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Family of gun instructor killed by student sues gun range

North Carolina residents might have heard about the fatal accident that occurred at an Arizona shooting range a couple years ago. In August 2014, a 9-year-old girl accidentally shot a gun instructor who was teaching her how to use a mini Uzi 9mm. Now, the family of the 39-year-old deceased gun instructor is saying that the girl should have never been allowed to operate the gun in the first place.

The family of the deceased man filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the gun range that employed the instructor. An attorney representing the family said that the gun range's policy of allowing children to operate machine guns was fundamentally unsafe. In addition to the wrongful death lawsuit, the family has been petitioning to stop gun ranges from giving assault weapons to anyone under the age of 15.

Why earn-outs don't work out for sellers

In an effort to get the highest price while selling their business, North Carolina owners may be tempted to accept an earn-out. An earn-out is a deal where a business is acquired for a cash amount plus more money if the newly-acquired company reaches financial goals in a certain period of time.

While an earn-out may sound good to people who are struggling to sell their business, this type of arrangement is usually much better for the buyer than it is for the seller. That is because the money that is promised for goals reached in an earn-out hardly ever materializes. A newly-acquired company that agrees to an earn-out usually does not reach its financial goals, and the earn-out money can be highly illusory.

Buying an existing business

North Carolina residents who wish to go into business for themselves can either start a new company or buy a going concern. Purchasing an already thriving business allows entrepreneurs to avoid many of the challenges of helping a fledgling commercial venture through its nascent stages, but finding a suitable company for sale is often difficult. North Carolina is one of several states that have laws in place requiring the sellers of businesses to make certain important disclosures, and sellers must file documentation with the Consumer Protection Division of the state's Department of Justice before such transactions can proceed.

Just as home sellers tend to arrange their furniture to cover up flaws, business owners hoping to cash in will generally try to present their companies in the best possible light. Identifying opportunities and determining how a company will perform over time can be made easier by studying documents like balance sheets and profit and loss statements, but those unfamiliar with financial documentation may wish to consult with accountants or attorneys before drawing any firm conclusions.

Potential cell phone distractions on the rise

North Carolina drivers might be more aware of the dangers of texting and driving, but studies show that they and motorists throughout the country might be using their phones more for gaming and social media while they drive. All of these can be dangerous distractions.

Unfortunately, that distraction often goes unrecognized as a serious danger. In one study by Students Against Destructive Decisions and Liberty Mutual Insurance, people of high school age were asked to rank distracting activities by how dangerous they were. Only 6 percent chose posting to or looking at social media as the most dangerous. A quarter said that writing a text message was the most dangerous, and 29 percent named driving under the influence.

Estimated 5,000 drowsy driving fatalities in 2015

North Carolina motorists may be surprised to learn that an estimated 5,000 people died in 2015 around the country as a result of drowsy driving. People who drive while sleep-deprived are more likely to cause accidents as their reaction times are slower and they may not be paying attention to what is going on in front of them or next to them.

Statistics show that motor vehicle deaths across the nation were up 7.7 percent in 2015. A report issued by the Governors Highway Safety Association on drowsy driving indicates that the true extent of the problem may not be known. One issue is that there are many challenges when it comes to measuring the number of drivers who drive while drowsy. Further, combating the behavior is another problem altogether. Many law enforcement agencies do not have protocols or training that helps officers recognize drowsy driving.

The value of planning is in the process

As markets and customer behaviors are changing all the time, some business owners argue that creating a five-year plan is old fashioned and unnecessary. However, others say that the experience of writing a plan and attempting to make future projections is educational and helpful. A recent study published in the International Small Business Journal found that business owners who spend time planning are more likely to succeed.

Some new business owners view planning as a tedious activity that is required by investors and lending institutions. Rather than looking at a plan as a method for getting funding, a business owner should see the activity of planning as a way to learn and develop their business skills. During the planning process, a business owner may gain valuable insights on business strategy by going over business information and projections.

Good content marketing for North Carolina businesses

Most small business owners have heard that having an online presence is important. Some, however, simply do not understand how to make use of it in a way that will drive customers to them and increase their profits. Understanding content marketing strategies and implementing them correctly can help businesses to be more successful and to grow.

The Internet has given companies the ability to reach potentially millions of possible customers. With good content marketing, the likelihood of not only reaching potential customers but converting them into actual customers increases. Business owners need to start by figuring out where their customers go on the internet and to start by having a presence on that particular platform. After choosing the platform, they then need to think about how people search and use keywords that are relevant.

Pursuing damages for injuries suffered on a business property

It is the general responsibility of business owners in North Carolina and across the country to protect their patrons and employees from dangerous conditions that could lead to accidents. Parties who are injured as a result of such accidents may want to know more about premises liability law, which is designed to protect unsuspecting individuals from known hazards.

In a premises liability lawsuit, a claimant may be able to recover damages if they can show that their injury occurred as the result of the business owner's negligence. The dangerous condition that caused the injury must have been present long enough for the owner to have had time to address the issue. If the owner neglected to make the area safer, he or she may have to pay damages to any people who were injured on the property.

Truck driver faces charges for fatal accident

A man appeared in a North Carolina courtroom on July 25 to face charges related to a fatal truck accident. The 43-year-old man is accused of causing a truck accident on June 13 that killed a 33-year-old woman and a 13-year-old girl. The accident also seriously injured four other people.

According to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, the defendant was driving a 2000 International truck along Wait Avenue in Wake Forest when the accident occurred. At about 6 p.m., the truck driver crossed over the center median and collided with a Hyundai van. Officials charged him with misdemeanor death by vehicle along with other traffic offenses. It is unclear if family members of the deceased victims have filed wrongful death lawsuits.

Strategic business planning

In addition to legal and regulatory obstacles, business owners in North Carolina must be aware of competition, supply and demand, and the state of the overall economic climate. There are several established paths to creating a strategic business plan.

Those who are in charge of the company must set the overall strategy. The owner, president or board of directors should establish in three to five key points the desired picture of the company in the new venture's first few years years. Next, a simple strategic plan should be designed with a focus on broad objectives and goals.

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