Retiring as a Small Business Owner

business owner retirementTo be successful as a small business owner, you generally need to pour every ounce of yourself into your business. You need to remain hyper-focused on succeeding every day, with long-term planning revolving almost exclusively around the viability of the business. After several years in business, when a more productive model is in place and profits are beginning to grow, then some small business owners begin to think about current income, personally, as well as longer term income and retirement planning. But for many, that last piece, the retirement piece, is ignored. For a business owner, retirement often feels like something a million years away and as such putting money toward it that could be used to grow the business doesn’t make sense.

Unfortunately, this mindset leaves older small business owners in a difficult place. While the business may be a viable asset which can be sold when the owner is ready to retire, that may not be enough to comfortably retire. Or, if the business is based on a specific skillset or network of connections, or if the market changes, the business may no longer hold value. There are too many reasons to list why a successful business of twenty or thirty years may not have value, which means the business itself is not a practical retirement plan. And while the gamble could pay off, the risk of it not is real.

So with no pension, no 401k, no guarantee of any value to a business, and no social …

Is it Better to Borrow or Give Equity to Grow?

starting a businessWhen starting a business, most of the startup costs will be paid by the business owner from savings, retirement accounts, long hours, and hard work. Banks will not lend to start-ups, and those who will do so at incomprehensible rates, and investors will not give money to an unproven business owner. But at some point, after the first few bumpy years have passed, those businesses which succeed will have to make a decision on how to grow. They can continue to self-fund their growth, accelerating only as fast as their profits will let them, or the can look for cash from a third party to help offset costs to expand. For those businesses which go with the second option, there are two primary ways to do this: with debt, or equity.

Taking on debt through borrowing can be a great option for some companies. The owners do not have to give up any ownership, meaning long-term profits should be higher. And depending on the amount borrowed, the debt could be gone in a matter of years, after which profitability increases. Borrowing is usually a good option if you know exactly what you need to expand, or if you are using the funds to buy a piece of equipment or a building, as you will usually get better rates. On the flip side, most lenders will require you to sign a personal guarantee, meaning you are on the hook for the total cost of the loans, even if the business fails. …

Resume Building for College Grads

resume writting college gradsYour resume is your introduction to a prospective employer of who you are, why you are qualified for the job, and what you bring to the company. A sloppy resume with typos, grammatical errors, or which is poorly formatted will likely be disregarded. Similarly, a resume which does not include any substance will not explain what you bring to the company, and will, ultimately, not get you that interview. Instead, you want to create a compelling resume which will impress prospective employers.

To do this, you will first want to find a template that works for you. Many recent graduates find templates that are over-the-top or which are very “creative.” The reason is to show how creative the recent graduate is. And while I give these graduates an A for effort, it simply gives a hiring manager a reason to disregard the resume. Instead, find a format that emphasizes your skills, education, and relevant experience in a slightly more traditional way. A properly formatted resume will do far more for your career that any “unique” resume. And if you are submitting a paper resume, avoid colored papers, adding scents, or any other gimmicks to “stand out.” This will, usually, lead to your resume simply going in the trash.

Next, be sure to add a powerful objective line. This is your opportunity to explain: “why you.” “Seeking a career in marketing,” for instance, is not a strong objective. It does not sell you, your education, or your skills. “Graduate of XYZ …

Establishing Policies and Procedures for Lockout Tagout

lockout tagoutWhen attempting to establish policies and procedures for lockout tagout, it is important to consider a number of things. First, you need to consult OSHA Standard 1910.147, which is the standard which governs lockout tagout requirements. Next, you need to consider the machinery, layout, and affected personnel at the facility for which you are creating the lockout tagout policies and procedures. Finally, you need to consider what future updates or changes may need to be made to the lockout tagout policies and procedures – you do not want to create something that is not going to be malleable with your company’s future needs.

To create these plans, many companies hire third party lockout tagout auditing firms to help. Standard 1910.147 is extremely complicated and technical, and can very easily be misinterpreted. Unfortunately, hiring third party lockout tagout auditing firms to assist in this process can be very expensive, and the ongoing maintenance and review can be extremely costly.

But so is the cost associated with an OSHA finding. Or worse, a settlement with an injured employee. So when Macomb Heating and Cooling determined how to create policies and procedures for lockout tagout, it was important for them to consider both the short and long term costs. Fortunately, there is now a product which offers the peace of mind of utilizing a third party lockout tagout auditing firm with the control of self-monitoring and none of the inflated costs.

Our Factory Solutions Software is a web-based program which allows you to …

Welcome to Business Essentials

Here we go, on a journey which will take us to may different areas, first we start with the basics and then move on to the fun stuff. Business Essentials is a group discussion on the fundamentals of basic business, we meet here on a daily basis to discuss the lighter side of business and the simple things it takes to get ahead. In today’s world what I’ve noticed most is we make things too complicated for what the real need is.

I would like to discuss ideas to keep it simple and excel in business, just the essentials!