Before you quit your day job and dive into entrepreneurship, take a moment to think about this major decision. While, certainly, becoming a business owner is an exciting endeavor, it’s not for everyone. And it’s a long-term commitment. You’ll pour blood, sweat, tears, and money into a business, and if it doesn’t work out, you won’t recoup that investment. If any of the following ring true, you might not be ready to start a business.
Social media often blurs the lines between personal and professional, and nowhere is this truer than the very public world of Twitter. If you’re like many users, Twitter is a space to connect with friends and develop your online brand.
When you’re starting or running a small business, countless questions arise, particularly surrounding your business’ legal structure: Is my business legal? What kind of business structure means I’ll pay the least in taxes? What happens if my business gets sued? What business structure is best for me?
If your business is structured as a corporation or LLC, you might be aware that you need to take certain steps to keep your business compliant with the state, such as sending in an annual report and paying any fees. Keeping your paperwork and recorded information up to date is another key element to staying compliant.
If you’re an entrepreneur, the good news is: no one else can tell you what to do. But the bad news is that no one else will tell you what to do: the fate of your business rests solely on your shoulders. Being an entrepreneur isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s more than possible to thrive as one. There’s no silver bullet or easy fix that will turn your business into an overnight success, but there are several easy things you can do to improve your chances:
Why are we so uncomfortable negotiating for our small businesses or professional services? It’s probably because we live in a culture where the price is the price, and we’re not used to haggling or even questioning price.
've often heard (and you probably have too) that you can't half-ass a startup. While that's true, not every entrepreneur starts a business with between six and 24 months' worth of living expenses set aside. In other words, while you're laying the groundwork for your startup, there's still the pesky reality of rent, mortgages and other bills.
Are you starting a business with a friend or former office mate? Partnering with someone you're close to can be a great way to launch a business, but be aware: mixing business with family and friends can also be tricky. Here’s what you need to know to protect the business from potential landmines down the road. When partnering with a longtime friend, colleague, or family member, you may be tempted to seal the deal with a simple handshake or over drinks. After all, if you’ve known each other for years and you both clearly want your business to succeed, what’s the point of wasting time with all the formalities and paperwork?
It’s a classic scenario: you arrive at a networking event armed with business cards and ready to make connections. But once you get there, you can’t seem to pull yourself away from the wall and mingle with everyone who acts more confident than you feel.
Virginia Slims cigarettes got it right 40 years ago when it targeted women with its memorable slogan, “You’ve come a long way, baby.” The same is true today for women entrepreneurs. We’re going full throttle in starting businesses at a never before-seen speed: from 1997 to 2011, women-owned businesses increased 50%, which was 1.5x the national average.
When you start a business, you might be faced with deciding how to set up your tax year for your business. Should your accounting period be aligned with the regular calendar year (as you’ve probably been accustomed to with your personal taxes) or should you define your own start and end dates for reporting your tax year?
As the summer heats up, vacation season kicks into full swing. Employees with office jobs enjoy all those traditional perks like paid vacation days, while time-pressed, cost-conscious startups, small business owners, and contractors are left wondering how to get that much needed time off without jeopardizing their business and clients.
Have you ever negotiated your salary or pay raise? Or do you prefer not to rock the boat (and besides, you’re pretty happy with their more-than-reasonable offer anyways)? If you haven’t mastered the dance of negotiations, you’re far from alone. A study of master’s degree graduates from Carnegie Mellon found that only 7% of female students tried to negotiate a higher offer for their starting salary (compared to 57% of the male students).
When I speak with people who are interested in starting a business, one obstacle they often feel they have is that they didn’t go to business school. They believe they’re not qualified to be entrepreneurs without that formal education. While certainly, having a business degree will provide you with knowledge that will make running a business a bit easier, it’s certainly not a requirement to go back to school. In fact, there are some components of starting and running a business that a degree simply can’t teach you.
Now that your 2012 taxes are history, it’s time to breathe a sigh of relief. Another tax day has come and gone. And if you’re self-employed and operating as a sole proprietorship or a partnership, you dutifully filled out your Schedule SE and paid your self-employment taxes. I bet it made you wonder where all your hard-earned money went.