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Can Same-Day Pay Help a Labor Shortage?

By James Pruitt, Senior Staff Writer

“Same-day pay” saw a redefinition in recent years. The past stigma associated with same-day pay has worn down in the face of current needs. In the past, observers have associated same-day pay schemes with agencies and employers that sometimes exploit those desperate for money. However, despite the stigma, economic developments and technological advances could make these relationships more workable.

  1. Same Day Pay in the Past Historically Has been Associated with Exploitation

Some temporary agencies have always used “same-day pay” to fill labor shortages. Often, these agencies use people who may need the money more than the companies need labor. Sometimes, the agencies and their clients “fudged” the labor factor to compensate. In other words, the workers have ended up doing harder work than they bargained for. 

Developments in technology and in the economy might sand out some of the inefficiencies that prevent more streamlined processes. Remember, the “same-day work economy” keeps many workers active. Such workers may include college students, caregivers, retired people, those in difficult straits, and any number of other people who just plain have labor to provide.

On the management front, managers often struggle to find the right labor at the right moment. Companies make do with what they have, and sometimes lack the flexibility to adapt to sudden changes in the market. 

“Same day pay” can provide an incentive to bring workers on board with short notice. Sometimes companies need labor now, and in exchange can tap into any supply of people who need money today. However, small companies may have trouble developing an equitable synergy between management and worker in these circumstances.

  1. Finding People and Keeping People

The “neglected labor pool” is diverse. Often, those outside the traditional labor market need short-term gigs. In addition, many competent people have idled for years, due to the prejudice against “gaps in employment.”  

Simultaneously, many smaller businesses need good help. As these companies and these people “find each other,” the businesses and the people can grow together. The employment role can grow as the relationship grows, and the business can grow as a result.

In other words, short-term labor and same-day pay can be a blessing for workers and managers. The right strategies and processes can separate the most exploitative practices from that synergy.

  1. Payroll Service Providers Have Advanced Technologically. Fees Are No Longer as Burdensome to Business Owners or Workers.

In the past, payroll service companies charged larger fees for the processing of quick paychecks. For example, cutting a check for a same-day worker may have cost a pretty penny. Smaller businesses sometimes paid in cash, which may have prevented the best possible record-keeping.

These days, technological advances have facilitated these short-term employment relationships. Expenses for cutting a same-day check, direct deposit, or even cold, hard, cash, have relaxed. Veteran Business Owners can thank technological advances for a decreased burden in the recordkeeping department, and increased efficiency in processing their workforce payroll issues.

  1. Bottom Line

The recent labor shortage has caused burdens throughout different sectors of the economy. However, advances in the “short-term economy” could facilitate a new synergy between small business owners and even some parts of the neglected workforce. Many companies have adopted a novel practice of providing half the pay on the same day, and the balance during the payroll period. 

In general, same-day pay has become more workable with technological advances, which can help both workers and employers with their record-keeping and avoid fees. Veteran Business Owners should always consider the exploitation factor, but also consider the benefits to all parties when determining employment relationships.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hope that this article has not only been valuable but provided some unique perspective.  We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful, and timely information and are the “go-to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:  

https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vamboa

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VAMBOA

Do not forget that VAMBOA members receive significant discounts on technology needs.   Check them out here: https://vamboa.org/dell-technologies/ 

 

How Small Businesses Can Minimize Tax Liability in 2022

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By James Pruitt, Senior Staff Writer

  1. Registering your corporation has Benefits. . . and Liabilities

One important consideration during tax season is your company’s organization, including any registration with government bodies.

Many small businesses outgrow their initial registration types. As a small organization grows, often the ownership needs to choose different organizational strategies.

Each business structure has its own “fit.” The simplest corporate structures retain the status of pass-through businesses. This category includes sole proprietorships, LLCs (limited liability corporations), and S corporations. Some of these business structures may not pay a corporate income tax.

On the other hand, these companies may lose out on other benefits. For example, companies that pay corporate taxes may receive asset protection against creditors, such as when a natural disaster forces bankruptcy and the ownership justifiably seek to keep their private assets separate from those of their enterprise.

Consider a balance of the different considerations at each stage of the development of your business. A sole proprietorship or home business almost never requires any kind of registration. Such a measure would only bring tax liabilities and nothing else. As a business grows in complexity, perhaps the benefits of registration may outweigh the tax liabilities.

  1. Charity Work Can Provide Low-Cost Marketing While Freeing You from the Taxman

As described in other posts, involvement in the community can market your ideas, services, and products. Never forget the importance of tax breaks as well. The advantages of community engagement can lift hearts and spread the message of your company far and wide, but never forget the tax advantages. Charitable contributions are deductible, as are expenses in the pursuit of community enterprises.

  1. Consider How you Treat your Employees: Tax Benefits can Arise

The IRS provides many incentives to treat employees well. For example, retirement benefits can not only improve employee retention but can also help pinch pennies when tax time comes.

For example, a 401(k) account for your employees, or even for yourself, can allow deductions in the amount of any contributions you make. As an alternative, a SEP may provide some of the same benefits to employers

More importantly, especially considering the coronavirus pandemic, several plans allow credits for employers who work to minimize the impact on their employees during the pandemic. Consider the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).

Without going into too much detail about each of these Pandemic-era legislation measures, this legislation applies to employers who paid their workers during periods of lockdown, who provided benefits to such employees, and who allowed paid time off for the purpose of getting vaccinations.

The Bottom Line

Some changes may provide increased opportunities for Veteran Small Business Owners during the 2022 tax season, not least due to the pandemic. Overall, the best strategies for minimizing tax liability may arise from investigating the right organizational strategies. Remember to apply a holistic approach to balance the right strategies not only to avoid the worst tax liabilities, but to maximize benefits to yourself, your employees, and your community as well.   This article addresses generalities, and we highly recommend that you consult a tax professional with your specific questions.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hope that this article has not only been valuable but provided some unique perspective.  We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful, and timely information and are the “go-to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:  https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vamboa

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VAMBOA

Do not forget that VAMBOA members receive significant discounts on technology needs.   Check them out here: https://vamboa.org/dell-technologies/

How Not to Design Websites

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By James Pruitt, Senior Staff Writer

Never Lose Sight of your Core Competency

Your business idea is your own, companies should never lose sight of the uniqueness of your core enterprise. Superfluous bells and whistles only add confusion when they distract from the basic functions of your business. 

Merchants can control the traffic to the website, if not their profit margins. Websites should be carefully designed considering the basic functions of your business. 

In other words, your website should center around the services you can provide. Tangential and superfluous information waste resources and distract from the bottom line. The marketing pitch should be clear and to the point, and traffic to the website should consist of interested consumers rather than gawkers attracted by irrelevant additions to the website. Good SEO (search engine optimization) can avoid this failure.

Don’t Turn Your Website into an Unrelatable Mess of Brick-a-Brack

A website rife with irrelevant information messes with the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) of your company, as well as its analytics. An organized website, on the other hand, attracts the best kinds of business. 

Some ugly websites can get away with it. Craigslist, for example, has a nostalgic, folksy appeal that reminds us of the days before sophisticated website creating apps such as WordPress and Etsy. The Drudge Report has a brutalist look that harkens to the days before “web designer” became a staple hipster freelance gig. These older websites already have established reputations, with the associated goodwill.

New Veteran Business Owners need to put more thought into website design. Remember the importance of the brand building. With the development of the company, the “goodwill” of target customers develops

In the case of some websites, such as Craigslist, the plain, no-frills design is in fact part of the brand. Established users enjoy the look because of the familiarity and would probably raise hell in the case of a redesigning. Craigslist is an example of a company whose website in fact has accumulated enough “goodwill” to compensate for its hideous look.

However, most new business owners need to develop that goodwill over time. “Goodwill” for a business means positive relationships with your consumer base. Good marketing should reflect in your website. Hopefully, as you develop a more sleek, well-directed website, your marketing strategy should communicate more directly with your target audience.

 WordPress and other web-building applications tend to give analytics that shows progress as your website develops. In general, website analytics go a long way in showing how well your website reaches your target. 

The Work Doesn’t End with a Finished Website

Even with the development of your own business, remember the importance of consistent improvement of your own product or service. Business owners should take feedback seriously, consistently building up the quality of their products.

Veteran Business Owners should not rest on their laurels after designing a workable online presence. Any such website should provide comments sections and other forums for feedback. On the business owner’s end, this feedback should provide starting points for improvements, especially when the feedback is consistent. 

Conclusion

In the end, remember the importance of good communication. Some terrible websites maintain relevance through their relationships with customers. However, generally, new business owners should consider relevant designs that speak directly to their consumer base. Who knows, maybe even your own design might go out of fashion one day. But with goodwill and brand loyalty, you may preserve good relationships in the long term.

In other words, for the initial stages of business development, don’t forget the importance of a sleek website that speaks to its target audience. Goodwill can take time to develop. But consider whatever market analytics you have available and try to make sure your website fulfills the goals of your business in the here and now.  

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hopes that this article has not only been valuable but provided some unique perspective.  We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful, and timely information and are the “go to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:  https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vamboa

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VAMBOA

Do not forget that VAMBOA members receive significant discounts on technology needs.   Check them out here: https://vamboa.org/dell-technologies/ 

 

Community Engagement for Small Businesses

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By James Pruitt, Senior Staff Writer

A visible presence in the community can do wonders to raise the profile of a small Veteran Owned Business. Engagement in community activities can imprint your brand into the minds of those around you and entrench your products or services into the hearts and minds of the most active citizens. Four strategies can help businesses integrate into the public sphere and make your brand synonymous with responsible public engagement.

First, consider the special contributions your business can make available. The best value comes from the optimal use of existing resources. Surplus goods can go to work as donations fundraisers, and these contributions can increase goodwill toward the company. Even special expertise can go to building new campaigns or initiatives. Redeployment of existing resources can not only ensure the maximum outcome for all parties but can effectively advertise the quality of the business for anyone involved in the charitable cause.

Along the same lines, businesses can solicit relationships with organizations that involve themselves in your business’s field in the economy. Never undervalue your expertise. The relevance of your business provides huge value to nonprofits in your sector.

Perhaps you have a restaurant. Your restaurant can provide excess food to the homeless or even for catering events, assuming (importantly) the food is well-kept. As for non-perishables, items such as clothing can be embroidered into relevant t-shirts or even donated. The possibilities are endless for high-quality excess goods and services.

Second, consider input from employees. Each employee may have their own interests in the nonprofit sphere. Engagement with nonprofits can encourage engagement with employees as well. Every idea from an employee can bring your brand into a new sphere. Oftentimes, the employees’ interests in the community can pose an educational opportunity that can even expand your brand.

Third, business owners should keep a strong gauge of customers’ nonprofit concerns. Customers themselves might provide ideas and insights into community engagement. Entrepreneurs can strengthen goodwill among customers by chiming into their concerns. For this reason, business owners should always value customer feedback.

Fourth, remember your values and stick with them. Some companies might provide ethically made clothing brands, free from sweatshops or forced labor. Others might provide vegan or vegetarian food. Still, others may oppose religious persecution abroad. These companies have their nonprofit work cut out for them.

Still, other entrepreneurs have their own causes that energize them, outside of their own scope of business. Still, good karma follows from maintaining a presence year-long with favorite nonprofit initiatives. Just remember the above precepts and the resulting opportunities for associating your brand with your passions about the direction of your community.

In conclusion, business owners with community concerns can profit immensely from engagement with their favorite causes. Even placing excess inventory into the hands of community workers or charity recipients can serve an advertising purpose. Still, beyond that simple measure, the simple presence of your company’s logo in a fundraising drive can serve a marketing function beyond warming your heart or the hearts of others. Wise engagement with community causes rarely has a downside. Veteran Business Owners should always remember the nonprofit sector no matter how successful their own ventures are.

 

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hope that this article has not only been valuable but provided some unique perspective.  We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful, and timely information and are the “go-to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:  https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vamboa

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VAMBOA

Do not forget that VAMBOA members receive significant discounts on technology needs.   Check them out here: https://vamboa.org/dell-technologies/ 

When Copyright Law Prohibits Image Use

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By James Pruitt, Senior Staff Writer

Commonly, a Veteran Business Owner might choose to incorporate an image onto their materials. Visual images capture more vivid responses on social media, more so than verbal content. However, remember that legal responsibilities attach when using other peoples’ work. Generally, the creator owns the image itself.

“Trademarks” actually differ from “copyrights.” The owner of a “trademark” more likely registers at a government office. “Copyrights” can be registered but are hazier and more complicated. “Copyrights” can acquire relevance through repeated use and association with a certain brand. No official maneuvers in any public office need precede the attachment of a “copyright.” The creator of an image has rights to that image regardless of any bureaucratic steps they may take.

The “Berne Convention Treaty” determines certain basic permissible uses for copyright and applies in various countries. Among these rights is the freedom to “reproduce the work,” “make derivatives of the work,” “display the work publicly,” and “distribute the work in public.” Note the general bias against commercial use of copyrighted material.

The concept of “fair use” 

In some cases, an image can be used without the permission of the creator. Generally, these uses are not-for-profit and for the public benefit. The law has codified fair use as encompassing uses that are “for commercial, non-profit, or educational use,” “highly creative, or more fact-based,” as well as “how much of the work is reproduced,” and “how the use affects the potential market for the original work.”

However, this exception rarely applies in cases of advertisements or marketing.

What About Stock Images?

Website designers can find “stock photos” and images throughout the internet and can expect different levels of permission for use of those images.

Examples may include 67% Collection, istocphoto.com, Pexels, Stocksnap, Unsplash, Pixabay, and Freestock. The list of these sites is endless, and many stock images have become all too familiar to the public from excessive use.

When does copyright law interfere with the legality of any public use of stock images by a private company? Users should read the fine print on a stock image page, especially before use on a for-profit website. Many of these sites request licensing fees in consideration for use of these images. Even after payment, the provider and creator of the image may forbid certain uses. Remember that actors, artists, and photographers put their work into these images, and each has their own interest in how the work is used. Each might have its own “terms and conditions” for wider use.

“Creative Commons” Licenses

“Creative Commons” licenses address many of these concerns. These licenses restrict the unincumbered use of copyrighted material. For example, some artists may choose to restrict their work for noncommercial rather than commercial use. Others, for example, might choose to prohibit use for a certain political cause. Perhaps a model doesn’t want their image doctored in Photoshop, or a photographer doesn’t want changes to the lighting or background.

“Creative Commons” licenses exist in law to balance the interests of creators with those of users, especially in cases where the creators hope for widespread, but not unrestricted, use of their work.

How to Handle Copyright Concerns with Image Use

Unencumbered commercial use of online images is never a good idea. Stock photo sites provide one avenue for business owners in need of graphic imagery. However, these images generally have caveats, and business owners should carefully scan any use restrictions.

Frankly, the best option would be for business owners to produce their own imagery. In addition to evading legal complications, an independently produced image speaks to the capacities of the company.

All internet users should assume online images are never absolute public domain. Careless use of possibly copyrighted pictures can not only land Veteran Business Owners in legal hot water but could damage the reputation and legitimacy of their business as well.

 

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hope that this article has not only been valuable but provided some unique perspective.  We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful, and timely information and are the “go-to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:  https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vamboa

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VAMBOA

Do not forget that VAMBOA members receive significant discounts on technology needs.   Check them out here: https://vamboa.org/dell-technologies/

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