From Hobby to Growing BBQ Business

August 20, 2018

Success Story: Idaho

Pitmaster BBQRob Harding spent 25 years in healthcare administration. He turned his love of good BBQ into a hobby, then into a thriving business.

At a wedding reception catered by Rob, his BBQ ribs received rave reviews — from guests who happened to be judges from the Memphis of May International BBQ contest. He began entering BBQ competitions in 2008.

After winning many awards, he opened an Idaho Falls restaurant in 2012, where they make everything in-house every day and serve high-grade meats cooked low and slow over real wood. This commitment to quality has made Pitmaster BarBQue Company the most awarded BBQ restaurant in Idaho.

Rob came to the SBDC because he needed someone to discuss his current and future business growth in a confidential environment. “The consultants played a key role in helping me think through growth strategies,” said Rob.  (more…)

What Small Businesses Should Know About Tariffs

August 13, 2018

(Updated September 19, 2018)

By Peter J. Cazamias, SBA –

Recently, the United States Government announced several new tariff increases. The U.S. Department of Commerce implemented tariffs on steel and aluminum imports for national security reasons. Separately, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced tariffs to combat unfair trade practices on certain Chinese goods. Additional tariffs on a larger list of goods from China are expected in the future.

Small businesses should become familiar with what imported products are impacted, to make informed business decisions as tariffs could increase the total cost of certain imported goods.

What are tariffs?

Tariffs are a taxes, levies, or duties on a particular category of imports. These fees are charged as a percentage of the price of an imported good paid for by a U.S. buyer. These charges are collected by U.S. Custom and Border Protection agents at all U.S. ports of entry.  (more…)

Labor Law Postings: 5 Things to Know When You Have Remote Workers

August 6, 2018

By ComplyRight –

Remote WorkerIf you find employment laws confusing, you’re not alone. The 2018 National Small Business Compliance Pulse Survey, sponsored by ComplyRight, revealed that small business employers continue to be troubled by the increasing complexities of employment laws. According to the study, managing federal, state and local laws is the top concern among employers.

Employment laws are confusing. And one example is how labor law postings impact remote workers. You probably know you have to display current federal and state postings (and in some cases, city or county). But what about telecommuters? How are these employees supposed to receive this information?

When you have employees who work remotely, here are 5 things you should know about posting compliance for labor laws.

1) Remote employees must have access to postings

By law, you’re required to provide mandatory notices to all employees. Although the regulations don’t specify the format (paper or electronic), you’re responsible for communicating the same information to your home-based workers as those on-site.  (more…)

5 HR Snafus That Could Sink Your Business

July 30, 2018

By Jennifer Lobb –

business personFor many small business owners, HR is a complicated web of internal and external policy, law, regulation, and documentation. Neatly packed into the HR box is an array of considerations and tasks that govern the relationships between your business and those you hire (or fire), as well as your business and the organizations that govern labor and industry (federal, state, and local).

For small business owners, failure to properly manage human resource tasks can quickly lead to substantial and detrimental personnel and legal problems. And while there are plenty of factors that must be considered to meet all HR responsibilities and factors, here are 5 common HR snafus that can sink your business:

1. Ignoring the value of an employee handbook and established workplace policies

Writing an employee handbook and a few workplace policies may sound like an exercise in rigidity, but for businesses of all sizes this type of documentation is invaluable when it comes to on-boarding employees, maintaining organization, and protecting your business should legal issues arise.  (more…)