Entrepreneurial

Want to keep your employees? Try better benefits

USA/A better hiring mood and a labor market overflowing with quality candidates could make CEOs complacent when it comes to retaining staff.

That would be a mistake according to Luke Vandermillen, vice president at advisory firm Principal Financial Group, who said employee turnover can be costly.

Citing estimates, Vandermillen said the one-time cost of replacing just one employee can be as much as 150 percent or more of their annual salary. Recruiting, hiring and training replacements for lost people add up and companies also suffer from lost productivity and intellectual capital, he added.

As the labor market heats up, companies need to think more about how to retain employees who have more options open to them, said Vandermillen.

“Benefits can play a role in retaining employees,” said Vandermillen, whose firm just released its annual guide that helps businesses reduce worker turnover by better managing benefits policies. “The companies that really seem to do a good job of this really stay the course as it relates to their benefits.”

4 pieces of advice on health insurance for entrepreneurs

USA/ – Ryan Hanley is a Commercial Account Executive for the Guilderland Agency, Inc. and a contributor to Under30CEO. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Health insurance is expensive.  There is no way to get around that fact and anyone who tells you different is trying to sell you something you don’t need.  Unfortunately for a young business, the burden of health insurance is even more important than that of a larger or more mature business, (in development, not demeanor).

A Case for Health Insurance

For an entrepreneur skimping on insurance, especially health insurance, is playing Russian Roulette with your future.  At no time in your business’s growth will the health and wellness of employees be more important than the start-up years.  Think about the set-back in growth if the founder of a 2nd year business became ill and had to miss a month.  A terrifying scenario for most young businesses. Now think about that same situation coupled with the stress of the same business founder coming straight out of pocket for all medical expenses.  I’ve seen this situation where money earmarked for business growth is diverted towards medical costs and it’s not pretty.

5 reasons your website isn’t attracting leads

USA/- Lisa Barone is co-founder and chief branding officer at Outspoken Media and a contributor to Small Business Trends. The opinions expressed are her own. -

So, what are your big Internet marketing plans for the New Year? Will you be investing more in social media? Will you start blogging? Will you take a more proactive stance with self-promotion? Whatever your online marketing plans, the end goal is likely to attract more people to your website in the hopes that the influx of new eyes will translate into new customers, new leads and new opportunities for your business. However, you won’t be able to do any of that if your Web site is turning people off, instead of turning them on.

Below are some very common reasons small and medium-sized business (SMB) websites fail to attract customers and how to avoid falling prey to them.

How will new identity theft rules affect small business?

- Minara El-Rahman is a contributor to FindLaw’s “Free Enterprise” blog. FindLaw is owned by Thomson Reuters. -

Small business owners have new federal requirements to protect against identity theft in their businesses.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that over 9 million Americans are victims of identity theft annually. As a result, the FTC introduced what is known as the “red flags” rule that was slated to be enforced back in November 2009. The so-called red flags rule requires that certain creditors and organizations with covered accounts implement programs that would identify, detect and address warning signs of possible identity theft in the course of business.

The most influential CEOs under 30

-Jared O’Toole is co-founder of Under30CEO. The views expressed are his own. -

Small business Web site Under30CEO recently polled its readers to find out who they deemed to be the 30 most influential CEOs under the age of 30. Influence was judged on how much the person’s ventures were impacting the world and the way we live everyday. Here’s a look at the top 10.

FACEBOOK/1. Mark Zuckerberg
Company: Facebook
Age: 26
Net Worth: $6.9 Billion

Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook in 2004 at Harvard and since then the social network has grown to over 500 million users. He is the world’s youngest billionaire with Facebook receiving a valuation of over $30 billion in 2010. Zuckerberg has literally changed the way people interact and has broken down social walls faster than ever imagined. Time Magazine named Zuckerberg Person of the Year for 2010 and his company Facebook shows no signs of slowing down.

2. Andrew Mason

Company: Groupon
Age: 30
Net Worth: Groupon Valuation $4.75 Billion

How to market your company with 5 simple videos

Jon Hyatt is a 22-year-old producer/director based out of Boston, Massuchusetts. This article originally appeared on Under30CEO. The views expressed are his own. –

Regardless of what type of company you have, or what type of product you’re selling, there are always online videos that can be used to up your marketing and sales.

“Every company can affordably increase marketing and sales with the help of online videos,” said producer/director Jon Hyatt, who is most recently filmed a Boston-based reality show called “Making Moves“. “Nowadays more companies are starting to see the advantage to having online videos right on their website or Facebook pages.”

3 rules for selling in the new economy

-- Lisa Nicole Bell is a serial entrepreneur and CEO of lifestyle consultancy firm Inspired Life Media Group. This article originally appeared on Under30CEO. The views expressed are her own. –

Every entrepreneur knows that the key to a thriving business is sales. Without it, cash flow dries up, checks turn to rubber, and heads roll. With it, few things are impossible. The challenge for most entrepreneurs is understanding how to sell what they offer.

Throughout the years, the sales gurus of our parents’ generation have offered their conventional wisdom about “building rapport” and “explaining the features”. In the new economy, this advice just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Entrepreneur trades bestsellers for bracelets

– Melinda F. Emerson, known as the SmallBizLady, is an entrepreneur, professional speaker, small business coach and the author of “Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months“. In 2010, Forbes magazine named her as one of the Top 20 Women for Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter. This article originally appeared on Second Act. –

Until three years ago, Janet Hill Talbert worked as a vice president and executive editor at a major New York publishing house. It was challenging work, and Talbert enjoyed nurturing her writers, including many bestselling authors.

But the stress of the job took its toll, and she started making jewelry as a way to unwind after hectic days.

Top 5 changes for small business in 2011

– Jason Beahm is a contributor to FindLaw’s “Free Enterprise” blog. FindLaw is owned by Thomson Reuters. –

The cliche is true: the one constant is change.

This year a series of regulatory, compliance, and legislative changes will occur that will affect small business owners. Paychex, Inc., recently put together a list of the most influential business regulations in 2011. We narrowed the list down to five that we found the most interesting.

1. Tax changes – In 2011, taxes are going to get even more complicated for small business owners. (What did you think, it was going to get easier?) However, as a plus, there will be a retroactive extension of some of the tax incentives that expired at the end of last year.

5 marketing tips to grow your business in 2011

– Stephanie Chandler is the author of “LEAP! 101 Ways to Grow Your Business”. She is also a business advisor to Project REV – a small business marketing lab by Deluxe Corp. The views expressed here are her own. –

As the year comes to a close, now is the time to assess business performance for the previous year while you develop plans for a successful 2011. Because marketing is so essential to business growth, the following are some strategies to help you get a strong start for the new year.

1. Give your website a makeover

Like a house that needs periodic maintenance and improvements, your website should improve and change over time. Take a close look at your site and make a plan to refresh or add content, upgrade site design, or improve the experience for site visitors. Your website can be the first introduction potential customers have to your business so it’s important that it makes the right impression.

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