Is There An Advantage To Incorporating My New Business?

Starting a new business is exciting and often overwhelming as nearly anyone who has done it can tell you. There are many new tasks to undertake and lots of new information to process. The goal in addressing all of the issues that arise in undertaking this exciting new challenge is to find the best solution for your business to succeed. Invariably, among these issues, either the entrepreneur themselves or someone else will ask “Should you incorporate?”

As an initial point it is worth noting that there is no legal requirement that all businesses be incorporated in the State of Nevada. There are a variety of requirements regarding obtaining business licenses which all business must fulfill, however any business can function either as the individual business owner themselves, for example, a plumber doing business utilizing simply his or her name, or as a partnership, for example, a group of doctors operating a medical practice utilizing their names or under a fictitious firm name. While choosing not to incorporate is certainly legal and may benefit your individual business model, an informed decision requires an understanding of the potential advantages and disadvantages of incorporating.

There are several advantages which can be realized by incorporating your business:

Limitations To Your Personal Liability. The primary advantage to incorporation is that a business entity may shield the business owner from some types of liability, commonly contractual liability, if all statutory requirements for the entity are followed. Specifically, if the business entity enters into contracts with vendors or customers in the name of the business entity then the entity, not the individual business owner, would be liable in the event the contract was not fulfilled. Essentially, a business owner may be able to shield their personal assets, e.g., their home or personal bank account, from being exposed to debts or liabilities incurred in the course of doing business.

Unlimited Term. An entity has the potential to “live” indefinitely, unlike the individual business owner. This means that the business owner has the option of simply transferring the interest in the entity in the event of a sale of the business or upon the owner’s death, hopefully with minimal, if any, interruption to the business.

Tax Advantage. Formation of a business entity may result in tax advantages depending upon a variety of variables. When considering whether incorporation is appropriate or beneficial, it is important to discuss the issue with your accountant.
Though there are undeniable benefits which can be realized by incorporating, there are some disadvantages, as well:

Increased Cost. Incorporation requires the submittal of forms to the Nevada Secretary of State, both to initially incorporate and, thereafter, on an annual basis. Such forms, as one might expect, require filing fees. The fees vary for the initial formation, often being several hundred dollars, and the annual fee thereafter is also several hundred dollars.

Where Do Small Business Buyers Come From?

Before a small business begins the process of looking for a buyer for their business; they must first understand why they want to sell the business. I typically hear retirement for the main reason but I also see partner disputes, estate planning, burn out, and to many other interests. Whatever the reason a small business seller must commit to a process once that decision to sell is made.

I don’t want to discuss the process of selling a business but rather discuss the types of potential business buyers that are really feeding the small local markets. These buyers have access to more information and are becoming more sophisticated in their approach to buying a business.

Below are some examples of the categories of potential business buyers:

1. Retirees – There are over ten thousand individuals retiring every day in the United States. Many of the retirees want to remain active and/or do not have the financial security to retire. They have tremendous wisdom and knowledge and are quick at understanding a business with which they have an interest.

2. Business Competitors – As a small business owner, the thought of selling your business to a competitor with which you have competed with over the years is a difficult possibility to accept. However this group is typically y over looked, but may be the best possibility as expansion for them is always an option. They have the business knowledge and skills and most likely have the resources to acquire your business. The tricky part is to make sure that competitor is serious before disclosing confidential information. There are also synergistic buyers that may not be competitors but could benefit from the products and service your business may offer.

3. Family – Business owners will usually look at family members as a potential source of buyers. This may be done very early on for estate planning or later in the business life cycle as different family members express interest in working for the business. Also, extended family should be considered as a potential source. The issue with family members is that they may lack the capital to pay for the business and the conflicts that may arise for ongoing support. That separation of business and family may be difficult.

4. Key Employees – Your business is only as good as your staff and key employees. I see on many occasions key members of management may be the only option as if the business is sold to an external buyer, the key employees may not stay, making that sale difficult. Establishing clear line of communication with these group will create a better transition and potential exit strategy.

3 Things That Will Bust An Online Home Business

Since 2007 there has been a massive shift of people buying goods and services online and this is good news for people who want to start an online business from home. But sadly, statistics show that more than 90% of all online home business ideas end in failure within the first 120 days. These home based entrepreneurs plunge head-first and try to start an online business with no preparation, no knowledge of what they are doing, no training and no hope of success.

Success is, of course, possible. There is that minority of internet businesses that do achieve great results. Success for an online home business does not come about by accident and there are 3 major factors that commonly causes them to fail.

1. Wrong Perceptions about the Internet.

Good results are reached by people who have the right ideas about how an online home business operates. They don’t assume that they will get rich quick or be able to make it big right away. For some strange reason, a lot of people think that when you start an online business you simply build a website and then settle-back and wait for the cash to come rolling in. They couldn’t be more wrong.

A legitimate online home business requires self-discipline and hard work. Some people think that they can make a living by just pushing a few buttons on their computer for a couple of hours each day.

Even though established internet marketing experts don’t have to put in the long hours on their business, it didn’t come about overnight for them and it won’t happen overnight for anyone. You have to be ready for the time and investment required to make your online home based business successful.

2. Not Dealing With It Like A Business.

All businesses have two things in common. They are a business and they must be run like businesses! And this includes an online home business. A college degree in business is not essential for an internet business entrepreneur to be successful but if you have a hard time balancing your personal finances, you may struggle when starting your own online business.

The fact is that all successful businesses operate on sound business principles. Successful businesses aren’t accidents. The proof is in the numbers. It is not even reasonable to expect to make a profit from a new business enterprise for at least a few months.

Business Matters – Are You Prepared?

There has been a rise in entrepreneurial activity in recent years. If you own/operate a business, what steps have you taken to protect your business for you and/or your family? Pertaining to Business Matters – Are you Prepared? Let’s uncover important issues for business owners to consider.

Have you considered what happens if the business owner/key decision makers are incapacitated?

In many small businesses today, the authority for making important decisions rests with a single person, such as the sole proprietor, sole shareholder of a corporation, or a member of an LLC. Often times governing documents do not address who would make decisions in the event this person is unable to do so. If this key person becomes incapacitated, several important planning tools are available.

Gruesome, I understand. Yet, if you or any key decision-makers were to become incapacitated, would the right people have the authority to keep the company running and make essential decisions during that period? Are those contingent decision-makers aware of the plans and are they prepared to assume a new role to lead the business forward as smoothly as possible? What about cash-flow? Does it stop, if something happens to you/the owner? Have you considered the impact of this?

A limited power of attorney could be utilized to grant a key person the authority to make decisions and continue business operations. This type of document could be written so that it is limited in scope to allow the alternate decision-maker to act only if there is an event of incapacity.

Another option to consider is to establish an advisory committee to act in the event of the key decision maker’s incapacity. If your business has multiple executive level/key employees or multiple family members, this may be a solution for you. It is possible to structure decision making authority to named individuals to make key decisions by consensus.

It is also a possibility for a business owner to execute a specific document for use in the event of incapacity that transfers the business to a trust. This requires research in advance of local trust companies who have the business expertise and capacity to continue business operations on behalf of an owner.

Contingency planning in the event of the death of a business owner is an important element to formalize. Take note here that in many ways, this is similar to planning for retirement of a business owner. As business owners, we are advised to plan our exit strategy, as we create the business. This is so true! “Exit” can occur in more ways than one!

Quick Tips to Improve Your Small Business

Whether you are small one-man business or growing bigger than that, all business owners continually need to look at improving the business. As we say you are always continually trying to build a bigger better stronger ship to sail. No matter how busy you are, you should never leave your business to remain static and there is always room for improvement. Making improvements to make your business better is fun but requires you to work on your business for some time. Often the key to this is to designate some time to work on the business rather than in it as we often do, working in it means just in the business servicing and taking care of normal business or trade and not improving businesses. It is also important to balance your time and put priority into the areas which you think will return the most bang for your time.

Here are some areas which we think will give your business the biggest gains.

1. Keep score, it is important to keep it simple, accurate and cheap to run scoreboard. Just as we watch sport and know the score, and play to the score, so should businesses. If this is hard for you then hire someone who can bundle up your services to include bookkeeping and regular monthly reporting so that you have the accounting information to help grow your business rather than doing what most average businesses do which is to fly blind without current financial performance indicators. A good accountant will help you spend time on a part of the business you may neglect because of your poor understanding.

2. Set goals and keep these alive through your monthly reporting process. For instance, if you wish to succeed in a certain level of sales in your financial year, break this down into a regular monthly budget. You will be surprised how this can motivate you and guide you into reaching your goal. Know where you want to head, then build it with a month by month plan.

3. Learn how to market you and your business properly. Surprisingly many effective marketing techniques are at very low cost.

4. Change your presentations. These may be your sales presentations in which you need to have a structured and successful saws presentation technique. You may want to script and improve how you handle phone enquiries, as improvements of tweaks in this area can dramatically increase your conversions and improve your sales performance and business performance. You might wish to also conduct seminars or business networking presentations which can dramatically improve your sales lead generation. Lastly you may wish to present yourself through social media or YouTube to explain or more distinguish yourself in the market. YouTube is a great way to answer a commonly asked question of your business.

Business Vs IT Business Requirement

Information technology professionals describe requirements first in terms of system requirements. These are the technical specifications of hardware, software and networking systems to support business applications. To produce accurate and reliable assessments of these and other information systems requirements, we need to understand the business requirements first. Information technology can make dramatic contributions to productivity growth. Misaligned requirements can lead to expensive disasters.

The more that IT leaders and analysts can learn about the business, the better. Start at the top with the business context. The context includes key foundations such as the purpose or mission of the business. It also includes the business strategy with regard to markets, customers, products and services. The next element is the management of the business including goal setting, metrics, and leadership style. Finally, the business context includes change management processes and communications.

Collectively, the business context serves to filter ideas, decision-making and the support structure to execute the ideas. It further serves to define how work is performed in the company and, as a result, how information is managed. The purpose or mission of the business clarifies the raw potential of the business. Think of ideas like ore, which is raw material that has a higher value in the context of a purpose or solution. The mission aligns all of the energy and effort of the people inside the company to achieve a common purpose.

In addition to learning about the business, effective IT leaders also learn the language of their business counterparts. Learn to bridge the communication gaps between business processes and functional models, and information flow and system requirements. Learn to adopt the business leader’s definition of a business problem and desired outcome to guide the development of process maps, modules and detailed requirements.

Finally, to connect with the ultimate value to the business, learn to connect information systems requirements to business outcomes, as expressed by business management. There are only two critical desired outcomes to any business, increased sales and increased profits. All of the other measures in the business support these two critical outcomes. IT leaders must align every IT project not only to the critical outcomes but also to one or more of the measures that contribute to them.

4 Online Business Ideas With Low Start-Up Cost

Are you interested in starting your own business, but you have a very small budget to start with? The idea of starting a business has long been viewed as a very expensive venture and is only a common practice among a small group of people. Thankfully, the technology era has leveled the playing field for starting a business. It is now possible to get started with very little cash. And by gaining the right knowledge and skills, you can own a very lucrative business. In this article, I have compiled a list of 4 profitable online business ideas that you can start, with just a laptop and internet access.

1. Become A Website Developer.

Website development has created many business opportunities over the past couple of decades. Now that there are open source platforms like WordPress, it is quite possible for anyone with a computer/laptop and an internet connection can become a website developer, even if you have basic technical skills. If you are uncertain of whether or not you are able to start a business, creating websites for clients, then a short, informal online course in WordPress can fill in the blanks and give you the confidence to offer your service to potential clients.

In addition to, website development, you can offer hosting services to your clients. And no, you don’t have to own a server. You can get hosting services for very little money. You can then offer the service as part of your package for website development. This price is usually set a bit higher than what you pay for the hosting.

Online business ideas like website development, don’t require that you have a business space, so if you are strapped for cash and don’t want to incur the monthly cost of an internet bill, then this is the kind of business for you. You can take your laptop to your favorite cafe shop, and make use of their free internet service. Make sure you buy something from the shop, as this will keep you and the business owner happy.

2. Start An Online Store.

This is one of the most lucrative online business ideas I know of. You can start a business online, selling your own products, or selling other people’s products. The clear advantage of this business model is that you are not restricted by creativity, or location. If you do not have a product, and don’t have the slightest idea how to come up with one, then you can earn huge commissions from selling other people’s product. This is one of the few online business ideas that you can start with no money.

Building Your Business With A Purpose

Building my business has been a fun yet challenging journey. My Business journey began in 1998 and 15 years later, I have discovered that the only way to build a successful business is with a Purpose. In fact, I believe that a business without a purpose is a business that is destined to fail.

When I wrote my business plan, it was written with my purpose in mind and that was, “To provide High Quality Childcare.” In fact, my purpose was the glue that held the business plan together. Moreover, as I completed each section of the business plan, it was completed with my purpose in mind.

Building a Business on purpose, takes lot of planning, lots of energy and lots of focus. Most importantly, you must be willing to persevere… no matter what comes your way. Adversity seems to attach itself to every business with a purpose; however, you must stay focused and stay the course.

I must say, it is an awesome feeling to write the purpose for your business and see it in action! Are you ready to build to discover how to build a business with a Purpose? Today I am going to share with you some of the strategies that I used to build my business on purpose.

A business without a purpose is like playing basket ball without a ‘Rim”… it’s pointless!

Master Your Time. You must take some time at the beginning of every week and make a list of your business priorities. Be sure to add your most important duties at the top of the list. Delegate time wasters. As you do this… You will develop a sense of accomplishment for every week. Moreover you will become a master of your time.
Personal Development. If you are not growing as an individual, your business will suffer or if you have character flaws, it will show and could even destroy your business. I recommend that you read a personal development book 2-3 times a year, so that you are able to develop a mindset that will sustain not destroy your success.
Master Your Money. You must have a plan for how you will spend the money that comes into and leaves your business! Money is the life line of your business and you must learn how to manage it well. Only buy what you need, invest in your business on a regular basis and keep a close eye on your money.
Business Associates. Hang around other successful business owners. In fact, get an Accountability partner; someone who will hold you accountable for your business success. If you are hanging around millionaires… you will begin to think like, talk like, look like and eventually become, “A Millionaire.”
Evaluation system. Be sure to create an evaluation system for your business, to evaluate if you are really operating based on your purpose or if you are even accomplishing your business “mission.” As you evaluate your business, keep this in mind; Only use methods and systems that are working for you and stop doing what is not working.
Take some time for you! After working 5-6 days a week on building your business; take some time for you. I find that, the more rest that I get; the more productive I am on Monday morning. Also, plan to travel! I believe that travel is a great way to spark your creativity and give you new ideas for your business!

How to Start a Coffee Shop or Coffee Business

So you’ve decided to get into the World of Coffee! Coffee can provide a multitude of opportunities and can also apply to anyone wanting to start up a Sandwich Bar, Cafe or Deli. Infact anyone wanting to open any business that features Coffee. Many types of business serve coffee these days, with either a Traditional Espresso Machine or automatic Bean to Cup Machine. Bookshops, Bicycle Shops, Motor Cycle Dealers to name but a few. Any business that attracts like minded people who share common interests is a great place to start a Coffee Shop. It gives people the chance to socialise and talk about their shared interests. This business diversification also provides an additional income for these businesses that are not “out and out” Coffee Shops.

Like any business that people want to start up, it’s usually because they have an interest in some element of their chosen business idea. It’s always a good idea to do something you like doing or have a skill at, otherwise what’s the point? However, just because you have a “passion” and a dream of setting up your own Coffee Shop doesn’t mean that it will be automatically successful. The same rules apply for any business – Doesn’t matter how good your idea is, you need to make sure there is a “need” in your town or geographic area. This research will form part of your “Business Plan”. A business plan is more than just putting a few figures together to get finance. “Your Business Plan” is just that. It’s about getting your thoughts and ideas down on paper and creating a plan of action for business research, marketing research, project managing and forecasts for getting your business open. It should also be business planning for the future to make sure you stay open! There is an old saying in business; “If You Fail to Plan You Plan to Fail”. It’s a known fact that a large proportion of new businesses fail within the first 3 Years.

Get a clear vision of what you would like your business to be. Try and picture it in your mind. Where would you like it to be? What does it look like? What’s the decor and style? Who are your customers? Apart from Coffee what other offering will you have? What is your USP (Unique Selling Point)? Basically, you have to identify how you can be a bit different from any competition that will also appeal to your potential customers. The most important thing to find out from as many people as possible within your “market place” is; Do they agree with your “vision”? and; Are they prepared to become a customer and pay for it? Put a questionnaire together and go and talk to as many people as you can to find out if your coffee business idea is what they would spend their money on. Also ask open questions about what “they” would like to see in their area. They might suggest some things you never thought of. They may also criticise some of your ideas, don’t take it personally. If their criticism is valid learn by it. Remember, it’s not about what you want. Give them what they want and they will spend their money with you rather than someone else. Check out other Coffee Shops to see how they do it. Not only your local “competition” but further a field. Make several visits at different times of the day if possible. Also, try and look at them from a customers point of view. Make notes of not only the things they seem to do right, but what you think they do wrong. Do they have a steady stream of customers all day or just at lunchtimes? Make a note of prices. Once you are aware of the costs of products then you can guess their “mark up”. Do you think they have the customers they need to make a good return from their prices? Of course, this is not the whole profit story. You have to consider overheads and staff wages etc. You will have a better idea once you “cost out” your own business which we will come to shortly. Correlate all of the “plus” points you have found in the competition and combine them with your USP and VISION for your business and see if you think you can do things a bit better.

Why Small Business Funding Can Be the Answer to Your Problems

Over the past few years, unemployment rates have increased to higher levels than ever before, which has resulted in many people deciding to start up their own small businesses instead. While small business ownership is a good thing, many entrepreneurs can in fact benefit greatly from using small business loans or other types of business funding to help them get ahead.

It Acts as a Safety Net

Many small businesses have not been in operation for long enough to have been able to build up a reasonably-sized company savings account. As a result, they often run into severe financial difficulties if their businesses experience more than one or two quiet months in a row. Being able to secure some sort of funding to cover necessary running expenses during these times will often make all the difference between businesses being able to keep their doors open or having to close up shop permanently.

It Provides Investment Capital

At some time or other, almost every small business owner dreams of the day where he or she will be able to stand head and shoulders above competing businesses in their industry. However, in order to do this, additional funding is required, which most small businesses simply do not have. Funds obtained by means of small business loans can normally be used to improve or enhance any infrastructure and business-related equipment or cover the cost of any training courses that may be required to improve business skills.

It’s a Low-Interest Loan Option

Although numerous smaller businesses desperately require additional funding, many of their owners make the mistake of applying for the first loan option that they can find. This can become extremely costly because of the fact that the business does not yet have any proven financial track record, credit rating or any form of collateral to offer. Dedicated small business loans can sometimes be quite challenging to qualify for; however, business owners who are successful in receiving them will normally find that interest rates and repayment terms tend to be far more favorable than those of standard loans.