Starting a Business

Meike Alberts, the Paychex, Inc. Payroll Consultant for Southern Colorado, passed on this important information about the Colorado Bond Interest assessment that Colorado employers are required to pay in 2012.

In order to reach solvency for the Colorado Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and provide upfront relief to Colorado businesses, the state of Colorado has closed a bond transaction. The bond transaction allowed the state to repay loans previously borrowed from the federal government in 2010.

There are several items related to the bond transaction that will affect the majority of Colorado employers:

1.     In November 2012, Colorado employers will receive their 2013 Employer Rate Notices. Each employer will be responsible for a portion of bond repayment. The employers’ state unemployment insurance (SUI) rates will be adjusted based on the agency calculation.  Please look for this notice in your mailbox in November as it needs to be supplied to your payroll specialist so that we update your account with accurate rates for 2013. 

2.     Most employers will also be responsible to repay a portion of the interest from the bond transaction. Beginning September 2012, all Colorado employers with an experience rating less than +7 will be sent a Bond Interest Assessment. Similar to the Federal Assessment required in 2011, each employer will receive a separate assessment bill. The bill will be required to be paid within 30 days of receipt.

3.     The current solvency surcharge, established in 2004, will be removed for 2013.

4.     According to the state of Colorado, the bond transaction will save most employers between $20 and $120 per employee for 2013 and 2014. The state believes that the bonds will create the potential for future lower rates as the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund reaches financial health more quickly.

You can read the letter here from the agency to provide additional detail about the bond assessment.

If you have any questions about how this affects you and your business, please call us at (719) 579-9090.

Chris Blees

Chris Blees

President & CEO

Send Email
View Full Bio

Austin Buckett

Austin Buckett


Send Email
View Full Bio

An Interview by John Gachiri

Editor’s Note: Entrepreneur Richard Branson regularly shares his business experience and advice with readers. What follows is the latest edited round of insightful responses.

Q: What are some of the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make when starting out? — John Gachiri

A: Making mistakes is part of the process of building a company; quickly recovering from them is what’s most important. It’s all part of the adventure of entrepreneurship, which will require all of your stamina, drive and determination.

But your way forward is not entirely uncharted: When you notice an opportunity that has never occurred to anyone else, there are certain steps to turning your vision into reality. You must formulate an innovative business plan, find funding, hire the right people to carry out the plan, and then step back from your role in the business at exactly the right moment.

Let’s take a look at these steps, and also at ways to avoid some of the most common mistakes new entrepreneurs make.

Step 1: Stay on Target
A mistake often associated with the first step is signaled by an entrepreneur’s inability to clearly and concisely convey his idea. You have to be able to generate buy-in from investors, partners and potential employees, so nail down your “elevator speech” — what you would say if you ran into an important potential investor in an elevator. Try using a Twitter-like template to refine the essence of your concept into just 140 characters. Once you’ve done that, expand your message to a maximum of 500 characters. Remember, the shorter your pitch is, the clearer it will be.

An associated error is lack of focus. If your start-up has been tagged as “the next big thing,” the adrenaline rush that comes with building buzz can lead to impetuous decisions and a loss of a sense of purpose. Many entrepreneurs end up sprinting in many directions instead of taking assertive steps toward their target. Clearly define your goals and strategies, then establish a timeline. Don’t let the other possibilities or hazy dreams distract you from achieving your goal.

Getting too far ahead of yourself is also dangerous. If your product or service is still on the drawing board, don’t get sidetracked by plans for future versions. As a general guideline, looking two or three years ahead is best, but the nature of your business and feedback from your investors will help you determine just how far ahead you should plan.

Be flexible, because just as a lack of planning can be a problem, adhering blindly to your plan is a surefire way to steer your company off a cliff. A successful entrepreneur will constantly adjust course without losing sight of the final destination.

Step 2: Be Realistic About Costs
Don’t shortchange your start-up when estimating the funds you will require — you’ll just diminish your chances of success. Keeping your expenses under control is vital, but don’t confuse capitalization with costs. The playing field is littered with undercapitalized start-ups that were doomed from the outset.

In the late ’90s, David Neeleman told me he needed $160 million in start-up capital for JetBlue — a huge sum, far more than most entrants to the industry manage to raise. Most of the so-called experts scoffed at the notion that he would be able to find the money and launch a low-cost airline when established companies were failing one after the other, but he stuck to his guns and raised the money. As a result, JetBlue had one of the most successful airline launches of all time, and turned a profit only six months after its launch in 2000.

Step 3: Hire the People You Need, Not the People You Like
As tempting as it may be to staff your new business with friends and relatives, this is likely to be a serious mistake. If they don’t work out, asking them to leave will be very tough.

When Virgin starts any new business, we always hire a core team of smart people who already know the industry and its inherent risks. Take full advantage of the knowledge pool you’ve created; when a problem comes up, remember that nobody has all the answers, including you._One of your goals should be to find a manager who truly shares your vision, and to whom you can someday confidently hand the reins so that you can carry out the next step.

Step 4: Know When to Say Goodbye
A great entrepreneur knows when the time has come to leave the CEO role. It’s seldom easy, but it has to be done: few entrepreneurs make great managers. In my own case, managing the daily operations of a business simply isn’t in my DNA. (Or, as I’ve said to friends, “It’s not bloody likely.”)

Stepping back doesn’t mean turning your back on your business. At Virgin, I’m always involved in the launch of a new business, and then I gradually hand over control to the new management team as it starts to jell. But no matter how long it has been since I was at the helm, if I see something that I don’t like, I’m not at all shy about making my thoughts known and asking some very pointed questions.

Founders shouldn’t hesitate to re-insert themselves into their businesses when necessary — look at Larry Page, who temporarily returned to the CEO role at Google in April. That said, I had to laugh when I heard this news, wondering how many managers at Virgin businesses had thought, “Wow, I hope this doesn’t give Richard any ideas.”

This article was published by Stellar Risk Report & Journal.

If you have any questions about what it takes to start a company, please contact us.

Austin Buckett

Austin Buckett


Send Email
View Full Bio

Are you or someone you know thinking of starting a business?  Starting a business is both exciting and stressful. Our services, specific to the needs of a new business owner, are designed to answer your questions, like:

  • What do I need to know to get started?
  • How do I find the right people for my business?
  • What is the most advantageous business structure?
  • What other issues should I be aware of if I am buying an existing business?
  • How do I manage the financial side of my business?

A good place to start is to take a look at our Small Business Start Up Kit.  If you have questions about starting your own business, call or e-mail Austin Buckett at (719) 579-9090 or

Make a Payment to BiggsKofford

Warning, this is NOT the Colorado Department of Revenue. This is to make a payment to BiggsKofford, CPA Firm.