If you’re thinking about becoming your own boss, and the business model of franchising sounds attractive, there are several things you need to do before you even look at a franchise business opportunity. Even though you probably can’t wait to jump in that nice, warm franchise opportunity pool, I want you to force yourself to hold back. Read my tips below first; they’ll help you prepare for your jump. 1. Talk To Your Family If you think for one minute that becoming the owner of a business will...
Online buzz about social media for business owners seems to be moving from “Should I” to “How do I?” I’ve been working on this a lot lately as part of my work on planning, and I’ve developed this process for a specific social media plan for small business: Start with strategy Define how your social media serves your business. Usually that’s in the marketing area of the business related to branding and awareness at the top of the marketing funnel, but it can also be focused on other business functions...
Once you have completed all the steps necessary for your business to be lender compliant, you can begin establishing credit. You may have jumped ahead of yourself and already applied for one or two business credit cards using your personal credit. Not to worry-the purpose of this article is to share with you the best way to build credit for your company so you can stop relying on your personal credit to secure the financing for your company. During the early stages of the business credit building process, you probably heard about applying for...
Is August a slow season for your small business? For many of us, business slows down as the days heat up. Fortunately, that makes the rest of this month the ideal time to use your downtime productively by reassessing your marketing strategy. Determine what’s working and what isn’t, and revamp your approach for the rest of the year. Here are some areas to consider: Has your target market changed? Maybe your customers are getting older, moving out of your area or spending less on what you sell. Is there a new target market you...
The quotation I keep on my desk from Benjamin Franklin says, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Savvy business owners know that learning is a lifetime affair. Fortunately, there are many federal income tax breaks to help defray the cost of your ongoing education. Lifetime learning credit If you continue to pursue formal education beyond the undergraduate level, you may be eligible to claim a tax credit for tuition, fees, and certain other qualified expenses. Each dollar of the tax credit reduces your tax bill by...
In my role as a franchise advisor, I’ve been able to work with a lot of really smart people over the years. I’m talking MBA’s, PhD’s-even a rocket scientist from NASA. I would guess that some of them were qualified to be members of MENSA.* But, even smart people make mistakes, and I’ve seen some real whoppers take place at various stages of the franchise buying cycle. Some of them include: · Not calling 10-15 current and former franchisees to ask about their...
One of the most important benefits of good business planning is strategic positioning. Especially as technology advances and markets grow constantly more narrow and more defined, positioning is vital. You can use your business plan, with regular review and revisions, to keep steering towards the right positioning. The change in segmentation and strategy is remarkable. Take television sports as an example. We started with sports programs on network television. Now we have several mainstream sports channels, and separate channels for pro...
At the end of June, the U.S. Supreme Court said that the individual mandate under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was constitutional, allowing all of the tax provisions in the law to go into effect as scheduled. Here are some of the actions you’ll have to take for your business to comply with the tax law in 2013. Some are very complicated and you probably want to work with a knowledgeable tax advisor to see how the tax rules apply to you. Note: The Affordable Care Act contains many tax benefits for small businesses that...
We can all agree that email is another tool used for exchanging information. But when it comes to business, it plays a much greater role then many people seem to realize. Unfortunately, one of the most common mistakes business owners make is obtaining a business email account from one of the many free email services available on the Internet. While a free email services does serve a purpose, it can give a bad impression to a potential customer or even hurt your chances for obtaining credit because some creditors require a dedicated business...
Every day, like many of you (or hopefully most of you) I network—from the comfort of my home or my office. I spend a good part of my day participating in social media, posting on Facebook, LinkedIn and mostly Twitter. One of my business partners also posts our content on other social media platforms. Networking online has served me well. I’ve met lots of interesting entrepreneurs, cemented existing relationships, marketed my work and even found a few clients. But a recent trip to Delhi, India for a conference for women...
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