Washington is soon to be the fifth state to offer paid family and medical leave benefits. All workers will no longer have to choose between caring for their loved ones and making ends meet. They can dedicate their time away from work to be the best caretaker they can be. In return employers have access to an inexpensive benefit, save on payroll costs while the worker is on leave, and reduced employee turnover costs.
Workers can begin taking leave in 2020, but next year employers will have some actions to take.
First, employers need to withhold premiums from paychecks starting with the first check in 2019. These premiums are split between employers and workers. Workers foot most of the bill, but employers with 50 or more employees have a portion to pay also. (Employers with fewer than 50 employees don’t have to pay premiums but are still responsible for collecting and remitting the workers share.) Premiums are paid to the Employment Security Department by employers quarterly, starting in 2019. Learn more about premiums on the Premiums page. Continue reading
Mention those two little words to almost any small business owner, and you’ll see them flinch.
Very few business terms get as cool a response. And sadly, those two little words (both of them four-letter words, interestingly enough), are the #1 reason small businesses fail. They take out more small businesses than any other factor.
In fact, 82% of small businesses fail due to cash flow problems. Continue reading
The Value Gap
by Kelly Deis of SoundPoint Consulting
Have you ever heard of it? Well, if you are thinking of selling your business in the next few years, it is a term that you should get familiar with.
The value gap is the difference in price between what the seller thinks his/her business should sell for and what a buyer is willing to pay for it. Bluntly, it is unrealistic expectations on the part of the seller.
Sadly, it is one of the bigger reasons why deals go awry in the lower-to-mid market tier. And, it can be avoided.
Causes of the Gap
There are a variety of reasons why a seller may think that their business is worth more than what others are willing to pay for it.
Businesses in Washington should be aware of a possibly fraudulent letter claiming to be an official bill for annual business registration fees.
One letter received by an Edmonds-based business directed the business to send $121.86 to a post office box in Olympia. The letter stated, “your state annual report will not be filed until payment is received.”
The misleading letter did not include the Office of Secretary of State logo, as an official letter from the Office of Secretary of State would – see the example pictured above. Continue reading
by Mary Marshall, CEO Coach
Lately, I have noticed that the seeming inability to have reasoned debate within the political climate has spilled over into the workplace. There seems to be a “my way or the highway” mentality seeping into professional environments which is not productive. People are taking sides and staking claim to their view with no room for understanding or compromise. I’m reminded that whenever one side is “right,” it automatically makes the other side “wrong” and no one likes to be wrong.
I think the first step toward better understanding of one another’s points-of-view is to stop rushing to judgment. Just stepping back a beat and pretending there might be another approach or that – gasp – you might be wrong, are worthwhile steps. Being wrong is not the end of the world, it just means you have more to learn and isn’t that true of all of us? If we listened without judgment we might actually hear what the other side is saying.
If you are ready to practice, start with questions. “What” questions are usually the best and most effective for not conveying judgment. For example:
- What makes you say that?
- Tell me a little about how you came to that decision, belief, position, idea, etc.?
- What other ways have you looked at?
- Would you be open to a different point-of-view?
Read more on Mary Marshall’s website…
One of the most challenging and rewarding parts of being a solopreneur is the need to be constantly learning. Of course, every day has its own lessons to teach—trial and error is the heartbeat of solopreneurship, after all. Sometimes, though, we need to turn to proven mentors and leaders who can offer wisdom from experiences that reach beyond our own.
When we run into these situations, books seem like the obvious first choice. Indeed, there’s a book out there for any problem you may encounter, whether procrastination, apathy, branding, or crippling self-doubt. Besides, shouldn’t we be reading like fiends anyway? It’s common knowledge that the most successful business leaders all share a ravenous appetite for good books.
But what solopreneur has time to read a book every week? Between brainstorming and producing and networking and marketing, it can be hard enough to make time to eat breakfast. Granted, reading is still a great habit to develop, but it may not be your primary mode of on-the-go education.
Thankfully, the world invented podcasts. Continue reading