Business Must Know
194 views | +0 today
Follow
Business Must Know
Owning a business is challenging. Stay ahead of the topics that impact your business.
Curated by Sherry Griffin
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Rescooped by Sherry Griffin from What I Wish I Had Known
Scoop.it!

Top 10 Business Trends That Will Drive Success In 2015

In 2015, you have an opportunity to take some risks, change how you market and sell, as well as define your niche in your market.

Via Anita
Sherry Griffin's insight:

I like this article and think it reaffirms what most of us have been witnessing already.  I am curious as to whether Ian forsees more industries, including non-online services, adopting to the monthly subscription model.  What do you think?

more...
Anita's curator insight, March 10, 2015 4:50 PM

 See if they apply to you and how you might leverage one or more of the trends for your success.

Scooped by Sherry Griffin
Scoop.it!

Entrepreneurship: It Takes a Village - Entrepreneur

Here are the six key resources you need to build a powerful company.
Sherry Griffin's insight:

Completely agree!  You can't be everything and having key people in place will take you far.  I will add to this article by saying the moment you look at bringing on a worker (be it an independent contractor, employee, intern, etc), talk to a certified HR Professional or employment lawyer first (note: employment lawyer not a business lawyer).  

 

Worker classification is a hot issue and one that is getting many employers into trouble because they simply don't know what they don't know.  It is worth it to have a professional that deals with this specific area let you know what your options are and how to proceed.  

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sherry Griffin
Scoop.it!

Subway leads fast food industry in underpaying workers - CNNMoney (press release)

CNNMoney (press release)
Subway leads fast food industry in underpaying workers
CNNMoney (press release)
Common incidents include employers forcing workers to deduct a 30-minute lunch break, even though the employee didn't take a break.
Sherry Griffin's insight:

Failure's to comply with basic HR regulations is pretty common in small business.  Yes, some business owners are trying to take advantage of their workers but, more often than not, they simply aren't aware of all the rules that need to be followed.  

 

The indicator that they are knowingly breaking the law is when they have workers sign an agreement to waive their rights.  Meaning, you can't ask your employees to waive their rights to minimum wage or overtime pay.  Sorry, you just can't.  If you feel your worker isn't worth paying minimum wage, fire them.  If you don't want to pay them overtime, schedule them so there is a buffer where they can finish up their work and not hit overtime hours.


If you are a business owner and want to learn more about the HR regulation you need to follow, find a local HR boot camp workshop. 

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Sherry Griffin from Must Know HR Topics
Scoop.it!

Why should you care about the no-poaching agreement between tech companies?

Why should you care about the no-poaching agreement between tech companies? | Business Must Know | Scoop.it
» Why should you care about the no-poaching agreement between tech companies? | Worker Classification Specialists
more...
Sherry Griffin's curator insight, April 8, 2014 1:55 PM

Here's my thoughts on the no-poaching agreement between tech companies being challenged.  Let me now what you think!

Scooped by Sherry Griffin
Scoop.it!

California Bill Proposed to Protect Temporary Workers

The bill tackles the longstanding complaint of labor leaders that companies can often shirk responsibility for the abuse of workers by hiring them through agencies or contracting with smaller firms...

Sherry Griffin's insight:

I haven't read the specific bill to have an opinion as to whether it is or isn't needed but there are several pieces of misinformation in this article. 

 

1st) When a worker works for you through an agency or contractor, you are typically the joint-employer.  That means you are also responsible for the taxes, wages, and working conditions of the worker.  If the agency or contractor neglect their responsibilities, you can be held accountable.  Just ask Walmart.  They were found responsible for a cleaning contractor's failure to obtain properly completed I9s from the actual workers the contractor sent to clean the Walmart store.

 

2nd) Temporary workers, interns, seasonal workers, and whatever else you want to call them are covered by the same regulations that every  other worker is covered by.  Specifically, minimum wage and overtime.  The housekeeper in this article should have filed a complaint with the Department of Labor (DOL) for unpaid wages and retaliation. They can definitely collect the unpaid wages for her and depending on what their practice in the past has been, the retaliation claim may also stick. 

 

Being temporary doesn't mean you aren't protected.  

 

Being temporary does typically mean knowing less about your rights and how to file a claim.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sherry Griffin
Scoop.it!

Independent contractors a boon for U.S. economy

The American economy is shifting. In the past decade, there has been a significant increase in the number of business owners who are not wage and salary employees, but instead independent contractors. Since the “end” of the recession, there has been an increase of more than 1.8 million sole proprietors.
Sherry Griffin's insight:

I'm a huge fan of Alice Heiman.  She is an awesome woman and she is completely right in this article.  While some small businesses have healthy funding behind them and open their doors with 10 employees, the majority of small businesses start as a single individual with the desire to control their own destiny. 

 

The regulations being passed are designed to stop businesses that are effectively hiring employees but don't want to pay taxes, insurances, or benefits for them.  Yes, this really does happen and it does happen more often than any of us would like to admit. There are also a healthy number of companies that think they are doing it correctly but don't realize what the rules are of how they apply.

 

The impact of companies not following the spirit of the regulations is the creation of more regulations attemption to better define what is and isn't an independent contractor to remove any murky areas.  These regulations, designed to protect workers who really need a job and willing to jump through any hoop to get the job but not really interested in being a business owner, make it much harder for legitimate contractors to obtain contracts.

 

For small business owners, joining It's My Business is a great way to make your voice heard and remind government agencies that being a company of one does not mean you should be regulated out of business.

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sherry Griffin
Scoop.it!

5 worst customer service aggravations

Customer service can be the best marketing campaign for a business, but only if it's done right. (#CNN #Money 5 ways customer service makes you crazy: Customer service can be the best marketin...
Sherry Griffin's insight:

YES!  I feel like someone was in my head after this weekend!  Between wasting too much time ordering a few gifts online to be shipped for Christmas from a company whose new website is completely jacked and our bank's merchant services tech support/customer service (finally calling it a day and dumping them because they may know banking but they are lost when it comes to tech), I'll add a couple more serious areas of aggravation:

1) You call tech support and after an extensive phone tree, you find out tech support is closed but, wait!, you can get tech support online - only you can't because the 'have a tech issue' email on their new website has a tech issue and they aren't receiving any of the tech issue emails being sent to them.

2) Tech support at the company striving to be an online order company (who knows their website isn't working properly) is closed but you can place your order over the phone with a real live person.

3) Ttaff (switching to bank experience now) is so busy trying to get you to pay for additional services they neglect to tell you how the new service is going to wreak havoc on the services you already have.

 

Can I highly recommend, encourage, or strong-arm (take your choice) all C suite execs an upper management to use their own websites and call the phone lines they provide to customers?  Go through it and actually make a purchase, call with an issue, and see what it is your customer is experiencing.  There is no way the majority of C suiters would continue using their own company if they received the same experience their customers do.

 

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sherry Griffin
Scoop.it!

'Integrity tests' for applicants? Really?

Here's one we haven't heard before: Employers subjecting applicants to "integrity testing" as part of the candidate screening process.   We recently stumbled on the practice via a post by Maria Gre...
Sherry Griffin's insight:

So... we have feedback from the EEOC in an advisory letter that when using an integrity test for applicants we may ask about current illegal drug usage.  Those who have used illegal drugs in the past are protected by the EEOC but those who currently use them are not.  Very interesting distinguishment.

The author of the article, though, brings up a very good question: what is the point of using an integrity test with an applicant? If they are currently using drugs, are they really going to answer the question honestly? More importantly, the author poses the question and what if they tell the truth?  Doesn't that show integrity and if that was the point of the test, doesn't that mean they win?

What I find ironic is that we are in an age when HR professionals are constantly excusing bad manners (like not letting an applicant know that they are no longer being considered for a position) because they are "too busy" to possibly have good manners, yet, there are some out there who apparently have time to administer another pre-employment test whose results are suspect.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sherry Griffin
Scoop.it!

24 Simple Marketing Tips for Your Business

It’s not rocket science. (24 Simple Marketing Tips for Your Business | Fox Small Business Center http://t.co/rg9ZSbDIPi via @fbsmallbiz)
Sherry Griffin's insight:
Great list! Short and to the point with simple examples.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sherry Griffin
Scoop.it!

10 facts every business needs to know about the customer experience

Great customer experience has never been more important to business than it is today.
Sherry Griffin's insight:

We've all heard "it is easier to keep a customer than gain a new one." Here are some facts to wake you up and get you focused on your customer service.  At the end of the day your customer service should be about creating the experience you would want to have if you were on the other end of the phone, counter, computer, etc.  It is about letting the customer know you appreciate that they did business with you.  It is about enjoying what you do and having a desire to be doing it for years to come.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sherry Griffin
Scoop.it!

5 Ways to Use Pinterest for Your Business

via @AskMukesh 5 Ways to Use @Pinterest for Your Business http://t.co/Eh8KZJKB4A via @DJThistle #SocialMedia
Sherry Griffin's insight:
How are you using Pinterest in your business? Do you use it as listed in the article or beyond that? If you are more service related without something pretty to take a picture of, what do you Pin? We have ideas and discuss doing it but just haven't had the time. If you are making the time, what benefits does using Pinterest bring to your business?
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sherry Griffin
Scoop.it!

Case Study: How One Man Saved the Family Furniture Business, Then Built a Wildly Successful Online Fitness Company

Ryan Masters has done the heavy lifting a successful content marketing strategy demands, and it has enabled him to break into one of the Internet’s tough (Case Study: How One Man Saved the Family Furniture Business, Then Built a Wildly Successful ...
Sherry Griffin's insight:
Excellent case study! Packed with solid usable information for other business owners. Definitely with reading.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sherry Griffin
Scoop.it!

Senators Propose Bill to Provide Tax Breaks to Small Business Startups

Senators Robert Menendez, D-N.J. and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., have introduced bipartisan legislation to help entrepreneurs start and grow a small business and comply with complex tax rules.
Sherry Griffin's insight:
This is a shocker! The senate proposing something that would actually help small businesses. What are the chances of it not having totally stupid and unrelated attached to it, then passing, & the president signing it? Probably zilch...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sherry Griffin
Scoop.it!

The 5 Most Common Types of Networkers - Alice Heiman, LLC

Networking takes time, but it is crucial for your business. Meet the 5 most common types of networkers you meet at networking events. Which one will you be?
Sherry Griffin's insight:

Networking is a key piece of any successful entrepreneur or sales person.  How you network makes a big impact on how successful you are.  Read Alice's article to see not only where you fit but where you want to be - and then make it happen. 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sherry Griffin
Scoop.it!

Proposal Would Make Illinois Small Businesses Give Retirement Accounts To ... - CBS Local

Proposal Would Make Illinois Small Businesses Give Retirement Accounts To ... - CBS Local | Business Must Know | Scoop.it
Proposal Would Make Illinois Small Businesses Give Retirement Accounts To ...
Sherry Griffin's insight:

Illinois is looking to require owners of businesses with 25 or more employees to provide 401k benefits to its employees.  While I think businesses with that many employees are wise to provide retirement benefits to its employees, I'm not a fan of making it a requirement. 

 

Just as with health care and other benefits, it helps workers distinguish between places they want to work and where they don't; between companies that care about their workers and those that don't.  It is typically easier to get a job at a company that doesn't offer benefits because there isn't as much demand to work there.  The benefit to working at one of these companies is that you can experience.  That experience allows you to apply for a job at a company that has more benefits and, typically, a better work culture.

 

The other downside of requiring benefits is that the hourly take home pay typically goes down.  Employers offering benefits that they see value in giving provide them as an "in addition" to benefit.  Companies that are forced to provide benefits that they don't feel benefit in providing build the cost into the gross amount of compensation and reduce the hourly pay in order to reach the same end dollar amount.

 

Perhaps, it would be better for the state of Illinois to offer free workshops to its residents on the importance of saving for retirements and ways to do it.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sherry Griffin
Scoop.it!

Citywide Protection Services must pay $14760 in back wages: president says ... - The Plain Dealer

Citywide Protection Services must pay $14760 in back wages: president says ...
Sherry Griffin's insight:

Great case of doing it wrong.  Here's the lesson this owner should have learned:  If the Department of Labor (DOL) comes to your door and finds that you are not complying with their rules and makes you fix what you did wrong, fix it and then continue doing it the way the DOL has now specifically told you they want you to do it.

 

But because he didn't, we get to learn from his stupidity. Here is the new lesson: If you get dinged by the Department of Labor for not paying your workers properly and are required to pay back wages, do not encourage your workers to not cash the check, reduce the pay rate or hours of those who do cash their check, and, for the love of your bottom line, do NOT keep committing the same violation. 

 

Not sure which is worse, that the employer didn't think he needed to change how he was doing things when the DOL came in the first time or that he is trying to use the "I was just being nice and see where it got me" routine. 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sherry Griffin
Scoop.it!

Act Now Advisory: Unpaid Interns Now Afforded Same Discrimination Protections as Employees Under the New York City Human Rights Law | JD Supra

On March 26, 2014, the New York City Council passed an amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law ("NYCHRL"), giving unpaid interns the same anti-discrimination protections under...
Sherry Griffin's insight:

I find it flooring that anyone thinks sexually harrasing someone, anyone, is okay.  That they would try to excuse their behavior as being allowed by saying the person they abused isn't an employee because they don't pay them is pathetic (and, seriously, are you that much of a creep that you have to abuse an intern to get some? - I'm just saying - take a hint).  What ever happened to people knowing the difference between right and wrong and accepting responsibility when they were caught messing up?

 

I'm typically not a fan of more regulation as I find it makes it more difficult for businesses that are trying to do the right thing to be compliant.  However, I am a huge fan of this change.  So, creepy person who have to use his role as the boss to get someone in bed and those who don't want to waste her time teaching someone who is different than her (which, reminder, to not pay the intern means you are teaching the intern), consider this your notice in New York.  Coming in a few short months, you can be sued for discrimination - even if the person you are discriminating against is an unpaid intern.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sherry Griffin
Scoop.it!

Apple Is Already Building Its Next Massive Business And No One Seems To ... - Business Insider

Business Insider Apple Is Already Building Its Next Massive Business And No One Seems To ... Business Insider This business is one of Apple's smaller lines, of course.
Sherry Griffin's insight:
Very insightful article regarding the future of Apple and retail. While I won't be in line to use iBeacon, I do believe the vast majority of people out there will happily give up their privacy for a coupon. Of course, the implications go beyond where the author stops. If you can get people to leave their phones on so that coupons can be offered as they shop and they can then purchase the item using their phone (closing the loop), then you have a full record of exactly where they are and what they are and aren't doing. For example you can measure how long a consumer is standing in front of a new product display and determine it's strength in getting the consumer's attention, and whether it address the consumer's perceived need for the product by whether it results in a sale or not. Stores could use the data to reorganize their stores based on specific knowledge of how their customers are shopping (is there a tendency for people to get 1/2 way through the store and then go back to isle 1 for an item that is poorly placed). It is interesting technology that CEOs should be think about as they look to their future.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sherry Griffin
Scoop.it!

How to Establish Business Credit and Maintain a Good Credit Score

Good credit isn't just a concern for individuals. Businesses should also be concerned with their credit reports.
Sherry Griffin's insight:
If you have a small business and have questions about establishing or improving your business's credit score in order to obtain a business loan or line of credit, this is a great article. I'll add one other very important tip, become friends with the branch manager where you do business. They can be an amazing resource!
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sherry Griffin
Scoop.it!

Four headaches facing multistate employers in the US | XpertHR - Employment Intelligence

Sherry Griffin's insight:

It is so important for business owners to understand that the United States isn't so united when it comes to doing business.  I was the HR director for a company with 35 employees across 11 states (NV, CA, TX, OR, OK, IL, OH, NE, FL, PA, & VA) for 5 years. I also oversaw our accounting responsibilities in each state.  Why?  Because what your workers do in each state (contractors can count as well) determines what your reporting liabilities are - and they vary by each state. 

 

The trick is to never assume and do your homework.  The regulations for each state are online.  I'm a fan of learning how to do it yourself after a national accouting firm charged us $20k for research time when all we wanted to know was in which states are schools and non-profits exempt from paying sales tax and is a form required.  We weren't even asking them to review whether our specific product qualified (in some states it depends on what is being purchased). They never did get us an answer to the actual question.  I ended up taking a sales tax seminar that provided me with the knowledge of knowing what questions to ask and the vocabulary to understand the answers.  For $229 and a day of my time, I was able to accomplish what a group of supposed experts were unable to do over a period of 3 months. Yes, that is scary (and, yes, I am that good <grin>).

 

Doing business in other states can mean lots of wonderful opportunities for your business but it can also mean headaches if you don't understand the rules that you will need to follow. 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sherry Griffin
Scoop.it!

Private businesses created more jobs than expected in Nov., survey shows - NBC News.com

Private sector job creation surged in November, with ADP reporting 215,000 new jobs in a number that could put some heat on the Federal...
Sherry Griffin's insight:
What this article neglects to say is that it is typical at this time of year for the private sector to add temporary workers to handle the increase in business over the holidays. Temporary workers show up in payroll (which is the source of this data) just like standard employees. Typically, the payroll company has no idea whether the employee is a standardly hired employee or one who has been hired for a specific short duration weeks because it has no impact on payroll taxing. While I would love to see private sector hiring, any increases seem the past 6 weeks and those that occur over the next 2 weeks are suspect.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sherry Griffin
Scoop.it!

5 Crucial Mobile Advertising Tactics For Small Businesses

The shift in advertising is moving to mobile. If you don't have a strategy in place, try one (or all) of these five cost-effective ways to make the most of your on-the-go customers.
Sherry Griffin's insight:

Agree with the advertising and with the QR code use but have to say that for many businesses sticking to just a mobile app will leave them out of the market long term.  Just like having native ads, having a native app that is designed to utilize the features of the platform (as opposed to a website that fits your phone and has a couple of enhancements from the website) will increase your customer engagment.  The trick is to think outside the box and really understand your user's experience.  Few developers go beyond the "tell me what to code" mentality.  We actually look at the design plan through the eyes of strategic planning.  You need to make sure you know who your user is, why that is your user, what will your user get from your app, what is your objective, and why will your user keep coming back. 

If you are having an app just to have an app, stick to the mobile app because it will save you money.  If you have a stategy that makes business sense, then you should be looking at an app writted specifically for your user's phones (be that iPhone, Android, Blackberry, or Windows).

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sherry Griffin
Scoop.it!

Swiss voters reject proposal to limit executives' pay

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss voters rejected a proposal on Sunday to cap the salaries of top executives at 12 times that of a company's lowest wage, heeding warnings from industry leaders that the measure (RT @JettCapital: Swiss voters reject proposal...
Sherry Griffin's insight:
Interesting referendum! Can you imagine Bill Gates or Oprah being paid only $225k per year? The reality is that not all jobs are equal. They don't contribute the same value and there is a supply & demand issue at work. Jobs that have fewer people capable of performing them get paid more than those everyone can do. If you want to be paid more, you need to be ambitious and dedicated enough to figure out what you can uniquely bring to the table and then work hard to develop that skill set.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sherry Griffin
Scoop.it!

March of the interns: good or bad for the economy? - NBC News.com

Still trying to rebound from the recession, American workers competing for scarce jobs are facing a new enemy: a youthful, eager and... (March of the interns: good or bad for the economy?
Sherry Griffin's insight:
Juicy! The correct title of this article should be "March of the ILLEGAL Interns." Why? Because they aren't talking about workers properly classified as interns. They 're talking about slave labor (though, the workers did agree to do it and choose to go back each day). This is where businesses mess up: they think they know something and go forward without doing their homework. To be an unpaid intern by the US Department of Labor's standards, the worker CANNOT be replacing an employee, must be learning, and should be considered a HINDRANCE to the business - yes, "hindrance" is the wording used in a court decision and is now considered the standard. An intern who is leaning should be, working slower, making mistakes, and slowing down other staff because they are asking questions and needing quite a bit if supervision (they are supposed to be learning after all). If you don't want that type of intern, you need to PAY them at least minimum wage. It is really very simple: if the position is about teaching the worker and all the company gets is the warm fuzzies (and good press) for teaching them, it can be an unpaid intern. If the position is doing a job that is benefiting the company, it needs to be a paid position. Oh! And before you start thinking you'll just move then from intern to volunteer, let me rain on your parade: for-profit organizations CANNOT have volunteers.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sherry Griffin
Scoop.it!

How to market a food business

A passion for food leads many entrepreneurs to start a business, but with so much competition, how do you get the public's attention?
Sherry Griffin's insight:
Great product but no budget to market? This article is about several UK businesses that saw their lack of marketing funds as an opportunity instead of a challenge. The question for you is how can you do the same for your business?
more...
No comment yet.