Category Archives: Money Management

Selling your business? Timing is everything.

by Kelly Deis of SoundPoint Consulting

Owners want to sell their businesses for for a variety of reasons – some want to retire and others are ready to move on to something else. Most owners ask – “is now a good time to sell?” Not surprisingly, the answer is, “it depends”.

Here are three factors to consider when timing the sale of your business. Of course, it is best when all three are optimally aligned, but that is not always possible.

The State of the Owner

The owner is critical to the success and ultimate value of a business. Typically, once the owner is beyond his or her prime, the business value will begin to falter.

It is best to sell when the owner is engaged, still excited about the business and perhaps wiling to stay on after the sale. Likewise, the more youthful and healthy the owner the less they will appear eager to sell.

You want to be the owner that wants to sell, not one that has to sell.  Continue reading

How Good Is Your Revenue?

by Kelly Deis of SoundPoint Consulting

A dollar is a dollar. That’s true. And, all revenue is equal. Right?  Well no, not in an investor’s or potential buyer’s eye. So what makes some revenue good and other revenue not quite as good?

1. Recurring

Recurring revenue is highly desirable because is it known and predictable. The best example of this is an auto-renewal fee or service charge periodically charged directly to a customer’s credit card. Once the initial sale is complete there are no more costs to acquire a customer. The revenue stream is much like an annuity. Continue to provide the goods or services as promised and the revenue keeps coming in.

Great examples of this are insurance premiums and streaming fees. Once customers have decided to purchase the product – and assuming they remain content, they are happy to have their credit card billed automatically.

In contrast, consulting and attorney fees are often one-time in nature. Revenue ceases when the project is complete and the engagement ends.  Continue reading

The 3 things keeping small business owners up at night.

Small business owners heading into 2018 have a lot to be happy about — but they’ve also got some major concerns about the continued success of their businesses.

Capital One polled small business owners about their hopes and fears, and here’s what the latest Small Business Growth Index has to say about their responses.

Positive Outlook

All told, small business owners feel good about their finances. Nearly half (47 percent) say their businesses’ sales rose in the past six months—the highest percentage recorded by the survey since the second quarter of 2013. Some 37 percent say their financial position has improved from one year ago, too.

But it’s not all sunshine. While small business owners are happy with their finances, they’re also wondering how long the good times will last. In fact, two of the top three concerns cited by entrepreneurs in the survey are financial in nature.  Continue reading

Your Budget: A Roadmap for the Year

by Kelly Deis of SoundPoint Consulting

It’s that time of year again. Most businesses are on a fiscal year which coincides with the calendar year. It is time to look back and reflect on 2017 as well as look forward and create a budget for 2018.

A budget is a roadmap. Based on where you have been, it can help guide you to the desired final destination for year-end.

If you stay on the current course – where will you end up? Alternatively, if you change the route – where will you be at the end of the year? It is up to you to decide which path is the most profitable and most likely to be achieved.

Here are a few things to think about as you prepare your budget.  Continue reading

Here’s how to fund your business.

by Kelly Deis of SoundPoint Consulting

So, you have a great idea for a start-up or you want to expand your current business. You have the perfect business plan and are confident that both revenue growth and profitability are sure-fire.

Problem is, you don’t have the capital to fund the start-up or expansion. If that is the case, here are a few ways to fund your business. Which one is right for you?  Continue reading

The Secret Weapon That Can Help You Get a Better Business Loan

by Gerri Detweiler

Carolyn Walters’ small business clients know they can ask her more than just tax questions. While “tax is the heart and soul of what I do,” she says as the owner of Financial Solutions Accounting and Tax in Greensboro, NC, she has expanded her business to offer a variety of different services.

“The challenges that small businesses have usually end up in my lap one way or another,” she says with a chuckle.

Walters wants to be the first resource her small business clients turn to when they have questions about small business financing and credit. “Quite a few of my clients are looking at ways to expand and grow their businesses, and that takes money,” she says.

Some of them have the funds they need to grow, but others will need to borrow. And even those who don’t have to borrow may find it advantageous to do so. “If you can get credit at low rates and still maintain the integrity of the business goals you are trying to accomplish, it may make sense,” Walters says.  Continue reading

LLCs for Freelancers: Understanding Liability Protection

Nearly every professional freelancer eventually faces the question of whether to remain a sole proprietor or form an LLC. The question becomes more taxing as business grows and the potential for liability increases.

As a freelancer, you may have heard that forming an LLC provides liability protection. While this is true, it is not an impenetrable shield.

Understanding how liability works is crucial for protecting you and your freelance business.

The most important difference between a sole proprietorship and an LLC is that the limited liability company is a legal entity separate from you, the freelancer. If your LLC is sued while pursuing its business, the company’s assets are at risk, but your personal assets are not.  Continue reading

Your Budget: A Roadmap for 2017

by Kelly Deis of SoundPoint Consulting

It’s that time of year again. Most businesses are on a fiscal year which coincides with the calendar year. It is time to look back and reflect on 2016 as well as look forward and create the budget for 2017. 
A budget is a roadmap. Based on where you have been, it can help guide you to the desired final destination for year-end.
If you stay on the current course – where will you end up?  Alternatively, if you change the route – where will you be at the end of the year?  It is up to you to decide which path is the most profitable and most likely to be achieved.
Here are a few things to think about as you prepare your budget.

Continue reading

Beware of easy money schemes.

A new predatory lending scheme is targeting struggling small business owners.

Sadly, just like the old loan sharks in the movies, many small business owners have fallen victim to these predators, and it has cost them their business and sometimes personal bankruptcy.

Everyone understands that bank loans are more difficult than ever to obtain for a small business owner.  Whether you blame it on too much regulatory control, like Dodd-Frank mandates, stingy bankers or an anemic economy, if you need funds to grow your small business, it can be a very steep hill to climb.

A fact of entrepreneurial life is that your startup capital usually comes from your savings, your friends’ savings, your family members’ savings and a bunch of credit cards.  But even when you are profitable, you need money to grow your business.  Continue reading

Financing rules for small business owners.

by OnDeck CFO Howard Katzenberg 

Howard Katzenberg knows a thing or two about how to grow, and lend to, a small business. A veteran of American Express’ small business division and former consultant for Swift Financial Corporation, a small business lending firm, he has seen the small business lending landscape from all sides, and has had a front row seat addressing the challenges commonly faced by small business owners. As the CFO of OnDeck, he also has taken a small business from infancy to IPO.

Howard took the time to answer our questions about growing a business, how to manage lending in the modern era, and the most important financial tasks for any small business owner.   Continue reading