Good landscaping can increase the appeal and value of your fix and flip projects. However, the wrong landscaping project can eat into your budget and cause you to lose money. In this article, we share 25 landscaping project ideas from the pros that will make your fix and flip more attractive to buyers. 1. Create…
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If you’re a business with fewer than 50 employees, providing small business health insurance to your staff is optional. There are many small business health insurance options available if you choose to offer it to attract new employees and to keep your current ones happy. However, if you have over 50 full-time employees, you are…
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Form 1120S is the annual tax form S Corps and LLCs taxed as S Corps must complete to report net earnings to the IRS. Similar to partnerships, net earnings pass through to shareholders of an S corp and are reported on each shareholder’s personal tax return. All income, deductions, and credits are reported on Form…
A merchant cash advance (MCA), or business cash advance, is a lump sum payment in exchange for a fixed percentage of your business’s daily credit card receipts. They are short term financing products that can have APRs as high as 200%+, variable terms, and daily repayments. Business owners therefore typically look for alternatives like term…
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Food truck insurance is a necessity for business owners in the mobile food industry. Most food truck businesses will need more than one type of insurance coverage, including commercial vehicle insurance and general liability. Food truck insurance costs start at $1,300 per year, but can be as much as $7,000 per year or more. Insurance…
Investment property loans are usually found through online mortgage providers, investor-only lenders and national banks. Rates and terms vary based on the borrower, the property and the type of loan but mortgage rates are generally 3 – 12% and terms are usually 3 – 30 years. Loan amounts typically range from $45,000 to $2,000,000. Where…
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Form 1065 is used by partnerships and LLCs taxed as partnerships to report business income and expenses. Since a partnership is not a taxable entity, net earnings pass through to the partners and reported on their personal tax return. Form 1065 is necessary to report all partnership income, deductions, and credits for the tax year.…
As a self employed person, you have to pay both the employer and employee portion of your Social Security and Medicare taxes, known as “self employment taxes.” If you make $400 or more in self employment income, you will pay between 15.3%-16.2% in self employment tax on up to 92.35% of your income. Self Employment…
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S Corps have a number of tax advantages. For example, similar to an LLC, they protect a business owner’s personal assets in case the business is sued. In addition, they are not subject to double taxation and do not pay self employment taxes on net income. S Corps are required to file form 1120S and…
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Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9 pm ET. This is excerpted from my recent interview with Zach Mercurio. He is an international speaker, trainer, and purpose and meaningful work consultant. Zach is the founder and author of PurposeSpeaks.com, the popular blog on purposeful leadership, work, and life. For more info: www.ZachMercurio.com.
SmallBizLady: WHAT EXACTLY IS AN “INVISIBLE LEADER” AND WHY IS IT THE MOST POWERFUL ASPECT OF AN ORGANIZATION?
Zach Mercurio: One of the biggest misconceptions about what both motivates employees and attracts customers is “what” an organization does (it’s products or services); what an organization “gets” for what it does (profit, metrics, paychecks); or a charismatic person (CEO, supervisors).
However, compelling research finds that a clear purpose – the reason for which the company exists – is actually the most powerful motivator of our behaviors, attitudes, and commitment to businesses as both employees and customers.
The common purpose of a business is that “invisible leader” and when we can make the purpose more important than a metric or a person, results follow.
SmallBizLady: ISN’T THE “WHY” IDEA OF “PURPOSE” TOUCHY FEELY, WISHFUL THINKING? IS PURPOSE A BUZZWORD OR FAD? WHAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT?
Zach Mercurio: When a business no longer serves its purpose or demonstrates his human value, it dies.
Perhaps more powerfully, psychological research since the 1950s has found that we are all wired as human beings – both employees and consumers – to search for purpose.
People crave being a part of something bigger, of having a story to connect their work and lives to. Small businesses are especially primed to connect people to purpose both because of their size and connection to many stakeholders in their communities.
SmallBizLady: WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE LEADERS MAKE WHEN TRYING TO MOTIVATE/INSPIRE THEMSELVES/PEOPLE WITHIN THEIR ORGANIZATIONS?
Zach Mercurio: We still seem to live in a time where business leaders think people are motivated by results. Research finds this is not the case. The problem with results is precisely the fact that you can achieve them. Then what? We can meet that goal, get that salary increase, increase profits – then what? When you follow the “then what” to its end, we often find an emptiness – an emptiness that the bigger purpose fills.
As business leaders, when we can clearly articulate our reason for existing – what human problem we exist to solve through our products or services – we create an everlasting goal that can’t be fulfilled. We don’t just build a business. We build a legacy.
SmallBizLady: HOW WOULD I INITIATE A CHANGE TO A MORE PURPOSE-DRIVEN LIFE OR ORGANIZATION?
Zach Mercurio: For small businesses, I would recommend starting with these four steps:
To clarify your purpose, make sure you have a clear answer to the question: Outside of what we do, how we do it, or what we get for what we do – why do we exist?
Write it down and make it visible.
Then, test that purpose with employees, customers, and other stakeholders. Does it emotionally resonate? If so, you’re on the right track.
SmallBizLady: IF I AM LOOKING TO START LEADING A LIFE/ORG W/MORE PURPOSE, WHAT’S THE 3 CORE BELIEFS THAT NEED TO BE IN PLACE TO THRIVE?
Zach Mercurio: To lead a business from purpose, everyone involved in the operation should:
SmallBizLady: SIMON SINEK WRITES A LOT ABOUT PURPOSE IN THE WORKPLACE. WHY IS YOUR BOOK NEEDED? HOW IS IT DIFFERENT?
Zach Mercurio: Purpose has become popular and stimulating as an “idea,” which makes it easy to misuse. And, much of the work on purpose and business is theoretical. I start where thought leaders like Simon Sinek leave off. Purpose is useless unless it is practiced. And research finds there are key practices, like the ones I just mentioned, to building a purposeful company.
SmallBizLady: YOU SAY IN THE INVISIBLE LEADER THAT PROBLEMS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN SOLUTIONS. WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?
Zach Mercurio: Ultimately, people aren’t emotionally moved by the solutions your offer. Anyone will be able to copy what you do or how you do it, but they can’t copy, at your core, why you are.
When business leaders are able to stay focused on the human problem they solve or human need they fulfill, they speak a common language among diverse stakeholders and can inspire emotional commitment.
And, research finds that emotional commitment is the most sustainable type of stakeholder commitment.
SmallBizLady: MILLENNIALS/GENERATION Z TALK A LOT ABOUT NEEDING TO WORK FOR AN ORGANIZATION THAT HAS A POWERFUL PURPOSE. WHY IS THIS?
Zach Mercurio: A study that just came out seems to indicate that our upcoming generation, Generation Z, is prioritizing purpose in work over almost anything else. The same is true when it comes to purchasing behavior.
One example of this is that this generation is indicating that they prefer to work in the public or non-profit sectors over the private sector. This is indicative of the desire to make a difference that has been stoked by generations seeing their parents disengaged at work and an interconnectedness to others facilitated by technology.
But while many talk about purpose as a generational need, it is important to understand that the search for purpose and meaning is a human need that is universal across generations. These younger generations are just more vocal about it.
SmallBizLady: HOW CAN LEADERS CREATE A CULTURE OF SIGNIFICANCE AND MEANING?
Zach Mercurio: In addition to re-humanizing the everyday narrative of the business, two other critical ways of fostering a culture of significance in the company are:
SmallBizLady: WHAT IS THE FORMULA FOR FIGURING OUT YOUR COMPANY’S PURPOSE (AND YOUR PERSONAL PURPOSE, TOO)?
Zach Mercurio: First, it is critical to uncover why the company was founded in the first place. What was the market and human need? Why did the founder start the company? Is that “why” still clear?
Second, it is important to clarify and crystalize that purpose. Make sure it is clear to all stakeholders. And make sure the purpose is detached from what the company does or what it gets for what it does.
Third, ensure that core values and principles are in place to maintain purpose alignment. How will you know if you are straying from your purpose? What will you do to course-correct. Building purpose into your strategic planning is powerful.
Finally, ensure that the purpose is delivered at all levels of the company. After any in-person or digital interaction, can people know and feel why you exist? This is the standard of a purposeful organization.
SmallBizLady: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE EFFECTS OF LEADING MORE WITH PURPOSE? WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND THROUGH YOUR RESEARCH?
Zach Mercurio: Because the search for purpose is characteristic of all employees and stakeholders, research has found that businesses with a clear purpose beyond profit outperform the market by an average of 6:1. Globally, purpose-driven brands are 15x more profitable.
Research has also found that people with a strong, pervasive sense of purpose at work…
If you found this interview helpful, join us on Wednesdays 8-9 pm ET; follow @SmallBizChat on Twitter.
Here’s how to participate in #SmallBizChat: http://bit.ly/1hZeIlz