The world of business and finance has a language all its own, hundreds and hundreds of terms, some of them so arcane that no small business owner would ever need to understand them.
Case in point: "Accreting Principal Swap." Go on, look it up, if you dare. But pop a couple of Advil first. It's a headache in 100 words.
Still, there are some definitions and concepts that every aspiring entrepreneur should understand. Don't know your P&L from your ROI? If it's all alphabet soup to you, here are some basic terms to get you started. In alphabetical order, of course.
There's nothing worse than feeling alone and helpless, cast adrift on a sea of trouble.
And there's nothing better than, just when you think you're about to be swamped by the next wave, having someone toss a life ring and you're saved. Wheeeeew!
It just wouldn't be right if we let National Small Business Week wind down without a nod to companies that are making some really good things happen for themselves and their communities.
Minnesota has more than half a million small businesses. Owners make big commitments and take big risks. They work long hours and face long odds. And they succeed like crazy. Here are just a few stories from our Small Business Development Centers.
Success doesn't come easy when you start your own business. It takes talent, drive, guts and more than a dash of plain, old luck.
It also helps to have some rock-solid partners in your corner.
As we celebrate National Small Business Week, it's important to recognize that Minnesota’s small businesses don’t go it alone (or they don't have to, anyway).
In case you entrepreneurs have been too busy taking care of business to notice, this is National Small Business Week.
So, in your honor, the rest of us Minnesotans pooled together and got you something nice: It's the recognition and gratitude you so richly deserve. Go ahead, try it on. Feels good, doesn't it? Yeah, looks good on you, too.
It may have happened a week ago or a decade ago, but most every small-business owner can tell you exactly when they had the “Gulp!” moment.
That’s the time when the excitement, optimism, and euphoria of starting their businesses suddenly gave way to a breath-stealing, temple-throbbing, sweat-inducing panic.
Selling goods and services to federal, state and local government offices and agencies can be profitable for all companies, no matter their size or target industries. But government contracts can be especially important for the stability and growth of small businesses.
That's why government at many levels takes pains to nourish small businesses by making sure they get a healthy slice of the procurement pie.
Bigfoot ... the Yeti … the Chupacabra … the Loch Ness Monster … the Government Small Business Grant.
Each is a myth, a flight of fancy, an expression of wishful thinking, a figment of someone’s runaway imagination.
Of course, people can be forgiven for believing in such folklore. We humans seem to have a genetic gullibility when it comes to monsters and money.
Meaningful financial projections are essential to business success. How much revenue will you take in? How much will be profit? Will the profit be enough to sustain the business?
No one should ever start or buy a business without a clear plan of profit and a realistic understanding of the sales volume needed to achieve it.
What business topic can induce deep sleep faster than a cocktail of warm milk and Ambien? If you said “Accounting-ssssssnnnnnk-zzzzzzzz” and then dozed off, you nailed it.
By now, your lids may be drooping and you’re fighting back a yawn, so it’s time to get up, pour yourself some strong coffee, do some jumping jacks, slap yourself on the cheeks a few times, and clear your head enough to wrap it around this simple truth:
You can’t afford to be bored by accounting. Not if you hope to stay in business.