Administration & Finance

6 Steps to Better Business Solutions

Learn to think like a business consultant and turn your experience into expertise.

Physician, heal thyself is good advice if you run a small business. You already know how to fix the problems in your business, and you know how to grow from those problems.

Last month, I gave a talk on “Surviving and Thriving in Real Estate” to about 200 people. I went around the room and met about 50 people before I spoke. I asked, “If you were giving today’s talk, what would you say?” I got eight great ideas and shared them with the audience. I showed them: If you’re working, you already know what works.

Your experience is more valuable than the expertise of a dozen MBAs and Ph.Ds. Your experience becomes expertise when you look squarely at your problems and create solutions. You just need to know how to think like your own consultant.

Fix Your Business

Follow six steps to think like a consultant and fix your business. …more at 6 Steps to Better Business Solutions –, published 26 March 2009

Flickr photo credit: Ms Photo

By | March 30, 2009|Administration & Finance, Blog|0 Comments

When Banks Say No, Microlenders Say Yes

When banks say no, owners of cash-starved small-businesses aren’t giving up on finding loans. Many are turning to microlenders for the money they need to meet the payroll, buy supplies, pay the rent and keep the lights and heat on.

These microlenders — community-based nonprofit lenders that draw on a varying mix of financing from the Small Business Administration; other federal, state and local government agencies; and some philanthropies — say small businesses and entrepreneurs are increasingly seeking financing as home equity loans, credit lines and other loans have all but evaporated.

Adding to the pinch, credit card companies are slashing spending limits for many cardholders, including some longtime small-business customers who have relied on their credit lines as a source of ready cash.

Even profitable small businesses that once relied on banks for financing are depending more on microlending, a resource that was originally intended to be a lifeline for women, low-income and minority entrepreneurs.

Microlenders around the country say they are encountering a rush of inquiries and an increase in applications for their loans, which usually range from $5,000 to $35,000… Read more at When Banks Say No, Microlenders Say Yes –, published 11 March 2009

Flickr photo credit: Daniel Y. Go

By | March 16, 2009|Administration & Finance, Blog|0 Comments

Cutting startup costs

When big initial costs make it hard to start your business, look further into the figures—they may not be as scary as they seem

As a startup wedding and event photographer, I made a list of all everything I need to purchase for my business, and it literally scared me. Between investing in equipment, software, Web site design, and advertising, my projected income is much less than my necessary expenses for this company. Photography has been my life’s passion, and I really want to succeed. Is there any advice you can offer me? —M.M., Chicago

Fear often stems from lack of understanding. Delving into the financial details of your venture should clear up your confusion and give you confidence to proceed—or perhaps persuade you that your business model is flawed and needs to be overhauled or scrapped.

You’ll need to consider both your startup expenditures and your operating costs, since the latter will help determine how quickly you can pay back the former. There are many ways to save on startup costs …Cutting Startup Costs – BusinessWeek, published 10 February 2009.

Flickr photo credit: tk yeoh

By | February 23, 2009|Administration & Finance, Blog|0 Comments