Monthly Archives: August 2010

Does My Small Business Need A Business Budget?

The picture is what happens to a business without a budget.

We talk about having a family budget, or the family finances fail.

This principal applies to a family business even more.

Most people open up their small business on Monday, thinking they will pay themselves Friday with their first week’s profits.

That is not a realistic business budget.

As a bankruptcy attorney, I see the methods that fail.

Any time someone asks me about opening a small business, I as what the business budget is.

That is, what are the monthly operating expenses.

How much is the monthly fixed overhead?

If you do not even know what that means, put that small business idea on hold until you take some basic accounting or business classes.

Fixed overhead is what it costs to operate the business no matter what, if you produce no product, or buy no food for your restuarant.

Building rent, debt service, things you have to pay whether or not you open your doors.

My advice is, assume no revenue.

Assume all the checks you take bounce.

Assume all the charge cards are charged back.

Do not open the business until you have enough money saved to 1) live on for a year if the business makes nothing, and 2) to operate the business for one year without any receipts.

Then, after a year, you are still solvent, and can pull the plug if it is not working.

And figure out what that point is, when you will stop throwing good money after bad.

Many of my clients run their small business like a compulsive gambler, borrowing more money to throw into the business to get back the money they lost at startup, or covering the first year losses.

Start with a realistic budget, don’t forget worker’s comp insurance, payroll tax liability for your employees, other insurance, other mandated government costs, like permits and licenses that apply.

Have a business budget, and stick to it.

Does My Small Business Need A Business Budget?

Or, you may be seeing a bankruptcy attorney.

Zero Interest Car Loans?

Some real life examples of Dave Ramsey lessons.One of his myths from Total Money Makeover:  “You can get a good deal on a car at 0% interest.” I agree that is a myth. With permission, without using names, here is some of an email exchange with a current potential bankruptcy client. “Some credit cards giveContinue Reading

2 Responses to Zero Interest Car Loans?

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5 Responses to What Shape Are My Family Finances In?

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Total Money Makeover?

“Now, bankruptcy is, and should be, a last resort.” This is not a Dave Ramsey quote from Total Money Makeover, it is something that I have been telling people for years. Well, sometimes there is no other way out. So, what if you have already filed bankruptcy? Your case is over, you have your discharge,Continue Reading

3 Responses to Total Money Makeover?

  1. Hi Kurt! Dave’s book is awesome – a broad stroke for a financial makeover. But most people fresh out of bankruptcy need some real specific guidance to change the way they deal with their finances so they don’t wind up right back in debt again after bankruptcy. They also need guidance that helps them get a fresh start without feeling shame after bankruptcy.

    If you aren’t familiar with Bounce Back From Bankruptcy, check it out! Bankruptcy attorneys nationwide have recommended it for more than 15 years (it’s now in its 4th edition) as the best resource for helping consumers get back on their financial feet after bankruptcy. Even bankruptcy trustees recommend it to the lawyers that appear before them.

    Paula Langguth Ryan
    author, Bounce Back From Bankruptcy:
    A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Back on Your Financial Feet

11 Responses to Does My Spouse Have To File Bankruptcy If I File?

  1. This has some great points and further illustrates why it’s so important for folks NOT to file without a bankruptcy attorney.

    I implore those of you who are thinking about filing on your own to rethink that decision, as you may make a costly mistake.

    Good luck to everyone!


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  3. Hi there! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured I’d ask.
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  4. I rarely leave comments, but i did a few searching and wound up here Does My Spouse Have To File Bankruptcy If I File?
    – Detroit Bankruptcy Lawyer Kurt O’Keefe. And I actually do have a few questions for you if you do not mind. Is it simply me or does it seem like a few of the comments look like coming from brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are writing on other social sites, I’d like to keep up with anything fresh
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