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The HOT Sauce Blog for Entrepreneurs

Recordkeeping for the Restless

December 21, 2012 by Akira Hirai

recordkeeping for startups is essential

Why keep business records? When you’re passionate about your company, keeping accurate business records can seem like a boring chore. It’s not the most glamorous or engaging task, and it requires patience and good organizational skills. But while dealing with paperwork can seem burdensome, a thorough and up-to-date record system can save you headaches and work down the road – and best of all, save you money at tax time. It can also help you improve your client relationships and accurately assess your company’s performance. In fact, maintaining immaculate business [Read More]

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Moving Electricity: Sometimes, Innovation Isn’t Enough

December 18, 2012 by Jimmy Lewin

Electric Grid utility industry

An old friend named Tim stopped by the office recently to talk about innovation in the electrical utility industry in the United States. Tim has spent 45 years in the business of generating and moving electrical power; he has spent the past 15 years consulting with entrepreneurial companies in the U.S. and abroad. It turns out that Tim is very frustrated because there have been many amazing innovations in the transmission of electricity from where it is produced to the customer, and yet, the industry, for the most part, refuses [Read More]

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7 Tips for Small Business Branding

December 7, 2012 by Akira Hirai

Branding for small businesses

Compared to Fortune 500 titans, start-ups and small businesses often seem at a disadvantage when it comes to marketing. Big corporations have vast resources at their disposal; small and new businesses rarely do. Established companies can build their new marketing initiatives on an existing infrastructure, where newer companies must start from scratch with many projects. But a smaller budget doesn’t have to mean smaller results. The proverbial advice to work smarter, not harder applies to many aspects of marketing, and one of the best examples is branding. By selectively employing [Read More]

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Are You a Five-Tool Player?

November 28, 2012 by Jimmy Lewin

Ed Delahanty

We don’t know who coined the term “Five-tool player,” but it has been a common phrase in baseball for many years. My suspicion is that it may have first been uttered by a sports writer for the Sporting News, a publication which has been publishing continuously since 1886. Its first use may have been to describe Big Ed Delahante, a superstar for the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1890’s. The term has always been used to describe special baseball players such as Willie Mays, Duke Snyder, and for those of you [Read More]

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We Have The Best Customer Service

November 19, 2012 by Jimmy Lewin

Best Customer Service

What is the one thing that every single entrepreneur says “distinguishes” his or her company from all the others? That’s right: it’s consistent, high-quality customer service. Yep, every single client for whom we write a business plan claims to have the world’s greatest customer service. This got us to thinking that if great customer service is really that important, what exactly is it? It also occurred to us that it probably isn’t great customer service that distinguishes one competitor from another; it is more than likely poor customer service determines [Read More]

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8 Tips for Using Twitter to Promote Your Small Business

October 29, 2012 by Akira Hirai

social media marketing with twitter

It seems like everyone is using Twitter to market themselves these days, from celebrities to corporations. But how do you know if Twitter is right for marketing your small business – and how do you make it work for you? First you need to understand what Twitter can do for you. Most people know that a “tweet” is a very brief message that can’t exceed 140 characters. For this reason, they consider it a limited and often pointless form of communication. How can such a short message hold value? But [Read More]

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Business Is So Good It’s Killing Me

October 25, 2012 by Jimmy Lewin

Cash Flow Management With Factoring

A call came into our office last week from a stressed out small business owner in Florida. He said that he needed a business plan right away that he could submit to a bank for a loan to fuel the growth of his commercial landscaping business. One of our consultants asked him to provide some details and this is what we learned: Business is great. He has about 80 commercial accounts, mostly multi-family and office properties. In most instances, his customers are property managers. New business opportunities seem to come [Read More]

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How Can My Partner and I Value Our Company?

October 22, 2012 by Jimmy Lewin

Four business valuation models explained

In a recent post, Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, we talked about the problems that arise when owners of a small business don’t plan for the eventual change of ownership that always happens. In that article, we discussed the two owners of an 8-year old successful business.  The owners were unable to agree on the value of the business when one of the owners wanted to buy out the other. We talked about the need for partner-owners to create a buy-sell agreement early in the life of the business [Read More]

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The Debates

October 17, 2012 by Jimmy Lewin

The Debates - Lessons for Entrepreneurs

We imagine that most people know that it is “debate season” here in the U.S. as the Presidential debates dominate media coverage throughout the month. More than 70 million people from around the world watched the first Presidential debate; over 50 million folks watched the Vice Presidential debate. It is estimated that the second Presidential debate had a higher viewership than the first. It occurred to us that these debates provide a teachable moment for entrepreneurs. Now, Why is that, you ask? The reason is simply that many of the [Read More]

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The Heart of Any E-2 Application

October 11, 2012 by Jimmy Lewin

visa application business plan

An experienced immigration attorney in Mesa, Arizona – where there is a great a deal of immigration activity, as you may imagine – contacted us to assist one of his clients with a business plan for an E-2 investor visa. He indicated that one of the requirements for an investor visa is a business plan. While we have a great deal of experience in writing business plans that are used for immigration purposes, the attorney was kind enough to share some of his thoughts on the importance of the business [Read More]

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