Thursday, March 28, 2002

Morning Memo

Hot tips and news to start your business day

Today's Number: $777 billion

        The amount of e-commerce shipments for U.S. manufacturers in 2000, according to the Census Bureau.

Today's Mover

        Richard Cropper has joined Huntington Bank as regional chief financial officer. Mr. Cropper will be responsible for financial analysis and implementing a financial discipline in the Southern Ohio/Northern Kentucky region. He received his bachelor's degree from Xavier University and has 17 years of banking experience.

— Shirley Dees

Today's Career Talk

        Feeling confident? Then you are probably overconfident, say Gary Belsky and Thomas Gilovich in Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes-And How to Correct Them. “A helpful way to deal with overconfidence is to incorporate an "overconfidence discount' into your projections, both on the upside and on the downside,” the authors suggest. When a supplier offers an off-the-cuff quote, a variable price for a service, add 10 percent to both the upside and downside. Then consider risk and reward. “Our experience suggests that 25 percent may be a better figure, but choose whatever number you're comfortable with,” the authors conclude.

— John Eckberg

Today's Money Tip

        Last year's income tax cuts now allow you to give up to $11,000 a year tax-free to any individual you choose, up from $10,000 last year. But be sure you understand how these gifts are tax-free: Gifts are always tax free to the recipient, no matter how much the amount. And, no matter how little the amount, they are not deductible from your income. What the gifts do, however, is reduce your taxable estate. Amounts over the $11,000 may reduce what you are able to pass on later free from estate taxes.

— Amy Higgins

Today's Company: Widmer's

        From Clothes To Carpets: Although Widmer's has been cleaning garments since 1910, its emphasis on other cleaning markets is fairly recent. In 1998 the company decided to expand its in-home carpet, upholstery and emergency water restoration business. In four years the carpet and upholstery cleaning division has grown from a four-person outfit with annual sales of $400,000 to a 40-employee division that logs over $2 million in annual sales. This division projects sales of $3 million for 2002.

        Drying Out Cincinnati: All four of the company's four service areas have seen major growth in the last few years, but most successful has been its restoration and structural drying segment. Widmer's provides round-the-clock service for such emergencies as broken pipes or water hoses and rain-generated flooding.

        On The Go: Currently Widmer's has a service fleet of 11 vehicles and another three are on order.

        Rising Sales: Widmer's overall annual sales approach $12 million.

— Jenny Callison



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Business Digest
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