The Ennis Daily News (Ennis, Tex.), Ed. 1 Tuesday, January 8, 2013 Page: 2 of 8
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Page 2 - Tuesday, January 8,2013 - Ennis Daily News
In business, details
are vitally important
‘The devil is in the details. ’’
— Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
It is so important to examine every
part of your business with fresh eyes
every day. When you
become accustomed to
business’s environment, it
is just so easy to overlook
the small, but important
details. I think this is just
how our brains operate. We
just do not really notice
small changes that occur
over time. However, your
business could suffer if
you do not see small prob-
I was giving a seminar in
Ecuador in a very poor
area on the other side of Quito. Since I
only had to teach two hours each day I
had time to get out and see this won-
As I explored each day I saw the
most rampant poverty that I have ever
seen. People were living in conditions I
could not imagine my dog living in.
However, as shocking as this was for
me at the beginning, I eventually
stopped seeing the poverty and the dif-
ficult lives these people were living.
My brain just accepted these horrific
conditions as the norm for this envi-
This kind of blindness can occur
anywhere and under a variety of con-
ditions, including at my laundromat. I
am not very domesticated. I have not
turned on my stove or oven in two
years, and I go to a laundromat to have
my clothes washed and folded.
Every time I go, the laundromat’s
parking lot is filthy and full of debris,
and I am sure the owner has just
become so accustomed to these condi-
tions that he does not really even see
the mess. I just know that if he did, he
would have the parking lot swept each
morning and this would encourage
more customers to use his services.
For another example, the other day,
I stopped into Bob Evans restaurant
for breakfast. As I was sitting at the
counter, I looked through the opening
into the kitchen and saw all the chefs
wearing T-shirts stating the restau-
I am sure the restaurant spent time
and money developing these shirts,
but unfortunately, the aprons the chefs
had to wear completely covered the
mission statement. No one seemed to
be aware of this detail even though it
was pretty obvious to me.
Another restaurant is
using yard signs to draw in
customers. Over time, the
signs have deteriorated
from exposure to the ele-
ments, gotten bent and
blown off. Needless to say,
they were not sending a
very good message to the
We all know the devil is
in the details. What makes
it tricky is that you have to
be able to see the details in
order to make the changes
that are so necessary
Just like in the examples above, it is
so easy for you to miss details that can
have negative consequences for your
business. To make sure you do not slip
into this unawareness, you have to
constantly jog your mind and try dif-
ferent things everyday so you can see
your surroundings with fresh eyes.
Try taking a different route to work
each day or wearing your watch on
your other hand every other day.
One of my favorite ways to stay
fresh is to get plenty of exercise before
I go to work. This really just seems to
energize me. Additionally, when I go to
work or meetings, I try to focus on my
breathing and get out of my head
because if I am lost in my thoughts, I
know I am not present.
Now go out and make sure that you
have a method in place for keeping
your mind fresh so you are able to see
the details of your business.
You can do this!
Jerry Osteryoung is a consultant to
businesses — he has directly assisted
over 3,000 firms. He is the Jim Moran
Professor of Entrepreneurship
(Emeritus) and Professor of Finance
(Emeritus) at Florida State University.
He was the founding Executive Director
of The Jim Moran Institute and served
in that position from 1995 through 2008.
His newest book co-authored with Tim
O’Brien, “If You Have Employees, You
Really Need This Book, ’’ is a bestseller
on Amazon.com. He can be reached by
e-mail at email@example.com.
Upcoming chamber events
Thursday, Jan. 10
Ribbon cutting at 10
Ennis Quick Care
Open House from 11
a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 11
Ribbbon cutting at
109 NW Main St.
Tuesday, Jan. 15
Luncheon at Noon
remove fake car
from outer wall
Parking hasn't been a
problem for one oddly
placed vehicle in traffic-
City officials have
ordered a design company
to remove a fake Mini
Cooper attached to the
upper part of an exterior
wall near a sidewalk.
Concerns have been
raised about the shell of
the car, complete with
tires, above some outer
windows at Internum &
Design. Code enforcement
officials since late
December have cited the
business, using warning
stickers with notice to
immediately remove the
car from the building.
114 W. Brown St.
Wednesday, Jan. 16
Mollie B Polka Party
Viewing and Dance!
KJT Hall 1216 Paris
Czech and Then
Some and Squeezebox
from Ohio feat. Mollie B
Ennis Day in Austin
will be held on Feb. 21.
Leadership Class and
will travel to Austin for
Ennis Day. We will tour
Mansion, return to
capitol for a group
photo, be recognized n
the House Chamber
and Senate Chamber.
You will be able to
meet with representa-
tives from the Texas
TXDot and other agen-
If you have any
questions or would like
to join the group please
call the Chamber.
Price: $85 (includes
meals and transporta-
Leave Time: 6:00
Ian. 12"' & I3lh
IOOF Event Center
601N. 45th Street
Tricks to maximize
benefit of home sale
Now that the housing market has
finally begun to stabilize and interest
rates remain at historically low levels,
more and more homebuyers and sell-
ers are dipping their toes back in the
If you’re planning to
sell your home, you need
to understand the tax
implications of selling a
home as well as be aware
of structural and cosmetic
flaws in your home and
neighborhood that could
undermine your asking
price or keep the property
languishing on the market
First, the tax tips:
• In general, if you
make money on the sale, you can
exclude the gain from your taxable
income (as outlined below) if you’ve
owned and used the home as your resi-
dence for two out of the past five years.
• You may be able to exclude up to
$250,000 of the gain from your income
($500,000 on most joint returns).
• If you can exclude all of the gain,
you don’t need to report the sale on
your tax return.
• Gains that cannot be excluded are
taxable. You must report them on Form
1040, Schedule D.
• You cannot deduct a loss from the
sale of your main home.
• For more information, see IRS
Publication 523, Selling Your Home (at
Many factors can negatively impact
your being able to attract buyers and
ultimately get the price you want.
Sometimes there’s not much you can
• If you’re located on a busy street or
the local school district is subpar, you
probably won’t fetch as much as for the
same house in a better neighborhood.
• If your house is the only contempo-
rary model in a sea of colonials or if
your remodeled McMansion is sur-
rounded by two bedroom/one bath-
room cottages, many buyers might be
turned off. Not everyone wants to stand
out from the crowd.
• If you started remodeling and did-
n’t complete the job, many people won’t
want to take that on, even with a signif-
icant reduction in price.
However, there are many relatively
minor changes that may boost your
home’s marketability For
• If your interior or exte-
rior walls are painted with
bold colors or textures, it
might be worth toning it
down with a more neutral
• If you can afford it,
have your home profes-
sionally staged, since they
know how to maximize
space and show off a
home’s strong points
(while hiding its defects.)
But if you’re using your own furnish-
ings, thin them out.
• Mismatched appliances, cabinetry
and plumbing fixtures stand out like
sore thumbs. The same goes for worn
floors or carpeting. Discuss with your
realtor which improvements might be
worth the investment.
• Make sure your yard is well-tended
and has at least basic landscaping.
Overgrown weeds and abandoned junk
don’t help your curb appeal. The same
principle applies for common areas if
you live in a condominium.
If there are foreclosed homes in the
neighborhood, chances are they aren’t
being well-maintained. Make contacts
with the lenders taking over these
properties so you can report problems
such as vandalism, trash or overgrown
yards. If they’re unresponsive, ask
your city’s building department
whether they can charge fines or penal-
Also, work with your neighbors to
keep an eye on empty homes. Take
turns mowing the lawn, picking up
trash and removing graffiti. Anything
you can do to bring up the quality of
the neighborhood will improve your
chance of selling.
Jason Alderman directs Visa’s
financial education programs. To
Follow Jason Alderman on Twitter:
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Todaro, Nick. The Ennis Daily News (Ennis, Tex.), Ed. 1 Tuesday, January 8, 2013, newspaper, January 8, 2013; Ennis, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth771528/m1/2/: accessed June 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Ennis Public Library.