Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Should I take a job in Houston with all the floods they are having?

Houston was the top place to live in the time of the Great Recession. We were booming with more jobs than qualified people to fill. College graduates without experience in Houston were able to land some kind of professional job while the rest of the United States was at a point that many with years of experience were unemployed and college graduates were questioning if they made the right choice. I was one myself. I was in Raleigh, North Carolina, at the time home of the financial industry, graduated with a bachelor's degree in accounting. I was in the worst place I could locate. The place hurt the most with a degree in that field. The financial crisis had the biggest impact on Raleigh due to being the home of the majority of large bank headquarters. Luckily, I had family in Houston so I knew I would at least have food on my plate and a roof over my head though I would be broke if I moved to Houston. I was one of the many college graduates, and graduate students still working minimum wage jobs. Personally, this long period caused depression between over $100,000 in student loan debt, and not able to support myself even with the job I had.

On to the positive, I took the chance of moving to Houston, Texas after hearing from others in the area that the economy was booming. I thought it seems fishy like they were just trying to convince me to move near family. I prayed for a long while before finally saving my last two checks from my minimum wage job, to pay the gas and other fees of my move. I brought with me only my luggage and school supplies to finish graduate school. It was much to my surprise that the economy really is booming. I found jobs in Accounting ranging from contract work, chances at owning a business with a large clientele developing without trying. Many of the jobs were on the other side of town but with the high pay, I was happy to take. The horrible traffic did not stop me.

I ended up becoming a tutor and opening a tutoring company that actually boomed in the time of the Great Recession from so many people going back to school. Houston is the home of Katy, Texas, west part of Houston, that has been for years rated as "The Top School District in the State of Texas." Houston is also home of Houston Community College that has been recognized for a long time as "Third in Top Community Colleges in the Nation" ratings. There is high security of your children receiving some of the best quality of education possible in the public education system.

As far as the flooding, research what parts of town are the first to flood, and which were flooded during Hurricane Harvey that was the worst flood in Texas history, at the time. Majority of Houston was underwater to some degree. However, the key is the majority, not all. I was in a community in Katy that was not affected. We did not flood, were not hit by the tornadoes or any other possible harm. If an area you consider living does not have flood insurance, which I encourage you to get, then it was more likely than not, one of the areas that have flooded every time. The rates will be higher in the areas that are second to flood, and third to flood, but more likely to have insurance coverage. Just know, flood insurance is separate from homeowners' insurance or renters' insurance. Once you have done your research, if you find areas you are interested that have very low, you think unbelievable, rates of flood insurance, consider it a reassurance that it is an area that either is the last to flood or was not flooded in any of the floods since 2015 Memorial Day.

Many of the homes for sale, and especially at unbelievable low prices, are the ones damaged the most often by the flooding. Hint: why the seller wants to get out. Be sure to ask about the flooding history of that house, and consider eliminating it if it has history of flooding. Prices of homes that never flooded, or not during Harvey, at least, have gone way up. In a case like this, you may have to pay more for what does not exactly fit your family's tasted but will at least feed the necessities. If this is a situation you end up facing, it is my advice you move a grade down in the kind of car you drive, the eating out and other controllable, even not necessity, costs to allow your family to have a low likelihood of flooding home.

If you stay within the parameters I have given in choosing your home, cautions of preventing your next home to be in flood zone, then moving to Houston, that still has a booming economy, should not be much of a debate. The flooding is the main concern of many, not just you. Houston as a whole has been such a wonderful place, especially job security and plentiful, that even in the last few years of constant flooding, our population has multiplied. We were for a while fourth largest city in the United States but now are the third largest city in the United State passing up Chicago.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Why are large retail companies closing?

Since the start of the Great Recession, many businesses have been affected. Many businesses have highly struggled, including large businesses that most of the United State's population thought did not hurt. However, the true reality is shocking. The large businesses are actually the ones hurt the most and over the longest period of time. A large percentage of them, though they continue to report impressive Net Incomes on taxes and other public documents, actually had to take out loans or other financings.

As retail of most types is typically an expense paid with disposable income, the sales were highly decreased as unemployment was at its record high and even before the Great Recession, such as the time of the Financial Crisis when there were lots of bailouts.

Since the rise of unemployment, many have started to save money, including those who never lost their job in the Great Recession. With the fear of repeating history, as it has before, there are fewer people spending, and many spending less, on retail-related. Lots have changed to primarily shop online as amazon rose in popularity to dominate the online retail industry. The biggest advantage is the convenience, and lower prices on most products with free shipment if you pay membership of $99 a year.

Since gas prices were rising at the same time, more people found it to be more economical to purchase online saving the gas and time cost of getting to and from the brick and mortar stores. As this increased in popularity, more brick and mortar businesses have suffered losing to Amazon.

The increasing closing of stores, bankruptcies and some cases complete shutting down of large businesses link to the rise of Amazon without making changes to be more competitive with the online market. The larger businesses have only increased expenses with the financing, the return of increasing amount of jobs, in some cases, rise in salaries to obtain the higher qualified with hopes that better employees would improve the overall success. It has been evident to many business and economic professionals that this was the wrong way of going about the competition.

As jobs have increased so has the employment of the less qualified due to being an employee market right now. This has lead to lower performance,  and more unsatisfied customers causing long term loss of business. There have been at least hundreds of small businesses rise, grow and be developed in the midst of the increased plummet in satisfaction with the large businesses. This has lead to a change in types of businesses that perform better as brick and mortar.

Due to the increase in debt, decrease in sales, and lack of improvement to be more competitive over an extended time, many large businesses, more commonly retail, have had to face financial crisis.  The financial crisis of each business had put the decision-makers in situation only solvable by decreasing number of locations,  filing bankruptcy or total shut down. As they say, time is everything, so it applies to the many retail businesses who have waited too long to do something about the changes in demand by the evolving market.

If you want to open a business with the improved and growth of a business,  new markets, and perform with higher sales, please call us at 346-800-1912 for business consulting services. We will provide details on the mistakes to avoid which these large businesses are guilty, and the better ways so your business can thrive. We will do researches,  provide ideas, and help with business planning, among other ways, to help ensure success for you.