Why to Read About the Stages of the Business Life Cycle?

Every company goes through a certain development life cycle, and each stage has characteristics that significantly impact the quality of the investment and the result. To understand more clearly the return on investment, the nature of asset price movements, and other interrelationships, it is important to correctly define the company’s stage of life.

The main stages of a company’s development

Idea development

Every company begins with an idea and the development of the first product. This is the most interesting stage for venture capitalists and the least interesting for investors in public companies. At the very beginning, the future company refines its strategy, develops its first product, and finds its first money for development.

This stage is characterized by experimentation and great uncertainty. About 90% of startups close in the first year of their life and do not pass the “valley of death.” However, future large companies usually pass it and reach a new level: finalizing products and starting their first large-scale sales.

Business Development – Expansion and Peak Growth

After an idea is finalized and a medium- and long-term development strategy is defined, the company begins to work on its scale: it enters new geographic markets, acquires other companies, invests in new marginal products, etc.

This process is the most interesting for investors. As a rule, many companies go public through an IPO precisely at this stage. The company’s logic is simple: the IPO allows the company to receive money from the placement and the opportunity to use it to accelerate development further. Also, at this point, the investor gets a bigger yield due to the rapid growth, with still existing significant risks: until the first profit, the company is in the ranking of “idea” and “bright future.”

Reaching the maturity and stability of the business

With the appearance of the first profit, dividends and business risks decrease, and the company comes close to its peak development point. For investors, this type of business moves from the ” growth ” category to the “value company” category.

The absence of significant growth characterizes this stage of business development. The company has implemented all of its large-scale projects and has come to the state of a stable business unit with well-tuned business processes.

As a rule, clients of such businesses are constant. Developments and innovations are of a point-by-point nature.


Each company is at a certain stage of its development. This stage of life has several important features to consider when investing. We have identified three stages of business development: the startup stage, the development stage, and the maturity stage. The second and third stages of business life are the most interesting for investors in public instruments. In the second stage, the company becomes a “growth story,” which stands out for its high potential returns and risks. In the third stage, the business moves into the “value” stage with more predictable cash flows and lower target returns.

States within states: why large companies need cryptocurrencies

Analysts at Goldman Sachs wrote that the cryptocurrency market is already catching up with the traditional financial market in terms of volume and amounts to $1.87 trillion. Apple, Amazon, and Walmart have announced the search for specialists in cryptocurrencies and digital money. Where will the company’s interest in crypto assets lead?

Who goes to the crypt?

On August 15, the largest retailer in the United States, Walmart, posted a vacancy on its LinkedIn profile about finding a leader in digital and cryptocurrency products. Based on the job description, this person should develop a “digital currency strategy and a product roadmap.” The specialist should also be responsible for partnerships related to cryptocurrency. The announcement does not specify which products the future Walmart employee will launch.

This vacancy was published a few weeks after Amazon, one of the world’s most prominent players in the e-commerce market, announced the search for a leading specialist in digital currency and blockchain products. According to the job description, it should be an employee who will develop a digital currency and blockchain strategy for Amazon and a product roadmap. One of the necessary skills of a candidate, which Amazon indicated, is “the ability to succeed in an uncertain and constantly changing environment.” According to a London newspaper City A.M. source, Amazon’s plans are broader than just accepting cryptocurrency for payment: in 2022, the online retailer will create its token.

At the end of 2021, Amazon will start accepting bitcoin as payment — it will be the first of about eight cryptocurrencies that Amazon will work with, the interlocutor of City A.M. noted. According to him, the company will later start working with cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Cardano, and Bitcoin Cash. At the same time, Amazon denied these rumors and reported that the speculations that arose around the company’s specific plans for cryptocurrencies do not correspond to reality.

The British bank Lloyds Banking Group also published a vacancy in the search for a senior manager for digital currencies and innovations in mid-August. The announcement says the company is looking for an expert in cryptocurrencies and blockchain who will work on new projects for the bank.

Even earlier — at the end of June — Apple posted a similar vacancy. Among the essential requirements for the position of manager for the development of “alternative payments,” the corporation indicated five years of experience working with digital wallets, players in the “buy now, pay later” segment (Buy now, pay later, BNPL), fast payment services, cryptocurrencies, etc.

Some large companies already accept cryptocurrency as payment for goods and services. Starbucks and a large chain of Home Depot construction stores accept cryptocurrency through third-party applications that convert digital money into dollars, The Wall Street Journal reported. Payment in bitcoins was also accepted by Tesla. Still, the company’s head, Elon Musk, soon suspended the experiment because cryptocurrency mining is too harmful to the environment. At the end of July, Musk said that the company would most likely start accepting bitcoins again after conducting a comprehensive check of the amount of renewable energy used to extract the currency.

Why is this necessary

Today, the cryptocurrency market is already catching up with the traditional financial market in terms of volume, Goldman Sachs (GS) analysts write in a report dated August 11 (Forbes has it). According to CoinMarketCap.com, there are about 6,000 cryptocurrencies on the market, with a total market capitalization of $1.87 trillion. For comparison, the total market value of bonds covered by the Bloomberg-Barclays US Corporate High Yield Index is $1.67 trillion, while the market capitalization of the S&P 500 is approximately $39 trillion, according to GS.

Analysts write that cryptocurrencies are a highly competitive market compared to other asset classes. The most popular digital currency is bitcoin-it accounts for 46% of the entire cryptocurrency market, and another 20% is occupied by the second most popular, Ethereum. The shares of the two largest companies (Apple and Microsoft) in the S&P 500 account for about 12% of the market capitalization. According to GS, the shares of the largest 84 companies account for 66% of the total market capitalization.

Facebook was a pioneer in the cryptocurrency market among large companies. Still, it tried to launch a digital currency at the wrong time. In 2019, it was crushed by the state regulator, which is afraid of losing its control, according to Alexander Brazhnikov, executive director of the Russian Association of Crypto Industry and Blockchain (RAKIB). However, the pandemic has changed the situation; he continues: online solutions are becoming more popular, and now it is difficult to resist such initiatives, says Brazhnikov. According to him, the world is moving towards the fact that cross—border companies can get away from the dependence on states and their currencies-the dollar, euro, and ruble.

“Why should Amazon receive payment in different currencies, if the company can make its own tokens, for example, Amazon Coin and receive payment in them?”, the expert argues.

Amazon can teach people to buy in their currency if it encourages customers with discounts when using tokens and then begins to cooperate with other companies, predicts Brazhnikov. Such a development strategy will lead to the fact that shortly companies will not depend on any state, Central Bank, or regulator but will sell and form prices for goods and services themselves, the expert is sure.

Now retailers, as a rule, accrue points to customers for purchases on their sites, and creating their cryptocurrency will help them replace these points, says Rustam Botashev, portfolio manager of the Hash CIB investment company. Companies may want to sell some tokenized goods in the form of an NFT (non-fungible token, non-interchangeable token) or launch a marketplace, Botashev suggests. Experiments with cryptocurrencies are a win-win situation for large companies, which either will not affect their development in any way or will only affect them positively, he is sure.

Sales Tax Nexus – Do Not Ignore

Are you suffering from Nexus Perplexus?

Definition: A state of confusion regarding the degree of business activity allowed before a state may exert its jurisdiction to impose a tax.

Cause: The many (and often conflicting) definitions of Nexus for state tax purposes from legislative, judicial, administrative, and secondary sources.


  • A nagging feeling that there are potential tax liabilities in other states.
  • A suspicion that state taxes may be lowered as a result of apportionment of business income to other states.
  • A cold sweat resulting from the receipt of a nexus questionnaire from a state where one is not currently filing.

Are your products and services taxable in your home state? How about other states where you sell? Did you know that if you charge a fee for electronically filing an income tax return in Texas that the fee is subject to sales tax?

Regardless of the sophistication of the sales tax reporting system, the system still needs to be told what is taxable and what is not.

As businesses expand into multiple states (“multi-state”), the issue arises of whether the “foreign” states can force your company to register and collect use tax. Your company’s presence in a different part of a country or state is referred to as a “nexus”.  This may be through your salespersons traveling to those states, or your hiring of jobbers, repairpersons, or independent contractors who perform installation or maintenance in a state where the company is not registered may create nexus in that state.

The level of activity performed has a direct bearing on whether another state has the ability to impose a tax.  The critical issue is to determine if the nexus exists.  A nexus review will carefully determine the facts of a taxpayer in light of not just state rules and regulations, but all applicable federal legislation, as well as relevant judicial and administrative law.  The end result is a clear picture of potential state tax exposure.

Sales Tax Nexus issues can create serious tax liabilities because companies miss the opportunity to collect tax from customers and eliminate their own burden. In addition, there is usually no statute of limitation because the company never filed a return in the state where it created nexus.

Have you received a nexus questionnaire lately? If not responded to correctly, a state may conclude that nexus exists and assess tax, penalty, and interest for all periods from the first-day nexus exists. There have been many cases where taxpayers have filed returns and paid tax to a state where nexus did not exists, based simply on a nexus questionnaire that was not properly responded to.

The sales tax nexus requirements are very different from income taxes. In simple words, activities that will not cause nexus (a filing requirement) for income taxes will cause nexus for sales tax filing purposes. Companies typically delegate the sales tax filing function to clerk level positions. Consequently, high turnover in these positions can create inconsistency in the sales/use tax reporting function.

It is often difficult to find the time and the resources to prepare a comprehensive state tax plan. Outsourcing the planning function to a state tax expert can be a cost-effective way to ensure that all state tax options are being considered. A state tax plan starts with a review of the taxpayer’s facts and circumstances, as well as future plans and expectations. The end result is a recommendation of the best planning technique(s) for lowering state tax liabilities and/or exposure.


16 Quick Tips to Help Keep Positive in a Down Economy

Times are tough for everyone. People are losing their jobs left and right and unemployment is at its highest level. Businesses both large and small are struggling to stay alive. When money gets tight it can be very hard to keep a positive attitude. Negativity leads to depression, and depression makes it very difficult to move forward in life.

I recently lost my full-time job after 17 years with the same company. It was due to the economy, our clients were cutting back on their marketing budgets and only doing the minimum required to continue sales. Almost all the creative work we were doing dried up and trying to find new clients became harder and harder. I saw the writing on the wall and had been preparing for the inevitable for a while. I updated my resume and portfolio, started networking more, and lined up some freelance customers.

After I lost my job family and friends were calling to make sure I was ok. I told them I was and not to worry. Honestly, I was ok, actually, I was better than ok, I felt great! I felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders and now my life was my own again, I could do with it as I want. It was an opportunity for a fresh start and as the saying goes, I took lemons and made lemonade!

For many, a life-altering change like losing their job or a major decrease in sales for their photography business would lead to depression. In this article, I’m going to share 16 quick tips that helped me keep a positive attitude to continue down the road of success.

  1. Keep busy – Sitting around staring out the window is the worst thing you can do. If nothing else do house chores. Just keep moving and keep busy.
  2. Work hard – It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, just work hard to do it well. At the end of the day, you’ll have a sense of accomplishment even if you only cleaned the bathroom.
  3. Work even if you’re working for less money – If you have nothing going on and a small project comes your way, take it. Even if you have to do it for less than your normal rate, at least you’ll be working. Give it 100% effort just as you would with any other project and smile while you’re doing it. You never know what work that customer may have for you down the road.
  4. Take better than usual care of yourself – Start eating healthier and start working out. Everyone complains they don’t have time to eat right and work out, well now you do. Physical well-being significantly impacts mental well-being and response to stress.
  5. Get out of the Sweats – Hanging out in your sweats all day although comfortable, is bad for self-esteem. Get up, get a shower, eat a healthy breakfast, and dress for success.
  6. Forget about “the good old days” – Nostalgia is self-destructive. Learn from the past and think about the future you want.
  7. Network like crazy – You have some time on your hands now, start calling all your past customers. Contact people, you’ve been meaning to get in touch with. You need to stay in front of and on the minds of everyone.
  8. Take frequent breaks – You need to break up the routine. Take breaks for the usual stuff and maybe add in a few new ones.
  9. Simplify your life – Cut out unneeded expenses and distance yourself from people or activities that negatively affect you and cause stress.
  10. Surround yourself with positive people – Stay away from the doom and gloomers and find positive and successful people to spend time with, those traits have a tendency to rub off on you.
  11. Keep learning – Photography is always changing. Take this time to learn new photographic techniques, brush up on your software or learn more about a different part of our industry (HDR, DSLR video, etc.)
  12. Shoot for fun – We spend so much time shooting for others we sometimes lose sight of what makes photography fun and why we started shooting in the first place.
  13. Become a mentor – Helping other photographers learn the tricks of the trade is very rewarding for both parties.
  14. Celebrate your successes – Even small accomplishments deserve to be celebrated.
  15. Shrug off the losses – Don’t dwell on the negatives, stuff happens! Learn from it and move on.
  16. Be thoughtful – Think about others more often.

Next Steps…

Life is tough and sometimes bad things happen to good people. What separates us is how we deal with change and move forward. Being positive reduces stress, reduced stress will increase self-esteem and when you feel good about yourself, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish.

I’d love to hear how your lemonade turned out, please feel free to share your stories in the comments below.