How Are Businesses Financed: [INFOGRAPHIC]

Wondering how to finance your new business venture? Whether you’re just getting started or considering refinancing your small business, there are lots of options to consider. In the infographic below you will find:

  1. The strengths and weaknesses of 7 common sources of capital
  2. A breakdown of the three most common types of business loans
  3. Some real-life examples from successful startups
Do you have a real life example to share? We’d like to hear your success story in the comments section. Click the image below to enlarge and learn more:

Getting Your Site in Shape for the Holidays There is no doubt that the holidays have started — there is the familiar scent of pine and cold in the air, office parties are gearing up, Black Friday has come and passed — but have you thought about the shape your site is in?

With everyone in the gift giving mood, customers and potential customers will be searching online for products and are likely to discover your site this holiday season. Here are some things you can do today to make sure your site (and you) is prepared for the holidays:

  • Holiday Messaging: Remember your manners. Your site is  the virtual storefront/representation of you and your business that can be seen worldwide. Thus when posting your holiday messages, keep in mind that all of your visitors don’t celebrate the same holidays. Using secular messaging like “Happy Holidays” and seasonal graphics go a lot further than “Merry Christmas” when speaking to all your visitors.
  • Timing: Don’t be the website that keeps the Christmas lights up all year long.  Because major retailers push the holiday season earlier and earlier every year, there seems to be no concrete holiday messaging start-date. But not removing the messaging in a timely manner can make it look like you don’t maintain your site and that it’s out of date. We all like the holidays, but if your logo is still covered in snow in June you’re probably really late or extremely early for the next holiday season.
  • Low Inventory: Yes we have no bananas. Nothing is more frustrating for shoppers who need that last gift to come to your website, place the order, pay for it, and then a week later get an email saying the item is sold out/back-ordered/no longer available. Take the time when setting up the offer to add “only 10 remain in stock” or “sold out” and “will be back in stock on…” messages. Using messaging like this works in your favor: first you communicate the uniqueness of the offer better; second you show a sense of urgency and finally if it’s out of stock but coming back you’ve almost guaranteed a return visit to purchase the item then.

It’s that time of year: the time to enjoy hot cocoa by the fire, build a snowman with the kids…and square away the loose ends of your business. Doesn’t that sound fun? Well, if you define “fun” as being prepared for 2011 then, yes, it will be fun.

Here are four end-of-year tasks that will help you start 2011 off right:

1. Revisit that classic holiday tale: your 2010 financial documents.


Let the ghost of business past guide you through a review of your 2010 cash flow statement, income statement, and balance sheet. If you don’t have the time to prepare these documents, consider hiring someone to prepare them for you. Here are the lessons you’ll learn…
A) …from your cash flow statement: whether your business’s net cash flow went up or down, and where the money went
B).…from  your income statement: get a snapshot of the year with this simple formula: Revenue minus Expenses = Profit (or Loss)
C)…from your balance sheet: a summary of your business’s assets, liabilities, and equity.

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