Veterans, Guards, Reservists

An Employer Identification Number, also known as an EIN or FEIN, is a 9-digit number that identifies your business with the IRS. It is basically your business’ social security number, and all businesses need one. The EIN helps the IRS track wages and identify your business tax account. 

Follow this handy checklist to get your EIN today:

EIN checklist if you have a Social Security Number:

 Go to IRS.gov and select “Apply for EIN Online

 Have this company information ready:

About the Author

Drake Forester, Chief Legal Strategiest - Northwest Registered AgentDrake Forester is the chief legal strategist at Northwest Registered Agent, LLC. Throughout his career, Drake has researched many complicated nonprofit compliance issues and provided whitepaper and publications for many leading nonprofit organizations in the United States.

Ask SCORE
          Our veterinary practice began doing online marketing, including social media, about six
months ago. We believe it’s having a positive impact, but would like to know how we can
accurately measure its effectiveness.  

About the Author

       This column is brought to you by the Merrimack Valley Chapter of SCORE, with nearly
70 current and former business executives available to provide free, confidential, one-on-one
business mentoring and training workshops for area businesses. Call 603-666-7561 or visit
merrimackvalley.score.org for information on mentoring, upcoming workshops and volunteer

SCORE Assn

How SCORE Helped

SCORE  is parent organization for SCORE Mpls

Steve Strauss, founder of www.theselfemployed.com, makes the case for effective managerial skills as a tool for business success.

Thought LeaderQ: I have been hearing a lot about this seemingly new term “thought leader.” How does one become a thought leader, exactly? I have been in business quite a while and think that I have a unique expertise and so it would behoove me to be seen of as a ‘thought leader.’ But how do I get the word out?

Baxter

About the Author

Steve StraussSteven D. Strauss is a lawyer and writer and is one of the country's leading experts on small business as well as an international business speaker. The best-selling author of 17 books, his latest is the all-new 3rd ed. of The Small Business Bible. You can listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success Powered by Greatland, visit his new website for the self-employed, TheSelfEmployed, follow him on Twitter, and "like" TheSelfEmployed on Facebook. You can e-mail Steve at: sstrauss@mrallbiz.com. © Steven D. Strauss

Steve Strauss, founder of www.theselfemployed.com, makes the case for effective managerial skills as a tool for business success.

Q: I was wondering if you had any tips on how our business could be more entrepreneurial? We have been around for a long time, have about 25 employees, and so we are well past that creative, startup phase. Thank you.

Trisha

About the Author

Steve StraussSteven D. Strauss is a lawyer and writer and is one of the country's leading experts on small business as well as an international business speaker. The best-selling author of 17 books, his latest is the all-new 3rd ed. of The Small Business Bible. You can listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success Powered by Greatland, visit his new website for the self-employed, TheSelfEmployed, follow him on Twitter, and "like" TheSelfEmployed on Facebook. You can e-mail Steve at: sstrauss@mrallbiz.com. © Steven D. Strauss

Steve Strauss, founder of www.theselfemployed.com, makes the case for effective managerial skills as a tool for business success.

Q: Hi Steve – I have an idea for a business, but I also get that the startup landscape these days seems to be evolving rapidly – now it seems like it is all about social media and mobility and so on. That is not really my thing. So, do you think I can still make a go of it if my startup is more ‘old school’?

Vic

A:

Old school is old school for a reason: It usually has stood the test of time and works.

About the Author

Steve StraussSteven D. Strauss is a lawyer and writer and is one of the country's leading experts on small business as well as an international business speaker. The best-selling author of 17 books, his latest is the all-new 3rd ed. of The Small Business Bible. You can listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success Powered by Greatland, visit his new website for the self-employed, TheSelfEmployed, follow him on Twitter, and "like" TheSelfEmployed on Facebook. You can e-mail Steve at: sstrauss@mrallbiz.com. © Steven D. Strauss

Starting a small business is a smart, bold thing to do, regardless of the economic climate. The conventional wisdom may be to wait and kick off your venture when times are flush, credit is flowing, and consumers are eager, but there are actually a number of very convincing reasons why starting your business in a down economy can benefit you. Whether times are tough or not, though, before you get out of the starting gate and launch your venture there are several critical things you're going to need. To help make your journey easier and hopefully more prosperous, read on for the essentials.

1. A Good Idea

All successful small businesses start with a good idea - but how do you come up with one? Instead of using past methods of idea generation, like developing a product or service and then creating or establishing a foothold in a market, try the opposite approach. Identify a need or a desire that a large demographic of society currently has and build your idea around a solution.

2. Organization

About the Author

Kevin Glover operates a small business from home in Florida and writes about his experiences and advice related to marketing, startup costs, and financing.

Steve Strauss, founder of www.theselfemployed.com, makes the case for effective managerial skills as a tool for business success.

Q: I lost my job recently and since this is not the first time and I am sick of it, I am strongly considering starting a one-person business. The question then is – what is the likelihood of success? Can it work?
Amy

(Part 1 of 2)

About the Author

Steve StraussSteven D. Strauss is a lawyer and writer and is one of the country's leading experts on small business as well as an international business speaker. The best-selling author of 17 books, his latest is the all-new 3rd ed. of The Small Business Bible. You can listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success Powered by Greatland, visit his new website for the self-employed, TheSelfEmployed, follow him on Twitter, and "like" TheSelfEmployed on Facebook. You can e-mail Steve at: sstrauss@mrallbiz.com. © Steven D. Strauss

As a retailer, what is more important to you, profits or cash flow? The initial response from most merchants posed that question is: “Profits, of course!”

Cash FlowOn the surface, that answer makes sense; who wouldn’t want more profits? The mere word “profitable” itself evokes a sense of financial well-being. In today’s retail environment, though, profits alone are not enough;cash flow is the new financial reality.

About the Author

Ritchie SaynerRitchie Sayner's retail career began at a family-owned department store in the Midwest where my responsibilities ranged from buyer to general merchandise manager. Since 1980, he has worked for RMSA Retail Solutions, a national retail consulting firm that specializes in helping retailers increase sales volume, improve margin, strengthen cash flow, and maximize turnover.

Ritchie is a certified instructor of retailing, speak regularly to retail groups and write articles for various industry publications on a variety of issues facing today’s retailers. He has a degree in marketing from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse.

Find out more at write4retail.com
 

E-commerce offers a multitude of benefits that brick-and-mortar setups can’t capitalize on, but it also comes with its own set of challenges: namely, the struggle to stand out. These obstacles can make it difficult to attract customers and maximize their value, particularly for small businesses with limited budgets.

But by recognizing these challenges from the start, you’ll be better equipped to enhance your user experience, build customer relationships, and capitalize on customer potential.

Challenge 1: High Competition

Only so many brick-and-mortar retailers fit on a city block — but online, the possibilities are endless. You can find an online specialty store for anything from bowties to dog food, and competition is fierce. Competing brands aggressively seek out each other’s target market through social media, advertising, SEO, SEM, and more. This makes it harder to reel the customer in and keep his or her attention.
 

About the Author

Kevin TigheKevin Tighe II is the co-founder and CEO of LA-based startup WeBRAND, an e-commerce platform that allows influencers and brands to team up with their fans and talented designers to create and sell limited-edition apparel and merchandise. Connect with Kevin on Twitter and Google+.
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