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publication date: Sep 9, 2010
author/source: Mike Henning

August, 2010

The biggest obstacle to change in the family business is the fear of hurting family members' feelings. 
Five Steps to Uncommon Success

      First, champion business owning families have singleness of purpose that penetrates every activity of their lives.  Second, they have formed habits in their lives that have helped achieve their goals.

·         When you have singleness of purpose or a vision statement supported by a mission, strategy and tactics, everything else is embraced or discarded according to whether it moves management in the direction of the goals.

·         Successful business owners have good habits that create good character and that becomes their destiny.  If you can tell me the habits of your business-owning family members, I can tell you what sort of person they are, what type of business they run, and the level of success they are accomplishing.

·         We find the business owners who plan for the futures of their companies, personal lives, future of their marriage and family lives are most successful.  These are the same group of successful business owners whose habits were helping them to become the very best person they could be, and they were acquired intentionally by the effort of discipline.

·         Lastly, we suggest that discipline is the key to freedom.  Freedom to experience life to the fullest.  Freedom to enjoy the business life and to intellectually learn how to conduct and lead a successful business, to emotionally learn more about people who are the heart and soul of business and finally that talking with your God can give you the focus, direction and strength to elevate your business to produce uncommon success over the long-term.

Guessing the Current European Tax Rates

   United Kingdom, Germany, France, Greece, Spain, Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands.  The answer is near the end of this edition of News & Insights.  I remember back in the President Jimmy Carter years my father-in-law used to gripe about the high taxes he had to pay.  This would have been during my high school years, thus I was not really sure what he was talking about.  Today my understanding goes much deeper than I care to know.  In that era my father-in-law paid $.70 cents out of every dollar he earned.  Carter was a one-term president and in many forums rated as the worst president we ever had in the U.S.  Many democrats fear President Obama is heading in the same direction as Carter.  Soon business owners and top management will be hit with 40% plus income taxes and the company itself with group health insurance assessments.  Banks are extremely slow to lend much needed cash to businesses for expansion and growth, primarily because both do not feel confident they will even be in existence in the near future.  Both groups are hunkered down for the long-term and that translates to a continued 9.6% unemployment rate for years to come unless the current administration changes their policies.  Let us know what you think about this serious matter. 

It is surprising how many people go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves, and if you're not comfortable
with yourself, you can't be comfortable with others.    Sydney J. Harris

When You Subsidize Something, You Get More of It

We thought you might be as surprised as we were to discover several facts about extended unemployment benefits shared by Michael Tanner of the CATO Institute.   

· The extension of unemployment benefits lengthens the average stretch of unemployment by three weeks plus.

·  Roughly a third of those unemployed in the United States find work within one week of their benefits expiring.

· Government benefits crowd out private charity such as the hundreds of mutual aid societies and private charities,  yet neighbors know who needs a helping hand versus those who need a kick in the pants. 

  · A 2005 study in the Journal of Public Economics found that: Church spending fell by 30% in response to the New Deal.

·  Singapore and Hong Kong, offer no unemployment insurance, yet they are great places to find work.  Singapore's unemployment rate is just 2.2%.

  Seems to me like the current administration's policies dealing with medium and small banks and businesses has a direct link to the 9.6% unemployment rate in our country. 

One of the many myths about family business is, "what happens to family members outside the business does not influence what happens inside the business." 

Some Markets That Remain Solid in Tough Economic Times...

·  The auto parts aftermarket companies typically do well in poor economic times.  People tend to repair cars and trucks versus looking to buy new ones. 

·  Companies who address the needs of the elderly such as assisted living, Alzheimer's units, nursing homes, etc.

·  Medical supply companies that include distribution, research, manufacturing and sales. 

·  Hospitals and other health care organizations associated with the medical field.

·  Banks and other financial institutions always seem to have available cash for growth and expansion.

·  People need the support of insurance company products to reimburse their care givers, hospitals, etc. 

·  All areas that are funded primarily by our local, state and federal government can be a good source for your service or products.  Of course, the challenges are many. For example, bidding, paperwork galore, rules to follow that don't make sense, begging to get paid, and working with people who don't have a clue as to what you do (or offer) and how it will be an asset to the government agency or entity you are trying to help.

·  Naturally, all the manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, sales organizations, repair networks in the various industries represented above make good customers in tough economic times. 

I'm sure many other great markets exist for the private economic sector, so please email us with your ideas and we will forward them on to other business owners. 

Following are the current tax rates for some European countries: 

United Kingdom - Income tax: 50%, VAT: 17% = 67.5%
Germany - Income tax: 45%, VAT: 19% = 64%
France- Income tax: 40%, VAT: 19.6% = 59.6%
Spain - Income tax: 45%, VAT: 16% = 61%
Sweden - Income tax: 55%, VAT: 25% = 80%
Norway - Income Tax: 54.3%, VAT: 25% = 79.3%
Denmark - Income tax: 58%, VAT: 25% = 83%.

Thank you for reading the August, 2010 issue of Mike Henning's Family Business News & Insights e-newsletter. 

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