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…)

Round Man Brewing: Upscale Brewpub… Up North

September 10, 2019
Sue and Spencer Churchill
Sue and Spencer Churchill of family-owned Round Man Brewing

Success Story: Wisconsin –

The Churchill family, already familiar in Spooner from their successful coffee shop, opened a brewpub in 2018. Sue and Jeff Churchill handle marketing for the business, while son Spencer is the general manager. Oldest son Blain is a brewer. Daughter Alexandria, who manages the coffee shop nearby, serves as operations manager. Head brewer Brian Sunderland joined the team early on, and together they have created an experience to remember!

Driven by Love and History

The Churchill family loves the tourist community of Spooner and wanted to bring a more upscale dining and entertainment operation to town. Their enjoyment of brewpubs on family vacations led to their business concept. “We hired a chef and brewmaster,” said Sue. “We bring the vision, marketing, and community involvement. We hire a good team, then train and trust.” (more…)

12 Small Business Podcasts That Will Help You Sell More

September 3, 2019

By Gerri Detweiler –

PodcastRunning a business is often about setting goals and putting in long hours and hard work to achieve them. Regardless of what type of business you run, it’s likely that “selling more” has a frequent, if not long-term, place on your to-do list. It’s a goal that requires staying up to date on new techniques, honing strategies, and being in touch with the latest industry news.

The sad part? It’s difficult for small business owners, many of whom have little downtime. Podcasts, however, afford busy professionals the opportunity to digest powerful and life-changing information while they’re commuting, working out, making dinner, or participating in any number of daily tasks that are well suited for audio media.

You can spend hours — if not days — sifting through all the many podcasts out there, but if your goal is to sell more, these 12 podcasts can help. Plus, many of them offer valuable information for not only running a business, but living the entrepreneurial life. (more…)

Timber Frame Company Builds Their Own New Home

August 27, 2019

TimberHomesVermont Success Story, by Amanda Kuhnert –

TimberHomes Vermont, a design-build timber frame company, had been in business over a decade when the owners decided it was time to build on their success. First, they decided to transition from an LLC to an employee-owned cooperative, giving more decision-making power to their team of dedicated employees. Then they began planning for their next stage of business growth.

Partners Josh Jackson and David Hooke founded TimberHomes in 2005 after working together at the Mountain School in Vershire, teaching high school students to timber frame using only hand tools. The company’s third partner, Timo Bradley, signed on shortly thereafter.

In 2017, after 15 years of constructing custom barns, homes, pavilions and trailhead kiosks, the partners decided it was time to build something for themselves. They needed a facility that would serve as a space to welcome clients and showcase their work, as well as a larger shop to enable them to build year-round. With the second shop, they would also be able to expand their capacity, hiring a number of new employees in the process. (more…)

7 Ways Entrepreneurs Are Leveraging Age to Grow Their Business

August 20, 2019

By Gerri Detweiler –

Entrepreneurship isn’t just for the young. Older adults are finding that starting a business can be the perfect way to turn a lifetime of experience into something meaningful, take control of their time, counter workplace ageism, and in some cases, make a lot more money.

“In the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, and Australia, 50+-year-olds are launching more start-ups than any other cohort,” shares Kerry Hannon, the author of Never Too Old to Get Rich: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting a Business Mid-Life. Hannon has been researching and interviewing older entrepreneurs for over a decade and is an enthusiastic cheerleader for those who want to strike out on their own. She’s also realistic about the challenges of building a business at any age.

Starting a business at an older age isn’t just about money, she emphasizes, though it can be a powerful motivator. “Getting rich can, and should, be also about the inner richness that comes from creating a new product or service that changes lives and our world and gives back,” Hannon writes. “It’s the richness of doing work we love, alongside people we respect.” (more…)