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Customer Service Moments: Dealing with Poor Reviews Online

No matter what kind of business you run, it seems as though there's always some source of online reviews to keep your customer service people on their toes. But how should you handle situations when you receive poor online reviews? Here's a quick look at some best practices to consider when you have a poor review show up about your business. Don't ignore it. Bad reviews are like raw fish - the longer they sit, the more they stink up the place. Try to take time at least on a weekly basis to look over reviews that have shown up about your business. If possible, address them immediately. If a customer points out that someone left a bad review, ask where they found it and take immediate steps to

Tax Season 2019: Organizing Your 2018 Tax Documentation

January 1 is passed, so it's time to get ready for taxes. The tax season, for many people, means a lot of stress and time spent trying to dig up paperwork. Fortunately, getting your 2018 tax documentation in order now makes the actual paperwork process much easier, even though nothing has changed with the latest tax law updates. Here's a quick look at various options for organizing your tax season paperwork in a way that helps you stay on top of the process and decrease your stress. Centralize your paperwork: To start, you'll want to keep your tax season paperwork in a single location if possible. If you're planning on keeping physical copies, it's best to put these in a fire safe or similar

How does the government shutdown impact your tax season?

The federal government shutdown is one of the top news stories lately, with the impact it will have on the American people receiving top priority by the press. But when it really comes down to it, how will the government shutdown impact your business? Specifically, what will happen with the IRS and the upcoming tax season? Here's a quick look at the number of different ways the shutdown will or will not impact your business with regards to your tax issues. You still need to fill out your paperwork. Any documentation that will be needed by your employees or estimated tax payments that need to happen need to go forward, preferably by their usual deadlines. Many documents need to be processed q

New Year's Resolutions: Business Growth

As 2019 begins anew, it's time to look at your New Year's resolutions, including where you want your business to go this year. But part of being in business means making intelligent decisions and developing a plan on how to reach your business goals. One option to consider is setting up SMART goals for business. Here's a quick look at how to set up this type of goal and see it through to fruition, helping you achieve solid business growth this year. S is for specific: It's easy to say that you'll grow your business this year, but by how much? A specific goal would state that you want to grow gross revenues by at least 8% over the next year, or increase your customer base by 10%. M is for mea

How the Federal Government Shutdown is Impacting SBA Operations

The federal government shutdown is now rolling through into its fourth week, causing mild to moderate travel delays due to staffing issues at airports, IRS questions are going unanswered and a number of upcoming government contracts are, in many cases, on hold until the funding issues at the heart of the shutdown are addressed. However, one of the largest areas businesses are being hit by is the shutdown of the Small Business Administration. Here's a look at some key areas where closed SBA operations are impacting businesses across the country and what to do about it. SBA loans are being held up. If you're waiting on an SBA loan to improve your operation or start your business, you'll probab

What are Top CEOs Predicting for 2019?

Though it would be nice to predict the future, many entrepreneurs find themselves at a bit of a loss when it comes to 2019 business predictions. What will happen in the upcoming year and how will it change your company's approach to the market and industry? Fortunately, we have the guidance of top CEOs who have made no secret of their economic predictions for 2019. Here's what they had to say. Trade changes impact business. If your company hasn't been impacted by the new tariffs that have been put into place yet, will it be impacted by them in the future? Even if you don't use steel or aluminum to manufacture goods on a daily basis, the equipment you use may incorporate them, or use other pa

What's Required of Employers by Illinois Law?

Let's face it - new employers in Illinois have a lot of state regulations to sift through to figure out exactly what they need to do under the law. But beyond the federal regulations, what exactly should you do for your employees? This is a quick guide to help you determine your legal requirements towards your workers under Illinois law. New hires must be reported by Illinois employers to IDES, the Illinois Department of Economic Security. Quarterly wage reports must be filed with this agency on specific days. The One Day Rest in Seven Act requires that employees have at least 24 hours completely off of work every seven days, except for part-time workers who work under 20 hours per week. Wor

How to Get a Federal ID Number as an Employer

When you're a new business hiring from day one, getting a federal ID number from the IRS is vital to keeping your business legal. Referred to as an employer ID (EID) or a federal tax ID, it's used to track which employers are paying withheld taxes on behalf of which employees. Fortunately, it's also a relatively simple process, but knowing how that process works is half the battle. You can easily apply online for an instant number, via fax for a one- to two-week turnaround or by mail to get a number in four to five weeks. Here's what you need to do to get a federal ID. Determine who is your company's responsible party. The IRS wants to know who they need to speak to if there's an issue with

A Glance at Current ACA Requirements by the Federal Government

Let's face it - there's nothing simple that comes out of a government document. The Affordable Care Act, passed by the federal government in 2010, made certain requirements of businesses with regards to providing their employees with health insurance. But what exactly are the ACA requirements for business and how do you make sure you're in compliance? Here's a quick glance at some of the broad strokes to help get you started. Coverage within 90 days of hiring. If you're going to offer health insurance to employees, it has to be offered within 90 days of hiring. That doesn't mean you have to offer health insurance on day one, just that it must be done by day 90. What's considered full-time? T

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