CEOs Express Confidence in Economy
TEC International, an international organization for CEO development, recently released the results of its latest quarterly survey, which polled nearly 1,100 middle-market chief executives about current economic trends and issues affecting business. The TEC Confidence Index, which measures economic confidence quarter over quarter, slipped by 1.5 percent in the first quarter of 2004 after posting cumulative gains of 15.6 percent in the previous two quarters. Despite the slight dip in the overall level of confidence, survey results indicate CEOs expect strong economic expansion and higher profits in the coming year, and they plan to continue hiring and investing.
Highlights of the survey results include:
Three-quarters of surveyed chief executives expressed confidence that overall economic conditions have improved over the past year, more than twice the number that held favorable views at the start of 2003.
CEOs expect profitability to improve in 2004, with 72 percent voicing confidence in increased profits.
For the third consecutive quarter, half of CEOs plan to increase their investment spending during the coming year.
Almost 85 percent of surveyed CEOs plan to hire employees this year.
One in five CEOs plans to outsource overseas in the next 12 months and 47 percent of those will offshore manufacturing.
Seventy-two percent of surveyed CEOs still support the U.S. decision to go to war with Iraq.
If held today, nearly three quarters of CEOs would select George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election. John Kerry would have garnered 16.4 percent of the vote.
Most Home-Based Business Owners Lack Insurance
Most of America’s 11 million home-based businesses are vulnerable to significant financial losses because they do not have the proper business insurance coverage, a new survey commissioned by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) has found. The survey reveals that one in 10 U.S. households operates some type of full- or part-time home-based business. However, nearly 60 percent of these businesses do not have insurance coverage. When asked about the lack of insurance, nearly 40 percent of home-based business owners say they thought they were protected by some other type of coverage, while almost 30 percent say their businesses are too small to insure. Notably, nearly 20 percent could not give a reason for not having insurance. A similar survey in 1997 found there were 8.4 million home-based businesses in the United States and that 60 percent were not properly insured. By not having business insurance, said Madelyn Flannagan, IIABA vice president of education and research, home-based business owners are at risk for significant financial losses associated with theft, accidental damage, natural disasters, vehicle accidents and liability if an employee suffers an injury while on the job or a business guest is hurt while visiting the home-based business. Homeowners’ insurance normally does not provide protection in these situations.
Tips for Dressing for Success
In the busy world of business, professionals may not always have time to pay attention to the little details that help maintain a professional image in front of prospective clients and customers. Kathy Brooks, president of Guise and Gems, a Las Vegas-based custom clothing and jewelry company, offers these tips to help businessmen and women pay closer attention to appearance details and stay polished and presentable.
Inventory your closet regularly, eliminating clothes that have gone out of style or have become worn.
When purchasing new clothing, look for contemporary yet timeless pieces that you will keep around for a long time.
Develop a relationship with a tailor or personal clothier. They can offer invaluable advice on dressing for your profession.
Consider custom-tailored business suits. Custom clothes are often reasonably priced and provide a perfect style and fit for your body type.
Choose a good hair stylist with whom you can discuss your profession, your customers and what kind of image you would like to maintain.
Pay attention to the little details, including your watch, loose threads and the condition of your shoes.
Ties should be long enough to reach your belt, even if it means buying longer ties.
Tie your necktie in a good, solid knot, such as the Windsor or double Windsor. The four-in-hand is plain and unimpressive.
Check yourself in the mirror (front and rear views) before meeting with every client.
Success – It’s Your Responsibility
“It’s not my fault!” This phrase, heard all too often in both personal and business situations, is a good indicator that the speaker refuses to take responsibility for what happens in his or her life. According to Paul Bodner, a Las Vegas-based executive search consultant and professional speaker, “Somewhere in our childhood, we figure out that our friends, our parents or our teachers cannot get us out of every mess we get ourselves into. There are consequences to our actions. As hard as it is to punish a good kid, or hold a good employee accountable for a costly mistake, it is the right thing to do for that person’s character.” Bodner notes it is important to surround yourself with people who are not afraid to say, “I’m sorry – that was my mistake. It won’t happen again.” Taking responsibility for all that happens in your personal life, as well as in your professional life, is one positive trait that all successful people have in common.