Starting a Business After Retirement

Starting a Business After Retirement


Starting a business after retirement is a growing trend. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, about 25% of workers between 50-59 are self-employed. Of those ages 65-69, 46% are self-employed. And 68% of those between 75-79 are too. All of these groups have higher rates of self-employment than those under 50, where just 20% are self-employed.

Those who started a business from scratch represent only one group breaking into the business world after retirement. Franchises offer proven business concepts to help some entrepreneurs make money more quickly. Those who have significant retirement savings can often buy into one of these programs quickly. In fact, there’s been about a 40% increase in people over 55 buying into franchises since 2007.

There are tons of options for those who want to re-enter the workforce or start a second career by launching a business.

Those considering starting a new business may first want to check out the resources below:

Whether you’re interested in starting a new business or earning a retirement income through franchising, here’s a guide to help you sort out the options.

Which Business is Best After Retiring?

Some business ideas are particularly well suited for older Americans. Check out this list of top businesses for retirees to consider.

1. Consulting

One obvious business for retirees is consulting. If you built a whole career around an industry, there’s a good chance you have years of experience and significant knowledge that could help others. Offer to help small business owners or individuals in your area on a contract basis. You can work as a general business consultant if you managed a team or worked at a high level in your previous job. You could also specialize in a particular industry like marketing or finance. Some people even offer consulting to individuals getting started on their entrepreneurial journey. For example, you could consult with job hunters on their resume, cover letter, and interview skills.

2. Child Care

Do you love caring for your grandkids? You can build a business to help new parents in your area as well. One idea is to create a small daycare business in your home to provide scheduled daily care to a handful of kids. You could also travel to your clients to provide in-home care. Those who retired from teaching or a related field can even specialize in tutoring. To choose the best option, think about your scheduling needs and the type of care services you’re equipped to provide with the skills you have.

3. Writing and Editing

Those with excellent written communication skills can easily put them to use in retirement as a business. There are plenty of freelance writing and editing jobs you can do from home to earn money. These are generally done on a contract basis. As a result, you can set your own schedule with multiple clients. You could also start your own blog and eventually earn an income from sponsored posts or brand partnerships. Some people even self-publish books on platforms like Amazon.

4. Handmade Business

Those who love making arts and crafts should consider starting a handmade business. You can sell knit scarves, sewn clothing, unique jewelry, wood carvings, and many more items you make with your hands. You can then sell those wares at local craft fairs or on eCommerce sites like Etsy.

5. Dog Walking

If you want to spend time outside and stay active, dog walking may be the perfect retirement business. To get started, advertise at local pet shops and dog parks to build a small base of clients in your neighborhood. Then you can create a regular schedule and go for several daily walks around your neighborhood, all while earning extra income. Over time, you could even offer additional services like dog or cat sitting or grooming and expand your business.

6. Property Management

Yet another option is to start a property management business. If you have a decent amount of retirement savings, you might invest in property. Then you can rent out homes or apartments to those in your area. You just need to be able to collect payments, manage contracts, and perform or arrange small repairs. Some property owners even offer short term rentals in areas that are popular with tourists.

7. Bookkeeping

Those who are skilled at managing finances can offer bookkeeping services to other businesses. You can serve with multiple clients which can generally be done from home. However, you may need to visit some clients in person when you first get started to gain access to their records. If you want to work with individuals, consider tax prep instead. This allows you to earn significant income toward the beginning of the year. Meanwhile, you can still travel and enjoy tons of freedom throughout the rest of the year as you run your business.

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8. Catering

If you love cooking, catering could be one of the best retirement business ideas to start. Offer various packages for those hosting events. You can also create completely custom menus if you prefer to get creative and you have the skills to get the job done. You can focus on large events like weddings or just work with smaller gatherings like corporate lunches. Some individuals may even specialize in specific types of food, like breakfast or baked goods to get started before you begin providing more options.

9. Handyman

Do you love working with your hands and fixing things around your home? A handyman business lets you run a small business where you do these things for others. You can offer a huge variety of services, like hanging frames or installing new doors. These are generally fairly small jobs, since things like plumbing and electrical jobs can be more strenuous and often require professional training. However, if there are many affluent homeowners or seniors in your area, there’s likely a market for this type of home service.

10. Public Speaking

If you have found some success in your earlier career, there’s a good chance that some people may be interested in what you have to say. Offer your services as a public speaker for industry conferences or special events and start leveraging your years of experience. For example, you can share presentations about social media at marketing conferences. Or you could share inspirational stories for those in the medical industry if that’s where you spent your earlier career. This allows you to make your own schedule and keep working intermittently. Just create a website and speaker profile and market your speaking services to industry connections.

Working After Retirement

Some retirees aren’t sure whether or not it’s worthwhile to continue working in a new way after years of working. Every situation is different. So you have to consider the benefits and downsides that are relevant to your particular situation. Whether you’re considering a small business or a more traditional job, here are some things to think about.

Pros

  • Increased financial security – Most adults who decide to retire have significant savings. However, medical costs and other expenses can also increase. Continuing to work allows you to save more of those funds and continue earning interest for a longer period of time. You may even be able to open another retirement account at your new job or continue adding to your previous accounts for many more years to come.
  • Access to health benefits – If you are working a traditional job with benefits, you may get access to better health insurance than you would otherwise. This can help you get quality care and save money. Additionally, you normally can’t get access to Medicare until age 65. As a result, you may be stuck paying out of pocket without an employer plan which is quite expensive.
  • Ability to stay active – Working keeps both your mind and body active. Overall, this can improve both physical and mental health. You’re less likely to sit idle all day long and let muscles atrophy or gain excess weight. Thinking through complex problems can stave off serious issues like dementia. Additionally, some people simply enjoy working and spending time with co-workers. This can be especially beneficial for those who don’t have a ton of other activities or hobbies to look forward to.
  • Opportunity to try new things – Those who stayed in a single position or industry for their whole career may have other interests they want to pursue. A retirement job lets you explore different possibilities or focus on things you enjoy. This may be an especially potent benefit for those who start businesses. This gives you more control over your role and choice of industry. For example, if you previously worked in finance but wanted to do something creative, you might write and self-publish your own series of books.

Cons

  • Less time and flexibility – Part of the appeal of retirement is the freedom of a clear schedule. Working means you still have some commitments. Even if you are working part-time or telecommute, it may not be feasible to take significant time for yourself or your family. If you don’t need the money and would prefer to spend your time traveling or playing with grandkids, it may not be worthwhile.
  • Decreased Social Security benefits – If you return to the workforce after applying for Social Security, some of the benefits may decrease. There’s a limit of $45,350 for those up to full retirement age. If you earn more than that, some benefits are likely to be withheld. You still may earn more overall. However, your net earnings from working may not be quite as much if you consider the decrease in Social Security payments.
  • Safety concerns – Depending on the job or business opportunity, working after you retire may not be completely safe. This is only an issue in roles where individuals may need to lift heavy items, drive long distances, or work with specialized equipment. It’s important to understand your own limits and speak with supervisors about what’s required for the job before getting started.
  • Pension issues – If you earned a pension from your previous job, there may be rules about returning to the workforce. This isn’t always a problem. However, you should definitely check your benefits before going back to work or starting a business. Pensions aren’t universal, but they can be quite beneficial for those who have earned them. As a result, pausing or lowering your benefits could provide a major hit to your income.

What Happens If You Work After Retirement?

If you work after retirement, you may be able to save more money in your 401(k) or other accounts so it continues to earn interest. However, your Social Security benefits may decrease if you earn more than the $45,350 limit up to your full retirement age.

You can start collecting Social Security benefits at age 62, but your benefits increase if you put them off until your full retirement age. This age depends on when you were born. The Social Security Administration offers a chart to help you determine your full retirement age and calculate benefits before that.

Basically, it’s up to each individual to weigh the pros and cons of retirement businesses or jobs based on their own situation. If you could benefit from preserving or adding to your retirement accounts for several more years, it’s likely worthwhile. If you care more about maximizing your benefits, a traditional job may not be worthwhile.

Of course, there are other benefits to consider as well. If you enjoy working, it’s probably more worthwhile for you to do it. If you’d rather focus on other hobbies and don’t need the money, working or starting a business may not be for you.

Can I Retire at 62 and Still Work Full-time?

Yes, you can be employed full time after age 62. There are no age limits on staying in or re-entering the workforce. However, your Social Security benefits may be impacted until you reach your full retirement age, which usually ranges from 66 to 67. This is especially relevant for those who earn a significant income. For some individuals, the amount they can earn from working is more than enough to offset the loss of some Social Security payments.

What is a Good Job for a Retired Person?

Generally, good retirement jobs are enjoyable and a bit flexible. They may allow you to work from home sometimes or make your own schedule. For example, jobs as administrative assistants and office managers often give retired people the ability to keep working part-time. Others may prefer to specialize in a particular area, like bookkeeping or marketing.

However, starting a business can be a very attractive opportunity for retirees with years of experience. A good retirement business can let individuals turn an enjoyable hobby, like crafting accessories or caring for dogs, into an income and business opportunity. If you’re interested in starting a small business after you retire, think about the things you enjoy doing before you get started. Then consider how much time you’re willing to set aside. If you enjoy working, consider opportunities like property management or bookkeeping. If you’d prefer to create your own schedule and stick close to home, consider business ideas like selling handmade goods or tutoring.

Alternatively, some people prefer to purchase franchise businesses. This gives them access to a proven business for retirement. You just need enough savings to cover the franchise fee and startup costs. There are many different franchise types, from fast-food restaurants to moving companies. Think about the industry that most interests you before you get started. Then research the opportunities, costs, and requirements for each option under that category.

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The Silver Lining for Small Business in This Pandemic

The Silver Lining for Small Business in This Pandemic


This year will probably go down as one of the most difficult years for every small business owner in their memory. But like most economic disruptions, new opportunities are now available.

On the Small Business Radio Show this week, Carissa Reiniger started Small Business Silver Lining with a mission to help small businesses become more profitable and sustainable. Her organization has helped over 10,000 small business owners develop productive habits and take the right actions to grow their business.

Interview with Carissa Reiniger

Carissa believes that the most successful people during this pandemic are the ones that are the most resilient, adaptable creative and committed to a cause greater than just their own bank account. She thinks that the definition of success is changing away from just being about making money. Carissa adds that “I hope that this pandemic will give us a chance to adjust – for success to be about being healthy and doing the right things to protect our families. It’s also about showing up for our communities even if there is not an immediate financial gain.”

Carissa thinks that complaining just depletes our energy. She says that “I can be angry about it or I can accept it. I can then think what it can be when I look forward?” As a result of the pandemic, Carissa has converted all her programs for small businesses to pay what you can. She is proud that “even though our revenue has been impacted, I can still help!”

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According to Carissa, one of the keys to success is to have a positive mindset. This comes easy to some people but there is a large component can be learned. She adds that “greatness is a choice. We need to keep our mind focused on making a series of daily decisions that get us to our goal. This makes up our mind set.”

Listen to the entire interview on the Small Business Radio Show.

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How Restaurant Owners Are Keeping Their Doors Open During the Pandemic

How Restaurant Owners Are Keeping Their Doors Open During the Pandemic


It would be tough to find a business that hasn’t been negatively impacted by the pandemic. Restaurant businesses are among the hardest hit.

Ironically, although the restaurant business can be extremely competitive, owners are sharing information with the goal of helping each other survive.

One “hub” for sharing and updating information has been the Corona Virus Response Kit for Restaurants. Jim Williams, CEO of MustHaveMenus, talked to SBT about the evolution of the response kit.

First, most notably, by necessity the response kit is constantly evolving.

“We launched it in late March, and since then the Best Practices have been constantly evolving,” Williams said. “Restaurants have been united in efforts to keep all their doors open – they’re campaigning, talking to local, regional and state officials.”

“They are saying ‘let us do this,’” Williams said. “They are saying ‘Whatever the restrictions are, we can do it.”

The Response Kit helps owners keep up to date on the “moving target” that is the best practice virus response for restaurants. It’s also a place to get and share ideas about what has worked in a particular restaurant operation.



5 Action Steps to Keep Restaurants Open Amid Pandemic

Here are 5 things a local restaurant owner can do right now which can help keep their doors open amid pandemic restrictions.

1. Use Social Media

“When foot traffic to restaurants was eliminated, everyone had to step up their communication with customers,” Williams said. “Restaurants are scrambling so much just to maintain operations that sometimes there’s no time to kick back, think of strategy.”

“But you have to make that time,” he added. “More than ever, you have to learn to use social media to your advantage.”

2. Allow Pick-up and Offer Delivery

For most restaurants, providing curbside pickup or delivering food was “not their forte,” Williams said.

To adapt, restaurants have to face up to the new operational challenge. They have to get the proper packaging for “mobile” food, including takeout and delivery. For delivery, they need gear to keep the food warm (or cold) while in transit.

3. Safety Practices for Indoor Dining

Williams said he’s saddened in his travels when he sees signs in restaurant windows that read something like “Closed, See You After the Pandemic.” When is “after the pandemic”? That’s the million-dollar question.

“You need signage to direct customers so that they maintain the bottom line 6-foot distancing,” Williams said. “You need signs that instruct them to use the hand washing stations. Requirements are different at various local, regional and state levels.”

4. Update Menus

One of the focuses for Best Practices is that no materials should be shared. That includes menus. Williams said that many restaurants have opted for disposable menus, which are made from low grade, recyclable paper.

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Williams said that restaurants have also used laminated menus, which are then disinfected. Some use QR codes, so that customers can view menus on their cell phones.

All of these are good options and may be best to use as a mix of options.

“Young folks have no problems staring into their phones and reading menus,” Williams said. “Your older clientele may not have adapted to that technology and would prefer to hold and read a menu.”

5. Raise Prices

“Let’s be honest,” Williams said. “Restaurants have extra costs to operate and have to adjust to those extra costs.”

Raising prices can be done strategically. The increases can be small. Months ago, restaurants and other businesses talked of adding a “coronavirus tax” but Williams doesn’t think that’s the best choice.

“We all feel taxed in a million ways,” Williams said. “I don’t think it’s a good idea to name it as an added fee.”

About MustHaveMenus

Williams is the founder of MustHaveMenus, which helps restaurants create menus and marketing materials. Williams described it as a software design tool that helps restaurants create professional products.

“There are thousands of templates – you don’t need to be a professional designer,” Williams said. “It’s more of an empowerment tool, because you can create whatever you need, from menus to signage.”

Williams said that using a standard template isn’t a good fit for most restaurants. To be and look professional, the finished product should communicate the restaurant’s brand and style.

“Every restaurant business is different, with a different style, a different need,” he said. “Many design tools are generic and have been around forever.”

MustHaveMenus allows a restaurant owner to specialize, in every layer of operation, including menus and marketing.

What Some Restaurant Owners Are Doing

  • Lauriann Aladin, of The Manchester Grill in Washington state, uses MustHaveMenus Coronavirus Response Kit and talk to other restaurants frequently to understand ordinances and rules and how others are morphing to stay in business. Aladin compared this to struggling artists supporting each other, “we want to survive, but we also want other restaurants to survive.”  Adin will stick with take-out-only even through the winter.
  • David Forde, of Ocean 60, Atlantic Beach, Florida, uses MustHaveMenus to create 2-3 new menus per week, and is going to touchless menus (which is essential to them continuing in house dining). The touchless menus are done with a QR code posted on the table that customers scan using their smartphones, rather than touching a physical menu. Forde said this has been great for eliminating physical touch or wasting of paper and also saves a ton of time for them in printing menus.

Image: Depositphotos.com

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10 Tips for Making a Quick Impact with a Brand New Business

10 Tips for Making a Quick Impact with a Brand New Business


If you buy something through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

The early days of running a business can be both exciting and overwhelming. You need to consider everything from marketing to permits. And you may even be juggling these things while working another job. To make the biggest possible impact with your new business, see what experienced members of the online small business community have to say.



Get Your Startup Up and Running While Working a Paying Job

There’s value to sticking with a steady job in the early days of starting a business. However, it can seem overwhelming to juggle both roles. Read this Startup Professionals Musings post by Martin Zwilling for keys to handling this situation.

Use These Conversion Driven Tactics to Get Your First Customer

Getting that first customer can be a major win for any new business. So how can you achieve this major goal? There’s some data that can help. Jayson Bagio details 17 effective tactics in this post on the Right Mix Marketing blog.

Invest in the Right Marketing Channels

Every business needs to figure out their own mix of marketing channels. The ones that work for others in your industry may not work for you. But understanding the options is key. In this post, Adam Connell goes over the top channels to consider. And BizSugar members shared thoughts here.

Get More Work Done in Less Time

Whether you’re jumping into a new business or sticking with a side job, you need to be efficient. Time management is key during this time. So you may need processes to get more done in less time. Check out this Process Street post by Jane Courtnell for more.

Improve Facebook Stories and Video Ads

If you use Facebook for marketing, you want your efforts to be as effective as possible. Facebook itself sometimes offers tips for users. If you utilize stories or video ads, the tips in this Social Media Today post by Andrew Hutchinson may be of interest.

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Make Your Email Smarter, Faster, and Better

Most businesses use email in their marketing strategy. But you don’t want to waste time on this method, especially when you’re first getting started. This Duct Tape Marketing post by John Jantsch includes tips to make your emails more effective and efficient.

Rank a Page for Multiple Keywords

A quality SEO strategy is essential for any new business that wants to get found online. But some businesses may want to rank for multiple keywords at once. Learn how to do this by reading this 3Bug Media post and watching the accompanying video.

Choose the Right Images for Your Website

Quality images can be the key to making an immediate impact when people visit your website. But the wrong images come with downsides. To make the most of your image selection, read this Inspire to Thrive post by Lisa Sicard. Then see what members of the BizSugar community are saying about the post here.

Get More Sales Appointment

Before you can make tons of sales in your business, you need to book those appointments. This may seem tough for new business owners without existing networks. But the tips in this DIY Marketers can help you make the most of your connections.

Learn About Small Business Licenses and Permits

Most small businesses need some licenses and/or permits to get started legally. But knowing which ones to apply for can be tricky. Nellie Akalp of CorpNet offers her expertise in this post.

If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to: sbtips@gmail.com.

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Veteran-Owned Battle Bars Honor Local Patriot Heroes with Every Purchase

Veteran-Owned Battle Bars Honor Local Patriot Heroes with Every Purchase


September 11, now known as Patriot Day, is a time to remember one of our nation’s worst tragedies and honor our nation’s veterans and first responders.

Americans are reminded to never forget the events of 9/11/01 and one company that’s never forgotten is Battle Bars.

Honoring military veterans and first responders is something Battle Bars does every day.

Battle Bars are 14 unique protein bars, all non-GMO and most are gluten free. The protein bars help people gain muscle and maintain energy.



Battle Bars Aims to Make a Difference

The veteran-owned business donates generously to its core charity, Operation Enduring Warrior. OEW is a veteran-founded nonprofit which honors, empowers and motivates our nation’s wounded military and law enforcement veterans. OEW accomplishes those goals through physical, mental and emotional rehabilitation.

“We have a great mission, and that’s to make a difference and do some good in the world,” said Alex Witt, Battle Bars CEO and partner. “I’m a veteran, and have close ties to many veterans – and have lost a lot of friends.”

Witt came on board with Battle Bars during the summer of 2019. He is a U.S. Navy veteran who served in Iraq. He has an ownership stake in multiple businesses and donates regularly to military and first responder charitable organizations.

Witt is also the founder of 10.40.10 Fitness, which is a military and first responder themed gym. The 10.40.10 numbers come from the formula for a good workout – warm up for 10 minutes, work out for 40, then take 10 minutes to cool down, relax and meditate.

“I wanted to help out a veteran-owned business,” Witt said. “There are many veteran-owned businesses and they are proof that a veteran can transition, and get into great business opportunities.”

Co-founder Ian Sparks is Chief Operating Officer. Sparks served in the U.S. Army with tours in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. In 2018 he and his brother Colin founded Battle Bars.

Colin Sparks has a B.A. in International Business from Palm Beach Atlantic University (2014). Sparks is Chief Marketing Officer.

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What are Battle Bars?

There are 14 products with a wide range of flavors, including blueberry, strawberry, cookies and cream, chocolate, peanut butter and more. The ingredients are handcrafted and there are no artificial sweeteners.

All production is in the United States. The company is based in Riviera Beach, Florida.

How the Company Honors America’s Heroes

Battle Bars started a unique program to honor American heroes. Customers can submit stories of people they believe are heroes to the company. Battle Bars selects the best stories and creates an insert that’s included in every Battle Bars package.

You can learn more about the program as well as read up on some of the heroes the company has already honored and nominate your own hero by visiting the company website.

You can become a retailer of Battle Bars. Although the brand is new, it is seeing strong and steady growth.

With the Battle Bars wholesale program, buyers will benefit from great profit margins, continued sales support, free shipping and low order minimums. Battle Bars are an additional revenue stream for a business.

“Our goal is to be in every gym in America,” Witt said. “I really enjoy working with people in gyms.”

“Once you have helped one person change their life – losing weight, getting in shape – it changes your life too,” he said. “It’s the best feeling.”

Veteran-owned Small Businesses

The US Small Business Administration estimates there are more than 2.5 million small businesses owned by military veterans. Military veterans often bring a unique skill set and experience to running a small business. And there are numerous resources available to help military vets get started running their own companies and funding options available to get them off the ground and to help grow those business.

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What is the Definition of a Small Business? The Answer May Surprise You

What is the Definition of a Small Business? The Answer May Surprise You


What do you think of when you hear the term small business? Some people think sole proprietorship. Other people define the term by the number of employees. However you define it, there are 30.2 million small businesses in the USA. Still, to find a definition of small business that works, we’ll need to delve deeper.



How Do You Define a Small Business?

The definition of a small business depends on a few factors.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has a table of size standards that helps. It varies by industry but takes into account the number of employees and annual receipts. A small business could set up its business structure as a partnership, sole proprietorship or privately owned corporation. It has less revenue than larger corporations or bigger businesses.

The general rule is a company with less than 500 employees fits the bill. That means a small business definition can include a small corner store that’s owned and operated by one person. The same goes for a local factory producing widgets or a businesses working in the health care or other industries. As long as they employ less than 500 people, they are small businesses.

However, this may be too confining a definition and with the huge differences between industries, an oversimplified one.

Definition of Small Business by Industry

Understanding how the SBA defines a small business doesn’t need to be confusing. These industry examples will help you understand what the SBA considers a small business in a variety of industries.

  • Retail Bakeries: There’s no SBA listing for the average annual receipts for small business here. However, you’re allowed up to 500 employees while still being classified as small.
  • Drywall and Insulation Contractors: You can stay small with this business and still make good money. Dry wall and insulation contractors can make up to $16.5 million in average annual receipts and still be considered small.
  • Logging: To qualify as  a small business, there needs to be under 500 employees. However logging companies can make up to $1 million dollars and still be classified as small.
  • Hardware Manufacturing: There are no average annual income numbers listed by the SBA. However, a hardware manufacturer can employee up to 750 people and still be considered small. Remember, where there are no average annual earnings listed, the number of employees is used to define a small business’s status.
  • Beef Cattle Farming: You can make up to $1 million in average annual receipts and still be qualified as a small business here.
  • Residential Remodelers: The amount of money you can make here while still being considered a small business is considerably higher. You can make up to $39.5 million in this industry. These small businesses thrive when new home sales go down.
  • Tortilla Manufacturing: There are many different industries and categories listed by the SBA under the definitions for small business. The number of employees you can have to qualify is high for this industry at 1,250.
  • Machine Shops: This is a common small business. The SBA can help you open one of these with a loan. The requirements for employees is higher than some of the other small businesses listed here. You can employee up to 500 and still be considered small in this space.
  • Roofing Contractors: This is another small business with high numbers. The average annual receipts here can go as high as $16.5 million. There are quite a few of these home related industries listed.
  • Framing Contractors: This is just such an example. The SBA definition of small business here has a $16.5 million ceiling too.

There are a few other small business administration (SBA) terms you should be familiar with to understand how the agency defines a small business.

Affiliates

Affiliates are companies exhibiting control over other companies by owning a significant stake in the other business. Though this interest is generally less than 50 percent, it is enough to allow one company to control another. This might happen by an affiliate being able to influence another company’s decisions or policy because of its stake in the company. However, the affiliate may also exhibit negative control over another company by blocking decisions in another company’s favor.

This is important because the SBA takes all a company’s affiliates into consideration when determining whether it qualifies as a small business. A company may qualify as a small business on its own but when counting up the employees and receipts of all its affiliates, this may no longer be the case.

Annual Receipts

A company’s annual receipts, usually calculated as an average over three to five years, helps the SBA decide whether a company qualifies as a small business. The threshold of annual receipts under which a company is considered a small business varies by industry as seen above.

Employee Statistics

Employee statistics simply refer to the average number of full time employees a company has on the books. The average is generally calculated per pay period. Where a company’s average number of employees falls depending on its industry will generally determine whether it is considered a small business by the SBA.

What is the IRS Definition of a Small Business?

The IRS defines small businesses differently. The agency starts by defining what it considers to be businesses in general. According to the IRS, businesses of any kind are an activity carried out to make a profit. Different situations determine whether they look at these as a trade or business for tax purposes. You don’t need to make a profit to be on their radar. However, you need to show that you are making an ongoing effort to make it successful.

Here’s another important point about small businesses according to the IRS. You don’t need to work at your business full time. The IRS wants to know if you’ve got a part time business — even if you’ve got a full-time job and are running your business on the side.

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The IRS doesn’t use standard sizes to classify businesses either. Here’s a few things you need to know about their tax system — and how this takes the place of standard sizes. Remember, every business needs to pay taxes. It doesn’t matter what business you’re in.

The business structure you pick affects how you pay your taxes. There are several of these to choose from.

Sole Proprietorship

Like the name suggests, a sole proprietorship is a business owned by one person. These small businesses are quite often self-employed people. Here’s a list of some of the tax forms you’d need to fill out. If you fit into this category, you’ll need to drill down a little further. That means deciding whether you’re an independent contractor or in business by yourself. Here’s some more information that can help.

Partnerships

A partnership is another business category recognized by the IRS. Simply put, this is a small business arrangement between two or more people. Under the IRS rules, a married couple can classify a business they share as a partnership. It just can’t be incorporated.

A Limited Liability Company (LLC)

There are special rules for these types of businesses in each state. Check with the one you live in to find out what the requirements are where you live.

Corporations As Small Businesses

The IRS definition of small businesses also includes C corporations and S corporations. There are certain tax requirements with both. For example, a C corporation is usually taxed as an entity separate from its owners while an S corporation does not pay income tax. Instead, income passes through to the owners who pay the taxes out of their own personal incomes.

How Much Revenue Does a Small Business Make?

According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses can make anywhere between $1 million and $40 million — or a bit more in some cases — depending on the industries in which they operate and still be considered a small business. However, the reality may be quite a bit different.

For example, according to Fundera, the average sole proprietorship with no employees might bring in only $47,000 a year. While the average small business owner might clear $72,000 a year. That includes small business owners who might have a few employees working for them as well.

Another survey suggests 22% of small businesses make under $10,000 a year while just 7% making over $1 million.

Conclusion

From average annual receipts to number of employees, the SBA defines what qualifies as a small business. The small business community may have their own definitions too. However SBA size standards clearly have a huge impact especially when it comes to qualifying for government contracts set aside for small businesses.

Whether you run a soy bean farm or a leather and hide tanning business, the definition small business officials use to define those that fit into the small businesses definition and those that do not can seem confusing.

These size standards affect more than just who gets lucrative government contracts, however. From the health care industry to retail and e-commerce, they also define how we think about small businesses and how we understand their importance to our economy.

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How a Baseball Player Comes Back from Failure

How a Baseball Player Comes Back from Failure


We all deal with disappointments in our lives especially during this pandemic. But how does a baseball player come back from a devastating off the field injury to become one of the most powerful sports agents in the country?

On the Small Business Radio Show this week, Nez Balelo fell down a four-story elevator shaft under construction. He came back to play the game again and is now a Major League Baseball agent representing such players as Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels and Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers. He is on Forbes’ “Most Powerful Sports Agents in the World” list.

Interview with Sports Agent Nez Balelo

Nez’s family immigrated from Portugal and he grew up in the fishing industry in southern California. Baseball came easy to him but when he had the accident, Nez says that he hit rock bottom when he thought his career was over. He was able to get back to not only walking but playing baseball again. When he deals with adversity today, Nez says it is nothing to compare what he went through back then.

When Nez was injured, he thought about what he could do next. He decided to get into the development of young kids in baseball; through is work, Nez met future superstars like Ryan Braun when he was 14. He adds that “a lot of the players that I educated along the way came to me for direction and then they asked me to become their agent when they had their success”.

He talks about how this season is a challenging time for Major League Baseball and the players are just trying to make the most of a difficult situation. The players are doing the best they can by prioritizing health, their family and safety first.

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For small business owners, he stresses that every team member has a role to play. He believes that not every person is going to be superstar but even “role players” have a big effect on the company’s overall success.

Listen to the entire interview on the Small Business Radio Show.

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4 Tips for Promoting Your Small Business Using Facebook Ads

4 Tips for Promoting Your Small Business Using Facebook Ads


When you’re running a small business, you need to punch above your weight to compete with your much larger rivals, and that’s especially true if you’re only fielding a small marketing department.

One of the most important marketing channels, and one that you can’t afford to overlook, is social media. It’s estimated that by 2023, the number of social network users in the United States will increase to 257 million. 62.6% of marketers say that their social media advertising is somewhat or very effective.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the different platforms and can’t decide which one to focus on, Facebook is the place to start. It boasts over 2.6 billion monthly active users, and it also heads the pack when it comes to social media marketing, with 93.7% of brands using it for marketing,



Promoting a Small Business with Facebook Ads

Although the impact of COVID-19 has led every brand to count their pennies and tighten their budgets, Facebook advertising isn’t the right place to make cuts. And that’s even more true during the coronavirus, when everyone is spending even more time online. One survey found a rise of 11.9% in the time that people spent on Facebook brand pages in March as compared with February.

There are many ways to promote your brand on Facebook, including posting engaging video and text content and encouraging consumers to post photos of themselves with your products. But alongside organic content, you also need paid Facebook ads.

Paid ads are how people discover your business in the first place, and the best way to keep your brand top of mind, so that when they are ready to make a purchase, your business is their obvious choice. It’s time for a short refresher course on making the most of Facebook ads.

1.  Create Remarketing Campaigns

Remarketing is a classic marketing tactic for catching people who already interacted with your business, but haven’t converted to paying customers. It’s also relevant when you want previous customers to return for repeat purchases. To succeed, you need to use data to track people who visit your site, and monitor which actions they carry out. Then you’ll apply that data to refine your Facebook ad targeting.

For example, someone might add products to their cart, but then leave the site without checking out. Remarketing campaigns plug that data into Facebook to show a specific ad only to people who have abandoned a cart, reminding them to complete their purchase. Or you might have a product, like in B2B, that requires a longer sales cycle, so leads investigated your product, and then went on to compare other potential vendors before coming to a decision. If they regularly see your ad, they’re more likely to choose your business when they finally make a purchase.

However, remarketing campaigns can be complicated to set up. After installing the Facebook pixel on your site, you’ll need to implement a code snippet to capture custom events, like if someone has watched a video in full, subscribed to your email newsletter, or added a product to their cart. If you feel a bit insecure about editing your site’s code, you can use a web analytics tool like Oribi which simplifies the entire process. It lets you define which events you’d like to track and then export them directly to your Facebook ad account, without needing any code or techie knowledge.

2.  Customize Your Ads

When it comes to marketing, personalization is vital. It’s tempting to think that the more people who see your ad, the more leads you’ll acquire and the more conversions you’ll see, but marketing data shows that this isn’t the case. Pushing your brand to thousands of people who have no interest at all in your product is a waste of your advertising budget (e.g. marketing artisanal sourdough bread to people who are gluten-free). Instead, your ad will convert better the more targeted you can make it.

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Facebook helps you out to some extent, because you can refine your ad audience by gender, age, or interests such as punk rock music, skateboarding, or Caribbean cuisine. But the more data you can plug in, the more you can segment your audience for more personalized, and thus more relevant, ads.

Gather data about your website visitors on a granular level, and use a tool like Hootsuite to track anyone who interacts with your brand on any social channel. Then you can use it to show specific ads to specific leads. For example, you may wish to show a different ad to someone who explored the “watches” section of your jewelry site to those who browsed diamond rings.

3.  Tell Compelling Stories

It’s vital to make your ads as engaging as possible. That means that you need to stop thinking as though flyers or billboards have been transferred to the computer screen, and start thinking about drawing leads into your storytelling.

Facebook and Instagram story ads bring this to its peak. You can use either video or a carousel of images to tell an appealing narrative that sparks the interest and imagination of your audience, and then invite the viewer to swipe up on a call-to-action to reach your landing page.. Although these are only short snippets of ads, given that photos show for 6 seconds and videos play for up to 15 seconds, you can pack a lot into them. 57% of brands agree that story ads have been either “somewhat” or “very” effective as part of their marketing campaigns.

If you’re just getting started, Crello helps you make appealing Facebook story ads quickly and easily. You can use the rich array of templates and combine them with animation, stock video clips, stickers, and more to customize them into effective video ads.

4.  Build Lookalike Audiences

It can be tough to grow brand awareness. You need to gain visibility among precisely the right audience, but how are you going to find them when there are millions of people on Facebook? As mentioned above, you don’t want to randomly scatter your ad to every Tom, Dick, and Harriet with a Facebook account, but you do want to find more people who might be interested in your business so that you can push more leads through to your website.

That’s the beauty of the Lookalike Audiences tool. It’s built into your Facebook ad manager and helps you to create audiences of potential customers who match your ideal customer persona. It’s like a shortcut to finding more people who are just like your existing leads.

You can upload a list of emails of leads and request a lookalike audience built on those individuals, or you could take an audience set from a previous ad campaign and use that to create a lookalike audience, and then target your ads at these profiles.

Facebook Ads Can Supercharge Your Brand

Facebook ads have enormous potential to raise brand awareness, drive sales, and boost revenue — when you use them correctly, that is. By using tools to apply retargeting tactics, build lookalike audiences, tell engaging stories, and segment your audience for personalized ads, you too can grow your small business on Facebook.

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How to Use TikTok for Business

How to Use TikTok for Business


Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past several months, you’ve likely heard of TikTok. It’s not all just empty buzz either. This social media or video-sharing social network app currently has more than 800 million monthly active users. And it has been downloaded more than 1.5 billion times.

It’s especially popular among young people. But it’s quickly growing a wide base of users. So businesses that want to create viral video content and connect with consumers online may want to consider it as a marketing platform. Here’s what you need to know before using TikTok for marketing.



What are TikTok Videos?

TikTok videos are 15-second videos that can follow nearly any format. However, many include lip-syncing and/or dancing to a popular song, or follow recognizable meme formats.

What is TikTok for Business?

TikTok for Business is a division of the platform that enables businesses to promote themselves. The social media platform offers various solutions for companies to increase engagement, like interactive polls and hashtag challenges. Businesses can also utilize advertising options to increase reach.

How do Businesses use TikTok?

Businesses can use TikTok’s ad platform or they can just create video content that attracts attention organically. TikTok ads appear in between videos on the app and are often creative and look similar in format to regular TikTok videos. However, there are other formats as well. Regardless of what option you choose, you likely need to create unique, short content to get noticed on the platform. Many companies may even use a combination of organic video posts and advertisements.

TikTok Content Ideas

TikTok is a naturally engaging video social media platform that can be used to attract the audience you want to turn into customers. Here are some ideas:

1. Hashtag Challenge

There are tons of hashtag challenges already circulating on TikTok. These occur when a user challenges others to make and post a specific type of content and then tag them using a dedicated hashtag. A lot of current challenges have to do with dance routines or lip-syncing. Brands can participate in existing challenges or create their own.

2. How-To Videos

Saru Saadeh, Founder & CEO of marketing technology company Iron Roots said in a phone interview with Small Business Trends, “A lot of brands offer tutorials or how to’s that are related to what they offer in some way. This provides value upfront and keeps users engaged.”

For example, a company that sells fabric or craft supplies could create a visual DIY using their products. Or a food company could showcase a recipe.

3. Song Parodies

Music centric videos are popular on TikTok. You can create videos that are purely for entertainment. Or you might change the words to make them relevant to your brand.

4. Team Introductions

Saadeh says, “We’ve worked with a client on a series of ‘day in the life of’ content. They simply went around to different people from the team and showed what they did during the day to day small business operations. It really brings the company to a human level.”

5. Product Demonstrations

Show customers how your product works. For example, a company that sells furniture could demonstrate how easy it is to put together. Or a gaming company could show their product in action.

6. Case Studies

Saadeh explains, “Say you’re a service-based business like a marketing firm. You can say ‘here’s what we’ve done for the company’ and offer a case study style success story.”

7. Before and After Videos

This type of video would showcase a transformation based on your product or service. For example, a makeup company could showcase a quick makeover using their products.

8. Process Videos

Saadeh suggests, “Show the process of what goes on behind the scenes. What does your company do to produce the great products or services you offer?”

9. Calming Videos

TikTok videos don’t all have to be funny or ironic. Some people like to watch relaxing scenes to slow down a bit. For example, an artist could show a close up of them mixing colors or up-close shots of their brush on canvas.

10. Unique Stories

TikTok is the perfect place for you to share any quick facts or stories that set your brand apart.

Saadeh adds, “It can even be as simple as saying ‘here’s the office dog’ or ‘here’s the team doing highway cleanup’ to show your commitment to your community. What it comes down to is simply telling micro-stories.”

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TikTok Advertising Options

Creating new content doesn’t work or is not something you want to do, then you can advertise as well. Here are your options:

1. Hashtag Challenge Ad

For this type of ad, you can create a hashtag challenge as mentioned above. Then you can pay to have it featured on the TikTok discover page so users are more likely to encounter it and then participate.

2. In-Feed Native Ad

Native ads look like regular TikTok videos and appear in users’ feeds. These are similar to ads on other platforms and provide a cohesive experience.

3. Brand Takeovers Ad

For those that want to really call attention to a campaign, Brand takeovers ads may be of interest. These are graphics that appear right when users open their TikTok app. They appear to targeted individuals for a few seconds and then can direct users to a custom landing page.

4. TopView Ad

TopView ads are similar to Brand Takeover ads in that they display full-screen graphics and can direct to a landing page. However, they appear at the top of the For You page instead of right when the app is opened.

5. Branded Effect Ad

TikTok includes effects that users can include on their posts, like stickers, lenses, and AR filters. A brand can turn these into advertisements by adding their own branded images to these packs. For example, other users could have the option to use a sticker with a logo of your brand or a new line.

Read about the TikTok Back to Business Program that offers free ad credits to small businesses.

TikTok Influencers

Working with TikTok influencers gives you a combined approach to your marketing strategy for your brand. You pay for influencers. But the TikTok ad content is organic.

Brian Freeman, CEO of influencer marketing platform Heartbeat said in an email to Small Business Trends, “The first thing to know about content creators on TikTok is they are not the same as Instagram creators. TikTok creators have a different suite of tools that Instagram creators do not as TikTok is one of the most innovative mobile editing software on the planet. For example, your everyday Instagram influencer is creating high-resolution, beautiful imagery that matches a brand aesthetic. On the other hand, a TikTok creator will tell a story about a product and translate that experience to their community through videos. TikTok creators will spend hours editing the video with transitions, music, background effects, etc. to make it a great piece of content.”

Basically, you approach influencers who are relevant to your target audience. You discuss ideas. But then you leave the actual production for those users to create. You get to reach that person’s audience and get access to their unique ideas, which you of course compensate them for.

What should a business know about TikTok users?

TikTok’s user base is mostly made of young people. So as a business, you cannot miss on cultural and generational references and respect. If you are not sincere or use their language and memes, you will not be successful in your marketing effort.

Saadeh says, “It’s important to not just create commercials. Remember that it is social media. So the content you create should be relevant and maintain the culture that brought so many users to it in the first place.”

How do I use TikTok?

You can use TikTok to reach an audience using short-form video content, ads, and influencer marketing. Businesses are finding new ways to use the platform all the time. And those that jump in early have a good chance of finding success since it’s not yet completely saturated with many brand marketing.

However, it’s essential to interact authentically on the platform. Remember that it’s social media. So the most important thing is to make connections and create new content that is useful, entertaining, or inspiring.

Ultimately, the goal is to get content that goes viral. You can’t always control this. But there’s a good chance that even accounts with small followings can get some attention if they create genuinely interesting videos.

Hope Horner, CEO of video production service Lemonlight said in an email to Small Business Trends, “TikTok’s content delivery algorithm is unique in that new accounts (or accounts with very few followers) can go viral. Anyone can do it with the right piece of content, which incentivizes brands to try it out for an opportunity to generate engagement with a massive audience.”

Who created TikTok?

TikTok is owned by Chinese company ByteDance. The company’s founder is software developer Zhang Yiming. He founded ByteDance back in 2012. And the company eventually launched TikTok in China in 2016. The U.S. TikTok apps for Apple and Android devices launched in 2017. ByteDance is currently in talks to sell the TikTok arm of the business.

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10 Tiny Pivots to Make Your Small Business More Effective

10 Tiny Pivots to Make Your Small Business More Effective


You don’t always need to make huge changes in your business in order to grow. Sometimes, small pivots can be just as effective. Members of the online small business community understand what it takes to adapt and make incremental changes. Here are some of their top tips for those who want to start small.



Consider a Fractional CFO

Many small businesses cannot afford or simply do not need a full time CFO. However, having an individual dedicated to your finances can still be useful. That’s where a fractional CFO comes in. In this Acuity post, Matthew May goes over the concept for small businesses.

Conquer Your Video Fears and Get on Camera

Video marketing can be useful for nearly any business. But many small business owners and teams are afraid to actually face the camera. Pivoting your strategy in this way can pay major dividends. So if you’re ready to face your fears, read this Content Marketing Institute post by Dennis Shiao.

Adapt Your Human Resource Management with Big Data

If you have a team for your small business, you need human resource management systems. Big data offers plenty of opportunities for businesses to make these processes more efficient. But you need to understand their role. Sam O’Brien elaborates in this Small Biz Daily post.

Change When You Post on Social Media

If your social media strategy isn’t as effective as you’d like, you may be posting at the wrong times. In this Blogging Wizard post, Kim Locery details the best times to post on each site. And BizSugar members offered thoughts on the post here.

Adapt to the Instagram Algorithm in 2020

If you use Instagram for marketing, you’re no doubt familiar with the algorithm. Though these changes may be frustrating, small businesses have no control over them. So it’s best to accept the changes and pivot your strategy accordingly. Julia Miashkova explains how in this Search Engine Watch post.

Improve Your Email Marketing Campaigns

If you’ve run a small business for years, you almost certainly use email marketing. But it’s very possible you haven’t updated your strategy in years. To adapt to today’s customers, check out the tips in this Marketing Land post by Rodric Bradford.

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Create Better Content with These Tools

Tons of businesses already use content marketing with great success. But there are always options for improving content. And there are tools to help you accomplish this. Ivan Widjaya lays out some of them in this Biz Penguin post.

Upgrade Your Web Design

Web design trends are constantly evolving. So if you want your brand to appear current, you need to upgrade your strategy regularly. In this Smallbiztechnology.com post, James Baier offers some trends that small businesses should know.

Let Your Personality Shine

For years, many business owners have kept their personal and company brands separate. But your personal brand could actually be an asset to your business. Rachel Strella of Strella Social media goes over how this small pivot can help here. Once you’ve read the post, head over to BizSugar to see even more discussion.

Use Advanced SEO Tactics to Drive More Traffic to Your Website

You probably already use some form of SEO to market your business online. But if you want to get even more traffic, you need to upgrade your tactics. In this UpCity post, Pratik Kothari shares eight advanced strategies to consider.

If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to: sbtips@gmail.com.

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