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Federal Tax Credits for Small Businesses 

With tax deadlines approaching, eligible small businesses can qualify for federal tax credits of up to 50% on premiums to help pay for the cost of providing health insurance. This exclusive tax credit is only available through Covered California for Small Business. For tax year 2023, the average wage of employees has increased from $58,000

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What do “Higher Performers” do? 

Some printing companies are “rocking it” – producing profits and returns far above industry averages. We refer to these companies as “higher performers.”   About a third of the printing firms participating in our March 2023 – Printing Industry Performance & Insights financial benchmarking study are higher performers. What makes higher performers different?   Below, I share

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Dear David: What’s a Mentor?

Question: What is mentoring in the workplace?  Answer: Mentoring is a professional relationship between a senior or more experienced employee (the mentor) and a newer or less experienced one (the mentee). The mentor shares their knowledge and experience, offering guidance, advice, feedback, and encouragement. The mentee, for their part, can go to their mentor with

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Print versus Digital: New Data 

A May 2023 study[] of 15 second and third-graders in Haifa, Israel provides new evidence supporting the value of print. The study examined brain wave activity and concluded that reading on paper stimulated key parts of the brain more effectively than reading the same text on a screen. The study has important implications for the

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Do You Use Printing to Market Your Printing Company?

Thoughts from a “Printing Industry Performance & Insights” study Dr. Ralph Williams Jr.Associate Professor of ManagementJones College of BusinessMiddle Tennessee State University Dr. Randy ClarkAssociate Professor of MarketingJones College of BusinessMiddle Tennessee State University Our April 2022 “Printing Industry Performance & Insights” study focused on sales management and marketing in printing firms. In that survey,

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Dear David: Are Working Interviews Allowed?

Question: We would like to add a working interview to our selection process. Is this permitted and are there other options to help us finalize our selection?  Answer: Yes, you can have a working interview as part of your selection process, but there’s a big caveat. If you have the candidate do “real work” that

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Color Printing Advancements: Before CMYK 

The four-color process using cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK) inks is a relatively new development in the history of printing; It has only been around for about 130 years. Its effectiveness builds on other technological developments like halftoning, offset lithography, and modern ink manufacturing techniques that enable wet-on-wet printing. Before CMYK, reproducing color images

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Dear David: Alternative Day Off Required

Question: What should we do when one of our designated paid holidays falls on a weekend when we aren’t open? Do we need to offer an alternative day off?   Answer: No, you don’t need to offer an alternative day off. There are no federal laws requiring private employers to provide paid time off for holidays. 

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How Your Hit Ratio Can Help with Revenue 

What’s the most important number in your business life? Your hit ratio—the percentage of quotes that turn into orders. It’s the number that separates high-profit printers from also-rans.  Why? Because it recognizes that a revenue-maximizing pricing policy isn’t created by your internally focused estimating system, “your cost,” but by your customers and the competitors that

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Dear David: Rules for Nonexempt Employees

Question: Can we tell nonexempt employees not to check email and messages when they’re supposed to be off the clock? They’ve been doing this a lot, and we don’t want to continue paying them for this additional, unscheduled time.  Answer: You can tell nonexempt employees that they shouldn’t read or respond to messages when they’re

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