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admin | frugal living tips and ideas | 29.12.2015
Examine Your Processes – Most large organizations understand the need for process documentation, process analysis and process improvement projects. Between big competition and smaller budgets, small businesses face unique challenges on a daily basis.
Consumers understand the huge impact of independent businesses on local economies and are willing to go out of their way to support them. As social media continues to grow, along with it grow opportunities to market your small business.
There is truth in the old saying, a€?strength in numbers,a€? and joining a buy local organization is no exception. Small business owners are the first to step up when their community needs them and the last to take credit for their goodwill. Maybe youa€™re a co-op bike shop whose employees are the owners; maybe youa€™re an indie coffee shop that found a way to use recycled coffee grounds to grow produce. Encourage members of your community to take action in support of the a€?buy locala€™ movement by participating in small business events like National Small Business Week and Small Business Saturday. Afridi Smashes Sixes All Over The Park – WorldCup 2015, Cricket, Hockey, Tennis, Football. While Black Friday is supposedly the biggest shopping day of the year, the day following the day following Thanksgiving has been declared a day to shop at small businesses. As we begin our holiday shopping, Small Business Saturday is a reminder that although the BestBuys and Targets of the world offer convenience, many of us would rather purchase our gifts at small, locally owned businesses. This list is just a starter of course, as there are many wonderful small and local businesses in our medium-sized city. I have heard that employers are going to have to pay a penalty if they do not provide coverage for their employees. Employers with 50 or more employees that do not offer minimum essential coverage would pay $2,000 for each employee over the first 30 employees if one of their employees gets a tax subsidy to buy insurance under an Exchange. Employers with 50 or more employees that do offer minimum essential coverage but have at least one full-time employee receiving subsidized coverage under an Exchange would pay whichever is less: $3,000 for each employee receiving a premium credit, or $2,000 for each full-time employee.
What does existing Minnesota law do to assist small businesses to provide health insurance for employees? What are some of the features of federal health reform that have already been a part of Minnesota health reform? What businesses are eligible for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit if they choose to offer health coverage to employees? The credit is targeted to help employers with low- and moderate-income workers afford to offer employees health insurance coverage. What if my small business doesn’t offer insurance today, but I choose to start offering insurance this year. For each year from 2010 through 2013, the maximum credit is 35 percent of premiums paid by eligible small businesses and 25 percent of premiums paid by eligible nonprofits (tax-exempt employers). In 2014, the value of the credit will increase to 50 percent of premiums paid by eligible small businesses and 35 percent of premiums paid by eligible nonprofits (tax-exempt employers).
How much of the original $5 billion in funds allocated for the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program currently remains? Employers are required to provide a reasonable amount of break time and a space to express milk as frequently as needed by the nursing mother, for up to one year following the birth of the employee’s child. All employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), regardless of the size of their business, are required to comply with this provision.
Employers are not required under the FLSA to compensate nursing mothers for breaks taken for the purpose of expressing milk. If the only space available at a work site is a bathroom, can employers require employees to express breast milk there? Percent of Minnesotans that have group health insurance coverage – usually through an Employer or Union.
Learn more about health coverage options available today for Minnesotans through private insurance companies, high risk pools and state public programs. This site is a project of the Minnesota Office of the Governor and the Minnesota Departments of Commerce, Health, Human Services, and Minnesota Management and Budget.
Nimbleness, less red tape and quick decisions are some of the advantages of being a small business.

A great way to determine what to measure is to simply ask your customer what’s important to them about your product or service.
In your quest to grow your business, remember to Act Like You’re Already There by developing customer service strategies, Examine Your Processes to insure they are both customer and employee friendly and Establish Operational Metrics to always know the pulse of your business.
Not only can you reach new customers via social media, but you can do so for free.A  The only cost to your business is the time you spend posting. This is because these mom and pop businesses are not looking for bragging rights or credit for taking the moral high road.
Find what it is that makes your business unique and different from any other business out there.
Saturday, November 26 is Small Business Saturday, sponsored by American Express (I can’t decide if that sponsorship is ironic or not).
Buy your favorite blogger a record album from Radioactive Records, now located just south of Searstown (845 N. For that friend of yours that needs to relax, pick up a gift certificate for yoga classes or massage at Red Pearl Yoga (918 N.E. If you must give a gift to a co-worker, pick up a bottle of wine at the wonderful and helpful 7th Street Wine Company (701 S.
Be locally and globally conscious in one fell swoop by checking out the fair trade products of all kinds at Mission Gifts (1200 E.
So as you are out there looking for the perfect retail items to show your loved ones how you feel, give a small business a shot. While you cannot get around having to pay for certain things, there is probably a way for you to reduce costs—you just need to take a closer look at how you are spending your money. The frequency of breaks needed to express breast milk and the length of each break will likely vary. However, employers with fewer than 50 employees are not subject to the FLSA break time requirement if the employer can demonstrate that compliance with the provision would impose an undue hardship. When interacting with small business owners, quite naturally customer service becomes the topic of discussion. Go ahead and act like a large business by developing customer service strategies that incent your customers to remain loyal to your brand.
For example, how about establishing operational  goals for Order Fulfillment, Email Response, On Time Appointments, Customer Complaints  just to name a few. If you dona€™t have the time or resources to create a website, be sure to list your business in online directories, so that customers can easily find and support your business. Download free marketing materials to display in your store front and let shoppers know that your business is locally owned. Independent We Stand offers members the opportunity to engage with customers on social media by sharing posts and links about the benefits of supporting local businesses.
They are doing what comes natural, and offering their assistance whenever and wherever possible. Consumers want to try new things and thata€™s part of what sets your business apart from the big boxes and national chains.
To find other local businesses in your area, use Independent We Standa€™s local business search engine. Cutting costs means being able to pump more cash into the activities that will help you grow your business, not just the ones needed to maintain it. I have always made sure that the coverage is comprehensive so I am not worried about having the minimum essential coverage. How will I know if I need to pay an assessment because my large employer health plan is unaffordable for my employees?
The space provided by the employer cannot be a bathroom, and it must be private and free from intrusion by coworkers or the public.
Whether compliance would be an undue hardship is determined by looking at the difficulty or expense of compliance for a specific employer in comparison to the size, financial resources, nature, or structure of the employer’s business.
Decide how you will interact with your customer – What will you do when your customer calls? Qualifying small businesses can sign up for free to be included in the Independent We Stand Local Business Search Engine.
If you are a member of Independent We Stand, your business is automatically included in the mobile app.

These posts reach thousands of people every day, but by a€?likinga€? our page and sharing our posts with your fans, we can spread the word about small business even further. Here are some ways you can reduce costs and improve cash flow.Track Every DollarThe first step in trying to cut down costs is getting a clear picture of where your money is going. However, I understand that large employers may still be assessed if the coverage I offer is unaffordable and my employees seek subsidized coverage in an Exchange. Utilizing percentages helps one to see at what level the operation is performing in relation to the established goals. Search for improvement opportunities and make the necessary adjustments to insure that your purchasing customer receives a great customer experience.
Once it’s clear where the operation stands, take the time to get the story behind the number. Wea€™ve even created a series of a€?Real Indie Storiesa€? to recognize those indie businesses that do exceptional things for the community. The more you know about your money, the better position you will be in to decide what can go, what needs to stay and what can be modified.
When your customer enters your establishment, how long will it be before that customer’s presence is acknowledged? If an area is performing below the established goal, take a look at what impacts that particular situation.
You may be shocked to see how much you are spending on coffee, printer paper or other items that you really can forego or cut back on significantly.Consider CloudsourcingAdvances in technology have made it easier than ever for people to work remotely. If you are looking to cut expenses, you might consider cloudsourcing over hiring a traditional employee. With this model, you hire people on an as-needed basis and it will cost you much less than it would be to hire someone full or part-time. Your willingness to establish operational metrics allows for proactive management of your company instead of reacting to customer complaints or to a customer’s decision to stop utilizing your products or services. You can find all sorts of professionals from marketers to IT professionals.The cloud, in general, can benefit businesses in a variety of ways. Services like the ScaleMatrix Cloud and Colocation Center can give you state of the art cloud colocation for your business that utilizes blended bandwidth with premium multi-homed connectivity, and an expansion capability of 155,000 square feet. Now I hear some small business owners saying “Errol, I don’t have time for that! Both small and large businesses can benefit tremendously from this service, especially in a day and age where a sizable amount of work takes place via the cloud. Don’t get left behind when your company can take advantage of a resource as valuable as this.Re-evaluate Bulk PurchasingIn most instances, buying in bulk is a recommendation to save money, but that is not always accurate depending on the situation. Taking the time to do so will certainly lead to establishing operational standards which should transfer into a great customer experience. Sure, the price per item is much less than if you bought the item separately, but this is only a bargain if you actually think you will use all of said items within a reasonable time frame. Instead of paying a printer for your fliers, make your own with a program such as Microsoft Office Publisher, which provides easy-to-use templates to create a professional look. When times are tight, advertising may be one of the first things you are tempted to cut, but it is important to maintain your efforts, even if you need to scale back on them.Look Into Cloud TechnologyThese days, more and more businesses are moving to the cloud, and it may help you cut costs significantly.
Remote data storage can eliminate the need for maintaining servers, purchasing software licenses and paying IT staff—all of which can add up to a big expense.Considerations to Boost Cash FlowIf cash flow is becoming serious issue for you, there are some solutions to get the money in hand more quickly. There are many companies that provide a number of small business funder options, such as invoice factoring.
In this scenario, the company pays you a portion of an outstanding invoice immediately and then collects the payment from the customer—you receive the balance minus any fees.
Merchant cash advances may also be an option where a company fronts you money and you then pay them back by giving them a certain portion of your sales each day. Use This Primer to Guide You.Promotional materials and items that you use within your business and office are essential for running a company.

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