Month: February 2020

About Small Business Grants

After you have your business plan completed you can start working on your company’s funding. The first funding options that you have for raising the capital needed to start your company are to apply for federal grants and to apply for private small business grants. Each grant that is offered will have its own set of requirements and each will have their own application process. To qualify for small business grants you will need to have a solid business plan, a marketable product, and in some cases your own money to invest in your company.

There are a lot of financing options available for small businesses besides small business grants. Small business loans are a great option for people who have a good credit history and a great idea for a business. These loans are offered by most major banks. If you are interested in applying for a small business loan from the Small Business Administration then you will still need to submit your application material to a bank. This is because the SBA no longer funds small business loans, they only insure them.

Thinking Partnership

To set the record straight, I’m certainly not an attorney, nor am I in the business of dispensing legal advice. But as someone who’s been involved in – and burned by – a couple of partnership ventures gone sour, I do have opinions. I’d like to share those with you here if you’ll let me.

Most would-be partners see themselves going into business with friends or family members. Many times those involved have known each other for years. But knowing someone for a long time is not the same as knowing them well. At least not well enough to become partners with them. But that’s only the first drawback.

Drawback #2: Many would-be partners believe they can put a deal together with little more than a verbal agreement and a hand shake. Wrong! The only safe way to do it, if do it you must, is with a detailed written Partnership Agreement. One drawn up by an impartial attorney all partners agree on.

Drawback #3: Even before you get to that point, you should know that partners can be held jointly and severably liable for the obligations of the partnership. Simply put, that means either or all of you may be liable for all the liabilities of your business. Everything from accounts payable to judgments against the business, including obligations for which you as an individual may not be responsible at all.

That could wipe out some or all of the personal assets of each of the partners. But let me paint you a worse case scenario. Drawback #4: Partner A has only modest means, a simple home and car, along with a spouse and children. Partner B is extremely wealthy. Large home, fancy car, summer place, stocks, bonds, IRAs, the works.

Their business goes belly up for some reason, leaving behind huge financial liabilities and other obligations. Creditors take the partners to court in an effort to collect. A multi-million dollar judgment is rendered in favor of the creditors, and the court lays claim to the assets of the partners.

Partner A can lose his simple home and car, but once their gone he has nothing more the court can lay claim to. So they turn to Partner B to collect the balance of that multi-million dollar judgment. And to satisfy that judgment the court sells off his large home, fancy car, summer place, stocks, bonds, etc.

They might have been “equal partners,” but there’s nothing equal about what they stand to lose. If only because partners can be held personally liable for the obligations of their business – jointly and severably, meaning individually and collectively – I suggest you think long and hard before becoming involved in a partnership arrangement, even one spelled out in writing.

Prepare Your Business For Sale

When preparing your business for sale, keep the following in mind:

  • Selling your business is risky, so start the preparations at least one year in advance. You have to tie up all loose ends, make proper inventory of assets before you sell.
  • Go through audits and financial statements to chart growth. Ensure the financial records are up to date.
  • Formalize records and document all business dealings for the convenience of buyers. This will also help avoid confusion when the new management takes over.
  • Don’t keep any pending accounts of a customer open; tie up all loose ends before handing over the company.
  • Take care of the contract details with suppliers and franchisees. This will eliminate problems for the new management.
  • Get a proper handbook of company rules and guidelines printed. Unwritten rules are hard to follow.
  • Review leases and real estate deals. You do not want the location to affect the sale of your business. If the location can be a hindrance to sale, then consider moving to a better location before selling.
  • Take care of the equipment leases and return equipment once lease period is over.
  • Make an inventory of all the company assets, moveable as well as immoveable.
  • Upgrade and modernize software and computer systems. The best software should be installed before you make a sale.
  • Sell real estate separate from other company assets. Real estate attached to other assets makes the company unwieldy when its time to sell.
  • Ensure that employees’ interests are taken care of. Try to retain the good employees during the merger process. If you have to cut down on the number of employees, ensure they still have goodwill for the company.
  • Have an expert negotiator by your side well before you start negotiating a deal with the other party.

By taking care of your employees’ interests, and looking out for the new management when selling the business, you will earn a lot of goodwill. You should also put your records in order before selling. By following the guidelines given above, you will be able to avoid the pitfalls of bad business deals.

Challenges & Benefits of Running a Family Business

Family-owned businesses account for the majority of the world’s wealth. However, as with any other type of business, there’re both advantages and disadvantages associated with running a family business. Let’s move forward to discover them and see who can best help you with a merchant loan.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Running a Family Business: Merchant Loan

According to a 2019 survey by Deloitte, which polled 791 executives of family-owned businesses from 58 countries worldwide:

  • 43% had annual revenue of less than the U.S. $50 million
  • 37% had between the U.S. $50-250 million
  • 16% had U.S.$ 250million-1billion
  • 5% had the U.S. 1 billion or more

If you need additional funding for your family-owned business, just consider turning to a reputable alternative online lender in your field. This is the fastest and cheapest way to get access to the funds you need, including a merchant loan. Make sure the rates are among the cheapest in the space.

Pros of Running a Family Business:

  • Greater incentive to work harder
  • Strong commitment
  • Loyalty
  • Stability
  • Common values
  • Trust and authenticity
  • Flexibility and versatility
  • Vision and long-term goals
  • Your family’s under-aged children involved in the business can bring your some tax advantages
  • Since your family members are already familiar with the business to some degree, this results in time effectiveness and higher speed of operations
  • When necessary, family members can cover for each other
  • More relaxed working environment
  • Time and cost-effectiveness based on not being obliged to hire outside the family
  • Greater chances to make decisions more easily

Cons of Running a Family Business:

  • Unstructured or undefined leadership
  • Family can get you more distracted
  • Not being able to separate work and home effectively
  • Your business could be more vulnerable because of your family issues
  • Family conflicts
  • Family members may break working rules easily
  • If rule-breaking is left without consequences, it may hurt your business
  • Lack of skills for the given position
  • Critical feedback may be rake negatively
  • Not expressing what you think being afraid to hurt your family member’s feelings
  • Difficulty deciding who’ll be in charge of the business if the current chief is to step down

Family-owned businesses play a key role in the U.S. economy. Like any other business, they have both pros and cons that you should take into account by all means.

Author Bio: Michael Hollis is a Detroit native who now lives in Los Angeles. He is an account executive who has helped hundreds of business owners with their merchant loan solutions. He’s experimented with various occupations: computer programming, dog-training, scientificating… But his favorite job is the one he’s now doing full time — providing business funding for hard-working business owners across the country.

Home Business Idea

Performing administrative tasks for others is a popular home based business option. If you’re gifted with a good variety of office skills and you’re comfortable with the internet, perhaps you would be well suited to start a Virtual Assistant business.

Virtual Assistants provide all kinds of support services to others, mostly to other small business entrepreneurs and internet marketers. Customer service, telephone and email support, data entry, website maintenance, internet research, and media relations are just a few common tasks.

You don’t have to have all of the above skills, you can choose to focus on a specialty in your own business and offer the tasks that you do best. You’ll attract the clients who need what you have to offer.

Clients do like to work with one VA who understands their business really well, so over time you will want to develop new skills so that you can fulfill as many of their needs as possible. But remember why you wanted to be your own boss; it isn’t so that you can spend all of your time doing what you do not enjoy. You can always networking and outsource tasks that you don’t like to other virtual assistants.

A Virtual Assistant business is fairly simple to launch but building your business and managing a growing client base can be challenging. It helps to have advice and guidance from others who have been where you are. Take care to choose your mentor’s carefully and remember that businesses aren’t built overnight. Your patience and perseverance will pay off in the long run.

Decision Making Guild

  • Live in existing moment
    This is a critical expertise one ought to have. However, as far as we could tell we are meandering the mountains of Himalayan or we are contemplating the most recent night birthday gathering of one of our dearest companion. The more centered you are around the place of occurrence, the more easier it will be for you to decide on it. The more information we see about the episode, the more easier it is to decide on it, on the grounds that we have an unmistakable picture of that issue.
  • Remain icy as ice
    Be cool and remain quiet. Never take cruel choices. Have control over your psyche while taking decisions. The greatest advantage is that it allows you to watch and get it. That is difficult to do when the psyche is always stirring and responding. This is the reason why consideration and contemplation are prevalent: they moderate the psyche down and separate the thinking from the watching.
  • Investigate the circumstances
    In most situations, this can be an extreme easy/fast process, nevertheless, this will rely upon the particular conditions of the case e.g. whether the actualities are questioned or clear and the earnestness of the issue. An investigation can basically be the collection of realities taking a view at existing moment e.g. identifying with the past procedures attempted to address an issue. It is always important to investigate the circumstance legitimately before taking any decision.
  • Know the outcomes
    Take a rundown on the great and awful that will occur subsequent to taking that choice. And think about the circumstances when you were restless and what outcomes it brought. Must have been unfortunate, isn’t that so? Now you need it to end in a distinctive way. Take a lesson from those circumstances. This will enable you to take better choices in your present to secure your future.
  • Admit on the off-chance that you are incorrect
    Continuously, begin by revealing reality to yourself. In the event that you can’t state in your own particular heart that you weren’t right, at that, any conciliatory sentiment you give will feel dishonest to the recipient. Moreover, working this out for yourself gives you an opportunity to work through any issues you might have with apologizing.
  • Ask a specialist
    There are times in life when we either don’t recognize what to do with a specific end goal to deal with a circumstance or in settling on essential life choices. We often neglect to look for guidance or help, feeling terrified or humiliated to express obliviousness. In such situations, counseling with the accomplished individuals has always been the best.
  • Be affable
    Everybody ought to take in the specialty of affability; it is center to our day by day survivals and directives. The way we manage our condition makes us look accountable or not. In the event that we are affable, we are more responsible and will deal with the little things we see around us.

Strategies for Avoiding Client Non-Payment

Have a contract or client agreement

You should have some form of contract or client agreement which states, at a minimum, your work hours, your hourly fee (if you charge by the hour), payment terms, a statement regarding confidentiality, your status as an independent contractor, an “out” clause (e.g., either party may terminate the agreement with 14 days notice) and any other data that you feel pertinent (such as an arbitration clause).

If you choose to have a contract or client agreement, it is in your best interest to insure that your client signs and returns it before any work is performed – remember to send your client a signed copy back.

Create Client Service Plans

If you’re not sure how many hours a client will require each month, you may want to consider creating “Client Service Plans” which allows clients to know they have purchased a certain amount of your time for any given month.

For example, if you are a coach, you could charge $X/month for three 30-minute calls and email support. Or $Y/month for three 45-minute calls and email support.

If you are a virtual assistant, you could charge $X per hour for clients who commit to using 40 hours/month and $Y per hour for clients who commit to using 20 hours/month. Each set of hours/pricing would be a separate plan – Platinum, Gold and Silver, for example, where Platinum clients commit to the most hours and Silver clients the least.

Don’t be afraid to tailor your plans to your specific business and your clients. It’s important that they know you can be flexible while still maintaining your internal standards.

Require a deposit or get paid in advance

It makes good business sense to require a deposit before you start work for new clients. The deposit doesn’t need to be prohibitive, but just enough to guarantee that you are paid at least something for your work if the client decides to try and stiff you.

Most coaches I know are paid in advance of the month. For example, clients pay at the end of November for December’s coaching. Many virtual assistants require a percentage deposit at the beginning of each month and credit it on the invoice.

The above strategies are not mutually exclusive. I use all three to a certain degree in my business along with a “Client Intake Form” that I’ve created. This allows me to learn something about the client before we’ve had our first session.

I include all of this information in my Client Welcome Kit along with a one-page informational sheet indicating how I best work. This allows us each to determine if our work styles mesh – thus creating a win/win situation for both.

Start A Business Support Company In Austin

Advantages of Starting a Business Support Company in Austin:
Austin offers many advantages to those who start a Business Support Company.

  • You can work from home. There is no need for commuting or spending time away from family.
  • You can be your own boss and work on your own terms.
  • You can set your own work hours.
  • You can make a large income through your Business Support Company.

Starting a Business Support Company:
When you start your own business support company, you need to keep the following in mind.

  • Can you work on your own? Do you take the initiative to make calls and have a disciplined routine? Working unsupervised can be hard for some people. You need to make tough decisions and resist the temptation to extend your coffee break or take days off in a row.
  • How much do you wish to earn? You need to be realistic in your expectations.
  • Can you take the responsibility of your own financial well-being, as well as those of your employees? You need to keep in mind that you don’t get benefits like vacation packages, retirement, insurance, and health care from your boss.
  • Professionalism is something all clients look for in service providers. You should not be late for appointments or shirk work. Your commitment to the client’s needs should be 100 percent.
  • You need to arrange startup capital for your business support company. The Small Business Administration distributes loans through branches in all cities, including Austin. Austin authorities also have many lending programs in place for small businesses. You could even approach banks for loans if your credit record has been good.
  • Creativity is an important part of managing a business support company. You need to think up new methods of marketing, resource allocation, and networking to make your new company a success.
  • Implementing ideas is also a tough task that you need to master. You need to create a business plan, chart your aspirations and requirements, and work towards your goals.

Business Insurance Arbitration

Recent years have seen tremendous increase in the the use of arbitration by big and small businesses as well as individual litigations. According to one estimate, approximately 35 states (including the District of Columbia) have accepted the Uniform Arbitration Act. The remaining states all enforce arbitration agreements and certify arbitration awards as judgments if one party demands it.

One can’t deny the advantages of arbitration of disputes in issues like employment disputes, government contracts, number of product liability matters, domestic matters and other contexts. However, it is very tricky especially for business firms to assume that arbitration is the best solution in every circumstance.

It is the responsibility of the business firms to fully analyze all the benefits and the shortcomings of arbitration prior to entering into arbitration. Although the view may sound bit boring, but one must take into account the arbitration centrifuge that has continued to separate number of firms and individuals from the court system. It is advisable that you don’t let your business get effected by all these.

There are lot of advantages associated with the “arbitration clauses” in contracts and agreements. Not only they gives you an option of settling a dispute in less time, but also is less expensive when compared to utilizing the courts and lawyers. The most general arbitration clause is that the parties having the disagreement contract with an individual to act as an arbitrator.

It is very important that the arbitrator be acceptable to both parties as this can have a significant impact. Fact remains that a number of arbitration clauses emphasize that the decision of the arbitrator is final or that the arbitration is “binding arbitration”. Where there are entities, such as business firms involved in the issue rather than individuals the arbitration clause may give permission for each entity to choose a person to represent them and those two individuals then choose a third, again highlighting the point that the arbitration is usually binding. All parties involved in the dispute normally pay for the costs involved with implementing the arbitration equally. Though, arbitration clauses can have a saying on different structure to the terms of payment of any disputes.