Succeeding in Your Business from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Wed, 23 Jan 2019 17:49:26 -0800 Succeeding in Your Business from Creators Syndicate 8aa8a5effe83c4bc0b1008262d943255 A Basic Business Lesson for 01/15/2019 Tue, 15 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>"I have been a hair stylist for over 20 years.</p> <p>"Last year my salon shut down and I decided to start my own salon since I had over 100 customers. I rented some space in town at a very affordable price, and the good news is that almost all of my customers stayed with me.<p>Updated: Tue Jan 15, 2019</p> 297ad7bb860e9aa64f76779e7713986b 12 New Year's Resolutions for 2019: Part 2 of 2 for 01/08/2019 Tue, 08 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Here are seven more New Year's resolutions for business owners.</p> <p>Find Three New Sources of Salable Product. If your business is selling stuff online, one of your biggest challenges is finding high-quality stuff to sell at a profit. If you're not currently taking consignments, you're out of your mind. Take out an ad in your local newspaper that says "I Take Consignments!" and has a toll-free telephone number. Trust me; you will get calls. Let local senior citizens know you are available to help them clean out their houses and apartments when they move into an assisted living facility. Finally, make 2019 the year you cut out the middle people in your life &#8212; go to the Worldwide Brands and Global Sources websites and find out where you can buy the stuff you're currently selling directly from the manufacturers in Asia and drop shippers in the United States. <p>Updated: Tue Jan 08, 2019</p> 4466fbca6daf81fd51f5866d47e48013 12 New Year's Resolutions for 2019: Part 1 of 2 for 01/01/2019 Tue, 01 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>When you stop to think about it, New Year's resolutions are all about habits, breaking some bad ones (smoking, drinking excessively, binging on fast food when you've had a bad day) and starting new ones (working out, eating more Brussels sprouts).</p> <p>Businesses, like individuals, develop bad habits over time that need correction, while <span class="column--highlighted-text">success in business over the long run usually means adopting good management habits and sticking with them year after year.</span><p>Updated: Tue Jan 01, 2019</p> a013c208f7afe1f60c72e19fbadd5601 When You've Bought a Franchise but the Numbers Don't Add up for 12/25/2018 Tue, 25 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>"A partner and I invested in a franchise last year. The franchise offers a variety of healthy foods, but focuses primarily on soups and salads.</p> <p>"We were offered a number of territories, but chose a large downtown area in an upscale Midwestern city.<p>Updated: Tue Dec 25, 2018</p> 97c2b460696049b04be9ed74a0b881d2 Fame Is Fleeting, So Write a Christmas Song for 12/18/2018 Tue, 18 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>My recent column "Christmas Music and the Socialist Agenda" got lots of feedback, most of it positive, some from folks trying to sell me holiday-themed videos. So it should come as no surprise to my readers that I have a little more to say about Christmas music and what it says about our times.</p> <p>I try to avoid writing seasonal or holiday-themed columns, but I couldn't resist the temptation this year.<p>Updated: Tue Dec 18, 2018</p> 3ca1c29cf2e6802c1b830e657d14f52b When the Telephone Stops Ringing for 12/11/2018 Tue, 11 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>"I run a small service business. The past several months I've been busy enough, but I'm getting a lot fewer jobs than I did this time last year when my phone was ringing off the hook. I know the economy's tough, and people just don't have the money they used to, but I'm worried that this is not just a short-term situation but a more permanent decline in my business. What can I do to turn the situation around?"</p> <p>Whenever the phone stops ringing or doesn't ring as often as it used to, you should be concerned. Never assume that it's a short-term problem; there's usually a reason for it. You have to find out just what's going on out there. Here are some questions you need to ask and the steps you need to take:<p>Updated: Tue Dec 11, 2018</p> 4c69b78cccded2654013d329be0d4009 Christmas Music and the Socialist Agenda for 12/04/2018 Tue, 04 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>It was with some dismay (but not surprise) that I read recently about a Cleveland radio station's decision to ban the song "Baby, It's Cold Outside" from its holiday playlist. You knew this was coming, right?</p> <p>OK, I admit I always found the song a little creepy. When you get right down to it, it's about a guy trying to persuade his date to &#8212; er, um &#8212; stay the night. She keeps saying "no," but he persists, in total violation of the #MeToo playbook. The song dates back to 1944, and when you hear the lady ask, "What's in this drink?" you can't help but wonder if it gave the young Bill Cosby some ideas. And, let's face it, when the singers are Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga &#8212; a 90-something and a 30-something &#8212; it's hard to avoid a gag reflex.<p>Updated: Tue Dec 04, 2018</p> 8d073beb048480b00489c86c4a9c0bb8 Building a Successful Authorized Rep Program for 11/27/2018 Tue, 27 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>"My wife and I have started a line of all-natural cosmetics. We launched our website a while back, and have received several inquiries from customers who love our products so much they want to become sales representatives for us.</p> <p>"Both of our mothers were 'Avon ladies' when we were children so we know a little bit about how this works. What are some of the legal issues we will face in setting up a 'rep' program similar to Avon's?"<p>Updated: Tue Nov 27, 2018</p> 7349f152be543b1bacbbc8db167fbfc0 Dealing With a Nonsolicitation Agreement for 11/20/2018 Tue, 20 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>"I was laid off from a corporate job after 10 years as a sales and marketing executive, and am thinking of striking out on my own as a marketing consultant for large corporations. There's just one problem (well, maybe two).</p> <p>"The good news is that my employment agreement with my former employer does not contain any sort of 'noncompete' clause that would prevent me from working in the same industry. The bad news is that there are two clauses in the agreement that would:<p>Updated: Tue Nov 20, 2018</p> 717f230236ed5a3f55d2aa3495e8d8ff When Selling Your Business, Watch out for Client Attrition for 11/13/2018 Tue, 13 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>"I am a podiatrist with a fairly large practice in a large Midwestern city. My wife and I have decided to move south to Florida to be closer to our grandchildren. I have found a younger podiatrist who wants to take over my practice, but I'm not sure exactly how to put the deal together with him. Any suggestions?"</p> <p>You have obviously worked hard and long to build this practice, and it's always a big letdown when owners realize how little theirs is actually worth when it comes time to sell.<p>Updated: Tue Nov 13, 2018</p> ed18561a333b95bc21515bb4856c4308 Give Me a Perfect Life ... or I'll Kill You! for 11/06/2018 Tue, 06 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Is it just me, or are people getting awfully touchy these days?</p> <p>Within the past week, I have received calls from three consultants and other professionals who had received phone calls from their clients screaming and threatening lawsuits for things the consultants absolutely weren't responsible for. Without getting into specifics, here's what the clients said:</p> <p>&#8212;"Even though you pointed out several reasons why this was a bad deal and I ignored your advice and went ahead with the deal anyway, you are liable for anything that happens because you didn't do enough to prevent me from going forward."<p>Updated: Tue Nov 06, 2018</p> af96fbacc0e2fb7aab0e3fd81196cbde What Lawyers Won't Do to Help Your Business for 10/30/2018 Tue, 30 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"I hired an attorney a couple of weeks ago to help me prepare and negotiate a couple of contracts for my business. He's done a good job so far, and his fees are fairly reasonable. But whenever I ask him for help with the business discussions and negotiations, he tells me that that's not his job. He says that I am ultimately responsible for negotiating the deal and that he cannot guarantee that the deal will work or even that I will be satisfied with his work. It seems to me that he's being a little too conservative and that he could be doing more for me. Am I right, or is this just the way lawyers work?"</p> <p>Being a lawyer myself, I have to give you that most lawyerly of answers: It depends.<p>Updated: Tue Oct 30, 2018</p> 4a8203339fd6afcb333a7faefac0e6af When You Find Yourself in a Gray Area for 10/23/2018 Tue, 23 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Twice a year, I host a program for the New York State Bar Association targeting young lawyers who are looking to set up solo law practices.</p> <p>These people ask a million questions, and while there are clear answers to many of them, there are some that simply cannot be answered because there aren't clear legal precedents.<p>Updated: Tue Oct 23, 2018</p> d5bf47769dae596419508bcdd683b138 The 'Magnificent 7' Marketing Tools for Professionals for 10/16/2018 Tue, 16 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"I was laid off from a large law firm earlier this year. After several failed attempts to find a job with another large firm elsewhere in the country, I have decided to 'hang out my shingle' in my hometown and work out of my home office. Since I think you do pretty much the same thing as I want to do, do you have any good tips for marketing a successful one-person law practice?"</p> <p>Oh, boy, do I ever ...<p>Updated: Tue Oct 16, 2018</p> 61e209a11ad6d8503f0f14eb341c7c56 How to Pay People When You Don't Have Any Money for 10/09/2018 Tue, 09 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"I just recently started a social media Website for people who share an interest in certain niche collectibles. I want people to contribute articles and other content to my Website, but right now I've spent all of my money on developing the Website and don't have any left over to pay people with.</p> <p>"I am thinking about setting aside 20 percent of my company &#8212; I'm a limited liability company (LLC), by the way &#8212; and giving pieces of that to people who contribute articles or otherwise help me build this Website.<p>Updated: Tue Oct 09, 2018</p> 8a003157b6d2455863ff3cbf6e507411 To Skype, or Not to Skype: That Is the Question for 10/02/2018 Tue, 02 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"I am a licensed psychiatrist and relationship counselor. For the past few years I have been a successful blogger on the topic of dating, specifically online dating strategies for people over the age of 40.</p> <p>"I have a fairly sizeable following on social media, and want to start a series of online webinars using Skype, the popular wireless telecommunications platform. Basically, people would register for a webinar on my website, be given an access code, and dial in to the Skype communication at the appropriate time. Just like a telephone conference call, except that attendees can see me, what I'm writing on the whiteboard, and so forth. Eventually, I plan to sell advertising for these webinars.<p>Updated: Tue Oct 02, 2018</p> a262ad869b347553956e2f460362d837 Building Your Business, One Square At a Time for 09/25/2018 Tue, 25 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"I was laid off from a corporate management job last year. Having decided not to return to corporate America, I have decided to take what little remains of my severance package and buy a franchise. I've found a perfect franchise I can operate from my home office. I've visited the franchise's corporate offices, and I love the people. I've spoken to lots of the franchise's franchisees, and they all seem to love what they do. The upfront franchise fee is affordable, and they are actually willing to let me pay it in installments, which I understand franchises don't normally do.</p> <p>"My problem is a more personal one. I've had the franchise agreement in my hands for several weeks now, but I can't seem to bring myself to sign the bloody thing. It's not that I'm nervous about the franchise, but I'm questioning whether I have what it takes to succeed in running my own business. How can I get over this and move forward with my life?"<p>Updated: Tue Sep 25, 2018</p> 4b0154ed924b4b6b113793ed9c13dc24 Moving a Company When You Can't Stay Put for 09/18/2018 Tue, 18 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"I'm an Army wife looking to start up a home-based graphics and web design business. I know I need to set things up legally &#8212; and desperately want to, but my problem is our upcoming out of state move. My husband's been given orders to become a recruiter which means he'll be shipped off to Recruiter School soon and upon graduation in the middle of next year we'll be moving to a new location. We won't learn where we're moving until early February. As my husband has at least another eight years in the Army, this kind of thing is bound to happen at least three more times. How do I even begin to set up a business? Do I work as a sole proprietor until we're relocated? Or do I set up something more structured now?"</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Until your situation changes and you get more settled, you are probably better off operating as a sole proprietor, as you will be able to move that from one location to another a lot easier than you could a corporation or limited liability company.</span> <p>Updated: Tue Sep 18, 2018</p> 75f4bcae1cbd5015ac0501bac3641b37 The Right Way to Exit a Franchise for 09/11/2018 Tue, 11 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>A lot of corporate executives who have been downsized, especially those in their 40s and 50s, are looking to buy franchises. Their thinking seems to go something like this:</p> <p>&#8212;"My 401(k) has lost a ton of value, and there aren't any safe investments out there right now, so why not use at least some of what's left in my 401(k) to provide an income stream and a future for myself?"<p>Updated: Tue Sep 11, 2018</p> cece97f46f9f1e2980db312c099d3a47 Tips on Selling a Franchised Business: Part 2 of 2 for 09/04/2018 Tue, 04 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Now that you have the information you need from your attorney in order to sell your franchise territory to a neighboring franchisee, here are some of the questions you will need to ask your accountant:</p> <p>1) How should the purchase price be allocated for tax purposes? When you buy a business of any kind (franchised or otherwise), you are acquiring a lot of different assets &#8212; equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, motor vehicles (maybe), intellectual property like patents or copyrights, and goodwill. Under IRS rules, these all depreciate at different rates, and both you and your buyer have to tell the IRS (using IRS Form 8594, available at how much of the purchase price was used to purchase each type of asset. This is called "allocating the purchase price for tax purposes," and it is best done by having your accountant speak directly to your buyer's accountant and agree on how best to allocate the purchase price. Make sure you do this before you sell the business, as people tend to forget about it afterward. As long as you and your buyer tell the IRS the same story about how the purchase price will be allocated, life will be beautiful. But if you and your seller tell the IRS different stories, then both of you will be audited. Not a good thing.<p>Updated: Tue Sep 04, 2018</p>