Thursday, December 22, 2016

Trump's Tax Reform bracket, will it benefit small independent booksellers?


It seems a plan on reducing the tax bracket and income tax to 15%. S Corp's and LLC's seem to be the most benefactor from the said plan. 

Through the years, deductions and the like played a big part during tax time. Though reducing the tax bill and more money coming back to an individual and a business helps, it also benefits those having huge corporate profits as well.

The question and reality lies again on the regulations and business climate to operate a small business operation.  Taxes are just a segment of the long list of needs every small independent businesses lived through each day to exist.

"The National Federation of Independent Business, say 45% of business owners consider regulations a very serious business problem today. That is up from 17% in 2001. "

In addition, access to working capital continues to be a major obstacle of a small business owner. This is an area where needed regulations can be futile where the incoming Trump administration can also looked into. 

Per the NFIB November report, "Four percent of owners reported that all their borrowing needs were not satisfied, unchanged from October. Thirty percent reported all credit needs met (up 1 point), and 52 percent explicitly said they did not want a loan, down 1 point. Only 2 percent reported that financing was their top business problem. Thirty-one percent of all owners reported borrowing on a regular basis (up 3 points). The average rate paid on short maturity loans rose 40 basis points to 5.6 percent. Overall, loan demand remains historically weak, owners can’t find many good reasons to borrow and invest, even with abundantly cheap money."

In such operational structures, liquidity and personal cash flow are the main funding sources for COGS - Cost of Goods Sold, etc., especially in the bookselling industry whom had been over the years continues to automate and slowly update their technology systems.

Hopefully the new SBA - Small Business Administration new chief, Linda McMahon and Trump, together, will have the ability to help revive American small business through actual government assistance (SBA loans, training and federal contract opportunities), but also through something that is even more important: building entrepreneurial confidence.- quoted from Fox News.

Entrepreneurial confidence and the essence of entrepreneurship were some of the basic principles I focused then at APEC Young Entrepreneurs Association and as APEC Youth Representative on the Young Leaders declaration in 1997.

Truly indeed it's back to basics of entrepreneurship access to capital, minimum wage, competitive and profitability structures, and coming together to address policy and regulations affecting each industry.

So my take for other fellow small business owners is that although we have our individual struggles, we have to be strong and united when it comes to policies and regulations which may affect us with the new administration. The key is "Vigilance".

Alex Esguerra




Monday, December 19, 2016

The Economy in 2017 and where we stand!

Amidst the slow growth in the past 2 years globally being long term. economist projects that in the initial part of 2017, the US economy will rebound in lieu of 3-8 % increase in consumer spending since the holiday season started.

It is said the projected GDP growth in 2017 will be around 2% contrary to the projections of 4% of the incoming US President Donald Trump. Inflation was greatly controlled in 2016 due to the low price of oil and crude.  The strong US dollar partly is credited to the lower oil price in the markets around  a target of $50/barrel next year.

The Bureau of Labor projects that Healthcare jobs will play an increased significantly next year especially those with occupational merits having Masters Degrees. These jobs with be followed by computer related job growths as well as educators.

As the legacy of outgoing President Barack Obama in establishing the economic recovery after the financial crisis in 2008, we should focus on educating ourselves on our careers by learning more adaptive skills towards our jobs. Another area is looking at the stock market improvement towards reclassifying retirement and 401 k plans.

The initial uncertainty of a new administration on the White House will trigger an increase in interest rate and inflation on the early part of 2017 as new rules and ammedaments like the Affordable Care Act may or may not be a huge effect on the new state of the US economy.

The markets for sure will have a wait and see attitude towards new regulations and administrative orders from the new executives in the Trump administration.

As of this writing, we consumer spending towards the christmas and new year continue to revitalized the GDP.

Where we go from here in 2017 again will be a next chapter.

Happy Holidays and a more prosperous 2017.


Friday, November 18, 2016

The Slogan, "Making America Great Again"

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia A "Let's Make America Great Again" pin button from Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign Donald Trump wearing a Make America Great Again hat in 2016. "Make America Great Again" is a campaign slogan used in American politics that originated with the Ronald Reagan campaign of 1980. Donald Trump subsequently received a U.S. Service Mark.[1]. 

Reading through www.greatagain.gov, the incoming Trump administration focuses heavily on Regulatory reform as cornerstone of the Trump Administration, and the effort will include a temporary moratorium on all new regulation, canceling overarching executive orders and a thorough review to identify and eliminate unnecessary regulations that kill jobs and bloat government.

This reminds me a few years ago about the outsourcing of jobs during the Bush administration like call centers being routed to third world countries. As everything nowadays talks about the then Billionaire Mr. Trump cons and pros which might either make America great or worse we don't really know. 

What we do know that each person has their own style and business entrepreneurship ideas might be an essential tool on regulatory analysis of the impediments to job creation. The only difference having seen both sides of regulation and moratorium that not all the greatest entrepreneurial approaches to the global mighty economist might work. 

Why? It's simply because running a business is entirely much easier to control and manage the outcomes that political governance where even the greatest strategist cannot really conclude if the strategy will work 100%. Thus, back in the days when there was was an enormous doors being open for me from the business socio-civic endeavours to moved to the political arena, I made the decision to simply stay as a private citizen engaged in community and public service. 

There were the economist, the entrepreneur moguls in developing countries whom became president that history writes were thought to have done great strides yet who had the same balance of governance failures. Of course, the main difference in politics there's always the pointing game rather than if your a small business owner, then you and yourself is the only one to blame. Quoting from www.greatagain.gov " The regulatory bureaucracy is enormous and its impact on our economy, communities and individual Americans from coast to coast is even larger". With such underlying statement, can we really gauge outcomes on the first 100 days? It validates the complexity of governance yet the incoming administration talks about sensible regulations. 

When Barack Obama took the baton in 2008, it talks about the greatest recession in ages where stimulus had to be infused to the economy dealing with the stock market chaos, the auto industry, etc.., Yet as I've heard people from the midwest talking about why they needed a change for steel, plant workers and or the middle class which is why Pres. Donald Trump won in big numbers on these states. Looking at this arguments, brings my historical picture of what politics is about anywhere in the world. The bottom line as I've noted over and over through the years, what is there for "Mainstream America"? 

 It's too early to pre-judged yet it's not too early to constantly watch the next steps and react in proper decorum. Civil rights, equality, and respect will be a good trend gauging arena as after all these were all the rhetoric focus on this election.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Book Expo America 2016 continues to grow and what's new

May is almost around the corner as this year's biggest bookseller meet-ups happen at Book Expo America 2016 This year the BEA will be held at McCormick Place in Chicago. BEA is still mid-week and compact with three days for you to maximize your experience in an efficient time frame. BookCon will continue to be adjacent to BEA and take place Saturday, May 14. A bit of history about Book Expo America: BookExpo America (BEA) is the leading book and author event for the North American publishing industry. It’s the best place to discover new titles and authors, conduct business and network, and learn the latest trends. BEA is the largest gathering of booksellers, librarians, retailers, publishers, rights, licensing, and book industry professionals in North America. One of the new things that I look forward to is that BookExpo America (BEA) To Debut New Digital Platform Tools At Annual Event Enhancing Networking Opportunities For All Attendees. From what I heard this is the real networking as BEA will debut the BEA Network at the show to the approximately 10,000 industry professionals attending the event, giving them a chance create more connections than ever before Hence am looking forward to this followed by BookCon which is the ultimate fan event where storytelling and pop culture collide – offering fans unprecedented access to authors, publishers, celebrities and creators of content that influence everything we read, hear and see. As independent Indie booksellers continue to grow comes the growing pains and operational challenges. Hopefully new ideas, new friends and support from the American Booksellers Association as we anticipate BEA 2016

Monday, February 22, 2016

Bestselling New Books, New York Times Bestsellers List and Notables a New Trend in Online Book Buying

As the internet continuously revolutionizes from Apps integration and mobile friendly website, a growing demand on the book selling business today are new, new and new release books. It is well noted and maybe also because of the high tech trend today, consumers buying books online and also in retail stores has grown tremendously in numbers for new release books. At our own ADLE's Affordable Books where our core main business is rare out print collectibles and used books, we have accept this fact especially due to the enormous wants and request we received from our loyal pool of buyers. So on top of what we carry together with our textbooks genre, our mission of affordability still goes with our new release fiction, non-fiction, novels, romance, memoirs, biographies, etc. In the world of sales and marketing, it is gearing towards market trends, demands and consumer needs. Thus, book selling totally is gearing towards that shift. The plain good news is that in spite of all the digital and eBooks, owning a hardbound or paperback copy is still the constant norm of a book buyer today. A long list of the New York Times bestseller list has proliferated the book market since the started of the year. Some notables are Spark joy, When Breath Comes in the Air, Dictator, How To Make Your Money Last, Brotherhood, black Presidency and many more.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Online Shopping Smart and Mobile Devices Seamless Integration

From the computer websites we go to shop just a few years back comes now the integration of user friendly smart devices one click shopping experiences. Most of the things we have been continuously developing is our websites such as Affordable Books on line we have developed our loyal customers over the years has to be mobile device friendly and easily navigated. So were now on the series of API development integration on this as our sites that have that integration may not have that repeat customers base yet but the engagements and conversions back then when we were starting Affordable Books had been exceeded by this new sites with these API mobile platforms So what it means is simply when you want to search for something to buy or simply just check on prices, instead of looking for a computer when your on the move you just open your smart phone or tablet. With that in mind, you want to open a site if your not a computer or using an app that when it loads it is targeted to what your looking for, clean, not scattered with so much stuff. Hence with this user friendliness the amount of clicks, engagements and online purchases have already exceeded way back when everyone had to open an internet browser on a computer to do the same thing. With that said even with us having our original book selling site, this needs to accounted and transformed. So mobile platforms as to online shopping portals is the trend to go moving forward. Affordable DVD's Affordable Electronics Quality CD's

Thursday, December 24, 2015

E-Commerce versus Brick and Mortar E-tailing on 2016 - Where is online selling headed?

Years ago when the internet started and e-commerce shopping enabled platforms aka now so called big box wannabe of the internet focus on making products accessible through online purchase. Then came expedited delivery, customer service focus and feedback. After which fill rate ratio on order fulfillment which also integrated fulfillment and drop shipping capabilities. As the so called wannabe's now dominate the search rankings, so many independent brick and mortar online business driven individuals has also ventured outside of selling from the wannabe's selling platform to their own online storefronts. Through the partnership of so many e-commerce solutions based website development integrating inventory, ordering and fulfillment with one's stand alone online storefront. When I go to my talks on e-commerce and API integration to prospective young business leaders, I tell them the story of my domain name I bought from google - alex esguerra years ago for $9.99. That time we were developing more our store fronts and the name brand recognition was gaining good alexa rankings. Today when I'm using mostly, Affordable Books on line the said domain is being offered for sale by domain registrars for almost $2,300 as a premium domain. I touch base on this example because of brand name recognition but truly indeed someone might buy and use the said domain but the ideals and vision that comes with the name brand might not be fulfilled and at that point the value goes down the drain. This is just and example of how a typical independent brick and mortar online store front will increase it's brand awareness. Especially nowadays everything is link to social media feeds, tweets and sharing incorporating advertisements and buy buttons. The big wannabe's still rank high as they have all the dollars for google ad words and SEO's but online buyers nowadays will go from page 1 to page 5 when searching for a product as they indeed study well before they indeed purchase. This will include reading social media friends talking about the products and where to buy them. In summary online e-commerce store fronts will predominate consumer buying the actual retail stores for sure. Yesterday, the day before christmas I suddenly ran out of printed ink. I went online at 3 pm to order it and when i was in the shopping cart it gave the option to get express same delivery. So at 5 pm my ink already arrived while I was outside doing an errand. Even though I have a rewards benefit from where I bought it, the value was on the 2 hour delivery. So with today's instant shoppers, uber rush, special delivery this will indeed create the high quality customer loyalty driven value which if the independent brick and mortar online store fronts utilize will indeed give them the far away advantage in 2016. More power to e-tailing in 2016.

Friday, December 4, 2015

APEC then and now 1997-2015 Leaders Declaration

From 1997-2015 in both APEC Leaders' Declarations I remiss on posturing growth toward the APEC member
economies.
2015 Manila declaration also embodies recognition on the need for complete participation from all segments of society
which in 1997 focuses on women, youth and small business. Came 2015's declaration that included people with 
disabilities, indigenous peoples, low-income groups, and micro, small and medium enterprises 
(MSMEs), to achieving inclusive growth. We underscore the importance of empowering them with 
the ability to contribute to and benefit from future growth. 
As we look forward APEC 2016 in Peru, a lot still needs to be done especially in these marginalized
 sectors as the APEC economies continuous to struggle in these sectors needs in-spite of economic
 growth.
Vancouver, Canada, 25 Nov 1997
1997 Leaders' Declaration
Vancouver Declaration - Connecting the APEC Community

1. We, APEC's Economic Leaders, met today in Vancouver, Canada, to reaffirm our commitment to work together to meet the challenge of sustaining regional prosperity and stability. Certain of the dynamism and resilience of the region, we underline our resolve to achieve sustainable growth and equitable development and to unlock the full potential of the people who live here. We agree that the prospects for economic growth in the region are strong, and that Asia-Pacific will continue to play a leading role in the global economy. The goals we have set, including the achievement of free and open trade and investment in the region by the dates set out in the Bogor Declaration, are ambitious and unequivocal.
2. We take note of the rapid expansion of APEC's activities in recent years, and the increasing leadership role it plays in global economic affairs. Flowing from commitments embodied in the Osaka Action Agenda and the Manila Action Plan for APEC, we welcome the designation of 1997 as APEC's Year of Action. We have reflected on the concrete results that APEC cooperation has generated throughout the year, and set out a vision of how we may build upon these achievements in the years ahead. As the year draws to a close, we note with satisfaction that we have met and surpassed all the tasks we set for ourselves at our last meeting in Subic.
3. APEC -- Addressing shared challenges: We have had a thorough discussion of recent financial developments in the region. Our economies and the international community as a whole have a strong interest in seeing a quick and enduring restoration of financial stability and healthy and sustainable growth. These events reflect new challenges in the international financial system that require new responses. The global dimensions of these problems suggest the need for a global response, with regional initiatives to complement and support these efforts. We are resolved to work together to address these shared challenges.
There is no doubt that the fundamentals for long-term growth and prospects for the region are exceptionally strong. We remain convinced that open markets bring significant benefits and we will continue to pursue trade and investment liberalization that fosters further growth. Prudent and transparent policies, particularly sound macroeconomic and structural policies, human resource development strategies, and effective financial sector regulation are key to restoring financial stability and realizing this growth potential.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Daily living using "Mobile Devices and Applications"

Life has change nowadays with the onset of mobile devices and using apps for one's day to day living and existence.

Back in the days when you would scout for the best professional looking daily, weekly and monthly planners to create you schedules, marking them so you know what's next  then highlighting the most important meetings are over.

With the onset of Smart devices from http;//www.apple.com and http://www.samsung.com just two of the most prominent companies out there, my daily scheduling, communications and life styles is now way "high tech". I recently had to upgrade from a high speed DSL Internet to AT&T's www.uverse.com due to the fact that a 3.0 mbps speed connecting 5 of these smart wireless enabled devices will not work as it continuously loops and constant on/off streaming modes.

But I do have to say, my online planner nowdays, Google's Calendar is my bible, seamless and paperless, lol as long as I can connect through a WiFi.  Your able to repeat your task and work schedules for how many times you wish, enter your location for the said event which interfaces with Google Maps and set your advance notification through email and text so you get reminded.

With work, from the tons and tons of printing project materials and sign on sheets, comes the apps integrated to these smart devices like the ipad, galaxy tablets, iphone, galaxy, surface, nexus, etc.., With an app you able to complete a report or visit as it links to the device camera or gallery for pictures and even an area for a signature if ever your a Rep needing a visit signature. Of course the finale is that when your app reports and completed you can send them to your organization's servers and alas your work is done. Such a cool world nowadays.

Some of us who also use these devices for capturing our work, travel, admin and break times also electronically solves the problem of work time keeping. Living your house, again you use your today's Google Maps for example with your GPS enabled device to navigate your driving or even public transportation commute that even calculates mileage and estimated arrival time.

When you get to your destination or even before leaving your house, you can already reserve your parking spots throughout the day seamlessly using again parking apps.

Within the day, you can even plan on ordering lunch, having it delivered or even reserving dinner for the night with restaurants and food reservations like www.opentable.com.

As you drive over a toll bridge or highway, another cool device located in your car pays the toll with the likes of www.bayareafastrak.org The only high tech I don't really do while driving is using your phones with Bluetooth headsets etc., as I still very traditionally safe when driving but yes these gadgets adds to the list. And of course throughout your day with your smart phones texting, calling, snap chats or even conference calls.

With today's technology using an app and your smart phone you can even view what's going on in your house or in someone tries to break in at your car.

As you finish your day and sit on your desk at home again, either using an app or your computer, you can read a book online, watch on demand TV, and do your online office, gifts, airline and grocery shopping. Grocery shopping today even have personal delivery where these app developers or start up companies have their own designated grocery shoppers in your favorite grocery that will shop and deliver them to your door steps in 1-2 hours.

So how would you asses your own daily life today using "Mobile Devices and Applications"?
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