Small Biz Tip: Training: Hands On

Tips from October 23, 2009 The Small Business tips today discuss hands-on training and its benefits. Role Play: employees mimic real decision making in business situations. Very effective: try upper management & employee roles. Internship: get a feel for employment before becoming an employee. Get on-the-job and classroom training to learn about the business. Apprenticeships: over a long period of time, employees develop many skills while supervised by a senior employee. Usually for a trade. Job Rotation: employees learn a little about every department to learn different tasks and skills associated with each job. Daily Overview: Hands-on training allows for a different learning process to take place and can even be most memorable. [Read Full Article]

Buying Local: Quick Fix or Long-term Solution?

  Government, Politics and the Economy Pitching in for Main Street: A Short-Term Fix or Long-Term Prosperity? The economic downturn has prompted many consumers and neighborhood groups to actively support small businesses in their local communities, as residents pitch in to try to avoid boarded-up shops on Main Street. Still, it remains unclear whether buy-local campaigns provide just a short-term boost or a lasting impact on revenues. Dumbest Moments in Business 2009 The first six months of 2009 has, so far, been filled with business and economic decisions that have left us all scratching our heads. From this embarass... [Read Full Article]

Perks to Replace Raises and Bonuses

You want to pay your people more. After all, they are the ones who make your business the success it is. However, in a recession like this, with your profits dwindling, you really need more creative ways of showing your appreciation and rewarding your employees. How do you do that? You do it by remembering that while a check certainly does fulfill certain needs, there are other needs and other ways to fulfill them.  /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} Supporting the Work-Life Balance Employees are often torn between the conflicting needs of their pers... [Read Full Article]

Small Biz Tip: Twitter Marketing : Small Business Benefits

Tips from Monday, March 16, 2009 The Small Business tips today will show you how Twitter can benefit small business. Twitter creates a way for the customer to form a relationship with your company, allowing business to be more personal. People buy from those that they like and trust. Twitter creates the ability for that. What you tweet should have a direct benefit to those that follow your updates: entertainment or educational. If you have any communication skills, you can effectively use Twitter. Your cost is only time. Daily Overview: Twitter helps small business create trust building relationships that allow you to entertain/ educate costing only time. [Read Full Article]

Small Business Benefits in the Stimulus Plan

By the time President Obama signed the stimulus bill into law, we all knew the score: there was very little in the bill directed at small business. That, however, is not to say that there is nothing in the thousand-plus page bill that will help the small business sector. You just have to look for it. You will find some tax breaks, some grants and some health reform money. Some of the money is aimed directly at small businesses, but a lot of it is work that small businesses will have to compete for, with other small businesses and with larger firms. Tax Breaks. Small businesses with less than $15 million in gross receipts may now claim additional tax refunds. These businesses may use operating losses from 2008 and 2009 to shield taxable income from the previous five years. This is up from just two years. Tax breaks also play a big part in the government's green initiative. For example,... [Read Full Article]

Should SBA be Elevated to Cabinet Status? Landrieu Says “Yes!”

Government and Economy Small Business "Lost in the Equation" Because banks are refusing to make loans and the government is focusing on big-business bailouts, small businesses are "lost in the equation" and are hurting, says Raymond J. Keating, chief economist with the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council. Landrieu: Include SBA in the Cabinet Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., the new chair of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, has called on President-elect Barack Obama to put a Small Business Administration voice in his Cabinet. [Read Full Article]

How the President can Help Small Business

Government and Economy How the President Should Help Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurs and experts offer their suggestions, which ranged from making health care more affordable and streamlining paperwork to out-of-the-box ideas like giving banks access to the Federal Reserve's discount window based on their increase in lending to small businesses. Kiplinger: Unemployment May Hit 9% Mounting job losses and the troubled auto industry are putting more pressure on Congress to stimulate the economy, but will it work? Kiplinger predicts that 2009 could see 3 million jobs lost and an unemployment rate as high as 9%. [Read Full Article]

Mandatory Paid Sick Days

Running a small business is rewarding in many ways, but it can also be tough and the cost of doing business—rent, inventory, utilities, advertising, marketing, payroll, taxes and regulation—adds up very quickly and sometimes, especially in difficult economic times, it can be a real struggle for a business owner to keep their employees on the payroll. The fact is that small businesses are not like the giant uber-corporations that dot the big business landscape; they don’t see their employees as pawns in the great game of stock value and investor profit. No, to small firms, employees are the life and soul of the business just as small business is the life and soul of communities across the nation.  Of course, some folks don’t see it that way. Blinded by their class warfare ideology, they give no thought to the burden they are placing on people when they come up with their latest “great idea.” No, they assume that business owners will just work harder to fi... [Read Full Article]