How the Government Shutdown Impacts Your Business!

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The government shutdown has entered into day four with no signs of stopping. This week the Small Business Administration began functioning on a limited basis and stopped approving a majority of its small business loans, but business loans are not the only thing being interrupted. Here are some more ways your small business could be affected: National Parks National parks like Yosemite National Park, which got shut down on its 123rd birthday, have forced many federal employees to stay home during the shutdown. However, many small businesses that depend on the tourist traffic these parks generate are being hurt as well. 278 million people visit the 401 areas of the National Park System and hotels are some of the hardest hit. Yosemite Miner’s Inn received 10 cancellations within the first hour of business on Tuesday. EEOC The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is operating a limited number of services. Only claims that are within 30 days of expiring will be reviewed during … [Read more...]

Employer Mandate Delayed

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The Affordable Care Act has thrown businesses another curve ball. Up until yesterday, employers with more than 50 full-time-equivalent employees (FTEs) were calculating the costs of offering their employees ACA-compliant health insurance versus paying a penalty. Yesterday, the U.S. Treasury released a statement that businesses with more than 50 FTEs that fail to offer ACA-compliant health insurance will not see penalties until 2015. An excerpt from the press release states: "Over the past several months, the Administration has been engaging in a dialogue with businesses – many of which already provide health coverage for their workers – about the new employer and insurer reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). We have heard concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively. We recognize that the vast majority of businesses that will need to do this reporting already provide health insurance to their workers, … [Read more...]

Private Exchanges Gaining Momentum

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Private health insurance exchanges may be gaining traction. According to research from Mercer, 56 percent of employers are considering moving to this model for active or retired employees, tripling in number over the last year. That's good news for RTS, which will help employers and employees by offering them a one-stop-shop for their benefits from multiple insurance providers. Open enrollment will begin this fall with the first policies going into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. Patrick Murphy believes that private exchanges will help employers better manage their costs and reduce their administrative burden while ensuring that employees have easy access to the coverage they need. Because of these advantages, RTS plans to introduce a private exchange for 2014 and beyond. With a private exchange, the model turns to a defined contribution benefits approach, allowing the employer to provide a set amount for employees to spend on benefits. This leads to more stable, predictable costs. … [Read more...]

“Cadillac” Tax Reduced

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The “Cadillac tax” that is part of Obamacare might not cost employers nearly as much as initially estimated. The Congressional Budget Office projects in a new report that taxes on employers' high-premium insurance plans will generate roughly $80 billion over the next 10 years. That figure represents a decline of almost 42 percent from the $137 billion in excise tax revenue in the CBO’s February forecast. Starting in 2018, the IRS will impose a 40 percent excise tax on employer-sponsored health benefits totaling more than $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for family coverage as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The 40 percent non-deductible tax takes is designed to discourage plans from including features that promote over- or unnecessary use of medical care, such as low or non-existent deductibles and co-pays. The CBO’s latest report says that it lowered the forecasted excise tax revenue figure because of new trends in employer-sponsored … [Read more...]

Want to fix your Business? Focus on People First

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As leaders, how often do we delegate critical people "interactions" and tasks to others? Is interviewing new team candidates the first thing that gets delegated?  How about the training? It's been my experience that the delegation of critical people tasks happens more times then not.  Why?  Because it's hard work to hire people!  Its very time consuming!  Lets face it .. its a pain in the butt to keep training and coaching people!  But if you want to build  great teams, "hands on" is absolutely necessary. Show me an underperforming business unit, and you will most likely find the leader disengaged with his/her people and preoccupied with administrative tasks. As a leader, there is nothing more important then the time you spend with your people. If great performance starts and ends with great performing people, you must spend the time it takes to hire the right candidate and invest the time it takes to develop that individual.   Want to fix your business? Spend time … [Read more...]

5 Tips for Airtight Time & Attendance

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If your employees are pushing the envelope on tardiness and absenteeism, maybe it’s because you haven’t clearly defined what’s acceptable and what’s not. It’s up to management to set clear attendance expectations and take action when employees are pushing the boundaries. Here are some ways you can clearly define the dos and don’ts of your attendance policy, so that everyone in the company is on the same page. 1. Set clear expectations. If you’re fine with people leaving the office when their work for the day is done, say so. However, if your staff needs to be in the office for a certain length of time each day, then you’ll need to set specific work hours and inform your entire workforce. “Examine the culture of your workplace, what makes sense for the business,” says Emily Dusablon, HR advisor for Insperity. “Do you have hours that your business is open to the public? Or are you the type of company that allows employees to determine when and where they perform work?” Let … [Read more...]

Healthcare Reform IS Your Business!

Healthcare Reform (HCR) has been such a hot topic since the first time the words surfaced. Everyone and anyone, regardless of background or position, in the country has wondered what will take place because it carries implications that affect each person. Political Parties and Consumer Groups, along with every group in between have expressed opinions and surmised the impact that such sweeping legislation would bring. One such group is the business owners. No matter what side of the fence you are on, if you own a business you have wondered how HCR would impact your company, your dream, your retirement plan and YOUR bottom line. The truth is it is still difficult to answer that. And if you are like your fellow business owners, you are too busy running your business and focusing on profit-generating activities that you don’t have the time or resources to pour into learning about HCR and what has resulted from the recent Supreme Court ruling. The good news is you don’t have to do the … [Read more...]

Oilinator – Simply Awesome Oil Absorbent Shop Pad!

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Kitty Litter? Really? Thirteen years ago, when I left the store manager ranks for my first multi-unit assignment, the number one way to clean up oil spills was .... you guessed it, KITTY LITTER!!!! Circle back to today, according to my friends at Autoparts International, shops still prefer to clean up oil spills with KITTY LITTER!!!! In the age of the iPhone, Droid and web 2.0, how is it still possible that shops are cleaning up oils spills with kitty litter? Enter stage Right - Spillinex's Oilinator - People you have to see this video staring my good friend Dan Fitzgerald from Bridgestone Complete Auto Care, Mission Viejo.  In the video, Dan demonstrates the future of cleaning up oil spills - and it appears to be a game changer! Spillinex has been kind enough to make available to Retail Tire Solutions, Free Oilinator Pad samples to the first 25 dealers that request them here. Good Selling!   … [Read more...]

Are you kidding me?

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Are you kidding me?  That was my response to Steve, a good friend of mine, when he told me that some of his Independent Tire & Service clients sell oil club programs in hopes that the customer DOES NOT redeem them. Yes - You heard that right! I told Steve that strategy made no sense.   Especially when you take into consideration that it takes approximately $350 to gain a new customer.   The main reason to sell club programs is to encourage loyalty and repeat business. To make sure we are all on the same page, an oil club program is a program that sells multiple oil changes at a significant discount,  trading future gross for loyalty and repeat business.  I also like idea of selling alignment policies and "super coupon" programs. You should probably know by now ... I am a Big fan of just about anything that encourages customer growth! Key Point - it's not how MUCH its How MANY - How much a customer spends every time they service their vehicle with you is less … [Read more...]

What is the Best Kind of Advertising?

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Answer? A program that insures your bays are filled every day with customers that will purchase Tires and Service from you, at reasonable gross margins. There shouldn't be any mystery about that. The question is - what does that program look like? Well if you are a Big Retail Chain or New Car dealership, the program looks a lot different then if you are a small or midsize Independent. Big Retail and New Car Dealers have the resources and budgets for sophisticated database programs, amazing websites and over the top digital campaigns, while still spending big bucks on traditional advertising. To assess ROI on each campaign, Big Retail and New Car Dealers have really cool tools that can analyse every metric under the sun. If you are an Independent (if you advertise at all), you probably have a web site, FaceBook page and Twitter Account (or at least I hope so). You may do some ADVO or Money Mailer type advertising monthly and a declined service/reminder program. For big events, … [Read more...]