Could a long-term deal ease your succession planning woes?

| Business Briefs, Business Miscellaneous

Some business owners — particularly those who founded their companies — may find it hard to give up control to a successor. Maybe you just can’t identify the right person internally to fill your shoes. While retirement isn’t in your immediate future, you know you must eventually step down. One potential solution is to find an outside buyer for your company and undertake a long-term deal to gradually cede control to them. Going this route can enable a transition to proceed at a more manageable Read more [...]

Bookings vs. shippings: A sales flash report primer

| Business Briefs

Do bad sales months often take you by surprise? If so, don’t forget the power of flash reports — that is, snapshots of critical data for quick, timely viewing every day or week. One specific way to use them is to track bookings vs. shippings. Doing so can help you determine what percentage of volume for certain months should be booked by specific dates. These reports are particularly useful if more than 30 days elapse between these activities. Get super specific Here’s how your flash Read more [...]

Manage health benefits costs with a multipronged approach

| Business Briefs

Many companies offer health care benefits to help ensure employee wellness and compete for better job candidates. And the Affordable Care Act has been using both carrots and sticks (depending on employer size) to encourage businesses to offer health coverage.   If you sponsor a health care plan, you know this is no small investment. It may seem next to impossible to control rising plan costs, which are subject to a variety of factors beyond your control. But the truth is, all business owners can Read more [...]

Business interruption insurance can help some companies

| Business Briefs

Natural disasters and other calamities can affect any company at any time. Depending on the type of business and its financial stability, a few weeks or months of lost income can leave it struggling to turn a profit indefinitely — or force ownership to sell or close. One way to guard against this predicament is through the purchase of business interruption insurance. The difference You might say, “But wait! We already have commercial property insurance. Doesn’t that typically pay the Read more [...]

7 steps to choosing a successor for your family business

| Business Briefs, Business Miscellaneous

There’s an old saying regarding family-owned businesses: “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.” It means the first-generation owner started in shirtsleeves and built the company up from nothing but, by the third generation, the would-be owner is back in shirtsleeves with nothing because the business failed or was sold. Although you can’t guarantee your company will buck this trend, you can take extra care when choosing a successor to give your family business a fighting chance. Read more [...]

2017 Tax Reform Last Minute Strategies

| 2017 Tax Reform Updates, Business Briefs, Tax Briefs

Congress has enacted the biggest tax reform law in thirty years, one that will make fundamental changes in the way you, your family and your business calculate your federal income tax bill, and the amount of federal tax you will pay. Since most of the changes will go into effect next year, there's still a narrow window of time before year-end to soften or avoid the impact of crackdowns and to best position yourself for the tax breaks that may be heading your way. Here's a quick rundown of last-minute Read more [...]

Could an FSA offer the benefits flexibility you need?

| Business Briefs

Business owners have to make tough choices when it comes to providing benefits to their employees. Many companies, especially newer or smaller ones, may understandably prioritize flexibility. No one wants to get locked into a benefits offering that’s cumbersome to administer and expensive to maintain. Well, there’s one possibility that has the word “flexible” built right into its name: the health care Flexible Spending Account (FSA). And these arrangements certainly offer that. No HDHP Read more [...]

Valuation often affects succession plans in hard-to-see ways

| Business Briefs, Business Miscellaneous

Any business owner developing a succession plan should rightfully assume that regular business valuations are a must. When envisioning the valuation process, you’re likely to focus on its end result: a reasonable, defensible value estimate of your business as of a certain date. But lurking beneath this number is a variety of often hard-to-see issues.   Estate tax liability   One sometimes blurry issue is the valuation implications of whether you intend to transfer the business to the next Read more [...]

4 ways to get (and keep) your business data in order

| Business Briefs

With so much data flying around these days, it’s easy for a company of any size to get overwhelmed. If something important falls through the cracks, say a contract renewal or outstanding bill, your financial standing and reputation could suffer. Here are four ways to get — and keep — your business data in order: Simplify, simplify, simplify. Look at your data in broad categories and see whether and how you can simplify things. Sometimes refiling documents under basic designations such Read more [...]

Critical connection: How costs impact pricing

| Business Briefs

As we head toward year-end, your company may be reviewing its business strategy for 2017 or devising plans for 2018. As you do so, be sure to give some attention to the prices you’re asking for your existing products and services, as well as those you plan to launch in the near future. The cost of production is a logical starting point. After all, if your prices don’t exceed costs over the long run, your business will fail. This critical connection demands regular re-evaluation. Reconsider Read more [...]