Thursday, January 31, 2013

Advantages of Getting a Fitness Plan

Most of the people are conscious regarding their physical fitness and want to join a gym or a health club to achieve their goal. To have a well toned or shaped body is important for staying fit and to live a healthy life, but it requires a proper fitness plan designed by a formal instructor in this pursuit. It is a right approach to be followed in order to reach your target.

Every person has different anatomy and different metabolism rate of food, therefore customized fitness plan is offered in such health clubs or gyms. Fitness plans are based on visible results that can be achieved by following them firmly. Daily work out is well planned and lists the type of exercises with their specific time duration, so you can plan ahead what you have to do every day. You can spare more time with your relatives and even at workplace as per your preferences.

Fitness classes are a great bonus in health clubs as group of people are trained different workouts each day motivating them to maintain their performance at par with other group members. At the end of the day you surely want immediate results as you are trying hard, which is fairly possible with your customized fitness plan as it is in accordance with your body requirements.

A diet plan also assists you to accomplish your body fitness either by reducing or gaining your body weight. A fitness instructor or trainer is there to guide you, answer all of your workout queries and monitor your progress from time to time. A certain time period is required to show up visible results in your body and till then you have to trust on the capability and experience of your fitness instructor. A fitness evaluation sheet is incorporated in the plan that marks your height, weight, fitness level, BMI and other physical apprehensions if any prior to the beginning of the fitness plan at the health club. The instructor keeps a follow up of your physical improvement from time to time and alters the plan whenever he deems necessary. So, there is no harm to join a gym or a health club and start working on your fitness plan.

A fitness plan is a step higher than the regular workout at gyms, as it is more specific and result oriented. It keeps you healthier and well-toned in your routine life. One important thing to remember before joining any gym or a health club is that the consultation fee of the fitness instructor is usually free for the first time which is mentioned in the joining form of the club. A club or gym membership is necessary if you want to consult your trainer on and off for guidance, so that you can be catered with full attention and satisfaction.

Often the 6 week follow-up is a part of the fitness plan which allows you to have a look at your progress level. It also includes other workout options that you may want to choose to become part of your plan. You may want to alter the level of cardio exercises or other fitness classes to aim on some other body parts you want to tone down. At the end, an excellent fitness plan will surely help you to achieve a healthier, stronger and energetic body.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Advantages of Fish Oil Supplements for Optimal Health

There are numerous advantages of fish oil supplements such as Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9. They are helpful in improving health and ward off signs of various diseases like fibromyalgia and arthritis. Often the weight reduction programs suggest consuming 3 and 6 Omega capsules for about 3-4 months together with their diet plan. The intake is increased to 8 capsules each day in the start of 5th month. A daily walk of half mile can easily be achieved in mere 10-11 minutes with these supplement capsules. A person covers the same distance usually in 1 hour prior consuming such supplements.

People often suffer from muscular and joint pain and have to use a walker or a supportive cane to make them walk. It is often recommended to the people having such trouble to carry a mobile phone with them in case if they can’t make it a way back home or due to any emergency situations. But with the extracts of fish oil supplements, a patient having such muscular and leg pain can make up to 1 mile walk easily with controlled breath. Later on, a person can double the walking distance in just a day or two with no hassle at all.

Omega 3 and 6 surely nourishes your body and make it strong enough to carry your self in good shape with confidence and most importantly without any assist. You can run on treadmill three and a half mile/hour at your place effortlessly. Moreover, common asthma problems and lower back pains are cured with theses supplements in combination with recommended diet charts and exercises. The whole package gives you the lost motivation to move ahead in life and live up a healthy life style. It is suggested to minimize the consumption of red meat near to 4-8 ounces a week only and to maximize the intake of fish in regular meals of the week. The weight reduction programs further assists you to loose 50 pound in initial 5 months of the diet program, followed by additional 50 pound in weight reduction in the subsequent year. The total time frame is about one and a half year in reducing 100 pounds of your weight.

A body can be further nurtured by adding Omega 9 along with the regular intake of 3 and 6 to your diet, as it perks up a poor health more quickly. The strength and wellbeing is improved with the consumption of all three supplements in the form of capsules or otherwise having the potency of 8,000 mg/day approximately. Internists often suggest continuing the intake of these supplements as they have no major side effects. However, some of the patients do show certain side effects in their health so they should consult their physicians before consuming heavy doses of Omega supplements.

Monday, January 28, 2013

What Is Success ? How Do You Measure It ? Business Tip # 13

We would all love to make our first $10 million by the time we are 30. Would that figure equal success for you? Would happiness equal success? Do you want to be respected? To make your parents proud? Do you want to pay for your own college education? Do you want to save enough money to Eurorail for six months? Is success a function of receiving a particular award? Of getting into a particular business school? Will you be successful when you sell your thousandth item? Or when your company finally goes public on the stock market? Will you feel successful when there is an article about you in the local newspaper or in Money magazine?

You should figure out exactly what you expect to get out of this business. List all of the components of happiness you hope to derive from this project, and decide if they are good reasons to work so hard, and whether they are strong enough motivators to carry you through the process. Success is a personal feeling of achievement and fulfillment the idea that your efforts have paid off. Each person has his or her own personal barometer. If what you want is to be famous, your approach to business is going to be quite different than if what you want is to be rich.

You are a powerful force, and you can move mountains with your determination. We know that one person really can change the world, and we encourage you to give your dream your all. But you must consider very carefully what your life will actually be like in the first few months or even years of your enterprise. When you decide to start a business in college, you will receive the encouragement of your friends and the pride of your parents. But as much as people are interested, you will probably find pretty quickly that they do not have much time to devote to your concerns, or much interest in helping you with the dirty work. Essentially, you will have to go it alone. Are you ready for that?

Visualize yourself working late into the night. Imagine yourself staying in on a Thursday night (or many Thursday nights) so you can wake up in time for an appointment on Friday morning. Picture yourself spending half of your summer working on the business instead of pursuing easier work like friends. How will you feel when you must give up spring break in Cancun with friends for a series of meetings you otherwise don't have time for?

You must be aware that there are many difficulties here. Not only will you be doing the majority of the work by yourself initially, but your lifestyle and mind-set will necessarily change, possibly isolating you from your friends and former interests. We are not trying to imply that you must give up your college life to be an entrepreneur on the contrary, you can do both. But this substantial undertaking will necessarily have an effect on your interests and personality. Be ready for that change, and for the enormity of the project. Are you prepared to go it alone?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

How Important is Goal Setting - Business Tip # 12

Think about a goal in terms of sports. In a football game, for example, the goal is the terminating point of a play. The team with the most goals wins the game. But in this framework, the goal is more than just where you want to end up, it is a direction to be facing while you are playing the game. It is the finish line toward which your efforts are aimed. But when you ask a pro football player what football is all about, he will not say the touchdown. He will most likely say the game. This is the crucial distinction we believe you should keep in mind when setting goals as an entrepreneur.

It is important to recognize your goal as the intended destination of your efforts. Clearly then, if you fail to set a goal, your efforts will have no direction. Most people are good at setting general goals, and therefore believe they have the necessary skill set. Do not fall into this trap.

Being a successful entrepreneur involves setting concrete and specific goals for yourself. The difference lies between saying generally, "1 will expand my marketing tactics," and stating specifically, "I will identify two more local customer pools by next month, and I will advertise in more papers and hand out more flyers until I have doubled my revenues, hopefully by six months from now." If you give yourself specific and reasonable personal due dates and time limits, you are more likely to get things done. You are also likely to set realistic goals, and not stretch yourself. Having only yourself to answer to, you learn how to keep the pressure on yourself. The fear of disappointing yourself can be almost as scary as the fear of disappointing a boss. Being your own boss involves a healthy dose of self-guilt, and setting specific goals gives you concrete measures of your progress.

While setting your goals, it is necessary to recognize the difference between long- and short-term goals, and to address both kinds. Standard economic theory distinguishes between the long- and short-term based on the time it takes a company's level of capital stock to be variable. In the short-term, the level of capital stock is fixed; in the long-term, it is variable. The economics majors among you will be familiar with this idea. But for a start-up entrepreneur, the distinction should be made clear along other lines. Basically, the short-term can be seen as the time before which no formal partnerships or final deals are made. It must be redefined based on each individual project, but intuitively it is the time frame from today to the end of the month.

When you are making plans in the short term, you must concern yourself with near-term events. Short-term goal setting is about organization more than aspirations. Each day should begin with a list of things to achieve, written at bedtime the night before. We cannot emphasize enough the value of lists. It may sound unnecessary, but a to-do list is the best way of getting the most out of your day. Organizing your affairs is quite a task without a secretary, and short-term goal setting is the most efficient way to go about it. Your goal should be to accomplish everything on that list today.

Long-term goal setting is about direction. While you should set specific timelines for the completion of your long-term goals, these should be somewhat flexible. The long-term goal itself is meant as a prize to keep your eyes on. It gives you direction, but it does not mandate your path. It ' is a finish line to work toward.

Whereas short-term goal setting is about organization, long-term goal setting is more about direction. Both, however, are about accountability. When you are organized and headed in the right direction, and have specific goals to achieve, you generally cannot go wrong.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

How Is Patience Related to Business - Business Tip # 11

Whoever coined the proverb "Patience is a virtue" didn't do it just so your parents would have something to say in order to justify putting off buying you a car. He or she had larger, loftier lessons in mind. Patience has gotten a bad rep, as a way to learn to pass the time before things start moving. It has also gained a reputation as a safety blanket under which not-so-motivated/not-so-sure entrepreneurs can hide. Patience should be seen in a positive light, and that is what we hope to instill in you - a true appreciation for the value of patience, and a sense of its merit as a component of your business ethic.

Patience can be defined loosely as the quality of not being hasty or impetuous. Through our definition, patience is seen in a positive light for being the virtue that it is. Patience is about exercising intelligent and informed restraint, not blind and submissive resignation. It is a tolerance for the time required to execute the perfect business transaction. Do not see it as a sign of inner weakness. Nor is it a lack of belief in the inevitability of your own eventual success. Keep in mind that patience is a skill, and that much like the tolerance for spicy food, it can be acquired through practice. The success of even the best entrepreneurial idea depends critically on a healthy dose of patience. Even a so-called overnight success is going to take more than just 24 hours.

Some of the issues you will encounter during the process of starting your own business involve the approval or review of others. For example, when you draft a business plan and send it to potential investors, you will need to wait for them to get back to you. Since your blood, sweat, and tears have gone into getting the proposal just right, you are confident that it is a perfect plan that requires no further explanation or debate. But investors might not immediately see it that way. Just as you have done research in preparing the proposal, they, too, will conduct their own research and implement their own evaluation before coming to a decision. Acting in their own best interests (as everyone does), they cannot take a proposal at the entrepreneur's word. In a case like this, you simply have to be able to wait for a response. The case is the same when waiting for pending patenting, pending acceptance of a contract, and so on.

Waiting for a response can be frustrating if you expect results too quickly. Don't be too hard on yourself. Speak with people in your industry, and get an idea for how quickly you should expect to hear. Ask the investors themselves for an estimated response time. Base your worries on these estimates, and learn to be patient. The world won't stop spinning to attend to your idea, so it helps to be patient.

In a broader sense, be patient for your business to be able to stand on its own two feet. You are taking on the world, you know. Although the task is not impossible, it will take time. And if you believe in patience as a virtue from the start, you will be better off in the process. As a component of your business ethic, patience will help you not to disappoint yourself by expecting too much too soon. While fast and direct success would be ideal, it cannot be expected. Slow and steady will get you there with half the stress.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How to Develop a Marketing Plan for Your Product or Service - Business Tip # 10

Distribution is simply the way in which you answer the question of where you choose to sell your product. How do you make that choice Locate the profits. For example, Coca-Cola Bottling Consolidated noticed that cold drinks sold in vending machines and by fountain equipment were less susceptible to "pricing pressures and thus produced higher margins". Consequently, they significantly increased the number of vending machines in places such as hotels, factories, schools, and offices. A lot of Starbucks customers purchase drinks from Starbucks coffeehouses. However, in 1997, the company began to distribute a new product via supermarkets: coffee ice cream. Starbucks introduced six unique coffee ice cream flavors, expanded its market for ice cream by 32 percent and is currently considered the number one ice cream maker in the United States.

Convenience is another key issue to keep in mind when thinking about the best location. Customers want to get what they want quickly and easily.

A distribution channel is the path of the product from you to the customer. There are two types of distribution channels: indirect and direct.

Indirect Distribution Channels: An indirect distribution channel simply means that between you and the customer, there is an intermediary who is responsible for getting the product to the customer¡ÂȘa middleman. Distributors specialize in distribution. They know what they are doing, and they know how to make a product move. Distribution may be a burden on a company, and if the benefits outweigh the costs of paying outsiders to do the dirty work, then go for it. In 1995 Nantucket Nectars sold their two distribution companies and hired outside distributors because the outsiders really knew how to deliver the juice. Those cool cats who founded Freeloader created a distribution partnership. Hotwired\magazine distributed Freeloader's software, and in exchange Freeloader sold versions that automatically subscribed their customers to Hotwired. Besides doling out your goodies, intermediaries can provide many more useful services, such as conducting market research, sharing business risk, and providing customer service.

Unfortunately, unless you have a Freeloader-Hotwired connection going on, middlemen incur costs that come out of either customers' savings or your profits. However, manufacturing agents may be able to solve the cost problem. They specialize in selling many different types of products and are paid on commission so the cost is kept at a minimum. In Guerrilla Marketing, lay Levinson and Seth Goodin (1993) argue that marketing agents are great assets because they expand the work and sales force without your having to hire many employees.

Direct Marketing Channels: A direct marketing channel means your business distributes the product. These channels have several benefits.

- It is conducive to just-in-time inventory systems where you order the product from suppliers (or make the product yourself) when you receive consumer payments instead of having a pre-ordered inventory. The result is that you can cut down on inventory costs and offer a greater variety of products.

- You can cut out the cost you pay to distributors since there is no need for them. You, not the distributors, are sending the product directly to the customers.

- Mail-order and online catalogs are also popular forms of direct distribution channels.

Indirect or Direct Before you decide whether to do direct or indirect distribution, do three things:

  1.  Find out what distribution channels exist in your industry.
  2.  Understand the trends that are developing in distribution channels.
  3.  Know which channels are most profitable for you.

Limited Liability Company (LLC) - Business Tip # 9

A limited liability company (LLC) is a legal structure that combines many of the advantages offered by both partnerships and corporations. In a nutshell, an LLC combines the benefits of a corporation's limited liability and a partnership's tax status.

The LLC is a popular legal business structure, because it allows the entrepreneur to run a business free from ever-threatening unlimited personal liability and enjoy partnership tax status. Without having to fear the loss of his house, car, and savings to a business liability, the entrepreneur can focus his energy and money on developing a competitive enterprise that will benefit the economy and society as a whole and maybe even the business owner! Precisely this view is part of the logic behind the very flexible LLC legislation. Business-friendly legislation encourages the entrepreneurship and commercial activity that drive human progress and national economies.

The large-scale emergence of limited liability companies in the United States is a relatively recent phenomenon, though, and it most recently dates back to 1988 when the IRS granted LLCs the federal income tax status of partnerships. Since the LLC as a legal business structure is so young, laws that regulate LLCs are still evolving very quickly. Most states have not adopted uniform legislation for LLCs, and the regulations that govern the creation, organization, and handling of LLCs vary greatly from state to state. Both rapid change and regional differences make LLC legislation a hard topic to discuss in detail. If you believe that a limited liability company is the legal structure that suits your needs best, you should obtain a copy of LLC legislation affecting your state and purchase the most current book specializing in LLCs that you can find. A copy of your state's LLC legislation may be available on the World Wide Web or from your state's corporate division of the secretary of state. Most public libraries will also carry copies in their business sections. For a comprehensive guide on forming and operating an LLC, we recommend the latest edition of How to Form and Operate a Limited Liability Company by Gregory Damman (Self-Counsel Press, Inc.). Since LLC legislation is still developing rather briskly, the most important consideration in your purchase should be the recency of the information you obtain.

The basic procedure to form an LLC is simple and is comparable to drafting a partnership agreement or articles of incorporation. Forming an LLC usually requires little more than filing articles of organization, sometimes called a certificate of formation, with the secretary of state or other appropriate state agency. The information required within the articles of organization varies between states, and you will either have to order information or fill-in-the-blank forms pertinent to your area of intended operation from the secretary of state. Information for your state can also be found in the government section of your local telephone book.

Every state has slightly different requirements for filing articles of organization, and the filing fees vary significantly. For example, after reading through the information that several states require, we are convinced that the Massachusetts version is one of the simplest to file. However, Massachusetts charges a whopping $500 to file articles of organization; this sum is one of the highest around and is shameful compared to the mere $50 it costs in some other states. The articles of organization must contain the name of the company, an address for the company within the state, the name and address of the registered agent for the company, a dissolution date, the names and addresses of managers, the general character of the company's business, and the names of persons authorized to file documents with the secretary of state on behalf of the company.


Limited liability companies may be owned by many different types of domestic and international entities. Membership in LLCs is legally possible not only for individuals but entire partnerships, corporations, and other groups. The terms of ownership within the LLC are mutually agreed upon by the owners. Any agreements may be written either in the articles of organization or within an operating agreement drawn up by the owners. The owners of an LLC have tremendous freedom in dividing among themselves the rights and responsibilities of running the company. The owners may distribute the LLC's losses and gains according to any formula they see fit, and the same freedom is true for choosing a management system. While some members may be actively involved in handling the company's daily affairs, others may have virtually no management rights. As long as no laws are ignored or broken, an LLC has a lot of flexibility in shaping its own operating rules.

Members of an LLC may only transfer their interest in the company if all other owners approve the transaction. The withdrawal or death of any member dissolves the LLC, unless all remaining members agree to continue.


Perhaps every entrepreneur's nightmare is losing his personal assets to a lawsuit, a bad loan, or some other business obligation. No matter how much liability insurance you purchase, you ultimately have unlimited personal liability for a sole proprietorship or general partnership. The limited liability company's greatest attraction is the legal shield with which it guards its owners from unlimited personal liability. When an LLC is in debt or loses a lawsuit, its owners are only liable up to the amount of their initial capital contributions to the company.

In theory creditors and plaintiffs can only go after the LLC's property when they seek the payment of a business debt or obligation and cannot touch the personal assets of its owners. While this liability arrangement of an LLC may sound ideal to you now, the principles do work somewhat differently in real life. Even though the LLC's shield protects your personal assets from business obligations and debts, you must still worry about personal liability and negligence. If a client is hurt or the payment of a debt jeopardized because of your own negligence, the LLC's liability shield cannot protect you, and you are still personally liable for your actions. You also shouldn't kid yourself regarding loans by banks or other large financial institutions. If a bank is not absolutely sure that your LLC will be able to repay a loan on time, it will demand that at least one of the LLC's members guarantee the loan personally. Once you personally guarantee a loan, you are just as vulnerable to liability resulting from this debt as a sole proprietor.

Finally, the absence of unlimited personal liability does not imply the lack of legal responsibilities with which a member of an LLC must comply It would not be advisable, for instance, to take out a loan on behalf of the LLC, pay the money out to its members as dividends, and claim the creditor is out of luck due to the LLC's insolvency. Most states' LLC statutes contain provisions that specify a limit to the amount of an LLC's capital that can be paid out as dividends.

Overall the LLC's liability shield is a safe and efficient way to protect yourself against financial ruin, although you should be wary of overestimating its power. The LLC is a fantastic way to drastically limit your liability exposure, but you are not completely immune.


Besides limited liability, partnership tax status is the second most important selling point for the LLC legal structure. In fact, it was the decision by the IRS in 1988 to give LLCs the same tax benefits from which partnerships had already profited for years that sparked the rise in LLC activity. The LLC has the freedom to divide its profits or losses among its members in any way it deems advantageous, and individual gains or losses by members are calculated and reported each year. Each member then declares his or her share of earnings or losses along with other income on his or her personal income tax return. Since members of an LLC can also be corporations or partnerships, dividends from the LLC are taxed with other earnings the member has.

Monday, January 7, 2013

How to Protect Your Business with Copyrights - Business Tip # 8

A copyright protects the original thought put into a creative work. The author who holds the copyright to his or her work owns the exclusive right to reproduce, sell, license, display, perform, and distribute that work. Works that can be copyrighted include but are not limited to books, plays, articles, journals, newspapers, e-mail, letters, instructions, poetry, translations, databases, works of art, drawings, ad copy, and speeches.

While all those forms of expression can be copyrighted, an actual idea cannot be protected by a copyright. The actual content of an author's copyrighted work, such as information or ideas, can be reproduced by anybody.

Who Can Register a Copyright

Authors need not apply explicitly to obtain the copyrights to their work. A copyright automatically exists when a person creates unique material that is subject to copyright laws. The minute an author writes a book, for instance, he of she automatically owns the copyright to that work. Legally there is no requirement to register a copyright.

The only catch to this seemingly convenient legislation is the fact that the owner of a copyright cannot file a copyright infringement suit within the United States unless the copyright is registered with the Copyright Office. Therefore, your copyright's protective value is very limited until you actually register it.

Rights a Copyright Gives Its Owner and How Long These Rights Last

A copyright gives you the exclusive right to reproduce, sell, license, display, perform, and distribute your work. A copyright is an asset, and you can sell your copyright to someone, you may license certain people to use or publish your work in return for regular payments, or you may choose to limit the use of your work to yourself. If another person or entity reproduces or sells your work without your consent, you have the right to file a lawsuit for copyright infringement.

How to Register a Copyright on Your Own

For detailed information on registering copyrights, we recommend The Copyright Handbook by Stephen Fishman (Nolo Press). The book provides detailed information on making copyrights work for you and is tailored to those who do not have extensive experience in working with them. Extensive information can also be found at the U.S. Copyright Office Home Page on the World Wide Web ( The Copyright Office web site, like all web sites, is a fantastic resource for information, because it is updated often and contains the most up-to-date news available.

Essentials to Forming a Corporation - Business Tip # 7

Forming a corporation is by far the most complicated alternative of the legal business structures. It is also the structure that provides you with the most control and minimizes exposure to risk most effectively. Unless specific advantages for your business can only be attained by choosing another legal form or your business cannot yet absorb the cost of incorporating, you are most likely to incorporate your business. Establishing a corporation means creating a distinct legal entity that is completely independent of its owners in a legal sense, just like an individual, a corporation has rights and responsibilities in the eyes of the law, and it is liable for its own actions. A corporation must file its own tax return independently of its owners, and it must maintain certain paperwork regarding its activities. Think of a corporation as an individual that comes to life as soon as approval for incorporation is obtained from the secretary of state.

Corporation versus Other Legal Business Structures

The corporation is a unique type of legal structure for a business to take, because a corporation is a separate legal entity from its owners. Unlike a sole proprietorship or a partnership, a corporation must be established by filing articles of incorporation with the secretary of state. A corporation is a much more formal business form than the sole proprietorship or partnership, and a corporation must keep accurate records of nearly all its activities. Starting a sole proprietorship or a partnership can be done with as little as a verbal agreement, but a corporation requires many expensive formalities.

Corporations can be divided into two broad categories: public and closely held. Public corporations are the most elaborate to form and are partially owned by stockholders within the general public.

Reasons for Starting a Corporation:

Any legal business structure serves to protect a business and its owners, but the corporation is a particularly powerful and effective way to obtain a potent set of legal benefits. The advantages of running a corporation include limited liability for the owners, easy transfer of ownership, a corporate tax rate, ability to retain earnings for expansion, and use of fringe benefits at a marginally lower cost.

Since a corporation is a separate entity from its owners, any business obligations or debts must be paid off using only the business's assets. The owners don't have any personal liability for the corporation. In theory creditors and plaintiffs can only go after the corporation's property when they seek the payment of a business debt or obligation and cannot touch the personal assets of its owners. While this may sound like a perfect solution to all your liability problems, you are still vulnerable to some extent. Even though the corporation's liability shield protects your personal assets from business obligations and debts, you must still worry about personal liability and negligence. If a client wins a suit for damages you have incurred or a creditor sues for payment you neglected to make, the corporation's liability shield is of little use to you. You are still personally liable for your own actions.

Ownership in a corporation is easily transferred between people, unless the stockholder's agreement restricts a transfer since the value of each owner's share is known. Unlike a partnership or limited liability company, however, the transfer of a share of a corporation from one person to another does not affect the term of the corporation's existence. The corporation is still an independent entity with a life span of its own, and the dissociation of one of its owners does not change that.

Another reason for choosing to incorporate is the possibility to retain earnings at a lower tax rate for expanding the business. Profits made by a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a limited liability company must be distributed in the same year in which they were earned. Once the profits are distributed, the individual recipients are required to declare them on their individual income tax returns. The partnership itself is not a separate entity and cannot retain some of the earnings. Since a corporation is a separate entity from its owners and files its own tax return, a corporation has the ability to retain some of its earnings for expansion or other uses.


Reading over all of the benefits incorporation brings to your company, you must have been wondering about the drawbacks. A punishing tax rate is one of the most significant problems owners of a corporation face. By forming a corporation, you are creating a separate entity resembling an artificial person. As such, the corporation must file its own tax return and pay taxes on all of its income. Once the corporation has paid its taxes, the remaining profits are distributed among the owners, who pay taxes on the same money again. This double taxation takes a tremendous toll on the net figure you see in your personal savings account at the end of a fiscal year. There are ways to minimize the effect of double taxation. One possibility is declaring your corporation an S corporation. Another option is paying salaries, rather than dividend distributions, to the owner-employees. Spend a little money on an accountant to help with this. The return on that money, in the form of tax savings, will likely be large.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Crash Course On Business Integrity - Business Tip # 6

Your reputation is more important than you may realize at first. As the representative of a business enterprise, you must remember that relationships are fragile and depend a lot on trust. Word travels quickly, and even the slightest impropriety will be remembered. Fostering a reputation of integrity from the start is an invaluable component of a strong business ethic. If you play fair from the start, people will notice, and they will be drawn to you.

While we don't want to sound cynical, we hope to convince you of exactly how important your reputation is, and how easily it can be tarnished. People will be much quicker to remember the few mistakes you have made than to sing the praises of your otherwise unblemished career. The good is easier to forget than the bad.

You may think integrity is a word that is typically only used in commercials by banks that want to make people feel confident in them. Well, no matter whether you provide flower delivery or outsourced business consulting, you need people to put their faith in you. You develop a solid customer base and assure the loyalty of your consumers by being loyal to them.

Integrity is basically a synonym for honesty. It is a strict and reliable devotion to a code of moral principles. It is about having your word carry weight. If people feel that your honest modus operandi is dependable, they will be more comfortable doing repeat business with you, as well as recommending you to others. Consistency in your method of doing business gains trust and loyalty in business partners, and can be a strategic way to maintain a customer base. When you are good to people, they feel a responsibility toward you. They are less likely to choose competing providers or look elsewhere in the first place.

As a component of your business ethic, integrity has a dual benefit. It gives others faith in your operating style, and it teaches you to live up to their expectations. Take, for example, the idea of reliable consistency in a product. On any given college campus, there are probably a number of coffeehouses. Usually they are situated pretty close together. If you were on the run, and wanted to grab a hazelnut latte to fuel up for a two-hour biochemistry lecture, where would you get it, Starbucks or CafeCaffeine? Clearly, you would opt for the tried-and-true Starbucks over the small town unknown CafeCaffeine. Why? Because the local place is a gamble Will they make the hazelnut latte well? Will the cup be burning hot? Do they have convenient sugar packets? Will they have the right kind of hazelnut syrup? Will they be friendly and courteous? All these questions are unnecessary at Starbucks. They have built up a reputation for consistently good hazelnut lattes (according to our standards), and the general public believes that it can rely on the integrity of Starbucks in always offering the same product.

Of course, that is not to imply that only a national chain can develop a reputation for consistency in a product. (But to become a national chain, you must have consistency in your product.) The feeling of integrity demonstrated by a consistently good cup of Java can be applied to any business, and includes the reputation for integrity in standards of product, pricing, promptness, friendliness, customer service, and the like.

Please pardon the gratuitously obvious reference to Starbucks, but we are trying to use examples that everyone can relate to And sadly, coffee is as strong a common ground as can be found among the college population today. But we digress. The point here is that integrity can take many forms. Above all, a reputation for integrity in the way you operate is an important component of your business ethic because it will simultaneously strengthen your client base and establish your name and principles.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Entrepreneur: A Broader Perspective - Business Tip # 5

It's a bigger world. You're still a small fish. Fortunately, the secret to survival is well within your grasp. As the new entrepreneur on the block, the key not only to your survival, but also to your success, lies in conducting research in your prospective industry both before and during your entrepreneurial endeavor. Even the most innovative and promising ideas will fail as a result of poor industry conditions. Eager entrepreneurs often either fail to recognize the unfavorable industry climate or lack the patience necessary to weather the conditions. Even when they do recognize turbulent periods, some entrepreneurs jump the gun and introduce their ideas at the first sign of tranquility, unaware of the fact that they are only in the eye of the storm.

So what does all of this mean for you? You probably already know that competition would be a vital part of the entrepreneurial experience, and you probably already know that successful businesses are familiar with their respective industries. With the expansion of technology (especially in the realm of computers) in recent decades, an abundance of information can become available both cheaply and easily to anyone who desires it. However, this abundance of information may overwhelm the unprepared, inexperienced businessperson.

That's where we come in. Although local libraries, government agencies, and the Internet provide plenty of available resources, this information is worthless without a means to analyze it. We aim here to provide you with the necessary tools.

  •  Effectively learn from your competition.
  •  Research your competitors and industry cost-effectively.
  •  Correctly and profitably identify current trends and conditions in your industry.
  •  Recognize the hottest upcoming trends for the twenty-first century.
  •  Interpret basic economic concepts and recognize common misconceptions.
  •  Develop your own plan of research.

NOTE: Research?

The word research sends shivers down many of our spines, as visions of 50-page thesis papers dance in our heads. However, you must realize that knowing your industry is serious business, and dedicated research is the only way you're going to familiarize yourself with your industry. Conducting research for business is just like participating in a big scavenger hunt. The hunt itself may be tiresome, but when you discover the information you need, not only does a feeling of self-satisfaction envelop you, but profits could soon be filling your pockets as well. But first, let's get back to business.

Put Your Business to the Test

Before even introducing your idea, you should examine your industry climate. This involves some self-evaluation of your relative position and situation within the industry. You should be able to predict the level of performance of your business under practically every possible set of circumstances. Asking yourself the following questions will give you a solid introduction to your industry.

How Will Your Individual Business Cycle Relate to the Overall Business Cycle?

Like everything in life, the overall business cycle experiences ups and downs. Generally speaking, there are booms in which the majority of the people enjoy prosperity, and there are recessions in which the majority of the people don't. Unfortunately, your business is not immune to this roller-coaster ride. However, by knowing how the peaks and troughs of the country's business cycle affect your individual company's cycle, you can smooth out your own ride and mitigate any drastic climate shifts your company must endure.

For instance, the business cycles of substantial consumer goods such as housing and luxury automobiles usually run simultaneously with the overall business cycle. These products and services are thus very cycle sensitive. Goods not sensitive to the collective business cycle are termed countercyclical, whenever the nation suffers from a recession, these goods become more popular (and vice versa with economic surges). If you plan to start a business in the discount department store or used automobile industry, slower growth for the entire economy may actually increase the demand for your goods.

How to Choose The Legal Structure For Your Business - Business Tip # 4

There are numerous ways to set up and operate a company, and entrepreneurs are often overwhelmed by the fundamental decision that every person starting a business must make: What should the legal structure of my business be?

Business-people rightfully worry about this decision, because it is the first step in laying a solid foundation upon which a successful company can be built. A poor decision early in the game may backfire and ruin you financially. In the United States, however, there are a number of ways to set up and protect a business.

Deciding which legal structure your business will take is one of the first decisions you will make. Registering your company as a certain type of business gives both you and your business varying rights and liabilities in the eyes of the law. While choosing a legal structure for your business, you will have to balance advantages and disadvantages to both you personally and your business. The most significant differences between the six business forms are the manner in which you and your business will be viewed in matters of ownership, liability, and taxation. Another issue you may consider in your decision is manageability. Maintaining a sole proprietorship, for instance, is much easier and requires much less paperwork than maintaining a corporation. A simpler business structure also means less potential of running into legal pitfalls throughout your operation.

There is no correct business form that will fit everybody's needs, and there is no rigid formula that will make your decision easy or obvious. The nature, number of people involved, and projected size of your business will initially narrow the number of legal structure choices. As the founder of your enterprise, it is your task to study those legal structures and choose the one that best suits your needs. The legal structures differ primarily in matters of ownership, liability, and taxation. Consider the following questions as they apply to your proposed business:

  1.  Are you and your dependents willing, and capable of accepting personal liability for all of your business's debts?
  2.  Will you be the only person involved in handling the daily affairs of the business, or will others be routinely involved in the management of daily operations?
  3.  How easy would it be for you to liquidate your business if you were suddenly unable to work?
  4.  How difficult would it be to transfer ownership of your share of the new business to your heirs if you died?
  5.  Does the nature of your business allow you to shut it down quickly if it is no longer capable of generating a profit?
  6.  How much time are you willing to invest in researching legal aspects of running a certain type of business and filing the appropriate forms to do so?
  7.  How much of your business's earnings do you expect to spend exclusively on developing your business further?
  8.  How many people, if any, will be employed by the business?
  9.  Does the nature of your business entail a high likelihood of being sued?
  10.  Do you plan on giving your employees any form of compensation other than a salary or wage, such as fringe benefits?

How to Get a Bank Loan for Your Business - Business Tips # 3

The most common form of bank loan is a 90-day short-term unsecured loan Standard variations include loans made for periods shorter than 90 days (i.e., 30 or 60 days) and loans extended for up to a year and backed by collateral. These are known as secured loans. If you're familiar with accounting, you've probably already figured out that a short-term loan represents a current liability on your company's balance sheet, indicating that debt must be repaid within a year. Bank loans typically have an annual interest rate several points above the prime rate, much like consumer credit cards. In the past, the most common approach was to apply a simple interest rate to the loan, requiring that the debtor pay fixed payments over the life of the loan. More recently, banks have been charging a floating or variable interest rate, allowing the interest charges to vary according to fluctuations in the prime rate. Another trend has been to price the loan at a rate above the marginal cost of funds, which is typically reflected by the interest rates on certificates of deposit (CDs). This rate fluctuates daily according to changes in money market rates. In general, the amount of interest paid on a loan will depend on (1) the dollar amount of the loan, (2) the period of the loan, (3) the nominal annual rate of interest, (4) the repayment schedule, and (5) the method used to calculate the interest.

Often entrepreneurs can forecast the cash flow of their company and anticipate future periods when they will require money to pay for supplies or build up inventory. Instead of borrowing the cash now and paying unnecessary interest, they can apply to a bank for a line of credit an assurance by the bank that, as long as the company remains financially healthy, the bank will lend the company a specific amount of capital. This does not guarantee that the bank will lend the money, rather it ensures that when the business wants to draw against its line of credit, the bank will review the company's current financial statements to verify that it still qualifies for the loan. Under certain circumstances, a business can obtain a guaranteed line of credit that promises the company that the bank will lend it money regardless of its current financial position. As you can well imagine, banks charge extra for the guarantee, typically 1 percent a year on the unused portion of the line of credit. Moreover, a bank will frequently require that entrepreneurs maintain a compensating balance, holding a specific amount of money in their checking account without interest.

Banks will frequently require collateral from the entrepreneur in order to reduce the risk of making a loan. Collateral may be in the form of any asset that has measurable value, including equipment, property, or inventory. If the entrepreneur defaults on the repayment of the loan, the collateral becomes the possession of the bank, which may sell the assets in order to recoup its losses from the loan. With a small business, banks often require that the entrepreneur and his or her key managers personally sign for the loan, offering their personal possessions as collateral. Obviously, this puts the entrepreneur at great risk. However, the rationale of the banker dictates that if you're not willing to put up personal collateral for the loan, then the deal is too risky for the bank, and the bank will deny the credit altogether.

Though commercial banks and venture capitalists differ along almost every dimension, the one thing that's important to both is your business plan. Having a well-articulated, accurate business plan with solid numbers that predict positive financial performance will be important to obtaining a line of credit from a bank. However, unlike the venture capitalist, the banker does not search for outrageous growth rates and a high potential return on investment. In fact, the banker could probably care less how rapidly your company grows. He's interested in ensuring that your company will continue to remain healthy, producing financial results that will allow you to repay the loan according to the terms of the agreement. You must be able to validate your financial projections and explain your assumptions in a manner that convinces the banker that you run a sound business.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Making a Successful Business Plan - Business Tip # 2

All communities develop their own language, and the business community is no exception. An otherwise well-written business plan that does not use the language of business is likely to be viewed either skeptically or less seriously by prospective investors. Whether your subject is market competition or company management, make every effort to follow these simple guidelines to the practical and stylistic elements of business writing.

All communities develop their own language, and the business community Write Professionally, Not Academically First and foremost, the business plan provides analytical evidence of your company's potential for success. Present this evidence through concise, purposefully written sentences that directly address the concerns unique to each section of the business plan. In contrast to a college essay or paper, a business plan should do the following:

- Keep paragraphs short and blocked.
- Reserve quotations and anecdotes for those cases where the information confirms claims in market research or is necessary to fully answer the concerns of the investor.
- Be sparing with essay-writing words and phrases such as therefore, to be sure, however, consequently, hence, and thus.
- Minimize use of colloquial phrases.
- Utilize phrases such as "the Company strongly believes . . ." and "the Company feels confident that . . ." as opposed to "it would seem­" we hope . . . ," and "this might suggest. . ."

This does not imply that business writing should be dull or bland. A well-written business plan can follow these guidelines and still prove engaging and unique. However, a business plan that reads too much like a college essay risks being interpreted as a sign of business inexperience.

Base Predictions on Statistical Evidence

One of the most challenging aspects of writing a business plan involves predicting the potential market for your product or service. Since the details of your company's early years are speculative, this material comes under the most intense scrutiny from prospective investors. To make your predictions more accurate and convincing, be sure to include actual statistics in formulating each step of your analysis. Make sure that all assumptions have a numerical foundation. For example, do not simply state: "The rapid growth of the Internet fuels speculation that a virtual office business would prove profitable." Instead note: "Computer magazine lists the market of Internet servers as increasing by 80 percent in the past three years. This trend provides strong indication that a virtual office business would prove profitable." By providing actual numbers for the prospective investor to analyze, your business plan uses market history, not wishful thinking, to create an accurate picture of future possibilities.

Use Bullets

to find your business plan's key points. Bullets, spacing, character size, and character quality (such as bold, italics, and underline! draw immediate attention to evidence suggesting a market's viability, your product's advantage over competitors, effective sales strategies, and so forth. Make your business plan reader-friendly, and ensure that important considerations are not overlooked by casual readers.

Consider Technology

In today's world, technology is key to the efficient, smooth operation of all aspects of business. As you prepare your business plan, consider the Don't force your prospective investor to search through paragraphs of information technology available to assist in the production, marketing, or sales of your product or service.

Invest in Business Software

The purchase of a good word-processing and spreadsheet package will prove to be a worthwhile investment. Most word-processing programs today deliver a professional-quality format and come packaged with chart-ready capabilities. A good spreadsheet program gives you the capability to adjust strategic variables such as service pricing and personnel wages, providing information on future revenues with only a few keystrokes. Most spreadsheets today can also produce tables from these supplied variables. Presenting information graphically makes your research more accessible and lends a professional appearance to your business plan. Business plan writing software is also available, and is useful for guidance purposes.

What Is a Business Ethic? - Business Tip # 1

A business ethic is an overall frame of mind with which you approach the tasks of starting and running your business. It is sometimes difficult to switch between your college suit and your work suit so many times in a day. (Speaking metaphorically, of course. You have clearly got your business suit hidden away neatly beneath your jeans and sweater in the style of Superman, or more recently, Arnold Schwarzenegger in True Lies.) Between meeting with a study group and making dinner reservations for a date, you may get a phone call from a crucial business contact. It is imperative that you be prepared and know how to switch into and out of business mode easily.

 Some would argue that a true entrepreneur is always ready for business. And that is true, to an extent. But we don't believe that you should be an entrepreneur and nothing else. It is far more respectable and impressive when someone can be all things to all people, as need be. So you have to be capable of switching on the business button whenever necessary. At risk of making it sound like a multiple personality thing, you have to be able to jump right into business character and that means more than just the voice.

This is where the business ethic comes in. There must be some truths which you hold to be self-evident, some ideals you strive to live up to, some set of qualities you believe should characterize your business style. This is your business ethic. Your business ethic is the aura you wish to portray, the qualities you wish to display, and the values you wish to live up to in your business dealings with others. For first-time venturers into the vast world of creative self-employment, we have put together a preliminary list of standard ideals that we believe you should aim to meet. If you believe strongly in the merit of these ideals, and if you train yourself to see successful business as a function of the right mental approach, you will have no problem switching into business mode whenever necessary.

Think of the popular television show Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. Mr. Rogers advocated the use of what he called a thinking cap. A business ethic is sort of like a business cap, but after you use it for a while, it will become instinctive.

Overall, our winning business ethic includes a commitment to building solid relationships, setting feasible goals, being realistic and prudent, and not jumping the gun Here's our six-point list of the components of a winning business ethic:

1. Patience
2. Integrity
3. Humility
4. Goal setting
5. Realistic expectations
6. Fruitful flexibility