Outside the Box Small Business Finance Options

Many small businesses have had issues finding financing in order to grow their businesses or stay afloat during tough times. Bank loans have certainly been harder to come by in many cases. If you’re one of these businesses, there is an outside the box way to try to get some funding if your ideas or business structure are solid.

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How to Start a Small Business from Home

The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in America, but many Americans who are considering starting their own small business from home don’t know much about what goes into launching a business. Below are a few simplified steps to get you on your way toward financial freedom as you start a small business from home.

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Traits that Successful Small Business Owners Develop

Small business owners tend to be the types of people that are always looking for a leg up on the competition. As a result, there is a great deal of personal development that goes on with a small business owner over time. While many entrepreneurs and small business owners are highly unique, there are some common traits that arise again and again in successful small business owners. Let’s review some of the key skills that we see used every day by successful operators in business.

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Internet Sales Tax Bad News for Small Business Taxes

If you’ve got a small business that sells products online nationwide, despite being physically located in one state, there’s a bill heading for Congress that could cripple your growth opportunities. The worst part is that it’s being touted as a law that could help the brick and mortar side of your business to compete with online businesses, which may mislead some small business owners into supporting it.

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Break Even Analysis Formula: Figuring Out Your Costs and Revenue

Do you know all about the break even analysis formula and how it helps your business stay on track?

If not, then it’s something that you may want to learn, because it will aid you in your financial decision-making for your company. This calculation is one of many tools that you can use to help your business remain successful from a financial perspective.

Let’s take a look at what goes into a break even analysis formula, so that you can get a clear understanding idea of how it impacts your business operations.

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How to Read Financial Statements: What You Need to Know

Do you know how to read financial statements?

If not, it’s something that you absolutely should know how to do as a business owner.

By knowing how to read a financial statement, you can make sure that the path you’re guiding your company down is the right one.

This is especially important in the formative years of a company, when operating budgets are tight and reputations haven’t been fully established yet.

Among the many documents that you’ll maintain as a business owner, I would argue that your financial statements are the most important for a number of reasons that I’ll outline in this post.

So if you want to learn how to read financial statements, now’s your chance to learn more.

Financial Statement Analysis 101

Before we get started on learning all about reading financial statements, let’s go with a basic explanation of just what one is.

In the simplest terms, a financial statement is a written report that shows the overall financial health of your company.

This report is actually made up of four different reports, so you can think of your financial statement as something of a compilation.

That said, the four reports that make up your company’s financial statement include:

    • The Income Statement – Sometimes you may hear it referred to by this name. Other times you may hear it referred to as the Profit & Loss Statement (P&L).

Either way, this is a report that tells how much money (profit) your company makes over a given period of time. As the business owner, you want to know when how your business is performing (profitable or losing money) and this aspect of the financial statement makes it happen.

Going over the P&L is to your advantage because it gives you a glimpse into what your company’s strengths and weaknesses are as you carry out business operations.

    • The Balance Sheet – This is also known as the “statement of financial position” and is a record of your company’s financial condition at a given point in time.

It consists of information that tracks assets, things that you own, and your liabilities, things that you owe.

For the former category, think about things like cash, inventory, and patents. For the latter; consider bills, payroll, and money owed to investors and you’ll have a rough idea of the information tracked on your balance sheet.

Going over this part of your report is important to knowing how to read financial statements because being exactly what you have on hand is crucial to running a business that functions effectively.

    • The Cash Flow Statement – Staying up to date on matters related to areas like operations, investments, and financing is extremely important in the business world because these things all affect how much cash you’ll eventually see on the balance sheet that you just learned about.

When talking about the cash flow statement as far as how to read financial statements is concerned, you’ll be able to keep track of crucial metrics and areas like depreciation, accounts receivable, and other important areas of core operation. Also, you will be able to determine if your business is throwing off more cash than it needs or if requires additional capital investment.

How your company generates its cash is important, so the cash flow statement carries a lot of weight in your overall financial statement.

  • The Statement of Changes in Equity – As the business owner, you have equity in the company, so knowing how to read financial statements naturally involves this report, which shows how that equity shifts over a given period of time.

Due to a variety of factors, your financial interest in the company can go up or down and the statement of changes in equity gives an overview of that trend.

With the right kind of guidance, your business is going to grow and change with time, and you want to be able to grow with it. Having this as part of your financial statement will show where you stand in the grand scheme of things.

Making Sense of It All

Of the many things that I talk about, the importance of how to read financial statements is something that can’t be stressed enough.

Not knowing how to make sense of the reports that are included in one is a huge mistake that no entrepreneur should make, so I want you to comb over your financial reports as carefully as possible.

Doing so will not only give you an idea of how things are going, but it will show you where resources can go and give you important information about what you can do to ensure that your organization continues being a success as things develop.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more information on business analysis, business planning, and ways to grow your small business profitably, please check out our website www.portalcfo.com.

How to Undertake a Financial Restructuring: Tips on Turning Your Company Around

how to undertake a financial restructuring - portal cfo consulting

how to undertake a financial restructuring - portal cfo consultingIf you’re a business owner who’s interested in creating the best possible financial environment for your company, then you’re probably wondering about how to undertake a financial restructuring that will make that a reality.

With the state of the economy being such as it is, you have every reason to examine the shape that your company is in.  Whether things are going well or not, you need to evaluate your situation so that you can come up with a clear, attainable plan as to how you’re going to be able to remain competitive. You want to reach a point where, despite economic conditions being what they are, you’ll be able to eventually grow and expand in the future.

Before you ask about how to undertake a financial restructuring, let’s get a quick look at common scenarios that warrant taking that path to see if this is your best option.

  • Does your company have excess personnel? – Many times, staff responsibilities can overlap to the point where teams, divisions, or departments are doing the same thing. In some cases, one of these can be repurposed for other tasks, or the department can be eliminated outright in order to reduce cost and consolidate workload.
  • Has Your Net Profit Been on the Decline? – There could be one big reason why this is happening or several smaller ones that are working together to hurt your company’s financial viability. Regardless of the cause, an expert financial consultant who initiates a financial restructuring can help eliminate these and put you back on the right path.
  • Has Your Company’s Offering Been Overshadowed? – This can happen in technology more than anything else but, when something new is introduced to the market and your company is unable to keep up, you may have to change the way to do business so that you can compete once again.

These are just a few scenarios that warrant restructuring your company’s operations but, despite the reason for a rearrangement, there are several things you can do to get back right on track.

How to Undertake a Financial Restructuring: Common Strategies

It’s important to remember that no two firms are exactly alike, so the advice provided here may have to be adjusted slightly to suit your company’s situation.

That said, these strategies have proven to help companies across a diverse number of sectors time and again.

  • Work with New Leadership – More often than not, a restructuring brings in new management. Whether this is a new CEO, CFO, project manager or any other position, this person may have new ideas and insight that can help get the company get back on track. Listen to what they say and take their advice. It could lead you to great things.
  • Consult Outside Help – When it comes to figuring out how to undertake a financial restructuring, a fresh set of eyes can make all the difference. If you bring in an expert who has no bias toward your company, you may be made aware of issues that you never knew about before.
  • Practice Transparency – The worst thing that you can do when your company is rearranging its operations is to keep people in the dark.

Everyone from your employees to your investors deserves to know exactly what’s being done to keep the company afloat and see to it that the doors stay open. Doing this doesn’t just make it so that there aren’t any surprises, but shows that you’re someone who can be trusted. People will be more likely to stay by your side during transitional periods.

  • Establish Your New Goals Early, Reiterate Them Often – In working through how to undertake a financial restructuring, you want to make sure that you never lose sight of the objective. Make it clear what the entire point behind your company’s restructuring is and, once you see what you want to do, pursue that vision as aggressively as you’re able to.

Regardless of the strategies that you use to turn your company around and make it profitable again, you’ll want to make sure that your practices are sustainable so that you can avoid turbulent times in the future.

Adopt many of the strategies used by successful turnaround companies who figured out how to undertake a financial restructuring.  Continue to practice those strategies even when you’re in the black and you can make sure that your own company sees a bright future.