April 28, 2024

Independent Contractor vs. Employee

Did the DOL Make It Any Easier to Decide? Most employers are at least aware of the issue of independent contractor versus employee. But making the determination has never been clear. In 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a final rule clarifying the standard for independent contractor versus employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). That may sound encouraging, but it is doubtful that the actual rule and background information consisting of more than 1,200 pages makes the designation any easier. The rule only clarified the factors to consider that are still open to interpretation. Why does this designation matter? There is a financial incentive to declare a worker an independent contractor. But declaring that designation does not make it so under the law. If a worker is deemed to be an independent contractor, the employer is not […]
March 28, 2024

Plan + Execution = Success

In the January issue of The Director, I wrote about the importance of planning, awareness and accountability as the bedrock of your business success in 2024. Having a plan is the first critical step. Next, and most important, is execution – putting a predetermined course (your plan) into action. It means carrying out tasks, activities and steps outlined in your plan to achieve your goal(s). If you don’t do those things, your plan will likely fail. In other words, a well-crafted plan is just the beginning. Its true power lies in the commitment and discipline necessary to make it happen. Execution marks the real difference between success and failure. Clearly Defined Roles The key starting point is laying out clearly defined goals about what you want to achieve. Make sure they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound, i.e., SMART […]
February 29, 2024

When It’s Time to Say ”YOU’RE FIRED”

If you ask business owners to make a list of things they dread, having to fire an employee probably ranks right up there with an IRS audit. Both can keep you up at night and make you wish you didn’t own the place. But as much as they might dread it, eventually, most business owners are faced with having to terminate an employee. This article is intended to help when you are faced with that decision. First, I believe that no employee should be fired by sur­prise. They may be shocked when you actually do it, but they should already know that their performance (or lack thereof) has not been acceptable and that their job was at risk before they are terminated. I recommend that you conduct periodic job reviews and/ or have a progressive discipline policy. By reviewing performance […]
January 30, 2024

Know Thy Business

Building your success on awareness and a plan. As we begin 2024, I am humbled to be a part of this business and finance column going forward. We have some big shoes to fill after the wisdom Dan Isard has brought to this column for decades. My focus is going to be on planning, awareness and accountability in your business. I want to challenge you to make 2024 the best year it can be and then grow from there. I believe that awareness, or understanding, is a core principle in business success. Awareness of yourself, your business and your community is what charts the path forward in these turbulent times. The more you understand your present situation, the better prepared you will be to adapt going forward. A key part of awareness is knowing where we are today and where […]
December 28, 2023

Legal Check: Pet Business

Scenario: Stewart Spector is a fourth-generation owner-operator of Spector & Steinberger Funeral & Cremation Services in Smyrna, Georgia. The business changed to its current name from its original name of Spector & Sons Funeral Home in early 2010 when Stewart’s key employee, Nell (“Nelly”) Steinberger, bought into the business. This was also the year that Stewart and Nell started their pet end-of-life service business, Rainbow Bridge Pets, since both were animal lovers as well. Spurred on by Nelly’s passion for the environment and greener alternatives, they decided to make the investment and offer only flameless cremation for their pet families, installing only a resomator in their newly built facilities. Because both Stewart and Nelly believed so much in flameless cremation or aquamation/alkaline hydrolysis as a “greener” alternative to flamed cremation as well as it being a “gentler” process, it was […]
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