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|Friday, May 15, 2009|
So, what’s working for your business? It’s not an insignificant question, that’s for sure. With Oregon unemployment the second highest in the nation, finding and keeping customers is harder than ever.
Go to any retail area around Portland, or a main street in any rural community in Eastern Oregon and all of the “for rent” signs are potent reminders of those small businesses that never did figure out the answer to the question posed above.
For many businesses the answer is discounting. I know that's true for mine. I am in the business of selling content, and whether it is an article, a webinar, a speech or whatever, we are not commanding, nor are we asking for the sorts of prices we got even a year ago. And it’s working.
Of course, discounting your prices is a strategy that must be undertaken carefully. Cut too much and it could kill your brand or cannibalize your other offerings. But that said, it is equally true that right now it’s a buyer’s market out there.
Another thing that often works for small businesses in an economy like this is increased marketing, as counter-intuitive as that may sound. Because customers are in fact looking for a bargain these days, especially here in Oregon, loyalty is rare. So you need to keep getting new customers to replace those that are going to leave, and you also need to nab some of those who are looking for greener pastures.
Increased marketing allows you to do both of those things.
And it need not cost a fortune. Whether it is increased Internet marketing or a discount coupon, shoestring marketing works.
So what’s working for you?
Steve Strauss is the small business columnist for Oregon Business.
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Yesterday, a divided National Labor Relations Board dropped another hammer on the employer community. In a long-awaited and much debated move, the Board jettisoned the decades old standard for determining when two independent businesses should be considered joint employers of an individual worker for collective bargaining purposes.
Transforming the culture of Oregon’s educational leadership.
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Oregon Sick Leave is here, and changes to the federal white-collar worker regulations are on the way. This workshop will prepare you for both. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to start planning now for the future impact on your operations and finances.
Presented by OEN + CENTRL + YESpdx.
This Roundtable will cover numerous issues under the employer "shared responsibility" rules of the Affordable Care Act, including how to track the "full-time" status of variable-hour employees, temporary or seasonal employees, and employees who experience a change in status or a break in service. Additionally, we will provide a brief overview of Code sections 6055 and 6056, which require most mid-sized and large employers to submit their first information reports to the IRS in early 2016 regarding the health insurance coverage being offered to employees. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to prepare for the future impact of the shared responsibility rules on your operations and finances.