We at CBSN hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and wish you and yours the best!
By: Barbara Taylor
I had a professor in graduate school who once compared the world of business to Thanksgiving dinner. His comment was directed at a room full of students who, at the time, were intent on climbing the corporate ladder. According to him, those of us who were willing to work hard and get advanced degrees would have the ability to leave the chaos and humiliation of “the little kids’ table” (supervisory and front line management positions) and graduate to sitting with the grown-ups (director level and above). And wasn’t that what we all aspired to?
In lieu of another tired business analogy that revolves around sports or military strategy, here are five reasons why selling your business is like Thanksgiving dinner.
An emotional outburst can ruin an otherwise lovely gathering.
I’ve often thought of my professor’s description of the little kids’ table as I’ve watched small-business owners go through the process of selling. It is not uncommon to see tears, yelling and tantrums on the sell side of a deal. The buyer, who brings almost no emotional baggage to the table, rarely exhibits such behavior.
Selling a business is an emotionally charged event. So much so that I have rarely seen an instance where a business owner doesn’t “lose it” at some point during the process. Anyone familiar with the process knows that an emotional issue can kill a deal just as quickly as any detail uncovered on a financial statement.
There are books and organizations dedicated to helping business owners anticipate and overcome the emotional challenges that come with selling a business. If you haven’t reached a point where you can be objective about your business, discuss its strengths and weaknesses openly, and see it for what it is during the sale process — namely an asset with market value — then you may not be ready to sell.
There’s no substitute for experience.
Grandmothers make the best Thanksgiving dinners, hands down. This is presumably because they’ve prepared the meal 30 times before they become grandmothers. Successful business sales take place with a team of experienced professionals who are both generalists and specialists in their field — including lawyers, accountants, financial planners and intermediaries.
Small-business owners tend to be extraordinarily successful do-it-yourselfers. When my husband and I started our coffee business I decided I would take care of payroll myself. How hard could it be, I reasoned, and why not save the $45 per month I was going to pay a service to do it? Somewhere along the road to employing 14 baristas, I should have started filing my employee withholding monthly instead of quarterly. Being a newbie, I didn’t realize this until I got a nasty letter from the Internal Revenue Service saying that I was behind and that if I didn’t get current they would seize everything I owned. Oops.
When it comes to selling your business, don’t go it alone. The cost of inexperience is simply too high.
Timing is critical.
The real trick to Thanksgiving dinner is getting everything to the table piping hot at the same time. And so it goes with selling a business. Most business owners pick an inopportune time to sell that is based on their personal wants and needs, rather than when the business will get the most interest from buyers — and the best price on the open market. It can be difficult to do, but the best time to sell is when your business is going gangbusters and your industry shows plenty of opportunity for growth.
Good manners are expected.
Like the passing of dishes around the table at Thanksgiving dinner, the process of selling a business consists of a series of careful exchanges — an orderly back and forth between buyer and seller, managed so that everyone is satisfied.
If you’ve represented your business as having $2 million in annual sales and $350,000 in owner’s benefit, you will be asked to please pass every financial statement, tax return and sales receipt to support that claim in due diligence. Refusing to do so, or not relinquishing those items in their entirety, in proper order and in a timely manner is not acceptable. It’s the equivalent of throwing mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving.
Everyone looks forward to dessert.
Thanksgiving dinner without the pumpkin pie would be a major letdown. Building a successful business that has no transferable value seems equally disappointing. Selling your business and cashing out after years of hard work is the ultimate reward. Prepare yourself and your business well for the day you will leave, and when you do, you will savor a slice of success that many business owners never enjoy.
At Colorado Business Sales Network we understand the decision whether or not to sell your business is challenging enough, let alone deciding who is the best person or firm to handle it. We also know that there are multiple choices available for your consideration. So why choose CBSN?
First of all our brokers have owned, ran and sold several of their own companies and have lived first hand the process from start to finish in your shoes. The staff at CBSN is incredibly empathetic to your needs and will strive to get you the best possible price, terms and buyer for your company.
Second, we have Business Brokers located throughout the state serving areas such as Vail, Aspen, Glenwood Springs, Denver, Grand Junction, Colorado Springs and many other regions. We understand the varying industries and economies within these different regions and know how to best pair a buyer and seller together.
Lastly, we are Business Brokers, that is all we do, sell businesses. We do not operate as a Real Estate Agent would. We provide accurate analyses of your business and market your business for sale on a large scale, confidentially. Negotiating the sale of a business is far more complex then a house or commercial piece of real estate. There are emotions involved, staff, customers, equipment, all of which require an expert to seamlessly bridge gaps between buyer and seller.
These are just a few of the reasons to choose Colorado Business Sales Network to sell your business and we are happy to sit down with you to discuss the possibilities further. When you're ready to make that leap, please do not hesitate to contact us with all of your questions.
It is estimated that one in 10 U.S. citizens now owns a tablet or e-reader, and the constant innovations made by brands such as Amazon, Sony and Apple are helping to change the way in which users conduct their everyday activities. The benefits that these tools provide to users are far reaching, and can even help individuals to savemoney and budget their finances effectively. So, how exactly are tablets and e-readers able to achieve this, and how much money could they save you through consistent use?
Read more: http://financialedge.investopedia.com/financial-edge/1111/How-Tablets-And-E-Readers-Can-Save-You-Money.aspx#ixzz1dFkZ9cS5
As an or small business owner, there are many expenses that you may be able to deduct on your tax return. The home office expense deduction is often one of the largest write-offs available. However, there are several IRS rules that restrict who can claim the deduction and what can be claimed. TUTORIAL: Personal Income Tax Guide
Who Is Eligible?
Both employees and business owners are eligible to claim the home office deduction if they meet one of two criteria: the home office must either be the main place of business or the taxpayer must regularly and exclusively use the space for business purposes. In addition, employees must meet two additional criteria: the use of the space must be at the convenience of the employer, and the employee must not rent any space to the employer.
The first criterion is clear. If you have no other office space that you work out of and your home office is your only office, you qualify under this section. The second can be a little more gray in interpretation. A common example of regularly meeting clients in the home office is a lawyer or accountant. These professionals often have clients come to the home office after hours to sign documents and to meet with them. These home offices often qualify for the deduction as long as the space is not used for any other purposes.
The employee additional criterion that the space must be used at the convenience of the employer often means that the employer requires the employee to work at home. If the employee does it simply because it's easier, the deduction does not apply. If the employee rents the home office to the employer, he or she can deduct a portion of the house costs as rental expenses. (Knowing the tax deductions you're entitled to can make or break your bank account. For more, see Tax Deductions You May Be Missing.)
Which Expenses Are Claimable?
Most expenses related to the home office portion of the house can be claimed. There are three categories of expenses: those that relate solely to the home office (100% deductible), those that relate to the whole house (a portion of which is deductible), and those that relate solely to non-office parts of the house (not deductible). For example, if you paint the master bedroom of your house, the expense is not deductible at all because it has nothing to do with the home office. The electric bill, on the other hand, relates to the entire house and a portion of it can be deducted.
Common deductible expenses include heat, electricity, mortgage interest, property taxes, and repairs and maintenance. Employees are denied the deduction for the business portion of mortgage interest and property taxes, but can deduct both the business and non-business portion as a Schedule A personal itemized deduction. (For related reading, see Why You Should Itemize Your Tax Deductions.)
Calculating the Home Office Deduction
There are two ways to calculate the portion of expenses that can be deducted. The IRS allows the taxpayer to calculate both ways and to choose the one that provides the larger deduction. The first is to calculate the total square footage of the home office compared to the total square footage of the living area of the house. For example, if the home office is 100 square feet and the total home is 1,850 square feet, the home office percentage is 5.4%. This percentage is applied to the shared expenses of the house to arrive at the deductible portion. The second method is to count rooms. For example, if there are eight rooms in the house and the home office is one of them, the deductible percentage is 12.5%. In general, houses with small rooms will fare better under the first calculation and those with large rooms will provide a higher deduction using the second.
Tax Time Tips
If you are eligible to claim the home office deduction, it's important to keep all of your receipts handy for the end of the year. Often, repairs and maintenance expenses are missed because receipts have been lost or never received. The better you track your expenses, the more you will be able to claim.
If your home office space is part of a room, ensure that there is a clear division between the office and personal spaces. Use bookshelves, desks or other dividers to block off the space. You may have to prove to the IRS that you only use that space for business, so make sure there are no toys, musical instruments or other personal items in the space.
The Bottom Line
The home office deduction can be lucrative for small business owners and employees. Keeping receipts and carefully calculating the home office percentage ensures the highest possible deduction. (Homebodies can save big on their tax bill. For more, see How To Qualify For The Home-Office Tax Deduction.)
Read more: http://financialedge.investopedia.com/financial-edge/1111/How-To-Claim-Home-Office-Expenses.aspx#ixzz1dDVbNs00
By: Jason Fell
f you don't update your business website very often, you may want to rethink your online content strategy.
A little more than eight months after unveiling "Panda,"an update to Google's search algorithm that puts a higher priority on high-quality content, the search giant has announced a new update that aims to provide users with "the most up-to-date results."
"Given the incredibly fast pace at which information moves in today's world, the most recent information can be from the last week, day or even minute, and depending on the search terms, the algorithm needs to be able to figure out if a result from a week ago about a TV show is recent, or if a result from a week ago about breaking news is too old," Google says in a blog postannouncing the big change.
This latest update is expected to affect as much as 35 percent of all searches on Google, the company says. The Panda update, which had businesses scrambling to stay maintain their search rankings, was said to affect 12 percent of searches.
Specifically, Google says the update will impact searches for recent events or "hot topics," regularly occurring events, and searches for information that changes often but isn't necessarily a trending topic or recurring event.
"This change better determines the level of freshness needed for each query and promotes fresher results accordingly," a Google spokesperson says. "We're continuously working to improve our search algorithm so that we provide users the most relevant answers to their queries."
"It seems to me that the biggest impact on small-business owners will be that, in some industries, it will be near impossible to get visibility with a small, rarely-updated website," says Matt McGee, executive news editor at SEO-focused news site Search Engine Land. "If the business is in an industry where there's regular news, where things change on a frequent basis, it looks like never-updated websites won't have much chance of being visible on a lot of queries."
One effective way for businesses to generate fresh content for their website is to create and frequently update a business blog, McGee recommends. You can write short, informative posts on topics such as industry news or new on your business's new products or services.
"Blogs have always been great SEO weapons," McGee says, "and this change only seems to emphasize the value of publishing quality content on a regular basis."
How often do you update the content on your business website? Leave a comment below and let us know.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/02/small-business-lending-ri_n_1071837.html?ref=tw(By Ann Saphir) - The growth of borrowing among small U.S. businesses moderated in September but the overall level still registered a 14th monthly double-digit increase in a fresh sign the economy is set to grow at a stable pace.
The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index, which measures the overall volume of financing to U.S. small businesses, rose 14 percent, after increasing a revised 18 percent in August, PayNet said on Wednesday.
Increased borrowing by small businesses points to better times for the broader economy because small firms account for the lion's share of new hiring. Companies use loans to buy equipment, and they need people to operate that equipment.
"We're entering this slow-growth, low-risk phase of the business cycle," PayNet founder Bill Phelan said in an interview. "The last time, that phase lasted four to six quarters."
The data comes as the Federal Reserve enters the second day of a two-day policy-setting meeting. A statement due mid-day on Wednesday may provide hints on how close it is to providing new stimulus to boost a recovery that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said last month was "close to faltering."
Two years into a rebound from the worst recession in decades, the United States is still dogged by 9.1 percent unemployment. However, there have been a few bright spots in data, including October auto sales, which pointed to the strongest showing since the start of 2011.
PayNet tracks borrowing by millions of small U.S. businesses, which cut back dramatically on borrowing in 2008 and 2009 but are now back to borrowing at levels close to those registered in 2005.
Meanwhile, a drop in delinquencies to a record low suggests companies are in better financial health, PayNet data show.
Accounts 90 days or more behind in payment, or in severe delinquency, fell to 0.41 percent in September, a record, from 0.46 percent in August.
Accounts in moderate delinquency, or those behind by 30 days or more, fell to 1.63 percent from 1.67 percent in August, PayNet said.
Accounts behind 180 days or more, or in default and unlikely to ever get paid, fell to 0.65 percent of total receivables in September, from 0.68 percent in August, according to PayNet, which provides risk-management tools to the commercial lending industry.
The Thomson Reuters/PayNet small business lending index is correlated to developments in the overall economy, with changes in the index preceding changes in the overall U.S. economy by two to five months.
PayNet collects real-time loan information, such as originations and delinquencies, from more than 250 leading U.S. capital equipment lenders. (More on Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index is available here)
(Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Andrew Hay)
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