Monday's Afternoon Update
What You Need to Know About Florida Today
FPL's natural gas plant at Port Everglades faces opposition from industrial users
At a regulatory hearing Monday morning, Florida Power & Light Co. faced unexpected opposition to its plan to build a $1.2 billion natural gas plant at Port Everglades, replacing the oil-fueled plant at the port.
Florida Industrial Power Users Group questioned why FPL is not purchasing existing power from South Florida waste-to-energy generators. "Who needs this plant?" said lawyer Jon Moyle who was representing the industrial group. "We believe it's not FPL customers, its FPL shareholders who need this plant." Read more at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Sen. Alexander and USF Pres. Genshaft to meet, talk funding and USF Polytechnic
In just a couple hours, the two main players in the USF Polytechnic drama, which came to a head last week after the Senate budget recommended cutting USF's funding more than any other university, are finally meeting face-to-face to try to sort through the conflict. The discussion between USF President Judy Genshaft and Sen. JD Alexander, R-Lake Wales, is the first meeting of the two in months. Sen. Jim Norman, R-Tampa, who put the meeting together, said he's hopeful the two can come to an understanding about a more fair budget cut in light of a bill that would immediately split off the USF Poly campus with all of its assets, property and appropriated funds. More at the Tampa Bay Times.
» Come back to FloridaTrend.com on Tuesday for an update of their meeting.
Forget what you know about the four Ps of marketing -- product, price, placement, and promotion -- the elements of the marketing mix. Those elements are useful when planning your strategy, but they just don’t get to the heart of what marketing is all about.
The focus should be on what really needs to be accomplished to get more customers knocking on your door.
Event: Tickets still available for Miami Herald Small Business Forum
Do you run a small business or is being your own boss in your plans?
Reserve your place now to attend the The Miami Herald's annual Small Business Forum this Thursday, Feb. 23. Sponsored by Florida International University's Eugenio Pino and Family Global Entrepreneurship Center and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship South Florida, this year's forum will feature business experts who have been in the trenches with small businesses, either as entrepreneurs themselves or as consultants.
Tickets cost $25 and include a continental breakfast and lunch.
More information at the Miami Herald.
Small Biz Advice
Know your customer acquisition costs
What is a customer worth to your business? Too often I see entrepreneurs grossly understate the value of each customer. If you do not know the true value of a customer then it is so hard to estimate on how much to spend to acquire new customers or how much effort to put into keeping each existing customer.
» Read more: The full column from Jerry Osteryoung is here.
Builders' show in Orlando draws half its peak turnout
51,000 people attended the 2012 International Builders' Show this year, according to the National Association of Home Builders, which is about half the 100,000-strong crowd the show used to attract. The show at the Orange County Convention Center ended its four-day run on Feb. 10. Organizers said there were exhibits from more than 900 suppliers representing various aspects of the home-building industry. More at the Orlando Sentinel
Still paying by check? There are fewer of us
The days of the paper check may be numbered. Last year, the number of checks processed by the Federal Reserve fell at its steepest rate yet, down 17 percent to an average 25.3 million a day, July through September. That's a third of the volume processed 20 years ago. Many Floridians prefer the ease of plastic cards and electronic payments. Also, some local businesses have stopped accepting paper checks. The UPS Store Fort Lauderdale usually won't take checks, "because then you have to chase people down if there are insufficient funds, and that costs us money," said president Jim Lawrence, 55. Full story from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.