Why You Should Hire an Entrepreneur Instead of a Traditional Manager

How Should Female Managers Review EmployeesFinding the right management team is one of the most challenging aspects of running a business. With current unemployment rates, hiring managers and business owners frequently receive hundreds of replies for a single job advertisement, and it’s hard to identify which applicants will make the largest impact on the company long-term. Rather than hiring employees who have traditional experience, many find that by hiring an entrepreneur with start-up experience, they get the best results.

1) Entrepreneurs understand the importance of the bottom line.

From the very first day at a start-up, entrepreneurs are myopically focused on one thing: increasing the bottom line. They know that each expenditure must positively impact gross revenue while minimizing expenses. More than a traditional employee, entrepreneurs feel the pressure to maximize return on investment and to ensure that every day, their team is focused on creating results rather than looking busy or waiting for sales to walk in the door. This is the top reason to hire an entrepreneur. They are motivated to produce profitable results.

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What Happens After You Incorporate or Form an LLC?

For years, MyCorporation has been honored to help thousands of new entrepreneurs to get their new small business started on the right foot by incorporating or forming an LLC. But business maintenance doesn’t end when the articles of incorporation are filed! There are actually a few more steps to ensuring your new entity is compliant and ready for business. In order to help educate new business owners, and answer one of our most commonly asked questions, we are happy to reveal our new video, “What happens after you incorporate or form an LLC?”

Step 1. Apply for an Employer Identification Number. An EIN is going to be needed if you want to open a business bank account, or if you want to hire employees.

Step 2. File for trademark protection, and begin protecting your brand. You should also buy a domain name and secure social media properties as soon as possible.

Step 3. Look into what business licenses you have to apply for. Licensing varies depending on locality, entity, and industry, so it is a good idea to consult with a professional who can help you figure out exactly what you need.

Step 4. Remember to stay on top of annual maintenance. Most states will require business entities to file an annual report, which will have some basic information on your business like its name, address, registered agent, and industry. You also have to document any changes to the corporation or LLC. If you bring on new owners, or new investors, make sure to make note of it. You should also update your operating agreement or bylaws as new owners and investors will probably want a say in how the company is run.

Step 5. Thinking about expanding outside of your home state? Well, remember that you have to apply for permission to do business in any new state. If you don’t, you could be looking at hefty fines and dissolution of your business in that state. So don’t forget to file to qualify as a foreign entity in any state you plan to expand into.

Have any questions about corporate or LLC maintenance? Need help figuring out what you need to file? Just give MyCorporation a call at 1-877-692-6772 and we will be happy to help you out!

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Top 10 April Fools’ Office Pranks

Top 10 April Fools' Office PranksHappy April Fools’ Day! Today, offices and coworkers everywhere will be pranking each other by blowing air horns into cubicles, filling the supply cabinet with balloons and hiding the actual supplies, and taking off all the keys on keyboards and rearranging them. Here at MyCorp, we love a good joke and turned to our panel of small business pros to see what their all-time favorite prank pulled was – here are our top 10 favorites!

1. “We did ours a bit early to the staff and will do it to the general public on April Fools’ Day. I work at The Zebra – we created a press release that said left handed drivers are safer. The tech team really got the sales team when they added (internally only) a page that showed when people claim to be left handed their insurance dropped by more than 20% in some cases. We had a meeting, showed the new page and the press release. We even did some training… Hook, line and sinker.”

- Jason Jepson, The Zebra

2. “Since ‘taxidermy’ is similar to ‘tax accounting’ I decided to turn our reception area into a taxidermy shop. We located some stuffed animals that were slightly realistic. My favorite was a blow-up rubber moose head we hung on the wall. Outside we changed our sign from Tax-masters, Inc. to Taxidermy. Oh my goodness. When folks showed up for their appointments, it was hilarious! Some were old established clients who had been coming to our location for 20 years. Needless to say, they were confused. Others were brand new clients coming for their very first appointment so they were sure they had the wrong address.”

- Linda de Marlor, President, Tax-Masters, Inc.

3. “I was working in upstate New York. Our functional manager was well loved by everyone. He genuinely cared about all of us that worked for him. I well remember when a few of his employees turned his entire office into a camp. They took everything out of his office, put up a large tent and put his furniture back inside the tent. Our boss worked from within his tent all day, fully equipped with desk, chairs, lights, and even a toilet set up in the corner. His visitors that day were ‘impressed,’ not so much with their surroundings, but certainly by his staff’s creativity. I never did find out who did that, but it was really funny. The following day, his office was back to normal. I’m sure a couple of the guys were pretty tired after two non-sleeping nights.”

- Diane Piper, President, BORSAbag LLC

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How to Reduce the Communication Gap with Employees

How to Reduce the Communication Gap with EmployeesMore often than not, employees are a company’s most valuable assets, so it makes sense to invest in the corporate culture that helps them succeed. While vacation days and fringe benefits (health insurance, stock options, employee discounts, et al) are appealing lures, the heart of the employee experience occurs during business hours, as staff members interact with each other.

Good communication is square one for employers seeking to reinforce relationships with workers and it creeps in to every aspect of business operations. In many cases, communication mechanisms fall short on the job, leaving room for most companies to improve their standards and reduce the communication gap with employees.

Credibility and Communication

Credibility is an important area to focus on when it comes to influencing effective communication between employees and their superiors. When executed correctly, communication with workers reinforces trustworthiness for managers and other high-level employees. But if there is a deep communication gap between bosses and staff members, it can ultimately undermine productivity and employee engagement.

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Five CEOs that Showed Us How NOT to Run a Company

Five CEO's that Showed Us How NOT to Run a Company The American business landscape is littered with CEOs who, for one reason or another, showed the public, investors and their peers precisely the wrong way to run companies. At the time of their tenure, some of these former industry heads were first touted as business geniuses. Now they’ve become examples of how not to behave if you want to run your own business.

Jonathan Schwartz – Sun Microsystems

Founded in 1982 by three graduate students from Stanford University, Sun Microsystems grew to be a giant in computer hardware and services. Jonathan Schwartz was named CEO in 2006 by the founding CEO, and prior to that point, the company had grown aggressively and showed steady profits. Nearly every move Schwartz made ended poorly, acquisitions failed, the stock tanked, and thousands of employees had to be laid off. Ultimately, the company was sold to competitor Oracle.

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Tax Stats 2014 (Infographic)

The 2014 tax season is here and here at MyCorporation, we’re taking a closer look at taxes in the United States and throughout the world in our latest infographic. Curious about where your tax dollars go? How the state corporate income tax rates vary throughout the U.S. and how they’re compared from all around the world? And what do we plan on doing with our tax refunds this year, anyway? Find out the answers to these questions and more below!

Tax Stats 2014 Infographic

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Which Type of Phone Line Is Best For Your Startup?

Which Type of Phone Line Is Best For Your Start-Up?Picking a telephone line system for your start-up is extremely important in the early stages for a business because it’ll allow current and potential customers to get in touch with your company while also allowing you to build a presence within your target market. Keep reading to learn about which phone line is best suited for your business start-up. Each have their benefits and there will certainly be one ideal for you.

Analog Copper Wire Lines

These are associated with landline numbers, and they’re also called the plain old telephone service, or POTS. Because they’d offer your business a direct connection via the provider, there’s no need to share the system’s capacity with others. You’d also have the advantage of using standard equipment that can be easily purchased and then upgrading later once you have a clearer understanding of your business telephony requirements.

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How to Face the Challenges in the Five Stages of Small Business Growth

How to Face the Challenges in the 5 Stages of Small Business GrowthA successful business person is often headstrong, brave and diligent. Conversely in business, however, we must also recognize that no one has all the answers and learning from others’ experiences is vital to our own development.

The Harvard Business Review published a report outlining the 5 stages of small business growth. In the report, Churchill and Lewis claim that understanding the current progression of a business facilitates logical and effective strategizing. Although it’s now over 30 years old, this definitive article is often referenced today as a useful framework for defining and managing Small Medium Enterprise (SME) growth. Every business is unique and will therefore face different challenges; however there are many typical stages which largely relate to the vast majority of SME’s. The comprehension of this structure can prove to be beneficial to business owners, allowing them to calculate both risk and sensible investment.

1) Existence

The vast majority of the work for a start-up is carried out by its owner, although there may be one or two employees on a small staff helping out. It is imperative at this stage to gain and maintain a customer base, as many companies fail before they even have a tangible revenue stream. It is likely that there will be some start-up capital in place, but this can quickly run out. Many businesses also invest in the foundations of a long term strategy, before they have taken their first steps, which can be ultimately fatal. For example, I have seen a few small freight/shipping start-ups who invest in IT systems, resources and staff before they even have a client base to justify their outlay.

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5 Business Secrets I Learned The (Very) Hard Way So You Don’t Have To

5 Business Secrets I Learned The (Very) Hard Way So You Don’t Have ToI graduated with a degree in accounting so I had to take a lot of business classes in college. Sadly, very little of what I learned in class helped prepare me for business life. I did learn the basics in college but I really got educated at the School of Hard Knocks. The tuition was high but well worth the cost. Here are the 5 most important lessons I ever learned that helped me grow a successful business.

1) Stop Thinking About Myself

In order to be successful, a business has to have clients or customers. People become clients when they believe you can help them get what’s important to them.They don’t care about the business owner’s problems or fears.

When I first started my business I made plenty of mistakes that almost sank me. I was steeped in fear. I was in debt, my income was meager and I had a young family to provide for. I didn’t consciously share my angst with clients but I’m sure they could sense it because it was all I ever thought about. I saw potential clients as potential solutions to my problems and that made it far more difficult to grow my business. Who wants to hire someone like that?

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50 States of Incorporation: Pennsylvania

incorporate in PennsylvaniaAs one of the thirteen original colonies of the United States, the state motto of “virtue, liberty and independence” couldn’t be better suited for any other state than Pennsylvania. Nicknamed the Keystone State, Pennsylvania is ranked at #6 in the nation for its total gross state product and noted for being the home to eight Fortune 500 companies as well as hundreds of public schools, thousands of private schools, and several hundred colleges and universities.

Sitting at #27 on the Forbes best states for business list, entrepreneurs looking to incorporate in Pennsylvania will be happy to find that the quality of life is in the top ten bracket due to the caliber of education available and range of private and public companies headquartered in the state. (Some of which include U.S. Steel, Heinz, and Crayola, the latter of which has acquired the rights to a personal favorite company of mine, Silly Putty.)

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