Business Broker – Small Business Encyclopedia #small #business #opportunities

#business broker

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Business Broker

Definition:A professional who assists in the buying and selling of businesses .

The principal value of a business broker is to act as a buffer between the buyer and the seller. A broker can say certain things to a buyer and certain things to a seller and wind up with a productive discussion. The broker can tell the owner the price is too high, relay what has to be done to make a deal–very openly and candidly–and discuss how the differences in viewpoint can be ironed out effectively.

If you’re in the market to buy an existing business, a broker can help you find businesses for sale that fit your parameters, including location, industry and size. The broker will typically charge you a commission of 5 to 10 percent of the purchase price, but the assistance brokers can offer, especially for first-time buyers, is often worth the cost. However, if you’re trying to save money, you might want to consider hiring a broker only when you’re near the final negotiating phase. Brokers can offer assistance in several ways:

  • Prescreening businesses for you. Good brokers turn down many of the businesses they’re asked to sell, either because the seller won’t provide full financial disclosure or because the business is overpriced. Going through a broker helps you avoid these bad risks.
  • Helping you pinpoint your interests. A good broker starts by finding out about your skills and interests, then helps you select the right business for you. With the help of a broker, you may discover that an industry you had never considered is the ideal one for you.
  • Negotiating. During the negotiating process is when brokers really earn their keep. They help both parties stay focused on the ultimate goal and smooth over problems.
  • Assisting with paperwork. Brokers know the latest laws and regulations affecting everything from licenses and permits to financing and escrow. They also know the most efficient ways to cut through red tape, which can slash months off the purchase process. Working with a broker reduces the risk that you’ll neglect some crucial form, fee or step in the process.

When it comes to selling your business, finding the right buyer can be time-consuming and daunting if you try to do it yourself. A seasoned business broker can read the market, knows who’s buying what and who’s got resources, and can weed out the so-called “tire kickers” from serious buyers with sufficient financial resources who are well-suited to run a business like yours. They will also ensure that news of the sale remains confidential, that loyal customers, staff, vendors and suppliers find out only when you’re ready to let them know.

Then there are administrative issues. An experienced business broker knows what paperwork to file, and when. They also coordinate efforts between lawyers, CPAs, bankers, insurance agents and others.

While it costs money to contract with a broker to sell your business, think of the commission you’d pay him or her as a kind of insurance. Your broker will protect your investment in the business by placing the proper value on your business, finding the right buyer, getting you the best price possible, protecting the confidentiality of the sale, handling all negotiations, ensuring that all transactions are legal, and seeing that the transition to new ownership is as wrinkle-free as possible.

Brokers’ fees generally range anywhere from 5 to 10 percent of the selling price of the business, depending on negotiations with the broker, state laws and other factors. This is usually money well spend, because the broker can usually get more money for the business, make negotiations run smoothly, handle a lot of clerical and other details, and make a sale possible, whereas an individual business seller might not be able to accomplish all these things.

One of the key functions of a business broker is to act as a cushion between the buyer and the

seller and negotiate the details of the deal at a time when emotions can, and do, run high. A small business is often one of the biggest assets a business owner has, one which he or she has spent considerable time and money building. An experienced broker knows how to price a business and can toot the business’s horn in a way you might not be able to. The buyer can ask the broker pointed questions that might be difficult to ask you directly and get the answers he or she needs. The broker can also help answer any questions or resolve any problems that develop during the course of the sale.

When it comes to choosing a business broker, make sure there’s good chemistry between you and your broker and that the two of you communicate well. You’re paying your broker to look out for your interests, negotiate successfully on your behalf, and complete the transaction in a timely and professional manner.

To find a business broker to help you sell your business, take these steps:

  • Check newspaper ads under “Business Opportunities.” Look in your local and regional papers, as well as in The Wall Street Journal. You’ll frequently see businesses for sale under this heading, and just as prospective buyers are invited to inquire about these businesses, prospective sellers should also check out who’s facilitating these sales.
  • Look in the Yellow Pages under “Real Estate” or “Business Brokers.” Be sure to find a broker who specializes in selling businesses, not simply real estate. Don’t let the broker list your business on a realtor’s multiple listing service. Any broker who wants to do this isn’t willing to devote the time and work necessary to sell your business.
  • Ask for referrals. Ask other business owners who’ve sold businesses who they worked with. Your local chamber of commerce can also provide referrals to business brokers, as can your banker, CPA, attorney, and financial planner.

Once you find a broker to work with, sign a contract that specifies what kind of advertising your broker will do and that the name of the business will not appear in any ads or other promotion.





Fewer stocks listed on the stock market are vanishing #cheap #business #insurance

#stocks market

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The stock market is vanishing

The stock market isn’t what it used to be.

As noted by Steven DeSanctis, equity strategist at Jefferies, the sheer number of companies listed on stock exchanges has been dropping off precipitously.

The number of firms with shares publicly listed in the University of Chicago’s Center for Research in Security Prices aggregate index has fallen to 3,267 from a peak of 6,364 in 1997.

This, in fact, is the lowest number of listed stocks since 1984.

There are a number of possible reasons for this. Here’s DeSanctis’ breakdown:

“Between the lack of IPO activity. the pick-up of M A, and buybacks, the US equity world is becoming smaller and smaller, and this could be one of many reasons why active managers are lagging behind their indexes. Companies may not want to come public due to the additional cost of Sarbanes-Oxley or the fact that the private market has become a bigger source of financing than it has been in the past.”

While the answer is probably some combination of these factors, DeSanctis also thinks that the declining number of stocks may be affecting the performance of many professional stock pickers.

The argument is that with fewer companies to choose from, active managers are forced to crowd into certain stocks. Crowding makes it impossible to differentiate returns and causes these managers, in DeSanctis’ mind, to fall short of their benchmarks.

SEE ALSO: ALBERT EDWARDS: The crutch holding up the US economy is about to be ‘kicked away’





What is business #search #business #names

#what is business

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business

Full Definition of business

2a. role. function how the human mind went about its business of learning — H. A. Overstreet b. an immediate task or objective. mission what is your business here c. a particular field of endeavor the best in the business

3a. a usually commercial or mercantile activity engaged in as a means of livelihood. trade. line in the restaurant business b. a commercial or sometimes an industrial enterprise; also. such enterprises the business district c. dealings or transactions especially of an economic nature. patronage took their business elsewhere

6. movement or action (as lighting a cigarette) by an actor intended especially to establish atmosphere. reveal character, or explain a situation —called also stage business

7a. personal concern none of your business b. right you have no business speaking to me that way

8a. serious activity requiring time and effort and usually the avoidance of distractions got down to business b. maximum effort

10. a bowel movement —used especially of pets

See business defined for English-language learners

See business defined for kids

Examples of business in a sentence

Forever Odd is a direct sequel to 2003’s Odd Thomas. the book in which we were introduced to the title character, a young man who can see the dead. They can’t talk to him, but they can nudge him in the direction they want, which is usually to help them tidy up some unfinished business from when they were alive. —Charles De Lint, Fantasy Science Fiction. May 2006

The Sun may never set, but air temperatures can plummet to -4 degrees Fahrenheit, and blinding snowstorms appear without warning. Sunbathing here can be risky business. even huddled in our parkas and boots, the members of our expedition live under the constant threat of frostbite and hypothermia. —Terrie M. Williams, Natural History. October 2003

Such high attrition means that most of the dot-coms here today will be gone tomorrow. The business environment is already harsh, and competition is growing. —Ann Thayer, Chemical Engineering News. 5 June 2000

Lancaster and Columbia have plenty of history apart from the Civil War, of course. For example, Lancaster was home to F.W. Woolworth’s first successful 5 10 and Milton S. Hershey’s first successful candy business. —Lancaster New Era. 2 July 1996

The store has lost a significant amount of business since the factory closed.

She works in the publishing business .

David has decided to go into business with his brother.

Their publishing company is the best in the business .

I have to go to New York City on business next week.

They advertised to increase business .

He has the skills necessary to run a business .

The town is trying to attract new businesses .

Do we have any other business we need to discuss?

No, I didn’t ask him what he wanted the car for. That’s his business .





5 Top Picks for Small Business Cloud-Based Accounting #businesses #to #start

#business accounting software

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5 Top Picks for Small Business Cloud-Based Accounting

Small business owners don’t need to purchase expensive business accounting software programs or spend hours lost in complicated reports. Any accounting software will provide the basic applications for accounting tasks, but packages designed for small office owners and manager tend to simplify the process and provide essentials that include a general ledger, the capability to create detailed invoices or view business inventory and purchase history.

Cloud accounting services—software stored and accessed online—is an attractive option for small business owners. When using cloud accounting software, IT tasks such as version upgrades and data backup are managed by the application vendor.

In looking at small business accounting options, CIO.com specifically looked for applications designed to meet both the budget and the needs of a typical small office or small business. We chose five cloud accounting service options available cost $20 or less per month and are easy to use—even for small business owners with little or no experience with accounting tasks.

FreshBooks: Guided Help Boxes Make Small Business Accounting Easy

FreshBooks is a simple cloud accounting application designed to help small business owners to get organized and get paid. Since it’s a hosted accounting service, you can access your business data everywhere—on a mobile device or desktop computer—and your data is secure and backed up for you.

FreshBooks features options for online payments, expense tracking, time-tracking and accounting reports and taxes. Highlights include customizing invoices, sending late payment reminders, automatic and recurring-expense tracking, managing different rates for multiple projects and profit/loss reports.

Small business owners will appreciate FreshBooks’ guided step-by-step wizard and help boxes that appear each time you perform a new task, such as create a new invoice or add a new client to your records. As you familiarize yourself with FreshBooks, you can turn these helpful tips off.

FreshBooks is free for 30 days, with the basic business plan starting at $19.95 per month. There’s also an add-on store where you’ll find third-party applications to add new features and functionality to FreshBooks. Some apps are free—such as the Constant Contact Export and the FreshBooks Connector for Sage Peachtree (now known as Sage 50 )—while others are available on a monthly subscription basis.

QuickBooks Online Simple Start: A Good Value for Small Businesses

Today, QuickBooks is synonymous with small business accounting. While a number of standalone and hosted versions are available, QuickBooks Online Simple Start is a good value for small office accounting needs.

The online version is $12.95 per month and includes a 30-day free trial. This software makes it easy to create invoices, track sales and expenses, download banking transactions and access business data on any mobile device. Other handy features in Online Simple Start include check printing and exporting data to Microsoft Excel.

If you need a little more functionality than QuickBooks Online provides, there are a few add-ons. These include the “Payroll Bundle” to pay your employees and a merchant service app to accept debit, credit cards and checks in QuickBooks Online.

Kashoo: Professional Invoices, Simple Dashboards

Kashoo is another cloud accounting service worth a look. It’s a simple accounting app for small businesses offering anytime access from an iPad or Web browser.

Features for the small business include connecting to online bank accounts and credit cards, professional invoices, simple dashboards and options to categorize income and expenses specifically for tax reporting. In addition, you can easily share your business data with your accountant online. Finally, Kashoo boasts secure, double-entry accounting for bank reconciliation and financial statements.

Kashoo is priced at $16 per month. A free version is available; however, users are limited to 20 transactions each month.

Outright: Online Accounting for Ecommerce Businesses

Outright is an easy-to-use cloud accounting system that lets small business ecommerce owners organize and keep track of sales and finances in one place. At a glance, you can see where money is going, view profit/loss statements and see who your customers are.

You can link existing accounts such as banks, credit cards, Paypal, eBay, your own Web store or FreshBooks to Outright, and you can import your existing transaction history. From then on, Outright downloads your new data each day. Another useful feature: Outright organizes all of your data into IRS-approved tax categories, potentially lowering the workload and headache level at tax time.

Small business owners on the go will appreciate the Outright iPhone app; with the mobile app, you can stay on top of your business and enter travel expenses and mileage from the road.

Outright offers a free account, but small businesses are more likely to use the Plus version ($9.95 per month), which offers more features than the free version.

Xero: Share Your Business Numbers Online

With Xero online accounting, you can share access to the latest numbers and check cash flow in real-time. Once loaded, Xero offers a dashboard to quickly view your bank balances, invoices, bills and expense claims. There’s also an interactive graph to show money going in and out; you can also monitor specific data accounts from the dashboard.

One standout feature in Xero is the capability to collaborate online so small business employees can work as a team on financials. You can share your data and collaborate with your accountant and bookkeeper to get the advice you need. Xero lets you invite an unlimited number of people for free; you control what each person can see.

The invoicing system lets you customize invoices and connect with your customers through online invoicing. There are also options to create repeating invoices and schedule bill payments, and all payments, returns and credits are tracked automatically.

Pricing for Xero starts at $19 per month. Mobile apps for Apple, Android and Blackberry are available. Third-party add-ons can expand Xero functionality by incorporating CRM, inventory management, invoicing, job systems and other specialized business tasks.





Unsecured Business Loans for Collateral-Free Cash #business #grant

#unsecured business loans

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Credit Cards

Banking

Investing

Mortgages

Loans

Insurance

Credit Cards

Banking

Investing

Mortgages

Loans

Insurance

Unsecured Business Loans for Collateral-Free Cash

You can trust that we maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments; however, we receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners and get approved. Here’s how we make money .

An unsecured business loan has an attractive advantage over a secured loan: You don’t have to put up collateral, such as your home, your business equipment or inventory. So if your small business goes south and you can’t repay the loan, the lender cannot seize your personal or business assets.

Unsecured loans, however, will likely carry a higher APR than secured business loans, but they typically come with higher approval rates and faster funding. Although you don’t need collateral to qualify, you may still need strong business revenue, several years of operating history and fair or better personal credit — though this will depend on the individual lender’s requirements.

Here are five alternative lenders offering unsecured business loans or lines of credit of up to $100,000.

JUMP TO OUR RECOMMENDATIONS:

Lending Club: Lowest borrowing costs among online lenders for unsecured term loans and lines of credit.

OnDeck: Solid choice for an unsecured line of credit for working capital needs and handling unexpected expenses.

StreetShares: Good choice if you have strong credit and need working capital at a competitive APR.

Kabbage: Can be a smart option if you have bad credit and need working capital fast.

Fundbox: Sound choice if you have unpaid customer invoices and want to avoid a credit check.

Unsecured business loans: Summary of funding options.

If you want a term loan or line of credit with low rates: Lending Club

Lending Club’s APR ranges from 8% to 32%, making its loans and lines of credit slightly more expensive than SBA loans but the lowest among unsecured funding options online.

Lending Club also has less stringent requirements than banks, which typically require excellent personal credit and collateral to back loans. The lender requires a minimum 600 credit score, but collateral is only needed on loans and lines of greater than $100,000.

Before you apply for a Lending Club line of credit, find out whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

  • 600+ personal credit score.
  • 2+ years in business.
  • $75,000+ in annual revenue.
  • Own at least 20% of the business.
  • No recent bankruptcies or tax liens.
  • Provide collateral for loans and lines of credit of more than $100,000.

Lending Club is currently unavailable to borrowers in Iowa and Idaho.

If you need cash for working capital or unexpected expenses: OnDeck

OnDeck’s unsecured business line of credit is a good option for business owners who need working capital to manage cash flow or handle unexpected expenses. OnDeck’s APR is slightly higher than Lending Club’s borrowing costs, but requirements are less stringent. To qualify, you need at least a 600 personal credit score, nine months in business and $75,000 in annual revenue.
Each draw on the line of credit is repaid weekly over a period of six months, and borrowers can choose to repay sooner to save on interest with no prepayment penalties.

OnDeck’s line of credit doesn’t require a lien on your business’s assets, although you still have to sign a personal guarantee, which makes you personally liable for repaying the debt if your business fails to.

Before you apply for a OnDeck line of credit, find out whether you meet the lender s minimum qualifications.

  • 600+ personal credit score.
  • 9+ months in business.
  • $75,000+ in annual revenue.
  • No bankruptcies in the last two years.
  • Personal guarantee required.

If you need working capital and have good credit: StreetShares

When you have strong credit and need working capital at a competitive rate, StreetShares is a good option but the maximum loan or line of credit you can qualify for is 20% of your annual revenue. To qualify for StreetShares, you need a personal credit score of 600 or more, a year in business and $25,000 in revenue. The lender offers term loans and lines of credit of up to $100,000, with no collateral required. The possible drawback is the 20% cap: For example, if your business makes $300,000 per year, you can qualify for a loan of up to $60,000.

Before you apply for a StreetShares loan, find out whether you meet the lender s minimum qualifications.

  • 600+ personal credit score.
  • 1+ year in business.
  • $25,000+ in annual revenue.*
  • No bankruptcies in the past three years.
  • No current tax liens or collections (unless you have proper documentation).

You only need 6 months in business if you have $100,000+ in revenue.
StreetShares is currently unavailable to borrowers in North Dakota or South Dakota.

If you need working capital and have bad credit: Kabbage

Kabbage is a good option for borrowers with bad credit who need fast cash for short-term expenses; the company does not have a minimum credit score to qualify.

Funding is fast: Once approved, you can get access to funds immediately or, at most, within a few days. You’ll pay more for it, however, as Kabbage’s loan ranges from 32% to 108% APR. With a short repayment time frame and a higher APR, it’s likely not your best option for a large expense, such a new piece of expensive equipment for your company. Keep in mind that each new draw from the line starts its own six- or 12-month term with its own fee structure, so the cost of borrowing will increase.

Before you apply for a Kabbage loan, find out whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

  • No minimum personal credit score required.
  • 1+ year in business.
  • $50,000+ in annual revenue.
  • A business checking or online payment platform required.

If you have unpaid invoices and want to avoid a credit check: Fundbox

Fundbox is a good option if your business has unpaid customer invoices up to $100,000. The lender provides an unsecured cash advance (no collateral or personal guarantee required) for up to 100% of the value of your invoices, starting at $500. The company provides instant approval, with funding typically in one to three business days.

After receiving the cash advance, you’ll repay it in 12 equal weekly installments, plus a fee. If your customer ends up paying you before then, you can repay the advance in full to save on fees, with no penalties.

Before you apply for Fundbox’s invoice financing, find out whether you meet the lender s minimum qualifications.

  • No minimum personal credit score required.
  • No minimum annual revenue required.
  • Must use online accounting software that can link to Fundbox (such as Quickbooks, FreshBooks, Harvest).

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Stock Market: London Stock Exchange, FTSE Index and Market News #register #business

#stock market news

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What is business plan? Definition from #small #business #management

#what is business

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business plan

A business plan is a document demonstrating the feasibility of a prospective new business and providing a roadmap for its first several years of operation.

Business plans are an important part of creating new businesses, whether as a startup or an offshoot of an existing business. Business plans for startups are often shared with funding agencies, potential investors and venture capitalists to obtain the necessary funding.

Although the specifics may vary, here are the typical components of a business plan for a new business:

  1. The executive summary is a nutshell version of the entire plan, briefly covering the essentials.
  2. The business description describes the proposed new endeavor, explains its purpose and its target market.
  3. The plan’s market analysis section describes the industry and the market environment of the proposed business, including a profile of the competition.
  4. The organizational and managerial section explains how you envision the structure of your business, what types of positions and departments it will encompass.
  5. The products (or services) section details what you’re offering. This section should include a full description of the products you’ll sell and your plan for product lifecycle management (PLM ).
  6. The marketing and sales section explains your strategies for branding. marketing and selling your product or service.
  7. The funding request will differ according to what type of information is required by the funding party.
  8. The financial projection covers the expected performance and milestones over the first years of operation, usually five years. For an existing business, historical financial data should be included.
  9. An appendix can include useful information that doesn’t belong in any of the other sections.

A business plan is similar to a business model. However, the latter is a representation of how an existing business works, rather than how a prospective business can work.

This was last updated in December 2013

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Related Terms

Definitions

– Risk management is a company’s process for identifying and controlling threats to its assets, including proprietary corporate data, customers’ PII and intellectual property. (SearchCompliance.com )

– Rebranding is an update of the materials and presentation used to represent a business. A company may rebrand to appear more modern or to distance itself from past issues, among other possibilities. (WhatIs.com )

– A/B testing is a statistical method used to assess proposed changes to a product or service. (SearchBusinessAnalytics.com )

Glossaries

– Terms related to business, including definitions about project management and words and phrases about human resources, finance and vertical industries.

– This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce.

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5 Important Things You Need in Your Business Plan #business #communication #skills

#business planning

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5 Important Things You Need in Your Business Plan