Archive for May, 2020

Growing Reliance on the Internet Brings Focus to Digital Accessibility

Speaker: Rachelle Golden,  Associate Attorney of Hatmaker Law Group

Introduction

Our guest speaker Rachelle Golden of the Hatmaker Law Group is an expert on proactive ADA compliance strategies. In the first of a series on this topic, she described the federal and state regulations that apply to website accessibility. She also outlined the financial implications of not being fully compliant.

Tom’s key takeaways:

Now, More than Ever

Even in a healthy economy, “predatory lawsuits” and well-intended lawsuits concerning the poor website and mobile-device accessibility can wipe out a business. In the current economy, where businesses cannot afford additional expenses, it’s even more important to preserve and invest in business and mobile applications, also reducing the risk of litigation.

Website Accessibility

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) covers technological aids such as websites and mobile devices.  The Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA/2.1 are not law, but guidance for how to accommodate auditory and cognitive disabilities, speech impairment, and others. The guidelines touch on areas including website code to ensure compatibility with screen-reading software.

Start Now!

Business owners – no matter the size – should be considering how to ensure full access to their online sites. As you do so, consider posting an “Under Construction” notice that explains you are working to improve the site so that everyone can access it. But that in the meantime, visit our page on Facebook.  Facebook and YouTube sites are compliant with WCAG 2.0 AA/2.1.

More to Come

Rochelle will continue the discussion at a second session Thursday, May 28, 2020.

Watch the video

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admin on May 25th 2020 in NEXGEN - On Day 91, Web Stuff

CA Labor Laws – Ever Changing!

Speaker: Cindy Flynn of HACKLER FLYNN & ASSOCIATES, APC

Introduction

Our guest speaker Cindy Flynn, founder of Hackler Flynn & Associates and an expert in labor law, detailed the Paycheck Protection Loan Program, or PPP. She discussed updates to PPP and to unemployment benefits, including changes announced as recently as last week. She also shared guidance on how to safely bring employees back to work and on best practices for employees who prefer to remain working from home.

Tom’s key takeaways… watch the video because she shared a lot!!

PPP Funds Still Available

PPP covers a wide range of expenses for qualified business owners: in addition to payroll costs and compensation (capped at $100), healthcare benefit continuation, mortgage interest, rent, utilities, employee cell and internet costs, and more. The original $600 billion in Small Business Act loans has not been depleted. As of this week, there are $100B in available loans. The covered period is February 15 to June 30.   

Bringing Back Your Workforce

CDC and OSHA guidelines are must-read materials before bringing employees back to work. OSHA has identified three employee risk categories, with regulations and guidelines for each. Cindy outlined steps to take (and what to avoid) for when, after their return to work, employees test positive or show symptoms of the virus.

Cindy’s firm has developed a playbook for how to bring employees back to work, including a sample welcome back letter. She also has a checklist for the 19 things to track to be compliant with related labor laws. For copies, contact Cindy at her email: cindy@hacklerflynnlaw.com.

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admin on May 18th 2020 in NEXGEN - On Day 91

Know Your Price or Pay the Price

Speaker: Per Sjofors Founder of Atenga Insights

Introduction

Our guest speaker was Per Sjofors, “the price whisperer” and co-founder of Atenga Insights. 

Pers began the session by discussing pricing psychology and willingness to pay, including real-world examples to illustrate how to select the right pricing. He also itemized several strategies to increase sales at higher prices.  Tom’s takeaways:

Role of Data and Science

Pers’ practical pricing theories are based in behavioral economics and “stand on the shoulders” of industry thought leaders Peter Drucker (i.e., “Customers rarely buy what the business thinks it sells them”) and Warren Buffett, the master of pricing power.

Price is important, of course, but profits come from three variables: cost, sales, and price. Price has the highest leverage. In one example by Pers, if you increase sales by 1%, profit goes up 3.5%. If you reduce costs by 1%, profit goes up to 5.5%. But if you increase the price (decrease discounts) by 1%, the price goes up 11%.

Leverage Price Walls

Price walls are psychological price points where a small change in price generates a significant change in sales volume.  Some companies – especially large companies – can use trial and error as an approach.  Pers recommends defining via price-specific market research to accurately measure what people are willing to pay.

Importance of Segmentation 

Segmentation is often more important than pricing. This involves identifying the product or service attributes – for example, features and functions, sales channels, and marketing messages. When you know how each of these affects willingness to pay, you have a winning recipe for how to go to market.

Proven Strategies

Pers detailed three other strategies for practical pricing: price anchoring, leveraging small price changes, and increasing pricing on low-volume, commodity products, and services.

Interested? Watch the presentation replay to learn more! 

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admin on May 11th 2020 in NEXGEN - On Day 91

Fears and Liabilities as Employees Return to Work

Introduction

John Tulac, international business transaction attorney and lecturer emeritus at California State Polytechnic Pomona, discusses the pandemic-driven challenges facing distributors, manufacturers, and service providers as they consider re-opening.  

Tom’s top takeaways:

Fear No. 1 Factor   

As they consider re-opening offices and plants, companies need to prepare for their employees to be fearful to return to their jobs. John stressed the importance of installing a variety of safety procedures and described what one California distributor did. He also noted some companies may face a different new reality: Employees may opt to stay off the job, preferring to receive unemployment benefits that exceed their normal income.

Get Ahead of the Curve

Many companies are planning for how they will re-open. John shared the approach taken by a California distributor that adopted safety practices that are applicable to businesses of all sizes. Originally categorized as non-essential, the company paid its workers to stay home for five weeks. When new state regulations allowed, the company re-opened but with new practices like creating a staggered schedule, with half the workforce at a time on alternate days. They reconfigured the workspace to allow for social distancing and introduced an array of safety procedures and required practices.

New Liabilities for Employers

Historically, employers were not held liable for employee illness, largely because there was no case to be made that the workplace was the source. Today, however, employers may be vulnerable to such claims if employees can clearly point to circumstances where protections were inadequate.

Interested? Watch the presentation replay to learn more! 

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admin on May 4th 2020 in NEXGEN - On Day 91