Spring is here—whether it feels like it in your part of the country or not—and it’s time to refresh and renew. That applies to your marketing plan, too. Are you ready to shake it up and sweep out the cobwebs?
Pull out your marketing plan and take a good look. What’s working, and what isn’t? You should be tracking the results of all your marketing efforts, whether you’re using online analytics, codes in print ads or simply asking visitors to your store or restaurant how they heard about you. Based on the information you’ve gathered, assess...
Getting approved for a line of credit with a supplier is simply an opportunity for you to start building your company’s creditworthiness. The key to establishing positive credit is to make regular purchases using your vendor credit lines, and then paying invoices on or ahead of the due date.
If you do not make regular purchases, then there is no way for you to establish any kind of payment history. So it is vitally important that you carefully select the suppliers with whom you apply for credit. Make sure that your business can use...
If you’re going to do a serious search for a franchise this year, please don’t make the mistake of not involving family members. Would you like to know why? Read on.
A Big Decision
The decision to become the owner of a franchise business is a big one. It’s not to be taken lightly.
And, while there are several ways for you to lower your financial risk,* franchise ownership doesn’t come with any guarantees. (Neither does a job!)
Your family members really need to understand what you’re thinking about doing....
There is little doubt that customers respond positively to the attractiveness of your workplace. In addition, it’s been *found that being in a good environment helps to motivate employees and adds to productivity. Improvements to your workspace may be modest or substantial, depending on your needs and your pocketbook. Either way, Uncle Sam can help defray the costs with tax write-offs. Here’s what you need to know.
A new coat of paint is a low-cost upgrade for your facilities. Other repairs may be more costly....
How do you value your business plan? What’s it worth to your business? Here’s how I do it:
I value the business plan by the decisions it causes.
I value a business plan by the money it generates.
I value a business plan by its results.
How do you value anything in business? For accounting purposes, expenses are negative value, and assets – things you buy, things you own, that aren’t expenses – are worth what you paid for them. But what’s the real value?
That’s where the phrase “return...
Honesty is the best policy. Adopting an attitude of being clear and upfront has many benefits in life, from reduced stress to better relationships, but it can also be valuable in your business and key to converting leads into real customers. SCORE mentors will tell you that developing an open and honest relationship with your leads is important for several reasons:
- Honesty creates trust. If a lead feels comfortable sharing their needs and concerns, you can address them directly.
- An honest dialogue will determine if your business is well...
These days, loyal customers are hard to come by. So when you do have customers who are faithful to your business, returning day after day and year after year, you want to reward them. But how? There are many ways to reward your loyal customers, from simple paper-based methods to mobile apps and more. Here’s a look at some different options to consider.
Rewards cards: Depending on your customer base, your budget and how sophisticated you want to get, you can start at the basic level with paper punch cards (“Buy 10, get one...
With fast access to cash, convenience and all the perks that come along with it, a business credit card is a standard tool used by business owners.
But did you know that less than 50% of the credit cards obtained by business owners nationwide are actually in the company’s name?
It’s a shocking reality, to say the least, but the good news is there are plenty of business credit cards that cater to savvy business owners like you who understand the importance of establishing business credit.
The majority of cards one can obtain for a...
Sometimes, the best-laid plans don’t pan out.
Take business ownership, for instance. Think about how many businesses are started and closed in the US every year. Not every business makes it. But, every small business owner wants to make it. Why else would someone risk their money, and commit the time and energy needed to be their own boss?
Working For Yourself
I’ve been my own boss since 2001. I call the shots. I decide my marketing budget. I decide how much of a salary I take out of my business. I choose when to take a vacation. I...
The SBA uses a number of definitions for “small business,” depending on the industry. So, too, does the tax law, which has various definitions of “small business” for different tax breaks. These definitions are based on employees, revenues, expenditures and assets. Confusing? You bet! Here’s a list to help you.
DbK retirement plan. This type of qualified retirement plan, which has yet to be utilized because of lack of IRS guidance, combines a pension with a contributory element (like...