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Benefit Plans

“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”(Richard Branson). There is a great truth to this statement on the ground of needing to look out for and care for our employees. Whether there is 1 or 25, it is our job to ensure they can give their all in the workplace. One way we can do this is by setting up some sort of benefits package for your employees.

 

The thought of offering benefits can seem impossible at first but there are many different options available and the gain can be tremendous. When you think about company moral we need to envision removing avoidable stressors. Having employees worried about their health and costs affiliated with that can have that negative affect. Finding something that works for the majority and within your means can be a huge deal breaker. Even competitively speaking, a good employee will choose a company that offers benefits in comparison to a like minded company without one.

 

The cost can be the biggest factor for small businesses. The good news is that there are ways of bringing the costs of employee benefits down. First of all having benefits is a way of keeping wages slightly lower. If you are covering some of the costs, it can be compensated by a lower wage. Secondly there are different employee percentages. Your business can cover a certain percentage and the rest of the cost falls on the employee. There is also an option of HSA (healthcare spending account), where monies prior to taxes is taken off of paychecks and put into an account. From there your employees have money set aside for medical reasons.

 

All in all, if you are thinking about adding a benefits package to your business it is important to speak to a few brokers. Not just one, but see what and who is out there. Ask questions to make sure you are getting everything you want for you, your business, and your employees.  

benefits(Photo credit: http://alphastockimages.com/)

Federal Tax Change

Are you aware of the tax changes that have and are taking place? There is the increase in CPP contributions and the Carbon Tax but there are also other changes directed at small businesses.

 

As of January 1, business owners can generate up to $50,000 in passive income before they start to lose access to the advantageous small business tax rate. Small businesses pay a relatively low tax rate — currently 10 per cent — on the first $500,000 of business earnings. But starting in January, if those businesses hold in excess of the new limit on passive income, some of that first half-million in earnings will be subjected to the much higher corporate rate, depending on how far over the new limit they are.” (https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/tax-changes-cra-canada-1.4944505.)

 

The new rate has been created in hopes that small business will invest their money in other ways instead of having monies sitting idle. For example hiring more employees or expanding/advancing your business. The good news to this change though is small businesses are being taxed less. As of 2019 the small business tax rate has dropped from 10% to 9%.

 

Then there is the carbon tax which we already have implemented but is set to increase. This means we will see an increase in our outgoing expenses as a business. For example the cost to heat your office/store front will have an increase. If you have goods and products being moved there will also be that increase in fuel.

New Year, New You

How is it that 2018 in now over? Time has flown so fast it’s truly unbelievable. There have been trials and tribulations but not without successes and growth. The end of a year also brings with it a new year which can be full of opportunities. Whether your business has just started or has been around for years, it is good practice to reflect on the year we have had. This will give you some insight into how you may like things to go in the new year.

 

With a new year there are endless opportunities to move forward. Take everything that you have learned and apply it to create a greater you in your business. We all know that life is full of continuous growth and a new year is the perfect excuse to act. Here are some great questions to get you started on a reflection to better your business in the year to come.

 

  • What made you the happiest in your business?
  • What were the biggest challenges you faced?
  • Did you contribute to positive changes in the year?
  • What are you most grateful for in your company?
  • What would you like to see realistically change this year?
  • What are some important lessons you learned that you will carry on into the new year?

 

These are just a handful of questions that can get you started in the right direction as we enter into 2019. The important thing to remember is every year we grow and adapt to the world around us in our business. Each new year provides us the opportunity to be thankful for the year we had and the choice to make changes for what’s ahead.

fireworks 2019

Ultimate Goal

I am a fan of the original Star Trek TV series.  In one episode, one of the characters, Spock, returns home to mate.  His intended rejects him for another, and requires that Spock fight for her, and chooses Kirk, Spock’s captain, as her champion.  After Spock apparently defeats Kirk, and Spock releases his intended for the man she wants, Spock says:

“After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical, but is often true.” – Star Trek, season 2, episode 1 (“Amok Time,” 1968)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=-wtYGZt7aI4

There is truth in this quote.  I know in my life, I have wanted things, then when I work to get them, I find they are not satisfying or fulfilling.  In addition, things I have worked for are more satisfying than things given to me.

We should be thoughtful about what we want.  We may well find that when we achieve what we want, the thing is not really what we wanted in the first place or did not provide the satisfaction we had expected.  It is very important to think through our goals and objectives, both personally as well as in business.  Is what we may desire at first blush, really what we want?  We may spend a lot of time and energy working for something that in the end is not really what we want or is a poor substitute for what we really want.

It is important to really think about our ultimate goal in business.  What are we trying to accomplish in business?  Is it just to make money, or to accomplish something much more important than that?  I believe that when we create a business, having a vision for something more profound, while harder to accomplish, will provide a more rewarding outcome when we actually accomplish it.

At BitLedger, our vision is to help small businesses succeed.   If businesses out grow our services, and we have helped along the way, we are successful.  We would love the opportunity to talk with you about how we can help you on your journey.

Author: Russ Bell

earth

Bosses and Bullying

I came across this article in Forbes about bullying bosses

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/2017/09/09/is-your-boss-a-true-bully-how-to-tell-and-what-to-do-about-it/#3cfbe2e12435

In the article the author differentiates between a tough boss and a bully:

A tough boss will insist that you work hard and give your best effort and submit high-quality work all the time. They will also insist you abide by workplace norms such as dress code and other organizational policies. Their goal is to speak the truth in love so that you can be the best version of yourself. They also expect a healthy level of self-discipline, self-awareness, and self-restraint on the part of the individual. They desire exemplary followers who not only meet but exceed the standards.

On the other hand, an abusive or bullying boss deliberately provides you with false or misleading information, humiliates you in public, calls you demeaning names, puts the blame on you and treats you like a servant. They will steal your good ideas and attempt to “get you” if you don’t comply with their demands. They are prone to public displays of anger and attack the person on a personal level rather than criticizing their work. They insist on passive followers who pledge blind allegiance.

This made me think about my views on leadership.  To me, the role of a leader is to provide a vision for the team, then to provide the resources to be successful.  I believe that if a leader makes his team successful, he will be successful.  This does not mean that one must spend more than the organization can afford, but what is within the capability of the organization.   Also, staff see what is going on better than we want to acknowledge.  If we say we cannot afford resources for staff to be successful, or remove unnecessary stress, and then spend money on secondary, frivolous, or extravagant personal items, then claim we cannot afford needed resources for our staff, we are seen hypocrites or like Scrooge.  A team that knows that they are important, respected, and supported will always provide more than a team that feels used and abused.

A leader must lead not push, it is too easy to sit in ones office, and issue orders or commands, and criticism when things are not done.  It is much harder to be involved in your team, to provide the support they need.  This does not mean abdicating your responsibility but providing support to your team to achieve the goals of the organization.

This last paragraph is very important.  The quid pro quo for this kind of leader is that each member of the team must provide an honest days work for an honest days pay.  That means that there is no room for toxic people or people that are just looking for a free ride.  As the article says, a leader must speak the truth in love.  The objective is to help the team succeed, both individually and corporately.

For further discussions about this kind of leadership please contact BitLedger.

Author: Russ Bell CEO

Merry Christmas

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday from our team at BitLedger. Enjoy the festivities and time with loved ones as we wrap up the year. We wish you great success in the New Year. Remember a new year is a chance for new beginnings, positive change, and further successes.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Merry_Christmas_Card

Business Event

Have you ever had representation at an event for your business? If so what was that like for you and for your company? Did you have a lot of traffic come through that had a benefit to what you were offering? There can be some great benefit in having a business presence at different events and trade shows. Let’s take a look at ways you can make your attendance worth while.

 

  • When looking at events to attend, ensure it follows in suit with what your business is. For example if your business offers a certain service, it would be ideal to be apart of a business expo. You want to make sure you are targeting the audience that you want.
  • Don’t get discouraged. Each event you attend is a gamble. You have no idea who is going to walk through the doors. Some events may be better than others.
  • Each time you have your business out there at an event or expo, regardless if you make any sales or gain a new customer, there is still a benefit. Your company is getting exposure and being known in that area.
  • When setting up your area ensure it is neat and clean. Have eye appealing color to draw people’s attention. Offering different levels can add eye appeal as well. Having props that are above and below eye level can bring in more attention.
  • Have fun! Get out there and talk to people. Don’t be pushy but be engaging. If people are interested they will come to you.
  • Look into doing a raffle. This an encourage more people to come by and learn/see what you have to offer.