La Incubadora Podcast:  The Essentials of Commercial Leasing with LT Commercial Group- With Christin Ong

By Alana Lewis

Christin Ong worked for a drug store company where she learned and caught on to all of the resources she needed to and took those resources and used them with her future business/ career. Christin works at Commercial Leasing with LT Commercial Group.

Here is the interview with David Fuentes and Christin Ong.

David Fuentes: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself how you started working in the Commercial LT group?

Christin Ong:  I worked at a national drugstore company. I was able to leverage my knowledge ofmanaging a high profile business and managing operations into commercial real estate with a family investing in commercial real estate. 

David Fuentes: What essentials of Commercial Leasing with LT Commercial Group with Christin Ong?

Christin Ong: If you want easy access and visibility what you should consider is the cost and you’re  not going to want to consider if the monthly budget fits into your monthly or rent budget but are there any other additional costs that you’re going to be responsible for.

David Fuentes: What are key elements of a commercial leasing contract and which parts are important to review over?

Christin Ong: With commercial leasing everything is very important but it’s also so long and it can be very intimidating especially if this is your first time into a contract like this so really you should look over everything.

David Fuentes: What are the differences between gross lease, a net lease, and a triple net lease and how do they impact tenants?

Christin Ong: Almost any operating expenses so you just have one flat fee every month. Nothing is variable. It doesn’t change with a triple net lease it’s a type of net so there’s three types of net leases theirs a single net double net and triple and what it looks like is based on your rental amount but you also have net charges on top of that.

Find the Spanish version here.

La Incubadora Podcast: Emergency Biz Planning Do’s and Don’ts with PuroClean Property Savers with Dalila Vazquez

By Alana Lewis

Dalila Vazquez and her husband  Israel started their business together wanting to help and change others life and cause ease to others property space. They started PuroClean Property Savers  together and have been nothing but successful; they’ve been having this business for almost a decade.

David Fuentes: Tell us a little bit about yourself?

Dalila: Dalila and Israel are a married couple who started a business together in 2015 they moved from Mexico city to start their adventure. They help people who have damage to their property.

David Fuentes: What are you guys’ main goals?

Dalila: Delila and Israel’s main goal is to make people feel at home after they experience damage to their property and try to communicate as best as possible.

 Since 2016 they’ve seen a variety of disasters in the central texas area and they have over a decade experience and working as a business they came from another business, which was challenging for them and they took the skills from that business and placed it with theirs.

David Fuentes: What are essential components of a business emergency preparedness plan?

Dalila: You should design a five step planning process which you can look at as a five step guide. The first step is called planning. Planning is key. You have to plan and prepare everything for an emergency. You’re going to have the time you’re going to address the emergency in the fastest way possible. and in a better way the second step is safety. You have to understand what are the hazards inside your property to understand what’s going on and you can minimize those hazards so when the event comes you can know how to approach the situation. The third one is customized. Customize your plan based off your needs and haves on your property no matter the size the fourth step is to review you need to constantly or schedule times to review and look over your property and plans the fifth step is execute the plan when the bents comes or the emergency comes if you follow the four steps before you should be good.

Find the Spanish version here.

What is an Elevator Pitch? And what is the purpose of an Elevator Pitch?

By Shamitha Ramanan

Clearly articulating your value is critical in a world where people’s attention spans are getting shorter, and opportunities arise suddenly. Times like these are where an elevator pitch comes in. In the time it takes to ride an elevator, you should be able to provide a concise and powerful overview of who you are, what you do, and why it all matters.

What is an Elevator Pitch?

An elevator pitch is a brief, persuasive speech that you can use to spark interest in what you or your business offers. It’s called an elevator pitch because it should be short enough to present during a brief elevator ride – typically around 30 seconds to two minutes.

The Purpose of an Elevator Pitch

Capture Attention: An elevator pitch is designed to quickly capture your audience’s attention and pique their interest in what you offer.

Make a Memorable Impression: First impressions are essential, and an elevator pitch is your chance to make a lasting one. By delivering a brief and persuasive message, you increase the probability that your audience will remember you and your value proposition.

Communicate Your Value Proposition: Regardless of whether you are an entrepreneur, a salesperson, or a job seeker, an elevator pitch allows you to communicate your unique value proposition clearly and concisely. It answers the question, “What do you do, and why should I care?” in a compelling way.

Open Doors to Opportunities: Opportunities often arise unexpectedly, and you never know when you’ll find yourself in a situation where you must pitch yourself or your business on the spot. An elevator pitch equips you with the confidence and clarity to seize these opportunities.

Start Conversations: An effective elevator pitch serves as a conversation starter. It is about delivering a monologue, initiating a dialogue, and engaging your audience meaningfully.

Find the Spanish version here.

Tips for Creating an Effective Elevator Pitch

By Shamitha Ramanan

An elevator pitch is a concise and compelling synopsis of your background, experience, and what you offer in the thirty seconds or less it takes to ride an elevator. Here are some tips to consider when crafting an elevator pitch:

Know Your Audience: Spend time learning about and understanding your target audience before drafting your elevator pitch. Make your pitch specific to the requirements, interests, and pain points of the people you are pitching to, whether they are prospective workers, investors, or clients.

Begin with a Hook: Use an attention-grabbing hook or opening sentence to grab the attention of your audience right away. This may be with a question, an eye-opening figure, or a short story that connects to your expertise or service. The goal is to spark their interest and compel them to hear more.

Keep it Concise and Clear: Recall that you only have a little time to make your presentation, so be concise and clear. Every word matters. Refrain from jargon or technical terminology that might confuse your readers; keep your message brief and straightforward. Make an effort to explain your value proposition in an understandable language.

Emphasize Your Differentiating Features: What makes you stand out from the competition in your industry? Emphasize your distinctive abilities, accomplishments, and experiences to make an impression. Pay attention to the advantages you may provide your audience and why they should be interested in your offer.

Practice.  Practice. Practice: Practice is necessary to create a compelling elevator pitch. After you’ve written your pitch, practice it until it comes easily and naturally. You may record yourself, practice in front of a mirror, or practice with a friend or coworker to ensure you maximize the time given.

Be Genuine: Gaining your audience’s confidence and credibility requires being genuine. When presenting, show off your personality and be sincere and enthusiastic. Instead of coming out as too prepared, talk from the heart and allow your passion for your idea or task to come through.

End with a Call to Action: Put a clear call to action at the end of your elevator pitch to nudge your audience to take the following action. Make it simple for them to carry on the conversation and look into options by giving them quick access to your website, LinkedIn connections, and follow-up meeting scheduling. Remind them who is a perfect referral for your business.

Be Flexible and Adaptable: Finally, be ready to modify your elevator pitch to fit various settings and circumstances. You never know when or where you might be asked to give a pitch, so be prepared to modify it at any time based on the situation and the people you’re speaking with.

Developing your elevator pitch skills is an important life skill that may lead to changes in your personal and professional life. You will be well-prepared to leave a lasting impression and take advantage of any chance if you create a concise, captivating, and genuine pitch.

Find the Spanish version here.

La Incubadora Podcast: Travis County Inventory Asset, Navigating the County Renditions Form

La Incubadora Podcast is part of the Economic Growth Business Incubator, a local non profit with the mission to provide training, coaching, and support to aspiring existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business. La Incubadora Podcast is born out of the need to put in video and audio a lot of the success stories that we see at the business incubator. We also want to frequently asked questions and connect small business owners with the resources to succeed in business on your own time and wherever you are while you have access to a mobile device. This episode is produced with the support of Raycast media, EGBI sends a big thank you to Raycast media for their partnership. Today we dive into the intricacies of Travis County taxes, assets, and inventory requirements for small business owners featuring insights from EXP experts at Travis county Appraisal District from understanding what constitutes personal property to navigating rendition forms and filing deadlines. We explore essential questions relevant to entrepreneurs, discover exemptions obligations regarding property value, discrepancies and implications of business changes.

The goal of this episode is to equip you with the valuable knowledge to effectively manage your tax responsibilities and asset inventory in Travis. Travis County Appraisal District business personal property department is responsible for maintaining all personal property accounts including reviewing renditions on personal accounts including renditions on personal property and removing accounts for entities that are no longer in business as of January 1st of each year. Our host will be Amy Cobb and we have two guests from TCAD, our first guest is Nancy Wiatrek, who serves as director of the Business and Public policy department and has more than 15 years of experience working on personal property issues with the district. We also have invited Samantha Leija, who currently serves as a senior personal property appraiser and has been with TCAD’s BPP department for more than two years.

What does Travis Central Appraisal District do and what do you all do?

Nancy says,

This mission of the Travis Central Appraisal District, given the coordinate of the Texas Constitution and the laws of the state is to provide accurate appraisal of all property in Travis County at 100% market value that is equally and that in a professional ethical and economical courteous manner. We work to ensure that each taxpayer only pays their fair share of the property tax burden. To keep our current data correct, business personal property appraisers will conduct an annual canvas for each personal property account in Travis County. Additionally visit each address to encourage compliance in reporting by taxpayers and to discover personal property. Typically if you own a business you are required to report personal property that is used in your business to the appraisal district. The appraisal district uses the information to estimate the market value of your business property for annual tax purposes. Texas requires businesses to pay property taxes to each taxing unit based on the market value of the inventory and assets it owns or uses in the production of income. This year we are estimating 35,000 renditions that will be mailed out to Travis Central business owners within the next week that is due April 15th. We have a lot of renditions that we are going to be provided back and all of our appraisers are going to process through

What counts as personal property, and why do I have to fill out a Rendition Form?

Samantha says,

What counts as a personal property is all assets are used in production of income, so that’s going to include your furniture, such as desks, chairs and tables. Machinery equipment such as restaurant equipment or like your heavier machinery like forklifts, Office machines like computer scanners and phones, we also have computers, vehicles, boats, aircraft, raw materials, finished goods. Businesses aren’t required to render intangible personal properties so you’re looking at your cash, accounts receivable, computer software such as your Microsoft Office. Rendition Forms have to be filled out annually by April 15th or by extension May 15th. That extension is automatically granted so long as it’s been requested before April 15. We have a form on our website that can be mailed in but we can also receive emails for those extensions as well.

The extension form at the bottom has an address to mail to as well as our email address is: bpp@tcadcentral.org

Travis County Appraisal District mailing address is: 850 East Anderson Lane Austin, Texas 78752

What happens if I don’t complete a rendition form, and what if I sold my business last year but still received a property tax bill?

Samantha says,

If you sold your business last year, we do need to be notified which can be done a couple different ways so you can do it by email bpp@tcadcentral.org and you could also mail in a not in business affidavit that can be requested directly from the cad. Email is always better because we can print that out directly and send it via email and it just needs to be returned once we do that, the account will be closed for the year.

Are there exemptions available that would exempt me from having to fill out a rendition or pay property tax?

Samantha says,

Yes we do have a couple different exemptions available that would exempt you from having to fill out a rendition or property tax. We have a religious or charitable exemption so those are going to be your nonprofits and of course your churches. If those are granted, property owners don’t have to fill out an annual addition. Once it’s granted then it keeps that exemption for the life of the property. We do have another exemption for a vehicle used both in the production of income and personal use, you’re looking at your realtors. That makes the vehicle exempt from taxes but all other assets are still required to be rendered and they are still subject to taxes. That exemption is per vehicle not per account, so if the vehicle is sold or replaced a new exemption needs to be applied for. All other exemptions we have such as Freeport Exemption and Biomedical Exemption, those are still subject to property taxes in some form. So an annual application and rendition are still required.

A non profit or church can’t just assume if they have their 501c3 through the state, they still have to file an exemption because it has to be at the county level as well.

My notice of Appraised Value was higher than the amount I rendered, why is that, and can TCAD help me complete my rendition form?

Samantha says,

A property owner is required to file a rendition per the Texas property tax code annually. However we at the district aren’t required to accept it typically because we’re seeing assets that are missing. For example, we’re looking at a rental car place and we want to see those cars along with the assets so we do have alternate methods of evaluation.

If you notice something is not right, there are instructions to file the protest on it and we don’t typically help complete rendition forms just because you’re the one who knows the most about your business so if we try to help you we may not have the most accurate information about what you’re reporting. Although we can answer general questions so what can go in what section or if you’re confused on some verbiage we can answer general questions about that rendition.

I disagree with my property value, can TCAD adjust my value without me having to protest?

Nancy says,

No, so once the market value has been set and a notice of appraise Value has been mailed, the only way TCAD can review accounts to make changes or potential changes is with an active protest on file for the year that the value is in question.

How can I find more information?

Nancy says,

The first thing you need to do is visit our website at www.traviscad.org there we have frequently asked questions you can speak to one of our customer service representatives by phone as well as through the agent and/or taxpayer portal. I do want to say that at the end of February 28th, the BPP department will be hosting an informational webinar at 12 pm to provide further detail in regard to business personal property. If you go to our website you may sign up on our web page. We look forward to seeing everyone at the next webinar and that is typically going to go over the rendition process. The webinar will be about an hour long.

Appreciation

Amy says,

It has been a pleasure chatting with Nancy and Samantha today and we hope you find this episode useful to you. If you know someone who could benefit from listening to this episode please share the link to this episode with them. Remember that La Incubadora Podcast is part of the Economic Growth Business Incubator, a business incubator in Central Texas that offers training, coaching, and support to small business owners with barriers to achieving success. If you would like to learn more about the Economic Growth Business Incubator services please visit egbi.org and see you soon!

Find the Spanish version here.