金融投资理财

Author: Norman Eng

While poor management is cited most frequently as the reason businesses fail, inadequate or ill-timed financing is a close second.  Whether you’re starting a business or expanding one, sufficient ready capital is essential.

Before inquiring about financing, ask yourself the following:

  • Do you need more capital or can you manage existing cash flow more effectively?
  • How do you define your need?  Do you need money to expand or as a cushion against risk?
  • How urgent is your need?  You can obtain the best terms when you anticipate your needs rather than looking for money under pressure.
  • How great are your risks?  All businesses carry risks, and the degree of risk will affect cost and available financing alternatives.
  • In what state of development is the business?  Needs are most critical during transitional stages.
  • For what purposes will the capital be used?  Any lender will require that capital be requested for very specific needs.
  • What is the state of your industry?  Depressed, stable, or growth conditions require different approaches to money needs and sources.  Businesses that prosper while others are in decline will often receive better funding terms.
  • Is your business seasonal or cyclical?  Seasonal needs for financing generally are short term. Loans advanced for cyclical industries such as construction are designed to support a business through depressed periods.
  • How strong is your management team?  Management is the most important element assessed by money sources.
  • Perhaps most importantly, how does your need for financing mesh with your business plan?  If you don't have a business plan, write one.  Lenders will want to see your plan for the start-up and growth of your business before they finance it.

There are two general types of financing: equity and debt financing.  The more money, or equity, you have invested in your business, the easier it is to attract financing.  If your firm has a high ratio of equity to debt, you should probably seek debt financing.  However, if your company has a high proportion of debt to equity, you should increase your equity before you borrow additional money.  That way you won’t be over-leveraged to the point of jeopardizing your company’s survival.

Equity financing can be sought from non-professional investors such as friends, relatives, employees, customers, or industry colleagues, although venture capitalists are the most common source.  Most specialize in one or a few closely related industries.  Most venture capitalists prefer three-to-five-year old companies that have the potential to become major regional or national businesses and return higher-than-average profits.

There are many sources for debt financing: banks, savings and loans, commercial finance companies, and the SBA are the most common.  Many state and local governments have small business lending programs.  Family members, friends, and former associates are all potential sources, especially when capital requirements are smaller.

Traditionally, banks have been the major source of small business funding.  Their principal role has been as a short-term lender offering demand loans, seasonal lines of credit, and single-purpose loans for machinery and equipment.  Banks generally have been reluctant to offer long-term loans to small firms.  The SBA guaranteed lending program encourages banks and non-bank lenders to make long-term loans to small firms by reducing their risk and leveraging the funds they have available.  

Check out the SBA Loan Programs section of www.SBA.gov for more information on SBA lending.  If you’re ready to begin the loan application process, start with SBA’s online Lender Match – a free online referral tool that connects small businesses with participating SBA-approved lenders.

 

Author: Norman Eng

You wouldn’t start out on a cross-country road trip without a map, so why would you want to try to start a business without a business plan?

A business plan precisely defines your business, identifies your goals, and serves as your firm’s resume.  It helps you allocate resources properly, handle unforeseen complications, and make good business decisions.  Because it provides specific and organized information about your company and how you will repay borrowed money, a good business plan is a crucial part of any loan application. Additionally, it informs sales personnel, suppliers, and others about your operations and goals.

The importance of a comprehensive, thoughtful business plan cannot be overemphasized.  One of the greatest benefits is that putting a plan together forces you to sit down and map out exactly how you expect to make your business idea successful. Much hinges on it: outside funding, credit from suppliers, management of your operation and finances, promotion and marketing of your business, and achievement of your goals and objectives.

Despite the critical importance of a business plan, many entrepreneurs drag their feet when it comes to preparing a written document.  They argue that their marketplace changes too fast for a business plan to be useful or that they just don't have enough time.  But just as a builder won't begin construction without a blueprint, eager business owners shouldn’t rush into new ventures without a business plan.

There are four core questions to answer before you begin writing your business plan:  

  • What service or product does your business provide and what needs does it fill?  
  • Who are the potential customers for your product or service and why will they purchase it from you?  
  • How will you reach your potential customers?  
  • Where will you get the financial resources to start your business?

Although there is no single formula for developing a business plan, some elements are common to all business plans.  Your plan should start with a cover sheet, a statement of your business purpose and a table of contents.  Then start with a section about your business idea: describe your business, tell how you plan to market it, review your competition, describe the operating procedures you plan to adhere to, discuss your plans for employees, and how you plan to hire and train them, and describe your approach to insuring the business.

Next, you’ll want to provide detailed financial data, including and loan applications you will file, a list of the equipment and supplies you will need and how much they will cost, a balance sheet showing your assets and liabilities, an analysis of what it will take for you to break even, and a projection of your business’ income, including anticipated profits and losses.

Your financial data should also be organized in a three-year summary, with detailed projections of cash flow, costs and income, organized month-by-month for the first year and quarter-by-quarter for the second and third years.  Be sure to include a discussion of the assumptions on which your projections are based.

You should also have an executive summary in which you summarize the plan, and be prepared to attach supporting documents and financial projections.  The supporting documents should include resumes and tax returns of the principal owners for the previous three years, a copy of a franchise agreement if your business is a franchise, copies of proposed leases or purchase agreements for business space, copies of licenses and other legal documents, and copies of letters of intent from suppliers and known customers.

You can find a wealth of resources for producing a solid business plan in the Write Your Business Plan section of www.SBA.gov.  There you can access on-demand videos, expert blogs, and a Step-by-Step Business Plan Builder tool – for you to create a draft business plan that you can take to any of SBA resource partners for counseling and support.   

SBA Massachusetts / SCORE / MSBDC / Center for Women & Enterprise

Author: Norman Eng

Starting and managing a business takes motivation, desire and talent. It also takes research, planning and support along the way.

To increase your chance for success, take the time up front to explore and evaluate your business and personal goals. Then use this information to build a simple business plan that will help you reach these goals.

The process of developing a business plan will help you think through some important issues that you may not have considered yet. Your plan will become a valuable tool as you set out to raise money for your business. It should also provide milestones to measure your success.

Before starting out, list your reasons for wanting to go into business. Some of the most common reasons for starting a business are wanting to be your own boss, wanting to attain financial independence, wanting more creative freedom and wanting to be able to fully exploit your talents and skills.

Next you need to determine what business is “right for you.”  Ask yourself a few questions, such as:

  • What do I like to do with my time?
  • What technical skills have I learned or developed?
  • What do others say I am good at?
  • How much time do I have to run a successful business?
  • Do I have any hobbies or interests that are marketable?

Then you should identify the niche your business will fill. Conduct the necessary research to answer these questions:

  • Is my idea practical and will it fill a need?
  • What is my competition?
  • What is my business advantage over existing firms?
  • Can I deliver a better quality service?
  • Can I create a demand for your business?

The final step before developing your plan is the pre-business checklist. You should answer these questions:

  • What business am I interested in starting?
  • What services or products will I sell? Where will I be located?
  • What skills and experience do I bring to the business?
  • What will be my legal structure?  
  • What will I name my business?
  • What equipment or supplies will I need?
  • What insurance coverage will be needed?
  • What financing will I need?
  • What are my resources?
  • How will I compensate myself?

Your answers will help you create focused, well­researched business plan that should serve as a blueprint. It should detail how the business will be operated, managed and capitalized.

For more guidance and information, visit www.SBA.gov and follow the 10 Steps to Starting a Business.  

The SBA Massachusetts District Office along with resource partners (Massachusetts Small Business Development Center, SCORE and Center for Women & Enterprise) regularly host FREE/low-cost educational workshops that can help you understand the process of starting a business.  Please visit any of the resource partners to find out how you can get help launching your business today!

SBA Massachusetts / SCORE / MSBDC / Center for Women & Enterprise

Author: 谭洁律师

最近纽约最高法院就“在记录的首次房貸”的问题做了裁决。 事情是2010年原告中標以15000美元购買一套拍卖公寓。但该房产买卖合同受“在记录的首次房屋貸款” 的限制。 原房主在2000年7月向城市銀行申请了54,000美元貸款,第二年申请了38,000美元貸款,并于當天將兩個貸款合并成一個留置權抵押貸款,總共92,000美元。第二份貸款與合并協議都于當天有記錄于州记录保存局。7年后,該公寓所在公寓委員因原业主欠交的公共費用止贖訴訟。 现业主著手處理還款問題時, 他认为只有“54000” 的首次贷款才是买卖合同中的“在记录的第一貸款”, 而2001年的贷款合并协议($92000)不应该是算第一贷款,遂將贷款的城市銀行推上被告,要求法院按照不動產法9-B條例,判決其第二份貸款(即38,000美元)的優先權应在償還公共費用之后,并且由于公寓委員會成功止贖訴訟而,该贷款债务也应该随之取消。 城市銀行表示,按照“公寓法”,2001年的合并協議应该成为 ”在记录的第一房貸”。 問題就出在,之前的合并留置權是否適用于不動產法9-B條例中的”第一房貸記錄。” 法庭认为,通常情況下,收款權的優先順序是由其記錄時間來決定的,虽然不動產法339-z中,公寓委員會對未交納公共費用的收款權要優先于其它收款權,但幾个特殊情況除外,包扩第一房贷記錄。 法院認為,如果在兩次貸款记录之间还有其他欠款记录,这两次贷款的合并协议不能影响两个贷款的优先权;如果两贷款之间并没有其他欠款记录,贷款人的第二次贷款与第一次贷款的合并协议应该算为第一次贷款还清后的更大的贷款,这个更大的贷款应该是还清贷款后的第一次贷款,应该算为 ”在记录的第一房貸”。 最后最高法院駁回了原告的請求,城市銀行赢了。 Plotch v. Citibank, N.A., 2016 N.Y. Slip Op. 034648 (May 10, 2016)

需要法律咨询的朋友,查看http://jtlawclient.com

Author: Wenny

和前辈闲聊,增长见识。膜拜大牛的同时,她说自己是军人的后裔,所以严格执行不拿群众一针一线的方针,哪怕是客人的两根丝瓜。我暗暗一惊,因为和我奉行的与群众打成一片的方针是相悖的。

回顾以往迎来送往,感慨颇多。

1.   燕窝
客人送来一包燕窝,让我一筹莫展。这东西我从来不用,还闹过大笑话。学生的时候,经常不辞辛苦,从Rochester开到多伦多打牙祭。有一次一个学长老婆生孩子买燕窝,约我们同行,我终于有幸在中药铺里见识了传说中的燕窝。伙计把玻璃罐子一拿出来,我就在一边赞叹这燕窝真白啊! 伙计头也不抬的回到小姐你看错了,那是包装纸

把燕窝转送了狐朋,让她煮好了叫我同吃。她一打开包装,飞出一地鸟毛,立马打电话给我说是真的呀?我没好气你家客人会送假货?不想她一古脑儿将半袋燕窝下锅,给我端出一碗浓汤。我暗道这个败家媳妇!嘴上只说滋补要细水长流

小心翼翼端回了家,先生小农一眼就盯上了那个漂亮碗,屡屡扬言要把里面的内容端出来倒掉,碗给他上菜用。终于耐心等了两天,在我喝了两口之后倒进下水道。等我回家,他正在水池边美滋滋的擦碗?!我做梦也没想小巫见大巫,更败家的人就在我家里。我余怒未消正思量着怎么回礼,狐朋打电话过来说哇,我看见你的燕窝在中国店卖$695”我心疼的差点背过气去,第二天就买了个Ipad回礼。

 

2.   人参
客人送过来三磅人参,我把网上买的$90一磅的和客人送的交给老妈同煮,老妈跑来说你$90磅的下锅早烂了,人家的还纹丝未动。我傻了,这得多少银子?觉得上次礼回轻了,就又补了一次。这下更麻烦,客人回赠了两包名贵茶叶过来。客人是要沿着雅致的路子一路跑到底了,可我远没有看上去有文化,对茶叶我是叶公好龙。

 

3.   蛋糕
我正在家中睡觉,客人来敲门。原来他closing之后到Hmart拎了个蛋糕过来。实在不想离开暖和的被窝,就让他放在门口。打开门吓了一跳,竟然是个巨无霸蛋糕,想着Hmart的天价,我心疼得直咧嘴。抓起电话呼朋唤友来同吃。小徒弟不信真有这么热情的客人?!我立马板起脸来训斥少见多怪与众乐乐,其乐无穷。我娘说就是一帮吃货。

 

4.   衣服
狐朋说你如果请contractor吃饭,一定叫上我,否则人家就会以为两个民工在一起吃饭。我有一个客人长期压抑着对我着装的不满,终于熬到了Closing,买了一件衣服送我。我先生一边看了半天,说挺好看的,可和你的一贯style相去甚远,一看就像是偷来的。我在买房子前,每次见她先生都是斯文帅气;买了房子之后,和我们一起翻地种草,刷漆修门。在教会里看见,衣服上油漆未干,一脸倦色。
我先生常说人家没买房子前,每次见面都干净齐整;自打和你买了房子,就让你拖下了水,生活质量下降


----同化了她先生,是我最好的回礼。

(本文原载于文学城 Wenny Zhang Blog 2012-07-28)

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