Carefully defining their roles with the help of a business coach was critical to developing a strong working relationship for Katy and Georgia Alston, the mother-daughter duo running Pinks Vintage Ice Cream. The Alstons and other entrepreneurial families discuss the challenges and delights that accompany working with relatives.
Some retailers may be neglecting customer service in their rush to speed up sales and enhance efficiency, says Trevor Hardy of The Future Laboratory. New technology can help retailers, but they have to make sure it improves the customer experience.
There is a disconnect between what managers believe motivates employees and what actually motivates them, writes Susan Fowler. Managers will often ascribe their motivations and beliefs to others, she notes, and oftentimes organizational constructs prevent managers from directly affecting pay, title or bonuses.
Women don't need to adopt all the communication styles of men or use only one style, but it's clear that they face higher expectations, or what Andrea Kramer and Alton Harris call the "Goldilocks dilemma." "Because workplaces are so suffused with gender bias, women need to have both a forceful, decisive style and an inclusive style -- and probably many others -- at the ready," they write.
Online lenders could rebound this year after a tough 2016, writes Eyal Lifshitz, founder and CEO of BlueVine. Financial-technology companies are likely to diversify their products and pursue partnerships with banks, he writes.
Low or irregular income and lack of access to a tax-advantaged savings plan are creating difficulties for many workers in the "gig economy" to save for retirement. Experts acknowledge that these workers' income can be unpredictable, but they recommend striving to put part of each paycheck toward retirement savings.
Loyalty programs tend to be effective, with members generating more revenue growth than non-members. But there's significant room for improvement, and Rieva Lesonsky reviews six loyalty program features that can deliver superior results.
Some business owners are concerned about a bill, recently passed by the Baltimore City Council, that would eventually raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Some companies are planning to blunt the effects of the bill by laying off workers, halting expansion plans or taking other steps.