No Picture
Money

Securing a Business Loan in Rough Economic Times

The turn of the century saw unequaled economic times. Money was cheap and the property markets were humming. As was inevitable, things turned around quickly and the end of the decade saw a financial hangover that hit every part of society. So, the question is can you get a business loan in these rough economic times? Yes, so long as you go about it correctly.
Banks and other lending institutions are extremely risk averse in the current economic state and one would have to know how to approach a bank correctly in order to secure a loan. In general, the following guidelines will bolster your chances of successfully applying for a loan at your bank.
Come up with a solid business plan – Create a detailed business plan that will provide as much information as possible. There is no point in writing up a one page plan which the bank will not even look at. You will need to support your estimated business earnings with facts and a lot of research. Also, be prepared to follow up on your business plan. Many banks these days interact with the loan applicant to seek clarifications on their business plan. They might even ask for a revision or a resubmit and you have to be prepared to do that if you want to stand a chance of getting your loan approved. Also, it is important not to get personal with the bank manager who might seem snooty or untrusting. They are just doing their job and will ask you blunt questions about your business and you and you should answer them objectively. Know your numbers and business forecast inside out.
Be realistic with your loan requirements – Some business owners have the bad habit of asking for more than what they need. This will greatly reduce the chances of getting a loan. If you are however realistic and only request a loan for the amount you need, the bank will appreciate your straightforwardness and integrity which will of course improve your chances of getting a loan.
Patience – In today’s economy, it takes patience to get a bank loan. You will have to be persistent as well. Don’t lose your cool with a couple of rejects as you will probably have to go through a few rejected applications before finally getting the loan that you need. Persistence will pay off, so stick to it.
Angel Investors – if the banks aren’t biting, consider alternative investors. Venture capital funds are not great sources at the moment for funding, but angel investors can still be. Make sure to check them out.
Can you get a business loan in this tough economic environment? Absolutely. The key is to have a vision, back it up with facts and know those facts inside and out before you apply for the funding.…

No Picture
Income

3 Things You Need to Think About Before Starting Your Home-Based Business

For many people, starting a home-based business seems like an easy option. They think that they just have to set up some sort of website and they will make a fortune. They think that they can just roll out of bed, turn on the computer and their profits will just start rolling in. Unfortunately it is just not that easy. A great deal of thought needs to go in to starting your own business.
If you want to work for yourself here are three things that you need to think about.
Will your business idea keep you motivated? There are an infinite number of business ideas available to you if you want to start your own business at home. You need to make sure that you come up with an idea that will keep you motivated. You need to make sure that your business idea will encourage you to get out of bed every day. You should make sure that you start a business in an area that you are interested in.
Do you have the skills to sustain the business? When starting your own business you also need to take in to account your skills. You need to take a realistic assessment of what you are good at and set your sites accordingly. If you aren’t very good at writing you may not want to become an eBook writer. If you aren’t very good at maths, you should probably not set up a bookkeeping business. You need to work out what you are good at and start a business that is related to your skills.
Will people pay for what you want to provide? The final thing that you need to consider is whether people are going to pay for the service or product business that you are starting. It is not a business if you do not make any sales. Don’t waste your time if you are not going to make any money you need to make sure that you do your research before starting your business so that you know that you are building a business from where you will make money.
I am not trying to dissuade you from starting your own business. I am all for you starting your own business. Home-based businesses keep the economy going. I just want to make sure that you are being realistic in your expectations so that you are less likely to fail.…

No Picture
Financial News

The 10 Essential Elements of a Thriving Service-Based Business

So many of us heart-based business owners jump in with our heart, our soul and both feet only to land on… what do I do now? Urghhh… that’s what happened to us when we first started our original “Life Purpose” coaching business. Today we enjoy a thriving, multiple 6-figure business that brings us incredible joy and excitement. So how did we get there? Well, you gotta have a plan – plain and simple!
To support you on your journey as an entrepreneur, here are the top ten elements that are crucial for you to have in place in your business (or at the very least to have in progress).
1) A Burning Desire – Naturally, whether you are starting a business or refueling a current business, the most important element is a deep desire to do it, help people and to have it succeed. Being connected to your purpose and being really clear about why it is important to you will help you get through many frustrations and obstacles along the way.
2) Getting Support – All Around! – We don’t know anyone who wants to have a business completely ALONE. We aren’t meant to do this alone. We are meant to be supported and inspired. That means you need to be sure that the majority of the time, you are doing things that are in your own brilliance, not doing things you don’t like or are just not good at. Remember, what isn’t your brilliance is someone else’s! (So, let them do it for you!)
It also important that you get support from mentors who can guide you through the trials and tribulations of building your business. You can waste a lot of time, as we did:( through trial and error and most likely never get to where you want to be if you try to do it all alone.
3) Attainable Goals that stretch you – There is a real art to goal (or intention) setting and it is important to not only have them, but to also be sure that one 1) you can see yourself attaining them and 2) they are a bit of a stretch for you and move you somewhat out of your comfort zone.
4) Powerful, Strategic Marketing and Business Plans – It’s really important to have a good idea of where you are going, and besides everything is easier when you have a plan, especially if it’s a step-by-step plan. This is where it’s important to not just grab any plan, but to use a plan that has proven results, that others have used successfully and that is applicable to your business.
5) An Authentic, Connecting Message – Are you going around picking up copy from a gazillion other websites to create your “message”? If you aren’t clear about who you are specifically talking to (we call it your “foundational” market) and how to talk to them in a way that really attracts them to you, you can easily have a message that is a homogenization of other peoples messages… and not only is that not authentic, it will not create a connection with you and your ideal client.
When you get clear about who you truly want to help, how you want to make a difference in the world and create your message from there… now that is powerful and connecting!
6) A Strong Sense of Value – Are you still charging by the hour? Do you know the results people get from working with you are worth so much more than what you are currently charging? The value you hold for your own services will affect the type of clients you attract and ultimately the level of success you will have in your business. You must be sure of your own value before others will be sure of it.
7) Clear Ladder of Success for clients – Do you just have one way for people to work with you? It is essential to have multiple ways for people to work with you and your business needs multiple streams of income. Your potential clients are all starting at different places and some will need low cost, no interaction ways to start learning about your work and some people will be ready to just jump right in at the highest level. To create a super strong business structure, you want to include active (one-on-one), leveraged (group) and passive (product) income.
8) Consistent Connection with Your Community – The general numbers are that people need to hear your message an average of 7 and 10 times before they “know, like and trust” you enough to invest in your services. That is one of the reasons you want to be sure to have a way to consistently reach them, share information, help them get …

No Picture
Online Business

Online Home Business Ideas For the Animal Lover

It has been said time and time again, if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. And for the animal lovers that want to earn extra income without leaving their home, here are some online home business ideas that can help give you a nudge in becoming an online entrepreneur.

Online pet clothes and accessories retail – More and more pet owners have started to provide their furry friends with clothes and accessories. The demand has grown tremendously in the past years, and you can earn a profit by selling them online.

Pet Salon – As our pets become closer to us and are generally treated as family members, they too must have proper hygiene. You will need to invest on a few equipment and supplies to get started. You can also get some training to widen the services that you can offer.

Animal Trainer – With a little training of your own, you can learn how to train animals and offer your services online. You can also specialize on certain species to have a more concentrated list of service to offer.

Boarding Kennel – If you have ample space in your backyard, or if you live in a spacious farm, you can build comfortable “suites” for your guests. Many pet owners don’t have anyone to leave their pets with when they go for a trip or vacation and are very willing to pay for boarding to ensure their safety and comfort.

Any of these online home business ideas will require you to be truly passionate about animals, and this will include being patient and dedicated.…

No Picture
The Business

Online Marketing – 7 Myths to Avoid When Setting Up Your Online Business

The number of online businesses has skyrocketed over the last couple of decades. Many people left and right are starting their own business online and trying to making money from their computers. Just because you want to start your own business online does not mean you are going to be successful. Owning any kind of business needs a determined and hard working mindset to to be successful. To make sure you are working in a positive direction, let’s discuss 7 myths about internet marketing — those those beliefs or ideas we must all avoid when setting up our online business. Whether you’ve been working at your business for a while or are just starting out, clarifying these 7 myths will give you a great headstart toward a profitable online business.
Myth 1 – Having a single brilliant idea will make you rich. False — you may come across the best new idea in the world but that does not guarantee you will make money. Many of the most popular and most successful businesses did not start off with one single brilliant idea that launched the business right into being successful. A single idea needs to grow over time; a single brilliant idea has to grow into something bigger to create success. And other ideas will come after that idea expands to its potential.
Myth 2 – If I build an online business, people will come. In the past, some businesses placed a product on the internet and instantly faced some success. But that’s not the norm. You can’t just assume that once you start your online business, you will generate income. Much of your success depends on your marketing — a very essential factor to create big sales. If people don’t know about your business, you will have no customers.
Myth 3 – If you don’t protect your idea, someone will steal it. In reality no one really cares about your idea unless it blows up to be very successful. Other marketers may watch your success grow, but to be successful themselves, they must create their own unique product.
Myth 4 – If you like your product, so will the rest of the world. But in reality what your customers think is much more important than what you and your friends think. If your potential customers don’t like or want your product, it’s time to move on to something else.
Myth 5 – Financial or business models will not help you build a successful business. In fact, if you can find someone who created and successfully marketed a profitable product, you can copy their model to build your own success. A business model will help you plan your strategies and also how much and where you might market your product successfully.
Myth 6 – What you know matters way more than who you know. The people you know and trust can be the key to growing a successful business. They can help you design your product, create your marketing plan, and guide and support you through the process.
Myth 7 – If my product has no competition, I will make lots of money. Again false — If there’s no one out there selling a product like yours, it probably means the market for that product doesn’t exist. Market research before you begin to create the product is probably the most important preliminary step to a successful business. So you must make sure that there are customers out there looking to buy your product.…

No Picture
Small Business Ideas

Small Scale Business Ideas – Starting Your Own Internet Business

Did you know that starting your own internet business, instead of an offline business, is one of the best small scale business ideas that you can explore?
Less costly to start up than a traditional offline business – often thousands of dollars less – an internet business can start small and blossom into a 6 or 7 figure a year venture. How successful it will be depends on many factors, including the skills and resources you acquire, how well you apply up-to-date strategies and tactics, and how much and how fast you can outsource.
The first step is to learn the basics of how to set up an internet business, including how to do market research, set up a simple website with quality content and drive traffic to the site to (hopefully) generate sales.
Unfortunately, there are too many tales of people who spend thousands of dollars on training and ‘how to make money online’ products with little or no results to show in their bank account. Therefore, the most important thing you can do to avoid this trap is to find a reputable teacher who teaches the basics in a clear, step-by-step fashion, and ideally also offers advanced training.
There is a lot of valuable free information about how to start an online business. But it will take you weeks, or months or even years to collect everything you need to know for free. It’s also important to get feedback about what you’re doing right and wrong. So do your due diligence to find someone who seems trustworthy and is definitely a success online to learn from.
Easier said than done? Ask around, on blogs and online forums, to narrow down your choices. Contact the marketers who offer courses to see how they respond to you before you put any money down. Are they receptive and prompt about answering your questions? Can you find positive reviews by other people about what they offer? Can you contact the reviewers to ask more questions and feel sure that you are being given answers that aren’t motivated by commissions they get if you sign up?
There is a lot to consider when choosing the right course and mentor, but it’s well worth your time and effort to find reputable teachers who truly want to help anyone who is keen about starting their own internet business.…

No Picture
Business Ideas

Small Business Success – Don’t Let Your Big Customer Sink Your Business

A big, repeat customer for a new small business can be both a blessing and a curse. The positive side is more obvious-the business establishes an early recurring source of revenue. Since revenue is the lifeblood of any business, what could be wrong with that? Nothing, if you don’t stop there.
Any new small business owner will tell you that there is never enough time to do everything he or she knows they need to do to grow their business. In addition to fulfilling customer orders, there are personnel issues, the website and other marketing activities, and an unbelievable number of administrative tasks that must be done even if they don’t help to grow the business.
It seems perfectly logical to focus on just that one big customer when keeping up with that customer’s orders is taking all of your time. After all, you have too much work to do now. Why go out and look for new customers? Wouldn’t it be better to just take care of the business you have? The answer is ‘absolutely not.’ Don’t fall into that trap.
Of course you want to take care of your big customer. But you cannot stop there even for a short time. Doing so becomes a habit and a way of life for too many small business owners. Remember, if you only have one customer, no matter how big, you don’t have a business, you have a job. Eventually it will become clear that you have no leverage and no control even over the fate of your own company.
To drive this point home, imagine that your new business gets off to a great start. You land that big customer that everyone would want and you take care of them like no other. Your business grows, you’re hiring people, taking on more office space, profits are strong and you’re living the American dream. Then, after three years, they still account for 80% of your business and suddenly something changes. For any of a hundred reasons, you’re notified that your number one customer will be your customer no more.
Within 90 days, you lay off more than half your staff, take a pay cut and are negotiating with an unsympathetic landlord to take back some of the office space. As you sit in your office alone at night with your head in your hands, you say to yourself, ‘If only we had gone after other customers when we had the chance.’ This story and this pattern are far too common among small business owners. It leaves previously successful small business leaders feeling betrayed, humiliated and defeated.
Regardless of your success with any given customer, it is essential that you build a broad base of customers as if your business depends on it-because it does. To ensure that your team gets behind this goal include “number of new customers” as a metric in your incentive compensation or bonus plans. As the business owner, delegate less important tasks and stay involved in both the ‘big’ customer account and the effort to bring in new customers. If you’re just starting a business, be sure that in your business plan outline you demonstrate how you will pursue a broad customer base.
Be sure that your small business plan and operating plan make a commitment to developing a diversified base of customers. This is a winning long term strategy. In doing so, you’ll even out the ups and downs in revenue and profitability. This will serve you well if you ever seek a small business loan or line of credit. You’ll be creating a business with a higher valuation and one that delivers stability and peace of mind to its employees and owners. Make sure your small business plan includes a commitment to building a broad base of customers.…