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Category Archives: Ownership & Purpose

Dazed and Confused About Working from Home

By | Business By The Book, Ownership & Purpose, Running a Business, Taxes and Tax Management | No Comments
Home Office

Of all the deductions our tax code allows, the home office deduction should win the prize for “most likely to confuse and frighten.” So let’s shed a bit of light and dispel some myths.   As always, note this is intended to be general in nature and not all-inclusive of tax regulation.   Who can take the home office deduction? You don’t have to be in business for yourself to take the deduction, but it is easier to qualify if you are.  The IRS applies the “regular and exclusive use” rule for the area of your home used for business in order…

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Aspiring Entrepreneurs: Change Your Lifestyle Prior to Launch

By | Business By The Book, Cash Flow Management, Financing a Startup, Ownership & Purpose, Self Evaluation, Starting Up | No Comments

If you are serious about starting or buying your own business, one of the very first things to do is change your lifestyle. Anytime God calls us to obedience, it is often accompanied by a drastic change in direction. Becoming an entrepreneur is no different. If you have the typical lifestyle of credit card payments, car payments, and a house payment, it will be nearly impossible for you to start/buy a business and get it ramped up to the same level of income you need in short order. The question we should ask ourselves at this stage is not “how…

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Running a Startup is Like Fighting in a War

By | Business By The Book, Leadership, Leadership, Ownership & Purpose, Running a Business, Starting Up | No Comments

Launching and running a startup is a lot like fighting in a war: You have imperfect information and inadequate resources You operate in the middle of mass confusion and chaos You will definitely take casualties and the life expectancy of the Lieutenants (your management team) is short, but if too many Lieutenants get killed, sooner or later, the Company Commander (you, the founder/CEO) gets replaced You have an all-volunteer force that buys into what they are doing because they believe in the cause, they like the excitement, and they willingly take on the known risks You forge fast and deep…

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Teaching Adam to Be an Entrepreneur

By | Business By The Book, Coming Up with an Idea, Creating a Financial Model, Education, Leadership, Ownership & Purpose, Starting a Part Time Business, Starting Up | No Comments
Adam's Card

When my son Adam was nine years old, he decided he needed to make money to buy a little scooter (although I hoped by the time he worked hard for the money, that the lesson about investing vs. spending will have sunk in deeper). So, given the combination of his interest, his age and maturity — and having just finished his first year of competitive speech and debate — I decided it was time for him to spread his wings. He sorted through several ideas on his own and he approached me to “sell” me on the idea of washing my…

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Trying to Buy a Retail Store

By | Business By The Book, Business Development, Buying a Business, Investing in Small Businesses, Ownership & Purpose | No Comments
Retail Store

Q: I am negotiating to buy a retail business and would like your advice. I’ve listened to your “Before You Launch Your Business” presentation — which was very good — but I’d like some help thinking through buying this business. The business is a boutique in an upscale part of town that has a very loyal customer base. The owner has relocated out of state and is desperate to sell the business, which is currently being run temporarily by his aged father. I actually know the business fairly well because I sold to the business for years as a manufacturer’s sales…

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Expect Negative Surprises When Acquiring a Business

By | Accounting, Business By The Book, Business Development, Buying a Business, Financial Reporting, Growth Strategy, Investing in Small Businesses, Negotiations, Ownership & Purpose, Selling a Small Business, Valuing a Small Business | No Comments

Some aspiring entrepreneurs will get started by buying an existing small business and many business owners have growth plans that include buying up other businesses to add larger chunks of growth via acquisition (mergers and acquisitions or “M&A” growth as opposed to “organic” growth). And if you are a business owner, you will most likely at some point sell your business. So here’s a few tips to both sides of the transaction… While it may not be statistically significant in terms of all the deals ever done, in my experience of negotiating with roughly 300 prospective sellers, signing approximately 75 letters…

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He Was About To Fail, But Didn’t Realize It

By | Business By The Book, Cash Flow Management, Compensation Management, HR Management, Leadership, Leadership and Employees, Ownership & Purpose | No Comments

“The fence guys are here!” I exclaimed to my wife incredulously one March morning. They had shown up two days in a row and the surprise was clearly in my voice. The “fence guys” had been a frequent topic of conversation on our hobby farm over the previous several months. The “fence guys” were the fencing contractors that were building the white plank fence around our horse pasture and our farmstead. Believe it or not, this had all started nine months earlier when I selected this contractor over two others after receiving their proposals. The owner of the company was…

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The Most Influential Ministry a Christian Could Endeavor

By | Business, Business By The Book, Leadership and Employees, Ownership & Purpose, Running a Business | No Comments

Business Leaders Are Highly Influential. While less than twenty percent of Americans regularly attend church services, sixty-three percent of Americans go to work each day. And while those church attenders are only under the influence of their church leader an average of 15 minutes each week during his sermon, the average American is under the influence of his employer’s leadership for an average of 46 hours per week. And, where a church leader is primarily “preaching to the choir” with pews filled mostly with believers, business owners employ a cross-section of Americans of all faiths and belief systems, giving them…

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