By Gerri Detweiler –
Credit scores are often seen as the number one obstacle that prevent small businesses from getting financing. But disorganized financials may be equally to blame.
In today’s challenging economic environment in particular, lenders want to make sure your business is viable and will be able to repay the debt. Organized and up to date finances are essential if you want to increase your chances of getting approved.
1. Create an Easy Filing System
“We think ignorance is bliss, but really is it filled with headaches and fear,” says Belinda Rosenblum, CPA, money strategist for business owners, and founder of OwnYourMoney.com. “Avoiding your paperwork and bills — or even a huge ‘to file pile’ — is a costly recipe for disaster,” she says. “Not opening bills often causes missed deadlines or even late fees. Opening them but then letting them pile up without filing anything can cause you to feel disorganized and out of control.” (more…)
By Ty Kiisel –
Over the nearly 40 years I’ve either owned or otherwise worked in a small business, I’ve observed that even businesses that might not be considered “seasonal” in the traditional sense ebb and flow over the course of the year, creating times when capital becomes tight and the cash flow pinch can cause an otherwise healthy business to struggle. In today’s world, small business budgeting and borrowing are more important than ever. I use these two words together intentionally, because I believe there is a synergy there for business owners who take a strategic approach to capitalizing their businesses.
A reactionary approach to a small business’ need for capital can satisfy a short-term need or meet an unanticipated shortfall, but it might not help the business grow. We see evidence of this in the failure rate of small businesses in our country. Of the 30 or so million small businesses in the United States, those that survive the first few years are far too few, and only 40% of small businesses are even profitable. What’s more, the most common reason for business failure is a lack of adequate cash. In fact, poor cash flow causes 84% of the business failures in the US. (more…)
By Intuit –
To help small businesses and self-employed workers stay afloat due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the IRS created new tax credits, including:
• Employee Retention Credit
• Paid Sick Leave Credit
• Paid Family and Medical Leave Credit
But carving out extra time to figure out which tax credit options you may qualify for — while adapting your business to COVID-19 — can be an overwhelming and time-consuming experience. Federal financial relief programs often have rules, provisions, and exceptions that are hard to understand at a glance. (more…)
Success Story: Wisconsin
Darcy Musil incorporated her background as a manicurist, esthetician and bra fitting specialist into Two Sisters Boutique, her unique retail business designed for women of all shapes and sizes. Her store provides a custom “one-on-one styling” service to shoppers who prefer suggestions and guidance.
Many customers come to the boutique for help obtaining the perfect look for photo shoots such as family portraits and senior pictures. Darcy also offers makeup consultations to provide expert knowledge on skin tone and color match. The retail location in Rice Lake opened in May, 2017 with four employees, and the business has grown to employ seven.
SUCCESS DURING COVID-19
The store is more than just a clothing boutique. It supports local vendors in many ways. Jewelry, soap, lotions, candles and other accessories and gifts created by local artisans are sold in Darcy’s store. When COVID-19 hit, Darcy had to close the storefront location but was able to sustain online sales. (more…)
By Gerri Detweiler –
We’ve all got our own favorite tips, tricks, and tools that help us organize our task lists, assign projects, and manage deliverables. Today, there are more apps and software programs geared toward business owners than ever. I interviewed 10 entrepreneurs to find out what they use to stay on top of everything.
1. Monday: Streamline Communication Channels
Aalap Shah, founder of 1o8, an e-comm-focused digital agency in Chicago, loves Monday.com for project management.
“My business has clients, vendors, independent contractors, and full-time folks all trying to communicate, and it has streamlined our Slack, email, and file management tools into one centralized (and colorful) dashboard that allows us to glance at a project and know where it’s at. I love the integrations it has—be it invoicing, other communications tools, Google Drive—along with the extensive training and documentation that it has for a novice to be able to take this tool and harness it to its fullest potential.” (more…)