Tips for Starting With a New Company

Corporate Business Solutions  is recognized in the small business industry for using expertise, experience and education to access the information that is often necessary for growth.  We employ the best of the best to ultimately help business leaders achieve success.

Many business professionals are looking to find new positions in the New Year. If you’re starting with a new company soon, we have tips to help you thrive from the very beginning:

  1. Introduce yourself – Make the initiative to meet people at your new office. Say hello to new colleagues in the elevator, kitchen and bathroom. It’s often easiest to begin making friends with the employees that work directly with you as it will be in their best interest to get you started on the right foot, since your work will directly affect theirs.
  2. Establish expectations with your boss and / or employees – Initiate a meeting with your boss. Then, use that initial meeting to set in writing what they believe success will look like in the first week, month and three months. Also, if you’re in a managerial position, start setting expectations with your direct reports. The first week in a new role sets the tone for the nearly everything!
  3. Become an organizational pro – You probably expect a lot of new information to come your way, so creating good habits and getting organized from the start will make your transition easier. A new job is also a good time to improve any old bad habits. Realize challenges from the past and plan to combat those accordingly.
  4. Reinforce your new connections on social media – Once you’re officially on the job, it’s important to update your title across your own social media platforms and also start following your new company and colleagues. As you meet new people, reinforce the relationships by finding them on LinkedIn or twitter. If fitting, send a friendly introductory message to remind them of your initial introduction.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

Employment & Labor Laws in Small Business

Corporate Business Solutions  is recognized for using expertise, experience and education to access the information that is often necessary for growth in small and medium – size businesses.  Many business owners struggle with employment and labor laws.  However, understanding these laws is necessary for success.

Hiring your first employee or building your business team brings with it a whole new area for compliance – employment and labor law. These laws cover everything from preventing discrimination and harassment in the workplace, workplace poster requirements, wage and hour laws and workers’ compensation regulations.

The U.S. Department of Labor oversees federal employment and labor law; however, individual states also have their own specific laws. We can help you understand and comply with these laws.  The SBA is also a great resource for business owners.  In addition, an online tool from the Department of Labor, the “FirstStep Employment Law Advisor” – can help you determine which laws apply to you and how to comply.

The FirstStep Employment Law Advisor helps employers determine which major Federal employment laws administered by the U.S. Department of Labor apply to their business or organization, what recordkeeping and reporting requirements they must comply with, and which posters they need to post. The Advisor can help all employers, including non-profit organizations, private sector businesses and government agencies.

If employers already know which Federal employment laws apply to them, the Advisor can quickly provide basic information about how to comply with these laws, including the requirements for recordkeeping, reporting, and posters and other notices.  This information can also be printed off as a reference guide.

Please note that the FirstStep Employment Law Advisor is intended as a guide on major Department of Labor laws – it does not cover all laws administered by Department of Labor. In addition, the system will not identify laws administered by other Federal agencies that might be applicable to your business or organization.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

Valentine’s Day in the Small Business Office

The consultants at Corporate Business Solutions help small and medium – size business owners access the information necessary to surpass growth goals.  This time of year, many business owners are looking ahead to Valentine’s Day. 

Although it’s not necessarily a huge office event, it is often nice for employees to have the opportunity to celebrate at work.  This year, many business owners are opting to tone down the red and pink heart banners and balloons and focus on simple, subtle decorations and worthy activities:

  1. Change for Charity: Set up a jar in the reception area with a sign on it, asking people donate their loose change. Attached a sign that informs people, “In honor of Valentine’s Day, employees are collecting money to donate to certain charity.” Good ones on Valentine’s Day include Battered Women’s Shelters, the SPCA, and Habitat for Humanity. If you inform your employer of the fundraising in advance, sometimes they will match the employees’ donations.
  2. Flowers: Buy a couple dozen inexpensive white flowers a few days before Valentine’s Day to group in small bunches around the office. Daisies or carnations are affordable and cheerful options. Place around the reception areas, bathrooms, kitchen and your desk. They don’t need to be elaborate; tight, small clusters are very elegant.
  3. Candy: Get a mixture of classic Valentine’s candy – Hershey Kisses, Dove Bites, etc. – and drop in strategic places all over the office on Valentine’s Day.
  4. Decor: An inspirational, but not cheesy, poster about an admirable virtue is a unique way to view the holiday. Think of themes like love, respect, kindness, or generosity when choosing a poster. Hang it in the break room where all the employees will casually see it and hopefully meditate on it. It isn’t about shoving a Hallmark holiday down their throats but rather encouraging them to consciously think about affection in all its various forms.

To learn more about what we can do for you and / or to schedule your appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

Tips for Preventing Workplace Accidents

The consultants at Corporate Business Solutions thrive on helping small and medium – size businesses succeed.  We specialize in many areas of business, ensuring small business owners can grow their businesses.  Many business owners need a third party to help in preventing fatalities in the workplace. Here are three sources of potentially fatal accidents your employees could get into and how to prevent them:

•Workplace Violence — Non-employees perpetrate most instances of fatal workplace violence. The disgruntled gun-toting recent fire resides more in the newspaper headlines than in the category of statistically significant concerns. It’s important to examine where employees are exchanging or guarding money, interacting with the public and / or working alone or in small groups in the late or early hours of the day. You can also make sure the area around your workplace is well-lit, install security cameras, or consider scaling back your business hours if late or early operation comes to necessitate hefty security and insurance costs.

•Falls — The falls that result in fatalities tend to be in industries such as construction or landscaping. This is a case where training your employees in safety procedures and periodically evaluating their understanding and execution of those procedures is the most useful course of action. Additionally providing equipment precautions such as guardrails and rope and pulley supports when possible is also a good idea.

•Toxic Events — Gas and chemical leaks are the most common problems though asbestos continues to plague businesses moving into older facilities. It is now mandated that natural gas have some sort of odor but preventing ventilation problems and carbon monoxide leaks is the next frontier for OSHA.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

Small Business Blogging Tips for the New Year

The consultants at Corporate Business Solutions thrive on helping small and medium – size businesses succeed. We are renowned for accessing the critical information necessary for growth in today’s business.  As we begin 2017, we know that better blogging is making many small business owners’ New Year’s resolutions lists. If you fall in to that category, we have some simple tips that may help you succeed in your goal.

  • Be Consistent. Decide how often you want to create a blog post, whether weekly or monthly, and stick to it. However, don’t water-down the quality of your content just so you can get something out there. The best blog posts are interesting and relevant to your business’ website and services.
  • Write SEO – Friendly Content. Include key words that are popular in your industry so online readers can find your business when searching the internet. If you’re unsure of the important key words, take the necessary time to do your research. 
  • Have a Goal. Having a goal with your blog posts is always a good idea. For example: “After reading this blog post, my goal is for the reader to understand one way to prolong the maintenance of their HVAC system.”
  • Research. Pay attention to what’s trending. If you find a topic that relates to your business, industry or subscriber, then you may have an opportunity to reach a large audience.
  • Have a Style. Every business is different, but having a particular author style can help with engagement and building a following.
  • Proofread. This should be rather obvious, but it’s always a good idea to have someone else proofread your blog post before posting.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

Reasons Why Some Employees Prefer Unions

Corporate Business Solutions offers critical information that is often necessary for growth in small and medium – size businesses.  Our consultants realize that employers sometime complain that unions are harmful to business and to the economy. From an employee standpoint, being a union member is often beneficial. 

If you’re unsure about unions, here are three reasons why some employees prefer to work for a union:

  • Higher wages- According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, union workers do make a higher average salary than nonunion workers.
  • More benefits – According to a survey by the National Compensation Survey, nearly 93 percent of unionized workers were entitled to medical benefits compared to 69 percent of their nonunion peers.  The survey represented about 101 million private industry workers and 19 million state and local government employees. Unmarried domestic partners — same sex and opposite sex — also had access more often to these benefits if they were unionized. Workers with union representation also had 89 percent of their health insurance premiums paid by their employer for single coverage and 82 percent for family coverage. For nonunion workers, the comparable numbers were 79 percent and 66 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And 93 percent of unionized workers have access to retirement benefits through employers compared to 64 percent of their nonunion counterparts.
  • Job security – Nonunion employees are typically hired “at will,” meaning they can be fired for no reason. There are exceptions. Employers can’t terminate a worker for discriminatory reasons such as race, religion, age and the like. Nor can they fire an at-will employee for being a whistleblower and certain other reasons. However, workers with union jobs can only be terminated for “just cause,” and the misconduct must be serious enough to merit such action. Before an employee can actually be fired, he or she can go through a grievance procedure, and if necessary, arbitration.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

5 Tips for Building Business Credit

Corporate Business Solutions offers critical information that is needed for growth in the small business marketplace. Our consultants often see business owners looking to build their business credit. This may seem like a daunting task to a business owner, but it doesn’t have to be too difficult.

If you are amongst those looking to improve business credit, we have some tips that may help you reach your goal:

  1. Understand the basics- If you have a line of credit, you can start building a business credit history. The point is to be able to show that your business has, over time, been able to meet its obligations by paying back what it owes when it’s supposed to.
  2. Make sure your personal credit score is in good shape – Banks will base their decision on whether to lend to small or newly established businesses at least partially on the credit history of the business owner.
  3. Kickstart your credit history as soon as possible – Even if you don’t need it quite yet, it’s a good idea to sign up for a credit card to get your business track record going. Use this credit card responsibly and don’t take out more than you can handle, but do pay back what you owe. Once you get the card, keep your personal and business expenses separate.
  4. Look for credit in more than one place – Do business with more than one financial institution, preferably of varying sizes. Large banks offer convenience and a variety of financial products, but small banks make it easier to build personal relationships with your potential creditors.
  5. Always pay your bills – With every bill you pay on time and every time you chip away at your balances, you are establishing your business’ reputation and its credit history.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

Understanding Paid Holidays

Corporate Business Solutions is a leading business consulting firm recognized throughout the United States. We offer valuable information that is often necessary for growth in the business marketplace.

We know firsthand that many small and medium- size businesses are affected by paid holidays. Paid holidays are not required in the United States by any government regulations since the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require an employer to pay employees for time that they do not work, such as for vacations or holidays.

However, employees in the US receive an average of 7.6 paid holidays, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics in the category “all full-time employees.”  A 2016 study of paid time off by the WorldatWork Association found that nine paid holidays was the norm in the United States.

Private Sector Paid Holiday Schedule in the U.S. – These are the most common paid holidays in a private sector organization’s paid holiday schedule. They will vary by the company based on the needs of the employees and the needs of the business. For example, even companies that offer these paid holidays may have jobs that must work on the holidays. This is a necessity, or in some cases, a choice for profitability, in industries that serve customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. These jobs include manufacturing when capacity and customer demand requires more hours; direct patient healthcare services including nursing, emergency room services, hospital food services, custodial services, and more; open retail establishments; restaurants; gas stations; drug stores; convenience stores; some technical and customer support positions; and grocery stores.

As a reward for working the holiday (and to make employees feel better about working on it), these employees often receive additional compensation in the form of time and a half or double time pay.

Usual Paid Holidays

•New Year’s Day

•Easter

•Memorial Day

•Independence Day (4th of July)

•Labor Day

•Thanksgiving Day

•Friday after Thanksgiving

•Christmas Day

Additionally, some organizations add several of these days to their paid holiday schedule. This depends on regional differences and the input of employee feedback over time.

•Washington’s Birthday or President’s Day

•Good Friday

•Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday

•Veterans’ Day

•Columbus Day

•Christmas Eve, and/or New Year’s Eve

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

Tips for Your Holiday Work Party

The consultants at Corporate Business Solutions help small and medium – size business owners find their path to success.  During the holiday season, we realize that many business professionals are invited to seasonal events. If you’re considering attending a holiday work party, here are tips to help you achieve success: 

1. Attend – If you want to enhance your relationships with your boss, co-workers and clients, be sure to attend your office holiday party.  Think of the holiday party as a necessity rather than an option.

2. Dress appropriately – Work-related holiday parties are not the time to take fashion risks. The holiday party is typically a time when individuals observe appropriate dress codes, such as skipping casual dress and opting for party dress attire. With that said, it’s important to keep an eye out for clues on what to wear from the invitation since an invitation will often suggest what to wear.

3. Bring something – Everyone knows it’s suggested to bring a host / hostess a gift, but many don’t realize the same rule often applies to a work party. Make the gift appropriate, such as a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates, a bouquet of flowers, etc.  If you’re worried that something might be too personal, bring something that can be enjoyed in an office setting.

4. Don’t leave too early or late – Remember that work parties are more about the work part than the party part, so do your best to show up and remain long enough to make a good off-hours impression.

5. Talk to someone new – While it’s OK to talk to your work friends during an office holiday event, make sure to also spend time talking with people you don’t know as well and with whom you would like to develop a stronger business relationship.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

Grants for Women Entrepreneurs

The consultants at Corporate Business Solutions help the owners of small and medium – size businesses find their path to success.  We know that the rate of women entrepreneurs is growing rapidly, and we also realize that many business owners consider private grants as viable sources to assist with business growth.

Locating information can be half the battle, so we have listed information below on ten private grants especially for women entrepreneurs:

  1. The Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program: Five grants are awarded annually. The businesses must be 100 percent women-owned and have founding principles of social consciousness, sustainability, and innovation, plus be ready to move to the next phase of development. In 2014, the program awarded $125,000 in grants.
  2. Huggies Brand — Mom Inspired Grants: The grant awards up to $15,000 to advance the development of innovative products inspired by the joys of motherhood. The awardees also receive resources to further develop their products and startup businesses.
  3. FedEx Think Bigger — Small Business Grant Program: Applicants are encouraged to share their visions to receive a portion of the $75,000 awarded in grants. Part of the judging involves the general public voting for the finalists, so participants may promote their businesses while garnering votes.
  4. Idea Café Small Business Grant: The Idea Café is a free gateway that hosts different grants on its site. Its current grant is the 16th Small Business Cash Grant, which awards one $1,000 grand prize to a business with the most innovative idea.
  5. Chase Google — Mission Main Street Project: Chase and Google have partnered to award $3 million in grants. In recent years, recipients were awarded $150,000 to help take their businesses to the next level. Recipients also received a trip to Google headquarters, a Google Chromebook laptop and a $2,000 coupon toward a market research study with Google Consumer Surveys.
  6. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR): Eleven different federal agencies participate in this awards-based program, which incentivizes and enables small businesses to explore their technological potential.
  7. Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR): The STTR program reserves a specific percentage of federal research and development funding to provide funding opportunities in research and development.
  8. Women Veteran Entrepreneur Corp (WVEC) Small Business Competition: This competition, organized by Capitol One and Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence, allows participants to present two-minute pitches for a chance to participate in a nine-month business accelerator program.
  9. Wal-Mart Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative (WEE): As part of a huge Wal-Mart initiative, sourcing opportunities for U.S. and international companies will increase to $40 billion over five years.
  10. Zions Bank — Smart Women Smart Money: This Utah-based bank’s grant annually awards $3,000 across six different categories, including business.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.