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Financial Tips Corliss Group Online Magazine on 4 Essential Money Mistakes Entrepreneurs Overlook

Financial Tips Corliss Group Online Magazine on 4 Essential Money Mistakes Entrepreneurs Overlook | Corliss Group Online Financial Mag |

As I get rolling on a new startup with my partners at Startup.SC, a startup incubator in South Carolina, I am reminded of a few painful mistakes many entrepreneurs, myself included, make when starting a business.


Now, if you are starting a business, you probably have not put too much thought into how you are going to exit. There are, after all, countless considerations to make as you get started, from applying for business licenses, developing working prototypes to setting up your website. If you ever plan to sell your business or bring on investors to grow, how you run your business from the start is just as important.


Fortunately, it is not difficult to get started properly. Simply consider these four tips( ), often overlooked by most startup entrepreneurs.


1. Prepare your general ledger.


Setting up your accounting books may seem bland and tedious, especially for entrepreneurs without experience. Many rely on off-the-shelf accounting software, which provides general guidelines and templates to get you started. These are fine and completely acceptable for most startups, but to fully understand the financials of your company and, in the future, provide the evidence of the value you have built, you should give your set up careful consideration. Although a little pricey, it would benefit you to hire a professional when getting started.


2. Keep business business.


It is completely acceptable for entrepreneurs to pay for a variety of expenses with company funds, so long as those expenses meet the generally acceptable accounting standards (GAAP) for business expenses. Too many entrepreneurs, however, use company funds for personal use, trying to justify it with very liberal interpretations of GAAP or simply improperly reporting.


Not only could this get you in hot water with the IRS and open you up to a great deal of liability, it will be difficult in the future to separate these expenses when valuing your company. From the onset, it is best to just keep all personal expenses out of the business.


3. Report all revenues.


It is not difficult, and definitely enticing, to skim money from the business at the start, especially if you do most of your business in cash. Again, not only could this ultimately get you in trouble with the IRS, but it undervalues your business in the long run. It is going to be difficult to prove value and growth if you are not reporting real numbers from your business.


4. Keep careful records and receipts.


OK, excluding personal expenses and reporting all of your revenue just means giving more of your hard-earned money to Uncle Sam in terms of taxes. Not necessarily true. If you understand the extent of what you can expense and, more importantly, you keep copious records of your activity (both for audits and due diligence of potential buyers and investors), you can ultimately work down your taxable income without hurting the value of your company.


Grab yourself a good book or, better yet, find yourself a trusted professional advisor( ) to learn how to best run your business this way.


I was part of a business team that looked at investing in businesses a number of years ago. It was not uncommon to meet an entrepreneur of a small business whose only proof of success and value was a shoebox full of cash. A few would emphasize that the company was paying for personal utilities, auto expenses and even groceries and that we should consider these expenses as part of the value.


The problem was that they often could not prove these claims satisfactorily because they had not accounted for them properly. In the end, it hurt the valuation of their company and gave us tremendous leverage during the negotiations.


Most entrepreneurs are not thinking about an exit when they are in the startup stages of a business. If you ever have a goal to divest or grow through investment, how you run your business before you start is just as important as after.


For more Financial Tips from Corliss Group Online Magazine( ), visit our facebook page( ) and follow us on twitter @CorlissGroupMag( ).




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Corliss Group Online Financial Mag: Marketers succeed by generating hitto products

Corliss Group Online Financial Mag: Marketers succeed by generating hitto products | Corliss Group Online Financial Mag |
Japanese consumers and marketers alike certainly love their ヒット商品 (hitto shōhin
Britney Pearce's insight:

Japanese consumers and marketers alike certainly love their ヒット商品 (hitto shōhin, hit products). To understand how this term came about, we need to look back to the decade following World War II. When living standards gradually began to improve from the early 1950s, Japanese consumers eagerly snapped up home appliances. As a condition for marriage, new brides demanded a home supplied with 白黒テレビ (shirokuro terebi, black-and-white TV), 洗濯機 (sentakuki, washing machine) and 冷蔵庫 (reizōko, refrigerator). These became referred to as 三種の神器 (sanshu no jingi, the three sacred treasures), which was a humorous allusion to the mirror, sword and jewel that were presented to Japan’s ancient emperors during the imperial enthronement ceremony.


By the early 1960s, the era known as 高度経済成長期 (kōdo keizai seichō-ki, period of high economic growth), the previous “must-haves” had been replaced by the “Three C’s,” カー (kā car), クーラー (kūrā, cooler, i.e., air conditioner) and カラーテレビ (karā terebi, color television).


But then the 普及率 (fukyūritsu, ownership rate) for basic home appliances began to approach 90 percent, and 市場が飽和された (shijō ga hōwa sareta, markets became saturated). What’s more, consumers began to get picky — a term referred to as こだわり (kodawari) — and in addition to brand preferences demanded variations in products’ size, color, design and performance that fit their lifestyles more closely.


By the early ’70s, manufacturers realized they could only boost their market share by experimenting, filling niches for latent demand and by fine tuning their product design, naming, pricing and advertising strategies. And thus the concept of hitto shōhin was born.


The 元祖 (ganso, originator) of the term “hitto shōhin” dates back to 1971 when a thrice-weekly publication covering retailing and distribution, 日経流通新聞 (Nikkei Ryutsu Shimbun, the Nikkei Marketing Journal) was launched.


Looking for a novel means of promoting their new publication, the Nikkei succeeded in creating a hit product itself: On the front page of its final issue of the year, it ranked the hits of the previous 12 months using a 相撲番付 (sumō banzuke), a traditional list of wrestler rankings that’s issued just before the start of each grand sumo tournament.


As in sumo, banzuke carried an array of winning products with the leaders treated as 横綱 (yokozuna, grand champion), written in large characters at the top, followed in descending order by pairs of 大関 (ōzeki, champion), 関脇 (sekiwake, junior champion), 小結 (komusubi, 4th-ranked) and about a dozen 前頭 (maegashira, rank and file).


In the Nikkei’s view, it’s not enough just to sell lots of something. To warrant the status of hitto shōhin, a product must reflect some new concept that changes the direction of the market, or which fosters creation of an entirely new consumer segment that hadn’t existed previously. Particularly during times of economic slowdown, when hit products (or services) succeed in getting consumers to 財布のひもを緩める (saifu no himo wo yurumeru, loosen the purse strings), they are welcomed as encouraging signs of life in an otherwise moribund economy.


Based on the banzuke appearing on its front page of Dec. 4, here are the NMJ’s Top 10 hits for 2013, in descending order: セブンカフェ (sebun kafe, take-out coffee at 7-Eleven convenience stores); あまちゃん (“Amachan,” the NHK morning drama); 進撃の巨人 (“Shingeki no Kyojin,” the animated TV cartoon “Attack on Titan”); 東南アジア観光客 (tōnan ajia kankōkyaku, sightseeing visitors from Southeast Asia); マー君 (Mā-kun, Rakuten Eagle’s star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka); パズル&ドラゴンズ (Pazuru to Doragonzu, the mobile game Puzzle & Dragons); ロレックス (Rorekkusu, Rolex wrist watches); 湾岸マンション (wangan manshon, condominiums along Tokyo Bay); 富士山 (Fuji-san, Mount Fuji, newly voted a UNESCO World Heritage Site); and 式年遷宮 (shikinen sengū, the complete rebuilding of Shinto shrines at 20-year intervals).


For its buzzword of the year, NMJ gave its nod to “Abenomics.” It conferred its 残念賞 (zannen-shō, booby prize) on 食品偽装表示 (shokuhin gisō hyōji, false labeling of food products) a scandal that shook some of the nation’s major hotels and restaurants.


Among the rising stars in store for 2014, NMJ predicted major gains by Haneda Airport, both in terms of passenger capacity and nearby hotel accommodations. From June 12 to July 13, the eyes of the nation are expected to be turned to TV sets to cheer for the national team at the World Cup in Brazil.

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ZTE to launch new phones at Barcelona Mobile World Congress|Economy|News|

ZTE to launch new phones at Barcelona Mobile World Congress|Economy|News| | Corliss Group Online Financial Mag |
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Corliss Group Online Financial Mag Hong Kong ZTE to launch new phones at Barcelona Mobile World Congress


Chinese mobile phone maker ZTE announced on Tuesday that it will use the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week to launch its new Grand Memo II, as well as the new ZTE Open C smartphone which runs on Firefox OS 1.3, and a new MiFavor 2.3 interface.


The company's general director of mobiles and executive vice-president of the corporation, Adam Zeng commented that this year the company was working to collaborate more closely with its clients throughout the world and developing products.


He added that at the 2014 Mobile World Congress, which opens in Barcelona on Feb. 24 and closes on Feb. 27, the company will present these new devices in collaboration with Mozilla and Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica, which is the biggest network provider in Spain and which has a massive presence in Latin America and other parts of the world.


"We are certain 2014 will be our year," said Zeng.


ZTE will use the congress to show off its full range of mobile devices, among which are the Grand S II smartphone, the Blad range and the Nubia range, which in December last year outsold Apple, Samsung and Nokia on the Jingdong Mall online store in China.



The company will also be displaying devices for mobile hotspots and a new smartwatch.

Corliss Group Online Financial Mag Hong Kong ZTE to launch new phones at Barcelona Mobile World Congress


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