Navigating Hot Button Issues Successfully As A Small Business Owner


Hot button issues like minimum wage increases, pardons and employment law changes can affect the way you run your business. Increased payment obligations can become a burden on your finances. Changes in employment law can affect the way you run your daily business activities. These are important issues that can influence the direction your business takes. If you are a small business owner, it is imperative that you educate yourself on developing issues. Here is a list of hot button issues for small businesses.

What Are Hot Button Issues?

Hot button issues are typically believed by many to be the hot topics for discussion on any given day or week. However, this is an oversimplified view of the concept. Hot button issues are, in reality, far more pressing than just the day’s gossip topics. These issues are very much politicized issues having to do with social, economic, theological, spiritual, scientific or legal topics. Think of the recent scandal surrounding the Russia capital, for example. This is very important for a business owner. Wrongfully navigating a politicized issue can ruin your business, just ask Nordstrom.

Worker Classification Laws

The Department of Labor recently agreed with the IRS to share information with each other in order to enforce correct worker classification. Their main goal is to reduce the tax-gap between violators and law-abiding employees. This primarily affects companies that employ independent contractors. Typically, independent contractors are considered as such because they have their own equipment and workers. However, the DOL and IRS are going out of their way to reclassify independent contractors as employees. They believe that all businesses should be responsible for paying their share of payroll taxes. If your business frequently employs independent contractors, you might want to look into reclassifying them. You would not want this hot button issue to lead to an audit.

Minimum Wage Increases

Discussions about minimum wage increases have been raging on for the past few years. Seattle, Los Angeles and New York City recently approved $15 minimum wage hikes for certain occupations. Supporters are looking to implement these changes nationwide. Most employees within the consulting or technology industries already earn above the minimum wage. However, those who run non-unionized businesses like restaurants and retail stores may suffer from increased payment obligations. The hope is that reduced employee turnover and increased productivity will help to offset the wage increases. This is an enormous hot button issue to pay close attention to if you run a business that employs minimum wage workers.

Healthcare Costs

Healthcare costs have always been an issue for small business owners, even those who own a simple craft business. Insurance premiums are prohibitively expensive and prices have only increased in recent years. However, the biggest concern has been the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The ACA requires small business owners with at least 50 full-time employees to provide health insurance. If they fail to do so, they risk facing a penalty. It is recommended that you review your healthcare options each year to see if you can save on costs. This is a hot button issue that is not going away any time soon.

Mobile Payment Technology

The implementation of mobile payment technology has been one of the hottest trends in business. Industry experts predict that mobile transactions will account for approximately 50% of all business revenue by 2017. There have been aggressive movements to encourage the switch. One similar aggressive movement was the Oct 1, 2015 deadline for businesses to accept credit cards with chips. Most business owners reported that they were not aware of the deadline. As a result, they were held liable for damages resulting from security fraud within their office. . New payment technologies are going to become standard in business. Take heed of this hot button issue and educate yourself on developing trends in mobile payment technology.

Hot button issues can affect your business in considerable ways. Minimum wage hikes can increase the financial burden employees place on your business. Healthcare reform can lead to increased fixed costs and unforeseen penalties. Your business should not have to be blind-sided by changes in your industry. Use this post to stay informed about hot button issues that can affect your small business.

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