Law Offices of William Cafaro

Law Offices of William Cafaro

Law office of Bonnie Lawston

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Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP

Law office of Bonnie Lawston

Law Offices of William Cafaro

Looking to Grow Your Small Business?

A Step-by-Step Approach to Build a Stronger Small Business

Author: Patrick Bergen, Compass Operations

It’s an essential part of the American dream—owning and operating your own business, calling your own shots, reporting to no one but yourself. But it’s also common knowledge that running a small business is a risky proposition—about half of all new business enterprises make it five years and little more than half of those last another five years. The reason many such companies fold?—failing to have a plan to facilitate and manage growth. As a general rule, the small businesses that do survive are the ones that take intentional and well-conceived steps to ensure that operations are continually growing, andthat they have the procedures in place to effectively respond to that growth. If you have what you believe is a sound business opportunity, but you’re struggling to keep momentum moving forward, here’s a step-by-step checklist to help you grow your business:

Step #1—Identify What Makes You Different

If you can’t determine why your customers should come to you (as opposed to the competition), neither will your customers. What makes you different? Why would someone choose to purchase your goods or services? Maybe you are able to compete more effectively than others on price. Maybe your product has proprietary features that set you apart from the competition. Determine what your “value proposition” is and focus your energy there. Don’t try to compete in areas where you can’t.

Step #2—Know Who Your Customers Are and Target Them ::Read More

Step #3—Establish Meaningful Metrics::Read More

Step #4—Know Where You Can Expect Most of Your Revenue::Read More

Step #5—Learn from Your Competition::Read More

Step #6—Stick with Your Strengths::Read More

Step #7—Invest in People

Your employees are your greatest asset. Don’t waste precious resources on a modern warehouse or fancy offices, unless you’ve already built a solid and loyal team of motivated and dedicated workers. It’s better to hire fewer employees at first, but pay them a little bit more. You’ll get the work done and you’ll build a committed team. If your employees know that you will pay them a fair wage when times are good, they’ll often be willing to stick with you when times are lean.

Step #8—Be Willing to Delegate

A common problem with small growing companies is the concentration of decision-making and strategy among a very small group of people. By doing so, you get less perspective and learn of fewer options for moving forward. Instead of trying to do everything yourself, you are better served to bring in talented people and let them do their jobs. The less time you have to spend with the nuts and bolts of your product or service, the more time you can spend strategically positioning your business for growth.

Compass-Operations

BANG FOR YOUR BUCK: GET THE RAISE YOU DESERVE

Author: Christopher L.Van De WaterChristopher L. Van De Water, Esq.

How to ask for and get the raise you deserve

The holidays are a time of financial giving, but that doesn’t mean all companies will be giving out  bonuses, or even raises for that matter.

According to recent surveys by several finance and staffing firms, while monetary holiday bonuses are expected to increase in value this year, bonuses, overall, are becoming more scarce. In a poll of 500 U.S. companies, 63 percent of hiring managers say their company plans to give employees a bonus, the survey notes. That’s down from 75 percent in 2017.

Whether or not you end up among the growing number of workers who won’t get a bonus this year, your holidays can still be happy. Here are five effective steps to take to ask for, and get, a raise:

Do your research and come prepared

First things first: If you want a raise, you’ll have to do your homework. Set realistic expectations about what your salary increase might look like and understand why you deserve it.

To gauge your market value, try using a salary calculator. These tools can offer insight by measuring your pay against your experience and position and comparing it to the wages of your peers across the country. Keep in mind, though, the estimates rely on self-reported numbers and can’t take into account your specific circumstances.

Document your achievements and noteworthy projects

Start by identifying any tasks you’ve taken charge of that were unanticipated when you began the job or any additional responsibilities you’ve taken on.

If you’ve received notable recognition or awards, note that too. This could help your manager better understand the value of your work and your importance to the team.

Find the right time to approach your manager

Be sure you ask for a raise at the right time, not just because you need the money or because “you just heard the guy in the next cubicle is making $5,000 more than you,” bestselling author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch says.

According to a LinkedIn report, January is one of the top months when employers give out raises. Thus, preparing your pitch in December could be a smart move.

Initiate the dialogue

Once you’ve done your research, you can initiate a conversation with your manager. Instead of bringing up the issue in passing, schedule a formal meeting and come ready to break down exactly  why you deserve that raise!

Be sure to focus on why you deserve it, not just why you need it.
Keep in mind, dollars and cents aren’t the only possible form of compensation. Ask about perks and benefits such stock options, a more flexible schedule, including telecommuting.

Finally, show your appreciation

Clearly assert why you deserve a raise but don’t get pushy. If your boss doesn’t feel you deserve a raise yet, don’t get mad. Ask what steps you can take to earn one.

If there just isn’t room in the budget to pay you more at the moment, make clear that you understand and, again, could be willing to talk about other kinds of perks and compensation. This could make the conversation more collaborative and open the door for a follow-up soon.

Takeaway

Even if you don’t walk away with everything you want, odds are you’ll feel good about being assertive. Remember, lots of job seekers and employees are too anxious to try to negotiate, but those who ask for more are usually more successful.

Happy Holidays from the Van De Water Law Firm

Real Estate Closing Security and Privacy

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Understandably, real estate settlement attorneys are wary of the new TRID compliance rules that require the electronic submission of data. Given the types and amount of private and financial data contained in real estate closing documents, data security and privacy are of major concern.

To design EasyCDF, 2015 TILA-RESPA compliant real estate closing software and ensure the strongest protections are in place, Easy Soft worked with the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO).  Read more: Easy-Soft-Addresses-Real-Estate-Closing-Software-Security-and-Privacy-Concerns

Planning for the Future of Family-Owned Businesses

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  Business Consultants

 

by  Leo M. Garonski

Planning for the Future of Family-Owned Businesses

Counseling the Founder

Business and legal advisers understand the importance of succession planning not only to preserve wealth and family harmony, but also to sustain family-owned businesses. What is not widely discussed is the inescapable fact that a change in business leadership will occur whether the owner is prepared or not.

A Harvard Business Review article, ”Avoid the Traps That Destroy Family Businesses,” reminds us of the familiar aphorism, “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” that describes the propensity of family-owned enterprises to fail by the time the founder’s grandchildren have taken charge. Authors Stalk and Foley tell us that “The data support the saying. Some 70% of family-owned businesses fail or are sold before the second generation gets a chance to take over. Just 10% remain active, privately held companies for the third generation to lead.”

Succession Planning – Getting Started

Introducing a succession planning discussion is not always easy. The subject is a confusing and emotional one, because it mixes business and family dynamics in a manner that invariably affects the future of both.

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