Yes, you can manage your time more effectively.

With so many responsibilities as a business owner, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and fall short on what you want to accomplish. If you’re a new business owner who formerly worked for someone else, you may have discovered that managing time has become more challenging. 

That’s natural. After all, you’ve gone from having your work schedule and priorities set for you to needing to prioritize every project and task related to running your business. Time management doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but it’s an essential skill that can be developed with some attention and effort.  Continue reading

Myths and Facts About Grants for “For-Profit” Business

“How can I get grant money to start a for-profit business?”

This is the number one funding related question that Small Business Administration, other government agencies and financial institutions encounter from potential entrepreneurs seeking money to start a business.

The infomercials on late night television selling books or offering free seminars appear to be very convincing. I have spent hours investigating myths and facts about grants. Here are the findings:

Myths about Grants for “For-Profit” Business:

As part of the research on grants, I attended a few different seminars that were held by privately owned organizations at some of the major hotels. Continue reading

Basic Facts About Trademarks

From the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office

What Is a Trademark or Service Mark and How Do They Differ From Patents and Copyrights?

A trademark is a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services.

This animated video explains how trademarks, patents, copyrights and also domain names and business names all differ. [run time: 8:38]

It is important to understand whether you should file for a trademark/service mark, a patent, and/or a copyright. While all are types of intellectual property, each protects something very specific. In addition to watching the video above, you can study how trademarks, patents, and copyrights differ to ensure you are making the proper filing decision at the outset of the filing process.

Continue reading

Nine Ways to Fund Your Business

by Kelly Deis of SoundPoint Consulting

If you don’t have the capital to fund your business growth, here are a few ideas. Which one is right for you?

1. Bank Loan or Line of Credit

Borrowing from the bank is probably the most traditional way of funding a business. This can take the form of a traditional loan or line of credit. Some banks may require an SBA guarantee which is a little more expensive than a bank-only loan. Others may require covenants, or conditions, within which the business must perform.

Bankers will review your historical performance and business plan in great detail. Assuming that these pass muster, the bank will require collateral in the form of inventory, equipment or even your house. In many cases they will insist on a personal guarantee.

Bank loans are debt financing requiring periodic payment of principal and interest. However, they do not require you to give up equity in your business; if your business takes off, you keep the profits (after debt repayment). Continue reading

Best practices for building a winning website.

website developmentYour website is often the first impression a person has of your business. Is your website a good representation of your company – or does it miss the mark?

In this webinar presented by digital marketing expert Sherry Bonelli, you’ll learn what to consider and implement as you build or update your website.

View the Webinar

Viewing this webinar requires some basic information. This data is only used within SCORE and will not be distributed to any third parties. Continue reading

What’s the best way to pay your employees?

by Joe Heinrich, SCORE Seattle

Congratulations!! You’ve grown your small business so much that you need help, and so you’ve hired your first employee. Now you’re confronted with the task of paying that employee properly in accordance with IRS regulations and State of Washington statutes, along with making payments to taxing authorities and reporting to them periodically. And now you’re stomach’s churning!!

payroll

Overview

To correctly pay an employee in Washington, the employer needs to deduct the following taxes from the employee’s pay and report and remit timely these amounts to the relative taxing authorities:

  • Social Security Tax and Medicare Tax (just the employee’s share)
  • Federal Income Tax
  • Washington Labor & Industry Premiums (just the employee’s share)
  • Washington Paid Family & Medical Leave Tax (just the employee’s share)

There may be other withholdings from the employee’s pay, such as garnishments for child support, contributions to a retirement plan, donations, and the like. Continue reading