Here are this week’s links to a few good stories that we found and selected because we feel they might add valuable insights and perspectives for small to medium size businesses.

  • When will you know if the time is right to hire new employees?  Erik Sherman writing for Inc. Magazine in partnership with Time Business has some suggestions that are worth a review.  In 8 Questions to Ask Before You Hire More Employees, he recommends that employers ask some important questions before an employment offer is made.  We take particular note of the final question (“Are you set up to handle more employees?”) as well as the suggested solution, which states in part: “Finally, your startup needs the processes, procedures, and organization to handle a sudden influx of employees. They will all need orientation, training, and management. There might be additional federal or state legal requirements should the staff size expand to certain numbers…”  These are some of the reason the Professional Employer Organization (PEO) industry is rapidly growing in the United States.
  • We found some interesting takeaways in an article written by Kent Hoover, Washington Bureau Chief for the Boston Business Journal.  In 7 signs of a muddled outlook for small business, 60% of the respondents to a survey conducted by the National Small Business Association felt that their small business would grow in the next year compared to 55% a year ago.  Economic uncertainty still is a perplexing issue for many, since 40% feel the economy is better than it was five years ago, while 45% say it is worse.
  • Lastly, if you are an entrepreneur, you might want to watch a short video that appeared on MSNBC last week.  You’ll see that story of Malene Barnett and learn about some of the actions she took to grow her business.  Her story is a good one and even if you are not in the business of custom designed carpets, many of the issues she faced will resonate with anyone who has started a small business.