Preparing for Getting a Business Loan

Quick Links 15 Questions to Answer Before Seeking a Bank Loan Since World War II, millions of businesses in the United States have started out with a business loan from a bank. Access to loans is a critical part of starting and growing your business. Today, the situation has changed. Small businesses and start-ups have […]

Before You Open Your Restaurant

While appearing in a TV commercial for American Express in 2003, Chef Rocco DiSpirito said that 90% of restaurants fail within the first year. It turns out not to be true, but for some reason the number still keeps floating around.[1] While the failure rate for restaurants is not nearly this high, it is still […]

Exit Strategies for Small Business Owners

Quick links Best strategies for exiting a business Preparing for exiting the business Real world business exit examples This article is intended for small business owners who may be considering an exit within the next 3-10 years. Although there are many variations, there are really only a few realistic exit strategies for most business owners. […]

Should You Bring In A Consultant To Help Develop Your Business Plan?

You’ve decided you need a business plan, but you’ve been struggling so much with it that you’re ready to drop the whole thing. Now may be the time to ask yourself: should I complete the plan by myself or should I hire a consultant? If you decide to hire a professional business plan development consultant, […]

The Pros and Cons of Forming a Board of Advisors

Entrepreneurs often ask me if they should form a Board of Advisors (or “Advisory Board”). My answer is always the same: it depends. Differences between a Board of Directors and a Board of Advisors The first thing you should understand is that there is a big difference between a Board of Directors and a Board […]

Top 10 Business Plan Mistakes

When it comes to creating a business plan that attracts investors, these tips will help you get it right the first time. Every business should have a business plan. Unfortunately, despite the fact that many of the underlying businesses are viable, the vast majority of plans are hardly worth the paper they’re printed on. Most […]

Due Diligence Checklist for Business Buyers and Investors

You’ve decided you want to either invest in or buy a privately held company. You’ve researched the company, the market, the management team, and their products. You’ve decided to make an offer. Are you sure? Here is a brief list of areas that every business buyer and investor should investigate before signing a deal. Your Financial […]

Twenty Questions to Ask Your Customers

Feedback from your customers can help you unlock the true potential of your business. Knowledge is power, and talking to your customers can help you gain essential knowledge about your markets and competition, maintain and defend your positioning within your industry, and spot new opportunities for growth. Best of all, the market research you gain becomes […]

Environmental Scanning

No successful company can survive and grow without a well researched and clearly articulated strategy. Yet even when a company has developed a solid strategy, they must regularly evaluate its effectiveness based on changes in the external environment. A helpful market evaluation tool that helps with this oversight is known as environmental scanning.

Common Feasibility Study Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

A small startup that requires minimal capital is one thing, but any venture that involves large investments, multiple stakeholders or a long term commitment, requires a feasibility study. Not doing one in those circumstances could be considered malpractice.