With 2013 almost over, it’s time to focus on 2014 and get the year started off right. Here are some actions to take now or in early January that will help you optimize your tax and financial results for the coming year. 1. Revisit your recordkeeping practices Records are vital for both business and tax purposes. They help know whether or not you’re profitable and provide key information to help you take business actions, such as adjusting prices, cutting expenses, or raising money. What’s more, in order to take all the...
I’d like to call your attention to a series of video tutorials I did not that long ago as a donation to this community. They are all here and I’d like you to be aware of them. They are organized into modules, 2-10 minutes each. You can pick and choose and jump around, or run through them in the original order. They are here as a resource for you. (Note: the text in bold here highlights links to the videos) Introduction and orientation. 2 minutes 13 seconds (2:13). What’s planning, why do you care, why the planning is more...
In the franchise world, I’m often watching trends in what types of businesses are becoming popular and successful. Take the frozen yogurt trend for instance; it’s still going strong. New franchises are opening every day. It will be interesting to see how long the buzz in frozen yogurt continues. I’ve noticed another recent trend toward healthier food options. With statistics like the fact that more than ⅓ of adult Americans are obese,* it’s no surprise, really, that the franchising world would respond in kind. Move Over...
As we ramp-up to the gift-giving holiday season, I wanted to take a minute to focus our efforts on retail businesses and specifically how they can maximize their returns. Nearly every type of retail business can benefit from the increased exposure and audience size afforded by an e-commerce site, so we’ve compiled our top resources for adding or improving your e-commerce site. Get Started If you’re currently using your website as a marketing tool or to give customers valuable information, the next obvious step is to add e-commerce...
If we have learned anything from the economic downturn several years back, it’s that business is cyclical and tough times stress the finances of a business tremendously. If a company is out of funds and does not have access to financing, it may not be able to recover. While many businesses fail for numerous reasons, insufficient capital is among the leading causes of business failures. A lack of funding will hamper any company’s ability and threaten its potential for growth and stability. Having access to business funding is...
The fact that half of mobile phone users now use mobile as their primary source for Internet means that more small businesses need to up the ante. Not all websites render well on small mobile devices, so it may be worth the investment to get more mobile-friendly. But the question is: should you have a responsive website or a mobile app? Let’s look at your business needs to figure out the answer. First, is Your Site Mobile Friendly? Here’s an easy way to find out: use Google’s Multi-Screen Resources...
Hopefully you’ve already created your annual customer and client holiday gift list. Whether they’ve been naughty or nice, all clients should get recognized in this holiday ritual. But how can you make your holiday gifts do double duty—not only as a “thank you” for the past year’s business, but also as a marketing tool to encourage more business in the new year? Here are some ideas. Remind them of you. The simplest way to make your holiday gift a marketing tool is to choose a promotional product with your...
If you’re still thinking of a business plan as a formal, static document, then you’re sadly out of date and you’re missing out on real business planning, which is a management process that makes your business better. That old-fashioned business plan document was not uncommon about a generation ago. It is now. Back in the 1980s, as the personal computer industry took off, the big business plan document was a common part of the typical high-tech startup’s efforts to raise capital as risk investment. Venture capitalists...
If 2013 has been a profitable year for your business, you may want to share your good fortune with your staff. Typically this is done by giving year-end bonuses. Before you cut a check, understand what these bonuses mean to your business and your employees as well as some alternatives to cash bonuses. The following points apply if December 31 is the end of your business year. Timing of payments Your company can pay bonuses before the end of the year and deduct them in 2013. If your business is on the accrual basis, you can declare the bonuses...
Let’s say that you just signed your franchise contract, and you’re ready to get your new retail franchise or food franchise up and running. You've put hundreds of miles on your car doing some preliminary checking for that perfect franchise location...and you have a few places in mind. Now what? Location, Location… You’ve heard (somewhere) how important “location, location, location” is for your franchise business to succeed. Of course, you’ve also heard* things like, “Franchises are turn-key...
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