the EPA to task on their over-reaching regulations,
    Pushing for time of use rates that allow customers an additional way to achieve savings in their home utility bills,
  • Actively working with Alabama’s farmers to keep their utility costs down,
    Offering encouragement to victims of the devastating storms that occurred in Alabama.

Twinkle brings to the Public Service Commission a diverse background in public service, conservative policy-making, and small business. Twinkle has been active in public service for many years. She served in Governor Riley’s cabinet as Senior Advisor, and also developed extensive experience in dealing with national issues while working for former Congressman Sonny Callahan. A deep-rooted commitment to conservative causes and policy is prevalent throughout Twinkle’s work experience. She worked at the Republican National Committee in Washington, D.C. She served as Executive Director of the Alabama Republican Party, and later became the first female Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party.

Twinkle also served as the State Director of Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE), a national organization promoting lower taxes for American families. At CSE, she worked to push President Bush’s tax cuts through Congress. During her tenure at CSE, she also helped cities and towns across Alabama stop tax increases and fought for tougher tort reform laws. Having owned several small businesses, Twinkle understands the challenges facing small businesses and Alabama families.

Twinkle is a graduate of Auburn University. She and her husband have three children. They are active members of First Baptist Church in Montgomery, and they are involved in numerous community organizations.

Greg Powell is President and CEO of fi-Plan Partners, an independent investment firm in Birmingham, AL, serving clients across the nation through financial planning, wealth management and business consulting. fi-Plan Partners creates strategies in the best interest of their clients using both fee based investing and transactional investing.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.

Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh is not affiliated with LPL Financial.

Oct 232014
 

Howard Finch, Dean of The Brock School of Business at Samford University, joins us today for a special edition of Investors’ Insights. Greg Powell is a Samford graduate from the business school and serves on the Brock School of Business Advisory Board of which he is the former chair.

Staying on the cutting edge at the Brock School of Business

Samford’s business school is currently building a new building which has a live webcam documenting the construction in real time. You can view it here. This new location will bring their academic center to a new level not just for students but also as a resource to the business community. On a recent visit to our office here in Hoover, AL, Dean Finch graciously agreed to an impromptu interview for Investors’ Insights.

Online business education

The business school has recently launched their entire MBA program online making this degree available to business professionals across the country. This online program delivers the same level of education as the classroom on campus. This is good news for the many Samford alumni who now live in other cities, but who still have strong ties to the university.

The future of business education

Dean Finch sees the future of business education and the industry trending towards accounting. This will continue to be a focus of the Brock School of Business along with banking, finance, and entrepreneurship. The hottest new academic program in the business school is Sports Marketing. Led by Dr. Darin White, who has a strong national reputation in this area, this is an depth program that allows business students to apply their knowledge, skills, and perspective in the sports industry. The Brock School of Business has many alumni throughout the nation who work in the billion dollar sports industry, and they are able to provide internships for students in this program.

A resource for professionals

Under the leadership of Dean Finch, The Brock School of Business continues to strengthen the diplomas of every graduate of Samford University. We encourage every Samford alum to be involved with their alma mater and especially with the Brock School of Business. Samford alumni can participate in the Samford Business Network which hosts several networking events each semester around the country and currently in Birmingham, Alabama, Atlanta, Nashville, Washington, DC, Dothan, Alabama, and Montgomery, Alabama. More information on the Samford Business Network can be found here.

You can also connect with The Brock School of Business on the following social media links:

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YoutTube
Future of Business Education

Greg Powell, CIMA
President/CEO
Wealth Consultant
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Greg Powell is President and CEO of fi-Plan Partners, an independent investment firm in Birmingham, AL, serving clients across the nation through financial planning, wealth management and business consulting. fi-Plan Partners creates strategies in the best interest of their clients using both fee based investing and transactional investing.

Howard Finch is not affiliated with LPL Financial.

Oct 162014
 

Dan Danner, President and CEO of the National Federation Of Independent Business (NFIB), is our guest today on our vlog. In this video he talks about various issues facing small businesses and how working with the NFIB help change the business landscape.

Major issues facing small business owners

One of the greatest concerns expressed by small business owners is the uncertainty with taxes, healthcare, and regulators. This makes it very hard for small business owners to calculate the return on their investment. We are seeing the slowest growth in small business in history because of this uncertainty. Most small business owners believe that this will only get worse in the next six months.

The impact of technology on small business

Technology has given the small business owner the ability to compete with a large business. There are businesses with three to five people who are selling world wide on the internet just like a large company.

A proactive business owner

The NFIB encourages small business owners to be proactive in the regulations that are being produced out of Washington D.C. We need more small business owners to write, call and email their political representatives in D.C. and let their voice be heard. Every voice matters as it doesn’t take too many to get a politicians’ attention. The NFIB holds these politicians accountable on their decisions and keeps small business owners informed on what they are doing.

Some politicians don’t believe free enterprise, initiative, and hard work is the answer. Instead, they believe that more government rather than more competition is the solution. That’s why small business owners need to communicate with their politicians.

Small business benefits of working with the NFIB

The NFIB’s mission is to help small businesses in any way they can grow, operate and run their business. They have legal and tax talent to work with business owners along with many other benefits. Business owners can visit the NFIB website here to find out more.

fi-Plan Partners is a proud member of the NFIB and Greg Powell serves on the NFIB Alabama State Board of Directors. We encourage every small business owner to join the NFIB as we believe it can have a tremendous impact on your business.

Greg Powell, CIMA
President/CEO
Wealth Consultant

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Greg Powell is President and CEO of fi-Plan Partners, an independent investment firm in Birmingham, AL, serving clients across the nation through financial planning, wealth management and business consulting. fi-Plan Partners creates strategies in the best interest of their clients using both fee based investing and transactional investing.

Donald A. “Dan” Danner was named president and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business, the nation’s leading small business association, in February, 2009. Danner is only the sixth president in the history of the organization. Read Dan Danner’s bio here.

Dan Danner is not affiliated with LPL Financial.
small business owners

Oct 032014
 

Greg Powell talks with Mike Koenigs about the new and innovative marketing opportunities for small business owners through the power of the internet.

Who is Mike Koenigs?

  • CEO, “Chief Disruptasaurus” and Founder of Traffic Geyser and Instant Customer
  • Bestselling Author: Books on Amazon.com
  • Founder of Instant Customer
  • Creator of “Author Expert Marketing Machines”, “Make, Market Launch IT” and “The Top Gun Consulting Toolkit”
  • His products and services have simplified and automated marketing for over 30,000 small businesses, authors, experts, speakers, coaches and consultants in more than 60 countries

Mike Koenigs
Connect with Mike Koenigs at:
MikeKoenigs.com
MikeKoenigs@gmail.com
TrafficGeyser.com
(858) 412-0858

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Greg Powell, CIMA
President/CEO
Wealth Consultant
Email Greg Powell here

Greg Powell is President and CEO of fi-Plan Partners, an independent investment firm in Birmingham, AL, serving clients across the nation through financial planning, wealth management and business consulting. fi-Plan Partners creates strategies in the best interest of their clients using both fee based investing and transactional investing.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

Mike Koenigs is not affiliated with LPL Financial.

Sep 052014
 

Investors’ Insights Special Edition with Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey

I am very excited to have Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey with us today for a special edition of Investors’ Insights. Lt. Gov. Ivey’s leadership has played a key role in the economic and political environment in Alabama which has impacted business and the local economy.

Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey is from Camden, AL, is an Auburn graduate, and has held many positions in banking. She has been the Alabama State Treasurer, worked in hospital administration, and she is one of only two women who have held the Lt. Governor position in Alabama and the only female Republican to hold the office.

The biggest challenges for Alabama business owners

Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey believes the biggest challenges for Alabama business owners is the overreach of the Obama administration with unnecessary punitive regulations such as the Environmental Protection Agency and ObamaCare. These unnecessary interventions negatively impact the coal and other industries (more in the video).

Apathy is another challenge for business owners. Lt. Gov. Ivey believes that people who are pro businesses are not engaged in politics will make our state weak. You don’t have to be elected to have an impact on politics. There are many appointed positions that need to be filled by people who are qualified in a particular area. She encourages people to let it be known that they would like to be appointed. Business owners can also volunteer in various business groups such as the AL Workforce Council (more in the video).

The Lt. Governor reminded me that we had the opportunity to work together on the Committee to Improve State Government to which I was appointed by Governor Robert Bentley. We worked hard and in six months we put together a plan that has become the foundation for much of the streamlining and right-sizing of state government. It was an honor for me to serve and working with her inspired me to become more involved.

Technology’s impact on business owners

Recently Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey attended the Republican Lt. Governors’ Conference where Newt Gingrich Skyped in to speak to the group. The Former U.S. representative told attendees that most smartphones are more powerful than your computer because of the apps that they use. An app, just like the fi-Plan Partners app, places the user in direct touch with the provider so you don’t have to have a bureaucracy.

Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey discussed two interesting app scenarios. The first was the ability to connect to your doctor on your phone, face to face, tell the doctor your symptoms, and receive a prescription without even having to visit the doctor’s office. This could totally transform the Veterans Affairs Administration structure.

The second was an app called Duolingo. Wherever you are in AL you will find people who don’t speak English. This app gives individuals the ability to learn another language right in the palm of their hand.
Lt. Gov. Ivey believes the iPhone will continue to be a driving force in changing informational technology. This will go a long way in breaking down business and political bureaucracies. Therefore it is very important for business owners to get up to speed on technology and stay current on the changes (more in the video).

Supporting military

Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey is passionately involved in serving as the Chairman of the Military Stability Commission. She finds this to be one of the most personally rewarding appointments as the Lt. Governor. She has worked hard to prevent any attempt to realign our military in the state of Alabama. Alabama is blessed to have four great military installations. Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey believes it is important for every citizen to stay in touch with these military bases and support their efforts in preserving, protecting, and adding to our military missions and bases (more in the video).

I want to personally thank Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey for her leadership, passion, and energy that she brings to our great state. She is very dedicated to engaging the citizens of our state and working with them to to give us a great future.

More information on Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey can be found at http://ltgov.alabama.gov.

Greg Powell, CIMA
President/CEO
Wealth Consultant
Email Greg Powell here

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Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey has no affiliation with LPL Financial.

Greg Powell is President and CEO of fi-Plan Partners, an independent investment firm in Birmingham, AL, serving clients across the nation through financial planning, wealth management and business consulting. fi-Plan Partners creates strategies in the best interest of their clients using both fee based investing and transactional investing.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.

Aug 082014
 

The Future Of The Internet For Business Owners

You can leverage the future of the internet for your business. The future of the internet levels the playing field between you and your biggest competitor but it will require your online marketing to leave the desktop.

Paul Colligan helps others leverage technology to improve themselves and broaden their audience with reduced stress and no dramas. He does this with a lifestyle and business designed to answer the challenges and opportunities of this new economy. If you are looking for titles: Husband, Father, YouTube Expert, Director of Content Marketing for InstantCustomer.com and CEO of PaulColligan.com. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and daughters and enjoys theater, music, great food, and travel.

In this interview Paul Colligan talks with Greg Powell about the future of the internet for your business and what you need to do to leverage it. The internet has become so much bigger than just a laptop or a desk top. Paul discusses how the web is accessible on a much broader range of products than the traditional computer. The internet is truly everywhere.

The future of the internet for your business will require your online marketing to leave the desktop. Internet access is becoming more and more dominated by handheld devices like a smartphone or tablet and even accessed in the most recent car models.

Paul is also an expert on podcasting and believes that this medium of internet marketing is an important for business owners to understand. There are specific steps someone can take to get their own podcast up and running and Paul’s company specializes in teaching this.

Where in social media should businesses be?

Paul recommends that you survey your current customers to find out what platforms are important to them. With Facebook having over a billion users, there is a good chance your customers are on it. YouTube is a site that most people don’t think about as a social media platform. In fact, YouTube has over a billion people using it on a regular basis. YouTube has become the number 2 search engine in the world.

What business owners need to know about Search Engine Optimization

SEO has changed dynamically depending on who you are and where you are when you are using Google. Searching the same phrase or word in different parts of the country will give you different results and your search history will also influence what Google gives you.

Two factors that influence your find-ability online is recency and relevancy. Recency is how recent your content is and relevancy is how relevant your content is. For each search Google is finding what is most recent and what is most relevant. People don’t want news from a year ago, they want it from a minute ago.

Google is also monitoring social media. This means they will give you not the restaurants in your area with the most recent and relevant content but the restaurant with the best reviews from other people and most importantly, reviews from the people I already know. This is where SEO is going for the future.

For businesses this means you don’t win on price or volume, but on being excellent. Google will give you the name of a restaurant with 1,000 good reviews over a restaurant with 1,000 bad reviews. When businesses are excellent, they can compete with their bigger competitors.

If businesses have a social presence, they need to push it in marketing, advertising and special offers (more in the video). This way your customers can reward your business excellence and your SEO will rise.

The future of the internet for your business is a major shift

The next big change is a shift in people’s source of information. The majority of your information content right now comes through cable television, mailboxes, newspapers and radio. In the future the majority of your content will come from the internet. Through this shift, business owners will have the same exact distribution power as your biggest competitor because everybody has access to the internet.

In traditional media, a small business owner has to pay to get on the radio or television, get an article in the newspaper, or have a book in a bookstore. Through the internet, business owners can have their own radio podcast or video show and self publish their own books. Soon all this will be given away for free as mobile companies begin to give internet access for free (more in the video).

The internet is going to go way beyond the desktop computer and it has arrived on our smartphones, cars, refrigerators, televisions, and front doors.

Paul Colligan is not affiliated with LPL Financial.

Greg Powell, CIMA
President/CEO
Wealth Consultant
Email Greg here

Greg Powell is President and CEO of fi-Plan Partners, an independent investment firm in Birmingham, AL, serving clients across the nation through financial planning, wealth management and business consulting. fi-Plan Partners creates strategies in the best interest of their clients using both fee based investing and transactional investing.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.