The Right Internet Business Holds a Great Deal of Potential

While it’s natural to consider the traditional brick and mortar business when considering buying a business, an Internet business should also be part of your purchase business decision. The right Internet business holds a great deal of potential without much of the costs associated with having a storefront.

An Internet business for sale has its advantages over a brick and mortar business for sale. When you buy a business online, you save on rent, insurance, utilities, inventory, and employee salaries. The value a business over the Internet has is quickly realized, considering there are no hourly or location constraints. Purchasing a business that’s based Online means that you can operate your business from any location in the world – at any time of the day.

In choosing to buy a business, select an Internet venture that is of interest to you or is the right fit. Your buy business model should be based on your talents, interests, areas of expertise and strengths. A good rule of thumb is to buy a business that you, your relatives and friends are likely to purchase online from, whether a product or service. Trust your instincts with your purchase business ideas.

When you buy a business that is Internet based, it is essential that a thorough business valuation takes place. The number of business for sale opportunities online is enormous, so you want to be sure your purchase business decision is sound. You want to own a business that is a worthwhile entity. The value a business process will uncover its history, customer base, financials and business outlook. It’s important to own a business that has the potential to continue to grow and be successful.

You can own a business over the Internet by following traditional buy business procedures. First of all, you should perform an in depth business valuation, negotiate for the best purchase business price you can get, and ask the seller essential questions so you can properly value the business. When you value a business, important materials to request are financial spreadsheets, tax statements, Internet sales documentation, business account statements, number of website visitors by month, merchandise suppliers, if applicable, and server and hosting details.

The business valuation should also include a profit and loss statement, search engine ranking and any other documentation that shows the Internet business is an established business.

When buying a business online, there are several proven rules to follow to ensure that your buy business decision is being based on actual web revenue and not undocumented figures from the seller. You also want to research the different deal structures available with an Internet business for sale. Your purchase business structure should address retaining the customer base and current online marketing efforts.

While buying a business that is Internet based enables you to own a business independently, the key is to buy a business at a considerable value. The Internet is a thoroughly comprehensive resource for comparing all sorts of purchase business prices.

There are many great reasons to own a business that is Internet based. By doing proper research and conducting a thorough business valuation, you will make a sound investment that will bring you much success and financial freedom.

Copyright (c) 2009 Richard K Parker

3 Ways to Beat the Small Business Cash Flow Crunch

What do 90% of business failures have in common?

Lack of cash.

Cash is king. According to Dun and Bradstreet, 90% of business failures happen because of poor cash flow. In today’s fragile economy, maintaining a strong positive cash flow for your small business is more important than ever.

Cash Flow Basics for Small Business
Well, duh, right? Any high school economics student can tell you positive cash flow is important to a small business. But knowing about cash flow and keeping a positive cash flow for your business are two different things. So what do you need to consider when it comes to your business’ cash flow? Three factors affect cash flow:

- Accounts Receivable (cash flowing into your business)
- Accounts Payable (cash flowing out of your business)
- Overhead Expenses (a subset of accounts payable)

In this article I give you three ways to increase the cash flow into your business.

3 Ways to Increase Cash Flow into Your Business
If you accounts receivable records look good, your business cash flow should be good, right? Wrong. A positive accounts receivable column only helps your business if you can convert your receivables to cash. Your business’ accounts receivable is a listing of money owed to your company. But being owed and having cash in hand are two different things. So how do you turn accounts receivable into cash faster for your small business?

1. Bill Promptly and Accurately
Another “Duh!” suggestion, but you might be surprised at how many small business owners are guilty of neglecting regular and prompt billing, viewing it as another paperwork hassle that goes on the back burner. If your small business doesn’t bill promptly, start now. Assign an employee to handle this task if necessary. When working on long-term projects, arrange to bill monthly for work-in-progress and ask for a deposit before you start the project. Also, be very careful and detailed in your billing. Nothing strains a good business relationship like billing errors. Review your bills for errors and omissions before sending them out.

2. Avoid Slow or No-Pay Clients
You might be amazed at the kinds of clients who are slow to pay, or totally delinquent. According to Dun and Bradstreet, the worst slow-pay offenders are large businesses, those with 500 employees or more. On average, these businesses take 62.7 days to pay up, more than 4 weeks past normal 30-day terms. Here’s the other shocker: the most common no-pay offenders are clients who owe $500 or less. Apparently, these clients feel that this amount of cash is insignificant, and don’t feel guilty about not paying up.

Before you take on a new client or extend credit to a client, do your homework. You can do a credit check on all new clients using an outside agency, or request credit references and do your own checking. Another option is to call other businesses that do business with your client to learn whether the client pays on time. If the potential client turns out to be the slow/no pay type, don’t take them on. In lean economic times it may seem crazy not to accept all the business you can get, but clients who don’t pay up can seriously and negatively affect your cash flow. Not only will you wait endlessly to get paid for goods and services already delivered, but you will also spend a lot of internal resources tracking delinquent accounts and chasing your cash. The best policy is: “Just say no!”

3. Plan for Fast Cash
There are two ways to get your clients to pay up sooner. First, you can negotiate short payment terms when you contract with a client. These days, many small businesses are asking for and getting “net 15? terms. See which if your clients might be open to these terms. Second, if you’re not comfortable asking for “net 15? terms, you can offer clients a discount for early payment. Offer a one to two percent discount for paying within 10 days. While you’ll be losing a little cash to the discount, you’re overall cash balance will be a lot healthier.

These three simple strategies for cash flow management can be the difference between your small business operating in the black or becoming one of the business in the 90% failure bracket.

Do you have your own unique ways of preserving or increasing the cash flow into your business?

What Makes Business Owners Abandon Their Dreams?

For those of us who have chosen to have our own businesses, the reasons for doing so are probably varied. The decision could have been initiated by the desire to call your own shots, have control over your own destiny or simply have time to do the things that a conventional job would not allow. Regardless of the reason, it was clear that owning your own business was preferable to working for someone else.

Today, more than any time in recent history, thousands of people are starting their own businesses. It’s no coincidence that corporate American is laying off or eliminating positions in record numbers as well. So the need (desired or by necessity) to venture out and do your own thing is on an upswing right now.   What’s also on an upswing is the number of existing small business owners that would trade their businesses for a job that pays better. 

A recent study released by Discover Small Business Watch (as published in the Orange County Register- June 29, 2009) sites a disturbing trend. Some 36% of small business owners would close their companies if they could find a better paying job working for someone else. This percentage is up from 30% last year. Clearly, the challenge of growing a business today is taking its toll on the minds and bank accounts of small business owners everywhere.   How could an entrepreneur, filled with a passion for making it on his/her own terms and a vision of doing something meaningful, come to the point of scrapping their dream in favor of a regular job? 

The answer may lie in the mindset of the owner and their feeling of not being able to achieve what they thought was possible so many years ago.   The economic environment is making it tough on all small businesses to grow or even just stay afloat. Still, there are businesses in every category that are doing well. Why do some small business owners do well in turbulent times while others seem to falter or close all together? The economy is not responsible for any single business succeeding or failing. It simply writes the rules for how we all must operate to achieve a successful outcome.  

Having a successful business mindset requires being very clear about your vision. What exactly are you in business for. ’Making money’ is too general to enable you to stay focused on the particular path you took. Why did you decide on (this) business and what do you expect from it once success is achieved.   From there, understanding what makes you unique and why your customers decided to do business with you is the next area of examination. Without a completely clear understanding of these areas, any marketing strategy will produce random results at best. And if you think repeating last year’s program will suffice, forget it! The market has changed way too much for that.  

The biggest single threat to a successful business mindset is ‘not knowing’ what to do or how to implement it. Thoughts of uncertainty about your plan or your ability to execute will only increase feelings of frustration, overwhelm and eventually the desire to give up.   The best way to combat this cycle of self-limiting thought is to get help. Whether you decide to elicit the input of a trusted small business advisor or a professional small business coach, having an objective viewpoint to keep you on the right track will do wonders for your focus and your commitment to building the business you want.   Deciding to get help is a personal choice and should be considered carefully. 

The type of business you have as well as the severity of your situation will determine what type of help you need. Here are a few things to consider before hiring a small business coach or advisor:  

1.                  What is their area of expertise? Are they geared towards organizational, financial, marketing or HR improvements? It makes no sense having someone who specializes in employee training if the problem is revenue and customer growth.  

2.                  Do they provide a tested system that will introduce new learning and tactics to resolve the problems you face? Are you getting help that will translate in to a predictable outcome or are you testing someone else’s theory.  

3.                  Do they have resources beyond their own experience that can add addition support to your efforts? Knowing that your coach or adviser has resources that he/she can draw on (and you as well) when needed, allows you to have access to many experts as opposed to just one individual.  

4.                  Is their involvement (coaching or advising) designed to get maximum results for you and your particular business? Can their approach be customized or scheduled in such a fashion that works for you or are you stepping into a ‘machine’ that only works one way regardless of who it’s working on?  

5.                  Are you comfortable with the relationship you’re about to step into? Regardless of the expertise or industry discipline, it all comes down to the relationship. Trust and integrity must exist before you put your business’s future in the hands of someone in this role.  

Running a business is not for the faint of heart and takes real commitment to reach short and long term success. If your dream business was good enough for you to put your money, time and emotional energy into, it should be good enough to save when the water gets rough. Before you decide to ‘bag it’ for a paycheck with someone else, invest in yourself- get help to learn what you don’t know and implement what you’ve not done. You might be surprised at how fast the results come and the vision returns.