Featured post

what’s In A Name – Just Your Business Survival!

Business SurvivalWhat’s so important about how I sign my name?”

I get asked that question all of the time from my business consulting clients.

I tell them that a better question to ask me is this:

“Who cares about how I sign my name?”

The answer is a simple one.

NOBODY.

FINE PRINT: Except… your customers and clients, your creditors, your bank, your mortgage company, your landlord, the I.R.S… oh yes… and anyone else that wants to SUE YOU (and don’t forget ALL their lawyers!).

As in many areas of the law, the exception to the rule swallows up the rule!

What do I mean by this?

Well, let’s start with some basics. For instance, if you’ve already formed a corporation or limited liability company (LLC), you may think that you’re already protected from personal liability in the event of a lawsuit against your business.

In general, the rule is that a corporation or LLC, if formed correctly, and if all of the formalities required under the law of the State where the entity was formed are followed, does protect you from personal liability for business debts and lawsuits.

FINE PRINT: Except… when you choose to do business as an individual, and not as the corporation or LLC that you initially formed.

You see, whenever you sign documents like contracts, purchase orders, contractual agreements, leases, loans, mortgages, promissory notes, and most other legal documents involving your business, you need to make sure that you sign your name only in your business capacity.

You MUST avoid signing your name in your individual capacity.

And how do you do that? It’s pretty simple. You see, the format that you use to sign your name is the controlling factor.

In many cases, you as the business owner, sign your name without knowing how to properly sign your name to business documents. In fact, most business owners of corporations and LLC’s still sign legally binding agreements in their individual capacity…and not as the business.

SIGN AS AN AGENT OF YOUR BUSINESS

If you have formed a corporation or an LLC, you must remember to sign all contracts, agreements, invoices, etc… as an agent of the business.

For example… Many business owners haphazardly, or perhaps inadvertently, sign legal documents like the format shown in

EXAMPLE 1 below:

EXAMPLE 1

(signature)
————————
John Doe

“But what is the consequence of signing my name like in EXAMPLE 1 above to invoices, agreements, or documents?”

EXAMPLE 1 and the above signature format legally establishes that YOU have signed the contract, invoice, loan, or agreement as an individual.

And not as an agent on behalf of your business.

If you sign your name to agreements in the form depicted in EXAMPLE 1 above, YOU could very well be liable personally to meet all of the terms of the agreement.

And you likely don’t want to do this!

Why Simply out, because you’re therefore subjecting all of your business assets and personal assets as well to the risk of a lawsuit.

If you sign agreements as depicted in EXAMPLE 1 above, YOU will very likely be named personally, as well as your business, in any lawsuit filed against the business.

Remember then:

Signing your name like in EXAMPLE 1 above DOES NOT establish that you have signed the agreement as an agent on behalf of your business.

“Okay. So how should I sign my name to my invoices, contracts, leases, loans, or any other business agreements?

What simple step can I take to protect my business, and my personal assets as well?

SIGN DOCUMENTS ONLY AS AN AGENT OF YOUR BUSINESS

Make sure that you only sign legal documents, letters, memos, invoices, loans, leases, etc… as an agent of your business.

How must I sign my name to any legal document or agreement to show that I am signing only as an agent of my business?

Follow EXAMPLE 2 below:

EXAMPLE 2

ABC CORPORATION, INC.

(signature)
———————————–
BY: John Doe
President (Company Title)

If you sign your name on the dotted line following the exact format depicted in Example 2 above, you legally establish that you are only signing as an agent on behalf of the business…and not in your individual capacity.

But you MUST follow the Example 2 precisely.

CAVEAT: Another very important point on this topic.

AVOID SIGNING documents that state “PERSONAL GUARANTY” on them.

A Personal Guaranty is usually a separate legal document attached to the main agreement. You generally see a Personal Guaranty in a loan, mortgage, or lease. However, sometimes a Personal Guaranty can be established just by the way you sign the legal document, invoice, lease, or agreement.

How?

Simple. If the agreement merely has a signature line that has your individual name on it without any reference to your business name, you are signing the document as a Personal Guaranty. You are therefore personally liable for that agreement if you sign the agreement with such a signature line.

But, what do I do if I am being required to sign a Personal Guaranty, like for a business loan or commercial lease for example?

If a Personal Guaranty is required, you or your lawyer should negotiate a limited period of time (the shortest possible) that the Personal Guaranty will bind you as an individual.

Remember, if you formed a corporation or LLC in the first place, you did it to avoid personal liability and to protect your personal assets. Anyone who does business with your company should, and usually does, know this. So, be careful. Other possibilities can be negotiated too. Just do your best not to sign in your personal capacity by signing a Personal Guaranty.

It’s important to remember to only sign legal documents, invoices, and even letters as an agent of your business. (Follow the format found in EXAMPLE 2 above).

How else can I make sure that I am signing my name properly to all of my business documents?

Call your attorney to review all of your agreements, invoices, leases, and legal documents BEFORE you sign them. Your attorney will offer sound advice that protects YOU, your loved ones, and your business.

Now, let’s review.

What’s in a name?

Well… besides your business…

…it could be all of YOUR personal and family assets!

The best advicve especially in the midst of tough economic times or a Recession, is to have any document you sign first reviewed by your lawyer or business consultant.

Copyright (c) 2008. Miguel Mendez, Jr. All rights reserved.

Featured post

Good Business Habits

Business HabitsLet me tell you straight, you cannot be a successful business person if you don’t have good business habits. Below I have listed a few habits that you should be doing if you wanted to be a successful business person!

1.) Are you committed to every business you have?

Opening a business is easy but maintaining its operation will take a lot of you time. Will you be available in creating marketing plans and promotional materials? Business without marketing plans is suicide. Once you start a business, put every attention to it. Don’t let your employees manage it. Take note of this, you are the only person who has vision for its success so its only you who can make it
grow.

2.) Are you continuously searching for opportunities?

Business people don’t just stick on 1 or 2 business. A business person always searches for more business opportunities. They are not mediocre. They don’t want stable business but rather a growing one. Always search for new ideas to pursue.. A business person has a vision for numerous income streams for profits!

3.) Do you think positive about you business?

A business person don’t pursue a business to which he/she doesn’t feel positive about. Once you start a business, don’t fill your mind with any negative thoughts. Problems may come your way but it will always have a solution. Business people don’t think of failures, always success behind every problem.

4.) Do you share the business vision?

You can’t survive on your own. You may be skillful at some point but it can’t make you very successful. A business person shares a business vision, to someone else, to a possible business partner. If a single business person can earn $1000 a month, then 2 person can earn $2000 a month. Simple logic but its reality. You can earn more as long as you share same vision with someone else.

5.) Do you delegate tasks?

Normally, every business person only thinks of opportunities and its corresponding marketing campaigns. It will not be healthy if the business person will also do the action of implementation. He will be dead meat if he/she will put every burden unto their shoulders. In fact, employees purpose is to put every plan into action, right?

6.) Do you create a good public image?

People are very sympathetic. They support the business whom they like the owner. Whether you like it or not,if people like your attitude and way of doing business, they will support you. But if you look like a bad boy or a person who looks down and criticizes people, believe me, you will loose every customer you’ve got!

Start creating a good public image. Help support the community where you belong. Extend some help to those in need. Don’t act as if what’s the only thing important to you is your profits and earnings. Make the public see that you care.

Featured post

Ways To Finance Your Vending Machine Business

Business MachineWhen starting a business, theres that one big wall that block your way, and thats your startup money. Without money to fund your business, there will be no business at all. So how and where can you get money? Read on to get some ideas on where you can find funding sources for your vending business:

Home Equity Loan
Most people immediately think of getting a standard business loan when thinking of financing a home business or business startup. While this may be appropriate, do not fail to consider using your home as a bank.

Small Business Administration Loan
Banks administer this loan and are more favorable to this type than a standard bank loan because they are only liable for 15% of what they loan (the government carries the other 85%). There are a number of types of documentation required with this loan, but it is certainly worth the trouble if you are willing to follow the process.

Standard Bank Financing
This financial source is probably the most difficult, yet not impossible with good credit and some net worth. Banks typically do not look favorably at vending machine loans and consider them risky because they are not considered a fixed asset.

Invest Your Tax Return Money
For a lot of people, April 15th is bonus time every year as they receive tax returns with earned income credit and deductions for kids. You can use this to slowly build your vending business. Its a great, safer way to build your business.

Family Loan
In some cases, a family member may be favorable to loaning you the money for starting your home-based business. While there may be relationship risks to this setup, it needs to be considered as an alternative to standard business financing. Some family members would rather invest in your business vision and draw a little interest rather than lending it to a bank at 2-3%.

Sell Items You Dont Need
If you badly need to create an income steam, opt for this least popular fund source. How about downsizing your car and investing the money in machines? Why not have a huge yard sale to raise $500-$1000? Why dont you downsize your home and invest your profits in the business? All of us have some money around us in our life that we could put to work.

Lease Purchasing
An option to getting into the vending business is to make an offer to buy an established vending route by lease-purchasing. You agree to lease the route from the seller with an option to buy at the end of the lease period. You invest your profits from the lease period into the purchase of the business or you can continue leasing for the cash flow you are receiving. Remember to get legal help in setting up any contractual agreement like this.

Owner Financing
Not that always easy to find but dont let it stop your from asking the seller of a vending route for it, especially if you have some money to put down.

Featured post

Powerful Methods To Stay Successful In Business

Successful BusinessIn business, achieving success is merely half the battle won. The other half? As many veteran businessmen would agree, sustaining success  staying on top of your game and on top of THE game  is the more difficult part of owning and operating a commercial enterprise.

Case in point: flash-in-the-pan businesses are a dime a dozen these days. Overnight successes are stories that are quite commonplace. But businesses that last for years, if not decades? Alas, theyre rarities in this day and age!

The goal isnt merely to succeed in business. The goal should be to remain successful in business.
Here are 5 powerful principles to live by if you want to achieve such a goal:

1. Believe in your business. Your business is bound to encounter many challenges and many tribulations along the way. Some of these trials would be grave enough to make you consider quitting. But should you? Remember: if you dont believe in your business, if you dont believe that it can succeed, then why should your prospective customers believe that your business is the right choice for them? Your faith in your business will go a long, long way in pushing it to reach its fullest potentials.

2.Find satisfaction in what youre doing. If you do not find contentment in what youre doing, then its just a matter of time before you give up on your business. Fulfillment can be attained in so many ways. If you cannot find that sense of fulfillment from your business, its either because: a) youre not looking hard enough; or b) youre looking at the wrong place. The smallest victory can be a cause for celebration. And the tiniest of triumphs can even provide the biggest kind of satisfaction.

3.Make your customers satisfaction your primary goal. Profit is good, but it shouldnt be the driving force of your business if you want your success to last. The happiness of your customers should be your paramount concern. Remembers, happy customers are customers for life.

4.Strive to improve your craft and your trade. Never rest on your laurels. Always try to be the best you can ever be when it comes to the things you do for a living.

5.Have fun! They say that the best kind of moneymaking opportunity is one that you enjoy doing. If you will find such a business, then youve hit the jackpot. Now, no one said that this jackpot cant be created. You can find enjoyment in what youre doing. Even if the business wasnt born from a hobby you once nurtured, you can still find ways by which you can make it very exciting and very enticing for you. Your enthusiasm for your business will eventually show in the products you will deliver.

Featured post

Different Strategic Levels In A Business Organization

Business OrganizationA business strategy defines the direction in which a business will take in the future. The business organization tries to achieve an advantage over the competition by the configuration of its resources within a confronting setting so that the needs of the market are met and the expectations of its stockholders are fulfilled. This is the overall definition of a business strategy. This focuses a business organization on which market it should engage in and the activities that are needed to compete in that particular market for the business to grow.

In making a business strategy, the planners need to determine how the organization can outperform its competition in a particular market niche. These are the advantages of the company which it needs to utilize, in order to gain the upper hand. In this connection, the right resources that the company can utilize should be gained, in order to maintain its competitive advantage. These resources will include the skills, various company assets, relationships, facilities and technical competence. As an organization plan how to manage its resources, it should also take into consideration the environment in which it is to operate. These are the external factors which can have an effect on the ability of a business organization to compete. Furthermore, the hope and values of its stakeholders should also be taken into account on the overall business strategy.

Though there is an overall strategy which a business organization enforces, there are different levels in a business setting where particular strategies are implemented. First there is the so called corporate strategy. In this particular strategy level, the focus is on the overall purpose and coverage of the organization to meet the expectations of its stockholders. This is crucial to the company since it has a great influence on its investors and guides the strategic decision making all through the company. A corporate business strategy is posted for all to see in the mission statement of a company.

Next in importance to the corporate strategy would be the business unit strategy of a particular business organization. A business unit strategy is mainly concerned with how a business can compete in its chosen market niche. The decisions which are the focus of attention in a business unit level are about meeting the needs of its costumers, choice of products, gaining advantage on the competition and the creation and exploitation of new opportunities.

The next level of business strategy which a business organization focuses on is the operational strategy of the company. At this level, the focus is on how each segment of the business can be systematized so as to give the direction to the business unit strategy. The consideration is on processes, people, resources and other such concerns. Various business organizations have their own strategies which they see are most advantageous to the company. They each implement safeguards to guarantee that strategic goals and objectives are met and vigorously implemented and followed by each member of the team.

Business Brokerages How Do They Aid In Selling Your Business

Advertising a business for sale in sunshine coast by the proprietor or via a business broker in sunshine coast on a business broker journal network does offer several clear benefits for you, the seller. Let us discuss the benefits of every approach.

How are business brokerages able to aid me in selling my business?

In the event of you not being comfortable handling the job of doing the sale yourself, a business broker in brisbane possibly will be worth the sum you will shell out. The businesses for sale sunshine coast must be approached with a great deal more formality compared to the sale of house. Making use of a broker provides you with an expert who is able to aid you in preparing your business for sale, finding a buyer who would be paying top dollar, and negotiating the particulars.

1.) Bearing the load: selling of your business does require a great deal of attention and time, two things which you possibly will not be able to keep while carrying on with the everyday operational necessities of having to run your business. Passing the selling, bargaining and closing accountabilities to a business broker is going to let you concentrate on your business.

2.) Discretion: when registering a business for vending by owner, the landlord discloses that his enterprises for sale, consequently having an effect on the association with the community and likely employees, buyers, suppliers and added associates. A high-quality business broker is able to promote a corporation for sale in a manner that shields the identity of the owner and successfully screen prospective buyers to make certain that theyre competent and serious on purchasing.

3.) Close more rapidly: with the business broker working around the clock on the sale, possibilities are that the deal is going to be completed a great deal sooner and for a greater price. To locate a business broker in your neighborhood, click find a broker.

4.) Consumer interaction: in the event of business brokerages selling businesses, the owners caught up are very infrequently able to have a word with would-be purchasers. Being able to have a word directly with somebody will provide you with an idea of whether he really wants the business and the way in which he could run it and thus stay in contact with your broker on a regular basis for keep yourself informed on all prospect-associated conversations.

Regardless of you selling your business by yourself or using business brokerages, promoting on the business broker journal network is able to help you collect the biggest number of profitable offers inside the shortest possible time, guaranteeing a win-win circumstance for you as well as your buyer.

Why Salary Administration Software Is Important In Business

In any business whether big or small, one of the vital functions you have in business is managing the human resources. Among such issues, you would certainly combat the human resource functions in managing the salary or payroll. The payroll or salary departments can be called as the backbone of any business whether it is big or small. These departments are smart enough in carrying out the business operations smoothly. The traditional payroll systems, which is often manual is really time consuming and hectic job. Any business organization with limited people can manage a manual payroll procedures but it is very much time consuming jobs and frustrating to run the payroll shop with the mismatches puzzle of different spreadsheets, which simply gets complicated as you see your business growing.

The need of a software solution for salary administration

The process of salary management is generally an error prone activity. If business organizations have limited amount of employees, it could seem relatively simpler to calculate salaries, taxes, outstanding amounts, etc, but as you keep on adding employees in any smaller organization, you end up spending more time on the payroll thing. The errors are inevitable, which are found in the full and final settlement and thus boost up when employees join the company in the middle of any term as the procedure goes manual. Hence, at the end, the businesses would find that without having the best system, your business would not grow as much as fast as planned.

Salary administration software program a blessing in disguise

So, with a salary administration software solution, you can empower the HR dept of both smaller and bigger size businesses in terms of complete operational efficiency. It simply helps in calculating the salaries including the statutory computations such as ESE, PF, reimbursements as per the norms, managing the employees muster details and the communications in terms of leaves and loans, etc. The second benefit to implements these software program is that these make working out the tax obligations very much simpler. Calculating the income tax is the other routine and can be called as a pain-staking job, which has to go as per the government norms and regulations. Any good software program can really help you in automating this task with greater amount of accuracy and efficiency.

The software solutions for higher efficiency

For a small or big business enterprise, the investment in software program meant to automate processes is critical in respect to benefits and cost. This is the reason, why it is vital to choose the right solution, which is not only simple to use, custom made to certain specific business situations, robust and scalable with a number of tools for producing software programs but also meet the needs and requirements of your expanding business. Most importantly, it must be able to streamline the entire process of payroll by making it less time consuming and flawless.

How To Become A Quality Business Mentor

To become a business mentor is perhaps one of the most challenging and rewarding things which you are required to do with your time. Providing help to those people who are just taking plunge in the business and giving them your useful advice from your past experiences, developing a friendship and then becoming a confidante are some advantages which you can get from becoming a mentor.

Despite this notion, mentoring is inappropriate for all and sundry since certain criteria needs to be fulfilled for some people in order to get the most out of the experience while for others is to take advantage of your past experiences. Probably the most important quality and aspect required to become a successful business mentor is having the capability to listen to what others have to say and pay respect to what they are confessing.

You should be capable of having sympathy with the person when needed and be capable of relating to the problems and how they are feeling about them. Your practical advice and ideas is very important but you should bear in mind that you are there to give advice and that too with honesty. When you have listened and given good advice, then it is time for you to take a back seat and let the other take responsibility for their decisions and actions.

Remember that mentoring is highly rewarding with no any doubt and it can be so if you are the best friend for the owner of small business, who is just taking the initiation. Here, you will get the opportunity to give advice and grow with the company and person and mark the difference, which you are making both to the person and business.

A business mentor should remember that his or her role is to be there for the person in order to give advice, stimulate, support and help the business to flourish while proffering the person some challenges. The perfect business mentor is that person, who has started a small business successfully and had good success with it.

The important skills for becoming a business mentor are having empathy, availability and ability for others and intention to assist others in becoming successful.

So this was all about how to become a quality business mentor. If you are interested to become a business mentor, then you need to masters all those skills which are required. All such skills have been explained above. Make yourself familiar with those skills and become a successful business mentor.

Our Pr Audit Identifies The Right Strategies For Your Small Business

For small business public relations has a particularly obvious role. These are the very companies that are greatly dependent on generating awareness, credibility and trust if customers or investors are to be convinced to do business with them. Of course, such firms have many different marketing routes to choose from, so why should they contact a PR agency?

The truth is that PR is the most cost-effective of all of the marketing methods out there for smaller businesses, catering for almost every need. It’s easy to imagine that advertising, social media or content marketing will get your small firm the results that it deserves, but there’s one crucial difference between all of those and PR: the party that is doing the communicating.

While self-promotion has its undoubted value, it just doesn’t pack the authoritative power that coverage from a well-respected third party does. Whether such a party is a journalist or an influential PR industry figure, they will have credibility that they pass on with each message that they communicate. Such messages are very much word-of-mouth marketing, of the kind that has been so effective for generations at building credibility and trust for the subject.

Such public relations are even more effective for your small company, however, when they are performed in conjunction with the other marketing methods mentioned above. This is where our own free, no-obligation PR Audit comes in here at Vantage Public Relations. When you enquire about PR from Vantage PR, you benefit from all of the expertise accumulated during our more than 20 years’ experience in the field – manifesting in a programme that is powerful, cost-effective and perfectly tailored to your small firm.

The process that follows your request of a free PR audit from us is a very meticulous and considered one. For instance, we will take the time to review the current position of both your company and its competitors with regard to media coverage, company and brand awareness. We will then recommend the PR strategy that will be most impactful in helping you to reach your desired audiences.

Finally, a PR action plan will be developed based on a central strategy, embracing all of the essential elements for getting your small business noticed by the right people, in the right mediums and in the right way. Get in touch with the friendly and professional Vantage PR team today to receive your own free PR audit.

Business Slogans

Businesses want to be ranked #1 in the eyes of their customers; they want their businesses to be talked about. However, there are many businesses in the same industry, targeting similar markets, fighting for the same potential clients’ attention. The same is true for politicians: they compete with each other for the same voters.

If you want your customers to select you instead of somebody else, you need to be different. It is not enough just to be different, but also different in a way your customers will appreciate. For instance, if you are the only one in your industry packaging the items in a blue case … this will make you different; but maybe is something your clients don’t care much. On the other hand, if you are the only one in your industry offering free shipping, chances are that you will be at the top if the rest of your service also matches your clients’ expectations. You have to find what makes your business unique (usually called “unique selling proposition” in marketing terms) and tell everybody.

The question now is how to articulate your “unique selling proposition” in a way that your clients and potential clients will not only understand, but effortlessly remember. The solution is: use a slogan. A slogan is a short sentence that explains what makes you unique. Good slogans are easy to be remembered, they stick on people minds. A slogan makes it easier for your business to be remembered and talked about. It can help setting your business in a privileged position in a competitive industry.

Finding the right slogan is both a difficult and easy process. While it is difficult to come up with good slogans, it is easy to recognize good ones. You, as business owner, can easily recognize if a slogan is appropriate for your business. No one else knows more than you about your business. The question is who can come up with the slogans? You could involve your employees for instance. After all, they know the message that you want to transmit … In fact, they know it so well that they most probably suffer from the “Curse of Knowledge” syndrome. The curse of knowledge means that they know so much about your business’ unique selling proposition that for them, an also for you, it is difficult to realize what it feels like not to know it. Any slogan crafted under the curse of knowledge syndrome effect will not take into account that potential clients do not know yet about what makes you unique.

Therefore, the slogan development process must include outsiders. You need sloganeers that are not affected by the “curse of knowledge”. They can provide you with their slogan suggestions and you can recognize what works for your business. It works best when the process follows an iterative refinement: sloganeers suggest slogans first, then you tell them what works for your business and what does not and sloganeers provide suggestions again. This way, your preferences are taken into account in successive slogan suggestions. It is hard to tell how many slogans suggestions you will need. Usually, business owners get the right slogan after 20 – 30 slogan suggestions, but more may be needed.

You have done already the hard work of building your business and differentiate from your competitors. Now, all you need to do is to communicate in an effective way what is especial about you, what makes your business unique. Find some outsider sloganeers and get a slogan for your business; it is a small investment with a huge return.