Category plan your business

No Business Plan Needed To Start Small Business!

Two professors, Julian Lang and William Bygrave, from Babson College in the US have found that the business performance of businesses started, with or without business plan, was unaffected. This finding is not entirely surprising, since I believed for a long time, that getting too hung up about business plans can be a great waste…

Are you working in or on your small business?

Don't get confused about what you, the business owner of your small business or start-up business, like SOHO-, SME, SMB-, Micro-, Lifestyle-, Home-, DIY-, Hobby-, Boomer- or Personal business, like professional, contractors, freelancer, self-employed, sole-trader and virtual assistants, should be doing?... That is very wrong and also the reason why many businesses fail.Working on your business means to looking at it from the outside, remembering all these little customer comments, imagining a new type of technology to be employed in the business, changing the way you advertise, in other words making changes to the business, the whole business:- that will improve performance, enhance external communication with clients, improve the clients experience, cut costs out of your business,and many other aspects of your business.That is in reality the most important part of what a business owner should do - plan the future.

Making the best out of change or riding a trend.

While I always caution people, that change is not necessarily progress, it is also correct that change is what is creating new business opportunities every day.It is living with this change and realizing the opportunities change generates that is the important process here. So how could a small business and start-up business, like SOHO-, SME, SMB-, Micro-, Lifestyle-, Home-, DIY-, Hobby-, Boomer- or Personal business, like professional, contractors, freelancer, self-employed, sole-trader and virtual assistants go about seeing these opportunities?The answer sounds easy, but requires patience, you need to look at your chosen market segment from the out-side.

Small Business Maxim: What If?

Look outside of your box, read books from other business entrepreneurs, try and see how they made a change work for them, read your wife's Cosmopolitan - your husband's Mens Health magazine, look at other industries, ask your kids what they like, be interested in anything and ask yourself all the time, what if.....?Your customer calls to complain about the last order - what if?... What if, applies to all aspects of your small business or startup business, like SOHO-, SME, SMB-, Micro-, Lifestyle-, Home-, DIY-, Hobby-, Boomer- or Personal business, like professional, contractors, freelancer, self-employed, sole-trader and virtual assistants: Customer Care & Support;Sales;Marketing & PR;Accounting & Credit ControlEspecially Business Planning, and so on ....It just does not end, you may not be the next Einstein, but I bet you, you will get some pretty good answers from yourself, if you bother to find the right "What If....?"

WinWeb’s Free Accounting Software For Every Small Business.

With our recent launch of OnlineOffice 4, we have kept our promise to supply our online accounting software to every small business and start-up business, like SOHO-, SME, SMB-, Micro-, Lifestyle-, Home-, DIY-, Hobby-, Boomer- or Personal business, like professional, contractors, freelancer, self-employed, sole-trader and virtual assistants free of charge forever.But not only that - lets face it, if you want free accounting software, you could try the open source arena or other suppliers, even Intuit offers a watered down version of their accounting software free of charge - but a whole raft of other benefits can be gained by using our award winning product: Free 24/7 live online support - so when you work after 5 pm, we are still here to help and you do not have to pay for it; All future software updates are free of charge as well, so you will never have to pay for new or updated accounting software; Data backup and security included - while we all know nothing is ever absolutely safe, we back all your data up continuously and our investment in security would be unobtainable for small businesses, because of cost and complexity; All the benefits of online software (SaaS) - means you can access your accounting, write invoices and plan your business from anywhere at anytime. Online technology is eco-friendly - no shipping, no packaging, no manuals (help text in software) and our ClimateByte Technology.All you have to do, is sign up for our free 30 day trail of OnlineOffice, or our free LiveNet and you will have free accounting for your small business, forever.Let's face it, nobody makes any money doing their bookkeeping.

Q & A: What should I do when my bank cancels my overdraft without warning?

This question is hard to answer, because there are no simple answers here and the outcome of this situation could easily be fatal to the business and if you are personally guaranteeing this money - and you probably are - this could potentially be very serious for your personal life too.The things that you need to do, in my opinion are: Find out why?... Many years ago someone made the the umbrella analogy and it goes like this: When the sun is shining your bank gives you an umbrella (O/D, Loan);when it is raining, they need the umbrella themselves.It is best if you do everything possible to not need banks in the first place, by bootstrapping, outsourcing, planning your business and keeping your fixed costs as low as possible.Remember sometimes, attack is the best defense even with banks, they may need their money, but they do not need bad publicity either.

Q & A: What questions should I ask my accountant before I start my business?

Choosing an accountant/CPA is probably one of the most important decisions to get right, because you are unlikely to have an accountant's grasp of taxationcompany lawdealing with the tax authoritieswide range of knowledge about small business.You need to make sure you find an accountant/CPA who concentrates on small business and start-up business, like SOHO-, SME, SMB-, Micro-, Lifestyle-, Home-, DIY-, Hobby-, Boomer- or Personal business, like professional, contractors, freelancer, self-employed, sole-trader and virtual assistants before you make any appointments.Another aspect is size, make sure you are not "one among millions" sort of speak, smaller accountants practices are often more in tune with your small business needs, because they are a small business too.Here are some questions I would be asking when starting out with a new business venture: Should I start my business as a sole-trader, partnership or limited liability company?Can you help me to find and raise finance? (Read about bootstrapping first!)Will you help me with setting up my cash-flow forecast?When do I need to register for VAT (UK), GST (Australia) or when do I need to charge sales tax (US)?Am I ready to start trading, or should I wait?Do I need to choose my financial year and trading year end date?Are you going to do my bookkeeping and accounting work?Will you work online with me, so we both can be up-to-date with my business progress?Will you deal with my employment issues, pensions, annuities and insurances for me?Will you help me to understand more and more of these issues myself, and will you be available for advice if and when I need it?There are many more issues to consider and they depend on your business, that is where your accountant will help you too.

Q & A: What protection does a limited liability company offer to small business owners?

Sooner or later you will think about doing a little more business, protecting yourself more, and that will bring you to the question of changing business and trading environment All small business, micro business, sole traders, freelancers and home businesses can be run in the form of limited liability companies.A limited liability company - LLC in the US, Ltd. in the UK - is a legal entity, like a different person, so you, the business owner is not direct liable for any debt. The company is to be conducted by laws governing limited liability companies, and providing you do, your company has "limited" liability.The protection a limited company offers is that when the business fails, and you have to close it down, the company is only liable with it's assets, i.e any positive bank balance, inventory and other assets.What does a limited company not protect you from?

Q & A: What is “Staff Turnover” and how large or small would it be for Small Business?

Here it would be desirable to have a large turnover, of cause.In both cases it is true to say, it does not matter what kind of small business and start-up business, like SOHO-, SME, SMB-, Micro-, Lifestyle-, Home-, DIY-, Hobby-, Boomer- or Personal business, like professional, contractors, freelancer, self-employed, sole-trader and virtual assistants, you run. It may be more related to things like: Market segment;Management environment;Staff experience, to name but a few.You can always speak with some other small business owners or get some market segment data from information agencies, maybe they can give you a better idea of where you should be with numbers, comparing yourself to your peers is always a good idea.I like the question, it makes for some interesting planning exercises for bootstrappers.

Q & A: Does Small Business Need a Disaster Plan?

To be perfectly blunt about the subject, it is not made easier by confusing technology and more to the point terminology, that even we have difficulty understanding some time.We should not expect business start-ups and small business in general to be accountants, bookkeepers, IT specialist, lawyers, marketing & PR gurus and so on. We should provide small business with an infrastructure in which it can concentrate on core business tasks, while at the same time enabling the business owner to stay informed of all relevant business facts like cash flow, sales, HR issues, tax position and more.... Have a look at virtual assistants in your area.There are other questions you could ask yourself, just take 30 minutes, get a peicJust to mention it, a disaster plan in a burned out house is of no value to anyone, again keep it online.Answer: YES, a small business needs a disaster plan, just like any other business.

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