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A Practical Guide to Avoiding Small Business Pitfalls

Small Business

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A Practical Guide to Avoiding Small Business Pitfalls

Believe it or not, there are more than 30 million small businesses in the United States. As such, they vastly outnumber large corporations. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. Unfortunately, young companies face daunting odds. Many dangers have the potential to shutter their doors. Before you launch a startup, know the hazards and how to steer clear of them.

Registering as the Right Entity

Creating a business starts with choosing between different business structures. Making the right decision requires measuring critical variables, such as your tax situation and investment needs. One formation you might select is a sole proprietorship. You could also consider being an S-corp or C-corp. Becoming a limited liability corporation is often the superior decision.

LLCs include numerous advantages, including tax benefits, operational flexibility, and reduced paperwork. Every state has different laws regarding the formation of LLCs. Find out how to start an LLC in California before filing. With everything it takes to establish a startup, it sometimes makes sense to have someone else handle the duty on your behalf. Do this by hiring an LLC formation service and avoiding expensive attorney fees.

Getting Licenses

Besides registering as an official corporate entity, acquire all the necessary permissions for operation. Running a restaurant requires a host of authorizations. If you are operating a home-based business, your city or county needs to issue an official go-ahead. Factories need environmental permits since they often involve the handling of potential contaminants. Getting caught doing business without compulsory licenses may result in a significant fine.

Satisfying Customers

Another mistake budding entrepreneurs make is ignoring the needs of their clients. Simply offering products that you find appealing isn’t enough. Patrons must have their preferences incorporated into what you’re giving them. Actively solicit feedback from buyers, and make adjustments as appropriate. Scour social media for opinions; directly interact and personally address comments.

Occasionally, customers are outrageous in their demands. Maintain your composure, and do what you can to soothe their concerns. Remember that it is impossible to please everyone and that the majority are reasonable individuals.

Sticking to a Budget

Taking on debt puts you in a precarious position. Despite this, you may have no other avenue for getting off the ground. Pay close attention to your operating expenses. Before going official, make sure you have enough dollars to stay around long enough that you develop an enthusiastic customer base. Only once profits start rolling in with regularity does it make sense to consider expanding into new products and services or opening another location.

One way of avoiding financial overextension is to hire a professional money manager. Having one in place helps you avoid operational waste and increases confidence during tax time. It also frees you to focus on other important matters, such as branding, product rollouts, and employee training.

Choosing a Reputable Lender

The Small Business Administration is a great place to go when seeking funding. Their representatives should guide you toward a deal that matches your fiscal resources. If your credit isn’t healthy, you might think about taking money from an alternative lender. Proceed with caution. While these resources are more willing to work with anyone, their terms are often onerous.

Nothing compares with the excitement of establishing a business. Part of the thrill comes from knowing the difficulty and still triumphing. Those bitten by the entrepreneurial bug should make themselves aware of the risks.

How To Get Funding For An Injection-Mold-Driven Startup

How To Get Funding For An Injection-Mold-Driven Startup

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How To Get Funding For An Injection-Mold-Driven Startup | Moldie

4 Reasons Why You Should Leave Money Management to the Professionals

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4 Reasons Why You Should Leave Money Management to the Professionals

When embarking on the adventure that is a new business, it can be tempting to try and take everything on yourself. It may seem like you are saving a few pennies, but in reality, the price of not outsourcing your financial management to experts can be much higher. Here’s why you should leave money management to the professionals.


  1. Use Your Time More Efficiently

New businesses require a lot of attention. Establishing yourself in the community and online, building relationships with your clients, nailing down production and pricing of goods and services, and taking care of the countless other demands of a new business will have you working round the clock.


Part of being a successful entrepreneur is knowing how and when to delegate. Mind Tools notes that you should delegate to someone who has the time, resources, and knowledge to complete the task. If you don’t have a background in accounting or payroll, taking on these tasks yourself will add more to your plate than just the extra time spent to complete them. You’ll also have to spend time studying requirements for deducting child support, composing reports for investors, and more. That’s extra time that could be spent working on other aspects of the business.


  1. Avoid Hefty Fines

If you mismanage your business’s finances, especially when it comes to taxes and payroll, this will not only cause undue stress, but it can also cost you in penalties. Not paying your taxes on time can result in a 5% penalty for every month you’re behind, and you can count on significant penalties if you fail to pay them. It’s true that if preparation doesn’t go according to plan that you could apply for a tax-filing extension; however, this shouldn’t be a regular occurrence.


  1. Benefit From Professional Knowledge

Hiring an accountant doesn’t just ensure you will have accurate records and profit and loss reports to share with your investors. You also benefit from their understanding of data, which can help you make better-informed decisions for your business. By putting your financials in the hands of a professional, you ensure you get the most from your money.


Using a payroll service to handle your payroll has similar benefits. Payroll, like accounting, has many specific protocols, including taxes and deductions, that if managed incorrectly can result in serious consequences. And incorrect or late payments can leave employees dissatisfied. Buddy Punch notes that paying your employees on time shows them that you appreciate their contribution. Dissatisfied employees are more likely to quit, which could hurt your business.


If you’d rather keep payroll in house, using comprehensive payroll software will be a boon. With an online payroll provider like QuickBooks, not only can you stay organized, but you can also automate payroll, your taxes will automatically be calculated and filed, and you can even manage human resources and employee benefits like 401(k) plans or health insurance.


  1. Feel Confident At Tax Time

Business taxes are a complicated beast. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it is easy to make a mistake that either costs you money or loses you deductions you might have benefitted from. With a business, there are several aspects of taxes an individual might avoid: expense tracking, paying estimated taxes throughout the year, deductions specific to your business and more. It also can be difficult for a business owner to correctly keep track of individual versus business tax information. Because of this, it’s important to hire a professional who can handle your taxes without making any mistakes.


Take the pressure off of yourself and hire professionals to handle the money end of your business. By doing so, you will sleep better knowing you have people you can trust who will give your business the best chance at success.


If your business is in a high-risk industry, First Financial is here to help you secure the merchant services you need so that you can accept credit, debit and gift cards. For more information, contact us today!

Tips For Staging Your Home Office For More Productive In-Person and Virtual Client Meetings

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Tips For Staging Your Home Office For More Productive In-Person and Virtual Client Meetings

You can find this guide and many other helpful and valuable pieces of content on the Mid-Century website.​

When working from home, staging and decorating the space is crucial for both the aspect and the productivity you’re bound to get. Staging is the process of cleaning, decluttering, decorating, and organizing the rooms usually to show potential buyers the best parts of the home. This preparation helps aspiring entrepreneurs in their effort to conduct in-person and virtual meetings with customers or sell the house quickly for the highest price possible.

Stage Your Home Office for a More Productive Work Environment

Part of making your home a more appealing and more productive space is staging a home office. When you have an extra room to use as a workspace, that place creates an attractive option for many buyers in case you want to sell the house. So if you believe you might sell your home in the foreseeable future, a home office that has all the required necessities is an update that could boost your property’s appraisal value altogether. Before you proceed with the staggering and designing, ensure you take before and after photos of the office to chronicle the changes and improvements so you can sell your home at a higher price. Here’s how to stage a home office properly.


A home office is a spot that can become quickly cluttered. Remove all the paperwork, electrical cords in view, and small objects to create a more productive and clean space. If you plan to sell, also remove family photos, certifications, and other personal stuff – these items can be distracting to purchasers who need to be able to imagine themselves using the room.

Create More Space

If your home office is small, you can create the illusion of more space by removing or changing some of the furniture, downsizing the large pieces, or simply rearranging them. Remove any furniture you don’t need, such as the extra chair or the decorative vase, and replace it with a floor lamp that doesn’t take much space. If the closet is sufficiently deep, make room to store filing cabinets inside that can be accessed when the sliding panels or the door is open.

Set Up an Organized Workspace

Both for your well-being and for a decluttered and impeccable-looking space, clear off the desk and let only a few things on it, such as a desk lamp, a computer, a notebook, and a cup of pens. This will help you feel more productive and calmer when working and arrange the stage while making the office look spotless and minimalist.

Keep It Neutral But Accessorize

While home office staging and designing, one of the main guidelines is to keep the colors neutral so the decor will inspire calmness and allow clients to feel comfortable. So, while bright colors are fantastic for keeping you motivated and energized in a home office, they should not be on the large pieces or the walls while staging.

And while it’s understandable that the home office should look professional and even sober, it should also be comfortable and inviting. You can achieve this by including a beautiful area rug, preferably with an interesting pattern or design. A few pieces of decor will also help make that space feel warmer and more magnetic. Hang some artwork on the walls, add some curtains to soften the window area, or bring in a plant – these details go a long way in making clients feel more comfortable or selling quicker.

Tips for Launching Your Business as an ECOpreneur

Tips for Launching Your Business as an ECOpreneur

If you’re passionate about environmentalism and interested in entrepreneurship, you might worry that you would have to give up on your principles to open a business. But “ecopreneurship” could be the right path for you! From making donations to hosting educational events in your community, this guide from Save First Financial Wellness outlines everything you’ll need to do to embrace ecopreneurship.

If you’ve always dreamed of launching your own business, and you’re ready for ecopreneurship, turn to Save First Financial Wellness to help turn your dream into a reality.

Legal and Administrative Tasks

First things first – you’ll need to check a few legal and administrative items off of your to-do list before your official launch!

Building Your Business

Now, you can start growing your business. Here’s how to do it while keeping your operations eco-friendly.

  • Typical packaging is often wasteful, so package your products with one of these eco-friendly options.
  • Live out your values by keeping the utility bills for your retail space low.
  • Want to save paper? Conduct most of your marketing efforts online!
  • Figure out a fair price point that keeps your products accessible to customers who want to shop at sustainable small businesses.

Connecting With Your Community

You want your business to make a positive contribution to the world. Community outreach will allow you to do just that.

  • Get to know other ecopreneurs in your area through networking.
  • Partner up with an environmental charity to raise money for important causes.
  • Bring people into your retail space for educational or philanthropic events!

Figuring out how to manage your business in an eco-friendly way can be challenging. But it isn’t impossible by any means. With a little perseverance, you can become a successful ecopreneur by providing a product or service that makes the world a better place!

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How to Start a Small Business in the U.S. as a Non-Citizen

Small businesses are vitally important to the American economy. Consider the following statistics provided by the Chamber of Commerce: There are 30.2 million small businesses operating in the U.S. which collectively make up 99.9% of total U.S. businesses, employ 49.2% of the American workforce, and are responsible for 60-65% of net new jobs — amounting to around 2 million new jobs per year.

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