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Economic Development Releases Latest County Reports: Community data highlights activity in all 33 counties

The most up-to-date economic information for the State of New Mexico, including all 33 counties, is now available on the Economic Development Department website.

The County Reports project is an initiative by the EDD to offer more comprehensive data about spending, unemployment, and wages to local communities, Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said.

The most recent data covers the last three months of fiscal year 2020 – April, May, and June. The reports are available here.

“We know this first-of-its-kind project has been an asset for legislators and local decision makers as they look at their own communities to see how they need to diversify and grow jobs after the health emergency,” Cabinet Secretary Keyes said. “These reports can provide valuable insights for them as they work with us and all their other partners to rebuild jobs and make their economies stronger.”

Highlights

The newest round of county reports show that in the 4th quarter of 2020:
  • Overall Matched GRT statewide declined 2% in the quarter with food and accommodation seeing a 31% statewide decline in the quarter and arts and entertainment dropping 68%.
  • GRT for retail trade, including some online sales, increased 11% statewide in the quarter.
  • Construction GRT statewide was 28% higher in the quarter.
  • Matched GRT has been strong in the smaller counties with large construction project; Roosevelt (+293%) Luna (+237%), Torrance (+166%) and Sandoval (+157%).

About the Data

Deputy Cabinet Secretary Jon Clark said that the latest information is aggregated from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, N.M. Taxation and Revenue Department, Department of Workforce Solutions, U.S. Census Bureau, and U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Clark explained that the data shows the state might be more resilient than first expected, as consumer spending as shown through gross receipts dipped in many counties the last quarter, but remained more steady over the 12-month fiscal year.

“We know accommodations and food services, as well as arts and entertainment, have really suffered, but construction has remained robust, and not just in the counties with energy production,” Clark said.

In a video interview about the county reports, Clark said there is still a great deal of uncertainty because so much of the consumer and business spending was boosted by emergency federal stimulus to unemployed workers, families, and business owners from U.S. Small Business Administration loans.

The decline in federal stimulus money for the unemployed means $40 million less a week in available spending from state residents. “The reports show that New Mexico can climb back out of the hole and we don’t have to have a deep recession,” Clark said. “But we are going to need a little continuing federal support until businesses can fully reopen.”

Film Industry Thriving in New Mexico

The New Mexico film and television industry is becoming a state favorite. A recent survey by the Garrity Group polled New Mexicans to determine the state’s perception of 17 industries. Film tied with community colleges for #3 most favorable, following the farm and ranch industry at #2 and small business in the #1 spot.

The film industry was included in the survey this year because of its increasing economic impact and the positive exposure it brings to New Mexico. “It provides a sense of pride when we see the state’s natural and unique landscapes featured on the big screen,” says Tom Garrity, president of The Garrity Group Public Relations. “Major studios are now here and film throughout the state will continue to generate intangible benefits for tourism and economic development.”

“The survey shows strong favorability for the film industry across New Mexico because it provides a high-paying career path for local students who want to work in the entertainment industry,” Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said. “It’s also indicative of the support we hear from business owners who receive benefits from in-state production spending on goods and services.”

“I am glad to see support for film and television all across New Mexico,” New Mexico Film Office Director Amber Dodson said. “We have worked hard to bring productions into rural areas and to showcase communities outside the Rio Grande Corridor. This survey shows people everywhere in the state want to see this industry grow and succeed.”
The favorability of the film industry cuts across all demographic groups in New Mexico, but tops out with college graduates, 81 percent of whom gave the industry a 4 or 5 favorability rating on a scale of 1 to 5.
If you’re thinking of becoming a business owner, New Mexico is a cool place to do it. Read about opportunities to buy a business in New Mexico and contact us to learn more!

Golden Age of Business Acquisitions?

Business acquisitions are red hot, and all kinds of businesses are being snapped up.  Some people are under the impression that only large businesses are being acquired, but this is far from the reality of the situation.  It would surprise many to learn that so much of the “action” is, in fact, small businesses buying other small businesses.

In his Forbes article, “Take Advantage of the Golden Age of Business Acquisitions,” author Christopher Hurn explores the true state of the “acquisitions game.”  His conclusions are quite interesting.  In Hurn’s opinion, there has never been a more active time in the realm of business acquisitions.

“While it might be more interesting for media outlets to watch how two multinational pharmaceutical companies, for example, jostle for position during a big-time M&A deal,” Hurn writes, “many acquisitions will be done on Main Street as one small business acquires another.”

If you own a business and are looking to grow, then you may want to consider acquiring a competitor in order to consolidate the market.  As Hurn points out, there are many reasons that you might want to consider acquiring a business in addition to consolidating the market.  These reasons include acquiring a new product or service, acquiring a competitor that has superior technology or even identifying a business that you believe is primed for substantial growth.

Yet, there are other forces at work that are combining to make this moment the “golden age of acquisitions.”  At the top of the list of why now is a good time to investigate acquiring a business is demographics.  According to a 2019 study by Guidant Financial and Lending Club, a whopping 57% of small business owners are over the age of 50.  The California Association of Business Brokers has concluded that over the next 20 years about $10 trillion worth of assets will change hands.  A mind-blowing 12 million businesses could come under new ownership in just the next two decades!  As Hurn phrased it, “The stars are aligning for the Golden Age of business acquisitions.”

This all points to the fact that now is the time to begin understanding what kind of acquisition would best help your business grow.  Hurn believes that turning to the Small Business Administration in this climate of rapid acquisition is a savvy move.

In particular, he points to the 7(a) program and a host of reasons that the SBA can benefit small businesses.  Since the SBA lowered equity injection requirements, it is now possible to finance a staggering 90% of business acquisition deals with loan terms up to 25 years and lower monthly payments.  Additionally, the SBA 7(a) program can be used for a variety of purposes ranging from expanding or purchasing an existing business to refinancing existing business debt.

Hurn truly does have an important insight.  Baby Boomers will retire by the millions, and many of them will be looking to sell their businesses.  With 12 million businesses scheduled to change hands in just the next 20 years, now is a highly unique time not only in the history of acquisitions but also in the history of business.

We understand what is involved in working with the SBA and acquisitions.  A seasoned business broker can point you towards opportunities that you may have never realized existed. Contact us to learn more!

Should You Buy a Turnkey Business?

There are plenty of benefits to purchasing an existing business, but running a successful business can become overwhelming. If you’re considering buying a small business, but don’t know if you have enough time to commit to a significant venture, then a turnkey business model might be the right fit for you. Continue reading to discover if you’re someone who should buy a turnkey service business.

3 People Who Should Consider a Turnkey Service Business

Turnkey opportunities exist in a variety of industries including painting, cleaning, financial services, and more. Even if you’re not an expert in the industry, a true turnkey business provides everything except for staff. That means you can skip the stressful startup and jump right in. If you identify with one of the following characteristics, a turnkey service business might be the right choice for you.

  1. Entrepreneurs Looking for a Side Hustle

    As an entrepreneur, you’re continually seeking ways to earn money in addition to your current commitments. Buying a turnkey business doesn’t typically require you to drop your full-time job, or any other side hustles to be successful. Once you learn how to manage the company, you’re in control of your schedule and your workload.

    Compared to a franchise opportunity, turnkey operations often cost more to purchase initially. However, long-term costs are lower because you aren’t required to pay franchise fees, royalties, and marketing fund fees. Plus, a non-franchise, turnkey business doesn’t obligate you to follow regulations and guidelines when running your new gig. Owning and running your service-based turnkey business on your terms can help you achieve financial freedom.

  2. Seasonal Business Owners

    Whether you own an ice cream shop or a window-washing business, your goal is the same. You aim to make as much as you can during your most lucrative months. Buying an established turnkey service business can supplement your income during both your busy season and off season, creating an opportunity to drastically increase cash flow every year.

    With an established turnkey business, the services provided have already been defined and proven, so your startup phase is minimal. You may even be able to find a company that compliments a business you already own. Not only is this a fantastic way to generate additional income during your off-season, but it also provides more service variety for your existing customer base.

  3. Retirees Seeking a Job with Flexible Hours and Low Commitment

    During retirement, you can appreciate your free time without having any commitments or obligations to attend to. But sometimes, you desire additional activities and responsibilities, or you may want to supplement your savings. Investing in a turnkey business opportunity allows you to create your schedule and work as little or as much as you want. The more you work, the more chances you have to earn money, but a service-based business doesn’t have to require a high level of commitment. If you need a specific day or week off, you can always schedule around your obligations.

If any of the above descriptions make you think that you’re someone who should purchase a turnkey service business,we can help. Look through our listings to find the turnkey business for you or contact us to get started!

The Year to Come?

Heading into 2020, it feels like a good time to share this infographic tweeted by MIT’s Sloan Management Review and created by futurist Amy Webb. Is your business poised to seize the [next] day? This graphic provides an actionable step-by-step guide to forecasting changes in the social, cultural, and economic landscapes that impact your business and preparing to take advantage of them. Obviously no predictive system is perfect, but it can be a helpful exercise to alternate your approach from time to time. Even if you’re not in big tech, it can’t hurt to consider your business’ and clients’ potentially shifting needs with a fresh perspective. Happy New Year and best wishes for a prosperous 2020!

Encouraging Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is a hot topic in workplace research. According to a recent Gallup survey,

“The percentage of ‘engaged’ workers in the U.S. — those who are involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and workplace — is now 34%, tying its highest level since Gallup began reporting the national figure in 2000. The percentage who are ‘actively disengaged’ — workers who have miserable work experiences — is now at its lowest level (13%), making the current ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees 2.6-to-1 — the highest ever in Gallup tracking. The remaining 53% of workers are in the ‘not engaged’ category. They may be generally satisfied but are not cognitively and emotionally connected to their work and workplace; they will usually show up to work and do the minimum required but will quickly leave their company for a slightly better offer.”

While the engagement increase is good news, it’s still quite likely that something like two thirds of your team is not at peak potential.

Does it matter?

Emphatically yes, according to Kevin Kruse, author of Employee Engagement 2.0. In this Forbes article, he presents arguments from 28 studies detailing the positive impacts of employee engagement. Employee engagement correlates positively to improvements in service, sales, quality, safety, retention, and profit and share holder return.

For instance,

A study of 64 organizations revealed that organizations with highly engaged employees achieve twice the annual net income of organizations whose employees lag behind on engagement. (Source: The Impact of Employee Engagement. Kenexa)

Gallup’s research finds that 70% of the variance between engaged and disengaged teams comes down to management and/or leadership. This has some big ramifications if you are a business owner. It’s probably worth your while to seriously consider the culture of your business and how to facilitate a sense of commitment and motivation in your team.

How to go about this?

Purpose emerges in the research as a crucial factor. Employees report far higher levels of engagement when they understand the mission of the company and feel their work advances the cause in a significant way. They also need to feel a pathway exists for them to learn, develop new skills, and advance personal goals. According to Deloitte,

We need to make sure jobs are meaningful, people have the tools and autonomy to succeed, and that we select the right people for the right job. This is anything but a simple undertaking…We each thrive on our ability to contribute to a greater good, and management’s job is to set goals, support people, coach for high performance, and provide feedback to continuously improve.

Training, trust (and the other side of its coin, accountability), team, and work-life balance all contribute to a sense of fulfillment as well.

Leadership strategy expert Brent Gleeson outlines these check point questions that your team should be able to answer positively:

  • I know what is expected of me and my work quality.
  • I have the resources and training to thrive in my role.
  • I have the opportunity to do what I do best – every day.
  • I frequently receive recognition, praise and constructive criticism.
  • I trust my manager and believe they have my best interests in mind.
  • My voice is heard and valued.
  • I clearly understand the mission and purpose and how I contribute to each.
  • I have opportunities to learn and grow both personally and professionally.

Onward and Upward

While valuable, facilitating change in your work culture is not a simple undertaking. Gleeson warns that leaders should be prepared for challenges in trying to cultivate work culture. “Change is hard, takes longer and usually has higher hard and soft costs than managers and leaders generally plan for. Change can be intensely personal for employees, causes fear and can actually reduce productivity when approached improperly,” he says.

But don’t be daunted, especially if you are planning to sell your business at some point. A well-developed team who will support the mission even when ownership conveys is a major selling point.

 

 

Find Work-Life Balance in Albuquerque

More accolades for Albuquerque! The Duke City ranks 11th for work-life balance in American cities. A recently published study compared cities across data representing work intensity, societal/institutional support, and city livability in order to determine where people do—and do not—enjoy well-rounded lifestyles. This is a handy compilation if you’re involved in site selection or debating where to buy a business.

The introduction to the study, by security company Kisi, states,

“We know first-hand how much of a difference it makes to work smarter rather than harder. Whether in or out of the office, we understand the value of time and believe that dedicating too much of it to your job interferes with life outside of work, and vice-versa. To explore this topic further, we conducted a study determining the cities whose residents have the most well-rounded work-life balance, in terms not only of work intensity, but also their livability and the well-being and rights of their inhabitants.”

According to the study, Albuquerque residents work an average of 42.3 hours a week, take 9.4 days of vacation per year, and start work relatively gently around 10 am. Burqueños’ Happiness Score is 90.7 out of 100. Not bad at all!

The top 5 American cities for work-life balance were: San Diego, Portland, San Francisco, Minneapolis, and New York.

The most overworked cities were Washington, DC, Houston, Atlanta, Seattle, and Chicago.

While Abq just missed the top ten for work-life balance (so close!), it’s worth noting the city did make the top ten for affordability in a recent study by Move.org. By comparison, many of the best rated work-life balance cities are in the top five most expensive.

Significantly, Albuquerque’s low cost of living contributes to its also being ranked one of the top five cities in which to build wealth by pay experts Salary.com. This ranking, “based on census data and Salary.com analysis, focused on local salaries, the cost of living, and unemployment. Secondary factors, such as diversity of the local economy, residents’ education, percentage of population below poverty level, and commute time were also measured,” according to CNN Money.

If you’re looking for the right place to buy a business, Albuquerque also offers an extremely supportive policy and economic environment.

“The Southwestern city is witnessing an entrepreneurial renaissance with the help of startup-friendly culture, excellent universities and a great cultural scene for that ever-elusive work-life balance [told ya!]. Albuquerque’s tech scene is so vibrant that even Facebook is setting up an outpost in the area, and the city has seen a nearly 10% increase in average salaries over the last four years. With STEM jobs galore, Albuquerque also earned a spot on our 2018 list of the Top 10 Best Cities for STEM Workers,” Claire Hannum reports for Livability.

Learn more about opportunities and Albuquerque businesses for sale here!

Stories We Tell (About Our Brands)

A recent article at First Round discusses the importance of a good story. Narrative is one of the most relatable ways to communicate your identity and value—as a business, as a leader, as a person—to customers, employees, or investors. That communication establishes connection and builds genuine trust and excitement.

The article goes into lots of juicy detail. Here is quick summary, with some reflections, of key takeaways and actionable tips.

Pass the “Bar Test”

Would someone get your point and pay attention to you if you were telling your story at a bar? Your message should be concise and interesting enough that your audience sustains engagement, even in the face of distraction (be it the temptation to check emails about the next meeting or order another round). Nicole Kahn, formerly Senior Director of IDEO’s Design for Change Studio, says a compelling story should include these key elements:

  • A through-line that connects the dots
  • Anecdotal descriptions that draw the listener into the story
  • Moments of reflection that give your audience cues to linger on a particular thought or feeling

Language like “At this point, we often hear questions like X” or “And here I think Y is so important” can help guide your audience to the points you want them to consider.

Be Persuasive

Persuasion is strongest through clear messaging.

“Because they’ll remember random parts, you want to construct a message that — when sampled at any point — reinforces your argument and remains persuasive,” says product leader for Google Chrome Tyler Odean. “Keep it to the highlight reel and stick to a very short, simple message that you repeat in different ways again and again. When there are fewer things to remember, your audience is more likely to remember what matters.”

The Failure Story

There has been a lot written on the topic of leveraging the power of failure lately. Read more here.

Story as Culture

Molly Graham, former Culture and Employment Branding Manager for Facebook, suggests writing your own story—and sharing it with your team—to focus on what your stand for and reinforcing people’s association between you and those values.

“It can be four sentences or one paragraph or 3 values. But it needs to make it clear what you are and what you aren’t as a company,” says Graham. It also needs to give you language that you can re-use again and again in the press, in hiring, in product announcements, and at all-hands meetings to reinforce what your company is about, who you want to attract, and why you’re doing what you do.

Perspectives on Position

“Brand positioning” tells the story of what you’re building, why, and for whom.  Lean Branding author Laura Busche defines brand as “the unique story that consumers recall when they think of you.” She continues, “This story associates your product with your customers’ personal stories, a particular personality, what you promise to solve, and your position relative to your competitors. All human aspirations are opportunities for brands to build relationships.”

That last line might sound a little intense, but this opportunism need not be calloused. Listening to the stories of customers’ aspirations can help your business sincerely respond to their goals. Storytelling goes both ways. Good listeners make better storytellers because they have learned more about their customers’ (also, just generally human) experience.

Startup adviser Gibson Biddle recommends you gather and compare as many perspectives as possible to “capture and articulate” what others value about your company. Specifically:

  • What is it?
  • How does it improve customers’ lives?
  • What is its personality?

If the team lands on a different set of descriptions than you’d hope, try to answer why. Also try to answer the question, “What word do you want customers to associate with your brand?” Innovative? Healthy? Reliable? Efficient? Whatever it is, consider what your business will have to do over the next ten years in order to “own” that word.

Hero’s Journey

Pixar veteran and Apple Manager Oren Jacob reminds us that great stories have structure—a beginning, middle, and end. “The best meetings are the ones where the [stakeholders] in the room want to take this journey with you. To ensure this, you have to hit all the stops they’re anticipating. Lay out the map for them at the beginning: ‘I am going to talk about engagement; I am going to talk about monetization; I am going to talk about our team and features and potential competitors,’” Jacob says.

ABQ Ranked in Top 10 for Affordable Cities and Cities to Build Wealth

Albuquerque was recently ranked America’s ninth most affordable city by Move.org. The comparison of 75 major U.S. cities considered the following factors:

  • Rent for a 1-bedroom apartment
  • Utilities (electricity, water, etc.)
  • Internet
  • Gasoline
  • Food (groceries plus occasional restaurant meals

Rounding out the top ten were El Paso, TX; Lincoln, NE; Toldeo, OH; Wichita, KS; Louisville, KY; Tulsa, OK; Memphis, TN;  Lexington, KY; Albuquerque, NM; and Mesa, AZ.

The top five most expensive cities were San Francisco, CA; New York, NY; San Jose, CA; Oakland, CA; and Boston, MA.

Significantly, Albuquerque’s low cost of living contributes to its also being ranked one of the top five cities in which to build wealth by pay experts Salary.com.  This ranking, “based on census data and Salary.com analysis, focused on local salaries, the cost of living, and unemployment. Secondary factors, such as diversity of the local economy, residents’ education, percentage of population below poverty level, and commute time were also measured,” according to CNN Money.

Learn about opportunities to buy a business in ABQ here.

(Infographic by Albuquerque Economic Development)

11 Reasons to Do Business in Albuquerque

In more #AlbuquerqueAscending news, economic development and media company Livability lists 11 reasons why ABQ is the perfect place to do business.

“The Southwestern city is witnessing an entrepreneurial renaissance with the help of startup-friendly culture, excellent universities and a great cultural scene for that ever elusive work-life balance. Albuquerque’s tech scene is so vibrant that even Facebook is setting up an outpost in the area, and the city has seen a nearly 10% increase in average salaries over the last four years. With STEM jobs galore, Albuquerque also earned a spot on our 2018 list of the Top 10 Best Cities for STEM Workers,” Claire Hannum reports for Livability.

The list focuses on Abq’s business-friendly and innovative economic, policy, and cultural environments.

1. There’s no shortage of startup incubators.
2. Tech companies love it here.
3. There’s plenty of funding to be found.
4. The city encourages tech innovation that benefits the economy.
5. There are excellent co-working spaces.
6. Albuquerque provides support for female entrepreneurs.
7. You can make your business official in less than a day.
8. You can work from home without losing your mind.
9. The great outdoors are right in your backyard.
10. You’ll never run out of amazing food to try.
11. And you’ll always be able to end your day with a cold beer.

Find out more about great opportunities to join the vibrant community of Albuquerque business owners.

 

Photo Credit: MarbleStreetStudio.com