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Employee Handbook

employee handbook

Even if you feel like your employees are your second family, an employee handbook is just a good business practice. Read on for reasons why this helps communication and where to start this seemingly-daunting task.

Why do I need an employee handbook?

There are many reasons you should have an employee handbook.

The first is for time-savings. Instead of answering the same question multiple times, employees can reference the handbook for questions regarding vacation or sick leave.

The second is for consistency. Writing down expectations ensures you’re treating each employee fairly (no matter how well-intentioned you try to be).

Finally, and most obviously, an employee handbook is just a good legal practice. The reality of owning a business is that some day you’re going to have to fire an employee or someone is going to get very sick. Planning ahead and being transparent through an employee handbook is a great way to cut down on any drama that may come up down the line.

Where do I start?

The best way to start is the old-fashioned way—make a list.

You probably already have policies in your head; start with those. As your list expands, you’ll quickly realize which policies you should prioritize.

Consider having your employees at this conversation as well. Employees will have great insight into what sorts of questions have come up for them—policies such as dress code, scheduling, and more.

Stay tuned for next week’s blog where we go through a handbook outline, as well as cover state and federal regulations.

Inspiration for this post came from “Yes, You Really Need an Employee Handbook,” by Melisa Morrison published in the February 2022 issue of American Quilt Retailer.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you. And don’t forget, you can always purchase single issues if you prefer that instead.

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How you know it’s time for expansion

Expansion - is it time?

Are you wondering if it’s time to grow your business? Check out these six signs to see if expansion is the best option for you.

  • You’re bored. Do the days feel like you’re stuck in a rut? Maybe it’s time for a challenge, and one challenge that will get you off the hamster wheel is seeing if expanding is the best option for you.
  • You’re overworked. You gotta make money to spend money, and if you’re doing work that could be delegated to someone else, think about hiring someone part time. With that extra time you could find more ways to make money.
  • You’re in high demand. Do you have to schedule orders weeks in advance? Are you having to turn customers away because you’re out of stock? This is a tell-tale sign to find ways to partner to make sure everyone leaves your store happy.
  • You’re profitable. If you’re making a profit in the hundreds (or even thousands) consistently, you are ready to expand. If your profits aren’t trending, then wait a while until they do. Read this article from Forbes to find out more.
  • You have opportunities. Has someone contacted you for a larger than usual order? Are people wanting to partner? Jump on that opportunity before it goes away (after all you never know when it will come again).
  • You have ideas. The best entrepreneurs act on market trends. Do your research first, but if you’re sure something is going to take off find a way to make a profit off it.Expansion.png

Expanding is exciting and can open doors for your business you never imagined. If you’ve been thinking about it, maybe it’s time to take the next step.

This article was inspired by The Small Business blog.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

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How to get out of that business rut

Nobody ever said being a business owner would be easy.

But nobody ever mentioned that chasing a dream would mean constantly feeling overwhelmed either. Being crunched on time seems to lead to a never-ending cycle of stress and haste.

When taking a step back is too detrimental after years of hard work, follow these steps to get your business back on track.

Reflect on past mistakes

Regret can prevent progress, so instead of asking what went wrong, transform the thought into something positive. For instance, instead of asking why you didn’t get the sale, think of how you got the customer into your store. Then reflect on what you can do differently to seal the deal the next time a potential customer comes around.


Identify the problem

If you feel you can’t get your business out of a rut, try to identify what got you there in the first place. If it’s your busy schedule, reflect on how you can make some more time for yourself. Whether you schedule time for mindfulness into your day, or contact the local high school home economics teacher to see if students would be interested in volunteering to help with projects, make a plan to give yourself some breathing room and go after it.

identify the problem

Set goals

Speaking of planning, set attainable goals for yourself. Follow the SMART outline when establishing your goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, results focused, and time bound. For instance, instead of having the goal of “increase Instagram followers,” convert that goal to “increase Instagram followers by at least 10 a week for the next four weeks,” and create a spreadsheet to keep track of the data. At the end of the four weeks, revisit your goal, and reevaluate.

pen and paper

Keep the dream in sight

While you’re planning your way to taking your business to the next level, don’t forget to keep your dream in sight. Write down why you’re doing what you’re doing and put it in a place you will see often. Use it as motivation to plan the next goal, or to avoid getting in another rut. Remember, not everyone gets to live their dream, so make sure to keep yours enjoyable.

reach for the stars

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.