A blog about making your business leaner, faster and smarter

2014 in Review: The Laws That Will Impact 2015

The champagne has been sipped, the confetti has been vacuumed, and the ball dropped over a week ago in New York’s Times Square. Yes, the holiday season is officially over and it’s time to get back to business. What new laws do small business owners need to be aware of in 2015? 

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Software Consultant and Programmer Liability

Software companies and consultants are in high demand with the ever-growing online market. While these advancements are being displayed in a cyber global arena, there are many legal and business related issues that programmers and consultants must consider. The global software market exceeded $265 billion in 2010 and is projected to increase 6% every year until 2015. While profits are growing, so should measures to protect personal and professional liability online. 

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My Employee Shared Our Trade Secrets. Now What?

You’re only as good as what sets you apart from others in your field. That’s what identifies Apple from Microsoft, Google from Yahoo!, Coke from Pepsi, and Nike from Adidas. It’s the intellectual property (IP) and the people who create it that holds real value for a company. And this is exactly why Nike is suing Adidas for $10 million in damages. Your employees are an incredible asset… that is, until they become a threatening liability.

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What are the Pros and Cons to Buying a Franchise?

My sister recently mentioned over lunch together that she recently looked into buying a franchise to one of our favorite local treat shops. They only offer ice cream sandwiches, but the line of customers is consistently long regardless of the time of year. With a frozen product there is minimal spoilage and waste, low labor costs for this simple indulgence, and it would only need a tiny rental space to set up shop. However, it required $30,000 just to buy into the franchise in addition to setup costs including equipment, renovating commercial space, and committing to opening an additional two ice cream sandwich shops in the future. After this synopsis, my sister quickly concluded that she is going to stick to teaching sixth graders. While this option may not be right for everyone, there are definite pros and cons to consider when speculating whether opening a franchise is right for …

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10 New Year’s Resolutions for your Business for 2015

Football coach Tom Landry once said, “Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.” Now isn’t that the point of New Year’s Resolutions? While our personal goals may be to lose weight, read more, or volunteer at a local charity, the end goal is to be the best version of ourselves. In our professional life, what is the vision/goal of your company? Revisit your mission statement and follow these 10 New Year’s Resolutions for your business for 2015.

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I’ve Sold Items that are Recalled. Now What?

Recalled items have been on the news quite a bit lately. From used car lots selling vehicles with recalled parts that haven’t been replaced to baby items on Craigslist which are no longer available in the marketplace, these items pose serious risks to the consumer. With Christmas just around the corner and sales at their yearly peak, what should business owners do if one of the products they offer ends up on the recall list?

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Tips for Establishing a Business Presence in China

  Business in China can be quite lucrative for U.S. entrepreneurs and small business owners alike. The large pool of resources, lower costs, and their thriving economy all combine to make fertile ground for foreign investors. While our last topic focused on the types of entities foreign businesses can apply for in China, today we’ll discuss how to adapt to business in this enterprising frontier. 

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Top 4 Tips for Hiring in the New Year

The New Year is the perfect time to hit the reset button and start fresh. You can reflect on the past year’s successes and failures and establish innovative goals for 2015. It may also be the perfect time to assess your company’s team and find new employees to fill in the gaps. 

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Stella & Dot’s General Counsel, Sara Mo Lee Chats with UpCounsel

We had the opportunity to sit down with Sara Mo Lee, Stella & Dot’s Associate General Counsel. As the sole in-house counsel of an exciting startup in the fashion industry, Sara is managing the legal department at Stella & Dot. Stella & Dot is an online social selling company that not only designs and offers jewelry, but also allows women to run their own business by becoming stylists. Sara was able to provide some great insight on what tools she uses to run her department efficiently and what daily tasks she runs into. 

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5 Tax Law Facts for SMBs to Know Before 2014 Closes

Growing up with a successful CPA for a dad meant that after the holidays came another segment of the year that greatly impacted our family: tax season. While we didn’t decorate our home with calculators or ticker tape, we did know that dad would work long hours and many times we would be hired to assemble the thousands of returns that would be sent to the state and federal government (thank goodness we now have e-filing!). While right now most people are focusing on Santa and his elves, let’s not forget this other beautiful time of the year when business owners can squeeze in a few more tax deductions.

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