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Small Business Ideas

Common Cents When Financing Your Small Business

“The Best Advice is always free”

Starting a small business requires bucket loads of wisdom. Financial wisdom offered through various media is not always inherently beneficial to the reader and their business.

The foundations for financial excellence are elementary and logical; here is a new perspective on financial insight to starting your small business. Making use of purely scenario planning this illustrated scenario would be a recommendation for all businesses that you intend financing.

The average cost of setting up a franchise and small business in U.S.A. is currently in the $300,000.00 to $ 474 000.00 marks, a sizeable sum taking into consideration the prevailing economic climate and business confidence levels.

Loans or Finance

In order to stimulate the economy, banks are eager to finance new business as this has a long-term stimulus on the economy and contributes to job and wealth creation.

Most individuals do not have the entire capital amount available to finance their new venture and financing becomes the preferred and logical route to market.

Taking into consideration the average price of a new franchise $474 000.00, the average cash portion of financing that particular business would be $ 153 000.00 which includes the initial, cash joining or franchise fee.

This would equate to a financing portion of $321 000.00 or 68% of the initial set-up cost of the business.

From a personal and statistical point of view, the gearing or debt ratio is too high and the minimum recommended debt ratio should never exceed 50%.

Why is gearing so important?

It is nerve-wracking and soul-destroying to build a business for you only to allocate the major share of your income and profits to servicing a loan and the commensurate interest payments. The strain on the cash flow and reserve funds is too great, and the business rapidly becomes a financial risk to the entrepreneur and the banks concerned.

“The Free Advice”

Total Cost

When using the above figures as our reference and benchmark, if the inclusive cost of the business is $474 000.00.

It would be prudent to assume that if shares were offered at $1.00 per share then the business would have 474 000 shares on offer.

Share Distribution

Taking my advice of a 50% gearing or financing ratio, the business when financed by the entrepreneur would allocate to the entrepreneur, 50%(237 000 shares) of the shares currently on offer (The portion he/she has paid cash for)

The remaining 50% of shares on offer would be the right and technical ownership of the banks or financing institution.

The Thinking Motivating This Strategy

As the entrepreneur pays off the loan, their ownership or share-holding increases exponentially.

Goals are easy to set, time and financing permitting the entrepreneur sees his/her goal of 100% ownership as achievable and desirable.

When the bank is essentially a partner in your business the relationship changes, the entrepreneur can take the banks perspective into consideration as they are a valuable share-holder, the logic of having a “you” and “me” approach becomes a “we” approach to the business.

Any extra funds available will inherently go toward servicing the loan on the business.

The Ultimate Lesson

That our thinking and approach has changed, it is a recommendation that one ignore financing by financial institutions and approach friends, acquaintances, and family to finance your business using this share-holding approach. The entrepreneur develops a fiscal policy that is easy to equate and calculate, profit distribution is just as equitable, and the entrepreneur has a clearer indication of the status of the business free of financing and interest costs and charges.…

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Profitability

How to Find the Right Opportunity Before Starting a Home Based Business Online

If you’re currently an employee, chances are at some point in your career you’ve thought about being your own boss! Entrepreneurship is the only way to become the employer, but it’s not for everybody, it takes hard work and dedication!
If you’ve decided to become an entrepreneur, starting a home based business online is the best way to be your own boss! Not only do you get to work from home and set your own schedule, but with the right opportunity you can establish a passive residual income that can have the potential to set you free financially. Before you begin, there are some important basic elements you must evaluate about the business opportunity you choose!
How “young” is the opportunity?
Is the company you choose a start-up? There are some advantages to starting with a company that is in the beginning stages, but you should still make sure they’ve been around long enough to establish a decent track record. Select an opportunity on the ground level, but make sure their growth has been stable for as long as they’ve been in business. Most online home based business opportunities have been around for a while, so be weary of brand new companies.
How will the company stand the test of time?
The long term feasibility of your business is very important. Top home based business opportunities not only adapt to changing times, they actually embrace these changes. With the myriad web 2.0 technologies emerging almost daily, companies capitalize on the internet and make it an integral part of their growth, choosing an online business opportunity is one of the best ways to ensure long term viability. Since the long term growth of your organization is determined by your effort, take the time to chose a company with a product or service that allows for your results to be easily duplicated.
How does the opportunity train its reps?
One of the keys to success in any business is training and support! The majority of people who start a home based business fail in their first year because of a lack of proper training, and a solid duplicable marketing system! The training and support the company has in place is essential to growth, it allows the business owner to learn from and network with top earners and executives. The Network Marketing industry is one of the best choices when starting a home business. Most companies in this industry take advantage of the internet for marketing and training, and focus more on self development, which is another key component to home based business success. It doesn’t matter how great your product or service may be, if you can’t market it you won’t sell it, and without a quality training system in place, getting your business off the ground can prove to be a chore!
How does the product or service stand alone?
When you start a home based business you commit yourself to provide prospective clients with a quality product or service, and a good way to determine quality is to chose the opportunity with a product or service you would use. The company with the right business model should have a superior
stand-alone product. If you provide true value for your customers they will continue to buy from you, especially in difficult times, which makes your opportunity recession proof, which ensures a passive residual income!
How much do you have to invest and how long will it take you to get it back?
We all know there’s no such thing as something for nothing, at least not in business, so if you’ve decided to start your own home based business online, then you know there will be a start up cost. High ticket items can be challenging to distribute, while cheap opportunities may not provide any real value. When you become an entrepreneur you guarantee your own income, so your return on investment will depend entirely on your effort. Make sure you invest what it takes to be able to pay yourself back in a reasonable period of time.
Starting a home based business online can be very rewarding, but there is no guarantee that you will be successful from the very beginning. Doing your due diligence before choosing the right home based business opportunity will save you a lot of headaches.…

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The Business

Women in Networking – Turn Social Networking Into a Lucrative Social Media Online Business

Women in networking know the power of social contacts and spheres of influence, and how they are integral in creating any movement, supporting any cause or generating new business. Few people, though, have the talent to organize, bring people together, or network with others to get things done. This is a skill, and a highly valuable one. The oftentimes difficult thing in life is to be able to take the talents that we have and to develop them to their fullest. If we can pull that off, not only do we individually benefit, but we help others to realize their own potential at the same time. What’s often missing, however, is a vehicle for those talents to blossom.
Online social networking is a relatively new phenomenon. For those of you with social networking skills, the vehicle for both business and personal growth may be just a steps away. Here are some tips that may generate some new ideas if you are in the market for starting a business.
The power of networking is often underestimated, but in some businesses it is not only important, it is the ONLY thing. Several companies, often called hybrid or network marketing companies rely solely on individual entrepreneurs to build business networks of customers and like-minded business owners. These companies have compensation plans that offer unlimited profits.
If you have a knack for networking and are willing to learn how to social network online, you can develop a business that far exceeds an income that is limited by the hours you exchange for dollars. You can start in a business on the internet with virtually no investment AND advertise it all over the web without paying a cent. Do some homework and think about starting a business online where you can turn your real world social networking talents into a lucrative online social media business.…

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Starting A Business

Business Building: Does In Person Networking Still Make Sense?

In a high tech world where it is virtually possible to survive and run a business over the web without ever leaving your bedroom, does in person, face to face networking still make sense?
Of course some will argue that in person networking is now obsolete and is completely unnecessary. Certainly with social networking and how comfortable people are now with doing business via their mobile devices you could still make great connections purely via the Internet and never have to step foot out of your home. In many ways you could say that it is definitely more cost effective and better time management not to do face to face meetings or attend networking events.
However, in a new business environment dominated by the web and Internet companies it is clear that those who do get out from behind the curtain and embrace real world engagement with other real people can gain a major advantage over the competition. You may have the best prices in world, the coolest outsourcing network set up that allows you to run staff on three different continents, 24 hours a day and the catchiest slogans, but at the end of the day people buy people, not slick websites. If you are the only one out there making a personal connection you could have a major advantage over the competition regardless of price.
You do need to be careful about budget when getting out and doing in person networking. If you aren’t watching the bottom line it is easy to blow a lot of money and time on unprofitable meetings, not to mention gas, fancy restaurants, bar tabs for entertaining and more. However, when people are able to put a face to a name they are much more likely to bite on big ticket sales items, forge new strategic partnerships and sign checks much faster, all which can mean much bigger profit margins and taking your business to the next level much faster than you thought possible.
So, yes in person networking definitely still makes sense in a lot of industries. Be sensible about it, but if you block out even a couple hours a week to attend networking functions at the Chamber of Commerce, put together mastermind luncheons or even hang out with the right crowd you will find it can have a huge positive impact on your business and enable great growth. Worst case scenario, getting out will at least provide a better balance in your life and open the door to new inspiration for fueling your venture to new highs.…

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The Business

Starting a Business? Successful Marketing Focuses on Your Customer’s Needs

The primary purpose of starting a business (at least in most cases) is to make money, and lots of it. Entrepreneurs pick a business idea they are sure will be popular, with product and service features they know will be irresistible to consumers. Their thoughts are filled with how many customers they need to meet their projections, how much traffic they need to draw, and how the operations can be streamlined. They are sure that once they have all the details worked out, the customers will show up in droves.
Very often, this confidence in their venture spills over into their marketing materials such that the messages they deliver are misfocused on how great the business, products or services are. Unfortunately, this classic approach is no longer effective. Today’s consumers are more knowledgeable and savvy than ever they are far more concerned with what your product can do for them. The new adage for defining marketing efforts must be Ask not what your customer can do for you, but what your business can do for your customers!
Every bit of your marketing effort, from the website to personal sales to follow-up contact, must be completely customer-centric. Everything you think about your venture needs to start and end with your target market. They don’t care what you need, what you want, or how you feel. They only want to know what your products or services are going to do for them. Just remember, it’s not about you, it’s all about the customer.
Define your venture’s marketing messages by the benefits your customers will receive by doing business with you. Know the features of your products, but reframe those into direct benefits for your customers. People want to know how your product will make them better, happier, more attractive, or solve some other problem in their world. For example, a mobile oil-change service has the feature of “oil changes at your home or office.” Better to focus on the benefit of “saves you time and keeps your car on the road.”
Identify your venture’s USPs (Unique Selling Propositions), or what makes your business stand out over the competition. Three separate USPs are good, especially if each of the three targets the primary needs of different market segments. Of course, to define your USPs as benefits rather than features, you will need to know your target markets inside and out, in order to define the benefit that will draw them in.
One way to improve your marketing messages is to personalize the appeals. Use testimonials from satisfied customers and anecdotes about situations that your products improved. Emotional appeals are much stronger than factual appeal, regardless of the audience. Of course, the facts and statistics about your product should be available, but a laundry list of data isn’t likely to sway too many consumers.
Focus on showing customers what your products will do for them and how it will make their lives better. We are all pummeled by hundreds of marketing messages each day — make yours stand out, strike a chord, tug on the heartstrings, and leave customers wanting more.…

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Small Business Ideas

The One Essential Ingredient For Starting a Business – Persistence

What is the one thing you must have that will compensate for all other problems, short comings and obstacles you will face in your journey to start your business? Persistence is the only quality you really need to make it through everything else.
It is very simple but that is all it will take. You can be very smart but if you give up too soon you won’t get there. You can have a great idea but if you let negative events cause you to quit you aren’t going to get there.
Lots of people who don’t consider themselves especially smart or gifted or even hard working have achieved their goals just by doggedly moving forward no matter what kind of problem cropped up. Other people who seemingly had everything going for them failed because they decided they couldn’t or didn’t want to follow through to the end.
The key to staying persistent is to know exactly what the end goal is and then break down the steps to get there into small and manageable steps so you can complete each one in sequence and always know you are moving closer to your goal. If you simply resolve not to quit until you complete each step and then always resolve to move on to the next step once you’ve completed the one before you will find it impossible to stop and the path forward will always be clear so that all you will have to do is continue to make a little progress towards your next intermediate goal each day until you reach the very end.
I guarantee that if you are persistent and always look for a solution to whatever problem comes up and refuse to quit until you have gotten what you want then eventually you will get there. It won’t always be easy and it won’t always be smooth but eventually you will get to the end result.
I also promise that wishful thinking and planning without taking action will never result in you achieving the goal. It just doesn’t work that way and there is no reason to expect an exception in your case.
Many people are disappointed to find out there really isn’t a trick or secret that will simply give them everything they want without any work but those people will always be disappointed and complaining that life isn’t fair and that things are too hard. That’s fine.
I think they are wrong, though. What could be fairer than rewarding the people who are willing to do the most and keep at it after others quit with ultimate success?
If you want you can have it no matter what point you are starting from and what point you are aiming at. All it takes is not quitting even when quitting seems like the best option and a lot easier than continuing.
So the only question that remains is are you going to start and once you start are you going to finish? Many already have. Now it is your turn to do it.…

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Profitability

Starting a Small Business? Should You Keep Your Day Job?

To work or not to work during ‘s a tough question for many entrepreneurs. There are two primary pulls either way — a full-time startup gets your full attention and shortens the time to making money, but working during startup keeps the bills paid and provides a back-up plan for the risk of going out on your own. The best option for you depends on a number of factors, and with either method it is essential that you manage your time and money effectively.
Business Type
The type of business you are planning to start is the first consideration in whether to launch full-time or part-time. There are some ventures that require you to be available during the standard workweek — 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. If your current job includes these hours, it may be impossible to get your business off the ground. The best option in those cases is to develop a complete plan for your business while still employed, including a full marketing plan, budget, and beginning to network. The more developed your business idea, the more clear it will be when the best time to commit full-time will be.
Available Capital
The amount of capital you have for your startup is another critical factor. If you haven’t developed a full startup budget yet, do so before you quit your day job. Startup costs are easy to underestimate, especially without working through the details of the business idea. In addition to the actual startup costs, you will need enough cash to keep your personal bills covered. Often, entrepreneurs discover the hard way that the few thousand they thought would be sufficient disappears rapidly once work starts on the they end up going back to work anyway. Set a realistic budget based on a realistic time frame for getting the venture off the ground before you commit to full-time entrepreneur status.
If You Decide to Start Part Time
If you do decide to keep a job while working on your business, your first priority is to get organized. You will have to master time and task management in order to make reasonable progress on your business idea. The odds are that your work hours aren’t the only time consumers on your schedule, so it is critical to establish dedicated blocks of time to focus on your startup. Eliminate as many time killers as possible and consider getting up a few hours earlier or staying up a few hours later to get the venture going.
Do not even consider using your time on another job to work on your startup. In the first place, it is disrespectful and probably a terminable offense. You won’t want your employees working on outside interests on your time, so you shouldn’t either. In the second place, most professional jobs include provisions within the employment contract that deem all of your work product as owned by the company. Thus, if you create a new or innovative product or service using company assets (even your work computer), they may well have a legitimate lawsuit regarding the rights to your ideas.
If You Decide to Start Full Time
If you decide to quit your job and go after your startup full-time, you still need to take control of your time. Especially if you are working from home, it is very easy to be distracted from the business by daily chores, projects that have been awaiting your attention, even the television. Set yourself a clear work schedule and organize your time as you would if you were working for someone else. Your startup will have to be your priority if you are going to succeed, so expect to commit more hours to the venture than any other job. In fact, the average business owner works 65 or more hours per week, and that’s after the startup period!…