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Feeling Blue about Pink Slips

With pink-slip taxes increasing, more small-business owners may be motivated to appeal claims for unemployment benefits filed by former employees who quit or were fired for cause—but such appeals can sometimes backfire.
U.S. employers are required to make regular tax contributions toward unemployment insurance. They’re taxed at a rate that varies by state and the size of their payroll. That rate can increase as a business lays off more employees.

A Step-by-Step Process to Hiring

After realizing he needed a more rigorous hiring process in his fast-growing company, the entrepreneur author details his step-by-step interview process based on Topgrading hiring principles. This process enabled the author to recruit the best people possible for his company’s top positions.

Out of the Loop in Silicon Valley

Candace Fleming’s résumé boasts a double major in industrial engineering and English from Stanford, an M.B.A. from Harvard, a management position at Hewlett-Packard and experience as president of a small software company.
But when she was raising money for Crimson Hexagon, a start-up company she co-founded in 2007, she recalls one venture capitalist telling her that it didn’t matter that she didn’t have business cards, because all they would say was “Mom.”
Another potential backer, reports Claire Cain Miller in The New York Times, invited her for a weekend yachting excursion by showing her a picture of himself on the boat — without clothes. When a third financier discovered that her husband was also a biking enthusiast, she says, he spent more time asking if riding affected her husband’s reproductive capabilities than he did focusing on her business plan. Ultimately, none of the 30 venture firms she pitched financed her company. She finally raised $1.8 million in March 2008 from angel investors including Golden Seeds, a fund that emphasizes investing in start-ups led by women.

The Lost Word on the Economy

While pundits, columnists, economists, and policy makers climb over mountains of financial data, looking for signs of recovery and politically convenient scapegoats upon which we can turn a distracting public focus of populist rage and class warfare, there is a quiet but steady vibration…

What is Six DisciplinesT?

Among the newest business-excellence methodologies now available, Six DisciplinesT is growing in popularity as a holistic tool to help manufacturing entrepreneurs remain competitive against all comers. It’s designed specifically to help small and mid-sized businesses ensure they are doing the right things at the right times. Goals include simplifying the quality management approach, fostering practical planning, and delivering effective, sustainable execution management. Many practical tools to implement the program are available.

Managing Risk with Background Checks and Investigations

Specialized or technical advice or skills not closely related to your company’s core objectives can often be handled effectively by outside contractors. Typically less expensive that hiring full-time staff, potential outsource services should be carefully considered with these topics in mind: expertise, experience, proposals, and attitude.