Showing posts from January, 2019

Refugee Chefs Are Revolutionizing the U.S. Food Scene

By Sarah Buder
From Afar

Immigrant-owned restaurants have long enhanced the flavor of food scenes in cities across the United States. But in recent years, as refugee resettlement and immigration issues have fueled some of the country’s most divisive political debates, various eating establishments are redefining what it means to “break bread.”

Global initiatives such as the Refugee Food Festival encourage local restaurants to open their kitchens once a year to chefs from war-torn countries, allowing them the resources to prepare and serve traditional meals from their homelands. Since its 2016 inception in Paris, the festival has reached 14 cities worldwide, including San Francisco and New York City. Now, across the United States, an increasing number of “food incubators” are supporting refugee and immigrant chefs in even longer-lasting ways.

These refugee-powered restaurants provide newly settled U.S. residents with the language, business, and culinary skills necessary to pursue futur…

How to Change Your Business Name

From My Company Works

There are many moving parts and action items to think about when changing a company name. From choosing the name, to filing the business name change with the IRS (or whatever your national tax authority is), articles of Amendment with the state (each state you operate in and with every agency you’re licensed with) or filing a DBA name change (if you are organized as a partnership or sole proprietor).

We recently went through all of this with our recent name change so now I’d like to guide everyone with a business name change checklist to review and consider. Below we’ll review if you really need to change your name (or if you’re just thinking about changing your name), how to do the basic rebranding process and finally the checklist of action items.

I want to emphasize that while you, as the business owner, probably think the name of your company is very important, your client likely doesn’t give it much consideration at all (as long as it’s not inappropriate, of…

Ending Your Emails With This Vastly Improves the Response Rate

By Betsy Mikel.
Owner, Aveck
From INC

I'm sure I'm only one of many people who feel as if they're drowning in a sea of email. There are countless tips on how to manage your inbox if you're on the receiving end and how to write better emails if you're on the sending end. Yet still, sometimes emails simply go unanswered. I'll admit I'm guilty of the nonresponse, especially when my emails start piling up after a few days away.

This isn't very hopeful if your day-to-day involves a lot of emailing -- especially if it's critical that you get a response. Thankfully, the folks at Boomerang, a plug-in for scheduling emails, did a little study to see if the language people use to close their emails has any effect on the response rate. "We looked at closings in over 350,000 email threads," data scientist Brendan Greenley wrote on the Boomerang blog. "And found that certain email closings deliver higher response rates."

But do all emails ne…

NYC grant for local businesses

Expanding Employee Co-op Conversions

By Dominic J Bartolone
From the Coleman Report

Each day, over 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65, with a majority of America’s small businesses being owned by this generation, many are choosing to close the company rather than sell it when they retire.

Some of these businesses provide core services to underserved and economically vulnerable areas, and their closure could significantly impact the lives of not only the workers but also the community as a whole.

One strategy to save these community businesses is to convert ownership to their employees. The approach of cooperative conversions builds equity for employees, helps save jobs, and encourages employees to invest in their future by excelling at their jobs.

Cooperative conversions can help address both these issues by providing an outlet for aging owners to sell their companies while offering a retention strategy that helps anchor much-needed services to local communities.

How to Navigate Gaslighting at Work

By Melody Wilding

The power games started subtly. Emily’s co-worker frequently withheld key information about their shared clients and projects. When confronted, her colleague asserted that he’d sent her the reports. But each time Emily double (and triple) checked her inbox, she came up empty.

Emily found herself constantly apologizing to upper management. She feared being perceived as disorganized. She felt as if she was going crazy. "You need to get it together," her colleague would say, followed by, “And get your emotions under control. You're making us all look bad.” When Emily pushed back, her colleague told her to stop being so sensitive. The denials, lies, and passive-aggressive manipulation mounted. Soon, Emily lost all confidence in herself.

Emily was experiencing gaslighting, a form of psychological abuse that causes a person to question their self-worth and sanity. The term comes from the 1930s play Gas Light. In it, a husband tries to steal hi…

Why Data Is Key to Retail Success

By Krista Garcia
From eMarketer

According to a new study by Snowflake Computing and Harvard Business Review, companies that make data-driven decisions have the best chance for longevity. Yet across industries, they found that only 5% of retail and CPG enterprises qualify as data-driven, half of the survey average (10%).

This stands in opposition to stated goals. The retail industry had the highest number (89%) that placed great importance on getting better insights into customer needs and expectations. Faster decision-making was also a priority (79%) as well as improving process and cost efficiency (68%).

What is holding retailers back? The biggest challenge cited was human in nature; 44% said they lacked the digital and data analytic skills to transform. More than one-third cited internal resistance to change while 29% blamed legacy processes.

Performance reviews don't have to be awful

By Kate Ashford
from Monster

It’s the start of a new year—time to evaluate how you’re doing and set goals for the future. For many companies, it’s also performance review time. If the thought makes you want to hide in your coat closet, there’s good news: Evaluations don’t have to be painful.

You can structure the review process a variety of ways, but the key to making everything easier is to treat it like a rolling conversation. "Companies are moving away from an annual performance review, [going] to regular check-ins and ongoing feedback conversations throughout the year," says Todd Cherches, CEO and co-founder of executive coaching firm BigBlueGumball.

Above all, employees need to understand what you want from them. "Throughout the time that I’m working for you, I need to be totally aware of two things: the expectations and whether I’m meeting them," says Laura MacLeod, an HR expert and consultant with From The Inside Out Project, an employee-morale company.

These bad habits & traits will stop you from reaching your financial goals

Written by Marguerita Cheng

 Article from CNBC

While people start out with good intentions and set their sights on meeting various financial goals, many never achieve them and instead fail miserably.

 Here are nine bad habits that will hinder investors from reaching their financial success.

 Everyone wants to be successful, but only a few are ready to take meaningful action. These habits will help you discover what has been preventing you from achieving your financial goals.

Identify your limitations and formulate strategies to address them and it will be easier to establish a plan, practice self-discipline, make sound decisions, have security and maintain assertiveness.

New 20% tax deduction for small businesses that pass through income to owners

From the Internal Revenue Service

Section 199A of the Internal Revenue Code provides many taxpayers a deduction for qualified business income from a qualified trade or business operated directly or through a pass-through entity. The deduction has two components.

Eligible taxpayers may be entitled to a deduction of up to 20 percent of qualified business income (QBI) from a domestic business operated as a sole proprietorship or through a partnership, S corporation, trust or estate.

For taxpayers with taxable income that exceeds $315,000 for a married couple filing a joint return, or $157,500 for all other taxpayers, the deduction is subject to limitations such as the type of trade or business, the taxpayer’s taxable income, the amount of W-2 wages paid by the qualified trade or business and the unadjusted basis immediately after acquisition (UBIA) of qualified property held by the trade or business. Income earned through a C corporation or by providing services as an employee is not el…

What Amazon Really Means for Small Businesses

By Max Gulker
From the American Institute for Economic Research
Who doesn’t love small businesses? They embody two classic American archetypes: the little guy and the hard worker. People treat them less as individual businesses, and more as barometer of what they find good and fair in our market-driven economy. There are few more effective ways to drum up public support for or opposition to a policy than arguing that it’s good or bad for small business.

Lost in this narrative are the businesses themselves — a diverse array of individual actors rather than a monolithic symbol of economic virtue. Asking whether something is good or bad for small business limits our understanding of how firms and markets evolve.

Nothing better embodies the array of ways revolutionary technological change reverberates through the business landscape than the impact of internet retail giant Amazon on small businesses. Thinking carefully about that impact requires us to unpack the many kinds of firms we lump …

Crafting the Right Content for Your Next Product Launch

Provided by Rae Steinbach

A strong product launch requires a strong marketing campaign. From ensuring you’re using a verified email list to developing dynamic imagery for your new product, you need to ensure you’ll be putting your best foot forward when your product launches. If you’re trying to generate buzz for a new product, you need to determine what type of content to focus on in your strategy.

Your two main options are evergreen content and one-off content. Neither one is “better” than the other for a product launch. To determine which is best for your needs, you need to first understand the unique benefits each type of content offers.

One-Off Content Builds Buzz

One-off content associates your new product with the season, a timely event, or anything else that’s immediately relevant to a potential customer. For example, if you were promoting a new app for purchasing concert tickets, your content might focus on an upcoming festival that would likely appeal to your customers. This…

Have Attitudes About Online Sales Tax Changed?

Written by Krista Garcia

Article from eMarketer

In June 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that states could impose a sales tax on ecommerce goods, even if a retailer had no physical presence in a state. The South Dakota v. Wayfair case reversed an online retail practice that had been accepted as law since 1992.

 Over the past few months, more than half of states in the US have enacted an online sales tax or will do so in 2019.

 Local governments viewed online sales tax as a boon, brick-and-mortar retailers considered it leveling the playing field, while online retailers—many which already paid sales tax—predicted it would be detrimental.

How to Find a Franchise That Fits

Written by FranchiseKing, Joel Libava

 Article from SBA

I If you’re considering becoming the owner of a franchise business, it’s important to make sure you’re looking into franchises that are the right fit.

 But finding the right franchise opportunity for you is only part of the picture.

 Finding a Fit:

 Finding, researching, and potentially purchasing a franchise is a step-by-step process. One of those steps is conducting a self-assessment. This involves compiling a list of what you consider to be your top professional strengths and skills.

 Once you’ve done that, set it aside. You’ll want to refer back to it as you find franchise opportunities that interest you. The goal is to determine if your top skills and strengths can be used in an ownership role.

 Immediate Fit vs. Long-Term Fit:

 When it comes to finding the right fit, you need to look at short-term and long-term fit. Short-term fit involves matching your strengths and skills to a specific franchise opportunity. Once you f…