|By Joyce Rosenberg; Joyce Rosenberg The Associated Press|
Despite some recent positive economic signs in the U.S., most small-business owners still are holding off on hiring.
Many owners have no plans to add to their payrolls, according to recent surveys. In three released recently, the most optimistic reading came from
What will it take for companies to hire? The answer differs from one business to another.
WANTED: 4 additional CLIENTS
Competition is a problem. Even with the city's troubled economy, plenty of companies do the kind of work Trent does. Trent Creative has enough clients to keep the company's seven employees busy, but they're not overworked. So at this point, Trent has no need to hire.
But she's optimistic she will get more clients. Trent specializes in work for manufacturing companies, and their business is picking up as their customers,
"I need to update my website and do more marketing," she says.
THE BURNOUT FACTOR
Rather than hire to meet the increased demand, Coffey gives workers overtime two or three times a week. He's cautious about hiring because he had to lay off 11 employees in 2009, when the job market froze, and he doesn't want to cut staff again if business slows.
His workers like the overtime. But he keeps an eye on them, watching for clerical mistakes and other signs of burnout.
"Once you start seeing things like that you think, we're probably starting to get a little fatigued," Coffey says.
MORE MONEY, MORE WORKERS
Investors who prefer
Snyder Environmental has enough demand to double its business over the next two years, Carter says. But besides the money issue, he can't find the people he needs to add to his staff of about 55.
Applicants must pass drug tests and they need background checks to get clearance for military projects. They must also pass a physical examination because Carter's employees work around dust. But Carter's afraid that those who are hired will leave because they hate the work. He's had people quit in their first week.
"They have either an unwillingness to perform the work or an inability to meet the criteria," he says.
HEALTH CARE FALLOUT
But the rising costs of treating patients and the drop in reimbursement from insurance companies prevent the
Because of the changes in insurance under the new health care law, the practice gets 20 percent to 30 percent less revenue from insurers than it did last year, Ibrahimi says.
Meanwhile, the practice pays more for medications and supplies.
More staffers would free Ibrahimi to talk to insurance companies to get approvals for procedures, something that Dr. Ibrahimi does.
Time he spends talking to insurers is time not spent with patients.
The economic saving grace for the practice is cosmetic procedures like Botox injections and tattoo or scar removals, which are not covered by insurance. Patients pay for those procedures out of their own pockets.
"If we weren't doing any cosmetic work, we would be in the red," Saida Ibrahimi says.
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