Millennials Not Replacing Older Business Owners, Stats Say

What is Behind the Low Number of Millennial Entrepreneurs?

As older entrepreneurs retire, the hope would be that younger generations would step up to replace them. But that doesn’t seem to be the case, as some recent reports have indicated that millennials in particular are starting businesses at lower rates than previous generations.

According to Federal Reserve data, the share of people under 30 who own a business has fallen by 65 percent since the 1980s. And that figure is now at a quarter century low.

Those figures seem to go against the popular notion that millennials are inherently entrepreneurial. In fact, reports have found that 60 percent of millennials consider themselves to be entrepreneurial. But setting up an Etsy shop or driving for Uber on the weekend isn’t exactly helping communities fill up the storefronts in their business districts.

What’s Behind the Low Number of Millennial Entrepreneurs?

Of course, there are many reasons why millennials might not be up for the task of filling up those main street storefronts. One of the biggest reasons is likely related to the huge amount of student loan debt that millennials find themselves struggling to overcome. There’s also more non-traditional options for aspiring entrepreneurs to consider that don’t involve spending big on a storefront — including everything from freelancing to renting out extra space on Airbnb. And finally, some millennials might just not be ready quite yet. According to a recent Forbes article, one’s 40s have been identified as the most popular time for starting a business. And millennials just haven’t reached that age yet.

There’s no simple answer for increasing entrepreneurship among millennials and other younger generations. And it’s entirely possible that most young people will simply opt for less risky forms of entrepreneurship. But as Baby Boomers and other older entrepreneurs retire or shutter their businesses, that leaves a lot of open space and opportunities for others.

So no matter your age, this generational gap leaves plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs. If you have the means and the drive, you can grab hold of this opportunity to start a business and support your community in the process.

Business Partners Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Millennials Not Replacing Older Business Owners, Stats Say" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Millennials Not Replacing Older Business Owners, Stats Say

What is Behind the Low Number of Millennial Entrepreneurs?

As older entrepreneurs retire, the hope would be that younger generations would step up to replace them. But that doesn’t seem to be the case, as some recent reports have indicated that millennials in particular are starting businesses at lower rates than previous generations.

According to Federal Reserve data, the share of people under 30 who own a business has fallen by 65 percent since the 1980s. And that figure is now at a quarter century low.

Those figures seem to go against the popular notion that millennials are inherently entrepreneurial. In fact, reports have found that 60 percent of millennials consider themselves to be entrepreneurial. But setting up an Etsy shop or driving for Uber on the weekend isn’t exactly helping communities fill up the storefronts in their business districts.

What’s Behind the Low Number of Millennial Entrepreneurs?

Of course, there are many reasons why millennials might not be up for the task of filling up those main street storefronts. One of the biggest reasons is likely related to the huge amount of student loan debt that millennials find themselves struggling to overcome. There’s also more non-traditional options for aspiring entrepreneurs to consider that don’t involve spending big on a storefront — including everything from freelancing to renting out extra space on Airbnb. And finally, some millennials might just not be ready quite yet. According to a recent Forbes article, one’s 40s have been identified as the most popular time for starting a business. And millennials just haven’t reached that age yet.

There’s no simple answer for increasing entrepreneurship among millennials and other younger generations. And it’s entirely possible that most young people will simply opt for less risky forms of entrepreneurship. But as Baby Boomers and other older entrepreneurs retire or shutter their businesses, that leaves a lot of open space and opportunities for others.

So no matter your age, this generational gap leaves plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs. If you have the means and the drive, you can grab hold of this opportunity to start a business and support your community in the process.

Business Partners Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Millennials Not Replacing Older Business Owners, Stats Say" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Take control of your personal brand with Office

These days—with so many social media channels competing for our attention—creating a personal brand is the best way to stand out from that vast crowd vying for attention online. According to Mel Carson of Seattle-based Delightful Communications, crafting your personal brand statement can help you take control of where you want your career to go.

Mel has helped everyone from pet groomers to Fortune 500 CEOs develop their personal brands. “A personal brand statement is your shopfront to the hundreds of people looking to hire, partner, and connect with you,” says Mel. “Spend some time crafting your personal brand statement properly and it will stand you in good stead until the day you retire.”

Profile image of Mel Carson, of Seattle-based Delightful Communications.“Find your mission—having a mission in the public domain acts as a signpost and filter as well as gives personal accountability,” says Mel. “Create a mission statement that gives anyone reading it no doubt of where you want your career to be headed.”

Another pointer from Mel is to remember you do have great value—it may come in all sorts of accomplishments, so it’s important to articulate it in a few different ways.

“Your experience, length of time in industry, who you have worked for in the past, your educational background, and what you’re passionate about focusing on next, all give an indication of your worth to a potential employer or client,” says Mel. “Including some value indicators, both from your own and your current businesses/company’s perspective, is an easy—but often overlooked—way of perfecting a more compelling personal brand.”

One crucial thing to keep in mind is to avoid buzzwords and hyperbole when describing who you are and what you do.

Mel will tell you he’s not a fan of using big, fancy filler words in a personal branding statement or LinkedIn profile. “Take some time to craft a statement that shows the real you— intelligently and honestly—without seeming overblown or a lacking self-awareness.”

It’s also important to use the right tools to help you track the goals you’re working toward. For instance, Mel not only uses Excel in his business for project management, budget forecasting, vacation tracking, and client reporting, he’s also found it’s super valuable for building a digital personal brand, because it lets you take advantage of data and analytics.

Mel advises keeping track of your metrics to see how well you’re doing with your personal branding. “We use a number of tools to measure influence and use Excel to download and manipulate data and report certain KPIs (Key Performance Indicators),” says Mel. “Extracting data from social media channels helps tell great stories about people’s personal brands and makes Excel a valuable asset.”

At home, he uses Excel for tracking monthly budgets and “working out where all our money goes!” he laughs. (Mel’s two daughters are just learning how to play Bingo. His five-year-old is starting to do chores to earn money, so the Kids Budget Bingo template for PowerPoint is something he’s keen to explore with her.)

Mel’s final advice: Once you have your personal brand statement written, get it out to the virtual world and find out what works and what doesn’t. Use Office 365 apps like Excel to help make the feedback you receive accessible and understandable. Above all, keep honing your message so it accurately reflects the real you.

Ready to check out some extra features we’ve developed to help you on your career path? If you have Office 365, take a look at our Excel templates.

The post Take control of your personal brand with Office appeared first on Office Blogs.



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Florida SBDC Offering Assistance to Small Businesses Impacted by Hurricane Irma

SBDC Disaster Recovery Assistance for Florida Businesses

This week, the recovery from devastating Hurricane Irma continues in Florida.

Small businesses remain closed or are struggling to re-open. And small business owners are faced with no electricity, limited cell service, damaged or destroyed properties, and limited resources to do anything about it.

According to Dun&Bradstreet, 2,111,467 potentially impacted businesses were identified by FEMA across 48 counties in Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. 

That’s why the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is teaming up with disaster recovery specialists to lend a hand — and two RVs — to help get small businesses up and running again. Throughout this week, a pair of Mobile Assist Centers (MACs) are literally rolling across stricken areas of Florida hooking up small business owners in need.

Disaster Recovery Assistance for Florida Businesses

The two 38′ MAC RVs are equipped with all the tools they need to help business owners apply for federal and state disaster loans as well as provide relevant information of post-disaster assistance. The RVs are self-contained and come equipped with laptops, printers, internet connectivity, and more.

Michael Myhre, CEO and Network State Director of the Florida SBDC, said, “The Florida SBDC Network stands ready to assist our state’s small businesses in applying for federal and state disaster loan assistance to rebuild and to reopen.”

On Monday, the SBDC visited St. Augustine with its MACs. It will be in Jacksonville on Tuesday. And there are stops planned in Naples on Wednesday, Lehigh Acres on Thursday, and Immokalee on Friday.

The services on this bus and other help from the SBDC is available from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. each of those days. The American Red Cross, United Way of Florida, and FEMA representatives will be available to provide assistance and answer questions.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said, “I’ve seen firsthand the damage inflicted across the state, and it is my hope that these assistance centers will bring some relief for Floridians who suffered hardship from the storm. I would also like to thank all of the organizations, companies, and government agencies who are participating in this effort for their willingness and assistance during this difficult time.”

You can click here to for more information, or contact the Florida SBDC Network at (850) 898-3489 or Disaster@FloridaSBDC.org.

Image: Florida SBDC

This article, "Florida SBDC Offering Assistance to Small Businesses Impacted by Hurricane Irma" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Florida SBDC Offering Assistance to Small Businesses Impacted by Hurricane Irma

SBDC Disaster Recovery Assistance for Florida Businesses

This week, the recovery from devastating Hurricane Irma continues in Florida.

Small businesses remain closed or are struggling to re-open. And small business owners are faced with no electricity, limited cell service, damaged or destroyed properties, and limited resources to do anything about it.

According to Dun&Bradstreet, 2,111,467 potentially impacted businesses were identified by FEMA across 48 counties in Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. 

That’s why the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is teaming up with disaster recovery specialists to lend a hand — and two RVs — to help get small businesses up and running again. Throughout this week, a pair of Mobile Assist Centers (MACs) are literally rolling across stricken areas of Florida hooking up small business owners in need.

Disaster Recovery Assistance for Florida Businesses

The two 38′ MAC RVs are equipped with all the tools they need to help business owners apply for federal and state disaster loans as well as provide relevant information of post-disaster assistance. The RVs are self-contained and come equipped with laptops, printers, internet connectivity, and more.

Michael Myhre, CEO and Network State Director of the Florida SBDC, said, “The Florida SBDC Network stands ready to assist our state’s small businesses in applying for federal and state disaster loan assistance to rebuild and to reopen.”

On Monday, the SBDC visited St. Augustine with its MACs. It will be in Jacksonville on Tuesday. And there are stops planned in Naples on Wednesday, Lehigh Acres on Thursday, and Immokalee on Friday.

The services on this bus and other help from the SBDC is available from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. each of those days. The American Red Cross, United Way of Florida, and FEMA representatives will be available to provide assistance and answer questions.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said, “I’ve seen firsthand the damage inflicted across the state, and it is my hope that these assistance centers will bring some relief for Floridians who suffered hardship from the storm. I would also like to thank all of the organizations, companies, and government agencies who are participating in this effort for their willingness and assistance during this difficult time.”

You can click here to for more information, or contact the Florida SBDC Network at (850) 898-3489 or Disaster@FloridaSBDC.org.

Image: Florida SBDC

This article, "Florida SBDC Offering Assistance to Small Businesses Impacted by Hurricane Irma" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Apple cuts cookies – but there is more to come in the online advertising arms race

Apple’s latest software update has enraged companies who have been using cookies to track users across the web

Apple is cutting down on how many cookies advertisers can force on to your devices, with changes coming to iPhones, iPads and Macs. The advertisers, naturally, are not happy.

Digital cookies are small text files that can be used to track users as they surf the web, helping to build up a detailed profile of which sites they visit, what they do while they are there, and how long they do it for.

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Are You Keeping Up with Employee Recordkeeping Requirements? You Might be Surprised

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Are You Keeping Up with Employee Recordkeeping Requirements? You Might be Surprised

Did you know that employers who don’t file the required Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) reporting forms with the IRS may be subject to a $3 million maximum penalty? That’s enough to keep you up at night! And that’s just one legal requirement.

Employers today face a wide range of employee recordkeeping requirements, as this infographic from ComplyRight, a company dedicated to freeing small business owners of compliance burdens, makes clear. And those requirements seem to grow every year.

Paperwork and recordkeeping burdens can fall harder on small businesses because smaller entities have less staff to manage HR functions, or may not have dedicated HR resources at all. But the good news is that technology can help you stay on top of regulatory compliance requirements as an employer.

Here are some employee recordkeeping requirements that may surprise (or shock) you:

Job Postings

When employers post advertisements for new job openings, they must retain a record for one year according to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

Job Applications

Employers covered under the ADEA, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and/or Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII) must keep all job applications on file for at least one year. The one-year requirement applies to seasonal and temporary workers, too.

Resumes

Solicited resumes must be kept on file for one year, per the ADEA and ADA. However, there is no requirement to retain unsolicited resumes.

Termination Records

The ADA and Title VII requires that all termination records be kept for one year after the employee’s termination date.

Benefit Plans

The ADEA requires benefit plans to be kept on record for one year following the termination of the plan under the ADEA. In addition, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) requires benefit plan records to be kept on file for six years.

Performance Evaluations

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires performance evaluations to be kept for two years.

Unemployment Tax Records

According to the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA), you should keep unemployment tax records for four years from the tax due date or payment, whichever is later.

I-9 Forms

I-9 forms and additional verification information verifying that employees are permitted to work in the U.S. need to be kept for three years from the date of hire or one year after the date of termination, whichever comes later. The applicable law is the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA).

Employment Contracts

If you have employment contracts with employees, you are required to keep all contracts for three years per the FLSA.

OSHA Forms for Injury and Illness

Employers with 11 or more employees must keep all forms reporting injury or illness for a minimum of five years after the end of the calendar year.

A Dizzying Compliance Landscape

As the above list illustrates, employers are subject to an ever-growing patchwork of employee recordkeeping laws.

It’s not just the number of legal requirements that makes compliance challenging. It’s the fact that the laws are ever changing — and complex.

Laws often are filled with nuance, exceptions and detailed definitions. Recordkeeping requirements can cover some employers based on their size or industry, but not others.

Laws also change frequently, and new laws and regulations are added. If you are caught unaware of a change or a new law, your company could end up paying hefty fines. Remember, lack of knowledge is usually not a defense.

Technology: Essential Foundation for Employer Compliance

Employee recordkeeping is one of those areas today where technology levels the playing field for small businesses.

A good employee recordkeeping app can help you better meet legal requirements that apply to your business — that’s a given.

But today’s best-of-breed recordkeeping software can add so much more value.

The best apps aid productivity by helping small business teams work smarter, not harder. Tip: look for software that’s fast to get started, intuitive and easy to use. Look also for features such as automatic prompts and reminders for added efficiency.

A good employee recordkeeping app can save money by managing risk. You gain peace of mind and sleep better knowing your small business has the tools to comply with complex recordkeeping requirements, just like large corporations.

Here’s one other huge benefit of technology: electronic records instead of paper. Maintaining hard copies of employee records not only requires a large amount of physical space but also demands extreme organization. The average employee wastes 400 hours each year searching for paper documents.

Electronic documentation is gaining traction over paper, according to ComplyRight. It’s no surprise why. When records are stored electronically, information is consolidated in one place and easily searchable. Staff can retrieve employee data in a few clicks.

And as your company grows, and records multiply, electronic recordkeeping systems make it easier to organize and retrieve growing volumes of data. Without the drag of inefficient paper, you can scale your business faster, too.

Where to Find Employee Recordkeeping Help

To see a thorough list of employee recordkeeping requirements and identify the ones that apply to your business, download the free “Employee Record Retention Guidelines for Employers and HR Managers” from ComplyRight.

And check out the Employee Records App from HRDirect. It’s free and quick to get started — and it simplifies managing employee records.

Manager Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Are You Keeping Up with Employee Recordkeeping Requirements? You Might be Surprised" was first published on Small Business Trends



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