Choosing a Business Name

Choosing a Business Name

You probably have lots of creative ideas for your business name. You may even have chosen a favorite. But naming your business involves far more than just thinking of a name you like. A good name will reflect your business’s identity and goals. It will help you market yourself. And it won’t get you into legal trouble. Your business name will be with you for a long time, so it’s important to carefully consider your choice before you invest in starting a business entity, setting up a website and creating signs and other promotional materials. Here are some tips to get you started. 1. Follow Your State’s Naming Guidelines If you plan to form a business entity such as a corporation or limited liability company, your state’s laws will restrict you from using a name that another business entity in your state is already using. In some states you also can’t use a name that is deceptively similar to another business entity’s name. If you do set up...
Read More
What the Coronavirus Stimulus Package Means for  Businesses

What the Coronavirus Stimulus Package Means for Businesses

Recognizing the negative economic impact of effectively shutting down a wide swath of industries across the United States to slow the spread of the coronavirus, on March 27, 2020, the Trump administration signed the most substantial stimulus bill in history. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act consists of a number of initiatives to help workers and businesses financially survive the rising number of shelter-in-place orders that are in effect. The $2.2 trillion government stimulus package includes payments to adults and their dependents on top of grants and loans available to businesses of all sizes. What the Stimulus Means for Workers In an effort to keep Americans afloat during the pandemic, the CARES Act offers several potential forms of relief. "There are several individual tax provisions included, such as the much talked about stimulus credit payments ($1200/$2400), in addition to a $300 charitable deduction, and relief from 401k withdrawal penalties," says Greg O'Brien, CPA, CTC, president of Greg O'Brien CPA PC. Americans who earned less than...
Read More
Turning Your Startup Ideas Into a Business

Turning Your Startup Ideas Into a Business

Transforming an idea into a fully functioning, revenue-generating business takes some thought and planning. Here are tips to get you started. 1. Know your vision. It's important to do some long-range planning at the start, and understand your vision for the business you hope your idea will eventually grow into. In other words, what does success look like to you? While many people equate money with success, in the long run, success is defined by a lot more than merely financial reward. "Before chasing the money, take a step back and think about how running this business will fit with the rest of your life," advises Dave Labowitz, a four-time, venture-capital-backed startup executive turned business coach. "Is the business fulfilling on an emotional and/or spiritual level? If not, will you get bored over time? Will you have enough time to fill those needs outside of work? What kind of hours and/or travel will the business demand? How will that fit with your familial and social commitments?...
Read More
Hiring the Right People

Hiring the Right People

Recruiting: Business owners can not do everything themselves and will eventually need to hire employees. Bringing on people with specific skills and paying them enough without breaking the budget is a challenge. One solution could be to hire part-timers or freelancers until the business builds up its cash flow. In the beginning, owners feel they can handle everything themselves. While the ability to multitask with many skills is admirable, the execution may be lacking. A smooth start needs people who are well-trained and skilled to shoulder the responsibilities. An owner trying to do everything can create issues for the business with slow responses to customers and poor execution of normal business activities. Employee retention: With unemployment rates at historic lows, recruiting qualified employees is difficult, but retaining them can be even more challenging. A company has to offer competitive benefits and make sure that employees are satisfied and productive with their jobs. Happy employees need recognition, days off and the belief that they...
Read More
Personal Issues at Play

Personal Issues at Play

Being your own boss is the dream of most entrepreneurs, but it comes with a price. The freedom of not having to answer to someone else becomes the obligation of having to answer to the needs of the business. In this sense, the business is the new boss. Work-life balance: Starting a business will consume a lot of time, energy and commitment. Not letting the business prevent you from having personal time is a challenge. An entrepreneur needs to set aside time in the workweek to spend time outside the business and stick to it. The failure to deliberately manage a work-life balance can lead to burnout, health problems and lost relationships with family and friends. Where to start: Starting a business requires a seemingly endless list of things to do; it can be overwhelming and lead to paralysis and inaction. The best approach is to organize the tasks, pick one and get started. Managing growth: After making the first sale, the next challenge...
Read More