These 5 Myths Cause Small Businesses to Fail

January 1, 2020

By Charles “Tee” Rowe –

Every year, Americans start businesses with the hope of achieving financial success, independence, and personal fulfillment. Unfortunately, many times those dreams are never realized. Too often the enthusiasm and energy that small business owners put into their business isn’t matched by the planning and skills needed to survive.

At America’s SBDCs — 62 small business development center networks nationwide and their nearly 1,000 centers — we find that a solid business plan and a brilliant business concept need to be married to a serious understanding of the financial and management needs of running a business.

Too many businesses believe marketing is their key to success, but hemorrhaging cash is the secret, silent killer. So for aspiring entrepreneurs, here are five myths small business owners believe in that lead to failure:

1. Don’t ask for help

“You’re smart, you’ve got this.” Nobody has got it. There are so many free resources out there, and the biggest mistake many small business owners make is not using those resources. There are nearly 1,000 small business development centers nationwide — why would you ignore free help? (more…)

How to Set Goals With Your Employees for 2020

December 30, 2019

By Linsey Knerl –

It’s the start of a new year, and now that everyone’s social media feeds have finished filling with “My 2019 updates,” we can look forward to an overwhelm of “My 2020 goals” lists. Goals in themselves are effective tools for real change, provided they are used correctly. Unfortunately, the numbers show that we aren’t very good at following through on what we set out to accomplish. Depending on who you ask, the failure rate for resolutions of all kinds can top 80 percent or higher.

As a business owner, you probably have goals such as getting a handle on your business checking account or improving your business credit scores, but you should also focus on helping your employees reach their personal goals. When integrated into an existing employee performance or wellness program, personal goals can easily mesh with career ambitions. That’s a win-win for everyone at work.

Here are some of the ways managers and leaders are using the spirit of the New Year to jump-start those workplace resolutions. (more…)

FLSA’s New Overtime Rule: How It Impacts Employers and More than 1 Million Employees

November 22, 2019

By ComplyRight –

Warehouse employeesOn September 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a final rule that will make 1.3 million workers newly eligible for overtime pay.

Under the new guidelines, the minimum salary threshold increases to $684/week ($35,568 annually), effective January 1, 2020. With very few exceptions, employers must pay time-and-a-half to workers making less than this amount for any hours over 40 per week.

The white-collar duties tests for executive, administrative and professional employees remain the same. This means employees will only be exempt from overtime if they earn more than $35,568 annually and pass one of the existing DOL job duties tests.

Identify Affected Employees

Your first step to prepare for the new rule is to pinpoint employees who may be impacted by the change. (Consider reviewing all employees making less than $40,000 a year since the salary threshold could increase in the future.) If employees making less than $35,568 are already non-exempt or “hourly,” no change is needed. However, if you have employees under the threshold who are exempt or “salaried,” you’ll need to take action. (more…)

Bullying Has No Business Here: How to Recognize and Prevent Workplace Bullying

September 30, 2019

By ComplyRight –

Stop SignOctober is National Bullying Prevention Month, a time for schools, communities and workplaces to get involved and take a stand against bullying.

In recent years, bullying has grown much bigger than a few “harmless” taunts from kids on the playground. It has become a type of emotional and verbal warfare that is fought at any age, in any social circle and in virtually any setting — including the workplace.

What Is Workplace Bullying?

Workplace bullying is defined as a pattern of mistreatment from others in the workplace that causes physical or emotional harm. Bullying is often done by someone who has authority over the victim but it can also be done by peers. (more…)

Making Sense of Marijuana Use: How Do State Laws Affect Your Business?

August 6, 2019

By ComplyRight –

Law booksMore and more states are permitting marijuana use under certain circumstances. As a result, business owners are questioning how these new guidelines impact their workplaces. Can you have a policy forbidding marijuana use? Can you terminate an employee who tests positive? Let’s consider these and other pressing issues in more detail.

States Legalizing Marijuana

Currently, 33 states have passed laws legalizing marijuana in specific situations. It’s important to note that although these state laws have passed, not all of them have gone into effect.

Most of the legislation allows for limited use of medical marijuana. However, the District of Columbia and 11 states have adopted laws legalizing marijuana for recreational use. These states include: (more…)

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

(more…)

Are Remote Workers Actually Working?

March 11, 2019

From TSheets, by Quickbooks –

TSheets logoSurvey asks employers and employees to weigh in on remote workers’ performance and productivity.

When it comes to answering the question “Are remote workers actually working?” it’s easy to hear some skepticism behind the text. “Working from home” often comes with its own set of air quotes, like it’s code for “hanging out” or “watching Netflix.” But is that skepticism deserved? Or are remote workers getting a bad rap?

To get a clearer picture of remote workers and their habits, TSheets conducted two surveys: One for remote employees and one for employers who have remote workers on their team.* In addition to asking how remote employees spend their time on the clock, we asked about productivity, performance, and perceptions. (more…)

Employee Handouts: A Workplace Requirement You May Not be Aware of – but Should Be!

January 24, 2019

By ComplyRight –

Employee Handouts GuideDid you know you must distribute certain handouts to employees? This may be news to many small business employers, but it shouldn’t be because ignoring this responsibility carries some pretty hefty fines.

Along with year-long labor law posting compliance, you’re also required by federal, state and local laws to provide written notices under specific circumstances. It’s an additional compliance requirement that is more easily managed with the right resources.

What You Need to Know About Handouts

If this is the first time you’re hearing about employee handouts, here are some quick facts to get you up to speed: (more…)

Filing IRS Form 1099-MISC For Independent Contractors

November 13, 2018

By ComplyRight –

Tax PrepIf you work with independent contractors, you have to file a Form 1099-MISC with the IRS at tax time. Essentially, the 1099-MISC is to contractors what the W-2 is to employees. It covers income amounts, while also indicating you haven’t deducted any federal, state or other taxes.

Here are answers to common questions about filing requirements:

Q: What is the purpose of the Form 1099-MISC?
A: The form is used to report payments of at least $600 to any service provider (i.e., contractor, freelancer, consultant) who isn’t an employee. If the service provided was less than $600, you don’t need to file a 1099-MISC. One monthly payment of $300 wouldn’t require you to file the form, for example. But two separate $300 monthly payments within the same calendar year would. (more…)

Proceed with Caution: Important Considerations Before Terminating an Employee

September 24, 2018

By ComplyRight –

ComplyRight Tip SheetDetermining whether or not to fire an employee can be complicated. There are numerous personnel factors to consider, as well as critically important legal considerations. A single misstep can complicate the process and expose you to a potential lawsuit.

But it doesn’t have to be this way! With an eye toward proper progressive discipline in the workplace – and by following some important precautions — you can make the best choices for your business.

How to Document Performance Issues

Lack of solid documentation is the single most common mistake employers make when handling disciplinary situations or terminating an employee. Good records, on the other hand, can mean the difference between winning and losing a legal dispute.  (more…)