Monday, November 7, 2016

Popular Exit Strategies for Today’s Small Business Owner

Corporate Business Solutions  is recognized for using our expertise, experience and education to access the information that is often necessary for growth in small and medium – size businesses.  We specialize in helping business owners form the best exit strategies to reach both their personal and professional goals. 

Exit strategies are something that every business owner will eventually utilize. When you partner with us, you decide what exit strategy means to you and your business and we provide the guidance to fulfill your dreams. Having an exit strategy worked out in advance helps ensure that you like the answers to those questions and gives you some control over your small business's future. Here is an example of five exit strategies that small businesses may choose from:

Liquidation - This exit strategy means close the door and sell all assets. To make any money with such an exit strategy, your business has to have valuable assets to sell, such as land or expensive equipment. And profits from selling assets have to go to pay creditors first.

Sell the company in the open market - This is often seen as a popular option for small businesses, but is more complicated than it seems.  Unless the business has been structured with the right methods, systems and controls which will allow a new owner to run the business successfully, many buyers will be wary to invest in a business whose success is directly tied to the previous owner’s involvement in every aspect of the business. At a certain point in time, often when he or she is ready to retire, the small business owner puts the business up for sale for a certain price - and hopefully walks away with the amount of money she wanted to get for it. For this exit strategy, you should spend time preparing your business for sale, making it as lucrative as possible to potential buyers. One important question to ask yourself: Are you building a business worth buying?

Sell to another business - Positioning your small business to be a desirable acquisition can be very profitable. Businesses buy other businesses for all kinds of reasons, from using a new acquisition as a quick path to expansion through buying out (and eliminating) the competition.

Keeping it in the family - The goal of many small business owners is to keep your business in the family and ensure that your legacy lives on. As an exit strategy, it can also give you the opportunity to groom your own successor and even perhaps give you some continued say in the business.

Selling to employees - Current employees and/or managers may be interested in buying your business. Arranging an employee buyout can be a win-win situation as they get an established business they know a great deal about already and you get enthusiastic buyers that want to see your business continue to thrive.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Guidelines for Holiday Bonuses

Corporate Business Solutions is a leading business consulting firm recognized throughout the United States. We offer the critical information that is often necessary for growth in the small and medium – size business marketplace.
If you’re a business owner that is handing out holiday bonuses for the first time, or if you’re just not sure how it should be done, it can be confusing. Here is a general guideline to keep in mind as you go about the process:

1. Establish the type of bonus. Holiday bonuses (or gifts) are different from year-end bonuses. The latter are based upon performance, measured against specific bonus-triggering standards. The former are typically given from the heart by the business owner. If you are truly giving out holiday gifts, either of cash or something else, make sure everyone knows that’s what it is. Don’t call a year-end, performance-based bonus anything but that: a performance bonus. Different rules govern these two types of recognitions.

2. Everyone gets a gift or bonus. If you are doing holiday gifts or bonuses, make sure every employee gets one.

3. Gifts don’t have to be equal, but should be consistent. Giving everyone the same gift, from managers on down, is the easiest course to choose. If you must give tiered gifts, make sure the tiers are clearly delineated: one type for management, another for staff. No favoritism based on any other criteria. Word will get around.

4. You have options besides monetary gifts. If you can’t afford a monetary or alternative type holiday gift, you can always offer employees a day or two off around the holidays to recognize their efforts during the year. This can also become your holiday recognition, if you want to change things up or don’t have a regular holiday bonus plan. Many employees appreciate paid time off in lieu of other types of holiday recognition.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Skip the Construction Slow Season

Corporate Business Solutions  is a business consulting firm that is recognized for the ability to assist in the growth of small and medium- size businesses.  Our expertise allows for us to assist business leaders with the challenges they face in today’s small business marketplace, including progressing in your industry’s “slow season.”

In the construction industry, the winter season often brings a slow onset of business.  However, this doesn’t mean contractors have to go into hibernation. There are plenty of opportunities to stay busy and be profitable in the offseason.  Being able to maximize your business’ effectiveness during the offseason for any contractor or company is one of the pillars of a long and profitable career.

Expanding Services – Many businesses that are affected by winter weather have adapted and seized the opportunity to include new services in order to survive the adverse weather conditions. Popular winter services are holiday lighting, decorating and snow removal. Some contractors even provide carpet cleaning services, air-conditioning & heating services during the winter.

Interior Remodeling – Try to convince your clients to do interior remodeling during winter. After all, it is a good use of their time – when the climate is unfavorable outside – to spend time renovating indoors. In general, people are keen to take advantage of undertaking interior renovations in the winter. There is a climbing demand for interior painting, flooring, cabinetry, etc. to be done indoors during this time.

Address Added Value - Your clients may not see the potential opportunities to add value while remodeling, so explain it. Things like replacing old windows and doors are worth a look to bring in a better financial investment to the client, especially if they are getting ready to sell. These minor modifications can add tremendous value to a client’s home. A new front door can add up to 97% of the amount spent to the value of any home. Let your clients know that these minor services are seasonal and that they should take advantage of them while they can.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Tips for Running a Cost Analysis

Corporate Business Solutions  has experience implementing cost control systems and accounting into small and medium – size businesses. These areas are crucial to the development of any size business, so don’t wait too long to get the help you need. 

If you’re a new business owner, it’s critical to run a cost analysis for your business as you start it up.  Below are general tips that may help you with the process:
  1. List out all of your business costs - Break your costs up two ways (or more if that helps you) – at the very least into fixed and variable costs. These are the one-off costs that you need starting up, like a lease on a location, compared with the variable costs associated with the ongoing operation of your business, such as the cost of the materials or supplies that you are going to sell.
  2. Add the amount - Add a dollar value to every single one of these costs. Be realistic – do not make assumptions about being able to get discounts or costs dropping as volume rises – those only get counted when you know you have received them.  Now take a very hard and realistic look at these costs. Set up a spreadsheet for the first year of business with all the fixed costs across the top and variable costs in a separate section below where they can be linked to volume. Plan these costs out over the year. Again be realistic – make no assumptions of success.
  3. Eliminate as much as possible- Look at all your costs and think about if you really need to spend the money. Don’t be foolish about it – don’t remove costs you really will have to spend - but also do take out things that you know you can get by without. Think about the fact that every penny saved here is a penny added to your potential profit. And also think about the risk of cutting out things that will affect your ability to actually deliver to your customers.
  4. Real world costs – Put real numbers against your costs and get costs as close to reality as you can. By now you have looked at your costs enough to understand how important each of them is going to be toward your business so you can make smarter decisions about the levels and amount of spending you are prepared to make. If you can’t get the costs down to where you can make money then you are in trouble. If after this exercise you are in trouble, don’t despair yet. Give it a day or two and go back and see what else you can save and do without. After that, if you can’t make the numbers work, it may be time to get some professional help!  A third-party objective point of view can often provide a business owner just what he or she needs to figure out the solutions which are necessary to make the business profitable and successful.
  5. Develop a managerial cost system that budgets percentages rather than dollars.  In other words, take all the categories for expenses you have identified above and create an Excel spreadsheet which includes the percentage of total expenses for each category, with profit being your first budgeted line of expense.  Then set up a program where those percentages can be tracked over a period of time such as every month, every quarter and every year so that the variances can be identified quickly and action can be taken when percentages get out of line.  In other words, you want to budget percentages for your costs, rather than simply dollars.  You control your expenses by controlling the budgeted percentages for each category of expense with your budgeted profit being the minimum profit you will accept.  This will force you to be a disciplined business manager by making changes in your expenses rather than accepting a lower profit for yourself.
To learn more about us and / or to schedule your complimentary appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us at 877-357-9366.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Small Business Lending Trends

Corporate Business Solutions has helped many business leaders find their unique path to success. From cost control to accounting, to restructuring and implementing new procedures, these business consultants realize that no two businesses are identical in goals and needs. 

In today’s market, many owners of small and medium – size businesses are turning to small business loans for assistance in developing their brand.  If you are considering a business loan, here are some trends to understand:
  1. Non-traditional online lending: The online lending sector of the financial technology (fintech) industry exploded last year and shows no signs of slowing down this year. These lenders attract entrepreneurs by offering faster, more streamlined application processes than traditional banks. However, these online lenders aren’t regulated the same way as banks, and you need to read the fine print carefully to fully understand what the financial implications are for your business before making a decision. Generally, these lenders focus on merchant cash advances (with a payment arrangement that takes weekly or even daily payments from your incoming cash) or working capital loans with repayment front loaded into the first few months of the loan term. Their terms may be unclearly stated, and unsophisticated borrowers can find themselves on the hook for as much as 30 to 80 percent in rates and fees.  Exercise an abundance of caution with any non-traditional lending source, know the terms and determine the true cost of borrowing.
  2. Banks will edge back into small business lending- Last year, 79 percent of SBA loans were greater than $350,000, and most big banks would only consider applications from businesses with a minimum two-year financial track record. In 2017, thanks in part to the market threat presented by the booming fintech industry, traditional banks will ease back into lower-dollar lending and will explore alternative funding options. Since the SBA only guarantees loans through traditional banks, anything those banks do to open up to smaller businesses is good news for everyone.
  3. Watch SBA Rates - But do your math, and keep a close eye on the Fed. SBA loans are variable and reset quarterly: with a volatile worldwide stock market and potentially rising interest rates on the horizon, these loans will become more expensive in the future than in the past 5–7 years.
To learn more about us and / or to schedule your complimentary appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us at 877-357-9366.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Starting an HVAC Business

The business professionals at Corporate Business Solutions are renowned for their expertise in the conts construction industries, including heating, ventilation and air conditioning businesses (HVAC.)

The HVAC industry tends to mirror the fast and forwardly growth of technology. Therefore, when improvements are made to the design and function of heating and cooling units, the demand for expert HVAC contractors accelerates.  If you’re looking to start an HVAC company, there are some general tips that may help you: 
  1. Specialize - Assess your skill level to determine what you do best and then offer that service first. Realize your limitations and get training in those weak areas, if you feel you would like to offer those services. The HVAC is flexible because you can become an expert in a variety of services based on what you want to specialize in. This includes troubleshooting heat pumps, gas furnaces, or air conditioning; and consulting on ENERGY STAR appliances for homes or commercial buildings, or specializing in other areas of expertise.
  2. Get Certified - Join a trusted HVAC industry-based organization that specializes in offering education and certification. Your years of experience and combined training can be even more enhanced with a North American Technician Excellence certification. In addition, your knowledge of ENERGY STAR qualified products and current trends in the HVAC business industry can make you a valuable resource to your customers. Certification may also help you instill your competency to potential customers.
  3. Create Growth-Oriented Business Plan - Plan how you will expand your client base over the years to stay profitable, although initially, you may start your HVAC business with limited risk. Start out part time with a set amount of hours you would like to work in your business. Realize how many clients you can service within a week based on the hours you would like to devote to the business and your financial goals. Since HVAC contracting involves physical labor, make sure that you do not overbook and always delivery quality service to your customers. Also, be sure to account for time each week for administrative work. 

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your complimentary appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us at 877-357-9366.

Friday, August 26, 2016

How to Start a Business Blog

The professionals at Corporate Business Solutions use our knowledge, experience, technology, and an unrivaled commitment to providing client service to help bring about positive change in small to medium-size businesses.

Our experts have noticed that a trend for small and medium- size businesses is to launch a blog as part of their marketing plan. However, many business owners need assistance in starting a blog. 

Here is a general guide many professionals are using to help when starting their own business blog:

1. Choose a blogging platform. There are many different blogging sites you can use, but one of the most versatile and user-friendly platform available is . This site is fairly simple to use, although non-techies might need some help with the setup.

2. Decide on a theme. One of the best features of WordPress is that it allows you to easily customize the look and feel of your blog, using themes.  When choosing a theme, determine if it displays properly on a variety of devices, including desktop, tablets and mobile devices and if it is customizable. 

3. Register a domain name. Next, choose a domain name, which is the URL used to access your site. A domain typically costs about $10 a year.

4. Purchase web hosting. While your WordPress site is free, you’ll still need to pay to have your blog hosted, which costs more than the domain rental. You can purchase your web hosting service through a number of different companies, but some of the more popular are GoDaddy, Hostgator and Bluehost.

5. Create a plan and start writing. Some factors to consider when planning for your blog are your main objectives for blogging, how often you will blog and the voice of your blog.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your complimentary appointment with the experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us at 877-357-9366.