Cash Flow vs. Profit: What’s the Difference?

July 16, 2019

By Samantha Novick –

Cash flow chartAccording to a Quickbooks report from earlier this year, “61% of small businesses regularly struggle with cash flow.”

Even if your business is profitable, you can be at risk of falling into financial demise. How? Because if you don’t have enough liquid cash on hand to meet the myriad of current and near-term expenses that come with owning a small business, it can be nearly impossible to keep your operation afloat.

What is cash flow?

Cash flow is essentially the cycle of funds going in and out of your business from operations, investing, and financing activities. It’s the amount of liquid cash that you have at your disposal at a given time. Your business can either be cash flow positive, or cash flow negative. (more…)

Lawson’s Finest Liquids: From hobby business to thriving craft-beer company

July 9, 2019

By Amanda Kuhnert –

Sean and Karen Lawson
Sean and Karen Lawson, Lawson’s Finest Liquids

If you live in Vermont and appreciate good beer, then you’re probably familiar with Lawson’s Finest Liquids. Last fall the company celebrated the grand opening of its 80-seat taproom, retail store, and 30-barrel production facility in Waitsfield. What you might not know is that 11 years ago, this thriving Vermont-based business was simply one man’s hobby.

“I have had a passion for beer and brewing since discovering the joy of home brewing in college, as a student at the University of Vermont,” company founder Sean Lawson said. He homebrewed for about 20 years before friends and family finally persuaded him to begin selling his product to the public. In 2008, Sean and his wife Karen launched Lawson’s Finest Liquids out of a small outbuilding next to their house.

They started out as a one-barrel nanobrewery, and in 2011 ramped up to a seven-barrel microbrewery. This is when the owners reached out to the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) for assistance with their business plan and advice on financing their capital expansion. (more…)

What Is Equipment Leasing and Is It Right for Your Company?

July 2, 2019

By Michelle Black –

EquipmentNo matter how smart you are or how great your product may be, your business needs one very important ingredient if it’s going to thrive — the right equipment. The right equipment can help optimize performance and take your business to the next level, but it might be out of reach.

Thankfully, an equipment lease may be able to help you get the specialized machinery or technology your company needs now, even if you don’t have all the money you need to pay for ownership of the equipment up front or you’re not interested in equipment loans.

With an equipment lease, you get the right to use the equipment while you’re making monthly payments to a leasing company or financial institution.

What is an Equipment Lease?

Essentially, equipment leasing can be viewed as an alternative form of small business financing — most notably equipment loans. It’s a way to help you get what your business needs now with less money out of your pocket on the front end. However, you’ll generally need a decent personal credit score to qualify for the most attractive rates and terms. (more…)

Sweet success for two entrepreneurs

June 25, 2019

Success Story: Idaho –

Amazing Glaze Donuts
Dean & Katie Giesbrecht, Owners, Amazing Glaze Donuts, Pocatello, Idaho

Katie Giesbrecht was working as a barista for Double Shot Donuts when the owners of the shop asked Katie and her husband if they would be interested in buying the business. At the time, Katie and Dean were both looking for new opportunities and decided to consider the offer.

They spent seven months working side by side with the previous owners, learning the business operations and working with the Idaho SBDC before the sale of the business went through. In August, 2017, the Giesbrechts reopened the business as Amazing Glaze Donuts.

When asked what makes Amazing Glaze Donuts different than other donuts in the marketplace, Katie and Dean both agree: it’s the recipe. The proprietary recipe includes real Idaho potatoes. “It’s a big part of what we bought when we purchased the business,” said Dean. Katie and Dean both spent time tasting as many donuts as they could before purchasing the business. “We tried everything from vegan to whole wheat. Nothing tastes as good as these.” (more…)