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Decrease Business Costs

decrease-business-costs-tipsAs an entrepreneur you can’t stop for looking better approaches to decrease business expenses and acquire benefits. Something else, your business will never flourish. By executing these 15 basic systems inside a year, you’d have the capacity to spare a huge number of dollars in net benefit!

# Opt for online advertising

Does your business have a Facebook page and Twitter and Pinterest accounts? Do you have a website properly optimized for mobile search? In 2015 if your business is not online, it practically does not exist! Compared to traditional marketing and advertising, promoting your biz online allows you to get faster results with less money spent. Start small by adding a blog to your website, offer expert advice, reach out to new media and bloggers with thrilling stories you can share, invest some time and money in social media marketing, and optimize your website properly to get a huge amount of targeted traffic and new customers.

# Take advantage of the freelance workforce

A recent study predicts 40% of the U.S.’s workforce will go freelanceby 2020. Why not start taking advantage of a temporary team from day one and avoid paying huge overheads and adding up costs like sick leaves, training, vacations, insurance, and so on? Having a flexible team working on a per-project/task basis will significantly reduce your business operating costs, improve overall key performance indicators, and will allow you to focus on more important tasks while minor things are getting solved by your dedicated virtual assistant. Nowadays, you can basically outsource anything, from handling emails and managing your FB business page to complete website design and full-cycle development projects. Besides, hiring a specialist abroad may cost you less than hiring someone with the same skill set back at home.

# Start an internship program

Sometimes, having a remote worker is not an option as you need help onsite—say, sorting out that huge pile of papers on your desk. Get in touch with a local college and offer to establish mutually beneficial relationships—you get a free workforce; they get a cool company to send students to. Win-win. Alternatively, you can post an advert online at sites like Urban Interns and check out all the rising stars eager to work with you for a shining resume credential and real hands-on experience. Moreover, there are high chances of discovering true talents to hire afterwards as part-time or full-time assistants who already know how to things get done at your company.

# Keep a virtual office

If most of your team works remote and you don’t have an ongoing need to gather at one place, why should you bother to pay huge rent for the office space? Business meetings can be held at any venue, co-working space, or conference hall. However, you still like to keep things looking professional and earn your credits, right? And occasionally you do need to fax something or print a bunch of promotional materials. If that is it, most virtual offices provide you with temporary printing solutions at a flat rate; VoIP phones with a personal voice message box; corporate mailing address; a dedicated receptionist handling your calls and a bunch of other cool perks that tend to cost a tiny fortune when implemented at a regular office.

# Use energy-efficient appliances

Utility bills eating up a huge chunk of your income? First of all, opt for compact fluorescent light bulbs. They cost more than the usual bulbs, however they function longer, thus saving you a pretty penny in the long run. Secondly, consider switching to energy-efficient appliances, particularly those with the Energy Star label. Again, they do cost more, but you can cut down the expenses with numerous government-sponsored rebates, along with making your biz eligible for green energy tax credits. If you need professional advice on making your company more energy efficient, just ring up your power company and request a free energy audit. An inspector should come to analyze your workplace and suggest further ways to reduce energy consumption.

# Barter

So you run a small writing business. Have you ever though of offering your professional editing services to have a marketing campaign developed for you in return? Bartering is no longer difficult with a number of B2B barter sites like U-Exchange and TradeBank gaining huge popularity among small and middle sized business owners. Set up an account and start exchanging services you need! Besides, it’s an excellent way to grow your business connections and score potential customers or partners.

# Re-examine your phone plan and ditch your land line

Are you sure you have the best cellphone plan currently available on the market? How long has it been since you last checked the prices? If you signed up for your plan more than two years ago, it’s definitely not the best option available on the market today. If you need to make international phone calls frequently, use Skype or Line, an app that has lower prices. Moreover, swapping your land line for VoIP or a virtual phone line will save you a big bucks at the end of the day.

# Don’t be shy to ask for a discount

Take the nerve and ask the retailers directly whether they can give you a discount as a small business owner. Surprisingly, most will say yes if you are shopping for big ticket items. Alternatively, sneak around for coupons and special deals, sign up to retailers’ newsletters to be the first to know when certain items come on sale, plus get a few money-saving apps installed on your phone to receive instant alerts.

# Go paperless

Do you really think you need those copies printed for everyone? Now look at your monthly printing costs and think again. Still opting for paper bills and invoices? That’s stone age with so many online payment and invoices systems available at reduced costs. Retain your clients with email marketing and ditch mailing coupons and advertorials by snail mail to cut down the costs even more!

# Invest in self-education

If you feel reluctant about paying yet another one-time consultants to solve the problem for you, spend less on self-education. Or pay nothing and gain lacking knowledge at one of these 25 killer educational websites. There’s no better investment than education and in the long-run, spending time and effort on learning something new will pay off later on!

# Buy used equipment and furniture

Shopping in thrift shops and bargain sales is no longer shameful. It’s trendy. Loads of businesses prefer to equip their offices with shabby vintage stuff costing pennies instead of luxury designer goods (that often look pretty much the same). Businesses claim to save up to 60% costs merely buying used office equipment like computers, faxes and printers. Scroll through Craigslist, check out your local paper classified and online auctions like eBay to get everything you need at least two times cheaper.

# Cut back on paid software

Nowadays there’s an open-source free alternative to nearly any product at the tech market. Unless a specific software is absolutely crucial for keeping your business running smooth, get rid of it! Microsoft Office can be replaced with Open Office or Google Drive; Basecamp has a free, similar-looking alternative Trello and you can create beautiful online and PDF designs with free photo-editing tools like Canva or Picmonkey instead of using Photoshop. Which leads as to the next point…

# Conduct timely technology and services audits

How many paid apps and subscriptions do you currently have? And how many are you actually using? Bet these two numbers differ quite a bit. If you have not used a certain technology or service for the last 90 days, it’s time to cancel your subscription and stop paying for things you obviously do not need. Make it a rule to review all the paid products you have every two months. Moreover, before getting yet another piece of paid software, visit and try hundreds of software products for free through trial downloads, limited versions, and freeware to make sure that it’s indeed a product you need.

# Eliminate finance charges

A lot of businesses lose thousands dollars annually on ridiculous things like high membership fees on business credit cards, late loan payments and credit-card processing fees. By simply staying on top of bills and paying them exactly when they are due, you will save your business a great amount of money each year. Yes, keeping up with the bills can be complicated, so try to automate as many financial processes as possible by implementing online payment systems and setting up special alerts when bills are due. Also, pay a visit to your bank and ask what better credit card options they can offer you as a business owner.

# Use the power of co-opetition

Team up with fellow business owners to collaborate and share expenses when buying new supplies in bulk. Moreover, you can group even further and jointly promote a sidewalk sale, share mailing lists and distribution channels with businesses offering complementary goods or services that may interest your customers. Also, you can exchange advertising spaces on your websites, share each other’s coupons and special deals (for a small fee or percentage from each sale made) and occasionally appear at each other’s business blogs to boost your rankings and attract a new audience to your websites.

Great Social Marketing Tips

great-social-marketing# Set up a simple process to review social content

If you’re working in a large organization, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to send social content to multiple teams for review. Sending follow up emails and reminders can be a big time waster, so consider using apps or extensions that allow you to easily route social content to your internal teams.

# Collaborate with other teams to create better content

Brainstorming with your team will not only save you lots of time, but it will also make your content better. Large-scale collaboration allows great ideas to evolve into excellent campaigns, so get input sooner rather than later. Go outside of your direct team to get ideas from other departments in sales and support. They can probably tell you things about your customers that you may never have otherwise thought about.

# Use apps or tools that allow for easy access to information

In order to quickly retrieve content (like your pre-approved social content), you need a place to house and organize your work. Use apps or tools that allow for a seamless integration between your social platform and your internal process.

# Create a stockpile of social media approved content

When you have a stockpile of approved content, you can be consistent in your outreach.  You also don’t have wait for last minute reviews or approvals. This eliminates the stress of having to produce something new for all your marketing campaigns and saves you time when you need to execute. Use downtime in your campaign schedule to get content reviewed and approved.

#. Schedule content in advance

In the run up to campaigns, scheduling content in advance will save you a lot of time. Take advantage of any downtime you have to plan your publishing schedule.

# Keep tabs on other departments

It’s difficult (but also super important) to stay in touch with what other departments are working on. If another department is running a project that may be useful to you, this will help cut down time in planning or reiterating on plans that you have.

# Share your results

After successful (or unsuccessful) campaigns, share your results with all teams involved. This will allow you to reflect on what went well and what you can improve on. It’s also a great opportunity to showcase stats or customer feedback around your campaigns.

Avoid These SEO Mistakes

decrease-business-costs-tipsSearch Engine Optimization, or SEO, is an indispensable part of any business internet promoting system. Doing SEO all alone, in any case, can be troublesome – so you might be enticed to locate the speediest, least demanding route to the top.

Sadly, the same number of individuals have found, these snappy fixes are significantly more liable to exile your business to the base of pursuit rankings. Be that as it may, don’t give up; you can learn missteps of your Internet precursors. Here are the main four SEO pitfalls – and how to evade them.

# Targeting overly general keywords

Since there’s so much content out there, you want to optimize your website for more specific keywords because they’ll have significantly less competition. For example, if you have a bookstore should avoid general keywords, such as “used books” as Amazon will already flood the rankings. Instead, try being a big fish in a small pond by finding a longer, more specific version of your keyword (which you can find using Google AdWords’ free Keyword Tool).

# Duplicating content

Copying your own content and putting it up on several pages does you more harm than good. For example, if you sell golf clubs, you don’t need the same three paragraphs about your golf clubs on every single page – it’s just read as spam. Search engines also disregard duplicate content because it doesn’t improve the user experience – once a reader has seen it, they don’t need to see it 20 more times.

But what if someone else is copying your content? Unfortunately, this is quite possible since content piracy is a growing problem online. Thankfully, Google is aware of this, and you can fight back by taking note of where the copied content is and letting Google know it’s a duplicate.

# Trying to trick search engines

Though deceiving searchbots may have worked in the early days of the Internet, search engines are much smarter now and don’t take kindly to being deceived. So definitely don’t:
– Fill your content with keywords at the cost of readable content
– Hide paragraphs of keywords by making them very small or in the same color as the background
– Stuff as many keywords as possible in your meta tags, image alt tags, etc.

# Making your site uncrawlable

To read a website and determine its ranking, search engines use search engine spiders and searchbots, to index all important words on the page. If these spiders and searchbots can’t read your website, they can’t tell if you have quality content or not. So don’t use too much Flash and JavaScript – spiders and search bots can’t read these types of code, then they can’t index your site and direct searchers to it. If you have a website that’s built entirely in Flash, you should offer an HTML version. Likewise, if you have to use JavaScript, try creating an external JavaScript file instead of writing it directly into your code.


Property Manager Certification Helped Us Avoid a Lot of Typical Landlord Mistakes

My wife and I took a real estate course on how to buy properties and rent them out. We then took a certified property manager certification course to become great landlords from the beginning. There is no need to make all the mistakes that other landlords have made when they first got into the rental business. We wanted to avoid the pitfalls and turn our properties into as much of a positive cash flow as possible. I wanted to know how to pick tenants and how to stay within the rules and the law when renting properties. There are all kinds of things you need to know, especially rules and laws about equal housing that you do not want to accidentally violate.

I learned a lot of stuff the first day of the certification course. I was surprised to learn what I did not know. My wife was having an easier time of it as she used to help out her grandfather who owned properties. She has collected rent, fixed sinks and toilets and served eviction notices on bad tenants.

Patrick Imbardelli – A Leader Who Excels In Devising Strategies In The Hotel Industry

The hotel industry faces innumerable challenges and hotels that are comparatively new within the industry suffer the most. Because of a fierce competition, it no more seems easy to attract travelers. If they fail to do so, companies opt for a phased exit from their hospitality business. They instead, prefer to invest somewhere else where there is potential to make profits.

So, they seek the help of professionals to devise new strategies that can be implemented and let them make a niche for themselves. However, only a few professionals have the expertise needed to do the same successfully in a time bound manner, but Patrick Imbardelli is an exception. He has always excelled in devising strategies that help the company to get a strong foothold in the market and increase the footfall of travelers to their hotels. His emphasis is always on ensuring customer satisfaction, and the right marketing strategy.

A successful career as a leader in the hotel industry

Mr. Imbardelli is among the few ones in the industry, who with his vast experience and knowledge has always managed to impress everyone. He keeps a tab on not only the top contenders in the hotel industry but also on the local laws of various countries so that devising a strategy for a chain of hotels in a distant country is never a problem. With a solid homework, he believes in initiating his work.

He has served the industry in numerous positions i.e. as a Group Director, Deputy CEO, Deputy Group Director, President, and Chief Executive in prominent hotel chains across the world. This alone speaks volume of his efficiency in devising winning strategies. Moreover, he is someone who believes in thinking innovatively as innovation is the key to success. His unique strategies, whenever have been implemented have yielded desired results.

Exceptional academic background

Patrick Imbardelli has an exceptional academic career that sets him apart from the rest. After graduating from the City University of New York, he does his masters in Finance, and that makes him wise to develop an understanding of the complexities in managing finances.

He even completed a four-week program in the Hilton International Career Development Institute (CDI) New York. The knowledge that he gained during the program tenure helped him immensely to achieve success in the hotel industry. Contrary to others who after getting a good job, refrain themselves from investing their time in learning new things, he persistently keeps on learning new things to cope with the managerial challenges that he face at his job.

Lastly, one can conclude that Mr. Imbardelli is a true leader who understands his responsibilities well and executes them brilliantly. Other than his vast knowledge base and experience, his hard work and dedication are the other two big factors that have massively contributed in establishing him as the best one in the hotel industry in terms of formulating strategies. For his excellence, he was recognized as hotelier of the year twice-once in 2006, and then in the year 2011.

Content Marketing Tips

Content marketing is the act of creating, publishing, and distributing content with the aim of attracting, engaging, and retaining customers. Content marketing depends on reciprocity. When marketers provide something of value (content), consumers may feel obligated to give something in return.

Here are five e commerce content marketing ideas :

Entertaining Video

Video is a fantastic medium for content marketing, regardless of whether you sell to businesses or individuals. As an example, HubSpot reported that adding a video to a landing page may increase conversations by roughly 80 percent.

Video has also been responsible for several significant and successful e commerce businesses. Dollar Shave Club, which recently sold for $1 billion to Unilever, really started to grow when it published an entertaining video in March 2012 and earned more than 12,000 new subscription orders in just 24 hours.

Smart marketers are similarly creating entertaining video content to help promote their companies and products. Here are a few more examples.

Seasonal How-to

Content marketing is best when it is useful. When you can help someone solve a problem or learn a skill, you are building a relationship that is likely to lead to repeat business.

Seasonal how-to articles that help readers. As with all content marketing, these how-to posts should be relevant to your products and industry.

Shopping and Gift Guides

Halloween and Christmas are quickly approaching. With each of these holidays there will be shoppers looking for products, ideas, and information.

Shopping and gift guides should be related to your store’s industry and useful to your potential customers.


Know More About Advertising

When I first got into the web promoting business, I was searching for the mystical blend that would put my site into the top web index rankings, sling me to the front line of the psyches or people hoping to purchase my item, and for the most part make me rich beyond anything I could ever imagine!

Subsequent to succeeding in the business for this long, I’m ready to think back on my old self with this sort of deduction and shake my head.

In case you’re understanding this article and you’ve come this far, you’re presumably searching for the enchantment answer yourself. You’ve most likely perused a couple of dozen or a couple of hundred articles simply like this about pay-per-click promoting, boosting rate of profitability, catchphrase stuffing, dark cap SEO strategies, content connection pennant trades, and the rundown goes on.

All things considered, I’m here to let you know that I have the one all end all answer and I’m imparting it to the world!

Actually there is no enchantment mystery to web promoting. Nobody technique will produce the biggest measure of wage/presentation for each site or business comprehensible – it’s every one of the a matter of experimentation, time and ability.

That is a quite powerless answer, I know. It would have been much cooler for me to let you know that purchasing modest characterized promotions in your neighborhood paper was the way to achievement and wealth. All things considered, I’m sad. For you few that have been down this street before and are beginning to get it, you’ll hear a ring of truth in my words. The sooner you quit searching for a speedy fix to make your message stick, the better.

For what it’s justified regardless of, these are my contemplations.

1) The web has just been alive for a couple short years, and in that time it has changed drastically many times over. Keep in mind in 1995 when everybody initially found the cool minimal vivified envelope.gif that you would tap on to send them email? Where was your online bill-pay, texting, and progressively created page content then? What’s more, just a couple short years after the fact you can perceive how far we’ve come and utilize that as a measure for how far we can go.

The fact is that the web, as different types of media, is a quickly advancing beast. What works for online sponsors today may be totally inadequate just a couple of months from now. That is the reason the best publicists are always investigating and making their own particular novel advertising techniques. The trap is to discover what works for you, and to ensure that you return to it now and again to tune it up as the business sector changes.

2) You Have to Spend Money to Make Money. It’s a drained line, yet it’s that way in light of the fact that everybody says it. Try not to be hesitant to add fuel to your promoting flame and take it to another level. Have a go at contributing (note that I said contributing and not burning through) five, ten, or fifty thousand dollars in publicizing. On the off chance that you don’t bounce out a window the first occasion when you do it, you may leave with a major grin and a little pocket cash!

The crucial step about contributing a major lump of cash is thinking of it in any case. On the off chance that you as of now have $50,000 laying around for promoting and are simply searching for a spot to put it, call me. In case you’re not that fortunate, have a go at taking a gander at the Small Business Administration for thoughts on the best way to get a little business advance.

On the off chance that you would prefer not to go more distant than your letter drop, look at some of those credit checks your bank continues sending you via the post office. Many people exploit their genuinely sensible financing costs to reserve ventures.

3) Presentation is Key. You’ll see that magnificent written work aptitudes and great advertising go as an inseparable unit. As you enhance one, the other will undoubtedly take after. Knowing how to compose, and how to compose well will give you a remarkable favorable position of the larger part of people competing for your clients’ consideration. I don’t think about you, yet I get a considerable measure of spam for individuals needing to offer me their modest things.

Obviously, I have never obtained anything from them and undoubtedly, neither have you. On the off chance that you have, please drop me a line and let me know how it worked out. I’m continually thinking about what number of those are a trick.

The messages and brochures that I do buy from originate from GoDaddy,, Google and a large group of other expert organizations that take a couple of minutes to procure my trust with great accentuation, sentence structure, and quality substance.

In the event that you don’t have an ability for composing (and you know who you will be) you have two options:

Improve – simpler said than done. Like most things, composition is one section ability and nine sections diligent work. Take a few classes, do peer altering proposals, or send it to me look over (initial ten-thousand entries as it were).

Alternately, get another person to do it – leaving more opportunity for you in charge. I like this alternative not just in light of the fact that it’s a period saver for me, additionally on the grounds that the work by and large turns out superior to anything I could have done. This article is an amazing case. I gave a nitty gritty layout, some great tales, and the techniques above and the marketing specialists at did the rest. I made an arrangement with them to compose the article for $149 and we share the syndication rights. Not awful for 60 minutes work.

On the off chance that you can’t bear to employ a star, be polite to yourself and your gathering of people by just re-perusing your work, running a spell check, and giving your significant other/a chance to spouse/companion/associate look it over. You’d be amazed at what number of things undetectable to you will emerge to a crisp arrangement of eyes.

Alright. That is all I have until further notice. It would be ideal if you recollect however that how far you go is dependent upon you. There is not a viable replacement for your own work and exertion in succeeding around here.


Retail Marketing for Small Business Tips

Given constrained data, time, and cash, little retail entrepreneurs and advertisers must choose which advertisement configurations and advancements merit speculation. Their development relies on upon using sound judgment. Be that as it may, what ought to be the needs? Which promoting strategies are generally essential?

Shockingly, suppositions and proposals are not generally accommodating with regards to organizing little business retail and ecommerce showcasing. For instance, in one article titled, “How to Prioritize Business Marketing,” an eventual advertising master recommended the accompanying.

This list, however, doesn’t seem like it would be all that helpful. What, for example, does “increase outreach” mean in the marketing context, and how would you compare the relative impact on increased outreach for pay-per-click advertising or email marketing?

This list is fairly typical of what you’d find if you searched Google for “how to prioritize small business marketing.” But again, it is not very helpful.

Concrete Suggestions

Instead of platitudes or buzz phrases, what follows are four tips or suggestions for, specific, marketing tactics you should prioritize in 2016.

Remember, all of these concrete suggestions should be viewed through the filter of your business. Also, remember that most companies plan marketing about a year ahead, so that you should be thinking about 2016’s marketing plan in September or October of 2015.

# Prioritize Your Customer’s Experience

Marketing consultant and award-winning website designer Nigel Gordijk described having a conversation with a prospective client. This potential client wanted Gordijk to help its site rank well on Google for a particular set of queries.

But this client had only “recently launched their business and had created a template-based website using resources from their web host,” Gordijk explained. “The site consisted of a total of seven paragraphs of content, spread across three text pages…The site looked amateurish. Even if potential customers were to find their way to the site, their first impression probably wouldn’t be positive.”

Gordijk’s point is a good one. And it helps us with our marketing priority list. Simply put, prioritize your customer’s experience. Invest some of your available money and time into improving how your retail site functions and looks.

Here are a few specifics.

  • If your site loads slowly, invest in performance.
  • If your site is not mobile optimized, make it responsive.
  • If your checkout is confusing, clean it up.
  • If your product images are small or blurry, get better pictures.
  • If your product descriptions are bland and meaningless, write new ones.

Do what you can to make shopping on your site easy and enjoyable.

# Prioritize Email Marketing

Email marketing is the one of the most powerful promotional tools available to retailers, online or off. When you have a healthy, well-managed email list, you can watch it drive sales.

There is almost nothing in marketing that is more satisfying than sending an email message, opening the administration page for your online store, and watching orders pop up as a direct result of that email message.

Earlier this year, OutboundEngine, an Austin, Texas-based marketing company, collected 20 astounding email marketing facts for a post on its blog. While some of this data was a couple of years old, it still makes a strong case for email marketing. Here are a few of the highlights.

  • For every $1 invested in email marketing, expect a return of $44.25.
  • Some 91 percent of consumers check email daily.
  • Email marketing is roughly 40 times better than Facebook or Twitter for acquiring customers.

Make email marketing a priority for your business. You want to:

  • Grow the size of your email list;
  • Segment your list so you can send personalized messages;
  • Use automation to improve email marketing performance;
  • Work to improve customer retention.

# Prioritize Content and Content Marketing

Content marketing is the act of creating, publishing and distributing content with the aim of earning, engaging, and keeping customers.

Content marketing works best when it is aimed at helping a customer. In this sense, it must be useful. When it is, it will help you sell.

For example, in 2014, NewsCred, which is in the content business, reported that companies that had a planned and organized content marketing strategy tended to convert customers about twice as often as companies not using content.

To get started, read Jay Baer’s book, Youtility. Once you’re done, create an editorial plan for your 2016 content marketing. Consider these specific tactics.

  • Use content to make product detail pages more helpful.
  • Plan a series of useful videos that show your shoppers how to do a task.
  • Develop a blog or online journal that serves your likely customers.

# Prioritize Ads with Instant Results

Almost everything else on this list encourages you to invest time and money into solid long-term marketing efforts. But you also need some quick results. So when you buy ads, buy ads to generate instant returns. No brand ads for you.

For example, there is a retailer in the Northwest that is driving millions of dollars in sales with shared mail coupons. These ads cost relatively little to purchase, but significantly impact sales.

Similarly, a well executed pay-per-click ad campaign might drive instant results.

But how do you know which ads drive the best, short-term return on investment? You test them.

For your paid advertising, test some of these tactics for a short period of time. Measure how much profit each generated, and then reinvest in the best performing ads.

  • Coupon offers in shared mailers like Valpak.
  • Coupon offers in printed publications.
  • Online coupon offers.
  • Video ads on YouTube or Hulu.
  • Radio advertising in select markets.
  • Ads on Pandora.
  • Pay-per-click ads on Google or Bing.
  • Banner ads on leading, niche sites.

About Purchase Existing Business, Here Its Tips

Possibly you’ve effectively claimed or worked a little business. Maybe this is your first. Indeed, you need to survey the numbers. In any case, what else is essential when purchasing a current business? What are the best practices that a planned business buyer ought to consider before purchasing an operational firm? What sort of legitimate, budgetary and duty issues are imperative before leaving all necessary signatures?

What is Important?

Daniel Pierce, a transactional attorney with the Boston office of the law firm, Duane Morris, said owners should think about the parts of the business most important to them. “Intangibles can be difficult to get a fix on,” Pierce said. “But they can be very valuable and sometimes the entire reason for the purchase. So if this is a service or a business with a strong service component, be sure that is addressed.”

For example, he said, customer lists might be the crown jewel among the assets that the buyer is seeking. They must make sure assets like that are included in the purchase.” Pierce also said it’s worth exploring the kinds of protections offered.

“How easy is it for the buyer to terminate those contracts after the sale if things aren’t as promised on day one in the financial reports? Are the numbers the buyer is looking at dependent upon favorable terms, such as a lease rate that may not be available to you?” He also advised consulting a tax specialist in the early stages of negotiations.

“Typically buyers want to buy the assets of the business and limit their exposure to pre-existing conditions, to pick and choose the liabilities they want to accept, while sellers want to sell the stock of their companies so they can get the benefit of capital gains treatment. There may be unpaid taxes or unfunded pensions. Taxes are often big drivers of these deals, and how they are structured matters.”  He said buyers should also explore potential environmental liability, particularly manufacturers or companies dealing with hazardous waste products, petroleum or chemicals. “As a buyer you may be picking up that liability,” he cautioned.

Ed Culhane, a partner and managing director for the Boston office of the accounting firm, Andersen Tax, advised prospective buyers to examine the company books and records. “Anyone who wants to buy a company wants to see a dashboard and solid financials. They should ask questions and request revenue projections and solid business plans without having to wait three months,” Culhane said.

From the legal side make sure the “know how”—intellectual property, proprietary technology or secret recipe– is contractually protected. “Get a good attorney to make sure your corporation documents and stock agreements are covered.” And be sure that the valuation is performed by an experienced professional, not on the word of the seller’s Uncle Joe.

No False Confidence

David  Coffman, president and CEO of Business Valuations & Strategies based in Harrisburg, Pa., cautioned prospective buyers to do some serious soul-searching first. “Often it’s someone coming off a successful corporate career that did well there and has a false sense that they know what they’re doing. But most have never run a small business, even if they operated in the same industry where they worked during their corporate careers. Because of this false confidence they often end up spending way too much money.”

Coffman said before buying into an existing business, study that industry or market, contact trade association and peruse industry publications.  “Talk with people in that business. And give yourself time. Don’t rush into it. Define what you’re looking for.”

While intangibles like longstanding geographic location, good will and lists of longtime loyal customers may add value, he said finding the true worth of a business is basic. “Show me the money,” he said. “If it’s not generating profits, it’s not worth it. If you can’t convert these intangibles into cash flow, how will I do it? Never ever pay for potential. Buy the business as it is now.”

David Velasco, president of Denver, Colo.-based Strategic Valuation Associates, said obtaining an accurate financial history of a company is vital to any prospective buyer. “It should raise red flags if owners don’t provide tax returns. Lacking that information is like making a projection off of a single data point: you need the context of history.”

Velasco said the most common mistake new business buyers make is overestimating revenues and underestimating expenses. “Most businesses fail because they didn’t deliver financially on the original estimates of the company’s value,” he said.

Early in the process the prospective owner must decide how to operate the company. Will the owner manage the business, or hire a professional manager and act as a financial investor. “That helps determine the cost structure. Most people who buy in are looking to get a paycheck plus build value for their long term retirement. So if they’re going to work in their own company, it must return a fair share.”

He recommended contacting a transactions attorney to put together the deal, submit the terms sheet, create a definitive purchasing agreement and, if there are multiple investors, create a shareholders’ agreement.

No Guarantees: Do Due Diligence

Jeff Veigel, co-owner of Isles Buns & Coffee in Minneapolis, Minn., has been down that road before. Veigel said there are no guarantees when purchasing an existing business. “You have to perform due diligence, explore the financials and believe you can do as well or better than the previous owner,” Veigel said.

For people owning their first business, buying an existing entity can save a tremendous amount of money.  “It is already established and has a stream of revenue you can use to pay down the cost of purchasing the business. There is some security that, after looking at the books and its history, inspecting the physical plant and customer lists, you can determine that you can make a living from that,” he said.

He advised prospective owners to conduct information searches or hire an attorney to insure there are no unknown debts they would inherit, no pending lawsuits, and that all liability and assets are disclosed. “Check with the city and state to make sure there are no unpaid sewer access fees and that the county isn’t planning to close your street for construction for the next six months,” he said. “And make sure there are no lingering workmen’s compensation issues, that the previous owners have paid overtime and employee taxes. Most of this you can find in public records.”


Velasco said understanding the motivation of the seller is vital to establishing the negotiating range. “If you don’t understand that motivation and you want to play Donald Trump hardball, the sellers may tell you to take a hike,” he said. “For many owners, that small business is their baby, their bread and butter, and they want to make sure it’s well cared for. If you understand motivation, whether it’s impending retirement, financial distress, or something else, that could help close the deal.”

Lori Mize, director of the Tampa, Fla.-based online small and mid-size business valuation firm, Peer Comps, said there are many risk factors prospective owners need to consider. “Has the company’s performance been consistent? If not, why not? What about intangibles like customer loyalty? You might be buying a dentist’s practice, but his patients are loyal and may not stay with you. And consider customer concentration. If you’re a distribution company and one customer comprises 90% of the business, if that person goes, so does the business. So you want to have those commitments confirmed.”

Mize said there are diversification risks with customers, suppliers, parts and services, all of which could impact the value of the business. “Are you buying into an obsolete or soon to be obsolete industry? “Remember video stores?” she reminded.

First Sale Tips

It’s insufficient to have a decent item on the off chance that you don’t have clients who need it. Furthermore, absence of client premium is a typical issue: More than 40 percent of new companies fall flat because of absence of business sector for their item, concurring CB Insights.

The prepared business pioneers at Rev1, named the most dynamic VC firm in Ohio, say the most ideal route for business people to close their first client and begin on a way toward feasible achievement is to trust that in a startup, everybody, including the organizer, offers. Says Pugh, “By building offering into the way of life of the organization from the begin, shutting the principal client will be less demanding, and shutting the following client will be second nature.”

Rev1’s pioneers ought to know. They have made Ohio a developing center point of startup movement. In 2015 alone, the firm claims its portfolio produced $162 million in income, made about 300 new occupations, and pulled in almost $100 million in money to the district.

“Inking the primary arrangement is a standout amongst the most difficult, satisfying and characterizing encounters for another organization,” says Rev1 president and CEO Tom Walker, who includes that he wishes he had all the more early understanding into the most ideal approaches to approach first clients.

Here’s the way he and the pioneers of the Rev1 group prescribe shutting your first client and past:

# Identify early adopters. The visionaries and technology enthusiasts are the customers who take a risk when no one else will, Pugh says. “They help you make your product what it needs to be. They give you credibility, and often times, they become your friends.” He adds: “Be bold and ask obligating questions of your prospects in order to understand their intentions and your opportunity for working with them and growing with them.”

# Understand your customer’s business. That’s when you can really sell to them, recommends Rev1 EVP of Investments & Venture Acceleration Wayne Embree. “They will trust you because you demonstrate that you actually recognize that their business is more than the problem that you are trying to solve. When you put it in terms of how your product makes their relationship to their customers better, that will secure them to you as a customer.”

# Do your homework. “Never take any meeting with a potential customer for granted,” Walker says. “When you’re working on your company’s first sales, you may spend a week studying the customer and the competition just to prepare for a 30-minute call. Over time, your customer and industry knowledge will build. But problem solving and preparation? Those will always be the keys to successful sales.”

# Look for prospects with a track record for doing business with early-stage companies.That’s the advice of Ohio TechAngel Funds Managing Director Parker MacDonell. “Ask someone who knows you personally to introduce you to someone she or he knows personally at the prospect company,” he says. “That removes some of the uncertainty the prospect might feel at doing business with a young company led by an entrepreneur whom they’ve never met.”

# Provide abundant value. When you do, your very happy first customer will help you land your second and third customer, says Rev1 Chief Marketing Officer Kristy Campbell. “It’s critical your product or service can provide the value required to ensure they come away from the process as an active advocate for your work.”

Can Twitter Signature Help Your Business?

“Our business is about innovation, yes. But on the other hand it’s about client connections,” says Michael Dell. The same is valid with Twitter. Twitter is a mechanical achievement which pivots upon the formation of connections. It works for Dell: they made $2 million off deals from Twitter. So how does a brand on Twitter set up connections? One answer: sigyour tweets.

“Sig” is a term acquired from email society, which is another way to say “signature.” Just as in email, sigs distinguish the human toward the end of a message. A sig takes just three of a tweet’s 140 characters.

Sigs are especially useful if multiple people tweet for a particular brand profile. They create organizational accountability and help manage workflow. A sig allows one to knowwho sent a tweet and when it was sent. Inclusion of sigs also values transparency, a high-value attribute on the Internet. Conversation becomes more natural when customers knowwho they’re talking to.

Sigs are simple to add on your own. For those who tweet often on multiple-editor profiles, HootSuite has made it even easier. One of our long-running features is autosigging, where sigs are automatically inserted into tweets. If you autosig, there’s no need to manually type it in every tweet. Most importantly, nobody in an organization will forget to add their sig — since it’s already there!