Worried About Minimum Wage Increases Here Are 6 Things You’ll Want to Watch

Top 6 Things Every Small Business Owner Needs to Know About 2018 Minimum Wage Increases

This year, the minimum wage will increase in 18 states. Another 20 local municipalities will enact their own minimum wage this year, too.

2018 Minimum Wage Increases

These state and local governments are acting on their own as the federal minimum wage stays at $7.25 per hour.

The local changes, however, are having an impact on small businesses in each location. And it probably won’t be long before other cities and states follow.

Small Business Trends spoke with Michael Schmidt, vice chair of the Labor and Employment Department at Cozen O’Connor in New York City about the top 6 things every small business should keep an eye on this year regarding wage increases and what they mean to your future and bottom line.

Keep an Eye On Local Legislation

“The challenge is really minimum wage isn’t just a federal issue,” Schmidt told Small Business Trends. “We’ve had the same federal minimum wage since July of 2009. The movement has been on the state and local side.”

That means small businesses need to keep an eye on the minimum wage issues that crop up in their own backyards.

Setting up a Google Alert or staying on top of the local news can help you get a feel for what’s going on. Attending municipal council meetings and keepin

Apply These 11 Outlook Email Productivity Hacks to Improve Your Business Communication

11 Outlook Email Productivity Tips You Never Knew About

If you’ve ever worked for an enterprise-size organization or an established business, you’ve likely encountered Microsoft Outlook.

This quintessential email experience has been king in the business world for a long time, especially since it’s typically bundled with other Microsoft Office applications.

While it is a robust solution, it isn’t always the easiest to navigate quickly and efficiently. And, if you rely on Outlook for the majority of your business communications, wasted time can cost you big.

Outlook Productivity Tips

Luckily, there are ways to make Outlook work for you. Here are 11 productivity hacks you may not know about that can get you started.

1. Recover Deleted Items

Have you ever experienced the terror associated with permanently deleting an Outlook item that you didn’t mean to send into the abyss?

Now, most users know how to recover an email or appointment that has just been transferred to the trash folder, but did you know you can recover messages that have been truly deleted too?

If you have a Microsoft Exchange account, there is still hope; i

Oklahoma Businesses Are Most Polite But What State has the Rudest

Most Polite States: Oklahoma Businesses Are Most Polite -- The Rudest Are In ...

For a small business, it pays to be polite. Otherwise, you risk losing customers.

Most Polite States

But many businesses, especially the ones in Tennessee, miss this simple thing. That’s according to new research from cloud-based accounting solutions provider FreshBooks.

The company analyzed customer data and based on the use of “please” and “thank you” on invoices found businesses in Tennessee to be least polite. Oklahoma businesses, on the other hand, emerged as most polite.

Being Courteous Counts

In an increasingly competitive marketplace, it is essential for businesses to focus on offering the best customer experience. And to achieve this goal, it is important for businesses to leave a positive impression — every single time!

Even a simple gesture of writing “thanks” or “please” on invoices can go a long way in making customers feel special.

Personalize Your Communication

Another simple yet effective way to reach customers is by personalizing your communication. For example, if you’re sending an email to your customer, perhaps you should consider u

HP Expands ElitePOS With More Choices for Retailers

HP ElitePOS Update Includes New Color, More Personalization

When HP (NYSE: HPQ) introduced the ElitePOS in August of 2017, it reimagined what a point-of-sale system could be. Now the company has expanded the system with more personalization and choice for retailers.

HP ElitePOS Update

The addition includes a white version of the ElitePOS, which was driven by customer request.  And like the Elite, the HP RP9 Retail System is also an all-in-one tool which will be getting an upgrade to its hardware with Intel 7th gen processor options in the near future.

Traditional POS systems no longer have the capability needed to accept the new digital payment solutions customers are using. Whether it is NFC, digital wallets, digital coupons, fingerprint readers or other options, having these options means not having to turn down customers when they pay for items. And for small businesses that rely on each sale, having all of these options is a must.

Aaron Weiss, vice president and general manager of Retail Solutions, HP Inc., addressed this very point in a company press release. He said, “Retailers want technology that not only delivers the performance and versatility they need but enhances their stores to provide an experience-focused shopping environment their customers increasingly expect.”

The HP ElitePOS

Whether you choose the original black version or the

Dallas Small Businesses Claim Yelp Hides Positive Reviews Until They Advertise

Yelp Accused of Hiding Positive Non-Advertiser Reviews

Yelp (NYSE: YELP) is yet again facing accusations that it’s creating a pay-to-play scheme to get more businesses to buy advertisements on the popular review platform.

This time, Dallas area businesses are accusing Yelp of hiding five-star reviews when they refused to pay for advertising, according to a report from CBS Dallas/Fort Worth.

Yelp Accused of Hiding Positive Non-Advertiser Reviews

Bob Sinnott, owner of Toasted Coffee + Kitchen in Greenville, Texas is one of those business owners. Sinnott shared his account with CBS, explaining that Yelp called him to sell advertisements many times. Then after he refused to purchase, his rating immediately dropped. And many of his five-star reviews were placed into the “not recommended” section, where they’re less visible to local browsers.

This is far from the first time Yelp has been accused of such a scheme. Yelp has even responded in the past, making site changes and promising to improve transparency about how it operates. But those changes clearly haven’t stopped the accusations.

What Can Small Businesses Do?

So what is a small business to do? Some have already filed lawsuits. But courts have ruled that Yelp has the right to manipulate ratings on its own site and businesses don’t have a right to positive reviews.

It’s u



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