End of Year Tax Tips For Small Business, Part 2

by Matthew Burgess 12.16.2009

In Part 1, we laid out some ways to plan for a lower tax bill in 2009. If you haven’t seen Part I, check it out: End of Year Tax Tips For Small Business, Part 1. Here are some more ideas for your business. Pay Your Bills Now Rent, utilities, insurance, advertising: these are all [...]

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End of Year Tax Tips For Small Business, Part 1

by Matthew Burgess 12.16.2009

Small business owners of the world: congratulate yourselves on making it to the end of a tough financial year! Your business is still afloat, still running, and still profitable despite the gloom and doom we’ve all suffered through the last 12 months. And there’s even more good news: we’re going to tell you about a [...]

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Why Real Estate Agents Form Corps or LLCs for Their Own Business

by Matthew Burgess 12.11.2009

It’s commonly know that real estate investors/owners often form an LLC – Limited Liability Company – or corporation. But it isn’t as well known why agents would want to form an LLC or corporation for their own business. Real estate investors often form LLCs after purchasing one or more properties. Holding property through an LLC [...]

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Client in the News: Brenda Zamzow-Frasier

by Matthew Burgess 12.02.2009

We’re always excited to see a Formation Solutions client in the news. Brenda Zamzow-Frazier is one of the hardest-working business owners I know, and she deserves all the success in the world. She’s built The Zamzow Group, Inc., a company that provides accounting and finance professionals, from the ground up. She was recently featured in [...]

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Don’t Wait Until January to File your Incorporation Papers

by Matthew Burgess 11.24.2009

If you’re planning a 2010 filing for your new corporation, LLC, or nonprofit, NOW is the time to get the filings prepared. If you wait until after the New Year, your entity formation will likely be put at the bottom of a very large stack. It could take months to form your business. Formation Solutions [...]

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25 Internet Startups that Bombed

by Matthew Burgess 11.19.2009

We like to be proactive and helpful with our blog. Information, insights, success stories, etc. This post admittedly is none of that. I just saw an article that takes me back to the heady days of dotcom mayhem. There are certainly some lessons here. But I suspect few readers of this blog will need to [...]

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Cogi – Turning Conversations into Action

by Matthew Burgess 11.19.2009

Cogi is a Santa Barbara startup that has created a call management system that allows you to capture the important parts of a call or meeting, record them, share the call with others, makes notes, and get a written transcription. Take a look at this Entrepreneur Highlight at SBEntrepreneur.com. Share on Facebook

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140 Characters Conference Meetup in LA with Jeff Pulver and Eric Greenspan

by Matthew Burgess 11.17.2009

I remember first learning about Jeff Pulver, and following his work to promote Internet telephony, back in ’94 or ’95. He’s kind of a legend in the VOIP world. Conferences, publications, etc. Lots of energy and foresight. More recently, he’s running the 140 Characters Conference, which took place in Los Angeles a couple weeks ago, and is [...]

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Web Video Lessons for Small Business Owners

by Matthew Burgess 11.14.2009

Mashable.com has a nice article about how small businesses can use web video to grow their business There are 25 billion videos watched each month in the US alone. That’s billion, with a “B.” So it should be no surprise that web video offers an important opportunity for small businesses to connect with a wider [...]

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Effective Cash Flow Management for Small Businesses

by Matthew Burgess 10.28.2009

Cash flow management is a critical part of running an effective small businesses. The first step to taking control of your cash flow is to get a clear picture of your cash situation, and understand how it changes from week to week, month to month, and quarter to quarter. Benefits of good cash flow management include: Make [...]

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Deciding on Entity Type – Advice from QuickBooks Help blog

by Matthew Burgess 10.22.2009

What type of business are you? Seth David, at the QuickBooks Help blog, addresses this question, and discusses how, as a financial accounting consultant, he helps his clients understand the issues and decide which business entity is right for them. Sole proprietor? Seth says that sole proprietors are much more likely to get audited. When is an LLC the [...]

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Common Early Startup Mistakes

by Matthew Burgess 10.18.2009
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I’ve been discovering Mark Suster’s blog, Both Sides of the Table, where he discusses life and times of early stage technology companies. Having been both an entrepreneur (many times over) and now a venture capitalist, he brings a unique voice to the conversation. In a recent blog post, he opines on the Most Common Early [...]

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Labor Statistics – Compelling Data Visualization

by Matthew Burgess 10.18.2009

Over at my Creatalytics blog, we’re highlighting a very cool animated map that provides a striking visual of employment trends over the last business cycle using net change in jobs from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on a rolling 12-month basis. You need to see this. Creatalytics – Data Visualization – The Geography of Jobs [...]

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New Orleans’ Declaration of Innovation

by Matthew Burgess 10.15.2009

The Promise of a city repurposed by entrepreneurship. The Declaration of Innovation tells the story of how New Orleans is rebounding from the worst natural disaster in our nation’s history. A passion for community  and problem solving helped us survive. Now innovation is taking the city to new levels of success, growth and joy. Hard [...]

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WSJ: Choosing between S corporation and C corporation

by Matthew Burgess 10.10.2009

Question posed to the Wall Street Journal Small Business Video series: as personal tax rates increase, isn’t it a good idea to form a C corporation and be taxed at the corporate rate? The answer: for most small businesses, no. Most small businesses would be better as an S corporation or an LLC. See the [...]

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SEO with a Personal Touch in Santa Barbara

by Matthew Burgess 10.08.2009
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We’d been hearing good things around town in Santa Barbara about The Search Engine Pros, a local search engine optimization agency. We thought we should sit down with the founder, and ask him how his firm could help the entrepreneurial clients of Formation Solutions. Over a nice glass of wine on the deck at Coastal Winery on the Santa [...]

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Why a DBA Won’t Protect Your Business

by Matthew Burgess 10.05.2009

What lesson have so many sole proprietors found out…the hard way? Why is a DBA just not enough to protect yourself and your business? Many entrepreneurs decide to file a Fictitious Business Name / DBA for their business, and then run it as a sole proprietor, to save a few bucks on forming a corporation or LLC.  I [...]

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President Obama Calls for New Generation of Innovation

by Matthew Burgess 10.03.2009
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President Obama announced increased public sector funding of research that will drive innovation. Entrepreneurs, start your engines. The president spoke on Sept. 21 at the Hudson Valley Community College in New York about the adminstration’s efforts to boost innovation and sustainable growth in our country through higher greater accessibility to higher education and funding for the [...]

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iPhone App for Tracking Mileage – Trip Cubby

by Matthew Burgess 09.25.2009

Here’s a great iPhone app that I’ve been using to track miles for expenses. Trip Cubby. You can set up multiple cars, save frequent destinations, auto-calculates miles, syncs with a server side database for backup. You can have it email you a log file to open in Excel and dump into your tracking log or [...]

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Preparing for Boom Times Ahead – Dyer Consulting Group

by Matthew Burgess 09.22.2009

Partner Spotlight – Dyer Consulting Group Is Your Business Prepared for the Recovery? 7 Strategies to Ensure Future Success We recently sat down with Aaron Dyer, president of Dyer Consulting Group, to learn about how he’s working with businesses to manage through the recessionary period and prepare for the opportunities that lie ahead. We were [...]

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Reflections on the Big Picture

by Matthew Burgess 09.19.2009

I have something to say that is off topic for this blog in some ways, and yet in other ways it is entirely on topic. My wife and I attended a funeral visitation last night, and I’ve been thinking a lot about it. A young man that she had gone to high school with had [...]

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MIT Enterprise Forum – Lorrie Thomas of Web Marketing Therapy

by Matthew Burgess 09.18.2009

I attended the MIT Enterprise Forum Central Coast chapter monthly event this week in Santa Barbara. The subject was “Marketing Through Social Media and Social Networks.” Moderated by Jacques Habra of Noospheric, LLC, speakers included Lorrie Thomas of Web Marketing Therapy. She spoke on the importance of developing a comprehensive social marketing strategy for your [...]

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Maverick Angels – Angel Investing in Southern California

by Matthew Burgess 09.18.2009

On our never ending quest to find great resources for our clients as they grow, I spent some time with Maverick Angels this week. I attended two of their local chapter “Arena” meetings, and saw a total of 6 companies make their case for funding. Maverick Angels is an angel network with a filtering and mentoring process [...]

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When Might a Company Consider Changing to a Different Entity Type

by Matthew Burgess 09.13.2009

As your company grows and changes, you may want to consider if you have the right entity type for the present stage of your business. Perhaps you’ve chosen to do business as a sole proprietor to avoid the costs and maintenance of a formal business entity, and you are concerned with the liabilities associated with [...]

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