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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Law & Regulation


Small business of all sizes have to comply with both federal and state labor laws. You must know the rules. Some of the issues are:


Definition of employees





Equal opportunity





Is your business in order?


Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor


Saturday, August 15, 2015

A Bad Restaurant Example

My wife and I recently went to an upscale local restaurant. It is “upscale” because of the location on the waterfront, linen tablecloths, limited menu and its high prices, none of which was a surprise to us. Unfortunately even with all those things going for it, along with very good tasting food, the service took it down a number of notches. The waitress, when she finally arrived, was unable to respond to two simple questions. Question one: Could we be served a meal noted on the menu as not served after 6 PM? It was 6:30 PM. Question two: what was the price of a menu item noted as “market price”?

Oh yes, we ordered a bottle of wine while waiting for the answers. Ten minutes later she returned to our table with two wine glasses and an answer to question two ONLY. No wine and no answer to question one. Upon reminding her to get an answer to question one, she went away for another ten minutes. Then the wine showed up. Then an answer to question one…NO! We prepared for this with a backup item and ordered it, along with the high priced other item we selected. The waitress never came back to the table to pour any wine. We filled our own glasses, but did not finish the bottle. It is customary in this town to take an unused bottle of wine from a restaurant, sealed to your home. When the waitress was asked to package the wine she said: “we do not do that!” We said: “yes you do, ask the manager! She returned some fifteen minutes later with the appropriate packaging, but we had to ask her again to bring the bill. She did not return to the table to pick up the credit card. I walked to the bar to pay the bill, shorted the tip to make my displeasure noticeable, and left. We will not return or recommend this place to anyone.


What would you have done? If this was your business what would you expect to happen?


Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor




Saturday, August 8, 2015

Value of Service


You have a small business servicing the boating industry. Four years after you installed four of your products for one of your regular customers, he reports that three out of the four have cracked and water is leaking into his boat. The original installation cost the customer over $4,000.00, and he says either the material or the installation was inferior.

What do you do?

Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Condominiums and trees

So you finally set up your new business in a location that provides adequate internal floor space. The location also has as an exterior court yard with a beautiful shade tree near your door with seating for those friends and family waiting for your customers. After all, this is Florida and shade is important. You recognized that most of your customers travel through the area with friends and/or family, some not likely to purchase your products or service. For example, if you have a women’s shop these could be boy friends, husbands, children, etc. But you know you want that woman in your shop. Your shop could be one that a man would frequent, it could be the girl friend, wife, children, etc. that wait outside.

So your shop does well over a number of years and you are pleased with progress. A few years ago you accepted the offer to purchase the Condominium property you have rented.  One Monday morning, you show up and find that the beautiful shade tree has been cut off at its base, with the stump left at ground level. No notice, no discussion, just GONE. You recall that over the years there were Condo board discussions and meeting minutes that have addressed potential tree removal in other parts of the property, but not one word about your shade tree.

You recognize that your business will be negatively impacted as a result of the missing shade tree. Upon asking the Condo board about it they tell you it was a dying tree, a message you find hard to believe as you saw it every day. You ask around, including the landscaping crew that took it down. You determine the tree had one dying branch that could have been pruned to save the tree. You also find that the plans do not include removing the stump and replacing the tree. Instead the plan is to plant a small tree eight feet away, and that much further away from your shop.  You also determine that this new tree will not shade your shop. The Condo rules prevent you from shading you shop front yourself.

What do you do?

Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor