Cost-Saving Tips for Your Office Holiday Party

The business consultants at Global Resources have the expertise to help small and medium – size businesses achieve success.  During the busy holiday season, we have noticed many business owners have questions about holiday parties for the office.

Here are popular cost-saving tips that many small business owners are following this holiday season:

  • Host a Lunch Event or Make Your Dinner Business Casual – It is always more cost-effective to build the holiday party event catering from a luncheon menu as opposed to a dinner menu. Not only will the menu options save money, but a daytime event during the week can also cut the guest list in half by limiting guests to employees or clients only with no spouses or personal guests.
  • Consider Co-Hosting the Holiday Event – Co-hosting the holiday party with another association, professional group, another internal department or even important business partners can help defray costs, while also providing networking opportunities to your group.
  • Limit Alcoholic Beverages – Many more organizations have been doing this in the last few years. A couple successful strategies include offering a signature drink, limiting options to beer and wine or offering a two drink maximum. Another suggestion is to eliminate alcoholic beverages completely, which also eliminates any potential liability. Know your organization and opt for a strategy that will suit as many people as possible without carrying the costs of an open bar.
  • Opt for Mini-Desserts Rather than Full Servings – The rule of thumb is that most guests take two bites of dessert and the remainder gets tossed. Avoid this costly waste by setting up a dessert station with small portions and smaller quantities, where guests can help themselves to bite-size or appetizer-like portions of only what they like.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your complimentary appointment with the business consultants at Global Resources LLC, call us at 855-338-0266.

5 Retail Trends for 2017

Global Resources LLC has a team of expert business professionals that are leaders in the retail business which are owned by entrepreneurs and managed as a family business .  As we approach 2017, we are looking ahead to trends expected to be at the center of the retail industry:

  1. Environment – Customers are yearning for unique retail experiences and reward the retailers who provide this. Smart retail business owners will understand that they must treat their stores as their homes by welcoming customers into a warm and inviting place and eliminating the pushy sales approach.
  2. Ultra Convenient – The rise of ‘push-button’ products and services, such as Amazon Dash Buttons, or talking to Siri or Alexa to reorder specific products at home are rising in popularity. So are easy order services for home/office delivery, like UberEats and Postmates.  Some retailers have even moved past the button and are building sales through subscription services, including Trendsend and Stitch Fix. With all these advances, convenience is key to the modern-day consumer.
  3. Expanding Mobile – The mobile retail arena is evolving even more.  Retail strategies incorporating the mobile device will become much more sophisticated and honed for smooth integration into the overall customer experience.
  4. Expect a Digital Shift – Most retailers already have an established a digital presence, but there will be an accelerated shift to mobile and cross-platform interactions. Mobile share of global ecommerce is expected to grow from 40% in 2015 to 70% by the end of 2017, as we see the vast majority of online shoppers start transactions on one device and end on another. Ecommerce will be leading this paradigm shift since it drives change and folds in new technologies that come from the consumer.
  5. More Niche Retailers – The coming year will bring the rise of niche retailers, for both new brands and existing brands. This will lead to smaller store footprints and personalized service with knowledgeable sales associates. This will satisfy the demands from consumers who want a unique and customized service.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your complimentary appointment with the business experts at Global Resources, call us at 855-338-0266.

Small Business Assistance from SBA

Global Resources is a full-service business development group and general management consulting firm focused on small and medium-size privately-held companies in North America. We help business owners access the information that is often critical for growth.  Since many small and medium – size businesses seek out loans and grants for progression, we wanted to provide valuable information on SBA.

The SBA is a great contributor to the growth of small business. The programs are many and varied, and the qualifications for each are specific. SBA can help facilitate a loan for you with a third party lender, guarantee a bond, or help you find venture capital. SBA provides a number of financial assistance programs for small businesses that have been specifically designed to meet key financing needs, including debt financing, surety bonds and equity financing.

  • Guaranteed Loan Programs (Debt Financing) – SBA does not make direct loans to small businesses. Rather, SBA sets the guidelines for loans, which are then made by its partners (lenders, community development organizations, and microlending institutions). The SBA guarantees that these loans will be repaid, thus eliminating some of the risk to the lending partners. So when a business applies for an SBA loan, it is actually applying for a commercial loan, structured according to SBA requirements with an SBA guaranty. SBA-guaranteed loans may not be made to a small business if the borrower has access to other financing on reasonable terms.

SBA loan guaranty requirements and practices can change as the Government alters its fiscal policy and priorities to meet current economic conditions. Therefore, you can’t rely on past policy when seeking assistance in today’s market.

  • Bonding Program (Surety Bonds) – SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee (SBG) Program helps small business contractors who cannot obtain surety bonds through regular commercial channels. A surety bond is a three-party instrument between a surety (someone who agrees to be responsible for the debt or obligation of another), a contractor and a project owner. The agreement binds the contractor to comply with the terms and conditions of a contract. If the contractor is unable to successfully perform the contract, the surety assumes the contractor’s responsibilities and ensures that the project is completed.

Through the SBG Program, the SBA makes an agreement with a surety guaranteeing that SBA will assume a percentage of loss in the event the contractor should breach the terms of the contract. The SBA’s guarantee gives sureties an incentive to provide bonding for eligible contractors, thereby strengthening a contractor’s ability to obtain bonding and greater access to contracting opportunities for small businesses.

SBA can guarantee bonds for contracts up to $5 million, covering bid, performance and payment bonds, and in some cases up to $10 million for certain contracts.

  • Venture Capital Program – SBA’s Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program is a public-private investment partnership created to help fill the gap between the availability of growth capital and the needs of small businesses. The SBA does not invest directly in small businesses, relying instead on the expertise of qualified private investment funds. The SBA licenses these funds as SBICs and supplements the capital they raise from private investors with access to low-cost, government-guaranteed debt.

With these two sources of capital backing them, SBICs search across the United States for promising businesses in need of debt or equity financing. SBICs are similar to other investment funds in terms of how they operate and their pursuit of high returns. However, unlike other funds, SBICs limit their investments to qualified small business concerns as defined by SBA regulations.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your complimentary appointment with the business consultants at Global Resources LLC, call us at 855-338-0266.

Online Resources for Entrepreneurs

Global Resources is a full-service business development group and general management consulting firm that specializes in small business growth. Our target markets are businesses which have a minimum of 10 employees and $1 million in revenue. However, we do possess the expertise to help entrepreneurs launch small businesses. Starting a business is a huge commitment that can reap many long-term rewards. If you’re looking to become a business owner, we can help put you on the path to success.

For entrepreneurs looking to launch a new business, we have listed some industry favorite online tools that can help you reach success:

Accounting Software:

  • Quickbooks: In the U.S., QuickBooks is hands-down the most popular accounting software out there. If you’re working with an accountant, chances are that they’ll ask you to use QuickBooks. We recommend the online version, but you can still buy the desktop version if that’s what you prefer.
  • Xero: Xero is an online-only accounting solution. While relatively popular in Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K., they are less popular in the U.S. They’re still worth a look though, if QuickBooks isn’t right for you.

Choosing a Name:

  • NameCheckr: What’s great about NameCheckr is that in addition to automatically looking up available domain names associated with your chosen business name, it checks a ton of relevant social platforms, from Facebook to YouTube to see if the name is available there. That way you can get right on to your social media strategy!
  • Naminum: Enter a word and Naminum uses prefixes, suffixes, and replaces letters within your keyword to generate a (huge) list of name suggestions. Didn’t find a satisfactory name? Try with a new word, transform the current one or generate random names for additional inspiration.

Domain Names and Hosting:

  • NameMesh: Part domain name suggestion tool and part domain name finder, NameMesh searches endless variants of your domain to find one that works for you.
  • Domainr: Search across endless domain extensions, way beyond your standard .com. You’ll find good suggestions, but Domainr is more for finding a domain that will work for you once you’ve already settled on a company name.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business consultants at Global Resources LLC, call us at 855-338-0266.

Common Reasons Why Employees Turn Down Promotions

Global Resources is a full-service business development group and general management consulting firm focused on small and medium-size privately-held companies in North America.  We offer an array of services that help business owners find their unique path to success. 

Time after time, we have seen business owners surprised when employees turn down promotion offers.  However, there are four common reasons why your staff member may be opting to refuse your proposal.

  1. Long-term path – We know it’s typically easier to promote from within. Unfortunately, this may lead some business owners to consider candidates who aren’t necessarily the best fit. A strong professional will look at the opportunity objectively and be honest if it’s not in line with their long-term career goals.
  2. Set-up for failure – Let’s face it- many offices have that one position that seems like a revolving door. No matter who comes in, within a year or two, they leave the company. If an employee is asked to fill that revolving position, they may be weary of the change. If they’re currently in a successful role that’s well-defined and being asked to move into a role that’s not defined, there may be hesitation.
  3. Too much responsibility – Business leaders and managers are working longer hours at the office, spending more time logging on while away from the desk and taking fewer vacations. According to Ernst & Young’s Global Generation research, 40% of managers spend more time at work than they used to.  Some employees may be happy with the work and life balance they already maintain, which may lead to refusing a promotion.
  4. More work, less pay – A promotion in the small business arena may mean switching from hourly pay to an annual salary.  Since this typically eliminates overtime pay, it can actually mean less money for the employee. Be sure to talk to your employee about realistic pay expectations and try to be as fair and competitive as possible.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business consultants at Global Resources LLC, call us at 855-338-0266.

Determining a Mid-Size Company

At Global Resources, we work with small to medium-size businesses located throughout the United States. 

Throughout the last several years, we’ve often encountered business owners unsure about what size category their business fits into. The federal government doesn’t formally recognize a mid-size category, so there’s no official definition of what companies do and don’t qualify. That being said, several sources provide general guidelines that you can apply to determine whether your small business has “graduated” to mid-size:

  • Federal Criteria – In the United States, you’re either a small business, or you’re not. This matters because government programs offer all sorts of programs to help small businesses. The federal Small Business Administration sets the definition, which varies by industry and usually depends on how many employees your company has or how much revenue it has. Check the agency’s “Table of Small Business Size Standards.” If you’re in the upper reaches of the size criteria for your industry, it’s fair to call your company mid-size.
  • Academic Definition – Ohio State University’s National Center for the Middle Market is one of the leading sources of research on issues of interest to mid-size companies in the United States. The center defines a mid-size company as one with average annual revenue — not profit, but revenue — of between $10 million and $1 billion. As of 2013, the center estimated that about 197,000 U.S. companies met that definition, making them mid-size companies.
  • International Standards- International economic organizations generally recognize mid-size companies as a separate category, and they even have a shorthand term, “SMEs” to refer to small and medium-size enterprises. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, most countries define a small business as one with 50 or fewer employees, and a mid-size business as one with between 50 and 250 employees. Some countries set the limit at 200.
  • Impact – If you qualify as a mid-size firm, your company is in good company. The National Center for the Middle Market calculates that mid-size companies account for about one-third of private-sector jobs and one-third of private-sector gross domestic product, a rough measure of the size of the U.S. economy after taking out government spending. Mid-size companies formed the only category with a net increase in jobs between 2007 and 2010, a period that included the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business consultants at Global Resources LLC, call us at 855-338-0266.

How to be a Successful Construction Project Manager

Global Resources is a full-service business development group and general management consulting firm focused on small and medium-size privately-held companies in North America.  We specialize in many industries, including construction.

Leaders in the construction industry have many responsibilities. Whether you work on a small residential project or a large commercial project, the smallest details can make a big difference. Good project managers must have the skills and temperament to overcome obstacles.

  • Education – While it’s possible to work your way up from a construction trade to project manager, it’s a good idea to earn a bachelor’s degree or certificate in construction management. You’ll learn the complexities of the construction industry that you might not come into contact with if you’re working as a carpentry foreman, such as estimating, cost control, risk and safety management and contract administration.
  • Experience- Education is necessary to advance as a project manager and move on to bigger projects as your career goes on. In some cases it’s the only way you’ll get the job. But practical experience in construction can lay an important foundation. Even a summer job as a general laborer while you’re in school can give you valuable exposure to how job sites are managed as well as experience to put on a resume. Internships with general contractors and architects are also important. The broader your knowledge of and experience in the industry, the more likely your success as a project manager.
  • Communication – It’s difficult to overstate how crucial good communication skills are to a project manager. You’ll be dealing with other company management, project engineers, architects, subcontractors, vendors and inspectors, all with different issues and demands. Your job entails juggling multiple and competing requests under sometimes stressful conditions, so the ability to remain unflappable — at least on the outside — will inspire confidence in your leadership. There’s a lot of paperwork involved with the job, from email correspondence to RFIs (requests for information), so hone your writing ability.
  • Skills- A project manager spends as much time, or more, in the office as on a job site. Scheduling and managing subcontractors, creating project timelines, tracking the permitting process, keeping track of change orders and managing a complex budget require good computer skills. While most companies have project management software to help manage these things, skill with spreadsheet software is invaluable. Math skills and knowledge of accounting are vital to working with budgets and billing.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business consultants at Global Resources LLC, call us at 855-338-0266.

Small Business Accounting Tips

Global Resources LLC helps facilitate the change that is needed for small to medium- size businesses to flourish in today’s marketplace.  We excel in many areas crucial to the growth of small business, including accounting and analytics.

If you are a business owner that manages the accounting in your company, we have tips that may help you achieve success:

  1. Consider bookkeeper vs. DIY accounting – Though entrepreneurs might feel ready to act as head of accounting, sales and marketing at the same time to cut costs, it may help to hire a bookkeeper. It can help you to know someone with experience and deeper understanding is working on your books. To start, you can hire someone part time or as a freelancer, so you’re not paying a full time wage for these services. As an alternative, the U.S. Small Business Administration offers help with managing expenses on your own, while free accounting software from GnuCash.org lets you crunch the numbers yourself.
  2. Keep accounts receivable payments separate from borrowed funds – Small business owners need financial backing and/or loans for startup capital, marketing campaigns and other initial things in the early days. To make sure the loans don’t appear in the receivables, use software that separates income from borrowed funds. Don’t lose sight of what is yours and what needs paying back.
  3. Don’t allow clients to get away with not paying balances- Seeing a large amount in the receivables column is a good thing, but the money doesn’t really count until it is in your bank account. Don’t let clients avoid regular payments. Stand firm and insist you receive payment for past orders before letting them have more materials or services. The receivables department is crucial in keeping your company afloat.
  4. Detail daily expenses so you can budget for the coming weeks- It’s a good idea for business owners to keep records of everyday expenses they incur in the company. Instead of calculating expenses every two weeks for payroll purposes, focus on every day or every week. This can help you have a better idea of where finances are each week and how much money you’ll need to budget for in the upcoming weeks.
  5. Calculate a minimum monthly profit – When planning how much it takes to keep a small business running, the numbers can get complicated. Devise an accurate system of expenses and regular obligations so you know exactly the minimum income you need every month. Because income can be the easiest to calculate, make a strict target you’ll need to earn. Without that exactitude, accounting becomes confusing and your business can suffer.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business experts at Global Resources, call us at 855-338-0266.

Tips When Hiring Seasonal Workers

Global Resources is a full-service business development group and general management consulting firm that can help you access the knowledge necessary to achieve success.   

We realize many small and medium – size businesses hire seasonal employees, especially during the holiday seasons. Although seasonal employees can be a great asset to a business, there are specific rules you must follow in order to abide by the laws. Below are five things you need to know if you hire seasonal workers:

1. You only worry about seasonal “workers” when you are determining if you are an Applicable Large Employer (ALE).  ALE has over 100 full-time and full-time equivalent employees in 2015 and over 50 in 2016. If most of the time you are too small to be considered an ALE and only become an ALE because you hire extra workers for up to 120 days, then you can use the seasonal worker exception.

2. A seasonal “employee” is a defined term and not just someone you believe is “seasonal.” By definition, a seasonal employee is:

(a) hired into a position which typically lasts for six months or less; and

(b) the position must begin at about the same time each year (e.g. every summer or every winter.)

3. It does not matter how many hours a seasonal employee works during the season. If you are classifying employees as variable, you will have to offer them insurance next year if they work on average more than 30 hours per week this year. Alternatively, if your employees are truly seasonal (i.e. in a position that is six months or less) then no matter how many hours they work per week during the season, you will not be penalized if you do not offer them insurance.

4. In order to benefit from the seasonal employee rules, you must be using the look-back measurement method. When you use the look-back measurement method, you are required to classify your employees as full-time, part-time, variable or seasonal. You must be able to prove that the position you are categorizing as seasonal really is seasonal. For example, if your season has been more than 6 months for the past 5 years, you cannot all of a sudden claim it is less than 6 months this year for purposes of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

5. If you do not have a reliable and accurate way of measuring and documenting seasonal employees, you must offer coverage to avoid penalties.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business consultants at Global Resources LLC, call us at 855-338-0266.

Business Tips for Social Media Use

Global Resources LLC helps facilitate the change that is needed for small to medium- size businesses to prosper in today’s marketplace.  In fact, our experience, expertise and education has set the standard in the business consulting industry.

It’s our passion to stay on top of everything that affects small business. Therefore, we know firsthand that people are connecting with, listening to, following and collaborating with each other on social platforms at an amazing rate. A recent report indicates that 65% of American adults and 76% of all online Americans have joined a social network.

Not only is the internet used for personal use, but business people are using social networking sites to build their careers, promote their business and grow their reputations. It’s important to be strategic with your social networks, especially when intertwining business and personal.  Here are tips that may help you navigate the world of social media for your business:

  1. Use a different profile or account for your personal connections. Business and pleasure should not be mixed.
  2. Offer valuable information when you post. Don’t talk just about yourself and your company.
  3. Don’t befriend strangers with the intent of selling them on your products or services. You will quickly lose credibility and your so-called ‘friends.’
  4. Pick a screen name that represents you and your company well.
  5. Don’t send out requests for birthdays, invitations to play games or other timewasters for those using the site.
  6. Don’t put anything on the Internet that you don’t want your future boss, current client or potential clients to read.
  7. Check out the people who want to follow you or be your friend. Not only will you be judged by your “friends” but you also want to avoid spam accounts.
  8. Never post when you’re overly-tired, jet lagged, intoxicated, angry or upset.
  9. Compose your posts, updates or tweets in a word processing document so you can check grammar and spelling before you send them.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your complimentary appointment with the business experts at Global Resources, call us at 855-338-0266.