Sep 18 2013

Workers’ Comp Agency Recommends 4.4% Rate Increase

Published by under Business

workers comp
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 »

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Jul 30 2012

How to become a sucessful business analyst

Published by under Business

Become a successful business analyst, ho to Become a successful business analyst http://www.thegreatamericansmallbusinesschallenge.com/?p=11

The position of Business Analyst seems to have attained swift prominence with modern day companies that are re-engineering their own operations and embedding IT systems at the center of these business.

Professional organizations like the BCS and the IIBA have tailored internationally accepted business analysis training and certification schemes.

The role has now been refined from that of the old-school Systems Analyst from the Nineteen eighties – and as a result continues to progress. Pretty much when Business Analysis appeared to have now evolved into a suitably outlined and more mainstream management style, the use of Agile development and project management software processes is definitely forming fresh opportunities. Continue Reading »

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Jul 20 2012

10 Things You Should Do When Opening A New Business

Published by under Business

Article by Chris Davodi of 1 Stop Service Business Resources.

Grand Opening, Opening a new business tips http://www.thegreatamericansmallbusinesschallenge.com/10-things-you-should-do-when-opening-a-new-business/

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.

 

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Jul 05 2012

Content Writing Tips For Your Website

Published by under Marketing

Article by Pierre Zarokian of iClimber.

Content Writing Tips, Content writing tips --> http://www.thegreatamericansmallbusinesschallenge.com/?p=32

One of the best things that business owners can do these days is to promote their business over the internet through social media and in particular, a website. To say the least, it opens up your products or services to a global audience, and that can mean more profitability and potential customers for your business.

However, it’s not just about making any website but one that will catch the fancy of your potential customers, and there are certain aspects of content (and writing it) that you must keep in mind in order to drive traffic to your website.

So here is a list of content writing tips that will help you enjoy a successful business that you can generate through your website:

#1: Keywords, keywords, keywords

With people looking for information regarding certain products or services by the means of search engines and entering certain keywords, you’d be smart if you incorporated those particular keywords (pertaining to your business) in the content on your website. Focus on using one keyword per web page.

#2: Striking a chord with your readers

Remember that you aren’t writing for search engine but humans so you should ensure that you use emotional language when talking about your product or service so that you are able to strike a chord with your readers, and which will cause them to show interest in buying what you have on offer.

#3: Write like you are talking

As most people would have learnt in college or school to write as if you are preparing a dissertation for your Ph.D, using this approach for the internet is not a WISE. Write as if you are talking to a friend – someone who is a curious acquaintance and wants to know more about your product.

If you are interested in professional content writing services, visit www.iClimber.com website. In addition, you may want to read more tips at the iClimber Social Media Marketing Blog.

If you are interested in professional content writing services, visit www.iClimber.com website. In addition, you may want to read more tips at the iClimber Social Media Marketing Blog

 

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Jun 03 2012

How To Avoid And Fight Charge Backs

Published by under Business

Article by Kristin Gabrieli of Total Merchants.
Credit Cards, read more about credit cards at http://www.thegreatamericansmallbusinesschallenge.com/

Charge backs are a reality that every online merchant has to deal with, and there are several reasons why this happens, one being potential fraud, but the person who has to deal with loss is the merchant as soon as the customer asks for a refund from their bank.

This is why it is so important for merchants to be careful of getting into situations where charge backs are imminent, and so here is a list of tips that will help you avoid charge backs right from the outset: Continue Reading »

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Apr 16 2014

Essential Services for Your Construction Business

Published by under Business Services,Legal

Written by

If you own a construction company, you might be in need of a few services outside of your expertise. Construction companies often face unique situations, from being sued by a customer to dealing with a crisis that requires immediate action. As a business owner, it’s important to be prepared with an arsenal of tools to help you get through any issue. The problem is that not all managers or business owners have the experience and education to handle issues outside of their business. How do you handle legal issues? How to deal with a PR crisis? What happens when you’re involved in a huge dispute with a customer?

Whether you’re going through issues at this moment or would like to be prepared for any problems down the road, there are ways you can avoid falling into a deeper trouble. Here are a few business services you should always have handy for your construction business.

Expert Opinion

There might come a time when you’re called into court. Whether you’re being sued by a customer or another company, you will need an expert witness on your side. When it comes to the construction business, you will need to find an experienced witness, such as a steel fabrication expert. The expert must have knowledge and experience with the topic at hand. The key to finding the right witness is to plan ahead. Do your research. Find an expert witness and keep their information for emergency situations. You don’t want to be scrambling to find someone when you’re called into court.

Crisis Management

It happens to the best of us. Your company might fall into a serious crisis that requires immediate attention. Without proper action, however, the issue can ruin your reputation and your business. Fortunately there are many crisis management companies that deal with this type of issue. The problem is finding one with experience in the construction industry. The good news is it is possible. The best way to avoid a major problem is to plan ahead. Find a crisis management firm with experience in the construction industry and keep them at close range.

Construction Claim Analysis and Preparation

Another area of your business that might be overwhelming for the business owner is claim analysis and preparation. While basic analysis and preparation might be fairly easy, the hard part is dealing with scope changes, RFI issues, down time, and other challenges. To avoid errors associated with documentation, it’s best to have a professional construction claim preparation company handle the work for you. With the right company on your side, they will properly prepare, analyze, and settle all of your claims in a timely manner.
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Lyle Charles Consulting, Inc. offers construction consulting services, including expert opinions, claims analysis, mediation, and business consulting.

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Apr 16 2014

Track Your Employees

Published by under Business Services

Written by Allied Time

If you want the best possible company, hiring the best possible people is a great place to start. However, you can’t get complacent and simply leave it at that. Utilizing the right time machine options is the only way to ensure that the people you hire are hard at work when you’re paying them to be. Read on to learn about your options.

The most basic type is a simple punch clock. Whenever employees enter or leave the premises, they punch the clock with their card which imprints the time. They’re also expected to do the same whenever they go on break.

Of course, nowadays, there are more high-tech versions. For example, instead of having a card to punch, many companies make time clocks where employees can simply swipe their fingerprint. Not only does it make it easier without the issues that go along with a card, this also makes sure no one is swiping for them.

Another great option is time clock software. This is even more preferable to punch clock options because it’s all handled digitally. So you can track employees who may be working from home or other remote locations. It also allows  you to track their comings and goings when you yourself are not in the office.

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Allied Time is a company that sells all types of time clockoptions, making it easier for you to manage your people throughout the day. As a result, you get more work for your investment and better returns.

 

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Apr 15 2014

Don’t Forget About Your Spa’s Furniture

Published by under Beauty

Written by Comfort Soul

There are a number of challenges involved in owning and operating your own spa. Some of them are the same that go with being any type of small business owner, of course. But it doesn’t end there. Running a spa is different from any other business. You need your customers to leave your location feeling far better than when they arrived every single time. Otherwise, you won’t succeed.

A number of elements go into getting this result too, beyond simply hiring the most qualified employees and handing them the best supplies. Don’t forget how important your furniture is too.

The right facial chairs and massage beds need to complement the overall aesthetic of your business to help keep harmony. Furthermore, you always want them looking new as possible. Otherwise, your customers won’t be too happy about spending any time touching them (cleaning goes a long way here).

It’s absolutely essential that you consider the comfort of any furniture model you decide to use in your spa. The best masseuse in the world can still only do so much if the furniture their client is resting on makes things more difficult.

So whether you’re just starting out or you just have the money to reinvest in your business, keep an eye on your furniture and the important role it plays.

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Comfort soul is a website that specializes in all the massage chair bed options and other salon furniture you could ever need. So if you run a salon or spa or just like to relax at home, they’ll have what you need.

 

 

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Apr 14 2014

Turnaround Services for Your Business

Published by under Legal

Written by Lyle Charles

All business face a number of challenges throughout the course of their work. However, when it comes to construction, those businesses tend to encounter particularly unique ones that can result in all types of problems. Fortunately, there is an industry set up around these businesses and the types of challenges they face. So if you find yourself in a rut, consider turnaround services.

Companies and consultants that specialize in turnaround services have seen it all before. They’ll know exactly what the prescription is for whatever currently ails your progress. Whether it’s just simple advice, negotiating with suppliers, mediating on your behalf or even providing a construction expert witness, they’ll know what to do.

The best part about outsourcing your turnaround services is that it leaves you free to carry on with the rest of the company’s business. You don’t have to dedicate any more of your time to these matters, despite their importance.

Just make sure you do your due diligence beforehand to ensure you pick the right people. They should have firsthand experience with construction and preferably either an MBA or some type of legal credentials. That way they’ll be able to negotiate whatever troubled waters you’ve fallen in and get your company back on track.


 

Lyle Charlesis the company you need for plenty of construction advisory services that help make your build a smooth one. Whether you need a structural steel expert, anexpert witness or just help smoothing over a mediation, they’re the ones to call.

 

 

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Apr 13 2014

Get the Work You Pay for with Electronic Timekeeping

Published by under Technology

Written byAllied Time

After you come up with your business plan, create the best product and unleash the right marketing campaign, your company is still subservient to the employees that show up day in and day out to actually handle the operation. So it makes sense that you’re always on the lookout to hire the right people. It’s also important, though, that you make sure these ideal employees are actually working throughout the day.

Consider using an electronic time clock for this purpose. It’s the perfect method for tracking your employees’ comings and goings and ensuring they’re in the office when they should be and actually getting work done.

Old fashioned methods like punch clocks simply don’t cut it anymore. These options are far too archaic. For one thing, they cause unnecessary clutter and waste, given the amount of paper they use. Furthermore, it’s possible for employees to cheat the system by signing out early and then having someone else sign out for them later.

While there are many great options out there, consider a Biometric time clock. This is a much more modern version of the aforementioned type that will provide you with all the benefits you’re looking for and none of the drawbacks.

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Allied Time is a company that sells all types of fingerprint time clockoptions, making it easier for you to manage your people throughout the day. As a result, you get more work for your investment and better returns.

 

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Apr 12 2014

Making Your Building the Selling Point

Published by under Goods and Services

Article written by Port Containers

Are you starting up a small business? You’ve probably heard a lot of the “horror stories” about starting up a small business like making sure your business plan is sound and then advertising to your target market and the many many logistical concerns. One of the harder parts of creating a small business is finding a good location for your business. There are a lot of commercial spaces for rent these days but they come at such high prices. Here’s a suggestion for you though; build your own office space.

You probably cocked your head back in shock of such a outlandish suggestion, but let’s play this out a little. You could find your own commercial space, probably in a great part of town but then take hard hits from the steep rent payments. This is expense on top of your other costs like advertising. What would happen though if you constructed your own office or storefront with an iso container.

The shipping containers would make for a great building because of it’s strong construction. You can also create you’re own building with it’s own unique and artistic design. This could become a selling point for your shop and be an advertisement in itself. If this is a food establishment, people will want to go to your shop to visit the ambiance and art that is your building. There are many sea containers for sale by several companies and seller so finding these won’t be a problem at all!


 

Port Containers is the country’s number one specialist in shipping container rentals and sales. They have many shipping containers for salefor all your needs.

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Apr 11 2014

Banner Advertising Design Tips

Published by under Business

This article was written by Ted Dhanik

Without good design, all of your messaging and sales pitches are as good as dead in the water. Good design can help enhance your messages, making your text stand out or creating an effective image that sets the mood for the customer. Images and colors can be extremely powerful tools, but you have to understand at least some of the basic principles behind design in order to use them effectively. With these tips, even the most inexperienced marketer can design strong banner advertising that converts visitors to customers.

Colors

Some color theory will come in handy when you’re designing a banner to display. It’s important to know contrasting colors, as well as complimentary ones. Black and Yellow are a good combination, but you can try others like blue and white or green and white a. The text should always contrast the background of the banner so it does not clash, and the user finds it easy to read. In general, a lighter colored background will require darker text, and vise versa.


 

Text to Image

For an ad to receive a click, it must be perceived as adding value to the user. It’s important to identify what your customer wants to see. Are you making the offer desirable? Does the text in your ad point to some exclusivity, or some other factor that motivates the user to follow through on your call to action? Are you relying on brands and other factors to reinforce trust with the user? Remember, you’re about to ask for extremely personal information or possibly even a credit card. It’s important that you establish your intentions up front in a method the user finds non-threatening. To do this, you need to employ some common tricks in copywriting. Use only the most important words to get your point across, and avoid cluttering the banner with a wordy sales pitch. Try to truncate what you’re saying, then let your landing page do the heavy lifting.

Sizes

If you don’t pay attention to acceptable sizes for a banner ad, there is a chance your user might not even see it in the first place. Most display advertising networks will tell you either over the phone or on the website which sizes they work with. You may have a selection between a few sizes, or you me be confined to one. Pay attention to those requirements so that your entire ad displays, otherwise you’re paying for impressions of an ad that no one can see.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is a sales and direct marketing professional. From his time with MySpace, Ted Dhanik learned both on and offline methods for launching a Web business. For direct marketing advice, seek out Ted Dhanik.

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Apr 09 2014

Recommended Cleaning Procedures for Pedicure Chairs and Massage Tables

Published by under Business Services

Giving your customers a clean environment for a massage or pedicure is important for business. It gives your reputation a boost, and clients will feel better about coming for a repeat visit if they know your facilities are clean. In addition, there are health standards you must conform to for legal and safety purposes as well. You may find yourself buying a fancy kit to clean these instruments, but there are methods using household cleaners as well. Here are some tips for keeping your massage parlor, including pedicure chairs, clean and germ-free.

Massage Table Cleaning

It’s important to set up massage tables as though you would be servicing a client, and inspect them for sturdiness. Check all of the components of the table, including all joints and screws on the legs. You will need a non-abrasive cleaner. You can use dish soap for his purpose, but citrus will work just as well and it’s eco-friendlier. Spray this on the surface of the table, and wipe it down with a clean rag. Paper towels may also be more sanitary, since they are disposable and less likely to have bacteria on them from previous use.

Allow the table time to air dry when you’re finished, then repeat the cleaning process as needed. You should use a cleanser like Lysol if you service any clients that have open sores on their bodies.

Pedicure Chair Cleaning

Before using a pedicure chair, it’s important that you inspect the client’s feet. Avoid using the open bath with clients that have broken skin or sores on the body, as you run the risk of contamination and infection. If you are going to administer a pedicure, be sure that you have soaked the client’s feet first. You risk severely damaging the client’s skin otherwise.

After the procedure, drain the foot bath and clean the surface with detergent or dish soap. Rinse the basin with clean water and drain it. You can also use a small pool of water mixed with disinfectant if you are using a whirlpool style foot bath.

Also be sure that you have removed all filtration and removable parts from the bath each evening. Scrub these thoroughly with a brush, then rinse them with clean water. You must also fill the basin with a solution of water and disinfectant, then turn the unit on and let the solution circulate. This removes grime from the pipes of the system. Let the basin air dry when you’ve completed the cycle and drained the dirty water.

Final Thoughts

The cleaner your facility, the better for your clients. You also don’t want to risk your reputation because you don’t know how to properly clean your tools. Hopefully, this tutorial will help make your job of cleaning easier.
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Comfort Soul sells facial tables and pedicure chairs to small and mid-sized massage businesses. Find massage tables online at Comfort Soul.

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Apr 09 2014

Opening an Ice Cream Shop in Six Easy Steps

Published by under Business Tips

An ice cream shop is an excellent business for locations that get a lot of sun. An ice cream shop is like a desert oasis in the middle of summer, and a welcome treat even during mild climes. The snack is a popular favorite beloved by almost everyone. If you want to make this treat your business, you need to follow a few steps to get off the ground.

Business Plan

It is recommended that you start with the Small Business Administration’s website. There, you will find information on what your business plan needs. Make sure that you take into account market research, staffing, equipment and predict how much revenue your business will be taking in. You should also discuss how you plan to market your business.

Costs

The costs depend on how you rent your space. If you purchase your own land and build from scratch, it will be much more expensive than just taking over the lease. You also have to factor in daily costs, like gelato cups and spoons, which will be disposable and require constant replenishment.

Equipment

Ice cream shop supplies are a lot different than what you need to serve ice cream at home. You will need a freezer unit to hold the ice cream, or a machine if you decide to do frozen yogurt. You will also need tables, chairs, napkins and a host of other materials. Any business also needs a credit card machine, storage racks, a hand wash sink (for sanitary reasons) and other odds and ends.

Licenses and Permits

Check with your local health department to see what, if any, certification you will need to start your business. Most likely, you will need to submit to repeated reviews from the health department. You can also check with the offices of your state’s government online, searching for a “how to start a business” link.

Revenue

Examine your business plan closely to identify who your ideal customers will be, and how you plan to bring these people into your store. Will you upsell them with take-home treats, or rely solely on your ability to serve customers? Every model will be different, bringing a different revenue stream with each plan.

Location

Your state’s chamber of commerce is a good place to go for advice on choosing a location. You can see what others in your field have done before you, or you might be able to talk with a licensed real estate agent. You should also consider how large you want your location to be, and how your customers will use it. If you plan to have customers eat ice cream at your location, for instance, you will need to utilize your space effectively and plan a layout customers will feel comfortable with.

Once you’ve settled on a location, you need to hire good staff and line up a quality supplier. Stay persistent and work hard on your goals.

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Apr 09 2014

Support Your Local Team with these Goodies

Published by under Goods and Services

Written by: Radar Gun Sales

Custom sports banners are just one of many ways that good fans show appreciation for a team. It’s not uncommon to see fans from professional sporting games showing off home-made signs, so there is no reason you can’t do it either! Break out the markers and poster board, because these tips will turn anyone into a team’s biggest fan.

Banners

Sports banners with your team’s logo on them can be strung over bleachers, or on the chain link fence surrounding the field. They may display your team’s member name, or show off how many times your team has clinched the championship. There are a variety of ways for you to show off your pride, and banners can be printed to just about any size you need. Print banners on high-quality vinyl to make them durable.

Inflatables

Sports inflatables are another great way to show your love for the team. These inflatables come in many shapes too: like the inflatable “#1” finger, or inflatable tubes you can slap together as noise makers. You can also use these inflatables as a method of fundraising for your team’s travel expenses as well. Order some inflatables and sell them at the field, the proceeds you bring in can funnel right back into the team or go towards making cooler merchandise.

Cheer Squad

A cheer squad is always a welcome addition to any sporting event. If you can’t find cheer leaders to come and cheer you on, arm the people in the stands with everything they need. Give them blow horns, or just fold a piece of paper up and use it as an amplifier. You can also invest in whistles, or have a leader to stand before the stands and lead people in a cheer for the team. Many soccer fans like to chant certain rhymes or poems for their teams too, a tradition that can easily move to the realm of baseball.

Uniforms

The pride of wearing a uniform is important for any growing sports team, and you should order silk-screened prints online to save money. Just be conscious of what is allowed for your league. Some leagues allow nicknames, others do no. Some leagues are ok with portraying the last names of players, some would prefer only the first name.

Baseball teams are like any other sports team. Give them the home team advantage to pump them up for the game, and they will usually perform better.

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