Once you have established a corporation or limited liability company you will need to obtain a Federal Tax Identification Number also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN). An EIN number is mandatory, because without one, your corporation will be ineffective for building business credit. A Federal Tax ID or EIN is the corporate equivalent to a social security number. It’s a nine-digit number assigned by the IRS to business entities operating in the U.S. in order to identify each company. This number is what identifies your...
One of the lesser-known benefits of good business planning is collaboration. And it comes from the three r-words: review and revise regularly. What’s collaboration? In business it’s about dividing tasks, optimizing use of resources, sharing information, and working together. Collaboration includes agreeing about what’s supposed to happen and then making it happen. It also includes tracking and sharing information about results, understanding and sharing what went right or wrong, and agreeing on course corrections. And...
Great customer service is a small business’s best marketing tool. If you want your customers to be loyal to your business, show them some love by providing outstanding customer service. Just how important is customer service to a business’s success? In a survey last year by American Express, 70 percent of consumers said they would be willing to pay higher prices if a company offered great customer service. And 81 percent believed that generally, small businesses provide better customer service than big businesses do. To make...
Mobile technology has enabled us to run our businesses on the fly. It has also helped us to simplify some of the tasks involved in operations, not the least of which is taxes. Here are three ways you can use mobile technology to simplify tax-required recordkeeping, stay updated on tax changes, and keep in touch with your tax advisor. Note that the specific apps listed here are not recommendations but merely used to illustrate the type of apps to consider for a particular purpose; it’s up to you to explore the ones best suited for your...
I’d wager that the first thing that comes to mind when you think of franchising is some type of food franchise. I do too. Most of the food franchises that we tend to think of are almost always in the *fast-casual genre. It’s a huge business sector. If you’re thinking of becoming the owner of a food franchise, I have a way for you to get a leg up on your search for the right one; become a trend-watcher. For example, did you know that some fast casual franchises are serving, “Mini-treats?” Or, that there’...
When you think of the great inventors, you probably think of people such as Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Graham Bell and even Steve Jobs - people who have brought entirely new concepts to the market. But great ideas and innovations don't have to change the world. Sometimes the best new product opportunities start with small improvements in existing concepts. For example, Pam Moore improved on the standard ice tray after trying to squeeze ice cubes into the narrow openings of sport bottles for her son's soccer games. Her...
If you think it’s hard to do business forecasts – and lots of people do – what I can tell you is that it’s a whole easier to forecast than it is to run a business without any forecasts. So, with that in mind, here are five things that every manager should know about financial forecasts. 1. Forecasts are for business, not truth, or beauty. The business value of financial forecasts is about making good decisions. The forecast helps you anticipate business trends, allocate your spending right, and manage...
Will your startup ambitions become a reality in 2012? In a recent study, 70% of Americans indicated they want to start their own business, but many never take the leap because of lack of knowledge, direction and fear of failure. Let’s face it, starting a business can be intimidating, and risk of the unknown is one major hurdle that few are willing to deal with. With a job, there tends to be this perception of security and certainty. You show up for work, do your job, and collect a paycheck. But in today’s economy, job security is...
Wouldn’t it be great to be known as an expert in your industry? One of those sources who customers, reporters and other business owners turn to for help and advice? Well, if you’ve been running your business for any length of time, the good news is you already are an expert in your industry—you just need to let other people know about it. Try these suggestions to build your reputation as an expert and burnish your business’s image. If you’ve got any talent for writing, sharing your expertise on your own...
Information returns are tax-reporting forms required to be submitted to the IRS. In turn, the IRS uses the information to cross-check reporting by taxpayers. According to the IRS’ annual enforcement report, information returns greatly increase the compliance rate; taxpayers generally report on their returns the income that is reported to them on information returns, while there is considerable underreporting of income not reflected on information returns. Being in business means you must issue certain information returns and that you...
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