Small Business Questions & Answers

 

  • Ask About Roth 401(k) Retirement Plans

    Posted by Short N. Sweet in Finance | Sunday, May 20, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    What's the skinny on the new type of retirement plan known as a Roth 401(k)?

    Thanks,

    Short N. Sweet

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  • Ask About Free Credit Reports

    Posted by Conscientious Creditor in Finance | Sunday, May 20, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    I read somewhere that we should now be able to access free reports from the credit bureaus. Could this be true? I know it's a good idea to get one periodically, but the cost and hassle have been a deterrent. Please advise.

    Thanks,

    Conscientious Creditor

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  • Ask About Laddering CDs

    Posted by Risk Averse in Finance | Sunday, May 20, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    I just received an unexpected but much appreciated bequest of $30,000 that I'd like to invest for about 5 years until I'm ready to start my own small business. Considering the recent performance of my 401(k) plan, I'm loath to put this windfall into stocks. What would you suggest?

    Thanks,

    Risk Averse

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  • Ask Toolkit About GAAP

    Posted by Numbers Numbskull in Finance | Sunday, May 20, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    My accountant told me that he follows GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) when preparing my firm's financial statements. I suppose that should reassure me, but in light of the recent accounting scandals I'm wondering who decides on these principles and who enforces them.

    Thanks,

    Numbers Numbskull

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  • Ask How To Pick a Bank

    Posted by Ready in Raleigh in Finance | Sunday, May 20, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    At long last, I'm ready to open a checking account for my new business. What should I look for when I go to pick out a bank?

    Thanks,

    Ready in Raleigh

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  • Ask About Discounted Cash Flow

    Posted by Boggled in Finance | Sunday, May 20, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    What in the world is discounted cash flow?

    Thanks,

    Boggled

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  • Ask About CDCs

    Posted by Moving Up in Memphis in Finance | Saturday, May 19, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    I'm interested in buying a building to house my growing business. Would it be possible to get an SBA guaranteed loan for this purpose?

    Thanks,

    Moving Up in Memphis

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  • Ask About Succession -- Part Three

    Posted by Dottering Dad in Running A Business | Saturday, May 19, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    I'm the founder of a pretty good sized business I built up myself over many, many years. My wife is on my case to retire and let one or more of our kids take over. Any helpful hints on how to do this painlessly?

    Thanks,

    Dithering Dad

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  • Ask About Succession -- Part Two

    Posted by Dithering Dad in Running A Business | Saturday, May 19, 2012

    Dear Toolkit,

    I'm the founder of a pretty good sized business I built up myself over many, many years. My wife is on my case to retire and let one or more of our kids take over. Any helpful hints on how to do this painlessly?

    Thanks,

    Dithering Dad

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  • Ask About 2010 Minimum Wage Rates

    Posted by Planning A. Head in Office & HR | Friday, Oct 28, 2011

    Dear Toolkit,

    Can you let me know what the 2010 minimum wage rates and or other effective dates are for federal purposes and also for the states?

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  • Ask Toolkit About ESOPs

    Posted by Just Wondering in Finance | Friday, Oct 28, 2011

    Dear Toolkit,

    Do you think an ESOP is good way to raise capital for a small business?

    Thanks,

    Just Wondering

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  • Ask About Factoring

    Posted by Ignorant in Iowa in Finance | Friday, Oct 28, 2011

    Dear Toolkit,

    Three times in the past week someone has mentioned "factoring" to me as a way to help my temporarily cash-strapped business. Can you explain this process to me in plain English?

    Thanks,

    Ignorant in Iowa

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  • Ask About the New ('09) SBIC Financing

    Posted by Getting Bigger in Finance | Friday, Oct 28, 2011

    Dear Toolkit,

    Despite recent tough times our little company is growing by leaps and bounds. In order to finance this growth, it's been suggested that we investigate getting capital from an SBIC. Can you tell us something about SBICs? And is it really possible to get financing during this difficult recession period?

    Thanks,

    Getting Bigger

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  • Ask About Stimulating Access to Capital

    Posted by Jaded in Jersey in Finance | Friday, Oct 28, 2011

    Dear Toolkit,

    What is the Stimulus law going to do for struggling small businesses, if anything?

    Thanks,

    Jaded in Jersey

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  • Ask About Credit Default Swaps and the Credit Crunch

    Posted by Swap Shy in Sacramento in Finance | Friday, Oct 28, 2011

    Dear Toolkit,

    My boss just stopped by my desk to borrow some Excedrin and he was muttering something about how we'll all be ruined by credit default swaps. Should I be doing something to prepare for this like getting vaccinated or building an underground shelter? What are these dreaded credit default swaps anyway?

    Thanks,

    Swap Shy in Sacramento

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  • Ask About Check 21

    Posted by Mad Hatter in Finance | Friday, Oct 28, 2011

    Dear Toolkit,

    I just got a bizarre letter from my bank informing me that I may not get all my original cancelled checks back with my monthly statement from now on. They may include "substitute check" copies in place of some or even all of my originals. Can they do this? Aren't my original checks legal documents that belong to me? What's going on?

    Thanks,

    Mad Hatter

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  • Ask About Lottery Jackpots

    Posted by Better Bettor in Finance | Friday, Oct 28, 2011

    Dear Toolkit,

    Can you explain how people decide whether to take their lottery winnings in a lump sum or over a period of years?

    Thanks,

    Better Bettor

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  • Ask About the CPI

    Posted by Inflated in Indiana in Finance | Friday, Oct 28, 2011

    Dear Toolkit,

    How on earth is the annual cost of living increase computed?

    Thanks,

    Inflated in Indiana

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  • Ask About Encryption

    Posted by Digital Dabbler in Marketing | Thursday, Oct 27, 2011

    Dear Toolkit,

    Can you explain the mysteries of encryption that allegedly keep my credit card numbers safe from marauding cyberbandits when I'm buying stuff online?

    Digital Dabbler

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