links for 2010-01-01

  • For small business owners in the U.S., the cost of complying with government regulations is one of those ongoing problems that doesn’t receive enough attention. Perhaps it’s easy to overlook, given small employers’ skyrocketing health-care costs and worries about tax increases. But research commissioned by the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration reveals that the cost of complying with federal regulations is higher for small businesses than for midsize or large ones—45% higher on a per-employee basis, on average in 2004. For businesses with fewer than 20 workers, the cost of compliance is more than $7,600 per employee, compared with $5,300 for businesses with 500 or more employees.
    These numbers are of roughly the same magnitude as the employer share of employee health-care costs, which consulting and reinsurance firm Towers Perrin pegged at $5,760 in 2004 and $7,500 in 2009. So, on the basis of costs, regulatory compliance is a big issue for small businesses.
  • If LinkedIn Corp. wants to avoid being swamped by social-networking giant Facebook Inc., it will have to convince users like Jackie Nejaime to log in more often they do now.
    Ms. Nejaime, a San Francisco real-estate agent, uses LinkedIn to stay in touch with her 183-person network, check out job prospects and see if someone might be interested in one of the homes she’s selling. But she typically logs in only a few times a month because she says the site lacks features.
    “I would like to get more use out of it,” said Ms. Nejaime “I just don’t know how.” By contrast, the 47-year-old says she uses Facebook every day to touch base with friends and professional contacts.

  • Consider the impact a poor leader has on your organization and the cost the business incurs when recovering from a poor leader.
    I worked with a very bright leader and CEO of a midsized organization. He had a very high view of himself and he disagreed with any data to the contrary (including board level input). Over the short time I knew him, his senior leadership team turned over 100%. The cost of this turnover was likely well in excess of $1 million just to replace and train the new leaders.
    The cost does not include the customer impact because of poor service. The financial performance of the organization declined during his leadership and he was eventually removed from this role. During his tenure, his COO filed a lawsuit against him. The company did not recover from this leader and was eventually acquired when they had significant cash flow issues.
    (tags: leadership)

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