Tag Archives: Starting a Business

BIZ to Host Event with Dwolla COO on the High Growth Start-Up

The BIZ is host to a great event this coming week featuring Dwolla COO Charise Flynn as she takes questions on life behind the scenes at the high growth start-up. I’ve had the opportunity to serve on a speakers’ panel with Charise and I find her personal journey and insights fascinating. Charise is a fellow … Continue Reading

Lesson # 4 From Hard Luck Franchisees: Buying a Franchise in a Saturated Market or Industry

  I’ve seen it many times. A certain market or industry becomes "hot" and all the sudden franchises start popping up all over the place. For example, a few years ago the 24/7 fitness market took off. In the Des Moines, Iowa area there were all kinds of fitness franchises that entered the 24/7 fitness … Continue Reading

Lesson # 3 From Hard Luck Franchisees: Franchisor Reservation of Rights to Sell or Transfer Business

This is Lesson #3 in a five-part series on the top reasons I’ve seen franchisees fail.  Tucked away in nearly every franchise agreement is a provision that very few franchisees consider when they are purchasing a franchise business. The provision I am referencing gives a franchisor the right to sell or transfer its business to … Continue Reading

Business Partnerships Need Communication

 Mike Colwell of THE BIZ posted a presentation I have on Partnering for his Raising Capital series. One of the biggest things a partnership needs is communication. Like any good marriage, communication is the key. Business partners that communicate effectively are much more likely to be successful. Also, proper documentation is a key. Without documentation, … Continue Reading

Lesson #2 From Hard Luck Franchisees: Buying a Franchise with No Brand Recognition

The franchising model is available in almost every industry. (Even law firms apparently). Reports have indicated there’s nearly 1 million established franchised businesses in the U.S. Among those franchises are many unknown (or relatively unknown) franchises. In my opinion it is critical to buy franchises with brand recognition. Does that take out many new franchises … Continue Reading

Lesson #1 From Hard Luck Franchisees: If It Is To Be, It’s Up To Me

This is first a series of five blog posts on the top reasons I’ve seen franchisees fail.   There’s no substitute for hard work – Thomas Edison. I often hear from franchisees that one of the main reasons they have decided to purchase a franchise business is "all the support I am going to receive … Continue Reading

Iowa Business Specialty Court Pilot Project

The Iowa Supreme Court has announced that it is beginning a three-year project for an Iowa Business Specialty Court for complex cases with $200,000 or more in dispute. To begin the project, three Iowa judges will be hired for the court based upon their educational background, judicial and trial experience with complex commercial cases and … Continue Reading

Evaluating a Franchise Opportunity

In meeting after meeting with prospective franchisees I am asked what I would look for in a franchise opportunity. It’s not an easy question. But trust me when I say that all franchise opportunities are NOT created the same. What separates the good franchising opportunities from the bad franchising opportunities in my experience? Here are … Continue Reading

Employers Should Consider Policies on Ownership of Social Media Accounts

Daniel Burnick of the Alabama Employment Law Report has an interesting post on a case involving a disputed Twitter account where the employee left his employment, changed his Twitter account name and then kept all the followers he had with his former employer. In Kravitz v. PhoneDog, Kravitz used @phonedog for his Twitter account while … Continue Reading

IASourceLink is an Online Resource Tool For Iowa Small Businesses

IASourceLink.com is a new online resource available to help small business owners and entrepreneurs across Iowa. I haven’t had a ton of time to explore the site but I impressed with the information available on my initial review. One neat feature is the Iowa Business Concierge service available in collaboration with MyEntre.Net. The business concierge … Continue Reading

Franchisees: Think Twice About Agreeing to Paying Franchisor State Tax

In a recent review of a franchise disclosure document (FDD), I spotted a provision from a franchisor requiring the franchisee to pay any state taxes imposed on the franchisor as a result of the franchise operations within the state. Franchisees (particularly here in Iowa) should think twice before agreeing to this type of provision due … Continue Reading

Choosing the Business Entity that’s Right for You

Do you know the difference between sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations and limited liability companies? Do you know whether to set up an S corporation or is a C corporation better for you? Are limited liability companies really all that and a bag of chips? If you are considering a business you should join me for … Continue Reading

Be Aware of Independent Contractor Misclassification

 In my last post I shared my ABI Quick Bits Interview on Wage & Hour Lawsuits. In that interview I discussed how I often hear employers reference "1099 employees". I cautioned that you should make sure not to confuse independent contractors and employees. They are separate worker classifications and it’s important the your workers are … Continue Reading

ABI Quick Bits: Wage and Hour Lawsuits

  I recently sat down for an interview with Leisa Fox of the Iowa Association of Business & Industry to discuss wage and hour lawsuits. For a blog post I wrote on the topic see here. Be sure to check out the other Quick Bits videos on a variety of business topics from ABI.… Continue Reading

Rush Nigut to Speak at ABI Social Media Roundtable

Rush Nigut of Brick Gentry, P.C. will be one of the featured speakers at the Iowa Association of Business and Industry’s Social Media Roundtable on November 14, 2012 at the Honey Creek Lodge Resort. Rush will deliver the keynote general session presentation on New Developments and the Future of Social Media. He will also lead … Continue Reading

Watch Out for Franchises Disguised as License Agreements

Over the last several years I’ve had an opportunity to review many "License Agreements" that were actually thinly veiled attempts by companies to avoid franchising and the disclosures and regulations that come with it. It’s understandable why these businesses might want to avoid franchising. The costs of preparing franchise disclosure documents (FDDs) can be very … Continue Reading

Franchise Disclosure Document: Item 19 Financial Projections

If you’re interested in buying a franchise and in the process of reviewing the franchise disclosure document (FDD), I recommend a post from business attorney and franchise consultant Mike Sheehan on Item 19 financial disclosures. Mike starts his post by giving some good general information about FDDs including the fact, despite the voluminous nature of … Continue Reading

Price Shopping v. Loyalty on Business Insurance Policies

A lot of business owners are understandably price conscious when it comes to their business insurance policies. Often, business owners will shop their business insurance and hop from insurance company to insurance company in the hopes of finding the most affordable policy. The problem with this strategy is that if a claim occurs it may … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act

Yesterday the United States Supreme Court upheld, in a 5-4 decision, the constitutionality of the individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act. I am no expert on the act and I have not had time to closely review the decision. Consequently, I suggest you do what I am doing and go read some of the … Continue Reading

Veterans Moving Toward Franchises?

I read an interesting article from Entrepreneur Magazine entitled Back to Civilian Life, Veterans Try Franchises. The article discusses how a former fighter pilot purchased a franchise after retiring from the U.S. Air Force. A couple of months ago I spoke at the Iowa Veterans Career Retreat. Many of those in attendance were looking at … Continue Reading

Business Partnerships Always End

Mike Colwell of the BIZ recently wrote an excellent post on IowaBiz titled Partnerships a Guaranteed Divorce. Mike explains in his post that wise business people will always plan for the divorce. The end is inevitable, whether it’s due to death, retirement, disagreement or other reasons. Mike also linked to my recent seminar on Partnering … Continue Reading

Corporation, S Corporation or LLC? What to Choose for Your Business?

The Boulder Business Advisor has a general overview of the three main types of business structures and the factors that go into making a decision about which entity to choose for your startup business. It’s important to get tax advice when deciding what entity is best for you. Another critical question, as mentioned in the … Continue Reading

Contract Negotiations: Find the Person that Wants the Deal

 I was busy reading an article on Why Lawyers Don’t Run Startups (And Why Entrepreneurs Hate Lawyers) when I ran across a terrific lesson learned from the article’s author, Steve Blank.  In every company that gives you a contract there’s someone who wants a deal. When you run into contract issues, call them first for … Continue Reading
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