Everything You Need to Know About Payroll Reporting
Sep28

Everything You Need to Know About Payroll Reporting

First comes hiring. Then comes onboarding. Then comes … happily ever after? Not quite. If you have employees, you need to stay on top of all things payroll. And one of your big payroll responsibilities as an employer is withholding taxes and reporting said taxes to the proper government agencies. What you need to know about payroll reporting Payroll reporting can make your head spin. If it doesn’t, you’ve either been doing it a while, you have a knack for payroll, you’re doing it wrong, or you’re lying to yourself. But hey, no judgment here. For those of you whose heads are spinning from all the requirements, read on. 1. Payroll reports are pretty darn important Employers use payroll reporting to, well, report on employee wages and employment tax liabilities. And when it comes to taxes, you know how important it is for the government to get their cut. In fact, even filing a payroll report late is grounds for getting slapped with a failure-to-file penalty. So, file various payroll reports (which I’ll get to next) on time to summarize the following types of employment taxes: Federal income tax Social Security tax Medicare tax Federal unemployment tax State income tax State unemployment tax Local income tax As you can see, these reports summarize a lot of payroll data. You’ll need to report both the taxes you contribute as the employer as well as the taxes you withhold from your employees’ wages. Use the government form that reports each type of […]

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Optimizing the In-Store Experience for a Post-Covid Environment
Sep27

Optimizing the In-Store Experience for a Post-Covid Environment

As we continue on the road back to normalcy, there’s an obvious truth we have to acknowledge: Covid-19 has had a profound, permanent impact on brick-and-mortar retail. Dozens of iconic retail brands are facing bankruptcy. Several of these companies have already been forced to shutter for good since the beginning of the pandemic. More will probably join them soon. It’s hard enough to provide a physical space in which customers can shop for products under these conditions. Now, though, retailers need to be able to provide a unique experience if they expect buyers to leave the comfort—and safety—of their living rooms. It’s no surprise that, even as the pandemic starts to come under control in several countries, merchants still rate Covid-19 response as their top focus for 2021. The majority of sellers say they had a pessimistic outlook for the rest of 2021, as compared to 2020. We can’t blame this all on the pandemic, though. This trend in customer expectation has been underway for years. Covid-19 merely provided the systemic shock that accelerated the pace and made it impossible to resist any longer. The factor that determines each retailer’s ability to thrive in a post-Covid physical retail environment is their adaptability. Specifically, whether they can learn to provide the kind of unique experience that would be worth the trip for buyers. In-Store Shopping as an Experience Attracting buyers depends on a merchant’s ability to enrich the customer experience. Again, this is not new; retailers have been feeling pressure to […]

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Ready to Take the Leap of Business Ownership? Hard Trends Set the Foundation
Sep26

Ready to Take the Leap of Business Ownership? Hard Trends Set the Foundation

During the course of one’s professional career, the thought crosses their mind that, “I wish I could just work for myself,” or they take a look at a product, service, or process and state, “there has got to be a better way. Nearly every day, an individual with that inkling takes the leap into entrepreneurship, hoping to positively disrupt an industry, make a difference in the world, or become the next Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, to be remembered for something they created that did not exist before them. Entrepreneurship Can Be Low-Risk Starting a business or inventing something disruptive can be a risky endeavor; however, as I teach frequently in my Anticipatory Leader System, innovation based on certainty is low-risk, whereas innovation based on uncertainty is high-risk. But how does a new entrepreneur differentiate between low- and high-risk endeavors? They’re actually differentiating between Hard Trends and Soft Trends, where Hard Trends are future certainties that will happen and Soft Trends are future possibilities that are open to influence. With these, an Anticipatory Leader paints a picture for themselves of what will happen in this world, how those certainties will disrupt industries, and what they can do to leverage those disruptions to their advantage. This methodology makes innovation and entrepreneurship in general a far more low-risk endeavor. Start With Cycles Using my Hard Trend Methodology to establish a low-risk environment for innovation takes practice, and one of the better ways to practice this is by mastering the concept of cycles. […]

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Why Financial Inclusion is Critical, and What Experian and Mission Asset Fund are Doing About It
Sep26

Why Financial Inclusion is Critical, and What Experian and Mission Asset Fund are Doing About It

Going to college. Buying a car. Starting a business. Owning your own home. Often, these facets of the American Dream take a loan to achieve — and loans, in turn, require good credit. Without a favorable credit score, loan applicants will either fail to qualify or have punishingly high interest rates. Either way, financial goals stay that much further out of reach. Mortgages and auto loans are not the only things denied to people with bad or no credit. For example, without a good score, an applicant may be unable to rent an apartment. Or, they might be unable to have a job that would let them pay the rent. Credit Access in Marginalized Communities Poor or “invisible” credit has harmful impacts on anyone. But, it’s probably no surprise that the problem is most acute in communities of color. This was caused by decades of unequal access to banks, discriminatory fees, and discriminatory lending practices. Consequently, many Black and Latino consumers turn to alternative financial institutions. These may include services like payday loan stores and check-cashing businesses for when they need ready money. But, unfortunately, these often predatory lending experiences can lead to troubled credit histories. The cause of this could be subprime lending or other impacts of systemic disadvantage. Whatever the case, the data on credit scores in marginalized communities is clear enough. One in 5 Black consumers has a FICO score below 620, compared to just 1 in 19 for white consumers. Among Latinos, the ratio is 1 […]

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Company Culture Health Check – 5 Questions to Ask Your New Hybrid Workforce 
Sep25

Company Culture Health Check – 5 Questions to Ask Your New Hybrid Workforce 

As companies get their bearings in establishing a new hybrid workforce, company leadership needs to understand that company culture is going to undergo its own transformation. When a company and its employees share the same set of strong beliefs and values, the employees are more likely to stick around, individuals and teams are more likely to work more productively, and even a company’s financial performance could see a positive impact. As the hybrid workforce continues to grow into what will become the future of work, company leadership should tap into their most valuable resource – their employees – to understand their thoughts, concerns and learn about their ideas. Here are five questions companies should ask employees to ensure they are on the right path in transforming their company cultures for the hybrid workforce. Do you feel recognized by the company and your managers? Recognizing your employees for their successes—no matter how big or small—can go a long way in making them feel appreciated. Unfortunately, 63 percent of employees don’t feel like they get enough praise at work. Because companies aren’t working in person all the time – or at all – now, giving someone praise as you pass them in the hall or run into them at lunch doesn’t work anymore. Nor do the monthly employee appreciation lunches, happy hours, etc. Ask employees how frequently they need recognition, and in what form it’s most appreciated. From a monetary perspective, spot bonuses and annual bonuses may be popular, but for many […]

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How to Save Money for a New Business
Sep25

How to Save Money for a New Business

How much does it cost to start your own business? Well, that depends. However, according to the Small Business Administration, most micro-businesses cost approximately $3,000 to launch, while most home-based franchises cost between $2,000 and $5,000. Yeah — I’d say that’s really conservative. In the scheme of things, that’s not an awful lot of money. But, considering that 56% of Americans have less than $5,000 in savings, and a third have no savings at all, coming up with that amount can be problematic. While you could take a loan or max out your credit cards, you could save money for a business to avoid high-interest debt. Again, $2,000 to $5,000 isn’t really all that much. At the same time, when money is tight, that is a lot of money to come up with. So, here are 11 ways that you can realistically save money for a new business. 1. How much should you save? There isn’t one right answer here. For some, you might be fortunate enough to get your business started for under $500. Others might need $10,000. Regardless of the exact figure, the SBA states that you can calculate your startup costs by identifying expenses like; Office space Equipment and supplies Communications Utilities Licenses and permits Insurance Lawyer and accountant Inventory Employee salaries Advertising and marketing Market research Printed marketing materials Making a website “Once you have your list of expenses, you can estimate how much they’ll actually cost,” notes the SBA. “This process will be different for […]

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