Friday, December 22, 2006

Last-minute tax tips.

This year the IRS says it's ready to focus on taxpayers who run small, unincorporated businesses. So, if you file Schedule C, look out. The biggest portion of unpaid tax is in underreporting of income by individuals. Normally, that's individuals who are filing Schedule C. That's the form used by small, unincorporated businesses. Some say the IRS is already focusing on small businesses.

Here are some ideas as 2006 dwindles to a close. Keep in mind, it's best to consult an accountant, as there are exceptions to every strategy. Much will depend on whether your small business uses the cash-basis or accrual-method of accounting. Also, many small businesses are S corporations or limited liability companies (LLCs), meaning income and losses are reported on the owners' personal tax returns.

Buy some equipment

One way to reduce your taxable business income is to take advantage of obtainable deductions. A tax rule known as Section 179 allows companies to deduct up to $108,000 for assets that are used in their business and that are bought and used in that year. To take advantage, think about equipment purchasing that you may have been putting off, such as a new computer. But, if you plan to claim this deduction, you need to be using the item for business at least 50% of the time. If, for example, 55% of the time spent on your new computer is for personal pursuits, you can't use Section 179 to write off the cost of that asset. Still, you may be able to depreciate over a few years the cost of an asset used both for business and personal purposes, but be sure to document how you use the item. Note also that not all assets are enclosed in this rule. For instance, you can't use Section 179 to write off real estate. And, you can only use a Section 179 deduction to the extent that you have business income (that is, you can't use it to generate a loss).
For cars, you are limited to a first-year depreciation of $3,060, but you can deduct up to $25,000 for some SUVs.

Pay bills now and get paid later

Most Schedule C filers use a cash-basis system that means they have to pay their expenses prior to year-end for them to be deductible. Consider paying as many of your business expenses as you can to take full advantage of the deduction for business expenses. Don't forget health-insurance premiums, because medical insurance premiums and long-term-care premiums are 100% deductible for self-employed individuals. Also, if possible, try to defer income. If you can stand the effect on your cash flow, things that you might usually bill for in December, you wait and bill in January, or you bill them so late in December that you would not expect to be paid until January.

Put in order your records

Now is the best time to get your receipts and other business records in order. If you're taking a deduction for a business purchase, such as a car or computer, organize your records regarding your business use of that item. For the car, for example, you are supposed to keep a log, a written log is what the IRS really wants to see, including the dates you drove the car, mileage driven and destinations. Your good records may save you money in the end.

Behave like you've already been notified, don't wait till the notice comes in and then try to put together all of your records, mainly the records that relate to your expenses. You want to make sure that the expenses you have are properly reflected.

Don't get blindsided

One reason new business-owners need to prepare for a tax hit: Social Security taxes. For people who are really just starting out, remember that basically the net income that you're going to report on that Schedule C is going to be treated as self-employment income and subject to the self-employment tax. That is, you'll likely face Social Security tax on the first $94,200 of wages in 2006 (that figure increases every year, rising to $97,500 in 2007).

Set up a qualified retirement plan before Dec. 31, and make deductible contributions to it for 2006.

If you want to maximize your contributions, remember you have to maximize your employees' too. Don't have the cash to fund it now? Think about a Simplified Employee Pension Plan, as funding can be delayed until the company's extended tax-return date.

Adjust owners' wages for tax benefit.

Salary decisions are tricky, and some owners wait until the end of the year to see what share of the profits to take. Generally, if you're an S Corporation, you want to take as little in compensation as possible, and if you're a C Corporation, you want to take as much as possible. (That's because tax consequences are different, depending on the company's legal structure.) But beware: Wages that are too high or too low may attract unwelcome attention from the Internal Revenue Service.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Retirement plan – Step 2

After reading Step 1 – going to Step 2


Once you and your advisors, as well any family members or partners, start discussing your issues for retirement plan, you'll begin to appreciate the need to put it all in writing.
Why in writing? Setting out the key fundamentals and stages of your exit strategy on paper will help give you a clear picture of what needs to be done and when. It's important to have a written plan in circulation, particularly in family-owned businesses, because you will need others' input and it can help avoid disappointment or mis-communication down the road. A written retirement plan should include:

1. Long-term business goals: While this doesn't have to be a developed strategic plan for the business, it should outline how the current ownership and others see the business rising in years to come. This could include a mission statement, a vision for the future, summary of strengths and weaknesses and goals achieve the long-standing strategy.

2. Financial statements & issues: Mainly for family members, candidates and others not common with the operating numbers, this section includes income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements. The purpose of these reports is to provide a snapshot of your business' assets, liabilities and taxes.

3. Owner's retirement requirements: Include an appraisal of the owner's personal financial situation, showing the amount of investment in the business and income needs in future years. In cases where there is a shortfall in income needs for retirement, the retirement plan needs to outline options to accurate the deficit If the business is funding the owner's retirement, is it through a formal retirement plan, life insurance or payments from future earnings? This section can also address the estate planning needs and strategies to be adopted by the owner. It should also make clear how and when the origin owner will capitalize on the investment in the business; it's important for successors to know the presentation objectives and timing needed.

4. How to recognize and announce a successor: State what types of leadership skills, education levels and other talents the business will need The retirement plan should also outline the method by which candidates will be identified, trained and a successor declared.

5. Ownership and management organization: Particularly in family-owned businesses, it's important for the owner to set out the ownership rights and business responsibilities of key family and employees. As well, the retirement plan needs to speak to the separation of power in the family, voting rights and whether spouses, in-laws or other relatives can hold shares. A new shareholders' agreement may also have to be part of this section of the retirement plan

6. Dangerous path and schedule: A critical path of events is needed, ranging from the close dates of educational requirements for possible successors to the transition date. For example, does the owner have a specific retirement age, such as 65 or 70 years old?

7. Communication plan: Also important in the planning process is deciding on a communication plan for other family, shareholders, employees, customers and professional advisers. The plan can also speak to risk management efforts needed to ensure unexpected events do not complicate the retirement. Other aspects of the written retirement plan, such as legal or tax steps wanted can be hammered out with professional advisors. When the plan is in first-draft form, it should be spread to family members and even employees for comments it’s important to be open to criticism, possibly using the family council sessions to deal with problems.

8. Revising Your Shareholders Arrangement: When creating and implementing your plan, one of the first things your legal advisor will want to address is your shareholders agreement. It's a critical element since it speaks to so many of the core retirement issues, including:

Partition of ownership, power and share structure
• Roles and responsibilities of shareholders
• Composition of the board and voting rights
• Structure for resolving shareholder disputes
• Options in the event of disability, divorce and other unforeseen conditions
• Buy-sell necessities

In some cases, a retirement plan will require a new shareholders agreement to allow for estate planning, share incentives for successor candidates and non-voting shares for non-active family members.

9. Buy-Sell Agreements: Another important legal document to believe in implementing a retirement plan is the buy-sell agreement. These agreements give liquidity for an estate and business continuity in the event of the death, disability or retirement of an owner. Buy-sell agreements set out terms and conditions for acquiring and selling interests in the business. The price offered must be fair and logical. The other owner also has the right to turn the offer around and want the potential acquirer to sell for the same price. One variation is the "wait and see" buy-sell agreement, where the business itself has the first option to purchase a deceased's interests. Existing shareholders then have the option to purchase any stock not bought by the corporation. The business must finally buy any stock left over. This type of agreement gives the surviving family an option to "wart and see" how money is best taken from the business. Naturally, these agreements have a life insurance component that allows the family to buy the shares or use the policy proceeds to lend money to the company for the purchase.

Speaking Of Insurance...

Not to be forgotten in your retirement plan is the need for sufficient insurance coverage. For example, under a buy-sell agreement, co-owned businesses can use insurance to finance the purchase of a shareholder's interests in the event of death or incapacity. A life insurance policy for right amounts can be purchased for each director so that the proceeds can be used for a quick purchase without straining the business. Also, another option to think is "key person insurance". This type of insurance helps reimburse a business for any financial losses due to the death or long term disability of an essential person. In some cases, key person insurance offers tax compensation.
Key person insurance covers the business, but what about your own earnings? Mainly in cases of short-term disability, the incomes of owners and key employees should be protected. A sudden illness or accident can cause you to be missing from the business for weeks and sometimes months. A disability insurance policy can supply income for the short-term or longer. These days, there are many types of disability defense, ranging from monthly income replacement to coverage for individuals needing long-term care. One of the newest innovations is "critical illness insurance," which pays out a bump sum settlement soon after the diagnosis of a life-threatening illness or disease.

Lining up Financing Options

Whether it's a family member, key employee or third party assuming ownership, establishing some financing options well in advance of the owner's retirement may help make the transition easier. Actually, in family businesses, it's possible to exploit financing techniques to pay out a founding owner before the actual transition date.
Traditional financing options for retirement include:

Secured loans, based on hard assets
• Subordinated debt, which is used when cash flow is strong
• Equity investments

In many family-owned businesses, hard assets fall short of securing the loan needed to fund the owner's transition. Subordinated debt and equity can often make it happen. Profitable lenders taking on retirement financing usually conduct thorough due assiduousness and review past performance, management expertise, cash flow patterns and earnings. These financing techniques can let a buyout by heirs or others over time to be funded by the business itself. By tax planning techniques such as estate freezes, the owner can begin transferring shares in the business to family before the transition. A second round of subordinated debt over a few years may then help complete the funding of the owner's retirement, with the business making the payments.
Ever more, owners are also looking to a wide diversity of insurance products to finance either retirement-related tax liabilities or even the outright purchase of their interests, as well as protecting a retirement from unexpected events, such as illness.
Life insurance may be paired with a tax planning vehicle, such as a final life insurance trust. Financial and tax advice is needed to ensure the beneficiary is properly stated and to decrease or avoid probate taxes.
Insurance is also useful in helping finance installment payments. The installment sale is an extensively used retirement financing technique. The payments offer a stable stream of retirement income for the owner, as well as some capital gains reward.

Revisit Your Retirement Plan Frequently

With the accurate team of advisors, plenty of internal discussion about your needs and goals, and some think on legal, tax and financing options, you will be well on your way to a winning retirement plan. How long will it take? Practically, it should be an ongoing process that is never complete until you have achieved your goal of a safe exit strategy from the business. Your professional advisors will at first need at least 3-6 months to correctly assess your business and options. In that time and beyond, you may also have to meet feedback from family, board members and others involved with the business. It's not strange for the fundamentals of a retirement plan to come together a year or more later.
Choosing a successor or potential buyer will also take time. A formal search inside and outside the business could be at least six months.As you near retirement or the exit moment, you should resume your plan to ensure it's on track. How do you know if your strategic plan is failing? Here are some signs:

Inflexible plan that isn't modified to the needs and abilities of the people involved or changing circumstances
• Excessively long timelines for promotions and opportunities, prompting key people to leave anyway
• Poor communication of the plan and a lack of understanding among family and employees of the actions, processes and requirements
• Selection of unmotivated people or people without qualifications
• Breakdown to hold individuals accountable for goals and requirements

Where possible, your outside advisors can be helpful in the training of your successors. They can insert a degree of objectivity that owners may find difficult to maintain. Sometimes the most time-consuming and emotionally difficult aspect of implementing the owner's retirement plan is simply letting go.Most business owners are strong-willed and self-governing. They know what works and it can be difficult for them to leave the business they formed. The owner may have a financial risk in the business and want to remain involved with the operations beyond the retirement date. While comprehensible, this is sometimes awful for your business and your successor. Researchers have found the transition to new ownership and management is most easily achieved when the earlier owners engage themselves with other interests.
In the end, perhaps the most important retirement objective you can set for yourself is to take benefit of the freedom to pursue the other opportunities life can offer.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Creating and Implementing a Retirement plan – Step 1

With an excellent understanding of your possible exit options and the many multifaceted issues to be sorted out, the next step in really creating your plan to retire from the business is putting a strong team of advisors together.

You may be wondering how you can find time to do any retirement planning. You probably can't do it alone and do it well. At one point or another, you may find it supportive to call upon a range of outside experts to help put your plan into action. Your business may not need the full range of expertise out there, but it is worth contacting at least one advisor experienced with small business issues.
Here is the typical listing of experts who may be able to help you create a successful retirement plan:

1. The Accountant
If you have one, your outside accounting firm will be well familiar with your business and, likely, similar operations. Accountants may be able to help you make your business more financially sound and more good-looking to buyers. Your accountant will also collect the financial statements and answer buyer's questions during any due diligence stages. Another reason to consider hiring a chartered accountant or similar professional is to start getting audited financial statements —a valuable asset in the eyes of many buyers. Experts suggest your accountant should also work intimately with your legal advisor to make sure there is no doubling of effort.

2. The Lawyer
Your business may already have a legal advisor who helped incorporate it. That doesn't mean, however, that legal advisor is the one you'll use for your retirement planning. Look for a legal advisor or law firm that specializes in business and land law and has actual experience in selling businesses, drafting shareholder agreements and tax planning.

3. The Tax Advisor
One of the most expensive members of your team will be the tax expert. There are huge potential tax risks, when exiting a business or transferring it to others. Your tax advisor must have a clear understanding of your business and your personal goals. It's important that this person understands both personal and corporate tax issues.

4. The Appraiser / Valuator/
If your business is large, complex or has significant assets, you may need an expert estimate of its value, even if you only plan on transferring it to family. There may be a qualified business valuator in your chartered accounting firm. The valuator will ask for current financial statements and a brief description of your business. Next, you'll likely meet for a few hours to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of the business. The valuator can also use this time to explore what types of potential buyers are out there and what would make your business attractive to them. In some cases, the valuator may be able to recommend steps you can take to increase the value of the business. Some valuators will also help you create documents for prospective buyers, such as growth forecasts.

5. The Banker / Lender /
Your lenders are an important part of your team and can help organize the efforts of other members. A lender experienced with small or medium-sized businesses can offer valuable advice at each step of retirement planning. Your lender may also be important in financing the sale or transfer of your business.

6. The Broker
If you plan to sell your business you may want to consider listing it with a business broker or agent. You can run your own advertisements or approach others you think will be interested, but it is time-consuming for an owner who holds a business close to his mind. Brokers be likely to have a large pool of potential buyers and can discreetly contact competitors, suppliers and major customers. Brokers also can separate those who don't have the financial resources or credentials. Most important, a broker may offer tips and techniques for selling a business that you simply can't get from your other advisors. Brokers usually get a commission tied to the final selling price that can range as high as 10-15%. Experts suggest you insert a clause in the sales agreement that you will pay only when you actually receive the money. As with any one you don't know, ask about recent sales and the names of pleased clients you may contact. You should review the sales agreement with your lawyer to, among other things ensure that it correctly describes the sale.

You want to learn more about Retirement planning? Read the previous article.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Retirement plans for small business

You just run your own business? Thinking about your retirement options? Whether you plan to sell, transfer or wind up the business, advance planning can help you make smarter long-term decisions, boost how much money you'll take out, ease management transitions and increase your options. With price of pitfalls and issues to be tackled, the earlier you get started, the better.

What's your exit strategy? If you are like most owners, you don't have one; according to a recent national poll 67% of 430 owners surveyed in 2001 did not have a retirement strategy. Yet, most (55%) calculated personal retirement and succession planning integral to their business' future. For many, their business is crucial to a secure, comfortable retirement.
Do you have a family-owned business? If so, retirement planning is even more important. Most small and medium-sized businesses in Canada and USA are family-owned and surveys propose owners are dedicated to pass a successful venture on to the next generation. Many hope the business will fund their own retirement and the family's fortunes for years to come.
Experience, however, shows there is often little planning or preparation for transferring ownership within families. In fact, 70% of Canadian family-owned businesses do not pass on to a second generation and just one out of 10 move to a third generation.
You should learn how to plan a future for your business and yourself and which steps should be involved in retiring from a business. You should learn also how to ready your family and others for the challenging decisions ahead, and the legal, financial, taxation and even emotional issues you'll need to begin.

Retirement Plans for Small Businesses

Retirement Plans for Small Businesses

Think, for example, about what you want from your business. Are you interested in great prosperity? Do you want to make a legacy your family can carry on? Planning to go public or sell out to the highest bidder? Or, is your business simply a way to make a living? Each of these goals calls for a dissimilar set of growth strategies and different retirement plan for each owner.
Separately from figuring out how you should exit, retirement planning also deals with another serious issue for many business leaders — succession. By choice of not, you will someday leave the business. Who will take over for you? Is it someone who knows where to take the business next? Would you or your family be able to draw upon the full value of your hard-earned success?

Making a retirement plan now and fine-tuning it occasionally lets owners begin a process that:

• Protects the full value of their investment
• Generates a potential income stream for retirement or upon disability
• Reduces the tax collision on their estate, their spouse and others
• Creates a smooth management transition with little or no business trouble
• Allows family members or key employees to self-confidently assume ownership
• Enhances the overall worth and strategic direction of the business

Done property, your retirement plan can help you find the best way to finance your personal exit strategy and recover the time and money you've invested in the business. It's also important to understand why you shouldn't do this alone and should try to find out the best outside advisors you can find to enhance your decisions on the many financial, tax and even family challenges.
Still need convincing? Consider the significant personal and strategic benefits that can run from starting your retirement planning now, no matter what life stage your business is at.


Retirement planning
is actually all about you, the owner. At its heart, retirement planning addresses how you can confidently transfer ownership. Every owner's situation is different, but advance planning helps you answer these questions:

• How much income would I need to retire or do something else with my life?
• Do I have a rational exit strategy from the business?
• Would I need to sell the business? How do I find out how much it is worth?
• Do I want an all-cash deal? Would I be ready to finance part of the sale?
• Do I want to be involved in the business, but not day-to-day management?
• Are family members, employees or others interested or prepared to play a better role in the business? Will they need my help?

In many good wishes, a retirement plan is your life strategy. For those with family members, business partners or employees interested a plan can also help with their life strategies and get rid of their doubts. Retirement planning can also be an effective tool for smoothing out family, partnership or management differences. Planning calls for collaboration and long-term thinking about personal needs. The process often reveals differing points of view and agendas on everything from career choices to who is permitted to ownership shares.
What's important for owners to know is that the retirement planning process deserves and requires time to create and realize. With a plan in place, owners can assertively fine-tune and change the plan as time passes to ensure their financial and personal well-being is secure.


Retirement plans also offer major benefits for day-to-day operations and the long-term strategy for your business. With planning, you can actually take steps to increase your business' value in the eyes of investors, lenders, suppliers and customers.
Without a plan, particularly effective long-term tax planning and ownership transition agreements, your business can easily be unavailable for many months. A retirement plan can also help disclose operational weaknesses that can be fixed in time to maximize the business' value just as the training of key employees or family members, for example, may become a priority. Not exceptionally, the process may also reveal that the business is not worth as much as originally thought or a different exit strategy is needed to return the owner's investment. For example, what if no one wants to buy the business or no family member is ready or interested in taking over?

Retirement planning is also valuable for its long-term outlook. Typical marketing and strategic plans rarely stretch beyond a year or two, but retirement plans must look many years ahead. It's why some call the retirement plan a "second vision" for your business, asking long-range strategic questions such as:

• What is the future direction of the business?
• What products or services will we sell in 10 or 20 years?
. How will our markets change in that time? What types of people and resources will we need to compete?
• Who are the key people to develop and care for the future?

Retirement plans spur strategic thinking throughout an organization. Choosing potential roles for family or key employees sets into motion a series of subsidiary goals for individuals that range from upgrading education or experience to establishing the legal and financial framework for transferring ownership.
From a strategic perspective, retirement plans can even command greater respect than other business plans because of the personal stakes concerned. By nature, a retirement plan has the "buy in" of future leaders and they must work with today's owner to ensure it's implemented in the end, strategic advantages often seen with retirement planning include:

Motivating key employees or family members to seek better training and skill to prepare for future roles
• Aligning the needs of the company with the resources accessible
• Helping the company recruit and retain better people
• Encouraging new ideas to improve internal processes, as well as the businesses outside opportunities
• Descriptive the owner's intentions, helping to reduce disappointment and possible departures of key people

No money to fund your retirement years. No one interested in buying the business. No one ready to take over. If you don't want unpleasant surprises like these, you will want to invest the time and effort now to create your personal and business retirement plan.

More resources:
The Retirement Revolution: A Strategic Guide to Understanding & Investing Lump-Sum Distributions from Qualified Retirement Plans

The Retirement Revolution: A Strategic Guide to Understanding & Investing Lump-Sum Distributions from Qualified Retirement Plans

The Retirement Savings Time Bomb... and How to Defuse It: A 5 -Step Action Plan for Protecting Your Iras, 401 (K)S, and Other Retirement Plans from Ne

The Retirement Savings Time Bomb... and How to Defuse It: A 5 -Step Action Plan for Protecting Your Iras, 401 (K)S, and Other Retirement Plans from Ne

Americans could lose up to 90 percent of their hard-earned retirement savings to the IRS-- America's IRA Expert (Mutual Funds Magazine) shows how to protect them. For baby boomers reaching retirement age and the millions of other Americans who keep most of their assets invested in IRAs, 401 (k)s, and similar retirement plans, financial expert Ed Slott's eye-opening guide is a must-have resource to help protect those savings from the IRS. Through his simple 5-Step Action Plan, Ed Slott's down-to-earth, clear-cut, and often humorous approach shows everyday investors how to distribute, roll over, withdraw, and secure their retirement savings (and their inherited nest eggs) against Uncle Sam.

Beyond 401(k)s for Small Business Owners : A Practical Guide to Incentive, Deferred Compensation, and Retirement Plans

Beyond 401(k)s for Small Business Owners : A Practical Guide to Incentive, Deferred Compensation, and Retirement Plans

A handy guide for small business owners who need creative ways to compensate employees A key challenge for successful small business owners is how to compensate employees effectively to achieve company goals. It often takes more than just basic salary, benefits, and vacation time to attract and retain the high-performing employees small businesses need to thrive. Beyond 401(k)s for Small Business offers strategies on rewarding highly motivated employees and creating an environment in which employees know that their hard work will mean a better future for themselves. This is the only up-to-date book on the subject written specifically for small business owners. Attorney and CPA Jean Sifleet’s expert advice will help small business owners develop and implement profit-sharing or equity-based incentive compensation plans, as well as the vast array of deferred compensation and pension plans, such as 401(k), Simplified Employee pensions, and ESOP.Jean D. Sifleet, Esq (Clinton, MA), is an attorney and CPA, as well as the principal of Smart Fast Consulting, which advises small business owners.

IRA's 401k'S & Other Retirement Plans: Taking Your Money Out

IRA's 401k'S & Other Retirement Plans: Taking Your Money Out

Written by two experts in tax and investment planning, IRAs presents the different types of retirement plans that are affected by distribution rules. It covers the tax options available to individuals when they either change employers or retire and have to take all of their money out of the employer's qualified plan. The book also examines IRAs and the new Roth IRAs: how to take distributions from them, designate beneficiaries and avoid even more potential penalties.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Get Ideas You Can Use

Subscribe and receive 5 popular summaries FREE!

Soundview Executive Book Summaries® -
The MOST EFFECTIVE way to QUICKLY and EASILY learn the
KEY POINTS of today's most popular business books...

Subscribe and receive 5 popular summaries FREE!Get Ideas You Can Use - Ideas that will solve problems, advance your career, boost company profits, move your firm into the lead.

Slash Your Reading Time - You can read
these eight-page summaries in just 15 minutes, or listen to audio summaries in about 20 minutes.

Gain A Competitive Edge - Learn new skills, sharpen old ones. Keep abreast of the latest business concepts. You’ll be seen as the one in the know - exhibiting the confidence that will advance your career.

Learn More. Remember More. - A Carnegie-Mellon Study showed that readers retain more of the content when they read a well-written summary than when they read the book. You will too - guaranteed!

25 Years of Experience - Soundview pioneered the idea of business book summaries and they are the experts. They review
hundreds of business books a year and select only the best.

Subscribe and receive 5 popular summaries FREE!

Subscribe and each month you'll receive two or three eight-page summaries of the best business books - totaling 30 summaries a year.

We provide your summaries in the format you choose!

Choose audio summaries and you'll also receive a cassette or CD each month - 12 per year - with specially scripted audio summaries and reviews. And since our format choices are extensive, you can choose to view your summaries online or even download them to your PDA or wireless device - at any time, with no limitations.

100% Money Back Guarantee: You may cancel any time during your first year for any reason, and receive a 100% refund of every cent you paid.

EXTRA BONUS!! Subscribe today and receive 5 of our most popular summaries FREE! (A $45 value!)

by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan

Bossidy, the legendary CEO of Honeywell International, Inc.,joins forces with consultant and prolific author Charan to explain how getting things done — not strategy, innovation or anything else — is the most important function of a leader. The authors examine in detail the three key processes of execution — people, strategy and operations — and show how all three are linked. Click to get this summary free!
Free Prize Inside!
by Seth Godin

A free prize is a game-changing soft innovation; a cool twist that doesn’t cost a fortune but transforms the way people think about your product or service. In Free Prize Inside!, marketing guru Seth Godin encourages readers to take on the challenge of creating innovation. Godin explains that one cannot create innovation by building an organization that is automatically innovative. Instead, companies must create a desire among individuals to do the difficult work that makes innovation happen. Click to get this summary free!
Good to Great
by Jim Collins

What do good companies need to do to become great? To answer this question,
Jim Collins (the author of the bestseller Built to Last) and a team of researchers used strict benchmarks to identify a group of 11 elite companies that made the leap from good to great and sustained that greatness for at least 15 years. The companies that made the list, and those that did not, provide a vast supply of strategies and ideas that leaders can use within their own organizations to propel them to greatness.Click to get this summary free!

The 8th Habit
by Stephen R. Covey

Excellence is no longer merely an option — survival requires it. But to thrive, excel and lead we must move beyond effectiveness to greatness. Leadership guru Stephen Covey writes that accessing a higher level of human genius and motivation requires a sea change in thinking: a new mind-set and skill set — in short, an additional habit to those featured in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey explains that the crucial challenge is to find our own voice and inspire others to find theirs.Click to get this summary free!

Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance
by Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.

The visionary former chairman and CEO of IBM gives his detailed, insider account of the now-legendary turnaround at the giant computer company. Among the lessons you will learn: If it’s broken, fix it; if it’s not broken, fix it anyway. Click to get this summary free!

Click here to learn more about Soundview Executive Book Summaries and get these 5 summaries free with your subscription!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Get the Key Ideas from Today's Best Financial Books

Kiplinger's Financial Book Summaries™ Will Help You to Invest Your Time As Wisely As Your Money!

Read Less, Learn More™.

ANYONE can Grasp the Key Ideas and Most Profitable Points from Today's Best Books - In Less than 20 Minutes per Book!

For eight decades, the Kiplinger organization has led the way in personal finance and business forecasting. And for 28 years, Soundview Executive Book Summaries has been publishing quick and easy-to-read summaries of the best full-length business books.
With more than 100 years combined experience, Kiplinger and Soundview Editors review more than 700 financial books each year and select only the top 24 books to expertly summarize for you. There simply is no better way to quickly harness today's best wealth-building strategies and put them to work for you!

Kiplinger's Financial Book Summaries are Available in Different Formats to Suit Your neds...

>> Online Library: A monthly e-mail will let you know when the latest summaries are released. Just click the link and log into your personal Online Library from anywhere you connect to the Internet. Your current and past summaries are always available to you in four different online text formats: PDF, HTML, Microsoft eBook (LIT) and Palm Doc (PDB).
You'll even receive a professionally narrated audio summary in popular MP3 format!
You can read your summaries on your PC, print them, save them, download them to your PDA, or listen to them on your favorite MP3 player anytime, anywhere!

>>> Printed Summaries (Includes Online Library): Receive two eight-page printed summaries mailed to you each month. We deliver printed summaries worldwide. And since you may also like the convenience of accessing your summaries online, you'll also get an Online Library at no additional charge.

>> Audio CDs (Includes Print & Online Library): Receive a professionally narrated Audio CD mailed to you each month. Your package includes a quick-listening CD (only 20 minutes per title) as well as our eight-page printed summaries and of course access to your Online Library at no additional charge.

100% Money-Back Guarantee: If you don't think you've profited from what you've learned in Kiplinger's Financial Book Summaries, simply let us know and we'll refund every penny of your subscription price. No questions asked.

Gain a Competitive Edge with Ideas You Can Use from Today's Top Financial Books ...Subscribe now and Receive these Three FREE Bonuses!

As a Special Charter Subscriber Bonus, you'll receive three of our most popular summaries completely FREE!

The Little Book that Beats the Market
by Joel Greenblatt

In The Little Book that Beats the Market, Greenblatt shows how successful investing can be made easy for investors of any age. Through entertaining anecdotes and practical pearls of wisdom, the book explores the basic principles of successful stock market investing, and then reveals a "magic formula" that makes buying good companies at bargain prices automatic. The formula has been tested over hundreds of different periods and thousands of stock picks and has been proven extremely profitable for those who are willing to "stick with it."

Live It Up Without Outliving Your Money!
by Paul Merriman

Live It Up Without Outliving Your Money! is the road map that people are looking for to learn how to achieve real retirement security. In the coming years, more than 70 million people will enter retirement. But even as people live longer and stay active longer - and with Social Security's future in jeopardy - they have saved less than any previous generation. Are you hungry for sound, time-tested advice about how to reinvigorate your retirement portfolio-with less risk? This plain-speaking book
gives you simple, low-risk strategies to get the most out of your retirement without running out of money.

Investment MegaTrends
by Dr. Bob Froehlich

Investment MegaTrends
explains the dramatic power and influence of demographic trends on investments. It provides you with a map on the pitfalls and opportunities of demographic data, what to look for and where. From identifying the four global shifts to presenting the
number-crunching behind the reasons for their existence, Froehlich offers comprehensive data as well as his personal experience traveling the world and seeing the shifts for himself.

Click to Become a Charter Subscriber Today!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Starting a Child Daycare - the other home based business opportunity

So you're serious about starting your own day care center?

There's a lot to think about…

There is an element of risk in starting any business. Eliminating that risk through knowledge and planning will lead to your success in the day care business. As you can see from the table of contents below, this extensive kit has everything you will need to get your business off the ground and running. The kit has been written to provide you with the latest information necessary to start a day care center.
Starting a Child Daycare

Starting a Child Daycare

There are a few steps to running this business:

Starting a Day Care Center

• Deciding on a Name
• Legal Requirements
• Business Plan
• Start-Up Costs
• Outside Facility vs. Home Based

Organizing Your Day Care Center

• Preparing Your Home
• Required Equipment
• Establishing a Web Site
• Installing a Web Cam

Running Your Day Care Center

• Types of Care
• Setting Your Rates
• Establishing a Contract
• Managing Cash Flow

Marketing Your Day Care Center

• Attracting Customers
• Interviewing Clients
• Getting Referrals
• Building Your Image
• Staying Ahead of Competition

Curriculum Development

• Daily Schedule
• Children's Activities
• Planning a Menu

Policies and Procedures

• Enrollment
• Payments
• Drop Off and Pick Up
• Holidays and Vacation
• Safety and Emergencies
• Behavior and Discipline
• Food and Health
• Infants and Toddlers
• Illness

Managing Your Day Care Center

• Record Keeping
• Insurance
• Tax Obligations

Growing Your Day Care Center

• Hiring an Assistant
• Getting Financing
• Keeping It Going

There are some good books out there, but none that are this highly detailed in giving you the needed information on starting a day care center. This Start-Up Kit about Starting a Child Daycare business provides you with concrete no-nonsense information about how to start your own day care center from the ground up.

You will benefit from this kit if you are:

• considering starting a home day care center in the United States
• thinking of making an income while staying home and caring for your own children
• considering running a day care at a church or other outside facility
• ready to take your knowledge and skills of working with children and applying it to your own business
• ready to make a leap from your current baby-sitting service to a full-time day care business
This kit was designed to guide you with the information you will need to start and run a successful day care center. It offers many pointers that even experienced day care providers will find useful.

In language that is clear, readable and straight to the point, it explains:

• what is required to start the business
• determining what to charge
• setting policies and procedures
• attracting clients
• establishing your daily schedule
• planning activities for children
• billing and accounting
• managing your cash flow
• record keeping
• keeping your clients happy
• growing your business
• Plus much, much more!!!

The kit also includes forms, business letters, and a complete business plan that are all essential to starting a successful day care. You will have everything you need to get your new business started!

You can purchase yor Starting a Child Daycare from here.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Prepare to manage your personal finances.

If you just have been starting a new business, you probably need good software for your personal finances.The right choice of financial software will save your time and money.

Software Gives Insight Into Today's Needs and Tomorrow's Goals

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California, - Aug. 1, 2006 - Continuing to evolve its software to meet the specific needs of Mac® customers, Intuit released Quicken Mac 2007.

This new version of Quicken, designed for Mac users, introduces a variety of new product features to help them better manage their finances throughout their life. New features include comprehensive paycheck management, 401(k) investment management and a QuickEntry dashboard widget — a Mac-exclusive feature that makes data entry simple and straightforward.

"With the signature ease of use and unique style of the Macintosh, Quicken Mac 2007 is the personal finance software package that will accommodate your needs from next payday until you begin drawing down funds from your 401(k) plan," said Glenn Tom, director and offering leader for Quicken consumer products. "Managing personal finances has never been easier for Macintosh owners."

Tracking Today's Dollars, Tomorrow's Retirement

In a recent Quicken survey, 56 percent of respondents said they are "not prepared at all" for retirement. In addition, 58 percent believe they "will have to work past their planned retirement date due to financial obligations."

To help consumers better prepare for retirement, Quicken Mac enables them to download and track 401(k) accounts and investments — share holdings, daily prices and more — from within the program. Rather than logging on to a third-party site, users can now monitor returns and move funds among various investment options — all within the familiar Quicken Mac interface.

In addition, the newest Quicken Mac gives customers the ability to download, track, and verify the accuracy of information contained in their paycheck via a simple-to-use interface. Keeping a close eye on federal, state and local payroll taxes, insurance premiums, FICA, and other items listed on paychecks has never been easier.

For more details about Quicken Mac and the other Quicken products visit our Accounting Software Site.

Monday, August 21, 2006

How to start your own Cleaning Service

A profitable home based business

That's right – a simple, easy-to-operate Cleaning Business.

Maybe you're still not convinced. "How can you make big money cleaning up offices?” As a cleaning service contractor you charge by the job, not by the hour. You may decide to reach a certain level of income and then remain at that point. It's up to you. Successful cleaning companies are all across America. You can be one of them if you can get the business.

The U.S. Department of Labor recently reported that the office cleaning service industry will provide more jobs than any other area of employment in the coming years.

Instant Office Cleaning Kit gives you an amazing head start.

Office Cleaning Business


• How to get started fast and easy
• How to get business the smart way without expensive advertising.
• How to organize each job to finish faster, and create more profit.
• How to project a professional image and get top dollar for your service.
• How much to charge. A simple formula that's right on the money.
• What kind of people to hire to do the work.
• A risk-free proven method of getting customers in your area.
• How to get started with little or no money.

Buy Cleaning Business Start Kit From Here!


• The finest professional documents available...Satisfaction Guaranteed!
• Step-by-easy-step instructions: Show you how to get started risk free, totally from scratch or expand and upgrade your existing cleaning business with no additional costs.
• Source of leads: You don't have to hand out 200 business cards and hope for the best. My proven methods of getting leads will help you to obtain more business than if you were running an expensive full-page advertisement in the phone book! Leads obtained using these methods are hot and free for the asking. You'll learn exactly what to do and how to do it.
• Introduction letter: Leave a lasting impression and distinguish yourself from the competition with this outstanding introduction letter. You will grab customer attention and your business will increase. This letter in itself can actually get new business for you without doing any "selling” at all.
• A professional service agreement (the bid): It's a proven job-winning service agreement like none other. It's so effective, it was used by the F.P.L. "Florida Power and Light" company as a standard for cleaning contractors who want to bid on F.P.L. buildings! This service agreement was inspired and developed with feedback from actual office managers themselves. (the decision makers) This is what they want to see! It's been revised, tested and proven for over 10 years. This one document by itself is worth the price of the entire kit. It will give you a professional and competitive edge like nothing else!
• Bid follow-up letter: Increase your chances of getting the job! Mail this professional bid-follow-up letter after your proposal or estimate is given.
• Reminder letter: Remember your prospective customers and they'll remember you. Mail this powerful reminder letter that shows you mean business. An economical, effective way to keep your company name in front of customers and prospects.


• A square ft. estimating chart: Have confidence and estimate like a seasoned professional with this handy estimating tool. All the figuring has been done for you. It's very accurate and easy to use. No guesswork involved.
• Prime customer categories, forms you can use, samples and more!

Buy Cleaning Business Start Kit From Here!.

If you are not satisfy - your money back guarantee.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Home based business opportunity


With Easy Photography Home Business you will be a part of a growing industry that very few people even know exist. It won't cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars to get started. You probably already possess all of the equipment you will need (transportation, phone or cell phone, computer, internet access and an inexpensive digital camera). There are no experiences or educational requirements. Almost anyone with basic computer and digital photography skills can succeed in this new and exciting, home-based photographic opportunity!
You will be introduced into a virtually unknown photographic opportunity that is exploding thanks to the internet! It's great for full or part-time income. I only ask that you take this seriously and be prepared to be amazed as you deposit check after check for doing simple freelance photography jobs that are in constant demand right in your local area!
Save your time and look at this great opportunity now !
Easy Photography Home Business


Banking and Insurance institutions nationwide have vested interests in homes, cars, commercial property, businesses, trucks, RVs, boats, stores, restaurants, or any entity requiring financing or insurance. These companies need to have updated and accurate information on the condition of this property continuously. It is simply not cost effective for them to have "field reps" in every single town in the United States. So, these institutions "sub" out their work to freelance reps all over the country. Once trained, your services will be in high demand!
Since most financing, insurance policies, mortgages, equipment leases, etc. are now completed online or via 1-800 telephone numbers, the need for these institutions on a local basis has decreased dramatically. This is where you come in! You will effectively become a representative for 100's of national companies who need constantly updated information from your local area!
There is no cold calling, soliciting for work or strange people coming to your home. There is no expensive photography equipment or special software needed. You do not have to lease an office or building. You can work right from your kitchen table if desired.
Choosing Easy Photography Home Business you will also be paid well to obtain information for these companies. People just like you are getting paid $15, $20, $25, $50, and even $100 each and every time they take a few photos with their digital camera and fill out the accompanying reports (mostly online). It takes only 5 -15 minutes to complete each assignment. Some reps are doing 20+ assignments daily! These simple, freelance photography job fees can add up fast!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Getting Organized Your Online Business

It is essential to operate your online business just like any other businesses; no matter what size is it - part-time or full-time. You must ensure that certain systems and routines are in-place, otherwise it all becomes disorganized, hard work and possibly destined to fail.

- The first thing you should do is to create a simple database, called “Account Manager”. Here you must to put all the company names, invoice numbers, usernames, passwords, website, emails and any relevant comments. With this simple step you will certainly make your life a lot easier and more disciplined.

- Second thing is to set up a spreadsheet to track income and expenses. This is very important for tax purposes and you can constantly monitor your profit and loss situation at any given time to keep measuring your progress. If you don’t monitor the performance of your business, how will you know what is working and what needs changing? You need to see if you are getting a return on all the time and money you are investing in your business. You can make this with some accounting software program, which is appropriate for Small Businesses such as Quicken, Quick Books or MYOB (Mind Your Own Business).

- The last thing you should do is a spreadsheet that summarized your entire ad tracking results for advertising campaigns. Now ad tracking is extremely important to the overall success of your business. You absolutely must know what is working and what is not working so that you can dump the useless ads and keep running the ones that bring you profits. This spreadsheet includes ad cost, number of subscribers, number of clicks, number of sales, cost per sale and ROI (return on investment). This is so simple and yet so effective. At a glance you can see which are my most effective ads and the most effective advertising medium as well.

These things take a little bit of effort to set up initially and to get into the routine, but once done it’s easy to keep going. The benefits are certainly worth it.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Small Business Success Resources – Five key ingredients to have successful Business

The five crucial needs for a small business are:

1. Idea – You might feel that you want to start business, but not have idea about what that business should be. By analyzing your daily activities, you will find a potential business concept. The key is that idea must be generated from somewhere; otherwise it is impossible to start a business.

2. Knowledge and Experience – Many people attempt to enter a field in which they have extremely limited experience. Experience means seeing the operation form the inside, knowing the different aspects that make the business tick. Knowledge is critical to success, and I cannot emphasize the experiential aspect of business success strongly enough. Before you enter in the business spend time in the field that you are contemplating. Take this advice serious.

3. Capital – Many businesses fail because they do not have sufficient start-up and operating capital. You might have the best idea in the world, but without the necessary funding, the idea should never have become more than a business plan.

4. Battle Plan – This means to have clear personal and business goals as well as objectives, and a realistic time frame in which to meet those targets, is essential to the success of a new venture. The battle plan very often takes the format of a business plan. It should be as comprehensive as possible. The creation of business plan does require time, energy and efforts. Even with clearly defined goals and objectives, success will be difficult to achieve, but without them, success remains unlikely.

5. Market – For starting a successful business, you must have people who desire your product or service. You have to make the market realize that your business exists with the product or service the public needs. The main point of this idea is that a demand must exist for your product or service.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Pros and Cons of having your Own Business

Before you commence your enterprise, it’s extremely important that you evaluate both the rewards you earn and the risk you will encounter. You should carefully analyze the effect that business will have on your life. And now you should make examination of the pros and cons of self-employment.

Here are the main pros and cons of starting operating your own business:

1. You can be your own boss
2. The profits are all yours
3. Additional creativity
4. You can set your own hours
5. You can choose your employees and your customers
6. Tax advantages

1. Extended working hours
2. Lack of regular paycheque
3. Fear of failure
4 . Stress

Monday, July 31, 2006

Small Business Ideas

Four major types of small business are: manufacturing, service, wholesale and retail. Each of these has its own characteristics.

The Manufacturing Business

This is conversion of raw materials into a useful product. Beginning a manufacturing business requires a big amount of capital and it is most suitable for a large business with more resources. But on the other hand this business can create a tremendous financial return, often above 20 percent.

The Service Business

Those businesses sell personal skills rather than products to their clients. Typical examples are: the barber, daycare centres, repair shops and consultants. The service business requires a limited amount of capital investment and can be operated from home. Recently, there has been a trend to franchise service business.

The Wholesale Business

This is something in the middle between manufacturers and retailers. You should buy products, store them and then resell to retailers or to the costumers.
For wholesale is important that wholesaler is skilful for doing such a business, he can manage well good’s delivery and clients service.

The Retail Business

Retailers buy products from manufactures, wholesalers or other distributors and sell them to the consumer. Small business dominates this area. There are many different kinds of retailers – from small grocery stores to variety stores to specialty shops. One of the key success variables for these firms is a convenient location.

There are a few good ideas for starting Small Business with a limited amount of capital:

Easy Photography Home Business

Office Cleaning Business

Office Cleaning Business

Starting a Child Daycare

Starting a Child Daycare

Starting a Catering Business

Starting a Catering Business

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Welcome to Best Small Business Opportunity and Finance blog

The intended audience for this blog is any individual who is interesting in starting or has recently started a business. Small Business Finance blog will be designed to satisfy the needs of people who have a limited business knowledge and for those who are prepared to move on to more sophisticated operational techniques.

About 50 percent of new businesses fail within two years of start-up of the reasons has been the lack of knowledge how to start and operate small business.

Operating a small business is not a simple task and that will not change,but for those who choose to start,this can be the most rewarding "adventures" of their life!