Need money for your small business? There are lots of options for financing and in uncertain economic times it's understandable that you may think of your family first. But borrowing from Aunt Bernice is likely the worst option available to you. Here are five reasons why.
Think you’re ready to start a business? This post will help you determine whether you’re ready to become a small business owner, or if you need to do a bit more developing before diving in. Just answer each question honestly to see where you stand.
Have you ever wondered if your business is legit? Is there a way to reduce self-employment taxes? If so, read on to learn more about business structures and freelancing. By default, you’re a sole proprietorship.
If you are thinking of starting a non-profit, consider incorporating it. There are many benefits to doing so, and since non-profits act differently from for-profit companies, it may even be a necessary step for your organization. Here’s what you need to know about incorporating your non-profit.
Starting a business requires capital -- often more than you initially planned for. If you burn through your savings too quickly, or expenses begin to mount, where will you obtain additional financing? The answer varies by entrepreneur.
For those who have watched ABC’s ‘Shark Tank,’ it might seem like simply having a great business idea is enough to get a venture capitalist to invest millions in your brand. Not so. Just like with any “reality” television program, viewers don’t see what’s really going on behind the scenes. Nor is the program indicative of what real “sharks” are like.
Money is the key to keeping your business going. You may be in an early stage, just planning or incorporating your business, but you should have thought through the issue of money, including how you're going to make it, keep it coming in, and keep that cash flow increasing over time. In the past, banks were a natural choice for loans, as most people had their own personal accounts in a bank and had relationships with the bankers there. While some of that has changed, there's still a lot to the idea of creating a relationship with your [...]
Creating a legal entity for your startup will establish much-needed separation between you and your business. Shielding your personal assets is the first and foremost reason to think about incorporating. But let's face it. When it comes down to choosing a business structure, small business owners are typically concerned about one thing: taxes.
Your company’s intellectual property—from your logo to trade secrets—can be just as valuable as physical assets. This is particularly true for digital startups. Yet, taking the necessary legal steps to protect your intellectual property can be costly and time-consuming, often burdening a young business before it gets off the ground. It’s a delicate balance to determine what actions to take and when, but the following is a primer on the various types of intellectual property.
Starting a business isn’t always easy. Sometimes mistakes are made when investing in a product or running a startup, and that’s okay. However, owners and partners should be doing what they can to avoid the unnecessary. There are a few steps you can take to avoid mistakes that are common to startups. From planning to finding the right liability insurance, here are 5 startup mistakes that you can easily avoid with just a bit of research.
There are countless garage-to-Fortune 500 success stories. Jeff Bezos first ran Amazon.com out of his garage in Bellevue, Wash. As Stanford University graduate students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin launched Google from Susan Wojcicki’s garage. And invoicing company FreshBooks was headquartered in Mike McDerment’s parents’ basement for 3.5 years. Launching a business from your garage, basement or dining room table is a great way to keep overhead costs down when you’re just starting out. And in most cases, it’s usually the only option for bootstrapping startups. But how are you supposed to handle a home-based startup from a legal perspective? When running a business from your home, you need to take your legal obligations seriously. Getting your legal ducks in a row right from the start will help you avoid any pitfalls down the road as you scale up and move out of the garage.
Not every business is in it for the money. There are those entrepreneurs who start a business to support or advocate a cause, commonly called social entrepreneurs. These are people like Jamie Oliver, world-renowned chef who opened a restaurant, Fifteen, to give disadvantaged youths the opportunity to train in a restaurant career, or Matt Flannery and Jessica Jackley, founders of Kiva, the microlending site designed to help entrepreneurs in third world countries. By their nature, social entrepreneurs try to make the world a better place. They often have already had successful careers or run businesses and sold them, and now they're trying to give back.
In honor of Veteran's Day, we wanted to start the conversation about veteran-owned small businesses. If you're one of the millions of Americans who has served in any branch of the military, you may be eligible for certain programs that can help you start a business and operate it.
If year after year, you read small business and entrepreneurship blogs like this one and think, "I'd love to start a business, but I just never could," it's time to get out of that negative thinking and start making it a reality! Sure, running a business takes a lot of hard work, but it's nothing insurmountable. If you've got the interest to start a business, you're already halfway there!
If you haven't taken a look at your business plan since the last Apocalypse, it's time to blow off the cobwebs. So many business owners make the mistake of creating a business plan and letting it sit for years, untouched. But a business plan should be a living, breathing thing (unlike a zombie) that you review regularly and update when needed.
Are you considering VC funding? Want to apply for a business loan? Did you know that your legal business structure impacts the type of capital and financing you can access for your business? Determining which kind of legal structure is right for your business will depend on what kind of financing you want to seek as listed in this post.
If you're a startup having trouble getting financing the traditional ways, the JOBS Act could be a boon, if you can wait until the new year. If you can't, consider entering the Small Business Challenge, where your business could win $50,000. Not a bad start!
If you’re running a small business, here’s a ‘back-to-school’ checklist to help you stay on top of the legal aspects of your business.
If you run a startup, you're probably so busy trying to get funding and make your company profitable that you don't have the time to find resources to help you along your way. Never fear! Here I've provided five great resources that can help you run your business more succesfully.
You hear so much about small businesses and startups getting venture capital, small business loans and other types of financing on one hand, but on the other hand, you hear about how hard it is to get it. Is it worth the hassle to try to get funds to grow your business, or should you just bootstrap when starting a business? You may find that bootstrapping is a better option. This could come from dipping into your savings, taking out a second mortgage on your home or even continuing to work a full-time job while you start your business. It's definitely the slower route, and can put a serious strain on family finances. Only you know the best path for investing in your company.