A woman smiling, holding a cellphone and pen, sitting at a desk.

It sounds like such a leisurely word, doesn’t it? When you think of retirement, you might envision sunny beaches, road trips or spending as much time as you can visiting your grandchildren (fur kids included). But before those dreams can become a reality, there’s quite a bit of planning to be done.

Making sure your employees have a tidy nest egg to begin their golden years is both a joy and a responsibility. Providing the right benefits, particularly in the form of retirement accounts, can help your employees start their retirement path on the right foot. Not only does it help retain and attract quality employees, but it can also provide tax advantages for your business.

Let’s explore the options available and the considerations small business owners should keep in mind.

Available retirement account options for employees

Choosing the right type of retirement account can feel like hunting for buried treasure. Let’s uncover the retirement options available to you and your employees.

  1. Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA. Think of SEPs as The Three Musketeers: All for one, and one for all. This option is great for self-employed individuals, freelancers and small business owners. For 2023, the contribution limit is the lesser of 25% of each employee’s salary or $66,000.
  2. Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) IRA. For businesses with 100 or fewer employees, the SIMPLE IRA lets both employers and employees contribute. For 2023, employers can either match employee contributions (up to 3% of the employee’s compensation) or make a fixed 2% contribution for all eligible employees. Employee contributions can’t exceed $15,500.
  3. 401(k) plan. Often considered the gold standard of retirement plans, 401(k) accounts are an option for any business, including self-employed individuals. For 2023, employees are limited to contributing $22,500, with an additional $7,500 for catch-up contributions (for those age 50 or over). Total contributions (employee and employer) are limited to the lesser of 100% of employee compensation or $66,000.
  4. Profit-sharing plan. As the name implies, these plans allow employers to share a portion of the business’s profits with their employees. For 2023, contributions cannot exceed 100% of an employee’s salary or $66,000. If also participating in a 401(k), contributions can’t be more than 25% of the compensation paid or accrued during the year.

Potential pitfalls to consider

While charting the course of retirement benefits offers numerous advantages, it’s important to be aware of potential challenges. Let’s delve into some complexities and considerations business owners and employees may encounter.

For business owners

  • Administrative costs and responsibilities. Offering retirement benefits, especially 401(k) plans, can introduce significant administrative tasks, like record-keeping, regular compliance testing and mandatory filings.
  • Fiduciary duty. When you sponsor a retirement plan, you have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of plan participants. You’ll need to carefully select and monitor investment options to ensure fees are reasonable.
  • Cost implications. While retirement accounts can offer tax advantages, they also come with costs, including setup fees, annual charges and other administrative expenses.
  • Vesting schedules. Plans that include an employer match often have vesting schedules. If an employee leaves before they’re fully vested, they run the risk of forfeiting a portion of the employer’s contributions.
  • Plan termination. If you decide to end the retirement plan, there are processes and potential costs associated with terminating a plan properly.

 For employees

  • Investment risks. Employees have the responsibility of choosing their investments within a retirement account. Without the proper guidance, they may fail to diversify properly, which could potentially jeopardize their retirement savings.
  • Limited liquidity. It’s essential for employees to understand that most retirement accounts are designed for long-term savings. Early withdrawals can lead to additional taxes and penalties.
  • Fees. Some retirement plans require associated fees with their investment options. High fees can erode investment returns over time, so it’s important to be aware of this when choosing investments.
  • Vesting schedules. As mentioned, if employees leave before they’re fully vested, they may not get the full benefit. This can be frustrating for employees who may leave before they reach a vesting milestone.


Offering retirement accounts to your employees is a commendable and strategic decision for any small business. While there are many benefits, it’s important to navigate the retirement plan terrain with as much information as possible.

Consult with a financial professional so they can guide you on the best options for your specific business model and make sure you’re not only supporting your employees’ future—but also securing the financial health of your business.

What is a credit score?

The short answer: It’s a number that represents your creditworthiness.

A longer answer: Your credit score is calculated based on an analysis of your credit files and is used by lenders to assess the risk associated with extending credit to you. Scores typically range from 300 to 850, depending on the scoring model used (e.g., FICO or VantageScore), generally categorized as follows:

  • Excellent: 750 and above
  • Good: 700-749
  • Fair: 650-699
  • Poor: 600-649
  • Bad: Below 600

“But wait,” you might say. “I don’t need any loans. So why does my credit score matter?”

Well, you don’t need any loans today. And you might not need to get a new job today, either. But it’s impossible to see the future, and your credit score can play a significant role in that future. So, your credit score does matter, because it can play a decisive role in whether you get:

  • Lower interest rates on loans. Individuals with higher credit scores are typically seen as lower risk. As a result, they often qualify for lower interest rates on mortgages, car loans, personal loans and credit cards.
  • Mortgage and rental approvals. When you apply for a mortgage or try to rent an apartment or other property, the lender or landlord may check your credit score. A poor score could lead to a denial or require a larger down payment or security deposit.
  • A lower insurance premium. Some insurance companies use credit scores to determine auto and homeowners insurance premiums. The higher your credit score, the lower your premium could be.
  • Your ideal employment opportunities. Some employers check potential employees’ credit as part of the hiring process, especially for positions that deal with money or sensitive information. A poor credit score could influence an employer’s hiring decision.
  • Lower security deposits. Utility and telecom companies may check your credit score when you establish service. A low credit score could result in the company requiring a higher deposit.
  • Negotiating power. A high credit score may give you more leverage when negotiating terms on loans or credit cards.
  • Business financing. For entrepreneurs and business owners, a good personal credit score can be critical in obtaining business loans or lines of credit—particularly for new businesses without an established credit history.
  • Peace of mind. A good credit score shows that you’re managing your financial obligations well and can be a source of pride and confidence in your financial life (not to mention a stress-reducer).

Monitoring your credit score can also be an essential part of personal financial management. It can help you understand how your financial behavior affects your creditworthiness, and it can help you make more informed decisions.

More information on credit scores

Credit scoring models vary, but most commonly, they’re composed of the following elements:

  • Payment history (35%): Whether you’ve paid your credit accounts on time. Late or missed payments can significantly impact your score.
  • Credit utilization (30%): The ratio of your outstanding credit card balances to your credit card limits. High usage can negatively affect your score.
  • Length of credit history (15%): How long your credit accounts have been active. A longer history can positively influence your score.
  • New credit (10%): The number of recently opened credit accounts and hard inquiries (i.e., when you’ve applied to a lender for a loan). Too many new accounts in a short time can hurt your score.
  • Credit mix (10%): The variety of credit types you have: credit cards, mortgage loans or personal loans. A diverse mix can positively impact your score.

If your score is currently lower than you’d like, don’t despair. You can improve your credit score by:

  • Paying your bills on time.
  • Keeping your balances below 30% of your credit limit.
  • Not opening too many new accounts at once.
  • Regularly checking for errors on your credit report.

If you do find errors on your credit report, you can dispute them with the credit reporting agency.

Where can you access your credit score and credit report? In the United States, you can request a free credit report from one of the three major credit agencies (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion) once a year. Your financial institution may offer access to your credit score for free; check with your credit union or bank for details. There are also a number of credit monitoring apps that can help you keep track of your credit—and some, like Credit Karma or Mint, are free.

Just be sure to remember that, for all the reasons stated above, your credit score does matter and can significantly influence many aspects of your financial life. Understanding your score and taking steps to improve or maintain it will give you financial benefits and peace of mind for years to come.

We live in a data-driven world. And because data is so readily available, businesses have the ability to tap into key metrics to measure against set goals. Whether those goals are to reduce staff turnover or client churn, increase profits, or extend the average client life cycle…having a KPI (key performance indicator) strategy in place is essential for long-term success.

While data tracking and monitoring key metrics is critically important to business success, the abundance of data available can cause information overload. To help you navigate the world of KPIs and build a “starter plan” of sorts, this article offers three tips to creating a sound KPI strategy.

#1 – Choose the right KPIs

Not all KPIs are created equal. The first step is to understand the difference between lagging and leading indicators and why both need to be monitored.

Lagging indicators show results over a period of time (e.g., total sales in the closing quarter). These are easy to measure and provide quick answers on whether set goals have been met. For example, if you set an ambitious goal such as doubling sales by the end of Q4 (compared to Q2 sales), the ultimate lagging indicator is annual revenue or profits.

Leading indicators capture data that has an effect on an outcome. This makes leading indicators useful for predicting outcomes. For example, if an online retail store shows a sharp drop in the purchase of a popular item, the company could predict a drop in overall quarterly sales. Monitoring leading indicators helps you get ahead of predictable trends and make adjustments to influence positive outcomes.

#2 – Foster a KPI-driven culture

The goal here is to get your entire organization talking about data! When everyone speaks the data language, it better supports a company-wide KPI strategy.

To build a KPI-driven culture, be sure to offer regular staff training on the value of KPIs and the metrics each department is responsible for tracking. Also, be sure to assign the proper leads to champion KPI progress and ensure staff are kept updated as your strategy evolves. Finally, make sure you have the right technologies in place to collect and analyze data, and make KPI dashboards available to required staff.

#3 – Implement a process for KPI refinement

It’s important to understand that KPIs are subject to change. You can bet that over time customer behaviors will change and business goals will evolve in response to market trends. This calls for businesses to refine their KPI strategy on a regular basis.

Over time, you may discover that a KPI is not helping you progress toward a specific goal or that it’s driving the wrong actions. For these reasons, commit to consistent KPI evaluation and enhancement as you move forward. The formal process of refinement requires you to monitor what is working and what is not.

Need help with KPIs? Contact us today! Simply click here to CONTACT US and complete the brief form or give us a call. We are here to help.

Whether you own a business or work in one, accurate tracking of your business expenses is a necessity. If you’re a small business owner, tracking is essential for understanding your financial position, budgeting, forecasting and fulfilling your tax obligations. If you’re an employee, it’s vital to keep your expense tracking accurate and up to date for reimbursement and tax deductions.

Here are some practical tips to help you effectively track your business and job-related expenses.

For everyone

  1. Keep all your receipts. Your receipts are essential for reimbursement and—in the case of a business owner—tax purposes. So, whether it’s lunch with a client, office supplies or a plane ticket to a business conference, keep all your receipts. If you don’t have an expense-tracking app and hate keeping track of paper copies, you can store digital copies on your smartphone by taking photos or using a scanner app.
  2. Categorize your expenses. Group your expenses into categories (e.g., rent, utilities, office supplies, travel, meals). This will make it easier when it’s time to turn in your expenses for reimbursement or to complete tax returns.
  3. Set up a regular review routine. To help you catch any errors before they cause an issue, make it a habit to review your expenses on a regular basis (i.e., weekly or monthly).
  4. Understand tax-deductible expenses. Knowing what can and can’t be deducted is key to maximizing tax benefits. Especially if you’re a business owner, it’s a good idea to consult a tax professional to be sure you’re taking advantage of all available deductions.
  5. Separate business and personal expenses. If possible, use a separate credit card or bank account for your business-related expenses to minimize confusion at tax time. If you can’t use a separate account, make sure to clearly mark and categorize work expenses in your records.

For small business owners

  1. Use accounting software. QuickBooks®, Xero and FreshBooks are just a few of the accounting tools designed to make tracking expenses easier. They can connect to your bank account, categorize expenses and provide insights into your spending.
  2. Use mobile expense tracking. Mobile expense tracking apps that allow you to input expenses and capture receipt images quickly and easily are a great way to record and organize expenses—especially if you’re constantly on the go.
  3. Implement an expense policy. If you have employees, create a clear policy that outlines how expenses should be recorded and which expenses are acceptable.
  4. Consider hiring a professional. Has your business grown to the point where tracking expenses has become too complex? You may want to think about hiring an accountant or a bookkeeper.
  5. Stay alert. Keep an eye out for anomalies and inconsistencies. Unusual expenses could be a sign of errors or fraudulent activities.

For employees

  1. Understand your company’s policy. Take time to familiarize yourself with your company’s expense policy, so you know what can be reimbursed as well as the process for submitting expenses.
  2. Record expenses as they happen. It’s easy to forget about an expense if you don’t record it immediately. Make a habit of logging your expenses as soon as they occur.
  3. Provide detailed descriptions. For every expense, include detailed notes explaining the business purposes. Some people prefer to jot the information directly on the receipt if there’s room. This information can be essential for both reimbursement and tax purposes.
  4. Keep receipts for the appropriate length of time. Depending on your location and situation, you may need to retain your expense records for a specific period of time. Check with your tax preparer to see what you should keep…and for how long.
  5. Consider tools for travel. If you frequently travel for work, look for apps and tools designed specifically to manage travel expenses like mileage, accommodations or per diems.

By keeping detailed, organized records on the go, you’ll be ready when it’s time to submit your expenses for reimbursement or file your tax return. And you’ll be able to relax, knowing that you’ve put in the work upfront to make the process of tracking business or job-related expenses more efficient and stress-free.

Whether you’ve been a small business owner for a decade or you’re considering starting a business, you can never have enough information to help you through the ups and downs of being your own boss. That’s why we’ve created a list of 15 popular business-related books—some general, some money-related and some geared especially toward female entrepreneurs—that are worth adding to your small business bookshelf.

Remember, while reading books alone won’t guarantee your success, the right books can provide valuable insights, inspiration and strategies that you can apply to your small business—and perhaps even to your life outside the business. Here’s to happy and productive reading!

Let’s get the “firehose of cold water in the face” statistic out of the way first: According to the research team at the Education Data Initiative, the average cost of college—including books, supplies and daily living expenses—at a four-year institution for first-time, full-time undergraduates is now $36,436 per year.

It doesn’t matter how young (or non-existent) your children are right now. If you’re a parent—or plan to be a parent—it’s nearly inevitable that you’ll be faced with figuring out how to pay for college one day. That’s why financial professionals advise starting to save for college as early as possible. Here are two primary reasons why:

  • Education costs are rising. As shocking as that $36K figure is, it will probably only go up from here, given that tuition and related costs have consistently risen over the past decades. The Education Data Initiative report says the average cost of college has more than doubled in the 21st century, with an annual growth rate of 2% over the past 10 years. By starting a college savings fund early, you can help mitigate the impact of those increasing costs.
  • Student debt is also rising. The average college graduate is saddled with significant student loan debt—the average federal student loan debt is $37,787—and spends roughly 20 years paying off their loans. That means it’s entirely statistically possible you may still be paying down your own student loans. Saving for college can help reduce or even eliminate the need for loans, freeing your children from years of student loan debt.

Plus, establishing a college savings fund can be a good way to teach children about saving, investing and the value of long-term planning. It also puts a spotlight on the importance and expectations of higher education, whether at a four-year university, your local community college or trade school.

Is it too late to start saving? And where do you start?

Given the power of interest and compounding, the earlier in your child’s life that you can start saving, the better. But even if your child is in high school, it’s not too late; anything you can save will reduce the amount you need to borrow.

Here are six common options for college savings plans:

  1. 529 plan—A 529 plan is an education savings plan operated by a state or educational institution and designed to help families set aside funds for future college costs. Earnings in 529 plans aren’t subject to federal tax and, under certain circumstances, state tax.
  2. Coverdell education savings account (ESA)—A Coverdell ESA is a trust or custodial account set up solely for paying qualified education expenses for the designated beneficiary. There’s a limit on how much can be contributed each year.
  3. UGMA/UTMA accounts—The Uniform Gift to Minors Act (UGMA) and the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) are custodial accounts that allow parents to save and invest on behalf of a minor. These accounts are not strictly limited to educational expenses. However, unlike 529 plans and Coverdell ESAs, earnings and withdrawals from UGMA/UTMA aren’t tax-free.
  4. Savings bonds—The Education Bond Program allows qualified taxpayers to exclude from their gross income all or part of the interest paid upon redemption of eligible Series EE and I bonds after 1989, when the funds are used to pay qualified higher education expenses.
  5. IRA accounts—IRA accounts aren’t just for retirement; if you’ve been making contributions for at least five years, you can also use either a traditional or Roth IRA for qualified college payments, but there are differences in how the taxes are treated. Because there are a number of rules governing the use of an IRA for education expenses, you’ll want to work with your financial advisor to understand the advantages and disadvantages.
  6. Regular savings account—If you’re not sure your child will go to college, you might want to choose a regular savings account. While these don’t have the same tax advantages as a 529 plan or Coverdell ESA, they also don’t have restrictions on how the money can be used.

The best savings option depends on your family’s individual circumstances, goals and financial situation. Before making decisions, it’s always a good idea to consult with your financial advisor for more information.

Remember, it’s never too early—and not too late—to start saving for college. Even small, regular contributions can add up over time…and can help to reduce the stress and worry of paying for college, for both you and your children.

Ah, the age-old question (well, since 1994): Do I really need a new smartphone?

We’ve all been there, getting pummeled with ads for the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy phones, which seem to appear at least every quarter. And each company promises the best-of-the-best devices with each version they roll out.

Our current phones still boast an uncracked screen when the latest and greatest jumps on the scene, making us look at the device in our hands with disdain. “If only my phone could do what this new one can.”

It makes it easy for us to settle into buyer’s remorse (yes, even just a few months later) when the newest phone is released, and it’s a fraction better than what we currently have. So, how do you know when it’s really time to upgrade? Here are six things to consider before you fall victim to the shiny object syndrome.

1. Slow as a snail

Does your phone load apps slower than molasses? Do games lag, or does your camera start recording seconds after you’ve commanded it to start? If so, it may be time to retire your current device. Only consider that after you turn it off and back on, however. Sometimes a quick restart is all it needs.

2. Battling battery

Do you find yourself in a panic if you’ve forgotten your charging cable or your portable charger, even when you’re only running a quick errand? Does the battery life drain faster than you can say, “I need to put my phone on the charger”? If you find yourself constantly tethered to a charger or your phone is always in “power save” mode just to make it through a few hours of the day, it’s probably time to look for a new device with better battery life.

3. Pixelated pictures

If your once picture-perfect photos are now grainy or pixelated, your smartphone’s camera may be on its last legs. Are videos jumpy, or is there a weird glare in every photo? There’s probably next to no chance that your friends and family will consider those pictures “artistic,” so you may want to consider an upgrade, especially if you want to continue to slay on social media.

4. Sluggish software

Does this scenario sound familiar? You tap on your favorite app, and instead of opening it, you get that dreaded popup about needing the latest operating system to use it. If you’re missing out on enjoying your current apps or downloading fun, new ones because of compatibility issues, it’s probably time to upgrade. Newer phones tend to run the latest and greatest software, chock-full of security features to keep you and your data safe.

5. Unfortunate encounters

Our phones go into battle every day, facing countless falls from our hands, cracked screens, spilled drinks or—for some poor unfortunate souls—plunges into bodies of water. Sometimes, that bowl of rice just won’t bring your phone back to life. You may be able to resuscitate it, but it will never be the same. If your phone falls into this category (see what we did there?), it may be time to visit your favorite smartphone distributor.

6. Peer pressure

We see you, Android users. All your friends are using iPhones, and you’re the only one in the group chat who’s green. It’s blatantly obvious. Android users and iPhone users both believe their devices are superior, and each has merit. But don’t let the other side pressure you into joining them if you’re happy with what you have. That’s just not a good enough reason to buy a new phone. Stay strong, whichever side you’re on.

Don’t give in to FOMO

Don’t let FOMO (fear of missing out) get the better of you when you see that new ad or commercial for the iPhone 14+ or Google Pixel 7. Chances are your phone is just fine, and you’re feeling a little left out because the cameras on the newer phones boast a few more megapixels than your own.

If you do decide you’re ready for a new phone, though, be sure to do your research.

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (kidding)

It’s not an exaggeration to say that as a small business owner, you’re one of the busiest people on earth. After all, it’s up to you to do everything—and that includes educating yourself on new ways of doing things, keeping up on trends and industry changes, and…well, a whole lot more. But how can you stay up to date when there’s so much else to do?

With podcasts! You can listen to them in the car, when you’re exercising or even when you’re cleaning bathrooms. As a start, here are 14 excellent podcasts that can serve as teachers, mentors and leaders for the overworked small business owner—aka you.

General business

How I Built This—This NPR podcast, hosted by Guy Raz, appears consistently on lists of the top business podcasts. Guy interviews innovators and entrepreneurs from today’s biggest companies (Whole Foods and Airbnb, to name two) about their journeys to success. While not technically about small business, you’ll find a wealth of inspiration in each episode as you hear about the triumphs and struggles of these entrepreneurs.

The GaryVee Audio Experience—Well-known author, speaker, entrepreneur and CEO Gary Vaynerchuk offers listeners tips and insights on a range of business, marketing and technology topics. Through a combination of interviews, keynote speeches, chats and other content, he offers blunt and honest advice, information and inspiration.

The Tim Ferriss Show—Tim Ferriss interviews fascinating guests from many walks of life—Malcolm Gladwell, Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Thiel, LeBron James, Margaret Atwood, Brené Brown, Hugh Jackman and more to pass on the secrets of their success. This podcast regularly ranks near the top of the Apple Podcasts business category despite the wide-ranging array of guests; that’s how interesting and inspiring it is.

The Goal Digger Podcast—Minnesota business owner Jenna Kutcher offers productivity tips, social media strategies and inspirational interviews to help you “dig in, do the work and tackle your biggest goals along the way.” While she’s at it, she also covers topics like branding and marketing, being a working mother, dealing with difficult customers and much more as you build your business.


Small Business Tax Savings Podcast—Explicitly geared for small business owners, this podcast, hosted by Mike Jesowshek, CPA, focuses on tax savings and building a sound financial foundation for your small business. As you’d expect from a CPA, you’ll get a lot of important information—without the fluff—designed specifically to help you minimize your taxes and maximize your profits.


Duct Tape Marketing—John Jantsch is the founder of Duct Tape Marketing, a digital marketing agency and consulting firm. In this podcast, he helps small business owners with small budgets gear up their marketing efforts. Branding, content, website design, SEO, strategy, new trends, how to stand out from the competition…he covers it all with his knowledge and informative interviews.

Marketing Over Coffee—Seth Godin. Simon Sinek. Ann Handley. If marketing and motivational superstars like these make you swoon, this is your podcast. Each week, John J. Wall and Christopher S. Penn bring you a 20-minute episode with tips, tactics, inspiration and interviews on topics that include email marketing, SEO and even the occasional foray into non-digital marketing.

Social Media Marketing—Whether you like social media or hate it, there’s no way around the fact that it’s nearly impossible today to market a small business without it. From content to platforms, Michael Stelzner explores social media strategies and tools and interviews social media experts on how business owners can find success with their social media marketing.

Marketing School—In this podcast, marketing guru Neil Patel and business advisor Eric Siu share lessons in digital marketing to help those who want to grow their businesses. These five-minute informational bites are released daily, covering topics like online marketing, social media, content creation, email marketing, conversion optimization, trends, insights and more.

Especially for female business owners

BizChix—Business strategist and coach Natalie Eckdahl brings you inspiring stories of female entrepreneurs and business owners who worked their way to success. Natalie’s diverse range of interviews cover everything from experiences, obstacles, insights, strategies and achievements as she helps women channel their natural strengths to get their businesses into top shape.

Go-to Gal—Jacelyn Mellone, a business strategist and marketing expert, focuses on helping female entrepreneurs find their footing in the business world. In each episode, she interviews successful female entrepreneurs who share their experiences in growing their businesses. Jacelyn also shares insights on the productivity, mindset and personal growth needed to succeed as an entrepreneur.

This list is just a starting point; there are dozens (if not hundreds) of other great podcasts out there. We hope they’ll help you overcome any challenges, stay inspired, and build your business to reflect your vision and dreams. Happy listening!

Diversity—of customers, employees and vendors—isn’t just a consideration for large corporations. It’s an essential part of the future of small businesses, too.

By 2050, it’s projected that the Black population of the United States will grow by approximately 30%, the Hispanic population by 60% and the Asian American population by more than 50%, while the aged population will grow by another 6%. That’s a lot of change on the horizon, which is why the number of resources available for helping small business owners embrace diversity, equity and inclusion (known as DEI) initiatives in their businesses is growing.

The makeup—and advantages—of a diverse workplace

Are there advantages for businesses that embrace diversity? First, let’s consider what makes for a diverse workplace: a range of races, ages, sexual orientations, gender identities, backgrounds, physical and mental skills and abilities (including disabilities), personality types, spoken languages, nationalities, education, and income.

And when you consider that diversity applies to not only the business’s employees or vendors, but your customer base, too, the benefits become clear:

  • You’ll gain more thorough knowledge and insight into the cultures of your local market.
  • You can better target your marketing and incorporate cultural sensitivity.
  • A more diverse set of perspectives and a wider range of knowledge can lead to more out-of-the-box thinking and innovation.
  • A culturally diverse workforce can give you an edge in a competitive job market—especially with Gen Y and Gen Z workers, who highly regard employers committed to DEI.
  • You’ll earn a reputation as a socially responsible and inclusive business.

Resources to help you build a diverse workplace

All right, so you’re ready to improve your hiring process to be more inclusive. But you’re not a large enough business to have a human resources team…yet, anyway. But how do you begin? Where do you find the information you need to be sure you’re doing it right? A good place to start is with this list of resources for an employer who would like to make their business more inclusive.




Women in the workplace 

Abilities and accessibility (physical and mental) 


When DEI is a top priority in the workplace, it not only gives all employees the same fair chance at success, but it elevates the business as an employer of choice. According to ZipRecruiter, 48% of job seekers are more likely to apply for jobs when employers state their commitment to DEI, which mirrors the growth in trends showing that consumers prefer brands that closely align with their values.

That’s almost half of the respondents…and it’s a mighty testament to the power of diversity, equity and inclusion. And when you take that first step toward becoming an inclusive workplace, you’ll not only change your business—you’ll change your horizons and your outlook…and you might even help change the world.

We’ll just say this up front: If you’re in business today, you need to be on social media.

However…that doesn’t mean you need to be on every platform. That’s the social equivalent of throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks, and it can make for not only a messy wall, but an overwhelmed business owner as you try to keep up. To help you decide which social media platforms make the most sense for your business, let’s take a look at some platforms to consider.

The platforms

Unless you have someone who can operate as a dedicated social media specialist, we suggest keeping your focus manageable by using one to three social platforms. The idea is quality, not quantity.

So, which channels? That depends on your customers. Often, you can make a reasonable guess as to where they are on social media based on their age group and what you know about their interests (you could also send out a survey to ask about their social media habits).

Here’s an overview of the most popular platforms as a starting point:

(1) 31 powerful Pinterest statistics (2023),

As you can see, if your customers tend to be older, the odds are good that you’ll find them on Facebook rather than TikTok. And as an example, if you own a home décor business, your audience’s favorite online activity might be collecting aspirational home design ideas on Instagram or Pinterest.

If you’d like to take a deeper dive into how you can use the most popular platforms for your business, both Zoho Social and Sprout Social offer detailed explorations.

Narrowing it down

All right, so now you have a better idea of the available platforms. Now, how do you decide where to focus your energy? This is where you’ll need to ask yourself some questions—and give yourself some honest answers—about your business:

  1. Who is our ideal customer or client? This is the single most important factor in determining your use of social media, so if you don’t know the answer to this question, it’s time to figure out who you’re selling to.
  2. Are we business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B) based? Marketing a product or service to consumers is entirely different than marketing to another business. Learn more about the difference between B2C and B2B.
  3. What are our goals for social media? Do you want to build an email list, increase recognition of your brand, reach a larger audience or introduce a new product/service? It’s time to define what success looks like to you.
  4. What kind of content should we post? Your content can be as simple as a typed update or as elaborate as a video demonstration of your new product. The key is understanding which content performs well on each platform and scaling the content to your abilities. Check out these ideas for social media content.
  5. Where are our competitors? Do a competitive analysis on your competitors’ use of social media. See what they do well, analyze what they don’t do so well and learn from your observations.

Summing it all up

When 72% of the public uses some type of social media, it’s time to connect with your current and prospective customers where they are. And the most important thing we can tell you is that if you’re not out there, it’s well past time to grab the opportunities that social media offers the small business owner. From brand awareness to more responsive customer service, social media can be the next best thing to a face-to-face conversation with your customers (and you won’t have to keep cleaning those walls!).