Bill Jones, founder and president of ABC Company, has decided his
15-person operation has reached the stage that it could support
some kind of employee retirement plan. As a business owner, he
wants to provide an additional incentive to retain key staff
But Jones is also concerned about the effect of any
retirement plan on the firm’s tax position and cash flow. And he
doesn’t want to get in over his head with paperwork and
Anyone can tell a good downtown from a bad one. The well-kept downtown
boasts plenty of foot traffic, clean sidewalks, attractive store fronts and
diverse businesses. The bad one offers boarded up windows, questionable
enterprises, dirty streets and worse. But many of even the worst
neighborhoods were once bustling city centers. How did they come to grief,
and what would it take to revive them?
What’s Bringing Your Downtown Down?
A neglected downtown repels visitors and
For a small business owner busily trying to get ahead, taking the
time to move beyond current operational concerns and think about
the broader picture may seem an unaffordable luxury.
Marketing consultant John Wang thinks failing to do so is
far costlier. “Because small business owners are often worried
about survival, we tend to think day-to-day and don’t look ahead
on a long-term basis,” says Wang, executive director of the
Asian-American Business Development Center in New
You still insist on using the phone or a fax when electronic mail
would be more efficient. You still journey to the library to
conduct research when you could do it on-line from your desk. You
still confer with colleagues only at annual conventions instead
of keeping up with them every few days.
Perhaps this approach works for you, but chances are that
your competitors, customers and colleagues are making use of the
information superhighway’s vast
“Work, work, work, work, work.” – Mel Brooks
In his movie, Blazing Saddles, famed actor-director Mel Brooks
plays a simple-minded sheriff who scurries from one task to
another, all the while muttering his work mantra.
While they’re certainly not engaged in the same types of
activities such as rounding up errant citizenry, many
entrepreneurs can relate to the sheriff’s feelings of being
Running a business is no small feat, and business owners are
Step 1: Making the Investment Worthwhile
Going online can be absurdly simple – some Internet service providers even insert disks with the software you need into business or computer magazines. But to make the investment worthwhile, you must have a purpose in mind. Understanding the Internet, setting realistic goals for your enterprise, recognizing the commitment entailed, and maximizing your efforts are four key steps your small business must take to ensure your Internet venture will be