Ways To Manage Competitive Risk As You Prep For The Holiday Season

Competitive risk challenges many businesses like yours, especially during the holiday season. This year, manager competitive risk effectively in several ways.

Be Prepared

Instead of waiting until closer to the holidays to figure out what your competitors are planning or which promotions were most successful in the past, do your research now. You’re more likely to enjoy a successful holiday season if you prepare for it.

Please your Customers

Use social media, in-store review cards and other methods to ask your customers what they want to see during the holidays. Are they interested in new products, free gift wrapping or bundle sales? Take their opinions into account as you plan to attract and please customers this season.

Embrace Innovation

Don’t be afraid to try something new this year. When you think outside of the box, you have an edge over competitors who do the same thing year after year.

Add New Locations

The holiday season is the perfect time to test out a new location. Rent a kiosk at the mall, set up a temporary booth in a complementary business or open an online store. Try out a new location as you give customers more opportunities to find you and purchase your products.

Price Products Fairly

Discounts do attract customers, but you risk harming your bottom line if you cut prices too much. Take care to price products fairly so that your customers get a deal and you attract business without affecting your profit.

Offer Bundles

Customers typically like a good deal and see bundles as a financially lucrative investment. Group similar products together in a bundle or offer a complementary product or service as you prompt more sales.

Start a Subscription Service

Your goal for the holiday season is to improve fourth-quarter sales, but you also want to build your business into the new year. Consider a subscription service. Customers can purchase the subscription during the holiday season and gain benefits for months to come while your business creates ongoing income.

Revamp your Website

Increasingly, consumers search online before making purchases. Is your website user-friendly and attractive? Does it make shopping easy and work well on mobile devices? Make these changes now so your website is ready for the holiday shopping rush.

Show Gratitude for Competition

Sure, you want to sell more products than your competitors so you can make a profit. However, competition can force you to improve product quality and customer service while you reduce overhead and trim expenses. Overall, competition can make your business better, so be grateful for it.

Competitive risk can make or break your business. This holiday season, manage this risk in several ways as you please your customers and your bottom line.

Ways To Reduce ADA Lawsuit Risks In Your Small Business

Established in 1990, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) protects disabled Americans from discrimination. The term “disabled” applies to anyone with a physical or mental impairment that significantly limits or restricts a daily life activity, and ADA laws apply in the workplace and nearly any public space. Learn more about how your small business can comply with ADA laws, protect your employees and customers, and avoid expensive and time-consuming lawsuits.

Challenges of ADA Compliance for Small Businesses

While beneficial, ADA laws change frequently. Your small business may not have the time or resources to remain updated and complaint. However, if you don’t maintain ADA compliance at all times, you could face numerous fines and lawsuits. Additionally, you lose valuable employees and customers and damage your professional reputation.

Ways to Become ADA Compliant

Your small business can become ADA compliant when you take several steps.

Assess your specific risks.

Certain structures built before early 1993 may be exempt from strict guidelines that apply to structures built after early 1993, but you will need to perform an ADA assessment no matter when your building was constructed. Your property and business could face specific risks such as non-compliant entryways, incorrect bathroom signs or shelves that are hung too high. A certified ADA specialist will assess your property based on applicable current laws. You may also hire an architect with experience in equal-access requirements to perform the assessment and suggest necessary changes.

Correct non-compliant areas.

After you have identified your specific risks, correct them. Hire an architect, contractor or other professional to make the necessary changes and secure your ADA compliance. Remember that your small business may be eligible for numerous annual tax credits and deductions that offset a portion of your renovation costs.

Beware of drive-by lawsuits.

Certain enterprising individuals may drive by your property, note ADA violations then file a lawsuit. You could then be liable for legal fees and repairs. Unfortunately, you cannot prevent drive-by lawsuits, but you can purchase adequate insurance to cover some of your losses and give you peace of mind.

Purchase adequate business insurance.

A commercial general liability policy doesn’t prevent an ADA-related lawsuit, but it does provide invaluable financial resources if you are sued. Consider purchasing errors and omissions insurance, an employment practices liability policy and umbrella coverage, too, as you protect your small business. Your insurance agent can offer additional advice on the invaluable coverage you need.

Your small business can and must become ADA compliant or you will face expensive and time-consuming lawsuits. Use these tips to secure compliance and protect your employees, customers and company. For more information, contact the Department of Justice’s ADA Information Line at 800- 514-0301.

Health Benefits Of Chiropractic Care

If your health insurance covers chiropractic care, take advantage of this benefit. It improves your health in numerous ways.

Aid Digestion

Signs of digestive system malfunction include inflammation, food sensitivities, nutritional deficits, irritable bowel syndrome, or constipation. A chiropractor can restore your digestive system balance and even prevent future digestive challenges, giving you relief and supporting your overall health.

Reduce Hypertension

High blood pressure affects every part of your body, including your circulatory, nervous, respiratory, skeletal, and reproductive systems. Regular chiropractic treatments can have the same effect as hypertension medications and play a role in reducing this health condition.

Boost Immunity

Protect your body from illness and disease when your chiropractor realigns your vertebrae. This action improves your central nervous system and equips your body to boost its immunity and defend itself.

Treat Age-Related Health Concerns

As you age, your alignment and musculoskeletal system change, and you may develop back and joint stiffness, arthritis or chronic pain. A chiropractic adjustment can improve your posture, expand your range of motion and relieve pain so that you can function properly and enjoy daily life again.

Avoid Surgery

Your doctor may recommend surgery to correct an injury or age-related condition. However, treatment from a chiropractor may fix the issue, allowing you to avoid expensive and time-consuming surgery.

Manage Stress

Your body may respond to stress by exhibiting tight muscles, headaches, insomnia and fatigue. Chiropractors can assess your body and provide adjustments that relieve the tension and stress you feel. Your body and mind will become more relaxed and calm.

Improve Mental Clarity

Physical pain can cause brain fog that affects your concentration, memory and focus. Relieve pain with help from a chiropractor, and experience better mental clarity and improved everyday function in all areas of life.

Decrease Depression

When you can no longer participate in daily life activities because of pain, you may experience depression. Partner with a chiropractor to reduce pain, and you also experience a decrease in depression and an improvement in your mental health.

Increase Physical Activity

Your body and mind stay healthy and strong when you exercise regularly. Unfortunately, you cannot exercise if your body is in pain, your core is weak or you struggle with balance or coordination. Receive chiropractic adjustments that relieve pain, strengthen your body and help you stay active.

Who Benefits from Chiropractic Care?

Whether you’re a growing child, active teen, career adult, or busy senior, you can remain healthy with regular chiropractic adjustments. A chiropractor will evaluate your individual needs and determine the best course of treatment for your body.

Achieve your best health when you use your insurance coverage to pay for chiropractic care. You’ll gain several important benefits that improve your life.

Helpful Tips To Follow As You Plan Your Halloween Office Party

Throwing a Halloween office party can build morale and teamwork. However, you want to make sure it’s fun for your employees. Here are some helpful tips to remember as you plan this year’s Halloween party.

Choose a Time

Consider the purpose of your party as you set a time for it. Held on a workday, the party gives everyone a mini break from work and encourages attendance. Assemble after work, and you may increase the fun but have fewer attendees. Both options are okay, so choose the right one for your company.

Notify Everyone in Advance

Even if you haven’t finalized all the party details, set and share the party date with employees at least one month in advance. Advance notice gives your team ample time to arrange work projects and prepare a costume.

Plan Fun Activities

Fill your party with interesting, engaging and fun activities. Some suggestions include:

  • Bob for apples.
  • Carve pumpkins.
  • Decorate seasonal cookies.
  • Collect food for a local charity.
  • Eat seasonal foods and beverages, such as pumpkin muffins or apple cider.

Offer Prizes

Plan to award prizes in several categories as you build excitement for the party. Categories can include most original costume, best department decorations or the most unique game idea.

Share Costume Guidelines

While costumes are part of the Halloween party fun, remind employees to follow company guidelines, especially for staff members who interact with customers. Depending on your company, these guidelines may limit gore and blood or scary costumes.

Encourage Teamwork

Consider asking departments to share in the party planning. Assign different departments to plan snacks, games and decorations. Delegating gives employees an opportunity to work together, encourages teamwork and ensures everyone has a stake in the party’s success.

Spot Talent

You may be surprised at what you learn about your staff as you observe them in a relaxed environment. Maybe one of your employees takes initiative to run the games while another designs a creative costume. Take this opportunity to spot untapped talent that might prompt beneficial changes for the company.

Respect Cultural Differences

In some cultures, Halloween has a negative or even satanic connotation. Rather than drop the party, include input from all perspectives as you plan your office party. Consider toning down the Halloween focus in favor of a fall theme, if necessary.

Include Families

Add to the fun when you invite employees to bring their family members to the party. They can dress up and participate in the games and festivities, too.

This year, plan a Halloween party for your office and improve morale and teamwork. These helpful tips allow you to plan a party everyone will enjoy.

How to Handle Pay Raise Complaints

At the beginning of the new year, many companies offer raises to employees. What happens, though, when employees express unhappiness about the raises they receive? If they complain to each other, productivity and morale decline. Use several tips as you handle these complaints promptly and properly and encourage a positive, productive and healthy work environment.

Welcome Pay Raise Discussions

Employees should feel comfortable discussing any subject with you, including pay. Strive to cultivate an open door policy, and listen carefully to your employees so they feel comfortable being honest with you about all their concerns.

Compare Standard Industry Pay Rates

Search the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, PayScale.com, Salary.com and job listings to find the current pay rates for employees in your industry. For the most accurate data, research companies of comparable size with employees of similar talents and skills to your employees.

Provide Performance Details

If your company’s pay raises depend on employee performance, prepare a review of the employee’s record and performance during the last year as you outline the reasoning for their specific pay raise. Offer suggestions for improvement, too, so your employees know exactly how to qualify for a bigger raise next year.

Review the Raise Policy

Your company may offer larger raises to employees after they work there for a certain number of years, or your raise policy may give everyone the same raise regardless of merit. Review this policy with employees as you explain their pay raise.

Offer Alternative Benefits

In lieu of large pay raises, the company may boost the employee benefits package or offer alternative benefits like extra time off or a flexible work schedule. Discuss these perks with employees as you help them understand this year’s pay raise.

Explain the Company’s View

Your company could have multiple reasons for giving lower-than-expected raises. While you don’t have to explain all the reasons to your employees, share some details, such as the employee budget, increase in insurance benefits or slow production, that help them understand your point of view.

Note Pay Raise Complaints

When employees take time to complain about their pay raise, record their concerns, including why they believe they deserve a bigger raise, your reasoning for the raise they received and any suggestions you made for their future improvement. The employees will appreciate being heard and the fact that you take their compensation complaints seriously.

If employees complain about their pay raise, you can take these steps to address the complaint promptly and properly. Handle the situation the right way, and you build rapport and create a stronger company.