Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Things You Should Know Before Your Company Go Public

From People's United Bank:

Your business is growing, but not as quickly as it could and you know it. You need capital to fuel expansion - to move into new markets, hire more staff, increase service and product offerings and grow more profitable with ever-expanding margins.

Instead of borrowing expansion capital, maybe it's time to consider going public - selling ownership shares of your business to the public.

But going public isn't as easy as simply offering stock to outside investors. Your business needs a solid track record of profitability, increasing revenues and reasonable margins in a healthy, growing industry or market sector. Investors want to see a strong management team, a vibrant corporate culture, a sound business infrastructure and growth potential. Lots of growth potential!

From Investopedia:

An initial public offering (IPO) is the first sale of stock by a company. Small companies looking to further the growth of their company often use an IPO as a way to generate the capital needed to expand. Although further expansion is a benefit to the company, there are both advantages and disadvantages that arise when a company goes public.

There are many advantages for a company going public. As said earlier, the financial benefit in the form of raising capital is the most distinct advantage. Capital can be used to fund research and development, fund capital expenditure or even used to pay off existing debt. Another advantage is an increased public awareness of the company because IPOs often generate publicity by making their products known to a new group of potential customers.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

How to Issue Bonds for Small Business

From wikiHow:

Corporate bonds are a financial tool that a corporation uses to raise funding. They are an alternative to acquiring loans from a bank or issuing shares of stock. Corporations use the money from bond sales to finance a variety of improvements, like business growth, new factories, or new equipment. When an investor buys a corporate bond, he is essentially buying an IOU from the corporation that is to be paid back after a pre-determined time (the maturity date).

The bond will also typically pay coupon payments, which are interest-based payments made to the bondholder at regular intervals (usually semi-annually). Corporations usually enlist the help of investment banks, which function as underwriters, to organize the creation, marketing, and sale of the bonds.

From Chron, which also tells you how to issue bonds :

Issuing bonds lets your corporation remain privately owned while you raise money to grow your business. You can sidestep most Securities and Exchange Commission regulations by issuing your bonds as a private placement, which lets you sell your bonds directly to investors by following your state’s procedures. Before you can sell your corporate bonds, you must provide information about your bond issue to state regulators. You need to calculate the size of your bond issue and the interest rate before filing the required state documents.

Before issuing bonds, there are some things you probably want to know. Articles from Investopedia may help you with this.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Ways Small Businesses Can Benefit from The Sharing Economy

From Go Digital:

Consumer interest in the “sharing economy,” a popular term that’s been loosely defined as an economic ecosystem built around the sharing (renting) of assets, is exploding.

Along with consumers, an increasing number of rising companies and small business owners are finding that they, too, can benefit from collaborative consumption. From big-name companies, such as Airbnb and Uber, to smaller marketplaces like DogVacay, Getaround, and LiquidSpace, businesses increasing in popularity and local merchants are exploring new ways to get in on the action.

According to a 2014 report by Nielsen, the consumer peer-to-peer rental market is now worth an estimated $26 billion. Sixty-eight percent of global consumers say they’re willing to share their own assets, and 66 percent say they’re willing to seek shares from others. Businesses are generating extra revenue by renting their own unused assets to consumers, and many are working with other merchants. By taking advantage of peer-to-peer marketplaces on their own terms, small business owners are finding that they can capitalize on the collaborative consumption trend to gain access to the products and services they need to grow their companies.

Monday, October 17, 2016

101 Small Business Ideas to Inspire You to Start a Business

From The Balance:

If you are looking for a small business idea to kickstart your path to entrepreneurship, you are in the right place. This list of 101 small business ideas includes everything from personal services, to retail opportunities, to environmental services, to pet-related ideas, to technology businesses. Use this list to identify the business idea that is perfect for your situation.

It's time to take the next step, and evaluate the business ideas that made it to the top of your list. Doing this research at the beginning of the process is vital to avoid wasting time and money on a business idea that flops.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Trading Economics: International trade, finance, labor stats, prices, from around the world

On a business listserv, one librarian pointed out a good resource for global corporate tax rates, 2006 - current, a website called Trading Economics.

But the page is great for so much more: There are real time currency and stock market data for all over the world. Plus it has data on several topics. For instance-

Labor: Employed Persons, Job Vacancies, Minimum Wages, Payrolls, Population, Productivity, Retirement Age, Unemployment Rate, Wages

Prices: Consumer Price Index, Export Prices, Inflation Rate, Producer Prices

Also several other categories, including Markets, GDP, Money, Trade, Government, Business, Consumer, Housing, Taxes

If you are involved in international trade or just want info for markets across the world, check out Trading Economics

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

"I'll Be Online Later"; "Please don't"

From LinkedIn

"I'll be online later," you say, grabbing your laptop as you head out the door.

"Please don't," say a growing number of CEOs who are radically rethinking the modern workday. Prompted by Millennials who value work-life balance, an increasingly global workforce spanning time zones, and devices that allow us to connect anywhere, anytime, these CEOs recognize the value of redesigning business to accommodate life, and not the other way around...

In a world that is always on, when does work stop?

In one corner is the argument for flexible hours, the darling of the tech set. When executed well, this approach allows staff to work when they work best while navigating life events that don’t naturally fall before 9 a.m. or 6 p.m. However, probe a bit further and many employees admit that flexible hours often mean "always working," with little or no ability to shut off.

In the other corner is the 9-to-5 (or 6...or 7...) model, which can feel downright quaint in 2016. And yet it is making a comeback. At its best, a set hours policy has clearly defined and predictable boundaries, allowing staff to enjoy life outside of work. At its worst, this model can feel rigid, valuing "face time" over quality work.

So which working-hours policy—one that encourages quality work without burning out your staff—is right for your company? Here’s what four CEOs who participated in our ongoing Human Company Design research had to say...

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The anti-'Shark Tank' Innovating Now lab is rigorous but also supportive and collaborative.

From BizWomen:

When Heatherjean MacNeil launched her fashion startup, Proxy Apparel, several years ago, she applied to a prominent accelerator program.

Two years in a row, she was accepted as a finalist. And two years in a row, she found herself pitching her business to the same room of older white men.

The men had money to give, which was good. But there were misunderstandings about market opportunity, the vision behind the potential consumer demand and avenues for growth.

“I think that [more broadly] represents the fact that, particularly in investment circles, there’s such a strong absence of women, so you feel as if you’re the other,” MacNeil told me recently. “And I think it’s harder to understand how to build relationship capital in that context.”

Now, she’s part of a team of women working to create an alternate experience for other female entrepreneurs. MacNeil co-founded with Susan Duffy and Sharon Kan the Babson College Women Innovating Now Lab— or WIN Lab — an eight-month accelerator program focused on female entrepreneurs. It launched three years ago in Boston, and in September, as a testament to the concept’s success, Babson took the program off-campus for the first time, bringing the WIN Lab to Miami.

Monday, October 10, 2016

NY SDBC Advisor Christina Loggia Wins 2016 State Star Award

The New York Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is pleased to announce Christina Loggia, Business Advisor with the Farmingdale State College SBDC, has been awarded the 2016 State Star for New York.

The State Star designation recognizes outstanding achievement in high-quality business counseling and distinguished, long-term service in terms of economic development. Loggia was recently honored during the America’s SBDC Annual Conference in Orlando.

Loggia joined the SBDC in 2013 as an advisor helping Hurricane Sandy victims with NY Rising grant applications, and in 2015 started counseling non-disaster clients. To date, she has assisted more than 300 small business owners and entrepreneurs and has succeeded in helping them obtain more than $6.8 million dollars in small business grants and or loans.

Loggia brings more than 30 years of business experience in the areas of retail, purchasing, human resources, marketing and education to the small business community.

Friday, October 07, 2016

The '8 Great' Tips For Marketing In A Category That Hasn't Existed Before

The '8 Great' Tips For Marketing In A Category That Hasn't Existed Before 


Each of these companies have shared the same hurdle  how do you market a solution people don't know exists to a problem they don't yet realize they have?

"Walleye Dawn" Photo courtesy of Steve Wall on Flickr: Some rights reserved.
Forbes' Cheryl Conner writes about a problem we see from time to time — being a field that does not have a marketing rule book.  For most businesses buying an ad and waiting for customers to rush the door is not enough, especially so for those categories that require a little explanation. We can bandy "social media" around as being the tools to gain new customers but business owners need to be able to speak about the problems their product or service solves. The new avenues need content and the content is expertise and storytelling. Most of the methods described in this article are those we recommend but perhaps have been the reserve of the major players, and not for the little guys. Smaller businesses also need to speak to their audience and tell their story.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

From Wall Street to Entrepreneurship: 6 Hard Lessons Learned

From Bplans:

The transition from the corporate world to entrepreneurship is jarring for anyone who takes the leap. The work, structure, and indicators of success are different in many ways.

Things you became adept at while working at a company—like keeping your boss happy and navigating office politics—lose their utility when you’re on your own.

It was an exciting environment with a steep learning curve. However, having grown up in a family of small business owners, the pull of entrepreneurship strengthened as I grew older. After several years in the corporate world, I realized it was never going to get easier to make the switch.

Leveraging our financial skill sets, my partner and I started a tech-enabled factoring company that helps innovative B2B businesses and startups fund their working capital. The transition from a white-shoe Wall Street firm to the near absolute freedom of entrepreneurship required enormous adjustments in all aspects of my life.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Compare Password Manager Reviews

From ConsumerAffairs:

Many people log in to multiple online accounts every day, including financial, email and social media accounts. Having strong passwords for each websites helps protect consumers from identity thieves. A strong password is complex, long and unique, and, therefore, can be hard to create and/or remember.

Password managers generate and securely store passwords so that consumers don’t have to remember them, but different ones offer slightly different services and levels of protection. Consumers who understand these features can choose one to meet their security needs.

Link goes to:
Top 10 Best Rated Password Managers
What features matter most?
What are different types of password managers?

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Business cases before the Supreme Court this term

From the Business Journals:

The Supreme Court of the United States begins its 2016 term Monday. Virtually by definition, cases that reach the land's highest court are historic in nature, but there are plenty of prominent and divisive cases to go around this term. The session will be further complicated by the court still being down a member after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February. If the court splits 4-4 on a ruling, the lower court's ruling effectively stands.

Here are some of the key business cases before the court this term — with what's in dispute and what's at stake.

Samsung Electronics v. Apple Inc...

Monday, October 03, 2016

Why Small Businesses Should Embrace Disruption

From Bplans:

It seems you can’t talk about business anymore without talking about disruption. What everybody can agree on is that the rate of change seen throughout almost every industry, due to new technologies and advanced rates at which ideas spread, is steadily increasing, and shows no signs of slowing down.

The good news for small businesses and startups is that they shouldn’t be worried. In fact, they should be excited! Being small enough, and in the case of startups, fresh enough to take innovative leaps and try out radical new methods and ideas is why these organizations are the ones that drive disruption.

Enterprise level businesses and other large organizations are taking notes, trying to learn from small businesses how best not only to respond to disruption but to instigate it themselves. For small businesses, this is great. Even if they’re not the ones driving change, they’re small and agile enough to adapt to it.

For aspiring startups, this is even better. Establishing a business in a world where ever-changing models, needs, and technologies are the norm means adaptation will be in that organization’s blood. Not only that, but startups can analyze existing markets for weak points and decide which industries are ripe for disruption.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Why You Should Stop Worrying About Raising VC Money for Your Tech Startup

From Bplans:

An early question among potential co-founders during discussions about commitment was always “have you raised money yet?” as if it’s a requirement of doing a tech startup.

It seems like a common trend with first-time tech entrepreneurs—and even some more experienced entrepreneurs—to think of fundraising as a required step in the process of starting a technology company. They read articles on TechCrunch about how startups are raising huge, early rounds of funding from VCs, then begin putting together pitch decks and attempt to seek out funding for their own startup.

However, if you look at the history of today’s biggest tech companies, nearly all of them started without raising outside funds. Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft all started in garages or dorms, and didn’t raise money until later on when they were ready to scale up operations. In fact, many companies are successful without ever raising outside money, including PlentyofFish, Balsamiq Mockups, and Shutterstock.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Hiring people with criminal convictions -GREAT database

One may be barred from working in a job that is related to a criminal conviction. Understanding which jobs you can and cannot be hired for has been difficult for employer and potential employee.

As this article from Minnesota states:

The American Bar Association created the Collateral Consequences website to show how different types of criminal convictions affect employment and other resources. The rules about barred occupations and work restrictions are complicated.

The collateral consequences of a criminal conviction—legal sanctions and restrictions imposed upon people because of their criminal record—are hard to find and harder to understand. Now it will be easier to do both. Congress directed the National Institute of Justice to collect and study collateral consequences in all U.S. jurisdictions, and NIJ selected the ABA Criminal Justice Section to perform the necessary research and analysis. The results are now being made available through this interactive tool.

It has several consequence categories besides employment, including Occupational and professional license and certification, Government contracting and program participation, Government loans and grants, Political and civic participation, Recreational license including firearms and Motor vehicle licensure.

There are Offense categories: Any felony, Any misdemeanor, Crime of moral turpitude, Crimes involving fraud, Crimes of violence, Weapons offenses, Controlled substances offenses, Sex offenses, Public corruption offenses, Motor vehicle offenses and Child Support offenses.

It is broken down by state, naturally.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Challenge of Proving the Value of Public Relations Today

From MarketProfs:

Public relations is sometimes referred to as the "persuasion business," and that nickname says it all. PR campaigns are largely about convincing an audience that something (such as an event, a person, a company, or a transaction) is important and supporting that claim with clear reasons.

However, it may be time for the PR industry to start campaigning on its own behalf. Global industry growth slowed to 5% in 2015 marking a significant downshift from its double-digit growth just two years prior. Meanwhile, spending on PR information and software is going up, reaching $2.9B in 2015—a 5.5% increase over 2014.

The diverging dynamics show that in 2016 and beyond, PR needs to be a business of technologically powered proof—not just persuasion.

For the PR industry to grow and thrive, it needs to prove its direct value in the most tangible ways possible.

Amid the ever-evolving digital media landscape, the following best-practices will be integral to proving the value of PR efforts delivered by agencies, firms, and in-house departments of all sizes.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

New Intermediaries Will Help Scale U.S. Apprenticeships

A word cloud shaped like the United States includes words related to apprenticeship, including #ApprenticeshipWorks, learn, on-the-job training, earn,, workforce and ApprenticeshipUSA.
Apprenticeships, paid training programs that combine on-the-job training and classroom instruction, are an effective yet underused strategy for training workers for in-demand jobs. In 2014, in an effort to increase the use of apprenticeship as a pathway to middle-class employment, President Obama set a national goal to double the number of U.S. apprenticeships within five years.
Since then, the Department of Labor has made unprecedented investments to support the development and expansion of new and existing apprenticeship programs, announcing or awarding $265 million in funding, thanks, in part, to a historic, bipartisan agreement made by Congress and based on the president’s 2016 budget.
As part of that initiative, the Department of Labor is awarding 14 contracts to industry and workforce intermediaries to advance two major goals for expanding apprenticeship programs in the United States:
  • *expanding apprenticeships in new industries, and
  • *increasing opportunities for underrepresented groups to participate in apprenticeship programs.
According to the department, the majority of apprenticeship programs are in the construction industry.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Small Business

From the American Institute for Economic Research

Politicians love to talk about small business, but often use the topic for a quick photo op and feel-good story about the economy. However, both major presidential candidates are proposing policies that are highly relevant to small business owners.

Hillary Clinton focuses on “leveling the playing field” between small and large businesses, while Donald Trump advocates policies intended to help businesses regardless of size. A comparison of these proposals highlights an interesting question: How differently should the government treat small and large businesses?

Clinton’s website has a page dedicated to small business, including those photo ops, but also a sizable list of policy proposals. Virtually all of the proposals focus on the premise that small businesses face greater or different challenges related to taxation, financing and regulation than their large counterparts. Perhaps the proposal of Clinton’s that could have the most impact is a new standard tax deduction for small businesses...

Donald Trump’s website makes no specific mention of small business, but puts forward some policies aimed at business in general. Trump proposes limiting taxes to 15 percent for all businesses, lower than the current average rate of 19.8 percent paid by small business, according to the Small Business Administration. He proposes a review and prioritization of regulations by every federal agency, as well as trade reform...

So is it more effective to have policies specifically targeted to small businesses, or to simply target business in general?

Friday, September 23, 2016

CyberSecurity Bill Passes US House - would authorize SBDCs to offer cyber support

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Improving Small Business Cyber Security Act of 2016 this week, to help small businesses protect themselves from cyberattacks.

A companion bill is still working its way through the Senate.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), Chairman of the House Small Business Committee was approved by voice vote on a bipartisan basis.

Here are the main nuggets from that press release:

American small businesses are under cyberattack like never before. By one estimate, 71 percent of cyberattacks occurred in businesses with fewer than 100 employees. With America’s 28 million small businesses making up 54 percent of annual sales in the U.S., the frequency of such attacks and the high costs they create for small businesses could have ripple effects throughout our economy.

Small businesses are often not prepared to prevent cyberattacks or easily recover from the damages of successful intrusions. A report by Internet security firm McAfee found that 90 percent of small businesses do not use updated protocols for protecting sensitive consumer information and a separate study determined that 83 percent of small businesses do not have a cybersecurity plan. Statistics show that nearly 60 percent of small businesses will close within six months after a cyberattack.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

An Absolutely 100% Non-Boring Article About Business Insurance

From Bplans

Almost every business has some form of insurance to protect it from fires, lawsuits, and vandalism—things that are 100 percent not boring.

In fact, the first business insurance policies came from Lloyd’s of London, which used to be a coffee shop where sailors and merchants gathered.

It was a perfect storm: Lloyd’s picked up on how dangerous sailing was and that merchants wanted insurance in case their sailors were thrown overboard, goods were lost at seas, or pirates did pirate-y things. This little coffee shop starting selling marine insurance and soon enough, it became the nexus of the insurance world. Three hundred years later, it still is.

If you’re a small-business owner, chances are you don’t need pirate insurance. If you do, heaven help you. For most business owners, there are four non-pirate kinds of insurance that cover most major exposures.