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Business Trends 2014

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Take your cue from sled dogs. Unless you are the lead dog, the scenery never changes.

You can spend your days following the lead of others or step out and create a success plan with a new path. Being aware of trends is the first step. Taking action to establish your business as a trend leader is significant. Forbes made some interesting statements for 2014 trends.

“The economy is showing no signs of getting better and now with Obamacare next year, there are going to be some major changes. 2014 will be a slow period, where a lot of major workplace issues will surface and executives will be scrambling. As more boomers retire and more people work from home, the idea of “work” will start to change. Hiring processes are going to start to shift as more recruiters rely on the Internet and the word “reputation” will become even more important to professionals and companies.”

Action – Reaction

Obamacare – The word on the street, both Wall Street and main street, is that companies may not only be holding off hiring but may be laying off full time workers. This action could help the company avoid paying the penalty for not providing health insurance or being forced to provide health insurance.

Negative - Cutting back on staff will potentially overload the remaining employees or force the company to downsize. When businesses are afraid to grow, the economy stalls for a prolonged period of time. When businesses run in place or stop running and start to walk, the economy matches the pace.

Suggested solutions – Seriously analyze your current services and products. When something seemingly bad happens, it allows your business to focus on your profit centers and eliminate the loss leaders. Focus your success plan on your profit centers.

Return to the merit system. Instead of automatically trimming off the highest compensation employees, analyze the productivity. A good cheerleader, morale booster, employee can serve a vital role in keeping the company spirit healthy during transitions. Both the financial and the emotional factors are significant in the company success plan.

Freelancers – 17 Million people are now working as freelance consultants and contractors. If this trend continues as it is expected to do, freelancers will outnumber full time workers within six years.

Negative –Employees who work offsite, freelancers, are more difficult to supervise.

Positive – Employers do not pay benefits such as work compensation, health insurance, vacations, sick days, or payroll taxes for most freelance employees. The freelance employee does not have a long commute to work, office wardrobe expenses, restaurant expenses for lunches, or the temptation to gossip in the break room.

Suggested solutions – Frequently companies can hire more experienced and highly qualified workers for lower rates. As long as the cost/value ratio is commensurate with the task, it can be an excellent solution in your company success plan. Elance, Odesk and Hire My Mom are potential sources for freelance employees.

Boomers may be retiring; however, they may still be available on a freelance basis. With unemployment at 15.9% for millennials and 28 to 36% of millennials either moving back home or delaying moving away from home to start life on their own, it is further evidence of a slow economy. Awareness of the employment situation of boomers and millennials must be a consideration in the company success plan.

It is absolutely an employer’s market as more and more applicants are available for fewer positions. Whether you call it the black hole of resumes or the Wall Street Journal term of “resume oblivion,” the fact remains. There are more applicants than positions available.

Your company success plan must be written to consider employee numbers, costs and availability. A wealth of talent is available and the options to employers are vast.

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