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Simple Ways to Cut Small Business Expenses

5 Ways to Cut Small Business Expenses

Most small business owners experience ups and downs. Any reduction in expenses is always welcome and can result in increasing the profits. Here are a few relatively painless ways to cut costs and make your business more profitable.
1. Use Free Service Providers
Why pay for something when you don’t have to? There are a number of free things online. Web sites, e-mail addresses, fax numbers and teleconference services are all among the solutions small business owners can use for little or no charge at all. Just enter “free phone service” or “free fax service” in Google, you will be amazed at what comes up.
2. Do It Yourself
How much money do you pay your accountant monthly? $200 or more? With no more than $100, easy-to-use pay-roll software like ezPaycheck (from halfpricesoft.com), you can handle the payroll job effortlessly on your own. Most payroll software may be downloaded from the website and you can try it free for Thirty Days. Just pay for the software after you feel comfortable. And, do you employ a professional to generate e-letters or brochures? With software like Microsoft Office Publisher, you can choose from pre-built templates to rapidly and effortlessly produce professional-looking e-letters or print brochures promoting a sale in house with a color printer.
3. Outsourcing
Outsourcing does not always imply sending your business overseas. This is an idea to locate capable people not limited to your local location. From guru.com, elance.com or other online sites, you can find web masters, bookkeepers and other individuals that work for you on a subcontract basis.
4. Advertising Proficiently
If you mail a printed newsletter or discount coupons to consumers, might it be more cost-effective to send out an e-mail? You can save not only print and paper costs, but also shipping fees. Rather than buy ads from traditional newspapers, you can also digitally advertise on the internet. If you have an ad budget, you can use pay-per-click program from Google, Yahoo or other agencies. But do not forget there are a great deal of no-cost and practical means to promoting your company on the internet, for example, blogs, book marking, article-marketing, directory-marketing, media announcement, email-marketing and so on.
5. Cutback Transportation Expenses

Here are some questions to pose:
Do all your sales or support service calls have to be in person?

Can you assist your clients with internet-based technologies like online conferencing and devices?

Can your company allow full-time personnel to telecommute?
It will slash your rent overhead, travel and fuel expenses and several studies have revealed the home-based workforce tend to have increased output and stronger commitment.

3 Big Mistakes First Time Business Owners Make

First Time Business Owners are Prone to These Rooky Mistakes

Clark is a successful 3 time business owner as well as he is just 25 years of ages. From his somewhat unique viewpoint I asked Clark to share the Beginning Business Errors he views most. Here’s just what he said:

1) Don’t anticipate to be excellent. The errors people make when Building New Businesses resemble what somebody experiences trying to run a marathon for the initial time. Your First Business is not likely the one that makes you wealthy, Clark claimed. If you observe any sort of uber-successful Entrepreneur you’ll likely view many prior endeavors that supplied necessary understanding encounter. Like a First-Time marathon jogger, the time you invest in finding the excellent running footwears, running style, foot strike as well as training strategy will certainly make little difference when you’re puffing one hr in to exactly what’s most likely to be a four-to-five hr fight of willpower.

2. Do not obtain immobilized by your Fears. “We view new individuals acquire paralyzed by their bother with what’s coming,” Clark claims. “What takes place if a distributor does not send my item? Suppose someone sues me? Just what takes place if I increase also huge and need to change firm framework?” These and a thousand various other concerns won’t matter if you never ever acquire a Business Off the Ground, Clark states, however worries often stop Prospective Entrepreneurs from building any sort of Business whatsoever. If you’re just getting out of the starting entrance, do not squander your psychological power computing the number of countless actions you’ll absorb the 24th and also 25th miles of the race. Stressing too soon will sap the important motivation you’ll have to draw you with the long roadway to Success, Clark recommends.

3. Do not acquire Derailed by your First Setback. “We view far too many New Business Owners ignited with aspiration that fades away with the initial unpreventable hurdle,” Clark states. When building a New Business, comprehend that you will certainly experience issues on a day-to-day basis. There will be customer support concerns, item as well as stock problems, staff member concerns. At one time or another, every location of business will seem like it’s crumbling.

This is the strain that originates from developing something that’s never existed just before by an individual who’s never ever done it before (that’s you). “Like a marathon runner, expect to really feel pain along the way,” Clark says. “But also recognize that after you work through the discomfort and the bumps in the road, the flexibility you gain from understanding you will certainly never ever have to depend on another person for your Financial Freedom is well worth it,” he claims.

With that said, below are 10 items of advice that I wish someone had provided me prior to I launched my initial venture.

Concentration. Concentration. Concentration.
Numerous first-time entrepreneurs feel the have to hop at every “chance” they stumble upon. Opportunities are often wolves in lamb’s garments. Stay clear of getting side-tracked. Juggling several endeavors will certainly spread you thin and limit both your efficiency as well as efficiency. Do one point completely, not 10 points improperly. If you feel the have to jump onto an additional job, that might indicate something concerning your initial principle.

Know exactly what you do. Do exactly what you understand.
Don’t begin a company merely due to the fact that it appears gorgeous or flaunts huge theoretical profit margins and also returns. Do exactly what you enjoy. Businesses built around your staminas and also abilities will certainly have a better possibility of success. It’s not only vital to create a successful company, it’s also essential that you’re happy handling as well as increasing it day in and day out. If your heart isn’t really in it, you will not achieve success.

State it in 30 seconds or do not state it at all.
From a chance experience with an investor to a curious customer, consistently prepare to pitch your company. State your objective, solution and also objectives in a clear and also succinct manner. Fit the pitch to the individual. Much less is constantly much more.

Know what you know, just what you have no idea and also that knows exactly what you don’t.
Nobody recognizes every little thing, so don’t come off as a know-it-all. Surround on your own with consultants as well as coaches that will nurture you to come to be a much better leader as well as business person. Locate successful, educated individuals with whom you share common passions and also common business goals that see worth in collaborating with you for the lasting.

Act like a start-up.
Ignore expensive workplaces, fast cars and also fatty tissue travel and entertainment account. Your budget is your company’s life-blood. Method and excellent the art of scrimping. Watch every buck and triple-check every cost. Maintain a reduced expenses as well as manage your cash flow effectively.

Learn Under Pressure
No company book or business plan could predict the future or completely prepare you to end up being a successful business owner. There is no such thing as the best plan. There is no perfect roadway or one much less traveled. Never ever leap right into a new company with no thought or preparing, however don’t spend months or years waiting to carry out. You will come to be an all-around entrepreneur when tested under attack. The most essential thing you could do is gain from your errors– and never ever make the very same error twice.

Nobody will give you cash.
There, I claimed it. No one will certainly purchase you. If you need large amounts of resources to release your venture, go back to the attracting board. Locate a beginning point instead of an end point. Reduce costly plans and also grand costs. Streamline the concept till it’s manageable as an early stage venture. Discover methods to show your business version on a shoestring spending plan. Demonstrate your worth just before aiming for investment. If your concept achieves success, your possibilities of elevating capital from financiers will significantly boost.

Be healthy.
No, I’m not your mommy. However, I vow that you will certainly be far more productive when you take much better care of on your own. Entrepreneurship is a way of living, not a 9-to-5 career. Working to the point of exhaustion will certainly burn you out and make you much less effective. Do not make justifications. Consume right, workout as well as discover time for yourself.

Do not succumb your own B.S.
Don’t talk the talk unless you could walk the stroll. Excite with action not discussion. Recommend your business enthusiastically, yet tastefully. Stay clear of exaggerating facts and also boasting much getting to goals as sureties. Basically, put up or stopped talking.

Know when to call it quits.
In contrast to public opinion, a wise captain does not go down with the ship. Do not go on a fool’s task for the sake of ego. Know when it’s time to walk away. If your suggestion doesn’t work out, review what failed and the errors that were made. Examine what you would have done in different ways. Determine how you will certainly utilize these hard-learned sessions to far better yourself as well as your future business undertakings. Failure is unavoidable, however a real entrepreneur will certainly prevail over misfortune.

Small Business Insurance

Florida Business Brokers, LLC is now offering insurance for all your small business insurance needs. Contact us today for more information.

Business Insurance is the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another in exchange for payment. It is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss.

An insurer, or insurance carrier, is a company selling the insurance; the insured, or policyholder, is the person or entity buying the insurance policy. The amount of money to be charged for a certain amount of insurance coverage is called the premium. Risk management, the practice of appraising and controlling risk, has evolved as a discrete field of study and practice.

The transaction involves the insured assuming a guaranteed and known relatively small loss in the form of payment to the insurer in exchange for the insurer’s promise to compensate (indemnify) the insured in the case of a financial (personal) loss. The insured receives a contract, called the insurance policy, which details the conditions and circumstances under which the insured will be financially compensated.

Learn more about small business insurance types and plans

How Business Owners Handle Unclaimed Property

In Florida, all things relating to unclaimed property are handled by the Department of Financial Services, Bureau of Unclaimed Property.

  • As a business owner, this will be the agency to contact if you possess unclaimed property (unpaid wages, for example). Remember that you are subject to both reporting requirements and the obligation to turn over abandoned property to the state.
  • It is also the point of contact if you believe that you may have knowingly, or unknowingly, abandoned property (for example, failing to get back a security deposit, didn’t receive a tax refund).

Florida businesses have a number of responsibilities concerning unclaimed property. Initially, written notice must be sent to the apparent owner of the unclaimed property, if known. If the property remains unclaimed, businesses have a number of filing and reporting requirements to fulfill. Most importantly, businesses are required to turn over any and all unclaimed property to the state. Stiff penalties apply to businesses who fail to comply with any of these requirements.

Individuals should know that Florida property is generally presumed abandoned if it is not claimed by the owner for more than five years after it became payable or distributable. However, this time limit varies depending on the type of property involved. Once abandoned property is turned over to the state by a business, an individual then has the burden of reclaiming it from the state.

Reporting Unclaimed Property in Florida

A holder of unclaimed property must file a verified annual report containing such information concerning the property as is required by the Bureau of Unclaimed Property (Bureau). The reporting period is based on the calendar year. Thus, the report is due on or before May 1, as of December 31 of the previous year. The Bureau may postpone the report due date upon a written request and a showing of good cause by the holder.

Prior notice to owner. Within 180 days after an account with a value of at least $50 becomes inactive, the holder must conduct a search to locate the apparent owner of the property. Not more than 120 days and not less than 60 days prior to filing the annual report of unclaimed property, the holder of property presumed unclaimed shall send written notice to the apparent owner’s last known address informing the apparent owner that the holder is in possession of the property.

These requirements do not apply to qualifying credit balances, overpayments, refunds, or outstanding checks owed by a health care provider to a managed care payor with whom the health care provider has a managed care contract.

Holders of inactive accounts having a value of $50 or more must use due diligence to locate apparent owners. The account will be presumed unclaimed if:

  • the holder is not able to contact the apparent owner by telephone,
  • the first-class mail notice is returned to the holder as undeliverable, or
  • the apparent owner does not contact the holder in response to the first-class mail notice.

Delivery. Generally, the unclaimed property must be delivered to the Bureau at the same time as the final date for filing the report, unless the owner in the meantime has established its rights to the property. Property held in a safety depository need not be delivered until 120 days after the report due date.

The delivery of the property must be insured by the holder at an amount equal to the estimated value of the property. Each package must be clearly marked on the outside “Deliver Unopened.” A holder’s safe-deposit box contents must be delivered to the Bureau in a single shipment. However, in lieu of a single shipment, holders may provide the Bureau with a single detailed shipping schedule that includes package tracking information for all packages being sent. The delivery date may be extended up to 60 days if extenuating circumstances exist. Delivery or payment of the property relieves the holder of all further liability and entitles him to be defended by the administrator against any third-party claims on the property.

Holders must send abandoned stocks and other intangible ownership interests to the Bureau with the annual unclaimed property report. Upon delivery of the stock or other intangible ownership interest to the Bureau, the holder and any person acting for or on behalf of a holder is relieved of all liability to every person for any losses or damages resulting to the person by the delivery to the Bureau of the stock or other intangible ownership interest.

Recordkeeping. A business must generally maintain related records five years after the unclaimed property is reported. However, the period is three years for traveler’s checks, money orders, and similar financial instruments.

Penalties. Late filing of the annual report is penalized at $10 per day up to $500, which can be waived by the Bureau if justified. The penalty must be remitted to the Bureau within 30 days after the date of the notification to the holder that the penalty is due. The penalty for willfully failing to render a report as required or to pay or deliver property is $500 per day of violation (up to a maximum of $5,000) and 25 percent of the value of property not reported or delivered. In addition, interest at the rate of 12 percent per annum is charged.

If unclaimed contents of a safe deposit box are not paid or delivered to the Bureau on or before the applicable payment or delivery date, the holder must pay to the Bureau a penalty for each safe-deposit box shipment received late. The penalty is $100 for each safe-deposit box shipment container that is late 30 days or less. After 30 days, the penalty is $500 for each additional 30-day period. The penalty assessed against a holder for a late safe-deposit box shipment container may not exceed $4,000 per year. The penalty must be remitted to the Bureau within 30 days after the date of the notification to the holder that the penalty is due.

The willful or fraudulent concealment, destruction, damage or unlawful disposition of unclaimed property, or of its records, is a misdemeanor of the second degree.

The Bureau may initiate, or cause to be initiated, an action against a holder to enforce a subpoena or recover unclaimed property. If the Bureau prevails in the action, the holder must pay the Bureau’s reasonable costs and attorney fees.

Claiming Unclaimed Property in Florida

In Florida, property is generally presumed abandoned if it is not claimed by the owner for more than five years after it became payable or distributable. However, this time limit varies depending on the type of property involved.

Once abandoned property is turned over to the state by a business, an individual then has the burden of reclaiming it from the state. Unclaimed funds are deposited into the State School Fund and used to support public schools. However, the original amount reported can always be reclaimed by the owner or the owner’s heirs.

Locating abandoned property held by the state. In Florida, unclaimed property held by the state may be found by searching the state’s website (http://www.fltreasurehunt.org/ControlServlet?ActionForm=GotoNewPublicSearch).

To find out if other states may be holding your unclaimed property, search the national database established by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA).

Filing a claim. A person claiming an interest in any property paid or delivered as unclaimed property under the Unclaimed Property Act, or that person’s representative, may file a claim with the Bureau of Unclaimed Property (Bureau). Within 90 days after receipt of a claim, the Bureau may return any claim that provides for the receipt of fees and costs greater than that permitted under unclaimed property law or that contains any apparent errors or omissions. The Bureau may also request that the claimant or the claimant’s representative provide additional information. The Bureau must determine the claim within 90 days after receipt of the claim or after the response of the claimant or the claimant’s representative to the Bureau’s request for additional information, whichever is later.

The 90-day period may be extended by 60 days under certain circumstances. Under certain circumstances, a state may also file a claim for recovery.

A person dissatisfied by a decision of the Bureau may, within 90 days after the decision of the administrator or 180 days after filing a claim not acted upon, petition the Bureau for an administrative hearing. Final decisions of the Bureau may be appealed for judicial review.

Florida Unclaimed Property Resources

If you’re looking for additional information on unclaimed property, we recommend contacting your state’s governmental agency that oversees the administration of this area of the law. For help in answering a specific unclaimed property question in Florida, contact the following:

Florida Department of Financial Services
Bureau of Unclaimed Property
200 East Gaines Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0358
Claimant Services Phone: (888) 258-2253 or (850)413-5555
Claimant Services Fax: (850)413-3017
Claimant Services E-Mail: Funclaim@fldfs.com
Reporting/Compliance Phone Number: (850)413-5522
Reporting/Compliance Fax Number: (850)413-3018
Reporting/Compliance E-Mail: EReporting@dfs.state.fl.us
Website: http://www.fltreasurehunt.org/

Florida Abandoned Property Time Limits

Property Type Presumed Abandoned After
Bank account five years
Checks or drafts five years
Demutualization proceeds five years
Gift certificates, gift cards, and credit memos no specific provision
Insurance policies Life or annuity policies: five years.
The presumed maturity of an insurance policy is two years.
IRAs or retirement funds no specific provision
Money orders seven years
Other intangible personal property not otherwise specified other intangible personal property originated or issued by an entity in the state: three years.
Otherwise, five years.
Proceeds from class action suits no specific provision
Property distributable by a business association in the course of dissolution six months after the date specified for final distribution
Money that a business association has been ordered by the court or administrative agency to refund is presumed abandoned if it remains unclaimed by the owner for more than one year after it became payable in accordance with the final determination or order providing for the refund (regardless of whether the final determination or order requires the owner to make a claim for it).
Property held by courts or public agencies Funds deposited in the Petroleum Trust Fund: five years.
Other property held by courts or public agencies: one year.
Property held by fiduciaries five years
Safe deposit boxes three years
Shares in a financial institution five years
Stocks, dividends, and distributions three years
Traveler’s checks 15 years
Deposits and advances owed utility company customer one year
Wages or salaries one year

Business Exit Strategies Overview

Business Exit StrategiesWhen you first begin a new business, you develop strategies and plan ways to grow your business, but did you realize how important having an exit strategy is? Almost every business owner will want or need to sell their business at some point, for any number of reasons. You’ve started your business or want to start a business because you want to plan for your future right? Don’t forget there may be a business sale in that future and having a business exit strategy is never a waste of time or effort. Depending on your goals, the type of business you choose and the way you grow it should be aligned with your end-game objectives.

Every step along the way, you should plan for a time when you may need or want to exit your business and liquidate your equity through a sale, merger or IPO. You’ll want to build value and equity in your business by selling innovative products and services, developing relationships and distribution channels and expanding your customer base. To assist you, below are of some types of business exit strategies for you to consider and potentially utilize.

Private Sale

Selling your business is the most common exit strategy for any business owner. Business owners often know they will sell their business when it is time to retire but they forget to think about having to sell quickly. An illness or death is just two of the reasons an owner might have to sell quickly and soon than expected. Keeping accurate and complete business records along the way helps to ensure a smooth and quick sell no matter when the time comes to sell your business. When it is time to sell your business, the trickiest part of any sale is valuing the company. Since many small businesses are privately owned, determining the final sale price in a sale is typically more of an art form than science. Make sure you get a few appraisals of the business so that you can average them to find the right asking price.

Mergers

A merger is two companies getting together, establishing the value of each company and merging the two to form one larger company. In most mergers, the company shareholders receive stock in the bigger company which is usually worth more than the stock in each independent company. If you decide to merge your company with another upon retirement, you will no longer have to work the business and receive a share of profits by retaining stock in the new company. Just be aware that in mergers, you may not actually receive money from your stocks until a later date.

IPO

Selling your business in the stock market through an initial public offering is called an IPO. With an IPO, business sellers often get the biggest payout of any other exit strategy. Adversely, it is very expensive to obtain an IPO, business owners easily spend a half million dollars on attorney and accountant fees alone. In addition, there are a lot of restrictions to liquidity via an IPO, so if your business is not in the technology sector or has less than $50 million in revenues, you should strongly consider a different exit strategy. It is also important to remember that the strength and weakness in IPO markets are difficult to predict, therefore much harder to plan ahead for.

Buyout

Similar to a private sale is a buyout where a team or individual, in the same line of work, buys you out and takes over your business. This is typical with small to medium sized businesses that provide professional services in industries like insurance, accounting firms, law firm distribution and manufacturing companies.

A buyout is often tied to performance of the business at the time of the buyout as well as after you exit. Generally, you’ll get a far better deal if the buyout person or company can pay you upfront rather than agreeing to a “leverage buyout” where they use the future revenues of the business over time to pay off their debt to you.

Asset Liquidation

If your business is debt-free, you can liquidate your assets by closing your business and selling off the assets. The challenge in this is finding buyers who feel that your assets have value, and you’ll have to negotiate to get a fair price. With this type of business exit strategy, you will likely receive the least amount of money for your exit. Asset liquidation is often used by business owners who need to sell quickly for personal reasons.

If you are thinking of buying a business or currently own a business, part of having an exit strategy is working with a professional business broker. You never know when life will throw you a curve ball and having a broker at your fingertips, who already knows you and your business, will make it all much easier to deal with.

Is My Business Sellable?

Are you thinking of selling your business, but not really sure where to start?

Do you have an Exit Strategy in place?

Like most hardworking small business owners, you don’t have time to eat your Wheaties, let alone finding out your business’s sellability, if it is attractive to potential buyers.

How many times have you told yourself, I’ve got to sell my business if I’m ever going to retire.”? When you’re in operational mode, there’s little time to check into the value of your business or how attractive it is to buyers should you choose to sell in the near future. With so many vital tasks at hand, it is easy to keep putting it off.

You may not even be considering selling your business at this point; however completing the Sellability Score can help you to plan your exit strategy effectively. It can assist you in building and growing your business in such a way that, when the time comes to sell, your business’ sellability will be maximized to its full potential.

Now, there’s a way to find out if you have a sellable business and it only takes a few minutes of your valuable time. It produces highly qualitative and quantitative results that provide solid remedial action to solve problems. It’s called the “Sellability Score” and it’s based on an advanced, scientific algorithm.

Sellability Score for Business

The sellability business tool was developed by John Warrillow. He is the author of “Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive without You.” This innovative tool shows business owners how their business would stack up against their competition. If you tried to sell your business today, you will gain valuable insights into how potential buyers would analyze your business, including:

  • Where your business stands on a scale from “easy” to “hard” to sell.
  • Based on your sellability score, your best options for selling your business.
  • The most important questions to ask yourself prior to selling you business.

Once you know your position on the Sellability scale  of 1 to 100, you can start taking the appropriate actions toward preparing your business for sale. Since the endgame is to “realize your dreams” when you walk away from your business, your goal should be to get every penny you’ve earned over the years in your business.

Take the test here and find out: Sellability Score questionnaire. It is…

  • Absolutely Free
  • Confidential
  • Takes a Few Minutes

After completing the questionnaire, you will immediately receive a Sellability Score out of 100 along with instructions for interpreting your results. A Florida Business Broker will contact you to arrange a review of your report and answer any questions you might have.

Business Insurance

Your business insurance policy: A recorded contract that protect a local business against operational damages. The sort of damages that are protected by a local business insurance coverage hinges on a few variables, such as the insurance agency, the wording used within insurance policy and local area restrictions.

Usual Types of Business Insurance Policy Protection

There are multiple kinds of protection with a local small business insurance policy, each one possessing their own limitations, terms and regulations.

Here are the most basic sorts of local small business insurance policy protection:

Essential Individual Insurance Policy: An Essential Individual, in most cases is a business owner or partial business owner, somebody so significant to the agency that the loss of that individual can result in substantial damage to the business’s economic future. Funds are paid to the business if the Essential Individual becomes too impaired to work or passes away. The continuing principle partners or business owners are permitted to utilize the funds for valid business expenses only, like acquiring the Essential individual’s shares in the business or for hiring a replacement. An Essential Individual Insurance policy is also called a Key Person Policy or Buy/Sell Contract.

Basic Liability Insurance policy: Basic liability business insurance guards the business enterprise against damage lawsuits, negligence, production or workforce wrongdoing, physical accident and equipment breakage. Protection of legal charges is usually included in this sort of insurance plan.

Equipment/Product Damage: Protection guards against malfunctioning goods and breakage, incident, or loss of life from use of the malfunctioning products.

What is Workers’ Comp Insurance policy?

Workers’ comp insurance policy gives protection for a worker who has endured an incident or sickness occurring from occupational functions. Protection consists of healthcare and treatment expenses and missed paychecks for staff members injured at work. This insurance policy may be attained from a certified insurance policy provider. The legislation in most regions calls for some type of workers’ comp insurance policy for 4 or more workers. However, employees can renounce their civil rights to protection by filing an exemption.