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Weekly Business News Roundup

News Roundup for SME Businesses & Startups

These 4 myths about the skills gap will hold your company back

According to PwC’s 21st CEO Survey, an astonishing 80% of executives are concerned about the availability of key skills, leading them to invest more in training and recruiting. In this article, the author cites the coauthor of The Expertise Economy: How The Smartest Companies Use Learning To Engage, Compete, and Succeed, David Blake, in discussing why the skills gap won’t be resolved by outdated training methods and hiring expectations. To source or create employees with the needed skills, Blake contends, leaders need to get past four common myths about learning: colleges will solve the skills gap; traditional school methods are best for company training; quick learners are smarter; and lastly, external factors motivate learning.

How The Best Merchant Services Can Help You Avoid Chargebacks

Chargebacks are among the most costly business expenses. And while there is no way to stop them from occurring, there are ways to protect your business. In this article, the author discusses what chargebacks are and how a reputable merchant services company can help you win more of your chargeback cases. He then shares five tips for preventing chargebacks, from understanding why they occur in the first place to implementing fraud detection techniques.

Years of Research Says This 1 Quality Will Make You a Better Boss (It’s Probably Not What You Think)

Researchers and employment experts identify the quality of humility as the key to better leadership. The author quotes The Wall Street Journal columnist Sue Shellenbarger: “humility is a core quality of leaders who inspire close teamwork, rapid learning, and high performance in their teams, according to several studies in the past three years.” Humility, or being humble, isn’t a sign of weakness or lack of self-confidence – quite the opposite. So how does one cultivate humility? The author discusses 10 behaviors that humble people practice, from thoughtful listening to readily apologizing for mistakes or offenses.

How to Break Frustrating Patterns in Your Life

Successful leaders are able to reflect on their past with the goal of recognizing self-defeating patterns. The author says that on a macro level, being stuck in an ineffective pattern can play out as consistently choosing bad business partners or wrong products. To change these patterns means conducting a self-inventory of your unconscious decisions, and the resulting self-awareness can change the trajectory of your life. The author then details five steps for doing your own inventory to identify negative patterns.

3 Payroll Nightmares You Might Have

Running a business can be especially scary during the holiday season. There’s no need to introduce payroll issues into the already spooky mix, especially when there are a few simple solutions for them. Here the author delves into three common payroll mistakes that can prove to be a year-end nightmare, and shares resources to help Canadian and U.S. business owners avoid them: classifying your employees and contractors incorrectly; not attending to the records of terminated employees; and using incorrect tax rates.

This is why your employees cut corners (and what to do about it)

Despite the processes you may have put into place to manage the inner workings of your business to help ensure quality, safety, and customer satisfaction, sometimes employees cut corners or ignore the process altogether. This can lead to a range of bad outcomes such as waste, lost productivity, safety issues, and compliance violations. Here the author discusses four common reasons for employees departing from established processes and the remedies for each: they don’t understand the process or the point; they think they know better; they want to do it faster; and lastly, they think they can get away with it.

7 Ways Your Office Affects Productivity (Without Your Realizing It)

Your team’s office environment has a dramatic effect on members’ efficiency and productivity. Here the author discusses seven subtle, “empirically backed factors” to consider to boost your team’s productivity, from lighting and ambient noise to color and plant life.

How I learned to manage rebel employees (without upsetting everyone else)

While rebel employees hate following rules and challenge organization norms, they bring value to a business. The author notes that “they tend to be creative about finding new ways to optimize productivity and increase revenue.” But because they also expect special treatment when they get results, they make your company’s “soldiers” – those productive people who follow the rules – feel uncomfortable by upsetting “the chain of command.”

Here the author shares his story about how he learned to manage a particular rebel employee, outlining three steps: gather intelligence, be intentional about making employees feel valued, and craft a win-win solution – with the caveat that not everyone may be on board with that “win-win” solution.

Amazon and Google Are Taking Over Cities. The Smartest Startups Are Going Virtual

With Amazon and Google dominating cities such as New York, San Francisco, and Seattle and expanding into new ones, startups find themselves hopelessly competing with the tech giants for sourcing talent: it has become prohibitively expensive to hire the skilled staff they need. Well-known business analyst Jeff Bercovici says “these expansions come as tech behemoths are running up against the limits of growth in their home markets: namely, housing, office space and transportation.”

In his analysis, Bercovici cites Wade Foster, CEO of Zapier: “Equity packages don’t pay the rent. That’s why you’re seeing so many startups starting to talk about what’s our non-Silicon Valley strategy? Is it a second office? Is it remote?” With that, the author describes how Zapier and a second startup were able to successfully pivot and scale by going remote, allowing them to tap into both a deeper and cheaper talent pool.

You Have to Know When to Quit

Burned out and going nowhere, fast? Citing Nat Eliason’s provocative article, No More Struggle Porn, the author puts forward that one of the most pervasive – and damaging — startups myths is “the idea that the struggle itself, the overwhelming and overpowering struggle that pushes everything else out of your life, is a good thing.” He sums Eliason’s perspective by saying that while working hard is all well and good, “when you believe the normal state of affairs is to feel like you’re struggling to make progress, you’ll be less likely to quit something that isn’t going anywhere.” He further discusses his own take on “the myth of persistence”, as well as Seth Godin’s take on knowing when to quit.

 

 

About Laura Crest

With an educational background in journalism, Laura began her career as a professional writer and editor 35 years ago with an internship for a magazine while an undergraduate at Michigan State University. After the advent of the internet, Laura transferred her skills from print to digital with a small online consulting business specializing in SEO and content strategy. Since, she has also served as the blog writer, managing editor, and content curator for several small online businesses before joining Telsec Business Centres, where she continues to apply her expertise in content discovery and curation for small businesses.

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