Management and Human Resources

Find information below to help you manage your business and your employees. Also see our sections on hiring employees and motivating, training and retaining employees.

overtime exemption rulesIs Your Business Ready for the New Overtime Rules?

The new overtime rule is about to go into effect. Many small businesses that never had to worry about nonexempt employees will now be faced with the issue. Is your business prepared? Here's what you need to know about the new overtime exemption rules.


deadlinesWorking Around an Unreasonable Deadline

Client expectations don't always meet up with reality in the consulting business. So what do you do when a client expects the project you were hired for to be finished much sooner than is possible? Here are 4 steps for handling an unrealistic deadline.


getting clients to commitConsulting 101: Pushing the Project Forward

What causes consulting clients to fail to commit - and more importantly, what can you do about it? Some clients will always be wishy washy, but take these five steps and they will be more likely to move forward with their project.


firedConsulting 101: Hired to Fire

Sometimes you're brought into a consulting job or management position for the sole purpose of cleaning house. Here's how you can salvage the situation and perhaps not have to fire everyone after all..


integrityHow to Handle Unethical Client Requests

What should you do when your client or boss asks you to do something that's illegal or unethical? Here's what to do and why.


challenges to women businesses4 Challenges (Still) Faced by Women Entrepreneurs — And How to Overcome Them

While it's true that women have made great strides in business ownership equality, they still face challenges not as common among their male counterparts. Here are four of those challenges and the solutions for overcoming them.


office layoutShould the Boss Have a Separate Office from Employees?

As the boss, should you have your desk out in the open with your employees or should you have your own private office? Both have benefits and disadvantages. Get help deciding which office setup is right for your business here.


family businessKeeping the Peace in a Family Business

Don't let the inevitable conflicts between family members get in the way of your family-run business' success. Follow these tips to keep the peace and avoid problems caused by working with relatives.


employee handbookHow to Write an Employee Handbook for Your Small Business

How do you write an employee handbook? What do you need to put in it? Whether you're writing your first employee manual or you're updating one you've had for a while, this article explains the topics you should cover.


health insurance premiumsCan Small Businesses Charge Smokers More for Health Insurance?

Health insurance costs are a huge portion of many small business's budgets. One way they might seek to recoup some of those costs is by charging smokers more for their insurance. But is that actually legal? Find out here.


employee productivity16 Tips for Improving Employee Productivity

Employees are expensive, so when they aren't productive it costs your business money. These 16 tips can help you get them to be more productive and to work harder.


tardy absent employeesHow to Handle Employees Who Are Chronically Late or Absent

It can be very frustrating to deal with an employee who is frequently late or absent, but employee attendance problems aren't always due to irresponsibility. Here's help for dealing with the situation.


good business writing tipsGood Writing is Good for Your Business

Bad writing makes your business look unprofessional and your employees look uneducated. It also tells customers you don't care enough to bother with good communication. Although the occasional typo is inevitable in this day of email and social media, writing well is important. Here are a few tips to help you improve your business writing.

customer contractHow to Write a Customer Contract - and When to Use It

Having a written contract or agreement between you and your customer can help your customers know what to expect when buying from you and, in the event of problems, protect you from unnecessary losses. Here's what you need to know to write the customer contract and advice on when you need to use it.

teamwork tipsThe 5 Biggest Teamwork Problems

Having employees that work together efficiently as a team helps your business run smoothly. But, teamwork doesn't always happen like it should. Here are five of the biggest teamwork problems and what you can do to fix them.


why you should not hire friends and family3 Reasons Why Hiring Friends and Family Is a Bad Idea

It's tempting to hire a friend or family member when you have an opening in your business. You'd be helping them out and would get to work with someone you already know well, so it's win-win, right? Well, not usually. Here are three not-so-great things that often happen when you employ friends or family.

challenge employeesHidden Potential in Employees

Does the work you give to employees challenge them sufficiently? If not, you may be wasting their hidden talents and potential to solve problems for your business.

Get more information on motivating and training employees here


pros and cons of temporary employeesThe Pros and Cons of Hiring a Temp

The use of temporary workers has steadily increased over the years. Would your business benefit from temporary help? To find out, check out these pros and cons of hiring a temp.


retain employees7 Inexpensive Ways to Retain Employees in Your Small Business

Keeping employees happy and satisfied with their jobs is important for small businesses, but you might not have the budget to pay the same salary big companies can pay. Here are seven things you can do to prevent them from jumping ship when another job offer comes along.

make employees more productive10 Simple Hacks to Increase Employee Productivity

Are your employees not getting as much done as you think they should? Here are ten simple things you can do to help them want to work harder and be more productive.


collaboration width=Compliance versus Collaboration

Is your business stagnating? Your procedures for getting jobs done could be to blame. Improve your business by unleashing your employees' hidden talents by establishing small, elite teams..


training for collaborationTraining for Individual Skills versus Training for Collaboration Skills

Training for members of top performing teams in corporations must focus on different hard and soft skills than training for individuals doing routine tasks. Here's why.


how to improve business growth4 Reasons Your Business Isn't Growing Faster

How's your business growing? Not as fast as you'd like? Here are four things that can cause your business to slow or stop its growth along with advice on correcting the problems.


small business management errorsTop Small Business Management Mistakes to Avoid

Are you making management mistakes that could damage your business? Whether it's unhappy employees, lack of customers, or poor cash flow, there are many things that can threaten your business' success. Here are the top critical small business management errors you should watch out for.

get past fear of failureDon't Let Fear of Failure Hold Your Business Back

Is your fear of failure causing you to turn down opportunities that could help your business grow? Of course you want to be smart about your business, but for it to grow, sometimes you have to take risks. Get past your fear of failure so you don't hold your business back.


cyber security importanceWhat to Do When a Valuable Employee Quits

Your top employees are integral to your business's success. So what happens when one of them resigns? Here's a guide to making the transition as smooth as possible..


self employment mistakes5 Common Self-Employment Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Making business mistakes when you're self-employed can have serious consequences. Here are 5 common mistakes people who work for themselves make - and tips for avoiding them.


workplace transparency5 Ways to Increase Transparency in the Workplace

Transparency - being open about and accountable for for your business operations - is important to today's employees and customers. Here are 5 ways you can increase transparency in your workplace.


Caring More in Business

Caring More in Business

What makes entrepreneurial geniuses like Steve Jobs different from other people who start businesses? It's not what they know, says best-selling author Michael E. Gerber. Read why.


vacation How to Take a Vacation When You Run a Small Business

For small business owners, taking a vacation - at least one where you don't spend the whole time tethered to your smart phone or computer - may seem nearly impossible. Here's what you need to do so you can relax and enjoy the time away from your business.


employee performance 4 Steps to Getting Superstar Performance From Your Players

Are your employees giving you 100%? If they aren't, you're losing money on them. Here are 4 steps for getting all of your employees to work to their fullest potential.


Running in High Heels coverHow Women May Be the Difference Makers in Business Leadership

Businesses struggle finding and keeping good managers, leading to employee turnover and lost productivity. Hiring more women managers could be the answer to the problem. Find out why in this excerpt from the new book Running in High Heels.


Things you should delegate Stick to What You Do Best, then Delegate

When you started your business, you had to do everything. But as your business grows, you need to give up the tasks better performed by employees or outside professionals. Here are three areas of your business you should consider delegating.


How to motivate employeesThe Shifting Sands of Employee Motivation

The hope of a bonus check is no longer enough to keep employees motivated. Here's the trick to getting engaged employees to do their best and unengaged employees to start caring.


Are You a THIRTEENER? Why Only 13% of Companies Successfully Execute Their Strategies

Some 87 percent of businesses fail to execute their strategy each year. Here, author Dan Prosser explains why—and offers eight startling insights into human interaction, the hidden forces that drive leaders, and the astonishing power of the conversations we enable and nurture.

holiday partyHave a Holiday Party that Won't Break the Bank

Hosting a holiday party for employees is traditional for most businesses at this time of year. But hosting one that shows your appreciation for a year of hard work without breaking the bank isn't easy. Here are a few hints that can help.


Business Failure Lessons 10 Things to Learn from a Business Failure

Failing at a business isn't the end of the world. In fact, it could be the beginning of a successful new business. Here are ten things you can learn if you've had a business fail.


Shark Tank 6 Lessons "Shark Tank" Can Teach You about Business 

Shark Tank isn't just good entertainment - there are business lessons you can learn from it too. Even if you aren't seeking investors, these six lessons are worth studying.


Employee ExcusesWhat’s the real story behind employee excuses? 

Employees are quick with an excuse when they've missed a deadline, and they might even believe it's a good excuse. Many times, though, the delay could have been avoided. Here's what you can do about three of the most common excuses you'll hear.


Logistics Logistics for Small Business 

Whether your SMB manufactures guitars, heavy equipment, or foodstuff, the logistics of moving your products safely and on time through your distribution network can be a costly nightmare. Here are tips for better managing the process.


Open Office LayoutsAre Open Office Layouts Efficient?

Open office layouts are popular among today's businesses because they supposedly encourage collaboration and save office space. But are they really that beneficial? Read about the pros and cons of open office layouts here.


Holiday tipping guideHoliday Tipping Guide for Business Owners

How much should you tip your business's delivery driver? What about the postal carrier? The nanny? The building handyman? How about the guys that keep the lawn looking nice or the lady who comes in and cleans the office after hours? Here's a holiday tipping guide for business owners that will help you decide how much to give.

subleasing infoWhen and How to Sublease Office Space You've Rented

So you've got some extra room in your building and are thinking about subleasing it to offset the cost of your rent. Here's what you need to know before subletting that space to someone else.


motivating employees8 Ways to Improve Employee Performance

When your employees just don't seem to care about what they do and put little effort into their jobs, it's easy to blame it on the employee. Before you give up on ever finding anyone with a good work ethic, check out these eight things you should be doing to motivate and inspire your employees.

charitable8 Reasons Being Charitable is Good for Your Bottom Line

Giving to charity doesn't just make you feel good, it is also good for business. Here are eight ways that being charitable can benefit your business.


17 Things You (Unknowingly) Do That Say “I Don’t Care”

Most of us care about doing our jobs well, and about the relationships we have with customers and employees. But your actions might be sending the opposite message. Here are 17 things you unknowingly do that tell others, “I don’t care.”


managing remote workersHow to Manage Remote Employees and Freelancers

When you have remote employees and freelancers, it can be hard to keep tabs on what they're doing. This advice on managing them via email and social media will help you keep communication open and productivity high.


legal mistakes to avoid Top 5 Legal Mistakes Small Business Owners Make

It's all too easy for small business owners to make legal mistakes that could be costly. Most entrepreneurs aren't legal experts, but don't expect a judge to be sympathetic of your ignorance. Inform yourself about these five common legal mistakes so you don't make them yourself.

job interview questionsQuestions You Should and Shouldn't Ask During Interviews

What questions should you ask job applicants during an interview? What questions shouldn't you ask? Here is a quick guide to help you ask the right questions and select the best candidate for the job. See the tips at the end of the article for question to avoid during an interview.

Home office deduction How to Handle Awkward Employee Issues

Employees can present you with some awkward situations, but as the boss, you have to be prepared to deal with them. Here's how to handle three of the most common difficult conversations you'll face.


business lawyer How to Build a Relationship with a Business Lawyer (Before You Need One)

Choosing a lawyer for your business isn't as simple as opening up the yellow pages and picking the one with the best looking ad. And asking for free legal advice when you're in a pinch isn't likely to gain you any popularity points with attorney friends. Here's how to go about finding the best lawyer for your business situation.

How to write a job descriptionHow to Write a Job Description

Job descriptions are an important for attracting the right job candidates, helping employees understand their responsibilities, evaluating employees' performance, and much more. Here are tips for writing good job descriptions.


business questionsQuestions Every Business Owner Should Ask in January

January is when most people reflect on the past year's successes and failures, and therefore when they consider what their course should be for the coming year. Find out what questions you should ask yourself as a business owner this time of year.


How to Write a Reference for a Former Employee

Writing a reference letter for a former employee and don't know what you should say? Here's how to make sure your letter of recommendation doesn't get you sued.


Business Secrets of the Trappist MonksWhy Being Selfless is Good for Business

You don't have to be greedy and selfish to run a successful business. In this article from August Turak, author of Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks, find out why selflessness can actually help your business succeed.


liarHow to Spot a Liar

How can you tell when a job applicant or employee is lying? Workplace body language expert and author of “The Truth About Lies in the Workplace,” Carol Kinsey Goman offers these tips for spotting liars at work.


teamwork3 Tips for Building a Team that Builds Success

Every successful business owner has a team of people behind him or her that helps make that success possible. Here are three ways you can build a successful team for your own business.


Health careWhat You Need to Know about the Affordable Care Act

Whether you are a fan of the Affordable Care Act or not, it has passed into law. Here's what you need to know about how it will affect your small business.


employee stealingHow to Stop Employees from Stealing from You

Are you going through office supplies faster than usual? Noticing inventory discrepancies? Here's the best way to stop employees from stealing from your business.


Virtual assistantWhy You Need a Virtual Assistant

Do you find it hard to work on the money making parts of your business - like finding customers and meeting with clients - because you're so busy with the "little things" like sending invoices, answering the phones, and responding to email inquries? Find out how a virtual assistant can help.

Life bouyHow to Save Your Business When It's Failing

Is your business struggling? Are you losing customers or money and don't know how to plug the hole? Here are three things to look at when your business is failing.


sexual harassmentSuspicious Timing of Sexual Harassment Complaint

When an employee makes sexual harassment accusations shortly after being disciplined, it's natural to assume the employee is lying. Consider these points before you jump to conclusions about the credibility of the employee's complaint.


man shaking fistVerbal Abuse and Workplace Violence

How do you know when verbal threats in the workplace need to be taken seriously? When should you fire the employee and when should you give him or her another chance? Here's what you need to know about dealing with threats from employees.


overgrowthThe Biggest Mistake is a Big Business

Why do so many small businesses fail? For some businesses, it's because they decided to expand. Here's why a bigger business isn't necessarily better.



business agreement5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Partnering

Should you form a partnership with another business? Partnering can bring many benefits to both businesses, but there are also downsides. Here are five questions you should ask before partnering.


magnifying glass and people9 Tips to Deal with Negative People

Do you have someone in your workplace who seems to be able to find the downside to every situation? Here's how you can deal with negative people in a positive and constructive way.


magnifying glass and peopleTalent Management is Not HR's Job

Talent management is typically considered a responsibility of HR. Yet small businesses that thrive and grow have leaders who understand that they are not only in charge of managing their budget and numbers, but the people that work for them as well.


Achieve the impossible

How to Achieve the Impossible

People naturally avoid change and risk, even when that change could ultimately lead to their company's survival. So how do you combat workplace inertia to achieve the impossible? Find out here.

Tips for a Low Cost Holiday Party Your Employees Will Love

You know throwing an office holiday party will be good for morale, but the expense isn't good for your bottom line. Try these ideas to keep costs low while keeping holiday spirits high.

5 Steps to Better Employee Communication

Good communication in your small business is important for your employees' morale and productivity. Here are five steps to improving workplace communication.

How to Avoid Making Bad Business Decisions

Bad business decisions can cost your company thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, they aren't always easy to spot before the damage has been done. Here are five questions you should ask to help yourself make good business decisions.

7 Reasons Employees Don't Report Workplace Violence

Would your employees tell you if they were being harassed or threatened on the job? Here are seven reasons they might not report workplace violence and tips for how you can make it more likely that they will.


NY Employer Annual Pay Notice Requirement

Here's an important reminder for NY Employers. You must issue a written annual pay notice to all employees by February 1 of this year. Here is information about the NY Rates of Pay and Regular Payday notice.

How Bosses Can Create a Healthy and Productive Workplace

In this article, the authors of the new book Fuse: Making Sense of the New Cogenerational Workplace, explore the five qualities that make someone a good boss and how these qualities help to create a collaborative and productive workplace.

Create Systems in Your Business for a Worry-Free Holiday Season

Wondering how you'll take any time off from your business during the upcoming holidays? If you want to work less, get more done, and make sure your staff does things the way you want, you need to create systems in your business.

Small Business Owner's Guide to the Holiday Bonus

Is your company giving out holiday bonuses this year? Did they give them last year? Find out what other businesses are doing and get tips on how to give (or not give) holiday bonuses without causing bad feelings among your employees.

How to Handle a Drunk In The Workplace

If you've ever had a drunk customer - or worse, a drunk employee - show up at your business, you know that reasoning with them seldom works. Here are five ways you can effectively and safely handle a drunk in the workplace.

Dealing With Change

When times are challenging, businesses often need to make big changes to stay afloat. Here's how to get employee buy-in on the changes.

5 Mistakes That Can Sink a Good Boss

Running a successful business means wearing many hats, including the "boss" hat. If you find yourself frustrated with your employees' performance, see if perhaps you're making one of these five mistakes.

7 Steps to Resolve Personality Conflicts in the Workplace

When you just don't get along with someone at work, it can make life miserable for you both. And though you might wish for a personality transplant for your annoying coworker, that's probably not going to happen. Here are seven steps you can take that may help make things better.

The Prevalence and Deterrence of Fraud in Small Businesses

While it doesn't always make headlines, fraud in small businesses accounts for the majority of employee fraud. Learn how to recognize and prevent fraud in your business with these tips.

Could Your Business Survive If You Could No Longer Manage It Tomorrow?

Most small business owners don't spend a lot of time thinking about what would happen if they became unable to run their business, but even if you think you are a long way from retirement, there are many important reasons to have an exit plan in place.

Roadblocks to Effective Organizational Change

Have you ever tried to make a change to something important in your business only to be frustrated a few weeks or months down the road when employees are doing it the same as always? Learn what major factors stand in the way of effective organizational change and find out what you can do about them.

3 Things to Consider When Hiring Your Consultant

Once you've had a consultant helping out with some aspect of your business, you may realize what a great asset he or she would make to your company. Before you hire a consultant as a full-time employee here are three things you need to consider.

The Role of Decisiveness in Achieving Results

Making decisions is possibly the riskiest part of a manager's job, but it's also one of the most important. In this article from the authors of Managers, Can You Hear Me Now?, find out why the willingness to commit to a decision and take action are key factors in a manager's success.

Connect with Employees to Connect with Customers

More and more organizations are coming to the realization that in order to deliver a great customer experience you must first create an engaging employee experience. Here's how you go about doing that in your business.

The Risk of Ignoring Millennials

One of the biggest challenges for businesses today is integrating the Millennials or Gen Y twenty-somethings into a Baby Boomer culture. So who are the Millennials and how do we manage their expectations while maintaining high performing organizations? Find out here.

How to Successfully Lead a Virtual Team

Leading a virtual team requires more than just setting up the right technology so team members can communicate. Learn what else you should do to make your virtual workforce feel connected to each other and the company mission.

Key Performance Indicators - Key Factors for Success

Confused by key performance indicators (KPI)? Learn what they are and which KPIs are important to your business for current and future success.

10 Steps to Systematizing Your Business for Success

Most mistakes and errors in business aren't a result of poor materials or disgruntled employees. They are the end result of not having clearly defined procedures for common tasks. Here are 10 steps for creating procedures and systems that will make your business more successful.

3 Keys to Outsourcing Success

Outsourcing isn't always about shipping jobs overseas. In fact, work can be outsourced to other businesses within your own community and outsourcing can be a big help to small businesses trying to grow. Here are some benefits your business can see from outsourcing and three tips for making it successful.

How to Handle Clients from Hell

How can you make a client happy who is driving you crazy by complaining, refusing to pay your bill, and haggling over your fees? The fact is, those clients can drain the life out of your business-- and you. 

Cash Control Prevents Robberies and Home Invasions

If you keep large amounts of cash in your place of business or home, you've just made yourself into an easy target for would-be thieves and armed robbers. Here are several proven cash control tips that can make your business less appealing to crooks looking for someone to rob.

How to Create an Effective Mentoring Program

How do you retain and prepare your best talent to lead? Mentoring programs are one of the most effective tools in achieving business results. Here are ten guidelines for creating an effective mentoring program.

Top 5 Lies Job Candidates Tell

Every employee in a small business has a big impact on performance, company culture and the bottom line. That’s why hiring the wrong candidate is a costly, sometimes critical, mistake. Be aware of these five common lies your job candidates may tell in an interview or on their resume.

Think Twice Before Handing Out Smart Phones to Your Employees

If you are a small business owner and you have non-exempt employees on staff, beware. There’s a danger lurking that makes sense but almost no one saw it coming.

9 Toxic Coworkers to Look Out For (and How to Protect Yourself)

Just one person behaving badly at work can send company morale into a downward spiral. Unfortunately, most companies have more than one ne’er-do-well bringing everyone else down. It’s time to call those morale- and productivity-busting personalities on the carpet so you can spot them and steer clear of their mess.

Disaster Protection: The Need for Small Business Continuity

The concept of planning for disasters, whether they are man-made or natural, just doesn’t come that high up on the radar during normal small business operations. But if a disaster strikes, your small business is much more likely to survive if you have an emergency preparedness plan in place.

10 Tips for Growing Your Small Business

As your business grows and matures, it's easy to lose sight of the practices that worked when you started your business. Here's ten point checklist to help you stay on track while you grow your business.

Is Your Worker an Employee or an Independent Contractor?

If you run a business and have people working for you, it is important to properly classify them as either employees or independent contractors because your decision will have payroll tax implications. Answer "yes" to any of these seven questions and you can be sure the IRS will consider your worker an employee, and so should you.

8 Strategies to Resolve Workplace Conflict

Conflict in the workplace is inevitable, but it doesn't have to bring down morale or effect productivity. Here are eight things you can do to handle conflict and restore the peace.

A Surefire 6-Step Process for Selecting the Best Vendor

Sometimes choosing a supplier or service provider is as simple as asking a friend who they use in their business. Other times you need to go through a formal selection process. To make sure the vendor you choose is the best one to provide the service or product you need, use these six steps.

Afraid to make changes in your business?

Small business owners often fear changes, but that fear may be holding their business back. Here's why change is important and how to know when it's time to make changes.

How Heavily Do You Rely on One Person for Key Activities

How much stress is your staff under because there is no one who can fulfill their function if they were to go on vacation or to be ill? What contingency plans do you have in place for dealing with the sudden disappearance of one of your key players? Here are some important points you need to consider to keep your business healthy.

3 Ways to Keep Disasters from Destroying Your Business

When life throws a curveball at your business, how prepared you were in advance determines whether or not your business will survive. Here are three ways you can manage risks and even put procedures in place to avoid some risks entirely.

3 Perils Business Owners Ignore Until It's Too Late

It is impossible to plan for every problem that your business could face, but there are some issues where a little preparation will go a long way towards reducing the damages. Here are three areas that you should address in your business before it's too late.

How Fast Should You Grow Your Business?

Any successful small business can quickly be confronted with this question. You’re moving along well, making money, growing both your business and your dedicated customer base. Now you likely have some decisions to make.

In Tough Times, Silence is NOT Golden

In the face of this severe, take-no-prisoners economic downturn, far too many organizations are responding in knee-jerk reaction to the thought of holding all but the smallest of meetings. Yet communicating is precisely what needs to be done to make it through the recession and be ready to move once the economic cloud lifts. Here's why.

Ready to Divorce Your Business Partner?

When times are tough, even healthy business relationships can become strained, and incompatibilities between business partners may surface. If you're ready to dissolve your business partnership, the economic downturn may have actually made it easier to get out.

5 Tips for Amazing Webinars and Web Meetings

Virtual meetings are hailed as a way to save travel costs and boost productivity. But they are effective only if the attendees actually pay attention. Here are five things you can do to keep your online meeting participants interested and engaged.

What Does it Mean to Get Your Business Unstuck?

In this article from Jay Abraham, author of The Sticking Point Solution, he shares 7 smart things that successful businesses are doing in order not just to ride out the recession but to grow and thrive as never before.

Is Your Performance Review System Outdated?

Most companies today use a performance appraisal system or an annual performance review system that was invented decades ago in a much slower business economy. The assessment given often leaves employees wondering if they actually did their job or not. Here's a way to provide useful information to employees and make annual performance reviews easier.

The 7 Principles for Inspiring Employees

With a suffering economy there is the temptation to operate in fear. Implement one of these principles and make a difference. Implement all seven and change the culture you live and work in.

Outsourcing Guidelines For Small Businesses

Outsourcing is often seen as a bad word, but for small businesses it can be what makes the difference between meeting a deadline and losing a client. To get the best results from outsourcing, follow these 18 guidelines.

Working Too Hard? Take A Break


5 Ways to Take Command of a Partnership Gone Bad

If you're in a business partnership or a longstanding working relationship that isn't working, ask yourself these questions. Then, if you need to change or end the partnership, follow these five steps.

5 Tips to Attract, Keep and Motivate Your Employees

Employers face major challenges when they consider the increasing difficulty of finding skilled people, a younger workforce with different attitudes about work, and a growing population of older workers heading toward retirement. Use these five tips to help you attract the best workers and keep your existing workers happy and motivated.

So What Exactly is an Open-to-Buy?

An open-to-buy is a tool that in the hands of a fully committed small retailer can profoundly improve financial performance. It allows a retailer to manage inventory, plan purchases, and budget effectively. Find out what goes into a good open-to-buy and how you can put it to use in your business.

The Hidden Costs of Presenteeism

You know about absenteeism and what it can cost your business in terms of lost productivity. But what about presenteeism? What is it and how is it costing you money?

Flexible Work Arrangements Help Retain Good People

An employee who has to choose between work and family may very well quit - costing you money as you try to replace that employee. Flexible work arrangements enable companies to keep good employees and create more loyal and productive workers.

How To Fire Someone

Sooner or later, most managers must face up to the task of firing someone. Though it is never easy, this advice will help you handle this odious task when you must do it.

How to Choose a Comfortable and Healthy Work Chair

Don’t be one of the many workers who suffer from back pain and other ailments as a direct result of sitting in a substandard or poorly adjusted chair. Use these guidelines for choosing a chair that will be both comfortable and healthy.

8 Ways to Deal with Difficult People

For leaders managing constant change, conflict is built into the very fabric of their organizations. When conflict is not dealt with well, it can create strained relationships and grow to sap the time, energy, and productivity of even the best teams. Here are tips for dealing with your most difficult people.

Do You Have a Business Mindset?

In order to build the right small business infrastructure, you must think strategically -- that's having a business mindset. Here are seven examples of having a business mindset.

7 Reasons to Register Your Trademarks - Now

Is your business or product name protected against others who intentionally or unintentionally use the same name? Could someone register a web site using that name and get away with it? Registering your trademarks has many advantages. Find out how you can benefit from registering yours.

Thriving Between a Rock and a Hard Place

As a manager, you have the opportunity to lead, supervise, mentor and motivate others - and your ability to do so effectively makes a huge difference to your company's overall success. But, statistics show that 50% or more of middle managers fail to achieve the expectations of those who promote them. Find out why and what you can do about it.

10 Sure Fire Ways to Fail as a Manager

In an effort to be less than constructive as a manager, here are ten sure-fire ways to alienate and demotivate your team on your change journey. Hit-or-miss approaches don't go far enough; this is your chance to use the best methods of corporate torture and humiliation developed by dictators, steamrollers and other "tough guy" bosses.

Are You Making These Performance Appraisal Mistakes?

There are five big mistakes that managers often make when giving performance reviews to employees. This article tells you what they are and how to avoid them.

Little Things That Make Employees Want to Leave

Small slights can generate big problems. Take the boss who impatiently drums his fingers as an employee pitches an idea. Or the co-worker who is left out of an email loop on a critical project. Find out how to identify and stop these "microinequities" before they harm your business.

6 Succession Planning Myths, Debunked

Succession planning is a hot topic these days, but according to surveys, not many businesses are taking it seriously. Here are six common myths about succession planning and the proof against them.

20 Tips for Project Success

What will it take to make your project successful? Get the top 20 steps to success and learn the 5 things to avoid in this excerpt from The Ultimate Guide to Project Management for Small Business by Sid Kemp.

Identify and Prevent Employee Theft

Employee theft is not uncommon in today's workplaces. And it's often the employee you least suspect that is the culprit. Here are tips on spotting and eliminating employee theft in your small business.

Select the Right Work Desk

The right desk can make the difference between a busy, productive day or a harried, disorganized one. When the time comes to replace your office desk, consider these important points in choosing the right work desk for your needs.

10 Questions to Grow Your Business

By now, you've set a working direction for the 2006 and established clear-cut objectives. Or maybe you're still trying to find time to plan it all out. Either way, asking yourself these 10 questions will help you fine tune your efforts and grow your business in the coming year.

Surviving Survival

Has business been slow? Are you just hoping to make it through another year? Knowing how to survive during lean times is a valuable skill, but sometimes things we do in the name of "survival" can themselves bring about the end of a business.

Silencing Workplace Windbags

As you see Susie round the corner to your desk, you try to look busy, pretending to make an important call. Susie, you see, is the office motor mouth. And, unfortunately, avoiding her doesn't usually work. So just what can you do to get Susie to be quiet without being rude? Here are 12 tips that can help.

The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Temp

The use of temporary workers has steadily increased over the years. Would your business benefit from temporary help? To find out, check out these pros and cons of hiring a temp.

Managing Employees: How to Reprimand

When you need to correct an employee, do you use the technique of "sandwiching" your reprimand between a compliment or pat on the back? Though it may make it easier for you to deliver your bad news, it doesn't work that well in changing employees' behavior. Find out why and what you should do instead.

Flexible Work Arrangements-Problems and Solutions

Employees love flexible work arrangements, and employers benefit from higher morale, lower absenteeism, and being able to attract better quality workers. But flex plans don't come without problems. Here's a rundown of the most common problems and the ways to solve them.

What Great Managers Do to Improve Retention

Creating a high retention workplace has more to do with good managers than anything else. Yes, you have to pay people well. Sure, you have to provide decent benefits. But first it begins with leadership. Improve retention and make your business a good place to work by following this five-step PRIDE model.

Managing Legal Costs: Five Tips for Businesses

The thought of being sued sends chills down the spines of most business owners. But a law suit doesn't have to mean the financial death of a thriving business. Follow these five tips for keeping your legal costs down.

Getting the Most from Attending a Trade Show

To get the most from attending a trade show, you have to a clear strategy in mind. This trade show expert has tips for what you should do before, during and after the show to be sure your trip is a success.

Test Your Basic Writing Skills

Do you think you’re pretty good at spelling, punctuation and grammar? Many businesspeople do, but the truth is there are some common mistakes that nearly everyone makes time and time again. Take our quiz and see how you do.

Does Your Business Have the Write Stuff?

Poor writing says many different things about you and your business, not the least of which is that you don't care enough about your business to proof the words you use to represent it. Is that the kind of company you'd want to do business with? Here are a few tips to help you improve your business communications.

Avoid the Sexual Harassment Time Bomb

Over 53 charges of sexual harassment are filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission every business day. What have you done to prevent sexual harassment in your workplace? Here are a few guidelines that can help.

Recruit Your Way to the Top

A sales manager's primary responsibility is to recruit, train and motivate their sales force to achieve peak performance. Of these three vitally important tasks, recruiting is the least understood and by far the most challenging. Follow these guidelines for help hiring the right person for the job.

Why Your Employees Fear Training

Training sessions are there to help your employees do a better job and in the end benefit both you and the employee. But why do they seem to get so little out of them, and some actually fear the training? Get the answers here, along with four ways to create an effective training program.

Get to the Root of the Problem

Why is it so difficult to get to the real reason a problem exists? What is necessary to identify the root cause of a problem? Find out here.

Power Point Poison

Your Power Point presentation should help you get your point across, not replace your message. Make sure the focus of your presentation isn't just slick graphics and fancy charts, but you and what you're saying.

Getting Voice Mail Returned

Do your voice mail messages go unanswered? Here are five reasons voice mail goes unanswered and what you can do to improve the likelihood that your calls are returned.

Top 5 Reasons Why Strategic Plans Fail

Despite the hours invested in developing strategic plans, all too often they don't work. According to a survey, there are five main reasons that they fail. Learn what they are and improve your own success.

Doing What Counts

How important is the work you're doing? What you do and when you do it are important to the success of your business or career.

Communicating Complex Information

When communicating with your workforce about complex issues, such as your benefits program, only a small number will actually understand it the first time its presented. Here is a technique you can use to be sure that the majority of people eventually absorb the information.

Why Bosses Don't Get All the News

Middle managers are often blamed for the communication gap that exists between front line employees and a company's upper management. Instead of wasting time pointing fingers, discover where the heart of the problem lies.

Turn Dead Inventory Into Cash

If you’re looking at a build up of dead inventory, and feel a little overwhelmed by the enormity of it, here are a few ideas to help you get started turning it into cash.

How Much Inventory Do You Need?

Sure, you know how much your on hand inventory is worth, but do you know how long it should be on your shelves? Being able to answer that question is the key to keeping your cash flow in the positive.

Don't Fall in Love with Your Inventory

Have you ever heard a wholesaler, importer or distributor say, “We’re committed to inventory” or, "We can't sell it if we don't have it"? But inventory is one of those things where more is not necessarily better. Read why.

Why Employees Quit Small Businesses

Is employee turnover a problem in your company? If so, it's easy to blame the problem on any number of things - salary levels, benefits (or lack of them), size of the company, or your industry. But instead of these external factors being the cause, could it be something closer to home?

How to Avoid Inventory Problems

For many small retailers, the largest asset on the balance sheet is inventory. But without careful planning, inventory can easily get out of whack, resulting in heavy markdowns due to overstocks and ultimately, serious cash flow problems.

Tips for Teaching Seminars

Want to begin offering workshops (by phone or in person) to attract clients and maybe build another revenue stream? Here are seven tips for teaching a profitable and fun seminar.

Is Customer Service Training the Answer?

If you go to the doctor with a headache, do you demand a particular treatment before she examines you? Of course not! Well then, why do managers send their employees for customer service training -- before they know what the problem is?

Business Plan Maintenance

Do you think business plans are just for starting a business? Better think again. Business plans are about results, and here's how reviewing your business plan regularly will help you improve your business results.

Are Your Employees Itching to Leave?

Most companies are anticipating increased sales in coming months and, as a result, increased hiring. That improved job market makes for more turnover among employees. Are yours ready to jump ship, too?

Influences on Employee Turnover

Finding good employees is one thing, but getting them to stay is another. So just why do good employees leave? Uncover the reasons in this week's Quick Takes column.

How to Raise Issues

Employees often won't discuss problems with managers for fear of being labeled as "negative" or "not a team player." Yet it's in the manager's best interest to be informed. Here are ways to facilitate communication rather than discouraging it.

Conflict Resolution

Conflicts are inevitable, but the more we know about human nature, the more positive the outcome of a conflict might be for both parties. Here are seven tips for avoiding and resolving conflicts.

5 Keys to Building Quality

The only way to survive in our competitive world is by obtaining full customer satisfaction through the consistent delivery of high quality products and services. Learn how you can build quality in your company.

Taboo Words and Terrific Words

Ever presented a fantastic idea to your boss, just to have it shot down before you hardly finish explaining it? Here's how you can respond and keep your idea alive.

Micromanagement: Necessary Evil or Just Plain Evil?

Everyone hates to be micromanaged, yet managers continue to do it. Are you a micromanager, too?

Customer-Focused Mindset

Customer service often means dealing with angry, frustrated, or rude customers. Dealing with those customers effectively can often make or break a company. This article presents a five-step process for dealing with difficult customers.

Improving Your Performance Appraisals

When your employees leave your office after a performance review, do they know whether or not they've been doing a good job? Here are some ways you can make sure they know where they stand -- not just once a year, but all the time.

Improving Employee Performance

Most managers have been in the situation where an employee’s performance is not meeting their expectations. Many times this poor performance has to do with a miscommunication or an employee not understanding the expectations of the job. Here's how you can bridge the gap.

Fueling the Fire of Your Star Performers

You work hard to find your best employees, so don't let them get away! Use these tips to keep your star performers happy and motivated.

Flexible Work Works!

In spite of all the talk about balancing work and family, most people feel they must choose between the two, resulting in high turnover in many workplaces. By creating a Flexible Work Arrangement, companies can keep good employees and not force them to sacrifice family life.

Employee Performance

When diagnosing problems with employee performance, don't waste precious time and resources on solutions that don't work. Instead, ask "why" at the outset and get to the heart of the matter.

Why People Quit Their Jobs

There are many reasons why good employees quit, but most are preventable. Here are the top ten reasons why people leave jobs.

Poor Employee Performance, Part 2

How can you increase employee performance, levels of involvement, desire for responsibility, interest, initiative, and attentiveness? When stepping up to the challenge of low employee performance, a plan is most definitely a necessity.

Combating Workplace Violence

Reports of aggression and hostility in our homes, in our schools, and on our streets are all too common today. And, violence in the workplace has become a reality. One in four workers are attacked, threatened or harassed each year. With that in mind, we must implement training to counteract violence before it happens.

Increase Productivity and Retention

With the belt-tightening of recent months, you are probably tempted to cut down on training and development. But if you want to retain your employees and keep their productivity up, you might want to rethink that position.

Leverage Your Speaker!

Using a professional speaker to drive home a message can be very effective. It can also be a hefty investment. Be sure you get the most out of your event by following these tips.  

Office Space - What's Your Next Move?

Your business has finally reached a point where the basement is no longer an adequate office, and the family room is not an acceptable conference facility. What's your next move? Click Here for tips on selecting the right office space for you!

How to Attract, Keep and Motivate Today’s Workforce

In today's workplace, almost limitless job opportunities and less employee loyalty has created an environment where the business needs its employees more than the employees need the business.

Change Happens.

Change is an inevitability in today's workplace. According to one author, some of your workers need a little more help adjusting than others. Read this excerpt to explore how well your organization is prepared to deal with change, and discover what you can do to ease the transition.

Plan for the Future

Do you know where your company is headed, or who will be in charge when it gets there? Succession planning is an important part of any business, large or small, family-owned or publicly traded.  

Say what?

Having trouble getting those high-paying consulting gigs you want? Or maybe, you need a way to make your company sound like it is uniquely superior to your competitors?  Or perhaps you have to give a speech and you want your audience to fall asleep because you really don’t have a whole lot to say? Well, we’ve found a tool  to solve your problems. Click here, but not before you move the coffee away from your keyboard.

25 Ways to Get Organized

When was the last time you spent half your day looking for an important document? Don't let clutter waste your time. These tips will get you organize your business in no time at all!

Reduce Turnover

In today's booming economy, workers have become more important to their employers than their employers are to them. Learn what's really important to your employees and keep them from getting away! 

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