Small Business Roundup: Labor Day Edition





Here in the U.S., it’s Labor Day, a day to celebrate the achievements of labor here in this country. But at Small Business Trends we thought it would be a good idea to celebrate the acheivements of small business as well. Here’s a quick roundup for the Holiday weekend before you head out to the big Labor Day sales. Remember to support small business when you can.

Economy

The state of small business. As in everything, the only constant is change, and this couldn’t be more evident than in the small business environment. The small business owner must be aware of these changes in the way business is transacted. They will alter the way service is provided and products are marketed and sold, and the small business owner must evaluate these changes and determine which will affect future success, making changes accordingly. Expert Business Advice

Small business ready to hire? Contrary to some reports that say small businesses may be ready to hire new workers, the latest survey by NFIB show a decreasing rate of job losses, but not significant enough to close the lack of employment experienced over the last several years. While small business owners have had some short- range moments of an improving employment environment, they have usually been disappointed. Basically, the outlook for employment remains the same. The Christian Science Monitor

Success in a down economy. To help small businesses grow, county leaders in Highlands Ranch created a program called “economic gardening” to help small businesses grow. The aim of the program is to provide small businesses with effective marketing plans. The program uses comprehensive databases and current research with regard to their business at no cost. Due to the economic recession that began shortly after the introduction of the program, many businesses made use of the program to survive. It helped them identify how and where to cut their costs and even grow during this period. Highlands Ranch Herald

Strategy

Protect your business from customers who go bankrupt. During these difficult economic times, small businesses may face either late payment or non-payment issues with their customers. Some of these customers may eventually go bankrupt. Small business owners should have contracts that clearly spell out the terms of payment. Customers should know what happens if they are late on payments. Contracts that specify financial terms are very beneficial if you have to take the customer to small claims court over non-payment. In the event of bankruptcy, contracts that state financial terms will help you move up the priority list of creditors. Grow Smart Biz

When you operate a small business these days, you need a powerful website. Remember that your Website may be the only place most people look for information about your company, and that many people judge the quality of your product or service by the quality of your Website. When you begin to build your website, there are a number of elements to include. Highlight what separates you from your competitors. Use of video to further the professional look. Structure the website to lead the potential customer to the point of purchase. Use product reviews and case studies to show the success of your product or service. Formstack Blog

Time to start pricing in foreign currencies? Are you as a small business owner losing money due to the declining value of the dollar? If your small business buys from foreign suppliers, your cost of goods sold will increase. If your small business exports products or services, you are in reality giving your foreign customers a discount. Small business owners need a plan for how they will deal with a declining dollar and they need to evaluate for themselves whether pricing in foreign currencies is beneficial for their business. Open Forum

Growth

Small business owners offer input on job creation.  Who better to ask about creating jobs in the small business community than the owners of small businesses!  “Colorado Competes” is a report that focuses on asking small business owners what it would take for them to hire one more employee.  Again we here the need for steady access to capital, less economic uncertainty, and a middle class that is gainfully employed and can buy small business products. The Greeley Tribune

Fix the job crisis and housing crisis at the same time. The Marion Ewing Kauffman Foundation, a highly respected organization in the area of entrepreneurship, suggests that both the job crisis and the housing crisis can be solved by small businesses and entrepreneurs. They state that before this recession both job and output growth were a direct result of the startup of new firms. They also claim that new, successful businesses were founded by immigrants at a greater percentage rate than by native-born Americans. Based on these premises they have drafted the “Startup Act” which they believe will stimulate the economy and create jobs. Nicheworks

Policy

More business for small businesses. Rep. Sam Graves, chairman of the House Small Business Committee discusses the need for government to reevaluate how it spends tax dollars and particularly how this will affect small businesses. He points out that over a half trillion dollars is spent on the purchase of goods and services and that effort must be made to be sure the money is spent wisely. He advocates the need to increase the percentage of contracts going to small businesses and to see that the regulations established to give small businesses a fair opportunity to compete for these contracts are enforced. Politico

So what really is killing small business?. Regulations and taxes may not be the main culprit. What then is the problem or problems that small businesses face? There seems to be a difference of opinion between The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the actual owners of small businesses. One group blames government regulations and taxes while the other has varied opinions on the difficulties facing small businesses. Who should know best? Check it out. McClatchy Newspapers

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