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  • Buy vs. lease: Business equipment edition

    Life presents us with many choices: paper or plastic, chocolate or vanilla, regular or decaf. For businesses, a common conundrum is buy or lease. You’ve probably faced this decision when considering office space or a location for your company’s production facilities. But the buy vs. lease quandary also comes into play with equipment. Pride of ownership Some business owners approach…

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  • Prepare for the worst with a business turnaround strategy

    Many businesses have a life cycle that, as life cycles tend to do, concludes with a period of decline and failure. Often, the demise of a company is driven by internal factors — such as weak financial oversight, lack of management consensus or one-person rule. External factors typically contribute, as well. These may include disruptive competitors; local, national or global…

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  • Should your health care plan be more future-focused?

    The pace of health care cost inflation has remained moderate over the past year or so, and employers are trying to keep it that way. In response, many businesses aren’t seeking immediate cost-cutting measures or asking employees to shoulder more of the burden. Rather, they’re looking to “future-focused” health care plan features to encourage healthful behaviors. This was a major…

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  • Responding to the nightmare of a data breach

    It’s every business owner’s nightmare. Should hackers gain access to your customers’ or employees’ sensitive data, the very reputation of your company could be compromised. And lawsuits might soon follow. No business owner wants to think about such a crisis, yet it’s imperative that you do. Suffering a data breach without an emergency response plan leaves you vulnerable to not…

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  • Present yet unaccounted for: The problem of presenteeism

    Absenteeism has typically been a thorn in the side of many companies. But there’s a flip side to employees failing to show up to work: “presenteeism.” This is when employees come in to work unwell or put in excessive overtime. Now you probably appreciate and respect workers who are team players and go the extra mile. But employees who come…

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  • Be vigilant about your business credit score

    As an individual, you’ve no doubt been urged to regularly check your credit score. Most people nowadays know that, with a subpar personal credit score, they’ll have trouble buying a home or car, or just getting a reasonable-rate credit card. But how about your business credit score? It’s important for much the same reason — you’ll have difficulty obtaining financing…

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  • An implementation plan is key to making strategic goals a reality

    In the broadest sense, strategic planning comprises two primary tasks: establishing goals and achieving them. Many business owners would probably say the first part, coming up with objectives, is relatively easy. It’s that second part — accomplishing those goals — that can really challenge a company. The key to turning your strategic objectives into a reality is a solid implementation…

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  • Using knowledge management to develop your succession plan

    As the old saying goes, “Knowledge is power.” This certainly rings true in business, as those who best understand their industries and markets tend to have a knack for staying on top. If that person is a company’s owner, however, great knowledge can turn into a vulnerability when he or she decides to retire or otherwise leave the business. As…

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  • Best practices when filing a business interruption claim

    Many companies, especially those that operate in areas prone to natural disasters, should consider business interruption insurance. Unlike a commercial property policy, which may cover certain repairs of damaged property, this coverage generally provides the cash flow to cover revenues lost and expenses incurred while normal operations are suspended because of an applicable event. But be warned: Business interruption insurance…

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  • Financial statements tell your business’s story, inside and out

    Ask many entrepreneurs and small business owners to show you their financial statements and they’ll likely open a laptop and show you their bookkeeping software. Although tracking financial transactions is critical, spreadsheets aren’t financial statements. In short, financial statements are detailed and carefully organized reports about the financial activities and overall position of a business. As any company evolves, it…

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