Business Basics – Cross-Blogging

Content marketing is amazing. Studies have found that inbound and content marketing cost 62% less than traditional marketing, and yet brings in three-times as many leads. If you don’t blog, you’re missing out on a huge marketing opportunity, and a great chance to network. Over the last year or so, we’ve really amped up our cross-blogging, and we’ve seen some amazing results. New markets have opened up, our web presence has never been bigger, and we’ve made some great new partners. cross-blogging

But, in finding new partners to blog with, we’ve noticed that some businesses don’t know the first thing about cross-blogging. So to help those of you experimenting with inbound marketing out, here are a few tips on how to make your cross-blogging experience positive and rewarding.

Make suggestions and share ideas

Some of the best articles we’ve ever written have come from ideas brainstormed with our cross-blogging partners. However, entrepreneurs can be a little skittish when it comes to sharing ideas. Now when a business is built on an idea, guarding it makes a lot of sense, but if that idea is nothing more than a possible topic for an 800-word article, you don’t have to treat it like a trade secret. So feel free to pitch ideas with your partners, and build off of each other’s suggestions. A major part of cross-blogging is networking. You want to forge a strong, working relationship with the people you partner with, and brainstorming is a great way to do just that.

Keep the relationship light

New bloggers sometimes get a bit overly zealous when contributing or accepting a post. Before anything is written, they want a thirty-page contract filled out in triplicate and faxed to their attorney’s office. Remember, you aren’t sharing revenue or starting a business together. You’re cross-blogging. A few simple requests like ‘don’t plagiarize’ and ‘don’t publish this somewhere else’ are really all that you need.

Don’t ask your partner to do all the work

We feel like this should go without saying, but we’ve had way, waytoo many potential partners ask us to just write the post for them. There’s no quicker way to ruin this networking and marketing opportunity than by shirking all of your responsibility and expecting someone else to pick up the slack. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Would you want a crummy, hastily written article, riddled with spelling and grammar errors on your blog? We doubt it. Any articles you send to your partner should be insightful, unique, and engaging, and you should expect the same of them. That way no one feels slighted, and your new partnership starts off right. 

Interested in contributing a guest post? We’d love to talk to you! Click here to read our author guidelines, pitch an idea, and get in contact with our social media team.

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10 Declarations of Entrepreneurial Independence

Small businesses are an important part of the American landscape. They’re a major driver of the American economy – 55% of all jobs are created by small business - and the entrepreneurial spirit is as much of a part of our culture as baseball and apple pie. Here at MyCorp, we thought it’d be great to celebrate our upcoming Independence Day by featuring some of our favorite quotes about entrepreneurial independence!

Henry Ford

 

“If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience and ability.” —Henry Ford, Founder of the Ford Motor Company

 

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Business Basics: Business Website

Your business needs a website – end of story. In 2014, only 53% of small business had an active website, and yet 97% of consumers reported searching online for products or services. That discrepancy is absolutely insane! The most commonly given reason for not having a website is that the business doesn’t need one which is far from true: a small business without a website will fail to reach a huge part of its market.business website So if you don’t already have one, you need to start building a business website now. We can’t tell you what to put on that site, but we can help you plan it out by covering four things your site should have.

Domain Name

This one is pretty obvious – you need a domain name if you’re going to build a site. Anyone without a site is already late to the game, but as long as your business’s name isn’t too common – i.e. John Smith Flowers or Jane Smith Tires – you should be able to grab a domain name that’s fairly close to your DBA name. However, if you’re too late and your desired domain is taken, you can choose a domain that doesn’t directly match your ‘Doing Business As’ name. You just need to remember that it’s now your job to make it clear what business your customers are dealing with, so make sure your DBA name is clearly seen on your site.

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Should You Give Your Employees a Second Chance?

I’ve always believed that my business’s success hinges on the open and honest relationship I have with my team. I have to trust that my employees will do the job they were hired to do so I can focus on running and growing the company. However, I have unfortunately had to deal with members of my team breaking that trust in the past. And, while you should always consider giving people a second chance at the workplace, second chances also mean you should look at what they did, and determine whether what happened was a minor transgression, or a serious breach of trust. second chance

Look at the big picture

It can be really easy to focus too heavily on the employee when making this sort of decision, but you need to consider a lot of different factors. Firing someone can leave a long-lasting impact on your business, especially if other employees don’t agree with your decision. Was this betrayal of trust more personal, or professional? Occasionally we have to swallow our personal pride for the betterment of the company, and objectivity is key to making this sort of a decision. If this is an isolated incident, then maybe a second chance is in order.

Consider the impact on your business

If this employee has proven themselves to the company and has spent years working within it, firing them could hurt your business. So you need to ask yourself if the employee’s separation will actually be good for the company. Do they contribute to inter-office harmony? Are they replaceable? Will their absence help or hinder day to day operations? Being slighted by someone you trust is always a jarring experience, but it isn’t worth sacrificing your team’s dynamic to make a point. But if this employee did actually harm the company, it may be worth sending them out the door for good.

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Member-Managed LLCs Versus Manager-Managed LLCs

Traditionally, Limited Liability Companies are treated like partnerships. Two or more people get together, found a company, form an LLC, and then start running the business. But there’s more than one way to run an LLC. Member-Managed and Manager-Managed Limited Liability Companies are run very similarly, but there are also some key differences that anyone looking to form an LLC should know.Limited Liability Company

Member-Managed LLCs

Member-Managed LLCs are, by far, the more common choice. Each member of the limited liability company is treated as equal to every other member, and everyone shares responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the LLC. Continue reading

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50 States of Incorporation: New Mexico

This week we’re covering the Land of Enchantment – New Mexico! Though admitted to the union in 1912, New Mexico has, for centuries, been home to the native Navajo, Pueblo, and Apache people. With the fourth-largest native population in the United States, New Mexico continues to be an important center of Native American culture. This culture, along with New Mexico’s stunning natural beauty, are the two of the main drivers of one the state’s biggest industries – tourism.

Along with tourism, New Mexico has a rich deposit of fossil fuel and natural gas, and is home to multiple military bases. In fact, federal spending is one of the biggest sources of revenue for New Mexico. The government of New Mexico is always looking for ways to help small businesses grow, and there are loads of tax incentives available to entrepreneurs in the state! But what does it take to start a small business there? How do you form an LLC or incorporate in New Mexico? And are there any special rules you should be aware of?Incorporate in New Mexico

What is needed to start your small business in New Mexico?

Anyone that does business in New Mexico has to register with the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department, and be issued a CRS Identification number. Your CRS number is used to collect and pay tax on gross receipts. In addition to registering, all new small businesses should apply for a ‘Doing Business As’ name with the Secretary of State’s office so that they can advertise, collect checks, and open a bank account under their business’s name. If you’d like, we are happy to run a free DBA name search on your behalf!

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MyCorp’s Top 10 Blog Posts of 2013

2013 was a great year for MyCorp, and easily the best year our blog has had yet. Did you know that, so far this year, we published 308 posts? 308! We’ve always been very proud of our little business blog, and are extremely grateful to everyone out there who has taken the time to click over and read our posts and become regular readers at our site. Since we had such a productive blogging year, we thought it would be fun to look back and pick out a few of our favorite posts from 2013 – here are our top ten:

Top Ten Posts

10. Starting a Business in 2013: An Infographic
Back in June we thought it would be a good idea to take some of the more frequently asked questions we get and spin them into an infographic. Starting a business can be a very confusing process, and we wanted to make our guide as easy to understand as possible. We pared the process down to six steps, and put out a very well-received infographic to help out our readers.

9. Tax Tips for America’s Entrepreneurs
This post was actually written by our friend David Nilssen, the CEO & Co-founder of Guidant Financial. We’ve done a few cross-posts with David, but this one stands out because of how useful it is. Tax season is stressful, but by following David’s advice, it can actually be a straightforward, productive time. You just have to know how to prepare!

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Business Basics: Delayed Filings

Delayed FilingDelayed filings aren’t the most popular business-related topic, but pursuing a delayed filing can actually be very beneficial to a new small business. When you opt for a delayed filing, you essentially put your business’s paperwork on hold. So if you, for example, have decided to form an LLC, you can actually ask the state to not start the approval process until later in the year. And while it may seem counterintuitive to ask the state to sit on your paperwork, and effectively put your business plans on hold, delayed filings can save you a bit of money and time when it comes to your start-up.

Money saved

‘Nothing is certain in life but death and taxes,’ and the minute your business springs to life, you are liable for all sorts of taxes and fees. If you opt to start your business before the end of 2013, you’ll have to collect, report, and pay taxes for 2013, even though your business was around for less than a month. Delaying recognition also means you could avoid the annual reporting fee for your state for 2013, possibly saving you hundreds of dollars.

Time saved

January is one of the busiest months for government agencies. It is when they begin to work their way through the backlog of paperwork that inevitably accumulates at the end of the year, and year after year I’ve received notices from state agencies all across America regarding a backlog that won’t be surmounted for weeks. A delayed filing will, however, help you avoid that backlog because most states place delayed filings in a priority queue. So after all of the time-critical filings are handled, the state moves directly into approving delayed filings. By opting for a delayed filing, you can avail of all of the benefits of filing in the new year, and avoid the January rush.

Should you opt for a delayed filing?

It really depends on the needs of your business. I’ve always recommended forming a Limited Liability Company or incorporating as soon as possible but, when you do so at the very end of the year, you could get stuck paying annual taxes and fees for the right to operate your business in December. Every state is different, but most will allow you to push your filing date at least thirty days into the future. If you expect your business to be around for a while, and I certainly hope you do, choosing a delayed filing will simply mean operating as a sole proprietorship for one more month before the protection of an LLC or Corporation kick in. If you want to save some time, and possibly quite a bit of money, consider a delayed filing when sending your paperwork into the state.

Would you like to learn more about delayed filings? Or are you ready to form your own LLC or Corporation? Give us a call at 1-877-692-6772 and we’ll be more than happy to help you out!

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50 States of Incorporation: Louisiana

Incorporate in LouisianaReady to incorporate in Louisiana this week in our 50 states of incorporation series? This southern gem is most widely known for its delicious comfort food, swinging jazz scene and vibrant colors (as seen in New Orleans), and for surviving hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The population of Louisiana comes in at about 4,614,500, and the capital is Baton Rouge.

Though the state comes in at number 40 on the Forbes “Best States for Business” list, the state office is generally very supportive of small businesses looking to incorporate in Louisiana. Any small business owner is welcome and encouraged to give the state a call with questions they might have, and their state website has also proved to be quite helpful with a checklist available to small business owners to help expedite the process. There are even incentive programs implemented for business owners in the research and development, manufacturing, and motion picture fields. Seafood and tourism are also two big industries that do well in Louisiana, the former of which features 90% of the crawfish eaten around the world coming straight from Louisiana. And as far as tourism goes, Bourbon Street, anyone?

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50 States of Incorporation: Illinois

Illinois has long been one of the strongest economic powerhouses in America. Not only is it home to the city of Chicago, which has been a major transport, shipping, and industrial hub for over a century, but the state is still a manufacturing leader and boasts a strong agricultural industry that continues to thrive off of Illinois’ rich soil.
Incorporate in Illinois
Illinois is the fifth most populous state, though it is only the 25th largest state in terms of area. Most people in Illinois tend to settle around either Chicago or Springfield; Illinois’ centrally-located capital.

Despite of the many booming industries in Illinois, the state placed 38th in a Forbes list of the ‘Best States to do Business In.’ Unfortunately, a fairly high corporate tax rate combined with hefty state fees and a regulatory government has made it a tad difficult to run a business in Illinois. However, when you factor in population, GDP, and the proximity of major shipping hubs, Illinois is still a great state for starting a business.

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