Article Library

Select a category below to narrow your search:

  • All
  • Build Your Brand
  • Buy a Business
  • Buy a Franchise
  • Close Your Business
  • Connect
  • Find the Right Systems
  • Grow Through Acquisition
  • Improve Your Competitive Position
  • Lead Your Team
  • Navigate Your Legal and Risk Needs
  • Plan for Succession
  • Prepare for Startup
  • Restaurant
  • Sell Your Business
  • Take on Tax and Financial Concerns
A chef looks ahead to his succession planning process for his small business and its future owners.

Succession Planning for Small Business Owners

Owners who are the lifeline of their companies often have all the knowledge and connections their businesses need to thrive. …

Read More →
The hand and pen of a person selling a tax form are shown

How to Reduce Your Tax Liability When Selling Your Small Business

Taxes are an important factor in the sale of any small business. Here’s why: Proceeds owners receive from the sale …

Read More →
A person completes paperwork to open a small business bank account

Small Business Basics: Attaining a Business Bank Account

Every small business needs a bank account. It’s key for spending money on your business or accepting money from customers. …

Read More →
A person sitting at a table using a computer is on the phone, starting the acquisition process

Starting the Acquisition Process: The Right Ways to Connect with an Owner

Ready to take on the small business acquisition process? Your research, conversations with key industry players, and searches on business …

Read More →
A person holds a pen and a magnifying glass to evaluate a business for acquisition

Preliminary Due Diligence: How to Evaluate a Business Before Buying It

It can be exciting to find a small business that meets your criteria for acquisition. But do you know how …

Read More →
A coffee shop owner works with her equipment.

Your Go-to Guide to Equip Your New Coffee Shop

Thinking of opening a coffee shop? You’ll need to set up your space so your team can create delicious drinks …

Read More →
A factory worker engages in practices to optimize production

Best Practices to Optimize Your Production Line

Want to build smarter products, realize cost savings, or remove complexities? In this article, we share some of the best …

Read More →
Manufacturing standards can be set to improve the efficiency, safety, and sustainability of your manufacturing floor.

Incorporating Manufacturing Standards in Your Production

Manufacturing standards can help your business produce products in the most efficient, safe, and sustainable ways possible. Designed well, your …

Read More →
A person sitting at a desk looks through documents as he considers buying a distressed business.

Is a Distressed Business a Good Opportunity?

Distressed businesses exist in every industry. Some can be great opportunities, especially when they’re purchased for a low price and …

Read More →
A business owner completes paperwork for a term loan.

Term Loans for a Business Acquisition

When it comes to funding a small business acquisition, loans are one of the most common sources of capital. Many …

Read More →
There are strategies to keep in mind when paying your business broker.

Points to Keep in Mind When Paying Your Business Broker

Brokers play an important role in the sale of your business, and most are compensated when the work is complete. …

Read More →
People standing in a warehouse hold tablet computers that run inventory management systems

Solution Finder: Inventory Management Systems

Looking for real-time inventory visibility? There are lots of inventory management systems that can help you track what you have …

Read More →
A person sitting in a creative office smiles while thinking about how to raise capital

Your Go-to Guide for Financing an Acquisition

Have you thought about taking out a loan to buy a business? Many owners do. There are lots of loan …

Read More →
A person looks down at a binder on a desk to plan how to collect money owed to a business

Strategies to Collect the Money Your Business Is Owed Before Closing Your Doors

When you’re closing your business, one of the most important steps you should take is claiming your business’s outstanding accounts …

Read More →
A person works with others to fulfill a post-sale training commitment

The Role You Might Play in Post-Sale Training and Support

When you transfer your business to a new owner, one of the terms of your sale may be to provide …

Read More →
A keyboard with a yellow shopping button provides an easy way to access a business's e-commerce platforms.

Solution Finder: E-commerce Platforms

If you’re considering selling products or services online, you need an online storefront that lets shoppers find your business, compare …

Read More →
A person carries a stack of folders that may be useful in helping a business buyer complete the due diligence process.

Assist the Buyer of Your Business Through the Due Diligence Process

Before making an offer for your business, most buyers will ask for a period of due diligence. This block of …

Read More →
Venture capital professionals shake hands with a business owner

Small Business Financing 101: Venture Capital

When you’re looking into financing options for your small business, you may wonder whether venture capital should be part of …

Read More →
A life preserver floats in water, representing the importance of the protection afforded through small business insurance

What Kind of Insurance Do I Need for My Business?

Have you thought about the types of insurance your business will need? If you haven’t, take time right now to …

Read More →
A person sitting at a desk grapples with the question, which franchise is right for me?

Assess Your Skills, Interests, and Goals Before Searching for a Franchise Opportunity

If you’re like many aspiring business owners, you know the benefits of opening and operating a franchise unit. But you …

Read More →
Attendees listen to a speaker during a franchisor training session

Franchisor Training: What to Expect

After signing your franchise agreement, you can enroll in franchisor training. This is a program your franchisor may offer to …

Read More →
A storefront that could serve as a franchise location

Location Can Be the Make or Break Factor for Your Franchise’s Success

Most franchisors provide their franchise unit owners with a territory in which they can own and operate a business. For …

Read More →
A franchise unit owner works with a loan officer to obtain a loan for construction

How to Attain Financing for Franchise Construction or Renovation

There are many costs to starting a franchise unit. After the franchise fee, one of the most significant costs is …

Read More →
A person with a computer works through the due diligence process to buy a franchise

Considering a Franchise? Here’s How to Make a Smart Call.

Thinking of owning a business? Franchises make it easy, but it’s risky to go after any opportunity without some careful …

Read More →
Two professionals sitting in front of a computer try to update their business's logo.

It May Be Time to Update Your Business’s Logo

Over time, some logos grow stale. This is especially true for logos that lean heavily into a design element that’s …

Read More →
A person sitting at a restaurant table uses her tablet to explore loans.

Restaurant Loans and Other Ways to Raise Cash

Real estate, equipment, inventory, technologies, wages, and insurance are some of the many costs you’ll need to cover when starting …

Read More →
A life preserver floats in water, representing the importance of the protection afforded through the insurance that's needed for a small business

Small Business Basics: Insurance

Have you thought about the types of insurance that are needed to protect your small business? If your business is …

Read More →
Follow these expert tips before you accept an offer for your business.

Three Quick Tips Before You Accept an Offer for Your Business

If you’ve received an offer to buy your business, you might be eager to sign off, cash out, and move …

Read More →
A close up of an office phone

Solution Finder: Office Phone Solutions

For many businesses, phone calls are one of the first points of contact with customers. Few spend time thinking of …

Read More →
A business owner shows excitement after applying practices to increase her site's conversion rate.

Strategies to Increase Your Conversion Rate

Online presence drives sales for nearly every business, but having a site, a social media page, and Yelp reviews isn’t …

Read More →
A person creates a process diagram to include in her business's licensing presentation

Consider Licensing Your Product or Process

Has your company developed a product or process that’s innovative, patentable, and useful to other businesses? Think about licensing it—especially …

Read More →
A person dials buttons on a phone to connect with members of an exit team

Form Your Exit Team

When you’re closing your business, you’ll need to work through some legal, tax, and procedural concerns that can be overwhelming. …

Read More →
A person looks at a computer to learn more about an idea to buy a second business

What You Need to Know to Buy a Second Business

Want to buy another business? Many owners are making this smart move to grow and scale their current business, reach …

Read More →
Two post office boxes demonstrate one of the options you have for setting up a mailing address for your business

Small Business Basics: How to Attain a Mailing Address for Your Home-Based Business

Do you need a separate mailing address for your business? Many small business owners say yes. That’s because there are …

Read More →
A person faces arrows pointing in multiple directions, representing the paths he could take to become a business owner

Which Path to Entrepreneurship Is Right for You?

Wondering how to become a business owner? There’s more than one way to reach this goal. In this article, we’ll …

Read More →
A person uses a calculator to determine what a business is worth

What Your Business Is Worth—and How to Sell It for More

Do you know what your business is worth today? Lots of factors weigh in. Sales, profitability, and growth trends certainly …

Read More →
A new business owner holds a clipboard to work through important steps after acquiring a business

Post-Transition: The Actions You Need to Take After Buying a Business

You’ve spent months searching for a business to buy, pouring through financials, negotiating offers, and navigating financing. After buying a …

Read More →
A person working on a computer prepares for listing a business for sale

Ready to List Your Business? Presentation is Key.

Ready to list your business for sale? Whether you choose to sell it with a broker or go it alone, …

Read More →
A coffee shop manager talks with an employee of his small business about his plans to sell.

Looking for Buyers? Consider Your Employees.

Would you sell your small business to an employee? Could your employees lead your business? These are important questions to …

Read More →
A business owner works with one of the popular email marketing services to deliver clean, captivating emails to her audience.

Solution Finder: Email Marketing Services

Email marketing continues to be a powerful way to reach new customers, stay in front of existing customers, and convert …

Read More →
Customers stand in a line. You can capture information from your customers in ethical ways to achieve your business goals.

Keys to Capture Better Information about Your Customers

Do you collect data from your customers to drive sales? If you aren’t doing it today, consider starting. This move …

Read More →
A business lawyer sits at a desk, ready to help an owner with their business sale.

Find the Right Attorney to Help You Sell Your Business

Before, during, and at the close of your business, you’ll need a lawyer to help you protect your business secrets, …

Read More →
A row of desktop computers for a business

Solution Finder: Computers for Your Business

We’re all familiar with computers—most of us use them every day—but when it comes to understanding features like processing power, …

Read More →
Rolls of papers on confidentiality pertain to the sale of a business.

Confidentiality and the Sale of Your Business

Owners often wonder whether they should share the news of their sale with others or keep their plans to exit …

Read More →
A row of garages may contain assets a business owner will need to appraise

How to Appraise Your Business Assets

Once your business has fulfilled its outstanding orders and completed its jobs in process, you can begin to inventory, appraise, …

Read More →
A person works on a computer to issue final paychecks and tax forms

Issue Your Employees’ Final Paychecks and Tax Forms

Most states have rules on when final paychecks must be issued. In some states, you’ll need to provide final paychecks …

Read More →
Three people waiting in line for an interview scheduled through an applicant tracking system.

Solution Finder: Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

If you employ others—and plan to make more hires as you grow and scale your business—consider an applicant tracking system …

Read More →
Two professionals interested in a franchise choose to partner.

Reasons You Might Need a Franchise Partner

Is a franchise partner right for you? There are a number of reasons you might say yes. Let’s dive into …

Read More →
A pen lays atop a financial document used for evaluating the asking price of a business.

Evaluate the Asking Price of a Business

Two of the most difficult parts of buying a business are learning to evaluate the asking price and proposing a …

Read More →
A person uses a laptop computer to write a business plan for running a franchise.

How to Write a Business Plan for Your Franchise

When you apply for an SBA loan, a term loan, or another form of financing, you may need to present …

Read More →
A person seated at a table is confident as she works on the "how to" steps to negotiate buying another business.

Negotiate the Terms of an Acquisition

You’ve found a business that meets your criteria and you’ve vetted it with your accountant and attorney. Now, your focus …

Read More →
Charts are ready to be assembled into a business plan.

Create a Business Plan That’ll Help You Attain Financing for Growth

When you apply for an SBA loan, a term loan, or seller financing for a business you plan to buy, …

Read More →
A business owner who used an SBA loan for acquisition holds the door open to her store and a sign that says "open"

Using an SBA Loan for a Business Acquisition

Many business owners take on an SBA loan to cover the costs of a small business acquisition. Named after the …

Read More →
A business buyer and an attorney sit at a desk reviewing documents as part of the due diligence process

The Due Diligence Process for Business Acquisitions

In the due diligence process, you’ll review the ins and outs of the business you intend to buy. You’ll gather …

Read More →
Bottles on a conveyor belt for a company that chose to outsource manufacturing

Should You Outsource Your Manufacturing or Produce Your Products Onsite?

Outsource manufacturing or produce on-site? You’ll need to give this question some thought as you decide how and where you’ll …

Read More →
A business buyer connects with two business owners to buy a business that's not for sale

Buying a Business That Isn’t for Sale

One of the best growth strategies for your current business—or to expand your investment portfolio—may be to buy another established, …

Read More →
A person sitting at a desk reviews the terms of a creditor insurance policy

Small Business Financing 101: What Is Creditor Insurance?

When you take out a mortgage, loan, or line of credit for your small business, your lender may ask you …

Read More →
A customer responds to a business owner's ask for reviews of the service they've received.

Ask for the Reviews You Need to Help Your Business Grow

According to a recent study, nearly 90 percent of consumers now read reviews for local businesses as part of the …

Read More →
A professional sitting at a computer prepares to write a business plan.

Write a Business Plan to Finance Your Startup

If you’re applying for a loan, grant, or another form of funding for your new business, you’ll need to create …

Read More →
A cafe manager smiles confidently after starting a business with his free checklist

Where to Start When Starting a Business

When you’re starting a business, you need a plan—a checklist—that will help you stay organized and ensure that you’re covering …

Read More →
Two businesspeople look at charts they might compile in their business plan to buy a business.

Develop a Business Plan That’ll Help You Attain Financing

When you apply for an SBA loan, a term loan, or seller financing to buy a business you’ll need to …

Read More →
A person selling a business reviews the sales agreement she'll sign to transfer ownership to a buyer.

Selling Your Business? You’ll Need a Busines Purchase Agreement.

One of the final pieces of selling your business is signing off on the business purchase agreement. Once your buyer …

Read More →
Two people sit in a bank branch office setting up small business banking options

Small Business Basics: Attaining a Business Bank Account

Ready to spend money on your business or accept money from your customers? If so, you’ll need to take on …

Read More →
Planning is the best way to create great business tours for prospective buyers.

Business Tours for Prospective Buyers

One of the ways prospective buyers will size up your business is by touring your site. In this article, we’ll …

Read More →
A business broker smiles while talking on a phone

Smart Strategies for Finding a Business Broker

When you’re selling a business, you might choose to work with a business broker, a professional who can market your …

Read More →
A banker points to paperwork for one of the loans he can offer for a business acquisition.

Loans to Consider to Buy a Business

Loans are one of the most common sources of capital owners use to buy a business. Many banks offer three …

Read More →
A person who plans to buy a business sits on a couch and reviews the sales agreement.

Buy a Business: The Sales Agreement

After you’ve found a business to buy, evaluated its viability, and negotiated its terms, your attorney will draft a sales …

Read More →
A person sitting in a modern office reviews the terms of an earnout for the sale of his business.

What Earn Outs Mean for the Sale of Your Business

When you put your business up for sale, you might receive offers that include terms for earn outs. Earn outs …

Read More →
A dial with the label Web Traffic encourages website owners to use analytics to drive traffic.

Solution Finder: Website Analytics Programs

How is your website performing? We should all be asking this question on a regular basis, any time changes are …

Read More →
Business signs can draw attention to a business. Here, one hangs on the exterior of a building.

How to Design and Print Interior and Exterior Signs

Roadside signs, building-mounted signs, and interior signs can help you make a great first impression for your business. In this …

Read More →
A person sits at a desk in an office and works through the steps of buying a franchise

Nine Tasks to Take on Before Buying a Franchise

Thinking of buying a franchise? You aren’t alone. The number of people interested in this path is on the rise, …

Read More →
A delivery truck travels along a highway to fulfill the logistics needs of shipping services.

Solution Finder: Shipping Services

If you sell products online, shipping and logistics will be an important part of your process. Lots of businesses work …

Read More →
A business owner works through the application to become a minority-owned business.

Steps to Get Certified as a Minority-Owned Small Business

Historically, minority business owners have been up against more challenges than others in building a successful, thriving business. Fortunately, the …

Read More →
A business owner completes a checklist of items to bring to meet with a business broker

Checklist: Documents to Bring to Meet with a Business Broker

When you sell your business, your business broker will ask for a specific set of documents to create your listing …

Read More →
Two people use low-stress strategies can help you reduce your labor costs.

Simple Strategies to Reduce Labor Costs

Labor cost might be one of your biggest expenses. And, if you’re like many business owners, this could be a …

Read More →
A manager and an employee working through the onboarding process

Pro Tips for Better Employee Onboarding

It can be exciting to add new employees to your workforce, especially those who care about your mission and show …

Read More →
A person touches a tablet screen with one hand and holds a credit card in the other, determining which business expenses charged to the card are deductible for tax purposes

Which Business Expenses Are Tax Deductible?

One of the easiest ways to save your business money is to reduce your income tax bill. Doing this means …

Read More →
A person at a computer works through important steps before buying a business

Pre-acquisition Action Items: Steps You Must Take Before Buying a Business

Buying a business is a complex process. One of the smartest moves you can make is to spend time studying …

Read More →
A person uses her phone to work through a business's appointment setting applications.

Solution Finder: Appointment Setting Applications

The best appointment scheduling app allows customers to schedule appointments with their favorite small business from their desktops or mobile …

Read More →
A customer with shopping bags is rewarded with a customer loyalty program.

How to Build a Customer Loyalty Program

You’ve likely heard the statistics: It’s much more cost-effective to keep past customers on your roster than go after new …

Read More →
A person sitting at a desk holds a cup of coffee and studies his bookkeeping systems

Solution Finder: Bookkeeping Systems

Every small business needs a bookkeeping system to record its financial data and transactions. These systems can help you manage …

Read More →
People attend a discovery day event

What is Discovery Day and How Should I Prepare?

Discovery days are an event franchisors hold to showcase the business to prospective franchise unit owners. This event provides the …

Read More →
Blank price tags to illustrate how you might set the right prices for your products or services.

How to Set the Right Prices for Your Products and Services

The formula to set a price is easy. First, sum up your costs per unit. Then, add a reasonable profit …

Read More →
Boxes of new product are stacked in a pile

Considering New Product Lines? Start Here.

Planning to sell a new product? This move can help you enter new markets, offer new items of value to …

Read More →
Small business healthcare insurance forms lay on a desk ready to be completed.

Your Go-to Guide to Setting Up Healthcare Benefits

Is your small business looking into health benefits? This could be a smart move. It’s one of the most sought-after …

Read More →
A small business owner is looking at his computer and studying the retirement plans he can offer.

Retirement Plan Selection: How to Find the Best Option for Your Business

Lots of small business owners agree that retirement plans are an important tool for finding and retaining employees. Retirement savings …

Read More →
A business owner works on setting a fair salary.

Your Go-to Guide to Setting Your Salary

When you invest time, resources, and energy into your business, it’s reasonable to be compensated in return. But determining when, …

Read More →
A person looks through window blinds while engaging in business trendspotting.

Your Go-to Guide to Business Trends

Trends can pay off in big ways for business owners ready to capitalize on them. Sometimes, being in the right …

Read More →
A guest and a server use a restaurant point-of-sale system

Solution Finder: Restaurant Point-of-Sale Systems

Virtually every restaurant needs a table management system to collect payments and track sales. Restaurant point-of-sale (POS) systems are robust …

Read More →
A customer with a shopping bag in hand returns to a store because of the loyalty program the small business has in place

Solution Finder: Business Loyalty Programs

It takes a lot to impress customers. You can offer a great setting, great prices, and a great experience, but …

Read More →
a person holding a set of binders has a plan for recordkeeping after closing a business

Recordkeeping After Closing Your Business

Once you’ve closed your business, many of your obligations come to an end. Recordkeeping is not one of those obligations. …

Read More →
Two people with a computer work through the steps to evaluate a business for sale.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Evaluate a Business Listing

Businesses listed on business brokerage sites often follow a specific format. It can be great to have this consistency—and benefit from …

Read More →
A person uses a calculator to determine whether a commercial bridge loan would benefit a business

Should a Commercial Bridge Loan Be Part of Your Financing Strategy?

When it comes to real estate purchases or improvements, many business owners find that they need fast access to capital. …

Read More →
A person sits in a office and reviews a series of franchise agreements

A Crash Course on Franchise Agreements

After reading the franchise disclosure document (FDD) and taking part in discovery day, you may be given an important document: …

Read More →
Two business partners working in an office look at franchise resale opportunities on a computer

Smart Play: Franchise Resale Opportunities

Sometimes, it’s better to buy an existing franchise unit than start a new one. The benefits of these “franchise resales” …

Read More →
Two people sign a document agreeing to a seller earnout

Smart Play: Offering the Seller an Earnout

Some businesses look risky to buy. Owners make promises that can’t be verified, or they make projections that seem too …

Read More →
Two professionals attempt to renegotiate a purchase.

How to Renegotiate a Purchase with the Seller

Due diligence is one of the most important tasks you’ll take on when buying a business. Through the process, you’ll …

Read More →
A legal balance for startup attorneys

Every Startup Needs an Attorney. Here’s Why.

An attorney can be an invaluable member of your team, especially as you work through the startup stage of your …

Read More →
One of a business's authorized signers prepares to sign a contract

Using Authorized Signers for Your Business

As your business grows, you may need some assistance navigating the everyday tasks of operations, including signing checks, paying bills, …

Read More →
A person sits at a desk with an open portfolio wondering about the mistakes he might make when buying a business

The Mistakes You Must Avoid When Buying a Business

From overlooking key issues to making missteps in negotiations, most first-time business buyers make mistakes when buying a business. In …

Read More →