Starting With the Right Legal Business Type, Sole Proprietorship

When starting your business, one of the things you will need to figure out is the legal form you should register your business as, in order to ensure that you are operating with the correct business profile and level of financial protection to suit your precise needs.

Though not a lawyer, having worked in several countries, across 3 continents, I have picked up a few things that I suspect will prove helpful in your decision making process, and would suggest that you consider some of the following issues carefully.

To start with, in all the countries I have worked, it was clear that there were usually a combination of 3 or 4 legal business types used to legally conduct business. And for the most part the similarities were significant.

The most common of these business types is a Sole Proprietorship. And though these may known by different names, in different countries, they are essentially subject to the same rules, regulations, financial protection and taxation.

So, when considering this business type it is good to be aware of essentially three key features that typically govern this type of legal business form.

1. You are personally liable for the debts of the business

With this type of legal business type, you are the business. This means that the bank can take your house in lieu of a debt incurred to conduct business. If you get sued for something you did wrong in your business, you also stand to loose your personal assets, including your house and car as they are all on the line.

From an operational perspective it means that bank accounts will be in your personal name, as if you had no business. Notably in most countries it would be possible to register a trading name, which you could attach to your bank account in order to receive checks in the name of your business, however it is still you that are on the hook.

One thing to keep in mind though is that even though operating your business as this type of entity exposes you to personal liability, in most countries where this is a serious risk, you are able to insure against liability from suits. And when it comes to debt, the upside is that you can use your personal credit history to conduct business cheaper, which if managed well, should never really prove to be an issue. Just pay your bills and all will be fine.

2. Your business is taxed as if it is you.

Simply put the profits from your business are treated as personal income, and you would declare it as such. You are also able to deduct most of your personal expenses, that relate to your business, from your taxable income, which might mean that if you work from home, a part of your living expenses could potentially be deductible. Essentially the business is you, and for the most part the expenses you incur to earn a living are treated as tax deductible expenses.

3. You are unable to sell the business, you can only sell the assets.

Though for the most part this will not prove a significant issue, it is important to realize that since you are the business, you cannot sell the business. You are able to sell the assets of the business, which may include trading names, stock, customer databases etc. however you have to be aware that to transfer the debts and liabilities of the business, you have to specifically contract that into the sale. And even then it does not necessarily resolve all the issues that may potentially arise, even after the sale of the business.

Here are some of the benefits of this type of business:

1. It usually costs nothing or very little to set up or register.

2. Business operating costs are considerably lower than the other available legal business forms, e.g. your accountant and lawyer will likely cost you significantly less, because things are just simpler.

3. It is easy to setup, and you can start operating your business very quickly.

4. As mentioned above you can rely on your personal credit history for conducting business so this will, initially at least, make things a little easier.

5. It is easy to close down as you simply stop doing business. There is usually little or no cost to shutting down this type of business, except of course for liquidating the assets and paying off debts and liabilities.

In a nutshell, if you are looking to operate a small business with little risk of someone suing you, and you are fine with putting your house up as collateral for your business debt, then this might be the one for you.

And though personally I do not prefer this type of business, either way I would suggest that you do take the time to discuss this with your accountant and lawyer before making a decision.

I wish you all the best with your ventures and invite you to share your comments and stories here.

Cheers!!

Start Online Business Easily

The internet has brought about great improvement in the way business is done nowadays. Earlier traditional methods used to stay in touch with clients has changed. With the advance in technology, it has become easier to conduct business online and get more profits in return. An online web presence not only makes a huge difference to your business but it also helps in promoting it on a global level.

Social media has opened new opportunities to business owners. You can target your audience and get in touch with them faster and more direct. Starting an online business is definitely a wise decision. There are no requirements to start online business, apart from the fact that you have to make your business visible for people to see and find you. There are lots of ways to do that. You can either create a website for your business, which is simple and effective, or you can also make the use of Facebook to target your audience. Facebook allows you to create fan pages as well as ads that will redirect the visitors back to your site thus boosting the traffic towards your business. It depends entirely on how you market your services online, which offers multiple ways of making fast money.

So if you are interested to start online business, here are a few benefits from doing so:

Freedom – In an online business, you are the boss. There is no one to direct or control you. You are free to make your own decisions and decide your working hours. In an online business, you are open 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year therefore increasing your earning potential from anywhere. You can sit and do whatever you wish. You can devote as many hours you want. There is no need to spend a fixed number of hours, by creating a simple yet effective marketing plan, you can choose the amount of hours you want, based on your schedule.

Personal growth – With an online business, you can learn a lot. Every day you will come across something new that you will want to try. A tool that may be beneficial to the growth of your business. Unless you try, you won’t understand how it can be incorporated in your business and what the outcome may be. There are plenty of opportunities to grow and expand your business. By researching online promotion techniques, or even taking an SEO class, you will benefit greatly personally, and in your business.

No to low start-up cost – To start online business, there are no specific requirements. All you need is a laptop or desktop computer and an internet connection. As compared to the offline business or brick and mortar, you need a proper place to conduct the business, insurance and benefits for the employees and staff to handle the customers. This can increase the overall cost which is greatly reduced in an online business. You can hire freelancers and pay them according to the work they do. This is quite inexpensive, but is rewarding.

Get connected to social media – Social media brings countless benefits to your business. It has become a popular platform for people to connect and is worldwide. The top networking sites like Facebook and Twitter help you to connect to your customers on a daily basis and let them know about newly launched products or services and specials. There is no need to individually connect to every person but a group message is often effective. Creating fan pages and tweeting are the best way to spread information and people come to you.

To start online business is simple but you have to put in effort to create a product or service that is marketable. You can’t just do whatever you like but, you will need to plan as well as use of excellent marketing strategies. That is why it is beneficial to gather information from books, or other successful online business to start an online business. Without the direction or good information you will just waste your time. Perhaps talk to an expert to establish and start your business. Their expertise can be very helpful in making the right decision for the business. Once you get familiar, you will be able to manage it well.

Before starting your business, you will have to devote time in exploring the trends of online business and your audience.

What are acceptable business practices? And also,

What are the costs involved?

There are great benefits with an online business if established properly. You will see income generate on an automated level. You probably won’t see results on the very first day, so be patient. When you start online business, it is essential to stay up to date with the changing technology as to not miss out on potential business opportunities.

3 Simple Steps to Boost Your Authentic Business Success

This week I want to share with you 3 simple steps to boost your authentic business success. Let’s be honest here. It doesn’t matter which stage of your business building blocks you’re currently in, you can be either a start-up solo-entrepreneur or a more advanced authentic business owner (Enlightened C.A.S.T.L.E. – coach, author, speaker, trainer, leader, and expert), you’ll always welcome simple, practical ways to boost your authentic business success and improve your current results. For example, finding and attracting more ideal clients, making a greater positive impact and income, creating new packages (programs, products and services), leading live events (virtually and in-person), growing your client database, upleveling your brand, etc.

Where most passionate professionals (Enlightened C.A.S.T.L.E.) struggle and sometimes even get stuck is in knowing what to do first on a daily basis, meaning which activities they need to prioritize first and place it at the top of their “to-do” list, and more importantly, how to hold on to the mind-set, heart-set and soul-set that it takes when the business you’re running daily is still far away from the business of your dreams.

This is where having the right business model (the one that is true, authentic and works for you) along with the right systems, structures and strategies in place pays off in a big way.

For example, if you’re not yet consistently making a positive impact and income doing the work you were born to do (making a difference sharing your passion while being handsomely rewarded for doing it) so you can successfully and authentically attract more ideal clients and finally build a thriving business you love, then your focus is best spent on generating your first 5-10 clients at higher fees, rather than spending your time on launching something new like a membership website.

Trust me on this: Every time you move to the next upper level and elevate your business you can expect to experience a bit of confusion, frustration and overwhelming. It’s because whenever you step out and step up on your authentic business success stairway a mix of the old and the new “phase” happens. One moment you’ll be very excited and completely clear about your new direction for your business development, then on the next moment, you find yourself crying, confused, overwhelmed and wondering what you’ve gotten yourself into.

What I do during this time of transformation and business growth is to follow 3 simple steps to boost my own authentic business success so that I keep myself centered, confident and focused, without struggle and out of overwhelm. I’d like you to take notes of these tips and post them near your computer or board so they can also help you make this transformation and boost YOUR authentic business success with enthusiasm, grace and ease!

Simple Step #1: Transform Your Mind-set, Heart-set and Soul-set From the Old to the NEW Paradigm of Authentic Business Success

Yes, that’s right. Shift the old way of thinking, doing, feeling and being (your thoughts, actions, habits, behaviours and emotions) to the NEW one so that you can, what I love to say, Enlighten Your Mind, Empower Your Heart and Inspire Your Soul to achieve Authentic Business Success as an Enlightened Entrepreneur. So, how do you do that?

Here’s how: The best way to explain that is to give you my favorite mind-set (heart-set and soul-set) tip, which is to ask yourself, “What would a super successful authentic business owner do?” or “What would your role model/business mentor do?” or “What would your favourite enlightened entrepreneur (C.A.S.T.L.E.) do? This is the kind of question you need to ask yourself in order to give you a new perspective of looking at things. I always do. Whenever I’m looking to make a decision and move forward in my business I ask myself this type of question so that I can not only take tiny little steps every single day, but also have quantum leaps and make transformational shifts upwards in my impact and income, all while creating a thriving business I love.

The transformational truth is: it works, and even better it works so beautifully and authentically because it pulls you out of old patterns (old way of thinking, doing and being) and it challenges you to think, feel, act, behave and believe in a NEW way as the authentic business owner (Enlightened C.A.S.T.L.E.) you desire becoming – the most successful and fulfilled person you dream of being.

Simple Step #2: First Focus on IPAs (Income Producing Activities) to Create Consistent Cash Flow in Your Business

Income producing activities are the most important activities and you definitely need to focus on them seriously first because they are going to create consistent cash flow in your business, and cash flow is the “Queen” of your business. Again, no matter what stage of your business you’re in, decide how much cash you need to create to make the positive impact and income you most want, starting from covering your expenses, paying yourself and giving you peace of mind. The key here is to be specific, clear and committed to knowing your amount first, then focus on the “how-to’s” to get there. This alone (along with other strategies I teach on this topic) will keep you in a proactive, prosperous mind-set (heart-set and soul-set) with regard to your impact and income, rather than in a reactive, passive or disempowered place. So, always ask yourself: “Is this an income producing activity? If so, it goes at the top of your priorities. Always remember to create consistent cash flow by focusing on income producing activities (IPAs) first!

Simple Step #3: “How You Start Your Day” Determines Your Authentic Business Success

Another transformational truth here is that the way you start your day or what you start your day with influences dramatically your authentic business success. Why? Because in every stage of growing and elevating your business you’ll need to let go of old habits (tasks and activities that represent the old you), in order to make way for the new actions that put you on the path of authentic business success at a more evolved and empowered level.

My best tip here is to start your day with the top 3 priorities (= key action steps) that will help you bring in either consistent cash flow or new clients, partners and referrals. Make a daily, weekly and monthly plan (your roadmap to more impact and income) and decide in advance which income producing activities (IPAs) you’ll focus on, write them down and do them first – before getting distracted with other tasks such as, checking your email, seeing what others are doing or hopping on to social media.

Your Authentic Business Success In Action

Although these 3 steps, I’ve just given you, are simple, they might not be so easy to start doing and keep on doing them on a daily basis. That’s why I’m here and always happy to help you. So, be sure to hire an authentic business success mentor to guide and support you on your own journey as an inspired leader, empowered creator and enlightened entrepreneur. Whoever you resonate with – be sure to mentor with someone who is where you authentically aspire to be.

Enlightened Entrepreneurs, (C.A.S.T.L.E.) or soon-to-be one, are energetic sponges for the people (mentors, partners, peers and clients) they surround themselves with. Which means it’s critical for you to invest in spending time with an authentic business success mentor and get in a coaching/mentoring/mastermind group filled with like-minded, like-hearted, like-souled authentic business success achievers who are continuously and consistently pulling themselves – and you! – forward. You’ll be thrilled and delighted how quickly you too, become one of these high authentic business success achievers that others are inspired, empowered and enlightened to be around!