Featured Tips for Small Business
Every month a new tip for small business is featured on our home page. On this page you can read this month's tip, as well as tips from previous months. Note: Most tips are from the reference books that can be found at your local AERN center.
Featured tip for August 2016
When recruiting employees, as when searching for investors, many small companies rely on family. When family members display talent, drive, and desire, merging home and business represents the best of all worlds since you keep profits and goals within the family.
Beware, however. Although your spouse and children might represent a convenient source of help, make sure that each contributes to the business. Countless small businesses have disappeared because they made do with subpar help when they should have hired the best. Businesses that choose professional, loyal, responsible, competent, hardworking, creative employees stand a much greater chance of prospering. Treat your staff with fairness, pay employees well, and reward individual contributions to the business.
101 Best Businesses to Start, p. 12
Featured tip for June 2016
The cost of financing is usually related to the degree of risk involved. If the risk is high, so is the cost.
The least expensive money to use is your own. The cost to you is whatever you would have made on your money by investing it in other sources (savings, money market accounts, bonds, retirement plans, real estate, etc.).
Note: It's important to mention credit cards here. Many new business owners borrow heavily on their credit cards only to find themselves up to their ears in debt. Credit cards are one of the most expensive sources of cash and have paved the road to bankruptcy court more than once. Don't get caught in this trap!
Steps to Small Business Start-Up, p. 143
Featured tip for May 2016
There are four different ways to organize your business: the sole proprietorship, the partnership, the corporation, and the limited liability company. The legal structure you choose will determine how much paperwork you will have to do, how much personal liability you will incur, how you will be able to raise money, and how your business will be taxed.
Steps to Small Business Start-Up, p. 59
Featured tip for April 2016
Many times, a new business owner will be tempted to run business finances through personal accounts. Do not mix the two by trying to use the same checking account for your home and business. It is imperative that you keep your personal and business finances separate.
The IRS does not look kindly on businesses that "commingle" personal and business monies. The fate of more than one small business owner has been determined based on this issue during an audit--and not in the business's favor.
Steps to Small Business Start-Up, p. 115
Featured tip for March 2016
Your choice of location should be made early on in your plans to start a business. The first thing to consider is whether the location you choose is right for your type of business. What has your study of demographics and your market identification shown you? Base your decision on the type of products and services you provide and your target market rather than on your personal convenience. Your most important consideration in choosing a location is your ability to satisfy your target market. Retail stores and restaurants have to be located where customers can reach them easily and safely…. Make sure the site you choose is appropriate for your market.
Steps to Small Business Start-Up, p. 39
Featured tip for February 2016
Your product or service may be in demand and your pricing competitive. You may have found the lowest prices for your raw materials and secured adequate financing for your business. All of this will be of no use if you have not taken the time to identify your customers and found the means to get your product or service to them. The key word here is time. It takes time to research a business idea, but it is time well spent. It may mean the difference between success and failure. Find out now if there is a need for your product or service before you commit a great deal of time and money to the project.
Steps to Small Business Start-Up, p. 17