CEObuilder and Bank of American Fork invite you to join us on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 to hear a presentation by Val Oveson, CPA, CFF, CGMA and partner at Wisan, Smith, Racker & Prescott, LLP. He is also a former lieutenant governor and state auditor for the state of Utah. Oveson’s presentation will focus on tax reform, the fiscal crisis and what you can do about it.
With frustration in Washington, many are wondering how our elected leaders will deal with the gridlock and problems facing the nation. Oveson will talk about the problems with the U.S. tax code and what we can expect in tax reform this year. He will talk about his experiences in Washington, D.C. as the National Taxpayer Advocate of the IRS and his efforts to simplify the tax system. He will also give his views on the looming debt crisis and the games that are played with the country’s financial statements. Lastly, Mr. Oveson will talk about our political system and how we can get involved and make a difference. He may not be able to solve the problems but he will help us understand the system and suggest strategies to do something about it.
Following Oveson’s presentation, the group will participate in a forum to apply principles and ideas to their specific businesses.
This forum will be held at Bank of American Fork, Riverton Branch Conference Room, 2691 West 12600 South, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22. Please RSVP here or by contacting Heidi at Heidi.email@example.com or 801-642-3139.
The content of this presentation should not be considered legal, accounting or tax advice from Bank of American Fork.
There’s still time to sign up for the 8th Annual Woman of Steel Triathlon and 5K this Saturday. The all-female triathlon includes a 300-meter outdoor-pool swim, 12-mile bike and 3-mile run, and also offers a 5K as a separate race and is a USAT-sanctioned race.
This year, to celebrate 100 years of serving Utah communities, Bank of American Fork will give a $100 gift card to every 100th person to cross the finish line. You don’t have to finish first to be a woman of steel and we want to celebrate women who cross the finish line throughout the race. Awards will also be presented to overall finishers and top finishers in each age group. Every participant with receive a women-specific technical race shirt, commemorative finisher necklace and chocolate at the finish line.
The event honors women who have used fitness to overcome life-changing obstacles. It will also benefit Kids on the Move, a non-profit organization that provides services to families and children with special needs.
Bank of American Fork is partnering with race organizer TriUtah to produce the race. Athletes can visit here to register for one of the 1,000 triathlon or unlimited 5K spots. Registration is not available at Bank of American Fork branches or via mail.
It’s not too late to sign up! Visit here to register.
Guest post by Ken Burnett, VP/Director of Training and Business Development, Bank of American Fork
This series is written from experience and is part of Bank of American Fork’s management training program. The program embraces the philosophy that management is a skill-based job, and managers need to learn specific skills to be successful.
I am happy that with a title like “effective discipline,” you have made it this far into the article. Let me put the title in a clearer context: effective discipline in the corporate management sense isn’t primarily about punishment; it is about changing behavior to make employees productive. Yes, there are times when termination is required but let’s start at the beginning.
The best way to avoid discipline is to set expectations of behavior and communicate them using multiple channels. Employees should have immediate access to their performance and managers should foster a culture that reinforces expected performance. Consistently setting expectations helps employees know when their performance is not up to standard and makes the discipline process more manageable.
Access to performance means that employees are empowered to check on how they are performing at any time. For example, if John is responsible for performing task X at a 90% accuracy rate on a daily basis, but the reporting is done on a monthly basis, he won’t be able to measure and adjust his performance daily. The process is out of whack. Employees also need to know that managers are monitoring both good and bad performance. Good performance should be praised and rewarded publicly and poor performance should be dealt with privately.
Importance of dealing with performance
Organizational culture is a critical factor in associate performance. Issues that require discipline are inevitable if the organization’s culture tolerates poor performance. Using the example above, if John is performing at 70% and this poor performance is not addressed and everyone knows, the rest of the organization’s performance will degrade. For managers, the cost of not dealing with performance issues is very high. The biggest cost is that managers will be seen as indecisive and the employees lose trust.
Any time you think you have a performance issue, the first stop is your human resource department. Human Resources will keep you and the organization out of legal trouble and set up a game plan to start the process. A good manager is consistently documenting both good and poor performance issues with his/her team. The documentation is necessary for either a promotion or a good review, or written/verbal warning or termination.
Progressive discipline is a process for dealing with job-related behavior that does not meet expected and communicated performance standards. The primary purpose for progressive discipline is to provide a structured corrective action process to improve and prevent a recurrence of undesirable behavior and/or performance. Obviously, in certain cases, the offense is serious enough that immediate termination is the appropriate solution.
The process features increasingly formal efforts to provide constructive feedback to the employee so he or she can correct the problem. The goal of progressive discipline is to improve employee performance. Evaluate these three criteria when determining the most effective level of disciplinary action:
1. The severity of the offense
2. The employee’s past performance and/or warning records
3. The organization’s past practice when dealing with this situation
Communicating to the employee
An organization reserves the right to determine what discipline will be imposed in each individual situation. A disciplinary procedure should include the following steps if the action does not require immediate termination:
1. The associate must know the nature of the problem or violation.
2. The employee must know the expectations and steps they must take to improve the performance or resolve the problem.
3. The employee must have a defined or ongoing expected date to improve the corrective action.
4. The employee must understand the consequences. For example, failures to address issues as outlined could result in further disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Consequences for performance that require discipline are either quick or the start of a process. These may be illegal behavior, immoral behavior, issues that put your business’ reputation in jeopardy or issues that lead to other types of risk. Every employee must know the behaviors or performance problems that lead to termination. After a review of the facts and HR’s input, a manager should meet with the problematic employee to discuss termination.
HR should conduct every termination. During terminations be careful not to get hooked by the employee’s emotions. Be sympathetic, but remember that the employee has violated the organization’s trust. As a manager you need to protect the organization and those employees who are performing well. For a termination meeting, the objectives to remember are:
• To protect the organization’s legal and moral responsibility
• To ensure the affected employee hears and understands the message, knows what to do next and is treated with dignity and respect
• To minimize the negative impact a termination can have among remaining employees
Some skills Ken has talked about are employee development, communication, coaching employees, managing change and strategic planning. What other manager skills do you want to know more about? Tell us in the comments!
Ken Burnett is vice president/director of training and business development for Bank of American Fork. He is responsible for training more than 300 employees on a variety of topics, including coaching and feedback for dozens of senior managers within the organization.
If you own or want to start a small export business, there may be financing available to help you grow your business.
Many businesses think they’re too small to participate in global markets, but the SBA can help you get started and succeed. If you own or want to start a small export business, there may be financing available to help you grow your business. Bank of American Fork is a Preferred Lender, which means faster turnaround times and local decision-making authority. We have money to lend and experienced SBA loan staff and lenders.
The SBA wants to support U.S. business production, and is offering the following loan programs to help your business:
1. Export Express Loan Program
This program offers streamlined financing up to $500,000. It is the simplest export loan product offered by the SBA and allows participating lenders to use their own forms and procedures. The SBA determines eligibility and provides a loan approval in 36 hours or less. Export Express can be a term loan or a revolving line of credit.
Use of proceeds:
• Participate in a foreign trade show
• Support standby letters of credit
• Translate product literature for use in foreign markets
• Finance specific export orders
• Expand production facilities
• Purchase equipment inventory or real estate
Bank of American Fork has Preferred Lender status for this type of loan, so we can provide approval in-house, speeding up the loan process.
2. Export Working Capital Program
This program offers financing up to $5 million as a credit enhancement. This program is delivered through SBA Senior International Credit Officers located in U.S. Export Assistance Centers. The Export Working Capital (EWCP) loan provides advances for up to $5 million to fund export transactions from purchase order to collections. This loan has a low guaranty fee and quick processing time.
Use of Proceeds
• Finance suppliers, inventory, WIP, or production of export goods or services
• Working capital to support foreign accounts receivable during long payment cycles
• Finance stand-by letters of credit used as bid or performance bonds or as down payment guarantees
This loan must be submitted to the Export Assistance Center in Denver, so the time to complete it is longer.
3. International Trade Loan Program
This program offers loan financing for fixed assets and working capital to businesses that plan to start or continue exporting, or that have been adversely affected by competition from imports.
Use of proceeds:
• Acquire, construct, renovate, modernize, improve or expand facilities or equipment to be used in the United States to produce goods or service involved in international trade
• Develop and penetrate foreign markets
• Refinance an existing loan
Bank of American Fork will likely operate with Preferred Lender status on these types of loans, so they can be approved in-house.
Bank of American Fork is committed to offering these big-city products with our small-town service. If you are thinking about starting or growing your export business, or have questions, don’t hesitate to contact Richard Gray, senior vice president of commercial lending at Bank of American Fork, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801-642-3871.
With the economy leveling out in slow, steady growth, many businesses are thinking about how to grow. After a few years of focus on the basics to keep strong enough to weather the economic storms, business owners are ready to move forward at a good time for expansion, when the market isn’t yet up to pre-recession levels.
However, many businesses don’t have the capital they need for growth, which, combined with low-interest rates, makes it a good time to consider a small business loan. I would recommend reviewing the following to prepare for financing.
Get to know your loan officer. It’s important to develop a relationship with your lender and the loan officer you work with. When your lender knows who you are, they can help you find the financing option that fits your business the best. Find a lender that cares about your business and wants to know more than just the numbers.
Prepare or update your business plan. Lenders want to be sure you have a plan for your business’ success, and they want to know what it is. Update your company’s goals and financial projections and your lender will have something to use when they consider how financing will help you in the long- and short-term future. Your business plan should address the best- and worst- case scenarios. You should include the following elements outlined by the U.S. Small Business Administration:
• Begin with a statement of purpose. You should be able to explain your business in 25 words or less.
• Illustrate how your business will work and why it will be successful. List the owners.
• Describe the company’s products or services, the customers, the market and the competition. List the managers and their credentials.
• Supply three years of projected financial statements. Include income, loss and cash-flow projections.
• Provide supporting documents, such as references from creditors and potential clients and suppliers, and evidence of insurance.
Evaluate your financial fitness. This is an area where your loan officer will be helpful to you. You may not even know what it means to be in good financial shape for a loan. Every business and every borrower has a different situation, so there isn’t a set, simple checklist. Some lenders will look at length of time in business or net worth, but you can find lenders, especially at community banks, that will look at your business beyond the numbers. It will come down to whether or not the applicant is likely to and capable of replaying the loan. Some questions to consider:
• Does the business make conservative or risky financial decisions?
• Is the business owner conservative with personal finance?
• Will the business owner sign a personal guarantee?
• Is there a strong base of capital available for collateral for the loan?
• What is the business’ margin of error for the expected growth?
• What is the back-up plan in case of a situation that threatens the business’ financial structure?
• Have you developed at least two ways to repay the loan?
Know the types of financing available. There are different types of loans commonly used by small businesses. A few months ago, I talked about the benefits of buying your office space, and mentioned some of the types of financing available.
SBA-guaranteed loans are specifically designed to help companies grow and prosper. They are guaranteed by the SBA, meaning the business is more likely to be approved for attractive rates and financing, since the risk is shared between the lender and the SBA. They are less capital-intensive, usually requiring just 10 to 20 percent down, versus 30 to 35 percent down for conventional loans. If you’re worried that your business may be too big to qualify for an SBA loan, know that a small business is defined as having less than 500 employees and less than $7.5 million in annual revenue, depending on the industry. Ninety-five percent of Utah companies are eligible. Look for an SBA Preferred Lender, since these types of lenders can approve your loan faster than non-preferred lenders.
Conventional loans require a larger down payment than an SBA loan, but with historically-low interest rates and property values, now is a good time to consider expanding. A business line of credit is good for short-term cash needs like building up inventory and funding accounts receivable. Business term loans allow a certain dollar amount to be repaid in installments over three or more years, and are commonly used for purchasing equipment, vehicles, furniture, renovations, expansion or commercial mortgages.
Personal lines of credit, like credit cards or home equity lines of credit, are convenient, but can be risky. Credit cards have high interest rates and can negatively impact personal credit. Home equity loans use the borrower’s home as collateral. However, this model allows the company to utilize its capital to grow the business and gives the owners an opportunity to increase and diversify their personal wealth with commercial real estate.
Small business loans are the key to keep communities growing and people working. If you feel overwhelmed by the loan process, use this guide to prepare. Community banks and other lenders want to lend to Utah’s businesses. Loan officers are there to help you figure it all out and grow your business.
This article first appeared in The Enterprise.
Richard Gray is senior vice president of commercial lending and SBA lending at Bank of American Fork, Utah’s community bank leader, an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Richard also manages the bank’s Murray branch, and he has assisted local small businesses in obtaining SBA funding for more than 25 years. He serves on the board of directors for nonprofit Kostopolus Dream Foundation and was the chairman for nonprofit Utah Microenterprise Loan Fund, Salt Lake City.
CEObuilder and Bank of American Fork invite you to join us on Friday, May 3, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. -4:00 p.m. for a forum and presentation by Rich Tyson, President, CEObuilder. Tyson’s presentation and the forum will focus on perfecting customer service. You can also join the conversation on Twitter at #ceobuilder or LinkedIn.
Most organizations have the same goal—serving the people who purchase their products and services. Whether you call them customers, clients or—as Disney does—guests, you must either satisfy them or risk losing them. Tyson will illustrate proven best practices at Disney for generating customer loyalty and strong financial outcomes. During the presentation, he will facilitate KEO participants in applying these practices to their companies. As customer satisfaction is ultimately a function of how well every employee does his or her job, each participant will receive a number of tangible takeaways, regardless of the role they play in their respective companies.
This event will be held at Bank of American Fork Financial Center Conference Room, 6 West Main Street, American Fork. Please RSVP by May 1, here, or by calling 801-642-3139.
I talked to Mechaella Matute, business development officer at Bank of American Fork, about why she is participating in the Woman of Steel Triathlon and what it’s like to be a woman in business.
Why are you participating in the Woman of Steel Tri?
It’s not easy to participate in a tri, but there will be a lot of women rejoicing accomplishing physical trials and other obstacles, and encouraging each other. I love being a woman and it will be fun to come together with women from all over Utah and accomplish a goal that we each have. I’m not a swimmer, so I’m excited to challenge myself—I want to have fun and accomplish my goal of finishing. I’m also excited to represent Bank of American Fork. I’m proud that we sponsor this event.
How are you preparing for the race?
Even though I’m from Miami, I’m not a strong swimmer (embarrassing, I know!), so I have been focusing on swimming. One of my friends has been coaching me on how to breathe properly and is helping me to get the strokes down. I am taking a cycling class and doing a lot of weight training—I have realized I need to have strong legs to bike and run that far! And I love my long runs on Saturdays, usually 8-12 miles.
Woman of Steel celebrates the different paths and obstacles in women’s lives. Tell us about your path.
I’m Latina and I grew up in Miami, so when people hear that, they wonder what I’m doing in Utah. I was the first generation in my family to go to college and graduate from Brigham Young University. This has been a big accomplishment for me and my family—to a family from a small town in Honduras, graduating from a good university is exciting. It was hard to come to Utah alone while my family was still in Florida. University classes and the system were new to my family. I am proud that I did it and to work for a reputable and distinguished financial institution doing what I love—helping women in business and the Hispanic community.
How did you get into banking?
I started my career in banking when I worked as a teller at Key Bank in college. I loved being able to build relationships with clients and see customers on a daily basis. I later worked at US Bank, and now, Bank of American Fork. I love the relationships I have developed. There are so many people that just don’t know what solutions are available to them, and it’s exciting to me to help facilitate finding answers and saving money.
What is unique about women in business?
One of the things I love about my work, and I see in my mentors, is the sweet side of building a relationship that really allows us to help people. I help a lot of women who are in business or business owners and I can tell they feel comfortable working with me because I get them. Women are still a minority in business but we are growing and strong.
There are so many women with awesome ideas, especially with the amount of Internet exposure that facilitates idea-sharing—like Pinterest—and I love being able to help them realize their business dreams. One business owner I worked with had a great product, and with the right resources, was able to grow from just sharing with her friends to a sustainable business. It’s rewarding to find the right banking solutions to help people meet their goals and fulfill their dreams.
We’re celebrating one hundred years of serving Utah communities with free cookie Fridays. Each month one of our 13 branches will be spotlighted—for that month, the spotlighted branch will have free cookies in their lobby. You can read a little bit about the history of Bank of American Fork below, with a history of the spotlighted branch. For a deeper history and to view photos visit here and select “downloads”.
Bank of American Fork was established in 1913 as The People’s State Bank of American Fork. The first two decades after opening brought success for the bank and its reputation for being safe and sound was solidified. Challenges came in 1932, when the People’s State Bank of American Fork closed its doors to prevent a run on deposits. While a third of the nation’s banks did the same and never reopened, the People’s State Bank was open for business nine months later after tremendous sacrifice on the part of its management. The 1940s and ‘50s were better years for banking, and the People’s State Bank of American Fork thrived. In the 1960s the name was shortened to Bank of American Fork and proved itself a technological leader when it made a large investment in upgrading to advanced computerized systems. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, Bank of American Fork began to receive national recognition for being safe and strong. It was during this time that the bank began strategic expansion across Utah, finding communities where Bank of American Fork fit and filled needs. Today, we are proud to be a part of 13 communities, and Utah’s community bank leader.
Highland Branch August 1, 1995 Highland’s population grew 60 percent in the ‘90s, and Bank of American Fork opened its fourth branch. Loans and deposits were growing swiftly in Bank of American Fork branches and the board began discussing building another branch. A Utah County real-estate and business developer approached the board and offered to sell a plot of land in Highland. Bank of American Fork purchased the land, began building in 1994 and opened its fourth branch in 1995. With the opening of the Highland branch, the bank implemented a new type of branch management teams. Operations managers—previously operations specialists—and branch managers—who specialized in lending—worked equally for the success of the branch.
Don’t forget to stop by the Highland branch on Fridays this month and grab a cookie!
See the spotlights for American Fork, Alpine, Orem, Highland, Lehi, Pleasant Grove, Spanish Fork, Draper, Sandy, Murray, Riverton and Saratoga Springs! These are in order, so only the ones listed before this spotlight are active posts. If it’s listed after this branch, you’ll just have to wait to see the new spotlight each month! You can also read about the Layton branch we opened in 2012 and our mortgage office in St. George.
Guest post by John Rees, Attorney, Callister Nebeker & McCullough
Domain names are alpha-numeric addresses that direct users to websites. Unlike other rights regarding other property, domain name registration rights are limited and revocable. As a result, protecting domain name rights is critical to any business with a web presence. In today’s environment, that includes most businesses.
Real property has a title associated with it, and the owner of the real property has the exclusive right to use the property, sell the property and further develop the property. The property rights never terminate. Although the property may be subject to the rights of a lender, an easement holder or the government for taxes and assessments, the fundamental property rights vest in the owner.
Domain name rights are very different. Domain names are registered to a registrant by a registrar, such as GoDaddy or Network Solutions. The domain name registrant does not have property rights, but instead has contract rights. When a domain name is registered, the registrant agrees to comply with the contractual terms and conditions established by the registrar for the use of the domain name. The terms and conditions will include a specific time that the domain name will be registered, and it will include terms under which disputes over domain names may be resolved.
With these basics in mind, protecting domain names is different from protecting rights in real property. Domain name rights are only as valuable as the rights of the registrant under the contract whereby a domain name is issued or registered. Here are some practical tips on protecting your domain names:
1. When a domain name is registered, the registrant is required to provide the name of the registrant, and the administrative and technical contacts. These are the people who may exercise the rights of the domain name registrant. If the name of the registrant and the administrative and technical contacts are not accurate, the domain name registrant may lose value rights in the domain name. Make sure the name of the registrant, administrative contact, and technical contacts are persons controlled by the domain name registrant. Failure to take this step could lead to the inability to change where the domain name is directed or to otherwise maintain the domain name. Websites are moved from time to time to different hosts or servers. If the registration information is not correct, the owner of the website may not be able to move the website, and may in fact, never have rights to the domain name.
2. Domain names usually become trademarks and trademarks are used as or in domain names. It is critical to make sure the registrant has cleared the domain name for trademark use and registration, and for potential infringement. If a domain name infringes on the trademark of another, the registrant could be forced to shut down the website associated with the domain name, or adopt a new domain name. Like trademarks, substantial goodwill can become associated with domain names.
3. Obtain federal trademark registration for the domain name, or at least the domain part of the domain name. The Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act and the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy both provide remedies for trademark owners where domain names are registered in bad faith in connection with such trademarks.
4. Typosquatting is the practice of registering domain names by third parties which are off by a letter or two from the original domain name. The typosquatter then derives traffic from the original domain name. If the typosquatted name is infringing, the registrant may be able to force a transfer of the domain name, but another way to avoid having to take action is to register a variety of iterations of the domain name to help avoid typosquatting. It would be impossible to avoid any potential typosquatting, but the more similar domain names that are registered, the lower the risk of typosquatting.
5. Purchase long-term contract rights. Not only are longer-term contracts less expensive on an annual basis, but they reduce the risk of the domain name expiring without being renewed.
Unfortunately there is no easy way to protect domain names from the many possible challenges that can arise. Generally speaking, each domain name owner should adopt a practice for protecting domain names and avoid the potentially catastrophic results of failing to take appropriate action.
John Rees is a business lawyer with the law firm of Callister Nebeker & McCullough who helps clients find solutions to their business legal needs, particularly in a complex legal and business environment. He focuses on corporate and intellectual property issues, particularly relating to licensing and doing business on the internet.
There are three ways to enter:
1. Go to Bank of American Fork’s Facebook page and click on the “Sweepstakes” link below the cover image, where you will enter your name and email address. Entrants can receive extra entries if they share the link and another person enters the contest. If you are using a mobile device, you may need to use this link.
2. Join Bank of American Fork’s LinkedIn page and leave a comment on the “Promotions” page under the promotion “Win an iPad mini.” Entrants will receive one entry per account through LinkedIn.
3. Follow Bank of American Fork on Twitter and tweet “@bankaf iPad mini giveaway.” Entrants will receive one entry per Twitter account.
A drawing will be held on May 1, 2013 and the winner will be notified either by email or personal message on LinkedIn or Twitter. To see the full rules, click here.
Facebook is a trademark of Facebook Inc. LinkedIn, the LinkedIn logo, the IN logo and InMail are registered trademarks or trademarks of LinkedIn Corporation and its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries. iPad 2 is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. Twitter is a trademark of Twitter, Inc.