Business Navigator

Original and insightful articles

for small businesses interested in learning more about current trends.

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      Strategic Planning

      The 2018 Strategic Planning Checklist

      As the year draws to a close, small business owners often start thinking about how their organization has grown or changed since the last time they replaced…

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      Risk Management

      Creating a Digital Disaster Recovery Plan

      October is Cyber Security Awareness month, and in some states it’s also the last month of temperate weather before storm season begins. Weather and natural…

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      Human Resources

      Evolving the Practice of Human Resources

      Today’s human resources departments are tasked with engaging and supporting one of the most diverse workforces ever. It’s not just about finding the right…

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      Marketing

      4 Lead Generation Customization Hacks to Captivate Your Customers

      In the past, a website was essentially a sales brochure—it had basic information about services and pricing, and a way to get in touch. But today, research…

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      Finance

      Avoiding Common Small Business Budget Threats

      Unanticipated major expenses are one of a business owners’ worst nightmares, even when the quantifiable costs might not seem outrageously high. An extra $1,…

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      Finance

      9 Non-Monetary Incentives for Employee Engagement

      Retaining talented employees can be difficult. With over half of job separations for new hires being voluntary in 2016, it’s becoming more necessary to build…

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      Strategic Planning

      10 Eco-Friendly Business Practices

      Going green is bringing small businesses major cost savings on monthly utilities and other expenses, and it’s easier than ever to get started. Even small…

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      Leadership

      5 Alternatives to Traditional Networking Events

      We’ve written before about making the most of traditional networking events, but there are alternatives to hotel ballroom panels or restaurant patio mixers…

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      Leadership

      Strategies to Support Your Employees' Continuing Education

      September is Learning and Development Month, which means we should reflect closely on our lifetime pursuit of knowledge, and how we carry it on as adults.…

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      Human Resources

      Retirement in the U.S.: A History to Today

      The American labor movement brought us Labor Day, the weekend, employer-sponsored health coverage, and the right to retire. In the late 1800s,…

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      Marketing

      10 Tips to Tie Social Media Into Your Marketing Strategy

      In the U.S. alone, 81% of the population has a profile on at least one social media network.1 According to HubSpot, 71% of shoppers are more likely to make a…

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      Business Technology

      Online Payment Solutions for Small Businesses

      In the app economy, small business owners have more options than ever when it comes to transaction processing. Online payment solutions offer wide…

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      Marketing

      5 Email Marketing Tools

      For many business owners, email marketing represents a huge opportunity they know can build their brand and engage customers. For both B2B and B2C businesses…

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      Leadership

      Time Management Tips for Leaders

      Recent research by McKinsey & Company has shown that four kinds of behavior account for 89% of leadership effectiveness: skillful problem-solving, a…

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      Human Resources

      3 Tips for Promoting Workplace Wellness

      Americans have grown more concerned with their wellness in recent years.1 In fact, a recent Nielsen Global Health and Wellness Survey found that 80% of those…

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      Risk Management

      4 Common Scams That Target SMB (and What to Do When One Targets You)

      With greater sophistication of internet use comes greater vulnerability to internet scams. In fact, annual fraud costs reached $32 billion in losses for…

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      Human Resources

      Writing an Effective Job Description

      Whether you’re hiring brand new talent to fill an established role, or creating a brand new role for a rock star that’s already on your team, writing a good…

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      Business Technology

      5 Business Expense Tracker Apps for Small Businesses

      With everything business owners have to keep track of, managing business expenses down to the cup of coffee they bought an assistant might seem like overkill,…

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      Human Resources

      5 Causes of Employee Boredom and How to Combat Them

      The workplace is one of the places in our lives where boredom can be the most toxic, and for many American employees, boredom at work is a daily event. Not…

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      Human Resources

      How Business Owners Can Optimize Their Personal 401(k)

      Planning for retirement while helping your employees Your employees love the 401(k) plan because it gives them an opportunity to achieve their retirement…

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      Marketing

      3 Ways Digital Trends Have Changed Customer Service

      As the digital economy has grown, it has brought businesses closer to their customers than ever before. That means a bigger, more accessible market, but it…

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      Risk Management

      Employee-Centered Change Management During a Merger

      The amazing long-term potential of a merger can be hard for employees to stay focused on and committed to if the short-term stress is overwhelming. The…

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      Human Resources

      3 Tips for Equitable PTO Policies

      Giving your team ample time off to recharge and reset is absolutely critical to morale and productivity. At a small or medium-sized business, it’s especially…

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      Business Technology

      The Best Online Collaboration Tools for Small Business

      When your business requires you to travel, to manage remote teams, or to keep track of many projects at once, it’s of the utmost importance to find efficient…

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      Finance

      3 Private Investor Types Every Small Business Owner Should Know

      A few months ago, we shared an article on the different sources of funding for small businesses to offer business owners a basic primer on the options…

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      Marketing

      3 Branding Strategies from SXSW

      The 30th annual South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) was hosted in Austin, Texas, March 10 to 19, 2017. SXSW brings together professionals in almost every…

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      Strategic Planning

      3 Essential Considerations for a New Business Location

      If you’re growing your small business by opening an additional location in a new geographic area, you probably already know basic facts like who your…

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      Leadership

      The Right Thing: Hiring Ethical Employees

      Guest Article from Nathan Fisher, Managing Director, Fisher Investments 401(k) Solutions. Recently I was at our Camas, Wash. office. After a long day of work…

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      Leadership

      5 Habits of High Performing Teams

      It’s easy to recognize a high-performing team when you see one. Maybe it’s a sales department that exceeds quarterly projections, an IT staff that reduces…

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      Leadership

      Going Beyond Managing Your Managers

      For a business owner, establishing loyalty, confidence, and trust between you and your management team means more than just hiring someone you like and…

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      Strategic Planning

      Celebrate American Small Business Week with Us

      Since 1963, the US Small Business Administration has celebrated Small Business Week, a period intended for national reflection on and appreciation for the…

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      Leadership

      Pros and Cons of Annual Performance Reviews

      For many in the corporate world, annual performance reviews might feel like an inevitable rite of passage. Managers know that reviews will give them a chance…

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      Business Technology

      Cloud Storage and Digital Security

      Cloud storage services like Microsoft Azure, Google Drive, and Dropbox are the leaders in an industry expected to be valued at $200B globally by 2018. For…

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      Risk Management

      Vetting Process For Vendors

      Choosing a vendor for goods or services is one of the more important decisions a small business owner can face. A sound and consistent evaluation process can…

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      Finance

      6 Business Tax Reductions

      Small business owners face quite a responsibility when it comes to filing taxes. Your accountant or tax professional may not know every expense you’re…

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      Finance

      NEWS: 2017 401(k) Penalty Rates Hike

      Guest Article from Nathan Fisher, Managing Director, Fisher Investments 401(k) Solutions. If you manage a 401(k) plan, you are probably familiar with the…

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      Human Resources

      Successful Onboarding for Your New Employees

      Last month's Business Navigator discussed how to digitize your business' recruiting efforts, including the onboarding process. But software tools are just…

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      Small Business

      Small Business Website Hacks You Need to Know

      For many small businesses, a website is the first impression that you make on a potential client, so it's important to make a good one. One commonly held…

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      Business Technology

      Top Tech Trends for 2017

      We’ve seen a lot of business-changing technologies develop over the past few years, like cloud services, Bluetooth-equipped everything, video conferencing,…

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      Business Technology

      Strategies for Digitizing Your Recruitment Workflow

      If you’re looking to fill an open position at your business, the Internet can be your best friend or your worst enemy. On one hand, the Web enables your search…

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      Finance

      Salary Benchmarking Tips for Small Businesses

      Looking around online to see what other businesses in your industry are paying employees can be a sobering experience. Small businesses simply may not be in…

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      Leadership

      Managing Millennials in the Workplace

      As Millennials have begun to define their careers, they’ve placed new demands and expectations on the workplace. As the first generation to grow up with…

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      Business Technology

      How to Use Online Legal Help for Your Business

      In 2013, a survey of small business owners by marketing research firm DecisionAnalyst revealed that nearly 60% of all small businesses had experienced a…

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      Human Resources

      The Modern Office Dress Code

      Today, our growing social acceptance of individuality is mirrored in how people dress, both at home and at work. But workplace dress code is about a lot more…

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      Leadership

      Three Ways to Clear Negative Office Energy

      There’s no doubt that stress and negativity weigh heavy in the office, especially when people are bringing those emotions in from outside work. 14% of…

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      Finance

      Funding Options for Small Businesses

      If you’re a business owner looking for capital to use as growth funding, you’re faced with the questions of where to get the money from and what you’re…

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      Human Resources

      Managing Conflicts of Opinion in the Office

      Conflicts of opinion happen every day in almost every workplace. Sometimes that means disagreeing about how to do the work at hand, clashing personalities,…

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      Leadership

      Developing a Project Management Process

      Many small businesses hire individuals to fill a certain position, but then responsibilities outside that person’s job description accrue on their desk over…

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      Leadership

      The Networking Event Survival Guide

      Networking events are held in almost every industry, and across the board, many people dread them. Who likes to have to walk around a room full of strangers…

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      Strategic Planning

      Mastering the Q4-Q1 Transition

      "Strategies exist to help keep the success thundering into the New Year, and we’re sharing some here." Even with a smooth, successful year under your…

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      Risk Management

      Planning for a Family Business Leadership Succession

      Only around 30% of family-owned or managed businesses survive the transition to the second generation of family leaders. From there, the pool splits again—only…

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      Business Technology

      Judging if a New Software Will Fit Your Business

      Software is essential to today’s everyday business functions. From point-of-sale systems to accounting programs to project management platforms, there’s a ton…

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      Leadership

      Merging Leadership Goals With Office Design

      Today there are lots of opinions about what makes the ideal office, but there’s no one-size-fits-all prescription for success. Each company has its own…

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      Finance

      How to Find The Right Tax Adviser For Your Business

      For any small business, tax time is both stressful and exciting. The business’ yearly tax return provides valuable insights into not only revenue but also…

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      Human Resources

      Social Security and 401(k) Planning

      Since the Social Security Act was signed into law in 1935, millions of Americans have come to rely on Social Security benefits as income during retirement.…

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      Risk Management

      How Has the Affordable Care Act Impacted Small and Mid-Size Business Benefits?

      In 2010, the Affordable Care Act was passed, heralding an era of change for the healthcare industry in the United States. Now, nearly six years after the…

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      Human Resources

      Retirement Education for a Generationally Diverse Workplace

      They say nothing is certain but death and taxes, but at Fisher Investments 401(k) Solutions, we’d add retirement to that list, at least for Americans. As new…

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