So You Decided To Start a Business… Now What?

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It is easier than ever to start a business. Most businesses find their beginnings online, while others choose the brick and mortar lifestyle. Some businesses start life as part of a franchise or startup

2020 saw around 804,000 new businesses celebrate their first birthday in the United States, according to Statista Research Department, and over 600,000 small businesses open their doors every month. You’ve just decided to add to that. So, you’ve decided to start a business, now what? 

Picking Your Business

This seems simple to say, but picking the type of business you want is important because you want a business with a lot of staying power. Only 50% of startups make it past the 5-year mark, with only 33% crossing that 10-year line. So, choosing a business that embodies your passion and has the staying power you need to keep your business going is something you need to really consider. 

Make a Business Plan

Whether your business is online or a physical store, it helps to know what you want your business to offer the public. A business plan can help you to see if your business idea makes sense, help with sales and marketing, identify any problems and how you might overcome them, and much much more. It can also show possible investors or small loan services that you have a concrete idea of where and what you want your business to be, improving your chances of getting capital for your company.

Think about Market Research

If your business idea revolves around selling a product, market research can help you discover whether your chosen audience is right for your product. Similarly, if you’re looking for the right product or industry for your business, market research can lead you in the right direction.

Keep on top of recent Industry Trends.

No matter what industry you want to focus on for your business, keeping up with the latest trends and news within that industry can help you keep business relevant for returning and new customers. It can also act as inspiration for your business, especially when it comes to market research. 

Think about Marketing 

This is a big one. For every business, marketing is essential. 61% of businesses pay for digital marketing every year, and only 50% of small businesses pay 10k or less for their marketing. It’s safe to say that it is very important. It’s a way for your customers, audience, readers, etc., to see your business and pick it out from the crowd. Without marketing, your business is invisible, so ensuring that you have the right marketing tools at your disposal is so important. You can use online marketing tools and resources, such as marketing agencies, social media, GoogleMyBusiness and other tools to make sure your customers find your business. If you have the money, marketing agencies are a great help. If you don’t, social media marketing is for you.

Utilize Online Resources 

For some businesses, especially if they are online, money might not be an option, at least when you’re starting out. Fortunately, many online resources can help ensure that you can get your business on its feet and running until you start gaining revenue. There are even online courses that can help to teach you how to start a business. For instance, if you’re looking at starting a coaching business, you can use an online coaching business course to learn the fundamentals. Online courses are not only a great way to learn more about business development and management but are flexible enough to fit your schedule. 

Look into Small Business Loans 

Finally, think about funding and financial resources. Most banks offer small business loans, and private business loan lenders can provide you with as little as $1000. With the growing interest in starting a business, small business loans have become the best option for gaining startup capital. However, for online businesses, banks are not the only option anymore. Crowdfunding has become an excellent alternative method of gaining capital for a business or product. Sites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GofundMe and Patron offer online businesses a way to turn their audience, customers, and clients into investors. 

Conclusion

So, whether you’ve just decided to start or business or you’re just looking at what is needed to get started, know that there are many different resources available online that you may find helpful. These are just a few tips to point you in the right direction and get your business up and running, and now the rest is up to you.

Franchise or Start-Up?

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The franchise industry turns over billions of dollars a year. Buying into a franchise can offer a new business owner some support and stability, but it can be more expensive to do this rather than launch a business of your own. As a start-up, you will be able to control your own business, and reap some huge rewards for your hard work. Whichever route you go down, there’s a lot of research that needs to be done to find out what opportunity there is and whether it’s a worthwhile investment. The right option will depend on your business style, business acumen and the type of person you are.

Franchise Vs Start-Up

If you decide to buy into a franchise, it’s likely to be a bigger investment than starting up on your own. This is because the franchise will share an initial fee for you get started with them. The advantage is that a franchise has a lower risk of failure, and the franchise might help you secure the funds to get started. You will need to keep paying royalties to keep your franchise, but you will keep getting support too for things like advertisement costs and the reassurance of a known brand. 

When you start a business on your own, you need a business plan to get any investment. If you can’t secure a big investment, you can get started using loans or credit cards. Whatever you need to do to get started and keep your business afloat in the early days, you will need to make sure that you also have a long-term plan in place, so your business can continue to grow and doesn’t falter in the early stages. 

Support

One of the big advantages of buying into a franchise is the strong support network that comes with it. Some big franchise, such as Auto Repair Franchises, give their new starters a few weeks of training, with time spent in a classroom learning the brand and time spent in existing franchise sites learning more about the business. The other advantage is that you also have operational processes and links with suppliers already in place through the franchise. You will be looked after from the beginning. The downside of buying into a franchise is that you won’t have the freedom to try anything new or build partnerships on your own. 

If you decide to start your own business, you will be able to make all your own decisions at every stage of the journey. This will take hard work and a lot of knowledge, but if you have a great idea for a business, you will probably want to shape it yourself and watch it grow. By what support is available to start-up businesses? Good business is good for the economy, so look into government schemes that offer funding, advice, and support. There are lots of websites, forums, and books out there that can offer lots of valuable advice that can guide you through the process of starting your own business.

5 High Growth Investment Ideas For Growing Your Cash Fast

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There are lots of investment strategies that you can use for growing your cash slowly and steadily. But what if you want to grow your cash quickly? High growth investment options can be a lot more risky but they could allow you to reach your investment goals more quickly. Below are a few different ways to make a fast return on your cash.

Growth stocks

When investing in stocks, many people like to stick to well-established and dependable companies such as Coca Cola, Starbucks and Berkshire Hathaway. Such companies tend to grow steadily year-on-year, however it’s more likely to be a slower long-term investment.

Growth stocks can provide a much faster return. They tend to be newer companies within the tech sector or green energy sector. You may be able to double to even triple your money in a year by investing in these companies. However, such stocks are a lot riskier – they can fall just as fast as they can rise. Popular growth stocks include Zoom, Tesla and Square. This guide offers a few more examples.

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency. Popular examples include Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. These currencies have only been around for just over a decade and in that time have seen huge rises in value. In fact, if you’d invested $100 into Bitcoin back in 2010, you’d now have close to $48 million.

Investing in crypto has been making many people rich fast. However, cryptocurrencies are incredibly volatile – they can rise or fall dramatically and such fluctuations are hard to predict. There’s no guarantee that Bitcoin won’t lose most of its value in the next 10 years, however it could also continue it’s meteoric rise. You can click here to learn more about investing in Bitcoin. It’s worth diversifying and trying a few different cryptocurrencies to spread the risk. 

Real estate

If you’ve got a lot of money to invest upfront, real estate could be an option. This could include buying property or buying land.

Property flipping is one of the fastest and most effective ways to make a return on real estate. This involves buying a cheap property in poor condition, renovating it and then selling it for a profit. Many experienced property flippers are able to make an 80% return. Of course, there are risks attached, which are definitely worth reading into before you pursue this form of investment.

Forex

Forex trading involves buying and selling real world currencies. Because currencies are constantly rising and falling in value, it’s often possible to buy a currency on the rise and sell it for a profit.

It’s possible to make big returns by investing in forex, however this usually involves buying and pairing fairly unstable currencies or taking more risks. For example, events like elections may cause currency values to rise or fall dramatically depending on the result – some forex investors will try to predict the results, investing in currency beforehand in the hope that it then rises. 

Start a business

Starting a business is one of the most hands-on forms of investment that you can make. However, if you choose the right industry and know what you’re doing, it can be one of the most secure and fastest ways to make a return. Consider whether launching a startup could be the investment strategy for you.

When Is It Time To Be The Boss?

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The dream? The dream is to be the boss of a successful and fulfilling company that makes money and doesn’t have to worry about pleasing or appeasing others. 

The reality might be different. As an employee, you’re always working for somebody else and improving their bottom line, no matter how high up the ladder you climb. Of course, you want to make a move, but you don’t know when or how.

The latter is something you’ll learn in the future. Firstly, you must recognize the time to strike. Here are four signs that you are ready to be a boss.

You’ve Had A Taste And Want More

There’s no doubt that certain jobs are full of freedom and independence. Whether you get to decide your work schedule or don’t have a boss breathing down your neck, you’ll love the fact that you’re quasi in charge. Sure, marketing jobs may require you to report to a line manager now and then, yet mostly, you get to ride around in your car with a slogan on the side and the open road as your office. If you love these aspects of your current position, it highlights your desire to push for the career traits that you only find in management roles.

Climbing The Ladder Isn’t Satisfying

Previously, you loved nothing more than attempting to climb the corporate ladder and reach the top of the organization. Currently, the idea isn’t as fulfilling. There’s a lot of jumping through hoops, and you’re beginning to realize that you don’t get much in return. Plus, are the extra responsibilities and pay bump worth the hours you have to put in once you get promoted? According to the statistics, the answer is a firm no. Around 43% of the workforce is freelance or self-employed because they don’t subscribe to the traditional methods of working. The gig economy means you can be a leader.

You Adopt A Work Persona

In the office, it’s not rare for people to have a work persona. This is a character that you play because it helps you to be successful. It has nothing to do with who you are, yet it’s what employers and peers want to see, so you do it regardless. Unfortunately, not only is pretending to be somebody else stressful, but it’s also unproductive. As a boss, you can be who you want to be, and accept your workers for who they are, as you set the tone.

The Itch Can’t Be Scratched

You’ve tried to remove the thought from your mind, yet it won’t go away. You’re not alone as more than 60% of Americans want to own a business at some point in their careers. And, lots of them are realizing their dreams as they move out of corporate America and into the self-employment arena. Please don’t push your feelings down and keep them bottled up. If you experience an emotion strongly, you must listen to it.

Otherwise, you’ll miss the opportunity to do something fulfilling. Isn’t that scary?

Four Signs That You Need to Start Hiring Specialists in Your Business

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Starting your own business can be a breeze if you know where to start. The internet has an infinite library of resources to search through and learn from, and there are plenty of services that can help you establish a professional online presence in just a couple of days. With so many easy ways to start a business, it’s no wonder that more and more people are looking to start their own small business as an alternate career path or secondary source of income.

However, while starting up a business has never been easier, it introduces another problem; competition.

Now that there are more startups than ever, it’s getting hard to stand out from the crowd. In fact, most new startups crumble after a couple of months since they fail to get customers and set expectations that are far too unrealistic. So in this post, we’re going to talk about four signs that you need to take it slow and start hiring professional assistance to grow your business.

  1. There are areas of your business that need to grow, but you’re not sure how

There are always going to be certain areas of your business that you just don’t understand very well. For example, you might have a grasp on how to be a great leader and delegate to improve productivity, but that’s not going to help in terms of marketing. If you feel like there are certain weaknesses in your business, then it’s a good idea to hire a specialist to fill that gap.

  1. You’re having trouble sourcing for a particular thing in your business

While a lot of new startups are completely focused on net-based business models, there are still plenty of companies that rely on a physical workspace and specialized machines. This could include anything from a floating roof tank for petroleum storage to a heat press for a t-shirt printing business. If you have certain types of equipment that are far too old or complex for you to understand, hiring a specialist is the smartest thing to do.

  1. Your business has become incredibly inefficient over the past few weeks or months

It’s usually quite easy to spot inefficiencies. Perhaps your team isn’t meeting quotas, maybe they’re always distracted or perhaps they’re taking much longer on simple tasks than you would’ve expected. If you feel that your team has grown inefficient over the past few weeks or months, then you may need to start hiring specialists to grow the team, educate your current staff and grow your business.

  1. You keep losing and hiring staff, costing you incredible amounts of money

A lot of people don’t realize that firing and hiring staff is expensive. That’s why a lot of companies focus on trying to retain their employees by hiring specialists that know what they’re doing. While highly skilled, they also demand higher salaries for their expertise. However, this increased cost pales in comparison to the cost of firing, re-hiring and retaining someone from scratch.

Starting a Small Business the Millennial Way

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By now, you’ve probably heard the trope that millennials can’t afford anything valuable on their own, be it a car or a house. While there is some truth to this, there’s no denying the massive business potential millennials have. This passionate, collaborative generation has come of age in a most exciting time, mainly one where the formerly-reigning baby boomers are beginning to close up shop–literally.

As the baby boomers begin to enter their golden years, a question of the small business owners among this group is going to transition out of ownership. A 2016 survey shows that 54% of small business owners in the United States plan to close their business in the next ten years. This number comes on top of the 72% who have no real exit plan for closing, which leaves a big question as to who will take their places.

However, what looks like an impending economic crisis is a surprisingly serendipitous business opportunity. One of today’s rising entrepreneurial trends is millennials buying baby boomer-owned businesses. The exciting thing is there are a few massive advantages to this.

First, let’s set the record straight about this fascinating generation of youngsters. Financially, they’re a bit hit and miss. Among all the living generations, millennials are most likely to default on a credit card, with 3.6% of millennial credit card accounts are delinquent 90 days or more. However, millennials also have the most commercial and consumer credit reports available out of all the generations. These comprehensive credit reports can work to millennials’ advantage when looking to buy a small business.

Furthermore, millennials are much more diverse than their predecessors. For example, 87% of baby boomers who acquired small businesses identified as White, compared to a much lower 48% among millennials. This increasing diversity means millennial business owners will be able to appeal to a broader demographic, especially among typically-underrepresented ethnicities like Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and African-Americans. A more diverse and inclusive market is likely to produce substantial economic results.

But it’s hard to deny that the prospect of starting a business from the ground up is overwhelming for someone of any age. If you’re a millennial who wants to step into the business world with relative security, consider buying a baby boomer-owned small business. For a generation as saddled with debt as millennials, buying an already-established business usually means you won’t have to worry about any more outstanding debts. Moreover, an established company likely has the reputation, credibility, and proven business models that most startups can’t match in their early days. A bonus is that the old owner will usually advise you and teach you how to run a small business, specifically theirs so that you can make fewer missteps and keep boosting your revenue.

If this business venture sounds promising to you, you’re in good company. Many websites now exist to show companies available for purchase, so you’ll never be in short supply of an opportunity. Just make sure to research all companies extensively, meet face to face with the owners to get a better idea of how you two will gel, and of course, don’t sign that dotted line until you’re sure you have the resources and motivation to give it your best shot.

Launch Your Business Successfully In 3 Easy Steps

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It doesn’t matter whether this is your first business launch or whether you are looking to launch a second venture, current uncertain times can make your startup a little more risky. As an entrepreneur in the planning stages of your money-making venture, you will have a list as long as your arm of tasks to complete. You need to be a finance expert, a marketing guru, a social media whizz, an admin boss as well as the head honcho. While these pandemic days have halted us in our tracks, you shouldn’t allow this to prevent you from continuing your business plans. Take a look at these three simple steps that you can follow to launch your business successfully.

Social Media

Before you launch your business, you can sign up for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at the very least. Your corporate side is effective for funding your business and pitching to official investors. But, for your customers, they want to speak to a chatty and informal individual. Your social media feeds are the perfect way to do this. Before you even think about getting your business off the ground, you can generate an online buzz through Facebook. Create a launch event page as well as posting relevant and meaningful content regularly. By creating a feed that promotes interest in your brand, you gain greater exposure as your followers share your posts. When your business does launch, you can use your social media channels to direct traffic to your website by posting links, discounts, and incentives.

Website

Your website design is crucial to the success of your business. With added SEO capabilities, you can ensure that your website appears high up in the Google search rankings. Search engine optimization means honing your keywords and the quality of your content to give your page the kudos needed to help you compete with your rivals. If you don’t have the expertise in house for this business function, think about outsourcing your website design to an external team. These individuals are specialists in making your website industry-specific, and super customer focused on your target market. They will enhance your brand and communicate your business vision and ethos through your homepage aesthetic and website content.

Staff

As a new business, the chances are that you will require a small staff team. These individuals will be crucial to your business success. With a stable and cohesive team that buys into your business ethos, you will have a workforce that will care about the work that they do. Ensure that you ring fence some cash for the professional development of your staff. By investing in their wellbeing and career, you are demonstrating that you value them and respect them. You don’t want a high turnover of staff with low morale. Facilitate a workplace that is conducive to teamwork, and you could have a productive team working for you.

Follow this guide, and you will soon be launching your business successfully in three simple steps.

Tips that will Help you to Start and Succeed with your Own Business

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Starting a company for the very first time can be a daunting experience. You may feel as though you are prepared for what lies ahead, but at the same time, you don’t want to go into debt and fail should something go wrong. This is understandable but with these tips, you can be sure to come out on top without any problems at all.

Be Passionate About What You Do

You have to be passionate about what you do. You don’t need to love every single aspect of starting a business, in fact, you probably won’t, but you do need to have some passion. You will need to devote a lot of time to your company if you want to turn it into a successful enterprise. It doesn’t even matter what type of business you want to start either, whether it’s creating pottery, providing financial advice or even running a fishing charter because you will need to completely commit yourself. If you are not sure if you can do this then starting a business might not be an option for you.

Start while you are Employed

It’s vital that you start your company while you are still employed. A lot of people cannot live without money for very long, so you need to make sure that you transition well. If you are able to start your business while you are still employed, then this will mean that you are constantly funding your wallet, and this can really work in your favor. You also need to make sure that you are able to keep up with your monthly payments for your living expenditure during your start-up phase, and not leaving your job too early is the best way for you to do this.

Don’t Go At It Alone

You need to make sure that you have a support system while you are starting up your business. A family member or even a friend can help you here, and they can also advise you when you need to bounce around ideas too. When you are starting a business, you also need to make sure that you have experienced guidance. This is the best support system overall, so find someone who can mentor you in your industry and also make sure that you are being given the opportunity to learn from someone who has been through the start-up process already.

Get Clients First

Don’t wait until you have started your business before you begin lining up clients. If you do this then there is a high chance that your company will not survive. Spend some time in the commonplace of your market and also do your best to connect with people over social media. The more you can do this, the more likely you are to come out on top and the more profit you can make. You can never start marketing your company too soon, so keep this in mind if you can.

Write a Business Plan

If you do not have a solid business plan then you won’t get very far at all. This is a key step when forming your company. Your business plan will provide you with a huge range of information and it will also help you to understand the operational needs of your company. The main reason why you should start forming a plan is because it can help you to avoid wasting your time if you come across a disaster that could have been avoided. It’s vital that you include any expenses in your plan too, such as whether or not you need industrial water tanks or even equipment.

Do your Research

You will need to do a lot of research if you want to write a business plan. That being said, you also need to make sure that you research the other aspects of your company too. You need to make sure that you are an expert when it comes to your industry, your products and also your services too. If you can make yourself stand out here, then this will really work in your favor and you may even find that you are able to stay informed on other aspects of your market too.

Seek Professional Help

It’s stated above that when you start a business, you need to make sure that you are an expert in your industry. That being said, you don’t need to be an expert at everything. At the end of the day, you are not an accountant and you are not a bookkeeper either. You will waste far more time and money by trying to do absolutely everything yourself. This is especially the case if you are not qualified.

Get your Money Sorted

Traditional lenders don’t tend to like new ideas or even start-ups in general. They also don’t like to give money to a new business who might not have a track record. If you want to get around this then you need to save up first and you also need to approach investors wisely. Work out your financial fall-back plan as this will help you to make sure that you do not end up hitting any snags while you are trying to build your company overall.

Be Professional

You have to make sure that you are professional right from the get-go. You need to be professional about the way that you do business and you also need to convey to others that you are very serious about the business you run. You need to have some quality business cards and you also need to have a business email address too. Most importantly, it’s vital that you are able to conduct yourself in a very professional manner too. If you don’t then this could end up working against you and this is the last thing that you need.

Get Legal

It’s vital that you get all of your taxes and your legal work sorted out as soon as possible. It’s far more difficult for you to fix a mess after. You need to find out if your business has to be registered and you also need to find out if you need to pay VAT. Some businesses will even require indemnity insurance, so look into this as well.

Building a Business Around What You Are Passionate About

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For a variety of reasons we can choose to stay within our comfort zones when it comes to our careers. We can stick to being an employee and working for someone else, even if it is something that doesn’t really appeal to us. Being good at something is safe, but really, being passionate about something and working doing something that you’re passionate about is going to give you a much better work and life balance, and give you a career that you love

In terms of business, working doing something that we love can be a risk, rather than going for something tried and tested. Were the people that created an app like Uber passionate about driving other people around, or was it just seen as a business idea that could work? Although there is success with proven business models, it is even better if you have passion for what you are doing. Without making an attempt to follow dreams and unlock your potential, will you ever feel fulfilled in your career? Although it can feel daunting, here are some things to help.

Establish your vision

The first things to do are to decide on what your vision is. It will be at the heart of your business, so you need to be clear on it. Think about what you want your business to do, where your passions are, and then the plans can go from there. 

Do your research

When you have a rough idea of what you want to do, you need to make plans to check what would be possible. Is there demand for your business, or would you be taking something already established, but just putting a twist on it? Looking out for any potential risks is important too, so you’re planning ahead and will know how best to manage them.

Think about finances

With your research you will have a good idea about what kind of costs you will be looking at. Will all you need be a small amount to get a website or app up and running, or would you be looking at more to buy equipment like a box corer, for example? Although you won’t be specific at this stage, having an idea of what you will need, and where you might get it from can help.

Create a plan

How are you going to execute your plans and the goals that you have? You aren’t going to make it a reality without a clear plan about what you are looking at and how you will get there. Having a strategic plan behind your business is a must, as well as having it be adaptable and measurable. Being able to be flexible and change things as and when you need to is important, as well as being measurable so you can motor how things are going. Having the plan be digestible is important too, so that it can be intuitive and compelling, which is going to be important when you have a team of employees.