As an entrepreneur starting out in business, you might know a lot of things about how to penetrate your market, but you can’t know everything. One of the areas that most start up business people find themselves lacking is in bookkeeping.
Budgeting is an aspect of bookkeeping that most people think comes naturally, but it doesn’t. Even though you are very good at maintaining a healthy personal budget, when it comes to a business, the principles change.
With a little training, though, you can learn tips that will get you started in creating a good business budget. Continue reading
Let’s imagine you’re finally getting off that couch and building that company you’ve always dreamed of. One that sells non-embarrassing gym clothing to people who desperately need the gym. (Like me. Probably you too.) You’ve been smart about this and wasted no time in setting up a great looking DIY website. You have a couple of co-founders who share your passion for gym wear (and loathing for exercise). You even have a small seed fund that helps you get the basics in place – a small office, suppliers, a few employees, the works.
So you’re all set to beat the Lululemons of the world?
Maybe not. Because, as every entrepreneur knows, a successful startup is not about getting all the pieces of a puzzle together. It’s about getting all those disparate pieces to work together in a creative yet efficient manner. Continue reading
When starting a company, it’s natural to want to shout your message from the rooftops. You not only want to spread the word about your new endeavor to family and friends, but it’s important to get noticed in order for your business to grow. According to Forbes, approximately 543,000 new businesses start each month. The struggle to stand out in this clutter can seem helpless, but there are several things you can do to maximize your potential.
Standing out and being well represented amongst the competition requires you to create a strong brand, something that resonates with your potential customer and gives you increased visibility. The following tips will help you understand all that your brand is made up of, and how to use it to maximize your business startup efforts. Continue reading
Starting a new business presents many challenges for entrepreneurs, but choosing the best tech equipment for your startup doesn’t have to be one of those challenges. Follow these four surefire tips to make sure your business get the tech devices it needs in order to succeed.
1. Make a Budget for Your Technology
In an ideal world, every company could afford the fastest, most powerful, and ultimately, the most expensive technology. As a startup, some of those devices may not be in your budget. That’s why you need to craft a budget that tells you exactly how much money you can spend on tech.
Make sure you allocate funding on equipment like:
- internet access
Your specific budget will vary depending on the kind of work your business does. However resources exist to help you estimate certain costs.
Know that you don’t always have to purchase the most expensive items to get the services you need. Explore your options to discover which is right for you and the industry you work in. You might find that the most expensive option has the features you specifically need which can save you money in the long run to pick the devices that fit your company perfectly as opposed to buying again and again when new models are released or when cheaper versions break down.
Here at MyCorp we’re always happy to see businesses succeed and love to hear about the keys to their success, which more often than not includes making good decisions and repeating them in the days, months, and years to come for the company. As we wrap up the end of the year, today we interviewed 13 business experts to get their feedback on the best business decision they made in 2013 – and how they plan on repeating it in 2014.
1. “The best business decision I made in 2013 was joining EO (Entrepreneurs’ Organization), a global business network of about 9,500 business owners with a very personal flavor. It’s something I’ll definitely stick with for 2014. I am a partner in a 13-year-old boutique advertising agency in New Jersey, and we have reached a steady size and comfort level, but we know we can be more. EO has a unique component called the ‘Forum,’ which is a small group of 6-10 business owners from different disciplines. Forums meet monthly and grow very close, which among other things enables them to serve as a de facto board of directors. Forum members hold each other accountable for business and personal goals, provide feedback and insight, share experiences and sometimes just offer emotional support. The monthly influx of ideas and enthusiasm is invaluable, especially for an entrepreneur like myself who started a business with professional experience but without business training. In addition to the Forum experience, EO holds learning, inspirational and just outright fun events that continuously sharpen the tools I need to be a more effective leader in my company.”
- Adam Schnitzler, Chief Creative Officer, The S3 Agency
2. “Outsourcing is the best decision I’ll remake. Outsourcing web development and SEO this year freed up time to explore other investment opportunities and meet with prospective clients. I’ll continue to invest in outsourcing in 2014 as a means to be able to focus on activities that allow us to continue to grow our business efficiently.”
- Michael Lallana, CEO, Mila Venture Group
The more you can have your employees working on assignments aligned with their skill set, the more productive your small business will be. Rather than have them stop every couple of minutes to work on a smaller task, it can help to find other methods to get simpler tasks done rather than have your employees stop everything they’re working on to do it. Here are a few great, efficient, and more affordable ways of getting the busy work out of the way so your team can focus on their assignments.
It can be a bit of a dirty word these days, but outsourcing is an effective way to do business for not only large corporations, but smaller businesses as well. Your company should be focused on really doing one particular niche activity very well. Anything outside of the scope of that focus, or anything that your business may not be skilled at working on, could potentially be outsourced. Companies that emphasize their strength at writing code for websites, for example, could do things much better and faster.
Saving money on your business overhead is like putting money directly into your pocket. As a small business owners are always looking for ways to make the most of their budget so they can classify as much of their revenues as possible as profit. As you probably know, cash flow is what is going to keep your start-up above water. To get more cash flow, you need to either sell more or cut back on expenses, and when you do not have a large book-of-business, cutting back is the most practical option.
Every business owner knows the basics of reducing overhead, but sometimes it takes a bit of creativity to reduce spending without compromising business solvency.
An Employer Identification Number, or EIN for short, is basically a social security number for your business. Like with social security numbers, the IRS uses EINs to track what businesses need to certain types of tax. However, not all businesses are technically required to have an EIN as sole proprietorships can be identified by the owner’s SSN instead. That doesn’t mean, though, that you should avoid filing for one, as there are three main reasons why obtaining an EIN is important for a small business.
It allows the business to hire employees.
If you run a sole-proprietorship and you are the only employee that works for the business, all of the profits and losses are going to be reported as part of your personal income. You then pay whatever state and federal taxes you need to, just like you would if you received an income from anywhere else. However, when you hire an employee, you are responsible for withholding any necessary taxes from that employee’s income. The IRS then cannot simply use your SSN to keep track of what they are owed as there are now two different employees, and that’s where the employer identification number comes in. EINs let the IRS and other tax-collecting bodies know what businesses need to be sending in the usual payroll taxes.
Your business concept is awesome and you know it. But you need startup funds and a way to convince investors that they’ll see a return on investing in your business. The thought of putting together a business plan that will effectively “sell” your business concept to seasoned investors is intimidating, but it’s also essential in getting the funding you desire. A well rounded business plan will provide you with valuable insight into your business, its potential for success, and the areas in which you may want to fine-tune your operating model. Continue reading
In the first year of your business’ life, the success of a small company hinges on lowering its overhead expenses which can make all the difference between insolvency and survival. To ensure that your business stays as financially lean as possible, take the following six tips into account when creating and establishing your company budget.
Cut Your Staffing Costs