Greetings of the Thankful Season!
It’s hard to believe the holiday season is already upon us. It feels like we were just recently enjoying one of the wonderful events at Twin City Days… when in fact it was nearly two months ago. As November ushers in all of the hustle and bustle of planning, shopping and entertaining there are a few things we can all pause and give thanks for.
First and foremost, we must give thanks for our veterans both on Veteran’s Day November 11th, and every day throughout the year. Our freedom is something we should always be grateful for—with our thanks to the fine men and women who have served throughout history.
We can certainly be thankful for our first responders—those brave men and women who serve with our police, fire, EMT, and healthcare providers. Words cannot express how indebted the community is to you.
On Election Day, we can be thankful for many of the elected officials who have worked and helped preserve our best interests. I know you’ll agree that the Twin City area has many in government from local, to county, State and Federal that have done and continue to do a lot of good for our community.
We should be thankful for a business community that in large part supports our chamber and through their contributions enables us to sponsor exciting events like the 2021 Christmas Parade scheduled for – Monday, November 29th. It does make a difference having the business district lit up for the season!
This holiday season, please remember to support our members by shopping and dining locally in the Twin City Area as much as possible. Thank you! A complete listing of chamber members is available at https://twincitychamber.com/directory.
In closing, on behalf of the Twin City Area Chamber, I would like to wish you and your families a wonderful Thanksgiving and I am hopeful you all have a lot to be thankful for this year.
SPOOKTACULAR is SPECTACULAR! – Exceeds Expectations!
The weather was ‘scary good’ as ghosts, goblins & ghouls appeared in full force for the Chamber’s first year of sponsoring the ‘Trick or Treat Spooktacular’. The event took place on Main Street on Saturday, October 30th, from 9:30 AM to 12 PM (Noon).
“We had over 200 children and their families!,” said a planning committee member from the Twin City Area Chamber of Commerce. “Businesses handed out candy and everyone in costume went to the moon and back with outstanding creativity for the costume contest. It was difficult to judge as there were so many excellent costumes. The attention to detail and creative was outstanding. It was a great community event!”
Families were invited to “Join us (if you dare!) on Main Street for trick or treating, meet walking inflatable characters, enjoy scary Halloween Music… and even participate in the Costume Contest! Costume contest participants were awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rdprizes in each category. Judging was in front of Cobblestone Art & Frame Gallery.
Congratulations to This Year’s Spooktacular Costume Contest Winners!
Ages 0 to 3:
1st place - Reed-age 3 dressed as ‘Sam from the Trick or Treat Movie’. Dad’s name James.
2nd place - Bennett - age 2 dressed as ‘Snoopy House’. Stephanie, Jesse and Dad.
3rd place - Bennett - age 2 dressed as ‘John Deer Farmer’. Anna and Spencer- Mom and Dad.
Ages 4 to 6:
1st place - Cash -age 4 dressed as ‘Prince’. Mom is Katie.
2nd place - Owen -age 5 dressed as ‘The Joker’. Mom and Dad are Char and David.
3rd place - Aleah -age 6 dressed as ‘Barbie (in a box)’. Mom is Heather.
Age 8 to 10:
1st place - Khloe -age 8 dressed as ‘Carnival Girl’. Cody is Mom.
2nd place - David -age 10 dressed as ‘Dr Plague’. Charlie is Dad.
3rd place - Kobi -age 7 dressed as ‘Dead Ballerina’. Mom is Kilbrya.
1st place - Khloe, Jordan, Cody, and Everly dressed as ‘Circus Family’.
2nd place - Audrey, Patrick, Hattie, Debi, Ashley, and Duane dressed as ‘Agent Marie Hill and her Avengers’.
3rd place – Nathan, Christina, Danica, and Rylee dressed as ‘Pirate Family’.
CHAMBER SPOTLIGHT – Staci Templeton, AAMS® CRPC® –
Accountant. Attorney. Financial Advisor.
Three Critical Professionals to Have on Your Business Team
Accountant… Attorney... Financial Advisor? Yes! While the stock market, economy and even the world can have much uncertainty, and may trigger a lot of questions, the importance of preparing for today and tomorrow hasn't changed. In this article, Chamber member, Staci Templeton, AAMS® CRPC®, with Edward Jones Investments, shares the features & benefits of having a financial advisor on your team.
Q: Overview of your office and services your offer?
My Edward Jones branch office is in Herculaneum, Missouri and my Branch Office Administrator, Jess Schilling rounds out my team. I provide financial solutions for individuals, families and businesses that have goals such as saving for retirement, education, or establishing a retirement plan for their employees.
Q: What is unique about working with you?
I have lived in Festus for nearly 23 years and I’ve been in this industry for over 16 years. The combination of my experience, skillset and my connection to my clients and the community allows me to provide perspective and serve as a sounding board for a myriad of situations. No two people have the same needs or experiences when it comes to money, and providing personal experience to everyone who sits at the table with me is the most important part of what I do.
Q: Whom do you serve?
I work with everyone! Business owners and individuals have different needs, but they also have some in common. When I decided to hang my own shingle as a financial advisor, I knew that I wanted to be able to serve both groups and help them navigate their financial path. In addition to that I wanted to be at the center point of things as well and work with the other professionals in their world such as their accountants and attorneys.
Whether you are an individual or a business owner, worthwhile goals such as planning for and reaching retirement, managing financial windfalls, executing the sale of property, or, going through difficult times such as divorce or death—each can be complex. All these situations bring their own set of questions, and while I don't provide tax or legal advice, I can help my clients navigate the course and move forward.
Q: What are some ways you ‘partner’ with area businesses to help serve their financial planning needs?
Businesses go through changes along the way. What was once an owner only proposition can develop into a multi-employee situation that requires additional planning and insight. Employers are tasked with attracting and retaining qualified employees who share their vision for the company.
So benefits for both the employer and the employee play a big role in the situation. And there can be incentives for the employer to offer as well as for the employee to accept and determining what the package will look like requires careful attention and involvement from other professionals such as an accountant and an attorney. It’s definitely not one-size-fits-all. It’s very specific to that individual business. We serve as a true partner with these individuals.
Q: What are some of the challenges that smaller businesses are currently facing?
Trying to find and keep quality employees. There is a lot of competition. Also trying to plan effectively for yourself while growing a business.
Q: What are examples of options that can help?
While the needs of no two businesses are alike, a representation of the products and services that we offer could include Simple, SEP or traditional and Roth IRAs, 401k plans, for example.
Q: When should a business owner consider working with a financial advisor?
The simplest answer is immediately! Everything that happens in my office begins with a conversation. You talk. I listen. And then we develop a strategy together. Regardless if an owner is ready to start investing now or in the future, planning for that event should happen early.
Most business owners have some kind of business plan that guides them through short and long-term goals and shouldn’t putting some of that profit to work be part of their strategy? If you wait to invest until the timing is perfect, you may never take that step. However if you have a partner to show you the impact of that investment as well as keeping a timeline of how or when it’s possible, aren't you more likly to see it as a possibility or even a necessity?
Having a financial advisor working with you is a great way to round out your team of professionals. Get the advice that you need and to help ensure that you are checking those boxes and have thought about goal(s) and a strategy for achieving them.
Q: How can businesses educate themselves regarding what options they may have?
It starts with a conversation. Give me a call and let’s talk about it. Consultations don’t come with a cost. But not having a conversation could ultimately have a very high cost.
Q: What are a few considerations business owners should look for when choosing a financial advisor?
Regardless if you are an individual or a business owner, when you are looking for a financial advisor, you want to look for someone you feel comfortable with and who has the knowledge, experience, and genuine interest in your specific situation.
In addition, someone who is committed to developing a long-term relationship and learning about what is most important to you, your family, your business, and understands that it is important to tailor that strategy to those specific needs and concerns.
Q: What is the process to assess the needs of a business owner and their company?
It starts with a face-to-face meeting with the business owner. We have a thorough interview—in person, virtually or over the phone—and perform an inventory. Once we’ve gathered some information we’ll identify and narrow down some key goals and explore options to help work toward achieving those goals. There is no fee for a consultation. No expense is incurred until we decide to work together.
Q: What is your ultimate goal for every client?
I want to build a long-term relationship that helps people reach their goals. Retirement, education, home purchases, providing a legacy, preparing for the unexpected, surviving divorce or moving on after a loss, to name a few. I want each life I touch to be better for it. This profession provides me the opportunity to a part of both amazing times and difficult times. But knowing that we have done our best for those entrusting us with their ‘todays’ and ‘tomorrows’ is humbling… and I don’t take that responsibility lightly.
Q: Why should a small business work with a financial advisor?
I partner with my clients. We are on the same side of the table and effective planning requires input and work from both sides. I have a wealth of planning tools, investment options and opportunities to help individuals, families and businesses set and work toward reaching their goals.
Q: What are the benefits to businesses in the community by working with a financial advisor?
I know the value of working with a trusted professional and the importance of having them as a part of my team is apparent. I’ve relied on teachers, doctors, coaches, etc. to help my children as they grew up. Why would my business be any different? I want the best possible results for my hard work and assembling the right professionals is a necessity not an option.
Q: Are there things for biz owners to consider toward the end of this year?
Planning is year-round when you own a business. This time of year you might be taking stock of how your business performed as well as forward-looking planning for next year. Do we need to contact an accountant? Attorney? Do we need to be looking at ways to put together some sort of investment package? Do we need to be looking to see if there is an option to start some sort of investment now or are we looking at January first so we are starting with a clean slate for the year? Planning never takes a break.
Q: What is the most important thing your fellow-Chamber members should know about you?
Helping people has been a mainstay in my life. From serving as a police officer in the 1990s to raising three amazing children, to being an active part of our community for the last 23 years, being a financial advisor is my way of continuing to be of service to others. Edward Jones is nearing 100 years in existence and the commitment to the communities in which we live and work hasn’t changed.
Q: What would you like to add?
Often times human beings shy away from things they are unfamiliar with or seek council from others who may or may not have the experience to provide information. Seeking education and insight on something new may just feel daunting, but it isn’t necessarily complicated; it just requires taking that first step. Even if we decide not to work together, if after an hour of talking and a cup of coffee, you’re leaving my office knowing more than when you walked in the door, I see that as a win.
Q: Where can business owners learn more?
1. Staci’s Individual Edward Jones Website is:
2. Another Excellent Resource is the Edward Jones’ ‘Solutions for Business Owners’ page:
Staci has called Festus her home for over 20 years and considers herself fortunate to raise three amazing children, Jake, Nick and Hannah. All three have been involved in athletics, from football and baseball, to gymnastics, cheer and pole vault. Being an active parent along the way has allowed her to support not only her children, but also her community. Serving as a financial advisor where she lives has given her a way to continue to be an asset to the place she calls home, but in a way that can affect this generation and generations to come.
YOUR BUSINESS ADVANTAGE
Finish Strong in 2021! – Year-End Tips for Your Business
The end of the year is a critical time for business owners to take stock of where things stand and identify areas for improvement. By working through this end-of-year checklist, you'll be ready to set goals that will help your business move ahead in the new year. Here are 10 key items to focus on:
At a minimum, put together a profit and loss statement, a balance sheet, and a cash flow statement. Look at where your money went last year and determine whether you are on track to meet your profit goals and cash flow needs.
Merge and purge so you can hit the ground running in 2022! Update addresses, phone numbers, and the names of your key contacts. Delete or archive vendors you don't use anymore. This yearly housekeeping will help keep your lists organized and ready for orders and payments in the coming year.
Make sure you have accurate contact information for your employees and that you have properly accounted for employee benefits. Decide whether you'll give employee bonuses, and set an amount.
If you use cloud-based software, you may think you're covered. But experts caution against relying on just one backup method—even if it's a well-known cloud service. They recommend backing everything up on two digital platforms, in two locations, plus having one copy in print or on a local server or hard drive.
If you keep goods in your store or warehouse, an end-of-year inventory lets you reconcile your numbers and identify any large discrepancies that could indicate accounting issues or theft. It also shows what's selling well and what's not, helping you decide what to pursue in the year to come.
It's easy to forget about the milestones you've achieved and the obstacles you've overcome. Listing them is a great feel-good task. Once you've made your list, be sure to share it with your employees and recognize them for their contributions.
The new tax law has changed many things for small businesses—including expense reporting. This makes an accountant appointment especially important this year. Go over your financials and get advice on bonuses, distributions, and end-of-year tax strategies. Also talk about tax planning for 2019.
Making the time for an annual legal consultation can show you what you need to do to keep up with regulations, contracts, and employment laws that affect your small business. An attorney also can help you evaluate and minimize the legal risks you or your business may face.
The end of the year is a great time to think about the tasks you don't like doing or don't have the time or expertise to do well. Make plans to hire staff or outsource to consultants to take some things off your plate. Decide whether you'll need a larger workforce in the coming year and, if so, budget the money to pay for it.
Your website should not be a "create it and forget it" item. Go through your site and click on every link to make sure it works. Send yourself a note using the contact form and confirm that it's functioning. Does your website look fresh and up to date? Does it match the image you want your business to project? If not, put a website update on your list for next year.
11. BONUS TIP!
Talk with a Financial Advisor. Why? See related story in this issue. Click Here.
Accessed Legal Zoom website article 11/08/2021. ‘Finish Strong: 10 Year-End Tips for Your Small Business’.