From Drew Greenblatt’s latest column in Inc. magazine on tax code changes that would spur business and job growth:
The Internet sales tax bill passed by the Senate is the latest example of government adding complexity and confusion. If this becomes law, will small businesses have to file 50 state returns? The government should be figuring out ways to be less of a burden so we can focus on growing our businesses and creating jobs. Unfortunately it seems all too busy doing the opposite. But how? The following four steps would be a win-win for both parties, since they would appeal to both the Republican and Democratic base. Read more …
Bill Gates this morning on CNBC talked about the gravity of intellectual property theft in China, where he says Microsoft products get used 10 times as much as they actually get licensed:
“China has been a disaster if you say per unit of your product that gets used, how much do you get paid. It’s been over 10-1 versus the United States and even like 4-1 versus India. and so it is a uniquely high piracy market. Now … that number’s been coming down somewhat.
Gates, chairman of the software company he founded, said the numbers have been much higher in China than elsewhere because government offices and big companies in China frequently don’t pay for software they’re using. That’s uncommon in western countries, where software piracy is more typical at smaller companies or more individual levels, he said.
Marlin Steel has been active on this issue, through owner Drew Greenblatt’s leadership on the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the National Alliance for Jobs and Innovation (NAJI). NAJI is specifically seeking to heighten awareness about the economic costs of intellectual property theft. Marlin Steel has reported on its own experiences of its intellectual property being pirated in China and India.
By Jerry Jasinowski
We now have a once in a lifetime opportunity to secure a Transatlantic Partnership Agreement (TAP), a free trade agreement with the European Union, that has been a dream of U.S. manufacturers for as long as I can remember. Both the White House and Congress are supportive as is the EU itself. Even the AFL-CIO which generally opposes Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), says a pact with the EU “could” be beneficial.
My former colleagues at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) are onto the FTA in a big way, and I wish them luck. On my watch we worked hard for some 20 free trade agreements (FTAs), including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and all of them have proven to be just as beneficial as we said they would be – even more so.
But the TAP would be the mother lode of all FTAs. The European Union is the one economy in the world, taken as a whole, which is larger than our own. We already do a lot of trade with the EU of course, but an FTA would open the floodgates for a lot more mutually beneficial trade. Continue reading
Letter to the editor May 5 in the Baltimore Sun from Marlin Steel President Drew Greenblatt:
When I bought Marlin Steel in 1998, the extent of its technology was an old fax machine. Today, our factory is full of industrial robots that are fed computer-aided designs and churn out steel containers for industry 60 times faster than before. We’re winning jobs that used to go to China and elsewhere. My employees, who once made $6 an hour, average $26 an hour now.
This isn’t your grandfather’s small factory: We depend on the Internet, cloud computing and other new technologies, just like thousands of other manufacturers our size. We operate in high-tech ways that only the largest plants could afford years ago. Yet we’re vulnerable to our operations being exploited or disrupted by hackers with bad intent.
The U.S. House of Representatives recently approved the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) in one of the most bipartisan votes of the past couple of years. Ninety-two Democrats voted with Republicans in favor of the House bill, while 29 Republicans opposed it. That two-thirds majority veto-proofed the bill should it clear the Senate and reach the President Barack Obama’s desk.
The Senate, however, is indicating it might not take up the bill, and the White House has already vowed a veto should it pass the Senate. They say they are concerned about the threat to business, but talk is cheap. Continue reading
Based on a popular column by Marlin Steel President Drew Greenblatt on Inc.com
1. Craft a well-conceived list of assumptions. Spend most of your time here. This is where the heavy thinking happens.
2. Lay these assumptions into three scenarios: a bad year, a good year and a great year.
3. In building your budget, use the conservative scenario. It’s obvious why. You have to make sure that you can handle surprises.
4. When you’re done with your plan, go back and reduce the revenues by 10%. And the increase the costs by 10%. This was probably some of the best advice I ever received. You’re going to face surprises along the way.
5. Create a balance sheet: an income statement and a cash-flow statement. Some small businesses wrongly forgo this exercise, assuming they’re too tiny to bother. They shouldn’t suppose that.
6. Review your assessments with your accountant and your trusted mentors.