Small Business Guide for Success

Launching a business? Here are tips to get you started--the right way!

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Money Matters

Using sound resources, savvy entrepreneurs find capital for their business

By Carolyn M. Brown

Credit Cards: Break or Burden?
Credit cards provide a simple means to gain access to capital. Among the findings of the Washington, D.C.-based National Small Business Association’s survey of 500 small to midsize companies, credit cards top the list of options small-business owners rely on for capital, with 44% saying that their company has used them within the last 12 months. However, financial experts caution that credit cards are not a long-term financing solution. Instead, credit cards should be used temporarily to fill the gap between raising startup capital and running the company until it produces positive cash flow—that is, until income covers expenses.

Using a credit card in the name of one’s business is a good way to build up the company’s credit history, says Tarik Smith, CEO of California Credit Solutions (, which helps clients repair their credit. But Smith notes that interest rates typically run 1% to 3% over prime, with some business credit cards ranging from 14% to as high as 28%. And with 71% of survey respondents revealing that they carry over substantial balances on their cards month-to-month, the interest rates only contribute to the financial strain.

Understanding that determined business owners want to pursue their entrepreneurial endeavors at all costs, Smith stresses that the key is to use credit wisely so that you don’t overextend yourself.

“Ideally you want to keep your balances low, which means below 30% of your total credit limit,” advises Smith. “If you are close to or over the limit, your debt could hamper you and your business.”

Every Little Bit Helps

Effective marketing and advertising strategies can gain clients and ultimately revenue

By Tennille M. Robinson

Do…Know your business. Have a clear understanding of what your business is in an individual sense. Knowing will impact who you align with, how you are portrayed, and whether or not to participate in certain initiatives, says Jennifer Stokes, a program manager for the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership, a local nonprofit in Brooklyn, New York.

“You have to be hands on and you have to be present,” says Steffon Isaac, creative director for the Polish Bar of Brooklyn. Here, he recommends a three-component concept, which the Polish Bar consistently keeps in place when implementing marketing initiatives. Each, he says, ensures they are not digressing from the campaign’s original purpose.
1. Map it out. Thoroughly develop the strategy intended for use.
2. Put it to work. Embark on a process that will allow things to say on track
3. Measure the impact. Have technology that will enable a measurement of success.

Do…Develop strategic partnerships. According to Stokes, “Cooperative advertising brings your advertising up a notch, because now you’re working with increased dollars and increased voices

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  • Jacardo01

    heather you can try google, vista print, yahoo.

  • charles washington

    Great info thanks Ms.Lynnette Khalfani-Cox. This really helps.

  • Tarshall

    great new way of thinking to plan

  • Elaine Jackson

    Our concern is knowing how long we will have to wait for sunnier days.
    The economy has really hit those in the technology space.As a PMP Instructor I am finding clients in a tough space:they need the training to get back to work and they need the job to afford the training. Those that are out of work for long periods of time  – no longer qualify for the PMP Exam.Elaine Jackson,

  • walstonja

    Excellent advise! Thanks

  • Sandra Brown

    Thanks for the advice: Question every purchase!!

  • Aieshal

     Also try

  • Lindsay

    Very sound advice.  Having a savings is probably the most important part.

  • Dlhoops3

    Great info.

  • Shay Atkins

    My favorite part here was to question every purchase, I find myself with buyers remorse with some of the purchases I’ve made for my business…I’m learning!

  • Askmysecretary

    I am so concerned about having that professional look, that I  have to admit that I have overspent in some areas too much, but now I know and will make better purchases!

  • Very informative!

  • Erica D.

    Many times I have told myself to wait before buying. We have to learn to listen to the more sensible side of our head.

  • I’ve recently created a spending and savings financial ledger. The hardest part about budgeting is questioning every purchase, especially recurring ones– such as social network web hosting.

  • Sandra Butler

    Create a spending and saving budget…..

  • tony harrison

    I agree its very important to save and have some money put up for the new business so im doing all i can to save now.

  • Kristina Nelson

    Every thing I’ve heard has been helpful

  • i would definitely say two years worth of savings would be a smart thing to do prior to starting a business, not mandatory, but very wise, to cut down on stress during the start up phase

  • Defining a budget has been one of my downfalls..

  • Thanks.

  • Phoebe

    This is the area I will need help.  Thanks you have help to point out some weaknesses I need to consider.

  • De’on

    This definitely gave me things to think about. Like waiting until I have more savings before launching my business. But I want it now!

  • Lucubrate75

    Thanks Moore for the info

  • Reaganm

    For some reason this after having watched this video it is not showing that I have completed it 🙁

  • Zurriane

    This is a very good piece.  Thank you tracking is very improtant this has a lot of good and sound advice.

  • Shelia

    Having that 6 months financial cushion set aside is key! In this tough financial climate, dare I say a one year cushion might be appropriate. The classes are great.
    Thank you for all the effort that was put forth in doing these courses.  

  • Laura Hudson

    Very helpful information I plan to start using today thanks for sharing!!!!

  • Bobby

    Definitely use a good CRM like Zoho or something similar to to track your spending on marketing and other expenses, but always have a good accountant!!! 

  • Carter Ceo

    The financial cushion is something we are currently working on, and questioning every purchase is a must. I like to ask my business advisor (my mom), since her first answer to everything is “don’t spend any money”. Since I have to justify it, it keeps me honest about whether I truly need something or not.

  • Mckela Simon

    I need to get all my jewerly at once but i need to find way to get cheaper…

  • Great information, this class really help me – especially with creating the spending and saving plan, as well as to question every purchase. Awesome!

  • Velma

    I know a thing or two about a budget as I am the most “saving-est” person I know…However I don’t or haven’t created a spending budget…Great tips!

  • Wizzdom

    Having a strong cash position makes sense. Making a spending and saving plan is essential.

    • A strong cash position does make sense, spending it wisely makes more sense.

  • Octavia

    As an
    accountant I can attest to everything Ms. Cox stated in this video. The video
    was very informative! I agree with Shay the part about question everything is
    so important. Many business owners as make the mistake of commingling funds.
    Believing that their personal and business funds are one and same, and this couldn’t
    be further from the truth. In addition a lot of business owners tend not to
    realize how important it is the build a strong financial foundation. This is a
    passion of mine. To educate, empower and guide small business owner to achieve
    financial success by implementing SMART financial practice.

    video, I enjoyed it!

  • Devonne

    Good information, the question every purchase tip is good and she also said to WAIT, it is not necessary to make alot of purchases in the beginning.

  • POA

    A budget keeps one in the know

  • Cameron T

    budgeting in key

  • Since I am funding my business under my own financial steam, this course was a good reminder to ensure I have a strong financial plan. It is not as specific has she has described but now I will go back and do more work on my plan. Thanks!

  • I agree with knowing and spending yuour money well.