Crain’s New Feature for Start UP’s

New in Chicago: Shoes, sandwiches and morePosted by Ann D. at 4/13/2010 1:15 PM CDT

“New in Chicago” is just that — a listing of new businesses just getting off the ground in and around Chicago. Please send us your start-up announcements. E-mail is best: newchicagobusiness@gmail.com.

Crain’s contributor Robert Loerzel will bring you news of fresh local startups every Tuesday:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here is an example

Kathryn Kerrigan Shoe Boutique:
Stephanie Sack, owner of Chicago’s vive la femme, is teaming up with Kathryn Kerrigan, who designs and sells shoes for tall women through her Libertyville business Kathryn Kerrigan Inc.Together, they’re opening Kathryn Kerrigan Shoe Boutique in May at 2031 N. Damen Ave. in Bucktown. The shop will specialize in high-end women’s shoes in European sizes from 39 to 45. “After hosting a number of successful trunk shows featuring Kathryn’s gorgeous shoes, I decided to open up a Kathryn Kerrigan boutique of my own,” Ms. Sack says. Styles will include comfortable and versatile flats in neutral and “pop” colors, jean-friendly wedges with street-chic detailing and classic kitten heels evoking the 1940s and 1950s.

By the way, Kathryn was on our CAN TV 21 Hotline Show last Summer.  Check out this clip.

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Using Personal Savings is the Norm for financing a new business

From a Kauffman Foundation Study – November, 2009
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Using Personal Savings is the Norm, Venture Capital Comes to the Experienced, and Friends and Family are Always There.  The average number of companies started by the company founders in our sample was 2.3 and 41 percent were running their first businesses.

We analyzed the sources of funding for the businesses started by the serial entrepreneurs:

• The most significant source of funding for all businesses was company founders’ personal savings: 70 percent said they had used personal savings as a main source of funding for their first business, more than four times the number chiefly financed by any other type of funding.  Even in subsequent startups,  more than half of the entrepreneurs relied on their personal  savings.

Venture capital and private/angel investments play a relatively small role in the startups of first-time entrepreneurs, but the percentage who took venture and angel funding increased with subsequent business launches, with 26 percent and22 percent, respectively, of entrepreneurs’ most recent startups receiving such funding.

Friends and family provided funding for 16 percent and banks provided funding for 16 percent of the respondents’ most recent startups. Corporate investments played the major role in 7 percent.

For help on your business plan, please see our website www.scorechicago.org

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Funding for your business – Think about Family – News Report recorded at SCORE Chicago

We have had a number of news stories produced at SCORE Chicago in the month of November.  This one recorded at our Going Into Business workshop focused on two entrepreneurs who are looking toward family money to help fund their business.

SCORE Chicago has many workshops to help small business.  Click here for more information.

Marketing and Selling Workshop Helped with Starting New Business

Comments from  two attendees of a SCORE Chicago “Marketing and Selling Workshop”  Information about this workshop is at: http://bit.ly/MarketingSelling

Alan,

Last week’s marketing class at SCORE was a great primer for folks like
me looking to launch a new business!

The spirited end-of-class discussion with Lauren put all the pieces
together, helping a classmate put together an action plan to
understand the needs of her targeted high-end salon customers and
employees.

Thanks again!

Paul Stark
B2B Marketing Consultant

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I attended the SCORE “Marketing and Selling” workshop on Friday and enjoyed the presentation and met some very interesting people. I signed up for the entire core series and will be attending the Finance workshops next week. My goal is to complete the entire series of six this month and obtain my SCORE small business certification…….

My head is spinning for I have so much to do, yet I am an excellent planner and plan executor, so all will be well. I also have the assistance of you (sic SCORE Counselor) and SCORE.

Rosalyn Carlton

Tough Times – Is It Smart to Buy a Franchise Now?

This blog post was prepared by Gerald P. Moriarty.  He will teaching a workshop on November 9th at our downtown SCORE location.  ……………….

While some economists say there are some signs of the economy starting to improve, almost all agree that we may be heading for a jobless return to an improved economy.  I counsel many middle and senior managers from large corporations, and they are universal in their views that the job market is extremely tough. Sixteen and eighteen month searches are common.  Then they learn from colleagues that the tenure of jobs they have is hovering around the three year mark!

Two years ago, Fortune magazine published a very sobering article titled Permanent Vacation.  It described the growing practice of large corporations to thin out the ranks of their 50 year old plus executives and managers.  Then, say, a 52 year old executive faces a tough job market, and even if he is fortunate  enough to get a new position, there is a good chance he will be looking again at age 55 or 56.  The pickings are even slimmer, and if he is not lucky, then he is on “permanent vacation.”

Business ownership is one way to gain control of a business career.  Franchise business ownership may be a safer and more profitable way to gain that control, provide a nice revenue stream, and even build equity over time. Franchises are strictly regulated by both federal and state laws. The regulators require each franchisor to register critical information about the franchise with them, and then give that same information to the candidate in a book called the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD).   Included in the FDD is the number of openings, closings, and transfers of the franchise units, by state, and for the last three years.  Also included is the most recent contact information for any ex-franchisee who has left in the last year.  So, due diligence will reveal how “safe” the business is. If the candidate targets “recession resistant” franchises, he may spot a franchise that is both safe and profitable.  Some “recession resistant” franchises include hail salons, property restoration companies, health clubs, business coaching, business expense reduction companies, appliance repair, auto service, temporary help agencies, tutoring companies and many more.

To Register for the workshop: https://s08.123signup.com/servlet/SignUp?PG=1522055182300&Info=&P=1522055191158067000

Picking a name for your business

Picking a name for your new small business is a challenge for many people starting out.   Here is a short video from an interview with Brian Fons of Corporate Creations.  Brian discusses items such as trademarks and copyrights.   He provides insights into certain naming conventions that will help you best position your business name.

Naming Your Business

This is a copy of a weekly posting done in conjunction with Crain’s Chicago Business.
Posted by Ann D. at 8/19/2009 6:45 AM CDT

It’s a question Score Chicago counselors hear often in their small-business workshops: How can I protect my business name and the brand names I develop?

Brian Fons of Corporate Creations and a frequent presenter at Score Chicago notes that many entrepreneurs start with a Google search. If the name does not come up in a search engine, they feel they are OK.

While an Internet search is a good start, it does not really protect you.

To really ensure that you are protected, you should first have an expert perform a trademark search.

This is a process in which a professional combs through the federal, state and common laws databases to see if the names you’ve chosen for your business or products have been claimed by someone else.

Once the name is deemed acceptable, Mr. Fons suggests the business owner have the trademark registered at the federal level.

Unless you really understand the process, it is best that you hire a professional. The search and registration should cost between $1,000 and $1,500.

You can learn more by viewing Score Chicago’s recent video interview with Mr. Fons.

More information on trademarks and copyrights is available via this YouTube video.

Got a question for Score Chicago? Send it via e-mail toadwyer@crain.com. Be sure to write “Ask Score” in the subject line.  We’ll run it past Score Chicago’s team of advisers and post answers every Wednesday.

What Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Intellectual Property

This is a reprint of a Blog posting done by Daliah Saper.  Daliah will be covering this material as a presenter at our New Product Development workshop, on August 12th.  Information about the workshop is at: http://bit.ly/NewProduct

By Saper Law www.saperlaw.com | September 26, 2007

Intellectual property is an umbrella term for various types of rights an individual or business can have in their names, creative works, and inventions.  A firm grasp of intellectual property is important for every entrepreneur – even if you’re not a musician or inventor.  An understanding of intellectual property rights can help you protect your business or product name, software, website, logo, invention, and even your customer lists.  No matter what type of business you are in, you will come across at least some of the issues discussed below.

Trademarks

A trademark is any word, name, symbol, or device used to indicate the source of goods or services.  Trademarks can be used to protect your company name or product name, domain names, images, symbols, logos, slogans, colors, product designs and product packaging.  Registering your trademark will help you prevent others from using your mark in a way that might confuse customers or damage your business reputation.  It is important to think about trademark considerations as soon as you start your business!

Copyrights

A copyright is a set of exclusive rights given to an individual or business that has created a literary or artistic work (including computer software, photographs, architectural plans, and a whole range of other works). A copyright gives the owner the exclusive right to make copies of the work, distribute copies of the work to the public, prepare derivative works, and perform or display the work publicly.  In short, the copyright owner has the right to exploit his/her own work, and those rights are unavailable to any others.

You should also be aware that copyright issues can be complex whenever you have someone else working for you. If you own a company and have hired someone as a full-timeemployee, then you most likely will own the copyright in anything they create for you.  However, if you have only hired them as an independent contractor, then the contractor is considered the owner unless there is a written agreement to the contrary.  Your company may have a license to use what was created, but you won’t be the owner and may not be able to sell or create new versions of the work.

Patents

A patent entitles an inventor to exclude others from making, using, or selling the claimed invention for a period of 20 years.  To obtain a patent, your invention must have a very high level of originality and you must disclose the “recipe” for your invention to the public.

An inventor who obtains a patent for a “widget” can stop a competitor from creating or selling blue widgets. However, someone else may have patents relating to widgets (e.g., a patent on a widget with a handle). If so, it is possible that the inventor may be similarly stopped from selling widgets with handles. But remember that after all of the patent rights relating to widgets expire, anyone is free to create and sell widgets.

Trade Secrets

Trade secrets provide another way to protect material that could otherwise be copyrighted or patented.  While copyrights and patents are made public and limited in duration, trade secrets are private and can last indefinitely – so long as you actually keep them secret and use reasonable measures to protect their secrecy.  Trade secrets also can extend to things, such as customer lists, that are not easily protected by copyrights or patents.

Imagine a clever software developer who writes a program that predicts the Stock Market with 99% accuracy. If he patents his software, in 20 years, everyone can create, use, and sell similar software. However, if he keeps the software a trade secret, he can control the source code indefinitely and no one will ever know how he achieved such accuracy.

However, it is essential that you take sufficient steps to develop a Trade Secret Protection Program. A proper Protection Program will include steps like requiring confidentially agreements, ensuring limited access to confidential material, having password protections, and limiting the number of people with access to sensitive information.  If you take appropriate steps and your process or information qualifies for trade secret protection, you can prevent others from using the trade secret without your permission.

Contractual Issues and Licensing

Whenever you are dealing with your own intellectual property, or the intellectual property of others, there are many important contractual and licensing issues that can come up.

For instance, if pay a graphic designer to create a logo or pamphlet for you, you may think that you own the work and all copyrights in it.  But if you don’t have the correct contract in place with the graphic designer before she begins work (a work for hire agreement), then you may only have a license to use the logo or pamphlet and the designer owns the copyright!

Likewise, if you have a trade secret, and you disclose details of that trade secret to someone else without having the proper contract in place (a non-disclosure agreement), then you may lose your rights to that trade secret!

There are too many different contractual or licensing issues to address here, but take away from this that you should always be cautious when dealing with intellectual property.  To be safe, you should always have an attorney review any contracts dealing with intellectual property rights.

Conclusion

Now that you have a basic understanding of the different types of intellectual property and related issues that can arise, you should have an idea of how trademarks, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets will affect your business. If you encounter any of the issues discussed above, you should consult an attorney to make sure you are fully protecting your intellectual property rights!

IRS’s Top Seven Tax Tips for Starting a New Business

Anyone starting or thinking of starting a new business should be aware of their federal tax responsibilities. Here are the top seven things the IRS wants you to know if you plan on opening a new business this year.

1.    First, you must decide what type of business entity you are going to establish. The type your business takes will determine which tax form you have to file. The most common types of business are the sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation and S corporation.

2.    The type of business you operate determines what taxes you must pay and how you pay them. The four general types of business taxes are income tax, self-employment tax, employment tax and excise tax.

3.    An Employer Identification Number is used to identify a business entity. Generally, businesses need an EIN. Visit IRS.gov for more information about whether you will need an EIN. You can also apply for an EIN online at IRS.gov.

4.    Good records will help you ensure successful operation of your new business. You may choose any recordkeeping system suited to your business that clearly shows your income and expenses. Except in a few cases, the law does not require any special kind of records. However, the business you are in affects the type of records you need to keep for federal tax purposes.

5.    Every business taxpayer must figure taxable income on an annual accounting period called a tax year. The calendar year and the fiscal year are the most common tax years used.

6.    Each taxpayer must also use a consistent accounting method, which is a set of rules for determining when to report income and expenses. The most commonly used accounting methods are the cash method and an accrual method. Under the cash method, you generally report income in the tax year you receive it and deduct expenses in the tax year you pay them. Under an accrual method, you generally report income in the tax year you earn it and deduct expenses in the tax year you incur them.

7.    Visit the Business section of IRS.gov for resources to assist entrepreneurs with starting and operating a new business.

To get the latest IRS news and products and services, subscribe to e-News for Small Businesses on IRS.gov at http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=154825,00.html, click “Subscribe Now” at the bottom of the page and enter your e-mail address.

The IRS Small Business and Self-employed Tax Center at http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/index.html has more information about starting and operating a new business.

Posted in Accounting, startup. Tags: . Comments Off

New Small Business Resources on SCOREChicago.org

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