Protecting Your Business Structure As a Separate Entity

There are a wide variety of business entities to choose from and they vary from state to state. Which type of entity you choose will have a significant impact on your exposure to liability, your responsibilities as the business owner, and the taxes you and the business will be responsible for paying. Each type of structure has advantages and disadvantages, and should be chosen with care after consulting a business or legal professional.

Regardless of business structure, one of the most common mistakes business owners make is to believe that the entity they choose will provide unlimited legal protection. Yes, many of the business structures offer legal protection in the abstract, a sort of legal shield, so to speak. However, reality can be quite different. Your legal protection is dependent on whether you honor the structure. Simply filing the requisite documents establishing the business is insufficient to truly protect the business owner. The business owner also must operate the business as a distinct entity from him- or herself.

To start with, a basic rule of business ownership is the rule against the co-mingling of personal and business funds. It is vitally important for the business owner to keep his or her personal funds separate from the business accounts. This sounds so simple and, yet, many entrepreneurs co-mingle funds, rendering legal protection meaningless in the extreme. There is a legal doctrine called “piercing the corporate veil,” which allows a litigant to actually pierce the business structure of the entity being sued, and make a claim against the individual owner and his or her personal assets. This doctrine is only applied in the extreme, but it is an important doctrine to use as a litmus test when operating a business. One of the biggest factors a court will consider when deciding whether to “pierce the veil” is whether or not the business owner has co-mingled his or her personal and business funds. Rule of thumb: Keep them separate!

Another common mistake made by business owners is the failure to adhere to the legal formalities required of whatever type of business entity they chose. If you do not treat the business as a separate entity, then a court may not do so either. Alas, the protection you thought you had been entitled to may no longer exist! One of the easiest ways to treat the business as separate is to maintain great business records. If you are required to keep minutes or show proof of an annual meeting for your corporation, do so. If you are required to maintain proof of business expenses, make sure you have those documents and can find them (a good professional organizer can work wonders here!). In other words, create the paper trail required by law. That paper trail serves as strong evidence that the business is, indeed, a real business.

Principles Of Farming To Grow Your Business

Before the advent of industrialization, there existed only two types of business; hunting and farming. Hunters are known to kill what they eat, while farmers are known to grow what they eat. In the short run, the hunter may seem smarter than the farmer, since their efforts seem to yield faster results – point and kill. But on the long run, a farmer’s effort pays more even though it may appear slower because their efforts tend to yield longer lasting results.

For instance, when a farmer plants a seed, it grows into a tree that continues to provide food for the farmer over a long period of time so long as the tree is properly nurtured. But when a hunter kills an animal, the meat cannot sustain him for long, so he constantly needs to be hunting for animals to kill every time he needs to eat.

Rarely do hunters hunt today what they will eat tomorrow. Why would they want to do such a thing, when they can just readily kill another animal and have a fresh supply of meat as the need arises? Just knowing that there are always animals in the bush completely dissolves the hunter’s need to plan for the long term. Why bother storing meat, when you can get it fresh whenever you need it? In other words, hunting is for eating.

This is not the case with farmers. You cannot hope to eat today the yam or apple you planted today, or even yesterday, or even a month ago. Why? Because crops unlike animals in the bush takes time to grow and are not stumbled upon, but rather are cultivated. Unlike hunting, you cannot walk into a farm with the hope of harvesting a crop you didn’t plant.

In farming, to harvest [reap], you must plant [sow]. You get only as much as you’ve given. Therefore, to eat well tomorrow, means you must have planted what you intend to harvest a long time ago. This is the same principle on which successful businesses are built.

The Farmer’s recipe for business success

To succeed in the world of business, as an entrepreneur, you must get rid of every get-rich-quick mindset of a hunter and begin to embrace the grow-rich-big mindset of a farmer. Hunters are more into business for the immediate gains it can bring, while farmers are in it for the long haul. Success as it ironically turns out, comes only to the farmer and not to the hunter.

In business, just like farming, you don’t build to reap fast [quick], you build to reap large [big]. You want to reap what will sustain you over a long period of time while you are waiting for the next harvest to come. Because you know how long you must wait to reap, you make sure what you sow is of the best quality so that it doesn’t wither and die before the next harvest season. This is why every farmer only sows their best seeds.

How much [quantity] and how well [quality] you harvest [reap] is dependent on the quantity and quality of the seed you planted [sow]. Farmers have discovered the secret of success; they sow as much as they want to reap. They spend the majority of their time planting and cultivating rather than hunting, because they have realized that what you grow [plant and cultivate] yields a far greater returns than what you get [hunt and kill].

Home-Based Business Call Center And Earn Income Within The First Month!

While there are a host of companies that promise legitimate work-at-home opportunities that don’t deliver, luckily, there are companies that do indeed have “work” to offer that can be done from home. Customer service work is a leading work-at-home opportunity that consistently seeks to bring aboard talented home-based customer service representatives that excel in providing quality service to customers.

To get to the level of working legitimately from home and taking customer service calls for companies, one must first understand the differences that this form of “work” may come in. First, there’s the need to overcome the negative connotation associated with paying a fee to work online.

I know, I know! Before, I stated that there are a dozen or so companies out there that would not ask individuals to pay to work for them instead of the other way around, right? Well, quite honestly, there are. Allow me to explain. There’s a difference in working for a company from home as an employee or as business.

The question is: do you want to work as an employee or a contractor? Not all work-at-home opportunities offered are offered by employers. Rather, many work-at-home opportunities, more specifically customer service positions, are just that, an opportunity — an opportunity to make an income by forming your very own home-based business.

What’s the difference? An employer hires an individual to perform one role within the organization and the individual will work for that employer with an agreed upon salary. A home-based business contracts with several different companies and may offer a variety of services because the business would receive a different pay rate for each service the business is contracted to service.

This presents a slightly different level in regards to earning potential for the home-business providing the service because the business can service any number of clients at any given time. No salary cap — only capped by the business offering its services. So you see, the opportunity becomes a little greater when offering services as a business vs. as an employee. Since a business has the ability to earn more, there are requirements for this kind of privilege.

Now while there are employers that do hire employees to work from home to take customer service calls, and it’s important to know of these options, we will take the time to focus on business opportunities instead of employer-to-employee work-at-home opportunities. It’s important to understand that some companies only work with home-based businesses and independent contractors, so that all work-at-home opportunities and options are considered and not mistakenly cast aside, which leaves money on the table.

Things to Remember When Preparing Your Business for Sale

key aspects of the preparation process are.

1. Stop Running the Business

Many buyers have been conditioned to think that a business cannot perform without the original owner. Many prospective purchasers are afraid that once the current owner leaves, the company will underperform and this fear prevents many businesses from ever being sold.

When preparing your business for sale it is a good idea to reduce the amount of time you spend running the business on a day to day basis. Most small businesses are built around the owner/manager which is why prospective buyers feel the business will falter once it has changed hands. If you can show that the business can operate profitably without you then you have a business with value that should sell for a premium.

2. Hire Managers

Buyers like stability and they dislike risk. One way you can decrease the perceived risk of acquiring your business is to put good managers in place. If you are able to hire managers and build in a chain of command that removes you from the day to day running of the business, while ensuring it still runs efficiently, you have taken away a significant stumbling block for many buyers.

A profitable business which comes with well-trained managers who know the business well, and are willing to continue running it from the day one, is an attractive proposition that many buyers will not pass up on.

3. Put Business Systems in Place

During the preparation period, aim to have all your business processes documented and working in a defined system. All business practices should be well-defined and each member of your organisation should have a clear role with a well understood job specification. Use the preparation period to build in systems which explain and document how each process of your business works and all employees should be well versed in how these systems work.

Building in systems is important as it will improve a buyer’s confidence and this will lead to better offers. A business that works smoothly and efficiently, with clearly defined processes and systems, is a positive for many buyers as this reduces the amount of time and resources they have to spend understanding and fixing inefficient practices.

4. Legal Issues

It is very important to settle any legal disputes or issues that may affect the sale of your business as any buyer worth their salt will conduct some form of due diligence if they are serious about purchasing your business.

Many deals have collapsed due to legal issues or disputes that the vendor has failed to sort out or disclose. If you are able to solve these issues prior to negotiations and due diligence you have paved the way for a successful sale. Issues such as lease agreements on property and equipment, outstanding payments or court settlements and other potential liabilities should be tackled prior to the negotiation period as these issues are notorious for collapsing deals.

Create Your Facebook Business Page

Here is the answer: Facebook is ruining the businesses that have not created a customized business page to promote their products or services.

The answer to this question is actually geared more so toward entrepreneurs who currently do not have a Facebook Business page to promote their business, products, or services.

If this is you, keep reading. You will be introduced to five easy suggestions for creating a fun, but professional Facebook Business page.

If you do have a business page on Facebook, then you may already be aware of the positive impact this powerful free marketing tool has had on your business. You have increased the effectiveness of building a list of prospects and keeping your existing clients by tenfold! And it is an excellent resource to market your business, products, or services.

Build Your Facebook Business Page with These 5 Easy Suggestions

1. Creating Your Customized Page.

There is no limit to the number of pages you can create. This is your opportunity to let the world know about who you are, what you do, and how they can benefit from you.

Don’t be afraid to show your personality.

If you stay casual, then you will attract more people and make satisfying connections.

On a professional level, it is good share your company mission, your target market, services or products, company history, and your business email address.

2. Maximize your Facebook personal profile with your customized business page.

I am sure you want to get a lot of exposure for your business. A simple method to get a lot of business exposure is by adding your customized business page to your Facebook personal profile page.

When I added my business page to my personal profile, I experienced positive results almost immediately!

3. Showcase your favorite personal and business photos.

Just because you are creating a professional page does not mean it can not be fun and interesting. Photos are one of the most viewed content on the Internet. Along with your professional photos, share snapshots of your vacations, family events, experiences, or something humorous.

Your contacts will know more about your life and favored interests. They will be able to connect with you on a deeper level, which all boils down to building trust and eventually long term business relationships.

4. Make it a goal to post on Facebook at least twice per day.

Facebook is the perfect place to connect with people anywhere in the world. There are an abundance of people to build relationships with your personal profile page and your customized business page.