Understanding Business Insurances

In the general context of business planning, and also in the specific contexts of business continuity planning and succession planning, one of the topics that we at the Kansas SBDC frequently discuss with clients is the importance of having necessary and appropriate insurances.  Often, we recommend business owners confer with several members of their BAIL team about insurances. (BAIL is the acronym for Banker, Accountant, Insurance agent and Lawyer; but a BAIL team is a business's group of  key advisors...

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Employee Retention for Trades and Construction Companies: Hire Right, Manage Well, Reward & Look Forward

The costs to a company of high turnover in skilled employees can be significant, affecting both gross revenues and expenses. Recently, one of our advisors from the Kansas SBDC sent out a request to the rest of us for suggestions that he might pass along on how to improve employee retention for trades and construction companies. Amongst us, we generated a number of tips that can be grouped into four general categories: hire right, manage well, reward, and look forward....

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Cultivating Employee Engagement for Remote Workers

One reason why employers are sometimes reluctant to pursue the potential benefits of having remote workers is that they are worried about lack of employee engagement. To elaborate, a concern for employers is that remote employees won't identify/connect with the company, its culture, its mission, other team members or with the company's clients if employees are working from home or from some other out-of-the-office location.  Consequently, employers fear that remote employees' work ethic, work performance, ability to collaborate, dedication to...

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9 Holiday Tips for Small Businesses

For many small businesses - notably, but not exclusively, those in retail and hospitality - the holiday season is an important time not only because of the impact that it has on short-term sales but also because how a business is managed during the holidays can have a lasting reflection in public perception throughout the year. So this is a time of year to shine not only in marketing but also in taking care of important relationships, e.g, by paying...

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Practicing Gratitude: A Good Habit for Small Business Owners

With Thanksgiving this week, the holiday season is underway and with the holidays, for many small businesses, come added pressures. One way to deal with these is to practice gratitude. Not only will it make you feel better, but the practice shows good leadership and will be appreciated by those around you. • Reflect on why you are in business and the positives you get out of business ownership. If you haven't already, write these reasons down. When things get...

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Social Media and Employer Brand

In the age of social media ubiquity, the world of hiring has undergone (and continues to undergo) drastic changes. Instead of searching newspaper classifieds, many job seekers now do Google searches, check out sites such as Indeed.com and Glassdoor.com, check out reviews of companies as employers, or go directly to their desired employers’ website - though, at this time, newspaper ads may still the best places for trying to fill certain types of positions. Companies can search for talent on...

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Fitness and the Workplace for Small Businesses

    Small business owners tend to be very busy people. Sometimes being busy means performing a lot of physical activities; but sometimes it means standing on one’s feet all day working at a counter, spending hours driving around from location to location, or sitting at a computer most of the day and into the evening. Being busy, unfortunately, does not necessarily translate into a healthy life style for busy small business owners and their employees. Fitness involves the ability...

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Know and Manage Your Employer Brand

A group of concerns that I hear about frequently when talking with small business owners and community leaders in our area is difficulty with hiring and retaining the right employees. There are a number of strategies that can be taken to address these difficulties. One of these is knowing and managing employer brand – a strategy often skillfully utilized by major corporations but often overlooked by small businesses. Small businesses need to do more than just advertise their job openings....

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