Business

Seven FAQs employees have about HRAs

Health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) are becoming increasingly common as more employers are seeking an alternative to traditional health benefits. Employees that are newly offered an HRA through their employer can be confused about how an HRA works. They might be used to another type of health benefit, like traditional group health insurance. This could even be the first time they’ve been offered a benefit by an employer.  For employees in this situation and employers wanting to help them, we’ve compiled 7 of the questions employees most frequently ask about HRAs...

The Asian Millennium: More Fact than Fantasy

When I started my business in Hong Kong in 1998, it was a time of great uncertainty in Asia. The Asian economic crisis was was well underway. Hong Kong’s exchange rate, linked to the US dollar, and the stock market, were threatened by speculation by international investors. The British had handed over the island nation to China just the previous year and nearly half a million people had left the country worried about a future under communist rule. And, it was also the height of the dot com crash. The confluence of these factors worked in our favor...

FORD and FERRARI: HOW THESE BRANDS BECAME LEGENDS

Ford and Ferrari are rivals on the racetrack, but both companies exemplify the amazing impact when you unleash the accelerating power of alignment. The new movie, FORD v FERRARI, chronicles the true story of how American car designer Carroll Shelby built a revolutionary race car for Ford to challenge Enzo Ferrari at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. Alan Mulally was the CEO of Ford (NYSE: F) from September 2006 to June 2014. During his tenure, Mulally led a highly successful alignment initiative called ONE FORD. Mulally’s turnaround of Ford is now legendary. Business “Hall of Fame” legendary. The ONE FORD plan had several components that were so simple that Mulally had them printed on the back of business cards he would hand out. ONE team. ONE plan. ONE goal.

Financial Planning for a Recession

As we learned in 2008, recessions can come on swiftly and cause major crises for all businesses, big and small. In today’s economy, it is essential to practice intentional recession planning as a small business. By mapping out your plan in advance of a recession, you may find that when a recession hits, you not only survive, but thrive.

How to Avoid The Dreaded Fundraising Debt

For start-ups in hot markets, the problem also manifests itself in fundraising. Billions of dollars are being poured into companies that have yet to clear the value chasm, as entrepreneurs use early traction that isn’t necessarily financially-oriented, but shows a certain level of uptick or success, to raise capital and convince early stage investors that their horse is the one to bet on...

Are You Making the Single Worst Brand-Building Mistake a Company Can Make?

At the foundation of a compelling brand is empathy—putting yourself in the customer's shoes. You have to truly get to know the humans you're seeking to connect with. When you don't, you'll not only fail to persuade them to buy and build a loyal relationship over time, you may put out a tone-deaf message—like Chase did—that blatantly alienates them...

Struggling to Find Great Talent? Consider Candidates without a Degree

In a super tight labor market, the old ways of hiring no longer hack it. Danny Iny offers eight tips to improve your chances of finding a great employee—and some of them may surprise you. The U.S. Department of Labor has just released its latest numbers and unemployment rates are holding firm at 3.7 percent. This is a nearly 50-year low. If you're an employer you don't have to be told what this means: it's really tough to find great talent right now. Expand your pool of candidates by considering those who don't have a college degree...

Uncertainty Over Brexit Leaves Businesses and Banks in Suspense

When talk turns to Brexit, much of the discussion revolves around what will happen once the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland leaves the European Union. While the United Kingdom Parliament hashes out a withdrawal agreement, with Prime Minister Theresa May at the helm, the economy is already shifting in anticipation of… what? The trouble is, no one is quite sure. Even experts can only make educated guesses since their research hinges on the type of withdrawal the United Kingdom and European Union ultimately consent to...

Is It Time to Join the Gig Economy? Why It’s a Great Time to Be a Consultant

There's never been a better time to become a consultant. Why? It boils down to three words: the gig economy. By 2025 a majority of the workforce will be employed in an agile capacity, as a consultant, contractor, temporary, or freelance employee. In fact, a recent report predicted that as early as this year, as much as 50 percent of the workforce will be comprised of agile workers. If you have a skill to share with the world and you long to be your own boss, you’re on the right side of economic history...

Why Managing Remotely Is So Tough—and Eight Ways to Make It Easier

Managing remotely has quickly become the norm in today's work world. And yet, it's not easy. With more employees working remotely or on flex schedules, it can be tough to create the kind of connection you need to help people do their best work. You can't pick up on non-verbal cues. You can't tell if they're having a good or bad day. You can't have those quick, informal interactions needed to form comfortable, cooperative relationships...

CEO Interview: Michael Dell

A man with a dream, a vision, and an uncanny ability to innovate through technology. Michael Dell is the man behind Dell, one of the most profitable computer companies in the world. Michael skipped his college education and started the company in 1984 with $1000 in his pocket and an extreme passion for gadgetry. Mr.Dell took some time with us to reflect on his strategies for success, his thoughts on implementing a sound economy, and the key characteristic that marks you as an Entrepreneur for life.

How the 2017 Tax Reform Bill Impacts Small Business

As a small business owner, you've likely always struggled to minimize your taxes and stay profitable. Now at last, there's some good news! When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act federal income tax bill took effect in 2018, it produced many changes that reduced and positively impacted small business taxes. With tax season right around the corner, it pays (literally) to know how this reform impacts your small business's bottom line...

How New Technology Can Help Construction Finance Professionals

Historically, the construction industry has been one of the slowest to adopt new technology, lagging only behind agriculture in digitalization. But that’s changing as software entrepreneurs turn their attention to the needs of the deskless workforce. The ubiquity of mobile devices, cheap and powerful cloud computing, 5G, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are all making it possible to put robust technology into the hands of deskless staff, including construction workers. The venture capital industry has taken notice—funding for construction technology has seen a steady uptick since 2013...

The Subscription Model Is Set to Disrupt Manufacturing. Here Are Three Mindset Shifts Leaders Will Need to Make.

The subscription model has already transformed consumer buying patterns. Companies like Dollar Shave Club and Birchbox let consumers enjoy cost savings, convenience, and the fun of discovery. And Peloton offers video subscriptions so purchasers of their indoor cycling bikes can get more out of their fitness regimen. Now, B2B manufacturing and the companies that supply the manufacturers are starting to get in on the act. The implications are huge. Think of the potential if manufacturers were 'members' who could subscribe to a factory line instead of owning it outright. I'm talking about the makers of heavy equipment like jet engines, cranes, combines, and, of course, automobiles, but also entrepreneurs designing new electronics products...

Eight Unwritten Rules Self-Determined Managers Live By

At the heart of the job of managing people is the imperative—and opportunity—to create the environment within which the team does their work. The best managers know that the informal rules around how people should work make a substantial difference to what people do and what they pay attention to, and they seek to shape that in a way that maximizes success...

How to Find the Right Candidate

A college degree has long been a hiring prerequisite for certain jobs. If a candidate didn't have one, he or she just wouldn't get past the gatekeepers. That's because the degree is a "signal": a psychological shortcut we rely on to help us make smart decisions without having to investigate every option. But this particular signal has lost its meaning—and when employers doggedly cling to the "degree" requirement, we miss out on some great candidates...

Narrative vs PowerPoint: Which is the Right Tool for Your Business?

Over the past few years, a veritable who’s who of business leaders (from Virgin’s Richard Branson, to Tesla’s Elon Musk, to Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg) have outwardly questioned the effectiveness of traditional PowerPoint presentations while gushing over the benefits of good-old-fashioned narrative. Jeff Bezos has taken it a step further: in his 2018 annual shareholder letter, he wrote that “we don’t do PowerPoint (or any other slide-oriented) presentations at Amazon”. Instead, Bezos requires his executives to compose structured, six-page narrative memos to be read and discussed at every meeting...

Why Companies Should Consider Third-Party POS Financing

Offering free access to credit at the point of sale (POS) is a powerful business-generating tool for companies of all sizes. However, not all companies have the working capital available to offer in-house financing programs. Partnering with a third-party POS financing platform is an attractive solution but finding a partner with competitive rates and reasonable implementation costs can be a challenge...

5 Steps for Choosing the Proper Analytical Tools for your Organization

Data is quickly becoming a company’s most important assets. To monetize this asset, organizations leverage analytical tools that generate insights in order to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace. One issue that has plagued corporations for years is the lack of standards and methods around their analytical capabilities, one example of which is deciding which analytical tools to build deep competencies around. How can an organization gain efficiencies, reusability, and build deep common skillsets, if each group is using a different analytical tool?