Questions That You Should Ask a Potential Business Partner for Your Clothing Store

Having a business partner is one of the things that you have to think about when you are building a clothing store. The fashion industry is one of the biggest industries in the world, and it continues to grow because of e-commerce and other technological advancements. That is why having someone who will help you with your tasks is essential.

Tips to find partners for a fashion store

Having a partner is not limited to partnering with only one person either. You can also collaborate with a manufacturer or a supplier using the Sewport website. A business partner comes in various forms but how do you know which questions you should ask a potential partner?…

The post Questions That You Should Ask a Potential Business Partner for Your Clothing Store appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.



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STAR Interview Method: The Ultimate Guide

A resume tells you that a candidate has the required skills and background for the open role. A cover letter confirms their interest in the position.

An interview, then, is a critical step for evaluating a candidate's critical thinking, decision-making, and interpersonal skills. Essentially, it's an opportunity to dig deeper into an interviewee's potential, and the STAR interview method is your shovel.

To evaluate each candidate you interview fairly, you'll want to ask questions to understand how they'll perform in the role. The STAR method is a behavioral interviewing technique that can be used to gain those insights.

Interview questions using the STAR method urge candidates to tell a linear story. From this story, interviewers can identify a sense of judgment in the candidate that might not be visible in more generic skill-based interview questions.

Click here to download our free guide to hiring and training a team of all-stars.

The STAR Answer Format

Here's a bit more detail on how "STAR" answers should sound when listening to a candidate's answer.

S: Situation

Answers to STAR interview questions should first paint a picture of a problem or dilemma that the candidate ultimately solved. Interviewees can explain how the situation came about and who else was involved.

T: Task

The "Task" component of a STAR answer elaborates on the candidate's role in this situation. What was he/she tasked with doing in response to the situation? Who identified this task? What was the desired result of carrying out this task?

A: Action

The "Action" in a STAR answer reveals how the candidate actually approached that task, and the steps they took to solve the problem introduced in the "Situation" stage of their answer.

R: Results

The "Results" included in a STAR answer should explain the outcome of the candidate's actions. Was the original problem solved? How did the candidate's results differ from the expected results?

For instance, rather than asking, "What is your greatest weakness?", a good STAR question might be, "Give an example of a goal you didn't meet and how you handled it."

Essentially, the STAR method requires a candidate to explain a prior work situation anecdotally, provide details regarding the tasks required, what actions the candidate took to achieve those tasks, and the results of the situation.

When used properly, the STAR method is extremely effective. Here, we've created a comprehensive guide on how to use the STAR method, so you can learn how to prepare to interview a candidate, and check out examples of questions to identify your best candidate.

Here's a list of 10 popular STAR interview questions. Ideally, you'll tailor them for the specific role and candidate, but you can use these for initial inspiration.

Typical STAR Interview Questions

Sense of Judgment

These questions can help you reveal a candidate's quality of judgment and how they make decisions under complicated circumstances.
  1. Tell me about a difficult decision you've made in the last year.
  2. Describe a time when you set your sights too high (or too low).
  3. Tell me about a time when you had multiple important projects to finish and how you prioritized them.
  4. Can you recall an experience where you received conflicting pieces of feedback on a project? How did you address this feedback?
  5. Describe a time when a close colleague caused a project to suffer or fail, and how you explained this failure to the project manager.

Handling Pressure

These questions can help you reveal how well a candidate performs under various types of pressure.

  1. Describe a decision you made that was unpopular and how you handled implementing it.
  2. Describe a stressful situation at work and how you handled it.
  3. Tell me about a recent situation in which you had to deal with a very upset customer.
  4. Describe a situation where you disagreed with a superior and how this disagreement was settled.
  5. Tell me about a time you had to learn something you weren't familiar with very quickly.

Leadership Potential

These questions can help you reveal a candidate's leadership potential, confidence, and willingness to take the initiative on projects when they have little or no direction to start with.

  1. You indicated on your resume that leadership is one of your strengths. Describe an experience in which you used your leadership abilities.
  2. Tell me about a time when you delegated a project to others effectively.
  3. Can you recall a time where you had to give negative feedback to a colleague. How did you express this feedback?
  4. Give me an example of when you showed initiative and took the lead.
  5. Describe a time you had a direct report or managed a team that was being recruited to work on other projects without your consent.

Self-Awareness

These questions can reveal how much self-awareness a candidate has of his or her strengths and, more importantly, weaknesses.

  1. Tell me about a time you were able to successfully deal with a coworker who might not have personally liked you (or vice versa).
  2. Give me an example of a time when you tried to accomplish something and failed.
  3. Tell me about a time you were reprimanded or criticized for your performance.
  4. Tell me about a project that wasn't going to meet its deadline and how you minimized or confronted the consequences.
  5. Tell me about a time you felt you weren't being listened to, and how you made you presence or opinion known to your colleagues.

How to Format Your Interview for the STAR Approach

To successfully incorporate STAR questions into your interview strategy, there are four steps you'll need to take.

1. Make a list of role-specific STAR questions.

Start by making a list of questions applicable to the specific candidate's prior experiences, skills, and characteristics. The list of questions above can serve as general starting points, but to really delve into a candidate's specific background in relation to the role, you'll want to tailor your questions appropriately.

For instance, "Tell me about a time when you delegated a project effectively" is vague, and could lead the candidate to describing a work situation from five years ago, when really, you wanted to hear about a data-related marketing project from her last position alone. Make yourself clear, and reference a specific resume item: "I'd like to hear more about your experience as a Sr. Digital Marketing Manager at Company X. Could you tell me specifically about a time in that role when you delegated a project effectively?"

If you're using the STAR interview method, ask questions that require situation-specific answers. For instance, if you want to know about a candidate's flexibility, you might ask, “Describe a time when you put your needs aside to help a co-worker understand a task. How did you assist them?”

2. Tell candidates what you're looking for in their answers.

Not everyone agrees this step is necessary: some recruiters prefer not to explain that they're looking for situation-specific answers, to see how the candidate deals with answering the question however she wants. Some hiring managers see the benefit of being vague -- at the very least, you'll likely get a candid answer from your candidate.

But other experts, like Todd Lombardi, a college relations specialist at Kulicke & Soffa Industries Inc., believes it's important to explain what he's looking for before asking a candidate any behavioral interview questions.

When Lombardi starts a behavioral interview, he details the process, telling the candidate he's looking for specific examples, names of people, dates, and outcomes.

Lombardi speaks with candidates about projects they've worked on, how their role has evolved, how they've handled deadlines or unexpected situations, and how they've coped with adversity. He asks these questions because, "Everyone's got that kind of experience."

If you don't explain what you're looking for upfront, you risk receiving an incomplete answer or confusing the candidate. If the candidate answers insufficiently, perhaps you want to offer her an opportunity to modify her answer. Say: "I'm looking for details about a specific example -- you've explained the situation and tasks required, but I'd still like to know what steps you took to complete the tasks, and what results you got from the project."

3. Know what you're looking for.

STAR interview questions are particularly helpful for determining major characteristics in your candidate, or receiving more context for potential issues you see with their resume.

For instance, let's say you ask, "Give me a specific example of a time when you sold your supervisor or professor on an idea or concept. How did you convince them? What was the result?"

When you ask STAR questions, you should know what you're looking for in a candidate's answer. In the question above, it shouldn't matter too much what the candidate's idea was -- instead, you're looking for the candidate to display a high level of assertiveness, confidence, and good decision-making skills.

Regardless of how the candidate answers, take note of how the candidate demonstrated -- or didn't demonstrate -- those characteristics. They're more important than how the situation played out.

If you're not sure what you're looking for when you ask a candidate STAR questions, consider what's missing from the candidate's resume. If the candidate's resume reflects skills tied to analytics, but you're fearful the candidate lacks the creativity necessary for the role, ask a question regarding innovation. When the candidate answers, take note of whether she mentions original ideas she offered. Essentially, work backward -- consider what information you want from the candidate, and then figure out how to phrase it in an appropriate behavioral interview question.

Sara DeBrule, our Global Marketing Recruitment Team Lead at HubSpot, recommends working to identify "the candidates who have taken the time to understand the business challenge, and are able to position themselves as the solution."

DeBrule explains, "It's obvious when a candidate has read up on the STAR interviewing technique because they are able to tell a linear story about the ways they are able to successfully impact [the company] in the desired way for the role."

Even if a candidate hasn't had the exact experience necessary for the role, the applicant should still be able to draw parallels between past experiences and how those experiences would translate to future success in the role. Ultimately, DeBrule says she aims to uncover whether a candidate focuses on results, seeks out industry knowledge and trends, has influence over her coworkers in order to work as a team player, and pursues new opportunities for growth.

If you're stuck on what constitutes a good answer to a behavioral interview question, check out our behavioral interview article to get some ideas.

4. Remain open-minded.

Each candidate has completely different life and work experiences, all of which contribute to unique and sometimes unexpected answers to STAR behavioral interview questions.

It's important to remain open-minded. You want to build a team with diverse employees, each of whom bring new and different ideas and past experiences to the table -- if a candidate answers differently than you'd expected them to, it doesn't mean they've answered wrong.

"At the end of the day, I'm trying to understand a candidate's ability to tell their story of impact -- how they've impacted businesses in the past, and how they're going to impact [our company] in the future," Sara DeBrule explains.

Remember, these STAR interview method questions should be used sparingly and wisely -- asking ten in a row will only confuse you and your candidate. Instead, you should mix behavioral interview questions with more standard interview questions, especially during a first-round interview. Allow a candidate to warm up with a few standard questions, before diving into any STAR behavioral ones.

Use some of these STAR interview questions in your next interview to ensure you're providing as many opportunities as possible for the candidate to demonstrate how she can help your company succeed. Hopefully, behavioral interview tactics will help you create candid, insightful, and useful conversations with job applicants.

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The New Dell Vostro 5000 Addresses the Needs of Small Businesses

The New Dell Vostro 5000 Designed for Small Business Users Specifically

When it comes to computing, small businesses have a wide range of needs. The new Dell Vostro 5000 line of laptops have been designed to address these many different needs while taking into consideration the budget of said small businesses.

The new Vostro 5000 is available in a 15” (5581) or 14” (5481) variants with seven configurations all between $599 to $949 (prices may change with different promotions). And these configurations come with the latest 8th generation Intel processors along with multiple storage options including SSD, memory and more.

For small businesses, these configurations offer options which address the functionality and budgetary constraints of small companies. This includes mobile computing which is more important than ever as the workplace can be anywhere these days.

On the company blog, Erik Day wrote what the company had in mind when creating the new Vostro line, as well as the unique needs of small businesses.

Day said, “Dell recognizes that small businesses have unique needs when it comes to their technology. With businesses recognizing that technology is no longer just PART of their strategy but central to their business model, those businesses have begun to identify exactly which PC features will lend to their most success while being mindful of a price point that is feasible for their budgets.”

The 15” Dell Vostro 5000 (5581)

The 15” model is available in four different configurations. Some of the specs which all four models share are the following:

  • Display – 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-glare LED Backlight Non-touch Narrow Border IPS Display
  • Graphics – Intel UHD Graphics 620 with shared graphics memory
  • Ports – 1 HDMI v1.4a; 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C™ (DP/PowerDelivery); 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A; 1 USB 2.0
  • Operating System – Windows 10 Pro 64-bit English
  • Connectivity – 802.11ac 1×1 WiFi and Bluetooth
  • Battery – Integrated 3-Cell 42WHr battery
  • Security – Fingerprint reader

The New Dell Vostro 5000 Designed for Small Business Users Specifically

When it comes to the processor, they all have 8th generation Intel with Core i3-8145U (4M Cache, up to 3.9 GHz, 2 cores) or Core i5-8265U (6M Cache, up to 3.9 GHz, 4 cores).

You can get 4 or 8 GBs of RAM and storage options ranging from 128 to 256 GB with M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive (SSD) or 1TB 5400 rpm 2.5″ SATA hard drive.

The 14” Dell Vostro 5000 (5481)

The 14” model is available in three different configurations. The three versions also share some hardware specs.

  • Display – 14.0-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-glare LED Backlight Non-touch Narrow Border IPS Display
  • Ports – 1 HDMI v1.4a; 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C™ (DP/PowerDelivery); 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A; 1 USB 2.0
  • Operating System – Windows 10 Pro 64-bit English
  • Connectivity – 802.11ac 1×1 WiFi and Bluetooth
  • Battery – Integrated 3-Cell 42WHr battery
  • Security – Fingerprint reader

The New Dell Vostro 5000 Designed for Small Business Users Specifically

With the 14” you get another option for the graphics card, which is available as the 15” model with the Intel UHD Graphics 620 or a discrete NVIDIA GeForce MX130 with 2GB GDDR5 graphics memory.

The processor for this line starts with the 8th Generation IntelCore i5-8265U (6M Cache, up to 3.9 GHz, 4 cores) and goes up to Core i7-8565U processor (8MB Cache, up to 4.6 GHz, 4 cores).

Power, Connectivity, and Portability

The Vostro line is powerful and portable while allowing you to stay connected. With these configurations, you can tackle virtually any use case for a small business. For small business owners who now work in the office just as much as they do outside of it, this type of computing capability is essential.

The New Dell Vostro 5000 Designed for Small Business Users Specifically

The Vostro line is a workhorse designed for functionality and it is not a dainty one-pound machine. This doesn’t mean they don’t look nice, it just means the 4.19- and 3.42-pound machines will give you the strong build and reliability you will need for everyday use without having to worry about it breaking easily.

Image: Dell

This article, "The New Dell Vostro 5000 Addresses the Needs of Small Businesses" was first published on Small Business Trends



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The New Dell Vostro 5000 Addresses the Needs of Small Businesses

The New Dell Vostro 5000 Designed for Small Business Users Specifically

When it comes to computing, small businesses have a wide range of needs. The new Dell Vostro 5000 line of laptops have been designed to address these many different needs while taking into consideration the budget of said small businesses.

The new Vostro 5000 is available in a 15” (5581) or 14” (5481) variants with seven configurations all between $599 to $949 (prices may change with different promotions). And these configurations come with the latest 8th generation Intel processors along with multiple storage options including SSD, memory and more.

For small businesses, these configurations offer options which address the functionality and budgetary constraints of small companies. This includes mobile computing which is more important than ever as the workplace can be anywhere these days.

On the company blog, Erik Day wrote what the company had in mind when creating the new Vostro line, as well as the unique needs of small businesses.

Day said, “Dell recognizes that small businesses have unique needs when it comes to their technology. With businesses recognizing that technology is no longer just PART of their strategy but central to their business model, those businesses have begun to identify exactly which PC features will lend to their most success while being mindful of a price point that is feasible for their budgets.”

The 15” Dell Vostro 5000 (5581)

The 15” model is available in four different configurations. Some of the specs which all four models share are the following:

  • Display – 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-glare LED Backlight Non-touch Narrow Border IPS Display
  • Graphics – Intel UHD Graphics 620 with shared graphics memory
  • Ports – 1 HDMI v1.4a; 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C™ (DP/PowerDelivery); 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A; 1 USB 2.0
  • Operating System – Windows 10 Pro 64-bit English
  • Connectivity – 802.11ac 1×1 WiFi and Bluetooth
  • Battery – Integrated 3-Cell 42WHr battery
  • Security – Fingerprint reader

The New Dell Vostro 5000 Designed for Small Business Users Specifically

When it comes to the processor, they all have 8th generation Intel with Core i3-8145U (4M Cache, up to 3.9 GHz, 2 cores) or Core i5-8265U (6M Cache, up to 3.9 GHz, 4 cores).

You can get 4 or 8 GBs of RAM and storage options ranging from 128 to 256 GB with M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive (SSD) or 1TB 5400 rpm 2.5″ SATA hard drive.

The 14” Dell Vostro 5000 (5481)

The 14” model is available in three different configurations. The three versions also share some hardware specs.

  • Display – 14.0-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-glare LED Backlight Non-touch Narrow Border IPS Display
  • Ports – 1 HDMI v1.4a; 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C™ (DP/PowerDelivery); 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A; 1 USB 2.0
  • Operating System – Windows 10 Pro 64-bit English
  • Connectivity – 802.11ac 1×1 WiFi and Bluetooth
  • Battery – Integrated 3-Cell 42WHr battery
  • Security – Fingerprint reader

The New Dell Vostro 5000 Designed for Small Business Users Specifically

With the 14” you get another option for the graphics card, which is available as the 15” model with the Intel UHD Graphics 620 or a discrete NVIDIA GeForce MX130 with 2GB GDDR5 graphics memory.

The processor for this line starts with the 8th Generation IntelCore i5-8265U (6M Cache, up to 3.9 GHz, 4 cores) and goes up to Core i7-8565U processor (8MB Cache, up to 4.6 GHz, 4 cores).

Power, Connectivity, and Portability

The Vostro line is powerful and portable while allowing you to stay connected. With these configurations, you can tackle virtually any use case for a small business. For small business owners who now work in the office just as much as they do outside of it, this type of computing capability is essential.

The New Dell Vostro 5000 Designed for Small Business Users Specifically

The Vostro line is a workhorse designed for functionality and it is not a dainty one-pound machine. This doesn’t mean they don’t look nice, it just means the 4.19- and 3.42-pound machines will give you the strong build and reliability you will need for everyday use without having to worry about it breaking easily.

Image: Dell

This article, "The New Dell Vostro 5000 Addresses the Needs of Small Businesses" was first published on Small Business Trends



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How to Keep Your Business’s Holiday Party from Going Off the Rails

Is the (Holiday) Party Over? How to Keep Your Company Holiday Party Under Control

Is your business planning a company holiday party this year? If not, you’ve got plenty of company. According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., just 65% of companies plan to hold a holiday party this year — the lowest number since 2009.

That year, just 62% of businesses held holiday festivities — but the Great Recession was at its height and cutting costs was the primary reason for the “Bah, humbug” attitudes. What’s keeping employers from celebrating this year?

The #MeToo movement is a likely culprit, according to the Challenger report, which found almost 60% of companies are concerned about inappropriate behavior at the office party. It’s also possible that with more remote, virtual or home-based employees, companies find it increasingly impractical to get everyone together for the event.

But not holding a holiday party is a real shame. Three-fourths of employees eagerly look forward to the annual company party, according to an Evite poll of 2,000 office employees. And companies that are holding parties plan to spend the same as or more than last year, Challenger reports.

Ways to Keep Your Company Holiday Party Under Control

If you don’t want to be Scrooge this year, how can you hold a company holiday party that’s fun, festive and appropriate? Follow these tips.

Focus on what employees care about. Socializing with coworkers and eating good food are the top things employees look forward to at the holiday party, Evite found. Create an environment where there’s plenty of time to talk and interact, and provide plenty of food (which also helps keep employees who imbibe from getting drunk).

Clarify expectations. If you haven’t already discussed sexual and other forms of harassment with your staff, do so before the party. (Some 37% of employees in the Evite survey have witnessed co-workers kissing or otherwise getting romantic at their holiday party.) It’s also a good idea to send an email before the party reminding everyone of the standards you expect.

Control alcohol intake. According to Evite, 57% of company parties involve at least one employee drinking too much and/or getting sick from alcohol. There’s a growing trend toward moderation or not drinking at all, Drinks Business reports — so you may not even need to serve liquor. If you do decide to provide alcohol, find out what your liability issues are beforehand, and limit overindulgence by issuing drink tickets, serving alcohol only for a short time, and hiring professional bartenders who can tell when someone is at risk of being overserved. You can also cover Uber or cab fares for employees.

Make it a family affair. Inviting spouses and children to the holiday party is a great way to reduce inappropriate behavior and excessive drinking. Consider treating the party more like a company picnic, with a daytime venue, a more casual atmosphere, and family-friendly activities like face painting, storytelling or making holiday crafts to keep the kids entertained. (If you’re hiring entertainment, such as a comedian, clown, band or DJ, check beforehand to make sure their set is family-friendly, with no suggestive music or potentially offensive jokes.)

Focus on fun experiences. Traditional holiday office parties can get kind of boring — and employees are less likely to get into trouble when there are planned activities to participate in. Hold silly games and contests, like an Ugly Christmas/Hanukkah Sweater competition, and offer prizes.

Involve remote employees. If your remote employees aren’t close enough to come to the party, there are still ways to make them feel part of the celebration. Use video conferencing to share speeches and toasts at the party. Create some contests they can participate in from a distance; for example, they can post photos of their ugly Christmas sweaters. Share photos of the party online so remote employees can see the fun. Finally, since you aren’t spending money on remote employees’ food and drink at the event, it’s thoughtful to send them a “care package” full of goodies or a gift card they can use to have some holiday fun on their own.

The company holiday party may have changed, but it’s still a tradition worth keeping. By following the steps above, you can ensure a party that’s fun for everyone.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "How to Keep Your Business’s Holiday Party from Going Off the Rails" was first published on Small Business Trends



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How to Keep Your Business’s Holiday Party from Going Off the Rails

Is the (Holiday) Party Over? How to Keep Your Company Holiday Party Under Control

Is your business planning a company holiday party this year? If not, you’ve got plenty of company. According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., just 65% of companies plan to hold a holiday party this year — the lowest number since 2009.

That year, just 62% of businesses held holiday festivities — but the Great Recession was at its height and cutting costs was the primary reason for the “Bah, humbug” attitudes. What’s keeping employers from celebrating this year?

The #MeToo movement is a likely culprit, according to the Challenger report, which found almost 60% of companies are concerned about inappropriate behavior at the office party. It’s also possible that with more remote, virtual or home-based employees, companies find it increasingly impractical to get everyone together for the event.

But not holding a holiday party is a real shame. Three-fourths of employees eagerly look forward to the annual company party, according to an Evite poll of 2,000 office employees. And companies that are holding parties plan to spend the same as or more than last year, Challenger reports.

Ways to Keep Your Company Holiday Party Under Control

If you don’t want to be Scrooge this year, how can you hold a company holiday party that’s fun, festive and appropriate? Follow these tips.

Focus on what employees care about. Socializing with coworkers and eating good food are the top things employees look forward to at the holiday party, Evite found. Create an environment where there’s plenty of time to talk and interact, and provide plenty of food (which also helps keep employees who imbibe from getting drunk).

Clarify expectations. If you haven’t already discussed sexual and other forms of harassment with your staff, do so before the party. (Some 37% of employees in the Evite survey have witnessed co-workers kissing or otherwise getting romantic at their holiday party.) It’s also a good idea to send an email before the party reminding everyone of the standards you expect.

Control alcohol intake. According to Evite, 57% of company parties involve at least one employee drinking too much and/or getting sick from alcohol. There’s a growing trend toward moderation or not drinking at all, Drinks Business reports — so you may not even need to serve liquor. If you do decide to provide alcohol, find out what your liability issues are beforehand, and limit overindulgence by issuing drink tickets, serving alcohol only for a short time, and hiring professional bartenders who can tell when someone is at risk of being overserved. You can also cover Uber or cab fares for employees.

Make it a family affair. Inviting spouses and children to the holiday party is a great way to reduce inappropriate behavior and excessive drinking. Consider treating the party more like a company picnic, with a daytime venue, a more casual atmosphere, and family-friendly activities like face painting, storytelling or making holiday crafts to keep the kids entertained. (If you’re hiring entertainment, such as a comedian, clown, band or DJ, check beforehand to make sure their set is family-friendly, with no suggestive music or potentially offensive jokes.)

Focus on fun experiences. Traditional holiday office parties can get kind of boring — and employees are less likely to get into trouble when there are planned activities to participate in. Hold silly games and contests, like an Ugly Christmas/Hanukkah Sweater competition, and offer prizes.

Involve remote employees. If your remote employees aren’t close enough to come to the party, there are still ways to make them feel part of the celebration. Use video conferencing to share speeches and toasts at the party. Create some contests they can participate in from a distance; for example, they can post photos of their ugly Christmas sweaters. Share photos of the party online so remote employees can see the fun. Finally, since you aren’t spending money on remote employees’ food and drink at the event, it’s thoughtful to send them a “care package” full of goodies or a gift card they can use to have some holiday fun on their own.

The company holiday party may have changed, but it’s still a tradition worth keeping. By following the steps above, you can ensure a party that’s fun for everyone.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "How to Keep Your Business’s Holiday Party from Going Off the Rails" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Expert Explains Why Healthcare Remains Important to Small Businesses

Small Business Roundtable Discusses More Small Business Healthcare Concerns

Small businesses may agree on the importance of healthcare as a key political issue. But an expert maintains business owners are divided on why they believe it’s important.

A recent poll found 31% of small businesses list healthcare as a top issue.  But Small Business Trends spoke with Rhett Buttle, a Founder and Co-Executive Director of the Small Business Roundtable after reporting on the numbers to learn more about what’s behind them.

More Small Business Healthcare Concerns

“One thing we know is that Democrats ran on healthcare during this midterm election,” Buttle said. “It’s an issue that’s resonating with Americans broadly, but obviously small employers have an interest and the sole proprietors even have a new set of options.”

Obamacare Opens Opportunities

According to Healthcare.gov, self-employed folks and sole proprietors can enroll in healthcare coverage through The Individual Health Insurance Marketplace. Businesses and individuals need to select coverage through Open Enrollment which runs from November 1 to December 15 of this year.

When the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was passed, it opened up new opportunities for sole proprietors. A recent executive order by the Trump Administration sought to redefine some of these changes. One recent tweak allowed for sole proprietors and some small businesses to buy healthcare by joining forces.

Buttle stressed the quagmire created by the original plan and recent attempts to overhaul it placed healthcare in the ranking it got.

Trump’s Rule Changes Draw Applause

He says that while some small businesses applaud Trump’s rule changes, their enthusiasm is tempered by insurance companies who are rattling sabres about raising rates.

“There’s a lot of pride in being able to offer coverage to your employees, but beyond taxes and the cost of labor, this is the number one issue where small businesses are still grappling with the cost and how to provide good affordable quality healthcare.”

He touched on age as one of the other important factors when it comes to small businesses and healthcare coverage.

Pre-Existing Conditions Remain a Concern

“The vast majority of people who start businesses in America are in the 50 plus age range which means they are more likely to have a pre-existing condition,” he says, adding that in the past one of the issues that stopped people from starting their own businesses was concern over these conditions and getting healthcare.

This “job lock” keep people working for other employers because they didn’t think they would qualify for healthcare on their own. According to Buttle, one of the advantages Obamacare brought to the small business landscape was getting rid of pre-existing conditions as a roadblock to becoming an entrepreneur.

Tax Reform Confusion Dampens Enthusiasm

One of the other areas touched on in the poll was the surprisingly lukewarm reception for tax reform that placed behind healthcare with only 15% of the respondents calling it a number one issue for the next congress.

Buttle explained how the poll shows the enthusiasm for The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has started to wane as the reality of the changes become apparent.

“What we’re reading there is while businesses in general are supportive of tax reform, I think that as they approach tax season and try and figure it out, small businesses realize it’s caused more confusion,” he said.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Expert Explains Why Healthcare Remains Important to Small Businesses" was first published on Small Business Trends



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