Business

Starting With a Small Business

At the rate that recession has been hitting us these days, no one is safe as far as being employed is concerned. In fact, if you are not careful or have been performing below par, chances are you may be among the millions of employees who have been laid off for due to corporate downsizing. Once that happens, finding another job or source of income may perhaps be the hardest thing to do especially if you are the bread winner of your family. So what are your options and how can you avoid the halt of your earnings?

You actually have the option of starting a small business. The next thing you will ask for sure is
what? If you explore the market these days, the initial things would be franchising or part time work. Some even have telecommute jobs where they can work from anywhere and anytime just to add to their normal income. To some it may not be that big of an income but the thing is you are racking in some income while you are at it. At least this helps you save and perhaps groom you for larger projects if you learn to telecommute professionally.

As far as small business is concerned, you can consider a lot of ventures. The food business, service rendering or even business routes. The possibilities are plenty and if you play your cards right and take care of it, it may soon become your main source of income, with or without a company to work for. Ideally, business routes are becoming a fad these days and if you target the right market, you may end up profiting from it in the end.

But before anything else, whether it is a small business or a service route, make sure to survey the location you will be serving. This has been something that most people overlook since they are more interested in racking in profit. Definitely, there will be others who have the same thing in mind and knowing business, you just have to jump the gun or study their marketing tactics.

With the right approach, you can succeed with a small business and eventually grow it into a bigger one. It just requires the proper business approach, something that many aspiring entrepreneurs have forgotten to do.

D Dey is a content writer by profession. He has been writing regularly on buy a pool route, selling pool routes, small business etc for Trade Your Accounts for past few years.

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Top 10 Small Business Lead Generation Mistakes

Below are The Top Ten Small Business Lead Generation Mistakes that Entrepreneurs Make (and How to Avoid Them). Folks say that “Experience is the best teacher,” but that is really only about half right. In fact, “Someone ELSE’S experience is the best teacher,” because they have already made those mistakes. Learn from them, and you get to a higher level of success in a much faster time frame.

Mistake #1: Hiding Your Company from the World. The internet is the great equalizer for small businesses, but you have to make it easy for people who are looking for your products or services to find you on the internet. Search engine optimization (making it easier for people to find your website through search engines like Google) should be your top priority as a small business owner.

Mistake #2: “I’m a Really Small Company” Website. Just like when a person hands you a business card with the rough edges from separating it at the perforation after it was printed at home, a cheap looking or homemade looking websites is a neon sign saying, “I’M A SMALL BUSINESS… Don’t trust me.”

Mistake #3: Creating a Confusing Perception in the Marketplace. This mistake made early in a business’ history can follow you for years. When we first start out, we’re trying to find any way that we can to generate revenue, so when times are tough in one product or service line, we dabble in others to make ends meet. People who see you promoting dissimilar product lines will wonder what exactly it is that you do.

Mistake #4: I Can Do It on My Own Mentality. We become entrepreneurs because we are experts in a specific industry, and we know that we can do it better than our competitors. However, we are never going to be experts in EVERYTHING, so it’s important to surround yourself with other experts in different industries. You can either contract work out through subcontracting or joint ventures, or you can create alliances with other companies who support you but don’t compete with you.

Mistake #5: Offering Something that the Market Doesn’t Want. You might have a great product or service that people actually want to buy, but if you are promoting that product or service to a marketplace that doesn’t want it, you’ll go broke. If you are networking with other entrepreneurs and your services are for prime contractors, you’ll just become very frustrated. Go find where people in your market gather, and promote your company there instead.

Mistake #6: Salesperson Fangs. This mistake is the absolute most annoying and will drive customers away in droves. It occurs when someone out of genuine interest or in some cases, just kindness asks a question about what the person does for a living, and in response, the person spends the next fifteen minutes talking about himself and how the listener really needs his product or service. Successful people tend to be pretty good listeners.

Mistake #7: Casting Your Pearls before Swine. Just so you know, I’m not calling your prospects swine. I’m just saying that most small business people spend way too much time with people who they think are prospects but who have absolutely no chance of ever buying something from them. In order to be a good prospect for you, the person needs to have the resources to buy from you and the authority to buy from you. Don’t spend a lot of time and effort building a reputation amongst people who aren’t in and will never be in your market. Find where your market gathers and build your reputation there.

Mistake #8: Giving a Pitch Instead of Solving a Problem. Most people walk into a meeting with a prospect or start a call with a prospect with a pitch in mind. So, before the prospect even indentifies a problem or a need that she has, the pitch starts and we verbally jumps all over the person with features and benefits about how great our product is. Remember that a successful entrepreneur is a one who solves problems for clients and customers, so spend less time talking about yourself and ask more questions about the prospect.

Mistake #9: No Follow Up (Web Visitors and Leads). This used to be a big problem with face-to-face meetings where an entrepreneur collects a business card from a prospect and then just doesn’t do anything with it, but in the digital age, website visitor follow ups are way more valuable and rarely capitalized on effectively. For instance, if you look at most website statistics, you’ll see a number of “page views” which is just the number of pages on your website that people have looked at in a given month. This number is almost always a BIG number, but then if you compare it with the number of people who actually request information from or buy from you, the latter is microscopic in comparison. More often than not, the big difference in numbers comes because we don’t make it easy for people to request information from or contact us.

Mistake #10: Slow Follow-Up. In face-to-face meetings, if you don’t follow up within 24 hours, your prospect will likely forget about most of your meeting because people are extremely busy. Website visitors are not as forgiving. If you don’t respond to them within a few minutes, they will forget about you. When we surf the internet looking for solutions to our problems, we want instant gratification. If we don’t get it, we just move on to the next site. Follow up quickly with your prospects, and you’ll increases sales dramatically.

If you solve just some of these challenges that many small businesses face, you’ll increase your income potential and your growth rate very quickly. This book was created to offer tangible, step-by-step processes and ideas to conquer these and other obstacles that you’ll likely face as you build your small business.

Doug Staneart is the founder of The Leader’s Institute® and the creator of the Entrepreneur Boot Camp that helps small business owners grow their companies by sharing little-known secrets of successful entrepreneurs with new business owners. This article is one in a series of helpful http://www.leadgenerationbootcamp.com”;>small business tips, and you can read all of them for free on his Entrepreneur Boot Camp blog at http://www.leadersinstitutebootcamp.com/.

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Financing A Franchise Business? What You Need To Know To Obtain Finance For A Franchise

Can too much expert knowledge in financing a franchise business ever be a bad thing? We certainly don’t think so and we’ll show you how to obtain finance for a franchise business that you have chosen to purchase.

When talking to clients about franchise finance in Canada we generally talk about the Boy Scout motto. You will recall that their motto is ‘ BE PREPARED ‘ and that’s the total strategy around financing a franchise successful that you must adopt.

Getting the money to purchase your franchise of often the biggest worry of new entrepreneurs such as yourself. People search out franchising opportunities because they are essentially looking for a combination of opportunity and wealth – there is usually only one major obstacle to that road to success, it’s the funding for the acquisition of the franchise business.

If we had to summarize in a very simple and basic what you need to be successful in franchise financing we would boil it down to a few key issues. Want to know what they are? From our perspective it all comes down to a reasonable history of business or management experience , a decent personal financial profile – more about that one later, and access to the ‘ inside secret ‘ of franchise financing in Canada, which, you may be surprise to know, is the government of Canada !

Let’s circle back on those points – and as always it comes down and back to our Boy Scout motto – be prepared. We can see our client’s eyes rolling back now when we tell them we need a crisp business plan . That’s a key requirement of your ability to obtain finance for a franchise, simply because it’s the ‘ proof’, if you will, of your ability to understand and run your business properly. In that document you have info about yourself, the business you are purchasing, the industry you are in, and the financial performance you expect to achieve in your new role as business owner and entrepreneur.

From a lenders perspective financing a franchise business is all about one thing – getting paid back for the loan. So the lender will look at how you have structured the financial portion of your business plan to reflect ability to repay your franchise loan, as well as how much cash flow and working capital is left to pay yourself a salary and run your new business. Could anything make more sense than a properly crafted and positioned business plan – we don’t think so.

Your money – you have it, you want to keep it – don’t we all. However, whether it’s a franchise business or any business for that matter OPM never works – OPM is ‘ other people’s money’ and you can’t rely on 100% of outside financing to obtain finance for a franchise in Canada. So be prepared to invest anywhere from 25-50% of the purchase price into your acquisition. Coupled with that and this is critical, you must be able to demonstrate that you have run your personal and business affairs respectably from a credit perspective. Obtaining a copy of your credit report, in advance, by you, is strongly recommended.

And, oh yes, what about that Government Issue we mentioned. That’s one of the great secrets and tips we promised to reveal. Did you know that probably 90% or more of financing a franchise business in Canada revolves around a special loan program called the CSBF/BIL loan? It’s a federal program, and administered by financial institutions. Whats so great about it – limited personal guarantees, great rates, terms and structures.

Speak to an expert in franchise financing when you are looking to obtain finance for a franchise – seek out someone who is trusted, credible and experienced. Be prepared, and get ready to be successful.

Stan Prokop is founder 7 Park Avenue Financial ; Originating financing for Canadian companies,specializing: working capital, cash flow, and asset based financing , the 6 year old firm has completed in excess of 45 Million $ of financing for companies . For info / free consultation on Canadian business financing / contact details see:
http://www.7parkavenuefinancial.com/financing_franchise_business_finance_for_franchise.html

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Small Business Ownership & Community

What do you call a small business owner who is doing it all and trying to do it all at once? The answer is…overwhelmed! This is a situation that many of us are familiar with. Somehow, no matter how conscious we think we are of what we’re doing, many of us set up shop and suddenly we realize that we’ve been thrust into the realms of marketing, accounting, sales, customer service, window dressing and website design…Yikes! We’ve all had that thought at one time or another, “What on earth have I gotten myself into?!”.

Let’s take a closer look and consider how realistic it is to expect ourselves to suddenly manifest skills that for most intents and purposes we had little to no knowledge of before. And therein lies the trap. We stumble head first into the situation realizing only afterward that we’ve taken on roles and duties that we can’t possibly fulfill to the extents and the standards needed.

Even with new business owners who have done their homework, the very nature of a start up business is to evolve. Thus, in addition to the day to day necessities of running a business, it’s common for us to find ourselves facing an ever mounting pile of resources, information, leads and tasks. In these times of search engine optimization, the never ending list of social networking sites, web and video logging and all the other tips and tricks needed to create an internet presence; it’s easy to slip into a state helplessness, paralysis and fright. It can truly feel like we’re going mad! Each of these facilities has its own unique platform and as we try to find your way around just one, our minds wander, thinking at the same time of new marketing strategies, changes to the website that need to be made, new pitches, products and bills. Many of the over 45’s for example, who didn’t learn on computers as today’s children do are especially vulnerable to the information overload that occurs.

So, what’s the solution? Well for one, being able to take stock and truly assess our situation is key. Being able to admit to ourselves what we can reasonably be expected to accomplish requires us to be neutral and clear so that we really see each of the trees in our forests. In the early stages of a business, ordinary routines such as meals and sleep can fall right the way down to the bottom of our lists. It’s part of what creates that great buzz and adrenalin that keeps us high, riding on that first exciting wave of having our special creation make its way into reality. It makes those first months both exciting and scary at the same time.

If you are at that stage in your new business and you jump ahead to one year, or 18 months when the first flush of excitement has worn off, can you maintain the same pace and workload while at the same time being able to enjoy all the other areas of your life, like relationship, family, fun, exercise, travel, relaxation and dream time that may have been put on hold?

This is when many of us realize that we can’t and the creative minxes amongst us start roaming, searching, almost hunting the specialists that suddenly we realize, can do in just one day what we spend an excruciating number of weeks in a graceless state trying to do. As many of us have seen in the successful entrepreneurs we admire, it helps to build up an informal circle of allies with skills that can complement and add to each member in the group. Networking and developing our professional relationships with accountants, lawyers, graphic designers, people who specialize in internet marketing and have the same target market as ourselves for example, can only work FOR us. Indeed, it has the potential to increase our productivity and effectiveness many times over.

Think of how reassuring it would be to be able to bounce our fledgling thoughts, feelings and ideas off of these people and be able to get professional, specialized and informed feedback. There is no rule that says we need to be martyrs, constantly snowed under having do it all on our own. Rather, as part of our constant striving to become self aware, we can give ourselves permission to write own guidebook of rules to live by to help us create more freedom of expression, success, and joy…and this is true in life and by extension the creation that is our small business.

If for example you’ve just turned your love of horses into a new business that is internet based, you haven’t already established such a circle and don’t know where to start, a relatively painless avenue to consider is the idea of searching the internet for small business forums that you can join. You will find real people from every area of business armed with a mind boggling array of backgrounds, specialties and skills. A forum is a relaxed environment where you can get to know more about what’s out there, about other small business owners, their strategies, successes, failures and generally what they do. You may find your imagination muscles get stretched to the point that one day you realize you know just the person/s who can help simplify your life greatly and move your business ahead faster and with more ease than you could.

Of course, as with ordinary life, the same goes over the internet. Be both cautious and savvy and use good sense. The possibilities are truly endless…and we haven’t yet begun to talk about the invaluable source of referrals and potential customers that your “circle” can provide.

If your vision for your small business is to consciously expand, create success, enjoyment and flow, allow yourself to seek out like minded people, find resourceful solutions and don’t be afraid to delegate and get out there and talk about what you do. Most of all open up to the idea of accepting the support that is available. Many times when we connect with others and get them on board with our creations they feel good at being able to help us find success. This need not cost a fortune…get creative, trade services and brain storm ideas as to how you can have mutually beneficial alliances that are equitable, fair and that perhaps even have an element of adventure and fun!

Check out more on my intuitive work in small business at http://www.intuitadmin.com
© Advanced Intuitive Administration, 2009

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Are Grants for Small Business Legitimate?

You may possibly have been intrigued by the allure of obtaining grants for small business from the federal federal government to start or broaden your operation. As amazing as it might sound to obtain a govt grant that you don’t have to spend back again, such grants don’t actually exist. You didn’t think modest business financing was that effortless, did you?

While the federal authorities does not supply grants for starting or growing tiny businesses, it does provide a myriad of companies to support entrepreneurs in pursuit of their dreams. One of the mechanisms in spot to market tiny business development and fiscal advancement is the CDFI Fund managed by the US Division of the Treasury. In the present fiscal yr the federal government is allocating much more than $ 12 Million to help CDFIs.

CDFIs fall into 3 classes:

Group Development Mortgage Money
Local community Advancement Credit rating Unions
Community Advancement Financial institutions – Including Thrifts and Holding Organizations
Community Advancement Undertaking Funds Money

The genesis of the CDFI Fund was the Riegle Group Improvement and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994. The cause for the fund’s existence is to foster fiscal revitalization and neighborhood advancement.

All participants in the CDFI plan go by means of a certification process performed by the Treasury Division. The certification allows CDFIs access to a assortment of plans provided by the Fund. These packages supply financial and technical assistance to CDFIs through the CDFI Plan, the Native American CDFI Support Method, the New Markets Tax Credit score Program and the Bank Enterprise Award System.

Tiny business owners should spend certain attention to the offerings supplied by the Compact disk Banking institutions, New cd Loan Funds and New cd Venture Funds Resources.

Compact disc Banking institutions offer you a broad assortment of financial and consulting services to individuals and businesses living and operating in underserved or economically disadvantaged locations.

Compact disk Bank loan Resources are set to to provide growth and financing solutions to businesses, organizations and individuals in reduced-income rural and urban locations. They serve a assortment of organization types including microenterprises, tiny businesses, and housing and community providers organizations.

Compact disc Venture Money Resources are an excellent source of equity or close to-fairness financing for little businesses in underserved neighborhoods. Quite a few of these funds present business consulting companies in conjunction with financial solutions.

Although Community Improvement Banking institutions are for-revenue institutions with considerable neighborhood representation on their boards of directors, Local community Improvement Mortgage Money are typically nonprofit entities. Local community Growth Enterprise Money Funds can either be for earnings or not-for-earnings institutions.

CDFIs offer services around the nation to underserved and low-income populations. There are also a subset to these entities that focus on areas of severe monetary distress, including the Mississippi Delta, the Gulf Chance Zone, Native Communities, Colonias, and Appalachia.

If your modest business operates in a place of that is underserved, has a substantial low-income population or in an area of severe financial misery, you really should investigate how a CDFI can aid you in growing your business.

Michael Saunders has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He edits a internet site on grants for small business from Authorities Grants and an additional on Ideas to Begin Your Personal BusinessInformation on Grants for Small Business, fact about Grants for Small Business, Grants for Small Business facts, GrantsforSmallBusinessinformation, GrantsforSmallBusinessapplication

Ron Oconnor is an expert regarding grants for small business