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Based on 300,000 companies, most with annual sales under $10 million. One takeaway: Specialization pays off.
Spiking sales might make for good cocktail conversation, but if you don't turn a profit--and keep turning one--you won't be in business very long. With the help of Sageworks, a Raleigh, N.C.-based accounting consultancy and private-company data provider, Forbes assembled a list of the 20 most profitable businesses, on a pretax basis, that aspiring entrepreneurs might launch. At No. 1: offices of Certified Public Accountants, with an average pretax margin of 17.1%. Wired communication carriers (transmission-line operators and the like), which clock an average 10.1% margin, brought up the rear.
When Frieda Caplan went into business for herself, she was the only woman in the produce industry. That gave her a national presence, but the real reason for her success was that her company filled an important niche. Now it's the leading distributor of specialty fruits and vegetables. Along the way, the founder learned some important lessons about financing. And she's still going to work every day-with her daughters.
Entrepreneurs need a "just-right" business plan, one that provides a measuring stick for fast growth without overtaking performance, writes this computer-consulting entrepreneur.
As an entrepreneur, it is important to take periodic inventory of your assets so that they can be leveraged. Conducting an intellectual property audit can help create both incremental revenue streams and new opportunities.
As the credit crisis has made it tougher for small businesses to get funding, some would-be entrepreneurs have exploited a loophole that lets them finance a startup with 401(k) retirement funds without facing any taxes or penalties. Now the technique is catching the attention of the IRS, which plans to step up audits of such transactions.
Writing, advising, lecturing - for Andrew Sherman, it's all about educating entrepreneurs.
A strategic overview of time management for entrepreneurs is delineated in this article by the co-founder of a consultancy that advises on the matter.
Financiers decode business plans, looking for the secrets of probable success. If yours shows a customer-driven opportunity that your company's talent, passion and skin in the game can actually pull off, they're more likely to be impressed.
The entrepreneur's role changes throughout the stages of a business beginning with managing day-to-day operations and advancing to leading for growth.
After selling a successful company, Alan Hall is finding innovative ways to give back to entrepreneurship.
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