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

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

Experts Weigh In: Getting Back to Business After the Holidays

Six Ways to Boost Your Credibility and Close More DealsThe time off requests have slowed down, the holiday parties have been celebrated, and the new year is here! Small business owners everywhere are trying to get their teams back on track and ready to tackle 2015. We asked some of our small business experts how they were getting back into the swing of things. Here’s what the had to say: 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

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

6 Tips for Creating a Great Business Plan

September Small Business ChecklistWhatever the aims for your business might be, there is a good chance that at some stage you will need to draw up a clear plan for its progress. The process of creating a business plan can be hard work but it also serves a variety of important functions, not least that of potentially attracting the finance that small companies so badly need in order to get started.

With that in mind, here are 6 tips for getting it right when it comes to building a great business plan. Continue reading