How to Start a Business with a Partner
- Get to know your potential partner and learn about his or her personal and professional values, ideas and goals.
- Consult a lawyer and an accountant to draw up a written partnership agreement.
- Spell out an exit plan for you and the business.
Business partners often start businesses together with little planning and few ground rules. Sooner or later, they discover the hard way that what s left unsaid or unplanned often leads to unmet expectations, anger and frustration. Partners can clash over countless things, including conflicting work ethics and financial goals, roles in the business and leadership styles. What follows is a primer on how to avoid that and set up and sustain a business partnership.
First, ask yourself: Do I really need a business partner to build a successful company? Taking on business partners should be reserved for when a partnership is critical to success say, when the prospective partner has financial resources, connections or vital skills you lack. You may be better off hiring the other person as an employee or an independent contractor.
Communication is important at every stage of a partnership, and especially so at the outset. A common mistake business partners make is jumping into business before really getting to know each other. You must be able to connect to feel comfortable expressing your opinions, ideas and expectations.
If you haven t worked together previously, test the partnership out by tackling a small project together that showcases each other s skills and requires cooperation. This is also a way to learn about each other s personality and core values.
Ideally partners professional skills should complement one another, but not overlap too much. For example, you may be detail oriented and your partner may be a big-picture thinker. Or you may be an expert in marketing and sales, while your partner prefers to stay in the backdrop poring over financials.
To gauge how well you might work together, have a chat with each other s colleagues and family members. Key questions to answer include:
- Do you and your partner share personal and professional values, ideas and goals?
- Do you trust your partner s motivations and character?
- In what areas of everyday life and business do you agree?
Other points to consider:
- What if a spouse or kid later wants to join the business?
- How will it be handled if one partner acts unethically?
- What if one partner wants to move out of the country?
Potential partners may want to consider taking a two- or three-day retreat together to go over their individual expectations for the business and partnership, one by one, and compare notes. It can help the conversation to have the partners guess each other s expectations before revealing them to each other.
Be especially careful when partnering with close friends or family members. Like many marriages, business partnerships can end in bitter divorce. Consider whether you re willing to risk hurting your relationship if the partnership falls apart.
Approach a partnership with close friends or family as you might with strangers: Thoughtfully plan and prepare for every aspect of it in advance so there s no question about how difficult situations will be handled.
A note about partnering with a spouse: Working together puts an added strain on a relationship, and couples can quickly discover there is a little too much togetherness. Those who succeed often have learned to set boundaries keep the business from dominating every aspect of their lives. For example, they may have agreed to leave the office at 5 p.m. and put all conversation about work on hold until after the kids are in bed.
Once the decision is made to start a business together, you should create a partnership agreement with help from a lawyer and an accountant. Take this step no matter who your partner is. People with strong personal connections may feel certain that their supposedly unbreakable bond will help them overcome any obstacles along the way. Big mistake. Get a written agreement.
Every agreement should address three crucial areas: compensation, exit clauses, and roles and responsibilities. Include who owns what percentage of the business, who is investing what, where the money is coming from, and how and when partners will be paid.
Typically partners set up equal ownership and each contributes 50% of the initial investment. But terms can vary greatly. For instance, one partner might contribute more money if the other partner can bring in expertise or business contacts. As the business grows and changes, adjust compensation accordingly. For example, partners may agree to work initially without compensation, and to get paid after a certain revenue target is reached. In addition, if the business partnership brings on more people or if a particular partner is putting in more or less time, building some flexibility into the contract can let you adjust payments.
The agreement should also cover how you plan to exit the business. Include clauses that spell out cases in which one partner is obliged to buy out the other s interest for instance, if one wants to quit the business. For instance, it can state that the other partner must buy him or her out for a prenegotiated percentage of the business s value.
If neither partner wants to continue the business, partners can also liquidate and divide all assets. It s also a good idea to settle on in advance how to assess the total value of the business upon dissolution. The agreement should specify who appraises the business and the methodology to use.
Outline your expectations for how you ll operate your business. Clearly delineate the roles and responsibilities of the partners based on their skills and desires. This will eliminate turf wars and clearly show employees to whom they should report.
Establish routines for daily communication. For example, agree to talk twice a day at designated times and to re-evaluate their goals on a regular basis. At least once a quarter, sit down and discuss how you envision the future of the business and what steps to take in getting there.
Addressing these issues up front will help you better focus on your business later. How you work out the details of setting up a partnership could be an indicator of how well or poorly your prospective venture will operate. Inevitably, some potential partners will realize through the process they weren t meant to be.
Related WSJ Articles and Blog Posts:
- Sample Partnership Agreement — A sample document of how to structure your partnership agreement, from Small Business Notes, a small-business resources and information provider.
- Corporate Buy-Sell Agreement — An example contract that spells out how stock can be sold or transferred, from software maker Jian.
- Creating a Partnership Agreement — A list of subjects to discuss with your partner when structuring a partnership agreement, from Nolo, a publisher of legal information for consumers and small businesses.
- Plan Ahead for Changes in Partnership Ownership — A briefing on buyout agreements for planning what will happen when a partner leaves the business, from Nolo, a publisher of legal information for consumers and small businesses.
- Plan Now to Preserve Your Partnership — A look at what you need to plan beforehand to keep your partnership successful, from Score, a nonprofit for entrepreneurship education.
- Chart: Ways to Organize Your Business — A chart of ways to organize your business, from Nolo, a publisher of legal information for consumers and small businesses.
#business christmas cards
Client Christmas cards – how to get it right
by HCA | Dec 19, 2013
The holidays are a time of comfort and joy—not a time to unleash your inner cynic. The fact remains, however, that nearly everyone on your corporate holiday mailing list knows your gift, card or e-greeting is really an end-of-the-year marketing pitch. A soft sell to be sure, but a marketing pitch nonetheless.
That doesn’t give you full reign to impersonate Ebeneezer Scrooge, however. According to etiquette expert Thomas P Farley—known colloquially as “Mister Manners”—holiday business greetings are a rewarding exercise and a great way to improve client relations, provided you get it right.
“This is an opportunity to get back on the radar with your clients in a meaningful way,” Farley said. “If it’s not meaningful, you’re better off not doing anything at all.”
With that in mind, here are five timely tips for wishing your clients a happy holiday season.
If possible, send a personalized, handwritten card. Operating on a tight budget may prevent you from sending mass-mailed holiday cards to all your clients, but if you can afford the extra effort, it’s worth it.
“An e-greeting can be annoying because they’re often difficult to open and they may not make it to the individual,” said Dianne Gottsman, a national etiquette expert and owner of the Protocol School of Texas. “Handwritten cards breed goodwill.”
Farley agrees, adding that generic e-greetings often “get deleted the moment they’re sent.”
Instead, Farley recommends putting pen to paper and using the opportunity to make a comment specific to the individual, perhaps drawing on a business lunch or meeting the two of you attended.
Choose a tasteful, appropriate design. As head of custom design at California-based Tiny Prints, Heidi Reichert has seen a lot of corporate holiday cards over the years. The best, she said, always “reflect the professionalism” of the company.
“We’ve seen really silly photos or things that might be construed as offensive—maybe it’s a photo of the employees doing shots or something like that,” Reichert said. “It might seem funny at the time, but you never know what your audience might think when they get it.”
Instead, Reichert recommends using photos that are appropriate and professional, along with designs that stand out from the ubiquitous red-and-green that don most holiday greetings. Lime greens and blues are especially popular this season.
Avoid blatant endorsements of religion or cultural traditions. One thing Farley, Gottsman and Reichert all agreed on was that it’s best to “assume nothing” when it comes to recipients’ religious or cultural traditions.
“Being very safe and respectful is the key,” said Gottsman, who added that a neutral “Happy Holidays” is preferable to endorsing Christmas, Kwanzaa, or other holidays.
However, Farley said this rule applies only to the card design itself. Inside, it’s appropriate to wish someone a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukah,” provided you definitely know your client celebrates that holiday. “It makes your greeting that much more meaningful and warm,” Farley said.
Keep out logos and business cards. Resist the urge to plaster your greeting with your company logo, or stuff the package full of coupons or business cards.
“This is the time for the soft-sell. You’re not pitching, you’re not doing client business,” Farley advised. “The card itself is all the selling you should really be doing.”
While logos do have a place on a corporate card, it should be done in a tasteful way, said Reichert. Placing the logo below your signature or on the back of the card is a nice way to make the card stand out as something personalised by the business, she said.
Send cards and gifts as soon as possible. Now is the time to send out your holiday greetings and gifts, if you haven’t already. The earlier the better, given many companies close up shop the week of Christmas.
If you’ve missed the deadline, however, Gottsman says you can never go wrong with a New Year card, which should be in the mail before Christmas Day.
The bottom line with all these dos and don’ts, however, is that despite your business, your budget or your byline, your holiday greeting should come from the heart.
“If someone is actually taking the time to write a personal message, that’s going to trump even the worst card design,” Farley said. “Even if the card itself is something you get for 50% off at the local dollar store, the fact that you’ve included a personal message is far more impressive than the most stunning card with nothing inside.”
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#hot shot business
How to Start a Hot Shot Trucking Business
If you own a small rig and are looking for a way to bring in more income, learning how to start a hot shot trucking business may be the answer.
Hot Shot Trucking
The term “hot shot trucking” is applied to truckers who drive rigs smaller than the standard semi-truck and trailer. It also refers to moving less than a truckload or LTL. Unlike hauling conventional cargo that can be scheduled regularly, hot shot cargo is often time sensitive in nature. Hot shot loads vary and will depend on the type of rig you operate. Items hauled cmay include things like a trailer full of urgently needed parts, hauling fresh flowers, or something as small as delivering one envelop for a same day delivery.
How to Start a Hot Shot Trucking Business
If you’re seriously thinking of starting a hot shot trucking business, before you buy your rig think through what type of hauling and deliveries you want to make. Another consideration will be whether or not you plan to build your own customer base as an owner operator. This takes time, and time is money when it comes to hauling loads, especially when you have truck payments to make. If you already have connections to get you started, though, you can build your hot shot trucking business into an independent and profitable venture.
The quicker route to getting your business going is to lease your services or sign on with a trucking company looking for hot shot truckers. This option not only takes the pressure off for finding loads to haul, but it also removes the responsibility of paperwork and billing from your shoulders. Typically the trucking company finds the loads to haul for a fee. Generally this arrangement puts about 75% of the freight charge into the pocket of the trucker, and the other 25% goes to the trucking company.
To sign on with a trucking company, you’ll have to get in touch with the terminal manager to learn what steps need to be taken to submit your application. To get accepted, you’ll have to pass a drug test and a DOT physical.
LTL Job Resources
If you decide you want to operate independently as an owner operator, the Internet provides resources to help truckers secure less than a load hauling jobs. This short list of resources can be used to initiate you to the world of hot shot trucking job banks, how to navigate them and to learn what they have to offer.
- FindFreightLoads.com. This site conveniently lists jobs by state, so whether you want to drive loads locally, or state-to-state, options exist. Truckers can also register and be added to the pool of available drivers.
- uShip. This site provides thousands of hot shot job possibilities. Truckers bid for the chance to haul specific loads. Registration is free and the forum boards open an avenue of communication with other hot shot truckers.
- TruckDriverJobs.co m. This resource provides all kinds of trucking opportunities including expediate, hot shot trucking and LTL.
Buying Your Truck
If you don’t already own a rig and your want to start a hot shot trucking business, it is best to buy a used truck to get started. Buying used over new will save you thousands in start up costs. Sites like TruckerToTrucker.com offer a large inventory of previously owned hot shot trucks. However, a word of caution must be extended with buying a used truck. Take the time to research manufacturers and models. Learn what’s dependable and look for a truck that can be flexible in regards to what type of load it can carry. The most common features for trucks used in hot shot trucking include:
- Dual tire
- Tandem axle
- 24,000 lb gross weight rating
Disadvantages to Hot Shot Trucking
Figuring out how to start a hot shot trucking business isn’t too hard. It’s building the business and keeping up the chaotic pace that’s difficult. Hot shot hauling is demanding, and generally doesn’t allow for breaks between pick-up and delivery because of the time sensitive nature of the cargo. This kind of schedule can take its toll on truckers physically, mentally and can create a challenging life on the home front. Before you start your hot shot trucking business, be sure your family understands the demands it will make on family life.
#starting your own business
Get my 5-day email funnel that generated $400,000 from a single launch
How To Start Your Own Business
Starting your own business is one of the most powerful ways to take control of your life and make extra money month after month. You can start with just a few hours a week. And best of all, you get to choose your hours, pick projects you find exciting, and meet interesting people. With the help of the step-by-step systems you’ll find here, you can start getting clients faster and boost your earnings when you want to.
I’ll even show you how to build enough steady income that you can quit your day job, if you want to.
I’ve covered how to make more money elsewhere on this site. Right here, I’m revealing the advanced strategies behind launching a successful business that gives you the freedom to share your skills with the world and create something people will pay you for, even when you aren’t working.
These are the same techniques I’ve spent over a decade and a million dollars refining. I’ve gathered over 1,000,000 data points while creating 15 different products that cost anywhere between the price of a latte to over $12,000… and I’ve helped over 1,000 students launch their own businesses, too.
You’ll learn the systems, strategies, and shortcuts I only dreamed of having when I started out… so you can launch faster and earn more.
Of course, all the business-building knowledge in the world isn’t very helpful unless you have the right psychological mindset and tools. That’s why I’ve invited some of the world’s leading experts on time management, productivity, and work/life balance to share their best secrets with you.
Now the #1 requested IWT topic of all time :
How to start an online business
I want to show you the truth about starting a successful online business. Unlike unscrupulous marketers whose entire business is creating ebooks about creating ebooks, I’ve spent years teaching over 100,000 readers how to live a rich life automate their finances and get out of debt. find their Dream Jobs, negotiate better salaries. and finish tasks they’ve put off for years .
Why do my students keep coming back? Why do they buy at a rate 1,235% higher than prospects? And how do I still have a refund rate much lower than the industry standard, despite a generous money-back policy? I’ll share how I do it — and how you can, too .
It’s easy to get stuck with a low-profit business that sucks your time and money. I’ll show you how to avoid the mistakes I’ve made.
Want to know exactly what’s the best kind of online business to start? I could give you a bunch of theory, principles, and a long history of the relative pros and cons of each. Or I could just tell you the answer:
When I launched my first product, I thought I had to beg people to buy it. The funny thing is, it was a $4.95 ebook.
Now, I’ve had to turn people away from $4,000+ courses, and someone even hacked into my sales page to buy a course before I opened it to the public.
What the hell? How did I go from $4.95 to successfully launching a $12,000 flagship course that people lined up to join?
I’ll reveal the critical decisions and strategies I used to get to where I am now.
If you wanted to learn how to start an online business, would you want to learn from someone who’s sold 1 or 2 products about selling products, then kept milking that cow for years… or would you want to learn from someone who’s sold over 15 different products ranging from $4.95 to $12,000 ?
When you’re the same as everyone else, you’re a commodity. And that means crummy pay, long hours, and bad customers. You do NOT want to compete against everyone in the world.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a man, a woman, a life coach, a stylist, an analytics guru, or a language tutor. Whether you’re trying to get a date or start an online business, if you’re the same as everyone, you’re doomed.
This is where the concept of ZIGGING and ZAGGING comes in. Where others zig, you zag .
I’ll show you how to stand out, so people will see that your product is unique and be happy to pay you more.
Do you have a friend who constantly asks you for advice, but then always makes excuses for not following through?
Have you ever heard this:
- “Why doesn’t she ever call me back?” (Perhaps it’s because you make yourself way too available and desperation oozes off you.)
- “I hate my job…” (yet you’ve done nothing to change it except complaining)
- “Ugh, I really need to go to the gym” (but instead, these people will continue making excuses, like how they can’t afford the $50 even though they pay that much in late fees every month)
If we’re honest, WE’RE guilty of the exact same thing. I’ve spent a decade studying and testing the best ways to stop sabotaging yourself and start following through.
Here’s the brutal truth. PASSION ISN’T ENOUGH.
You need business systems. I’m talking about repeatable, reliable, automated (or nearly automated) ways of completing key business processes. I couldn’t run I Will Teach without the systems I invented and I definitely wouldn’t have the great work/life balance I enjoy.
IWT has thousands of systems now, but if you took it all away tomorrow, all you really need are these three. I spent years perfecting them, and you can use them right away.
Afraid or launching an online business?
I struggled with the same fears for years … until I discovered the psychological breakthroughs and systems that make it easy and fun to get started.
We’ll deep dive into the 3 major FEARS around starting an online business, so you’ll know how to ignore the critics, focus on doing your very best, and be confident enough to laugh at your own failures and become successful faster.
I’ll show you how you can grow an online business with a tiny email list — or even without a website at all.
You don’t have to have a huge email list or wait until you have 100,000 followers. You can actually start NOW. Once you find the right people, you can build a successful online business with fewer people than you’d ever thought possible .
My students will show you how they launched their online businesses and scaled them up one student even got 5-figures in just a few months, without any email list.
How top performers balance profitable businesses with free time
We all have the same number of hours in the day, but some people top performers seem to get 10x the amount of work done as the rest of us. In these case studies and interviews, you’ll understand how.
Cal is totally dominating his post-doc while maintaining a successful blog. His trick: ruthlessly optimizing his schedule and saying “No” a lot.
Tim Ferriss of the Four Hour Work Week asks me about false starts and success rates.
Erica sold her company for over $1 million at age 26. When she talks, I listen.
I want to introduce you to one of my most influential mentor, whose insights have changed my life. If you’ve ever wondered who I study and learn from, here’s your answer.
I’ve put together a step-by-step guide so you can start launching a profitable online business in your spare time. You’ll see some of my juiciest case studies, strategies, and more insights I’ve spent over $1,000,000 and thousands of hours discovering. Just sign up for my free Insider’s List below, and you’ll hear when my step-by-step program, Zero to Launch, opens for enrollment:
Learn more about Zero to Launch:
#business analyst salary
What Is A Business Analyst And How Much Do They Make?
Over the last few years, the generic job title of business analyst has become popular in multiple industries. Although job duties can vary immensely, in the most general terms, business analysts work within a business or organization to identify and implement improvements to help a business achieve its goals. The title of business analyst can describe both entry-level workers and tenured professionals and compensation varies accordingly. This article discusses the work, compensation, and outlook for business analysts.
The Basics of Business Analysis
Business analysis is a disciplined, structured, and formal approach to analyzing a business process, identifying improvements, and implementing changes so that the business can better achieve its goals. It is based on facts, figures, and observations.
The International Institute of Business Analysis provides this job description, “A business analyst works as a liaison among stakeholders to elicit, analyze, communicate and validate requirements for changes to business processes, policies and information systems. The business analyst understands business problems and opportunities in the context of the requirements, and recommends solutions that enable the organization to achieve its goals.”
Business analysts can serve in many functions in almost any industry. For example, a systems analyst is a business analyst that focuses on how to best use technology to solve problems and improve outcomes. Other job titles where an employee perform business analysis include data analyst, solutions provider, change agent, requirements manager, specifications writer, researcher, product owner, product manager, or management consultant.
Business analysts may perform quality assurance, requirements gathering, documentation, or client support. They may also specialize in improving sales, by focusing on pre-sales, customer service. client relationship, and account management. Business analysts may also be very internally focused on process improvements within an organization and coordination across multiple departments and stakeholders.
Some qualities of a good business analyst include the following:
• Good listening skills
• Openness to change
• Adept in multitasking
• Expertise in prioritization, based on needs of multiple stakeholders
• Good negotiation skills, to seek timely buy-in on important decisions and prioritization from all stakeholders
• Identifying process improvement opportunities which can lead to efficiency and output improvements
Education and Career Path of Business Analysts
A bachelor’s degree or higher is required. Possible majors include finance, technology, management, and accounting. Because of the number of skills required, most business analyst positions are not open to new college graduates. Most business analysts attain their first position after a few years in a related position such as data analyst, functional analyst, systems analyst, business requirements analyst, or financial analyst.
The career path of a business analyst can include becoming a senior business analyst, a business analyst specialist in specific areas (such as SAP, Agile, or ScrumMaster), a business manager, a business architect, an enterprise architect, and finally a director or VP-level position. Other experienced business analysts become independent consultants, taking assignments on contract.
Almost any industry can employ business analysts, but most jobs are in information technology or management consulting firms. Other industries include accounting. investment banking. finance. and market research.
Salary and Compensation for Business Analysts
Compensation varies widely and is determined by the factors like location, experience level, and industry. For example, a business analyst working in a large New York-based investment bank will earn more than a business analyst performing market research for an automobile company in Michigan. Candidates who specialize in a specific technology (like SAP) may command higher premiums. Below are the average salary ranges and bonus percentages for business analysts.
- Entry Level: $40,000 to $70,000 with up to an 8 percent bonus
- Mid Career: $55,000 to $95,000 with up to a 10 percent bonus
- Senior Level: $70,000 – $150,000 with up to a 10 percent bonus
- Overall U.S. Average: $45,000-$110,000 with up to a 10 percent bonus
Business analyst is a general title for many different job functions in almost any industry. A good candidate should have an undergraduate degree and several years of work experience in the area of business analysis that he or she is interested in. Candidates can also take business analysis certifications courses like those from the International Institute of Business Analysis.
How to Get a Business License
If you are planning on starting your own business. chances are that you will need some type of license or permit – maybe more than one – to move forward legally. A business license is a permit issued by a government agency that allows business to be conducted in said government’s geographic jurisdiction. By and large, your state or local government will determine which licenses and permits are required to operate in its jurisdiction. Additionally, the federal government requires special licenses for certain industries.
Why Is a Business License Required?
Obtaining a business license is necessary for three main reasons:
- So the government can track taxable revenue
- So consumers are protected in federally regulated industries
- So that you may demonstrate your level of professional expertise
Determining the requirements for your business is the first and most important step.
Identifying License and Permit Requirements
Business licensing requirements are determined by:
- Business activity
- Physical location
The U.S. Small Business Administration provides a great resource for determining the licensing requirements in your area. After entering in your local zip code and the type of business you are starting, you are presented with a list of the permits and licenses you will need along with the locations at which you can find the requisite forms.
Before you can apply for a license, you will need to determine your business activity code. which is based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). In order to select the proper code, you must determine the activities from which your business will derive the largest percentage of its total receipts, which is defined as the sum of gross receipts or sales plus all other income.
The Internal Revenue Service requires businesses to register to receive a Federal Tax Identification number. also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Your business will need an EIN if you can answer yes to any of the following questions:
- Do (or will) you have employees?
- Do (or will) you operate your business as a corporation or a partnership?
- Do (or will) you file any of these tax returns: Employment, Excise, or Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms?
- Do (or will) you withhold taxes on income, other than wages, paid to a non-resident alien?
- Do (or will) you have a Keogh plan ?
- Are (or will you be) you involved with any of the following types of organizations?
Trusts, except certain grantor-owned revocable trusts, IRAs, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Returns
Real estate mortgage investment conduits
Licenses and Permits
If your business will fall under the regulating eye of a federal agency, you will need to obtain the corresponding federal license or permit. Examples of business activities that may require such licenses include:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Firearms, ammunition and explosives,
- Fish and wildlife,
- Mining and drilling
- Nuclear energy
- Radio and Television broadcasting
- Transportation and logistics
Permits can usually be found online, on the website of the entity that regulates the specific regulated activity the business will engage in. For example, if your business is involved in agricultural activities, you can find the necessary applications at the website for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If you plan to broadcast your own television or radio program, you can find the necessary application online via the Federal Communications Commission .
It will also be necessary for you to register for applicable tax permits with state and local agencies. For instance, if your business will be selling goods or services, and you are operating in a state which levies an income tax, you will be obligated to obtain a tax license so that the state can track your taxable revenue. Contact the license commissioner in your county or municipality and the office of your state’s Secretary of State to find out the exact requirements that apply to you.
Even sole proprietorships run out of someone’s home are required to obtain business licenses in some areas. These can include:
- General business licenses
- Trade licenses (such as a license to operate a child care service or sell real estate)
- Sales tax permits
- Health and safety permits
- Sign permits
- Zoning permits
Filling Out and Filing the Forms
Once you figure out the licenses and permits you need to legally register your business, you will then need to fill out the necessary forms. These can be obtained from the appropriate federal or state agencies, and they usually can be found online. You may print the forms, fill them out, and mail them back to the agency; however, in many instances you will be able to fill out the forms and submit them online. Regardless, information you can expect to disclose may include, but not be limited to, the following:
- Type of business
- Business address
- Name of business owner
- Contact information
- Federal ID number
- NAICS code
- Number of employees
Expect to pay a filing fee, which can range from around $50 to hundreds of dollars or more, dependent upon the region you are filing in and the types of activities your business will be conducting. Fees are often calculated as a percentage of revenue, with a base minimum for new companies. The time it takes to receive your license can vary from a few days to a few weeks.
Obtaining the necessary licenses and permits for your business is required in order to operate legally. Moreover, the task is not a one-time occurrence. Most licenses and permits will need to be renewed periodically. For example, if you are running a restaurant with a bar, you will need to renew your liquor license once a year.
While this process can seem daunting, being familiar with the steps will go a long way in making the experience as painless as possible.
How to create an invoice
Last Updated: 7 July 2016
If you re providing a tax invoice, there are some things you need to include on it for it to be valid. Ensuring your invoices are correct and complete will help you claim your full tax entitlement.
Custom designed invoices
Voluntary standards apply to the layout of tax invoices to help make it easier for your customers to locate important information. If you plan on creating a custom design for your invoice, it s recommended that you follow these voluntary standards as a guide.
Features such as business logos, paper colour, font style, advertising and other additional content on your invoices are not affected by these voluntary standards.
For regular invoices (not tax invoices), it s recommended that you also use these standards as a guide, though you re not required to do so.
What to include in a tax invoice
Tax invoices must include at least seven pieces of information to be valid. Depending on the value of the invoice and what was sold, there may be more requirements.
For sales of less than $1 000, the seven details are:
- The words Tax Invoice must be used preferably at the top.
- Your identity as the seller, such as your business name or trading name. Contact details are optional, but recommended.
- Your ABN or ACN.
- The date the tax invoice was created.
- A brief description of the items sold, including quantity and price.
- The GST amount (if any) payable. You can display GST for each item in a separate column, or within the total price. If you choose not to display it separately, use a statement such as Total includes GST as this is needed for the next detail.
- The extent to which each item sold includes GST. You ll meet this requirement if you either:
- show the GST amount for each item
- clearly state that the total price includes GST.
Tax invoices for sales of $1 000 or more also need to show the buyers identity or ABN.
Examples of tax invoices
Check out the ATO s website for examples of tax invoices, including examples for the following scenarios:
How can I send my customers their invoices?
The way that you provide your customers with invoices is generally your decision. Depending on the circumstances, you could choose to send your invoice via post, fax, email, printable web page or provide it face to face.
Regardless of which method you choose, sending the invoice at the time of purchase is recommended to encourage prompt payment. If your customer requests a tax invoice from you, there is a requirement that you provide it within 28 days of the request. Your method of delivery should take this into account.
The method that you choose must also allow for record keeping requirements to be met.
Record keeping requirements
By law, you re required to keep business records for at least 5 years. Whether you keep printed or electronic records is up to you.
You need to keep all invoices for income you ve received and payments you ve made to others. These will help you prepare your Business Activity Statement (BAS), income tax return and other tax obligations.
Check out the ATO s Manage your invoices, payments and records for more information on these requirements.
Dealing with unpaid invoices
There are a number of ways that you can deal with unpaid debts and customer disputes. Read our managing unpaid debt page for helpful tips and resources.
You can also check out our case studies on payment disputes for independent contractors.
What happens if the tax invoice is incorrect?
If the tax invoice you sent is incorrect or incomplete, it s not a valid tax invoice. You ll need to replace it with a complete and correct tax invoice.
If you receive a tax invoice with missing information, you can still treat it as a valid tax invoice if you re able to find the information within other documents the supplier has given you. Alternatively, ask for a new one with the correct information.
Tips for invoicing
By following some simple tips, you can help boost your cash flow and reduce the risk of unpaid invoices. Try the following when sending your next invoice:
- Include your payment terms on the invoice and ensure your customer is aware of them. For example, requiring payment to be made within 30 days of receiving a correct, valid tax invoice.
- Be timely and predictable. Being prompt when sending your tax invoice ensures that you re paid as soon as possible. If you need to send invoices on a regular basis, try sending them at the same time of day so that your customer knows when to expect them.
- Offer a variety of payment options and state these on your invoice.
- Try sending your invoices via email. It can decrease the chance of your invoice being lost in the mail and help encourage a prompt payment.
- Be detailed in your item description field. Being detailed and providing a full account of the product or service you provided can help reduce the chance of a dispute.
What to do.
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How to Read Your Boss – The University of Nottingham #start #your #own #business
#business courses online
How to Read Your Boss
0:13 Skip to 0 minutes and 13 seconds Welcome to the University of Nottingham. I’m Louise Mullany, a professional communications specialist from the Centre for Research and Applied Linguistics. This is How to Read Your Boss. Do you find conversations with some colleagues more difficult than others? Do you ever come out of meetings feeling that you’ve been misunderstood, or that you haven’t been given the time you wanted to express your ideas? Do you ever find it hard to explain yourself to your boss or with others at a more senior level than you? Do you find yourself ever wondering what your boss is actually asking you to do? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this course is definitely for you.
0:55 Skip to 0 minutes and 55 seconds Along with colleagues, I’ve spent the last 15 years investigating communication styles in a wide range of workplaces, from small to medium sized enterprises right through to large multinationals. How to Read Your Boss draws upon the findings of this research. The course will provide a basic introduction to a sample of linguistic toolkits to help you produce a quick and effective analysis of your own and others’ talk. You will also have a suite of different strategies to draw upon, which can enhance your persuasive presence and impact in the future. This course is unique, as it is based upon the analysis of authentic business conversations that have actually taken place.
1:37 Skip to 1 minute and 37 seconds How to Read Your Boss provides access to cutting edge academic knowledge and practical activities based on how people really talk at work. I hope that you will take the opportunity to join us, and discover how linguistics can help you read both yourself and your boss.
About the course
Think about the conversations you have had in your workplace over the past few months. Do you come out of business meetings wishing you had said something differently, or felt misunderstood? Do you have difficulty talking to people more senior than you? What about when talking with other colleagues? ‘How to read your boss’ introduces you to the world of business communication through linguistics.
The course presents a set of ‘linguistic toolkits’ which you can use to create a linguistic profile of yourself and others, including your boss. It is designed for you to assess the effectiveness of the communication styles you use and identify the type of communications culture where you work. It will offer alternative strategies for future business talk. It aims to encourage you to become more reflexive and self-conscious language users when communicating at work.
How to Read Your Boss is the second in a series of ‘How to read…’ courses which will be presented by applied linguists, discourse analysts and literary critics at The University of Nottingham.
How to Read Your Boss will be useful for anyone working within businesses/organisations in the public, private or third sector, including managers and those with leadership responsibility.
How to Find a Qualified Small Business Advisor
Business planning, financial projections, employee management, and customer acquisitions are just a few of the issues that small business owners wrestle with. Startups and fast-growing companies have even more challenges — and that’s where a business advisor is most valuable. Whether they’re helping with starting a new business or managing an existing enterprise, small business advisors are seasoned professionals that help with strategic business planning and crucial operational decisions.
Alas, great small business advisors, like great football coaches, are rare. Here are some tips to finding the perfect small business coach, so you can score a few more touchdowns and experience a lot fewer fumbles:
1) Look for an advisor who’s managed a small business – Small businesses are a different animal than large corporations. Find a business coach that understands the special challenges of small business, including recruiting and retaining employees, capital funding, product marketing, and keeping up with technology. Additionally, target an advisor who had success with your biggest business challenge. For instance, if your main roadblock is distribution, target an advisor who is a distribution channels expert.
2) Look for an advisor with credentials – A business advisor doesn’t necessarily need credentials, a special license, or a degree to give his opinion on how you should run your business, but it doesn’t hurt. Because anyone can set up shop as an advisor, look for someone with a business degree, MBA, or other coaching credentials such as CPCP (Certified Professional Coach Program), ACC (Associate Certified Coach), PCC (Professional Certified Coach), or MCC (Master Certified Coach) for added peace of mind that you’re getting good advice.
3) Choose an advisor who focuses on your niche – An advisor that specializes in your industry will speak your language, understand your business concerns, and know the competitive umbrella your business operates under. If you’re lucky, he’ll have some great industry contacts too.
4) Find an advisor through SCORE – SCORE Counselors to America’s Small Business is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate entrepreneurially-minded individuals nationwide in the creation, growth, and success of small businesses. With over 11,200 volunteers nationwide, SCORE offers free help with small business planning and other advice. Find a SCORE advisor through the website’s handy search function or visit your local SCORE office.
5) Check out the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches (WABC) – Founded in 1997, the WABC is an international association aimed at the leadership and development of worldwide business coaching. The WABC requires rigorous membership requirements based upon coaching experience, references, and business expertise. With over 1,000 business coaches spanning 30 countries, the WABC is a great advisory resource.
6) Search BusinessAdviser – BusinessAdviser.com is an independent consultancy international businesses directory. Search by location, firm or specialty.
7) Ask for referrals – Last but not least, ask your mentors, work associates, and members of social networks who they have used and would recommend in a business advisor capacity.
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How to Make Business Brochures That Stand Out
Once you’ve created great business cards. it’s time to make brochures to show off your company. Brochures let you showcase your business–your products or services and your purpose. They hold more information than do business cards, so you can include additional contact information. Instead of including only your usual social media handles for Twitter and Facebook, for instance, consider adding a link to your Yelp page.
The industry standard for brochure design is either QuarkXPress 9 or Adobe InDesign–both of which cost hundreds of dollars. Luckily, you don’t need these programs to design professional-looking brochures .
Microsoft Word, while not ideal for desktop publishing, will work if you’ve got the right template. Don’t rely on Word’s preloaded templates–Microsoft’s Office website has over 80 free brochure and booklet templates for both Word and Publisher. You can find additional free Word brochure templates on HP’s website for small and medium-size businesses.
Mac users can design attractive brochures in Apple’s iWork Pages. Pages features basic templates, but additional free iWork templates can be found on the iWork Templates Blog and on iWork Community .
Looking for a desktop publishing program? Try PagePlus Starter Edition. which is free and features master pages, column flow, and the ability to move and lock text boxes and images. The full version of PagePlus has more options and costs $100.
Brother’s CreativeCenter website lets you design a trifold brochure for free. If you’d rather stay online, MyCreativeShop is an online brochure-maker with hundreds of customizable brochure designs. The site has two-panel and three-panel brochure designs, as well as 4-, 8-, and 12-page booklet templates. Each design template costs $69, but you can try out a design for free before you purchase it.
HP’s Marketsplash also offers brochure designs–over 250. in fact–that you can customize using HP’s online tool. Epson’s CreativeZone has a number of free downloadable trifold brochure templates, as does Brother’s CreativeCenter .
If you decide to print brochures yourself, it’s best to have a printer that supports two-sided (duplex) printing, such as the HP Officejet 6000 Wireless. The decision to print on your own will mostly depend on how many brochures you want to print. If you’re printing over a hundred brochures, you may want to consider outsourcing because many print shops will include folding or assembly.
To find out if your printer supports duplex printing, go to the the Printer Properties menu and look for an option that says something like “Two-sided (Duplex) Printing” or “Print on both sides.” If you can’t find such an option in the menu, your printer doesn’t support duplexing, or you may need to download additional drivers. Because brochures are always two-sided, automatic duplex printing will save you the hassle of having to flip over each sheet manually.
Automatic duplexing works best with 16-pound to 28-pound paper, but can work with paper that has a basis weight of up to 32 pounds .
A printer that handles double-sided printing, like the HP Officejet 6000, is the best bet for brochure-making. You can outsource brochure printing to an online print shop such as Vistaprint. Vistaprint starts at $290 for 500 brochures, and that price includes full color on both sides. Additional features will cost you just a little extra: $4 if you want to upload a photo or design, $1.50 for a map, and $1.50 if you want a PDF version as well (prices are subject to change, of course).
Some of the more well-known printing companies are considerably more expensive: FedEx Kinko’s starts at $1.03 per brochure (based on an order of 1500), though that price includes double-sided printing in full color, as well as folding.
Make Essential Business Print Materials
How to Make Business Brochures That.