Financing Your Business

Getting a commercial loan from your bank may be the best option.  The interest rates would be lower than a credit card, and it is not as hard to obtain a business loan as you think.  In fact, an entrepreneur in good standing can get access to up to $15,000, starting on day one of the business.  Check with your bank and also shop around for a loan/line of credit for your business.  It takes money to make money, and it may pay off in the long run tax-wise to carry a little debt as your business grows.

Personal Financial Advice Blog: Queercents

Keeping Nickels is more of a small/microbusiness blog but we find useful information on many personal finance websites and blogs. Queercents has a wealth of information about taxes which range from preparing taxes yourself or hiring a tax professional. Check out the posts under the taxes category.

Remember this year the tax deadline is April 17. Yay for two extra days!

Taxes: Not Just An Annual Event

Here’s an article that drives home the point about how important it is for small business owners to know their financial position at any given time and not just during tax season.

If you have not kept up with recording your expenses for 2006, then the task of dealing with a disorganized set of books is a big chore. Get organized now to make 2007 better.

Bank reconcilations should be done monthly, and you need to know where your cash flow stands.

Get Linked!

Connecting to people professionally online and offline is very important for small business owners.  I joined LinkedIn over a year ago without really knowing what to do with it.  Then I realized that I can use my existing network to make a formal online connection. This is great for giving and receiving recommendations.

Recently, I got a new client who found me through my LinkedIn profile, so it is worth to take the time to build your brand online! You can read my profile by clicking the link on my sidebar.

Here’s a bit from Bright Surfer who also raves about LinkedIn and other social networking sites.

The best place on the web for professional networking is LinkedIn. Their site is very well designed to appear mature and businesslike. The major functions of the site work very well for people connecting with their professional networks, and the site has a very good reputation among professionals (who generally find MySpace and communities like it a bit juvenile for their tastes). Here, you can connect with all of your professional friends and family, and it is highly recommended that you use this site to connect to your clients, vendors, and major customers as well. You cannot go wrong with offering a connection, and you can benefit tremendously from using LinkedIn to keep track of people, their skills, their professional experience, and their business preferences.


Those Pesky Sales Taxes

Sales Tax rules can be complicated because it depends on where you are and who you ship to. It also depends if you have a physical presence (store) in a state that charges sale tax as well. If an online retailer has a physical presence in a particular state, such as business offices or a warehouse, it must collect sales tax from customers in that state. If a business does not have a physical presence in a state, it is not required to collect sales tax for sales from customers in that state. For New York State requirements, check out this free, downloadable guide (.pdf file) published by the New York State Tax Department.

Publication 850 (2/07), New York State and Local Sales and Use Tax
Quick Reference Guide.

Thanks to Nance for the information.

Intoducing Bright Surfer

originally uploaded by azlijamil.

My good buddy Brian has started Bright Surfer. Bright Surfer is a blog that gives small businesses advice on how to employ to make their businesses run better.

Check out an excerpt of this post which is essential reading before making any technology purchases.

Focus on your running your business and not on running a well-funded digital toy collection. The complexity of IT can become a distraction, as well as the excitement of running all the latest, cutting-edge applications. Budget your time as you would budget your spending.

I support this message. Rock On!