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Industries with the thinnest margins

Mary Ellen Biery | Posted 09.08.2014 | Business
Mary Ellen Biery

While sales growth is a key gauge of how a business is doing, most entrepreneurs at the end of the day want to be able to generate a profit so they ca...

Big Private Cos Beating Public Firms In 2 Key Metrics

Mary Ellen Biery | Posted 08.25.2014 | Business
Mary Ellen Biery

Large, privately held companies in the U.S. are growing at a faster rate than publicly traded companies and are generating higher profit margins, acco...

The most profitable industries? Accounting is tops

Mary Ellen Biery | Posted 08.18.2014 | Business
Mary Ellen Biery

Few people know better than accountants what goes into a company's bottom line. So it's not too surprising that accounting and related fields top the ...

Can You Succeed As Your Own Boss? Many People Are

Mary Ellen Biery | Posted 08.02.2014 | Business
Mary Ellen Biery

If being your own boss sounds good to you, you're not alone. A recent Wells Fargo/Gallup poll found that being the decision maker and the independence...

Private Companies Growing Sales, Planning Hires

Mary Ellen Biery | Posted 07.19.2014 | Business
Mary Ellen Biery

Two recent reports provide an upbeat assessment of private companies, the drivers of 65 percent of new job creation and nearly 50 percent of private n...

Seeing green: Lawn, landscape firms' sales up

Mary Ellen Biery | Posted 06.28.2014 | Business
Mary Ellen Biery

Firms in the lawn care and landscaping business have seen more green lately, according to new data from Sageworks, a financial information company....

Furniture Retailers Are Sitting on Their Inventory Longer

Mary Ellen Biery | Posted 05.24.2014 | Business
Mary Ellen Biery

Private furniture stores, on average, had 142 days of inventory on hand in 2013, based on preliminary estimates. That's nearly a week more in inventory than furniture stores had in 2011 and 18 days more than the industry's average in 2006.

Guess Which Small Businesses Are Growing The Fastest?

Mary Ellen Biery | Posted 12.22.2013 | Business
Mary Ellen Biery

With the U.S. economy's slow growth in recent quarters, it may seem like nobody's seeing much business, least of all small firms. But Sageworks, a fi...

What Non-Government Economic Indicators Say

Mary Ellen Biery | Posted 12.14.2013 | Business
Mary Ellen Biery

In the shutdown-induced absence of several national economic indicators, media outlets have highlighted some quirky options for gaining insight on the...

When Chaos Threatens, Businesses Should Do This

Mary Ellen Biery | Posted 12.11.2013 | Business
Mary Ellen Biery

Government shutdown. Looming debt ceiling confrontation. Health care changes. It has been a wild couple of weeks in Washington, for sure, but for Amer...

Are employers fretting over overhead?

Mary Ellen Biery | Posted 11.11.2013 | Business
Mary Ellen Biery

If you're worried about losing your job, you're less likely to take on a new-car monthly payment if your old vehicle is meeting most of your needs, ri...

How healthy is your business?

Mary Ellen Biery | Posted 11.03.2013 | Business
Mary Ellen Biery

When 1 in 10 entrepreneurs work 70 hours a week, it's a safe bet that business owners have a lot of issues competing for their attention. Making a gre...

Private Sporting Goods Stores Have Some Swagger

Mary Ellen Biery | Posted 10.20.2013 | Small Business
Mary Ellen Biery

As retail industry watchers await earnings from Dick's Sporting Goods and Hibbett Sports next week, a look at privately held sporting goods stores shows strong growth over the last 12 months, according to recent data from Sageworks, a financial information company.

Private Company Credit Risk Shows Signs of Improving

Mary Ellen Biery | Posted 04.07.2013 | Small Business
Mary Ellen Biery

The average probability that a private construction company would default in the next year was 3.79 percent for the 12-month period ended Dec. 31, compared with 5.73 percent for the year-earlier period.

Bickering Is Bad for Business

Brian Hamilton | Posted 03.11.2013 | Business
Brian Hamilton

The message to Congress is simple: Adapt. Figure it out. Make the tough choices. It's what business owners do every day, and it's what Americans have done for centuries.

You Want Jobs? Do These 3 Things

Brian Hamilton | Posted 10.13.2012 | Small Business
Brian Hamilton

If President Obama and Congress want to get job growth going, they can do three things to help, but they can't wait until November. I'm already worried that businesses will write off hiring for the rest of the year because of the election.

10 Low-cost Summer Start-ups

Mary Ellen Biery | Posted 09.24.2012 | Small Business
Mary Ellen Biery

While some of these jobs may seem like they are just for teens, adults can and do make these businesses their full-time ventures, with a few tweaks.

Want An "Offshore-proof" Job?

Mary Ellen Biery | Posted 07.19.2012 | Small Business
Mary Ellen Biery

Americans use restaurant visits almost like "micro vacations," especially when times are tough, because going out to eat is one of the cheapest ways to get out of the house for a couple of hours, he said.

Rather Than "Why Not Go Public?", It's "Why?"

Brian Hamilton | Posted 09.01.2012 | Business
Brian Hamilton

For a long time, one of the reasons for doing an IPO was that everybody else was doing it. It was a status symbol. But I don't think the entrepreneurs of today care as much about that. Good for them.

Slow Payers Hurting Companies' Cash Flow, Hiring

Mary Ellen Biery | Posted 08.08.2012 | Small Business
Mary Ellen Biery

Cash is tied up in inventory as well as receivables, and that has a significant effect on cash flow and consequently, a significant effect on how much companies can use for capital expenditures or new jobs.

Private-company Sales, Margin Growth Continue

Mary Ellen Biery | Posted 07.22.2012 | Small Business
Mary Ellen Biery

Privately held U.S. companies -- the millions of businesses that drive job creation and GDP -- are growing sales so far this year at about the same ra...

The JOBS Act: IPO On-ramp or Public Company Off-ramp?

Brian Hamilton | Posted 06.30.2012 | Small Business
Brian Hamilton

What really separates a good company is the quality of the product -- not the money backing the company, which is why I encourage managements to spend most of the time discovering how to develop their great idea with limited capital.

Does Size Matter?

Mary Ellen Biery | Posted 06.24.2012 | Small Business
Mary Ellen Biery

Privately held companies have a huge impact on the U.S. economy, and new data shows that sales and margin performance through the recession and so far in the recovery has varied, depending on the size of the company.

The Three R's of Boosting Profitability

Mary Ellen Biery | Posted 05.20.2012 | Small Business
Mary Ellen Biery

If sales volumes aren't improving or are volatile, business owners can still grow profits. Here are three ways to generate more bang for the bucks your business brings in.

5 Reasons To Improve Cash Flow Forecasting

Mary Ellen Biery | Posted 05.01.2012 | Small Business
Mary Ellen Biery

By knowing exactly what cash you have coming in and going out and when those transfers occur, you ensure your business has enough cash to continue operating from day to day. But there are other reasons to improve your cash-flow forecasts, according to accounting and financial experts. Here are five important ones.