Should You Have a Business Mentor?

business (4)There are many issues a small business owner has to look into when running their own business.  Whether you have employees or not, all the decisions to be made come and stop with you.  Small and big business decisions and the success of your company are strictly correlated to the choices you make. Regardless of what decisions you take, research has shown time and again that having a small business mentor is extremely important and beneficial for you and the success of your business. To read more about this topic follow the links below.

Small business weekly: Health care, tax breaks and veteran entrepreneurs

A review of the biggest small business and startup stories from the past week, with a focus on Washington.

Under siege: Critics of the health care law, including many business owners, have long bemoaned a provision that requires employers to provide health coverage to their full-time workers. Now, some of the law’s supporters are starting to call for the rule’s elimination, too, warning that it will push employers to pull back on hours. (OSB)

More delays for many: The Obama administration last week approved 18 states’ requests to delay for a second year an important feature of the health law’s new insurance exchanges for small business. The feature was supposed to allow employers to give their workers a choice of multiple plans through the online marketplaces. (POL)

Suddenly small: The Small Business Administration last week announced that it would adjust its small-business size-standards for inflation, lifting the cap on either receipts or assets for 487 industries. Consequently, roughly 8,400 previously large companies can now apply for resources restricted to small businesses. (WBJ)

Look for support to combat small-business isolation

Years ago, when I first decided to start a business, a friend who had owned a small business for more than a decade gave me some words of advice.

She warned me that I would have to overcome three main challenges: a lack of financial stability; a need to be disciplined: the isolation of being a business owner.

I certainly understood that things would be rocky financially. And I quickly came to realize I had to establish strict work and spending habits to succeed.

But I brushed off her comments about isolation. How could someone like me, with so many contacts, friends and family ever feel isolated?

However, my friend was right.

Running a small business is a lonely business, especially if you work from home.

Even if you have an office and employees, all important decisions and major difficulties are yours. The buck stops with you — and that’s isolating at times.

Who do most people turn to so they won’t be in a vacuum?

• Spouse. Most spouses lose patience hearing the gritty details of your business.

Their own fears about money, the demands on your time, and their perception of your capabilities often color their advice. Besides, it’s often nice to have someone with whom you can escape from work worries.

• Employees. Employees can be a good sounding board for many things, but for

New insurance proposals give more choices to small business

PORTLAND, Maine — On average, insurers in Maine are seeking smaller increases to health insurance premiums for small businesses in 2015 than in the past decade, when annual increases have most often been in the double-digits.

The filings for 2015 still require state and federal review, but the first look at rates proposed by the five insurers planning to offer small group insurance next year in Maine show rate proposals for the first quarter of 2015 will rise 5.7 percent from the first quarter of 2014. Premiums have increased by at least 10 percent annually for the past seven years.

“At a high level, I can say what I’m looking at on paper is good news for small businesses,” said Joe Ditre, of the Augusta-based advocacy group Consumers for Affordable Health Care.

The average rate increase figures give a sense of how much more money the entire small group market stands to spend on health care costs. It doesn’t reflect what each business owner will experience.

“I think companies just kind of brace themselves for the annual quote from their brokers or agents and then see how they can handle it,” said David Clough, state director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses. “That’s been going on for a number of years.”