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Raising Capital: Understanding the Options for Your Business

Raising Capital: Understanding the Options for Your Business

There are several types of loans available to business owners — so many, in fact, that the options can seem overwhelming and confusing, especially to smaller business owners without a lot of experience raising capital. This guide will help educate you on the options so you can make a more informed decision about financing your growing business while limiting added risk.

Google Analytics Reports: What Are Visitors Doing on Your Website?

Google Analytics Reports: What Are Visitors Doing on Your Website?

You’ve invested in Search Optimizing your website with better content, meta-code, and Social Media links. Traffic to your site has increased, and you’ve even started to receive more calls and orders. What’s next? The first thing to realize is that SEO is an open-ended process that is never really complete. It comes with victories and setbacks, and you need to be vigilant about the ways in which your web visitors interact with your site.

Latest Forbes Post: Small Business Owner Retirement Strategies

Latest Forbes Post: Small Business Owner Retirement Strategies

According to the Chief Actuary of the Social Security Administration, “Currently, the Social Security Board of Trustees projects program cost to rise by 2035 so that taxes will be enough to pay for only 75 percent of scheduled benefits.” This bleak reality is not of great concern to the successful entrepreneur who may not need to rely heavily on social security benefits retirement. Yet, any potential reduction in social security benefits in the future is a serious threat to the well-being of the 28 million small business owners in America.

How to Know When It’s the Right Time to Borrow Money for Your Small Business

How to Know When It’s the Right Time to Borrow Money for Your Small Business

Obtaining financing from a bank or lender for your small business can be quite the task. That’s why it’s important to know when it’s the right time to do it. You may not get the results you want if you do it at the wrong time. Depending on your business goals and objectives, you may want to borrow money right away or bootstrap for as long as possible and borrow money later on down the line. Below are 4 questions you should ask yourself (and answer) to determine if you’re ready to borrow money for your small business (especially if it is a startup).

Keeping Track of Your Competitors’ Intellectual Property

Keeping Track of Your Competitors’ Intellectual Property

As businesses grow and develop, so do their intellectual property (IP) assets. And if these businesses are engaging in proper IP management, they are filing trademark and patent applications to protect their IP. However, because of the public nature of both trademark and patent prosecutions, one may get an inkling of their competitors’ business plans if they monitor these application filings. Though not a perfect way to predict the exact nature of your competitors’ future offerings, keeping track of IP filings can be a guide to where your competitors are moving.

Small Business Web Design: Don’t Make Web Users Scroll?

Small Business Web Design: Don’t Make Web Users Scroll?

If the headline of this piece makes you nod in agreement, you’ll be surprised by what we have to say. Have you noticed, for example, that some of the most successful websites today, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google Images offer infinite scrolling? The truth is, the last time people had any difficulty scrolling was before the turn of the century, and the idea that websites should keep their information “above the fold” is an outdated myth.

Exit Planners: Help Business Owners Make Companies More Profitable

Exit Planners: Help Business Owners Make Companies More Profitable

My business partner, the author Jack Beauregard, and I recently had breakfast with Lorraine McGregor from Vancouver, BC Canada. Lorraine is the author of books on Exit Planning and Entrepreneurship, as well as an experienced business consultant. We were all discussing why so many business owners were delaying (the inevitable) transition planning from their businesses.

The Best Organizational Structure for Your Growing Business

The Best Organizational Structure for Your Growing Business

Managing the people side of a growing business is often just as difficult as managing operational challenges. From finding top talent to establishing and building a company culture, the human side of a business is a constant work in progress.

As businesses grow, one consideration leaders must wrestle with has to do with what is the best organizational structure. How many layers will the business have? At what point are other leadership roles outside of the CEO required? Answering these questions is essential if the business wants to continue to grow.

Why You Need a Google Plus Business Page

Why You Need a Google Plus Business Page

The world of “social media” has become a confusing crowd of personal and business pages, almost too many to name. There’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, not to mention Instagram, Tumblr, Yelp, and more. When online articles talk about the Top 10 and Top 15 Social Networking Sites, you know you’re in trouble. Who has the time? So here we are to tell you about Google Plus, aka “Google+,” and to encourage you to establish and use a Google Plus business page. Why invest your time in this social platform over some of the others? Well, the fact that it’s from Google should provide your first clue.

Latest Forbes Post: ACA Grandmothered Plans Help Small Business

Obamacare was promoted to the approximately 5.8 million small business owners in the U.S. as a mandate which would not apply to them, nor result in a penalty if they chose not to offer health insurance to employees. Unfortunately, for those same small business employers who previously offered health insurance coverage as part of an employee’s total compensation package there is no place to hide. Premiums are skyrocketing.

How to Calculate Debt Service Coverage Ratio [Tool]

How to Calculate Debt Service Coverage Ratio [Tool]

Debt Service Coverage Ratio compliance often is required or necessitated by covenants in a bank loan agreement. A bank loan covenant regarding the debt service coverage ratio will specify the amount of income a business and/or its guarantor must generate relative to the debt principal and interest payments on an annual basis to remain in compliance with the covenant. The business owner, or his or her CFO or Controller, should monitor this ratio carefully on a monthly basis so the covenant is not unintentionally broken.

Latest Forbes Post: Bank Loan Alternatives in 2014

Finding money to grow a business has changed tremendously since the great recession. Whether sourcing capital in the form of debt, equity, or something in between, also known as mezzanine, it’s safe to say entrepreneurs have more multiple options than ever to pursue. That doesn’t make the task an easy one to accomplish. Unfortunately for the entrepreneur, the additional options have only served to increase the confusion surrounding their need for cash.

The Advantages of Buying an Existing Business

The Advantages of Buying an Existing Business

Most individuals who consider themselves entrepreneurs believe they must start their own business to earn the title. However, what some do not realize is that the entrepreneurial spirit can be fulfilled in a variety of ways, not the least of which is purchasing an existing business. The following is a list of advantages for buying a business over starting one from scratch.

Selling Stock Implications When It’s Time to Sell

Selling Stock Implications When It’s Time to Sell

Many entrepreneurs faced with the demands on cash of a growing business are tempted to sell equity to outside investors, or perhaps give away stock to retain a valuable employee. Diluting your stake in this way may solve the immediate problem, but it can have unforeseen consequences when the business eventually is sold. Stockholders’ personal circumstances evolve in different ways over the lifetime of a company, and whatever the original intention everyone may not be on the same page when you are ready to sell.

Surviving Due Diligence & Contract Negotiation

Surviving Due Diligence & Contract Negotiation

You have endured multiple meetings with potential buyers. You’ve written dozens of emails and suffered through several rounds of negotiations to secure the best price and deal structure. At last you have decided on the offer to accept. That’s the worst of it over then? Think again – you have yet to experience the joys of due diligence and sale contract negotiation.

Non-Solicitation Agreement | How to Keep Your Best Employees

Non-Solicitation Agreement | How to Keep Your Best Employees

If you’ve grown a valuable business, there is no doubt your employees are a big part of your success. You also know that hiring, training, and managing a great team of productive employees is a difficult task. And keeping your best employees is yet another accomplishment! But the painful truth is your competition would be very pleased to hire away your best employees.

Employee vs. Independent Contractor: Which is Right For My Business?

Employee vs. Independent Contractor: Which is Right For My Business?

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act there is a distinct difference between an independent contractor and an employee. This difference lies mainly in the way they are paid and the way taxes are withheld. Understanding the difference between them and times when both are appropriate to use can help business owners determine which is best for their situation.