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Avoid the Cash Crunch, Let Them Vote and More Tips

Do what lawyers do and outsource some of the work.

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LEGAL SMARTSDo what Lawyers Do

Like the sound (not to mention tax benefits) of those letters “Inc” or “LLC” behind the name of your business but not so crazy about the legal costs? Eva Rosenberg, author of Small Business Taxes Made Easy, suggests you do what lawyers do and outsource some of the work. When setting up a corporate entity, attorneys generally provide about an hour of advice before passing the job to an outside service to create the document kit. Your attorney will then hand the bundle of paperwork back to you for your tax pro to clean up — along with a bill for $2,000. A better idea, Rosenberg says, is to pay your attorney for the hour of consultation time and then use accountstreet.com or hubco to take care of the paperwork, just like your attorney would. Remember though that you do need your attorney’s guidance. Bring your tax advisor along for that meeting, too.

TIME MANAGEMENTChunk It In

Harried? Feeling like you’re always reacting to events and never controlling them? You sound like every other store owner we know. Here’s a tip to save you a few minutes a day and get back some feeling of control. It’s called “chunking,” which refers to completing similar types of work at the same time. For example, you’ve got a number of calls to return or accounts to chase up: Set aside a block of time dedicated to getting them all done in one focused hit. Accomplishing a number of similar tasks at the one time is a more effective and a better use of your energy than bouncing randomly from one management task to another.

REALITY CHECKInventory Story

Keen to emulate the success of reality shows like American Idol, restaurant chain Bennigan’s has started letting its customers vote online on new proposed menu items. How about giving customers the chance to accept your new inventory selections? For even more fun, encourage lots of comments on whose designs are great, and whose should be “voted off the island.”

IT’S GONNA GET NASTYGive It to ‘Em Straight

With the holidays coming, don’t make the common management mistake of trying to bolster staff morale by downplaying the unpleasantness ahead — long hours, pushy customers, tough sales targets, etc. If anything, tell them the road ahead will be tougher than you actually think it will be. According to Marcus Buckingham, author of The One Thing You Need To Know, being told a task will be difficult helps us brace for it and get in the right mood to tackle it.

BLOG SPOTTINGGet the Inside Story

Finished interviewing a promising job candidate, but haven’t gotten a handle on his personality, his beliefs or how he’ll fit in your store? Check — especially if he’s young — to see if he has a blog. If he does, it is likely to indicate his tastes, opinions, and aspirations — things that will make your decision easier.

FLEX APPEALSign on the Line

Get new employees to sign an agreement that says you can switch their hours. Otherwise, if you change an employee’s schedule and they quit as a result, they may be entitled to unemployment benefits, says Michael Jenkins in Starting and Operating a Business in Pennsylvania.

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FROM THE GURUGet Cashed Up

The late Peter Drucker is one of the all-time greats of business management. Reading the guru’s work recently, we learned what he considered the biggest mistake of small-business owners — getting caught in a cash crunch. Young, growing operations devour cash and no matter how smooth things appear to be going, trouble is nearly always around the corner, he told Inc.com in one of his last interviews. “I saved more new enterprises than I can remember by simply telling the founder who showed me how beautifully things were going that now is the time to provide for your next financing. If you have six months to a year to provide for your next financing, you can be reasonably sure you’ll get it and at favorable terms.” Could you want advice from a better source?

Abe Sherman is the CEO of BIG - Buyers Intelligence Group. BIG designs solutions for the merchandising challenges facing retail jewelers and manufacturers. BIG utilizes a data analysis tool, Balance to Buy, to help consult with clients and customize their individual experiences and results.

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Wilkerson Testimonials

Retirement Made Easy with Wilkerson

The store was a landmark in Topeka, Kansas, but after 80 years in business, it was time for Briman’s Leading Jewelers to close up shop. Third generation jeweler and owner Rob Briman says the decision wasn’t easy, but the sale that followed was — all thanks to Wilkerson. Briman had decided a year prior to the summer 2020 sale that he wanted to retire. With a pandemic in full force, he had plenty of questions and concerns. “We had no real way to know if we were going to be successful or have a failure on our hands,” says Briman. “We didn’t know what to expect.” But with Wilkerson in charge, the experience was “fantastic” and now there’s plenty of time for relaxing and enjoying a more secure retirement. “I would recommend Wilkerson to any retailer considering a going-out-of-business sale,” says Briman. “They’ll help you reach your financial goal. Our experience was a tremendous success.”

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