Hal Shelton

  • How to Tell If a Government Grant Offer Is a Scam

    You get a call, email, or letter from the federal government saying you are the winner of a free U.S. grant. All you have to do is pay a processing fee to receive the money. How do you know if the offer is legitimate or a scam? Here are five ways to spot a grant scam: 1. Did you apply for a grant? Legitimate grants do not show up at your door as a surprise — you have to apply for them.

    Hal Shelton/ Constant Contact- 11 readers -
  • What Is a Balance Sheet, and How Can I Use It to Manage My Business?

    Creating a balance sheet can be a challenging task for small business owners. Especially if you’re not schooled in finance and do not fully understand the ins and outs of financial statements, you may feel uncertain at first. In this post, I’ll cover what a balance sheet is, how it benefits your business, and the important sections you need to include. Let’s get started.

    Hal Shelton/ Constant Contactin How To's- 7 readers -
  • 7 Things to Consider Before Trading Your Services for Equity

    Ellen is a founder of a law firm serving small and mid-sized businesses, many of which are in the startup stage and do not have the cash to pay her fees. Ellen also has a passion for yoga and teaches at a local studio. The yoga studio owner wants to retain Ellen for legal advice, but instead of paying cash that she doesn’t have, she offers Ellen a small percentage of ownership in the business.

    Hal Shelton/ Constant Contact- 10 readers -
  • 3 Common Business Plan Myths Your Business Can Stop Falling For

    Are you procrastinating writing or updating a business plan? Is it because you’ve heard it has to be 30 pages, half of which are financials? This is one of several common business plan misconceptions. Today, let’s set the record straight by dispelling this and two other common myths: Myth 1: Every business plan has the same format and is 30 pages long.

    Hal Shelton/ Constant Contact- 11 readers -
  • How to Set Up and Maintain a Budget for Your Small Business

    You’ve heard the saying: you need to spend money to make money for a reason. Especially when you’re first starting your business, you’ll have a lot of initial costs that require you to spend in advance of receiving payments. For example, you buy/lease a truck to deliver goods that will be subsequently billed for and funds collected, build out a retail store before opening the ...

    Hal Shelton/ Constant Contactin EMail How To's- 13 readers -
  • How Much Cash Should a Small Business Have?

    Cash is the fuel that makes a business run. You need it to pay salaries (including your own), fund marketing programs to acquire and retain new customers, invest in equipment and facilities, pay rent, buy supplies and many more day-to-day activities. The purpose of this post is to help you figure out how much cash to have in reserve — how much is enough.

    Hal Shelton/ Constant Contactin How To's- 14 readers -
  • 10 Smart Things to Do When Writing and Updating Your Business Plan

    This is the sixth blog post in a series by Hal Shelton, SCORE small business mentor and author of The Secrets to Writing a Successful Business Plan. You can read his previous posts for Constant Contact here. Over the last few months, I’ve discussed a number of different ways you can set yourself up for success when writing a business plan.

    Hal Shelton/ Constant Contact- 10 readers -
  • 7 Critical Business Plan Mistakes You Need to Avoid

    This is the fifth blog post in a series by Hal Shelton, SCORE small business mentor and author of The Secrets to Writing a Successful Business Plan. In the previous installments, we looked at “4 Sections Every Business Plan Must Have (and Why They’re Important),” “Why You Need a Business Plan (and the Best Style for You),” “When Is a Good Time to Review and Renew Your Business ...

    Hal Shelton/ Constant Contact- 9 readers -
  • How to Create a Nonprofit Business Plan

    This is the fourth blog post in a series by Hal Shelton, SCORE small business mentor and author of The Secrets to Writing a Successful Business Plan. In the previous three installments, we looked at “4 Sections Every Business Plan Must Have (and Why They’re Important),” “Why You Need a Business Plan (and the Best Style for You),” and “When Is a Good Time to Review and Renew Yo ...

    Hal Shelton/ Constant Contactin How To's- 11 readers -
  • When is a Good Time to Review and Renew Your Business Plan?

    This is the third in a four-part series by Hal Shelton, SCORE small business mentor and author of The Secrets to Writing a Successful Business Plan. In the previous two installments, we looked at “4 Sections Every Business Plan Must Have (and Why They’re Important)” and “Why You Need a Business Plan (and the Best Style for You).

    Hal Shelton/ Constant Contact- 9 readers -