Category Archives: Small Business

Chapter 11 Doesn’t Have To Be The Final Chapter

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Although most people know what bankruptcy is, they may not know what the process of declaring for bankruptcy entails.

While it is perceived as being the last step for a company that is going out of business, this is not always true. In some cases, bankruptcy can be a way for a company to reorganize its debts and come out even stronger than before.

Why Would a Business File for Bankruptcy?

A company may wish to file for bankruptcy for several reasons.

First, it may not have enough money to pay all of its creditors. Therefore, filing for bankruptcy would enable them to pay creditors depending on priority. Most unsecured creditors would get nothing while secured creditors would be paid back up to the amount that remaining assets are worth. Continue reading

Logo Creation for the Hopelessly Artistically Challenged

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By MJ Plaster

What if, like me, you’re beyond artistically challenged, and you need a logo for your business? Where do you start, and how do you go about getting the perfect logo for your company? Logos look simple and easy to design, but they’re anything but. We’ll walk you through the steps to finding and working with a designer after we set the stage by exploring current logo trends.

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Shopping Like It’s Your Job: Finding The RIght Wholesale Buyer

wholesale buyer imageLast week, we talked about what it takes to get your first fashion business off of the ground. But what happens next?

One of the most important employees at any fashion business, especially at retail outlets, is their wholesale buyer. Their job is critical: Figure out what products you need, and how much to order.

Sounds simple enough, but how well your buyer performs will make all the difference in the success of your business.

So what does a buyer do?

Buyers are doing their job well if they can consistently find and purchase products that your customer base likes and considers to be a good value. Continue reading

The Fashion Industry: Turning Your Passion Into A Business

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Many people dream of having a career in an industry that they’re passionate about, but there are a lot of steps between having a dream and making it a reality. And in an industry as cut-throat and competitive as the fashion industry, that passion must be paired with some

Research the Market

It’s easy to think that just because you’re knowledgeable about fashion, that you know everything about the industry. This is a dangerous misconception.

Learn everything you can about the clothing industry before entering it. Look at comparable clothing businesses. Are they doing okay? Who are they targeting? What are their numbers? Which time of the year is it busiest and which time is the least active? Continue reading

Fighting Fraud: Eight Tips To Keep Your Small Business Safe


Scammers hurt small businesses in the United States every year. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the median loss is a whopping $98,000.

The prevention of fraud requires monitoring the workplace, continuously updated controls, data systems, and special procedures related to preventing fraud and scams. Fraud happens when there is opportunity.

The individual may believe the company owes him or her additional compensation. Perhaps the perpetrator knows precisely how weak the company’s controls and systems are and believes he or she will not be caught. Continue reading

Does My Business Need To File Quarterly Reports?


The financial aspect of a business is arguably the most essential for every entity. This is not only required for the perusal of the different stakeholders in the company, but it is also the core indicator of whether the business is making profits or losses, and what measures can be taken based on these indicators.

Normally, businesses that have gone public require having their financial records filed for a number of reasons. The Securities and Exchange Commission requires these documents in order to properly propose the securities laws and in order to effectively regulate the securities market industry. Continue reading

Why Your Business Should Be Getting Ready For The Holidays Right Now


When it comes to business, the holidays are your best time of year. When people are getting ready to relax, you should be getting ready for the busiest time of the year. The fact is that relaxing means consumption, and consumption is how your company gets rich!

In order to maximize your take in this holiday season, you should take some things into consideration. Here are some of the top reasons that your business should start getting ready for the holidays right now.

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The Ins and Outs of Outsourcing

Businessman sitting at white table with hand drawn business concept background

By MJ Plaster

Before you leap into outsourcing, consider how it could affect established relationships with current employees and customers? It’s one thing to save money, but you don’t want to lose key employees or have customers run for the exit.

What Is Outsourcing?

The term “outsource” has two meanings:

  • To contract with a person or business to provide talent that doesn’t reside within your workforce. The talent you hire is “work for hire” or sometimes hired on retainer and must fall within IRS guidelines for contractors.
  • To offshore work to a country with cheaper labor.

Both forms of outsourcing provide a service that’s cheaper than hiring an employee when you consider employee overhead.

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Six Tips For Creating An Innovative Business Card

Are you a new graduate on the job hunt? Are you in an established career and you’re looking for a new challenge?

If you’re getting ready to venture into the world of job searching, you need a great business card that will be memorable, is clear and will get you noticed.

Don’t know where to start? Follow our guide of creative ideas for business cards and get started on making an impression with your future employers.

The key to remember in deciding on a business card is to avoid cards that are too gimmicky or cute that they leave an impression that you shouldn’t be taken seriously. That’s a fine line to walk, but we’ll help you right now:

Increase the Weight of Your Card

There is something that happens in the psyche when you have a weightier card. It feels like more a library card or a credit card. It feels more serious.

Consider increasing the weight of your business card’s paper stock, and you’ll have an instant payoff in the minds of whomever is holding your card next.

Invest in Letter-pressing or Embossing

If you’ve got the budget for it, consider adding an element of letter-pressing or embossing to your card. It’s going to be a little pricey, as this is a craft, niche operation, but your card will look beautiful.

This is something for designers especially to consider. Your business card needs to match your profession or the field you hope to enter.

Try Out a Smaller Card

One trend in business cards today is to try an alternate shape from the traditional rectangle. A square card or even a smaller rectangle add interest and set your card apart from the pile of others.

Consider Wood

Are you going into a field involving sustainability or the environment? Are you a craft woodworker? Consider a wood business card.

These cards are made of layers of thin wood, but they are sturdy, creative and are much different than any other card your future employer may receive.

Die-Cut Cards

Add some creativity and professionalism to your card by adding a die-cut element to your business card. This could just be in the form of your business logo or the initial of your last name.

It may be a little pricey to get a die-cut because it is a custom design element. However, it will add some style and interest to your card and make it memorable to future employers.

Digital Cards

A new trend in business cards is to forego paper altogether and make your business card digital. You can do this by making a digital card on your iPad.

Take the iPad with you to visits with employers. The card needs to have a QR code on it so that the person can scan your card with his or her smart phone and record the information about you.

An alternative is to keep the traditional business card but to include a QR code directly on the card. You’ll not only make it easy for a future employer to keep up with you, but you’ll score major cool points for being tech savvy.

Are you inspired yet? Use our guide of handy tips for finding an innovative business card that is professional and memorable. You’re on your way to finding a great job — or least leaving a really great impression by investing in a great card. Good luck in your search!

Three Hurdles Every New Business Must Face


90% of new businesses fail within the first five years. Contrary to what you may believe, most of the failures are not because of faulty products.

The reasons that many businesses fail have to do with a host of other issues, hurdles that every new business must face. Here are a few of those issues spelled out and how your company can face those challenges successfully.

Budgeting properly for the initial advertising campaigns

Your initial ad campaigns may not bring in the money to make your company solvent. This is not something to be afraid of; on Silicon Valley, this is par for the course.

It is expected that successful companies will require many rounds of funding in order to get into the black. Amazon has yet to turn a profit!

The initial ad campaigns are to raise awareness and create buzz for the brand. The challenge is to keep the business afloat while there is no money coming in. This requires a good relationship with your banker or other investors. It also requires proper budgeting that lowers your cost per conversion.

Keep budgets low, but let your financial partners know exactly what you need. Planning is more important than being cheap for no reason.

Finding the right partnerships

Unless you are doing all of your manufacturing, post-production, marketing and distribution in house, you will need other partnerships in order to make your business successful.

Finding the right partners can be just as challenging as coming up with the initial idea for your business. You may have to go through a few bad eggs before you find the people whom you can really trust.

You will need to do a great deal of research into the backgrounds of businesses that you need. You also need to ignore the solicitations of businesses that you do not need.

As soon as word hits the street that you have a line of credit with a reputable financial institution, there will be a line of businesses who will be trying to take that money from you. Say no three times as much as you say yes – this is the general rule of creating partnerships for yourself.

Creating the proper infrastructure

Perhaps the most important aspect of your business in its initial stages is finding the right team. You will need a management team that sticks through the tough times.

You will need a technical team that can handle being overloaded with work. You will need an administrative team that can organize files and financial records. For most small business startups, these three aspects of business will all fall on the same heads.

In short, you need people who are willing to give up outside activities and lots of sleep in order to handle all of the monotonous aspects of a new business. These people will also need to work incredibly well together, as they will be spending a great deal of time in the same room if the business is to work.

There will need to be decisions made on financing, taxes, hardware, health insurance, marketing, promotion and everything else that a business needs in order to operate.