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Category Archives: Business

Business Start-Up and Rent

Business Start-Up and Rent: 4 Costs You Can Expect

1. Legal/Licensing Costs: These can be pretty substantial depending on whether you are buying a franchise or not. The largest cost would be your franchise fee. Then you have to consider what license and permits you will need to operate your business and whether you will be incorporating or not. And of course there is always the lawyer’s fee.

2. Building and Supplies: This is another large investment for business start-up and rent. You will need to find a place to lease or purchase for your business. Depending on the space, remodelling may be required. Then there is all of your equipment, office supplies, furniture, inventory and signage. Don’t forget to consider whether or not you will need a company vehicle. You will also need to pay set-up fees for your utilities.

3. Operating Cash: The majority of new businesses are not profitable in the first few months, sometimes the first year because they have accumulated so much debt to get off the ground that there is nothing left over for profit. Because of this it is important to have enough operating cash to cover transactions, inventory replenishment and salaries for the first few months.

4. Marketing Costs: It is great to have your own business but if you do not have a marketing plan and budget it will be very hard to get exposure for your business. Marketing costs should always be included in business start-up and rent considerations. You will want to advertise locally through paper ads, radio and classifieds. Don’t forget about the Internet. Today’s consumers are online and if you can not be found on the World Wide Web than you are missing out on a huge segment of the population. Internet marketing, if done properly, can give you far more leads than traditional methods.

The Cheapest Way To Have Your Own Business

When all of the business start-up and rent costs are taken into account many people end up holding off on their dreams of having their own business until they are in a better financial situation. If you want to begin your own business but can not afford the start-up costs you may want to look online. Many people are turning to the Internet for a home based business. An Internet based business is defiantly the way to go. It is recession proof since the internet does not depend on the economy to thrive, it has very low start up costs, it requires no special licenses or permits plus you can run your business out of the comfort of your own home. This is also a great way to receive wonderful tax benefits since your home is also your place of work.

Danger it Holds For a New Business

The only thing that stopped her is her own lack of interest in putting aside all of her other interests to devote her whole attention to chocolate-making. When she spots a promising location, she daydreams for a moment. Then she remembers the commitment of money in renting the space, the extra equipment she’d have to buy, the time she’d have to put in, and the intensive planning and promoting she’d have to do to ensure it made money and didn’t turn into nothing more than an expensive hobby.

When your thoughts of starting a business include a physical location, startup costs, devoting specific times to running it, and the number-crunching to determine if you can make a profit, you’re forced to do some genuine planning. The risks are too high if you don’t.

That’s why the Internet can be a dangerous place to start a business. The barriers to succeeding aren’t obvious. You can be tempted to overlook them.

You don’t have to commit hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month to securing a physical location. A few bucks for a domain name and some lost-cost hosting takes care of that.

You don’t have thousands of dollars invested in equipment or inventory. In some Internet business models, you can start without paying a cent for either.

You don’t have specific store hours to keep. You’re free to assume (and many scammers online are quick to assure you) that a few hours of “spare time” will generate a hands-free money machine that requires no further effort.

And with that illusion of easy money, the tough work of planning how you’ll make your business profitable seems totally unnecessary.

Saying that the illusion of no-effort success makes the Internet a dangerous place to start a business, though, does not mean you shouldn’t do it. People succeed at building profitable businesses on the Internet. They’re the ones, though, who put the same effort and planning into it that a prospective business owner would put into starting a brick-and-mortar business.

Plan for your success instead of expecting it to come up and bite you on the butt. Recognize the costs you’ll have to face and the effort you’ll need to put into promoting your business to make it succeed. Become a true businessperson and not just a tirekicker.

You can succeed starting out your business in your spare time, but you have to use that spare time with a purpose and a plan. Now, that may sound too hard to those who cling to the dream of no-effort riches. But there’s very little I know that can match the sense of accomplishment that comes from guiding a business through those barriers to profitability. And it’s there for those who are willing to make the effort.

Ingredients For Success

Desire:

Starting and successfully running your own business is never easy – if it was everyone would be a business owner. Even in the best of times, starting a business means you will be in for a lot of long hours and difficult challenges. To make it through these challenges you must have a burning desire to fulfill your dream of being a business owner. If it’s just a wish or an interesting thought, you will probably not make it through the hard times.

If you are happy at your current job and satisfied with your income, starting a business may not be for you – at least for now.

So ask yourself, specifically, why do you want to start your own business?

Do you have a great idea for a product or service that excites you just to think about it? Do you have the desire to control your own destiny?

If it is just the desire to make more money you may do quite well – in the beginning. But once you reach your initial financial goals you may find you don’t really enjoy running the business you created. You may discover it was the dream of a certain amount of money that drove you, not your passion for the business, it’s products or its customers. If that is the case you may find you get bored or burnt out very quickly.

Right now you may not know exactly what type of business you want to own. And that’s just fine. But before you actually invest your time and money in a business, make sure it revolves around a product or service you enjoy dealing with.

Know How:

Most of what you need to know about starting and running a small business can be learned.

Two things to keep in mind when it comes to knowledge and expertise.

First, you will not be an expert in every aspect of your new business from day one. The learning will never end.

Secondly, you don’t have to learn everything. As you grow you can hire people or outsource certain jobs that you don’t do well or are not qualified to do.

Lack of knowledge should never be an excuse not to pursue your dream of being a business owner.

Always be willing to learn all you can on your own and get help with the rest.

Your Money:

As you research different types of businesses that you can start, one issue you will have to look closely at is startup costs. Banks are not in the habit of making large loans to new small businesses.

The type of business you start will depend in large part on how much of your own money you can put into the business up front. Cash savings, loans from family members and home equity loans are some of the more common ways people find the money to begin their business.

The more you are willing to do yourself the less you will have to spend up front. And while the “do it yourself” method is a great way for you to learn everything about your business, it will mean slower growth at the start – there is only so much one person can do in a day.

Certain types of businesses can be started with a relatively small amount of cash. Good examples are service businesses like plumbing or a/c and heating contractors. If you have worked in this field you probably already have tools and a truck, not to mention lots of experience. You could start out as a one man operation buying parts and supplies as you acquired customers thereby keeping you up front cost to a minimum.

Start Internet Business

In providing yourself with a positive internet business opportunity, firstly as how a successful internet marketer thinks, you have to be realistic on your goal and intention. People do make it big in the internet home business job scope but it doesn’t happen for them without needing them to put in substantial effort and time. Therefore, on how to start internet business like a real successful internet marketer, you have to realize that it doesn’t happen overnight and significantly an amount of effort, dedication, motivation time as well as perspiration have to be given it to really make the big bucks online.

If you are unable to set this unrealistic mindset, it is always advisable that you approach the internet home business on a smaller scope. What this means is that even thou an internet business opportunity could bring you big bucks eventually, you should never harbor and overwhelm yourself with that kind of thinking at start. If you are only learning the ways on how to start online business for the sake of making the money but not because you enjoy doing it, it is better that you rethink it over again. Like any businesses, making money will eventually comes easy if only you enjoy and ignite the passion in whatever activities you will be doing.

As easy as it sounds to building your own internet home business, it is equally challenging and difficulties would arise during the initial starting process. There will be obstacles and challenges to face on realizing the internet business opportunity but you will have to push through and find out what works best for you on how to start internet business.

Like a successful internet marketer, it took them an amount of perseverance to finally achieve success online. Therefore for you, as budding internet marketers, you will find success, even through times of difficulties if you remain positive and faithful thou at some time, it may take a little longer to achieve.

Virtual Phone Systems

Advantages to Using Virtual Phone Systems

Virtual phone systems may sound like just another buzzword in telecommunications, but their unique advantages have made them major players in the market. Similar to traditional systems, virtual systems offer companies the ability to customize their telephone directory, transfer options, hold messages, and extensions. They can offer small businesses the appearance of a large, modern company, something all start ups should aim for today. Staying on the forefront of technology can help organizations gain and hold bigger market shares.

Other advantages with virtual phone systems include low start up and ongoing expenses, the ability to easily customize and add new lines, and advanced features to help mobile workers stay productive. Virtual phone systems also allow start ups to install and begin making and receiving calls with virtually no downtime.

Costs, Investments, and ROI

Instead of spending valuable start up capital on traditional systems that will soon become outdated, emerging businesses are finding that the costs of deploying a virtual phone system are better aligned with their budgets than other more traditional phone solutions. Typically, implementation and on-going costs are lower than traditional systems, depending on the features used. The key to these systems generating high ROIs are their ability to scale as companies grow; an important feature for all start up businesses.

Flexibility and Scalability of a Virtual Phone Solution

As start up businesses grow, it is critical that their infrastructure and technology can grow with them. IT strategy is devoted to ensuring that new solutions are scalable, and a business’s communications should be too. Virtual phone systems can support multiple users easily, and adding and removing users is a simple process. Because the technology of these systems is hosted remotely, their ability to support multiple locations and remote and mobile workers is key.

Management Tools

Virtual phone systems are designed to help companies gather critical business data. Various tools can help managers and other key decision makers generate and analyze reports. The data collected includes call reporting, user management, message retrieval, and call logs. These reports can help managers make decisions regarding employee phone usage and call center productivity. The increased visibility into these statistics can help shape both the short and long-term strategies of a start up.

Usage and Professionalism

The explosion of instant communication, from Twitter to Facebook to LinkedIn, has caused a shift in clients, customers, and vendors. Businesses need to appeal to this transformation by offering instant answers and service to their customers. A business’s telecommunications can be a key part of this strategy. The ability to customize out-going messages to help callers get the information they are looking for immediately allows instant gratification. As well, with all voicemails and fax messages being sent immediately to email, or even notification being sent by text message, allows businesses to maintain better contact with clients and customers.

Important Personal Questions

1. Are you passionate about business?

A desire to get away from the regular working world can be a good motivation to start your own business, but this desire alone is not enough. You have to be excited at the prospect of “doing business”. Being passionate about baking cakes is not the same as being passionate about running a bakery. To be successful in business you don’t necessarily need to be passionate about the product you are selling or the service you are providing but you do need to be passionate about the business of “doing business”.

2. Do you have the necessary technical skills or business talents?

Just being able to do something may not be marketable enough to convince customers that you will make a good supplier or convince bankers that you are a bankable business owner. You will also need to demonstrate sufficient business skills or qualifications to start this business? If not, do you have a partner that does?

3. Do you have the characteristics of an entrepreneur?

Qualities you must have are perseverance, a strong desire and willingness to take the initiative, competitiveness, self-reliance, a strong need to achieve, self-confidence, and good physical health in order to succeed as an entrepreneur. You will need all these characteristics if you are to succeed in starting your own business.

4. Do you have good people skills?

Good people skills will be required in networking, negotiating, selling etc. You will need the ability to work with customers, suppliers and of course employees. The most successful business owners have a high ’emotional intelligence’ in addition to strong technical and business skills.

5. Could you live with failure?

80{51bef0338c1434d1c0a7d9be046c2e0668f22ecf97bdaa13e416355c8dd940dc} of small businesses fail within the first 5 years! So, if you are starting a business obviously you want to see yourself in the 20{51bef0338c1434d1c0a7d9be046c2e0668f22ecf97bdaa13e416355c8dd940dc} that succeed. Never, ever consider the possibility of failure. Most small business failure occurs because of mismanagement – weak general management, weak financial management, or weak marketing capabilities. So you can increase your chances of success by strengthening these areas. However, just in case the worst case scenario occurred…could you live with that failure and start again?

Key Considerations When Starting a Business

Consider Scaling Down and Pilots

I know what it’s like… you have a fantastic business idea, you see the potential, you see how great it can be, and you want to put in all you can to make that vision a reality. While this is the only way to go for some business concepts which are pretty much, ‘Go Big, or Go Home,’ this isn’t always the case.

Where it’s possible, consider the option of scaling down, and testing the concept. This will allow for you to start up, while saving money, learning from the pilot and being able to action changes, and raise more funds based on proof of concept. This approach not only reduces start-up costs but provides valuable insight around the business, in real terms. It may not generate much profit, but it will offer a wealth of verified information that will help you to determine the next steps… If you decide to proceed with expansion, it is a great basis for second stage funding.

Consider Realistic Timelines and Pricing

Part of calculating your start-up costs will involve figuring out your initial cash flow. Without having actually operated the business this can be tricky. It’s also not uncommon to fall into the trap of under-pricing products and services in order to stand a better chance of competing, and to ‘tempt’ in more business. Be aware that you don’t necessarily need to do this. If you do, raising prices to the market standard could become difficult at a later stage, and you’ll have to do a lot more work in order to break even. My advice- recognise your worth, and price it accordingly.

Consider a Realistic Time-frame for Starting-up

Time is always potential money, and when you’re starting in business, this is true even more. If you’re going to have fixed costs like property leases, if improvements or modifications are required prior to opening this impacts on both time, and money (quite directly). These additional costs add to your start-up costs, but also add to the time before you can start earning. Don’t fall into the trap of under-estimating when you’ll be ready to trade, and build in a good time cushion before you ‘need’ to see funds coming in from business activities. Failure to do so could result in a significant amount of stress, and in some instances, can even result in a business shutting down before it’s even had the chance to take off, simply because there wasn’t enough time allowed to give it a chance to get going.

Consider the Cost of Money

Many entrepreneurs who have a great idea that they believe strongly in, will make the decision to finance the business themselves. At times, this can be at great personal cost, using the credit on credit cards or loans, and tapping into equity from homes etc. While for some smaller ventures the impact may be negligible, for larger ventures, self-financing should be considered exceptionally carefully before committing to this option. If funds are in abundance and potential delays, changes, etc. will have little impact and will be offset by the return, however long it may take… then go for it! If this is not the case, and any delays and progress are not going to plan will cause a great deal of personal and financial strain that could jeopardise business success anyway, then definitely consider other options.

Starting a Business After 50

Throughout his life, Mahatma Gandhi demonstrated how to fight for a cause in a nonviolent way. One of the most important acts in his quest for Indian independence occurred in 1930, when Gandhi was 61.

Kroc, the guy responsible for all the McDonald’s in the world, began his venture at the ripe age of 52, despite battles with diabetes and arthritis. Seven years later, he convinced the brothers to sell out their shares, and he became the owner of a franchise that would sell more than a billion hamburgers by 1963. Kroc continued to be involved in McDonald’s operations until his death in 1984.

Grandma Moses never had any formal art training — indeed, she’d had very little formal education at all — but she painted every day, turning out more than a thousand paintings in 25 years. She had no experience or education in paining, and didn’t being painting until the age of 76.

One of the oldest success stories is The owner of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Harlan David Sanders, well known as Colonel Sanders. He was 65 years old when he started Kentucky Fried Chicken. KFC was a brand new business idea for him. In his youth, Sanders worked many different jobs from farming to steamboat pilot, to insurance salesman.

When he turned 40 years old, he started a service station and sold chicken dinners to his patrons. Over a number of years he developing the way he pressure fried the chicken, yet he didn’t decide to actually start his own business until he received his first puny social security check for under $100.

And what about his patience and perseverance? Get this: Old man Colonel Sanders solicited over a thousand restaurant owners to try his chicken recipe in an effort to start his business. And, after persevering 1009 rejections, he finally received his first “yes” and his chicken business had been launched!

This is the kind of perseverance it takes to start a business that soars to success.
Some people think that it’s even harder in today’s economy to start their own business. However, contrary to popular belief, a tough economy makes it easier. In fact, there were more successful businesses launched in the great depression than ever before.

Business From the Ground Up

Identifying major resources needed for a startup
There are three major resources to consider before you start Time, Money and Skills. They are the foundation of every business endeavor. By being aware about what resources you have available, you will increase the chance for a successful start up and build a viable business. We will look in detail at each of these resources in subsequent articles.

I already have a great idea that want to make it into a business
If you already have an idea and your hands are itching to try that is great! However, you may save time and resources if you are being methodical and identify what you have available to you before you jump into a startup. It should not take weeks or months to understand how much time and money you have available to you and what are your business strengths and weaknesses.

I want to start a business but do not know what type
Do not disappear if you decided to start a business but have no viable idea. Sometimes we want to start a business but do not know what type. Before jumping into any prepackaged business idea, think about the major resources you have available to you first. We the humans are creative bunch and always find solutions. Need to train your mind to look for potential business idea fitting the available resources. It may take some time and effort but it is worth trying.

I am afraid that some will steal my idea
Often I meet entrepreneurs worrying that their ideas may get stolen. They are reluctant to share any basic information and are overly protective. If you think that you can produce only one idea in your life you are better off not starting anything and keep your job. The odds that the first idea will be a hit are very small. The world is full of not realized brilliant ideas. Only materialized ideas make a difference.

Start Up Business Credit Cards

1. Not As High Risk As Investment Opportunities – It can be extremely difficult to have a venture investment company agree to providing capital for your business. The nature of your business, competition in the immediate area, and previous business ownership all have to do with the approval or denial of investment funding for your business.

Luckily, most small businesses are not considered high risk to lenders, even if the business is only in the beginning stages. It is a lot easier to be approved for start up business credit cards than venture investment capital.

2. Organization Of Records Is A Lot Easier – When you obtain start up business credit cards, you are starting off on the right foot because you are able to take strict measurements from the very beginning to assure the security of your business finances. Start up business credit cards are a great way to save all bank slips and purchase receipts to document all spending coming into and going out of your account.

3. You Do Not Need An Accounting Department – If you contain one or two start up business credit cards, you are more than likely able to handle all of the accounting aspects on your own. You will have one statement on a monthly basis, and if you pay off your balance in full every month, you do not have to roll anything over to the next month. You start fresh each month. There is very little paperwork that needs to be completed for your start up business credit cards. How wonderful is that?