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Blog January 2012
The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center in Alabama announced a strategic partnership with the International Sustainability Institute of Applied Sciences, a division of ACF Enterprises LLC, to pilot a blueprint for small business sustainable development in South Mobile County.
To ensure inclusion and capacity-building of minority business enterprises (MBEs) in the emerging green economy, staff at the Business Center, which is working collaboratively with the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, received comprehensive training from the International Sustainability Institute of Applied Sciences to become Certified Sustainability Consultants. The intent of the strategic partnership is to pilot a “blended” training program that leverages technology with consulting to move central Gulf companies along a continuum of continuous improvements in sustainability performance.
According to Pamela Ramos, the Business Center’s Program Director, “Training and consulting will play an important role in transitioning south Mobile County businesses to sustainable operations in 2012. This is a way to add value and competitive advantage to a minority business enterprise classification.”
If you’re starting a business that requires significant financial investment up front, finding a source of funding can be a challenge, especially since the average cost of starting a business is $30,000. This is particularly true for young entrepreneurs who lack a strong credit history or don’t want the hassle of dealing with banks or private lenders.
Once these startup entrepreneurs are done considering their options, it’s not unusual for them to ask friends or family for startup cash. After all, unlike private investors or banks, these people know and trust you. It’s possible they can get you quicker access to cash with fewer flaming hoops to jump through. On the flipside, if your business fails or you are tardy in repaying the money, you may be headed for some conflict with the aforementioned family and friends.
Native American entrepreneurs have a new tool to help determine if they’re ready for business ownership and to help them get started. Native American Small Business Primer: Strategies for Success is a free, self-paced online business course developed for Native American business owners. The course provides an overview of basic business principles and makes them aware of the programs and services available from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
“Native American Small Business Primer: Strategies for Success will enhance the agency’s effort to provide important resources for emerging Native American entrepreneurs,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “Our ultimate goal is to help create jobs and stimulate economic and business development in our Native American communities. This course is an essential business development tool for the entrepreneur’s toolbox.”
The new online course: emphasizes business planning and market research as essential steps to take before going into business; informs Native American entrepreneurs about the legal aspects of starting a business, including the type of ownership (legal structure) and licensing; and provides key information on seed money for starting up, raising capital, and borrowing money. In addition, there is a section on how to estimate business start-up costs that can help assess the financial needs of going into business.
Everyone in business must keep records. Keeping good records is very important to your business. Good records will help you do the following:
- Monitor the progress of your business
- Prepare your financial statements
- Identify source of receipts
- Keep track of deductible expenses
- Prepare your tax returns
- Support items reported on tax returns
Monitor the progress of your business
You need good records to monitor the progress of your business. Records can show whether your business is improving, which items are selling, or what changes you need to make. Good records can increase the likelihood of business success.
Business expenses are the cost of carrying on a trade or business. These expenses are usually deductible if the business is operated to make a profit.
To be deductible, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your trade or business. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your trade or business. An expense does not have to be indispensable to be considered necessary.