Small Business Owners Entrepreneurs

August 1, 2011

Entrepreneurs Find New Way To Finance Dream    Author: Admin

Posted in Entrepreneur | |

Statistics show that more than one million people in the United States start a new business each year. That number would be much higher if all the would-be entrepreneurs had the financing required to get a business up and running. In order to accomplish their dream of business ownership, entrepreneurs are finding new and innovative ways to finance their new ventures.

According to Leonard Fischer, PresidentCEO of BeneTrends, one of these new financing options is the use of a person’s existing retirement funds-a pension, profit sharing, 401(k), IRA-which allows that person to start the business he or she has always dreamed of without tax penalties, consequences or mountains of debt.

Under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), retirement funds can be transferred into usable capital for business investments or operations. If a person has more than 40,000 in a retirement account and is not currently employed by the company that holds those funds, he or she qualifies for this Small Business Administration (SBA)-recognized financing approach to start a business.

Retirement funds can be used for any business purpose, including:

• Purchasing a franchise or existing business

• Start-up expenses, such as purchasing property, equipment, etc.

• Working capital, including paying salaries, franchise fees, etc.

• Business expansion, such as funding additional franchises, locations, etc.

• Equity toward SBA or other loans.

The thought of dipping into one’s retirement can cause some apprehension. Through this investment strategy an individual actually has more control over hisher retirement-instead of gaining minimal growth dependent on the stock market, those savings are actually being invested in one’s own business. This approach often allows an individual to set aside more money for retirement than ever before.

“Today’s entrepreneur faces an environment of tremendous competition, complexity and opportunity, so starting a business the right way is more important than ever,” says Dr. Germain Boer, Director of Vanderbilt University’s Center for Entrepreneurship. “This financing method is a good option for an individual who has accumulated funds in hisher retirement accounts.”

The entire process generally takes two to four weeks to be completed, and can be done by phone, email, fax, FedEx and regular mail.

Working with an experienced employee benefits plan expert, starting a business is as simple as these four steps:

Step 1: Establish a C-corporation.

Step 2: The new corporation creates a retirement plan.

Step 3: Funds are rolled over into the corporation’s new retirement plan.

Step 4: The new retirement plan purchases the stock of the corporation.

“So many people have watched their dream of owning their own business go out the window due to lack of funding options. We help people achieve that dream every day using money they already have,” says Fischer.

If you’re ready to explore this innovative financing option, be sure to consult an expert to guide you through the specialized process.

Posted in Small Business | |

An Easy Way To Make Your Small Business More Visible-For Free

No two small businesses are alike, but most want to be like their larger counterparts in some key respects. For example, even if you own a company with only a few really great customers, you want to be visible enough to attract new customers, boost your odds of securing repeat business and do all you can to improve customer satisfaction.

The key, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), is having a business Web site. The SBA’s own Web site notes that the Web “levels the playing field between small business and big business” because it is such a dynamic, inexpensive medium for advertising and customer service. “The Internet is making it possible for small- to medium-sized businesses to compete with the big guys,” the SBA said.

Conventional wisdom says that any business without a Web presence these days is at a distinct disadvantage, but the latest International Data Corporation (IDC) small-business research exposes a surprising gap. The IDC research found that of the 6.8 million businesses in the United States with fewer than 10 employees, only 3.8 million have a Web site. “That means 3 million U.S. small businesses-or 44 percent of the total-aren’t using the Internet to promote themselves online or engage customers and prospects,” said Ray Boggs, vice president of Small Medium Business and Home Office Research at IDC. “In today’s connected world, companies that take that step generally find that having their own Web site can deliver a significant opportunity to grow their business, especially if the site is updated regularly.”

Clearly, small businesses (and many of their customers) are online, yet more than half aren’t exploiting the full power of what the Internet can do to help build their business. That power includes creating a dynamic Web site to attract and retain customers, taking advantage of search engines to heighten awareness of a company in today’s global marketplace, and communicating with customers around the clock or at their convenience.

What stops small businesses from stepping up to this level? For many, the barriers are cost, complexity and inconvenience. By its nature, a small business typically has a small budget and an equally small staff. Unlike the larger companies it competes with, a small business generally can’t afford to spend thousands of pounds to buy a server, create a complicated infrastructure and hire an IT technician to keep it all running smoothly.

The good news is that some new offerings are cropping up that allow you to establish a Web presence without heavy-duty in-house technical resources and a big cash outlay. For example, Microsoft Corp. has a new Internet-based service called Microsoft Office Live, which at the most basic level provides a small business with a domain name, e-mail accounts and a Web site for free.* It’s one of the quickest and easiest ways today to get your business on the Internet. And, because it’s supported by advertising revenue, and the advertising is designed to be unobtrusive and not appear in the customer’s public-facing Web sites, the basic offering is free. Yes, it’s free, and you can sign up to test-drive the service at

“I need an attractive, easy-to-navigate Web site that I can update frequently and efficiently. With Office Live, I can create a slide show of a sailboat race and have it online before the boats even get back to the dock,” said Elizabeth T. Becker, a freelance writer and photographer and owner of Seaport Photography. “That means I get to spend less time in front of my computer and more time behind my camera. It’s smooth sailing.” Becker’s Web site can be seen at http:www.seaport

With such an all-in-one solution, a small-business Web site really is a no-brainer. Look at it this way: In a day and age when the majority of Americans use the Internet regularly, it’s highly likely that a large percentage of your customers do, too.

January 17, 2011

Small Business Loans For Women    Author: Admin

Posted in Small Business | |

You have been thinking about it for a long time! That perfect business idea has been incubating in your mind and you just want to let it out. No capital? All you need is a small business loan to get you started on the road to success. Its easy. Small business loans for woman especially in the minority sector are gaining importance today. Women own 38% of businesses in the United States. Our economy is finally opening up to providing woman with adequate venture capital to start a business. Finding venture capital is very important. But finding it from the right source is even more important. Today there are different institutions that provide small business loans for women. Wondering where to start? Let us be your guide into identifying small business loans for women.

The government offers small business loans for women, minorities and start-ups.

U.S. Small Business Administration or the SBA offers small business loan programs for women who may not be offered business loans by other institutions. A small one-page application can get you a loan to the extent of 150,000 and to be eligible you need to be a woman, a minority group, or a veteran. Preference is given for woman from low and middle-income groups. Such small business loans for woman have been instrumental in providing start-up capital to many industrialists.

CAPLines offer five different kinds of loans especially for the construction of a commercial establishment. These are short-term working capital loan programs tailor made for women wanting business loans. Women can take a small business loan up to 200,000.

Government business loans for women can also take the form of 504 loans, Defense loan and Technical loans, Physical disaster business loans, Community Adjustment and Investment, Export Working Capital Program and International Trade Loan, all provided by the government.

Small business loans for woman can also be sourced from Womens Business Grants. This specialized organization offers small business loans specifically for women to support new and existing businesses. They have two programs namely the New Business Grant and the Existing Business Grant. The New Business Grant can get you a loan of 100 to 5000 and the Existing Business Grant ranges from 1000 to 5000. So the next time you need to expand your infrastructure or fund a new product, you know where to look.

Small business loans for women and women minority groups are not that difficult to find anymore. There are several well-reputed firms offering to provide small business loans for women apart from government small loans that are most popular today. So just go ahead and dream big! It could be a reality some day!

January 3, 2011

Small Business Advice, Get Online!    Author: Admin

Posted in Small Business | |

The best advice for small business owners today is to establish an online presence. It doesnt matter if your company consists of fifty people or just two, having a website is valuable to companies of all sizes. As ecommerce becomes a more important part of company sales, businesses that do not have a website will be losing out on both customers and revenue. Fortunately it is not too difficult to design a company website for your products and services. Unlike in the past, today there are many valuable web builder tools that allow users of all skill levels to design their own site. Many companies offering these products will often let customers test drive their web builder tools before actually committing to a purchase. This gives you the chance to become comfortable with the tools and see how they can help you in designing your site. You then have the option of signing up for a paid subscription of your choice.

A website is a good idea even for companies that are doing well without the help of online sales. In todays highly technical world, companies that do not have a website may be viewed as outdated or unprofessional. This is especially true when you consider the age group of your potential customers. Younger adults who have grown up using computers are much more likely to order from a company that offers their products online. There arent too many companies today that would tell you they couldnt benefit from additional sales. Web builder tools allow small business owners the opportunity to make their company products available to customers of all ages across the globe.

If your business frequently deals with customers from other countries, you know what a hassle it can be making contact because of the different time zones. A website allows you to make sales from anywhere in the world 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even while you are not at work, your business can be earning sales via your website. Once your business develops an online presence, you may find the majority of sales are made online. Using web builder tools to design your site just makes good sense. Its both fast and efficient and can increase your sales earnings in just a short time.

Web builder tools not only save you time and money designing your site but can also save time and effort when dealing with customers. Think about all the calls you or your employees answer regarding products, services, or payment plans accepted. With a website, you can offer all of this information to customers at the ease of their fingertips. Theres no need for them to contact you when all of the information is provided online. This not only is convenient for both you and the customer but it also increases your chances of making a sale. Many times customers may not want to bother emailing or phoning for more information. If they cannot find what they are looking for, they may go else where to another company that offers the product or service they are looking for. Web builder tools allow you to effectively design a site that contains information about all of your products, company background, and payment methods accepted. This can be a valuable resource in gaining additional customers.

Even if your company sells a variety of different products, there are web builder packages available to meet your needs. You can choose from a variety of different products and package sizes, many of which include web hosting, domain name, blog design tools, photo image editing tools, shopping carts, email accounts, and various design templates. Options can also be upgraded or added when needed. With all of the flexibility offered, web builder tools can benefit all types of businesses in designing their website.

November 29, 2010

Small Business Owners: Should Your Hire the Services of    Author: Admin

Posted in Small Business | |

Small Business Owners: Should Your Hire the Services of a Professional Organizer?

Are you a small business owner who just recently started to see success or profits? If so, how easy is it for you to run your business, from a management standpoint? Unfortunately, not all small business owners, especially new ones, are prepared for success. That is why many small business owners end up getting in over the heads, especially when it comes to keeping all of their business records in order. Of course, you can take the time to get yourself organized, but if you are like many other disorganized small business owners, you may end up right back where you started in as little as a few days. For that reason, you may want to think about hiring the services of a professional organizer.

When it comes to hiring the services of a professional organizer, there are many individuals who wonder exactly what one is. Just as the title sounds, a professional organizer is an individual who not only has experience with getting and staying organized, but experience with helping others do so as well. At first glance, hiring the services of a professional organizer may seem a little bit silly or ridiculous to you, but it is actually something that you should look into a little bit more.

When it comes to hiring the services of a professional organizer, if you want to do so, you will need to find a professional organizer to do business with. Most professional organizers are small business owners themselves. Many actually end up advertising their services online or in local newspapers. When finding a professional organizer to do business with, you may want to think about examining the number of small business owners, like you, that they have helped to train, the number of years experience they have teaching organizational skills and such. Cost of training should also be examined.

Once you have found a professional organizer to do business with, it may be a little bit easier for you to understand how the process works. One of the reasons for that is because different professional organizers work in different ways. For instance, there are some that come in and organize your office without any help from you. This is done by creating a detailed map or by labeling every box and drawer. There are other professional organizers who work with you to organize your small business, particularly your office. This is nice because it also gives you the opportunity to know, firsthand, where everything is. Also, you may learn some neat tips from your professional organizer at the same time.

As a reminder, the hiring of a professional organizer is something that is optional, but it is something that you may want to look into a little bit more. When it comes to running a small business, it is important that you keep accurate records of your business. These records may be needed to obtain more financing in the future or to have your taxes prepared. Not knowing where all of your important documents are can spell big trouble. For instance, if you were trying to claim a business trip as a business expense, but you couldnt find the trip receipts, you would have to lose out on a moneysaving tax deduction. That is why it is important that your small business paperwork is always up-to-date and organized.

October 25, 2010

Marketing Your Small, Online Business    Author: Admin

Posted in Small Business | |

Are you a small business owner who runs an online business? If you are, are you currently satisfied with your businesss profits? Even if you are happy with the money that you are currently making, you may be looking to make even more. If you are, you may want to examine the marketing tactics that you are using, if you are even marketing your business at all.

When it comes to marketing an online business, you will often find that it is easier to market an online business than it is a storefront business. One of the reasons for that is because of the internet. There are a number of different ways that the internet can help you with the marketing of your online business. A few of those ways are briefly touched on below.

One of the many ways that you can go about marketing your business online is by using online message boards, which are also commonly referred to as online forums. Online message boards or online forums are communities where internet users are able to come together and discuss activities or interests they may share. There are many online message boards or forums that allow participating members to have what is referred to as a signature. A signature is a block of print that always appears at the end of a members posts. It is not uncommon for an online message board moderator to allow signatures to include business links, like a link to your online store or online website. With using online message boards or forums, the more you post the more exposure your online store gets.

Another way that you can market your small online business is by joining a pay per click advertising program, like Google Adwords. What is nice about pay per click advertising programs is that, just as the name sounds, you only have to pay when one of your advertisements gets clicked on. This type of advertising arrangement may be able to save you a considerable about of money, when compared to paying a flat rate fee for an advertisement that may never even be seen, let alone clicked on. Also, by doing business with a well-known pay per click advertising program, like Google Adwords, you are less likely to experience problems associated with malicious clicks, as the programs tend to be carefully monitored, to ensure that you don t end up wasting money on the marketing for your small business.

In addition to paying for advertising, you may also be able to get free advertising by doing what is known as a link exchange. A link exchange is when one website owner, like you, agrees to display the online website link or banner for another website owner, free of charge, as long as they do the same for you. If you are looking for free or low-cost ways to market your small online business, a link exchange may be the perfect option for you. The only thing that you want to make sure you do is not exchange links with your competition. You want to try and make sure that all links can be connected or related to each other, in one way or another, but you dont want to end up generating income for your competition.

When it comes to running a small online business, standard internet searches may also pay a large role in the traffic that you and your website receives. That is why it is important that your website, whether it is used to sell products or services, is optimized for the search engines. This process is commonly referred to as search engine optimization. When it comes to search engine optimization, content is important. Your website needs to be filled with content that the search engines will pick up, as well as content that your visitors can read. If you need assistance with this, you may want to think about hiring the services of a SEO specialist or a professional content writer.

The above mentioned marketing approaches are just a few of the many that you may want to use to help increase your small online businesss profits. For the best chance of success, you are advised to implement more than just one of the above mentioned approaches.

September 20, 2010

Many Small Businesses Get Cash Advances    Author: Admin

Posted in Small Business | |

A growing number of small businesses that have previously faced obstacles getting working capital now have a practical solution they can bank on. They’re taking a cash advance on future credit card receivables. This method of getting needed capital is gaining momentum, particularly in light of the inundation of Small Business Administration loan requests during recovery efforts on the Gulf Coast.

The cash advances taken by these credit-worthy businesses are called Merchant Cash Advances and are completed without the time, documentation and availability issues associated with a traditional loan.

Here’s how it works. Companies such as AdvanceMe (, the nation’s leading provider of merchant cash advances, purchase a portion of small- and mid-size businesses’ future credit card sales. These assets, which traditional lenders and investors do not value, help business owners to access capital quickly and easily without leveraging their homes or other personal assets. Businesses simply sell AdvanceMe a portion of their future credit card sales at a discount in exchange for a lump sum of working capital today.

The process has a number of advantages for merchants:

• It helps small businesses manage their cash flow throughout the year. This is especially valuable to businesses whose day-to-day operations are impacted by seasonality, such as those in small college towns. It gives them access to the cash necessary to weather the seasons, whether or not it’s their busy season.

• Often, a Merchant Cash Advance is preferred over a traditional bank loan because payment of the obligation is directly tied to the merchant’s revenue. In this way, the Merchant Cash Advance Vendor only gets paid when the business gets paid.

• It provides business owners with the capital to fund marketing and advertising campaigns, purchase equipment, train employees andor attend industry seminars, which they might otherwise not be able to do.

September 6, 2010

How To Avoid Double Taxation Of Your Small Business Profits    Author: Admin

Posted in Small Business | |

How To Avoid Double Taxation Of Your Small Business Profits

Have you been thinking about incorporating your small business or self-employment activity? The advantages are many!

For starters, you’ll be protecting yourself and your family from the possibility of a business ending lawsuit. Forming a corporation is Step One on the path known as “Asset Protection” — you are moving from the world of unlimited liability to the world of limited liability.

(NOTE: For further insight into the legal advantages of incorporating, check out the article: “It Can Happen To You: Why Any Sole Proprietorship Is A Risky Business” at http:www.YouSaveOnTaxes.comhappen-to-you.html)

From a tax standpoint, there are both advantages and disadvantages to incorporating. Yes, forming a corporation can either reduce your taxes or increase your taxes, depending on what type of corporation you create.

There are two main types of corporations: “C” Corporations and “S” Corporations — and which type you choose can make all the difference in the world of taxes.

NOTE: The question of “C” Corp vs. “S” Corp has no effect on the asset protection provided by your corporation. This is a tax issue, not a legal issue.

A “C” Corporation can lead you into a Tax Trap known as “double taxation”. Yes, income from a “C” Corporation can actually be taxed twice — once when it’s earned on the corporate level and again when it’s paid to you, the shareholder, in dividends.

There are several ways to avoid double taxation. Often the easiest way is to tell the IRS that you choose to be an “S” Corp instead of a “C” Corp. The profits of an “S” Corp are not taxable to the corporation; instead, those profits are reported directly on the shareholder’s personal income tax return and are therefore only taxed once.

And once is enough, don’t you think!

Of course, any article on Choice of Entity must contain the old disclaimer, “Consult your tax professional” — I am not prescribing a one-size-fits-all approach to this issue. But for many small biz owners and self-employed folks, the “S” Corporation is a good fit because it provides protection from personal liability and avoids the nasty tax trap of double taxation — two great benefits worth checking into.

Should you incoporate your sole proprietorship and then decide that the “S” Corporation is the right fit, you must inform the IRS that your corporation is choosing “S” Corporation status by filing Form 2553, which is, in effect, an application to become an “S” Corporation.


If you incorporate and do not file Form 2553, you are automatically considered to be a “C” Corporation by the IRS. In other words, to be a “C” Corporation, you just incorporate; there is nothing you have to do to inform the IRS you want to be a “C” Corporation.

There are critical rules regarding how and when to file Form 2553, so be sure to read the instructions carefully, or check with your tax pro.

Failure to file Form 2553 on time or filing Form 2553 incorrectly results in a rejection of your corporation’s “S” Corp application, and the corporation is then by default treated as a “C” Corp, subject to double taxation, the very trap you were trying to avoid.

To download a copy of Form 2553, go to: http:www.irs.govpubirs-pdff2553.pdf

The instructions for filing Form 2553 are found here: http:www.irs.govpubirs-pdfi2553.pdf

Posted in Small Business | |

Are you a small business owner? If you are, are you interested in getting health insurance coverage for yourself and your small business employees? If you are, you will need to find a small business health insurance plan to buy. In the United States, it is also common to hear a small business health insurance plan referred to as a group insurance plan.

When it comes to buying small business health insurance for you and your employees, you may want to first focus on insurance companies. In the United States, there are a number of different health insurance companies that you could do business with. Many of these companies offer multiple health insurance coverage plans, like plans that include just medical coverage or plans that include medical coverage, prescription coverage, as well as dental coverage. Many health insurance companies have health insurance plans that are designed for small business owners, just like you. As previously mentioned, these plans are often referred to as group plans or small business health insurance plans.

If you dont already know of a number of health insurance companies, you can easily find and familiarize yourself with a number of health insurance companies by performing a standard internet search. Your standard internet search will likely direct you to the online websites of numerous health insurance companies. You will want to take the time to thoroughly read through and examine each companys website. By examining the online website of a health insurance company, you should be able to determine, often right away, whether or not they offer group insurance or small business health insurance. If they do, you may want to ask for more information.

What you do not want to do, when looking to buy small business health insurance for you and your employees, is buy the first group or small business health insurance plan that you come across. Different health insurance companies offer different insurance plans and at different prices. To prevent yourself from wasting your money and the money of your employees, you will want to make sure that you carefully choose which group or small business health insurance plan you purchase. You will want to purchase one that is affordable, but you also want to make sure that it is a plan that you and your employees can benefit from. In fact, if you have less than thirty or so employees, you may want to think about allowing your employees to have some say in the type of insurance purchased, especially since they will likely end up helping you pay for it.

Once you have decided to purchase a small business health insurance plan for you and your employees, you will be given additional information, like when your insurance premium payments are due. There are some health insurance companies who require that their payments be made in advance, like at the beginning of each year, while others do not mind receiving monthly payments. Whichever approach you take, it is important that your payments are made on time. Your small business employees and their families may rely on their health insurance and you dont want to end up letting them down.

As you can see, from being outlined above, finding and buying health insurance for you and your small business employees is actually a relatively easy process. In most cases, you can find, research, and buy health insurance online, without ever have to speak to a company representative. However, if you do have any questions or concerns, it may be worth your while to contact a health insurance company representative for more information.

Buy a Small Business in the United States    Author: Admin

Posted in Small Business | |

If you are looking for a business opportunity, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has an excellent website, including a search option for small businesses for sale in the United States. They also have financial options for those who are looking for a business opportunity to consider.

Small businesses consistently employ fifty percent of the workforce in the United States. Fifty-three percent of all small businesses are home-based, while three percent are franchises. You can always find a business opportunity that has to do with franchises. Franchises are a worthwhile consideration, simply because in most cases, the name and products are well known. If you take advantage of this type of business opportunity and buy a successful franchise, you usually dont have to worry about it folding in the first year. has a list of franchises offered for sale in the United States, as well as in other countries. You can look at a list of franchises and decide on the one you are interested in, and then learn more about it. The website also lists the franchise fees and investment required.

According to the SBA, there were 24.7 million small businesses in the United States in 2004, the last year for which figures are available. 580,000 new small businesses opened in 2004 and 576,000 closed in the same year. The competition for any small business to succeed is ferocious, but with more than 24 million in existence, its clear that they do succeed.

If you are going to be working in the business yourself, its important that you buy a business that you truly care about. If however, this business opportunity is purely an investment for you, then certainly the best business deal financially would make sense. Some people who open new businesses work 14, 16 or even more hours per day until the business really gets off the ground. This would be almost impossible to do if you didnt like what you were doing.

Home business opportunities are as far and wide as your imagination. You can start your own business or buy an existing one. You could have an online business, or a more conventional store or office. If you select a business opportunity that will have you doing something that you love, the money will likely follow.

Its not difficult to find a business for sale. There are listings all over the Internet, as well as in almost every newspaper in the country. What matters, obviously, is finding the right business – one that will meet all of your needs, not just your financial ones. How much time do you have to devote to this business? Will this be your only business or one of many? Will you run it yourself or will you hire people to do that for you?

You can do, or you can hire others to do, some sophisticated market research to ensure that your product or service will sell in certain areas. Of course, if its an online business opportunity, you can do plenty of your own research quite easily. You can look at what other websites are selling, whether it is a product or a service, and to a degree, you can see how popular they are.

If you need to get a loan for your business opportunity, you have several options. The SBA can direct you to several loan options, although they dont lend money themselves. The SBA is a great place to start anyway, simply because they do have so many resources. They have a lot of statistical information that you might find helpful in your market research, and they have several free publications to help you along in your small business journey.

Probably the most important thing you can do before buying a small business is your homework. Investigate more than one business before settling on a specific business opportunity, and above all, make sure it is something that you enjoy!

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