Whether you’re bootstrapping your business, launching through joining an incubator, or you intend to seek help from a VC or angel investor, it’s not an easy task to raise money for a startup in any industry.
So you are on your way to becoming a startup success story. You have passed the seed stage and are gaining traction. Maybe your company only has a handful of employees, but is already a lucrative lifestyle business or maybe your baby has parlayed its Series A funding into rapidly scaling revenues.
Either way, you’ve gone from living blissfully on a shoestring budget to a harboring a growing sense of resentment toward the tax man. Watching nearly half of every hard-earned dollar that appears as gross wages on your W-2 get siphoned off (FICA-Med, state & federal income tax, property tax, sales tax, etc.) can do that to you.
Whether you’re evaluating a business partner or hunting for a new job, you have a basic choice to make first: Do you want to work with an emerging or an established company?
Depending on your perspective, the startup world may seem vibrant, creative, and teeming with opportunity… or volatile, superficial, and rife with mismanagement. As a matter of fact, the same characteristics that look like benefits to one person may look like drawbacks to another.
If you’re a business owner, chances are that you’ve negotiated at least a hundred times today.
And I’m not just referring to the decisions that affect your company. If you opted for oatmeal rather than a donut this morning, let another driver merge into traffic, or deleted old photos to free up space on your phone, you’ve negotiated—with yourself, others, or external circumstances. It’s something we understand on an instinctual level.
Most of the articles I read about hiring start by saying something along the lines of “hiring is the most important part of building a strong business,” but I disagree.
Yes, hiring is an extremely important part of any business, for obvious reasons: you need to have good individuals in place to execute what an organization is trying to achieve and solve for roadblocks that are in its way. But the most important piece of that puzzle is the outcome or solution. Put another way, hiring is extremely important solely because it can directly affect whether or not a business achieves its greater mission.
A business credit card or charge card (if used wisely) can be a huge help for businesses that need help bridging cash flow from month to month. Whether or not you actively use it to finance your business, it is probably smart to have one on hand in case of emergency.
For those of us who grew up believing there to be nine planets, 2006 was a fateful year. It was the year the International Astronomical Union officially demoted Pluto, reclassifying it as a “dwarf planet” and abruptly altering a fundamental fact of our solar system. In retrospect, we should have known Pluto’s demise was signaling a cavalcade of explosive changes to come. The last ten years saw the financial crisis as well as the swift proliferation and adoption of mobile technology, not to mention myriad social, cultural, environmental, and political developments brought on by an increasingly interconnected global social society.
Doing business is no exception. Whether you were chugging along in your career, already running your own company, or—like our founder, Jessica Mah—were only just heading to college, it’s likely that your professional life today hardly resembles what it was back then. Consider the tools and services you take for granted on a daily basis: in 2006, almost no one used LinkedIn or Twitter, Facebook advertising didn’t exist, every desk had a landline, and cloud computing was still years away.
And that’s not all that’s changed since then.
If bookkeeping is your least favorite part about running your business, you’re not alone. In a survey released by TD Bank, over half of the hundreds of entrepreneurs polled admitted that of all their daily tasks, keeping track of finances was the one they dreaded the most.
In the world of business taxes, there are three pricey tax penalties businesses can avoid, and—as is true with so many of your tax responsibilities—they all come down to one thing: paying your taxes on time.