The election is over - but as we discussed many times prior to election day, it doesn't really settle anything for small businesses. Neither candidate offered anything really concrete in terms of proposals and about all we were left with were a host of uncertainties around healthcare and taxation. In reality neither of these will make the slightest bit of difference for the average 2-person or less small business but that doesn't mean the issues aren't important. It would have been great to hear something addressing the burden of regulation (especially at the state level) or solutions for easier access to credit. We don't have any silver bullets for you here at Yahoo! Small Business Advisor but we do have a little glimmer of hope in this week's best reading. First off - don't forget the invaluable SBA - it's always a wise first stop for any small business and is one part of government that is firmly on your side. First up - access to credit. We ran a short piece on how your personal Read More »from Post election – healthcare and credit: Small Business Reading
Blog Posts by Owen Linderholm
- Owen Linderholm | Profit Minded – Fri, Nov 9, 2012 6:25 PM EST
- Owen Linderholm | Profit Minded – Mon, Nov 5, 2012 4:31 PM EST
by Michael Germanovsky
When people think of starting a business, one of the first things they might consider is writing a business plan. Identifying a source of funding is a large part of it. A successful business takes cash flow to sustain it and investment to grow it. We all know investors are hard to come by. So there are two basic ways to fund the start-up costs for a small business. One way is a traditional business loan and the other is a line of credit.
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, then be kind to your credit and it will be there for you when you need it. Your credit does not have to be perfect to get a loan or credit extension to start a business, but the better your credit history the better your chances to obtain start-up financing.
About half of small businesses fail within the first five years, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA). Even with low start-up costs and low overhead there are still going to be those times when credit is needed in theRead More »from The Role Your Personal Credit Score Plays in Start-Up Financing
- Owen Linderholm | Profit Minded – Fri, Nov 2, 2012 6:42 PM EDT
Last week in Small Business Reading we managed to be just a tiny bit prescient when we highlighted the often-overlooked topic of emergency planning. As everyone knows, that has come back with a vengeance with the arrival of Sandy on the Eastern Seaboard. For those small businesses in the affected area, the SBA is making disaster loans available. It's also worth noting that some of the small businesses in the disaster area managed to keep thins going using old-fashioned word-of-mouth and its modern replacement - social media. Part of the reason they were able to do that are the large number of tools available for small businesses based on smartphones and tablets - which will at least keep running for a few more hours when the power goes out and which are easier to recharge. This article has a few simple tips on ways to keep gadgets running when the power goes out. For those truly unfortunate enough to have their business dreams dashed, perhaps the best way to recover is to face yourRead More »from Sandy, disaster preparedness, free money: Small Business Reading
- Owen Linderholm | Profit Minded – Mon, Oct 29, 2012 6:22 PM EDT
Managers come in all forms. Some are fantastic, some dreadful. But who hasn't experienced a nightmare boss? Perhaps even one deserving of a special costume for Halloween. It might not scare the neighborhood kids, but it'll certainly scare their parents! Here for a bit of Halloween fun are XX bosses from your nightmares.
First of all, let's be clear. What exactly IS a boss?
Next - let's move straight on to the boss from Hell - the one for whom nothing is EVER good enough.
This link will take you to an example of a seemingly innocuous boss, but one that is deadly in practice - the disorganized manager.
Discipline is an issue that undermines the best of managers. This link shows you the unready, the silent, the terse and the sarcastic managers in full flight.
And one thing that is sure to bring out the monster in every manager is the performance review.
But perhaps the biggest nightmare of all is the clueless boss...
For more information about good and bad management practices Read More »from Nightmare managers: These bosses make it Halloween 365 days of the year in the office.
- Owen Linderholm | Profit Minded – Fri, Oct 26, 2012 5:39 PM EDTAs the long run in to November's election comes to a close the media is finally starting to notice that there has been a disconnect between what the candidates say about small business, what they seem prepared to do, what small businesses actually want and even what a small business really is. The last point is a good place to start. We wrote about the SBA's decision to change its criteria for what a small business is about a month ago. It came up again this week since the date for implementing the new size limits was October 24th. It takes a lot of digging but the bottom line is that for most small businesses the upper limit to be considered small is 500 except for a number of manufacturing industries and a few other exceptions where it goes up to 750, or 1,000 or even 1,500 in some rare cases (aircraft manufacturing for example). The upper end of these standards represents a big disconnect from most small business owners since 80% of all small businesses are 2 people or fewer. But Read More »from Incorporation models, taxation, bookkeeping, credit: Small Business Reading.
Let's face it, running a small business is hard work. You can make it a bit easier on yourself by avoiding these 5 common bookkeeping mistakes.All Vendors Are Not Created Equal
It's really easy to get behind on your bills, especially in the beginning stages of a small business. In product heavy businesses you need to spend a lot of money, often before the first sale ever gets made. This can sometimes get your payables (the money you owe others) to uncomfortably high levels. When it's time to start paying them down, people use several methods. Sort them by age or pay off the small ones first to get quick wins. Maybe you pay the squeaky wheels first, or only pay the statements that show up on blue paper. The big mistake some owners make is to lump the bank and the government in with the company that sold you business cards. Maybe the phone company will wait an extra month, and not really hold it against you. Consistently paying your loan or
- Owen Linderholm | Profit Minded – Wed, Oct 24, 2012 6:13 PM EDT
We are heading into the last few days prior to the election and the choices are coming in to focus as we get the details of the different campaigns' specifics - especially with regard to small business. Or are they?
Unlike the political rhetoric, you CAN get some concrete small business advice right here on Yahoo! Small Business Advisor. We have a new writer, Patricia Lotich, on board and she started with a great piece about emergency planning for small businesses. You'll see some more new writers starting over the next couple of weeks. Please let us know what topics you'd like to see covered in the comments below.
Some of the other best stories for today:
BroughtRead More »from Small Business Today: Concrete advice, emergency planning, elections and sales.
Facebook, debates, the real issues for small business, and extraordinary bosses: Small Business ReadingBy Owen Linderholm | Profit Minded – Fri, Oct 19, 2012 4:51 PM EDT
We had an interesting week with some minor fallout from the second presidential debate that once again failed to address small business in any real and lasting way but played a great deal of lip service. There was also a strong theme in the news this week about the changes Facebook has made to the way business pages operate - and specifically how they are aggressively moving to charge businesses for putting their status updates in front of their own followers. It's Facebook's platform to do what it wants with but I fear that int he long run Facebook's position as the top social media and marketing solution for small business may be damaged.
We also looked at what extraordinary bosses have in common, some great credit card perks and also gave a tip of our hat to a possible new trend - insourcing. And next week look to see some new writers covering bookkeeping and general business operations.
If you haven't taken the plunge yet, hopefully some of these articles give you the impetus toRead More »from Facebook, debates, the real issues for small business, and extraordinary bosses: Small Business Reading
Small Business Today: More Facebook plus lending fund, names and Staples – small business reading for 10-17-2012By Owen Linderholm | Profit Minded – Wed, Oct 17, 2012 5:15 PM EDT
pickingsmallbusinesspocketIn our last roundup of small business news, we focused heavily on the changes in how Facebook is dealing with 'likes' and how it then puts news from liked businesses in front of people who liked their pages. Basically Facebook just unilaterally massively cut back the number of people it shows status updates to while at the same time heavily promoting its new pay-to-promote business. As this article points out, that is completely within Facebook's prerogatives.
But the article ignores completely our prerogative as small business owners to really strongly dislike this change. It inevitably undercuts the value and utility of Facebook for small businesses as a marketing tool. Sure, there's a lot of entitlement floating out there in InternetLand about how everything should be free but in this case it has been free. It's no surprise that we are going to whine a bit when the rug gets yanked out from under our free-loading feet.
The typical cycle for content-driven marketing for a smallRead More »from Small Business Today: More Facebook plus lending fund, names and Staples – small business reading for 10-17-2012
- Owen Linderholm | Profit Minded – Mon, Oct 15, 2012 6:57 PM EDT
inhouseBy Carol Roth
In today's lackluster business environment, small businesses are focused more than ever on ways to improve their companies. This has led to a trend of in-sourcing- bringing back functions in house that used to be outsourced.
Here are three reasons that you may want to look at in-sourcing business activities.
Cost: The top reason that many businesses are now in-sourcing is cost. Many entrepreneurs that previously were looking to save time are now looking to save money. This may mean firing your bookkeeper and instead, purchasing software like Quickbooks to streamline your accounting and invoicing. It also means evaluating savings for other business functions. A company I work with, Fellowes, has a nifty tool called the Savings Analyzer at savingsanalyzer.fellowes.com that lets you see how much you can save on in-sourcing functions like records storage, document shredding, presentation binding and finishing. Hunter Rich, a VP and General Manager at Fellowes, says that smallRead More »from Three Reasons that You May Want to Consider In-sourcing