Bite-Size Chunks of Wisdom

January 2015

Recent Posts

When it comes to gaining clients for your small enterprise, there are two approaches from which to choose. You can “push” your message at your potential buyer with traditional marketing methods, or provide helpful information to assist with their buying decisions and “pull” them your way. Which approach is best for you? Well, that depends…

Does Your Small Business Push or Pull? 

The “push” approach to marketing your services thrusts your offerings before your potential clients. In a word – it’s risky! (IMHO)
The drawback with “push” is that your buyer is likely not in the market for your service at the moment you have your “push on.” You gamble that potential new clients won’t be irritated by the interruption that “push” marketing creates, and ignore all future offerings. Opportunity missed!
“Pull” technology, on the other hand, is based on the principles of attraction. It works like a magnet by attracting potential clients to your business. What’s even more compelling is that it taps into how the consumer of today wants to buy.
Why We Recommend “Pull” – The Numbers Never Lie
With the emergence of mobile devices and social media, consumers rule! In fact, 73% of consumers say positive customer reviews make them trust a business even more (and increase from 58% in 2012)
In a study conducted by Quirk’s Marketing Research Media, 79% of study respondents report checking an online review before making a purchase.
57% of a typical purchase decision is made before a client ever talks to a provider. (Corporate Executive Board) Information rules!

In 5 years, Target Marketing tells us that clients will manage 85 percent of their relationship with a service provider without ever interacting with a human. (Yikes. I may be unemployed!)

Each month, 329 million people read blogs. (Is your blog one of them?) In fact, according to NewsCred, 70% of buyers today prefer to get to know a business through (blogs) articles rather than ads. (Click to Tweet)
Long Live Small Business Blogs!
Research conducted by Hubspot on the State of Inbound 2014-2015 revealed that those who blog are 13X more likely to net a positive return on investment. Isn’t that what we’re all after? In fact, 84% of inbound (i.e. pull) marketers – compared to 9% of outbound (i.e. push) marketers – suggest that blogs and social media are rising in importance. (Click to Tweet)
That’s where leads – your future clients – are found! Or, more accurately, that’s where your future clients will find you!
Plus, leads acquired by “pull,” or inbound strategies are less costly than those acquired from “push,” or outbound practices. Anyone who has every attended a face-to-face networking event, or joined a chamber knows how costly it can be…especially when you include your soft costs (i.e. your time).
Leverage Your Blogging Efforts
Now that you’re wholeheartedly on board with blogging, you want to leverage your time and energy. According to, adding sound scientific data to your blogging efforts elevates the return-on-investment. Here’s what they have to say:

  • 87% of blog articles are posted during the week with the primary days being Tuesday and Wednesday with the peak posting time between 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET (Eastern Time)
  • 13% of blogs posted on weekend actually had more social shares with the peak social sharing time of 9 p.m. – 12 midnight ET. The greatest engagement on social media, however, occurs between 10 p.m. – 11 p.m. ET with spikes between 4-6 a.m., 7-8 p.m., and 1-2 a.m. ET.
  • Blog titles with 60 characters receive the most social shares
  • Blog posts with a question mark in the title had many more social shares

Now that you know the kind of return gained from your blogging prowess, are you ready to “pull” a few clients your way?

Small business coaching is vital to the success of any business. Having someone who can encourage and lead you in the right direction can help you reach – and even exceed – your goals. Although most entrepreneurs realize the importance of coaching, skepticism surrounds the use of professional coaching for small business. As a result, entrepreneurs often turn to other sources for advice and mentoring.  Legitimate business coaching, however, provides benefits that simply aren’t available elsewhere. (Click to Tweet)

Why So Skeptical of Business Coaching? 

Every industry has its skeptics, and business coaching is no exception. In some cases, that skepticism is well-founded, such as when the coach has little to no experience, or when the basic competencies of coaching are not applied due to a lack of training.

Some skepticism is good. After all, you certainly don’t want your business coach guiding you in the wrong direction, wasting your precious time and resources. It’s important to check out the legitimacy of anyone offering business advice, which leads us to our next point…additional sources of support and advice.

Other Sources of Business Advice 

The skepticism of coaching for small business has led many owners to seek mentoring and advice from sources other than professional coaches. While each source has its benefits, each one also has its downfalls.

  • Friends – It’s human nature to seek out close friends and family for advice, especially regarding major business decisions. The negative consequences of this, though, often outweigh the positive. For one, too many differing opinions can leave you more conflicted than before you sought advice. Plus, friends may lack the business acumen required to lead you in the right direction.
  • SCORE – SCORE is a program that offers small business advice, templates, and other free resources. It can be a great tool when you’re starting out, but it provides generic advice that may not always be useful in your particular situation.
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) – The SBA is a wonderful resource for offering loans, grants, and educational events. The problem with this program is the same as with SCORE. Advice given is generic, and lacks the personal touch that comes with tailored coaching for small business.

Customized Business Coaching is the Way to Go

You’ve put your heart, tears, and sweat into creating and launching your enterprise. It’s your baby. So why take advice from anyone other than the best professional in the coaching industry? (We ask ourselves that question all the time!)

Your challenges and opportunities are most likely not the same as any other entity, inside or outside your niche. When working with a qualified small business coach, you get a strategy catered to your company’s individual needs and goals. That’s why it’s vital to seek guidance from someone who understands your obstacles, and can help turn them into opportunities.

Running and growing a business is no piece of cake. Snag all the help you can. Everything from what kind of social media strategy to incorporate, to how to effectively grow your client base, weigh heavily on your mind. This is why customized coaching is the best option.

After all, cookie cutters are great for the holidays – not business coaching. (Click to Tweet)

Most of us enjoy using social media during our personal time. But what happens when social media spills over into the workplace? Your small business suffers for every minute an employee uses social media during working hours. After all, you’re paying them to do a specific job, not to correspond with friends—or worse, posting comments that actually disparage your company.

A social media policy doesn’t just protect your small business. It gives your employees guidance on how they should behave—and not behave. For example, misuse of company logo, disclosure of trade secrets, racially offensive social media posts, sexually harassing posts, etc. Creating a clear-cut policy lets your employees know what behaviors are acceptable and what behaviors could result in disciplinary action up to termination.

Unfortunately, many small business owners often neglect the importance of implementing a strategy for managing social media in the workplace. They often assume that a small handful of employees couldn’t possibly harm their reputation, but it only takes one ill-advised post to damage your good name.

If you don’t have a social media policy yet, here a few reasons why you should consider creating one.


You pay your employees and provide them with stability, so shouldn’t they be loyal to your small business? If they’re making derogatory remarks toward your business on social media, they should be terminated for their disloyalty. Even if a post is made on the employee’s own computer on his or her own time, you may have legal grounds to terminate them. Be careful, though, that you don’t violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) which protects employees who discuss the terms and conditions of employment with others.
Social Media Impact

Many employees don’t realize the impact social media posts have on the public (and your potential customers). Just one negative post can lead to lasting damage to your brand, so you need a social media policy that identifies the risks of negative remarks.


Your employees are not mind readers. They need specific guidance that tells them what they can post and, most importantly, what they can’t. Be specific and give examples of what isn’t acceptable. Being vague could mean that you don’t have a legal right to terminate, even if you feel the employee posted inappropriate comments.
FTC Considerations

Social media policies don’t have to just focus on the negative; they should focus on the positive comments, too. When employees promote your business via social media, they are required by the Federal Trade Commission to disclose their relationship to you. Not doing so could violate advertising policies with the FTC.

Wasted Time

Productivity suffers when employees use social media at work. As a small business owner, you can’t afford to have employees spending their time on personal business. As long as they’re on the clock, they need to be focused on your business.

HR and Social Media

When you’re looking at a potential hire, do you look at their social media profiles? There is a fine line between what you can use via social media as a consideration for hiring. For example, you cannot use a potential employee’s political standing, religion, or sexual orientation against them.

Protect Your Small Business

Social media policies protect everyone—not just your small business. They prevent human resources disputes, ensure your reputation isn’t damaged, improve revenue due to increased productivity, and even keep your employees from violating federal law.

What are you doing about social media in your small business?

Social media underscores the ability of small businesses to reach out and connect with others around the globe. It fosters an exchange of cultures and ideas that help further innovation. With 2 billion social media users (as of August 2014), it leaves one scratching their head as to the best connections to advance your business objectives…and not waste your time.

Connections are valuable to your business, particularly in the early years when working hard to establish your reputation. Many small business owners are willing to accept and/or connect with anyone who asks. That’s certainly one way of working your social network.
However, with the explosion of social media users and platforms, it’s worth exercising discernment to make certain the network you develop is an asset to your enterprise.

To Connect or Not Connect

Ahhhh, that is the question, isn’t it. Regardless if it’s an invite, follow, like, or if thrown into a circle, we desire one thing – to establish a meaningful business relationship that is of benefit to both parties.

To ensure you’re making beneficial connections, follow these straightforward guidelines:

1. Validate their legitimacy through a profile picture or company logo on their company page. No creepy shadow pics, please.

2. Be familiar with the size of their network. Someone once said that an average of 250 people attend a wedding or funeral. This would indicate the approximate scope of an individual’s family and immediate friends.

When connecting with others, make sure they have more than 250 likes, followers, or connections to corroborate that their network extends beyond their immediate circle of influence.

3. Confirm the completion of their summary or profile on their social media platform.

And, the most important guideline of all –

4. Make certain they fit your buyer persona. A good connection is one that matches the demographics and psychographics identified in your persona. They are in the geographic area of your choice. Their position matches that of your decision maker. Even their likes and areas of interest align with your persona.

Whether you’re the connector or the connected – the like or the liker – the follower or the followed – these parameters ensure you’re surrounded with those most likely to be a fit for your product and/or service.

What are some of your connecting strategies?

When I began blogging in March of 2010, I was uncertain of a few things – the most prevalent was what, if anything, was of value to share. The one thing I was convinced of was my desire to support entrepreneurs in their quest to succeed. Little did I suspect an honor of this magnitude – selected at one of the Business Blogs to Watch in 2015.
The Sprouting Entrepreneur

My Dad became an entrepreneur late in his life. I spent my childhood surrounded by farmers, not commonly referred to as entrepreneurs, but as hard-working and risk-oriented as any entrepreneur I’ve ever known.  My drive for freedom and flexibility germinated my path to entrepreneurship.

When I launched my strategic coaching practice, my passion – and compassion – was for the small business owner.

At the time, it was if small business entrepreneurs – those with fewer than 25 employees – had little value. There was minimal information available to help the small entrepreneur launch, run, and grow their enterprise to the level of their choosing. It was as if the small entrepreneur – and their contribution to the economy – were ignored, disrespected, and minimized.

Little has changed today despite the fact that there were 22 million U.S. businesses classified as nonemployee businesses in 2010 (the latest year for such figures).

Solo and micro entrepreneurs (those who employ less than 10 people) add tremendous value to the economy. They’re an important source of competition in our global economy. They create jobs, enhance income, and add tremendous convenience to the economy. In fact:

  • Over half of all the solo and micro enterprises are owned by women.
  • Solo and micro businesses employ 52% of the private workers with the largest proportion being younger, older, women, or part-time workers.
  • Solo and micro entrepreneurs provide 80% of the net new jobs.  Sixty-seven percent of all workers received their initial on the job training from owners of small enterprises.
  • Solo/micro businesses are home-based 53% of the time and franchises three percent of the time
Despite the magnitude of these statistics, the Small Business Administration, Fast Company, Fortune, and Inc. continue to cater their information to the small entity of 100 employees. That’s hardly small!
Business Blog to Watch in 2015

Earlier this month, Cindy DiMarini of Broadview Networks, a leading VoIP and cloud communication provider, contacted us as a potential contender. Never wanting to lose a race because I didn’t enter, I provided the information requested.

Imagine my surprise when notification was received that we were voted Business Blog to Watch in 2015.

Read what Cindy had to say about the selection:

“We had about 175 blogs nominated for the award and we selected 31 winners.  We felt that all of these blogs displayed a tremendous amount of expertise and commitment to writing informative articles in their respective niche.  We wanted to find blogs that business owners can frequent in 2015 to help grow their business, whether it be about managing employee benefits or driving more sales.  

We felt that your blog, focused on grow strategies, is perfect for inclusion in this category and you frequently are updating the blog with extremely relevant content.  Any business owner could learn something by spending 5 minutes on your blog, and that’s what is most important.  You are writing about tangible ideas with actionable goals, that’s essential for business owners in 2015.” 
You’re Making Us Blush
This is a very humbling experience. However, it’s the reason for Bite Sized Chunks of Wisdom – to provide practical tips, tools, and actionable advice that any of the 22 millions nonemployee organizations can employ to grow their enterprise with less stress and greater profit.

So the honor of one of the Business Blogs to watch in 2015 really goes to you – the small business entrepreneur. You’re the one in the trenches, toiling day after day to carve out a living for your family using your limited resources in a way that would put Donald Trump to shame!

And, if there was one suggestion we would make it would be to become the Business Blog to READ in 2015.

Most entrepreneurs have plans and activities important to the achievement of their goals. It doesn’t matter if it’s strategic thinking time, penning a blog, following up with sales leads, or my personal favorite, yoga, they are key to the health and well-being of yourself and your business. Although central to the realization of our targets, it’s as though these very same activities are the easiest to “leave out” of our day – until now.

I’ll never fully understand the negotiations that go on in my brain – with myself – when

it comes to executing the plans to achieve my ambitions. I must be pretty good at it, though. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that I’ve a very disciplined person. So, what’s up with needing to renegotiate with myself on what matters?

It seems as though it’s easier to honor the commitments we make to others.  Are we too much of a pushover with promises made to ourselves?

I know I’m not alone in this.

A recent conversation with a girlfriend revealed the same pattern. The one and only activity that contributed directly to her goal was left to the end of the day – after everyone else’s requests, needs, and demands were met.

Sound familiar?

Like me, activities left to the end of the day were just too easy to add to tomorrow’s list – where the same practice was repeated.

I’ve tried scheduling appointments with myself. (Google makes it too easy to move appointments.) I speak firmly to my inner self. Like LeBron James, I talk in the third person to embolden myself. Epic fail!

Call it decision fatigue or weakened willpower – it’s a frustrating pattern at best.

As an outcome of my annoyance, I recently stumbled upon this little commitment hacker. It lets me fit the activities that have the greatest power over my goals into my day.

When planning my day, and attempting to arrange several activities that were all a priority, I realized I could use “non-negotiable activities” to bookmark those actions most closely tied to my goals.

For example, if I had made a commitment to deliver a result to a client before the end of day, am I likely to drop it in place of something different? Highly doubtful! You likely handle client promises with the same seriousness.
Keeping the promises you make to others can actually be used to satisfy your business and/or personal commitments.  Exploit your “neither snow, nor sleet, nor dark of night comes between me and a client commitment” attitude to sandwich in between activity frequently scrubbed.

The next time you plan your day, and find that you’re putting your goals on the “back burner,” give this little gem a try. Slip your “seemingly easy to negotiate” commitment between two “non-negotiable” commitments.

It’s a simple way to hack your day – and achieve your goals.

small business marketing

It’s always a treat to strategize with an entrepreneur to grow their small business, regardless of the number of years in operation. However, this client, after 5 years in business, garnered results dramatically different from anything they previously achieved. They closed 100% of their sales meetings resulting in four new clients from four sales meetings! How did they do it? They shifted into benefit speak! Most entrepreneurs are masters of their craft. They have conquered a skill-set within a knowledge domain that is of benefit to those less knowledgeable, or skilled, in the same arena.

For example, if your specialty is accounting, you likely have a web designer that nets you a better result than if you designed your own website. Subsequently, as an accountant, you have an in-depth understanding of tax laws that enhances the financial decisions of the web designer to help them cut costs, save money, and improve cash flow.

It’s safe to say, few entrepreneurs launch with the domain knowledge needed to start, run, and grow a business.  That’s what we learn through trial and error, right?

Change What You Talk About

small business marketingMost entrepreneurs speak with clients about what they know best – the features of their products or services. In fact, that’s what this client learned during a strategic coaching appointment.

While discussing the elements important to scaling their business, we landed on a discussion about the features and benefits. After a brief discussion, it was apparent that “features” dominated their conversations with potential clients. This explained why their closing rate was good…and would benefit from some improvement.

After a bit, we dug deeper to understand how their robust service features helped grow their client’s businesses. There was “gold” to be mined in their features!

By “slipping into the shoes of their client,” we unraveled each feature of their service to understand what it ultimately meant to their buyer. With each feature, we queried “what’s in it for me.” And, with each response, we countered with, “so what – big deal.” Finally, we arrived at the central benefits of their service – the ones that their buyers would act upon.

Learn to Sell What Buyers are Buying 

In a nutshell, features are about you; benefits are about your client. Benefits are the primary reasons clients buy. Benefits are the ultimate result – or results – that your buyer seeks…and wants to buy!

Consider this: when chatting with a potential service provider, what is it you most want to hear? Do you want to endure a lengthy conversation only to walk away guessing how their service will solve your problem? The answer is emphatic NO!

What do you think your potential client wants to hear? That’s right! Your buyer wants to hear about the results your service provides. Thus, when they walk away from what will be an enlightening, exciting, and uplifting conversation, they can rest assured they know exactly what’s in it for them.

Are you ready to shift into benefit speaking and do what this organization did – get more clients? Be sure what you’re selling is what your buyer is buying.

Resistance. Everyone experiences it at one point or another. Whether it’s your kids’ refusal to eat spinach, employees balking at new ways of operating, or your own struggle with an idea, notion, or direction in your business, resistance lurks around every corner waiting to sprig into action to defy your next move. The good news is that not all resistance is bad – or bad for you. (Click to Tweet)

Growing up, I honed my driving skills on my Dad’s 1948 Dodge. The emergency brake was a little “soft” so it wasn’t unusual to shift into gear, hit the gas, and drive through town – with the parking brake still in place.  That was…until it started to smoke. Whoops!

Resistance – and its influence – is like driving my Dad’s ’48 Dodge. With one foot on the gas, and the emergency brake engaged, you can still putter down the road but at some point, there are signs that all is not right and in need of attention.

Resistance is defined at the act, or power, of opposing. Synonymous with obstinacy and defiance, resistance often accompanies burnout, inability to act, and sluggish growth. (Click to Tweet)

The Voice of Resistance
Resistance can come from others, like kids, partners, employees, even the cleaning crew, but the most detrimental form of resistance is that which is within us. (Click to Tweet)

Opposition to change is the most common form of resistance we read about.  Not all resistance is a refusal to accept or go along with, however. Sometimes, resistance beckons a course modification. (Click to Tweet)

Jen Neitzel, owner of The Maven Circle, is passionate about self-care and shared some intriguing causes of resistance.

“Resistance can come to us for many different reasons; fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of being hurt, fear of losing something important to you, as well as countless other reasons. But it is fear and an inability to deal with the truth that is at the heart of the issue.  It’s the idea that whatever we’re resisting is so big that we don’t feel we can handle the changes necessary to deal with the problem, because our ego won’t allow it.”

Wow! Let that soak in awhile. That’s powerful.

Albeit subtle, resistance speaks to us. Its voice is soft and understated. It summons us to take notice; pay attention. And, it shows up in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Inability to act
  • Initiatives that go no where
  • Anger
  • Frustration
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Acting out

And, it effects satisfaction, and subsequently, the growth of your small business!
Make Way for the Truth Train

It’s never easy to tell the truth. Perish the thought! It’s even more challenging to admit the truth to oneself. However, a long-lasting resolution to resistance emerges when the underlying cause or causes are brought into the light of day.

Speak your truth! Spill your guts! What’s contributing to your resistance that you’re hiding from yourself? Is it…

  • Lack of confidence in your plan
  • Uncertainty in securing results with the direction chosen
  • Too many projects/initiatives already in motion
  • Not a fit for who you are and what you want to do
  • Insufficient information
  • Fatigue – this is a big one for me. I was born without an “off” switch
  • Fear of failure or looking like a fool
  • Not wanting to add to existing workload
  • Lack of clarity on next steps

Can you think of others?

Carl Gustav Jung said, What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size.” (Click to Tweet) That’s why it critical to identify the underlying cause(s) of resistance to get you in motion.

Develop trust in your inner voice. Listen to your gut. Try something new. Do one small thing. Pioneer a different approach. Introduce success into the equation – no matter how small. Pivot.

Although resistance triggers stress and discomfort, it signals an adjustment is afoot. It points us away from actions that are not a fit and towards those aligned with our values, mission, vision, and/or purpose and toward greater business success…if we’ll only listen.

What are you resisting?

There is no way to eliminate all the risks associated with starting a business. However, you can improve your chances of success with good planning and preparation.  A worthy place to start is by assessing your strengths and weaknesses, as well as, common traits associated with a business start-up.

Qualities of Successful Entrepreneurs 

There is not a set profile of a successful business owner. However, there are some common qualities that most successful owners possess. These include:

  • Hardworking
  • Ambitious
  • Self-motivated
  • Risk-taker
  • Courageous
  • Independent

Your Entrepreneurial Future

Operating a business is demandingIf your temperament and skills don’t match your business, it becomes quite the struggle. (Click to Tweet)

Are you ready to honestly consider your responses to the following questions to evaluate your assets, as well as, your liabilities? Let’s get started:

  • Are you a self-starter?
  • How well do you get along with different personalities?
  • How easily do you direct and influence the actions of others?
  • How willing are you to innovate?
  • Do you have the physical and emotional stamina you’ll need?
  • How strong are your planning and organizational skills?
  • How will it impact your family?
  • Do you have reserves of time, cash, and skills?
  • How willing are you to learn new skills and behaviors?
  • How strong is your determination?
  • How well do you problem solve?

After truthfully evaluating your response to each question, how will you best utilize your strengths?  What about your weaknesses? What is your plan for compensating for your limitations? Are there any obvious conflicts between your personality and the type of enterprise you want to start?

If you’re interested in a quick assessment of your entrepreneurial potential, visit The Gallup Strengths Center and take their Entrepreneurial Profile 10.

Shifting From Employee to Employer 

A “shift” is an internal change in one’s beliefs.  These inner modifications alter your focus and transform the results you achieve. Undoubtedly, when entering the world of entrepreneurship, you need to think differently. (Click to Tweet)

Some of the common shifts to make include:

FROM lack of attention, “busy” TO focused, large vision, goal oriented
FROM erroneous, missing reports TO accurate, timely reports
FROM being revenue driven TO being profit oriented
FROM reacting to circumstances TO responding to and solving problems
FROM blaming and excuse TO accountability and responsibility
FROM excessive ideas and possibilities TO profitable products and services only
FROM manual, ineffective paper flow TO automated, computerized systems
FROM inexperienced, poorly-trained staff TO competent, motivated, and rewarded staff
FROM slow to respond to market TO anticipating and fast response
FROM hoping, dreaming, and wishing TO solid planning, strategizing, and acting

The Commonalities of a Start-up 

Still on board? Excellent! As you continue considering entrepreneurship, it’s important to take the following “commonalties” into consideration.  Be objective as you evaluate each point.

Ask yourself some basic questions about who you are and what you’re realistically qualified – and willing – to do.

What are some of the common characteristics of a start-up business?

  • Majority of time is spent on focusing your energy and organizing the business.
  • Owner doing everything, even answering the phone.
  • Establishing a reputation.  (Make it a great one!)
  • Customers expect quality, value, professionalism, and prompt service response.
  • High learning curve.  New skills being developed.
  • Strong focus on sales and marketing.

What are some of the common roadblocks when starting a small business?

  • Professional and personal balance.
  • Priorities not clearly defined.
  • Undeveloped business skills.
  • Unclear priorities.
  • Lack of time to do it all.
  • Unpredictable cash flow.
  • Neglected finances and record keeping.

 What are the common mistakes made with a business start-up?

  • Not researching the market.
  • Spending too much money on office space and decorations.
  • Over using an attorney.
  • Incorporating too early.
  • Lack of intimacy with the customer; poor customer service.
  • Company is in the wrong or too competitive a field.
  • Poor or inadequate staffing.
  • Insufficient funding.
  • Business plan based on owners needs, NOT what the market is ready to consistently buy.
  • Working without a  business plan.
  • Establishing unrealistic time frames.
  • Attempting to accomplish too much alone.
  • Tolerating interruptions.

What can you do to avoid many of the common mistakes?  What strengths and shifts can you use to steer clear of some of these missteps? Download the Core Business Assessment . Launch your small business right the first time…so you don’t have to do over. (Click to Tweet)

What advice would you give a “newpreneur?”

The world of human resources changes fast. If your small business isn’t on top of the trends, you could not only experience significant turnover, but also legal ramifications. Whether you employ a team of fifteen HR employees or are the accidental HR manager, it’s important to know the current trends and legal considerations.

Top Human Resources Trends

Trends help you tailor your employee benefits package, keep retention rates up, and even assist with recruiting. Key HR trends include:

  1. Compensation is still driving employee interest. As long as employees are adequately compensated, they are more likely to stay with your small business. Job security comes in a close second to compensation. After all, it doesn’t matter how much you pay if employees are constantly worried that they won’t keep their jobs.
  2. More employers are implementing policies for social media use. In 2014, more than 70 percent of employers disciplined their employees for misusing social media. Reasons for discipline included divulging confidential information, harassment of coworkers, and defamation of the business’ brand.
  3. There is an increased focus on Generation Y workers. These are employees who were born between 1981 and 1994. They want to work in a casual workplace that values self-expression over self-control. Generation Y workers also want a challenging career in which respect is earned and growth opportunities are available. They value instant feedback and high compensation for good work. Your Generation Y employees are the future of your small business, and will be making a much larger impact as other generations retire.
  4. More small businesses are skipping annual reviews for continuous performance management as part of their day-to-day operations. Doing so allows managers to provide feedback as it’s needed, and gives employees the opportunity to improve year-round rather than just once a year.

Legal Considerations to Keep in Mind

Small business owners may not understand that they face many legal gray areas. From terminating a pregnant employee to forcing an employee to change his status on social media, you can put yourself in hot water if you aren’t careful. Make sure you have and follow a comprehensive policy and procedure manual so you can stay on top of these legal human resources trends:

  1. Terminating a woman during her pregnancy could result in a discrimination suit, but did you also know that terminating an employee a few months after delivery could still result in the same lawsuit?
  2. Social media is more popular than ever and employees are likely to list you as their employer on their various accounts. But when they’re terminated or they quit, can you force them to change their social media information? In most cases this requires you to contact the social media platform and, even then, you must prove it is damaging your small business in some way to have it listed on the website.
  3. Workplace cliques could put you at risk for racial discrimination claims and lawsuits. While they may seem innocent, employees left out of these cliques may feel as though they’re being discriminated against—especially if the race, gender, or religious preferences of those involved differ from the affected employees.

Staying on top of human resources trends is critical for retaining your existing employees and attracting the top talent. By understanding these management and legal HR trends, you can reduce employee turnover and keep your business competitive.

Learn more about how you can avoid costly turnover and manage your employees more effectively by getting your copy of Practical Tools to Manage Costly Employee Turnover.

MJ Management Solutions is a human resources consulting firm that provides small businesses with a wide range of virtual and onsite HR solutions to meet their immediate and long-term needs. From ensuring legal compliance to writing customized employee handbooks to conducting sexual harassment training, businesses depend on our expertise and cost-effective human resources services to help them thrive.

Core Business Assessment


Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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