Thursday, August 30, 2007

Funding Your Business Venture



It is very common for entrepreneurs to have problems finding capital for their start up business. If you are one of those entrepreneurs who can not seem to find money to get your business going, do not lose hope. There is always a way to find some money to serve as start up capital for your business.

Going To The Bank

The best source for capital for your business is the bank. Explore the possibilities of getting a loan from one of the commercial banks near you. Although commercial banks are often reluctant to provide loans for start up business, there is always a possibility that the bank will let you borrow some money especially if you have a very good credit history. Banks are always open to negotiations when it comes to people with very good credit history.

So draw up that business plan and then go to the bank and try to sell the business plan to them. You will never know if they will buy it or not unless you give it a try. If the bank will not give you a loan based on your good credit history alone, you can pledge a security for the loan. If you have some real estate properties, you can use these real estate properties as collateral for the
loan
. ust be very careful about using your home as collateral for your loan because you might end up without a roof over your head if your business fails.

In case you do not have any properties that you can use as collateral for the loan, explore the possibilities of getting a government guaranteed loans. The US Small Business and Administration has loans programs for entrepreneurs so ask around and learn more about these loans programs. The good thing about these loans programs that are guaranteed by the government is that, you will most likely be required to put up minimal collateral to secure the loan.

What is more interesting about these types of loans is that the interests are usually very low and the terms of payments are easier compared to the standard commercial loan.How can you qualify for government secured loans? If you are really interested about these government guaranteed loans, you should go to the proper authorities and ask for information. You may also go online and search for some information about these government loans programs.

Getting Money From Other Sources

If you cannot get any money from the bank, your next option would be to borrow money from friends and relatives. If your parents happen to have some extra money stashed away in their savings account, ask them to lend you some money to get you started. Just make sure that you pay them back promptly so that they will still lend you money the next time you needed additional capital for your business.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Choosing To Stay At Home For Your Business


Making the right choice for your business in regards to whether you want to stay at home or invest in some type of building is sometimes a difficult one, especially when you look at some of the disadvantages. Certainly, you save money working at home but at the same time, many people are faced with the dilemma of people knowing they are working at home and think they are free to run all their errands for them.

This is especially a problem for women who may have friends who work jobs away from home and do not seem to have time to do the things that they need to do after work. They find it difficult to comprehend that even though your business is at home, you have just as much work to do as they do. For many business owners, this seems to be a difficult situation and they find themselves finding it difficult to say no except for perhaps the day care provider who would have to drag several children along to run chores for friends and family.

On the other hand, if your business does not require a separate facility, its much cheaper to operate out of your home than to go to the expense of investing in a separate locality. You have to be careful because some counties have deed restrictions that prohibit you from operating some types of businesses and you will need to apply for a variance. In most cases, these restrictions are the result of potential increases in traffic or parking problems because of your business venture.

This may be a problem if you are planning to open a retail shop over your garage since there is likely to be a constant flow of traffic to and from your home. The same may also hold true for a secretarial service because even with appointment times you are liable to have people who want to drop in to deliver or pick up projects and you may not wish to turn them away. Working your business at home if you have young children can be troublesome because of the amount of distractions.

If you consider doing it to avoid daycare costs, you should rethink your analogy unless your home business is one that you can do as you see fit such as in the field of freelance writing and editing. If you have clients coming to your home or you perform freelance legal or medical transcription, you will need to be available during the daytime to perform these functions and you will need to be free of distractions.

That means you will still want to place your children in daycare if they are under school age. If they are in school, you may still want to consider after school care unless they are older and able to come home and participate in quiet activities until you have finished work for the day.



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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Benefits of Joining A Small Business Organization



A lot of new small business entrepreneurs feel that they are too busy with their work that joining organizations is but a waste of time. If you are one of those entrepreneurs who cannot be bothered about joining small business organizations, you need to revise your opinion fast. There are many benefits that you can derive from joining these small business outfits. In fact, many small business entrepreneurs were able to bring their business into a new level by joining one of these organizations.

Networking

One of the most notable benefits that you can get by joining other small businesses is that you will be able to meet a lot of people who are also engaged into business. Always remember that networking is very important when it comes to getting exposure for your business. Meeting a lot of people in your own industry is very important because this could lead you to new opportunities. Besides, you might meet somebody on one of these small business meetings who will be interested to invest into your business. Note that there have been so many cases of people getting good investors for their businesses during small business organization meetings.

Spotting Business Opportunities

Joining a small business organization will open a lot of doors for you. If you are always alert to new opportunities, you will most likely stumble into a gold mine during one the meetings that you attend. Always remember that it is not uncommon for business owners to outsource some of the work that they can no longer handle. If you are a member of a small business and somebody out there is looking for somebody who could do some jobs that he or she could no longer handle, then you are in the best position to offer your services to your fellow members. Since your fellow members know you, they will most likely consider your offer and establish a long term business relations with you and your company.

Opportunity For Learning

Remember, beign member of any organization gives you a good opportunity to learn. Most organizations sponsor seminars and workshops every now and then so you can easily upgrade your knowledge. In most cases, these organizations send newsletters to their members so you will not have any problems when it comes to keeping abreast with the latest developments in your industry. On the other hand, talking and exchanging business ideas and experiences with the other members of the organization will greatly enhance your business knowledge. Note that there are many members of the organizations who are willing to share their business experiences with their fellow members so you will most likely pick up some very important tips every now and then.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Advertising Ideas For Your Home Business


Advertising is probably the single most important aspect of any business but this is especially true of the home business. One of the reasons for that is because its not out in
the open where everyone can see that you have a business, so the only way they are going to find out is by reading your advertisements. Its important to know how to utilize advertising to your advantage and how to use it in a way that will be the most beneficial for your business.

It does not matter if your home business is online and simply a concept that you operate from home such as a hair salon, child care center, remodeling business or any other kind of business that does not require you to have an office away from home. Depending upon the nature of your business, you may find that certain types of advertising models work better than others. For example, if your business is based in your local area, you may find that local media advertisements work best.

This advertising scheme may include radio advertisements, televisions advertising, flyers, newsletters, direct mailing and even personal contact with those who might benefit from your expertise. On the other hand, if you have an online business you may have better luck with email advertisements such as opt in lists or even a signature line in every email you send out, notification to those you know will be interested, classified advertisements and other types of online advertising schemes.

Advertising is also likely to be one of your most important expenses. If you want your business to succeed, do not take short cuts with advertising costs. Many people, especially when it concerns an online business, try to get by with free advertising sites and though this may save you money in the beginning, it will cost you in the end. After all, you know that you get what you pay for. So free ads are not likely to produce the same results as a paid advertisement.

In the case of online ads, the paid ads get a better spot in the advertising scheme and often have bold headings and special ranking that puts them in front for everyone to see. Even with newspaper advertising, you get a different type of advertisement for a higher price and the key is to draw attention to your advertisement and make people want to read it. If you have a website, you have the best advertising tool that the Internet has to offer.

The right website gives you the highest rankings with the search engines and thus assures you that more people will see your presence. By the law of averages, the more people who visit your site, the better the chances that someone is going to be interested in the goods
or services you have to sell. You may only have one chance to make it work, so make it your best effort.

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

How To Form A Weekly Business Plan



Reading is becoming a lost art but reading a business plan can be very boring. Business plans are important, especially to the boss or a perspective business associate. It is best to get the facts and figures out there and not lose your audience in doing so. A contents list is a good place to start. If someone is looking for something in particular, they will know where to begin looking. In order for them to locate the information, make sure you number your pages and use a consistent heading plan.

Business strategies should be developed and progress as the project goes along. They should summarize the project as you go through each week. This would also be a good place to include the original idea for the project. Be sure to include the current status of the project. In the financial section of the report, you should include the weekly expenditures
and show the progression to the overall project expenditures.

Use Simple charts to show trends but avoid complex spreadsheets. These should be put in an appendix in the back of the plan. Included in this section should be projected income statements, cash flow forecasts, balance sheets and analyses. Remember the simpler, the better.A marketing section should be included in your report. This can show regional
competition and how you will differ from them.

A marketing analysis is a good move. Your sales plan should be based on the sales projections with current market values. You should be as explicit as possible. Do not load this section with phrases such as first to market, customer driven etc. Describe your plans or ideas as simply as possible. This section should include your plans about management teams and operational issues. These issues include production and delivery.

Using different font sizes, types, and colors will give your report an eye catching appeal. Be sure to use the spell checker. Nothing takes away from a report more than a misspelled word. Getting a second opinion from a qualified outsider is also a good idea. Now that you have completed your report, you need to include a summary or conclusion section. Its time to wrap up the report with a positive view of your business or project.

Limit your conclusion in a few short paragraphs that are well drafted. This should be
written once your report is completed. At this time, you might want to check for a few small details. Is this plan good, presentable and grammatically correct? Is the funding reasonable and the expenses correct? Have all questions been answered? Once you are satisfied with your report, get a second opinion. It is likely you will need to do several revisions. Remember that this is your business, so put your best foot forward.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

How To Create A Monthly Business Plan



Running your own business is tough enough with all the work that needs done and staying organized in order to meet your business goals can be time consuming. There is an old saying that says a failure to plan is planning to fail and any business plan you may have assembled may be fine to get your business off the ground, but day to day planning will help insure you meet the overall planned goals.

However, large scale planning is similar to eating an elephant and has to be done one bite at a time. You will need to learn how to create a monthly business plan, as accomplishing things on a monthly basis will help keep you on track to meet annual goals. If your business is not planned properly for every month of the year, the 12 month totals can not be met. Beginning by breaking down your year into 12 equal bites will help you focus on different aspects of the business as well as planning ahead.

For example, your business is in retail there will be holidays throughout the year that will affect it and if you do not plan accordingly, sales will not be available. Selling Christmas ornaments for instance, if you do not plan to have them available at least two, possibly three months ahead of time, when they do arrive it may be too late to sell them as most everyone will already own them. Your business, regardless of what it is will have cycles during which different things will affect its popularity.

Your business plan should be created one month at a time but at least three months ahead of time. Meaning, whatever you plan to do in April should be part of your January monthly business plan. While not everything can be planned 90 days ahead, having it noted on your plan in January to plan for lawn services to begin in April will give you enough time to get it done before all the lawn service companies are booked and can not get to your lawn.

The monthly business plan should be set up similar to your profit and loss statement with expected income and expenses with contingencies available for unplanned events. You should also include in your monthly business plan corrections to anything that did not go the way you expected it to go so that when planning the following years monthly calendar you are reminded of what did not work and avoid repeating the mistake.

These corrections of errors can also help prevent someone else repeating the mistakes if for some reason you delegate the plan writing to someone who was not involved when the mistakes occurred. While the monthly business plan is important, it can start as an outline and be filled in as the plans for daily and weekly business operations are finalized. They can then be rolled up into the monthly business plan and subsequently into quarterly and annual plans.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Building A professional Business Website


When you have a business, no matter what you are selling or offering, a website is an absolute must. Most of the world is online in some way or another now and if you truly want to compete in the world market when it comes to your business, you had better be online as well or you will find that you are left behind. However, because being online is so popular and because lots of people have web space now, it is often hard to get a good page and it is often hard to make sure that you are actually finding a web site that can make you look good.

This is especially true if you are not able to build your own website. You can either pay a lot of people to do something for you, which might cost you money and might be frustrating or you can design a simple and nice page for yourself using frontpage, which is very easy to do and does not take a lot of skill. Why Is It Easy? There are many reasons that frontpage is going to be easy for you to do. First of all, it is just like designing a word document. You do not have to have any knowledge of html or any of the coding.

You can type the words in like you would in a word document and you can import pictures and other graphics in the same way. When it comes to , linking, it is very simply to link sentences or words to other pages. It is simply one of the easiest ways to create a simple website. Also, another easy thing about frontpage is that once you have a site created, you can import it to any web space. This means that you can simply buy a web site and create your site on your front page and then publish it to the web space. You do not have to worry about learning any code or doing anything that you would not normally be able to do.

Even though the web sites created with frontpage might not be the top of the line when it comes to technology and neat web spaces, you will find that you can make very clean, simple and nice looking sites. If you are just starting out with your home business, this is something that you might want to explore because you can find that your own web site that you can update by yourself, no matter how simple it might be, is going to be worth it while you see what kind of web traffic you are going to have when your business starts to grow. This is something that you can do on your own to help your business.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

How To Be Successful With Your Home Business


With the growth of internet and commerce, working at home has become extremely popular, as many have found they have the time and energy to work around other family schedules. However, for a person just beginning a new job working from home, it may pay to read about the experiences others have had before making the decision to put an office in the home.

There are many books on home businesses that can help get started and help you through the process of setting up your home office and how to deal with those who do not understand what you do for a living. One of the first books you should look for are those who help you decide if a home business is right for you. Not everyone will be able to operate a home business and if you are the type that requires someone to remind you of deadlines and are happier when someone gives you a task to complete and lets you do it, then a home business may not be right for you.

It requires self discipline to operate a home business and while you may have all the experience needed to do the job you are starting, you may not have the other knowledge to be successful at running your own business. When you work for someone else, there are people that take care of most aspects of the business. Accounting, to handle bills and income as well as supplies and advertising are all parts of any business and while you may not need to be an expert at those positions, reading a few books on home businesses can help you understand what you need to know to be successful.

Having the right equipment in your office will make the paperwork part of running a home business easier and more convenient and a book on organization may be needed. Take a look around the house and the areas that have been in your control. If there are places that may qualify for disaster relief, you will need some help in organizing and setting priorities.
Before you go online to buy books on home businesses, visit your local library or books store and see what others have to say. Many of the offerings online are e books written by people whose only experience in a home business is writing a book on it and selling it online.

Find books by true entrepreneurs who took time and idea, started a business in their home and became successful. Even those who started small stores and grew them into major chains can be of help in developing the business relations that may be important to running a successful home business. While the markets they catered to may be different, their books on home businesses can be adapted to fit most any business model and can show you some of the obstacles you will likely run into as well as tips on removing them.






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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

How To Grow Your Business


One of the key things that you have to keep in mind when you have a home business is that the businesses that are successful are going to be the ones that grow and change with the times. If you have a business that stays the same no matter what happens in the world, you might find out that this is not nearly as successful as it could be.

The main reason that businesses that grow and change are able to succeed is that people want to know that they are going with a business that keeps up with technology and the world around it. There are so many things that are changing in the world every day and people are aware of these things. This means that the businesses that they choose to go with are going to be the businesses that do the same thing, those that grow and change with the times. People are going to gravitate towards these businesses, so you should be sure that you are one.

There are many ways that you can make sure that you are growing and changing with the times. The first thing that you have to do as the business owner is be sure to be aware of what is going on in the world. You should make sure that you have a reliable source which can keep you informed of the field your business is in. Whenever there is new technology, or whenever something changes you should be sure to change along with it. Also, you want to keep your eye on the rest of the world, because depending on your product, you might want to change it as fads and styles change as well.

This is especially important if you are selling products. People like to have products that look new and look interesting. This means that you might have to update the way that your products look and if you can be sure to keep up with the times and make yourself one of the businesses that is able to succeed with the times, you are going to find that you are better able to compete in the world market today.

No matter what you are selling and no matter what kind of business you have, you should know that growing with the times and changing when you have to is the only way to make sure that your business is one of the ones that is actually here to say. If you want to give yourself a chance, be sure to do whatever you can to keep informed and to grow and change with the times. This is the best way that you can be a success.





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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Home Based Business Benefits


Many feel they are comfortable with the life and job they currently have. However, when you consider the benefits you can have by changing from your current job to a life of a home based business owner you may join the many that are considering this option today.
Depending on how focused you work you could complete a weeks worth of work in just two days and have the rest of the week to spend with family or doing your favorite hobby.

In addition, home based businesses are very mobile so should you need to travel or take a vacation you can easily take your work with you. People often do not realize how much of their day is spent working until they have a home based business and realize how much extra time they have available.

When working a regular job you likely find yourself spending two or more hours a week commuting from home to your workplace. Will it not be great to never have to do this again. You can be your own boss which means a business allows you to get up at the hour you want and there is no commute time to worry about. In addition, you can set your own vacation times and determine how much you are going to make.

If you prefer having things planned out then a home based business is likely a good option for you. With a traditional job you do have your boss planning out everything for you. With a home based business you can follow a simple marketing system. In addition, following this system does not require experience so you can make a lot of money without having to go back to school to do so.

The most common home business is direct sales. With this system you can have a job that is designed to benefit you and many have seen financial freedom through this industry. You can easily get serious results with this business if you are an ambitious person. With this job you can work three to four hours a day and you can easily get your currently annual salary in a monthly income.

Perhaps the greatest benefit aside from the income of a home based business is the ability to have freedom. You can choose to live where you want and you will be able to work there. No more selecting a house based on its proximity to where you work. In addition, there is freedom to live your lifestyle however you want. Take a vacation when you want and set your own hours.

Those who receive the greatest benefits of a home based business are families. You can work just a few hours in the morning or evening and have the entire day free to spend in rewarding activities with you family. This way you will be there for every day of your childs life and not have to worry about missing anything important.



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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Successful Home Business Ideas



Sure you want to start a home business, who does not? The hours are going to be great and you are going to see that you can actually work from home and make just as much money as you are making now without any worries about having to go to work on snow days or go to work when you are not feeling well. Working hard has a different meaning when you are working for yourself and this is why a lot of people turn to home business after they have struggled so long in the regular business world. They simply want more freedom and they want to be their own boss. Who can blame them?

Big Idea

However, with so many people entering the home business market, the fact remains that there are simply a lot of home businesses and not all of them are going to be making a profit. So how do you pick one that is going to appeal to you and how do you pick one that is actually going to succeed?

Steps To Finding It

There are many ways that you can go about finding a home business idea that will fit your needs and will be a success. However, the best thing that you can do is think about the two factors of what you already can do. Number one, you need to figure out what you are really good at, the things that you can simply do better than most of the people around you.

Then, think about what you really love to do, such as a hobby or something that you love to do in your spare time. Once you have these two things, brainstorm ways that you can fit them together. This might be the key to your big home business idea, because the best businesses are going to be the ones that people enjoy running.

The people who love what they do are going to be the ones that do it best and that is for sure. Remember as well, in order to have a successful home business, you either need to be providing someone with a service or you need to sell something to people. These are the two broad categories that you have to make sure your home business fits into.

If you can not be sure that you are either selling something or providing a service, your home business might not be on the right track. There are lots of people that are going to be doing what you do, no matter what you choose to do for your home business. The last thing that you have to do to make sure that you have the big idea that is going to work is see if you can figure out a way to make your big idea better and bigger than anyone elses. Then, you might be able to be successful.



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