funding
506 (c) and crowdfunding

506(c) Offerings and Crowdfunding: What’s the Difference?

by Andrea Uptmor

In the last two years, regulations set by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) have undergone several changes. These changes were the result of the 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act. The JOBS Act, as it is more commonly known, was intended, in part, “to reduce barrier to capital formation, particularly for smaller companies.” In... Read more »

planning
Call to action

5 Ways You Can Use CTAs to Convert Customers

by Cidnee Stephen

Nothing breaks my heart more than visiting a website that is well laid out and has great content, but has missed the mark in converting visitors into customers through an effective call to action (aka a “CTA”) system. This is like investing all your money in a beautiful store front, but keeping the doors locked... Read more »

planning
5 factors to consider about office space

5 Things to Consider When Choosing Office Space

by Sam Barnes

If you’re in the market for an office space, what you choose is incredibly important to your business. Not only does it affect your day to day operations and your staff morale, but also your brand image. There are so many things that can impact which office you choose; however, there are five factors that are... Read more »

planning
cash flow explained

The Complete Guide to Understanding Cash Flow

by Candice Landau

While it is perfectly possible to be profitable on paper, there’s a big difference between money you’re owed and cash on hand. That's where cash flow comes in. Cash Flow is simply the money that flows in and out of your business, and is arguably the most important aspect of your business. Read more »

planning
6smbmistakes

6 Accounting Mistakes That Put Small Businesses at Risk

by Renuka Rana

Accounting is a significant part of any business endeavor and is not as easy as adding and subtracting. Small businesses often think of handling their own accounting to save money—but this may not be the best idea. Accounting errors can cost a company to a great extent. You don’t want to mess up your numbers, as... Read more »

planning
4 ways to secure funding for your startup

How to Secure Funding for Your Startup (with INFOGRAPHIC)

by Candice Landau

Why do so many businesses fail? According to a recent Forbes article, at the surface level, they simply run out of cash. It’s easy to get things wrong when you’re starting out and the article points out that 8 out of every 10 businesses fail within the first 18 months. Read more »

planning

Is Your Startup Tracking the Right Metrics?

by Sabrina Parsons

One of the most important things a startup can do is make sure that they are keeping track of their data. In this webinar, we take time to discuss the different metrics that startups—and established businesses—should be tracking. Tracking metrics and making sure you know what’s going on with your business is crucial; it enables... Read more »

starting
What is a benefit corporation?

What Is a Benefit Corporation?

by Angelique O'Rourke

I recently wrote a post on social enterprise, discussing what it entails, and what some of the legal structure options are for a business when the focus is on a social mission. The benefit corporation option is one such legal structure. It’s a fairly new structure, with the first one of its kind coming into existence... Read more »

planning
shutterstock_161751803

When Is the Right Time to Pay Yourself a Salary?

by Kristen Gramigna

You may be the last on your list of creditors when you’re just starting a business, but at some stage, you’ve got to start earning yourself. Here are seven things to consider in order to determine if now is the right time to pay yourself a salary. 1. You’ve been better than “break even” for one year... Read more »

funding
How to impress angels

How to Impress Angel Investors and Make It into “Startup Heaven”

by Caroline Cummings

Ever wanted to ask an angel for advice? Now you can. Apart from a collection of tips direct from angel investors themselves, we're opening up our comment stream within this post. Got a question for one of the angels listed? Share it and they'll reply. Don't forget to use the hashtag #AngelTip on Twitter! Read more »

starting
startup

What’s the Difference Between a Small Business Venture and a Startup?

by Candice Landau

When I hear the word “startup,” my mind immediately begins playing a reel of a bunch of twenty-something year old web developers, huddled together in a retro office somewhere in the SF Bay Area. Drinking beer at midday, laughing about the epic, cool culture they’ve got going, and chatting about the fact that they spent... Read more »

planning
pitching business ideas in social situations

Do You Know How to Pitch Your Startup in Social Situations?

by Katherine Halek

You’ve struck stones together and you’ve finally seen a spark. You’ve worked hard to develop your ideas and build something worthy of faith and investment. But finding natural ways to pitch your startup may still seem like the most daunting task you’ve faced yet. Your elevator pitch, for all that it can be perfected,  can come... Read more »

managing
time to hire an employee

Is It Time to Hire an Employee?

by Lisa Furgison

If you own your own business and find that you simply don’t have enough time on your hands to be able to do all the things you need to do, you may be asking yourself should you hire an employee?  If you’ve already got employees, your question will be similar, when is the right time... Read more »

managing
motorcycling life and business lessons

What Motorcycling Can Teach You About Making Decisions

by Teri Epperly

It’s been a long time now, but in my other life (when I was living in Hawaii and before I worked for Palo Alto Software), I was a motorcycle safety instructor. I trained over 1,000 people through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course. The course taught not only the mechanics of how to ride,... Read more »

managing
Robin Williams died on Monday August 11, 2014.

[Slideshare] What Robin Williams Taught Us About Life

by Jonathan Michael

As we mourn the death of Robin Williams, I wanted to take a look back to remember the life lessons we’ve learned from some of his most notable performances on film. Featuring images and quotes from Hook, Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Morning, Vietnam, Jumanji, Aladdin, Patch Adams, Good Will Hunting, Bicentennial Man, and... Read more »

planning
what is an income statement

What Is an Income Statement?

by Angelique O'Rourke

Learn what an income statement is including a line by line explanation of it's components, and view income statement examples. Read more »

funding
3791487536_071b8229e8_b

Got ‘Founder Fit’? If You Want Venture Capital, You Need It

by Candice Landau

A few weeks ago I spoke with Boris Wertz, founder of JustBooks, COO of AbeBooks and founding-partner of Version One Ventures. In as much as a scheduled interview with an angel investor can be, talking with Boris about what it takes to spark the interest of a venture capital firm was a coincidence. I’d reached out... Read more »

managing
positive workplace environment

Creating a Positive Work Environment

by Scott Huntington

When it comes to managing your employees, one of the most important things you can do for them involves setting the right tone at work.  We’ve all heard some of the horror stories about terrible jobs or bad managers, and the one thing each of these stories has in common was the negative workplace environment.... Read more »

managing
manufacturing

How to Find an Overseas Manufacturer: A Primer on Global Sourcing

by Laurel Delaney

You have a great new product that you want to take global. Now, you need to find someone to manufacture that product. Do you know where to find a manufacturer overseas? I do. Contract manufacturing is when a company arranges to have a local or overseas manufacturer make all or part of the product. Typically,... Read more »

starting
What Is the Right Age to Start a Business

[Slideshare] What is the Right Age to Start a Business?

by Jonathan Michael

It seems like today’s hottest startups and small businesses are being led by 20-something wunderkinds. So, if you’re over 30, does it mean that it’s too late to start your own business? We asked our Bplans.com executive team, as well as friends on LinkedIn, and they had some interesting answers. “What is the right age... Read more »