Don’t Overlook Insurance For Your Small Business Retirement Plan

This is a guest post by the ChamberofCommerce.com.

insurance for your small business retirement planOnce your small business is off the ground, you may want to start investing in your company’s future and set up a retirement plan for you and your employees.

While tax-advantaged retirement plans like the SEP IRA, pension, or 401(k) are all decent choices for retirement savings, they can also be complicated to set up and manage. Another alternative that gives a lot more flexibility is cash value life insurance.
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What Every Small Business Owner Should Know About the Affordable Care Act

In 2010, the American government passed the largest healthcare bill since Medicare. This new law, known as the Affordable Care Act, is set to reshape how Americans handle their health insurance and could open new insurance options for small businesses.

While some parts of this bill are already in action, most of the major sections don’t kick in until 2014. How will this law affect you and your business? Let’s break it down piece by piece.

Set Up Exchanges to Compare Options

In the past, shopping for health insurance wasn’t that convenient. You needed to take time out of your busy day to meet with agents from a bunch of insurance companies. Through each meeting, you had to compare the complex details of different plans and hopefully find one that worked for you and your employees.

The ACA is supposed to develop a better marketplace for health insurance. Under this law, each state needs to set up an exchange that breaks down the details of plans for people to compare. Your employees will each be able to buy their own separate plan so everyone can customize to what they want.

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Can’t Get a Bank Loan? The SBA is Here to Help!

sba loanThis is a guest post by Megan Totka of ChamberofCommerce.com.

These days, it’s pretty challenging to get a small business loan. According to the Federal Reserve Board of New York, small business lending is still just three-quarters of what it was in 2008.  Does that mean you should give up on the idea of getting a loan?

Not so fast. A bank isn’t the only financing option for your business in town. You could try to get approved for a personal loan, but that can put your personal assets on the line. Another place to turn is the Small Business Association. This government agency has several different programs that can give you the financial help you need.

How Does an SBA Loan Work?

The SBA doesn’t actually lend money. Instead, it guarantees loans that are offered through partner banks and credit unions. Lenders have more relaxed lending terms for SBA business loans because of this guarantee. If you couldn’t get a bank loan, you could still qualify for an SBA loan.
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The Pros and Cons of a Merchant Cash Advance

best online stock brokersWhen you’re running a small business, it’s tough to always have enough cash on hand.

If business ever slows down or some unexpected expenses pop up, it can put a real strain on your company’s finances, pushing your business to stretch dollars.

One way to get extra money to keep your business running is through a merchant cash advance. With these deals, you get a lump sum payment in exchange for some of your future credit card sales.

While a merchant cash advance has a few nice benefits as a source of financing, it also has some serious disadvantages that you need to consider.
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Most Profitable Small Businesses to Start in 2013

Most Profitable Small BusinessesWhile 2013 is still relatively new there is no better time to get on with it and start that small business you’ve been considering for so long now.

Small businesses are the heartbeat of the United States economy and are a path to independence.

Sure there are many headaches and heartaches that small business owners must endure.

But for those that stick it out and survive are left with a freedom that many desire.

The only question remaining is what small business should you start?

Here are seven suggestions of the most profitable small businesses that you may find interesting.
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6 Ways to Save Your Small Business Big Money

small business and entrepreneurshipWhether you are watching your own bank account, or are in the business world, the economic crisis makes us all more careful with the ways we spend our money compared to before.

People are constantly on the lookout for legitimate ways to make extra money and spend less at the same time.

Usually when we look at our budget and spending habits, we check to make sure we can afford to live.

We tend to make an effort to save the hard-earned dollar in the areas it is feasible. When it comes to your small business, you can do the same.

Here are 6 ways you can slash your spending and watch your finances:
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Global Thinking for Small Business

small business globalIn 2010 we gave you five financial tips for starting a small business and we certainly hope those tips helped you start your business and got you on the path to growth and financial stability.

Now is a good time to take those five tips and apply them to the global economy.

In a recent interview, writer Leigh Buchanan, learned what a CEO needs to do in order to act on the global market and tap into it for the benefit of the company.

In this post we take what Leigh learned in the interview and apply it to the small business owner trying to break into the global marketplace.

If you own any type of business you should start thinking globally in order to grow your business.

When you begin to think globally you open yourself up to the vast market that exists around the world and this gives you enormous opportunities to increase your profit margin and that makes for Good Financial Cents.
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Protect Your Business with Key Man Life Insurance

key man life insuranceA company may be run by a large group of people with the responsibilities spread out evenly between different departments.

Other companies rely heavily on one or two people.

If one of these highly important people were to pass away, these companies would have difficulties keeping the company in business.

Otherwise stated: They would be screwed!

You would think that most businesses are prepared if something happened to one of it’s key personnel.

A survey by AMA (America Management Association says otherwise finding the following:

Only 14% of those surveyed said that their companies were well-prepared for the loss of a key person.

It’s these type of businesses that would benefit from key man life insurance.
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Join the Crowd? What You Need to Know About Crowdfunding so You Don’t Lose Your Butt

crowd funding jobs actImagine you’re a small business that’s wanting to raise (A LOT) of capital from potential investors.

In the past, there were strict regulations, mounds of paperwork and an uphill battle in trying to find people that would actually invest into your company.

That was then, this is now. Introducing crowdfunding…

The business start-up act, otherwise known as the Crowdfund Act, is a new provision of the JOBS Act that was enacted on April 5th.

This act allows for what’s called crowdfunding, which is the ability of a company to raise money through large numbers of people.

As it stands, a small business will be able to raise $1 million in capital in any one year period by selling securities, but without having to go through the pain and anguish of registering with either State or Federal regulators.

This can be potentially huge for small businesses that have trouble acquiring traditional financing from local banks and financial institutions.

In the digital age, this can be that much more monstrous in that it removes restrictions on start-up companies seeking investors over the Internet.

As you can imagine, this can be a really exciting thing for investors with over 6.7 million new small businesses being launched each year.

But also can be very scary as the potential for fraud is very real.
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65 Home Business Ideas You Can Do From Your Kitchen Table

There’s something alluring about chilling in your comfy pants while in the confines of your own home and getting paid at the same time.

No annoying co-worker to interrupt your day with the company gossip that you could give a rip about.

home based business ideas

No mandatory meetings that leave you “zombified” that even a cup of the strongest black coffee can remedy.

Just you, your computer, and the freedom to get stuff done.

Before you get excited about starting your home based business idea, you first have to make sure you have the right tools in place. The main tool is a speedy Internet connection. Most home based businesses will require some sort of Internet connection. With a good Internet connection, you can also take care of a phone and fax. Isn’t technology great?

On top of the right tools, you should also have a dedicated office or work space that’s free from distractions. No TV’s! When’s it’s time to work you only want to be doing one thing: working.

Now that you have the right tools and workspace, let’s look at some of the top 65 home based business ideas you can start today.
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Small Business Opportunities for Veterans

Small Business Opportunities for VeteransMilitary veterans have many qualities that make them attractive to employers.

Things like loyalty, dependability, drive and determination, and honesty are all attractive traits to employers.

The current job market and economy can still make landing a great job difficult even with all of these traits.

There is no need to despair, however.

These same traits that are attractive to employers tend to make a person a great small business owner.
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15 Small Town Business Ideas to Start In Your Own Stomping Ground

“There’s a lot more business out there in small town America than I ever dreamed of.”
-Sam Walton

15 Small Town Business IdeasIt never fails that I get a puzzled look when I tell people where I’m from.

I was born on the West Coast—Los Angeles, to be exact.

For about 3 years of my adult life (and 3 as a child) I was surrounded by the 405 freeway, beaches, smog, and, of course – In N Out Burger!

But I now reside in a small Midwestern town in Southern Illinois.

No freeways, just highways or “routes,” where “traffic” does not exist.

We have beaches; they’re just on lakes.  I promise, it’s not as exciting as the Pacific Ocean.

And worst of all… no In-N-Out burger.  :(

People are generally curious about this, and want to know how the heck I ended up here after growing up in the big city.

I can tell that most of them wonder why I would give up city life to surround myself by farmland and, in turn, limit my opportunities.

Their thinking is that you have to move someplace big to make it big.

That couldn’t be any further from the truth.

Small towns offer plenty of opportunities to entrepreneurs, particularly if they know the community well.

A recent study by Olav Sorenson of the Yale School of Management showed that small business ventures perform much better when they are founded in the hometown of the entrepreneur. In terms of dollars and cents, Sorenson discovered that “each year a founder lived in a the region reduced the failure rate [of the business] by nearly 2%, and each additional year of tenure translated into $1,362 more in profits in each year of operation.”
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