Business of Passion, Reality of Profit: What Aspiring Entrepreneurs Need to Know About Passion

People have many reasons for taking a chance on their business ideas, but if you look for commonality, it’s the passionate desire to build, regardless. Entrepreneurs are always doing something they want or something that will get them what they want. Still, the desire by itself is insufficient. What distinguishes them from dreamers is that they act and they persist.

Small and Medium Enterprises Seeking to Start a Governance Program Get Tailored Road Map in New COBIT Resource OutBuro lgbtq business owner entreprenuer networking online community

Small and Medium Enterprises Seeking to Start a Governance Program Get Tailored Road Map in New COBIT Resource

SCHAUMBURG, Ill–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The benefits of good governance systems are widely acknowledged, but often governance programs at smaller organizations are nonexistent or immature. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) often deal with constraints such as limited IT resources and smaller budgets, and may have unique needs for their core business and priorities. A new guide from global technology association ISACA, COBIT® for Small and Medium Enterprises, provides guidance for SMEs on developing an enterprise governance system for information and technology (I&T) tailored especially to their unique needs.

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COBIT for Small and Medium Enterprises explains the core model and components of the globally recognized COBIT framework, illuminates the key governance and management objectives that are most relevant to SMEs, and walks SMEs through the fundamentals of starting and implementing an I&T governance program. It also provides detailed COBIT guidance specific to SMEs by domain, objective, component, activities, capability levels and metrics. In addition, the guide features mechanisms to help a SME including a governance system design workflow, a suitability assessment, COBIT goals cascade mapping tables, a practical example with detailed steps, and descriptions of SME roles and organizational structures.

“There is no magic formula for all small and medium enterprises to follow when it comes to developing an I&T governance system,” says Lisa Villanueva, ISACA IT Governance Professional Practices Lead. “However, by using tailored resources and a governance system design workflow, SMEs can thoughtfully develop an actionable road map for developing a governance system that can help guide them through the process and ultimately help them design and implement a system tailored especially to their needs.”

Some of the activities outlined in the detailed guidance include:

  • Evaluate the governance system—Consider external regulations, laws and contractual obligations and determine how they should be applied within the governance of enterprise I&T.
  • Understand enterprise context and direction—Develop and maintain an understanding of the current way of working: the operational environment, the enterprise architecture (processes, data, applications and technology domains), organizational culture, and current challenges.
  • Initiate a program—Appoint a dedicated manager for the program, with the commensurate competencies and skills to manage the program effectively and efficiently.
  • Monitor, control, and report on the program outcomes—Manage program performance against key criteria (e.g., scope, schedule, quality, benefits realization, costs, risk, velocity), identify deviations from the plan and take timely remedial action when required.

COBIT for Small and Medium Enterprises is geared toward organizations with up to 250 full- time employees, in which 30 to 70 employees work with IT systems and services, including business managers, professional staff, IT managers, quality or security professionals, and internal auditors. The guidance reflects that enterprises of this size may have limited in-house IT skills and/or capacity, lack complex IT infrastructure, tend to be cost conscious, have a short span of control, and may need to outsource more complex tasks.

COBIT for Small and Medium Enterprises can be downloaded at https://store.isaca.org/s/store#/store/browse/detail/a2S4w000004L2noEAC. Additional COBIT resources and publications can be found at www.isaca.org/resources/cobit.

About ISACA

For more than 50 years, ISACA® (www.isaca.org) has advanced the best talent, expertise and learning in technology. ISACA equips individuals with knowledge, credentials, education and community to progress their careers and transform their organizations, and enables enterprises to train and build quality teams. ISACA is a global professional association and learning organization that leverages the expertise of its more than 150,000 members who work in information security, governance, assurance, risk and privacy to drive innovation through technology. It has a presence in 188 countries, including more than 220 chapters worldwide. In 2020, ISACA launched One In Tech, a philanthropic foundation that supports IT education and career pathways for under-resourced, under-represented populations.

Twitter: www.twitter.com/ISACANews
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/isaca
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ISACAGlobal
Instagram: www.instagram.com/isacanews

Contacts

Emily Van Camp, evcamp@isaca.org, +1.847.385.7223

Kristen Kessinger, communications@isaca.org, +1.847.660.5512

Small Business Hiring Trends Upward in October 2021 OutBuro lgbtq professional entreprenuer networking online community gay lesbian transgender queer bisexual nonbinary

Small Business Hiring Trends Upward in October

The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index signaled continued positive momentum for the labor market

CLEVELAND–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (“SBEI”) reported a seasonally adjusted increase of 1.07% in October, which is a significant jump from the mildly positive report in September. The CBIZ SBEI tracks payroll and hiring trends for over 3,700 companies that have 300 or fewer employees, providing broad insight into small business trends.

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“The increase in hiring reported in October is probably the result of a few contributing factors,” said Philip Noftsinger, Executive Vice President, CBIZ, Inc. “Continued decreases of COVID-19 cases are likely contributing to more people returning to work, all enhanced unemployment benefits have expired and businesses under 100 employees are unaffected by the federal vaccine mandates.”

The ADP and Moody’s employment report indicated growth in hiring among small-, medium- and large-sized companies. Its October reading showed an overall increase of 571,000 private-sector jobs for the month, only a slight increase over the September report. Small businesses accounted for 115,000 of those new jobs on a seasonally adjusted, month-over-month basis. The ADP and Moody’s report counts small businesses as companies with 49 or fewer employees, while the CBIZ SBEI uses data from companies with 300 employees or fewer.

The CBIZ SBEI reported robust hiring in the West (2.09%) region for the second consecutive month, likely driven by its delayed economic reopening following the delta variant’s impact on the region. The Central (0.61%) region showed little change while still seeing positive growth. The Southeast (1.49%) and the Northeast (1.35%) both reported hiring increases.

On an industry level, the most notable increases were seen in Accommodations and Food Services, Construction, Retail, and Transportation. Non-profit, Professional Services, and Wholesale Distribution saw decreases in hiring.

“The vaccine mandates will likely continue to be a variable in hiring trends,” added Noftsinger. “As we approach the busy holiday shopping and travel season, the hope is that the growth momentum continues.”

To view an infographic with data from the employment index, visit the CBIZ website.

Additional takeaways from the October SBEI include:

October’s snapshot: 25% of companies in the index expanded employment, 53% made no change to their headcounts and 22% reduced staffing.

Industries at a glance: Hiring gains were seen in Accommodations and Food Services, Construction, Retail, and Transportation. Meanwhile, declines were reported in Non-profit, Professional Services, and Wholesale Distribution.

Geographical hiring: The Central (0.61%), Northeast (1.35%), Southeast (1.49%) and West (2.09%) regions all experienced hiring increases.

What’s next? Small businesses are continuing to grow as the economy rebounds to pre-pandemic levels. Vaccine mandates may play a continued role in labor trends.

The October CBIZ SBEI data follows the Q3 2021 release of the CBIZ Main Street Index, which surveyed nearly 2,000 businesses throughout the U.S. on their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.* The data reveals that tax policy, supply chain issues and inflation are all leading concerns for small business owners. Additionally, 52.8% of respondents reported staffing shortages as a top concern, which was even higher than the percentage reported in Q2. Please see the CBIZ Main Street Index webpage for an interactive infographic with additional data.

*Note: Not all of those surveyed in the CBIZ Main Street Index are clients of CBIZ.

Editor’s note:


(1) The SBEI illustration is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on our work at https://www.cbiz.com.

Follow CBIZ on Twitter at @CBZ or on Facebook.

About CBIZ


CBIZ, Inc. is a leading provider of financial, insurance and advisory services to businesses throughout the United States. Financial services include accounting, tax, government health care consulting, transaction advisory, risk advisory, and valuation services. Insurance services include employee benefits consulting, retirement plan consulting, property and casualty insurance, payroll, and human capital consulting. With more than 100 Company offices in 31 states, CBIZ is one of the largest accounting and insurance brokerage providers in the U.S. For more information, visit www.cbiz.com.

Contacts

Media


Kara Lester

Gregory FCA for CBIZ

Kara@gregoryfca.com
610-228-2119

New Diverse Business Program From MassMutual to Impact 175 Businesses Over Next Five Years OutBuro lgbt professional entreprenuer networking online community gay lesbian transgender queer

New Diverse Business Program From MassMutual to Impact 175 Businesses Over Next Five Years

SPRINGFIELD, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#massmutual–On the heels of announcing a $150 million commitment to utilizing underrepresented diverse businesses in its procurement process, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) today announced a new diverse business program in partnership with Dartmouth College and Stanford University aimed to help diverse businesses thrive and grow. The program will impact 175 businesses over the next five years through comprehensive education, business planning and mentorship.

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“This new diverse business program is one more example of MassMutual’s commitment to making an impact and contributing towards systemic change,” said Regina Heyward, head of supplier diversity with MassMutual. “Bringing together national leaders in diversity, academia and financial services, we are striving to deliver a holistic approach to help today’s most pressing issues facing underrepresented diverse businesses.”

The diverse business program’s framework is comprised of financial, collaboration and educational elements which will rely upon and strengthen relationships with key diverse constituencies. Program participants will receive financial and executive level education to enhance their business acumen. The program will be delivered through the Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business Diversity Business Programs and the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, a research and education collaboration between Stanford University Graduate School of Business and the Latino Business Action Network.

“For four decades, the Tuck Diversity Business Programs have delivered high-impact business education for entrepreneurs through executive education programs online and on the Dartmouth campus in Hanover, NH, and through outreach programs in all 50 states,” said Emmanuel Ajavon, associate director of business leadership programs at Tuck. “We are proud to collaborate with MassMutual to continue in this rich tradition as we work with a new generation of diverse entrepreneurs.”

“The diverse business program is a tangible extension of MassMutual’s ‘Live Mutual’ philosophy, allowing us to bring our purpose to life in specific, measurable ways,” added Heyward. “It enables us to directly invest in change and help people secure their future and protect the ones they love.”

About MassMutual

MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. Founded in 1851, the company has been continually guided by one consistent purpose: we help people secure their future and protect the ones they love. With a focus on delivering long-term value, MassMutual offers a wide range of protection, accumulation, wealth management and retirement products and services. For more information, visit www.massmutual.com.

Contacts

Paula Tremblay

ptremblay@massmutual.com

Small Business Hiring Trends Show Positive Signs for Labor Market OutBuro lgbt professional entreprenuer networking online community gay lesbian transgender queer bisexual nonbinary

Small Business Hiring Trends Show Positive Signs for Labor Market

The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index reported nominal hiring growth in September as the U.S. continues to confront Delta-variant concerns

CLEVELAND–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (“SBEI”) reported a seasonally adjusted increase of 0.21% in September, reversing reported declines in August and demonstrating a positive indicator for the labor market. The CBIZ SBEI tracks payroll and hiring trends for over 3,700 companies that have 300 or fewer employees, providing broad insight into small business trends.

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“The September reading, while reporting relatively unremarkable growth, is a good sign for small business hiring during a month that we typically see a hiring down-turn,” said Philip Noftsinger, Executive Vice President, CBIZ, Inc. “These findings also debunk some of the earlier theories that proposed the enhanced unemployment benefits were the leading factor causing labor shortages.”

The ADP and Moody’s employment report indicated growth in hiring among small-, medium- and large-sized companies. Its September reading showed an overall increase of 568,000 private-sector jobs for the month, a significant increase over the August report, with small businesses accounting for 63,000 of them on a seasonally adjusted, month-over-month basis. The ADP and Moody’s report counts small businesses as companies with 49 or fewer employees, while the CBIZ SBEI uses data from companies with 300 employees or fewer.

The CBIZ SBEI reported robust hiring in the West (2.34%) region driven by a full economic reopening. The Central (0.01%) region showed relatively flat growth while it still battles the Delta variant. The Southeast (0.32%) also reported growth in September. The Northeast (-0.51%) was the only region to report a hiring decline.

On an industry level, the most notable increases were seen in Educational Services, Accommodations and Food Services, Transportation and Non-profit. Arts and Entertainment, Retail, and Healthcare saw decreases in hiring.

“Looking ahead, vaccine mandates might contribute to some hiring declines in regions and industries that are beginning to enforce vaccinations in companies of 100 plus employees,” added Noftsinger. “The September data is reassuring moving into the holidays when we hope to see seasonal growth.”

To view an infographic with data from the employment index, visit the CBIZ website.

Additional takeaways from the September SBEI include:

September’s snapshot: 22% of companies in the index expanded employment, 52% made no change to their headcounts and 26% reduced staffing.

Industries at a glance: Positive hiring gains were seen in Educational Services, Accommodations and Food Services, Non-profit and Transportation. Meanwhile, declines were reported in Arts and Entertainment, Retail, and Healthcare.

Geographical hiring: Regions experienced hiring increases include Central (0.01%), Southeast (0.32%), and West (2.34%) regions. The Northeast (-0.51%) was the only region to experience a hiring decline.

What’s next? Now that enhanced unemployment benefits have been rolled back and more of the population is vaccinated, this might be a boost for hiring trends as more people return to the labor market.

Editor’s note:

(1) The SBEI illustration is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on our work at https://www.cbiz.com.

Follow CBIZ on Twitter at @CBZ or on Facebook.

About CBIZ

CBIZ, Inc. is a leading provider of financial, insurance and advisory services to businesses throughout the United States. Financial services include accounting, tax, government health care consulting, transaction advisory, risk advisory, and valuation services. Insurance services include employee benefits consulting, retirement plan consulting, property and casualty insurance, payroll, and human capital consulting. With more than 100 Company offices in 31 states, CBIZ is one of the largest accounting and insurance brokerage providers in the U.S. For more information, visit www.cbiz.com.

Contacts

Media
Kara Lester

Gregory FCA for CBIZ

Kara@gregoryfca.com
610-228-2104

How to Build a Great Team in Your LGBT Owned Business

Hiring the right employees is important but it’s not enough. For your business to succeed you’ll have to shape those employees into a winning team. Team building isn’t easy though, so how do you get everyone to work well together?

Understand the strengths of each individual

It’s likely that your new employees will have come from a variety of backgrounds. They’ll have different personalities and therefore different ideas about how to do their jobs. If you’re a manager, it’s important to recognize this because having a deep understanding of people is worth its weight in gold. If you can enable each employee to channel their strengths and shine in a way that benefits your business, then you’re on the right track.

Here are some tips on turning a group of individuals into a cohesive successful team that will help your business reach its full potential.

Explain your business vision

Start by setting the scene for your employees. Let them know what they’re aiming for and help them to understand the goals of your company.

  • Talk about the culture you want to build
    Plant the seeds of your business culture in your workers’ minds so it grows and flourishes. Get them excited about being part of the team and the environment.
  • Describe your future plans
    Create a vision of where your team should be, six months, a year, and two years from now. Use your accounting software to draw up realistic financial forecasts and share these with your employees.
  • Explain the environment of customers, prospects, and partners
    Use diagrams if necessary to show the interaction between all the people around your company.
  • Use ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ when talking about your business
    It’s a common startup mistake to associate yourself with your business, but if you want your employees to feel like part of a team then you’ll need to include them too.

These points will help your employees feel settled and give them a feeling for the situation in which they’re working. Once that’s done, you can start to bring out the best in them.

Get your employees involved

It’s important to quickly get your employees involved in the day-to-day running of your business. Keep them active and use their strengths to help them integrate and develop.

  • Give them tasks right away
    On the first day, your new employees should already be doing useful work. Get them engaged right from the start.
  • Challenge them
    Help your employees to push themselves. Use timelines or specific goals (with their input) for them to strive for.
  • Acknowledge their successes
    Use the carrot, not just the stick. Always reward success with praise.
  • Mentor your new hires
    Partner with your new employees with someone senior on the team. The more mentoring you do, the faster your team will take shape.

Explain to your employees that the more effort they put in, the quicker the company will grow, and the better their rewards will be. This could be in terms of promotion, salary and benefits.

Define roles clearly

Everyone needs to know their job – what’s expected of them and what’s not. If you don’t make this clear, the morale of your employees will suffer, and progress and efficiency will be affected.

For example, if one person is waiting for another to finish a task, but the other person doesn’t believe that task is part of their job description, progress will grind to a halt.

So be sure to update roles and task lists frequently. Then your employees will know what they’re supposed to be doing.

Consider team-building exercises

Small businesses are often fast-paced environments. That means you need to get your team working together quickly. Team-building exercises can help, but there are some important points to consider:

  • Budget carefully
    Days off work will cost you money in terms of lost productivity, plus the cost of the team-building event itself. Good accounting software will keep your accounts up to date, so you can see at a glance what you can afford.
  • Examine all the options
    Paintballing? Go-karting? Building log bridges over rivers? Ask your employees which options they might prefer, but be prepared for many different answers.
  • Don’t forget the simple things
    Something as low key as providing drinks and snacks for the last hour of a Friday afternoon might work well. Not everyone wants to crawl through the undergrowth in camouflage clothing.

Recognize the value of diversity

Complementary skill sets can mean contrasting personalities. For example (as a general rule only), salespeople tend to be extroverts while programmers and developers tend to be more introverted. That reflects the type of person drawn to each role and also the demands of the role itself.

Trying to ‘fix’ these differences so everyone’s the same will not work. In fact, it’s likely to backfire badly. At best you’ll annoy your employees, at worst you’ll breach diversity and equality legislation.

Accept that people are different from you – may be even very different. Race, gender, sexuality, and personality differences are irrelevant. What really matters is how good people are at their jobs.

Extend your team beyond your business

Think beyond the four walls of your business premises. Your team can be more than the people you hire directly. Make the most of your outside contacts:

  • Ask guest speakers to meet with your team 
    Talks on anything from organizational psychology to technical matters can help inform your team and improve their skills.
  • Share development ideas with customers and key business partners
    If you’re gearing up for major investment, make sure your customers and business partners are ready for it. Get your staff involved with these discussions.
  • Invite customers and key partners to staff meetings
    Give them the chance to provide feedback and take questions from your team. Do this carefully to avoid giving out confidential business information.
  • Have a team coach
    Consider using the services of someone who can provide real-time feedback on how your team is working together.

Getting an outside perspective can also help prevent ‘groupthink’, where employees become subdued and unwilling to challenge the norms of your business. Keep your staff thinking positively and creatively at all times.

Let your team know that you value them

This is important and quite straightforward. You simply have to take an interest in your staff.

  • Show them you care
    Learn about things like their family, personal life, or hobbies.
  • Focus on personal growth
    Think about enhancing your employees’ skill-sets and management skills. Know their career goals and help them get there.
  • Invest in your employees
    Give them the support and tools they need to be successful. This could include things like a healthy working environment, a supportive team, or the right software or technical equipment.
  • Celebrate the little victories!
    Reward every success, no matter how small it might seem. The goodwill generated will pay you back many times over.
  • Be positive and stay positive
    Don’t lose your cool or lose control, as that will set a bad impression and affect morale.

Identify problems early

You may have people who are having (or causing) problems in your organization. The reasons for this might include issues with their home life, financial problems, or other personal hardships.

In this situation, you must tread carefully and follow all local laws, especially those relating to privacy and employment rights. Seek professional advice if necessary.

Sometimes people just won’t fit into your culture, which is again why making the right employee choice is so important. Firing people should be a last resort if you’ve tried every other option including third-party mediation services and verbal and written warnings. Be sure to follow local legislation if you’re forced to take this option.

Understand negative team dynamics

There are other influences that can prevent a team from becoming successful. These include:

  • Unwillingness to change
    A fixed mindset, for example: “But we’ve always done it this way.”
  • Inability to work together
    Usually due to personality clashes. Resolving these is one of the hardest tasks for management.
  • Too many individual projects
    People who like to excel will feel unmotivated if they have to spread their abilities widely.
  • Too much individual recognition
    Favoring some team members above others will cause resentment.
  • Competing agendas
    If there’s a lack of consensus, productivity will drop.
  • Top-down talk and micro-management
    Saying “Do this, do that” is usually less effective than setting a goal and letting the team achieve it on their own.

Be aware of the potential for these problems to arise, and do what you can to prevent them.

Use your people skills to build your team

For your team to thrive you must be approachable, friendly, authoritative and responsible. In other words, a good manager and leader.

You may need training to help you become a better manager and there’s no shame in that. Running a business is a learning process – and just like your employees, you can learn and improve.

After all, the better you are at managing people, the better your team will perform and the faster your business will grow.

 
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