Leesburg Area Chamber of Commerce


By Arthur D. Levy, CPA
The RoArt Group, LLC

Difficulties faced by family can sometimes lead to their demise.  Stats tell us that the success rates of many entrepreneurial business is generally poor and estimates that 70-80% of all private businesses fail during the first 4-5 years with fewer lasting than 10% the last 10 years.  Family businesses stats tell us that fewer than 1/3 pass on to the second generation successfully.

So if you are the head of the family business, how do you control and manage the complexities of the dynamics of the family?

The key to a successful family owned business is not to let the business and the family destroy both the family and the family owned business.  As the Chairman of the Family Business Council of Greater New York, one of my members once told me “if we could run the business with our head instead of our heart, we have a thriving and successful family owned business for generations to come.”

Having worked with family owned business for many years, here are a few suggested guidelines you can follow to assure family business success.

To maintain continuity and run a successful multigenerational family business you must be proactive, not reactive at managing the family and the business.

Understand and know there will be reoccurring family business issues, most around the financial. As the family grows and matures, the issues will become more complex causing the financial issues to change as lives change.  This is common in all family owned businesses.

To manage the family business issues create a procedure that includes regular meetings with family members and bring in an outside and objective facilitator.

This procedure should reinforce key values that are most important to you and the family.  Family values can supersede rivalries, jealousies, and financial self interest.

Life is constantly changing. Changes in the family along with the evolution of the business creates a constant stream of the multigenerational family business issues that must be controlled and managed in order to keep the family business thriving.

If you would like more information about your family business issues, please contact Arthur@theroartgroup for a complimentary consultation.

Arthur D. Levy, CPA & Rosann Levy, The RoArt Group, LLC, Family Business Strategists, create strategies for small & midsize family owned businesses that address both family and business issues, enabling business growth, increased profits and continuity from generation to generation.   www.theroartgroup.com

By Arthur D. Levy, CPA, The RoArt Group

When is the last time you have been mesmerized by a good story?  Was it a book you recently read?  Did a colleague who shared their family business success story compel you?  Regardless, stories can change our thought process.  It can make you look at your family business culture entirely differently.  We all have stories and family business stories can be compelling.  They can help attract new business, build trust and can turn prospects into customers/clients.

Stories can be a powerful tool for your family business. A good family business story motivates the next generation, your employees, connects with your customers/clients, your suppliers and even the media.  When using your story to communicate your brand, you create a strong personal connection among your listeners.  It can change opinions, and remove judgments.

reading-77167The story of the family business, from the founder to the current generation plays an important role in determining the success of the business.  The family business can distinguish and promote it’s longevity through their story.  They can share the folklore of the founder/s, learn why and how it started and verify the achievements, and failures.  The more stories shared the more benefits derived.

Storytelling also plays a part when the family business is transitioning from one generation to the next making the assumptions, values and artifacts even more important in articulating the family business culture through their story.  Learning the stories from the family business past can change the way the new generations will act when they take over and are faced with conflicts.

Most consumers prefer to buy from a family business that shares their story and their core values.  They prefer to align themselves with like-minded people.

With the internet being such an important part of marketing and branding your business it is also important to publish your story as a central part of your website including all of your marketing materials. When you tie in your history and your values and share it, your family business is sure to be a success and continue from one generation to the next.

Arthur D. Levy, CPA & Rosann Levy, The RoArt Group, LLC, Family Business Strategists, create strategies for small & midsize family owned businesses that address both family and business issues, enabling business growth, increased profits and continuity from generation to generation.   www.theroartgroup.com

The Art of Negotiation

Negotiation is a game, yet many don’t play it as they lack confidence. But once you know how to play the game negotiating can be fun and you can come out the winner. Once you learn the rules, the strategies, tactics, and play by the rules, negotiating gets easier because the emotion has been removed.

Consider the following and learn the win-win:

Pick a Strategy
Do you want a win-win or a win-lose?

First decide if you want to use a win-win strategy or a win-lose strategy.  Striving for a win-win outcome is conventional business wisdom; that is you get most of want you want by helping the other side get much of what they want. Win-win negotiations, when they work, are great because all parties feel good about the outcome and hard feelings are put aside.

Occasionally, win-win outcomes do not work or are not preferred. This is when to use the win-lose strategy; meaning try to get what you want and don’t worry about any bad feelings.

Regardless which strategy you decide upon, the next step is to do your homework. Learn about the weaknesses and strengths of the other side and the greater your chances of getting what you want.


If your employer will have a hard time replacing you, consider holding out for the best deal.

When negotiating a lease, knowing the building has been empty for a year is very valuable information.

Having your negotiation tactics ready can make the difference between winning and losing.  Depending on the situation consider the following:

  1. Avoid making the first offer – Negotiation 101
  2. Ask for more than you want – Play the game
  3. A friendly gesture – this is a good tactic for the win-win – creates good will.
  4. Be creative – Ask for something else if you can’t get what you want
  5. Don’t be too interested — make it seem like you’ll take it or leave it.
  6. Red herring — Use this as a diversion and allow yourself a chance to compromise and hold out for what your really want
  7. Wrap it up — give a little nudge and get the deal done
  8. Blowup — blowing up then cooling off sometime gets people to be more cautious about what’s being offered
  9. Willing to walk — the single most powerful weapon you have is the willingness to walk away with no deal

Whether you are negotiating for a raise, for a new lease, a higher position, suppliers, investors learn to play the negotiating game and it will be a win-win.

Arthur D. Levy, CPA and Rosann Levy are principals of the The RoArt Group, LLC. The RoArt Group, helps restaurateurs, small, midsize, & family owned businesses create strategies to increase profits and “grow” their business.  www.theroartgroup.com

New York financial technology company SmartAsset released the rankings from its second annual Healthiest Housing Markets Study  and Leesburg made the list at number 9 in Florida, up from their ranking of  16 in 2015. The study measures market health by the average number of years residents spend in homes, home values, ease of sale, and the costs associated with ownership.
For a look at how Leesburg compares with the Florida leaders, check the table below:

Rank City Average Years Living in Home Avg. Homes with Negative Equity Homes Decreasing in Value Avg. Days on Market Home Costs as % of Income Healthiest Markets Index
1 Lake Butler 13.1 12.8% 7.4% 88.0 19.8% 88.39
2 Lady Lake 11.1 9.0% 20.3% 50.4 19.6% 87.11
3 Satellite Beach 14.4 9.0% 8.8% 41.9 23.1% 86.47
4 Hernando 11.5 12.3% 11.1% 145.8 19.4% 82.92
5 Zephyrhills, 11.6 26.6% 12.7% 35.8 19.6% 82.42
6 Sun City Center 11.2 11.6% 14.2% 90.7 21.0% 82.16
7 Safety Harbor 13.9 9.9% 10.4% 79.2 23.4% 81.65
8 Rockledge, 12.5 15.1% 10.1% 92.0 21.5% 81.48
9 Leesburg, 11.4 16.3% 20.9% 61.9 20.4% 80.55
10 Estero, FL 9.0 8.0% 9.0% 127.6 21.7% 80.33

LassiterWare Cares, Leesburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Jon’s Nursery and Boy Scouts beautify Beverly Shores Elementary.
Leesburg, Florida – On Saturday, August 22 2015, at 8:00 a.m., Beverly Shores Elementary School was invaded by rakes, shovels, mulch, plants and a tractor. With the assistance of School Principal Monica Gordon, community partners LassiterWare’s Foundation, LassiterWare Cares, Leesburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Jon’s Nursery and the local Boy and Cub Scouts tackled overgrown bushes, weeds and a lack-luster picnic area. Thirty (30) volunteers worked together to spread 40 yards of cedar mulch in existing floral beds and the student picnic area, as well as plant donated bushes and ground cover. “It was fun working with Sandi and the Chamber. It is my hope that the LassiterWare Cares team put a big smile on the face of Beverly Shores Elementary teachers and students for the first day back! We stand dedicated alongside the Leesburg Chamber in the development of the young minds and hearts of Lake County” Doug Childers, Jr., LassiterWare President/CEO.
Leesburg Area Chamber is fortunate to have community and business partners such as; Jon’s Nursery, who donated 25 Ligustrums, 25 Ligustrum-Jack Frosts and 10 flats of Asiatic Jasmine for the front flowerbeds to create a welcoming and inviting school campus. And, LassiterWare Insurance, a century old Leesburg business whose corporate values include community, take pride in supporting the places they live and work. LassiterWare Cares Foundation, which is solely funded by the employees of LassiterWare, donated time, sweat equity and mulch to the Beverly Shores Elementary Landscape project.
The Leesburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s Education Committee and its partners strive to support and improve Leesburg Community Schools. School Pride is an essential element that motivates, builds, and instills values, confidence, and appreciation in our Students, Staff, Faculty and Administration. Our Schools are a reflection of our Community.
Promoting Progress and Profit in the Leesburg Area!
For more information please contact maria@leesburgchamber.com or mandyf@lassiterware.com. Visit leesburgchamber.com and http://www.lassiterware.com/giving-back.php