New biz is good news
The number of new businesses in Tennessee continues to rise according to a report from Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office.
It’s a sign that the state’s economic growth will continue, he says.
There were 8,915 new entity filings in the fourth quarter of 2017, an 8.5 percent increase compared to the same time the year before. Initial filings have had positive year-over-year growth for 25 consecutive quarters. Domestic limited liability corporations (LLCs), which were up 13.1 percent, show the strongest growth and account for more than half of all new entity filings.
“These numbers show that business leaders continue to invest in Tennessee,” Hargett says.
The Tennessee Quarterly Business and Economic Indicators report provides a periodic snapshot of the state’s economy based on a variety of information, including new business data from the Division of Business Services.
As of Jan. 1, 2018, there were 262,462 active entities in Tennessee representing a 5.1 percent increase compared to the same time last year.
Among the state’s four largest counties, Hamilton County has the largest initial filings year-over-year growth at 21.3 percent. Davidson County came in second at 11.8 percent with Shelby County right behind at 11 percent. Knox County saw a 7.7 percent increase. The four counties account for 5,013 new entity filings during the fourth quarter of 2017, which is a 12 percent increase compared to the same time in 2016.
The state’s unemployment remained historically low at 3.3 percent in December. Tennessee’s unemployment rate remains well below the current national average of 4.1 percent.
State revenues for the current fiscal year are up 3.8 percent.
Mayers on the cutting edge in tech
Tech analysts and industry watchers are saying that innovations behind the latest consumer electronics are likely to show up in the workplace by late this year.
Virtual assistants, voice recognition and 5G will be among the hottest trends transforming the ways business gets done in the year ahead. “We are all consumers in a digitally transformed world,” said Drayton Mayers, who owns and operates TeamLogic IT Memphis, which provides third-party management of technology for independent businesses and mid-sized companies. “The gadgets and services that enchant us at home also raise our technology expectations where we work. Some refer to it as the consumerization of IT.”
Trends expected to be hot in 2918 include:
– Virtual Assistants: Assistants similar to Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri will likely enter the workplace as tools to boost productivity by sharing information and supporting typical business functions. HubSpot columnist Amanda Zantal-Wiener predicts virtual assistant technology will not only speak more like humans, they’ll be able to explain why recommendations were made or actions taken on behalf of employees and/or customers.
– Voice Recognition: Forbes contributor Jayson DeMers foresees 2018 as the year we see “seamless conversation” with our devices and services as voice recognition software is becoming “better at recognizing speech than human transcribers.”
– 5G: This next generation wireless promises to be as much as 10 times faster than its predecessors, with greater capacity and fewer delays. DeMers foresees a “year of massive preparation for engineers, developers, and consumers, as they gear up for a new generation of internet.”
Mayers says, “The advent of 5G standards promises to provide faster transfer of data, enable more devices to connect to the internet and reduce the time it takes for devices to communicate needed to fuel the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution. During the Winter Olympics, South Korea showcased its 5G technology, which will be the core technology that drives adoption of other technologies, such as autonomous vehicles, IoT and virtual or augmented reality. As the pace of change accelerates, our team is well prepared to provide the technological prowess our clients desire so they may focus their energies on taking care of their businesses and their customers.”
Hutson seminar series
Memphis-based Don Hutson, a nationally recognized speaker, is doing a new seminar series titled “Negotiating the Sale” starting March 13 at Fogelman Executive Conference Center & Hotel at the University of Memphis at Central Avenue and Innovation Drive.
Hutson is a New York Times International best-selling author, member of the Speaker’s Hall of Fame, member of the Society of Entrepreneurs and CPAE and CEO of U.S. Learning. 
“‘Negotiating the Sale’, is designed to help professionals preserve margin and get their price, even in intensely competitive environments,” Hutson says. “Finding ways to collaborate with customers and prospects can lead to ongoing win-win relationships and enhanced customer satisfaction while preserving margins.”
Hutson has been the featured speaker and headliner in thousands of engagements all across the U.S. and 30-plus countries.
Headquartered in Memphis for nearly 35 years, Hutson founded U.S. Learning to offer training for professional sales team members, management, and entrepreneurs.
“As we enter a new year, our goal is to make a positive impact right here in our home town,” he says. “As an alumnus of The University of Memphis and a member of numerous local & national organizations, I consider myself to be one of the strongest supporters of all that makes Memphis a great place to live and work. We want to help the professionals in our area succeed like never before & events like ‘Negotiating The Sale’ can help us achieve this goal.”
Tickets for the event are $195 per person and seating is limited. Registration is available online at Attendees will receive an autographed copy of Hutson’s book, The One Minute Negotiator. A seminar workbook for note-taking will also be provided.
All the members of the Soulsville Charter School’s Class of 2018 have been accepted to college. This is the seventh consecutive year that all seniors have that option. Some will choose four year, some will choose two year, some will choose trade school, and some may choose the military.
Power Players

Inside Memphis Business publishes a list of local Power Players every year. These are the movers and shakers in more than 30 categories who get things done in their respective fields. IMB’s next issue in April will have the complete list. We also publish individual categories in

Trent Williamson

other issues throughout the year, and now we’re featuring individual Power Players in our Tip Sheet. 

Today’s Power Player in the Independent Schools category is Trent Williamson, Head of School, Harding Academy. B.A., Harding University; M.A., History, University of Memphis. Founding Director and Board Member, Memphis Opportunity Scholarship Trust. Co-teaches Honors African-American History with Dr. Scott Frizzell. Harding recently announced a multi-year multi-phase campaign as part of its plan to house Sr. K–Grade 12 on one campus in East Memphis beginning in August 2018.