Small Business Resource Center

Partner with Your Bank to Remove Irritants and Mitigate Risk

When you’re running a commercial or middle market business, plenty of things are challenging. Banking shouldn’t be one of them. If you picked a bank based on a flashy rate and found the grass isn’t as green as you expected, seek a partner who is dedicated to you for the long haul. Here's how to identify the team that will serve you best.

Caring for your employees’ financial fitness is the right thing to do and good for your business

Taking care of your employees' financial wellness is the right thing to do - and it can be good for your company. People who are financially stable are happier, healthier and more productive. As your employees’ main source of income, health insurance and retirement plans, you may be best positioned to help. So what can you do about it?

Creating an Insurance Captive Can Bring Broader Coverage, More Cost Control

For all businesses, insurance is a necessity. There are policies to cover the business and its property, policies to cover its employees and owners, and policies to protect against special risks like cyberattacks. While trusted, experienced insurance brokers are valuable to most businesses, there is a point at which commercial companies should consider creating their own insurance company. Our expert shares why and how.

Meet Customers Wherever They Are With Multiple Options to Order and Pay

When it comes to buying and selling things, people have become accustomed to placing orders and managing online storefronts from wherever they are and with a variety of payment sources. Online shopping, mobile payment apps and electronic transactions exploded over the past few years, and the demand has continued to grow.

eCommerce Can Open New Doors (And Keep them Open When Yours are Closed)

No matter the business hours you keep, eCommerce can extend your “open for business” timeframe, offering convenience and potential advantages over competitors. It can also provide an additional revenue stream to help grow your business more quickly. The best way to manage eCommerce in the long term is with an all-in-one payment gateway. Merchant Services Advisor Mike Tesoro outlines the options and highlights the advantages.

The Nuts and Bolts of Equipment Finance

No matter what business you’re in, equipment is likely one of your major capital expenses. Planning for a purchase takes careful planning and strategy, as do any maintenance and upgrades it needs. To get started, this is what to talk over with a trusted equipment finance advisor.

Competing for Government Contracting

Is your business ready to compete for the biggest customer in the world? The U.S. federal government allocates hundreds of billions of dollars every year for government contractors. If you've ever considered being one, whether as a subcontractor or prime, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Projections for Federal Procurement in 2022

Get up to speed on the landscape for federal procurement in 2022 and a closer look at three upcoming procurements for technology contracts with the U.S. Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security and the General Services Administration. Pinnacle’s National Capital Region team hosted Jeff Shen and Joe Salgado, the president and general manager of Red Team Consulting, for a webinar on what businesses should know going into 2022. Watch the replay to learn more about bidding for contracts with the single largest customer in the world.

Shopping for Merchant Services

The explosion of e-commerce over the past decade and the popularity of virtual payment terminals have led to a vast array of options for businesses to accept payments. If you’ve shopped the offerings lately with plans to upgrade, you know how challenging it can be to compare packages. What should you look for as you investigate the possibilities?

Relief for Flexible Spending Account Plans: Considerations For Employers

Thanks to the CARES Act and other regulatory updates, employers that offer cafeteria plans and flexible spending accounts can allow their associates a few temporary relief measures. These options were available to employers starting with plan year 2020, and plan year 2021 is the last chance to take advantage of them. What are the options, and what’s involved for companies that opt in?

Better Benefits Pay Off for Employer and Employee

Businesses are competing for talent in a tight labor market, while workers continue to reevaluate what they expect from their employer. Competitive salaries will only go so far. People are attracted to much more than money. They want a loyal employer who invests in their associates’ present-day wellbeing and future growth and success. Savvy employers—even small ones—are realizing this comprehensive approach is a great way to recruit and retain associates for the long-term.

Find Some Ease in Open Enrollment

Managing open enrollment for your employees can stressful. It happens every year, but plans change and employees turn over, so it often feels like you're starting from square one. Add in compliance regulations and deadlines, and your benefits team can feel overwhelmed. We have tips for managing the stress and helping your employees get signed up with ease.

Look Before You Leap: Retirement Plan Due Diligence in M&A

M&A is already incredibly complex whether it involves your company or one of your vendors, like your retirement plan provider. Losing sight of any detail can set a trap that springs even after the transaction has closed. Before you make any commitments, take a closer look into the hidden corners where complications could lie.

How and Why to Make eCommerce a Permanent Part of Your Business

eCommerce and contactless payments were a lifeline for many businesses in 2020. Now they can become a permanent part of the revenue stream to help your company grow. Choose the right tool to help you manage day-to-day digital sales and take full advantage of the opportunities they can provide.

Refresh Your Business Plan Post-pandemic

Your business has survived a major crisis, and you’re ready to quit surviving and get back to thriving. First, though, you should do a thorough analysis of your business and financial plans. Now that you’ve experienced what could be a worst-case scenario, the timing is perfect. These are the lessons you can take from hard times to strengthen your business.

Powerful Benefits for Health and Wealth

Employer-sponsored health insurance is a highly valuable benefit to employees. For many Americans, it’s a necessity. But when employees add up their portion of the premiums plus deductibles and coinsurance, the total can put a significant dent in their household budget. Worries about paying for healthcare can lead to stress, which, as we know, is not good for health. Among the ways employers can help is to offer tax-advantaged healthcare accounts, which help employees offset the burden of these costs.

Prep your business for a socially distant world with online sales, delivery, curbside and new ways to take payments

As the pandemic continues to unfold, it’s drastically changing how businesses can interact with and accept payment from customers. Social distancing measures may be in place for the long-term, and another wave of shutdowns isn’t out of the question.

Small Business Survival Tactics for a Crisis

National and economic crises have far-reaching effects, and small businesses are especially vulnerable. If you start having doubts about your sustainability, here are some tactics you can explore to help pull your company through.

Shift your business to a seasonal model for pandemic uncertainty

Many business owners don’t know when they’ll be able to open at full capacity or whether they’ll face another temporary shutdown in the future. It could cause some year-round companies to start thinking and operating with a seasonal model. Here are some tactics to help spread the impact of seasonality.

Save Your Small Business from Disaster with a Continuity Plan

Being prepared for interruptions of your day-to-day operations is important for businesses of all sizes. So many scenarios can affect your business, and you never know what will strike or when. Having a plan for these disruptions can be the difference in weathering the storm or closing down shop.

SECURE Act Makes it Easier for Small Businesses to Offer Retirement Benefits

For small business owners, offering retirement benefits to employees can be a challenge. Many want to do the right thing for their employees and stay competitive, but it’s a complicated process and seems expensive. What are the options for business owners and their employees who haven’t taken part? A new federal law may help.

Hiring & Leading: How to Build a Winning Team

Your people are your most valuable asset. They will make or break your company’s success. Do you have the right team in place? Are you leading them effectively? Learn from the experts how to find and put together a winning team and then coach them to success.

Six Reasons HSAs are a Great Benefit to Offer Employees

Because HSAs are tied to the ominously named “high-deductible health plan,” they sometimes get a bad rap. That’s really too bad because they offer a great many benefits to both employers and their employees. In addition to helping your people make better health choices and start savvy investing, they can help your company save money.

The Proximity Principal: People Plus Place Equals Opportunity

People are more likely to do business with those who are close by or with whom they interact often. But networking and handing out business cards isn't enough. The key is creating intentional, genuine connections. Join this conversation with national radio host Ken Coleman on how to bond with people and places that will lead to growth for your business.

Stories That Sell: How to Make Your Marketing Hit the Mark Every Time

For business leaders trying to grow their companies, sales skills are rarely enough. It takes marketing, which means finding the best way to communicate your great ideas to the people who need them. Learn how to make your marketing more effective through simple improvements in communication.

A trust is a valuable tool for your business succession plan. Here’s why.

What will happen to your company when you're gone? A succession plan is much more than just an idea of who will run the company when you're not able or no longer want to. Multiple factors come into play. Don't wait to start building your plan. Start now, and make sure trusts are part of it.

Need more flexibility in your business insurance? Do it yourself.

Every business owner wants to feel secure and in control. While traditional insurance offers plenty of security, it sometimes lacks the flexibility to adapt to the nuanced and changing needs of some businesses. But one alternative is gaining popularity and could be the right answer for you.

5 Kinds of Insurance Coverage Business Owners Usually Miss

Insurance isn’t the most exciting thing you spend money on, and its benefits aren’t immediately tangible. When you need it, however, you often realize it’s the most valuable thing you own. If you have reduced costs at the expense of coverage, make sure you’re not missing these key policies that every business owner should consider.

4 Steps You Can Take Right Now for Your Family Business Succession Plan

What happens when you’re ready to leave your company and pass it on? Don’t wait for your lawyer or CPA to bring up succession planning. Even if you have no plans to step down, even if you’re a decade or more away from retirement, this is something you can start addressing right now with a few simple additions to your annual routine.

The One Thing You Need to Turn Your Employees into a Team

Picture the look on my face when, on my first day at Pinnacle, I was told that the CEO would personally lead a three-day orientation for me and my class of fellow new hires. Surely not, right? Terry Turner can’t block three days on his calendar to spend with new hires. Oh, but he did.

How to Keep a Small Business Feel as You Grow

How can we continue to meet and exceed our associates’ and clients’ expectations as we grow larger and expand into new markets? As always, it’s the people. More specifically, it’s the people and the unchangeable core of the company that keeps us grounded even as we take on new challenges. What is your unchangeable core? Are your people committed to it?

4 Tips for Building a Smart Incentive Plan that Serves Your Clients

Incentive plans are a bedrock practice for many businesses, and there are ways to build them that serve your clients, shareholders and your business, not just individual employees. That’s what we have done at Pinnacle, and you can do it too.

Develop Your Team Like a Pro

Developing and investing in people is the most effective way for owners to grow their businesses. Here are five tips for building professional development into your company’s growth plans.

Think Like an Athlete to Sell Your Business

If you’ve reached the peak of your career and are considering selling your business, you can learn a lot from Olympic athletes. Here are six lessons you can take away from this summer’s games in Rio.

4 Questions for Family Businesses

Family owned businesses operate day to day like any other company, but they do have special considerations to keep in mind. Here are some factors to consider when planning for your family business’s future.

Building Trust: Beyond the Basics

Building trust matters in all aspects of leadership, whether at the office, with your family, at church or in the community. The “why” is obvious, but the “how” is a little more complex. Go beyond the basics to become not only trusted, but indispensable.

Navigating International Trade

About 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States. Making the transition from domestic to international trade can be challenging for U.S. companies, but the risks can be managed. Find out how.

Creating a Great Workplace

What makes a company a great place to work? Find out what Pinnacle did to become the No. 4 best medium-sized workplace in the country and how you can use those practices in your workplace.

Protecting Your Business from Employee Fraud

Implementing procedures to monitor and restrict activities can save significant time and money in the long run.

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