Should You Choose a Friend to be Your Business Partner?

Planning to start a business partnership with a friend? Prudence demands looking at the pitfalls – as well as the potential strengths – of such relationships. Here are a few questions to consider. What will my friend contribute to the business? Does he or she have strengths that will clearly enhance the business – abilities, knowledge, or resources that you don’t possess or aren’t willing to acquire by other means?…  Read more

Thinking About a Business Loan? Here’s What your Banker Needs

Bankers typically go by the 5 C’s of lending: Capital, Character, Capacity, Conditions, and Collateral. When you apply for a business loan, your request must meet certain basic requirements. Your banker needs to have: A written request for a specific amount of money. A detailed explanation of the use of the funds. A projection of how and when you will repay the loan. A list of the collateral you are…  Read more

What Numbers are Vital to your Business Success?

Key business numbers to monitor What numbers monitor the vital signs of your business? You may be surprised to find you must look beyond the numbers on your financial statements. Most successful business owners have a set of key numbers they use to monitor how well their business is doing. Usually these numbers are a combination of financial and nonfinancial measurements. You can improve the profitability of your business by…  Read more

Do You Know Your Break-Even Point?

All business owners need to be aware of their break-even point — that is, the number of units they need to sell in order to cover their operating costs. Once you’ve reached your break-even point, it’s time to celebrate: your business is no longer in the red, and you are officially earning a profit. This article will show you how to calculate your break-even point so you can make wise…  Read more

Tips for Choosing a Small Business Bank

Finding the right bank to serve your small business needs can be a daunting task. With so many competing financial institutions to choose from, business owners simply don’t have the time for the in-depth research required to carefully weigh all the options. This guide to choosing a small business bank will help you narrow down your choices so you find the best fit for you. Small, medium, or large? You…  Read more

4 Questions you Should Ask your Accountant

Ideally, you and your accountant are more than just “adviser” and “client”. With your combined skills, expertise, and shared mission to support a thriving business, you’re more like strategic partners. The key to achieving success in any partnership is, of course, strong communication. At your next meeting, be sure to ask your accountant these four important questions. 1. What’s my best strategy for increasing revenue? Every business owner strives to…  Read more

When You Should Consider Hiring a Business Lawyer

When you run a small business, every cent counts. It can be difficult to spend money on anything you don’t consider vital. Hiring a lawyer during key times in your small business might seem like an unnecessary expense, but the money you spend now on a business attorney could save you time, money, and energy in the long run and could protect your business. When it comes to your small…  Read more

How to Set Payment Terms if you’re a Freelancer or Contractor

Following up on late or non-paying customers is no freelancer’s favorite task. Which is precisely why you need to set payment terms up front – and in writing – before you work with a new client or customer. By communicating and agreeing on the non-negotiables for doing business with you, you’ll avoid awkward misunderstandings, frustrating disputes, and in most cases, the ugly hassle of debt collection. These tips will help…  Read more

3 Mistakes That Strangle Growing Businesses

Businesses want to grow and help a larger audience, but too many make mistakes that cripple their growth. Even worse, they keep repeating them! Don’t do the same; avoid the blunders outlined below. Hiring Toxic Personalities Businesses hire more staff as they grow. But if they expand too quickly, they will feel pressure to fill positions on their team, even if the job candidates have a few personality flaws. While…  Read more

You’re Getting Audited — Now What?

No business owner looks forward to a letter from the taxman requesting a closer look at the books. If you’ve received an audit letter – an official request by the tax authority to review your accounts and confirm your taxes have been paid to date – don’t panic. Prepare. These four steps will help you get through the process with minimal stress and the best possible outcome. Respond promptly If…  Read more

What are the Warning Signs of Employee Fraud?

Billing schemes. Skimming. Check tampering. Employee fraud is a real risk for entrepreneurs of fewer than 100 employees. In fact, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners 30% of fraud cases take place in small businesses. This article will help you identify the most common signs of fraudulent activity before an unscrupulous employee destroys your business. Identifying high risk employees When an employee has something to hide, their conduct…  Read more

4 Ways to Make your Business Easier to Sell

Perhaps you’d always planned to build a thriving business to eventually sell for a tidy sum – or maybe for unexpected personal reasons it’s best to let your company go sooner rather than later. No matter what the reason for selling your business, experts agree: it’s best to be prepared well in advance as it can take years to complete a successful sale. These four tips will help you get…  Read more

What to Do if You Fall Out With Your Business Partners

It’s been said that a business partnership is a lot like a marriage, and the comparison holds true when things go awry: the end of a partnership is a lot like divorce. Lawyers will be involved and assets will need to be divided. However, a separation need not be overly dramatic or unnecessarily painful. These tips can help make separation easier – and more amicable – should your business partnership…  Read more

What is a Virtual CFO? [Infographic]

“Virtual CFO” certainly sounds like a buzzword of the moment, but it’s a service that could be very beneficial in the long run for your startup or small business. Continue reading to find out what a Virtual CFO is, the benefits of outsourcing to a Virtual CFO, and the positive impact one can have on your growing business. Virtual CFO: Defined A Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is a key executive…  Read more

Why Banks Won’t Lend to a Business

How to obtain financing is a common concern for new businesses and those preparing to scale. Getting approved for a business loan or line of credit is more difficult than qualifying for a personal loan. It’s crucial that small business owners are adequately prepared to meet with a lender to present their business in the best possible light and qualify for the money they need. Here’s what you can do…  Read more

8 Characteristics of Successful Small Businesses

We now look at eight characteristics important to successful businesses. International researchers who have studied many small businesses have found that these characteristics consistently play a part in the success of small companies. The eight characteristics are: Owners leading by Example Having a simple business structure Information sharing among employees Staff are carefully chosen Staff commitment and loyalty A unique product or service A specific Customer focus Prompt follow up…  Read more

10 Productivity Tools to Help You Do More at Work

In today’s fast-paced world, everyone wants to be more productive. Fortunately, there is an ever-increasing number of tools, many of them available online and across multiple devices, that promise to help us achieve our goals. The challenge then becomes how to know not just which tools will live up to their promise but which tools are right for our business. Choosing the best productivity tools depends on a number of factors,…  Read more

Why you Need Recurring Revenue Streams – and How to Start

Sure, you may have a loyal customer base, but there are also ways to guarantee loyalty month after month or year after year. Adding a recurring revenue stream (or two, or three!) can provide a predictable, ongoing source of income which will improve the accuracy of your projections, increase profits, and provide a buffer for any unexpected sales dips. Here are four easy product offerings to begin earning recurring revenue…  Read more

Is it Better to Buy or Lease a Company Vehicle?

If you need a car to operate your business, you may wonder whether it makes more sense to purchase or lease. On the one hand, if your business owns the car you’ll have a long-term asset and may qualify for more tax deductions. On the other hand, buying a car is a huge expense and monthly lease payments tend to be lower than car loan payments; they may also be…  Read more

How to License Your Business Ideas

Looking for a cost-effective means to create another income stream? Consider this: ambitious companies are always on the lookout for the next lucrative business idea. Licensing your intellectual property to another company can be a win-win when both parties see eye to see, and result in a worthwhile pay out for all concerned. Wondering how to get started licensing your bright business ideas? Read on. Intellectual property 101 If you’re…  Read more

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