September 30, 2022

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Same challenges, new tricks

While many larger corporations are reporting an easier time hiring these days, small businesses are still struggling to find qualified workers. According to a Goldman Sachs survey of nearly 1,500 small business owners, more than one-third said hiring challenges had worsened over the summer. The result: Businesses are short-staffed, overworked, and losing out on work opportunities and profits. 

Many businesses have already increased employee compensation and expanded employee benefits without seeing much improvement in hiring prospects. Now, they’re getting creative. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, writer Ruth Simon interviews various small business owners about how they’re working around hiring challenges—from training schools to updating their job requirements:

In August, Vladimir Gendelman eliminated college-degree requirements from all job positions at his Company Folders Inc., a Pontiac, Mich., maker of custom presentation folders, binders and envelopes. He came up with the idea after promoting his executive-assistant to a job as print project manager, though she didn’t have any skills or training in printing, prepress or graphic design.

“We realized we don’t need an education,” he said. “We need somebody who is learning on their own, somebody who can figure things out.”

For more learnings, read the full article here

Avoid these 4 common pitfalls of success

Like all forms of success, business success isn’t linear. Just because you achieve your goals doesn’t mean you’re immune to failure or setbacks. You can double your business or score an impressive contract, and still end up stalled—or even a few steps back from where you started. How? By succumbing to one of the four common pitfalls of success: 

  1. Overconfidence
  2. Throwing money at problems
  3. Lowering your standards
  4. Failing to evolve 

Inc. columnist Jeff Haden breaks down these pitfalls, including why they’re dangerous and how you can avoid them. Read the full article here

How to get your student loans forgiven if you make more than $125,000

President Biden recently announced his student-loan forgiveness plan, but people who earn more than $125,000 aren’t eligible. However, there’s an exception for taxpayers who earn self-employment income. Think: small business owners, freelancers, and gig workers. 

If you’re self-employed and you requested an extension to file your 2021 tax returns, according to the Wall Street Journal, you may be able to reduce your income enough to qualify for the $10,000 federal debt loan forgiveness. One way to reduce your gross income to under $125,000 if you’re filing on extension is to contribute the funds to a retirement account like a SEP-IRA. The limit for SEP-IRA contribution is 20% of your net earnings from self-employment, and the maximum contribution is $58,000 in 2021. 

If you have more than $125,000 in self-employment income and requested an extension for your 2021 taxes, putting the money into a retirement account could significantly reduce your student loan debt. However, the strategy only works if you have the extra money to sock away into retirement; otherwise, you might be stretching yourself too thin. As always, we recommend consulting your accountant or a financial professional if you have questions regarding your specific situation. Read the full article here

Fresh From Gusto

Watchlist

OCT 19: The Evolving Role of the CFO and Women in Business

Since the start of the pandemic, women in business and finance roles have had to endure significant changes—from remote work challenges to larger strategic adjustments. As the business landscape continues to evolve, women are being forced to redefine their roles. Hosted by Oracle NetSuite and Entrepreneur, this webinar provides actionable advice on how your business can better support women in the workplace. You’ll get insights on leadership, growth opportunities, changing responsibilities, CFO pathways, and more. Register here

OCT 19: What it Takes to Lead an Organizational Transformation

Does your business need a ground-level organizational transformation? Changing your organization—from your workplace culture to your employee retention rates—takes time and strategy, but it is possible. EY and Oxford University have teamed up to discuss the research behind effective organizational transformations. You’ll pick up valuable insights on what makes a successful transformation and what happens when transformations don’t work, as well as tips on how to implement lasting organizational change. Register here

OCT 20: Shocking Truth: Business Finance and Personal Finance Set of Values are Not That Different

Improving your financial literacy isn’t just beneficial as a business owner—it’s also crucial to making informed financial decisions in your personal life. This webinar from the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) will discuss practical strategies to improve your financial health. You’ll learn about the importance of managing your personal credit, building an emergency fund, and saving for retirement, among other things. Register here

Find the latest relief options in our Small Business Relief Finder.

Want more news and resources? Check out past editions in our archive.

Mohini Kundu Mohini Kundu is a news editor on the Gusto content team. She studied journalism at Northwestern University and started her career at The Huffington Post before embracing the #startuplife.
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