The 5 Silent Killers of Cash Flow

November 14, 2019

By Cheryl Abrahamson –

Silent Killers of Cashflow

In an economy where the stakes are increasingly high and cash progressively scarce, business owners must proactively manage the balance sheet and income statement or risk falling victim to the five silent killers of cash flow.

Did you know that a majority of businesses that file bankruptcy reported a net profit, yet had negative cash flow? Often the warning signs that a company is in trouble go unnoticed until it is too late. A business can improve its liquidity and create long-term viability by looking closely at the following potential trouble spots.

1. Mis-Financing

Mis-financing is defined as borrowing short-term debt to pay for long-term assets. These assets could include purchasing equipment, leasehold improvements and other fixed items, paid for with a short-term line of credit. This process drains the cash out of a business and condenses the time-frame the asset has to pay for itself. (more…)

Vegun Nutrition

November 11, 2019

Vegun Nutrition - Maryland SuccessVeterans Success Story: Maryland –

Derrell Lee and John Pace are U.S. Military Veterans who graduated from Harford Community College (HCC) with Associate degrees in Business Administration. Derrell and John had wanted to start their own business for a while, and it was finally time for them to unleash their entrepreneurial spirit.

With a passion for healthy living and fitness, the duo came up with a revolutionary idea with confidence for future success. Before pursuing this venture head-first, they sought advice on how to properly format their business and construct a business plan to enable them to receive the financing needed.

They came to Maryland’s Northern Region Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and spoke with Ryan Del Gallo for consultation on how to move their business in a positive direction. Ryan answered all of their questions while providing one-on-one counseling, and he also went a step further to assist with developing a marketing strategy, accurate financial projections, a proper loan package, and a well-developed pitch for the business. (more…)

What Veterans Can Do to Pursue Entrepreneurship

November 6, 2019

By Bob House, President, BizBuySell –

The transition from combat to business owner isn’t always easy – luckily hundreds of organizations and groups are eager to assist veterans and help them succeed.

Veterans are an incredible asset to our country. Not only do these brave men and women sacrifice years of their lives to serve the United States, but after returning to civilian life, they bring unmatched strength, skills and perseverance.

Leaving the military holds a number of unknowns, but for nearly a quarter of veterans, entrepreneurship is the clear next step. According to the most recent data available from the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2012 an estimated 2.52 million businesses were majority-owned by veterans, employing more than 5 million workers. While these numbers are down from the post-World War II business boom, entrepreneurship is still a popular second career option for our nation’s veterans. (more…)

Cyber Safety for Small Businesses

October 28, 2019

With a whopping 30.2 million small businesses in the U.S, it’s no surprise they make up 99.9% of all United States businesses. Owning and running a business comes with a lot of added responsibility, one being the safety of employees — cyber safety included. With so many cyber threats running in the background of devices and the Internet, how can you keep your small business safe? Here are some steps to start the process.

Protect all devices

As companies hire, grow and expand, the use of devices is essential. Company devices should be properly protected before being actively used by employees. Plan to update all devices accordingly, to keep all systems working properly and efficiently use. Never forget to download antivirus software to help block any threats that can infiltrate your business. Viruses aren’t the only criminal making its way to your devices. Some other threats include: malware, ransomware, adware, pharming, phishing, and many more.

According to Candid Wueest, Principal Threat Researcher, Security Technology & Response team (STAR), Symantec Corporation, the warning signs of viruses are next to none: “Unless it is a ransomware threat that encrypts all your files, there are often no apparent clues that a computer is infected with malware. Some indications might be a 100% workload of the CPU or strange pop-up messages, but in most cases the user will only notice the consequences when people complain about strange emails, unusual logins or fraudulent transactions on payment cards.” (more…)

Is There a Credit Karma For Businesses?

October 22, 2019

By Connor Wilson

Nowadays, when people think of credit scores, their minds often go to what they see on America’s best friend: television. Even without seeing a single commercial for a free credit monitoring service, most if not all people know that credit scores are important, and something to be watched and taken care of. They are, after all, your lifeline to some of life’s biggest milestones, like buying a home, paying for college or getting a bigger boat than your loudmouth neighbor.

From my time working in personal lending services, it became very clear that Credit Karma in particular has done quite the job getting into the minds of Americans. Almost daily I’d hear people mention what their latest credit score was according to Credit Karma, and either the confidence or doubt that came with it.

While everyone has a personal credit score and should definitely check it, business owners also have a business credit score. With that in mind, is there a Credit Karma for businesses? (more…)

Everything to Know About Your Business’ Balance Sheet

October 15, 2019

By Kat Tretina –

Business DocumentsAs a small business owner, you likely wear many hats. You’re at once a product developer, marketer, and a customer service representative. But, one of the most overlooked tasks you may have is accounting.

Managing your company’s books is a time-consuming and complex process, but it’s necessary for your business’ success. If you plan on applying for a business loan, it’s important to pay attention to key financial topics and learn how to create and read balance sheets so you can secure the necessary financing.

Whether you handle your business’ finances yourself or outsource your accounting to a professional, here’s what you need to know about business balance sheets and why they’re important for business loan applications. (more…)

Protecting Your Personal Assets As a Business Owner

October 8, 2019

HouseBy Brad Wiewel –

Over a million lawsuits are filed in state courts every year. And, according to one source, all of us have a 10% chance of getting sued in any given year and a 33% chance of getting sued during our lifetimes! This is scary information given that being on the losing end of a lawsuit can be financially devastating.

As a business owner, you have special cause for concern. That’s because if your business is sued and ordered to pay a money judgment as a result, the plaintiff in the lawsuit can collect on the judgment not only by going after its assets, but by going after your personal assets too if your business does not have enough resources to pay the full judgment amount.

The good news however, is that appropriate up-front planning can protect your personal assets. For example, you can: (more…)

Bullying Has No Business Here: How to Recognize and Prevent Workplace Bullying

September 30, 2019

By ComplyRight –

Stop SignOctober is National Bullying Prevention Month, a time for schools, communities and workplaces to get involved and take a stand against bullying.

In recent years, bullying has grown much bigger than a few “harmless” taunts from kids on the playground. It has become a type of emotional and verbal warfare that is fought at any age, in any social circle and in virtually any setting — including the workplace.

What Is Workplace Bullying?

Workplace bullying is defined as a pattern of mistreatment from others in the workplace that causes physical or emotional harm. Bullying is often done by someone who has authority over the victim but it can also be done by peers. (more…)

Which Business Credit Scores Matter the Most?

September 24, 2019

By Connor Wilson –

Credit ReportNot all credit scores are created equally. You likely already know that you have a personal credit score; it’s what you need to buy a car, get a mortgage, credit card, or even pass a background check. You probably also already know that there are three bureaus (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion) that report your credit scores.

What you may not have known is that your small business has a business credit score. Just like your ability to pay your credit card bills and mortgage payments on time factors into your credit score, your ability to handle your business’s debt and accounts payable, among other factors, all go into your business credit score.

Just like personal credit scores, business credit scores come from multiple reporting bureaus (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, Equifax), and can help you get better financing. Also just like personal credit scores, business credit scores are not all created equally. Here’s a breakdown of three credit scores that matter to business owners. (more…)

Be Your Own Boss. This Millennial Did It And So Can You

September 17, 2019

Blue Spoon CafeBluefield café owner transitions from employee to entrepreneur with help from West Virginia SBDC

Nicole Coeburn had a respectable career working in a community she loved. But like many millennials she yearned for more.

Having grown up in a family of entrepreneurs, Coeburn wanted to own a small business like her grandmother, father and uncles before her. But starting a business is easier said than done. And like many young professionals looking to take the leap, she still had a day job. How would she make a clean break and pursue her dream? And where would she even start?

There were a flurry of questions swirling through her mind, but Coeburn was certain of one thing: it was time to take her career to the next level. She just needed to find someone who could help her make that happen. And she’d have to take the leap. (more…)