The Medicare tax that employees pay on their wages increases this year from 1.45% to 2.35% on earnings over $200,000 for singles and $250,000 for married couples. (more…)
Fringe benefits may be such an established part of your business compensation package that you’re fairly casual about them. (more…)
“Business to business” marketing? How is that different from marketing that is directed at the consumer? Isn’t it ultimately about generating leads and closing sales?
Well, sort of. Business to business marketing (B2B) is a little different than business to consumer marketing (B2C) and it is important for small business owners to know the difference.
The major differences:
• B2B is directed at a smaller number of customers, most likely local.
• B2B products and how they are used are often more complex than their consumer-geared counterparts.
• The more personal the relationship, the better, when it comes to B2B marketing.
B2B targets another business rather than an individual; therefore the marketing strategies are more complex, as you may be targeting a number of departments in different ways, in order to complete the sale.
Decisions in this sector are very rarely made on impulse – businesses are made up of several layers of decision-makers and purchases are made on more objective grounds.
While consumers may be driven by aesthetic appeal or brand reputation, a business buyer will require a more informative proposal.
“B2B marketing is less flashy, more analytical.”
A limited number of clients, with complicated decision-making networks and inquiring and informed minds demand a personal relationship built on trust and understanding.
In B2B marketing, segmenting clientele is based on what is
referred to as ‘firmographics’- defining factors about the business itself. These can include:
• Spending patterns and limits
• Their needs (price, quality, support, etc.)
• Niche, or position in the market
• Trade associations or group affiliations
• Use of the product/service
• Annual revenue
• Preferred method of placing orders
• Loyalty to your brand
Appreciating the difference in B2B and B2C marketing can be the defining factor when it comes to small-business success.
School’s out and you’re thinking about replacing a decades-old roof. (more…)
For most middle-income taxpayers, the chances of getting audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are slim indeed. (more…)
If you’ve been searching for ways to fund a business project, you’ve probably come across an online option known as “crowdfunding.” (more…)
Statistics show that approximately 35% of Fortune 500 companies are family-controlled. At some point, these were all small start-up enterprises who kept it in the family while getting things off the ground.
But at some point those mom-and-pop ventures must take on a more professional face, presenting themselves as competition for the big guys. This can be a tough balance to maintain.
There is a correlation between the continuing success of a family business and the extent to which the leaders enforce a high standard of professionalism.
It seems in a family business there are five areas in which these standards must shine through:
• Developing a vision and strategy for the business
• Defining the governance of the business
• Shareholder compensation and equity
• Organizing the management practices of the business
• Managing succession issues
Define firstly how decisions will be made. Is there a chain of command or will you create an advisory board? Who will sit on the board? How will outside advisors come into play?
Asking these tough questions from the start will dictate how crises are handled. Formalize the decisions in a document for easier referral.
Develop a clear strategy for compensation. Compensation should be based on market conditions in order to keep family and non-family members satisfied.
It isn’t a case of “doing it my way this time because we did it your way last time”
“Draw clear lines where family ends and business begins.”
Make sure that duties and responsibilities are delegated with clarity.
Consider the four D’s (death, divorce, disability and disillusionment) that may most affect a family-run company. Develop clear policies that apply to all team members regardless of whether or not they are kin.
Developing sound management practices is vital. The family nature of the business can affect the non-family members in a negative (or positive) way. Be sure to include dispute resolution strategies.
Incorporate sound performance appraisal systems to ensure morale remains high, the culture is balanced and that a sense of community is formed.
Be clear from the start: are you a FAMILY business or a family BUSINESS?