All Articles Tagged "small business"

Signs You Need To End Your Business Partnership

November 18th, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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From Black Enterprise 

Partnerships fail for many reasons. Misalignment of personality is possibly the first reason that springs to mind, but according to the Michigan law firm Family & Aging Law Center, the two most common reasons that business partnerships fail is 1) failure to make an adequate plan, and 2) more importantly, from a legal perspective, failure to have a written partnership agreement that outlines in detail the partnership structure.

When it’s time to end a partnership, navigating the process can be difficult. The Small Business Association recently published the article: “Is It Time to End Your Business Partnership? Here’s How.”

Without a partnership agreement, dissolving a partnership can get nasty and carry a lot of risk. For example, if a partner isn’t paying bills on time or making regular contributions to pay off a business loan. Lapses and disagreements like these can quickly spiral out of control and impact your creditworthiness, relationships with vendors and so on.

Read more at BlackEnterprise.com 

Staying Motivated: 10 Inspiring Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read

November 8th, 2013 - By Tanvier Peart
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Whether you are an accomplished business owner or just starting the initial stages of creating a business, nothing can be quite as exciting as pursuing the American dream. Who wouldn’t want a shot at being their own boss or turning a vision into profit? It does sound nice.

One thing that all entrepreneurs and future entrepreneurs need is encouragement as the road to success is never guaranteed or perfectly laid out. Some may turn to various media for the necessary motivation to keep going. Here are 10 inspiring books every entrepreneur should read.

Low Overhead, High Demand: Small Businesses You Can Start In Your Home

October 24th, 2013 - By Michelle Alerte
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With a shaky economy that’s still trying to right itself, it’s even more important for aspiring small business owners to invest in ideas that require very little initial capital, including educational investment. Taking lots of courses and pursuing advanced degrees can be costly! Below you’ll find nine areas that show great potential and won’t deplete your pockets.

Skip These 9 Common Pitfalls When Starting A New Business

October 20th, 2013 - By Michelle Alerte
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Thinking of starting a business? You’ve probably stewed over the idea, written out a business plan, and begun to debate the pros and cons of a variety of decisions with people you trust. You’re headed in the right direction. But knowing that many new businesses fail within the first five years, it behooves you to keep an eye open to the common pitfalls that could lure even the best small business owner. You’re in luck! Below is a list of nine common mistakes small business owners make. Print it out, study it, and when you find yourself headed towards a trap… run!

Small Business-Friendly Cities: Where To Move Your Startup For Success

October 11th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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According to the U.S. Small Business Administration more than 50 percent of small businesses fail in the first five years. The stats aren’t too encouraging, but there may be something you can do to give your new firm a fighting chance.

Want to give your small business a better chance of thriving? Move. Some cities are more small business-friendly according to a new report from credit card comparison website CardHub.

CardHub’s study examined the 30 largest metropolitan areas around the country and ranked each city’s small business work environment based on 10 criteria, including small business job growth, salaries for new hires, cost of living and stress index, reports The Huffington Post.

The list is surprising. Minneapolis and San Antonio, for example, beat out Los Angeles and Chicago to make the top 10. And bankrupt Detroit came in last out of all 30 cities.

Phoenix and Riverside, Calif.,  were among the cities with the fastest growing small business communities, but they ranked among the bottom 10 for work environment. Here are the top three:

1. Denver: Number of businesses with 20 employees or less–51,938
2. Boston: Number of businesses with 20 employees or less–84,781
3. Minneapolis: Number of businesses with 20 employees or less–61,523
In the top 10, Kansas City landed in the last slot. It has 32,875 businesses with 20 employees or less.

Seeking A Career In Public Relations? These Takeaways From Our Twitter Chat Could Help

October 4th, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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via Twitter

via Twitter

Yesterday, MadameNoire Business hosted its first Twitter chat (yay!) with Tia T. Gordon, founder and CEO TTG+Partners, a PR firm specializing in issues of diversity and education. During our hour online, we discussed everything from the current state of public relations to running a small business.

Twitter chats will become a regular part of MN Biz’s features, so keep an eye peeled for notices about them when they happen. And be sure to follow us on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter, which will also have reminders about chats and other events that MN Biz is hosting or participating in. The hashtag for our Twitter chats will be #MNBizchats.

But back to yesterday’s event. There was a great conversation happening yesterday. Here are the highlights.

Help Is On The Way! Small Businesses Struggle With Obamacare

October 2nd, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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Source: Shutterstock

From Black Enterprise 

Professional employer organizations (PEOs) are a possible solution to help small companies maneuver through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. With enrollment for health care reform beginning Oct. 1, (shutdown or not) many entrepreneurs are still be wondering how to deal with some of the hard to understand new requirements the law will bring.

Anish Rajparia,  president of ADP ’s Small Business Services division, ADP TotalSource and ADP Retirement Services in Roseland, New Jersey, estimates that now only about 5% to 10% of U.S. small businesses use a PEO. But he believes that at least 30% to 40% of small businesses should consider the tool as an alternative option to help them deal with the many complexities of Obamacare.

PEOs are firms providing services that allow companies to outsource their management of human resource duties, including  employee benefits, payroll, workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance claims and other administrative  tasks. The goal: Relieve the PEO client of those functions so the entrepreneur can focus on running the business and increasing the bottom line.

 

Read more at BlackEnterprise.com 

The Pros And Cons Of Working At A Small Company

September 10th, 2013 - By Tanvier Peart
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We hear politicians all the time talking about how small businesses are the heart of this economy. For entrepreneurs across the country, there’s hope that these small businesses will blossom into something long-lasting and prosperous. With tons of people making the decision to pursue their own ventures, there could be a small company near you looking for staffers. The question becomes whether it’s a good idea to work for them.

Honestly speaking, they are not for everybody as some people seek a level of stability that a bigger company can offer. As with everything in life, there are pluses and minuses when it comes to smaller places of business. Here are some pros and cons of working at a small company.

On A Path To A Doctoral Degree, Kevia Jeffrey-West Found Her Calling In Jewelry Design

August 29th, 2013 - By Michelle Alerte
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Kevia.biz

Kevia.biz

Love jewelry? Want to be eco-friendly? Then you should know about Kevia Jeffrey-West’s sustainability jewelry and her business, Kevia, a word meaning “beautiful child.” The business officially launched in the winter of 2005, and has grown since, with Jeffrey-West’s designs appearing on TV shows like Desperate Housewives and magazines like InStyle. But before she launched her business, Jeffrey-West was in a PhD fellowship program in education and research and policy at the University of California Santa Barbara Recently. I asked Jeffrey-West some questions in hopes of getting to the heart of  Kevia’s start and its designs.

MadameNoire: How did you become interested in jewelry design?

Kevia Jeffrey-West: While studying in Zimbabwe on an undergraduate study abroad program I walked by a store that sold loose stones. The stones drew me in and I began to collect locally-mined and cut stones, sketch designs, and found local jewelers to make my creations. When I returned two years later to do post-baccalaureate research I again began to design pieces for my personal collection. I am not sure that I would have thought of selling my work if a local boutique hadn’t asked me to make items for their store after they noticed a necklace I was wearing. Designing is definitely my calling.

MN: When did you know jewelry design would be your career?

J-W: In my case, I initially resisted becoming a designer because I had spent most of my energy advancing a career in research. Designing seemed like a risky career move. Luckily, the universe kept pulling me in the direction of fashion and it reached a point where I was making money. I was completely content spending my time designing and my academic work became increasingly hard to prioritize. I took a year off from my doctoral program in 2006 and began working on the business full time. Once I was fully committed, the business took off and continues to grow steadily. Eight years after I designed my first pieces I couldn’t be happier doing anything else.

MN: Describe the growth of your business.

J-W: That this began as a hobby and grew into my lifelong passion and dream still seems surreal to me. Starting with just a small collection for a boutique and growing into a completely sustainable brand that is releasing new styles five times a year is incredible. Our customers are women who each have their own interpretation of every piece. Kevia’s designs simply complement their individual style, which, in my opinion, is the best part about my collection.

MN: How did sustainability come into the picture?

J-W: Sustainability has always been at the core of my philosophies and values, so when I started my line, I knew that I wanted to incorporate these practices into my pieces. Even though I was armed with an education and work experience in environmental policy, I had to learn to apply those principles into the fashion business. Initially, I made each piece domestically, but then realized that most of the raw materials on the market — wire, metal sheets, stone — were being imported from China and India then resold in the U.S. My firsthand experience living in Zimbabwe and witnessing the positive impact fair trade can have in developing countries, prompted me to look for opportunities that would allow me better control of the entire manufacturing process, including the sourcing of raw materials.

‘Dough to Grow’ Contest Helps Small Business Owners Win Capital To Expand Their Companies

August 21st, 2013 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Dough to Grow contest

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While small businesses are emerging alive and kicking through the Great Recession, obtaining financing for a company continues to be a challenge for owners. But through Valpak’s Dough to Grow contest, small business owners can win prizes totaling $10,000.

Submit a captivating essay illustrating why you need dough to grow and collect votes from family and friends on social media, to nab the first place spot and $7,500. Second and third place winners win $1,500 and $1,000, respectively. The winners are chosen by the following factors: “number of votes, creativity and energy in business growth strategy, demonstration of solid leadership and management, and positive impact of the community,” a press statement says.

The coupon company says it’s stepping in to help the whopping 65 percent of small business owners who are unable to obtain adequate funds for their company.

“At Valpak, we recognize that our local economies depend on small businesses to stay healthy and thrive,” said Michael Vivio, president of Cox Target Media, providers of Valpak.

Last year’s contest winner was a fitness trainer who owned Crossfit Business — with only one client at a park. With his $10,000 award, the former veteran was able to expand his business by purchasing workout equipment and paying a staff in his own facility.

The contest starts on September 1st and ends on October 31st. Winners are selected on November 11th and will be announced on Thanksgiving Day.