Today’s roundup starts with news that the U.S. House of Representatives voted to allow more immigrants to innovate stateside and includes an article about confusion over President Barack Obama’s QuickPay plan and Mark Cuban’s advice for entrepreneurs.
As it stands today, no more than 7 percent of per-country visas can be work-related. Thankfully, this is about to change. As Heather Clancy of allBusiness writes, yesterday the House voted to repeal per-country limits on work visas so as to encourage skilled immigrants to innovate within our borders. While the law was strongly supported on both sides of the aisle, it still needs to go through the U.S. Senate.
Here’s some great news, with a catch: hundreds of millions of shoppers came out over Thanksgiving weekend, spending a record $52 billion. So what’s the catch? As Inc.’s Eric Markowitz reports, small business owners are worried about how they will sustain big box-competing markdowns for the next four weeks. What’s your strategy?
Back in September, Obama presented the QuickPay plan, which reduces government-to-small business payment time from 30 days to 15 days. But while this sounds great, The New York Times’ Robb Mandelbaum writes that the program is ruffling the feathers of small business owners because, instead of 15 days from the date of invoice, the plan pays out 15 days from the time when the government gets around to it. Hmm.
Here’s a sad truth: a huge number of small business employees are approaching retirement age, but lack the benefits needed to comfortably stop working. Why? As J.D. Harrison of The Washington Post writes, more than half of small business owners just can’t afford retirement plans. Here’s the good news: in April, the Small Business Add Value for Employees (SAVE) Act was proposed, which would help make plans more affordable to small business owners. What is your policy on retirement benefits?
This year proved to be pretty tough for small business owners. As Rieva Lesonsky of Small Business Trends writes, 44 percent struggled to attract new clients and 32 percent had a hard time retaining existing ones. And although 40 percent are optimistic about next year, only a measly 15 percent plan to focus on technology innovations and just 21 percent plan to tack on additional products/services. Kind of bummer news, considering innovation can be a consumer magnet. What are you plans for 2012?
Mark Cuban sees a strong link between sports and business. Both are games of sorts, but in sports you at least get some time off. As Erin Bury of Sprouter writes, Cuban is quick to advise entrepreneurs to start small, grow slowly and focus on sales.
There is really just one reason you should go into business—to solve a problem. (Making money is an extra bonus.) As Lisa Fickenscher writes on Go In Motion, entrepreneurs are smart to ask themselves what value your product/service offers to the market. Complete her simple exercise and you may be on your way to improving your business.