Archive | Washington Post RSS for this section

Some small businesses in the U.K. (and the U.S.) are having a very royal time

WP Logo

(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are getting married this weekend, and it’s obviously a very happy time for the royal couple and their families. It’s also a very profitable time for many small businesses in the United Kingdom.

Some agencies are estimating that the event could contribute as much as $108 million to the U.K. economy.

“There could be a modest boost to GDP growth in the second quarter from the royal wedding and the football World Cup starting in mid-June,” Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to economic forecasting group the EY Item Club, told the Guardian. “There may well be a temporary boost to retail sales from people buying souvenirs and also to tourism.” Read More…

A minor league baseball team demonstrates how not to market to millennials

WP Logo

(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

One big challenge business owners and managers face today is dealing with the millennial generation — those generally considered to be between the ages of 18 and 34. Many of us are constantly trying to figure out how to make our brand attractive to these consumers. Here’s some advice: Don’t do what the Lexington Legends baseball team did.

The marketing team at the club, which is a Class A minor league affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, had the right idea: Hold a millennial night to get more fans from that age group into the ballpark on a Monday night. It’s just that the way they went about it wound up making the very customers they were going after rather … salty. Read More…

Is your open plan office promoting sexism?

WP Logo

(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

Back in the day, employees at most businesses — big and small — found themselves walled in behind those bland and somewhat depressing office cubicles. You remember those. But things have changed. When I visit clients now, most of them have large, airy, open floor plans where employees smilingly sit across from one another and comment on what the other is having for lunch. The idea is to increase engagement, promote more innovation and encourage team building. So if your office looks like this, you’re certainly not alone.

But … uh-oh … did you know you may also be inadvertently promoting sexism, too?

That’s the conclusion from a recent three-year study conducted in Britain. The study tracked 27 women and 13 men who were part of a 1,000-employee migration from a traditional walled-in office to a new, open-space environment and included interviews and intensive periods of observation. As the researchers from Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Bedfordshire wrote in their paper, which was published in Gender, Work and Organization, the move created a “subtly sexist” environment. Read More…

A Dallas diner runs afoul of the NRA … and business booms

WP Logo

(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

When the National Rifle Association came to Dallas earlier this month for its annual convention, the owner of a local diner had a dilemma: Does he profit by serving meals to all those convention-goers, even though he supports gun control? He mulled the problem and decided to do something. What he did created a national controversy.

Joe Groves, the 54-year-old owner of Ellen’s diner, says he supports the Second Amendment, but, as he wrote on his restaurant’s Facebook page ” … like the NRA, we also support finding solutions to the senseless killings that happen much too frequently. We believe those two things are completely compatible.”

He decided to print a message on the diners’ receipts promising that the restaurant would donate a portion of its proceeds during the convention to support “implementing reasonable and effective gun regulations.” The message caught the NRA’s attention and, even though Groves subsequently amended it to include “that protect citizens’ 2nd Amendment rights and also help reduce needless gun violence,” the damage was done. Read More…

An initiative to limit deliveries during rush hour is ‘killing’ some New York City small-business owners

WP Logo

(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

There’s no debate that traffic in New York City is horrendous, especially during rush hour. So you can’t blame the city’s mayor for trying to do something about it. Well, maybe if you’re a local small business, you can.

Early this year the city started a six-month program to limit curbside deliveries during morning and afternoon rush hours to alleviate road congestion. I think it’s safe to say that the program is not popular with some small-business owners. The measure is “killing” them, said a group of concerned merchants who protested at City Hall this week to voice their displeasure. Read More…

Study: Workers are now focusing on retirement benefits over health-care plans

WP Logo

(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

If you’ve been budgeting for a better employee health-care plan for your company, you may want to change your tactics. A new study says that employees are now more focused on retirement benefits than on health-care benefits.

According to a survey of almost 5,000 U.S. employees released this week by the consulting firm Willis Towers Watson, 66 percent of respondents were willing to have more taken from their paychecks each month to support larger and more generous retirement benefits. Only 38 percent of those same respondents were willing to pay more each month for better health-care benefits. Read More…

The House passes a bill aimed at helping employees buy out their employers

WP Logo

(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

About a year ago I wrote about how a massive wave of retiring baby-boomer business owners — a “silver tsunami” — could, because of a lack of succession planning, cause the loss of millions of jobs as businesses close.

Business owners in some parts of the country, particularly those in more rural areas, are finding that a decreasing number of younger people are willing to take on the family business once Mom and Dad retire. One solution is employee ownership.  If more owners sold their businesses to their employees, then jobs could be saved and retirement for them could be more comfortable. Statistics have also shown that employees work harder, are paid more and are better prepared for their retirement when they share in the ownership of a business. Read More…