Small business new year resolutions for 2018

According to the article “7 small business resolutions for 2018” by contributor Rhonda Abrams on www.king5.com, here are seven ways to help your business succeed this year:

  • Get a good accountant. With the new U.S. tax bill that just passed and most rules having gone into effect on Jan. 1st, you’re going to need professional help to navigate the new tax waters. One of the bill’s new features is a tax deduction for “pass-through income.” Since many small businesses operate on a pass-through basis, this could apply to you. However, as the rules are complex, it’s best to seek professional help on the matter. Ask your lawyer, banker or another small business owner for a referral to a CPA who specializes in small businesses, ideally one like yours.

Related: Wash Wisdom: Tax season tips for small businesses

  • Stay focused. As a small business owner, you’re constantly being pulled in several different directions to oversee a multitude of tasks. But, in order to make headway on a new project, you need to set aside some time solely for focusing on that project. Do not see to other tasks, and disengage from digital distractions, like texts, emails and social media. Do not allow any interruptions.
  • Declutter. Clutter affects your concentration. Eliminate more potential distractions by cleaning up the papers and items around your workstation. As you pick up each item, ask yourself if you truly need it. If you do, put it into an organized pile. If not, throw it away. Also, make sure you have important information backed up on your computer and on a cloud service, such as Google Drive or Dropbox.
  • Unplug for a little while. Technology, though we need it to work, can be distracting as well. Take a few minutes each day — perhaps 15 or so — to not use any piece of technology, including your phone, computer, tablet, etc. Looking up from a screen and not being drawn into emails and texts every few minutes will give you a fresh perspective on things.
  • Save time with automation. There are ways to optimize your operations. For instance, if you don’t already, you can automate your payroll, using a program like Intuit Online Payroll. If you have to log into your social media accounts every time you want to post, try using a social media management platform, such as Hootsuite. For newsletters, use a service like MailChimp to automate campaigns that send out emails to new subscribers or thanking customers for purchasing something.
  • Stop thinking and start doing. If you’ve been meaning to launch a new product or service but haven’t gotten around to it yet, make 2018 the year to bring it out. Develop a plan that allows you to do the least you have to do to at least give it a try.
  • Write a business plan for the year. While this plan doesn’t have to be perfectly polished, you should take some time to examine your business and write down your observations of the industry trends and what you think you need to change (or keep the same) for the coming year.

Read the original article here.

Hiring trends for 2018

According to the article “Top 8 recruiting & hiring trends for 2018” by The HR Specialist on www.businessmanagementdaily.com, unemployment is at a 16-year low and job-hopping is at an all-time high of 28 percent annually, which means that employers are competing to attract the best possible candidates. To attract quality applicants, here are eight things to be mindful of in 2018:

  • Focus on the team. People leave a company because of poor relationships with team leaders. Train mangers to become better leaders. Since most work is done in teams, measure an employee’s performance on a team and get input from colleagues.
  • Engage employees. Employees nowadays don’t want to be managed — they want to be engaged, developed and coached. Engagement drives better business growth.
  • Give ongoing feedback. Annual reviews are no longer enough for employees; they demand constant feedback based on real data. Collect such data using pulse surveys, leadership assessments and manager check-ins.
  • Use behavioral economics. By understanding what drives human behavior, you can utilize it to better your business. For instance, people are twice as motivated to avoid losses as they are to secure gains. As such, to motivate employees, word motivation in such a way as to tell them what they stand to lose rather than what they stand to gain.
  • Use data to anticipate shortcomings. For example, you can examine pay equity in your business to close gaps and keep top talent from leaving as well as to attract new talent.
  • Communicate your benefits. Benefits are a great recruitment weapon, but they won’t do you any good if you don’t use them to market your company to potential hires. Be sure to highlight the ones that really set you apart, such as scholarships or student loan repayment.
  • Remove unconscious bias from the process. According to The HR Specialist, hiring based on in-person interviews will grow less important as people use more technologically-based blind search, skill and resume reviews.
  • Know that global management is more complex. “Look to cloud-based solutions to integrate disparate payrolland HR systems across countries to ensure compliance,” The HR Specialist concludes.

Read the original article here.