"In 1989 when I was living in Nuremberg, West Germany, with my husband and my 2-year-old daughter, I got a phone call from my father from Old Town Alexandria. It took a few seconds and a lot of static before I could hear his voice clearly.
He was distressed about the family-owned business and was wondering if I could fly home to help. It so happened my husband was deploying for the first Gulf War and would be away for over a year, so I decided to pack up and fly back with my daughter and two cats to see what I could do.
Managing a business - and keeping track of numerous employment laws - is a major challenge in today's sea of regulations. According to the report, "Small Business Problems & Priorities", compiled by the National Federation of Independent Businesses Research Foundation., the federal government alone proposes approximately 150 new rules every year that cost business owners over $100 million per rule in compliance costs. To successfully navigate the currents of law, employers need to be alert to the laws and regulations specifically related to their businesses. Learn more in this e-guide, sponsored by Paychex.
Keeping tabs on frequent changes in employment laws can be time-consuming and confusing for business owners. While managing the multiple priorities of running a business, employers must also make sure that they are meeting applicable federal and state agency requirements. Every year, the federal government alone proposes approximately 150 new rules that cost business owners over $100 million per rule in compliance costs. To avoid violations, employers must be alert to changes pertaining to laws and regulations related to their businesses.
Al and Christy Kroell are a story of bravery and commitment to community and the American dream.
The Squaw Valley couple suffered serious injuries in separate accidents that required years of rehabilitation. But they found the courage and ambition to start a business and succeed.
They jump-started a business called ChristyAl Plaques & Engraving with the help of the local Small Business Administration SCORE chapter.
The surging growth of minority women-owned businesses in the last 15 years tells a mixed story about the American workforce.
Minority women-owned firms grew 156 percent from 1997 to 2013 and now account for one in three women-owned firms in the U.S., according to a 2013 report by American Express on the State of Women-Owned Businesses. In contrast, non-minority women-owned firms grew 32 percent during the same period.
I’ve never been the most organized person, but it’s reached the point where the clutter in
my office is starting to hinder my productivity. How can I get a handle on the paper monster
that’s threatening to consume me?
When some young women fail to find a mentor, they blame themselves, says Nancy Strojny, a consultant based in Portland, Maine, and the chair of her local chapter of SCORE, a national nonprofit that supports small-business owners and provides free mentoring services: “Too many think, If I were working harder or if I were good enough, I would attract one.”
Entrepreneurs are the consummate collectors. Only instead of baseball cards or bottle caps, they’re constantly on the lookout for ideas that will help them improve the quality, efficiency, and profitability of their small businesses.
Because there are so many facets to running a successful small business, it’s no surprise that good ideas are emerging all the time. Keeping track of them has been Michael Evans’ specialty during a consulting career that has included serving world-class clients across a broad spectrum of industries. He shares some thoughts on some of the best new ideas for today’s current and aspiring small business owners.
Are there some long-held assumptions about small business success that are no longer true, or are as reliable as before?
Juggling a full-time career as an emergency helicopter pilot and raising 4 boys between the ages of 1 and 8 is a tall order for any family. Add buying and growing a new business venture to the mix and only the strong will survive. Sherri and Larry Hansen have done just that, growing Culinary Kids into a thriving business that truly has a positive impact on its community. From a simple childhood memory of working together in the kitchen alongside her mother and Grandma, Sherri envisioned a place where family and friends could connect over meals—a place where people of all ages and walks of life could participate in the cooking process and experience the traditional values of family and friendships amidst the face pace world we live in.
Juggling a full-time career as an emergency helicopter pilot and raising 5 boys between the ages of 1 and 8 is a tall order for any family. Add buying and growing a new business venture to the mix and only the strong will survive. Sherri and Larry Hansen have done just that, growing Culinary Kids into a thriving business that truly has a positive impact on its community. From a simple childhood memory of working together in the kitchen alongside her mother and Grandma, Sherri envisioned a place where family and friends could connect over meals—a place where people of all ages and walks of life could participate in the cooking process and experience the traditional values of family and friendships amidst the face pace world we live in.
What's Great About My Mentor?
Of mentor Mack Deloney, Sherri says, “Our mentor has taken our passion and anxious energies and given us professional focus, helping us achieve our goals. Our business is fueled by our heart, but our mentor helps us see the clear picture of success based on logical principles that allow us to be financially sustainable, thus allowing our passionate programs to grow with direction and purpose. Neither of us as owners possesses the academic or experiential knowledge needed to run a business, so our mentor has helped define our needs and has provided a wealth of support, and advice. Other specialized mentors have filled in those gaps even further, allowing us to succeed. We have increased our efficiency, defined a more clear business plan, and improved our human resources and hiring strategies. We feel supported, knowing that in those moments of excessive stress, there is someone to call who "gets it" and who will be there to coach us through the rough patches. This business would not exist in its expanding form were it not for our mentor's influence and we can't wait to one day serve others in the same capacity!
As a service-based business, providing customized programs for our community, we needed to learn which of our program ideas would succeed and which would not. Naturally, we believed all of our ideas to be fantastic; however, our mentor helped us streamline those programs by evaluating their feasibility and profitability in a very clear fashion. Doing this allowed us to increase our efficiency, save time in program development and decrease the stress placed on staff in these developmental months. We also experienced human resources and staffing issues as our target employees must meet very specific qualifications. Our mentor suggested a human resources expert (also a SCORE volunteer) to assist us in defining our staffing challenges (retention and payroll predictability) and brainstorm ideas on how to re-structure our program offerings to suit both the community AND the staff we wanted to retain. We changed the offerings, created new job descriptions and the energy of our team shifted immediately and became more stable with a clear direction.”
How SCORE Helped
Of SCORE Sherri says, “We sought SCORE support just as we opened our business, knowing that we needed assistance to make it work, but would not be able to afford a hired coach. SCORE was the answer to our challenges and we truly would not be here without this support. We are dedicated to spreading the word about what SCORE has done for us and we continue to recommend these services to other business owners in our community.”
I’m currently in the planning stage for a new retail bakery. I’m going to need some funding for equipment, but my personal credit history is a bit spotty. How much is that going to hurt me, and how can I combat it?