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Take a look at Calhoun Companies' blog written by our business brokers in Minnesota for advice & guidance in buying & selling a business!

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Tax Season Fodder

by Rose McKinney
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Wednesday, 16 April 2014 Category Industry 0 Comments

With April 15 - tax day - firmly placed in our rearview mirror, we thought it would be fun to highlight what small business owners could be doing with the time they spend filing their taxes. 

After all, the paperwork associated with tax season is an administrative burden that takes an incredible amount of time for small business owners, according to a new survey by the National Small Business Association. 

The findings state that, on average, small business owners spend at least 40 hours filing their federal taxes each year. For those of you doing the math, that's the equivalent of a full work week. What's more, one out of three business owners spend the equivalent of three weeks on this annual chore!

We know that filing federal taxes is the law and something that business owners must do each year, and we're not advocating anyone does the following activities in lieu of filing their taxes. But, instead of spending the equivalent of, let's say two work weeks doing so, business owners could be doing one of these five activities instead:

 

1. Fly around the world 1.7 times on a commercial jet.

2. Compete in 17 marathons at the average U.S. pace of 10:34 miles/hour.

3. Travel to the moon 4.8 times, traveling on NASA's New Horizon's Pluto mission.

4. Watch all eight Harry Potter movies four times.

5. Cook 14.5 perfect 20-pound unstuffed turkeys back to back.

 

Which would you rather do during the time you set aside to do your federal taxes? 

The survey also found that 67 percent of small business owners polled support broad tax reform that will reduce both corporate and individual tax rates coupled with reduced deductions. 

If you are interested in what else the survey found, please click here to see the full NSBA 2014 Small Business Taxation Survey

And thanks to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce website for the fodder behind this blog post. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: 2013 taxes, small business taxes 2013, federal tax filing, taxes for small business owners
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National Small Business Week is May 12 - 16, 2014

by Rose McKinney
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Wednesday, 09 April 2014 Category Industry 0 Comments

Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. According to the Small Business Administration, more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and small businesses create about two out of every three new jobs in the United States each year. 

To recognize the critical contributions of America's entrepreneurs and small business owners, the President has issued a proclamation announcing a National Small Business Week each year since 1963.

This year's National Small Business Week is May 12 - 16, culminating with an awards ceremony in Washington, DC when a National Small Business Person of the Year is named. 

Live events will take place throughout the week in Boston, Kansas City, San Francisco as well as DC. But even if there are no SBA-sponsored events taking place where you are, you can still take advantage of National Small Business Week. 

For instance, a Minneapolis-based marketing company is holding free webinars throughout the week on helping small businesses with web marketing. By doing this, they are establishing themselves as the thought-leaders for small business internet marketing. Plus, they are collecting names and emails of viable prospects. 

Perhaps you can do something similar with a service you provide? Of course, you don't have to offer a webinar each day, but maybe something of value that would entice potential prospects.

Another way you can recognize the week is by providing free coffee and donuts to the surrounding small businesses in your area one morning. This is a cost-effective way to meet your neighbors, strike up conversations and provide them with something they weren't expecting but probably really appreciate. 

Finally, many area chambers of commerce are holding informal events to recognize National Small Business Week. You can check those out and attend, and if you want to take it a step further, inquire about potential sponsorship opportuntities. After all, National Small Business Week only comes around once a year. 

For more information on National Small Business Week, please visit the SBA website

 

Tags: small business, small business administration, small business owners, Small Business Resources, National Small Business Week
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Three Traits Needed to Lead Your Company

by Rose McKinney
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Wednesday, 19 March 2014 Category Industry 0 Comments

It should come as no surprise that the ability to lead is required to run a successful company. 

Of course, the type of leadership employed depends on the organization's specific needs. Whether it's "inspirational leadership," "leadership in a non-authoritative way," "take-charge leadership" or "ethical leadership," each leadership type serves a purpose for that point in time.  

But what else is needed to successfully lead a company? 

Boris Groysberg, a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, surveyed senior search consultants at a global executive placement firm to find out what headhunters are looking for in leaders.

Here is what he found:

1. The ability to think and act strategically - the leader needs to set the strategic direction of the company and the ability to execute the vision.

2. Be tech savvy - technology skills and technical literacy are critical for a leader. They need to not only understand industry-specific technology, but also how technology is impacting their business and how to exploit it. 

3. The ability to be a team player - an effective leader cannot be an island; he or she needs to hire and develop a strong leadership team and be team-oriented. No leader can succeed as a one-person brilliant player. 

 

What other traits are needed to successfully lead a company? See what else Groysberg found from his survey, which is published on the Harvard Business Review Blog. Do you agree? Is there something that isn't there that should be? 

 

 

 

Tags: new business onwner, new business owner mistakes, business ow, leadership
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Minneapolis is a Top City for Women Entrepreneurs

by Rose McKinney
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Tuesday, 04 March 2014 Category Industry 0 Comments

Last week, financial website NerdWallet revealed the top 10 cities for women entrepreneurs, and Minneapolis landed at spot number four. 

How did they come to this conclustion? 

They looked at indicators such as, education levels and unemployment rates, how "business friendly" a city is in general, how many businesses are owned by women, and what the average paycheck is for full-time female workers. 

Did you know that nearly a third of the businesses in Minneapolis are owned by women? That's impressive, and probably has much to do with the networking resources and events in the city that are specifically for women, such as WomenVenture and Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota. 

What's more, Minneapolis has the lowest unemployment rate of the top 10 cities. Not a bad stat. 

So what are the other cities on the list?

1. Washington, DC

2. San Francisco

3. Seattle

4. Minneapolis

5. Portland, OR

6. Atlanta

7. Denver

8. Austin, TX

9. San Jose, CA

10. Boston

To see the study in its entirety, please click here

 

Tags: Minnesota Business climate, top cities women entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs, women business owners
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Confidence on the Rise for Twin Cities Small Businesses

by Rose McKinney
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Wednesday, 19 February 2014 Category Industry 0 Comments

Check our latested press release titled "Confidence on the Rise for Twin Cities Small Businesses." 

 

As business owners across the nation gain confidence in the overall economy, Edina-based business brokerage Calhoun Companies sees the increase in the number of businesses for sale in the Twin Cities as a positive indicator for the year ahead.

“Business owners are regaining their confidence in the economy,” says Andy Kocemba, president and CEO of Calhoun Companies, “Sales happen when business owners know they can get a good price for their business. It’s great to see optimism on the rise, especially in the Twin Cities – our own backyard.”

During the third quarter alone in 2013, nearly $5.3 billion in loans were given to small businesses nationwide compared to the $4.3 billion in third quarter of 2012 according to the SBA. Loans serve a variety of purposes for small businesses, from assisting in the acquisition of new business to establishing new businesses. An increase in SBA loans indicates a healthier economy.[1]

Specific to Calhoun Companies, in 2013, the company closed nearly 70 separate transactions compared to 2012’s 55. Calhoun Companies stated that while the recession brought numbers down throughout the country, the economy’s health is on the rise and Calhoun Companies is set to continue the upswing into 2014.


[1] http://calhouncompanies.com/blog/entry/a-good-time-to-sell-the-business-.html

Tags: SBA loans, small business, closed transactions, Calhoun Companies, business brokerage
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Small Business Owners Are Feeling Good

by Rose McKinney
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Wednesday, 05 February 2014 Category Industry 0 Comments

It's always nice to start the year off on the right foot, and it seems that most small business owners were in a good mood in January as the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index hit its highest level in five years this quarter. 

Based on a survey with business owners in January, the index came in at 45, which is up from 24 in October. That's the highest number since the third quarter of 2008, just before the financial crisis hit and the economy fell into recession. 

Why so high now? Small business owners reported improved cash flow and a brighter outlook for revenue and earnings. Plus, fewer reported difficulty in obtaining credit. 

The top concern for these business owners? Finding new business. 

It should be noted that since the survey, which was conducted January 6 - 10, stocks have been trending downward, which might put a dent in the moods of small business owners. We'll have to wait and see on that.  

But at least for now, the outlook seems positive. How do you, as a small business owner, feel about the state of the economy and your business?

To see more information on this, please check out this article in in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

 

 

 

 

Tags: economy, small business satisfaction, small business, small business sentiment
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Selling Your Business Can Take An Emotional Toll

by Rose McKinney
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Wednesday, 22 January 2014 Category Sellers 0 Comments

Most business owners would tell you that their business is much like their baby. They work hard to build it up, trying to do all the right things along the way, but know full well they will stumble here and there. 

Still, when the business matures and reaches a point where it is attractive to a potential buyer, letting go can be quite difficult. 

In fact, when business owners sell their business for a pretty penny, many of them can slump into a deep, dark depression. 

And the misery can worsen when founders stay on board to help run their former business. 

Judith Glaser, an executive coach who has trained many business owners through transitions, liken this mood to the post-partum blues. She says that when someone else comes and takes your (former) business in a new direction, it's "like performing plastic surgery on your child."

The best way to beat the blues, says Glaser, is to give yourself a different framework for your dreams and aspirations. The business that was just sold probably was the vehicle for those dreams and aspirations at one point; now it's time to find a new vehicle. 

To avoid the blues altogether, have another ambition lined up right away. Then foucs hard on that. 

To see how two business owners handled this after they sold the businesses they found, click on this link to see the article on inc.com. 

Tags: business seller mistakes, preparing to sell your business, selling a business, selling your business
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Minneapolis is Top 10 City for Job Seekers

by Rose McKinney
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Wednesday, 08 January 2014 Category Buyers 0 Comments

Financial website NerdWallet.com announced its Top 10 U.S. Cities for Job Seekers, and Minneapolis landed at spot number 8. 

As the overall U.S. economy continues to recover, the website realized some cities are more promising than others who are looking for employment. So, to come up with the best cities for job seekers, NerdWallet looked at the following factors:

1. Are jobs available? They looked at the metro area's unemployment rate.

2. Is the city growing? They wanted to make sure the city is an attractive place to live and that the population is growing. 

3. Can you afford to live there? They looked at the monthly household income as well as monthly costs of homeowners to assess whether residents could live comfortably in the area.

 

This is what they said about Minneapolis:

"Known as the City of Lakes, Minneapolis has over twenty lakes and wetlands. The city's diverse economy is based on commerce, finance, healthcare and trucking. Some of the largest employers include Target, the University of Minnesota and Wells Fargo. Minneapolis offers plenty of culture as well - the city has a thriving theater scene and several film and arts centers, and the city hosts the Minnesota Fringe Festival, one of the largest performing arts festivals in the United States. Minneapolis is one of the best cities for recreation, and hockey fans have plenty to cheer for here as well. The University of Minnesota has a campus in Minneapolis, and they offer programs that enrich the public, such as a yearly Women's Leadership Conference." 

 

Here are the Top 10 Cities on NerdWallet's list (Note that Texas has three cities on the list):

1. Austin, TX

2. Washington, DC

3. Fort Worth, TX

4. Denver, CO

5. Charlotte, NC

6. Raleigh, NC

7. Omaha, NE

8. Minneapolis

9. Oklahoma City, OK

10. San Antonio, TX

 

For more information on why NerdWallet picked each city, please click here

 

 

Tags: jobs, jobseekers, employment, small business employees
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Five Ways to Not Hate Public Speaking

by Rose McKinney
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Thursday, 02 January 2014 Category Industry 0 Comments

As you become more and more successful as a business owner, chances are you'll be asked to speak in front of a group of people about your product or service. To some, this provides a great thrill, but to most, it provides anxiety, stress and fear. 

You may have heard that for many, the greatest fear people have is public speaking. So how can you not hate it and not fear it? 

Here are five tips to help you become an effective public speaker, found on Entrepreneur.com:

 

1. Love Your Topic: When you love something, you are enthusiastic about it. And that enthusiasm is contagious. Audiences love to listen to speakers who speak with passion about their topic; it is engaging and interesting for them. And it is more fun for you. 

2. Reveal Something Personal: By doing this, you are demonstrating to the audience that you are, in fact, a human being. It levels the playing field and makes you that much more relateable to the audience. 

3. Arrive Early: When you arrive early, you can meet some of the audience. You can shake their hands, thank them for coming, and get some familiarity with them. After all, it's easier to speak to a group of friends than to a group of strangers.

4. Beware of Your Body Language: What you say with your body is just as important as what you say with your mouth. Stand at the podium with your hands at your side, and stop to smile at the audience. This will make you look self-confident and assured, even if you don't feel it. 

5. Be a Story-Teller, Not a Lecturer: Telling a story is more interesting and more powerful for your audience. It will engage them and give them something to remember. Don't just prepare what you are going to say; prepare how you are going to say it. 

 

If you weave these tips into your public speaking practices, you will be more effective at reaching your audience and become a more confident public speaker. 

Tags: new entrepreneurs, entrepreneur, successful business practices, public speaking, business owner
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How To Be a Super Confident Leader

by Rose McKinney
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Wednesday, 11 December 2013 Category Buyers 0 Comments

Many responsibilities come along with the job of running a business. Every day, business owners are confronted with a variety of issues and challenges, and if the business owner lacks confidence, not only will those issues and challenges go unresolved, but also the business will not grow and thrive. 

According to Thomas Edwards, founder of executive coaching firm Confidence Unchained, confidence is an emotion which can be triggered and groomed, just like happiness, sadness or even anger. In this Entrepreneur.com article, he says in order to push through the challenges and acheive a high level of confidence, you need to do five things.

 

1. Plan ahead while leaving room for spontaneity - While it is important to plan for both the short-term and the long-term, if you leave room for the unknown and be spontaneous at times, you'll keep the door open for new possibilities that might be a perfect match for your business.

 

2. Listen before you speak - Engage in active listening, which will enable you to connect and relate to the person with whom you are having a conversation. To do this, ask open-ended questions, and really listen to the answers. You'll get bits of information - or nuggets - that will allow you to connect with that person on a meaningful level. 

 

3. Pay attention to appearance - It's true; you don't have a second chance to make a first impression, and it's pivotal to your confidence to look good. You never know who you might run into, and even if you run into no one, it's essentail that you don't look like a mess. 

 

4. Exercise - Devote time every day, whether it's 10 minutes or a full hour - to exercising your body. It can help with yoru posture, your self-esteem and even your decision-making process. What's more, making and reaching fitness goals can give you a tremendous feeling of accomplishment, a feeling that can easily transfer to other areas of your life. 

 

5. Smile - The easiest thing you can do for your confidence level is to smile. Even in the most strenuous of times, you can put yourself - and others around you - at ease simply by smiling. 

 

Do you agree with these? Are there other things you can do to build your confidence? 

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The Habits (Good & Bad) of Smart People [Infographic]

by Rose McKinney
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Wednesday, 04 December 2013 Category Industry 0 Comments

You're a smart person, right? 

Ever wonder what characteristics people with a high IQ share? 

Online-PhD-Programs.org did, and so they conducted some research to see what habits - both good and bad - those with a high IQ have. 

Not surprisingly, people with a high IQ are avid readers and goal-setters. But they also tend to experience anxiety and drink more heavily. 

Click here to check out the good and bad habits of really smart people in this really interesting Infographic. 

 

 

Tags: business owner
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Small Business Saturday, November 30

by Rose McKinney
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Monday, 25 November 2013 Category Industry 0 Comments

The holiday season is upon us and so is the holiday shopping season. Big Box retailers have Black Friday, and online retailers have Cyber Monday. But what about the independent retailers that are such a vibrant part of the community?

Thanks to American Express, they now have Small Business Saturday, which this year is taking place on November 30.

The day, now in its fourth year,  is meant to give small businesses across the country a way to cash-in on the holiday shopping rush, and it has proven to be a great success. In fact, in 2011, the U.S. Senate officially recognized Small Business Saturday, and last year consumer reported awareness reached 67 percent, according to the American Express website.

To make it easy for those retailers that want to participate and promote Small Business Saturday, American Express provides marketing tools and ideas. And if you are participating and accept American Express, you can include your company on the Small Business Saturday Map.

Consumers get incentives, too. Not only do several businesses offer Small Business Saturday deals, but also American Express will grant cardmembers a one-time $10 credit on their statement if they spend $10 or more on their Amex card at any participating retailer.

In order to get the credit, cardmembers must register their card.

It's not too late to get in on the action. Visit the American Express Small Business Saturday website to learn more, see success stories and sign up to participate.

 

 

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Want to Dominate in 2014? Start Planning & Reflecting Now

by Rose McKinney
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Wednesday, 13 November 2013 Category Industry 0 Comments

All the signs are there. The temps are dropping and the days are getting shorter. Holiday music and decorations have magically appeared in stores and coffee shops, and the calendar is creeping ever closer.

Yes, 2013 is winding down and 2014 is right around the corner.

And although it can be easier said than done, now is the time to start reflecting on 2013 and start planning on how you are going to do even better in 2014.

We found a great article on Entrepreneur.com to help you get focused on how you are going to dominate next year.

 

1. Set action-oriented goals now, not on New Year's Eve - Instead of promising to do something new, or quit doing something old, set attainable goals today about what new actions you are going to take to get closer to your desired outcome. Does that include meeting with one new prospect a week, or attending two networking events a month? Whatever the actions are, you want to ensure they help you move your business forward.

 

2. Think about how you are going to disrupt your industry - You want to change your industry for the better, right? How can you do this? How can you stand out from your competition? What messages are you going to send to your customers and prospects?

 

3. Leverage partnerships - Partnerships are so important, but they are not created overnight. Who can you align with that will help you blow your customer's expectations and experiences out of the water? Start formalizing those partnerships now, before the calendar turns to 2014.

 

4. Create value for others - Now is the time to thank everyone who has invested in your success in 2013. Let them know how truly important they are to you. In addition, whatever it is you want more of in 2014 - be it more money or more support - go out and give it away. The more you give, the more you get.

 

5. Leave your doubts behind - Is 2014 going to be the best year of your life? That's completely up to you. We all have doubts and fears, but those can be conquered. You just need to be honest with yourself and face those fears by preparing even more. The more confident you are, the less doubt you will have and the more likely you will be to succeed.

 

With these five steps, you can make 2014 a great year!

Tags: small business owners, business owners, business strategy, Business planning
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News from Calhoun Companies

by Rose McKinney
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Thursday, 07 November 2013 Category Industry 0 Comments

This week, we have two bits of news to share with you.

First, we moved offices. We are now located at 7600 Parklawn Ave., Suite 225, Minneapolis, MN 55435. Our phone and fax numbers have stayed the same.

The second piece of news we have is that we released our third quarter results. The following press release sums it up nicely:

 

 

MINNEAPOLIS, October 30, 2013 – With the marketplace demonstrating improvement over the last couple of years, Minneapolis-based business brokerage, Calhoun Companies, released its Q3 earnings and expects positive growth in the fourth quarter. Calhoun Companies closed nearly $3 million in transactions in Q3, which is traditionally their slowest period of the year.

“Ebbs and flows in the marketplace are natural,” says Andy Kocemba, president and CEO of Calhoun Companies, “Right now, the big picture shows that the sale of small business has been increasing over the last three years. Our local economy is demonstrating measurable improvement and a promising recovery.”

According to one article from The Wall Street Journal, the economy is finally at a point where small business owners looking to sell can do so for a decent price, and the number of small businesses for sale is a great economic indicator. Between July and September 2013, 1,685 businesses nationwide were sold, compared to 1,189 during the same time in 2012. [1]

With eagerness to sell on the rise, Calhoun Companies emphasizes the importance of an exit strategy and preparedness when it comes to listing a business. “Do your research and make sure it is the right time for a transition,” says Kocemba, “Finding the right buyer for your business is key.”



 

Tags: Calhoun Companies, selling your business, buying a business
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A Good Time To Sell The Business?

by Rose McKinney
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Wednesday, 30 October 2013 Category Sellers 0 Comments

It seems as if the small-business-for-sale market is warming up as the economic downturn finally makes an upward swing. It also seems that many business owners whose companies' valuation took a hit between 2008 and 2010 are now seeing three years of increasing revenues - a key indicator that banks and buyers typically look at when assessing a deal.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal outlines just how active the market is.

According to BizBuySell.com, the number of businesses sold between July and September in 2013 is up over the same period of 2012, marking the third year-over-year quarterly increase.

BizBuySell.com tracks transactions reported by business brokers across the U.S. Using this data, it found that by industry,  most sales of businessess this year have been service companies, followed by retailiers and restaurants. It defines small businesses as those with fewer than 500 employees.

In addition, small-business lending has been rising. The SBA backed 12,976 so-called 7(a) loans totaling $5.3 billion in the third quarter, up from 11,442 loans totaling $4.3 billion a year earlier, according to the SBA. These loans can be used to assist in the acquisition of an existing business as well as to establish a new business or expand an existing one, among other uses.

This is a positive trend as there is pent up demand of many baby-boomers wishing to sell their company but couldn't, due to the weakened economy. And it's not just the baby boomers who couldn't find a buyer a few years ago who want to sell. They are joined by others looking to retire this year or switch jobs.

Of course, the improving marketplace is causing some concern that the number of sellers could soon out-pace the number of buyers. After all, some of the 76 million baby boomers - people born between 1946 and 1964 - will be looking to retire in the near future.

So, if you are thinking about selling your business, now might a good time to do so. For information on how Calhoun Companies can help, please contact us.

 

 

Tags: finding buyers, buying a business, business financing, baby boomer, selling a business, selling your business
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Three Ways to Keep Your Creative Juices Flowing

by Rose McKinney
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Wednesday, 23 October 2013 Category Industry 0 Comments

As a business owner, it can be nearly impossible to find the time to exercise the brain's innovation muscle to get the creative juices flowing. You know, things like attending a weekly networking meeting, signing up for a six-month course of study and even committing to journaling at home each night. 

Those things take a lot of thought and time to get accomplished, and otfentimes get pushed to the back burner. But boosting yoru brain power doesn't have to consume your time. In fact, you can incorporate activites into your daily routine to keep those creative muscles working.

And this article on Entrepreneur.com outlines three of them. So what can you do the boost your brain?


1. Write your ideas down - whether you do this the old fashioned way via pen and paper, or go high-tech with a program like Evernote, make sure you write down your thoughts and ideas when they strike. Then, set aside 30 -60 minutes each week to review your notes. You never know what you'll find!

2. Take a hike - well, not literally, but if possible travel by foot at least once a day. And no, we don't mean from your desk to the reception area. Try to step away from your office and take a walk. Research shows that even a 20-minute stroll can clear your head and make room for other ideas. And isn't it true that some of our best ideas come when we aren't trying to think of them?

3. Get social - we can learn a lot from interacting with other people in a low-pressure, social environment. Maybe it's a happy hour with a group or lunch with one other person. The point is, engaging with people is essential to our creativitiy. Did you know that sharing information about oursevles fires up the pleasure centers of our brain, which leads to creativity? Makes sense, doesn't it?

 

So there are three easy-to-implement strategies to keep your creative juices flowing. Put them to work and let us know the outcome!

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5 Ways the Government Shutdown is Hurting Small Businesses

by Rose McKinney
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Wednesday, 09 October 2013 Category Industry 0 Comments

While we strive not to get political on our blog, there is no disputing that the Government Shutdown is having an impact.  And, with the help of an article in the Wasington Post, we are going to highlight five ways the shutdown is directly hurting small businesses across the country.

1. SBA Programs are Halted - With the Small Business Administration closed, many small business owners are left without access to training and counseling. But perhaps more important than that is the fact that the SBA has stopped processing applications for government-backed, small business loans. That means many are left without the funds needed to start - or expand - their business.

2. IRS Loans - The shutdown means that the IRS has stopped confirming income-related information for prospective borrowers to banks and conventional lenders. And this is typically a very busy time of year for small business borrowing.

3. Contractors Left in the Lurch - The government awards contracts to thousands of small businesses across the country, many of which rely heavily - or solely - on that work. But the shutdown could mean a delay in work, late payments or even cancelled contracts.

4. Federal Workers Short on Cash - Nearly 800,000 government employees are currently furloughed, which means less cash in their pockets. This could put an enormous strain on local economies like Washington, DC, and it could fan out to the larger economy as well.

5. National Parks are Closed - Businesses that target tourists around National Parks are feeling the pain, too. With the parks closed, less toursits are passing through and many businesses count on those people to stay afloat.

Are you feeling the pinch of the Government Shutdown? Let us know if you are, and how.

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Minnesota Ranked 8th Best State for Business

by Rose McKinney
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Wednesday, 02 October 2013 Category Industry 0 Comments

Forbes magazine recently ranked Minnesota as the 8th best state for business in 2013, which is up 12 spots from last year.

In determining the list, Forbes looked at the following six factors: business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life. They drew from 10 data sources, but relied heavily on Moody's Analytics.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) said that the list is a great tool to promote Minnesota as a great place to live, work and do business. We agree.

DEED pointed out that Minnesota ranked fifth in quality of life on the list, ninth in economic climate, 13th in growth prospects, 18th in labor supply, 22nd in regulator environment and 34th in business costs.

It seems that the quality of life scores might be the main driver behind the state's jump in ranking.

Minnesota has the second-highest percentage of adults with a high school degree at 92.5 percent, a poverty rate about 5 percent lower than the national average, a healthy population and a low portion of uninsured - just 7.8 percent compared to about 15 percent nationwide.

So which states topped the Forbes list?

Virginia, which has been either number one or number two for each of the eight years the list has been published, topped the list this year. North Dakota came in at number two, followed by Utah.

To see the top 25 on the Forbes list, please click here


 

Tags: Minnesota business, Minnesota Business climate, Doing Business in Minnestoa
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Some Statistics About Small Businesses

by Rose McKinney
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Wednesday, 18 September 2013 Category Industry 0 Comments

As you know, we are huge fans of the Small Business, the engine behind the American economy. So when we saw an article on Forbes.com stating some surprising statistics about small businesses, we were all ears (or, eyes in this case).

And the stats were so interesteing we thought we'd share some with you. Ready?

First off, the Small Business Administration (SBA) defines a small business as having fewer than 500 employees. With that definition, over 50 percent of the working population, or 120 million people, work in a small business.

As for the number of small businesses in the U.S.? Almost 28 million small businesses pepper the American landscape, and over 22 million of those are self-employed with no additional payroll or employees (these are called nonemployers).

Small businesses have generated over 65 percent of the net new jobs since 1995. We love that stat!

About 543,000 new small businesses are started each month (both employer and nonemployer). Seven out of 10 new employer firms survive at least 2 years, half at least 5 years, a third at least 10 years and a quarter stay in business 15 years or more.

Back to that "nonemployer" term mentioned above. To classify as a “nonemployer” business you must have annual business receipts of $1,000 or more and be subject to federal income taxes. Approximately 75 percent of all U.S. businesses are nonemployer businesses.

And what are the fastest growing sectors for small businesses? In 2011, it was auto repair shops, beauty salons and dry cleaners.

Aren't these some fun facts? To see the rest, check out the article on Forbes.com.

 

Tags: small business, small business facts, small business ownership
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It's a Great Time to Be an Entrepreneur

by Rose McKinney
Rose McKinney
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Wednesday, 11 September 2013 Category Industry 0 Comments

It is true that in a previous post, we laid out five solid reasons why you should buy an existing business or franchise over starting up a new business. We realize, however, that the entrepreneurial spirit in this country is alive and well, and new and fresh ideas are an important part of keeping our economy churning.

So, in response to that post - and because we agree with the points made in this Entrepreneur article - we bring you three reasons why now is a perfect time to be an entrepreneur with a start-up.

First, age is irrelevant. People from multiple generations are starting their own business, whether it's the Baby Boomer who got burned from the company he or she served for most of their career only to be laid off or downsized, to the Millenial who is rejecting the traditional career path. The result is a magnitude of fresh ideas, an enormous capacity to collaborate, and, some might argue, more skin in the game.

And speaking of collaboration, co-working and shared office space locations are popping up all over the place, including CoCo right here in the Twin Cities. With the advent of the internet and the digital age, not all businesses need a physical address. Still, business owners need a place to go. These shared office spaces provide not only that, but also a way to connect with other business owners to share ideas and resources. Plus, renting office space at these places is very flexible and economical; two things entrepreneurs love!

The third reason to be an entrepreneur now is because of all the marketing channels available. Specially, social media provides a tremendous platform to get your name and prodcut or service in front of your target audience for low- or no-cost. While, like all marketing, social media takes time, attention and patience, if done right, it can reap great rewards.

The small business owner is the back-bone of the American economy, and owning a business for many is the American dream. So whether you decide to buy an existing company or start-up your own, now is a great time to take that step. Just make sure you do your homework first; Calhoun Companies can help you determine which track to take. Click here for more information and to get in touch with us.

Tags: new entrepreneurs, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, starting a business, co-working, business ownership, business owners
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