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Business Happens

Starting a New Business? Start Here.

The Great Recession had one bright side. It made lots of people think about starting their own businesses – or, at the very least, a small side business.

But here’s a sobering statistic to ponder: More than 50% of new businesses fail within the first five years. Clearly, it’s not enough to have a great idea and a boatload of enthusiasm. You need a solid plan, too. Mitchell D. Weiss can help.

A banking executive, entrepreneur, college professor and author, Mitch shares his experience and knowledge in Business Happens — a straightforward guide to launching a new business or professional practice.

He’ll guide you every step of the way – from writing a business plan to choosing the right legal structure, tracking financial performance, borrowing money and managing growth-because the goal is to create a business that will stand the test of time.

Written in plain English by someone who’s had a successful career financing all types companies and professional practices, Business Happens will help you to turn your own great idea into a success story.

Table of Contents

Why the Big Deal about Small Business

  • Have You Thought It Through?
    • Do You Have What It Takes?
    • Do You Understand the Risks?
    • Do You Know Your Responsibilities?
    • Do You Have an Idea That Can Stand up to Pen and Paper?
  • For Your Consideration
  • Topical Readings and Resources

Organizing and Managing the Enterprise

  • Choosing the Right Advisors
  • Choosing an Appropriate Legal Structure
    • Sole Proprietorship
    • Partnership
    • C-Corporation/S-Corporation
    • Limited Liability Company/Limited liability Partnership
  • Ownership Interest and Incentives
    • The Size of the Pool
    • How the Shares Will Be Allocated
    • Triggers and Transferability
  • Managing the Finances
    • Accrual versus Cash Accounting
    • Financial Statements
      • Balance Sheet
      • Income Statement
      • Statement of Cash flows
      • Statement of Shareholders’ Equity
    • Analyzing the Data
      • Cash Conversion Cycle
      • Liquidity Ratios
      • Leverage Ratios
      • Profitability and Efficiency Ratios
    • Financial Planning
  • Managing the Risks
    • Determining the Likelihood and Estimating the Costs
    • Developing Policies and Procedures
  • Protecting Intellectual Property
  • Managing Employee-Benefits Programs
  • Organization Design and Process Management
  • Social Networking
  • For Your Consideration
  • Topical Readings and Resources

Debt, Equity and Coping with Financial Adversity

  • Raising Debt Capital
    • The Underwriting Process
      • Whether to Make the Loan: the 5 Cs of Credit
      • How Much to Lend
      • How Much to Charge
      • What Terms and Conditions to Require
      • Personal Guarantees
      • Additional Collateral
      • Cross-Collateralization/Cross-Default
      • Affirmative Covenants
      • Restrictive Covenants
      • Material Adverse Change
      • Representations and Warranties
      • Events of Default
      • Indemnification
      • Prepayments
      • Assignment
    • Preparing to Borrow
      • Purpose and Justification
      • Identifying Leverageable Assets
    • Different Borrowing Needs and Different Borrowing Alternatives
      • Small business Administration Programs
        • MicroLoan
        • 7(a) loan
        • CDC/504
        • Disaster-Assistance Loan
        • Industrial-Revenue Bonds
      • Bank and Nonbank Lending Institutions
    • Financing products
      • Lines of Credit
      • Asset-Based Lending
      • Term Loans
      • Commercial and Industrial Real Estate Financing
      • Leasing
      • Vendor Financing
      • Credit Card Financing
      • Peer-to-Peer Financing
    • Transaction-Structuring Considerations
      • Simple versus Compound Interest
      • Fixed versus Variable Rates
      • Interest Rates versus Annual Percentage Rates
      • Even-Principal Reduction versus Mortgage-Style Amortization
      • Level Payments versus Uneven Revenue Streams
      • Financing Term versus Asset Useful Life
    • Responding to the Four Decisions Every Lender Makes
  • Raising Equity Capital
    • Debt, Equity and Dilution
      • Who and Why
      • Company Structure
      • Valuation
      • Subordinations and Disentanglements
  • Coping with Financial Adversity
    • Under the Microscope
    • Self-Directed Restructures
      • Operational Restructure
      • Financial Restructure
      • Asset Restructure
    • Forbearances and Modifications
      • Payment Moratoriums
      • Interest-Only Payments
      • Abatements
    • Negotiating Tactics
    • Bankruptcy
      • Chapter 11
      • Chapter 7
  • For your Consideration
  • Topical Readings and Resources

Buying, Selling and Calling It Quits

  • Mergers and Acquisitions
    • The Difference between a Merger and an Acquisition
    • Valuation Methodologies
    • Payments and Protections
  • Graceful Exits
    • Succession Planning
    • Establishing and Prioritizing Goals
    • Orderly Transitions
    • Orderly Liquidation
  • Final Notes
  • For Your Consideration
  • Topical Readings and Resources

Epilogue: From One CEO to Another