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There is no question that as a small business owner you have persevered and worked hard, dedicating your life to the success of your company. That being said, dont you think a company you put all of your energies into, deserves the chance at having a happy ending? Have you considered the impact your death, disability, retirement, or even divorce could have on your small business ?If you are the owner of a small business it is time for you to stop thinking of only what is...

Will Your Small Business Have A Happy Ending?

Will Your Small Business Have A Happy Ending?There is no question that as a small business owner you have persevered and worked hard, dedicating your life to the success of your company. That being said, dont you think a company you put all of your energies into, deserves the chance at having a happy ending? Have you considered the impact your death, disability, retirement, or even divorce could have on your "small business" ?If you are the owner of a small business it is time for you to stop thinking of only what is happening now, and start focusing on what could happen in the future. Therefore, you need to put your priorities into perspective by protecting yourself and your business with a succession plan. A business succession plan is what you need to ensure that your business has a happy ending by remaining secure, regardless of what may happen in the future.In particular, a succession plan allows your business the chance to be able to stand up to any challenges that may occur along the way. For instance, certain setbacks that you might experience may be entirely beyond your control such as divorce, disability, departure and death. But with a business succession plan you have the chance, as a small business owner, to ensure that regardless of what may happen to you, your business will be protected.The following are a few aspects you should to take into consideration when creating a business succession plan for you small business:How to Begin the Succession Planning - Since you need to make choices before you can really begin achieving your succession planning goal, you must first think about your long term business objectives and ask yourself important questions such as Will I sell my small business? Should I set up a plan that allows me to transfer my business to one of my business associates or a family member? Does my business have public potential?Of course, business succession planning begins with much more than simply deciding who you will be giving your business to in the event that you can no longer run your company, or wish to sell it. Additionally, succession planning is about keeping your small business afloat and successful to ensure that your absence will not devastate your company. Therefore, in order to maintain future control of your business, you will need to begin your succession planning by making choices that will concern things such as: ownership objectives asset protection planning taxation and transaction planning estate planningYou will want to keep in mind, however, that due to the fact that every action you take with succession planning will result in a reaction, you will require the assistance of experienced experts when developing your plan.Understand the Dollars and Sense of Business Succession Planning Like any type of business preparation, your business succession plan needs to be orderly and handled carefully if you dont want to suffer the consequences of financial losses or worse the loss of your small business. That being the case, you need to know exactly what you are dealing with, and how you can achieve the most of your planning.The one mistake you will not want to make is to overlook your business finances. You can help keep your business secure by properly using the following, and more, in your succession planning before problems occur: Life insurance Disability insurance AnnuitiesFurthermore, you will find that with an orderly succession plan, you will be avoiding the possibility of your business having to be sold to pay off the estate tax, in the event of yours or (if you have one) your partners death. It is no secret that estate taxes can claim up to 55% of an estate that is taxable, which is no mystery why so many businesses fall into debt, become bankrupt, or are sold due to the death of the owner or partner.In addition, another aspect that needs to be considered is that clients are most likely to do business with other businesses after the owner or partner is deceased. However with the proper succession plan, your business should be able to maintain any regular clients - or if not - it will be better equipped to survive the possible drop in assets if a slow period should follow.Know How to Write Your Happy Ending Remember, when all is said and done, the outcome of your succession plan depends entirely on the choices you make regarding the future of your small business. It is imperative that you take the time to make the best choices that will allow you to implement a succession plan, which keeps you in control of the outcome that involves the transfer of your company. By knowing how to ensure the prosperity of your business future with a succession plan, is how you will write your happy ending.

No budget for PR? Do it yourself with the help of technology!

No budget for PR? Do it yourself with the help of technology!

Not so long ago, small businesses and non-profit organizations across the board were faced with a tough question: do we need a Web site? We know the answer to that as the majority of "small business" es and non-profits offer effective sites that not only provide information but can sell products, accept online donations, and raise awareness. The new question facing them now is: Do we need to hire a PR agency?Unfortunately, though many small businesses and organizations would like to retain a PR firm, the cost just doesnt fit into the budget. Well, that doesnt have to be the case. Small businesses and non-profits can manage their own media relations with the help of a few tools of the trade.Online Press Kits: Everything a business or organizations press kit contains can be published and distributed on the Internet with online press kits. Now, an "online press kit" is not a Web site. Dont be confused by the term online. Though an online press kit can be displayed online and present information like a Web site, it is really a virtual folder or briefcase that allows an organization to upload and store press materials on the Internet. Once in an online press kit folder, these documents and images can be distributed as links not attachments to e-mails. Most e-mails with attachments never reach their designated recipient in the media due to firewalls and anti-virus protection services. With an online press kit, documents are added as links within the message. An online press kit can be linked directly to a Web site so that when the media visits in search of news and background information, theyll know exactly where to go. Changes and edits can be made instantly, preventing outdated or incorrect information from being distributed. Plus, some online press kit services are so simple to use and manage; an organization wont need to hire an IT guy, another budget-friendly feature. Online press kit services vary greatly in terms of price and features. Take some time to research your options and identify your needs before committing to one service over another. Some services include features you probably will never use (but pay for), while others may not provide enough services, such as training or support. Web-based Media Lead Services One of the greatest benefits of the Internet is the ability to rapidly obtain information. What used to require a hard copy media guide or CD is now available from a number of providers online. An organization can reach virtually hundreds of thousands of media contacts with one click by listing spokespeople as experts, offering timely quotes on current events, or responding to the hundreds of media leads that come in daily from journalists on deadline. There are many providers out there that vary in cost and quality. It is worth the time and effort to do some research on which service is best for your budget and your needs. Some services are even free. Services that are used by the most media professionals will likely cost more than ones with lower membership. Web-based Media Databases Your business or organization has hot news and you want to let every daily newspaper in the country know about it. First, you must visit each papers Web site individually, record their contact information, compile a list and then blast that news out there. However, by the time you did that, your news would be at least a month old. Ouch.Media databases to the rescue. There are many services available online that provide up-to-date media lists from every medium and market you can imagine. Most require a membership or subscription fee, but it is well worth the money if the alternative is to compile a list manually. Services of this type include BurrellesLuce Media Contacts program (www.BurrellesLuce.com), Bacons (www.Bacons.com), and Contacts on Tap (www.ContactsOnTap.Com). Press Release Distribution Services Got a press release that the world needs to see? You could compile the list as we mentioned above (the hard way), or use a media database but you could also leave it to the experts and submit your release to a distribution service, or wire. There are many services available at various costs. One service is PR Web (www.PRWeb.com) which not only can run your release for free (limited distribution), but allows you to specify Internet search terms, making the release easily accessible to Web users. The media savvy and expertise of "media relations" professionals is worth the money, but when the money just isnt there, small businesses and non-profit organizations can tap the talent they have within and combine it with technology designed to make communication easier. If you need some help developing your press documents, take a look at the press kits of other businesses or organizations in your area. There are also many Internet resources available that can provide tips to writing your own press releases and news announcements. Managing media relations in-house is not impossible and can be a fantastic way to reach the media as a small business or organization grows.

IT Consulting: 3 Steps You Need to Take

IT Consulting: 3 Steps You Need to Take

To begin your IT consulting practice, there are 21 steps you should take before you hit your first day on the job. In this article, you'll learn about three of the steps you should take before entering the business of full-time "IT consulting" . Step Four. Engage Professional ServicesYou should have an accountant and an attorney before you start your IT consulting business. Sit down with them for a few minutes and tell them about your business plans. Theyll help you pick out what kind of business entity makes the most sense for you - whether it is a sole proprietor, limited partnership, or a corporation. They can introduce you to the pros and cons of each option and you can do your own research, too. A professional's advice is money well-spent for your IT consulting business. Even buying a half hour or hour of an attorney or accountant's time can help. To save money, you can file some of the paperwork if you want to. But at least talk with them about where you are in your IT consulting business and your personal financial situation. Step Five: Open a Business Bank AccountClients are going to write checks to your IT consulting business; not you personally. They are not going to want to end up with you being called a statutory employee. They want to make sure that they are actually paying a business that they are employing which is corporation to corporation. So you will need a bank account so you can cash those checks.Apply for a merchant account if you are planning on reselling products or want more flexibility so you can accept credit cards. Discover, MasterCard, Visa and American Express are the big ones. Step Six: Buy Some Insurance.Talk to a property and casualty insurance agent about getting commercial insurance for your IT consulting business. General liability and professional liability are good, as well as Errors and Omissions. You want yourself and your business to be protected in case of problems. Copyright MMI-MMVI, PC Support Tips .com. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. {Attention Publishers: Live hyperlink in author resource box required for copyright compliance}

Partnering Is Like Courting

Partnering Is Like Courting

Partnering does not happen overnight. You should approach it slowly and methodically like courtship or dating. In the same way you wouldn't sleep with someone or suggest going to bed with someone on the first date, you don't want to try to close a deal with a potential partner in the first meeting.Don't try to close the partnering deal the first time you meet. It's a recipe for failure. Partnerships may take weeks or months, sometimes even years to evolve.It's being introduced maybe by a common client or a common friend, getting together for coffee, trading some email, some phone calls back and forth, getting together for lunch again, talking about some common client problems that you're running into, some things that you can't fill. Make sure that you take your time to do this right and that you don't ask for the sale or try to close the deal too soon.It's as much about personalities meshing together with the trust and the chemistry as everything else. There's got to be some IT-related connection or business-related connection, but even more importantly than that, the personalities really have to connect.Keep your antennae up for opportunities whenever you're going to reseller channel events or going to technical training classes or business expos. You never know when you're going to meet your next potential partner.Copyright MMI-MMVI, Small Biz Tech Talk. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. {Attention Publishers: Live hyperlink in author resource box required for copyright compliance}

Moonlighting Jobs as a Computer Consultant for Small Business

Securing moonlighting jobs as a computer consultant for small businesses is difficult because you're typically working when the small businesses are closed. You need the flexibility to carry out your moonlighting jobs during the evening and on weekends and many small businesses are not going to be comfortable with that arrangement. These business owners want to interact with their consultants on their time and prefer you to work around their schedule rather than vice versa. A straightforward solution for securing small business moonlighting jobs as a computer consultant is to target businesses where there is a natural fit between your time frame and their schedule. Businesses that are open in the evenings like restaurants, health clubs and call centers are one source of moonlighting jobs. Others include businesses that run second or third shifts and even those that operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The problem with this method is that these clients are not necessarily ideal, full-time customers, unless, of course, you enjoy getting beeped at 2:00 in the morning. If this type of moonlighting job does not fit with the type of client you want to have fill up 90% of your client roster, then you need to work on your flexibility and make yourself available to small businesses on their terms.Moonlighting Jobs and Job Flexibility You want to build a solid base of 9-5 clients because once your moonlighting job phase is over, it is unlikely you will want to continue sacrificing your nights and weekends. This creates a bit of a Catch-22 as you are primarily available on evenings and weekends yet the clients you want to attract, want you to be available 9-5. This is where having job flexibility is absolutely critical. You need to be able to use vacation days, personal days, and sick days to work with clients. Being able to take long lunches, go in late, and leave early are crucial to your ability to secure small business, 9-5 moonlighting jobs. You can accommodate a networking breakfast if you come in late to work and if you can get off work early then you can get started working with a client before the end of their business day and stay on into the early evening. To pull this off, your day-job has to have a significant amount of flexibility built in. If it doesn't, your ability to secure the type of moonlighting jobs you seek will be severely limited. The Bottom Line on "Moonlighting Jobs" Getting moonlighting jobs as a computer consultant for small businesses requires persistence and flexibility but the sacrifices you make now will pay-off later in terms of an excellent client base that you want to sustain as you transition to full-time computer consulting. This means a bit of a juggling act on your part but just until you are able to give yourself the 9-5 hours your clients are enjoying. Copyright MMI-MMVI, Small Business Computer Consulting .com. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. {Attention Publishers: Live hyperlink in author resource box required for copyright compliance}

Home based small business boon or a bane?

If you are serious about the idea of making money through home based business then here are tips which are a beneficial tool for those who want to begin to work at home based business. A simple solution is to start with a business from home focused on the internet arena i.e. where the work is based on Internet.The market is teeming with numerous ideas of home based internet business launched by innumerable companies. Every single day new schemes come into the market under the garb of legitimate home based internet businesses. Sadly, most of these so called top home internet business are pure pyramid scams.Home based internet businesses can be a good opportunity provided you are serious about it. With increasing unemployment & rising costs, having a steady income has become a critical issue nowadays. This has a direct bearing not only on the security and well-being of their children but also on the security of their retirement days. If you work at home on internet, not only will you be able to earn a steady income but also be with your kids in their growing years. Moreover, the more you earn now, the more secure their future will be. In such circumstances, if you plan to start a home based internet business, it makes perfect sense. But the problem lies in how to select the right internet home based business opportunity? The different ideas of "top home internet business" often confuse the mind and stop us from taking a quick and concrete decision regarding the best home businesses. Then there are questions regarding the viability of these top home internet business opportunity. Then, you are also doubtful whether the income generated from the "work at home on internet" opportunity be able to replace that from a fulltime job? In addition to the reliability factor there is another question regarding the amount of investment. What would be the costs of starting work at home on internet business initiative? When the monetary return from top home internet businesses is uncertain, then there is no logic in starting one. Hence, selecting the right "internet home based business" is of critical importance. One such work at home on internet business opportunity is internet affiliate marketing. There are innumerable companies offering reliable affiliate programs. And in most cases, the affiliate fees are either free or a basic minimum. The benefits of these "home based internet businesses" are many. There are tensions regarding inventory build up, or issues such as commercial property, licenses and other related chores. You will be able to keep your total focus on how to market the product or business concept on your website.After selecting the right affiliate program to start your internet based home business, you should go about building your own website which will mark foray into home based small business. Do not leave your internet home based business midway and change to stable but permanent job. This is the mistake most people in the work at home on internet do. Also dont expect that you will become successful in your top internet home internet business in a short span of time. So stay put and works hard at your internet home business.There are various benefits associated with internet based home business. They also require a smaller investment than offline ones. But it requires equal dedication, ethics and hard work to make it successful in this competitive world.

Summary

There is no question that as a small business owner you have persevered and worked hard, dedicating your life to the success of your company. That being said, dont you think a company you put all of your energies into, deserves the chance at having a happy ending? Have you considered the impact your death, disability, retirement, or even divorce could have on your small business ?If you are the owner of a small business it is time for you to stop thinking of only what is...