As you grow your business, you will inevitably need to hire help. If you’ve never been an employer before, there are certain pitfalls you need to avoid that many business owners make. Here’s your guide to what not to do in hiring staff.
1. Not Knowing Your Needs
Once you start a business, your responsibilities will grow quickly. You know you need help, but maybe you assume a part-time secretary will fit the bill. Only you need her to take on your social media management, answer the phones, and manage your accounting. You find out too late, after you’ve hired her, that the job is more than she’s qualified for.
It’s important that you assess what your hiring needs are before you start the search. Do you need a full-time or part-time person? What areas do you need help with? What level of expertise do you need? What’s your budget? (more…)
I get it, I really do. You spend 40 or more hours a week with the people you hired, so it’s understandable that you’d start to form friendships. But once you start a business, you’ve got to draw a line between being friendly with your staff and trying to be their friend. The difference between the two is where the respect you need from them lies.
How to Be Friendly (Without Going Overboard)
Any office functions better when the staff gets along. In our office, you’ll hear people asking about their colleague’s weekends on Monday mornings, and often they’ll go to lunch together. I’m right there, engaging in dialogue with my team, but there’s a point at which I stop. Usually that’s in oversharing personal details. My motto is: if I’m willing to share it on Facebook, I can share it around the office. If not, I keep it to myself. (more…)
When you first start your business, whether you are set up as a sole proprietorship, partnership, a corporation, or a Limited Liability Company (LLC), you may take on all the work yourself. After all, you consider yourself a great multitasker, so why not do it all yourself?
You’ll learn this lesson sooner than later, but I’d rather you do it now and save yourself a lot of headache later: you’ve got to delegate to be an effective entrepreneur. That means that from Day 1, you should have the right people on your team that will help you skyrocket to success.
Identify What You Need Help With
To that end, you first have to determine what areas of your business you need help with. Start with the areas you’re less skilled at, or that take more time than you’ve got. For example: (more…)
If you plan to incorporate in North Carolina or file an LLC there, or already have, there’s a deadline coming up that you need to be aware of.
Your Annual Report is due April 15. This document keeps the Secretary of State for North Carolina up to date on your business contact information and ensures that you stay compliant with your business.
What Goes in Your North Carolina Annual Report?
If you’ve never filled out an Annual Report, it’s not too complicated. You will need to fill out:
- General Information on Your Business, including the name of your business entity, your fiscal year end — if you run a corporation, and the nature of your business.
- Registered Agent Information, in the event that you use a Registered Agent to handle your corporation or LLC paperwork. Provide the name of record and the address for the Registered Agent.
- Principal Office Information, including your business’s physical address, mailing address, and telephone number.
- Officers/Members/Managers Information, including a listing of all the officers, members, and/or managers of your business, as well as their titles and their business address.
It’s important that you update this information annually, especially if any of this data has changed in the past 12 months. (more…)
If you’re interested in protecting your intellectual property, you’ve probably come across information on trademarks and copyrights, but maybe aren’t sure which you need. This post will break them down to help you make the right decision for your needs.
What is a Trademark?
You use a trademark on a product, word, name, phrase, or symbol you want to have exclusive rights to. There’s also what’s called a servicemark, which is used to trademark a service rather than a product. You can even trademark your domain names and social media usernames.
When you have a product or name that you don’t want others to use, you can trademark it. Now, others can’t copy your efforts, and if they do, there will be fines and penalties to deal with. (more…)
This is a guest post by Megan Totka.
When it comes to maintaining relationships with your customers beyond the sale, customer relationship management (CRM) software is a real boon. Because it helps you stay on top of what’s happening with a given client, you spend less time researching and more time connecting in ways that really matter. Let’s look at 10 business growth strategies and show how you can use your CRM to make them happen.
Make Highly Targeted Offers to the Right Clients
Gone are the days where you had no choice but to send a blanket email offer to all customers. Now you can use your customers’ preferences (recorded in your CRM) to send emails with offers they’re more likely to take you up on. If you know you’ve got customers who recently bought rain boots, you can send them an offer for a matching raincoat or umbrella.
Segment Your List in a Way that Makes Sense
If you sell products online, you may have specific niche groups of clientele, like those who buy baby clothes for boys, those who buy baby clothes for girls, those who buy baby gifts for friends, et cetera. You can set up the email marketing lists in your CRM based on criteria you define. That will help you target your offers. (more…)
How They’re Similar
The LLC and S Corp share many things in common.
Limited Personal Liability
Both structures protect your personal assets and limit your liability to the company. That means your personal assets, including homes, cars, savings, and investments, are protected from the liabilities and risks of the business. (more…)
If you have incorporated in Georgia, you may not realize that your Annual Report is due on April 1, just around the corner! Here we answer some commonly asked questions about filing that report.
What is an Annual Report?
Your Annual Report is a document or form you fill out each year that updates the Georgia Secretary of State office on your business, its contact information, and details on the Board members and managers.
Who Has to Fill Out an Annual Report?
All Georgia corporations, LLCs, LPs, LLPs, and LLLPs — both domestic and foreign — need to file that Annual Report by the April 1 deadline. The only exception is if you incorporated in Georgia recently (within the last year). In that case, you were required to file an Initial Report within 90 days of incorporating, and then you’ll file your first Annual Report next year. All the other business entities don’t, however, need to file an Initial Report. (more…)