The best way to find small business start-up money is to begin with yourself. First, determine what you need. Then find the money. Most small businesses are initally funded by their owners. It's the quickest way to get your small business off the ground. Learn more about Self-Financing.
Other sources include using outside money, which is difficult to get if you don't plan correctly. These come in three forms: (1) debt financing, (2) equity financing, and (3) grants. Debt financing are loans furnished to you that you must pay back, along with interests. Equity financing is money granted to you in exchange for partial ownership in the company. Grants are money given to you with no strings attached, except following the donor's guidelines.
Loan financing sources include the getting money through Friends, Family, & Acquaintances, and Banks. Key pointers are located in Small Business Loans.
You can learn about equity financing through Business Investors.
Learn about small business grants using Small Business Start-up Grants.
Done right, finding small business start-up money can be an efficient process and help you jumpstart your company.
Posted on February 18
If we could, we'd take "business supplies" out back, and trash it. Many entrepreneurs starting out get too caught up with buying the latest and greatest supplies because the marketers promised them great rewards. Soon, you see them become a statistic because of their high overhead. So how do you find out what you need? Here's a good approach I use: First, focus on your business's purpose. Where are you trying to head in a month, in a year, in 30 years? Write it down. Next, go there.
Once you're running toward your destination, you'll figure out what you need along the way. It's that easy, and you'll save up for necessary equipment as you get further along the road.
Buy only what you need, when you need it.
Posted on February 18
There are many small home business opportunities that promise enormous rewards. The fact is, a lot of these products are just hype. There are no get rich quick schemes. Building a successful small home business opportunity requires hard work. This requires you to surround yourself with people who have already been there, and done that. It's better to not reinvent the wheel, but to learn from others' past experiences.
One of the most successful small businesses requires that you don't need to be there 24/7 to do the work. That's why creating a web site with quality content with links to affiliates, or quality content with paid advertisements, is a great small home business opportunity.
To build this successful small home business, it requires you to find out what you enjoy. What do you do in your spare time? What do you look forward to most when you wake up every morning? This will give you a good insight into picking a small home business that fits with your abilities.
Posted on February 18
What do you do when you want to start your own online home based business? You learn from others who have succeeded in it. The overwhelming number of these people who start successful online home base businesses monetize their knowledge. One of the ways to do this is to build a web page where you can add your own knowledge to it.
It's that easy. But it also requires a lot of patience, and a lot of hard work. How it works is you create a web page about a subject that you enjoy, then add affiliate links or advertising programs such as Google AdSense to the content of your writing. The more content you have on your web page, the better the chance a user will find it through a search engine. Thus, you increase your chances of higher revenues.
Most people who successfully start successful online home based businesses first find out what they enjoy doing. They find out what they look forward to most when they get up every morning. They find out their hobby. They find out the section they go to most in a bookstore. When you can find something that you enjoy writing passionately about, you can not only build a successful online home based business, but you can also make your life that much more enjoyable.
Posted on February 18
Most new entrepreneurs believe when starting a business that they must find the perfect idea. As time passes though, they'll find out that those opportunities - like all opportunities - are only temporary. Instead, good entrepreneurship begins with discovering your talents and your passions.
Once you find out what makes you tick, you'll have a better sense of where to take your business.
What you should do first
Begin with yourself, with a true sense of who you are, where you thrive, and what you love. Use the following Action Steps (adapted from Good to Great):
Make a list of everything you're passionate about - things that you look forward to do when you wake up (e.g. computers, rock climbing, cooking, teaching).
From this list, narrow it down to what you were born to do--things you have the potential to be the best in the world (e.g. cooking, rock climbing).
From the final cut, pick the remaining item that you can make money doing (e.g. cooking).
When you have this final list, you'll have a good understanding of the type of industry that suits you when starting a business. This deters you from focusing yourself on a single idea, and instead, lets you build a business based on your values and your passions.
Action step: Based off the final cut, decide on your business. Write it down.
Posted on February 18
We used to believe that a writing a small business plan that's exceptional will create a great company. We were wrong. Entrepreneurs who spend months writing a small business plan will throw it all out when they're working on their businesses.
Don't Spend Too Much Time Planning
Yes, planning is good; it helps you understand your market, your potential customers, suppliers, vendors, market expectations, pricing, etc. However, don't get too stuck on building a perfect business plan. Unless you'll be applying for bank loans or soliciting investors where you will need a formal business plan, you don't want to spend too much time on this stage as things will change when you're executing.
What You Should Do Instead
The only essential tool you'll need is to understand with clarity where you want your business to be in five years.
Action step: Write down your goal, then describe how your company will look in detail. Now, staple this single sheet to the wall of your desk.
(You'll have a better understanding of your goal if you've answered the question in Step 1: What makes you tick?)
Once you have can see your goal sheet everyday, you're ready. Go out and reach it. That, we've found, is the absolute best business plan.
By writing a single-sheet business plan (a.k.a 5-year business goal), you won't need to worry about finding money, a great idea, technology equipment, or employees during this initial stage. By focusing solely on your 5-year goal, you'll be filling in the gaps as you go (e.g. buying needed equipment, hiring employees, etc.). This helps you save your funds until you only need it to reach your 5-year goal.
Posted on February 18
Make sure you choose the right small business computer because it will be your best friend. You don't need the latest and greatest technology when looking for a small business computer. Unless you absolutely know you need it, it's better to keep a tight budget while not skimping on features. Deciding on a laptop or desktop? Here are some pointers.
Why a Laptop
Get one if you travel frequently. This is not confined to cross-country trips for client meetings. If you tend to bring your work home from the office, or to your morning coffeehouse, a laptop computer may be for you.
The main drawbacks to laptops is that it's a little more expensive than desktops for the same features, and it can be stolen easily if you're not careful. Another drawback is that laptops have sealed parts, limiting you of having the latest computer components. Further if it breaks, your repair prices will be hire than if you had a desktop. A laptop with at least 1.0 GHz Pentium III, 128MB RAM, and 20GB hard drive computer laptop will do just fine. It should come with a good warranty service.
Why a Desktop
If you don't plan on traveling a lot, a desktop will suit you for its higher power and affordability. A desktop computer is also a good choice if you will be doing intensive graphic design work, or using multiple applications at the same time. A desktop with at least 2.0 GHz Pentium III, 256MB RAM, and 40GB will be fine for most small business entrepreneurs.
Don't hold back on purchasing extra years of warranty service if you have the budget. The security of having a healthy computer lets you focus fully on your core business without any downtime.
Posted on February 17
It seems someone forgot to tell newspaper executives what business they were in. The industry is plummeting, big-time. Mostly, online classifieds such as Craigslist or other online listings such as eBay is leading the charge against newpaper revenues. So what did happen?
- They failed to confront their brutal realities.
The internet age brought a whole new landscape for people to get their information. Recently, with the arrival on smart phones connected to the World Wide Web, people don't -- and won't -- need to go far to access information. With newspapers, people are confined to getting the latest news the next day. How will you compete with real-time news, when you're sending information a day late? More importantly, how will you compete with free information that's distributed online as it happens?
Newspaper revenue model stinks.
The newspapers of course make their change on ads displayed on their papers. These could be classifieds or display ads. Why does this revenue model stink? It reminds me of the World Wide Web 1999. Think about the unfocused, untargeted banner ads flashing on websites. Google's targeted ad listings through their search results, also known as AdWords, crushed that banner advertising craze.
The newspaper companies are still in that 1999 mode, with their untargeted advertising. Yes, it's doing okay now because local search (e.g. Google Local) hasn't been adopted by the mainstream just yet. Once the average Joe does adopt it--and it will happen--watch for a major shift in advertising budgets.
- The forgot the dreaded question: "What business are we really in?"
If executives had posed this question early, they wouldn't be attacked by seemingly harmless "hobby" sites such as Yahoo, Craigslist, and eBay. Newspaper companies such as the New York Times or the San Jose Mercury News need to take a hard look at the railroad industry -- and what happened to its fate.
The railroad companies, thinking it had a monopoly on getting people from Point A to Point B, forgot its real line of business: transportation. Executives were seemingly too stubborn to accept that fact; the car industry soon took them by storm. It's never recovered since, and it never will.
The same thing is happening to the newspaper companies. It won't happen anytime soon, but it's heading there: Newspapers will become obsolete. The industry needs to realize what business it's really in: information.
Once executives understand that, they'll be more prepared to run their companies -- instead of making faulty acquisitions and firing thousands of workers.
Don't let that happen to your business.
Posted on January 07