Business Update – 26 January 2022

The rapidly spreading Omicron variant is causing worker shortages across the entire economy as employees are out sick or quarantining. At Delta Airlines, 8,000 employees contracted COVID-19 recently, contributing to more than 2,200 cancelled flights. Grocery stores and many other businesses are cutting back on their product lines. A shortage of truck drivers means shipments are delayed, so store shelves are empty. Children are taking public buses to school because…  Read more

Planning the year ahead

The turn of the year usually prompts most people to think about some business planning for the year ahead. Here are some tips to make the planning more productive. Get your team involved Business planning works best when it’s a team effort. Involve your key staff and your advisors, such as your accountant, your mentor (if you have one), and others who can contribute meaningfully to the planning, such as…  Read more

Business Update – 19 January 2022

Once again, some people are seeing bare shelves in grocery stores. Our just-in-time supply chain depends on synchrony in all links to keep shelves stocked, but a combination of factors is disrupting the timing. The fast-spreading omicron variant means grocery store workers are calling in sick, as are workers at food producers. Besides workers who are temporarily out sick, grocery stores are dealing with a labor shortage, as people quit…  Read more

Update your business plan for a new year

As another year winds down, it’s a good time to reflect on your recent business successes – and consider what you’d like to achieve in the coming twelve to fifteen months. These tips can help you with the process of making plans to help guide your business to greater success. Set priorities Entrepreneurs are typically highly creative and optimistic; as a result, they often have difficulty narrowing down their ideas…  Read more

Business Update – 12 January 2022

With the more contagious Omicron variant rapidly becoming the dominant strain, many experts are recommending upgrading from cloth to N95 masks. This article in Popular Science explains what to look for in a mask, how long they can be worn, how to safely reuse them, and when they should be discarded. Masks designated as KF94, N95, or in the FPP family are all subject to strict government oversight and quality…  Read more

Ideas for business goals this year

The start of the year is the perfect time to dust off last year’s business plan and set some new goals for the future. While some entrepreneurs love planning, others feel overwhelmed by the process. How do you decide on just a handful of goals that take priority, with so many moving parts that make up a business? These tips can help you get started brainstorming how your company can…  Read more

Weekly Digest – January 5 2022

The rapid spread of the Omicron variant is impacting businesses large and small by keeping more workers home or quarantined. Record levels of new infections in the US are forcing airlines to cancel flights, stores to close, and available workers to work longer hours or in different areas than normal. While new CDC guidance decreases the number of quarantine days from ten to five, the infectious nature of the new…  Read more

Workable New Year resolutions

New Year resolutions – we’ve all made them, and broken them − often before the end of January. There’s something about New Year celebrations that makes us yearn for a fresh start, but is there a way to make that desire for change more permanent? Here’s a twist that can make your resolutions more durable, more beneficial and less prone to that embarrassing quick fade. Align goals to your business…  Read more

Enjoying a stress-free holiday

As a business owner it’s important to take time away from work. But worrying about whether staff are meeting deadlines and suppliers are happy translates to more stress and less time enjoying your holiday. With a little staff communication and planning beforehand, you needn’t worry that your business won’t be able to cope in your absence. If you really can’t switch off from work mode or something urgent pops up,…  Read more

Business Update – December 22 2021

Even if you’re fully vaccinated and have your COVID-19 boosters up to date, there is a possibility you’ll still get a breakthrough case of COVID-19. Vox has a list of things you can do now to prepare. First, get a booster and a flu shot. Next, figure out how you can most easily get tested, including possibly purchasing an at-home test kit. Keep wearing your mask, and consider upgrading to…  Read more

3 Tips for Working Smarter and Gaining Personal Time

You’ve probably heard the maxim that it’s better to work smarter than harder. Working smarter means allocating your time, energy and money so vital tasks get done more efficiently, freeing up your personal time. Too many business owners think they must keep working harder—taking on more responsibilities and working longer hours—to be successful. It makes sense, because you’re responsible for your business, but that route leads to work overload and…  Read more

Weekly Digest – December 15 2021

In our early days of understanding the possible impacts of the new Omicron variant, it can be difficult to parse fact from opinion. In The Atlantic, Derek Thompson looks at the studies and anecdotal evidence so far available to develop an early if imperfect evaluation of the risks. Omicron is more transmissible and will spread faster than Delta. Omicron will cause more breakthrough infections. On the positive side, Omicron will…  Read more

How Much Cash Does My Business Need?

Your business needs cash. Cash is what keeps your company in operation and enables it to grow, so you should know how much cash your business needs to survive. Although many people think the answer is linked solely to operating expenses, this isn’t the case. There is no single factor that determines how much cash every business needs to have on hand. Somewhere between 3-6 months of operating expenses is…  Read more

Weekly Digest – December 8 2021

What happens to the people who don’t quit during the “Great Resignation?” Those left behind are picking up additional responsibilities and putting in extra hours. Over time, managers begin to see the extra hours and work that everyone puts in as the norm, but this can also lead to burnout and the loss of knowledge from the workplace as people with specific skill sets are not replaced. While some people…  Read more

4 Tips for Encouraging Repeat Customers

There’s a lot of data supporting the idea that it’s less costly, easier and more efficient to encourage repeat customers than bring in new ones. Among the stats Hubspot lists are that a 5% increase in customer retention is responsible for more than 25% increase in profit; repeat customers are 9 times more likely to convert than first-time visitors; and a 2% increase in customer retention has a similar impact…  Read more

Business Update – December 1 2021

Over the weekend, several countries reported their first cases of the new Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus. While little is known about the new variant, genetic sequencing indicates it has at least 30 mutations on the spike protein, which it uses to bind to human cells, so it could be even more easily spread than the Delta variant. In response to the uncertainty, Israel has banned all foreigners from…  Read more

Questions to Prepare for When Pitching to Investors

If you’re looking for people to invest in your business, be prepared to answer some important questions. Investors look for smart investment opportunities—that means they want to find out as much as they can about you and your business before they make a decision about whether or not to invest with you. It’s vital to have well thought-out answers to investors’ questions. Give them evidence you’ve thoroughly examined your business…  Read more

Business Update – November 24 2021

Just a few weeks ago, it appeared that the Delta variant was on the wane in the US. However, in pockets of the Midwest, Southwest, and Northeast, cases are climbing, just ahead of the holiday travel season. Minnesota is experiencing its highest average daily case counts since April, at 3,500 per day, overwhelming some hospitals. In response, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has enlisted the National Guard to staff temporary sites…  Read more

Top 3 reasons start-ups fail and how to avoid them

The start of a business is an exciting time. You’ve got a great idea for a business and are enthusiastic to get started. It’s important to plan ahead to give your business the best chances for success. Planning ahead means anticipating challenges and developing ways to successfully address them, so they don’t upend your start-up. Here are three reasons why start-ups fail and ways you can avoid them Lack of…  Read more

Business Update – November 17 2021

Just a few weeks ago, it appeared that the Delta variant was on the wane in the US. However, in pockets of the Midwest, Southwest, and Northeast, cases are climbing, just ahead of the holiday travel season. Minnesota is experiencing its highest average daily case counts since April, at 3,500 per day, overwhelming some hospitals. In response, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has enlisted the National Guard to staff temporary sites…  Read more

Want to grow your business? Our Free Resources will Help