Plan for the Future

Should You Hire?

If you’re a small business owner, you probably have a “do-it-all” attitude that is essential to building your business. However, if you want your business to continue to grow and thrive, you may need to hire employees to do so. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of hiring new employees for your small business:

The following are some ADVANTAGES of hiring employees:

  • You won’t have to do everything yourself.
  • You’ll can gain new insights and ideas from a fresh set of eyes.
  • You’ll can share successes (and failures) with someone other than yourself.
  • You’ll can establish goals for real growth for your business.
  • You’ll can spend time on moving your business forward instead of day-to-day activities.

 The following are some DISADVANTAGES of hiring employees:

  • It will take time and effort on your part to get employees up-to-speed.
  • You’ll have to monitor and schedule your employees’ time.
  • You’ll have to pay employees money that could be put toward investing more into your business.
  • You’ll have the stress of knowing someone else is going to be dependent upon the success of your business.
  • You may have turnover that will cause you to focus on hiring and firing rather than your business goals and strategies.

You’ll know whether the time if right for hiring employees. Maybe you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, or you would like to spend more time doing things to move your business forward instead of performing day-to-day functions. Take a moment to review your business strategies and see if adding employees is a feasible option for you this year.

Source:
1. http://hiring.monster.com/hr/hr-best-practices/recruiting-hiring-advice/strategic-workforce-planning/small-business-advice.aspx
2. http://articles.bplans.com/time-to-hire-an-employee/

Using the Equity in Your Home

The equity in your home can help you pay for some of the larger expenses you may have. It is generally defined as the “current value of the home minus the amount of the liens against it.” For example, if your home is appraised at $500,000, and you have a balance on your mortgage loan of $200,000, you may have approximately $300,000 available in equity to use for various purposes.  

There are two types of equity loans for you to consider:

  • home equity loan is sometimes referred to as a second mortgage. It is a closed-end loan, with a specific amount and term established, giving you fixed monthly payments for the term of the loan. Typically, these loans have fixed interest rates and are fully amortized. 
  • HELOC provides a line of credit you can draw upon, up to your maximum credit limit. HELOCs require monthly payments only on the amount you borrow. After a certain period of time, the draw period will end and then you will need to make payments on the remaining balance. During the draw period, you have the option to make withdrawals from your credit line using debit cards or checks, or you can access your loan by phone, online or in person at a branch.

A huge benefit of both types of equity loans is that the interest is usually lower than that of unsecured loans (e.g., credit cards, personal loans and personal lines of credit). Why? Because your home serves as collateral for the loan. Additionally, the interest you pay on these loans may be tax deductible.

Whichever type of home equity product you choose, your reason for borrowing money should be the key factor:

  • If you have a large, one-time expense or want to consolidate a specific amount of debt, a home equity loan is your best bet. That way, you can pay for the expense and not have the temptation of available credit remaining.
  • If you expect recurring expenses, such as payments made to contractors during home renovation, a HELOC allows you to "pay as you go." You are only charged interest on the amount you use and you can spread out the use of your credit line. You also have the flexibility to use your credit line in the case of an emergency.

At CharterBank, we offer home equity products with great rates and terms. For more information about our home equity products, click here. Or, if you prefer, call us at 800-763-4444.

Sources:
1. http://www.interest.com/home-equity/news/4-smart-moves-for-using-home-equity/
2. http://www.balancetrack.org/usinghomeequity/

Keeping Your Top Talent

Everyone knows that it’s much easier (and cheaper) to keep an employee at your company than it is to hire a new one. Also, it’s difficult to replace an employee who is fully-engaged and talented at what he/she does. Let’s take a look at some tips on how to keep your top talent happy so you can spend more time moving your company forward and less time hiring new people.

  • Make employees feel important. Nobody likes to feel like they are just another number or, in this case, just another employee – especially the more talented employee.  Be sure you talk to your employees. Find out what they are interested in. Talk to them about policies and procedures at your company and get their feedback. Keep the lines of communication open at all times.
  • Re-recruit. How did you recruit your top talent? Re-recruiting is simply “re-engaging” your employees. Take the time to interview your top talent. Ask them about their experience with your company. What have they learned? Ask them which of their expectations have not been met and how this can be cured. You’ll discover opportunities to strengthen your relationship with this employee while re-engaging him/her with your company. 
  • Provide clear goals and expectations. One of the most important things you can do is explain your company’s short-term and long-term goals, as well as your specific expectations for each employee. Spend the time you need to answer questions and provide your employees with the answers they need to succeed.
  • Recognize a job well-done. While monetary awards are great for employees, recognition for top talent will go a long way. Take the time to provide recognition as soon as possible, and be specific with that recognition.  For example, “Jane, you did a great job last week,” will not hold as much weight as, “Jane, I appreciate all of the work you did on developing the new process for greeting customers. Great job.” 
  • Give them opportunities to learn. You need to keep your top talent challenged. Give them special assignments when possible. Let them manage programs, projects or specific aspects of their job. Talk to them about career development and get them on a clear path toward their goals. 

It will take work to keep your best employees.  But by starting with these five tips, you’ll be on your way to a brighter future for your top talent and your company. 

Sources:
1. http://www.selectinternational.com/blog/bid/148239/5-Things-Successful-Companies-Do-To-Retain-Top-Talent
2.http://careersystemsintl.org/PDF%20Files/Retention%20in%20Tough%20Times.pdf

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