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Small Businesses

SIMA Financial Group > Small Businesses (Page 22)

Keeping your family business in the family

A successful family business can provide long-term financial security for you as its owner, as well as for your loved ones. To improve the chances that your company will continue to benefit your heirs after you’re gone, take steps now to keep it in the family. Staying in-house Careful estate planning can ensure that a business continues to benefit family members and that ownership of the business isn’t diluted — at least until the business is ready to accept outside investors. For example, a well-designed buy-sell agreement can prevent owners from transferring their shares outside the family, while providing the liquidity they need...

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Roth 401(k) conversions may suit your millennial employees

Could your company’s benefits package use a bit of an upgrade? If so, one idea to consider is adding an option for employees to convert their regular 401(k)s to Roth 401(k)s. Under a Roth 401(k), participants make after-tax contributions to a qualified plan and receive tax-free distributions, provided the funds are in the plan for at least five years from the date of the initial Roth contribution. Thus, while participants pay a tax on the income that was the source of the contribution, the earnings on the contributions are tax-free. Penalties to consider The ability to convert existing pretax balances within a 401(k)...

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Setting Sail into the Global Marketplace

For many of today’s companies, going global seems like a quick and trouble-free growth strategy. Technological advances and expansive supply chains make doing so easier than ever. But business owners who make this move impetuously may soon find themselves on stormy seas, taking on waves of debt and unanticipated expenses. Chart your course carefully Globalization strategies are typically based on two objectives: 1) selling to a new market overseas, or 2) lowering production or administrative costs with foreign supply chain partners. (Some companies try to do both.) If you plan to sell to foreign businesses or consumers, consider conducting a market feasibility study...

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Mentoring can make your succession plan better

The owners of many companies launch their enterprises with a business plan — a written document outlining the company’s strategic objectives and practical means of accomplishing them. Likewise, many owners leave their businesses via a succession plan, a written document outlining how the company’s ownership will transition. Often, however, these two documents never cross paths, much less join toward a common goal. If this is the case with your business, and you’ve already identified your likely successor, mentoring can make your succession plan better by uniting it with your business plan. Establish trust One of the principles of mentoring is establishing a relationship...

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Thinking big is the first step toward growing your business

Nearly every business owner wants to grow his or her company. But with growth comes risk, and that can keep you from taking the steps necessary to move forward. Yet if you don’t think big and come up with a long-term strategic plan, you’ll likely continue to spin your wheels. Eyes on profits and value Public companies answer to investors who consider earnings per share and stock price to be key indicators of their return on investment. Maximizing earnings is a short-term goal, but building value requires a long-term focus. Many small to midsize businesses, however, have only their ownerships’ vision to motivate...

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How can your business make the most of the cloud?

Like many companies, yours probably stores at least some of its business files, documents and information in “the cloud.” This is the widely used term referring to the seemingly infinite data storage capacity of the Internet.  Using the cloud generally means lower IT costs, because you don’t have to deploy a lot of expensive hardware and software on-site and it’s scalable — in other words, you can easily expand or diminish your data storage capabilities as necessary. Most cloud services also feature automatic backups and updates. But these inherently great features don’t guarantee you’ll get a good return on investment....

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Business owners, help your estate by gifting company stock

Everyone needs a solid estate plan to distribute assets according to their wishes and benefit their heirs. But this necessity is especially keen for business owners, many of whom have spent years working hard to build up the values of their companies. If you can relate to this statement, one effective way to reduce estate taxes is to limit the amount of appreciation in your estate — and your company may provide just the ticket for doing so. Why appreciation? You’ll save the most in estate taxes by giving away assets with the highest probability of future appreciation. Why? Because gifting these assets...

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Innovate or acquire? That’s the strategic question.

Many companies reach a point in their development where they have to make an important decision: Innovate themselves or acquire a competitor? Of course, it isn’t always an either/or decision. Nonetheless, business owners should consider the pluses and minuses of both approaches. Innovating to grow Innovation is a broad term that encompasses many strategies — all of which are intended to help the company achieve goals such as boosting profits, improving cash flow, or diversifying products or services. Common strategies are: Research and development of new products, New market penetration via geographic expansion or enhanced product/service offerings, and Increased productivity resulting from internal improvements or...

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Climbing the “hierarchy of needs” to find employee engagement

In 1943, psychologist Abraham Maslow set out his “hierarchy of needs.” This theory suggested that human behavior is a response to a variety of needs ranging from physical survival to self-actualization. At this point, you may be wondering, “What does any of this have to do with my business?” The answer is that truly engaged employees are motivated by needs other than just financial compensation. 5 tiers of needs As mentioned, Maslow theorized that humans have various needs to live a fulfilling life. The hierarchy, beginning with the most basic needs, comprises the following five tiers: Physiological needs, such as air, food, drink and...

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Speed Up Business Decisions with Dashboard Reports

Would you drive a car without a functional dashboard? Perhaps once a month someone could tell you how fast you were going and how much fuel you had left. Sound good? Probably not. Yet this is how many business owners run their companies. The good news is there’s a solution. With the right software and some help from our firm, you can regularly receive dashboard reports that provide a one- or two-page summary of key business performance metrics in a concise, visual format. Good looking info Similar to a car’s control panel, dashboard reports provide business owners and managers with timely, relevant input...

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