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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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Small Business Shipping Logistics

Shipping logistics

If you think your quality product that consumers need can sell itself, you’re wrong. Unfortunately, how quickly you can get the product to your customer plays a huge role in the success of your business.

When figuring out shipping logistics, keep in mind the following.

What to keep in mind

  • Your company’s objective. This will help determine how much to spend on logistics. If your goal is to get your product in the hands of the consumer as quickly as possible, then spend more on logistics. If your strategy is to be a low-cost alternative, you’ll have to find ways to cut on spending.
  • Service sells. Transparency in the shipping process can be the best move your company makes. Often times it’s not possible to get your product to the customer by the next day, but sometimes all customers want is an efficient communication system.
  • Your management system is just as important as your forklifts and storage. It’s easy to pay big money for things you can see, but an effective management system can save costs on both the front and back end.
  • Keep track of your costs. By knowing how much you’re spending on shipping each item, you’ll know where you need to cut on spending.
  • Get competing quotes. Shop around every few years to make sure you’re getting the best help with your shipping logistics for the best price.
  • Plan ahead. By starting the shipping process before the busy season starts, you won’t feel like you’re drowning when more orders are coming in then your business can really handle.
  • Keep up on sales and operations. By accurately forecasting what your consumers want, you can stay on top of inventory.

Third party logistics

Some small businesses have found that working with a third party provider is too expensive for them, but this isn’t always the case. Check out options like UPS, FedEx, and DHL and their small business units to see how they can help. Often these companies have streamlining options for shipping that you may have missed.


Packaging is the perfect time to expand your branding. High quality packaging with your high quality product is just another piece of the puzzle to optimize the user experience.

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.