ABCs of Small Business Industry: V is for Venture Capital

reasonable compensationWe’re getting down to the bottom here at our small business industry series. Today’s letter is ‘V’ is for venture capital!

First of all, what is venture capital?

Venture capital businesses give funding to early, high-potential, start up businesses. These businesses make their money by owning equity in the companies that they invest in, which usually have a novel technology or business model in high technology industries, like IT or biotechnology. The typical venture capital investment occurs after the seed funding round as the first round of institutional capital to fund growth in the interest of generating a return through an eventual realization event (like a trade sale of the company).   Continue reading

Business Basics: Reinstatements

Reinstatement is what you have to do to get your business out of an inactive or bad standing with the state. And this time of the year, we’re getting tons of requests and questions about reinstatements from people who let their corporation or limited liability company to lapse, but want to get things rolling again before we get too far into 2015.
Reinstatement Luckily, the reinstatement process is pretty straight-forward, though depending on the reason for the lapse, it can get a little pricey.

How does a company become inactive, or get put in bad standing?
There are a few different ways this can happen. But one of the most common reasons behind a bad-standing is simply the business’s owner forgetting to pay their annual fee. Continue reading

5 Tips For Word of Mouth Marketing

shutterstock_141838129Even start-up tech companies that are seemingly rooted in the digital realm place value on the importance of word of mouth marketing. However, it’s important to remember that a business that offers a personal service should be naturally aligned towards a referral plan. If you think of a wedding photographer, virtually all of their business will come from referrals. Now think of a home swapping service for vacations, the company is completely different, but it still offers a personal service. All companies of this ilk should have a strong focus on referrals, but there is virtually no company that shouldn’t consider them at some level.

Referral schemes are often misunderstood, pushed to the side, or simply neglected and allowed to underperform. Below you will find a few handy tips that will help you to ensure that your referral scheme doesn’t suffer the same fate. Continue reading

5 Signs You’re Ready for Serious SEO

touchscreen interfaceWhile a lot of salespeople will tell you otherwise, search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t for everyone. It can be expensive and often takes months or years to develop a sizeable return on investment. For a lot of small- to mid-sized business owners, the expense of SEO, which often starts at around $1,000 a month, is a difficult burden to take on. While every site should do SEO, not every site should pay for it. If you answer ‘yes’ to the following 5 questions, you’re probably ready to hire an SEO company. Continue reading

ABCs of Small Business Industry: U is for Underwriter

Underwriting is a vital part of the financial and insurance industries. An underwriter is effectively the person that assesses risk, and determines the suitability of potential clients looking to avail of whatever service their employer provides, be it insurance, a loan, or capital. Underwriters have the responsibility of defining the terms within which the service will be offered. And, because of this, they are in very high demand. underwriterAfter all, without a qualified underwriter, lenders and insurance agencies would be lost. But how do you become an underwriter? And can underwriters work independently as a small business?

What do you have to do to become an underwriter? 

Normally, you at least need a bachelor’s degree in finance, or another business-related field. Underwriters also have to be meticulous, detail-oriented, and thorough. Continue reading

There’s Still Time to Lower your 2014 Taxes

The 2 Tax Deductions that Business Owners Often Leave on the TableThe holidays are over– and so is 2015. You know what that means…taxes! If you haven’t started getting your 2014 taxes in order yet, you need to take the turn of the New Year as a sign that you should get going. After all, the sooner you start, the more time you have to get everything right.

Think back to the beginning of 2014. Did you wildly overpay? If so, that’s because you didn’t take advantage of all the methods you have at your disposal to lower your tax bill. Here is a handful you should definitely take a look at ASAP. Continue reading

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know About Starting a Business

Group of business associates looking and pointing at a chart put up on the wallOver the years of working with startups and small businesses, we have come to realize there are a couple of common misunderstandings about starting a business that can seriously impact one’s chances for success. Knowing that you must address the following two key tasks upfront allows you to avoid a crisis down the road. Continue reading

How to Forget About Sales Tax (And Get Away with It)

Guess what? You have sales taxes due soon. Did you forget? It’s hard to blame you – it’s been a year since you last paid!shutterstock_107632895

Did that intro cause you to freak out a little? That means you’re one of the lucky business owners who only have to worry about sales tax on an annual basis. On the other hand, only having to deal with sales tax once a year has its downsides. Often this means you simply forget what to do when sales tax time rolls around. Continue reading

ABCs of Small Business Industry: T is for Trucking

incorporate in UtahFrom the time of the horse drawn carriage on, trucking has been an essential part of the American economy. It is up to the trucking industry, after all, to deliver any and all goods to various businesses across the nation. A lot of small business really couldn’t happen without the trucking indusry. So with an inherent need in their services, the trucking industry has always been relatively healthy.

Thinking about starting your own trucking business? Here’s what you need to get started: Continue reading

Business Basics: Privately Held Companies

Welcome to the first ‘Business Basics’ of the year! We are starting 2015 off strong by looking at privately held companies. The structure of privately held business is often misunderstood. People wonder what distinguishes a privately held company from a publicly one, or believe that any business run by a non-government entity constitutes a private company. That isn’t the case, and so to clear up any confusion, we’ve answered some of the more commonly asked questions we get about private companies. Privately Held vs Public Company

What is the difference between a privately held company, and a public one?

A privately held company is also known as a ‘closed company,’ because the ownership of the business is closed. In other words, you can’t just decide to buy a chunk of the business off of the market. Continue reading