Month in Review: May 2021

 

Mind Your Business was full of great information last month to help you grow your business.  From employee retention challenges to strategic planning—and a compilation of business resource recommendations from COSE members—check out our favorite articles from May. 

What Ohio Business Owners Need to Know About Anti-Harassment & Anti-Retaliation Laws
As a business owner, providing your employees with a safe working environment is one of your most important tasks. This includes a workplace free from unwanted sexual advances, jokes and other types of sexual harassment. It also means having an understanding of the laws created around employee-relations issues.

Here is what you need to know about anti-harassment and anti-retaliation laws in the workplace.

So, Do I Need a Strategic Plan? Who Cares?
Is there anything scarier to a business owner than those two words? Strategic plan (*shudders*). 

But a strategic plan doesn't have to be overwhelming—or scary. In fact, the end result of a strategic plan should be a more effectively-run business, less stress, and more free time.

MYB's very own strategic planning expert can help you get there. Read on for a breakdown of the terminology and components of a strategic plan, and guidance on how it can be helpful to your business—and to you.

Employee Retention Challenges and Solutions
It's no secret that the key to a great business is great employees. But does your small business struggle to hire or retain top talent? 

From recognizing your staff to opening lines of communication, here are nine suggestions to hiring and retaining excellent employees to grow your business.

COSE Members Share Their Favorite Small Business Resources
We asked some of our COSE members to tell us about their favorite resources they turn to while running their small businesses and growing as leaders—and we received several noteworthy submissions to share with you.

Podcasts, books, websites, YouTube channels... and some are even written or produced by the members themselves. Check out their suggestions and add them to your to-do list!

 
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  • Next up: Month in Review: April 2021

    Month in Review: April 2021

     

    If you can’t believe the month of April is already in your rearview mirror, you’re not alone. But before we totally say goodbye, let’s take a look at some of our favorite articles on the blog from last month.

    Branding on a Budget: 4 Tips for Your Small Business

    When it comes to branding you may not be able to out-spend your competition, but you can always out-think them. Consider these four ways to brand your small business even with a small budget.

    Spoiler Alert: One way COSE members can market their business for free is by contributing to the Mind Your Business blog. Contact us to learn more.

    Recognizing and Handling Cyberbullying in the Workplace

    Cyberbullying should never be tolerated, but it may be hard to recognize—especially in the workplace. Learn how to identify the signs of cyberbullying and how to handle it once it is detected.

    FAQs With Phil: How Can I Improve My Elevator Pitch?

    In this new series with COSE's own Phil Stella, we take a look at some frequently asked questions from small business owners regarding how to communicate effectively and confidently.

    We kick off the series with an explanation of how to create an effective elevator pitch using the (soon-to-be-famous) SSCBH approach. So, whether it's during a zoom networking event, or in an actual elevator when life resumes in-person opportunities, learn more about improving your elevator pitch.

    Hint: It starts with changing the word "pitch" to the word "speech."

    If you have a question for Phil, email him at phil@communicate-confidently.com

    8 Highly Effective SEO Trends For Your Small Business in 2021

    It's no longer enough to just have a website—your small business needs to have an effective online presence to land in the top search results.

    From artificial intelligence and video content to image optimization and keywords and phrases... keep up with these eight search engine optimization trends that will get your business noticed in 2021.

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  • Next up: Month in Review: March 2021

    Month in Review: March 2021

     

    With winter behind us, and warmer weather and vaccines on the horizon, we are excited to spring into April (see what we did there?). But before we do, let’s look back at some of our favorite posts on the blog from March. These articles follow the theme of the times—virtual working and recruitment—and are full of tips you can implement with your small business.

    Is it Time to Bring Back Your Workforce?
     
    Are you considering bringing your team back into the office? What will a post-COVID workplace look like? From determining who should return and how you will mitigate illness in your office, check out these guidelines for planning your return.

    3 Things to Know: One Year Into COVID
     
    It's been a full year since phrases like social distancing, "You're on mute," and Zoom happy hours have entered your daily language. Here are three things we think you should know now that we are one year into COVID and remote working.

    Maintaining Culture and Connection in a Virtual World
     
    We may be living in a virtual world, but that doesn't mean we can't still feel connected to our colleagues. Here are four tips you can implement today to maintain your company culture and connection with your team, even from a distance.

    Cleveland Internship Summit: 5 Takeaways from Virtual Recruitment Best Practices
     
    A roundtable discussion at GCP's recent Cleveland Internship Summit focused on virtual internship programs and recruitment. Participants shared tips and ideas for a successful program that you can implement in your own business. Check out these five takeaways from the session.

    What was your favorite article from March? Let us know on Twitter.

     
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  • Next up: Progress Made to Close the Digital Divide, but the Need is Still Huge: Here’s How You Can Help

    Progress Made to Close the Digital Divide, but the Need is Still Huge: Here’s How You Can Help

     

    There is some good news to share about Greater Cleveland’s digital divide: Since last August, the Cleveland-area corporate community has donated more than 6,000 computers to PCs for People for low-income families. These donations have allowed students to learn remotely, seniors to attend e-health conferences with their caregivers, and many more to work from home or find employment.

    However, the need is still huge. Currently, PCs for People has a waiting list of families in need of a home computer. At the same time, there has been a decline in PC donations over the past few months. We do not want to lose the momentum that we have generated since August. Our community has made progress, but if we are going to help close the digital divide, we cannot stop now.

    Please continue to donate your used computers and electronic devices to PCs for People. If you have not donated, and your business is interested in partnering with PCs for People, please contact Bryan Mauk, Executive Director of PCs for People Cleveland, at bmauk@pcsforpeople.org. Or if you prefer to make a cash donation, please contribute to the Greater Cleveland Digital Equity Fund at clevelandfoundation.org/DigitalEquity.

    Together we can continue to maximize our impact and work to eliminate the inequalities that are exacerbated by our region’s digital divide, but we must keep up the work.

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  • Next up: 3 Things to Know: Returning to the Office

    3 Things to Know: Returning to the Office

     

    With a decrease in the number of cases, a better understanding about all things COVID-19, and more people being vaccinated, a return to working in the office is either already here or on the horizon for many businesses.

    If you are in the process of or are considering moving from remote to in-person work for your team, check out these things we think you should know as you make the transition.

    First thing to know: You need a plan.

    You might think you can just pick up where you left off when your team was last in the office over a year ago. But a lot has happened since then—and a lot has changed. There is a greater awareness of germs and cleanliness for sure, but there’s also an increased understanding of which types of jobs could be conducted in person and which types of jobs need to be conducted face to face.

    Putting a plan in place should start with a thorough analysis and consideration of the needs and desires of your team, your customers, and other people and businesses your business does business with. Use these guidelines as you work on your plan to transition from remote to in-person working.

    Second thing to know: Keep a good work-life balance.

    One of the lessons coming out of COVID for many workers is that a good work-life balance is important. When people are back to in-person working, it means they spend more time getting ready for and commuting to work and less time with family. It also means certain logistics that were temporarily solved by remote working—including situations with childcare, pet care, and transportation—now mean additional stress for your employees. Being sensitive to these issues and finding ways to help ease the transition will be a win-win for your team and your business.

    If you are interested in creating more ways to support a good work-life balance for your team, check out these 10 ideas.

    Third thing to know: It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

    All businesses are different, and not all workers have the same needs and desires. There is no longer a one-size-fits-all approach to working arrangements and schedules. Perhaps a mix of in-person and remote working makes the most sense.

    If a hybrid option might be the best choice for your business, check out this recent webinar: The Transition from Remote to Hybrid Working Environments. Learn about industry trends related to in-person and hybrid working as well as the right communication systems for your needs.

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  • Next up: Small Business Administration Updates: EIDL and PPP

    Small Business Administration Updates: EIDL and PPP

     

    EIDL Updates

    Starting the week of April 6, 2021, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is raising the loan limit for the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Applicants can now receive a maximum loan amount of $500,000. The lending limit will also be increased to up to 24-months of economic injury. Businesses that have already received the EIDL do not need to submit a request for an increase; SBA will reach out directly via email and provide more details about how they can request an increase. Any new loan applications and any loans in process when the new loan limits are implemented will automatically be considered for the increased limits. You can learn more here.

    The SBA also announced extended deferment periods for all disaster loans until 2022. The agency will extend the first payment due date for disaster loans made in 2020 to 24-months from the date of the note and 18-months from the date of the note for all loans made in calendar year 2021. Click here to learn more.

    PPP Updates

    This week, President Biden signed an extension for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The deadline to apply for a PPP loan has been extended from March 31, 2021 to May 31, 2021. The law also extends authorization of loans to June 30, 2021 to give the SBA additional time to process applications. In late February, the Biden Administration announced several additional changes to the program, including allowing sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support and eliminating exclusionary restrictions on PPP access for small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions or with student loan debt delinquency. You can learn more about these changes here.

    To view all SBA guidelines about the PPP, click here.

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