Paving a “pathway to prosperity” one small business at a time

May 27, 2020

By Moody’s –

Small businesses are the backbone of the US economy. However, with recent uncertainty caused by COVID-19, many are struggling to stay afloat. Even in less turbulent times, entrepreneurs often lack insight into what their finances look like from day to day, how much cash they have on hand or whether they will be able to pay their bills on time. In fact, according to a March 2018 Preferred CFO study, 82% of business failures are a result of poor cash flow management.

One of Moody’s key CSR focus areas is empowering people with financial knowledge, which is why we made cash flow management the focus of a 2019 initiative for US entrepreneurs. This financial empowerment initiative was created in partnership with the Foundation for Small Business Development (FFSBD), the philanthropic arm of America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs). It is the first initiative under Moody’s new Pathway to Prosperity program, which is part of our larger Reshape Tomorrow™ initiative. “Our ultimate goal is to help thousands of small business owners and employees to better manage their finances and secure their operations,” says Charles “Tee” Rowe, President and CEO of America’s SBDC. Click To Tweet (more…)

Profit Margin Formula

January 14, 2020

What is it, How to Calculate it, How to Improve Profit Margin

By Anna Baluch –

When you sell a product or service, it’s important to understand your profit margin or how much money you make by selling your product. Essentially, a profit margin shows your return on investment (ROI) for all of your expenses. A low margin indicates you’re not getting the ideal ROI for your expenses while a high one proves you’re doing well.

Ideally, you’d have a high profit margin that steers your organization toward long term growth and success. By taking the time to figure out your profit margin, you can set attainable goals and make informed decisions for your unique business. (more…)

7 Steps for Buying a Commercial Real Estate Property

December 23, 2019

By Michelle Black –

Building

Buying commercial real estate has the potential to be an excellent investment, often more so than residential properties. Yet even if you’re an experienced real estate investor, it’s crucial to understand that buying a commercial property isn’t the same as buying a house.

Before you purchase a commercial property, it helps to know the pros and cons of this type of investment. It’s also important to understand that with the chance for more reward often comes a higher purchase price and more risk.

How to Buy a Commercial Property: An In-Depth Review

1. Understand your motivations for investing in commercial real estate.

Why do you want to invest in commercial real estate? It’s an important question to ask yourself before you start hunting for properties. (more…)

Lessons Learned From Shark Tank

November 20, 2019

By Michael Patten –

Lessons Learned From Shark TankWe’ve all watched entrepreneurs go onto Shark Tank and pitch their product to the Sharks. Some participants are so impressive in the way they deliver a clever pitch that instantly grabs everyone’s attention, while other participants fail miserably and make you cringe inside.

While my son and I have watched many episodes together, one business in particular stuck out to me. Two cousins from Maine pitched the idea of a food truck selling lobster. After seeing an update on the business this year, I decided to learn a bit more and picked up their book, Cousins Maine Lobster: How One Food Truck Became a Multi-million-Dollar Business. The book provided a detailed account of how they started their business, how they landed on Shark Tank, and how their deal with Barbara turned their food truck into a multi-million dollar business.

The book was a fun read and provided some great insights into starting a business and all of the work that is involved. However, one of my favorite chapters was titled “Oh, Right, Money Matters,” because it highlights the value and critical importance of understanding the key metrics of any business. (more…)

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…)