Month: April 2017
#small business tips
6 Smart Budgeting Tips for Small Business Owners
If you run a small business, it s likely that you re operating on a relatively limited budget. Whether you bootstrapped your business or are trying to pay back loans you took out to cover your startup costs, it s in your best interest to conserve money wherever you can.
Without a thorough budget plan, however, it can be difficult to track and manage your finances. This is especially true for any unexpected business expenses that may come up, as they often do. A 2015 survey by small business credit provider Headway Capital found that although 57 percent of small business owners anticipated growth this year, nearly 19 percent were concerned about how unexpected expenses would impact their business.
If you want to keep your business operating in the black, you ll need to account for both fixed and unplanned costs, and then create and stick to a solid budget. Experts offered their advice for small business owners looking to keep their finances in order. [4 Tips for Reducing Startup Costs]
Define and understand your risks
Every business venture has a certain degree of risk involved, and all of those risks have the potential for a financial impact on your company. Paul Cho, managing director of Headway Capital, said that small business owners need to consider their long- and short-term risks to accurately plan for their financial future.
How will changes in minimum wage or health care requirements impact your workforce? Cho said. Do you operate in a geography at high risk of a natural disaster? Do you rely heavily on seasonal workers? Understanding the potential risks facing you on a short- and long-term basis is important for all small businesses. Once you ve mapped out the threats to productivity, a clearer picture can be built around emergency planning, insurance needs, etc.
Overestimate your expenses
If your business operates on a project-to-project basis, you know that every client is different and no two projects will turn out exactly the same. This means that often, you can t predict when something is going to go over budget.
Every project seems to have a one-time cost that was never anticipated, said James Ontra, CEO of presentation management company Shufflrr. It usually is that one unique extra item [that is] necessary to the job, but [was] not anticipated when bidding the job.
For this reason, Ontra advised budgeting slightly above your anticipated line-item costs, no matter what, so that if you do go over, you won t be fully unprepared.
I go by the cost-moon-stars theory, he said. If you think it will cost the moon, expect to pay the stars.
Pay attention to your sales cycle
Many businesses go through busy and slow periods over the course of the year. If your company has an off-season , you ll need to account for your expenses during that time. Cho also suggested using your slower periods to think of ways to plan ahead for your next sales boom.
There is much to be learned from your sales cycles, he said. Use your downtime to ramp up your marketing efforts while preventing profit generation from screeching to a halt. In order to keep your company thriving and the revenue coming in, you will have to identify how to market to your customers in new and creative ways.
Plan for large purchases carefully and early
Some large business expenses occur when you least expect them a piece of equipment breaks and needs to be replaced or your delivery van needs a costly repair, for instance. However, planned expenses like store renovations or a new software system should be carefully timed and budgeted to avoid a huge financial burden on your business.
Substantial business changes need to be timed carefully, balancing the risk with the reward and done with a full understanding of the financial landscape you re operating within, Cho told Business News Daily. An up-to-date budget and data-driven financial projections are important components that help guide when to make large investments in your business.
Remember that time is money, too
One of the biggest mistakes small businesses make is forgetting to incorporate their time into a budget plan. Ontra reminded business owners that time is money, especially when working with people who are paid for their time.
Timing underestimation directly increases costs, Ontra said. For us, the biggest underestimation is allotting time for client feedback. It is a Herculean effort sometimes to meet a deadline with lots of people focused on a single task. Then, the client needs to give feedback for us to proceed. If the client is distracted with other issues, feedback planned for a three-day turnaround, can become a week or longer. Not only do you start to lose time to the delivery schedule, your team also loses momentum as their collective thought shifts focus to another project.
Ontra recommended treating your time like your money, and set external deadlines later than when you think the project will actually be done.
If you believe the project will finish on Friday, promise delivery on Monday, he said. So, if you finish on Friday, deliver the work early and become a star. If for some reason time runs over, deliver on Monday and you are still a success.
Constantly revisit your budget
Your budget will never be static or consistent it will change and evolve along with your business, and you ll need to keep adjusting it based on your growth and profit patterns. Cho suggested revising your monthly and annual budgets regularly to get a clearer, updated picture of your business finances.
Regularly revisiting your budget will help you better control financial decisions because you will know exactly what you can afford to spend versus how much you are projecting to make, Cho said. Take into account market trends from the previous year to help you determine what this year may look like. Once you have a clear understanding of your business s budgetary needs, you can accurately forecast what can be set aside for an emergency fund or unexpected costs.
Nicole Fallon Taylor
Nicole received her Bachelor s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the assistant editor. Reach her by email. or follow her on Twitter .
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#car wash business
Car Wash Business Plan
Soapy Rides is a prominent hand car wash serving the East Meadow, Long Island, NY community. Soapy Rides will be run by Mark Deshpande, of the prominent Deshpande family. The Deshpande family has been serving the Long Island area with a car repair business and property development /management for over 30 years. Mark will be leveraging the incredible good will and brand recognition of the Deshpande family name to quickly gain market penetration.
Soapy Rides will be providing customers with three services: exterior car washing. interior cleaning, and detailing. Soapy Rides has no true competitors that are trying to offer a high quality service for a reasonable rate. Most are trying to compete on price alone. Soapy Rides’ ability to provide a high quality service, both in regards to the actual washing as well as customer service is all based on their ability to find the best employees. Hiring the best employees is cost effective because it decreases HR costs associated with turnover and other employee costs. Hiring the best employees and making sure that they are well taken care of ensures that they in turn take care of the customers. Study after study proves that a happy employee is far more likely to provide the highest level of customer service compared to an employee who is not happy and feels that they are being taken advantage of.
Soapy Rides will target three main groups of customers: individual car owner and leasers, car dealerships, and local businesses. The surrounding area is quite affluent, 40% of the residents earn over $70,000 a year. Consequently, they have nice cars and want them to look nice. There are five different car dealerships within a three-mile radius which will require car washing services for the various fleets. Lastly, there are many different local businesses that have company cars and that require clean appearances.
The strength of Mark’s experience and his family’s name equity and assistance is Soapy Rides’ competitive edge as well as a significant asset. Mark has been involved in the family’s car repair business for the last ten years. He has worked his way through the organization and has been the manager for the last five years overseeing operations of $1.2 million annually. Before the family venture, Mark received his MBA from Cornell University. With 30 years invested in the community, the Deshpande family name has generated significant value as a fair, active member of the community. Lastly, Soapy Rides will be able to leverage several of the Deshpande’s for their business expertise.
Soapy Rides is positioning itself as the premier hand car wash serving the Long Island area. Mark has forecasted a 20% market share. The business will generate a very high gross margin and a modest net margin after year one and comfortable margin after year three. By year three the business will have developed a respectable yearly net profit.
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The objectives for Soapy Rides Car Wash and Detail Service are:
- To be viewed as a premium car wash and detail service in East Meadow.
- Maintain a very high gross profit margin.
- Maintain a modest, steadily growing net profit margin.
- Expand to two locations after third year of operation.
The mission of Soapy Ride is to provide top-quality washing and detail service for luxury car owners in East Meadow, NY. Soapy Rides will work to keep employees satisfied in order to maintain impeccable customer service.
Your business plan can look as polished and professional as this sample plan. It’s fast and easy, with LivePlan.
#car wash business
Car Wash Self-service Business Plan
Auto Paradise is a dynamic start-up company that will provide exceptional car care services to the members of the San Angelo community. Quality services that exceed expectations will establish Auto Paradise as the premiere car wash service in San Angelo, Texas. It will provide that following products and services to the local community:
- Two Laser Automatic “touch-free and spot-free” car wash bays
- Four “self-serve” bays
- Vacuum and car wash vending services
- Reverse osmosis drinking water.
Auto Paradise will establish its first location one lot from the intersection of Avenue N and Byrant Avenue, which are two of the busiest streets in San Angelo. The lot faces Avenue N and will be accessible from two sides. The ATM and RO dispensers will be accessible from a side road and will not interfere with the car wash traffic.
The facility will have two automatic car wash bays, four self-serve bays and an equipment room/office in the middle of the bays. It will also have four high powered vacuum islands (eight total vacuums), vending area, and an ATM/RO water area.
2.1 Company Ownership
Mr. Lewallen will create Auto Paradise as a Texas C corporation based in Tom Green County. Mr. and Mrs. Lewallen will be the majority owners (80%) with principal investors owning the remaining 20%. As of this writing, it has not yet been chartered and Mr. Lewallen is still considering alternatives.
2.2 Start-up Summary
Total projected start-up expenses (including construction, equipment, land, landscaping and related start-up expenses) come to $934,100. The start-up costs are to be financed by direct owner investment and long term financing.
A. Investment Options. Auto Paradise will open approximately 90 days after securing financing. Mr. Lewallen is offering several ways to invest in Auto Paradise:
- Company stock: Mr. Lewallen is offering 20% of company stock to investors. Auto Paradise is offering 1% of company stock for $7,500. Capital will help establish the first Auto Paradise location and provide “head start” on the second location. Auto Paradise plans to distribute $2,500 per 1% share each of the first three years.
- Secured Investment: Mr. Lewallen is offering a guaranteed 10% return for a three year investment. Mr. Lewallen is willing to secure these investments with personal assets/investments.
B. Financing. The SBA loan that Mr. Lewallen will secure from the SBA is structured to ensure Auto Paradise’s success during the early months of operation. The $740,400 loan includes two elements designed to help build operating capital. First, the loan includes a 10% ($69,000) construction contingency that will convert to operating capital if the construction costs are consistent with the estimate. It also includes 9 months of interim interest which will defer the long-term mortgage payment for 9 months (6 months of operation).
C. Land. Auto Paradise is in the process of securing a lot near (one lot from corner) the intersection of Bryant Ave. and Avenue N, which are two of the busiest streets in San Angelo. The lot will be 165′ along Avenue N and 175′ deep. The purchase is pending the results of a phase I environmental inspection, which is expected to produce favorable results.
D. Construction. Getting a firm construction bid is the next step in the process after securing the initial investors. The architect plans and an actual bid will be the last elements necessary to secure bank financing. The estimates included are from previous projects and are considered generous (on the high-side). The estimated $390,000 includes total construction costs for two automatic and four self-serve bays, parking lot, signage, landscaping and architect fees.
E. Construction Contingency. The 10% construction contingency will cover any unexpected expenses or shortfalls. This may be re-negotiated as a “line of credit” in order to reduce the amount of the loan.
F. Equipment. Washing Equipment of Texas (WET) has provided a detailed estimate for the purchase and installation of the equipment for two automatic bays, four self-serve bays, four vacuum islands (eight vacuums) and a reverse osmosis water dispenser. WET, which is located in San Angelo, will also provide all maintenance and repair services.
The assumptions are shown in the following tables and chart.
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#business communication skills
A Crash Course in Communication Need a quick refresher on effective interpersonal interaction? Two communication experts offer 12 steps to smoother conversations. Lost in Translation Thanks to e-mail, BlackBerrys, and text messaging, the face-to-face encounter is becoming a dying art. Here’s why you should revive it. The Power of Listening How does an old-line manufacturer in a stagnant industry manage to grow 25% a year for 10 years? By taking its employees seriously. Do as I Say: Quick Tips for Masterful Communication Tired of doing all the talking and not having your message get through to your staff? Try these suggestions to improve your leadership communication skills. Just Listen to Yourself Tape yourself to better understand your communications style. Powerful Questions Can Have a Powerful Effect Questions can be one of the most effective communication tools available to us. Do you use questions enough in your day-to-day interactions? When Do You Lie? Strategies For More Authentic, Respectful Communication Lies come in all shapes, sizes and colors. (Ever heard of flat-out, teensy or white lies?) This article focuses on when it’s appropriate, if at all, to lie. 10 Tips for Communicating Change Transition is inevitable, but exactly what you say and how you say it can make a major impact on how change is handled in your company. How to Motivate Employees Kevin Plank, founder of Under Armour, says it is vital to maintain regular face-to-face communication with employees even as a company expands. The 4-1-1 On Constructive Criticism Being critical is easy, and offering criticism seems easier still. Yet constructive criticism – – the more refined and effective brand of critical feedback – – is like an art. Lost in the Translation Tips on communicating with employees who don’t speak English.
How to Say You’re Sorry Apologizing is part of doing business. But do it wrong, and you’ll really be sorry. Tips on Becoming a Good Conversationalist In this excerpt from How to Work a Room: The Ultimate Guide to Savvy Socializing in Person and Online learn tips for becoming a talk target — someone with whom it is easy to make conversation.
10 Tips for Successful Networking Keith Ferrazzi needs two PalmPilots to keep track of all his contacts, people like Bill Clinton and Michael Milken. But there’s far more to cracking the inner circle of the power elite than just taking names.
Powerful Presentations Small-business columnist Rhonda Abrams shares nine strategies for giving powerful presentations. Reinventing the PowerPoint New tech tools to liven your tired old PowerPoint presentations–and give your online marketing efforts a boost. Perfecting Your Pitch Check out these tips from entrepreneurs and business experts on creating pitches that can help you raise capital. More Power Than Point PowerPoint (or “presentation software”) has become the lingua franca of American business. It’s also become the problem with American business. Best of the Net: Power Brokers When it comes to presentation software, most users agree there’s one clear standard. We’ve found some Web-based resources to help you make your point. Captivate Audiences with Powerful Presentations Do you want your speeches to pack a punch? Professional speaker and speech consultant Patricia Fripp offers ideas on humor, movement, and vocal techniques. Short and Sweet: Mastering Quick Presentations Called on to make a brief speech? Professional speaker and speech coach Patricia Fripp offers tips for saying what you want, short and sweet. Present Before You Propose Improve your presentation by saving handouts until the end. Finding the Perfect Pitch Watch three rookies gear up for the investor presentation of a lifetime. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Presenters Entrepreneurs learn pretty quickly that making a verbal pitch to investors is very different from submitting a written business plan. Here are seven good practices gleaned from a venture-capital boot camp. Elements of a Winning Pitch A presentation to potential investors in your business — to family, friends, or angels — should include most of these elements.
Escape From Meeting Hell It’s time for another soul-sapping, oxygen-depriving, time-wasting, mind-numbing company meeting. Or is it? We offer 15 clever solutions to the problems with most meetings. Meetings Go Virtual Web conferencing and other collaboration technologies — tools that help people work with one another through their computers — have become more available and affordable. This is a boon for smaller companies whose only previous collaboration option was to gather workers in a room with coffee, donuts and a whiteboard. Meetings 101: Was That a Good Meeting, or a Bad One? Five simple factors that help ensure every meeting is a good meeting. Tools for Boosting Communication Effectiveness Tips on how to boost the effectiveness of communication in meetings, during change initiatives, and in interviews. Advice on Getting the Most Out of Meetings Keith Lamb shares some advice on getting the most out of your meetings. Cure the Sick-Meeting Ills Ineffective meetings may be wasting time and lowering morale. Two communication experts offer seven strategies for dramatically improving your meetings. How to Manage Meetings More Effectively A look at companies that hold unique meetings for developing products, building camaraderie, generating ideas, and reviewing employees’ needs and achievements.
Writing and Organizing a Winning Speech Public speaker and speech consultant Patricia Fripp suggests following one of two basic outlines for your speech. She also offers speechwriting tips. Polishing and Rehearsing for a Perfect Presentation You’ve written a speech, but there’s still work to do before delivering it. Patricia Fripp gives six suggestions for making sure your speech hits home along with several ideas on effective rehearsing. Deliver a Stellar Speech Powerful presentations happen when you check out the room in advance and work to connect with the audience when talking. Patricia Fripp offers ideas for ensuring that what you say is a smashing success. No More Pre-Speech Jitters From virtual reality therapy to positive visualization, we’ve got relaxation techniques to help offset your fears of public speaking. Free Speech Preparing for a big speech? Resources on the Web can help.
Work through Writer’s Block Need help working through some written projects? Two communication experts offer eight tips for clear and effective writing. Writing Well on the Web Content is king. Here are easy ways to make your website more reader-friendly. Polish Your Prose Poor grammar and punctuation in proposals and reports could cost you business. How to Blog The trick, say experts and longtime bloggers, is restraint. “For marketers, it’s about being more authentic, which is so ironic,” says one analyst.
How to Drive Traffic to Your Company’s Blog Driving traffic to your small business’ corporate blog takes equal parts old-fashioned marketing and contemporary Web tools.
Are You Assertive or Aggressive? Assertiveness is the skill that tops the list for success or failure in any workplace situation. Learn how to be more assertive — not aggressive — and apply it to your interactions. Get Your Point Across without Being Rude Is your communication style a little rough around the edges? Here are five techniques for saying what you mean without making enemies in the process. Communicating When People Leave You Speechless Improved communication is a nice idea, but can it work in the real world? Take a look at these real-life business issues and suggestions for better communication that may lead to better business.
#most successful small businesses
Chris Brogan says the Most Successful Small Businesses Do THIS
Many people work 9-to-5 jobs for 30 years — praying only for the day they can retire.
And they complain the whole time on Facebook about how much they hate their jobs.
Yuck! I can’t fathom that.
I love working for successful small businesses. And luckily, I don’t have a regular job.
But what does it take to REALLY succeed as an entrepreneur?
Chris Brogan says the Most Successful Small Businesses Do This
And during a recent interview with MSNBC, Chris dropped some serious knowledge about staying weird making your customers feel like they belong to your tribe.
Pay attention here:
One of Brogan’s best small business tips is that you’ll attract opportunities by standing out being different.
Follow outgoing examples from free-spirited entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, he says.
Here are 4 other juicy nuggets from this stellar interview:
1. Business is About Belonging
People want to be part of a tribe or community.
2. Share the Passion Not Just the Product
Passion drives folks to do what they love. How can you leverage that passion for your business?
3. Make Your Buyer the Hero
Discuss how your product or service makes your customers heroes — not too promotional, though.
4. Tell Their Story, Not Yours
Our product helped Johnny make $100k this year.
#business card holder
The World s Coolest Business Card Holder
Business card holders – who really puts a lot of thought into these? Well, people who work in offices certainly do. Patrick Bateman most certainly does. If you are in a sales capacity, I can’t imagine you not keeping a few business cards always at the ready. There are even professions that are essentially a part of sales that some employees don’t know. If you are in a customer facing position, or are adept at speaking persuasively to strangers you meet at the grocery store about the product or service your company provides, you are in sales! So that means that even you need to start carrying some business cards.
If you are going to carry business cards, you will need a good place to keep them. A wallet is not adequate for carrying a large number of business cards, not to mention that wallets are often very hard on whatever is placed within them. Your beautiful business cards will have folded corners, lint, and ink smudges pretty soon. Business card boxes are the way to go.
There are tons of styles to consider when buying a business card holder for men or women. The Best Wallet 2015 website has a great updated list for some of the world’s coolest business card holders. The styles range from soft to hard, leather to metal, and all are sleek and stylish in their own way. We are biased, but we think the Smart Armor Safe would make the best business card holder for men. It’s tough enough to protect your business cards, and opens up via Bluetooth for a cool and dramatic presentation!
So, have you checked the business card holder list? http://bestwallet2015.com/beautiful-best-business-card-holder-for-men/
Which is your favorite and what qualities do you look for in a business card holder? Please comment below.
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What is Smart Armor®?
Smart Armor® is an IOT company that provides Bluetooth enabled micro-locking systems integrated into valuable physical objects controlled via mobile device.
#small business resources
Small Business Resources
Whether you are starting out or already running a small business. you will need to comply with numerous federal and state small business regulations and requirements. Below are links to the federal and state resources that can help ensure that you comply with those obligations.
The 50-State Resources section provides links to each state’s and the District of Columbia’s official website for everything from the Secretary of State’s office to the state tax agency to state license and permit information. There are also links to your state’s SBA and other state offices that have valuable free information and resources for small business owners. The Federal Resource section has information and resources on federal small business requirements, including IRS, OSHA, EPA, and others.
For more help with your small business, see Nolo’s Small Business articles. or our full list of Small Business products .
Get Informed Articles Information
50-State Resources for Small Businesses
50-State Resources for Small Businesses
Links to the Secretary of State’s office or business filing office for every state.
Links to the state tax agency website for every state with information on tax filing requirements, tax rates, forms and other state tax resources.
Links to the sales and use tax divisions or seller’s permit agencies.
Links to information on each state’s business license or permit requirements.
Links to the state agencies with information and forms for complying with state securities laws requirements or exemptions from registration.
Links to each state’s agency that handles employer payroll tax, unemployment, and other employment matters.
Links to each state’s local SBA office with Information on small business loans and other resources for small businesses.
Links to local SBDCs that provide free information and other resources for small businesses.
#small business resources
Detailed Guide to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)
The new healthcare legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, has left many small business owners wondering: What does this mean for my business and what do I have to do next? NFIB has answers.
NFIB Healthcare Research
Get up to speed on the most important healthcare issues for small business with NFIB s cribsheets. Plus, download a copy of these fact-sheets for future reference
- PPACA: A Healthcare Law Guide for Employees
- PPACA: Medicare Wage/Salary Investment Taxes
- Healthcare Solutions: Interstate Insurance Markets
- Healthcare Solutions: Portability
- Healthcare Solutions: Tax Parity for Insurance
- Healthcare Solutions: Defined Contribution Plans
- Healthcare Solutions: Malpractice Reform
- PPACA Timeline
- PPACA: Employer Mandate Penalty Calculations
- NFIB Healthcare Solutions
- PPACA: Problems for Small Business
- PPACA: Health Insurance Tax (HIT)
- PPACA: The Individual Mandate Tax
- PPACA: Small Business Health Insurance Tax Credit
- PPACA: Employer Mandate Penalties
#small business resources
Welcome To Small Business Resources, lc
At Small Business Resources, the careful management of your finances is our top priority. We pride ourselves on giving you personalized and thorough service that meets your business or individual needs.
We work in partnership with our clients, providing professional accounting and business management services. We differentiate ourselves by taking the time to understand your organization so that we can develop practical solutions to your specific needs. We also tailor our services to stay within your budget. Our services are designed to improve your profitability and operational efficiency. Read More
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We are the accounting department for over 70 small businesses. Read more
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Small Business Resources, lc
114 NW 5th St
Ankeny, IA 50023