Category: Small Business

Starting 2018 Off Right

December 18th, 2017 by

As 2017 comes to an end and 2018 is imminent, here are a few ideas for getting a great start to the new year.

Starting 2018 Right Infographic

 

To recap:

  • Examine the trends.
  • Take stock of competitors.
  • Eliminate things that are not working.
  • Update your website, social media, marketing, and sales strategies.
  • Set goals for 2018.

And remember, we’re here to help you and your business succeed. We have more resources on our Small Business Page.

 

Small Biz Talks – Advice for Building and Running Your Small Business

December 4th, 2017 by

Our Small Biz Talks series offers advice and knowledge for your small business.
The whole video series can be accessed on our small business web page. This infographic gives a quick look at some specific episodes.

Building Your Small Business Infographic

End of Year Checklist for Your Small Business

November 20th, 2017 by

The end of the year is a good time to take stock of your business – review your accomplishments from this year and plan for next year.

In this infographic, we’ll give you some ideas on getting started and what you might want to include in your checklist. Take a look, and build on this list to close out your business year on a positive note and get prepared for a successful 2018!

Small Business End of Year Chceklist

7 Steps to Creating a Business Plan

October 23rd, 2017 by

To give your business the best possible chance of success, you need a business plan. Whether you’ve been in business for a while or you are in the planning stages for your new business, a business plan is key.

A good business plan lets you measure your achievements, attract investors, secure financing, and serves as a roadmap for your business success.

There are many templates available to help you, but generally, you want to answer what, why, who, how, and when. To help you think about creating this very important document, check out the points in this infographic. In addition, we’ve listed a number of online resources you may find helpful.

7 steps to writing a business plan

 

Resources:
• SBA’s online course learning – How to Write a Business Plan
https://www.sba.gov/tools/learning-center-view-course/363951
• HubSpot provides a step-by-step example
https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-write-a-business-plan
• SCORE mentors offer multiple business plan resources
https://www.score.org/business-plan-resources
• SCORE mentors recorded webinar on the elements of a nimble business plan
https://www.score.org/event/elements-nimble-business-plan

Financial Planning for Your Business

October 2nd, 2017 by

5 C's of Credit
October is Financial Planning Month, and financial planning is as important for your business as it is for your personal finances.

Are you thinking about starting a business or are you already a business owner? You will probably need money for your business at some time. So, what do you need to do to prepare for a meeting with a lender to talk about a business loan?

A business plan that answers the important questions – what, why, who, how, when – is important to present to a lender. Showing your knowledge and ability to run the business, and being able to demonstrate how the business will make enough money to pay back the loan is key.

Thinking about the 5 C’s of Credit will also help you prepare for a conversation with a lender. These 5 C’s delineate the information a lender is looking for in a business to determine the creditworthiness.

For more information and resources for your business, visit our Small Business page.

How to Boost Your Small Business Credit Score

June 27th, 2017 by

Are you a small-business owner who’s not getting the love you need from lenders? Are suppliers insisting on terms you find downright unfriendly?

The common denominator may be a poor business credit score. Here are some steps you can take to fix it.

What goes into your business credit score?

Just like a personal credit score, a business credit score measures the level of risk you pose for a lender. Unlike personal credit scores, most of which adhere to the FICO model, business credit scores don’t follow an industry standard.

The three major bureaus — Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax and Experian — use different methods to compile and monitor business credit (more…)

Bank Accounts to Open for Your Small Business

May 15th, 2017 by

One of the most important decisions you’ll make when starting a business is choosing the right bank accounts. As an entrepreneur, you’ll want to make sure you don’t mix your personal finances with your business money: If your cash isn’t kept separate, it could be hard to meet IRS record keeping requirements, and that could lead to tax penalties. Opening new accounts in your company’s name is typically a better practice.

Having separate bank accounts could also help limit your personal liability. Say someone were to sue your company; your business assets might be at risk, but your personal assets would likely be protected from legal action.

Here’s a look at three common types of accounts to consider for your company. (more…)

Obstacles Facing Women Business Owners — and How to Overcome Them

May 8th, 2017 by

The number of women-owned businesses has risen dramatically in recent years, a healthy sign for those who value greater diversity in the nation’s economy.

Between 2002 and 2012, the number of women-owned firms increased at a rate 2½ times the national average (52% vs. 20%) and employment at women-owned firms grew at a rate 4½ times that of all firms (18% vs. 4%). In 2015, for the first time, the government met its goal of awarding 5% of federal contracts to women-owned small businesses.

But such gains must be put in perspective. For example:

  • Women-owned firms make up about one-third of all businesses in the U.S., but they receive less than 5% of all available loan dollars, according to a 2014 report by members of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
  • Women-owned businesses are smaller than average, employing only 7% of the private-sector workforce. More than 9 out of 10 women-owned firms have no employees other than the owner.

(more…)

How to Boost Your Small Business Credit Score

May 1st, 2017 by

Are you a small-business owner who’s not getting the love you need from lenders? Are suppliers insisting on terms you find downright unfriendly?

The common denominator may be a poor business credit score. Here are some steps you can take to fix it.

What goes into your business credit score?

Just like a personal credit score, a business credit score measures the level of risk you pose for a lender. Unlike personal credit scores, (more…)

SBA Loans – What You Might Not Know

April 10th, 2017 by

The Small Business Administration is a great resource for those who are starting or growing a small business. SBA loans offer an alternative to traditional lending, which can be difficult for small businesses. As an SBA-preferred lender, Howard Bank’s expertise can make the process much more streamlined. Here are some things you might not know about an SBA loan.

 

SBA Loans

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