Business Development & Conflict Resolution

We assist individuals with starting their own businesses because small business is key to economic independence and community sustainability.

Archive for the month “April, 2015”

How to Properly Close a Small Business or Pass it on?

It is always important to have an exit strategy for the family business.  It is advisable to have a system in place where the family business can leave a legacy.  Many great businesses like Walmart, DuPont, Johnson & Johnson, Ford, etc. are still in existence because the individuals who started the business ensured that a legacy system was in place.  With these companies the founders ensured that the business would remain in the family by setting a program to do so.

When you start a business should ensure to leave behind a legacy, it is sad when a family business cannot survive beyond the person who started the business.  It is always wise to have a plan in place to determine who will take over the family business, if the business will be sold at a certain point in time, or will the business be closed after several years of being in operation.  The family business should be seen as a separate entity from the owners that can stand on its own and survive once the founders of the business have passed on.

Many family businesses are starting to survive beyond the founders of the business because individuals are starting to understand the importance of leaving a legacy for future generations.  Some family owned businesses are being bought up by bigger companies because the family may be tired of running the business or there is no family member to take over the business.  Having a family business takes a lot of thought and planning for the beginning phase and ending phase of the business.

It is very important to have an exit strategy for the family business because it makes it very easy to close the business, sale the business to someone else or another company, or pass the business on to the next generation.  As entrepreneurs, we must understand that nothing lasts forever, everything comes to an end, or someone else has to take over the reins of the small business.  It is very important to not only write out plans for starting the business, but it is important to write the plans to end the business, pass it on, or sell the business.

Donya Zimmerman is a business consultant, mediator, and legal professional with over ten years of experience.  Donya is also a public speaker and aspiring author.  She has a few books in the works that will be published and released in the latter part of 2015. The books will focus on entrepreneurship, small business, and daily devotionals.  She is owner of Family & Community Mediation and Business Consulting (FACMBC) and Powerful Biz Woman (subsidiary of FACMBC). Both are based in Baltimore, Maryland and were established in 2013. Services provided by FACMBC:  Mediation and Conflict Resolution Services; Business Registration Assistance (Limited Liability Company, Corporation, S-Corp, Limited Liability Partnership, etc.); Business Plan Drafting Assistance; Business Certification Assistance (MBE, WOSB, 8A, 501(c) (3), Hub Zone, etc.); and Business Organization Assistance.  She is also a contributing writer with the Maryland Daily Examiner Newspaper and the Leadership Girl Newsletter. Donya Zimmerman has made article contributions to the Simply Inspirational Women in Business Journal for 2014 published by Dr. Cheryl Cottle. 

If you are thinking about starting your own small business or non-profit organization do not hesitate to contact me because I can show you how to do so. Contact information: dzimmerman36@gmail.com; www.facebook.com/FACMBC; www.twitter.com/FACMBC; https://dzimmerman36.wordpress.com; http://www.linkedin.com/in/dzbusconsultantandmediator

Image courtesy of franky242 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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How to Resolve Conflicts in a Family Business?

Dealing with conflict in a family business takes a lot of time and energy, if not dealt with in the proper way.  The best way to deal with family conflict in business is to set-up a system to resolve conflicts between the main players in a family business.  By setting up a conflict resolution system makes it easier to resolve conflicts and issues among business partners.  Here are a few reasons why setting up a conflict resolution system to resolve issues within the family business is important:

  1. Legal disputes can be resolved quickly.
  2. It will cost the parties less in money, cost, time, and litigation of the dispute.
  3. The court system will not be overloaded with many cases.
  4. The parties can play a significant role in coming up with a resolution to the issue or problem.
  5. The decision makers have specialized experience and expertise to help resolve the legal dispute.

The two main forms of alternative dispute resolution that can be beneficial to a family owned business are arbitration and mediation.  With arbitration and mediation, the family members will play an equal role in resolving the conflict.  Also, all individuals with a major stake in the family business have a forum where they can voice their opinion and concerns about the business.

  • Arbitration: Many companies are starting to include arbitration clauses in their contracts which require individuals to try arbitration before filing a legal claim in court. Arbitration usually involves the parties agreeing to allow a neutral third party to assist in resolving the dispute.  The non-judicial and neutral third party is known as the arbitrator and the arbitrator will issue a decision that is binding on the parties and helps to resolve the legal dispute.
  • The setting for arbitration is not as formal as a court proceeding.  The arbitrator can be a lawyer or someone with expertise concerning the main topic or subject matter of the legal dispute.  Arbitrations are similar to civil trials but do not have the rigorous rules like a civil trial concerning admission of evidence and record keeping procedures.  Even though the arbitrator’s decision is binding on both parties, the decision can be overturned for the following reasons: 1. If any party committed fraud; 2. Arbitrator favored one party over another, was not impartial, or acted in a corruptive manner; and 3. If the arbitrator acted in any way that can be considered misconduct on their behalf.
  •  Mediation: Mediation is similar to arbitration in that a third neutral party will assist the parties in trying to find a resolution to their legal issues. But, in mediation the resolution agreements are not binding and can only be binding if signed by a judge.  The neutral third party, in this form of ADR, is called the mediator.  Mediation is more of a way for disputing parties to learn how to communicate with each other to resolve their issues or problems.

Conflict Resolution is a very resourceful tool to use in your everyday life, especially when need to resolve conflicts with others (like family, friends, co-workers, business partners, etc.)  Conflict resolution teaches one effective techniques that can come in handy in everyday life.  Some effective techniques used in conflict resolution are:

  1. being impartial;
  2. being non-judgmental;
  3. Open-minded;
  4. Good listener;
  5. Reflective; and
  6. Not opinionated.

There are many types of conflict resolution like mediation, arbitration, and alternative dispute resolution.  The most common type of conflict resolution is mediation which uses a third party to assist individuals with resolving disputes in a safe, neutral, and stress-free environment.

One type of mediation is the “inclusive model” which has a five step process:

  1. Explain mediation process;
  2. Information gathering;
  3. Listing topics;
  4. Brainstorming and developing solutions to the issues that may come up; and
  5. Writing an agreement that resolve the issues.

Information gathering is a good technique to use in a dispute because it teaches you how to strategically listen to others to understand their feelings and their values about the problem at hand.  With information gathering, you can ask open-ended questions to gain a better understanding of the issue at hand and get the flow of communication going to resolve the dispute.  When in dispute with another person, you can sit down with that individual and brainstorm with each other to try and resolve the issue.  Conflict resolution can be very effective in resolving legal disputes without wasting money and time in court.  Conflict resolution skills are very helpful in one’s daily communications in business dealings.

Donya Zimmerman is a business consultant, mediator, and legal professional with over ten years of experience.  Donya is also a public speaker and aspiring author.  She has a few books in the works that will be published and released in the latter part of 2015. The books will focus on entrepreneurship, small business, and daily devotionals.  She is owner of Family & Community Mediation and Business Consulting (FACMBC) and Powerful Biz Woman (subsidiary of FACMBC). Both are based in Baltimore, Maryland and were established in 2013. Services provided by FACMBC:  Mediation and Conflict Resolution Services; Business Registration Assistance (Limited Liability Company, Corporation, S-Corp, Limited Liability Partnership, etc.); Business Plan Drafting Assistance; Business Certification Assistance (MBE, WOSB, 8A, 501(c) (3), Hub Zone, etc.); and Business Organization Assistance.  She is also a contributing writer with the Maryland Daily Examiner Newspaper and the Leadership Girl Newsletter. Donya Zimmerman has made article contributions to the Simply Inspirational Women in Business Journal for 2014 published by Dr. Cheryl Cottle. 

If you are thinking about starting your own small business or non-profit organization do not hesitate to contact me because I can show you how to do so. Contact information: dzimmerman36@gmail.com; www.facebook.com/FACMBC; www.twitter.com/FACMBC; https://dzimmerman36.wordpress.com; http://www.linkedin.com/in/dzbusconsultantandmediator

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to Succeed in Life, How to Overcome Your Fears!

The past week has not been the best one for me because I allowed doubt and fear to take over my mind and my thoughts.  I did fine the prior week because I was very active and productive.  But, then this past week I lost the drive and desire to want to work on my business.  I don’t know what hit me, but I just wanted to stay in bed all day.  I was like this for several days until this past Saturday.  I kept thinking about everything I didn’t have and comparing myself to other female business owners I knew.  I just felt like a failure because I was not at the same level as some of my business colleagues.

But then on Saturday, God tapped me on my head and told me to wake up.  He let me know that He did not bring me this far to see me give up and fail.  God let me know that I am as good as anyone else.  Also, that I have gifts and talents no one else has.  I have a story to share and how can I share that story with others being lazy.  How can I inspire others when I am moping in bed?

I know you may be going through something, but remember God is with you.  He can get you through it.  No matter what do not give up because God has not given up on you.

Donya Zimmerman is a business consultant, mediator, and legal professional with over ten years of experience.  Donya is also a public speaker and aspiring author.  She has a few books in the works that will be published and released in the latter part of 2015. The books will focus on entrepreneurship, small business, and daily devotionals.  She is owner of Family & Community Mediation and Business Consulting (FACMBC) and Powerful Biz Woman (subsidiary of FACMBC). Both are based in Baltimore, Maryland and were established in 2013. Services provided by FACMBC:  Mediation and Conflict Resolution Services; Business Registration Assistance (Limited Liability Company, Corporation, S-Corp, Limited Liability Partnership, etc.); Business Plan Drafting Assistance; Business Certification Assistance (MBE, WOSB, 8A, 501(c) (3), Hub Zone, etc.); and Business Organization Assistance.  She is also a contributing writer with the Maryland Daily Examiner Newspaper and the Leadership Girl Newsletter. Donya Zimmerman has made article contributions to the Simply Inspirational Women in Business Journal for 2014 published by Dr. Cheryl Cottle. 

If you are thinking about starting your own small business or non-profit organization do not hesitate to contact me because I can show you how to do so. Contact information: dzimmerman36@gmail.com; www.facebook.com/FACMBC; www.twitter.com/FACMBC; https://dzimmerman36.wordpress.com; http://www.linkedin.com/in/dzbusconsultantandmediator

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to Succeed in Life, You Can Run But You Can’t Hide!

The story of Jonah in the Bible is a clear example of the title, “You Can Run but You Can’t Hide.” No matter how hard you try, you cannot run from your God-given destiny.  God created each of us to complete a special task to increase the population of His Kingdom (Heaven).  God calls all of us to bring lost souls to Him for salvation.  Each of us were given special skills and gifts to bring others to God: some through the teaching of the Word (preachers); some through singing and playing of instruments (musicians and singers); and some through witnessing of the Word of God to others (church members).  No matter your gift or talent, you were called by God to bring lost souls to Him for salvation.

Like Jonah, many of us will try to run away from our God-given tasks.  But, we fail to realize that God is everywhere and we can’t hide from Him.  Many times I have tried to avoid God to no avail.  It did not matter what I did, I eventually went back to God.  I would complete the task God asked me to do.  I have learned to obey God’s commands because it is better that way.

Do not make life difficult for yourself and just follow the commands of God.  If you do so, you will reap the benefits of obeying your Heavenly Father.  Remember you can run, but you cannot hide from God.

Donya Zimmerman is a business consultant, mediator, and legal professional with over ten years of experience.  Donya is also a public speaker and aspiring author.  She has a few books in the works that will be published and released in the latter part of 2015. The books will focus on entrepreneurship, small business, and daily devotionals.  She is owner of Family & Community Mediation and Business Consulting (FACMBC) and Powerful Biz Woman (subsidiary of FACMBC). Both are based in Baltimore, Maryland and were established in 2013. Services provided by FACMBC:  Mediation and Conflict Resolution Services; Business Registration Assistance (Limited Liability Company, Corporation, S-Corp, Limited Liability Partnership, etc.); Business Plan Drafting Assistance; Business Certification Assistance (MBE, WOSB, 8A, 501(c) (3), Hub Zone, etc.); and Business Organization Assistance.  She is also a contributing writer with the Maryland Daily Examiner Newspaper and the Leadership Girl Newsletter. Donya Zimmerman has made article contributions to the Simply Inspirational Women in Business Journal for 2014 published by Dr. Cheryl Cottle. 

If you are thinking about starting your own small business or non-profit organization do not hesitate to contact me because I can show you how to do so. Contact information: dzimmerman36@gmail.com; www.facebook.com/FACMBC; www.twitter.com/FACMBC; https://dzimmerman36.wordpress.com; http://www.linkedin.com/in/dzbusconsultantandmediator

Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to Succeed in Life: God Gives Me the Strength!

Micah 5:4, “And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of Lord his God; and they shall abide; for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.”  Remember that whenever you feel like giving up, God will give you the strength to keep moving.  Life is going to throw you a few curve balls, but you must learn how to catch the curve balls to keep moving.  Sometimes I have wanted to throw in the towel because I lost everything in 2010 (my house, my car, and my business).  But, instead of giving up, I decided to turn back to God and let Him help me pick up the pieces.  I am glad to have given God the lead and He is guiding me in the right direction.

No matter what I am going through every day, I try my best to stay upbeat and positive because I know everything will be okay.  I know it is God who gives me the strength to move forward when times get tough.  I have realized that there are others who are not as blessed as me and I should not complain.  You only have one life to live, so live it to the best of your ability.

Remember God provides you with the strength to get through any storm.  So do not give up because God will give you the strength to make it through the tough times.

Donya Zimmerman is a business consultant, mediator, and legal professional with over ten years of experience.  Donya is also a public speaker and aspiring author.  She has a few books in the works that will be published and released in the latter part of 2015. The books will focus on entrepreneurship, small business, and daily devotionals.  She is owner of Family & Community Mediation and Business Consulting (FACMBC) and Powerful Biz Woman (subsidiary of FACMBC). Both are based in Baltimore, Maryland and were established in 2013. Services provided by FACMBC:  Mediation and Conflict Resolution Services; Business Registration Assistance (Limited Liability Company, Corporation, S-Corp, Limited Liability Partnership, etc.); Business Plan Drafting Assistance; Business Certification Assistance (MBE, WOSB, 8A, 501(c) (3), Hub Zone, etc.); and Business Organization Assistance.  She is also a contributing writer with the Maryland Daily Examiner Newspaper and the Leadership Girl Newsletter. Donya Zimmerman has made article contributions to the Simply Inspirational Women in Business Journal for 2014 published by Dr. Cheryl Cottle. 

If you are thinking about starting your own small business or non-profit organization do not hesitate to contact me because I can show you how to do so. Contact information: dzimmerman36@gmail.com; www.facebook.com/FACMBC; www.twitter.com/FACMBC; https://dzimmerman36.wordpress.com; http://www.linkedin.com/in/dzbusconsultantandmediator

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Who should be in charge of the Family Business?

When it comes to starting a small business with family can be a very daunting task.  At times, being around family members can be very difficult and stressful at times.  Going into business with family members means that not only will you see them at home, but you will be spend a lot of time with them at work as well.  There is a very thin line between staying professional when it comes to family business dealings.  Also, it is not advisable to allow your personal feelings and personal emotions to play a part in running a family business.  But, at the same token it can be the best thing to go into business with family because they have the same drive and ambition to want the business to succeed.

When deciding to start a business with family members, you must take certain things into consideration before doing so.  With a family business, you have to decide on the following:

  • Who will be in charge of the daily operations of the business?
  • Who will be in charge of sales and getting new customers?
  • Who will handle the money for the business?
  • Who will handle the firing and hiring of employees?

The most important question to ask when it comes to a family business “Who is the boss of the entire business?”  It is imperative that any small business have the “go to person” or “go to team” who will make all major decisions concerning the business.  It is always good to have one person who is able to make important decisions concerning the business to be in charge.  This will avoid much confusion and chaos when it comes to making major decisions that will ensure that the business stays open and continues to operate in an effective way.

The best way to run a family business is to create a Board of Directors where that includes family members and third parties with a personal stake in the business.  It is always good to ensure that you have an uneven number of board members.  With an uneven number of board members, this helps to break tied votes on important issues concerning the family business.

In many cultures, there is this belief that men should be in charge of everything and women should not be involved in important activities like business and politics.  But, in the cultures where women are given leeway to participate in business and politics, their poverty level is not that high.  The best person to be charge of a family business has the following characteristics:

  • Even tempered.
  • Thinks rationally.
  • Has an open mind.
  • Not afraid to seek guidance from others.
  • Know when it is good to lead and when it is good work as a team.
  • Has the knowledge and skills needed to be a good leader.

The person in charge of the family business must understand that they are not the sole owner of the business, but that it is owned by the entire family and each family member has placed a financial stake and personal stake into the business.  The family member who is in charge of the business should not be someone with the following characteristics or traits:

  • Egoistic.
  • Self-centered.
  • Does not like to take advice.
  • Refuses to have a meeting on major decisions.
  • Wants to have final decision making power.
  • Refuses to seek help from others when needed.
  • Refuses to meet others halfway.

Running a family business takes everyone involved to play a vital role in the daily operation of the business.  The most successful family businesses that are passed down from generation to generation are those that had a great leader who understood the needs and concerns of the entire family.  Being a great leader is not based on your sex, age, education, or work experience.  Being a good leader is based on being rational, putting the needs of others first, and believing in team work.  Running a family business requires a lot of team work and compromise.  Also, the best family businesses are those who are not afraid to change their practices and procedures to stay current with the changing times.  The most successful family businesses have good leaders who ensure that company practices and procedures put the needs of the customers first.

So, when deciding who should be in charge of the family business, it is imperative to ensure that the “leader” puts the needs of the rest of the family into consider at all times.  Also, the leader of the business should not be afraid to share the role with other family members and keep all owners informed of the daily decisions concerning the business.

Running the family business takes a lot of work and effort from all individuals involved in the daily operation of the business.

Donya Zimmerman is a business consultant, mediator, and legal professional with over ten years of experience.  Donya is also a public speaker and aspiring author.  She has a few books in the works that will be published and released in the latter part of 2015. The books will focus on entrepreneurship, small business, and daily devotionals.  She is owner of Family & Community Mediation and Business Consulting (FACMBC) and Powerful Biz Woman (subsidiary of FACMBC). Both are based in Baltimore, Maryland and were established in 2013. Services provided by FACMBC:  Mediation and Conflict Resolution Services; Business Registration Assistance (Limited Liability Company, Corporation, S-Corp, Limited Liability Partnership, etc.); Business Plan Drafting Assistance; Business Certification Assistance (MBE, WOSB, 8A, 501(c) (3), Hub Zone, etc.); and Business Organization Assistance.  She is also a contributing writer to the Maryland Daily Examiner Newspaper. Donya Zimmerman has made article contributions to the Simply Inspirational Women in Business Journal for 2014 published by Dr. Cheryl Cottle. 

If you are thinking about starting your own small business or non-profit organization do not hesitate to contact me because I can show you how to do so. Contact information: dzimmerman36@gmail.com; www.facebook.com/FACMBC; www.twitter.com/FACMBC; https://dzimmerman36.wordpress.com; www.linkedin.com/in/dzbusconsultantandmediator

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to Properly Set-up a Family Business?

When it comes to starting a small business with family can be a daunting task.  At times, being around family members can be very difficult and stressful at times.  Going into business with family members means that not only will you see them at home, but you will be spend a lot of time with them at work as well.  There is a very thin line between staying professional when it comes to family business dealings.  Also, it is not advisable to allow your personal feelings and personal emotions to play a part in running a family business.  But, at the same token it can be the best thing to go into business with family because they have the same drive and ambition to want the business to succeed.

When deciding to start a business with family members, you must take certain things into consideration before doing so.  With a family business, you have to decide on the following:

  • Who will be in charge of the daily operations of the business?
  • Who will be in charge of sales and getting new customers?
  • Who will handle the money for the business?
  • Who will handle the firing and hiring of employees?

Starting a family business is the same as starting a business with strangers and friends, you have to be mindful of not allowing close ties and personal feelings to play a major decision in the daily operation of the business.  Family businesses are the main staples the economic stability of countries around the world.  Family businesses have helped to maintain families to create a sustainable source of income.  The key to a successful family business is to understand that the family must know how to run it like a “true business”.

The first step to starting a family business is to have an initial meeting to determine the type of business, the products and services to be sold, and the main operations of the business.  It is very important to set-up a support system when starting a family business which includes friends and colleagues who do not have close ties to the family.  Having a good support system will ensure that the family business is ran efficiently and effectively.

The next step to setting up a family business is to determine the best way to incorporate the business to protect the business assets and family assets.  By incorporating the family business with the proper governmental agency, will ensure that the business is protected, and the business and personal assets are protected.  With this type of protection, the family can enjoy being in business without the fear of losing everything.  Also, it is good to have the proper business licenses needed to conduct business in certain areas and conduct certain types of business transactions.

Here are the different types of incorporation that can be used for a family business to be seen as a legal entity:

  • Sole proprietorship: simplest business form and not a legal entity. The business is not legally separate from the owner.  The owner’s personal assets and obligations of the business are not distinguished.
  • General Partnership: This is the simplest form of partnership and is created when two or more individuals engage in business together for profit. A general partnership can begin with just a verbal agreement and handshake.  There is no liability protection in this form of business and every partner is equally liable for all debts and obligations of the business.  Also, the personal assets of each partner can be used to pay such debts.
  • Limited Partnership (LP): There are two classes of partners (general and limited). The general partners normally handle the day to day operations of the business and are held personally liable for the business debts and obligations.  Limited partners only contribute money and capital to the business.  The limited partners are not involved in the daily operation of the business.  The limited partner’s personal liability does not go beyond their capital contributions to the business.
  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP): This business entity is a hybrid and similar to a Limited Liability Company (LLC). All partners in the business handles the daily operation and management of the business.  Unlike the Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Partnerships ensures that all partners’ personal assets cannot be used to satisfy the business debts and liabilities like an LLC.  LLP partners are ensured that they will not be held accountable for the acts of other partners (have personal liability protection).
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC): It is an unincorporated business that can be formed by one or more individuals with no personal liability for debts of the LLC. An LLC is unique because for statutory purposes it is treated like a corporation regarding limited liability of partners and partnership status for tax purposes.
  • Corporation: Corporation is an independent entity. The corporation is separate from the owners of the business because can contract in the corporate name, sue and be sued as the corporation, and buy, sell, and own property in the corporate name.  There is no personal liability for owners of the business because the corporation is responsible for its own debts and liabilities.  The business entity outlasts the death or disability of all stockholders.
  • S-Corp and C-Corp: Have the general guidelines as a corporation. Must be registered with the governmental agency similar to a corporation.  There is no difference between S-Corp and C-Corp for purposes of Corporate Law.  S-Corp does not have double taxation like a C-Corp.  C-Corp has double taxation because it is treated as a separate taxable entity and distributions to stockholders are generally treated as dividends.  S-Corp is the best avenue over C-Corp because it provides liability protection of a corporation while allowing tax treatment similar to a partnership.

Here are the general steps to consider when incorporating a small business with a governmental agency:

  • Step One: The formation documentation to incorporate a business is normally called the Articles of Incorporation or Certificate of Incorporation, it depends on the governmental agency terms used.
  • Step Two: The fees for registering a business as a company runs from $50 to $400.
  • Step Three: The normal waiting period to have the formation documentation approved by the governmental agency varies from four to six weeks (non-expedited services). But, for an extra fee a business can have their paperwork approved within a few days or even a few hours (expedited services).  Now in many countries and states, you are able to fill out the formation documentation online and this speeds up the approval process.
  • Step Four: Have to disclose certain information in the incorporation documentation such as the following:
  1. Company Name.
  2. Business of purpose both general purpose and specific purpose.
  3. Registered Agent.
  4. Incorporator- the person or company who is incorporating the business.
  • Step Five: Must have a registered agent who is the individual who can accept service of paperwork for the company.

These are just some general steps to take when deciding to incorporate your small business as a legal entity in your particular state or country.  It is advisable to consult with your attorney, accountant, and business consultant to determine the best incorporation form for your family business.

The third step in starting a family business is to get some kind of insurance for the business.  It is good to have insurance for the business to protect it from possible disasters like:

  • Natural disasters like fire and etc.
  • Negligent acts committed by employees.
  • Customers being injured on the business property.

With proper insurance, the family business can remain open and not be forced to close due to expensive lawsuits.  The business owner needs to ensure that they have the proper business insurance needed to operate the business in an efficient and effective manner.  There are many benefits to having insurance for one’s business.  Operating a business is very challenging without one having to worry about major financial loss or monetary loss due to unforeseen and unplanned circumstances.

Here are a few ways how insurance can protect one’s business from many common losses experienced by many business owners:

  1. Protection from property damage.
  2. Business won’t be interrupted.
  3. Will not have to deal with theft, personal liability, or employee injury.

Buying the right commercial insurance coverage certainly makes the difference between losing one’s business to a dissatisfied client in a lawsuit or recovering with minimal business interruption and financial impairment to the company’s operations.  Before buying any type of commercial insurance for your business, it is advisable to speak with an insurance agent to figure out which type of insurance will meet the needs of the business.

Here are some of the basic types of commercial insurance to consider for your small business:

  1. Commercial Auto Insurance: This type of insurance is purchased to cover all vehicles that are used for business purposes and business operations.
  2. Property Insurance: This type of insurance protects the business property from possible losses in any way.
  3. Liability Insurance: This type of insurance protects the business assets and personal assets of the business owner from different types of liability.
  4. Business Interruption and Continuation Insurance: This type of insurance provides coverage for business expenses associated with running a business, i.e. utility bills and payroll. This type of insurance comes into play when the business is out of operation for a long period of time due to fire or reasons beyond the owner’s control.
  5. Professional Liability Insurance: Better known as Errors & Omissions insurance provides protection to the business for damages as a result of professional advisor, employee, or board member due to negligence or failure to use due diligence.

There are many other types of insurance coverage a family business should consider to purchase to protect their business.  So, please speak with your insurance agent to figure out the best commercial insurance coverage for the family business.

The final step to starting a family business is to create the right “dream team” for the business.  The right “dream team” for the family business consists of the following members:

  • Accountant;
  • Attorney;
  • Insurance Agent;
  • Bookkeeper;
  • Business Coach;
  • Banker; and

Here are some important groups to have on the “dream team” for the family business:

  • Board of Directors;
  • Management Team;
  • Human Resource Management;
  • Legal Team; and
  • Support Team.

The business owner, of course, is the first member of the “dream team” because they are ones who start, develop, run, and grow the business.  Also, your employees play a valuable role in the daily operation of the business because without your employees how can the business run and operate smoothly on a daily basis.  An attorney is an essential key player in any business because of the legal implications in operating a business.  An attorney’s role can be best described as “protector of your business” from legal implications or legal issues that may come up unexpectedly.  An attorney’s duties can include: 1. Review and draft of business contracts; 2. Ensure your business is properly set-up as a legal business entity (LLC, Inc., Corp, etc.); 3. Represent the business in legal matters; and 4. Ensures that everyone is abiding by all the local rules, laws, and regulations in the operation of the business.

An accountant is essential to the daily operation of your business because the accountant deals with the finances of the business.  An accountant ensures that your finances are in order and ensures that your taxes are in order to avoid tax trouble.  An accountant ensures that the business is not audited by the IRS.  An accountant ensures that you properly record your profits, losses, and expenses for your business.  But, one important thing to remember, do not relay on your accountant alone to handle your finances and taxes for your business.  Ensure that you continue to have first-hand knowledge of how your accountant is handling your finances.  An accountant normally deals with your money transactions that occurred throughout your business fiscal year.  Good way to have first-hand knowledge of how your accountant is handling your finances is by setting up a system that enables you to organize and record your business financials on a daily basis.

A bookkeeper is good to have in the daily operation of your business because they ensure that the business finances are in order.  The bookkeeper deals with the record keeping of the business finances on a daily basis.  A bookkeeper is good to ensure that all employees get paid on time, all debts owed to creditors are paid on a timely basis, ensures that all taxes owed are paid (payroll taxes, Medicare, social security taxes, FICA, withholding taxes, etc.), and all monies owed to the business are collected on a timely basis.  The bookkeeper works hand in hand with your accountant to ensure that all the profits, losses, and expenses regarding the business are properly recorded.  Also, you should have a good relationship with both the accountant and bookkeeper because they are assisting you with the business finances.

You should have a good relationship with your banker because they are ones who assist you with opening an account for the business.  A banker ensures that you have the correct banking tools needed to run the business smoothly.  Also, having a good relationship with the local bank will ensure that the family business can receive the loans, lines of credit, and other financial tools needed to keep the business afloat financially.

An insurance agent is good to have because the family business will need insurance to protect the business from all kinds of problems and issues that may come up.  An insurance agent ensures that the business has the proper insurance to protect the business assets, personal assets, and financial future of the business.

It is good to have a business mentor for the family business whose has had similar business as the family business. A mentor is there to provide you with sound advice regarding the business and to answer any questions about running a business when needed.  A mentor will connect you with the right people and organizations who can assist in the growth and prosperity of the business.  A mentor is there as a friend, counselor, and teacher for you to learn and grow from as a small business.  Family is a good tool to have in running your business because they can assist with running of the business, provide you with customers, normally are your first customers, always provide you with finances to run the business, and are the best cheerleaders you can have in your corner.

Remember to have that “dream team” together and ready when starting your business because they are there to ensure that your business is a success and not a failure.

These are just a few steps to consider when starting a small business with family members.

Donya Zimmerman is a business consultant, mediator, and legal professional with over ten years of experience.  Donya is also a public speaker and aspiring author.  She has a few books in the works that will be published and released in the latter part of 2015. The books will focus on entrepreneurship, small business, and daily devotionals.  She is owner of Family & Community Mediation and Business Consulting (FACMBC) and Powerful Biz Woman (subsidiary of FACMBC). Both are based in Baltimore, Maryland and were established in 2013. Services provided by FACMBC:  Mediation and Conflict Resolution Services; Business Registration Assistance (Limited Liability Company, Corporation, S-Corp, Limited Liability Partnership, etc.); Business Plan Drafting Assistance; Business Certification Assistance (MBE, WOSB, 8A, 501(c) (3), Hub Zone, etc.); and Business Organization Assistance.  She is also a contributing writer to the Maryland Daily Examiner Newspaper. Donya Zimmerman has made article contributions to the Simply Inspirational Women in Business Journal for 2014 published by Dr. Cheryl Cottle. 

If you are thinking about starting your own small business or non-profit organization do not hesitate to contact me because I can show you how to do so. Contact information: dzimmerman36@gmail.com; www.facebook.com/FACMBC; www.twitter.com/FACMBC; https://dzimmerman36.wordpress.com; http://www.linkedin.com/in/dzbusconsultantandmediator

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A Happy Heart

Need peace and love in your heart.

This Thing Called Life . . .

Prov15-13a-SmileyBalls-smallest--AMP

A happy heart makes the face cheerful.
–Proverbs 15:13a

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10 Reasons Why Every Girl Needs Her Daddy

Dedicated to my father, Douglas Zimmerman.

Morning Story and Dilbert

Morning Sry and Dilbert Vintage Dilbert
December 14, 1993

If you are anything like me, you have had the privilege of growing up with the world’s best dad. There is nothing quite like the love of a father, and there aren’t enough words to describe it. Let’s face it, ladies; we need our daddies, and here is why.

1. They treat us like the princesses we are. Our dads know exactly how our significant other should be treating us, and if that isn’t happening, Daddy becomes the knight in shining armor. After all, he is the first man we ever love and the first to love us back.

2. It does not matter if you run out of gas in the middle of nowhere or need someone to carry you out of the haunted house; Dad is the ultimate definition of protection. We all remember the nightmares and immediately running down the hall just…

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LUCIFER KISS

Very deep.

GRAVITY OF GRACE

Friday.
Circa,
A.D. 2015
England

Lucifer asked me for a hug.
Characteristic of him, he kissed me;
crawling into this fragile heart –
a dizzy home he made for himself
and his his many cohorts.

Copyright 2015 McDaniels Gyamfi

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