In a world where people can engage with each other at the click of a mouse, or tap of a Smartphone, engagement has become a huge factor when it comes to the success of a business. So how do you make sure you’re engaging your customers at the best of your ability? Continue reading
Just as it’s time to take the little ones back to school, it’s time for the adults to “go back to school” in a way as well. The summer is typically a time for fitting in vacation where you can, and taking it a little easier due to the slow season. But with fall quickly approaching, small businesses everywhere are figuring out how to make transitioning from summer to fall as seamless as possible.
We asked our panel of small business experts about how they’re making the transition, and this is what they had to say! Continue reading
We’re onto our next ‘B’ in our “ABCs of Small Business Industries” installment! Today’s ‘B’ is for builders (or, general contracting)! If you’ve dreamed of construction since you were organizing your building blocks as a young child, now might just be the perfect time for you to make your move. Not sure where to start? We’ll help you out. Continue reading
I’ve thought long and hard but I just can’t think of a large, successful company that does not implement performance management. Famously, Jack Welch, CEO of GE, was a huge advocate of it. The reason is probably fairly obvious. Performance management helps businesses achieve results. How so? By ensuring that all employees are performing at their best and pushing in the same direction.
So why don’t start-ups embrace performance management? Typically, there are a number of perceived barriers and questions small businesses have about how it’s done. How do you set up the process? Do you need an expensive system to manage it? Is it too much effort for the ROI (return on investment) in the end?
The most important element to improving employee productivity in the workplace revolves around creating an atmosphere where an employee feels most at home. We recently noticed a huge upswing in small business owners embracing the start-up culture aesthetic – by this, we mean wearing flip flops to work, bringing pets along for the ride, and the controversial “work from home” policy. And truth be told, all of these definitely work in giving employee productivity the kick it needs. However, the most important element that business owners often overlook is the importance of ensuring that everyone gets along and here are a few hacks that can help workplaces out right now.
1) Setting The Thermostat At The Right Temperature
Nothing distracts an employee more than when others hover around them trying to fix the thermostat. For some, it may be too cold and for others it may be too hot. How do we set the right temperature? We recommend erring on the side of caution: research shows that when there is a cool atmosphere, employee productivity dramatically improves. Which means a business owner is better off creating a cooler atmosphere over a heated one, and recommending sweaters and blankets for employees who might find it too cold. This also means making sure the business has a working air conditioner and regular maintenance checks.
At the firm of Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, Lisa Garrison maintains an active business litigation practice advising and representing clients in anything from claim appeals to multiple jury trials, but she also has an active presence with companies that have socially beneficial missions. Lisa serves as the founder of the firm’s “Benefit Corporation Team” or the “B Team” which focuses on exploring and serving the legal needs of aspiring or existing “benefit” or “B Corp” companies – for-profit businesses that seek to better the world through identified social missions and by focusing on sustainability and TPL/3BL (the “triple bottom line” pillars of profits, people, and planet).
Today, we’re discussing with Lisa how the “B Team” came to be at Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP and the assistance it provides Benefit Corporations in need, the financial advantages that come with forming a B Corp, and why every entrepreneur needs to read up on the pros and cons of Benefit Corporations before starting one up.
Improving and building team spirit is an essential part of business growth, more so for small enterprises. The main challenge to a business leader is to encourage the team members to bond, readily share relevant information and work together towards pushing the business brand forward. Small enterprises mostly do not have resources at their disposal to cover employee redundancy, therefore employees should be aptly encouraged to work together and market the company. The employees should readily engage in promoting and sharing of the company’s vision and mission.
With technology ever evolving and online collaborations on the rise, minute taking can seem like an old-fashioned approach to recording a business meeting. However, it does still have its place and can benefit a business in numerous ways, especially those who are new to running a company and start-ups.
As a quick refresher, minutes are notes recorded by an allocated individual, often a PA or secretary, in order to summarize what has been discussed at a meeting. Done correctly, they will highlight the meeting chronologically and succinctly, including important information such as event dates, deadlines, who said what, budget concerns and suggestions.
Why are minutes important?
Minutes are important for a number of reasons. To begin with, it’s important to have a record of meetings that have taken place in order to act on information. Often, once out of the meeting, important information may be forgotten, so having that record gives everyone involved a reference point when it comes to carrying out what has been discussed.
2013 started with a bit of a bang – with the looming fiscal cliff threatening tax hikes and benefit cuts, Washington scrambled to pass a budget that would allow the USA to continue trying to climb out of the recession. However, many small business owners are wondering what this means for tax laws in 2013. Is anything going to change? Do they have to do anything special? To help sort through the chaos, MyCorporation has prepared a list of important items and small business tax advice for owners to be aware of when filling out their 2012 returns.
2012 Returns and Deductions
One of the biggest concerns that business owners have is how the fiscal cliff discussions will affect their 2012 returns. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which was passed on January 1st 2013, was the piece of legislation that averted the fiscal cliff. And for many businesses, its contents will not affect their 2012 return. However, it did retroactively affect a few things, most importantly Section 179 and the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit. Continue reading
Susan is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who specializes in helping potential business owners find their way to entrepreneurship.
Tomorrow’s webinar will include how to:
- Evaluate your true motivation.
- Assess your personality: Do you have the right stuff?
- Understand the difference between creating a job and building a business.
- Write the last chapter first: building a vision
- Understand that passion doesn’t equal profit.
- Channel purpose, promise, practice, persistence and process -the 5 “P’s” you need.
- Come to know people matter. Make smart choices.
The webinar Takes place Thursday, December 1, 2011 12:00 – 1:00 ET and is free of charge. Register here.
“It’s your business. Enjoy it and share the rewards.” – Susan Solovic