employee discounts http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/5248/all en-US 7 Things You Need to Know About Investing in Company Stock http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-investing-in-company-stock <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-investing-in-company-stock" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/surging_business.jpg" alt="Surging Business" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you are employed by a public company, there is a chance that you will be offered the option to invest in company stock in your 401(k) or purchase company shares at a discount. This can be a nice perk for employees, and a possible incentive for them to work hard and remain loyal to the company.</p> <p>But investing in company stock is not without its pitfalls. You may recall stories about workers from Enron, Lehman Brothers, and other firms who lost much of their retirement money when those companies went bankrupt.</p> <p>If you have the chance to purchase company stock, consider taking advantage of it. But also be aware of some of these key pieces of information beforehand.</p> <h2>1. Sometimes you get company stock for free or at a discount</h2> <p>Companies distribute stock to employees in a number of different ways. Sometimes, it's simply given to workers as part of compensation plans. Other times, it's in the form of options that allow workers to buy shares at a certain price. (For example, you may be able to lock in shares at $45 per share even if they are selling at $60 on the open market.) This can be a nice benefit to employees beyond the normal salary, and it's often designed as an incentive to make them feel more invested in the company's success. If the company does well and share prices rise, employees can benefit financially. But the flip side is also true. If the company performs poorly, you could lose.</p> <h2>2. You already depend on your company</h2> <p>Your financial well-being is already heavily dependent on the success of your employer. The company pays your salary, offers you health benefits, and may match your contributions to your retirement plan. If you accept company stock, even more of your financial future is tied up with the health of the company.</p> <p>&quot;By using one's financial capital (i.e. 401(k) balance) to purchase employer stock, an individual is effectively over-allocating to the future success of his or her current employer,&quot; Morningstar said in a research report on the issue. This may be fine when the company is doing well, but bad news if the company is struggling. If you do accept company stock, take steps to diversify your income and investment holdings so your success and the company's success are not so intertwined.</p> <h2>3. Company stock should not be your sole retirement strategy</h2> <p>Many people have found themselves in trouble when they've decided to put all of their retirement plan contributions into company stock. Or, they've accepted company stock as compensation without contributing their own money into a diverse set of investments. This is dangerous because it places all of your retirement money into a single company that could go bust at any time.</p> <p>This is what happened with many Enron employees, who were left with nothing for their retirement when the company collapsed. Company shares should only be viewed as one component of a broader investment portfolio that includes a healthy mix of stocks from various industries and asset classes.</p> <h2>4. There may be tax implications</h2> <p>Unless your employer allows you to buy company stock as part of a tax advantaged retirement plan, you will be asked to pay taxes on any dividends you earn, and on capital gains when you sell. So keep this in mind at tax time.</p> <p>If you own a large amount of company stock, those shares could represent a sizable tax bill that you will have to plan for. And if you decide to sell shares shortly after acquiring them, remember that capital gains could be taxed at the normal income rate rather than the long-term capital gains rate, which is lower.</p> <h2>5. Companies that offer stock aren't necessarily stronger</h2> <p>You should not assume that a company's stock will perform well just because they are offering shares to you. In fact, there is some evidence to suggest that companies that dish out a lot of stock to employees actually perform worse than companies that don't. You may feel like you are cheating if you invest in companies other than your own, but your future self will thank you.</p> <h2>6. You may end up with more company stock than you realize</h2> <p>If you've acquired company stock over the years and it's performed well, you may find that over time it has taken on a disproportionate share of your investment portfolio's value. On one hand, it's good that the share price has risen, but now your portfolio is way out of balance and a big bulk of savings is at risk if those shares drop in value.</p> <p>It always makes sense to check your portfolio frequently and rebalance when you find yourself overweight with any one investment. This is especially true when dealing with company stock. As a general rule, avoid letting company stock make up more than 10 percent of your total investments.</p> <h2>7. Owning company stock has become less popular</h2> <p>Offering company stock used to be more common than it is now among organizations looking to attract top talent. The percentage of company stock in 401(k) plans has declined over the last decade. Back in 1999, company stock made up about 17 percent of the assets in 401(k) plans, but that figure has declined to 7 percent, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. And it appears that newer employees are less likely to place company stock in their retirement plans; EBRI reported that just 30 percent of new workers placed company stock in their 401(k) plan, compared to 44 percent of all planholders.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-things-you-need-to-know-about-investing-in-company-stock&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Things%2520You%2520Need%2520to%2520Know%2520About%2520Investing%2520in%2520Company%2520Stock.jpg&amp;description=7%20Things%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Investing%20in%20Company%20Stock"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Things%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Investing%20in%20Company%20Stock.jpg" alt="7 Things You Need to Know About Investing in Company Stock" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-investing-in-company-stock">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-costly-mistakes-diy-investors-make">9 Costly Mistakes DIY Investors Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bookmark-this-a-step-by-step-guide-to-choosing-401k-investments">Bookmark This: A Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing 401(k) Investments</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-risk-averse-can-get-into-the-stock-market">How the Risk Averse Can Get Into the Stock Market</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-essentials-for-building-a-profitable-portfolio">5 Essentials for Building a Profitable Portfolio</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-your-401k-is-a-good-or-a-bad-one">How to Tell if Your 401K Is a Good or a Bad One</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment 401(k) company stocks employee discounts portfolio pros and cons rebalancing retirement risks taxes Mon, 16 Oct 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Tim Lemke 2035892 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Companies With the Best Employee Discounts http://www.wisebread.com/8-companies-with-the-best-employee-discounts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-companies-with-the-best-employee-discounts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_bags_000084069437.jpg" alt="Woman working at company with best employee benefits" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Only 29% of U.S. workers are <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/on-leadership/wp/2013/10/10/only-13-percent-of-people-worldwide-actually-like-going-to-work/">engaged and emotionally invested</a> in their work and focused on helping their organizations improve. Given that most employers are only planning to raise wages by an <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2015/08/26/pf/best-cities-for-pay-raise/">average 3% in 2016</a>, consider companies that provide other ways to make your dollars go further.</p> <p>Here are eight companies with some of the best employee discounts.</p> <h2>1. American Apparel</h2> <p>If your friends look to you for advice on the latest fashion trends, and choosing your wardrobe is one of the most important parts of your day, consider looking for a job at American Apparel. Its store managers even pay attention to what applicants wear during interviews.</p> <p>Buzzfeed reported that employees working at American Apparel receive a cool <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/summeranne/which-retail-chains-have-the-best-employee-discoun#.ycwYEN6ezd">50% off on all store items</a>, no exceptions. Since it's company policy that you wear only American Apparel clothes to work, you also receive a $200 stipend to buy their clothes when you first start.</p> <h2>2. Apple Store</h2> <p>Receiving a discount at an Apple store is really hard. The only two common ways to get a discount are either through the <a href="http://www.apple.com/shop/browse/campaigns/education_pricing">Apple Education Pricing</a> program &mdash; which allows students, parents of students, and teachers to save up to $200 on a new Mac, and up to $20 on a new iPad &mdash; and the Black Friday sales event.</p> <p>On the other hand, Apple Store employees are eligible for a 25% discount on the iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro on their first day of employment. Additionally, you can receive a 25% discount on each purchase of one item from the iPod, iPad, Airport base station, and Apple Display models, provide your friends and relatives a 15% discount on up to three products, save 50% on software and 10% on third-party accessories, and receive an additional $250 off an iPad or $500 off any Mac computer every three years.</p> <h2>3. Bed Bath &amp; Beyond</h2> <p>The 20% off coupon from Bed Bath &amp; Beyond is so legendary that even actress <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/zooey-deschanel-never-pays-late-fees-and-5-other-smart-money-lessons-from-celebrities">Kristen Bell is a fan</a> of it. Imagine if there was a way to get that discount every day without having to wait to find a coupon in a magazine or an email &mdash; there is! Bed Bath &amp; Beyond associates receive a straightforward 20% discount on all purchases and a 30% discount once a year during Christmas. Associates can also choose from a monthly list of random items that are priced at cost.</p> <h2>4. Best Buy</h2> <p>After a three-month period, employee are eligible to buy a wide selection of items sold at Best Buy stores at wholesale cost, plus a 5% to 10% markup, depending on item. Former Best Buy employees report on Reddit that you can make substantial savings on batteries and tech accessories. For example, the black housing for a GoPro H4 camera retails for $50 and an employee was able to <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/gopro/comments/3fmhnb/best_buy_employees_what_do_the_accessories/ctpxvcn">purchase it for $15 to $20</a>.</p> <h2>5. Brooks Brothers</h2> <p>Clothing retailer Brooks Brothers offers a great 60% employee discount on all merchandise with no cap on items of dollar amount, according to a reddit poster. At Brooks Brothers you can shop clothes for kids, men, and women so you won't have a hard time finding gifts for friends and family. This employee discount is perfect for those looking to start building or completely revamping their entire wardrobe.</p> <h2>6. J. Crew</h2> <p>Just like at American Apparel, employees at J. Crew stores receive an employee discount on items for their work wardrobe. Every month you can receive a 50% employee discount on five items that you plan to wear at work, so outerwear isn't eligible for this discount. However, you can receive a storewide 30% employee discount on all full-priced merchandise. J. Crew also provides a list of slow-selling or overstock items each week that employees can get 60% off the retail price on.</p> <h2>7. Whole Foods</h2> <p>All Whole Foods employees are eligible for a default <a href="http://fortune.com/2011/05/18/5-reasons-why-its-great-to-work-at-whole-foods/">20% discount</a> on all store purchases. By meeting certain ranges for blood pressure, BMI, and total cholesterol, and not using nicotine products, Whole Foods employees are able to pump up their employee discount from 20% up to 30% through the <a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/careers/about-our-benefits">Team Member Healthy Discount Incentive Program</a>. Spouses and eligible domestic partners of Whole Foods employees are also eligible for the employee discount. Given that there are some foods that are actually <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-that-are-actually-cheaper-at-whole-foods">cheaper at Whole Foods</a>, employees are able to save on organic and socially responsible food items even more.</p> <h2>8. Zappos</h2> <p>Known as one of the companies with the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-companies-with-the-best-customer-service">best customer service</a>, Zappos aims to please its employees as well. Among the many employee benefits that the company offers, Zappos provides a <a href="http://about.zappos.com/jobs/why-work-zappos/our-benefits">40% employee discount</a> on the Zappos.com website and several discounts with local businesses. Another employee perk worth mentioning is that Zappos covers 100% of an <a href="http://fortune.com/2015/03/11/companies-offer-all-healthcare-coverage/">employee's health care premiums</a> and 71% of his or her dependents' health care premiums.</p> <p><em>What are other companies that offer excellent employee discounts?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-reasons-to-choose-traditional-books-over-e-books&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Companies%2520With%2520the%2520Best%2520Employee%2520Discounts.jpg&amp;description=8%20Companies%20With%20the%20Best%20Employee%20Discounts"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Companies%20With%20the%20Best%20Employee%20Discounts.jpg" alt="8 Companies With the Best Employee Discounts" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-companies-with-the-best-employee-discounts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/part-time-jobs-that-can-get-you-serious-discounts">Part-Time Jobs That Can Get You Serious Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-great-retail-jobs-for-working-parents">5 Great Retail Jobs for Working Parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-stores-with-the-best-price-matching">10 Stores With the Best Price Matching</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-power-banks">The 5 Best Power Banks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-avoid-sneaky-online-price-changes">6 Ways to Avoid Sneaky Online Price Changes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting Shopping benefits electronics employee discounts perks retail savings Thu, 11 Feb 2016 16:00:07 +0000 Damian Davila 1653343 at http://www.wisebread.com Part-Time Jobs That Can Get You Serious Discounts http://www.wisebread.com/part-time-jobs-that-can-get-you-serious-discounts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/part-time-jobs-that-can-get-you-serious-discounts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3581706078_3982f70f8a_z.jpg" alt="barista" title="barista" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Part-time jobs are great for supplementing income, but there are other things to consider &mdash; like, what kind of perks do they offer? If you&rsquo;ve got to put in a few extra hours a week, you might as well reap the benefits, right? To help you narrow your list, I&rsquo;ve highlighted several types of part-time jobs and the bonuses associated with them. Take a look. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-when-money-is-tight">9&nbsp;Ways to Earn&nbsp;Extra Cash&nbsp;When&nbsp;Money&nbsp;Is Tight</a>)</p> <h2>Retail Sales (Clothing)</h2> <p>I took a job at the Gap in high school because it was a fun environment, it gave me the weekend spending cash I needed, and it offered a hefty discount on the inventory since employees were encouraged to wear the brand&rsquo;s clothes.</p> <p>I worked at several retail establishments during my high school and college days actually, including Britches, Abercrombie &amp; Fitch, and Hollister. All of these companies provided me with anywhere between 20 and 60% off my new duds. This was perfect for me since I like to buy new clothes, but the discount was even handier around the holidays, so I could save on gifts.</p> <h2>Retail Sales (Non-Clothing)</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re not a clothes horse but find yourself buying other items &mdash; like electronics, furniture, or appliances &mdash; there&rsquo;s still room for you in the part-time retail workforce. Many companies offer amazing discounts to employees. For instance, Williams-Sonoma, although its items tend to be a bit higher-end to begin with, offers 40% off merchandise, while hardware store Lowe&rsquo;s provides 10% to its employees. The trick here is to find that part-time job where the steep discount is most in line with what you most need to save money on.</p> <h2>Restaurants</h2> <p>Consider the cost the meal that restaurant employees generally get for free during their shift, and you&rsquo;re looking at more than $1,000 worth of food savings over the course of a year. Even when you&rsquo;re off the clock, many restaurants offer an employee discount, so you can treat your friends to lunch on the cheap.</p> <h2>Coffee Shops</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-drink-coffee">Coffee lovers</a> may want to consider a part-time gig as a barista. Coffee shops like Starbucks give its employees free drinks while they&rsquo;re working &mdash; gotta stay alert &mdash; and a free pound of coffee to take home each week.</p> <h2>Airline Industry</h2> <p>You don&rsquo;t have to be a flight attendant to work in the airline industry &mdash; there are plenty of jobs that handle pre-flight details.&nbsp;</p> <p>Airlines are rather generous to their employees in terms of discounts, with many offering free flights. Southwest, for instance, offers employees unlimited <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">free flights</a> to wherever it flies so long as there&rsquo;s room on the plane. Airlines also tend to have inside deals with competitors to help you save on travel outside of your employer&rsquo;s network.</p> <h2>Grocery Stores</h2> <p>We all have to eat, which is why it makes sense to pick up a few hours at your local supermarket if you&rsquo;re strapped for cash. Most supermarkets offer about 10% off their employees&rsquo; grocery bills &mdash; savings that really adds up over time. And, yes, you can still use your coupons, too. It also wouldn't hurt to befriend the people in the deli and bakery who might throw a few freebies your way from time to time.</p> <h2>Movie Theaters</h2> <p>Fancy frequent trips to the movies? To save a bundle on new releases, work a couple nights at your local multiplex. Employees are graciously granted access to any flick they want to watch, whenever they want to watch it, so long as the show isn&rsquo;t sold out. Depending on your appetite for movies, you can save several hundred dollars per year on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">your entertainment bill</a>.</p> <h2>Day Care Centers</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re a parent seeking part-time employment, look into helping out a local day care center several days a week. What better way to bring in extra income and make sure that your child is well taken care of during the day? You may not get the service completely free, but your employer will likely give you a discount on the overall cost.</p> <p><em>What other part-time jobs can you think of that offer great discounts? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/part-time-jobs-that-can-get-you-serious-discounts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-companies-with-the-best-employee-discounts">8 Companies With the Best Employee Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them">22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-money-over-memorial-day-weekend">7 Ways to Make Money Over Memorial Day Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-cool-jobs-for-fashion-lovers">18 Cool Jobs for Fashion Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-part-time-jobs-to-do-while-your-kids-are-at-school">17 Part-Time Jobs to Do While Your Kids Are at School</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Job Hunting employee discounts part-time jobs retail Tue, 01 Jan 2013 11:00:31 +0000 Mikey Rox 959761 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Employee Benefits at Little (or Zero) Cost http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/4-employee-benefits-at-little-or-zero-cost <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/4-employee-benefits-at-little-or-zero-cost-julie-rains" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/4-employee-benefits-at-li...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/4-employee-benefits-at-little-or-zero-cost" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000008111943XSmall.jpg" alt="happy employees" title="happy employees" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want to offer big-time <a href="http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;218396076;41475586;v?http://www201.americanexpress.com/sbsapp/FMACServlet?request_type=alternateChannels&amp;lpid=298&amp;openeep=17460&amp;ccsgeep=17460">benefits</a> on a small budget? Consider the advantages of these cost effective benefits for your employees and your company.</p> <h2>1. Flexible Hours</h2> <p>Offering the opportunity for flexible hours may be one of the best ways to attract and retain high performing, talented, and motivated employees. Flextime, work-at-home, and short workweek options allow your employees to work when they are most productive and give them time for personal and family commitments.</p> <p>Here are steps in providing flexible schedules while maintaining control of your operations:</p> <ul> <li>Set guidelines for acceptable schedules, which may include earlier-than-standard starting and ending times (6 a.m.-3 p.m. rather than 8 a.m.-5 p.m.), one-day-per-week telecommuting from home, or a 4-day workweek (10 hours per day).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Decide what employees will qualify for flexible schedules; establish eligibility by performance rating and tenure, for example.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Develop policies and procedures for submitting requests, approving requests, reviewing effectiveness of schedules, and revoking schedule changes.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Figure out how you'll handle holidays, vacations, overtime, and special requirements (e.g., schedules during peak-volume periods).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Institute safety guidelines to avoid injuries and <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/money-saving-strategies-for-workers-compensation-julie-rains">workers' compensation</a> claims that may have been prevented with standard schedules and traditional work environments.</li> </ul> <p>Before offering flexible schedules, establish performance standards for the company, each department, and individual employees, and design methods of measuring and monitoring results (if you haven't already taken these steps). You'll want to be able to determine if performance stays the same, falters, or improves following schedule changes.</p> <h2>2. Employee Discounts</h2> <p>Discounts can encourage your employees to evaluate, purchase, and use your company's products and services, which can be advantageous to your employees and your business. Direct engagement with your products and services can make your employees more knowledgeable and better company evangelists. Sales associates can make more precise recommendations to customers; service representatives can more effectively consult on intended applications; marketers can elevate relevancy of features and benefits.</p> <p>Here are ways to assure that this benefit enhances rather than detracts from your business:</p> <ul> <li>Decide when discounts are available, either continuously or on a restricted basis (e.g., one week each year).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Create guidelines for products and services eligible for discounts or stipulate items that are never discounted; for example, inventoried items may be purchased for a discount but special order items are never discounted.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Set discounts, such as 30% off retail price or 10% above cost. Consider the message that discounting conveys, being careful not to reveal profit margins to a large audience.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Check vendor agreements to make sure discounts don't violate contracts.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Establish rules relating to purchase limits so that you can avoid inventory shortages and make sure that employees don't resell products.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Define acceptable payment methods and terms, or require immediate payment via cash or charge card.</li> </ul> <h2>3. Corporate Memberships</h2> <p>Corporate memberships with free or vastly discounted individual memberships can not only allow employees to save money on various services but also advance company priorities.</p> <p>For example, a Y membership can promote physical fitness, with potential for reducing healthcare costs. Cultural or recreational affiliations can provide venues for client entertainment and inexpensive family outings. Professional association memberships, though not traditionally classified as an employee benefit, can be a boon to those who might otherwise pay individual dues in order to access training and networking opportunities.</p> <p>Take these steps in signing up for corporate memberships and offering discounts:</p> <ul> <li>Identify new memberships that will be most beneficial to your company and its employees, or leverage existing memberships.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Compare corporate discounts with widely-available discounts to confirm that your company is actually getting a price break on individual memberships, season tickets, training classes, etc.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Define employees who are eligible for free or discounted services. You might offer health club discounts to all employees, season passes for baseball games to sales representatives, and association memberships to staff members in certain disciplines (e.g., credit, finance, research, IT).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Decide whether your company covers all costs, subsidizes expenses, or simply passes along savings to individual employees for member-only services.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Establish payment policies and mechanisms, such as payroll deductions for health club memberships or direct payments from employees to outside organizations for baseball game tickets.</li> </ul> <h2>4. Higher Education</h2> <p>Tuition reimbursement can be pricey but cost-conscious companies can design programs that control expenses while enabling employees to pursue quality higher education. Matching curriculum choices with employees' training and development needs can boost productivity, decision making, and team collaborations.</p> <p>Take these steps to reap value from higher education without overspending:</p> <ul> <li>Identify quality but inexpensive educational options such as community colleges, distance learning from online and brick-and-mortar universities, and specialized training with credit toward professional certifications.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Establish an education budget for the company and thresholds for individual employees.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Decide whether your company will pay all or part of tuition, fees and books, and whether payment is dependent on successful completion of courses.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Give temporary flexible schedules, extended lunch hours, or extra time off (either in addition to or instead of tuition reimbursement) for the purpose of allowing employees to attend class, conduct research for projects, or prepare for exams.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Set up guidelines to submit and approve requests for expenses and time dedicated to higher education.</li> </ul> <p>Talk to your <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/how-to-choose-an-accountant-for-your-small-business-lynn-truong">small business accountant</a> about tax deductions associated with these employee benefits.</p> <script type="text/javascript"> federated_media_section = "gold"; </script><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/4-employee-benefits-at-little-or-zero-cost">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cant-get-a-bank-loan-8-other-ways-to-finance-your-business">Can&#039;t Get A Bank Loan? 8 Other Ways To Finance Your Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lessons-we-can-learn-from-blockbusters-demise">Lessons We Can Learn From Blockbuster&#039;s Demise</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/business-succession-planning-part-2-how-life-insurance-will-insure-the-life-of-your-business">Business Succession Planning Part 2: How Life Insurance will insure the Life of Your Business</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Small Business Resource Center employee benefits employee discounts small business Mon, 15 Mar 2010 21:48:45 +0000 Julie Rains 5509 at http://www.wisebread.com SECRET DISCOUNT CODES just in time for Mother's Day - let's go shopping! http://www.wisebread.com/secret-discount-codes-just-in-time-for-mothers-day-lets-go-shopping <p><img width="296" height="423" title="open gift" alt="open gift" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/opengift.jpg" /></p> <p>I love these discounts. It makes you feel special knowing you're getting, say, 30% off when every other sucker is paying full price. But being a Wisebread blogger I have to share the wealth with my readers. After all, I can't keep a clean conscience knowing I'm letting you guys pay full price for something, ever. So, without further ado, here's a bunch of great discount codes (some just in time for Mother's Day...hey, nothing wrong with getting Mom more for your money), and the applicable dates if known. Shop till you drop my fine frugal friends.</p> <p><em>Please note - I haven't had a chance to test them all, so if they don't work for you, please let us know in the comments area. If they do work, also let us know. We like good news more! </em></p> <p><strong>ZALES.COM - $50 OFF $200 - Expires May 13th (I just tried it...works great!)</strong><br /> Discount code - <font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">EMILES200 (not good for clearance items and other discounts)</font></p> <p><strong>WHITEHOUSEBLACKMARKET.COM - $20 OFF $80 </strong><br /> Discount code - <font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">8368</font></p> <p><strong>THE BODY SHOP - $10 OFF $30 - Expires May 14th</strong><br /> Printable coupon - <a href="http://p.p0.com/YesConnect/HtmlMessagePreview?u1=297344-2-0-ARTICLE-0&amp;a=KB2mSerHYxqjy32wRoMhW"><font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">get it here</font></a></p> <p><font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"> </font></p> <p><strong>BATHANDBODYWORKS.COM - $10 OFF $30 </strong><br /> Discount code - <font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">LUXURY10</font></p> <p><strong>BLOOMINGDALES.COM - 20% OFF - Expires May 17</strong><br /> Discount code - <font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">MAY20</font></p> <p><strong>ROOKSBROTHERS.COM - 25% OFF - May 10th - May 14th </strong><br /> Discount code - <font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">FRIEND24</font></p> <p><strong>KHOLS.COM - 10% OFF - Expires May 12th </strong><br /> Discount code - <font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">NEW5807</font></p> <p><strong>TIMBERLAND.COM - 10% OFF</strong><br /> Discount code - <font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">SAVE10</font></p> <p><strong>GYMBOREE.COM - 30% OFF - May 10th - May 13th </strong><br /> Discount code - <font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">CFFRIEND</font></p> <p><strong>SHOPBOP.COM - 20% OFF - Expires May 11th </strong><br /> Discount code - <font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">BOPMOM2007 </font></p> <p><strong>MARTHASTEWARTFLOWERS.COM - 15% OFF - </strong><strong>Expires May 11th </strong><br /> Discount code - <font size="2"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">SPECIAL</font></font></p> <p><strong>REDENVELOPE.COM - 10% OFF - Expires May 15th </strong><br /> Discount code - <font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">REDHHONORS</font></p> <p><strong>TRAVELOCITY.COM - $75 off a Mexico vacay - Expires July 15th</strong><br /> Discount code - <font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">GETAWAYMEX75</font></p> <p><strong>VICTORIASSECRET.COM - $10 OFF ANY REGULAR PRICED BRA</strong><br /> Discount code - <font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">SP75521 (need Angel's card)</font></p> <p><strong>US.REDOUTE.COM (La Redoute) - 25% OFF</strong><br /> Discount code - <font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">LRNEWSITE</font></p> <p><strong>COLDWATERCREEK.COM - $25 OFF $100 - Expires June 30th</strong><br /> Discount code - <font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">PLA3138</font></p> <p><strong>CATHERINES.CHARMINGSHOPPES.COM (Catherine's) - 20% OFF - Expires August 3rd</strong><br /> Discount code - <font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">776829004</font></p> <p><strong>HARRYANDDADVID.COM - 10% OFF </strong><br /> Discount code - <font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">HKW</font></p> <p><strong>LNT.COM (Linens N Things) - 20% OFF - Expires May 13th</strong><br /> Discount code - <font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">MAY0407</font></p> <p><em>Photo by <a href="http://flickr.com/photos/seraphimc/">SeraphimC</a> (many thanks)</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-discount-codes-just-in-time-for-mothers-day-lets-go-shopping">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/coupon-of-the-month-30-off-a-30-purchase-at-shopnbc">Coupon of the month! $30 off a $30 purchase at ShopNBC.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-bowling-balls-just-pay-shipping">FREE bowling balls - just pay shipping</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Deals codes coupons deals discounts employee discounts friends & family savings secret savings Thu, 10 May 2007 20:07:48 +0000 Paul Michael 624 at http://www.wisebread.com