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Jul 31, 2014

How One Layoff Can Impact the Economy

When individuals are laid off, it can rock their metaphorical boat, leaving them wondering which way is up. But layoffs also have a domino effect on the overall economy, causing a vicious cycle that’s difficult to balance (remember the Great Recession?). 

When workers are let go, or feel in danger of losing their jobs, they drastically reduce their spending on luxuries like clothes, eating out, personal care, etc. While a decrease in expenditures for one family may not seem like much, a mass downsizing can be an entirely different story, resulting in a loss of hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in just one community. Spread that out across multiple cities, and it’s enough to impact the state’s economy, which then leads to a drop in national finances. 

There’s a way you can help break the cycle, though — by becoming a small business owner yourself. As such, you can employ those individuals who were let go, but you can also help generate more revenue for your local community. And of course, you’ll also reap the benefits of being your own boss, such as creating your own work schedule, having more freedom and being in control of your future. 

If you’re ready to start on the path toward entrepreneurship, give us a call at 888.472.4455 to learn how we can help you finance your dreams.

Jul 30, 2014

3 Reasons Why Working for a Small Business Is Better

Layoffs certainly have been making the news lately. Last week, Microsoft announced it would downsize its workforce by 14 percent. Meanwhile, both Boeing and Broadcom have or will cut 2,500 jobs, and pharmaceutical company Merck broadcast its plans to chop another 600 jobs. 

But did you notice a trend among all of that downsizing data? All four layoffs are from big companies with thousands of employees. While working for a large corporation may offer better salary and benefits, there’s also something to be said for the stability that comes from working for a small business. Here are three reasons you should consider working for a small business:

  • Layoffs less likely. Since small businesses don’t have as many employees, mass layoffs are rare, if they ever happen. If you’re doing your job and contributing to the team, peers and managers will notice and keep you safe from being let go, offering more stability than bigger companies can provide.

  • Career satisfaction. In small business, you’re more likely to reap meaning from your job. Not only are you able to dabble in many departments, but you’re also more likely to be recognized by your manager and peers for a job well done. In addition, small businesses are more likely to promote from within, so solid contributions can lead to promotions that a bigger business wouldn’t offer.

  • Less red tape. Every business has its leadership team, but since there are fewer employees in a small business, there aren’t as many layers between you and the CEO. As a result, your voice is more likely to be heard and your ideas implemented. 

Jul 29, 2014

Guidant Clients Bounce Back After Layoffs

Layoffs can be devastating to those who have experienced them. They can blindside you, but at the same time, they can also give you that extra push to dust off your entrepreneurial dreams and put them into motion. 

Guidant has had its fair share of clients who were let go but went on to own successful businesses with our help. Check out these client stories from the owners of Decorating Den in Nashville and NoDa Brewing Company in Charlotte, North Carolina. 







You can achieve the same success. Call us at 888.472.4455 to see how we can help you get started financing the business or franchise you’ve always wanted. 

Jul 28, 2014

What Your Small Business Can Learn from the Microsoft Layoff

Last week in our blog, we addressed how layoffs can impact employees and offered advice about the best way to move on after a job cut, like using severance and/or retirement funds to start a business. But there’s an important lesson that small business owners can learn from recent downsizings as well — how not to lay off employees.

Take the Microsoft layoffs for example. To inform their staff that 18,000 employees and contractors would be downsized, the company wrote a 1,100-word memo, which was promptly leaked, that starts off with an upbeat “Hello there” and is filled with unnecessary content. Here are a few lessons you can reap from this muddled memo:
  • Don’t downplay the layoff. The Microsoft memo starts by explaining how the company plans to add value with its refreshed direction and focus. It’s not until word 843 that the layoffs begin to come clear. By burying the real message, it makes it look as though Microsoft’s trying to diminish the impact of the downsizing, which hardly creates goodwill.
  • Don’t pile on the corporate-speak. Microsoft’s memo is littered with management-talk that’s hard to understand. Being clear about staffing changes makes you look like a leader who’s owning the decision. 
  • Make it personal. In the business world, we’re told not to “make it personal.” But when it comes to layoffs, having empathy and compassion will resonate with employees. If at all possible, break the news face-to-face, or at least by dividing emails by department so you can individualize it. It won’t make the layoffs any easier, but it will reflect better on you and your business.

Jul 25, 2014

New Business Spotlight: DanceWorks Studio, Oil & Vinegar and UPS

This week, three of our clients across the country saw their entrepreneurial dreams realized. One purchased an existing dance studio; two others opened new franchise locations. Here are their stories:

William Hutchison had been a dedicated student at DanceWorks Studio in Redmond, Washington, for 10 years when he decided to purchase the business that had inspired him. He left behind a 30-year career as a computer software professional to see his dream of business ownership finally come true. See what Hutchison thinks of being an entrepreneur in his press release
 
Sharon Streb’s journey to business ownership took a few unexpected turns. She worked as a nurse for 20 years, and then a top-notch residential designer before she decided to shift focus and study abroad in Italy. Her time there inspired a new passion for olive oil, which led her to open an Oil & Vinegar location in Frederick, Maryland. Streb now enjoys being how own boss now and seeing her hard work pay off. Learn more in her press release here

For Marylia Donovan, running a business by herself wasn’t among her list of goals. Entrepreneurship was her husband, Tim’s, dream, but when Tim passed away last year, the UPS Store he had purchased in Davenport, Florida, transferred to Marylia’s hands. Although her journey to entrepreneurship was unexpected, Marylia now appreciates the opportunity to expand her husband’s dream. Learn more about the services offered the Davenport UPS Store here, or stop by if you’re in the area. 

Jul 24, 2014

Are you ready to become an entrepreneur?

If you’re like one of the 18,000 Microsoft employees who were recently laid off, the impending decision you face is what you want to do next. Believe it or not, losing a full-time job is the perfect time to seriously think about starting your dream business before you get caught up in the corporate world again. If you don’t do it now, when will you?

To help make the decision a little easier, here’s a checklist of items to consider before jumping into small business ownership:

Business Basics
  • Do you have a product or service that will meet a need within your community?
  • Are you comfortable persuading others to change their mind?
  • Can you plan ahead and stay organized, even when things get hectic?
  • Are you good at networking and building relationships? 
  • Can you communicate well with large groups of people?
Money Management
  • Are you frustrated by wasteful spending?
  • Are you efficient in creating and sticking to budgets?
  • Are you comfortable taking risks in the beginning to reap the benefits later?
Determination
  • Do you like challenges and problem solving?
  • Are you prepared to make multiple attempts before reaching your goal?
  • Are knowledge and experience more important to you than financial gain?
Leadership
  • Do you steer clear of office politics?
  • Can you provide a good example for employees to follow?
  • Are you comfortable being the go-to person when problems arise?

No one ever said business ownership will be easy, but if you answered yes to the above questions, it’s a good sign that you’re ready to become an entrepreneur. To learn more, read the book “Making the Jump into Small Business Ownership” by Guidant’s very own CEO/co-founder David Nilssen, and check out this article from Entrepreneur on the 15 traits of entrepreneurs.

Jul 23, 2014

So you’ve been laid off — what’s next?

Getting the pink slip, whether you see it coming or not, can feel like a ton of bricks hit you. Without a tight work schedule and the pressure of deadlines, it can feel like you’re in a state of limbo, not quite sure where to go next. It takes time to get over the sting of a layoff, but by embracing your current situation, you can get out of the fog and back to pursuing your dreams. Here are a few tips to do just that:

Take time to grieve. Losing your job can be much like losing a loved one. After all, you’ve spent 40 hours a week putting energy into reaching goals and contributing to the team. It only makes sense that there’s a period of grievance following a job cut. If you feel like wrapping yourself up in your favorite Snuggie and indulging in ice cream or fried chicken for a few days, that’s OK.
 
Heal yourself. After the initial grieving period, take some time to pamper yourself and enjoy your open schedule while it lasts. Use part of your severance check to see a movie matinee; have lunch with friends; take a yoga class; or vent at a breakroom (also known as an anger room), where you can smash windows, mobile devices and more in a safe environment.

Get inspired. When you’re ready, start thinking about your true interests and what you want to achieve in life. Are you ready to step out from the corporate shadow to start your own venture? If so, do you want to open a franchise or to start a business from scratch?

Take action. Once you’ve decided your course of action, it’s time to put your plan into motion. If entrepreneurship is calling your name, Guidant can walk you through the financing process. Give us a call at 888.472.4455 when you’re ready to get started. 
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