Guide to Buying a Small Business

We all encounter restaurants, convenience stores, guest houses, small manufacturing units, hair dressers and so on. They are the most prominent and simple examples of a small business. These businesses are basically characterized by less sales volume, fewer number of employees and they are normally not very dominant in their field of operation.

The best part about these businesses is that you get a lot of independence, and there are quite a few concessions and benefits given by governments as well. That’s one of the major reasons, why people sometimes quit their high flying jobs and set up their own business, and indulge in buying a small one. So, if you are contemplating buying a small business, here are a few handy tips.

Things You Need to Know about Buying a Small Business

– Identifying the kind, size and location of the business you want to purchase, is the first step. Jot down the search criteria and be clear in your mind about the credentials of the business you want to own.
– Analyze your finances. Just take stock of how much you can spend and invest. Give it an extremely serious thought.
– In addition to that, analyze and clarify your expectations from the business. A business option chosen with discretion and a proper thought can prove to be very rewarding, but plunging in the dark waters of a wrong business, can make life hell for you. So what you need will be strategic planning for a small business.
– Check out the financial status while buying into a small business, especially the liabilities and glitches. Also find out the reason as to why the business has been put on sale.
– Another very important thing to look out for, is the growth potential. If there

Incorporating a Small Business

Unlike in the proprietary firm where you are solely responsible for profits, loss and the entire administration of your organization, corporation is an entity independent from the entities of its owners.

Corporations are governed by corporate laws, rules and regulations and these are in the interest of their owners, shareholders, management, vendors and creditors, and all the other manpower that is involved in running the corporation.

Nowadays, corporations have become common and the most preferred place of employment among job seekers. The reasons behind this are job security, good remuneration and enormous growth opportunities for the corporation as well as the employees.

Moreover, incorporating a small business has become one of the business growth strategies in this world of growing business competition. Also in recent times, many private or proprietary firms have started incorporating into large multinationals. After having understood the short idea of corporation let’s move on to know how to incorporate a small business…

Procedure

The rules, regulations and procedures for incorporating any business remains the same. Be it a small proprietary firm or a large company. You as the authority in charge of the business and your firm have to complete some standard formalities. However, I will explain these formalities in the form of a procedure. This will give you a clear idea.

Decide the Incorporation: The first thing you need to give a thought to, is to decide where you want to incorporate your small business. Whether you want to incorporate it with a multinational company operating in many countries, or with an organization operating within the state. Consider your current business volume and the estimated growth of your business. Evaluate these things properly and then decide the span of your incorporation.

Indulge in an Agreement: The next thing you need to do is, sign an agreement

Importance of Strategic Planning for Small Business

Business is all about planning intelligent strategies and wisely implementing them. Even small business are no exception, since the ultimate aim of a small business is to grow into a large business. However, many people wrongly believe that strategic planning is only for big players in the market. But if you aspire to compete with them someday, you will also need to focus on strategic planning for your business.

What is Strategic Planning?
It involves formulation of policies and business growth strategies over a defined period of time. The time period would typically depend upon the kind of your business. Certain businesses like the Internet or mobile technology have to deal with changing trends very frequently, hence formulating a five year plan for such businesses is not a feasible option.

The management can prepare a strategic plan for a single aspect of the business, or it can focus on the business as a whole. The concerned departments then, devise strategy plans that are in accordance with the overall business plan.

Writing a strategy plan is not similar to writing a business plan. Business plan deals with the challenges likely to be encountered while starting a business, but strategy planning covers the opportunities for growing the business and the methods of harnessing those opportunities. Without a strategy plan, a business would have no direction. The chances of succeeding in a business that has no strategy plan, diminish significantly.

Basic Model for Strategic Planning
There is no definite model of strategies. Every business formulates its own model that has a potential to work for that particular business. No matter which model you choose, the critical components of the strategy plan remains the same. These components include:

Business Purpose
Business purpose explains the whole idea of why the business exists. It is

Checklist for Starting a Small Business

In recent times, the number of new start-ups and emerging businesses has grown extensively. The worldwide economic slowdown, coupled with the increasing number of layoffs, has prompted people to think of various possibilities beyond jobs. In such uncertain times, it makes sense to be involved with something, over which one has maximum control. Naturally, small businesses and new ventures are on the rise, as more and more people delve into entrepreneurship.

However, starting a new commercial enterprise is no child’s play. There are many factors, that an aspiring businessman must take into consideration, during the initial phase. The following checklist provides certain guidelines, which would be helpful to those who want to start various small businesses of their own.

Points to Keep in Mind

☑ Ask yourself why: This is the first question you should tackle before undertaking any step. Ask yourself, “what is the precise reason that you want to start your own venture?” Be honest with your answer, as it will invariably affect the eventual success or failure of your new decision.

☑ Choose a name: Decide a good name for your business and register it with the concerned authorities. It should complement your attitude and clearly project your line of occupation. For example, you don’t want a name that leads prospective customers into thinking of you as an ambulance services provider, if tourism is what you’re actually in!

☑ Understand your domain: Identify and understand your domain area thoroughly. It is always important to know well in advance, the type of work which you would, and would NOT be doing.

☑ Identify your strengths: Focus on your strengths, and at the same time, figure out ways to tackle your weaknesses. Understand your niche areas, and design your work process accordingly to utilize it to the maximum.

☑ Comprehensive

Types of Small Businesses

A small business is generally a privately owned and operated organization, which works with a small number of employees and deals in relatively low volume of sales as compared to bigger companies. Besides the number of employees, other factors, such as annual sales (turnover), value of assets and net profit (balance sheet) are also considered to classify any business as a small one. Here are some common types of small businesses.

Sole Proprietorship

Sole proprietorship is a type of business model in which there is just one owner who has all the rights to take decisions. All debts of the business are his personal debts and whenever required, they must be paid from his personal possessions. As there is no partnership in the business, the sole proprietor enjoys unlimited freedom within the precincts of his workplace. Sole proprietorships are easy to start up with relatively fewer regulations and full control over the business. If the business is doing good, the owner takes all the profits. It is very different from a corporation, as instead of paying corporate taxes, the sole proprietor pays self-employment taxes on the profits made, making accounting much simpler. He also does not have to be concerned about issues like double taxation, as a corporate entity would. Sole proprietorship is the easiest way to form a business and compared to other business structures, it is subject to the fewest regulations.

Partnership

Partnership is a business entity in which some people come together to start a business and share the profits or losses of it collectively. These people are called partners and they own the business together. Partnerships are generally preferred over corporations because of the levied taxes. However, in a partnership the members may be exposed to greater personal liability as compared to the shareholders

Steps for Closing a Business

In a business, many unexpected or unforeseen events can happen due to the involved dynamics. One possibility is that you may have to discontinue it for certain reasons like not getting enough time, lack of support from the family, financial and management problems, or planning for a larger business. In such a situation, you can either opt to sell it, pass it on to a business partner or a relative, or close it down completely. If you really decide to choose the latter, then it is always better to follow a certain plan to close it safely and legally.

Voting for Dissolution

If you are a sole proprietor, then you may not face much of a problem; however, if you are operating in a partnership or a corporation, then you and your associates should equally agree to the decision. You can follow your own organizational regulations or the rules of your state’s business statutes. As per the rules, there should be a maximum vote of the stakeholders supporting the dissolution. Ensure that the owners sign in a consent form regarding the decision. While conducting the process of voting, you can follow the guidelines framed for the said process.

Follow Regulations

The second step is dissolving the business entity officially. This is applicable for a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC). Here, you are required to fill certain official documents. However, it has to be noted that each state has different rules. If you dissolve your business with a government office (state or local), you will not be required to bear the liabilities of taxes and/or filings. This also helps in informing the creditors that your entity is no longer liable to incur debts.

Terminate Rights

The third step is to cancel permits, licenses, and the business name, so that

Benefits of Small Business Credit Cards

The bottom line is that credit cards have now replaced your regular unsecured, personal line of credit. Most people work under the assumption that banks will lend them money if their business is flourishing. However in reality, there is no bank that will lend you money without some sort of collateral. Even lenders will only loan money to a borrower who has some capital. Even something that is as ‘safe’ as commercial real estate would require at least a 20 percent down payment. It is indeed very difficult to get a loan for a commercial business, even if your business is established.

If you are running a business or have recently started a small business set up, it is advisable to get as much credit as possible on your credit cards – but do this at a reasonable rate, because getting too much credit will surely make your credit score fall.

Certain Advantages to Know

Here are a few ways in which your small business credit card can benefit you:

Extends Cash Flow ~ For businesses that are heavily dependent on a steady cash flow to pay for a number of things like contractors and supplies, a credit card can help by purchasing items for certain clients before the customers invoicing is done. In this way, the money that is given out doesn’t necessarily need to come out of your businesses accounts. If your business falls under a situation wherein you can pay off debts within a certain amount of time, then get one that has high credit limits and offers benefits if you pay within 30 days. If on the other hand, the bills are paid to the customer after 30 days, then look for a business credit card with a low rate of interest, as

Successful Business Ideas

Starting your own business has many perks. You are not answerable to anybody, you can never get laid-off, you are the one who decides on how many work assignments to take on, and most importantly, whatever you earn is yours. In short, self-employment is ideal for people who want to be their own boss. It is very important that the kind of business you choose should have a market. After all, it is the customers who determine how profitable a business will be. The second thing to consider is your skills and interests. You cannot possibly start a consulting business if you have only studied till high school. Still, if you are confused as to what all different opportunities you have, here are some of the most successful business ideas which you can consider.

Internet Affiliate Marketing Business
If you have a computer and an Internet connection, you can consider this business from home. To get into Internet affiliate marketing business, you need to start, operate, and maintain a website. Firstly, search the Internet and register yourself with an appropriate affiliate marketing program. Thereafter, the online merchant will advertise his products or services on your website. Whenever a potential customer of this online merchant clicks on these advertisements on your website and goes to the merchant’s website, he will pay a certain amount of money to you. In some programs, you might be paid only if a sale is made. The key to success lies in adding quality content to your website, as well as advertising your site well so that its traffic increases.

Cleaning Services
You can offer cleaning services both to households as well as commercial establishments. This can prove to be one of the successful small business ideas, considering the fact that this

Business Ideas for Women

In today’s world, there are many women who are taking a step into the business sector. They are determined to prove that they are no less than men, and can also earn a considerable amount of money. They may carry out their business at a small scale or a large scale too. Many women are opting for home-based businesses. Business women make their hobbies a way of earning money, and this is certainly a very good concept.

Writing
If you have strong written and communication skills, you can use it to write and earn money. There are several options available when it comes to writing. Writing for the web is a very good alternative that a majority of women are opting for. You can get into many writing fields such as article writing, content writing, freelance writing, resume writing, etc. This is a very good platform for you to express your views and also obtain knowledge of various things.

Catering
There is no doubt that women are experts in cooking. Along with cooking for the home, you can start a small catering business. You would simply need some extra cooking material and an effective marketing strategy. Initially, you would need to give free samples of the food that you make. As people come to know about the food’s taste and quality, you can start charging, but at lower rates as compared to other established caterers. Once you start getting contracts and catering orders, you can even choose to increase your business by hiring cooks and assistants. Keep less specialties until you are well settled with your business. Remember, in this business, goodwill is a very important factor.

Yoga Teaching
You also have a very good option of starting a yoga teaching school, as many people do yoga

Business in Assisted-living Facility

An assisted-living facility is an excellent arrangement for people who are unable to tend to their daily needs all on their own. People, both old and young, can consider living in such a facility as an alternative to being taken care of in a nursing home – provided they are not suffering from ailments that need constant care and supervision. Regular meals, assistance with bathing, eating and grooming, housekeeping services, and unrestricted mobility come at a price. It has been estimated that the monthly cost of assisted-living can range between USD 800 and USD 4000. The higher tab is indicative of the comprehensive list of services that one can hope to avail on account of living in an assisted facility. It’s obvious that such services do not come cheap and an entrepreneur interested in operating this business may be in for huge profits provided he/she is aware of the pitfalls of rushing into a venture without having a detailed business plan.

Venturing into the Assisted-living Business
Careful, thorough, and detailed planning is necessary in order to draft a business plan that incorporates all the components of a successful venture. The feasibility of the project is contingent on a number of factors, viz., trends in the birth and the death rate, the income distribution, and the existence of competing facilities that may result in driving down the prices.

The distribution of the population in terms of age and income will help in predicting the demand for such facilities. The extent of competition will also have an impact on the prices that can be charged by the assisted-living facility.

A greater demand for facilities can help the business plan in the necessary living arrangements and benefit from the economies of scale that result in the cost per unit of

List of Small Business Ideas

Starting a small business is a dream for many. However, it is very important to contemplate and plan well before beginning, because any venture, be it big or small, involves some money. It is necessary to start with something that interests one or that in which one has some kind of expertise. However, many people face a problem when they have to think about this fact. In order to help you decide, this article contains a list of small business ideas that will help you decide what to choose and how to go about it.

List of Options

Virtual Assistant

This is one of the very popular opportunities that has come up in recent times. The virtual assistant forms relations with companies and provides them with administrative, clerical, and technical assistance, through telephone, email, fax, etc. This can be started from home and the pay would depend on the number of clients you have.

Writing

If you love to write and think that you are good at writing, you can start working privately in this field. Nowadays, not only newspapers, but also website owners look out for people who would do freelancing for them. You can also start an agency, where you would offer content writing and copywriting services for others who need write ups for advertising and press releases.

Day Care Center

Nowadays, as most couples have their own career, there is a constant need for people to look after the kids. In such a scenario, starting a day care center would be a great option. You can either start this at your home or can rent or buy a place.

Wedding Planner

Starting a venture as a wedding planner can be lucrative. The job of a wedding planner is to plan and organize the entire wedding ceremony as well as the

Pet Rocks – Crazy Business Idea

There were plenty of trends back in the wild 70s. One that is particularly amusing, although rather a fad than a trend, is that of pet rocks. At any rate, this craze turned an ordinary advertising executive named Gary Dahl, into a millionaire in just about a few months. The whole idea was to market ordinary pebbles as live pets. Most of us would probably agree that those pebbles with eyes drawn on them looked actually pretty cute, but why spend money on something that anyone can get for free?

Sourcing and Pricing

The price for which pet rocks were sold was US$ 3.95 a piece. These pebbles were imported from Mexico, Baja California, and picked up from the Rosarito Beach. They were wrapped in excelsior and then placed in a special box, looking like the ones used for real pets. Dahl actually spent two weeks, simply writing a guide for properly raising and having a healthy relationship with the cute pet rock, which he titled as ‘Pet Rock Training Manual’. Apparently, it could be trained to follow several commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘play dead’, and even ‘roll over’, although for that it required help from its owner. The guide did not contain any instructions about how to feed it. And it was also mentioned that it could not be taught to follow the command ‘come’.

The Launch

It was launched in the market at a gift show that took place in San Francisco. A man named Neiman Marcus, placed an order of five hundred pet rocks, and that is how it began to spread around. He sold around a million such rocks in six months, enough to make him unexpectedly rich.

The market was then flooded by its copies, and more entrepreneurs popped up and decided to join

Home Based Business Income Opportunities

Over the years, the history of human race has witnessed many significant changes in the continuous quest of improving lifestyle. Past few years have been characterized by such changes in every aspect of society. Certainly, many new innovations and improvised technologies have altered the world forever. The most significant change can be attributed to the popularity and use of Internet. Gone are the traditional ways of earning income. There has been a rise in home based business opportunities emerging from this new global sphere.

If we take a closer look at the recorded history, then it has been a conventional trend that people who wish to work for a salary are compelled to work at the location of client or of company they are working for. Although that concept of self employment had been present in past, it wasn’t until the 90’s when Internet came of age and presented diverse opportunities and platforms for people to work from home, while having access to the world through their personal computers.

Home Businesses

This is an ideal platform which allows people to work from home and get paid handsomely for the efforts they put in. With these ever-increasing opportunities, people like you and me are able to work according to our own terms. There is no more compulsion from our rude boss to work as per his dictated terms and conditions. In fact, this option offers a freedom that no other job can offer.

There are plenty options and opportunities knocking your door on the Internet. You can easily find a plan that can fit your needs and terms. Even though, surfing on Internet for such opportunities can be time-consuming. You will come across thousands of sites and places, which claim to be the perfect option. They claim to know

How to Create a Franchise Business Plan

Many people opt for franchise businesses nowadays. The advantage of opening one is having the guarantee of a branded product to back you up. The proven market popularity is something which reduces some of your anxiety regarding promotion of a new product. Presently, most product companies prefer opening franchise outlets and leave the management to private parties on a profit-sharing basis. A franchise is a mutual, win-win solution for the product company, as well as the franchisee. The management gets the benefit of a proven brand name and the company saves on operation and setup costs.

About the Plan

Firstly, a business plan is a blueprint of everything that you plan to do in a business. It is the practical realization of your abstract idea of a business, considering all ground realities. It is a plan of action, which is designed after market research, operation cost evaluation, and after a decision to start up that business, has been taken.

Such a plan is made with two intentions. One of them is to have a clear and precise idea of what you intend to do in your business and the second is to sell your idea to entities that could finance your venture. Financial planning is the most important part.

Franchise opportunities are often advertised in newspapers. Business plans related to them, need to be written carefully. This is because, not only is it your blueprint for execution of business activity, but it is also an advertisement of your idea, which you hope to sell a financier, to get seed capital.

How well your business will run, depends on how well you plan and execute it. Leave no stone unturned, while preparing the groundwork for your business. The more specific, detailed, and adaptable business plan you have, more are its

Aviation Business Plan

In order to realize the goal of starting your own airline and nurturing it through ups and downs, requires great deal of expertise and professional approach. Along with these, a sound financial backing, a highly capable and trustworthy set of individuals to manage various operations and other logistical support is a must. The beginning of a business plan itself signifies the dedication levels and the ability of the venture to rise in the competitive environment.

Aviation Business Development

‘Every great task or successful venture is achieved twice, once in the mind and once in the real world.’ This axiom illustrates the importance of a widely accepted and proven business tip, to have a sound and workable plan. A successful business venture, especially one as big as an aviation plan requires a ‘blueprint’, where the needs of the market, company’s projected position in the market, detailed working and marketing strategy and a viable back-up plan are chalked out.

If a survey of all the major corporations or businesses in the world is made, you will realize one common aspect. All these entities worked on an extremely workable and target oriented business plan. Some of the essential components of a well-thought aviation business plan are :

– The scope of the market
– Initial investment
– Carving your niche among existing business competition
– Financial requirements and scalability of project
– Marketing and associated support
– Large and trained personnel
– Raising Capital

Once you are ready with all these start-up requirements, the plan can be implemented with professional help. The National Business Aviation Association, Inc, is one such institution of aviation business groups which can help you in various matters. A sufficient business financing or a secured loan can be availed of, at relatively low interest rates and in case