On the Friday before Labor Day, Village Voice staffers found out the paper was being shut down. According to Gothamist, the paper’s owner, Peter Barbey, told the staff in a phone call that “due to the business realities, we’re going to stop publishing Village Voice new material.” Some staff members are being retained to “wind things down” and migrate the Voice’s archive online. The rest have been let go.
“The conduct by the previous management has compromised finances and integrity of the company by possibly having committed fraud. The board of directors, as well as its investors and financial advisors, have met over the past few days to investigate and analyze the current state of the company as well as possible fraud… Based on an analysis of the economic situation of the company, and the effects of the crime of fraud, the decision has been made to end the operation definitively, since the company is in a situation of no return.”
“The initial 7 years were all about having negative working capital, positive cash flow and a sustained ability to fund our own growth. Those were the only metrics we tracked. In the last 3–4 years, though, I can honestly state that somewhere I lost my path. I started treasuring GMV, room-nights and other ‘vanity’ metrics instead of the fundamentals of cash flow and working capital,” he explained.
Take-away: After a setback, recalibrate. Entrepreneurs find it difficult to get away from their businesses, but breaks are vital. "You're coming up with ideas in your sleep and waking up with them," Kramer says, "but sometimes you have to stand back and not think about it. Allow your mind to rest in a different environment until you're ready again."
The thing that strikes me, on the other hand, is that few of these start-ups had a true mission. They were not founded to solve a problem that had bothered the entrepreneur for a long time; they were founded because the entrepreneur wanted to be a CEO. Start-ups should only be founded by people who urgently want to solve a problem that they understand and care about deeply and are uniquely equipped to solve. Everyone else should join someone else’s start-up.
The other approach is what I call the "Hail Mary" strategy. You make elaborate plans for a product, hire a team of engineers to develop it (people who do this tend to use the term "engineer" for hackers), and then find after a year that you've spent two million dollars to develop something no one wants. This was not uncommon during the Bubble, especially in companies run by business types, who thought of software development as something terrifying that therefore had to be carefully planned.
Assume that the start-up cost of your cake shop is $54,000. In this case, the amount of maximum permissible deduction in the first year will diminish by the amount the start-up costs exceeds $50,000, i.e., $4,000. Hence, instead of $5,000 you can avail the deduction of $1,000 only. The remaining $49,000 shall be amortized over the period of 180 months. The amortization deduction shall amount to $272.22 per month ($49,000/180). Additionally, you shall avail the amortization deduction of $816.66 in the first year, because your cake shop is in business for 3 months. Hence, your total deduction for start-up cost in the first year would be $1816.66.
The election to expense $5000 is deemed to be made if the startup expenses are not greater than $5000; otherwise, the taxpayer must attach a statement to the tax return noting the election. The note for a sole proprietorship must state that the election is being made under Section 195(b)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and that any remaining expenses will be amortized over 180 months, or 15 years. The business name and description must also be noted and the month that the business began. The election for partnerships is made under IRC Regulation 1.709-1(b) and (c); for corporations, IRC Regulation 1.248-1(c). If a business owner failed to make the election, then an amended return can be filed within 6 months of the due date of the return, including extensions, noting the election and with the phrase â€œFiled pursuant to Section 301.9100-2.â€
“Before Touch of Modern, we spent a year and 800K on a project that, at its core, could not scale. After the initial failure, our investors jokingly said, ‘Consider it tuition.’ We meandered along for a year slowly bleeding money. What I regret most is not that we failed, but that we did not fail quickly enough. During this situation, turns out we did not know the difference between success and failure. We held on to really tiny successes among our small group of users as signs that we had something that worked. We thought that the way we struggled was just the way the way the startup life was. The solution we have now to prevent the same mistake is to launch things on a small scale, do it quickly and establish beforehand very concretely what goals we have to hit for the initiative to be considered successful and for us to keep investing. If we don’t hit those goals, we evaluate objectively and move on knowing that the most valuable thing we have is the time we will be spending in the future, not the time we spent in the past.”
It’s important to remember, however, that credit cards are an expensive way of financing a small business, particularly if you have bad credit. That’s because card issuers determine annual percentage rates based largely on your personal credit scores. And research has shown that small businesses that rely heavily on credit card financing typically fail.
Businesses like to purchase expensive items that are used for long periods of time that are classified as investments. Commonly amortized items for the purpose of spreading costs include machinery, buildings, and equipment. From an accounting perspective, a sudden purchase of expensive factory during a quarterly period can skew the financials, so its value is amortized over the expected life of the factory instead. Although it can technically be considered amortizing, this is usually referred to as the depreciation expense of an asset amortized over its expected lifetime. Use our Depreciation Calculator to depreciate items according to conventional accounting standards.
A supplier-based intangible is the value resulting from the future acquisitions (through contract or other relationships with suppliers in the ordinary course of business) of goods or services that you will sell or use. The amount you pay or incur for supplier-based intangibles includes, for example, any portion of the purchase price of an acquired trade or business that is attributable to the existence of a favorable relationship with persons providing distribution services (such as a favorable shelf or display space or a retail outlet), or the existence of favorable supply contracts. Do not include any amount required to be paid for the goods or services to honor the terms of the agreement or other relationship. Also, see Assets That Are Not Section 197 Intangibles , later.
Sandy Botkin CPA, Esq. is the principal lecturer for the Tax Reduction Institute of Germantown, Maryland. Sandy is a best selling author of “Lower Your Taxes:Big Time” and “Real Estate Tax Secrets of the Rich.” He lectures throughout the U.S. on tax reduction techniques for small business professionals. You can access his web site for more information, including lots of free financial tools, by going to www.sandybotkin.com. You can also access his free blog at www.facebook.com/loweryourtaxes and his free videos at http://www.2012taxdeductions.com/
Seven months ago, I left my Product Management job at Google to work on starting a company. My co-founder and I have been working on Kapwing, an online video editor, for the last four months. In this post, I’ll compare life before and after so other big-company product managers know what they’re getting themselves into if they’re thinking about jumping ship.
You elect to take this credit only if you were an eligible trade adjustment assistance (TAA) recipient, alternative TAA (ATAA) recipient, reemployment trade adjustment assistance (RTAA) recipient, or Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) pension recipient. Use Form 8885 to figure the amount, if any, of this credit. When figuring the amount to enter on line 1 of Worksheet 6-A, don’t include any amounts you included on Form 8885, line 4.
If you receive loan proceeds in cash or if the loan proceeds are deposited in an account, you can treat any payment (up to the amount of the proceeds) made from any account you own, or from cash, as made from those proceeds. This applies to any payment made within 30 days before or after the proceeds are received in cash or deposited in your account.
Although you must generally capitalize costs to acquire or produce real or tangible personal property used in your trade or business, such as buildings, equipment, or furniture, you can elect to use a de minimis safe harbor to deduct the costs of some tangible property. Under the de minimis safe harbor for tangible property, you can deduct de minimis amounts paid to acquire or produce certain tangible business property if these amounts are deducted by you for financial accounting purposes or in keeping your books and records. See the following for the requirements for the de minimis safe harbor.
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The next day, my 365th, I resigned my position. I began seeing a therapist twice a week. Under her and my doctor’s guidance, I took antidepressants as prescribed for over a year. The therapist guided me through looking at my experience, my feelings of (un)worthiness, my relationship to work. What I originally had thought was a long hard road to feeling normal took less than a month. I never refilled the anti-anxiety medication again.
The 37-year-old entrepreneur is likely to take a final decision about his next venture before the end of the year, the people cited above said. His next venture is keenly awaited, following his forced exit from Flipkart. In May, Walmart agreed to buy 77% in Flipkart for $16 billion. As part of the Flipkart-Walmart deal, Bansal left the company, one of the most controversial developments in the short history of the Indian start-up ecosystem. Bansal was forced out after differences with the company’s then board members over his role after the Walmart acquisition.
“We really didn’t test the initial product enough,” Ghoshal says. The team pulled the trigger on its initial launches without a significant beta period and without spending a lot of time running QA, scenario testing, task-based testing and the like. When v1.0 launched, glitches and bugs quickly began rearing their head (as they always do), making for delays and laggy user experiences aplenty — something we even mentioned in our early coverage.
Phase 6: Changing your behavior. Once you’ve gained insight, it’s time to change your behavior. He writes about the last and hardest phase of his grief: “While I stopped blaming others, understanding what I could change in my behavior took long months. It would have been much easier to just move on, but I was looking for the lessons that would make my next startup successful. I looked at the patterns of behavior, not just at my last company but also across my entire career. I learned how to dial back the hubris, get other smart people to work with me–rather than just for me, listen better, and act and do what was right–regardless of what others thought I should do.”
While it’s fair to say that business is never not challenging, a look at each of the stages of the business lifecycle highlights a unique set of obstacles to deal with and overcome. You will have to be flexible in your thinking and adapt your strategy as you move along. Indeed, different approaches are required for market penetration versus, for example, what may be required to achieve growth or retain market share.