Business Basics: End of the Year Prep

The end of the year is right around the corner, and every year we hear small business owners panicking about December’s rapidly approaching end, wondering what they have to do to end the year right. Not to worry – ending the year is actually pretty easy, as long as you don’t wait until the last minute to get everything done! So if you haven’t already, start thinking about…
End of Year Prep

Submitting any filings or dissolutions

Some of the most common questions we are asked revolve around the best time to form an LLC or incorporate. And while there are no ironclad answers to those questions, the beginning of the year is normally a good time to send in that paperwork. Deadlines and renewal dates are easier to remember, staying on top of your taxes is simpler, and you can even file your paperwork early and miss the beginning of the year rush if you opt for a delayed filing. Continue reading

10 Business Management Skills for Entrepreneurs

Group of business associates looking and pointing at a chart put up on the wallEver wondered what business management skills a business owner needs to stand the test of time and run a successful operation?

Or maybe you’ve questioned your own abilities and wondered, “Are there things I should know but don’t?”

You’re not alone in that thought.

The truth of the matter is: entrepreneurs need many different business management skills, character traits, and habits to make them successful. But there are certain business management skills that seem to stand out as highly important—both in research and polls. Continue reading

The Perks of Participating on Small Business Saturday

We’re huge fans of Small Business Saturday here at MyCorp. Along with offering our own annual promotion for newly minted entrepreneurs, we try and spread word of the event as far and wide. Past Small Business Saturdays have been wildly successful – in 2013, customers spent $5.7 billion at independent merchants during SBS. But if that isn’t enough to convince you to participate, take a look at these other awesome perks! shopsmall1

American Express Promotional Material
Small Business Saturday was actually created by American Express, and the credit card company continues to sponsor the shopping holiday. And so there are tons of perks from AmEx that small business owners can use! They offer free ads and signage to everyone, and if you accept American Express cards, they’ll even put your business on their map so potential customers can find you.

Premier Partner Perks
AmEx has lined up a few premier partners with their own promotions to sweeten the deal for small business owners. You can list yourself on EventBrite, get free signs from FedEx, and free ads from Yelp! Facebook is also a partner, and if you need some social marketing advice to help you promote the big day, there’s plenty of the official page.

Community Support
Most communities really rally around the idea of supporting their local main street merchants. So, at the very least, your local chamber of commerce will probably plan on putting something together for to support and promote Small Business Saturday. Check in with them and see what’s on the agenda, and how you can get your business listed as a SBS participant.

Small Business Saturday is November 29th, so if you haven’t started prepping, start now! You’ll be part of a growing tradition, and reach plenty of busy shoppers. And be sure to check back here to find out what we are offering to new small business owners this Saturday!

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Customer Reviews

Worried mature Couple in Meeting With Advisor at homeNew business owners may care deeply about customer happiness, but many live in fear of customer unhappiness. That fear is founded:  Customers not only have a huge megaphone for sharing their opinions of products, services and companies (i.e. the Internet, online reviews, social media), but they increasingly turn to the opinions of others like themselves to decide where to spend their money.

In fact, consumers today—not companies themselves—hold the power to make or break a business. So what can new business owners do to take some control and have peace of mind? Continue reading

ABCs of Small Business Industry – M is for Marketing

We are onto M in our series, and this week we are looking at the marketing and public relations industry. Marketing and PR is often seen as a hard industry to break into. There are a lot of rival firms – some big and some small – and new businesses often have trouble figuring out how to stand out. But with a good amount of experience, the right contacts, and enough work ethic, it is possible for a company to succeed in the growing marketing and PR industry. marketing industry

What do you need to start a business in the marketing industry?

Most experts say that the most important factor to a new firm’s success is marketing experience. You need friends and contacts to really succeed. And while it is totally possible to build a successful business with no experience in the marketing industry, it’s really, really hard. There are a lot of lessons you learn about marketing and PR by working within the industry, and a major part of that industry is who you know. Networking is much more effective than cold-calling.

Continue reading

ABCs of Small Business Industry: I is for Insurance

This week we decided to cover a relatively broad small business sector – the insurance industry. Now, the insurance industry is a heavily regulated, slightly complex field to work in. There are tons of hoops that independent agents and brokers have to jump through before they are even allowed to open their doors. Insurance Industry But it is a vital industry – in some cases insurance is required by law – so a business could do quite well within it. So how do you start a company in the insurance industry? And is it worth all of the effort?

How do you get started in the insurance industry?
Insurance is a regulated field, which means you need to be licensed before you can begin. You also usually have to take some sort of course as well before the state will issue you your license. Continue reading

ABCs of Small Business Industry: G is for General Contracting

This week we’ve chosen to cover a very important sub-sector of the construction industry, general contractors. Now we did previously cover construction companies in an ABCs of Small Business Industry post. And you may be asking yourself if there are any differences between the two – don’t worry, there are. General contracting is a very specialized industry, with its own host of regulations and policies to follow. So how do you start a general contracting firm? general contracting

First, you need to be a licensed general contractor

Contractors are licensed, typically by the state. And without that license, you can’t offer your services as a general contractor. Licensing requirements vary from state-to-state, but most states maintain a database of active licenses, which the public can search through. Most of the companies looking for a general contractor will also want to see some sort of college training. Continue reading

3 Priorities You Shouldn’t Overlook When Launching A Small Business

Business_Owners_Holding_Money_SmYou have your business plan in one hand, and a cup of very strong coffee in the other. The paperwork is being processed, and the website is in the final round of edits. Your small business is almost ready to launch, but you’re worried you might be missing something.

Websites and business books are full of best practices, quick tips, and mistakes to avoid, but building a successful business isn’t strictly about the business itself. You need to build three pillars that will help launch your vision into the world. Continue reading

Business Basics: Reasonable Compensation

This week we are looking at reasonable compensation, a legal necessity for anyone running a Corporation. Reasonable compensation is connected to one of the most fundamental parts of working for a company – getting paid – and yet it’s so widely misunderstood. When you form an Corporation, you create a separate, legal entity that ‘earns’ money. You then pull your wage from those earnings and pay whatever payroll taxes you owe. reasonable compensation

In order to close a loophole wherein those running the corporation could ask for an extremely low salary, pay next to no payroll taxes, and then close the wage gap with distributions, the IRS requires that all corporate officers and executive be paid ‘reasonable compensation.’ But what constitutes reasonable compensation is a little more murky.

Who needs to be concerned with reasonable compensation?

Anyone that is runs, or helps run, a C-Corporation or S-Corporation must be reasonably compensated for their work. Continue reading