Planning for the Year Ahead as a Small Business Owner

The Dog Days of Summer: What Small Business Owners Need to Know About Bringing Pets to WorkThere’s no let up in small business, is there?  There’s barely a pause between the end of one year and the beginning of the next.  As a new year begins, it’s tempting to just keep running, doing the same things all over again.  However, it’s critical to stop and reflect on last year and what you want to achieve this year. There are a number of areas you’ll find useful to focus on when planning for the year ahead as a small business owner. Continue reading

The Basics of Financing your franchise or Small Business

reasonable compensationLet’s face it, starting a new small business or franchise is going to have some startup costs. Some areas to be considered might include retaining professionals such as accountants, advisors, and attorneys, along with marketing and advertising costs, hiring employees, buying machinery or other equipment, maintaining physical space and buying insurance- it all seems to add up quickly! With this in mind, here are a few thoughts on financing your franchise or small business the best way possible. Continue reading

ABCs of Small Business Industry: W is for Waste Management

Waste management is one of those industries that people take for granted. A lot of cities have some sort of publicly-funded waste service, so most people don’t really think about who takes out their trash. But waste management is actually comprised of lots of small businesses, which often work together to service the needs of their city. Waste Management So what does it take to get started in waste management? And is there still room in this industry for a new small business?

How do you get started in waste management?
Waste management and garbage disposal is actually so much more than the big trucks that drive through neighborhoods once a week. Anyone who offers to haul away garbage, waste, recyclables, or junk is technically a part of this industry. So really all you need is a DBA, a truck, the right licenses and insurance, and you’re ready to go. However, anyone who dumps in a landfill has to pay for the privilege, and if you manage a lot of waste, you should try negotiating a cheaper rate with your landfill – most offer a set, per-ton charge. Continue reading

Top 5 Tips to Ensure Workplace Security

Copyright InfringementSecurity at the workplace is as important as it is at home. Most employees spend the better part of the day in their office. So it’s important that you, as an employer, look after their health and safety.

But security at the workplace means more than that. The most important step a company can take to improve its security measures is to close the internal gaps. 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

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

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

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