Saturday, December 7, 2013

Luck's Impact on Your Business

Luck is within your reach.
People sometimes tell themselves the most  self-defeating things. I know. I've heard them and, admittedly, have been guilty of it myself. Things like, "Geez. Why is always so difficult?" or "You must work really hard to get what you want." or "Some people are really lucky. I'm just not one of them." Or variations on these themes.

Well, as Napoleon Hill said in his book "Think and Grow Rich", "Thoughts are things." What you believe expresses itself in your thoughts and what you repeatedly think or say becomes a belief. Along these lines, there is evidence that "luck" is really created by people believing they are lucky. When they believe they are lucky, they look for it all the time and expect it. This is the exact opposite of those who either claim they don't believe in luck or say they're unlucky.

There is an interesting article entitled, "The Luck Factor" I recommend you read when you get some time. It may not change your mind but it will definitely expose you to a different way of thinking.

I originally read about "The Luck Factor"in a blog post by Erica Douglass entitled, "This One Scared Me to Write." Check it out. I think you'll find it a worthwhile read too. http://www.erica.biz/2013/life-lessons/ 


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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013

Special Offer: Free Download $15.99 ebook on Kindle! 2 Days Only

I am offering my book for free as a Kindle ebook for 2 DAYS ONLY!!! at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EK5SH1A     Regular price: $15.99. Price through Tuesday, August 20, 2013: $0!!


If you are a small to medium-sized business owner or considering starting or buying one, this book will provide you with practical and actionable advice for solving your financing issues. Easy-to-follow examples and real-life case studies take you through the process and provide step-by-step alternatives for financing your business. Written by me, a CFO and former financial and business advisor who has helped small and medium businesses garner over $33 Million in financing. Click here to download the ebook for free through 11:59 pm on 8/20/13 in your timezone.
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Monday, August 5, 2013

Improve Your Company's Cash Flow

Every small business could use some more coinage!
I write a number of articles on small business financing and how companies can improve their cash flow. I also keep my eyes open for articles by other authors and writers on the subject. Thus, an article in the Canadian national newspaper the Globe and Mail caught my eye. The title, Five Ways to Improve Your Small Business Cash Flow was also catchy. So I thought I'd share it with those of you who don't read Canadian newspapers (primarily, because you aren't from Canada or don't do business there!).

For fear of copyright infringement, I can't list the five. But I can comment on a few and provide a link for you to read the rest. One way to improve your small business' cash flow is to obtain a working capital loan. This it typically a line of credit. A bank credit line provides the best option but, if your business does not qualify because it does not have a high enough paydex score -- the credit rating for businesses -- or an insufficient operating history, you have other options. You can get a credit line against your receivables from an accounts receivable lender. These are more expensive than banks but, if you do this for six months and your lender reports to Dun & Bradstreet, you'll qualify for a bank line in six months. Some companies also use term loans for working capital. This works well if your company is in expansion mode. Your company can leverage other assets to support a term loan. Alternatively, as an owner or investor, you can provide a personal guarantee.

The article gives four more options. In addition, it provides different information on loans than I give. Check it out at Globe and Mail: Five Ways to Improve Your Small Business Cash Flow.
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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Every Business Owner Needs a Little Laughter

Ok, this is NOT about finance, cash management or anything else related to small businesses. But a friend shared it with me and I thought it was refreshing, not to mention hilarious! I thought, "I never post on Sundays anyway!" so why not post this today. Enjoy!

This is Jimmy Fallon and the Roots with Robin Thicke using classroom instruments to perform Robin's song. Does anyone else besides me remember the plastic flute from elementary school?

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Press Release: Helping Small Businesses Obtain Financing



Helping Small Businesses Achieve Big Finance: Financial Adviser’s Book “Solving the Capital Equation: Financing Solutions for Small Businesses” Guides Business Owners on How to Obtain Financing for Business Life and Growth

Atlanta, Georgia, July 30, 2013 –  According to a survey conducted by the National Small Business Association (NSBA) in 2012, “Small businesses have struggled to find reasonable, affordable capital.” With millions of small businesses in the country driving over half the sales in the United States, it's more important than ever for small businesses to find the capital they need to survive.  Author Tiffany C. Wright's book Solving the Capital Equation: Financing Solutions for Small Businesses deconstructs and examines various forms of capital for small business owners so they are able to find the funding needed to grow their business. 

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

This blog's author, Tiffany C. Wright (me!) is feature on Author and Book Buzz! Check it out.

Here is a snapshot of my feature!

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Part II: All About Franchising in a Nutshell

Continued from Friday

The initial franchise cost is the onetime payment made by the franchisees in order to secure the new franchise. The royalty fee paid henceforth depends on the gross sales from different stores. A franchiser can make money through the franchise fee, sale of supplies and the royalty fees. In order to obtain the legalities of a franchise, one needs to consult a franchise lawyer and a consultant having good knowledge about franchising. The franchise lawyer will do the necessary paper work like franchise contract, register and drafting of franchise offering circular and the like. The right consultant on the other hand can help you with advertising, operation manuals, public relation materials and training programs.

If you are making a profit with your franchise business then you can always put the businesses for sale if you want to. You can get potential buyers who can strike a deal with you. But if you are not making enough profit then it is pretty difficult to sell your business in the market. There are also magazines available which are dedicated in providing data regarding the franchising business. You can get valuable information on business franchise through the internet. Find out more about exciting franchise opportunities Kansas City right here.
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Friday, July 19, 2013

All About Franchising in a Nut Shell

All About Franchising in a Nut Shell

By Jamiee Parker

In simple terms, a corporation creates a franchise expansion system. Then a small business entity or individual enters into an agreement with the franchiser to become a franchisee. Typically, the franchisee obtains the use of the franchiser's trademarks and logos and broad-based market. The legal agreement protects everyone's interests. The franchisee pays an initial franchise fee then a royalty payment each month from then on.

Franchising is now an established business option. The use franchisees helps some large corporations achieve diversification. Franchising is increasingly popular in many different industries. With franchises, a business can create new business units. As per a recent survey, approximately one-third of total retail sales are made via franchise stores.

Owning a successful food or other franchise can be very comforting. However, potential franchisees must exercise caution when opening a franchise store in a new market. Sometimes the outcome does not meet expectations. As a business owner you can also consider franchising. For example, restaurant owners who want to expand their business can create franchise opportunities. Franchises would provide the solution to a shortage of management personnel or lack of financial resources to operate a chain of restaurants.

See the rest of the article on Monday, July 22.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jamiee_Parker
http://EzineArticles.com/?All-About-Franchising-in-a-Nut-Shell&id=7823622

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Wells Fargo Is Top 7a SBA Lender Thus Far in 2013

Wells Fargo FAQs for the 7(a) program.

Apparently Wells Fargo is the top SBA lender for fiscal year 2013. According to a press release issued by Wells Fargo, the company extended over 1,900 SBA 7(a) loans to businesses since the 2013 federal fiscal year began. Specifically, Wells Fargo approved these loans between October 1, 2012 and April 30, 2013. The aggregate value of the approved loans totaled $739 million. This was an increase of 16 percent in dollar terms and 10 percent in volume terms over the previous fiscal year.

The SBA 7(a) program is a loan guarantee program for for-profit small businesses with a tangible net worth of $15 million or less and average net income of $5 million or less over the previous two years. Through an SBA-approved lender the SBA guarantees 85 percent of the loan for loans up to $150,000 or a 75 percent guarantee on loans between $150,001 to $5 million.

The motto: If you are in the market for an SBA loan, check out Wells Fargo. In general, they get high marks for customer service. As always, approach a vice president or higher level NOT a branch manager. Although all SBA loans go through committee, a VP's input still holds more sway.



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MillerCoors MUES Business Plan Competition Rebranded: Miller Lite Tap the Future

MillerCoors has decided to expand the MUES program by positioning it under the Miller Lite umbrella and expanding its reach. MUES will has evolved and will become-- Miller Lite Tap the Future, a program that fosters the bond in business by bringing great friends together to compete for a prize pool of $400,000. Tap the Future is scheduled to launch by this summer.

The competition will experience some changes as well as we are now planning to simplify the submission process. Following is a snapshot on how the contest will look like:








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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Buddha quote for Struggling Entrepreneurs

"In order to gain anything you must first lose everything." Buddha

For all of you business owners and entrepreneurs who have failed, are currently struggling or have struggled in the past, this wonderful quote is for you. excellent quote. Success is on the horizon, if you are not already there. Embrace the learning lessons embedded in any struggle and you will definitely succeed.
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Payables


If your company has to stretch accounts payable because it is in trouble (i.e., having financial difficulties or cash flow problems), keep your vendors and suppliers informed! Please!! These financial difficulties could be a hiccup in a long and profitable history for your company. Treat it as such and update those that supply you. I

If your vendors and suppliers turn on you due to lack of communication and poor payment, your hiccup could become a disaster quickly. As with anything, when people notice things and crave information, they begin to draw their own conclusions and the rumors may fly. These rumors with no competing, true information can shorten your company's lifespan significantly.

By communicating frankly you will build your relationships with your vendors and suppliers despite the slow pays. Keep this in mind when your company encounters some distress or slight financial distress.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Use Your Own Funds or Others?

One question that many technology-based start-ups and more traditional new small businesses face is where to get the money to start and fund the business for its first year. High growth businesses like technology and biotech have more funding options because rapid growth appeals to investors. Traditional businesses with slower growth trajectories or whose owners will treat them as lifestyle businesses do not generally appeal to investors but may appeal to a smaller, closer group of those who know the owner.

From the NYT: a company founder

If your goal is to build the most profitable business you can, you may not want to raise capital from outside investors. If your goal is to dominate a market or niche or expand internationally, external investors can provide the necessary capital and even the expertise to help you achieve your goals for your company. (Just make sure that, as you raise capital, you keep percentages and structure in mind or your company could end up not being yours anymore!)

A good article on the subject appeared in the New York Times small business section. To hear from myriad viewpoints, check out the article: Self-Finance or Raise Money? A Quandary for Start-ups.
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Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Roxann Smithers, attorney-at-law and attorney with the firm Smithers Thornton & Ume-Nwagbo, LLC,  will be on Career Impact Radio, Sponsored by Trove, Inc. on Friday June 14, 2013 from 11:30am-12:30pm.  She will be discussing basic legal considerations for new and small businesses. 

The webpage of Smithers Thornton


Check out Career Impact Radio at:
Where: Career Impact Radio - http://bit.ly/ciradio
When: 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

For more information on Smithers Thornton & Ume-Nwagbo, LLC,visit their website at http://stulawgroup.com/
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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Investment Bankers Can Be Non-Financial Entrepreneurs!

I read an article in Inc. magazine that I really enjoyed. It was brief and to the point. (Isn't that what "brief" means, Tiffany?) Anyway, a bunch of analysts  -- recent college graduates with great math and analysis skills who build models or do a lot of xeroxing putting together pitch books -- at various investment banks started companies. None of these analysts work with the other. The article's author tracked them all down.
Most grads define success as getting a great job but a few define it as building a business.

Let me be clear. I am NOT the one that says that MBAs, especially those from high ranking schools, do not make good entrepreneurs. While many of us are groomed for careers in investment banking and consulting and once you start climbing the ladder and pulling down $200K, $300K to well over $1 million, which is what a fairly decent number of my classmates make, it becomes extremely difficult to give that up to be an entrepreneur. In addition, many business owners never make that kind of money, even after selling. However, for those businesses that grow to revenues over $20 million or even more with strong profitability, then the comparison pales.

 I have an MBA and am an entrepreneur and have found it invaluable. However, my primary focus is on buying businesses and in identifying issues and solving problems. I also took an entrepreneurial track which required me to create a number of pretend companies while in school.

Regardless, I'll return to the MBA discussion another day. This article is about undergrads not MBAs. So I guess I digressed! Want to know more about the grads? Read the Inc. article.
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Monday, May 13, 2013

Infographic: Business Myths That Harm Your Company

The following infographic is self-explanatory...and a bit simplistic. But isn't that what infographics are? The myth is the title on the left. So DO NOT do what the title says, at least for the first two. Read the comments on the right. (I'm telling you upfront because it took me a moment to catch on!) This infographic is courtesy of American Express Open.

I'm in disagreement with items #3 and #5 as blanket myths. For #3, you reward performance with promotions. Who do you promote? The low performers? Although it is true that some great engineers or sales people should stay that way and not be managers, you must decide this on a case by case basis.  

And if you do what it says in #5, you'd never hire experienced people so you would end up being sued for age discrimination!! It's a balance. But I do agree, no matter the experience, the person you hire must fit well with the organization. If they like new challenges, they can learn to do well in your organization (even with tons of experience!!).



Enjoy!


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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Barter Customers: How to Convert to Cash

I'm a big believer in bartering. I have bartered services for businesses I've both owned or served as the CFO, COO or CEO of. I was first exposed to the concept by a Fortune 500 company I worked for that engaged in bartering in one division on a regular basis. This company called the transaction a "swap". They bartered space on one fiber optics line for space on another line.

Barter_board
GAAP and FASB rules allow bartering. When you use accrual accounting, you must recognize the provision of your service as revenue in the quarter you provide it. You recognize the service you receive from the other as an expense in the quarter that company provides it. You must issue Form 1099-B to any company you bartered with, including corporations. That's the technical side.
If you enter into a long-term barter arrangement, you may wish to change that relationship to one based on cash payment. For example, You may start off as a newbie marketer with a brand new firm and barter for weekly hour long massage services. (I see both sides of this barter request on craigslist often!). Over the next year or two, you may grow to the point where your smallest customer pays $1,000 per month and your massage barter is only "paying" you $400 in services. You don't want to increase your massages to 2.5 hrs per week, so you need to convert to paying in cash or drop the massage therapist as a client.

Inc_magazine_-_take_the_money_and_run

Read Inc. magazine's online article, Take the Money, to learn more about converting your barter customers to cash customers.
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Feedback on Hiring PR Firms

I just read an article on the reasons why you should NOT hire a PR firm, but I disagree...somewhat. The Inc.com article, 3 Reasons Not to Hire a Publicist, describes how the author met with two PR firms, one a firm and one a solopreneur. Both wanted high fees or royalties and made few promises. The author advocates a complete DIY approach.

Crowd
I disagree, with this caveat. I do believe that startups must conserve cash and believe that the DIY approach can work well if you have time, some skill or just the sheer desire. I've written articles on how to use relatively cheap services to rev up your PR campaign and keep it going. (See: The Resourceful CEO: PR on a Budget and Public Relations for Entrepreneurs )
However, I have used PR firms in my role as COO or CEO in the past - both actual firms with employees and solopreneurs. Both types performed well. Unlike the author in the article, we did some homework to find the PR firms or took multiple references that we spoke to. It's true. There are many out there who promise little and want high pay. Perhaps these are better suited to work with large corporate firms with larger budgets.
In my last role our PR rep did a superb job in issuing press releases, attracting coverage, getting long articles written on our key personnel (including me!) and our company. Our exposure increased signifcantly in six months and had quadrupled by the end of the one year engagement. That monthly retainer was $2,500 and it was well worth it.
If you go into anything with the idea that it's not worth your time, you will find exactly that. It's called the self-fulfilling prophecy. Entrepreneurs and business owners must keep an open mind. Also, you cannot possible rapidly grow a business if you think you can do everything better yourself. If you find that you can, it means you do a horrible job of determining exactly what you need and knowing how to quantify it and so you are unable to properly delegate. Sorry, but when something happens over and over, it's not them, it's you!
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Monday, February 11, 2013

Cash and Experience

Cash_coins_stopwatch

In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later. –Harold Geneen

Tiffany C. Wright
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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Non-Bank Loans - Alternative Funding Sources for Small Businesses

I am a big proponent of alternative sources of financing for small businesses and their owners. Sometimes newbie business startups just cannot access traditional bank financing. Bank financing has the lowest cost of capital for small businesses. This is due to their relatively conservative lending practices. They fund businesses with track records or owners with significant assets who provide strong personal guarantees.

Solving_the_capital_equation_3d

Alternative financing can get you started on the road to bank financing and can augment bank loans as you grow. Alternative financing includes factoring, accounts receivable financing and asset based lending. You could also confer with one or more of the number of commercial loan brokers that have sprung up everywhere purporting to cater to helping small businesses. I've written a number of articles on the subject (see my blog, Cash for Impact) and a book (Solving the Capital Equation: Financing Solutions for Small Businesses) and an ebook (Help! I Need Money for My Business Now!). Can you tell I'm passionate about the subject?

Inc.com also recently published an article on the subject. To read that article, go to the Inc.com article: How to Get a Loan? Let Me Count the Ways

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Small Business Funding - Another Way to Fund Your Business

Apparently, there's another source for small business funding. You can fund your business by enticing large corporations to sponsor your business activities - events, seminars, book signings, radio shows, and more. I knew a small business coach in Atlanta that connected with SunTrust to offer free group coaching sessions to their small business clients. This provided a service to SunTrust that enabled SunTrust to rise above the small business banking crowd in certain metro Atlanta areas. It obviously helped the business coach obtain exposure and new clients that he would have had to otherwise pay a lot of advertising and marketing money to access or spend a lot of time pursuing.

Inc_magazine_-_way_to_fund_business
Taken from a broad perspective, this type of sponsorship is one of the potentially excellent business financing sources for growing businesses of a certain type. Many times a large corporation will actually pay you. Other times, the Fortune 1000 company will provide the venue and handle the marketing for you, as with the above example.
For more ideas and some insights as to how to pursue this source of funding, check out the Inc. magazine article, Surprising Way to Fund Your Business.
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Disadvantages of Using Debt Financing for Working Capital | The Resourceful CEO

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Five Articles to Help Your Business

I have recently been doing a lot of writing for small business websites like Chron.com (Houston Chronicle) and . I've also written for Zacks.com, a personal finance website. I've had more than 30 articles published in the last 30-45 days. I thought I'd share some links with you since the topics and content may be of interest to you. I've provided a teaser and the link to 5 articles below.


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