A shipping yard at sunset with a graphic of white gears on top of the image.

Protect yourself from concentration risks in your supply chain

May 16, 2017

Concentration risks are a threat to your supply chain. These occur when a company relies on a customer or supplier for 10% or more of its revenue or materials, or on several customers or suppliers located in the same geographic region. If a key customer or supplier experiences turmoil, the repercussions travel up or down…

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Where to look for your successor

May 10, 2017

Picking someone to lead your company after you step down is probably among the hardest aspects of retiring (or otherwise moving on). Sure, there are some business owners who have a ready-made successor waiting in the wings at a moment’s notice. But many have a few viable candidates to consider — others have too few.…

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Birds eye view of a table with three individuals working on a computer, note book, and an iPad. The text "Employee Benefits" is written inside a semi-transparent yellow box on top of the image.

Making the most of your benefits package

April 27, 2017

Providing a strong package of benefits is a competitive imperative in today’s business world. Like many employers, you’ve probably worked hard to put together a solid menu of offerings to your staff. Unfortunately, many employees don’t perceive the full value of the benefits they receive. Why is this important? An underwhelming perception of value could…

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An up-close view of a customer service flier, where the box for excellent customer service is checked off.

Taking Client Service to the Next Level

April 20, 2017

Just about every business intends to provide world-class client service. Though many claim their client service is exceptional, very few can back up that assertion. After all, once a company has established a baseline level of success in interacting with clients, it’s not easy to get to that next level of truly great service. But…

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An image of a professional office room with four individuals sat working on computers, and two other individuals stand talking to someone sat at their computer.

Minimize your risk of cyberattacks

April 13, 2017

Today’s businesses operate in an era of hyper-connectedness and, unfortunately, a burgeoning global cybercrime industry. You can’t afford to hope you’ll luck out and avoid a cyberattack. It’s essential to establish policies and procedures to minimize risk. One specific area on which to focus is your employees. Know the threats There are a variety of…

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Choosing the right lender

April 6, 2017

It’s easy to think of lenders as doing your company a favor. But business financing relationships are just that: relationships. Yes, a lender has the working capital you need to grow. But a stable, successful business represents an enormously beneficial opportunity for the lender as well. So you should be just as picky with your…

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A business woman stands in an empty room in front of a large key hole, which reveals sunlight light and a city skyline.

Consider key person insurance as a succession plan safeguard

March 31, 2017

In business, and in life, among the most important ways to manage risk is through insurance. For certain types of companies — particularly start-ups and small businesses — one major threat is the sudden loss of an owner or hard-to-replace employee. To safeguard against this risk, insurers offer key person insurance. Under a key person…

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Does the IRS consider your business a hobby?

March 28, 2017

If you run a business “on the side” and derive most of your income from another source (whether from another business you own, employment or investments), you may face a peculiar risk: Under certain circumstances, this on-the-side business might not be a business at all in the eyes of the IRS. It may be a…

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Offer plan loans? Be sure to set a reasonable interest rate.

March 27, 2017

Like many businesses, yours may allow retirement plan participants to take out loans from their accounts. Such loans are governed by many IRS and Department of Labor (DOL) rules and regulations. So if your company offers plan loans, your plan document must comply with current laws — including setting a “reasonable” interest rate. Agency perspectives…

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