Employee Training: What’s Recommended for Small Businesses?

June 11, 2019

ComplyRight - Employee TrainingBy ComplyRight –

Training your staff on essential topics helps create a safe, respectful and productive workplace. There are two types of training: recommended and required. Let’s look at some important areas of training every business owner should consider implementing.

New Employee Orientation

Training should start on an employee’s first day. Orientation helps new hires get acclimated to your business and understand your company culture. Important topics to cover include:

  • Goals and expectations, including job responsibilities
  • Compensation and benefits, including pay dates, payment options (e.g., direct deposit), health insurance and other benefits
  • Work hours, including lunch/break times, as well as clock-in, clock-out procedures for non-exempt employees
  • Code of conduct, including your company values, customer interaction, dress code and other expectations
  • Technology policies and procedures, including how to access email, your social media policy and consequences for abusing company technology
  • Harassment and discrimination, including the different types of harassment, specific examples of inappropriate behavior and how to report a claim

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What Do All Those Letters Mean?

June 4, 2019

By Shawn Hyde, International Society of Business Appraisers (ISBA) –

Piggy BankLots of people have a series of letters behind their names. These are designations that indicate specific training and education. There are several different sets of letters from different organizations that one can obtain in the field of business valuation. The following describes a little about each of them and their most commonly awarded designations.

Business valuation, as an industry, began being organized in the United States in 1978, with the Institute of Business Appraisers (IBA) and a man named Ray Miles. Prior to then, practitioners were valuing businesses, but there were no collections of authoritative texts or industry experts. In the early years of this industry, certain stars began to shine and publish books to share their expertise with the rest of us. I am speaking of names such as Shannon Pratt, Jay Fishman, Robert Reilly, Robert Schweihs, Gary Trugman, and Chris Mercer. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but just those whose names are on the spines of most of the books in my library. (more…)

The Mill

May 29, 2019

Success Story: Wisconsin –

Wisconsin Success - The MillNancy Helms loved the vintage aesthetic of the former feed mill in downtown Chetek so much that she decided to fill it with a new business. The Mill is now a one-of-a-kind event venue with a modern-industrial vibe.

Nancy and her husband Leonard (Buddy) purchased the abandoned feed mill in May, 2016 and opened for business in May, 2017. Renovations included repairs to the roof and floor, and removing scrap steel and more. “We found an old tank of molasses and removed 1,000 gallons by hand, in 5-gallon pails.”

Nancy, a self-described antiques fanatic, loved restoring the building to its original state, only better. “We are ADA-compliant — we worked very hard to accomplish that,” said Nancy, who mentors developmentally delayed adults. Her aesthetic is an elegant mix of old and new that sets The Mill apart from competitors. (more…)

America’s SBDC and Venturize Ask the Tough Questions About Becoming Loan Ready

May 21, 2019

By Meghan Ott, Venturize –

Business Meeting

In celebration of our new partnership with America’s SBDC, Venturize co-hosted a Twitter chat during National Small Business Week to talk about the top tips and resources to help small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs become loan ready.

We were happy to be joined by our friends at Intuit QuickBooks, the New Jersey Business Action Center, Small Business Majority, BIGG Success, and BizBuySell. There were also a number of SBDCs that participated, including the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center, New York SBDC, University of Minnesota Center for Economic Development, and Temple University SBDC. (more…)

What Experts Say Most Entrepreneurs Don’t Understand About Becoming a Business Owner

May 14, 2019

By Bob House, President, BizBuySell –

Business MeetingIf you think obtaining funding is your biggest priority, think again.

When it comes to starting a new business venture, most entrepreneurs focus solely on how they can get funding. Yet they often do not have a clear understanding of the funding process. Nor have they considered some of the many challenges of business ownership and how that might affect the amount of money they actually need.

“At least 90 percent of aspiring entrepreneurs ask how they can get financing, grants, or something related to capital,” says Brad Bunt, director of North Central Texas SBDC.

We spoke to some of the leading experts at America’s SBDC, a nationwide network of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), to get their insights on the most common questions asked by entrepreneurs. According to these experts, while obtaining funding was the most common issue, there are many more important things entrepreneurs should be thinking about first. (more…)

Ohio SBDC at Youngstown State University Wins National Award

April 30, 2019

Excellence Award - Ohio SBDC at YSUThe Ohio Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Youngstown State University is the national SBDC Excellence and Innovation Award winner for 2019. The award will be presented by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as part of the celebration of National Small Business Week, from May 5-11.

During National Small Business Week, the SBA recognizes the contributions of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and organizations that support America’s small businesses in all 50 states and U.S. territories. More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and small businesses create about two out of every three new jobs in the United States each year.

The Ohio SBDC at Youngstown State University is a partnership program supported by the U.S. Congress and the President, the SBA, the Ohio Development Services Agency and Youngstown State University. Through its programs and services, the SBDC at Youngstown State provides entrepreneurial development assistance, training programs and high-end business consulting to existing businesses and start-up ventures. (more…)

Koble Helps to Solve Your Biggest Business Challenge: Discovering the Right Companies to Do Business With!

April 23, 2019

By Koble –

As we continue to spotlight the best resources and tools for entrepreneurs and businesses, we want to highlight the opportunity to gain unrivaled visibility for your company on Koble, a trusted community made up of 11 million B2B companies — including Fortune 500 corporations like General Electric, Oracle and Harley Davidson — looking to do business with a SMB like yours!

Koble, which was an official ambassador for the America’s SBDC 3rd Annual SBDC Day on March 20th, helps SMB companies with a focus on selling and buying from other businesses solve their number one business challenge — discovering the right new companies to do business with!

In fact, Koble’s 2018 SMB Sales and Growth Confidence Survey discovered that nearly three times as many SMB owners say finding new customers is a more significant challenge for their company than hiring new employees or accessing capital. (more…)

What Is My Business Worth?

April 16, 2019

By Shawn Hyde, International Society of Business Appraisers (ISBA) –

Hand-held calculatorAccording to the 2018 Small Business Profile by the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are about 30.2 million small businesses in the USA. Every so often, one of these businesses runs into a situation where the owner asks the question, “What is my business worth?”

A variant of that question might also be, “What is a specific percentage of my business worth?”

These questions get asked in situations such as the following:

• When a partner wants to buy another partner’s ownership interest
• When an owner wants to bring in a new partner
• When the business is located in a community property state, and the owner is getting divorced
• When an owner receives an unanticipated offer to purchase the business
• When the owner wants to sell the business
• When an ownership interest is being gifted to children, and a gift tax return is needed (more…)

St. Johnsbury, Vermont Child-Care Center Expands

April 10, 2019

By Amanda Kuhnert –

ABC & LOL Child Care CenterHeather Hudson had been running a successful child-care business in St. Johnsbury, Vermont for five years when she saw an opportunity to expand. A competing child-care center became available for purchase, and she wanted to buy it.

But was it a good idea? Hudson needed to determine whether the purchase was a sound financial move.

For help assessing the viability of the venture, Heather’s bank referred her to business advisor Ross Hart at the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC). Hart specializes in finance and business planning.

“Heather had a high degree of expertise in her industry and had been successful with her existing business,” Ross explained. “But she understood that there was a degree of complexity with purchasing another business that she didn’t fully understand. So she connected with me to help her review and assess the financials of the business she was interested in and develop some financial projections to complete her loan application package.” (more…)

From $7.25 to More than $15: Understand the Changing Dynamics of Minimum Wage Legislation

April 2, 2019

By ComplyRight –

Minimum Wage Monitor mapMinimum wage workers doing the same job are paid drastically different wages and it all depends on where they work.

States, cities, counties – and even corporations – are setting their own minimum wages for workers. This year alone, rates will go up in 20 states as well as numerous cities and counties. These are just the latest round of increases due to inaction at the federal level.

The national minimum wage of $7.25 an hour hasn’t changed in a decade – despite many lawmakers pressing for an increase. However, it just might happen. A bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour has recently been introduced. And the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the issue in the coming weeks. (more…)