Category Archives: Small Business

BusinessWeek: Buy Bargains for Your Business

BusinessWeek SmallBiz

By Monica Mehta

Everyone knows the economy is struggling: Gross domestic product is down, job losses continue, and housing starts are still, for the most part, a nonstarter. But to a business owner with cash on hand, a rotten economy may mean something else entirely: “Hurry!,” “These prices can’t last!,” or “Buy now before we come to our senses!” (Read More)

Kids & Entrepreneurship: 5 Tips for Budding Business Owners

Tip #1: Find an idea by focusing on skills, passions & problems

  • Best business ideas come from what you know, what you enjoy doing and problems you identify in everyday life
  • Keep it simple. Don’t reinvent the wheel

Tip #2: Be customer focused

  • Great entrepreneurs keep their customers front and center. Talk to your customers to understand:
    • Is there a need for my product
    • What are people willing to pay
    • What is the best way to promote my product

Tip #3: Sell, sell, sell

  • You don’t have a business unless you make sales
  • Sales is a numbers game, focused on persistence. Great way to teach kids to rub off rejection and keep their eye on the prize

Tip #3: Cash flow is king

  • Kids are lucky because they can get money at the best possible rates from the Bank of Mom & Dad. But this is a great opportunity to teach kids basic money skills
  • Make sure what you are earning not only covers your cost of goods and other expenses, but leaves you something at the end – this is your profit.
  • Can you take this profit, reinvest it in your business to sell even more product and make even more money?  Now you are staring to think like an entrepreneur!

Tip #5: Be flexible

  • A plan is just a plan. Unexpected things pop up all the time in business.
  • Your business will evolve
  • Success can sometimes follow failure. Fail fast and fail cheap. And continue to adapt

The best business ideas leverage a passion, skill or fill a need.

Adults are always short on time. Here are a five businesses that make money by making life more convenient for grownup:

1) Sell old items on Ebay
2) Babysitting
3) Dog Walking
4) Lawn Mowing
5) Pool Cleaning

Are you a tech geek, great with a glue gun, handy with a spatula or an ace in school? Here are five ideas that can put your skills to work:

1) Sell a craft product on Etsy
2) Sell baked goods to neighbors
3) Teach grownups about surfing the web
4) Start a tech support business
5) Tutoring

BusinessWeek: Startup Solutions – Dividing the Equity

BusinessWeek SmallBiz

By Monica Mehta

Building a business is not unlike baking a pie, except that the ingredients aren’t sugar and flour but intangibles such as a great idea, strategy, and execution (cash helps, too). But with multiple founders showing up with different contributions at different times, it’s hard to know how to split the pie, especially before it has been baked. How much should be given to the guy bringing the sugar vs. the one with the strawberries? What about the gal who came up with the idea to make dessert in the first place? (Read More)

BusinessWeek: Wise Policies for Risky Times

BusinessWeek SmallBiz

By Monica Mehta

One casualty of a recession is trust. In better times, you’re confident longtime customers will pay their bills. But for businesses dealing with rising inventories and account defaults, once-solid partnerships can suddenly seem risky. (Read More)

BusinessWeek: Buy Your Loan Back From the Bank

BusinessWeek SmallBiz

By Monica Mehta

Trouble for America’s lenders could mean opportunity for you. As banks scramble to shore up their balance sheets, savvy business owners have found it the perfect time to buy back debt at a substantial discount. (Read More)

BusinessWeek: When to Raise Money

BusinessWeek SmallBiz

By Monica Mehta

It’s the ongoing irony of early-stage investing: Just when your little-engine-that-could startup desperately needs funding, sophisticated investors have no interest in parting with their money. Not for a startup, not right now. But once your company has traction, customers, and revenue, those same investors are all over it. The timing couldn’t be worse…or could it be perfect? (Read More)