Our weekly roundup of the most relevant articles this week in the small business world.
The numbers: The National Federation of Independent Business small-business optimism index fell 2.6 points in November to a seasonally adjusted level of 104.8, the lowest in seven months. Most of the decline coming from expectations about future sales and business conditions. No components of the index gained during the month, and only two were flat. Still, NFIB, a lobby group for small-business owners, pointed to an “exceptionally strong two-year trend” for the sentiment tracker. The November decline was the third in a row.
In this economy, small businesses want to own their office space, and this year, owner-user demand has grown alongside office rental rates throughout Southern California. However, there is dearth of small office for-sale opportunities that has limited options for business owners looking to buy. Small business owners looking seriously to buy an office space under 10,000 square feet need to begin looking 12 months in advance and be competitive, which could mean an all-cash offer.
Sixty-six percent of small business owners who do not offer a retirement plan today are likely to consider an open Multiple Employer Plan (MEP), according to a new survey 1 from Empower Retirement. Open MEPs are defined contribution plans sponsored by more than one unrelated employer. Two separate proposals, one in the U.S. House and one in the Senate, would broaden the scope of open MEPs by allowing more small businesses to band together to offer a retirement plan. Small business owners’ interests in open MEPs are piqued over potentially lowering the costs to their organizations and lowering fees to employees in a workplace retirement plan offering, survey results show.
Instagram currently has more than 1 billion active users. It’s one of the fastest growing social platforms on the planet and is especially popular with young people, who happen to be a popular target for a lot of small business. So if you’re not already using Instagram to reach your small business audience, you probably should be. But it’s not enough to simply sign up for an account and start posting about your products or services. You need to actually get people to follow you if you want your content to be seen. Here are some practical steps you can take today to get more followers for your small business Instagram account.
As inconceivable as it may sound, women entrepreneurs needed a man to co-sign their business loan up until October 25, 1988; that is a mere 30 years ago.The absurdity of this practice is highlighted in a case where a divorced woman who didn’t have her husband present had to have her 17-year-old son co-sign her small business loan.