10 Tips for Small Business Owners

Small businesses owners should conduct an annual assessment of their personal finances. Owners of small businesses have much the same concerns as everyone else, except they are personally responsible for the fortunes of their enterprise. In a sense, a small business is like a family. And these are important families in American economic life. After all, small business is vital to the U.S. economy, employing half of private-sector workers and creating two-thirds of net new jobs, according to federal data. Here are 10 tips to follow in weighing a small business owner’s financial plan: 1. Budget/Saving. The general financial planning rule is that you should save AT LEAST 10% of your income on an annual basis. You should also review short-term and long-term goals to ensure you are saving enough to meet your objectives. 2. Maximize Contributions to Retirement Plans. Depending on the size of the company and number of …

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Assessing Business Risks

Business insurance and risk management programs are designed to help reduce and control costs. In assessing the risk exposures particular to your business, consider what can go wrong and how such events might affect your business. Risk exposures generally fall into three categories: direct and indirect property losses; loss of income attributable to property losses; and liability losses of a general, statutory, or contractual nature. Renewing policies without re-examining risk exposures may prove costly. For example, if a business has grown, coverage limits that were adequate at one time may not meet current requirements. Furthermore, changes in the nature of your business may mean that additional coverage is needed. Enlist both management and employee input when evaluating your business. Daily familiarity with specific areas of operation may make one person aware of potential risk exposures that may seem insignificant to someone with a different perspective. Also, examining past loss patterns …

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Becoming a Better Negotiator

Whether closing a sale, haggling over a price with a supplier, or discussing a raise with an employee, business owners negotiate nearly every day. While you may already be an effective negotiator, consider the following strategies to help maximize your negotiating skills. Negotiating does not have to be a zero-sum game. When two parties enter into negotiations, they are both looking to create something of value that did not exist before. Instead of taking an adversarial approach, think about how both parties can arrive at a mutually beneficial solution. Without abandoning your own interests and objectives, consider the interests of your negotiating partner. Reflect on what your priorities might be if you were in your partner’s shoes and how you can best accommodate those priorities. Do Your Homework Before approaching the bargaining table to negotiate an important deal, make sure you are fully prepared. If, for example, you are attempting …

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