1. Tidy up your personal finances before applying for a business loan.
Pay down loans, clean up any bad debts, collect some business-related equipment and save some money.
2. Bring some equity to the table.
Save money, sell some toys, borrow some love money, create something for your business, or get a second or third job for a while.
3. Prove your business case to yourself and to those who will read your business plan.
Persist in your market research efforts until you become ‘the expert’ for your business. Talk to people, ask questions, search the Internet, take courses, read books, listen to tapes, and subscribe to trade publications. You will feel more confident and have an easier time convincing your readers that you know what you are doing.
4. Listen and learn.
Listen to those who agree with you AND to those who do not. Listen to all who shoot holes in your business idea, they might just be pointing you toward success. When you think you’ve heard it all, listen harder!
5. Be honest… and thorough… and accurate.
Missing information or inaccuracies definitely invite questions and send the wrong message. Putting in wrong information or conveniently leaving out . . .Continue reading Twelve Tips For Business Planners
Are your prices high enough to keep you in business?
If you’re self-employed and providing services at prices anywhere near the rates you earned as an employee, you might be missing some of the deadliest hidden costs.
The obvious overhead costs include things such as rent, utilities, advertising, insurance, and office supplies; business expenses not directly related to the production of goods or services. However, there are a few costs that aren’t visible until after your venture is in play. They are easy to overlook, difficult to measure, and they’re seldom factored into the start-up financial projections.
Here are a few expenses to consider when setting your prices.
1. Audits, Fines, Penalties. Taxation and worker safety organizations can call for an audit just about any time. They can also cheerfully penalize you if you happen to be late with your remittances.
2. Downtime. As an employer, you are responsible to provide workers with everything they need to be organized, efficient and productive. Any losses or downtime come right out of your profit.
3. Political, Bureaucratic or Regulatory Changes. As a business owner, you will invest a certain amount in keeping up with changes, and then you will expend money, time . . .Continue reading Deadly Overhead Costs to Consider When Setting Your Prices
A few years ago you could elbow your way into business with a sharp pencil and a calculator. Technology has changed all that. Now it’s hard to imagine writing a business plan or running a business without a computer, email, and the Internet.
A few basic skills in the following areas will make it easier to start or grow a business.
1. Computer. A decade ago, just 10 percent of my business-planning students knew how to use a computer; today more than 90 percent are computer savvy and almost all own computers. If turning on a computer still causes beads of sweat to form on your brow, and if you’re planning to own a business, it’s time to bite the technology bullet and learn how to use a computer.
2. Email. Email has revolutionized business communications. Got a quick question for someone in a different part of the globe? Need an efficient way to communicate with your customers? Want to get a research document mailed to you, fast? Email makes these and many other tasks easy and inexpensive. If you can manage file attachments, you will save even more time and energy.
3. Internet. You have, at your fingertips, . . .Continue reading Basic Skills Ease Start-Up
Age is not always a man or woman’s best friend.
If you’re getting long in the tooth and trying to get a loan to start a business, you might have a tough time borrowing money. Age means more risk for lenders. Unless you have solid, accessible security to offer, or unless you’ve got photographs of your bank manager committing indictable atrocities under the influence of tequila, you are going to have a tougher time nailing down business loans once you’re beyond your prime.
Other issues arise as you approach the 3-digit age bracket whilst simultaneously experiencing wholesale reductions in the number of functioning follicles on your head. For example, you might have less energy as time passes. On the best days we can smugly claim that slow and steady wins the race. I swear by that one more and more lately… But on bad days, there’s no doubt that we simply produce less than we did 10 or 20 years ago.
. . .Continue reading Age Didn’t Stop The Colonel
There’s an aged saying in the business world, “There are three rules of marketing—location, location, location.” If you want to catch fish, you need to position yourself where there’s fish. If the fish can’t find your bait, if customers can’t find your shop, you’re out of luck and probably out of business. No customers, no sales, no go.
Selecting the right location means different things to different businesses. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the right location for your business.
Clarify Your Business Vision. Determine what you see for your business in 1, 3 and 5 years. Envision what size it will be, what sort of traffic you want and who you want for neighbours. Identify Your Target Customer. You need to know who your customers are in order to pinpoint your business location. High foot traffic doesn’t automatically convert to lots of customers. Ensure the foot traffic is comprised of folks who match your customer profile and who will stop by to throw money into your cash drawer. Determine Where The Customer Traffic Is. And then place your business there. This is as true for physical locations as it is for virtual positioning. Whether you’re hoping for . . .Continue reading Ten Points to Consider When Choosing a Business Location
Perseverance is a cornerstone to all business success; in its absence, many new business owners strike out before getting a chance to hit that cherished home run. Success is determined by your drive to succeed, how hard you’re willing to work to get what you want, and having the patience and endurance to stick with your vision until it either bears fruit or proves to be a bad idea.
Perseverance is never easy. The way never seems to be straight forward or clear. It’s up to each entrepreneur to know whether to hold or fold.
It’s not surprising that many owners cut and run just short of success. The path to business success is littered with traps, including disgruntled customers, cash flow shortfalls, burnout, economic downturns, failed partnerships, plain old bad business ideas, and unworkable business models. These are just a few of the demons faced by business owners as they run the gauntlet.
Business killers can beat an entrepreneur down, opening the dark door to a business failure. Most issues can be remedied, and most failing businesses can be turned around if the owner has the vision and the drive to stay the course.
As always, it’s easy to . . .Continue reading Perseverance is the Key to Small Business Success