Sunday, February 14, 1999

SMALL-BUSINESS DIARY


College aid offered for owners' kids

        It's tough enough to run a small business without worrying about paying for college for the kids, but that's what thousands of business people face each year.

        Padgett Business Services of Athens, Ga., hopes to ease the crunch for some businesses by offering more than $90,000 in scholarships to high school se niors who are children of independent business owners.

        The financial reporting and tax planning service has more than 425 offices in North America.

        Awards are based on applicant test scores, high school grade point averages and educational and career plans.

        Since its inception, the program has awarded more than $390,000 to dependents of small-business owners.

        Deadline for applying is March 1. For an application and further information, call Padgett Headquarters at (800) 723-4388.

One of 9 jobless execs start business
        Almost one of nine jobless managers and executives started a business in the fourth quarter of 1998, according to the Job Market Index compiled by consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

        It said 11 percent started businesses, the highest figure since the second quarter of 1996, when 13 percent were involved in launches. “There has never been a better time to start a business,” Chief Executive Officer John A. Challenger said.

        “Consumer confidence has hit record levels, there are plenty of venture capitalists with money to invest, and while foreign markets have been shaken, domestic demand for new products and services remain strong.”

        Working spouses, who are likely to bring home a decent paycheck, often offset much of the risk of starting a new business, Mr. Challenger said.

        He cautioned, however, that starting a business is not for everyone. “Those who typically have the most difficult time are those who come from the most senior corporate levels,” Mr. Challenger said.

        “While no one can deny their leadership ability and well-honed business sense, many top-level executives become overwhelmed by the details. As sole proprietor, they have to take care of things once done by a secretary or executive assistant, such as typing and copying reports, sending mailings and ordering supplies.”

Business bookshelf
        From Real Power: Business Lessons from the Tao Te Ching by James A. Autry and Stephen Mitchell (Riverhead Books; $14): “It's tempting to treat top performers better than marginal ones. That's OK when it comes to compensation and bonuses but you should never withhold your good will from any employee. Treating all with respect is the only way to bring out the best ... ”

       



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