Bad things can happen to good entrepreneurs with fantastic ideas. This statement is not meant to burst your bubble – it’s meant to nudge you in the direction of being realistic about your planning efforts long before you’re left with nothing but a soapy residue on the floor because you failed to implement the best practices for protecting your personal assets.

Take the Proper Steps


It’s all too easy to get carried away with the thrill of being your own boss and finally pushing the results of your hard work onto the marketplace. There isn’t any serious entrepreneur that at some time has not put their own money on the line, but the cold, hard fact is you can lose your investment if something goes wrong and your business fails. If you have not taken precautions, you could lose everything you own, destroy your personal credit and be left with no choice but to start over.


Form a corporation. Most people start out as sole proprietors and register with the state as such, but eventually you will need to form a corporation. You’ll need to form a C Corp, an S Corp or a limited liability company (LLC). If you don’t know the difference, do the research or consult with a business attorney. Consider the tax consequences for the various types in incorporations, and most of all your protection from personal liability. Remember this point – you and your business are not one and the same. Your business is a separate entity with its own life and should be managed as such.


Build business credit. The moment you submit your incorporation papers to the state, apply for a federal tax identification number. Once you have that, register with Dun  amp; Bradstreet to start building a business credit score based on your business activity. Get your services and vendor accounts transferred into your name. Set up a bank account under your business name and Tax ID number. If you apply for credit cards or lines of credit for business use, put them in your name, not your personal name.


In the beginning you may be asked to provide a personal guarantee for some of your business needs but limit these to as few as possible. Taking these steps will help you remove the personal liability from your business affairs. It is also wise to consider getting a loan when you need financing rather than pulling the cash from your own pocket. If your business does fail, you have not lost all your money. You can learn from your mistakes and start over again – the most successful business people in the world have all experiences flops.


Use Business Credit to Get Financing


If you feel bad about losing someone else’s money, take heart. Business credit lenders are fully aware of the risks they take in lending money to small business start ups. You can use this to your advantage – they will insist on seeing a viable business plan before they fork over the cash you want and with a well.

The following is a post from Brabble director of business development Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is a thought leader and subject matter expert in the fields of entrepreneurship, finance and startups, and has been a self-starting businessman for years.

The decision to start a new business can be an exciting moment. However, the moment soon passes and the it’s time to start working. An entrepreneur must not leap into the business start-up fray without building a strong foundation for success. Too often, new businesses omit the most important part of that foundation – good planning.

The planning process encompasses all aspects of a new business – financial stability, product or service marketing and branding, and administration and operations. All of these aspects interrelate with each other, and the entrepreneur will omit or downplay any one of them at her own peril.

Financial Stability

One of the most common reasons for business failure is the lack of capital to survive downturns as well as take advantage of emerging opportunities. Business environments are dynamic in nature and an entrepreneur who does not have the resources to adapt to changing conditions will ultimately fail.

What are the major pieces to financial stability?

  • Obtaining sufficient capital before opening the doors to the business is the first piece to the puzzle. Resources can be gathered from family or friends, personal resources, SBA Loans, or investors. Whatever the source, do not assume that capital will come along. Find it before starting the business venture.
  • The initial nest egg will probably not last through the entire life cycle of the business, so entrepreneurs need to build strong business credit. This can be accomplished by creating vendor accounts and then paying bills on-time and also by obtaining lines-of-credit and credit cards from financial institutions.
  • Track business expenditures to ensure that money is being allocated correctly and to identify any troublesome trends that could become compromising.

Product / Service Marketing and Branding

An innovative idea for a new business is great but, if there is no market for the product or service, it will never become profitable. In addition, if the business is not able to distinguish itself from the competition, it will not succeed.

What are the major pieces to product / service marketing and branding?

  • Identify what the business’ market is, whether it is local, regional, national, or global. Read local and trade publications or go onto the internet to determine if people want what will be sold. Depending on available resources, a market research firm can be hired to do this or just getting out and talking to people can be useful.
  • Examine the market to determine the level of competition. A great idea may not go far if the market is already saturated with competitors while an innovative idea with very few competitors may be very lucrative.
  • Study the number and type of competitors carefully to determine how the business’ product / service can be distinguished from them. Concepts such as quality, affordability, convenience, and customer service are often used to stand out from the crowd.
  • Create a marketing / advertising budget and stick to it. Generally, television, radio, and print advertising is cost prohibitive for a business start-up, and is often not as effective as networking, sponsorships, and volunteering anyway.

Administration and Operations

Many businesses fail because entrepreneurs did not understand adequately the costs of day-to-day business operations. Too often, the assumption is made that actually operating the business will come naturally and does not require planning.

What are the major pieces to administration and operations?

  • Issues such as office space, staffing, equipment and supplies, telephone and internet, and signage must be planned out in advance, with reasonable budgets established and evaluated regularly. Entrepreneurs often find themselves wearing multiple hats when the business opens which is reasonable when resources are tight. However, that same entrepreneur may become overwhelmed if proper staffing is not built into budget formation.
  • Proper tracking is essential in managing a business successfully. This is accomplished through financial tracking software and spreadsheets which can be used to determine where resources are going and what product / services are generating the most income. Tracking of supplies and costs for telephone / internet are also important to determine expenditure levels and ways to better manage them.
  • Evaluate and re-evaluate staffing and other operational issues to better match emerging priorities to available resources.

A Well Constructed Business Plan is an Entrepreneur’s Best Friend

A comprehensive business plan can serve to better understand and track financial, marketing and branding, and administrative and operational variables / priorities. A well designed plan will document the entrepreneurial idea that serves as the motivation for the business and market conditions that can make the idea profitable. It also addresses administrative and operational requirements including staffing and infrastructure costs and how much money will be needed to sustain the business short-, mid- and long-term.

There are numerous resource books / software available on the market to help entrepreneurs develop a successful business plan. Business plan creation can also be performed by business and management consultants. Whatever avenue an entrepreneur uses to obtain a comprehensive business plan, this document is essential for proper business management and ultimate success.

If you enjoy creating blog posts, advertisers may be looking for you. Now you can turn your hobby into a source of income, implementing these 12 workable and easy steps. You, too, can join the ranks of skilled bloggers who blog and get paid for it. It’s easy when you know what to do and how to go about it.

Initial Steps

Step 1: Copy and paste any links or tracking tokens you need to include in your blog post. Hit “Enter” and push these down on your page. You’ll return to them later.

Step 2: Read through the opportunity description and summarize the main points. This is your rough draft.

Step 3: Keep sentences and paragraphs short and to the point. Now insert (copy/paste) the links mid-sentence in your post. For paid posts, advertisers usually prefer relevant links to be midway in sentences.

You now have your rough draft.

Second Stage

Step 4: Once you’ve written your blog post, do a quick word count to make sure you are on or over the required number of words specified in the opportunity description.

Step 5: Now–and this may sound strange–hit “Publish.”

Step 6: Pull up your newly created blog page and check to see that your links are highlighted. Click on them. Make sure they are working correctly and that they point to the advertiser’s page. This step is crucial to your receiving payment for blog posts.

Step 7: While you are there, read through the advertiser’s page and add any additional points to flesh out your blog post. You’ve accomplished two things: you’ve checked that the links are working and you’ve read through the relevant info. This approach may seem backwards but it is easier than having to hunt for the advertiser’s page in the beginning, then having to return to the opportunity page and grabbing the link later.

You’ve now polished your post and have made sure that it meets technical requirements.


Step 8: Hit the spell checker at the top of your newly-created blog page. If you are still unsure about any words check them with an online dictionary (which you should have sitting in your browser’s top bar for convenience).

Step 9: Check formatting (spaces between words and paragraphs) and make sure there’s a period at the end of each paragraph.

Adding the Title and Labels

Step 10: Think of your post in a nutshell and this will give you a suitable title. This reverse approach is effective because you save time by not having to change your title, as your post changes and develops. Make sure you use keywords in your title, subheads, and blog post body.

Step 11: Include “Labels For This Post,” using applicable keywords.

Final Stage

Step 12: Publish again and hit “View Blog.” Read through your entire post now that it is in published format. check that it is free of errors. Scroll down to the bottom and right-click on the time stamp. Hit “Properties” or “Send Link” and copy/paste your page URL for submittal.

By developing a systematic approach to blogging, you’ll author quality posts. By following these 12 steps, you’ll streamline the whole process, creating blog posts that will result in earnings when you blog for pay.

With competition in the business arena reaching record highs due to the recession, it is becoming more difficult than ever for business owners to have news releases picked up and promoted by the media. A large percentage of releases submitted to editors and journalists never pass the submission box. To beat the odds, you must create a submission that jumps off the page and opens doors. Here are a few areas to avoid, to ensure a step in the right direction.

Late Releases are Unacceptable

Ensure submmissions reach the appopriate business contact in a timely manner. Do your reseach. The technological contact doesn’t want to receive information pertaining to new recipes. Use first class mail, so that invalid addresses provided on an envelope can be returned to you, and allow adequate time for corrections. Your goal is to ensure information reaches the appropriate destination early, every time.

Incomplete Contact Informaion is Unacceptable

Once information has been submitted, contact information must be correctly submitted at the same time. Telephone numbers, email addresses, correct name spellings…must be up to date so that nothing prevents a business connection from occuring. If clarification on how to proceed through an answering system needs to be made available, provide it. One doesn’t want anything to prevent a reporter from having the opportunity to complete an interview.

Don’t Harrass the Reporters

Time is limited for many, but reporters, editors, journalists…work on a tight schedule. Submit information in complete detail, and avoid repeat calling. If complete information is provided along with how to reach you that will prove to be sufficient. If the project has been made to appear interesting a return call can occur sooner rather than later.

Don’t Delay Returning Calls

Remember eveyone doesn’t work on the same clock, so when a journalist returns calls about a media release, their call needs to be returned soon. This doesn’t mean days later, but preferably hours. If something is causing a delay in providing a personal return call, make sure someone else is available to do it (staff, business associate) and handle it in a professional manner. Slow responses can create the image of uninterest, lack of professionalism…and this can potentially cause a media spot to be lost.

Preparation is the key to ensuring a successful media release receives the best shot at obtaining the coverage it deserves. By taking steps to avoid errors that are often made, one can ensure they are on the proper path to success.

If you would like to move to Canada to live permanently and do not want to work but have money you can invest in starting a business in Canada, you might qualify for immigration under the Canadian Entrepreneur Visa program. The Canadian Entrepreneur Visa is technically a business visa and is part of the Canadian Entrepreneur Immigrant Programme and the Canadian Business Immigration Programme. The Canadian Entrepreneur Visa program is designed to attract people that want to move to Canada to live on a permanent basis that have attractive business skills and business experience. The Canadian government sees the Canadian Entrepreneur Visa program as a way to strengthen the Canadian economy.

The Canadian Entrepreneur Visa program provides the qualifying applicant permanent residence in Canada. This means that once you are approved for the Canadian Entrepreneur Visa program you can come to Canada straight away with no need for a specific job offer. By having the Canadian Entrepreneur Visa you are also able to apply for Canadian citizenship after only 3 years of being a permanent resident. Remember that you are automatically granted permanent residence status when approved for this program.

To qualify for the Canadian Entrepreneur Visa program, you should be prepared to offer proof that you possess at least two years of business experience. You will also need to provide proof having a net worth of $300,000 CDN (that is in Canadian dollars.). If you are curious of what your current net worth is in Canadian dollars, you can check it out on currency exchange site Since the purpose of this visa is to attract immigrants that will start businesses and create more jobs in Canada, you must commit to managing and owning at least a third of a business for a minimum of one year. In addition to that requirement, the business must also create at least one job that a Canadian resident or citizen can fill.

Like the Canadian skilled worker visa, the Canadian Entrepreneur Visa program relies upon a point based skills assessment to find qualified candidates. The assessment asks questions about and ranks the applicant on business experience, educational background, language proficiency, age and more. The minimum pass mark is 35 points. By having a master’s degree or PhD you get 25 points, which means you only need 10 more to qualify for the Canadian Entrepreneur Visa program.

You can bring your spouse to Canada with the Canadian Entrepreneur Visa program. You can also bring unmarried children under the age of 22 as dependants.

The executive summary is the first part of every business plan, and it is used to explain – briefly – the critical elements to a specific business’ success. Most executive summaries include the business proposal, financial projections, and where the business stands today.

When Should I Write My Executive Summary?

Even though the executive summary comes first in your business plan, it’s probably a good idea to write it last, if at all possible. The reason why is that a good executive summary takes into account all of the research, statistics and information listed in the entire business plan and molds it down into a shortened explanation for potential investors. And since most investors read the executive summary first, it is wise to ensure it is the most polished portion of your business plan.

What Do I Need to Cover In My Executive Summary?

First and foremost, you’ll want to discuss your company’s mission statement, i.e. the reasoning why your business is important, what goals it plans to achieve, and how it plans to achieve them. As well, you’ll need to provide a concise explanation of what your business does, what sort of advantages your business plans on holding and in which markets, and why your business should exist or what kind of demand there is for your products and services. You’ll also need to discuss the financial outlook for the business (including start-up costs and projections), as well as where your business stands as an entity (i.e have you started the business yet or has it been in your family already for three decades). Finally, you’ll need to consider and write about what factors will determine the success or failure of your business, such as market fluctuations, staffing issues and/or patents.

From humble beginnings in Southern California, Jane Wurwand’s Dermalogica skin care line has grown into the world’s most widely used professional brand. Wurwand’s success is based on result-oriented products, an “education first” philosophy, and professional product recommendations.

Dermalogica Founder Jane Wurwand Arrives in the U.S.

In 1983, native Briton Jane Wurwand arrived in California to join her now-husband Raymond, who was attempting to sell advanced skin care equipment to an industry obsessed with pretty packaging rather than science.

Wurwand was already a licensed skin care professional in England, a country with considerably more rigorous standards for becoming a skin therapist than the U.S. Realizing that her chosen industry was neither particularly well-respected nor strict in its licensing standards, Wurwand began teaching weekly classes in skin care techniques.

Dermalogica’s Origins: International Dermal Institute

Wurwand’s weekly classes became so popular that she opened a classroom in Marina Del Rey, California, naming it The International Dermal Institute. From the start, the IDI emphasized skin care as a health concern rather than a cosmetic fix.

Wurwand was unsatisfied with the skin products available to her students, finding that they caused as many problems (like irritation and dryness) as they solved. In 1986, with the help of a chemist, Wurwand developed the first products that would become the foundation of Dermalogica skin care.

With a “no junk” approach, Wurwand shunned industry-standard filler ingredients such as mineral oil, lanolin, artificial color, synthetic fragrance, and denatured alcohol in the Dermalogica line.

Dermalogica’s First Products

The Dermalogica brand began with five products: Special Cleansing Gel, Multi-Active Toner, Active Moist, Skin Smoothing Cream and Dermal Clay Cleanser. These first Dermalogica products are still strong sellers.

From these foundational products, Wurwand has grown Dermalogica, Inc. (a privately-held company d/b/a The Dermal Group) into a multi-national phenomenon with a dedicated and expanding customer base.

Dermalogica’s Focus on Professional Skin Therapists

A key component of Dermalogica’s brand identity is the professional skin therapist. Through IDI’s continuing education, Dermalogica focuses on training its representatives in Dermalogica-specific skin care techniques and deep knowledge of the product line.

For many years, Dermalogica took the official stance that customers should only purchase their products through their professionals after receiving a consultation or analysis. “[W]e support the licensed professional skin therapist 100% by not selling on the Internet or through mass market…[D]ue to the importance of prescribing our products to meet individual skin needs, we do not sell our products online, nor do we recommend that you purchase them online.”

Times have changed, however. Dermalogica, in response to competition from product resellers on the Internet during lean economic times, has begun officially selling its products online. The website has introduced Speed Mapping (a highly-abbreviated interactive form of its in-person Face Mapping) to assist first-time customers in selecting Dermalogica products.

Dermalogica’s Expanding Empire

Dermalogica is now headquartered in Carson, 18 miles south of Los Angeles. Dermalogica ships 44 million products each year from its Southern California base.

In addition to expanding its customer base by selling product online, Dermalogica’s skin care line is distributed through 6,500 skin care shops in the United States. Globally, Dermalogica has a presence in 48 countries, including “concept stores” located in Los Angeles, New York City, London, Dubai, Auckland, Berlin, and Mumbai. Over 75,000 professional skin therapists utilize Dermalogica products worldwide.

As a privately-held company, Dermalogica is not obligated to disclose their financial information, but experts estimate their earnings at over $100 million.

The IDI and Dermalogica Education

Since its humble 1983 single-classroom debut, Wurwand’s International Dermal Institute has expanded into 40 locations worldwide. In addition to acting as a training facility for current and future skin therapists, the IDI still serves as the research-and-development facility for Dermalogica products. Products are branded with the tagline “a skin care system researched and developed by The International Dermal Instutite”.

Dermalogica also maintains an online Education Center, through which qualified employees of Dermalogica-sanctioned companies can take classes in technique and product knowledge.

Jane Wurwand has maintained the single-minded focus on quality that revolutionized the skin care industry over 25 years ago. She arrived in the U.S. during the recession of the ’80s, and the Dermalogica empire continues to grow during our current recession. English emigrant Jane Wurwand embodies the American dream.

One of the biggest problems facing small to medium sized businesses is the issue of cash flow. Every business must pay its vendors and creditors, pay its employees, and hope that its customers pay them on time to make these payments. It’s not easy, and many businesses struggle with cash flow on a daily basis. It’s a reality of today’s business. However, is there something that small businesses can do to improve their cash flow?

Small businesses have two outlets to improve their cash flow. First, they have their customers, and second, they have their vendors. So, how can both improve cash flow? Well, in the case of customers, would getting them to pay sooner, improve cash flow? Certainly it would! In the case of vendors if they extended a business longer credit terms, or even discounts on prompt payment initiatives, would these improve cash flow? Surprisingly, both would. While it may seem strange to bring up prompt payments when discussing cash flow issues, many companies still pursue discounts on prepayments with their vendors even though they can’t make those prepayments right away. They do this to plan for the future. In those cases when cash flow is no longer a concern, that discount for prompt payment can provide significant savings. So, how does each of these by themselves improve cash flow?

Which Customers are able to Pay Sooner?

For a number of businesses, the easiest customers to get prompt payments from are typically those customers that can’t get any credit. Companies use these customers to promote dead stock or obsolete stock at discounts in order to incentivize them to prepay. When a company does a credit check on these businesses, it’s more than likely that nobody would extend them credit. By promoting dead stock, or obsolete stock, a company can not only get paid faster, but alleviate a huge impact on their daily cost of money by selling inventory that might otherwise not be sold. Inventory costs money, and by selling dead stock to customers that are not credit worthy, a businesses can get immediate payment and alleviate their inventory holdings.

Can Extended Terms With Vendors Improve Cash Flow?

By negotiating extended terms of credit with vendors, a company can extend the period they must pay their invoices. Ideally, getting 45 to 60 day terms with vendors allows a business to extend the period they must pay their vendors, and preserves important cash reserves for other payments and payroll. While negotiating these terms isn’t easy, the point is not to worry about getting extended terms with all vendors. Getting extended terms with a company’s largest vendors is a realistic goal, especially if those vendors value and appreciate the business. Since the largest invoices require the most money, getting extended terms has a tremendous impact on cash flow.

Can Prompt Payment Initiatives With Vendors Improve Cash Flow?

Perhaps the most ignored way to improve cash flow is to prepay vendor invoices when possible. Sound confusing? Well, it really does make sense. By negotiating a 1% net 10 or net 15 payment incentive, a company can set the stage for future savings, and capitalize on this discount by making prepayments when possible. For some businesses, cash flow is a seasonal or temporary issue. For those periods where cash flow isn’t a concern, making a prompt payment with a vendor willing to provide a discount, makes a huge impact in the long run. In this case, consider it a deposit. Saving money improves cash flow because it provides the business with more money in its pocket. Whether that money is saved now or later, it’s still a savings.
Small changes here and there can make a significant impact on a company’s cash flow. It takes a willingness to sell to those less than credit worthy customers, and the kind of vendors that see the business relationship as more of a partnership. By working both ends of the spectrum, a company can significantly improve their cash flow. It takes time, but eventually all of these approaches will pay off. Cash flow issues are not always a concern, and it is incumbent upon businesses to take advantage of vendor discounts when possible.

Good customer service keeps customers coming back for more; bad service will undoubtedly do damage to a company’s reputation. Few clients will applaud someone who went out of their way to assist, but when poor service is extended, its rare that a business owner doesn’t hear about it. As it is common for entrepreneurs and supervisors to be puzzled when this sort of employee issue comes up, use these suggestions to get a mediocre employee back on track again.

Defining What Poor Service Is

Good customer service is hard work, and oftentimes difficult to define. Therefore start dealing with an employee issue regarding bad service by explaining what customer service is to the organization. If there is already a human resources policy in place – excellent. If not, try saying, “Customer service to Company EFG is about helping solve problems.” By sharing this kind of succinct information, a business owner is saying to the staff member that poor service matters to everyone, not just the customer. Additionally, it conveys that customer service is more than just a smile and a nod; it can encompass fixing something, providing information, or just listening when someone needs to vent.

How To Talk About Bad Customer Service

When a staff member is apathetic or uninterested in providing anything but bad service, use the situation as an opportunity to explain how a change in mindset will benefit them personally. The reasoning may not be personal, as business owners want to keep their competitive advantage with attentive and friendly staff members that soar above the competitors. But when it comes to talking to staff members about a poor service complaint, the easiest way to get the message across is to get personal. Explain to the person in question that there will be nothing more important in their career than good communication, and the only way to ensure long term success in the business world is to cultivate their customer service skills.

What To Say To An Employee About Bad Service

Start the conversation by sharing with the staff member the reason for the interaction. Explain that customer service was good at one point in time, and give an example. Then, share that things seem to have waned since then, using specific examples such as appearing uninterested or refusing to assist with troubleshooting customer problems. Then ask the staff member for their interpretation of the poor service situation. Wait, and listen carefully.
Then, ask the staff member a question such as, “Its understood that bad service can happen sometimes. So how can this poor service be turned around into something more positive again?” Use the staff member to solve the employee issue, and take notes if need be regarding their suggestions. Inquire more about anything that isn’t clear, and ask for specifics where applicable.

Next, explain the difference between good and bad customer service for the company, using the discussion that just occurred to drive the points home on a personal level. Explain that communication is the cornerstone to any staff member’s success with the organization, and that to stand out will require lots of learning with regards to problem solving and trying to get into the customers’ head.

End the conversation by confirming the steps the staff member suggested to remedy the employee problem, and invite them to discuss any issues or concerns that crop up along the way. This way the staff member can feel empowered to deal with poor service issues, while the business manager or entrepreneur can feel like concrete expectations can be met.

Deciding which type of business structure you’d like to employ in your entrepreneurial venture is a very important decision. Some of the business structures are more suitable towards raising capital, while others offer flexibility and fewer demands on an entrepreneur’s time. So which option is the best for your business? Let’s explore your options.

Business Structure Option #1: Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is a business that runs under either the entrepreneurs’ name or a fictitious one, and who pays taxes on their business profit using their own personal tax return. The most common of business structure, sole proprietorships account for more than three quarters of all businesses in the US, according to U.S. Census data from 1990-2004 (see: PDF). Yet these business owners are also only making a fraction of the net income that corporations are making, and therefore aren’t the best choice for every entrepreneur.

Business Structure Option #2: Partnership

There are two different kinds of partnership business structures: the general partnership and the limited partnership. An advantage that a partnership provides (other than the fact that there are two people sticking out their necks to begin a business) are that any taxes paid on the business aren’t paid at the partnership level, but rather by each partner, and only as a percentage of their business ownership.

Business Structure Option #3: Corporation

Corporations aren’t as commonly-used of a business structure as the others in this list, yet they create more profit than any other business entity out there (again, according to U.S. Census Data; see above). Any business that needs to raise capital will most likely choose a corporate or LLC business structure, because they both allow for a wide variety of financing options.

Business Structure Option #4: Limited Liability Company

An LLC is very similar to a corporation, in that it requires much of the same paperwork — and more. What’s different is that an LLC can choose to either run its business in a variety of different ways for taxation purposes: if there is only one person running the LLC for instance, the taxes for a sole proprietorship apply. However, the rules regarding a sole proprietor’s liability change completely with an LLC, making it a viable option for those wanting more flexibility when it comes to income creation, profits, and liability options.

Business Structure Option #5: Nonprofit Corporation

There are as many different types of nonprofits as there are business structures, but for the most part when discussing nonprofits with regards to entrepreneurship, we mean nonprofit corporations: those companies that aren’t for-profit, but are run like for-profit companies in order to keep their membership informed and apprised of where their donations, gifts and grants are going to.