Monday, April 30, 2012

My Business Is a Real??

My Business Is a Real ??

Sometimes a some of us don't know what as already they doing on they're business. This is an incredibly noble cause. However, it is important to follow the rules and operate your business legally to avoid going to the pokey. So, now let's to read it.
“This Isn’t a ‘Real’ Business” For whatever reason, they were discussing how this enterprise was not a real business so they did not have to go through the typical formalities of starting a business. They thought that if they did not form a legal entity, they weren’t a “real” business. If you don’t form a legal entity, you are either a sole proprietorship or a partnership depending on the number of owners. You are a real business if you sell goods or services in exchange for money or something else of value. Not thinking you are a real business means that you don’t think you need a business license, and, in this case, a permit from the local health department to cook and sell food products. “We are Going to Give Away All The Profits” I also overheard them say that they want to donate all of the profits to charity. This is an excellent idea, and again, a noble cause. However, you have to remember that the IRS only allows you to deduct 50% of your income for money donated to qualified charitable organizations. Therefore, if you donate 100% of the income generated, you are paying for the privilege of donating money. The better idea would be to give 50% of the profit away as a legal entity and reinvest the remaining profits into the business to continue expanding the business to bake more cupcakes and eventually give away more money. “We Don’t Need a Health Permit” Going along with the thought that this was not a real business, the prevailing thought was that they did not need approval from the local health department. However, if you cook food products and offer them for sale, even online, you must have a permit to do so from your local health agency. I advised one of them to call the Clay County Missouri Health Department to check. Sure enough, she would have to take a class and have her SECOND kitchen inspected to be improved by the Health Department. It’s relatively certain that they are not going to build another kitchen onto their house or rent a kitchen to start. Her other option would be to bum off of somebody else’s commercial kitchen for a while. Other Concerns I was also concerned about to other issues: obtaining a business license and sales taxes. This business would require a business license to operate in the great city of Liberty, Missouri which would require a personal property tax receipt from Clay County, which would mean registering the personal property she uses for the business and paying taxes on them. This is a lot of work to sell cupcakes. Additionally, the business would have to register with the state of Missouri for a sales tax license and charge sales tax for selling cupcakes. The business would have to report that sales tax and pay the tax to the state. The Moral of the Story The moral of this story is that if you sell good or services for profit, you are a real business. At minimum, you need a business license to operate a business in the city you live. There are a whole host of other requirements that you may have depending on the type of goods or services you are selling. It is important to understand the various laws and regulations governing the type of business you want to operate before throwing your door open and selling!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Proper My Business Manner

These all seem like simple things — e-mail has been a part of my life now for a good decade and a half, but surprisingly enough, many professionals don't quite have a grasp of etiquette guidelines for the office. The result? Companies are increasingly bringing in outside firms to host seminars on proper business behavior much like you'd send your kids off to a coach to learn proper table manners.
"Companies don't necessarily want to assume the roles of being professional parents, and often times these topics are too close for comfort," said Ann Marie Sabath, president of At Ease, Inc, who has over the past 20 years trained some 90,000 businessfolk. "Fortune 500 and 100 companies often hire people with high IQs, but they want to confirm that their sociability factors are up to their standards."
Programs like the one that At Ease Inc. offers aren't limited to the 20-something crowd just starting out in the workplace. We all make a faux pas at one point or another and Sabath says her clients typically send everyone to the training, not just offenders. Here's a crash course — just in case your networking or social skills could use a little brushing up:
  • Watch the e-mail. When you e-mail your friends, chances are you do it informally — not worrying about abbreviations, misspellings and rough grammar. That won't fly at work. "Some of the biggest mistakes people make in the workplace involve e-mail," said Jacqueline Whitmore, an etiquette expert and author of "Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work" (St. Martin's Press, 2005).

    At the very least, you should spell check your message before you hit send. Most e-mail programs will automatically point out errors for you and scan it to make sure it reads clearly. But when dealing with clients, you also want to format an e-mail as you would a business letter, Whitmore advised, and keep in mind that your messages aren't private. Last, make sure you do reply in a timely manner -- and that goes for those messages piling up in your voicemail box, too.
  • Don't settle for being on time be early. According to Sabath, if you're the one benefiting from a meeting (the one receiving a paycheck, a shot at a job or promotion, etc) you should be 15 minutes early.

    That'll give you on time to get through security, if there is any, stop in the restroom and gather your thoughts. Leave non-essentials, like coffee or any heavy bags or purses, in the car or at your desk to create a neat, pulled together appearance. Be prepared and well versed in the topics that are going to be discussed, and try to formulate your own input ahead of time. One caveat: A five-minute lead time is sufficient if it's a one-on-one meeting with your boss, because you don't want to give the impression that you don't have enough work to do.
  • Observe the arms-length rule. According to Sabath, PDAs and cell phones should not be used when you're within arms length of another individual. That means during meetings, lunches, dinners and other business events. You want the people you're talking with feel that they have your undivided attention, and constantly checking your PDA doesn't give that impression.

    What if you're on an airplane waiting for take-off and sitting next to a stranger? Sabath will acquiesce on the PDA, but before you start chatting away on the cell phone ask if your seatmate minds.
  • Don't use technology as a substitute for interaction. "Technology has changed the way we behave because we've lost face-to-face contact. Most business relationships are based on friendship and personal touch, and if you rely on e-mail as the sole mode of communication, you've lost that," says Whitmore. This can be a bit harder if you're a member of the younger generation of workers, who grew up using e-mail for everything and may not feel completely comfortable engaging in long conversations.

    Still, if you shy away from it, you'll never be at ease, so the best thing to do is simply practice. Always initiate a relationship or make the first contact by phone or in person, never by e-mail, and think about what you want to discuss in advance.
  • Don't lose your manners at after-work receptions or business dinners. People tend to let loose a little too much because these events don't typically occur in the office, but nonetheless, they are still meetings. It's important to remember why you're there.

    "What I find is that people concentrate more on the food and less on the customers or clients. They think the food is for them, when in actuality, it's for the client -- they are there to meet and mingle, and build relationships," explained Whitmore.

    With that comes separating those office clicks — if you stay huddled together with other friends from work, you're missing out on a big piece of the pie, including networking opportunities and potential clients. And the importance of going easy on the alcohol goes without saying.
  • Go beyond. You know that you need to treat your boss with respect, but go the extra mile and treat your colleagues, secretary and the cashier in the cafeteria the same way. You probably understand the dress code, but instead of simply leaving the flip-flops at home, why not strive to dress as nice as your boss does? Send off that thank you via e-mail or personal call, but pop a note in the mail as well.

Friday, April 20, 2012

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

It's Yours ??

Authentic business building is all about receiving money for providing value that fulfills you. That’s it.
Begin with the End in Mind
Synopsis: Self-discover and clarify your deeply important character values and life goals. Envision the ideal characteristics for each of your various roles and relationships in life.
Put First Things First
Planning, prioritizing, and executing your week’s tasks based on importance rather than urgency. Evaluating if your efforts exemplify your desired character values, propel you towards goals, and enrich the roles and relationships elaborated in Habit 2.

This may surprise you but the first thing in turning your idea into a business is not incorporating or figuring out how to file your taxes. It’s not ordering business cards or putting up a website.
These things are all necessary but distracting steps, that can dilute your energy and cause you to avoid taking action.
No one has ever been paid for getting ready to be in business.
You aren’t really in business until you have a customer.
Are there preliminary steps that you must take to develop your idea into a business? Yes there are but they do not have to take you months to accomplish and you don’t have to write a traditional business plan.
Getting started in real business building activity is more important than writing a plan you may or may not ever follow.
Yet a written summary of the business is an essential focusing tool. Just write out what your business idea is, explain the product or service, define who you will be selling to and what aspect of your product, service, delivery or business model gives you a unique edge in the marketplace.
After you do that – then get busy building your business. A good place to start is by asking, answering and acting on these five questions.
1). What can I do now to move this idea forward into a business.
2). What are the next 90, 60 and 30 day milestones to set and hit to prove that I am doing so?
3). What are the three toughest questions I could get from someone who is testing my commitment and the idea’s validity?
4). What are my most enthusiastic and confident responses to each question?
5). How can I put myself in front of potential clients or customers now so I’m having real conversations about my real business?
Do these things first and you will create clarity and progress.
Go direct to what you want. Take action to get it and before you know it – you’ll have a real business.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

How Much Money Do I Need & When Will I Make A Profit?

These are questions we hear all the time from clients and getting to grips with the both questions fully will help to determine whether or not your business will be a success.
1. How Much Money Will I Need?
Let’s start with getting things up and running. You will need to calculate your initial set up costs, some of which will be one offs and some will be recurring especially for the first year.
Some of the costs you need to think about are on the business start-upchecklist which is attached to every coaching newsletter andinclude as an example:
  • Setting up a limited company
  • Creating a logo or brand
  • Setting up a simple website
  • Seeking legal and financial advice
  • Registering for VAT and PAYE
  • Registering as a Data Manager if you’re setting up a website
  • Marketing costs, including web marketing costs
  • Finding and setting up physical premises
  • Any professional qualifications
  • Any professional insurance
  • Finding and hiring staff
  • Stocking up on raw materials or products
  • Finding manufacturers or suppliers and the cost of setting up contracts
  • Your regular costs, which you will need to keep a good handle on include:-Rental charges, Council rates and other premises charges-Insurance for premises-Cleaning and security for premises-Utilities costs including access to telephone and internet services
Once you have your complete list, work out your initial set up and recurring costs from before the launch date right the way through the first year. This will be your cash-flow forecast and is absolutely vital to success. Whatever overall monthly figure you end up with add on a contingency amount of between 10-20% as these estimates are rarely 100% correct. The best advice is always to work to the worst case scenario in terms of cash planning as much of the cash flow forecasts are based on factors outside of your direct control, for example VAT and other taxes.
Most of you will know that gross profit is the amount you have left once all your costs are taken off. Your business will break even if your gross profit is the same as your costs. This should now give you a good idea of how much you need to sell in terms of goods or services in order to start making a net profit (your gross profit after the deduction of all taxes).
Therefore to calculate how much money you need you need to work out how much your monthly costs will be in total and how much you will need to sell to cover this amount. Chances are that for the first 6 months to a year you may not sell enough to cover all of your monthly expenses. With this in mind you will also need to budget for additional investment into your business to cover this possible shortfall, at least for the first 6 months to a year dependent onyour sales forecasts.

2. How Much Profit Will You Make & When?
Obviously calculation of such a figure and date is not an exact science (otherwise we would all be Alan Sugar). Therefore treat any estimates with caution as youl earn more about how your business is faring post launch. However based on any market research you have already done (which we covered in an earlier post) you should have a reasonable estimate of how many sales you may be able to make within your chosen customer base and within your distribution area.

Remember though this is an estimate and marketing plans take awhile to start working, so unless you are the next Bill Gates profits will take a while to come through. In the case of very successful businesses this can take years…that said you will should link your cash flow estimates outlined in part one with your income/sales estimates so that you can work out your break even point and how much you need to initially invest to keep the business going.

This next phase of building your business really is critical for success.
We also help businesses by creating bespoke workshops that help youto work through the initial set challenges as a team. If you would like to know any more about this service, please get in touch by phone or email.

So your next plans should be to really get to grips with your estimated cash flow and to get a good handle on how much money you need to invest up front and going forward. More importantly you should also by now start to have a better idea ofwhat profit you may be able to make and when this likely to come through.