Greg Smith: Additional informational resources for small businesses – Ontario Argus Observer
Successful business owners are highly adept at locating sources of information pertinent to their operations, but I wanted to point out a few which may also be helpful.
The Federal Trade Commission has an entire section of its website dedicated as a “Business Center” covering topics such as cybersecurity, advertising and marketing regulations, legal resources, and a business blog.
While cybersecurity is often thought of as an issue affecting large companies, businesses of any size can be targeted. This section of the FTC website has valuable articles and videos on developing a plan to protect a customer’s personal information, making cybersecurity part of a business’s routine, and what to do if a data breach is experienced. Understanding and protecting one’s business from scams and how to report them is also addressed. To access the information visit ftc.gov and click on “Tips and Advice.” The Business Center is the third one on the drop-down menu.
IRS.gov under its “News” tab has highly informative and timely articles for business owners. One regarding a “safe harbor” which allows small businesses to claim deductions relating to first-round Paycheck Protection Program loans is quite beneficial as is the article on available tax credits related to paid leave for employees receiving COVID-19 vaccines.
Last year, an article appeared on the Service Corps of Retired Executives’ website called “5 Practical Self-Care Tips for Business Owners During a Pandemic.” Putting out all the fires business owners have been faced with has taken its toll and the article provides practical suggestions including these which I found particularly valuable:
• Leadership mentor Michael Hyatt says to identify three tasks which need to be accomplished during the week. This can help avoid feeling overwhelmed and give a sense of control in what has been a chaotic situation. Equally important I believe, is to keep a running list of all the things you have accomplished—and review it often. It can be a real morale booster to keep track of things a business owner has achieved.
• Take care of you. Making time to enjoy those things which bring us joy and refresh us goes a long way in self-care. Without a “you” there is no way a business can weather this crisis and come out the other side.
• Take the time to dream. While there have been (and continue to be) considerable challenges for business owners, there are also a great many opportunities
In closing, information obtained from a variety of resources helps business owners make the best decisions. It’s important to dedicate time to research and keep abreast of the latest news which affects daily operations.