Business Transactions

Post image for When Can Napkin Notes Become a Binding Contract . . .?

A written contract doesn’t have to be filled with legal mumbo-jumbo in order to bind your business. That was a hard lesson learned by a Missouri company, in the case of Baum v. Helget Gas Products, Inc. In the Baum case, the prospective employee (Baum) took copious notes during his interview, including descriptions of salary, […]

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Post image for Look Before You Lease

The hidden costs of a commercial lease might be more than you can afford to pay. Like renting an apartment, an office lease gives your company the comfort of a place it can call home. But home can turn into a white elephant pretty quickly when business takes a turn–for better or worse. It’s harder […]

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Post image for Basic Training: E is for Exposure

Remember the days when real estate seemed invincible, defying the laws of gravity? Well, the joke’s on us, and now many real estate investors are scrambling to dump their properties so that they don’t go down the valuation toilet with them. Q: I bought some property and put 25 percent down; the owner financed the […]

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Post image for How to Find and Keep Customers for Life

I wish I knew the answer. That’s why I’m attending the Fourth Annual Small Business Summit on Feb. 3 in New York City–“the only small business summit BY small business FOR small business.”  Exchange ideas with experts and peers; connect with potential new alliances; find the resources and customers you’re seeking.  Visit the Small Business Summit site […]

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Post image for Follow the ABCs of Buying a Business

Make sure you dot all your i’s and cross all your t’s before signing on the dotted line. Make no bones about it; buying a business is a big deal. Depending on whether you buy all or part of a business, your investment will likely result in the largest single asset you ever own. Don’t […]

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Post image for The Snags in Doing Business with Friends

It’s so easy to get sucked into an awkward spot when doing business with friends. It can start out as an exchange of expertise (a barter of the minds, if you will). Add in a dollop of friendly advice and MasterMinding. Mix together in a bowl . . . and watch the uglies emerge. One […]

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How many times do you need to hit yourself in the head with a hammer before you get the lesson? Over the years, it took me several times (with different types of hammers) to learn to identify my niche market (“sweet spot”) and stick with it. I remember a landlord/tenant matter that my then-law partner […]

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What is the difference between Ralph Lauren and Jenny Craig? Yes, one is a clothing and accessories line and the other centers on nutrition and weight loss. But more importantly, Ralph Lauren diversified its income stream by using licenses; Jenny Craig did so through franchises. With proper planning, small businesses can use licenses and franchises […]

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Many thanks to Matt Bacak for pointing out two important aspects of evaluating a business partnership opportunity — things that many entrepreneurs overlook: First, If you are looking to establish a business partnership or seeking out a business opportunity, we all know how important it is to look at how much money you are going […]

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Post image for Have Your Collections Policy Ready

If you don’t want to get stiffed, know ahead of time how you plan to collect on overdue receivables. In any economy, there’s only one thing worse than not having work to do. That’s spending the time and effort to do the work . . . and still not getting paid. Frankly, I’d rather be sitting around […]

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