The agency that helps set workers’ comp rates is recommending they increase 4.4% at the start of next year. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau in early August recommended that the average benchmark pure premium rates for all of the state’s class codes in-crease to $2.62 per $100 of payroll for policies incepting on or after Jan. 1, 2014.
A good portion of the rate increase is due to increased claims filings, as well as rises in medical costs and permanent disability benefits that partly took effect this year and take full effect in 2014.
This year, benefit increases added an-other $620 million in system costs, the Rating Bureau has estimated. In 2014, the increases will add another $590 million in costs for all workers’ comp payers in the state.
That said, cost increases are expected to be offset by savings from reforms contained in SB 863, which was signed into law in 2012 and took effect at the start of this year. Continue Reading »
Article by Chris Davodi of 1 Stop Service Business Resources.
Amongst the million businesses that open up every year, some make it past their first year and churn profits while others fail in not being able to generate a profit. Perhaps it might be things that are out of your control like the state of the market or even the economy, in general.
While there is a possibility that you might not succeed due to these factors, you can probably increase your chances by making a checklist of tasks that you should complete when you open a new business.
Here are some vital tasks that can help you succeed, or help you survive when things get rough:
#1: In determining whether the business will suit your life’s goals or not, you can proceed to create a business and marketing plan while also using the break-even analysis to determine whether or not the business will succeed before jumping headlong.
#2: Finding a legal structure for your business is paramount, and this means understanding which ownership structure will suit your business, and perhaps, a lawyer will be able to help you streamline your efforts.
#3: Get a good name for your business and make sure you have the paperwork in place.
#4: It is important to find an appropriate business location so that it will stand more chances for success in its first year.
#5: Obtaining Insurance, filing for permits and licenses while also setting tax reporting and accounting are also important tasks.
By Allied Time
If you have employees, you already know two very important things about your business: your success depends on them and they’re also your biggest investment. As such, you should always be on the lookout to ensure you get the most from the money you spend on them. There are a lot of ways to go about doing this, but none are so simple—and thus, so efficient—as using a time clock.
Whether you go with something a bit more high-tech like a biometric time clock or opt for the old fashioned model, you have to respect what these tools can do to a simple workforce.
With clocks, you know when your employees are showing up, how long they’re working for, when they take breaks and what time they finally leave at night. If you don’t have this information, expect that you’ll be spending money that goes to waste.
Now, some people worry that these clocks may have an adverse effect on their employees. The idea is that your people will feel as though they are being micro-managed or that Big Brother is looking over their shoulder.
But time and time again, it’s been proven that people appreciate these clocks. It helps them stay focused and, eventually, become better workers.
At Allied Time, the bottom line is making more of your company’s most valuable asset. With employee time clocks, you can make sure that every dime you spend on your staff is well worth it.
By Act Data Services, Inc. 1-800-ACT-DATA
Just about everyone these days knows that the future of their company depends, in large part, on leveraging as much technology as possible for their purposes. This can mean a number of different things though. Unfortunately, too many organizations use as many types of software as they can afford without considering the long term effects of this strategy.
The ramifications of this approach often means that all these virtual assets work to become counterproductive to the point that the company using them actually suffers. In the worst case scenarios, this strategy might bankrupt a company before it actually has a chance to slow it to a complete standstill.
Whatever the case, the smartest way out of this tailspin is to use an electronic data interchange platform. In simplest terms, what it does is allow different programs to connect with one another and work in the most streamlined fashion possible. It’s like providing a supervisor and interpreter to manage your software.
Companies like Wal-Mart depend on these solutions to help their international operation flow smoothly despite all the moving parts it involves. If it works for them, it will most likely work for your company’s needs as well. At the very least, it’s definitely worth looking into.
If you want EDI software, the choice couldn’t be simpler. In this industry, there is Act Data Services and then there is everyone else. Make the right choice by putting their experience to use for your company.
By Gelato Products
Anyone who has ever tried to run a small business knows it’s nearly impossible. That doesn’t mean they’re all doomed to fail—not even close. But it’s true that it takes a lot of work to get to the a point where you can be comfortable that your small business will be around for the following year.
This is why so many people get into the gelato shop business and then fail. Because everyone loves the taste of this Italian ice cream, they automatically assume it will be a cake walk. Then, when things get tough, their spirits break and they essentially quit.
What you need to do instead is plan ahead by ensuring that you have all the best supplies for your business. Take the spoons for example. Your business needs tasting spoons for samples and plastic yogurt spoons for the real thing. Both are important to the ultimate success of your business.
If you think something like this is an unimportant detail that’s too minute to matter, think again. These small details may seem small when looking at the big picture, but your customers will definitely notice them. If they can tell you cut corners, they’ll most likely find somewhere else to go for their favorite treat.
If you have your own gelato restaurants, it’s going to take more than just great products. That’s what Gelato Products is for: everything from ice cream spoons to cups to liners and forks, you’ll find it all here.
When you’re getting ready to ship a fragile item through the mail, the packing material you use may very well determine if it gets to the destination in one piece. These days we have a ton of options when it comes to packing, but few are as durable and dependable as high density foam sheets.
Closed cell foam from Canada is one of the few materials available that may be reliably used for just about any job. Heavy or light, solid or fragile, it can protect just about any item you wish. While bubble wrap or peanuts can buckle under a heavier load, packing foam is designed to be strong enough to handle heavy loads while still having enough give to keep the contents from being shocked when the package comes to a halt.
Electronics tend to be extremely fragile and will need to be well protected from shock and movement as well as from the static charge that typically builds up as a package is transported. The pink anti-static variety of packaging foam from Canada retains foams ability to protect while adding a resistance to electrical buildup that will help prevent a static discharge that could damage the device.
Packaging foam is not as expensive as you might think. Many manufacturers fool themselves into sending customers products in low-quality packaging, but foam can be custom-cut and ordered in bulk to save money. Even with standard cardboard packaging, foam gives you the opportunity to present the product and provide a safe method of return should the need arise.
Bio: The Foam Factory, Inc. provides quality packaging foam, mattress pads and pillows among other custom-cut foam products.
Businesses today rely on point of sale terminals to process the electronic transactions that are becoming increasingly commonplace in today’s retail world. The cash-only business still exists, but it’s becoming a fixture of the past as more transactions move to the digital realm. Another component hastening the demise of cash only is the Internet. Online commerce has increased steadily over the years, which has put retailers in the position of requiring upgrades sooner rather than later.
The first electronic cash registers were very different than the hardware used today. POS systems had to be built for extremely specific uses, so the software was very limited in its functionality. IBM was one of the first in this space, releasing cash registers in 1973. Original designs relied on a mainframe computer that could control up to 128 separate terminals in the building.
McDonalds stores were actually one of the first organizations to adopt microprocessor-based cash registers. At that time, it was a huge leap for McDonalds to be able to display a customer’s order on a screen. Today’s drive through windows use LCD screens, to put things in perspective. In just 30 years, we’ve come extremely far in terms of how customers are able to place orders.
What made these changes so important? Prior to the McDonalds revolution, it wasn’t easy for customers to verify an order. Servers could also give the order to cooks in the back to begin working on an item as the customer placed another order. This dramatically improved both efficiency and accuracy, which is a major component to why McDonalds has been able to dominate.
Technology plays a key role, so merchants who try to stay ahead of the curve in payment processing tend to see the greatest benefits for their investments.
Bio: Firoz Patel is the Executive Vice President of the Payza platform. Since 2005, Firoz Patel has built a reputation for being a globally recognized leader in payment processing.
By ETO Doors
When it comes to adding beauty to your home, what do you immediately think of? Most people imagine painting their home. Another common thought is that they could use new hardwood floors or even something like marble or polished concrete. A lot of people’s minds go to granite countertops.
Whatever the case, the good news is that there are much simpler options that won’t involve a sizable investment on your part, despite how great their results will be. While it will definitely sound too simple to be worth it, wood doors are an incredible way to spruce up your property without breaking the bank.
Wooden front doors are an obvious choice. They set such an amazing first impression. Obviously, wood has been used for ages to make doors, but there are plenty of modern versions available for those of you with contemporary properties.
Another thing to love about using wood for your doors is how easy they are to modify as you see fit. You can add a stain or just paint the entire thing any color you like. These projects are as cheap as they are easy to pull off meaning anyone can do them.
If your home needs a new door or two, look no further than ETO doors. Whether you need exterior wood doors or any other style for your home, this company has everything you could possible want and probably a few options you never thought of before.
Written by Allied Time.
Today’s payroll specialists have many different options available when it comes to selecting an employee time clock solution. Gone are the days when the only choice was a manual “punch” time card that recorded time and attendance on a physical card. While these options still exist, there are now a wide range of time clock options available that leverage new technology to make the process of tracking employee hours more convenient and accurate.
Here are just a few of the most popular choices for employee time clocks:
Punch Cards: These are the most basic time clocks available today, utilizing a manual technology that has been around for decades. While it may seem rudimentary, it can be an effective choice if you are a small business that only has a few employees’ hours to track. However, these cards can be difficult to maintain, easy to cheat and increasingly expensive.
Swipe Time Clocks: Instead of asking employees to punch in with a manual time clock, many employers opt for a machine that works when an employee “swipes” their unique time card. This card is the size of a credit card and includes the employee’s information so that it is automatically collected when the card is swiped or placed on top of the reader.
Biometric Time Clocks: One of the downsides of a card reading time clock is that it is still possible to manipulate the machine. A person can have a co-worker clock in or out for them by giving them their card and get credit for time they never worked. In addition, if a person loses their card it can create headaches and add an expense of having to make a replacement card.
Because of these reasons, many companies are choosing biometric time cards that rely on the unique physical characteristics of each person. An item like a fingerprint time clock ensures accuracy as well as eliminating the potential for fraud. Other types of biometric time clocks include facial recognition and retinal scans. These times of time clocks feature the highest level of security.
Web-Based Time Clocks: Having a time clock that is tied to an internal system can be tough to manage for businesses with multiple locations or employees who work remotely. A solution to this problem is to institute a system using web-based time clocks. Information gathered through machines or even smartphones and tablets is stored on the cloud and can be accessed by payroll staff at any time from anywhere.
Allied Time is a leading provider of time clock solutions to businesses of all sizes. We have a large catalog of products designed to make timekeeping streamlined for employers and simple for employees.
Written by ETO Doors
For modern homes, the front door needs to be sturdy, energy efficient and secure. Above all it needs to draw attention to your house and match the modern aesthetic of its design. Modern front doors tend to come in all forms, with different ideas appealing to different people. Here are some of the ideas used to good effect:
The first method of bringing a modern touch is through color. Modern architecture tends to favor white and other lighter colors matched with wood. However bold colors like blue, red or green can be used to good effect to give the front of your house a nice eye catching color.
A lot of modern homes have complete glass front doors. A good idea is to cover the area in front of the door with another layer to protect the inside of the home from prying eyes and the sun. In some cases slatted wood or fencing can be used positioned specifically to block the view from outside.
Sometimes you can create some contrast by using a door that is polar opposite to the design of your house. For example, for an extreme modern home design, an antique wood door can add the sort of contrast that will really add a character to the house. You can take it further by using a door that has some history or story behind it.
ETO Doors offers a large selection of wood doors for numerous applications including for the interior and exterior. Their range of modern front doors will match any setting.
The type of capitalist system that exists today is not even close to what pure capitalism could represent. The ideologies behind pure capitalism favor those who wish to work and compete for their lot, not those who wish to legislate or redistribute. In this form of capitalism, government protects people from physical harm and from coercion, but allows the market to set its own competitive rates.
As an example, let us consider the current banking system. Banks must have a certain reserve of cash on hand to protect from large losses, but banks are not free to choose who they can lend to. The government mandates that the bank must take on risky loans, what most people would know of as sub-prime, in an effort to encourage home ownership at all income levels.
When those low-income or poor credit buyers eventually do default, the taxpayers are left to bail out banks for their poor investment decisions.
Pure capitalism is about making choices and living with those consequences. In a purely capitalist society, the taxpayer would not have been at fault for the bank’s decisions, just as the government would not have mandated the banks lend to borrowers outside of its preferred profile.
A purely capitalist society doesn’t need government interference, because the market governs itself. There is incentive to remain competitive. Going back to the example of banks, staying competitive on interest means competing for borrowers. Banks would be able to compete on price, rate and more if they were freer to choose who they lend to. For those under-serviced, smaller startups would spring up to handle short term loans where larger banks were unable to respond. Rational judgment and the willingness to survive all contribute to a pure capitalism.
We’ve all had a campaign that promised high conversion rates completely tank on us. Sometimes the trend just died and we entered at the wrong time, but often the failure can be attributed to some mistake made in targeting or ad development. If you can recognize what caused that low conversion rate, you can turn your trash into treasure.
Some Key Performance Indicators
Study the key performance indicators to get a sense of what went wrong. You need to understand:
- Who your audience is
- How your audience reacted
- What your audience did after that initial reaction
- Where your audience went, and if they bailed…
- When did your audience bail on you
Research will tell you who your audience is. It’s likely that you’ve applied some targeting to your campaigns, so check your traffic stats. Are you getting decent traffic? If not, your targeting might be too restrictive and you need to re-examine your research.
Bounce rate will tell you how your audience reacted to the ad. It might signal the ad isn’t loading very quickly, or tell you an ad isn’t very effective at driving action. Bounce rate can also signal which pages cause a positive reaction (look for the ones with a low bounce rate).
Sites visited will tell you what your audience did and where they went. Sites visited is also good for most popular landing pages, so be sure that you know your own URL structure and can readily tell the difference between a landing page and a form page.
Time spent is the final key indicator, as that informs you of how long your audience was on board with your messaging. Low time spent means there is something wrong with your ad’s call to action, and you should re-evaluate your copy.
Bio: Ted Dhanik is a passionate marketing professional based out of Los Angeles. Ted Dhanik is the CEO of engage:BDR, and an expert on digital media and advertising. Ted Dhanik also blogs frequently for VentureBeat and AdAge.