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Review Category : Entrepreneur Series

Six Important Lessons For Every Entrepreneur

Most people daydream about the idea of running their own business.  The freedom to have no boss, set your work hours, and control your own financial destiny.  However, running your own business doesn’t come without taking on some bumps and bruises.   Here are ten important lessons that every entrepreneur should keep in the back pocket. Entrepreneurs Are Always Overly Optimistic-  I often use this phrase with the works; irrational exuberance.  Be very careful of letting your own rose colored lenses cloud the quality decision making your company needs based upon the facts. Measure Twice And Then Measure Again- No matter how many pro forma sheets you run and how many classes you sit through, nothing can prepare you for the certainty of uncertainty.  Make sure to margin for error in the beginning. If It Doesn’t Smell Right, Don’t Do It- You’ll have lots of salespeople wanting to sell you different solutions or products for your business.  If they don’t pass ...

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How Much Money Did My S Corporation Make

When business owners set up an S Corporation and creates a business entity, it is usually an accountant or bookkeeper (or both) that crank out the profit and loss statements for an S Corporation owner.   What can be confusing at the end of the year, because an S Corporation owner has multiple methods to receive cash through the business, is to actually figure out what you made in the business.   Taxes in many cases can be even more confusing to the S Corporation business owner.   Here’s a ‘your smart money moves’ breakdown to figure out just how much you made in your business. Salary- When you own an S Corporation, the IRS has salary guidelines on how much you should be paying yourself.  The IRS has created an outline of what’s called “reasonable compensation” that should be paid to the owner.    There are a myriad number of factors including industry averages, number of hours worked, and what is being paid ...

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Five Business Lessons From Donald Trump

Which person in the White House will Donald Trump fire first if he is elected President of The United States?    A few weeks ago, I was able to watch a piece of Donald Trump’s coming out party announcing his candidacy for President.  Whether you like Donald Trump or you don’t like Donald Trump, you have to admire his uncanny ability to be savvy about using all outlets possible to build the riches of his empire.  Trump golf course.  Trump hotels. Trump water.   It never ends.   Here are five business lessons that all business owners can learn from Donald Trump. Use The Media To Expand Your Reach I read this excerpt from www.commondreams.org about Trump’s initial speech. Already the commentators have derided his massive egotitis – he said “I” 195 times in his announcement speech, not counting the 28 times he said “my” or “mine” or the 22 mentions of “me.” But Trump revels in self-promotion and, as one commentator wrote, ...

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I’m Going To Sell My Tech Firm For Millions. Now What?

It’s no secret that Atlanta’s technology start-up scene is booming.  I’ve had several young and very successful tech leaders ask me what they should do when they sell their company for millions – thus, this posting. I have to preface this blog by clearly stating I have never sold a company for millions.  However, in seeking feedback from numerous sources and speaking to different entrepreneurs, I’ve come up with this simple list to help you manage your new fortune the right way: Set Up Your Team – CPA, Attorney, Financial Planner and Most Importantly, Good Family Around You We’ve all heard the stories of people going broke after they hit it big and win the lottery.  Take the time before you ink the deal to get these important relationships in place with people you trust, as they are crucial for your future success.  And, it may be easier to identify the trustworthy partners before rather than after. Keep Your Circle of Friends Small ...

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Does Jim Cramer Run Your Portfolio?

About a week ago, Marketwatch (www.marketwatch.com) ran story called, “The Most Dangerous Stock Market Since 2008.”   In the past six years of bringing you my Your Smart Money Moves Column, I have shared with you how media can influence what happens in the markets in a very significant way.  Without even reading a lick of this column, would it be any stretch of the imagination to say that if the market hits all time highs that the potential danger gets higher and higher for some type of market pullback? If you really want to see something funny, spend eight minutes today watching this 2009 video of Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show.  This particular program poked fun almost five years ago at Jim Cramer, Rick Santelli, and other financial pundits for telling people to continue to buy stocks in a raging bull market before the bottom fell out (http://bit.ly/1aZk5rZ).  The video is particularly amusing with one of Stewart’s great quotes “I ...

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Think Wisely About Your Trustee

It’s never fun to think about gloom and doom. However, if you have been successful in building up an asset base or you carry a lot of life insurance, you may be considering setting up a trust fund for your children if something happens to you. There are many potholes that a family can stumble into when establishing a trust, but here are three mistakes parents often make. First, parents don’t often think through who they want as the trustee of trust for their kids. As complicated as it is to select a custodian, parents should consider whether they want a single trustee or a co-trustee to have some check and balance system for the trust. It is crucial to make sure you’ll have the right people in charge of the funds when you are no longer in the picture. Second, parents need to be clear about the goals of the trust. Specifically, most parents don’t think through when and ...

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5 Ways For Women To Build Confidence

So I know what you are about to say.  What does a 44 year old guy know about women building confidence.  I’m not about to tell you that I know the secret of women, but I thought I would attempt to list some things women can do to build confidence.  After reading  from the book The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, I picked up these 5 ways woman can build confidence: You don’t have to make things perfect, so stop tinkering You have to keep moving forward and tinkering takes time.  Even if you are wrong, failing fast can reduce the time going down blind alleys. Leave your comfort zone Try something you thought you’d never be good at.  The old saying  “What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger” is so true. Take credit for your successes Don’t just brush off a compliment, accept it.  Use it to give your next step confidence. Give rid of ...

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Attention All 1099’s… There is a BIG October 1st Deadline!!

Since there are so many people who are getting 1099’s and setting up individual LLC’s or home-based side businesses, you need to keep a close eye out this time of year for setting up one kind of retirement plan, a SIMPLE IRA.   The deadlines are just around the corner in the next few weeks, so could this be the right type of retirement plan for you? A SIMPLE IRA (Savings Incentive Match Plan For Employees) was first available to small business owners in 2001. A SIMPLE IRA plan is an IRA-based plan that gives small employers a simplified method to make contributions toward their employees’ retirement and their own retirement. Under a SIMPLE IRA plan, employees may choose to make salary reduction contributions and the employer makes matching or nonelective contributions. All contributions are made directly to an Individual Retirement Account or Individual Retirement Annuity (IRA) set up for each employee (a SIMPLE IRA). SIMPLE IRA plans are maintained on ...

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The Lost Art Of The Hand Written Thank You Note

I’m really not sure why any of us get excited about going to get our mail every day.   Even though we know that ultimately the mail will deliver us three pieces of mail that are bills, five different types of non-sensical catalogues we didn’t order, and one incredible bulky Val-Pak stuffed with coupons, we still never get tired of the intrigue of opening up mail.   Even the halfhearted effort of companies that send us birthday cards unsigned still doesn’t seem to be able to break our spirit around the excitement of getting the mail.     Every once in a while when the sun shines bright and the weather is oh so perfect, it comes to our amazement that somebody today actually sends us a hand-written note and there it is; our day is made. For more than twenty years now, I have never stopped sending hand written thank you notes. Notes that have a personalized message so ...

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Use The KISS Principle

Today it is more complicated than ever for the average investor to really understand how to pick a mutual fund.   Most novices may choose a fund if it has a 4-star or 5-star ranking.   Or they decide to pick a fund because they did a Google search for best returns and then select one from the top of list.  The truth is, most investors today would be lucky if they could name one or two actual positions that their mutual fund owns if they were asked.  In my opinion fund companies could become more friendly if they used the Keep It Simple Stupid principle. First, mutual fund companies should provide consumers some sort of simple x-ray software so when they choose to buy multiple funds from a fund company, an investor can at least have some idea about how much the different funds overlap.  Far too often, I see consumers who own three or four different mutual funds only to ...

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