Archive - 2015

Struggling with your Business Plan?
Alternative Capital Sources For Your Business
Uncover Why Thousands of Hardworking Employees Are Quitting
Product Review: 2Modern Blu Dot Strut Table
Top 5 Home Business Tax Deductions
Top 5 Best At-Home Businesses
5 Ways To Accelerate Word of Mouth Marketing
Factoring. What Is It? And, Is It Right For My Business?
Top 3 Reasons Why Businesses Fail
Is a Franchise Right For You?

Struggling with your Business Plan?

We Can Help! Tips for Writing a Successful Business Plan:

So you’ve got an idea. A great idea, really. You’re ready to take action and start your own business. The only problem is, you keep struggling with your business plan. Fear not, we’re here to guide you through the process!

What Are the Elements of a Business Plan?elements of a business plan
“A typical business plan is 15 to 25 pages. Its length depends on a variety of factors, such as whether your business is introducing a new product or belongs to a new industry (which requires explanation to the reader), or if you’re pitching to bankers, who generally expect to see a traditional written business plan and financials. Most business plans contain seven sections.” Be realistic with your financial analysis template, see more.

The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Business Plan

“With a business plan, potential investors can clearly see what they’ll be getting into, and you’ll be better prepared to explain exactly why they should be a part of your vision. Organizing your thoughts into written paragraphs can force you to think about your goals more deeply than you otherwise would. It also makes your strategy more real; now, rather than …

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Alternative Capital Sources For Your Business

How Can I Raise Capital for My Business Without a Bank Loan?

If you are an entrepreneur who is trying to figure out new ways to raise capital, you’ve learned how competitive this process is. Read on to find out different and creative ways to raise your business more money without ending up in serious debt.

7 Core Principles to Raise Capital at Any Stage

running a small business
Know Your Market. Really. It seems super obvious and simple that you must ‘know your market’. But yet I watch dozens of entrepreneurs pitch their idea and not have the slightest idea who their customer really is or what market they’re playing in. You have to nail this part to stand any chance of raising funds.” Says Clate Mask, Founder of Infusionsoft.  See the full story here.

VC Funding for Your Startup

small business owner
You Have to Decide: High Impact or Small Business Entrepreneur?  You have to know going in what you really want; because you can’t have it both ways. If you go into high impact venture-backed entrepreneurship; you’re trying to build a business that’s going to scale and make people wealthy. And you’re not going to be your own boss for

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Uncover Why Thousands of Hardworking Employees Are Quitting

Ideas for Keeping Your Employees in Mind

Employees will often keep a job for benefits or a paycheck, even if they don’t love it. There are many ways to keep employees excited to go to work each day. An employer should aim to keep his workplace enjoyable, and the best way to do that is by knowing what the employees care about. The question is: what do employees care about?

Employees Care When Their Employers Carerunning a small business“What makes employees go the extra mile is the feeling of belonging to a team, of pursuing a higher purpose, of working with people who care about them as people, not as employees. When that happens, employees want to come to work. Work is more fun. Work is more rewarding. Work has meaning when we care.” Click here to read the full article about ways to show your employees you care.

Employees Care About Their Feelings Towards the Workplace
“We also have found that caring is not just about what you do for people; it is about how they feel about you and the organization. Many people will likely appreciate benefits and services such as dry-cleaning and gym memberships. We suggest, however, that employees …

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Product Review: 2Modern Blu Dot Strut Table

 If You Are in the Market for Office Furniture for Your Startup Company, These Tables Are Excellent. They Are a Great, High Quality Product at a Reasonable Price.

Blu Dot Strut tables office furniture

Blu Dot Strut tables in action in our office. Pictured here are four x-large white tables pushed together to make a large open office environment.

Every once in a while I come across office furniture that surpasses my expectations. And, I thought it would benefit our audience to know about this one. Three years ago, my company moved into a tech space environment in Stamford, CT. It is a beautiful, renovated building filled with other young, startup companies.

Before we moved, I had to look at buying or leasing office furniture. Being a digital media startup company, we didn’t want dark, traditional office furniture. We wanted furniture that was bright, fun, functional and durable. We would be sitting in an open environment with a few folks sharing tables. In doing my research, I came across the 2Modern Blu Dot Strut table . These tables have worked perfectly for our office! They are made of “lacquer on engineered wood substrate with glossy polyurethane finish and powder-coated steel legs.” They come in three sizes: …

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Top 5 Home Business Tax Deductions

No One Likes Filing Their Taxes. But, If You Have a Home-Based Business, Considering the Following Tax Deductions Can Make the Process Less Stressful.

home business tax deductions

You know what they say about death and taxes…

Like it or not, there is no avoiding either. Filing your taxes as a home-based business owner can be arduous. Multiple forms, complicated “tax speak” and conflicting information can make the process pretty complicated and stressful.

The good news is that some of the complications can be worth it in the form of tax deductions. Many home-business tax deductions are available for small business owners. Be sure to consult with a tax professional when filing, but don’t forget to look at these five tax deductions for home-based businesses.

1. Home office

The home office tax deduction is notorious for its stringent rules, but it can lead to big rewards for eligible small business owners. To qualify for the deduction, you must have a workspace in your home that is used exclusively for your business, which means that only around one-third of small business owners are eligible (according to IRS data). If you occasionally use your “home office” space for personal projects or if it doubles as a …

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Top 5 Best At-Home Businesses

Tapping a Unique, In-Demand Talent Can Create a Great Opportunity to Work From Home. Learn the Best At-Home Businesses Below.

 best at-home businesses

Starting at-home businesses has become a great option for aspiring entrepreneurs. It not only gives you the freedom of owning and operating your own business, but you also avoid many of the expensive start-up costs by not commuting or renting office space. In fact, a survey by the U.S. Small Business Association found that 52 percent of companies are at-home businesses. Many large corporations, such as Gerber and Mrs. Fields, started in the owners’ homes. There are lots of endeavors that can originate from home, but here are five of the best at-home businesses.

1.  App and Web Design

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the software industry is expected to increase its employees by 15 percent through 2022. People with technical acumen and software development skills are in constant demand. With companies shifting to a mobile focus, there is a ton of demand to create apps and responsive (mobile-optimized) websites. Developing apps and websites doesn’t require much overhead and it can be done from anywhere. Talented software developers can charge $90 or more per hour.

2. Contracting

There’s …

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5 Ways To Accelerate Word of Mouth Marketing

Most Successful Small Businesses Thrive on Word of Mouth Marketing. Here Are Ways to Accelerate This.

word of mouth marketing

You have a thought-out business plan, a great product or service and early employees. There’s only one thing missing: more customers. Many small businesses struggle to find their target market, especially when competing with much larger businesses. However, there are a myriad of ways to market your business without spending a lot of money. The most successful small businesses rely on word of mouth marketing. In fact, a 2014 survey by Verizon and Small Business Trends found that 85 percent of small business owners said customers learned about their company through word of mouth—placing it well above any other kind of marketing.

So how do you take advantage of word of mouth to grow your customer base? Here are five ways to accelerate word of mouth and get customers flocking to your business.

1. Provide great service.

It seems simple that people are more likely to recommend a business to family and friends if it provides a great product or service, so give your customers something to talk about. Set your business apart from the competition–be it great quality, superior speed and convenience, or …

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Factoring. What Is It? And, Is It Right For My Business?

Factoring Is a Unique Form of Financing for a Business With Revenue. Learn What Factoring Is and If It’s Right for Your Business.

small business owner

Everything comes with a price…

All businesses need financing to survive. The purest way of financing a business is through revenue. After all, generating revenue and profits is why you are in business in the first place, right? There are myriad other potential financing options for growing businesses. But, this post is focusing on one option that may not be so obvious to a small business owner: Factoring.

Definition of Factoring

Factoring is executed when a financial institution advances cash at a discount against specific accounts receivable from a business. This can benefit the business as it receives the cash sooner than waiting for those accounts receivable to be paid by their customers. However, like any financing instrument, there are interest rates and fees involved in factoring which I will get into here.

Terms of a factoring relationship can vary, but the relationship typically works as follows…

A business enters into a factoring relationship with a financial institution. Like any loan, this requires the financial institution to approve this business. The documents can be very detailed. Once …

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Top 3 Reasons Why Businesses Fail

Small Business Failure Rate Is Over 80% After 5 Years. The Three Pitfalls Outlined Below Are the Most Common Reasons. Find out What They Are and What You Can Do to Avoid Them.

small business failure rate

There are potholes on your entrepreneurial road.  Work hard to avoid the ones outlined below…

There are many reasons why a business can fail. They can range from poor product/market fit to a lack of effective leadership. However, there are monumental mistakes that entrepreneurs make that can lead to a business failing. Our partner, Grow Think has created a list of the 10 Biggest Mistakes That Entrepreneurs Make And How To Avoid Them. Let’s explore the top three…

1. Failure to Create, Use and Update a Successful Business Plan

You’ve heard the expression: fail to plan… plan to fail. Successful entrepreneurs transform their ideas into business and action plans. The creation of a solid business plan (with corresponding financial projections) creates the blueprint for the business to follow to success. More specifically, updating the business plan for changing market conditions is just as important. An effective, thoughtful business plan acts as a navigational vehicle for the company’s leadership to achieve its well thought out objectives. Without …

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Is a Franchise Right For You?

Owning a Franchise Can Be an Appealing Way to Jump Start Your Way Into Business Ownership.  but, It Requires Capital, Thorough Due Diligence and the Right Entrepreneurial Profile.

mcdonalds franchise

Like the saying goes…there are many ways to skin the cat…

When it comes to business ownership, there are basically three ways of entering…

  1. Start a business from the ground up
  2. Buy a business
  3. Buy into a franchise

Franchising can be a great way to hit the ground running with your small business and can lead to nearly immediate success. However, owning a franchise isn’t a good fit for every entrepreneur, so consider the following before making the big decision. First, let’s look at the specific definition of a franchise…

 Franchise Definition

You are surrounded by franchises every day. For example, if you like Subway and McDonalds…those are both franchises. In a franchise business model, a franchisor (usually corporate ownership) licenses a business location to a franchisee. The franchisee owns and runs this “branch” of the business. The franchisee gets access to the business’ trademarks, products, proprietary knowledge, and processes and pays the franchisor franchise and licensing fees. Net, net franchises allow a small business owner to get into a business more …

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