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Small Business

Apr 30, 2021 It takes money to start and keep a business running, and access to capital is one of the major roadblocks to business ownership for many would-be entrepreneurs. However, there are several ways individuals can use their retirement funds to finance a business. A Rollover for Business Startup (ROBS) lets a current or prospective business owner tap a 401(k) or IRA to finance a startup, acquisition or refinance a business. Because it's imperative to exercise caution when putting your retirement assets on the line for pre-retirement initiatives be sure to work with a financial advisor before you take action. Read More...

Jan 13, 2021 When owners of privately held companies are considering how to transition out of their businesses due to planned retirement, health concerns or other reasons, they often get expert help with the process. Valuing, marketing and preparing for sale can be complicated and professional assistance with this activity can be invaluable. A Certified Business Exit Consultant (CBEC) is a professional certified to help entrepreneurs plan to exit their businesses. Read More...

Nov 18, 2020 When writing a business plan, it’s important to put together a financial plan that projects future income, cash flow and changes to the balance sheet. The financial plan section often consists mostly of spreadsheets. It’s where the business owner presents a paint-by-numbers case that the business will continue to be profitable or, if it’s a startup, become profitable. The financial section is the part of a business plan that many investors turn to first, so it deserves extra attention. Read More...

Nov 18, 2020 The 8(a) Business Development program is a Small Business Administration initiative designed to level the federal government contracting playing field for small business owners who are socially and economically disadvantaged. Qualifying businesses can compete for contracts that are set aside specifically for members of the program. They also can get help from SBA experts on submitting government contract bids, connect with mentors and tap other helpful resources. Read More...

Nov 11, 2020 Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) is the process businesses use to prepare budgets, generate forecasts, analyze profitability and otherwise inform senior management decisions of how to implement the company’s strategy most effectively and efficiently. The FP&A functions can be accomplished by an individual or a team working alongside other finance professionals such as the controller and treasurer and reporting to the chief financial officer (CFO). While FP&A is often performed by people with an accounting background, it differs from accounting by focusing primarily on forward-looking information as opposed to historical data. Read More...

Nov 04, 2020 Financing the purchase of essential equipment lets businesses preserve cash for working capital, hiring staff, expanding marketing efforts or other purposes. Equipment financing can be done with term loans, SBA-backed loans, lines of credit and credit cards. Equipment loans are generally easier to get than other forms of financing and may require no down payment, since the loan will be secured by the equipment being purchased. If you're not sure which option to take, consider talking to a financial advisor experienced in this area. Read More...

Nov 04, 2020 Women-owned businesses have more difficulty getting loans than companies that are majority-owned by men. Female-led firms applying for loans are more likely to get turned down and less likely to get all they requested. While there are no lending programs that are exclusively for women-owned companies, some sources of financing are more likely to approve a loan application from a woman-led business than others. A financial advisor can help you with any loan or other questions you have. Read More...

Jul 08, 2021 It takes money to make money and virtually any small business will require some startup capital to get up and running. While the personal savings of the founders is likely the most common source of startup funding, many startups also employ loans to provide seed capital. New enterprises with no established credit cannot get loans as easily from many sources, but startup loans are available for entrepreneurs who know where to look. Here are some of those places to look, plus ways to supplement loans. For help with loans and any other financial questions you have, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Oct 30, 2020 A serial entrepreneur starts several businesses one after another rather than beginning one venture and staying focused on it for many years like a more typical entrepreneur. Serial entrepreneurs may sell their businesses after they reach a certain level of maturity. They may retain ownership while delegating day-to-day managerial responsibilities to other people. Or, if the business is underperforming, they may close it down and move on to the next idea. Some highly successful businesspeople are serial entrepreneurs. Startups organized by serial entrepreneurs are generally regarded as attractive opportunities by knowledgeable venture investors. Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 So you own a business and you're looking to incorporate. Two of the most popular business structure are the S Corp and the LLC. Which is best for your business can depend on many factors, such as what you do for a living, your tax situation and more. We'll walk through the key characteristics of the two, and how to decide between them. Read More...

Feb 12, 2019 So you want to be a business owner, but the prospect of starting your own business is intimidating. One potential solution: Buying an existing business. An existing business typically has customers, vendors and branding already in place. A good company will also have an adequate amount of inventory. That means you can take the key and continue the business without having to build supplier relationships from scratch. Read More...

Sep 28, 2016 Hurricane season begins May 15 in the East Pacific Ocean and June 1 in the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Central Pacific Oceans. But the season typically reaches its peak between mid-August and late October. If you live along the coast, it's a good idea to board up your windows and doors and ensure that you have enough food and supplies. If you're a business owner, it's also important to be ready for the worst-case scenario. Check out several ways that companies can protect themselves during hurricane season. Read More...

Jul 05, 2018 If you want to start selling products, you might be wondering whether opening a franchise or becoming an affiliate could be a good move. Both franchisees and affiliates market products developed by other people, but they do so in very different ways. Let us explain the difference between a franchise and an affiliate.  Read More...

Aug 05, 2016 As a small business proprietor, you probably enjoy moving to the beat of your own drum. But doing everything on your own might not get you very far. Some of the most successful business owners have strong support systems. Regardless of whether that support comes from family or friends, having someone in your corner can give you the confidence you need to make bold moves. Read More...

Apr 10, 2018 Every small business owner probably knows that it's important to have a strong social media presence. But not everyone knows how to effectively market their products online. If you're not playing your cards right, you could be wasting your time - or worse, turning away customers. Here are five things to keep in mind when trying to make the most of social media. Read More...

Aug 03, 2016 Pokémon Go is taking the country by storm. You may have seen people walking or biking in your neighborhood, phones outstretched. For small businesses, the Pokémon Go craze can be a great opportunity to boost profits. Here's how some businesses are turning the trend to their advantage.  Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 In an age of mega-corporation dominance of every industry and omnipresent online shopping, it may seem difficult to impossible for small businesses to get a foothold. Whether you're trying to "shop small" and support local businesspeople over multinational companies or you want to go into business for yourself, the situation seems bleak. But when it comes to some goods and services, small businesses, mom-and-pop enterprises, and boutique and craft producers are carving out a strong niche. Read More...

Oct 31, 2019 A silent partner is an individual who provides capital to a business partnership. This person generally doesn't engage in the day-to-day operations of the business, which is why the term is also called limited partner. However, the silent partner can profit from the company. But finding the right one for your business can be complicated. You should work with a financial advisor who can guide you through this and other tasks associated with running your business. Read More...

Jun 06, 2016 Not everyone has the skill set or the drive needed to start a business from the ground up. But even if you can't launch a startup, you can still reap some of the benefits that entrepreneurs enjoy. Investing in a Starbucks coffee shop or a Pizza Hut will give you the chance to become a small business owner. Check out five reasons why buying a franchise might be a good idea. Read More...

Jun 02, 2016 There are many different ways to raise capital for a new startup or small business. As you explore your financing options, don't forget that there are programs out there that offer grants to entrepreneurs. Tracking down small business grants might take time and effort, but it could be worth it, particularly if you don't want to take on too much debt. Read on for the inside scoop on how you can get your hands on a small business grant. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 When you're planning to start your own business, one of the things you'll have to consider is how your new company will be structured. Will it function as a limited liability company or a corporation? Will it operate as a partnership or a sole proprietorship? As you prepare to answer these questions, here are five factors you'll want to take into account when choosing a business structure. Read More...

Feb 08, 2021 Whether you're planning to open a shop that makes the best coffee or you want to sell eco-friendly office supplies, you'll need to explain why your business is necessary and how it'll differ from its competitors. That's where your business plan comes in. It provides investors, lenders and potential partners with an understanding of your company's structure and goals. If you want to gain the financial autonomy to run a business or become an entrepreneur, a financial advisor could help align your finances to meet your business needs. Let's break down the 10 key components of a business plan. Read More...

Jun 25, 2018 Picking the right business partner is crucial. If you choose the wrong person, your company could fail before it's had a chance to take off. On the other hand, if you can find someone who's experienced and who shares your values and goals, there's no telling what you two can achieve. Check out 10 qualities to look for when searching for a business partner. Read More...

Feb 07, 2017 If getting your small business off the ground requires a loan, the lender might ask you to make a personal guarantee. This acts as an insurance policy in the event that you're not able to pay the loan back. Before signing off on a personal guarantee, you need to know what you're agreeing to and how you may be impacted financially if you default on the debt. Read More...

Nov 27, 2015 From the moment they're born, startups face a number of challenges. Having an innovative idea that fills a void is one thing. Turning that concept into a viable business is a different story. At some point, every entrepreneur will have to grapple with the issue of scalability, or the ability to grow and expand while keeping costs at a manageable level. If you're trying to figure out how to make your company more scalable, here are seven tips. Read More...

Nov 24, 2015 Owning a franchise can seem like a great way to make money. In the past I've been contacted by various companies suggesting I become a franchise owner, but I did some research and found that it was not the right fit for me. During the past year, I have encountered several people who took the plunge, but in some cases failed to do their homework. If you're thinking about becoming an entrepreneur and a new franchisee, it's a good idea to do some digging (or hire someone to do it for you if you can afford it). Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 Steve Chou didn't plan to start an online business. But when his wife got pregnant, she decided she wanted to quit her job. The couple knew they needed to find a way to replace her six-figure income to continue to live the life they wanted. Now they run a successful business, along with a blog about how they do it. We caught up with Steve for this edition of SmartAsset Talks. Read More...

Nov 09, 2017 Starting a business without a business plan can be a recipe for disaster. Regardless of your business experience, your chances of success are greatly diminished without a solid plan to work from. A business plan is a road map to success, however, not a guarantee of it. You need to be ready for anything. Countless obstacles can pop up on the road to business success, but with a plan you at least have a good idea where you're going. Read More...

Feb 12, 2020 I'm a little biased when it comes to the ideas of owning a business and retiring as late as possible, as I come from a long line of entrepreneurs. Both of my parents operated side businesses in addition to their regular jobs, and both of my grandfathers operated small businesses. My parents and grandfathers may not have been pioneers, but they were on to something: as baby boomers are living longer and the job market continues to frown on older workers, more and more people of a certain age are turning retirement into a business opportunity--ones that have all the challenges, risks and rewards as those started by twenty-somethings. Read More...

Feb 12, 2020 The landscape of the American economy has changed dramatically over the last several years, resulting in near record-high unemployment and a shrinking job market. While companies are opening their doors to new employees once again, millions of workers are choosing the path of the entrepreneur, taking their careers into their own hands. According to the Kauffman Foundation, there were 476,000 new business owners each month throughout 2013. Read More...

Dec 24, 2014 Alexis Ohanian, one of the founders of reddit, is now the author of a best-selling book, Without Their Permission. Ohanian took the time to answer some of SmartAsset's questions.  This wasn't an easy task - he's currently on an intense bus tour visiting colleges around the country. Read More...

Aug 05, 2015 This is not a picture of Silicon Valley. But it is a picture of a start up hub. Read More...

Nov 15, 2017 The United States higher educational system is in trouble. The cost for a college education has skyrocketed over the years and more and more students are using loans to pay for their education. It is estimated that the average graduate completes their degree with $35,000 worth of  student loans. Many students are graduating with much higher loan debt, and this is just the average for under graduate degrees. Tack on the expense of graduate education and a student can easily rack up $100,000 or more worth of loan debt. Read More...

Jul 07, 2016 By Ankita Dewan Nolan Key Bushnell, American engineer, entrepreneur, and founder of Atari Inc., once said, "The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer." Well, if you're ready to take Mr. Bushnell's advice and turn your entrepreneurial ideas into reality, you'll have to spend time planning your financial agenda before getting started. Here's some finance tips to help you along in your endeavors. Read More...