Value-for-Money Strategies for Recessionary Times
from The Harvard Business Review
No one needs convincing that the economic situation we’re facing today is almost unprecedented. Yet much of the advice that executives have received is remarkably similar to what they heard during the recession in 2000. Particularly in Western enterprises, the preferred antidotes seem to be standard ones: Evaluate your risks, develop contingency plans, focus on your core, reduce costs, expect the unexpected, and so on. The unspoken objective appears to be to survive or, at most, to maintain market share. Like many orthodoxies, however, this will not serve companies well today. More
8 Tips for Managing Staff Through Hard Times
Among the tips showcased in this slideshow: When the economy sours, many entrepreneurs turn to board members and industry veterans for help. Which is fine. But Scott Cook, the founder of Intuit, the tax software company, says it also makes sense to spend time among the most junior members of your staff. "Expect your contributions to be led by your youngest employees," he says. "Seek them out. Make them your mentors. Get them into a room and ask them to lead in creating ways for your company and customers to benefit. Then, help them act on some of the ideas that emerge. Consider setting up your own in-house 'science fairs' so employees can showcase their thinking." More
A Better Way to Keep the Books
Business owners have enough to worry about without having to be accountants, too. Enter Kevin Reeth and Ben Curren, founders of Outright, a software-as-a-service outfit that aims to improve on the Excel-and-shoebox approach to bookkeeping. Now in public beta testing, Outright is a relatively new SaaS player. Its online application manages back-office accounting functions, from income and expenses to tax deductions. Both Reeth and Curren spent years with Intuit, working with Quicken and QuickBooks, where they saw firsthand how small-business owners struggle with bookkeeping. Those insights inspired them to launch GoBootstrap.com, recently re-branded Outright. Next month, the company plans to roll out premium tiers of service features for a fee while still offering the core functionality for free. More
The Stimulus’ Key Small Business Tax Provisions
The stimulus bill signed into law by President Barack Obama on Feb. 17, formally known as the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, provides $288 billion in tax relief to individuals and companies. But how much of that will benefit small business owners - and how? You can read the 407-page law posted online, but we wonder how many members of Congress managed that. Instead, columnist Karen E. Klein has made things a bit easier by highlighting the law's most important tax provisions applying specifically to small firms. More
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Legislative Summary from PIJAC
In Florida, Senator Nelson is proposing a congressional ban on pythons under the Lacey Act. Senator Nelson’s action was inspired by the publicity surrounding a feral population of Burmese pythons in the Everglades region of south Florida. His comments, which appeared in the February 3, 2009 Congressional Record, stated that Lacey Act listing was needed to “combat this deadly nonnative nuisance” by banning importation and interstate movement of every python species. In South Carolina, House Bill 3121 prohibits removing more than ten turtles of certain species from the State. Any person who removes or attempts to remove more than ten of the named species will be guilty of a misdemeanor. The state of Montana has proposed new dog breeder and pet store inspection standards that would apply to facilities - including commercial breeders, pet stores, animal rescue shelters, and humane societies - that sell more than 20 adult dogs a year. Additionally, New Hampshire House Bill 148 amends current state law on licensing to transfer household pets.
'Fido Fine' Removed From California State Budget
from The Los Angeles Times
Hard lobbying by the California Veterinary Medical Assn. and other groups has led the California state legislature to drop the so-called Fido Fine - a proposed sales tax on veterinary services - from the budget plan that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Friday. Many pet owners and animal groups were up in arms about the proposed tax, which detractors argued could have increased veterinary costs by up to 10 percent at a time when pet owners affected by widespread economic problems could least afford the price hike. More
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