MidAtlantic Automotive Aftermarket Association
4601 Gettysburg Road
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
(717) 761-6117 or (800) 382-1239
Fax: (717) 761-3771 Email: email@example.com
battle resulting in the design patent protection.
November/December 2007 The non-OE collision parts marketplace is the
current battlefield but the opportunity for Ford
and other OEMs to propagate their control of
What’s Inside replacement parts beyond bumper covers and
fenders into mechanical and electronic parts is
Patent Issue Update 1 not a far fetch.
Endorsement for Right to Repair 2
NJ – New Truck Idling Regulations 2 In response to this latest challenge to the
NJ – Paid Family Leave 3 viability of an independent aftermarket, the
NJ – Crackdown 4 Quality Parts Coalition (QPC) was formed to
PA – Small Business Dodges Tax Increase 4 mobilize opposition. On Monday, September 17,
PA – Health Care Mandates & New Payroll Tax 4 2007 the Quality Parts Coalition hosted a parts
PA – Lower Unemployment Compensation Tax 5 display near the north wing of the U.S. Capital.
Credit Card Fraud 6 On display were examples of both aftermarket
Fund Your Retirement 6 and OEM parts intended to demonstrate their
Plastic Bags 6 comparable quality and the lower price
Five Major Changes to Aftermarket 6 competition of the aftermarket products.
Don’t Risk A Lot to Save A Little 7
Boost Your Sales 8 “When the aftermarket is allowed to compete
Improve Chances with Right Hire 9 with the OEM car companies, the consumer
Younger Workers – Time Off 10 wins”, says Eileen Sottile, spokesperson for the
When Clients Won’t Pay 11 QPC. “ With competition, the consumer saves
Motorwatch 13-14 money on repairs using quality alternative parts
from the aftermarket. In fact, that competition
works to keep prices down on OEM parts too.”
In the last 20 years, OEMs have pushed hard
Patent Issue Update against the aftermarket with proprietary
language in the 1990 Clean Air Act and
The car companies have been wielding their subsequent aftermarket restrictions written into
power around the Federal and State policies enforced by the EPA and the California
governments for decades and they remain Air Resources Board. At the state level, OEMs
persistent in their efforts to gain a legislative attempted unsuccessfully in the 90s to pass
advantage over the independent aftermarket. design copyright protection for many parts and
When Ford won a design patent on a handful of for most of the last 10 years have vehemently
F-150 collision parts last year, they laid down yet opposed the aftermarket’s attempt to establish
another challenge to the aftermarket that, if the Consumer’s Right to Repair Act.
allowed to survive, could make the parts and
service aftermarket regulated servants of the “For now, this is a consumer issue”, contends
OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers). Skip Potter, Executive Director of the
Chesapeake Automotive Business Association
Keystone Automotive, a collision parts importer, (a Maryland-based small business aftermarket
was the chosen Ford target for the 2006 court trade association). “If OEMs are allowed design
patents on their parts its like being forced to buy
thread from the dress designer or a replacement letter goes on to state that “consumer and
refrigerator from your original home builder independent service sector access to vehicle
when things need repair. The consumer pays maintenance will in turn, greatly enhance overall
more when supply is monopolized.” public safety and the environmental efforts to
clean up our air.”
“Today the fight is about fenders and hoods as
OEMs claim them to be their protected work of For a copy of the letter, visit the Right to Repair
art,” Potter continues. “With the under hood website at www.righttorepair.org.
space getting smaller all the time, what’s to
prevent a creative OEM from redesigning the
shape of a battery or radiator, making those
designs protectable, as well. In addition, what if New Jersey DEP Issues New Truck
their tire tread designs are allowed to be
patented works-of-art? If the do-it-yourselfer and Idling Regulations
the professional aftermarket service centers are
limited to using car dealers only for supply, this The amount of time trucks are permitted to run
becomes a critical small business issue for the idle has been steeply reduced under New
American economy.” Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
regulations that took effect this summer. Diesel-
Aaron Lowe, Government Affairs Vice President vehicle drivers can no longer idle for 30 minutes
for the Automotive Aftermarket Industry at their place of business at the beginning of the
Association points out that this issue does not day or for 15 minutes following a three-hour
call into question the rights of ownership of a engine shutdown (except in very cold
functional patent granted to an inventor of a temperatures). Violators are subject to a penalty
unique new product. of $250-$1,000 per day for each vehicle.
For more information on this issue, visit After April 30, 2010, truck operators will be
www.qualitypartscoalition.om. prohibited from idling their vehicles overnight.
They will have to use new technologies such as
truck-stop electrification and alternative power
units to provide heating, cooling and other
Consumer Groups Endorse Right amenities without a running engine.
DEP provides grants to truck owners to install
Five consumer groups wrote a letter in late technologies to reduce idling and save fuel.
October to Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-NY, These technologies include alternate power
endorsing The Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to units, bunk heaters and tailpipe retrofits.
Repair Act (H.R. 2694). Signed by the Interested truck owners can contact the New
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Center Jersey Motor Truck Association at 732-254-5000
for Auto Safety, Consumers for Auto Reliability for more information on these grants. Get more
and Safety, Consumer Federation of America information about the DEP’s diesel program by
and Public Citizen, the letter states that visiting www.state.nj.us/dep.
“guaranteeing access to vehicle repair
information would empower consumers by
enabling their local mechanic to properly
diagnose service & repair their vehicles at a
reasonable cost.” Our eyes are placed in front
because it is more important to look
“The Right to Repair Act asserts a vehicle
owner’s right to choose a trusted local repair ahead than to look back.
shop and protects the right of independent repair Can You Afford 10 Weeks of Paid
facilities to compete fairly for customers.” The
personal comments and tell your legislators and
Tell Gov. Corzine, the Assembly Labor the governor why this Bill A-3812 is harmful to
Committee and Assembly Speaker Roberts to your business.
VOTE NO on A-3812.
The Assembly Labor Committee is scheduled to Talking Points:
consider A-3812 which has been amended to
allow every employee in New Jersey to take 10 This legislation is in direct conflict with
weeks of paid leave off every year. The bill the federal Family and Medical Leave
would be funded through an increase in the Act (FMLA) and the New Jersey Family
employee’s share of Temporary Disability Leave Act.
Insurance payroll tax.
The strain will be hardest on small
Current unpaid family leave law does not apply businesses which are exempt from State
to employers with less than 50 employees. This or federal leave policies that would be
proposal will impose a one-size-fits-all mandate covered under this legislation.
on every business and has no exemption for
small businesses with 1-49 workers. Small A mandate requiring paid leave
businesses that have never had to cope with incorrectly presumes that small-business
unpaid leave mandates will suddenly face the owners do not currently offer flexible
prospect of having key employees out for up to leave policies.
10 weeks at a time.
Small businesses already have programs
This legislation would make New Jersey only the in place that allow employees to balance
third state in the nation to offer such a program the responsibilities of work and family.
and would apply to businesses of all sizes!
MAAA is calling on all of it’s members to This mandate has the potential to hurt
help to defeat paid family leave. Businesses in conscientious employees. Over 90
New Jersey are already struggling to find and percent of businesses cope with
retain skilled workers. A paid family leave law employee absences by reassigning work
would force employers to find replacement to other employees.
workers who won’t be as productive or to pay
overtime and put more burdens on other Cost of such a generous leave proposal,
employees. such as increased overtime, hiring
temporary works or loss in productivity
NFIB believes that our businesses should be will fall on the employer.
permitted to tailor a benefit package to their
employee base and not have a benefit package Business owners will incur additional
mandated by the legislature. Passage of this training and search costs.
legislation will certainly add to the current anti-
business climate of New Jersey. Employers will lose flexibility as they are
forced to either comply with the new
Our members are strongly urged to contact legislation or provide a plan with benefits
Gov. Jon Corzine, Assembly Speaker Joseph at least as generous. This will prevent
Roberts and members of the Assembly businesses from offering benefit plans
Labor Committee. Tell them that it is time to that are suited to their particular
take a stand for New Jersey’s struggling employees’ needs.
small businesses and to vote “no” on this
anti-small-business legislation. Small-business owners already work with
NFIB/New Jersey has provided some sample their employees to grant sick or family
talking points to help you craft your leave when it is needed.
communication. Take a moment to share your
Temporary disability funds should be Lawmakers supported many of the governor’s
reserved for those who are disabled. An priorities, including substantial spending
expansion of the TDI fund has the increases for pre-kindergarten programs, laptop
potential to have a negative impact on computers for high-school students, child care
the financial viability of the fund and for low-income families, and services for the
could result in an increased tax burden elderly and persons with mental and physical
on employers. disabilities.
A paid leave mandate would have a NFIB members across the state were
profoundly negative impact on New instrumental in helping to block proposed
Jersey’s business climate. increases, including an increase in the state
sales tax to 7 percent, a new tax on electricity
usage, a new payroll tax to pay for health care
for the uninsured, a new gross-receipts tax on
home heating oil and wholesale oil distributors,
higher trash taxes, and new and higher taxes on
** Crackdown by State of tobacco, cigars and cigarettes. A special thanks
New Jersey ** to Senate Appropriations Chairman Gib
Armstrong (Lancaster) for leading the opposition
in the Legislature to the new tax-increase
MAAA has been informed of a crack down by proposals.
the State of NJ on the display of 2 sections of
the NJ state poster. The State is now requiring The plan will increase spending by about $750
the public display of the following 2 laws, The
million next year for highways and mass transit,
Public Accommodations, and Family Leave with automatic increases occurring each year
Act in a location viewable by the general public. after that. The Pennsylvania Turnpike will raise
State inspectors have been active in searching tolls on the Turnpike and impose new tolls on
out and fining business who do not have these 2 motorists using I-80.
laws displayed in a public venue. You may want
to consider copying these 2 sections from your The plan also diverts state slot-machine gaming
Labor Law poster and displaying them in a revenues originally earmarked for property-tax
section of your business that is open to the relief to fund construction of a new arena for the
public. We do not know the total scope of the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Convention Center
crack down, but we have been told by several of expansion in Philadelphia.
our larger NJ customers that they have been
fined for not having the notices in full view of the
Health Care Mandates and New
Payroll Tax Bad Medicine for Small
PA Small Businesses Dodge
Business in Pennsylvania
Tax-Increase Bullet in
New State Budget Kevin Shivers, state director of Pennsylvania’s
leading small-business organization, the
State lawmakers and the governor came to National Federation of Independent Business,
terms on a $27.5 billion state budget, which and NFIB Research Foundation Fellow Bruce
raises state spending almost 5 percent but Phillips today unveiled a detailed nonpartisan
included none of the tax increases proposed by study of the proposed “Cover All
Gov. Ed Rendell in February. The agreement Pennsylvanians” health-care plan. Phillips
was reached one day after the governor summarized the report for legislative and
furloughed thousands of state workers because executive staffers this morning before publicly
of the budget impasse. unveiling the study.
“Health-care costs and the ability to afford Shivers also was concerned the proposal would
quality health insurance continues to be the do little to address the fundamental problem of
most important issue for small business,” affordability, but could exacerbate the problem
Shivers said. “Small-business owners by expanding the size and scope of state
throughout Pennsylvania are looking for government with a payroll tax on those who can
solutions that make health care both accessible least afford it.
Cumberland County small-business owner
But details of the study conducted by Phillips Donna Parting said components of the plan
suggest that the mandates and payroll taxes would make running her small business more
contained in the Cover All Pennsylvanians plan difficult, with new costs eating away at her ability
would hit small-business owners hard. to maintain her present workforce.
“The 3 percent payroll tax on employers who “As it stands today, this proposal is unfortunately
presently cannot afford to provide health all stick with very little carrot for struggling small-
insurance to their employees would hit roughly business owners like me,” Partin said. “The
50 percent of all small employers in troika of new mandates, taxes and government
Pennsylvania,” Phillips said. “That tax, along bureaucracy will be a job-killer.”
with insurance premiums and accounting costs,
will cost small-business owners in Pennsylvania Shivers suggested that rather then focusing on
an estimated $1.9 billion annually.” building a larger role for state government in
health care, legislators should focus on
The study also projected the impact those costs measures to expand consumer choices and
would have on the ability of employers improve quality of services at a lower cost.
throughout Pennsylvania to maintain payroll and
grow their businesses. Phillips projected the “Many in Harrisburg have properly diagnosed
plan would cost Pennsylvania Businesses the ailment, but are offering the wrong treatment
167,000 jobs during the first five years of the for what’s ailing Pennsylvania’s health-care
program – with a whopping 103,000 of those system,” Shivers said. “Providing more options
jobs lost coming from small employers. and greater flexibility for employers to provide
health care to their employees ought to be our
“This proposal may be well-intentioned, but its goal – not creating a vast and costly
effect on small business in Pennsylvania could bureaucracy that in many cases will do more
be disastrous,” Phillips said. “The loss of more harm than good for struggling small-business
than 100,000 jobs in the small-business sector owners.”
of the economy could have devastating effect on
Pennsylvania’s ability in the future to attract
entrepreneurs and develop new industries.” PA – Lower Unemployment
Shivers was not surprised to learn the added Compensation Tax Rates for 2008
costs could cripple many Pennsylvania
employers, as many small job providers are The state Labor Department reports the average
already struggling. unemployment-compensation tax rate beginning
Jan. 1 will be 4.7 percent – down from 5 percent
“Small-business owners are already struggling in 2007 and 5.4 percent in 2006. The change
with an increasingly competitive global economy could save employers about $141 million.
and rising energy bills and other costs – a
whopping new payroll tax could put many of An automatic mechanism to maintain the
them out of business permanently,” Shivers solvency of the fund, from which unemployment-
said. compensation benefits are paid, was enacted as
part of a series of reforms to the state
unemployment compensation law in 1998. This
mechanism triggered a combination of tax New Law Allows Taxpayers To Deposit Refunds
increases and benefit reductions following the Into Retirement Accounts
New this tax-filing season is a change in the law
Based on the level of the trust fund on June 30, that allows taxpayers to deposit their tax refunds
the average annual benefit payments for the into an IRA. The new provision is part of the
past three fiscal years and economic forecasts Pension Protection Act of 2006 enacted last
for the coming year, the average tax rate for August. Under the law you can split your refund
employers for 2008 is projected to be 4.7 among three checking or savings accounts and
percent on the first $8,000 of wages. The three different US financial institutions by using
average employer cost for unemployment per Form 8888, Direct Deposit of Refund. The IRA
employee is projected to drop by $28. must be established prior to requesting a direct
deposit. It’s also necessary to notify your
account trustee of the year the deposit is to be
MAAA now accepts credit applied.
cards for your payment of Keep in mind that if you and your spouse are
dues or services. filing jointly, each of you may be able to
contribute $4000 ($5000 if 50 or older) to your
IRA for the tax year 2006.
Credit Card Fraud
Plastic Bags – The Clear Choice
If you accept credit card then at sometime or
another you’ve been presented with a card that More & more jobbers are switching from paper
won’t swipe in your machine. Is that card bags to plastic bags. Plastic bags are not only
counterfeit or just a demagnetized card? What stronger but they are also recyclable. MAAA has
you do next can be critical. See the enclosed available to their members 3 different sizes of
flyer for the steps you need to take to protect plastic bags and a convenient starter case with
yourself and pass this information along to your all 3 sizes included. We also have engine and
counter people. crankshaft bags, bags with handles and custom
bags with your company logo, name & address.
Support your association and order your bags
LAST CHANCE today.
ORDER YOUR 2008 CALENDARS
Five Major Changes to the
MAAA still has calendars available for Aftermarket
2008. Use them as handouts to your
customers for Christmas or the New Five major changes are underway in the 2007
Year. Great Selection, Great Advertising aftermarket, which will have profound influence
on aftermarket development during the next 10
& Great Prices! Call 800-382-1239 to
to 15 years.
Fund Your Retirement 1. Changes in Annual Vehicle Mileage
Through June this year, mileage by all
types of vehicles was down .04% The September and October issues of
compared to 2006. the monthly Lang Report present 2007
Unless there is a significant reduction in market share analysis of leading outlets
gasoline pump prices, it is likely 2007 in the Service and Do-It-Yourself markets
annual mileage will decline versus last as well as changes in the strength of
year. major outlets within these two
This would be the first time in more than aftermarket sectors over the past five
a quarter century (since 1981) that years.
annual mileage receded, and the first These changes in outlet share will
time since World Was II (over 60 years continue, with significant aftermarket
ago) that annual mileage declined consequences.
without gasoline shortages or rationing.
Source: Aftermarket Insight by Jim Lang
2. Increasing Vehicle Age
The age of light vehicles on U.S. roads Check out our website,
continues to climb. While this has been
underway for a number of years, www.maaa.us
differences between the average age of for our current
passenger cars versus light trucks and SALES!!
foreign versus domestic models is
3. Vehicle Mix Don’t Risk A Lot To Save A Little
While vehicles in operation continue to This article provided courtesy of Federated
increase, there is substantial variation in Mutual Insurance Company, your association’s
the growth of passenger cars versus light recommended insurer.
trucks as well as domestic versus foreign
models. The changing mix of vehicles in Over the past year, most business owners have
operation is being driven by shifts in the been cutting expenses where possible, usually
types of new light vehicles Americans by eliminating “extras.” Your insurance program
are purchasing. may be and should be one area you can
examine to find cost-saving advantages.
4. Service Market and DYI Market Perhaps you’ve sold or depreciated some
Growth equipment or vehicles that can be deleted from
your insurance policy. You may have changed
Over the past five years, the DIFM certain operations to eliminate exposures that no
(Service) market has increased at an longer need to be insured. That’s why it’s
average annual pace more than three important to review your insurance program with
times faster then Do-It-Yourself product your Federated marketing representative
purchases. annually and inform us about any changes.
This shift in how aftermarket products As you contemplate any reductions in your
are installed (by mechanics or Do-It- coverage, however, be wary of reducing your
Yourselfers) has profound implications limits of insurance to save premium dollars. In
for the usage rate of specific aftermarket the event of a devastating loss such as
products as well as where products are destruction from a tornado or a fire, you could be
purchased and how they are distributed. disappointed if the insurance settlement falls
below your expectations. Inadequate limits of
5. Changing Outlet Mix in the Do-It- insurance could prevent you from reopening
Yourself and Service Markets your doors.
Boost Your Sales By Accepting
It’s important to keep accurate records of your
business property values, including current Credit Cards
appraisals of your buildings and receipts for
equipment and other purchases. A machine Accepting credit cards is becoming a must for
purchased 15 years ago could cost two or three entrepreneurs and small business in today’s
times as much to replace at today’s prices. Your business environment. There are numerous
limits of insurance should reflect the social, demographic, and technological factors
replacement cost of your property, not combining to make plastic the payment form of
necessarily the purchase price. choice for increasing numbers of people.
Coinsurance provision By the Numbers
Business owners sometimes overlook the The average American cardholder has roughly
coinsurance provision included in most property four bank credit cards. Credit card purchase
insurance policies. “Coinsurance” means that volume has been expanding about 15% per year
you agree to keep you limits of insurance at or for the last five years or three times faster then
above certain percentage of the full replacement the increase in overall U.S. purchases. As of
cost of the property or you will have coinsurance 2005 credit cards accounted for 19% of all
penalties applied at the time of a loss. purchases, debit cards for 33% and checks for
only 11%. According to one estimate,
For example: businesses forfeit up to 80% of consumer
Suppose you purchased your building for impulse buys if they don’t accept credit cards.
$300,000 a few years ago and it is valued at
$500,000 today. You insured the building for Why People use Credit Cards
$250,000, which met your policy’s 80 percent To understand the growth in credit card use, it’s
coinsurance provision at the time. If your current important to grasp the reasons for their
policy’s coinsurance also is 80 percent, your popularity. Consumers typically use cards
limit should be $400,000 ($500,000 x 80%) or because:
higher to avoid penalties at the time of a loss. If They don’t want to carry cash
you had not increased your limit and a fire They want to save cash in hand
caused $300,000 damage to part of the building They want to gain loyalty points (such
today, with a $5,000 deductible, your claims as airline miles)
settlement would be $182,500. You would need They are making a large purchase
to come up with $117,500 to rebuild the They are looking to float money in a
damaged part of the building! back account
They are making a reimbursable
$250,000 divided by 400,000 (required limit) = .625 purchase for a company
$300,000 (amount of loss) times .625 = $187,500
Minus deductible - $5,000 Plastic on the Internet
Claims settlement = $182,500
Your Cost: $300,000 (amount of loss) minus $182,500 = $117,500
Even as credit card use grows in the real world,
(Note: This example is for illustration purposes only. Other plastic already dominates the world of Web
factors and policy provisions may also affect claims payments.) shopping. This breakdown of how people pay for
online purchases demonstrates that credit cards
There are many practical ways to reduce are the key to e-commerce:
insurance costs and keep your property
adequately insured. You don’t need to cut Credit card online – 85%
insurance expense at the expense of your Check mailed – 10%
business. Credit card via phone – 2%
Credit card via mail – 1%
Other method – 2%
The Business-to-Business Opportunity outside the company might wonder how you
ever got into management. This can adversely
It’s becoming increasingly clear that credit cards affect their regard for your judgment and
are also playing a greater and greater role in capability as well as your own employees’ view
business-to-business transactions. For example, of you as a manager. Some people will see the
Visa is bundling credit and cash management employees you hire as an extension of yourself
products for small businesses under the – and their regard for you can rise or fall,
umbrella of the Visa Business Card. according to the way they perceive your hires.
Larger companies are also streamlining their Managers hiring for entry-level positions often
buying processes using so-called business commit one of the biggest recruiting mistakes:
cards for indirect purchasing. Each business hiring hastily with an attitude that says, “if this
card transaction shaves a reported $50 to $100 one doesn’t work out I can always get another.”
in purchasing costs. That’s something to keep in This reasoning is wrong on two counts. First,
mind if your company works with large regard for the manager who goes rapidly
companies. thought multiple hires ignores the real – and
often substantial – direct and indirect costs of
The Future of Plastic hiring and placing employees.
Market research indicates that consumers view Hiring is an imperfect process at best. There is
credit cards as lifestyle enhancers that no foolproof formula for finding and screening
contribute to other areas of interest in their lives. job applicants and no way to guarantee that any
And credit card products now in development, given hire won’t be a dud. No one has yet
such as the “electronic purse” and online debit devised a reliable means of separating those
cards, promise to further extend the use of credit who simply talk a good job from those who can
cards. do a good job. However, you can take some
simple precautions to improve the chances that
It all adds up to bad news for checks. Paying each hire you make will be the right one.
with plastic is becoming increasingly popular for
even routine bills such as gas and electricity. First, remain aware that hiring costs money.
And younger customers’ preference for plastic Including direct and indirect expenses, it can
cards is even more pronounced. Check and cost anywhere from one-half annual salary to
paper credit use has continued to fall as twice annual salary to replace an employee.
consumers become more comfortable with the Every poor hire who has to be replaced
security of online credit card submissions and represents a significant amount of
the rise of operations like PayPal. unrecoverable cost.
For more information on the Association Credit Improving your chances of making the right hire
Card Program through NOVA Information, Inc., begins with careful screening of applicants. Your
call your MAAA office @ (800) 382-1239. human resources department may do this, but
you should involve your self in the process so
you know the range of applicants available. You
Improve Your Chances With the should first examine applications to weed out
people who don’t meet the minimum
Right Hire qualifications outlined in the job description. For
those who meet the minimum qualifications and
What your employees do reflects on you. The might be interviewed, you should note any
hires you make, especially in your early days as apparent gaps in employment or educational
a manager, will have a great deal to do with the histories for interview questioning. You should
impression you make on your customers, clients examine all applications of those you may
and others. Let’s say the first person you hire interview for apparent inconsistencies,
turns out to be a colossal dud; others inside and especially in education and experience.
Most working managers don’t conduct interviews suggestions, it’s possible to improve your
regularly. If you have an open position only chances of making the right hire.
every few months, you won’t be intimately
familiar with interviewing. Recognize this reality
and get some sound advice on how to interview. For Younger Workers, Time Off Is
Much of an applicant’s first impression of the The Best Bonus
company is formed in early personal interviews
– perhaps a screening interview by human It didn’t take accounting firm owner, Richard
resources and a placement interview by the Berkowitz, long to figure out he had a problem
department manager responsible for the open during tax season relating to his younger
position. Rarely does a central hiring authority workers. “When I told them it was mandatory
who brings all employees on board and gives they come in on the weekend, they looked at me
them to the department managers ever find the like I was out of my mind.” Berkowitz has
right hire. discovered what many boomers who lead their
In seeking the right hire, never assume that companies now face. For most workers in their
everyone your interview is desperately seeking 20’s and 30’s, time is currency. And, like most
this particular job. People with certain currency, few are willing to give it away.
qualifications might be scarce, and if so, they
can’t be treated as sellers who have entered a It’s a complex dynamic playing out in workplaces
buyer’s market. Remember that many of the across the country. A significant number of
better candidates know they have other options. boomers can’t figure out why younger workers
don’t’ have the “pay your dues attitude” they do.
Be especially sensitive to the information For boomers, success means unrelenting toil
presented on a job candidate’s application or and sacrificing family time in order to secure a
resume. The majority of resumes contain some corner office filled with Lucite plaques. For
degree of exaggeration and a great many of generation Xers, success means balance.
them – as many as half, by some estimates –
contain outright falsehoods. Secure written “There’s a lot of frustration in the workplace,”
permission to verify employment experience and says Cam Marston, a consultant and speaker on
educational credentials, and make sure that key multi-generational issues. “Boomers are having
qualifications do get verified. a hard time finding their replica in the work force
Give every applicant the opportunity to ask
questions. The potentially best hires usually ask To motivate younger workers and curb turnover,
the best questions. The better applicants will ask some managers are rethinking how they
about the job and its challenges before probing communicate with employees. Harmony can be
into the personal side of possible employment. as simple as understanding the generational
Think twice about any applicant whose differences and talking the right language or
questions are all about pay and benefits. using the right rewards.
Finally, in addition to discussing capabilities and Marston says older managers – boomers ages
experience, spend more time probing the 42 to 60 – must use language with younger
applicant’s reasons for seeking employment with staffers that acknowledges the value of their
you. Be especially sensitive to whether this time: “I know work isn’t your life but while you’re
applicant seems to be trying to better himself in here, let’s agree on what you’ll be accountable
some way (good) or simply trying to escape for.”
something (perhaps not so good).
To motivate Xers (ages 27-41), think short-term.
No particular hire ever brings with it a guarantee Most are not interested in long term solutions or
of success, but with a little thought to these putting in overtime and waiting for rewards later.
Instead of giving them a bonus at the end of the
year, Marston says an Xer would prefer this: Most small business owners don’t enjoy account
“You’ve really worked hard this past week. Why receivable duties. Unanswered phone calls,
don’t you take off half a day on Friday.” awkward conversations or rude comments are
sometimes part of the process. But since getting
Berkowitz, enlightened by Marston at a paid is a crucial part of business, having a debt-
company-wide meeting, says he now collection strategy pays when clients won’t.
understands the different generational
perspectives and will change his approach Fortunately for Honning, only 2% of his clients
during tax season. He no longer will refer to have payment problems. When he notices
overtime as “mandatory”. Instead he will inform delinquent accounts, Honning writes letters,
staff that there is a certain amount of work that calls or even mentions the unpaid bill when he
needs to get done and let them create their own visits the customer’s house for monthly pest
schedules. Even more, Berkowitz says, the firm control service. Stopping service for chronic late-
may changes it’s bones and compensation plan payers is a risky move for his business because
to reward productivity rather than hours. of New Jersey state laws. “We write a contract
to do a monthly service,” he says “If they don’t
A few companies already have overhauled their pay and we cut them off, we’re still obligated if
employee reward programs to acknowledge they get infested with something.”
younger workers’ value on time. Wachovia
started a “manager-awarded time away” If you face a stack of unpaid invoices, consider
program about a year ago that allows bosses to these tips for collecting what you’re owed:
hand out as many as three extra paid days off
as a performance bonus, in addition to the cash 1. Screen potential customers. Avoid the
performance rewards they already receive. And problem up front by performing credit
some retailers are rewarding employees with checks on your clients. The three
time-off gift certificates for good customer nationwide credit reporting companies
service. provide business as well as personal
credit reports. Some business owners
worry that checking credit history will turn
PA State Change off a new customer, but it’s an essential
part of business that can save you a lot
of trouble in the long run.
The 60-day youth training wage increased
to $5.85 per hour on July 24, 2007. This is 2. Write it down. Especially important for
a substantive change and requires a new service-based businesses, be sure you
state poster. provide your customers with a written
explanation of the scope of services, how
Call (800) 382-1239 to place your order. extra costs are incurred, how often you
bill and when payment if due. Don’t get
caught in a your-word-against-theirs
disagree-ment if a client claims he didn’t
approve your work and therefore, won’t
When Clients Won’t Pay…Tips For pay.
3. Be consistent. Send bills regularly and
You’re Owed monitor money coming in. When clients
won’t play promptly – usually within 10-
Ken Honning doesn’t like to be a pest – he’d 30 days or whatever you agreed to –
rather exterminate them. But when clients won’t immediately follow up. Don’t let unpaid
pay their bills, Honning, the owner of Burlington, bills linger and then demand payment
N.J. – based Expert Pest Control, has to bug months later.
4. Keep your cool. Though it is frustrating
when clients won’t pay, control your
temper. It’s important for business 2007-2008
owners to understand there are many MAAA
laws that restrict or prohibit aggressive Board of Directors
collection tactics. Laws vary by state so
contact your attorney, your state’s
attorney general or your state’s
consumer protection agency to President – Harris Steinberg
determine if your state has enacted a fair
debt collection law. If you violate the law,
you could end up paying the debtor in 1st Vice President – H.M. ‘Willie’ Bixler
the form of attorneys’ fees, costs and
other penalties. 2nd Vice President – Tom Kelso
5. Calm, Cool, and Collected … to avoid
legal trouble the NFIB Legal Foundation Secretary/Treasurer – George Lyter
cautions against any of these actions
when collecting unpaid bills: Immediate Past President – Mike Demers
Calling or communicating with the
debtor so frequently that it could **********
be considered harassment.
Northern N.J. – Don Rosenberg
Threatening to use physical force Central N.J. – John Conover
to collect a debt. Southern N.J. – Ted DeGaetano
Using obscene or abusive
Communicating with the debtor’s Western PA – Tom Kelso
employer or family members. Central PA – Bill Keiter
Eastern PA – Bob Wesolowski
Source: Shannon McRae, NFIB MyBusiness
Presidents Advisory Committee
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