Z is for Zeitgeist

26 letters of the alphabet and accompanying blog posts later, we have reached the end of our ABC’s of small business and conclude with letter Z for Zeitgeist. While the definition of zeitgeist is associated with the intellectual, cultural, and moral climate of an era, we’re using the word to describe the zeitgeist theory of leadership.

The zeitgeist theory of leadership stems from Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy who believed that leaders, and the characteristics that they exhibited, were products of social circumstances during a specific time, acting out to situations that are beyond their control. This theory clashed with the great man theory from Thomas Carlyle that discussed how leaders weren’t made, but born, having said characteristics from very early on that would lead them into positions of power.
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X is for Xenodochial… or (e)Xcellent Customer Service!

Obviously, we struggled a little bit with the letter X. There aren’t a lot of topics that lend themselves well to this particular letter, so unless we wanted to discuss the ins and outs of running a xylophone business, we had to expand beyond our normal vocabulary. Enter xenodochial, a long word that essentially means being nice to strangers – a quality that businesses must exhibit if they ever hope to attract new customers! But for simplicity’s sake, you can also think of X as standing for (e)Xcellent customer service.

Truly the most confusing letter.

There are a lot of theories on how to best serve your customers, but in reality there is no one answer on how to provide good customer service. Instead, there are multiple factors that have to built into how a business interacts with its customers.
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Q is for Foreign Qualifications

We’re onto one of the trickier letters of the alphabet today in our ABC’s of small business segment, but it couldn’t be paired better than with the foreign qualification which answers the question of what a small business should do if they want to legally operate their business in a state that may not be the same one they created the formation in.

Foreign qualifications break down a little like this. If a business wants to operate outside of the state that they formed a formation with, they need to register their business as a foreign corporation in order to obtain that kind of authority. And in many cases, this is a requirement, especially if your company expects to transact business outside of the state lines that they were formed in.
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O is for Operating Agreement

This week on the ABC’s of MyCorp, we’re focusing on the letter “O” for operating agreement. State laws are fairly lax when it comes to operating agreements – a handful of states require that an operating agreement be drafted, and even fewer require that Limited Liability Companies hold onto written copies of it. So, typically, LLCs choose to either forgo creating an operating agreement, or simply say that their operating agreement was agreed to orally.

However, the lack of government oversight for operating agreements does not make them any less important or valuable. Even if your LLC was created in a state without laws governing operating agreements, it is still a good idea to draft one and keep copies of it on hand for a few important reasons.
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K is for Keyword

We’re midway through our ABCs for small business and this week decided that the word that best defines the letter “K” is one that we use on a fairly regular basis – or if you work in SEO, a word that holds a lot of meaning to the success of getting your business found in an online search. The word this week is “keyword” which is defined differently in database and internet marketing terms. Continue reading

G is for Good Standing

This week, our ABC’s for business focus on the kind of standing your company is in, specifically keeping it in good standing. Good standing is defined as the status of a firm which is current with the payment of statutory dues and filing or required periodical reports. Keeping your company within good standing is absolutely necessary to your business and a big responsibility for any entrepreneur to take on.

Sometimes some proof of said standing is necessary, which is where a little thing called a certificate of good standing, or tax compliance, comes into play. This certificate is issued by a state official as evidence that your corporation or LLC exists and is authorized to transact business within the state as well as to make sure that you are running your business by the rules and regulations required by the law. Continue reading

F is for Filing Deadlines

Deadlines are definitely a necessary evil – no one likes to feel the pressure of a deadline on their back but without them, we would procrastinate. And procrastinate. And procrastinate. This week on our ABC’s for small business blogging segment, F is for filing, and meeting, deadlines.

We need a bit of a push if we ever expect to get anything done. And, for many, that “deadline” is the end of the year. It’s a simple enough deadline, and gives you 364 days of wiggle-room. We hear from a lot of people that say they want to start a business by the end of the year. They have an idea, they have a plan, and they just need to actually get that paperwork filed and their business opened. So they put it off, month after month, because they gave themselves until the end of the year. Continue reading