Finding Funding for Your Small Business Idea

One of the main challenges facing aspiring business owners is financing. In most cases, small businesses simply do not have the funds to operate and grow the way the owner envisions or wants. That’s why there is such a high demand for small business funding. The problem is, there are limited options. Few individuals or organizations are willing or able to finance new businesses. In addition, competition is fierce. Lenders have to decide which firm can offer the best return on their investment. In this article, we’ll take a look at the options that are open to you when you have a business idea:
• Venture Capital – while venture capital has a somewhat negative reputation among small businesses, venture capitalists are actually just people who want to invest money. They have a responsibility of ensuring that they will have good returns by minimizing risks. If you are interested in tapping these types of firms, it is important to note that in most cases, they only invest in exceptional start-ups. They tend to prefer companies that focus on new markets and those that develop new products.
• Commercial Lenders – banks are a common source of funding for small businesses. While banks don’t invest in businesses, they lend money to them. But just like venture capitalists, they scrutinize the business to see if it is worth lending to. It can be very difficult for start-ups to secure funding this way unless they have collateral.
• Small Business Administration (SBA) – the SBA was set-up to provide advice and funding for small businesses. SBA loans are typically administered by local banks. One important requirement is that a third of the business capital must come from the owner. The rest can be guaranteed by personal assets. If you can secure funding from an SBA-certified bank, do so. These tend to be more business-friendly than commercial loans.
• Friends and Relatives – people often underestimate how willing their friends and relatives are to helping them. While it can be hard to mix your personal life with business, it can be worth it. The terms of the loan are often lax because they trust in you. Just be certain that the repayment details are ironed out early on to prevent misunderstanding.
There are many other sources of funding you can check out for small business grants. Opportunities depend greatly on your location, industry, and expertise. For example, there may be certain local government agencies may be tasked with helping small businesses with funding.
On the other hand, you can also check out if there are private investors who may be interested in your proposals. If you decide to do this, connections are important. Getting the chance to present your business plan to would-be investors is fifty percent of the task. At the end of the day, it’s all about having the courage to go out there to present your business. You won’t get money for nothing. So it is important to do your work beforehand to find out which individuals, groups, or organizations will be interested in your proposals.

How to Find a Legitimate Turnkey Business Opportunity

If you are thinking about trying to set up a legitimate turnkey business opportunity, you need to do a lot of homework before you start. There are thousands if not more turnkey opportunities touted on the Internet. Many sound fabulous. They claim that you can make millions or at least hundreds of thousands of dollars with very little effort. If that were true, we would all have turnkey businesses online.
The first thing you need to do is make sure you can contact someone at the business. If there is no way to get in touch with the company, you will likely not be able to get in touch with them after you are a member. If their claims of making money are too good to be true, they are. To find a legitimate turnkey business opportunity, you need to find one where the sellers of the program have a vested interest in your success. If they are interested in your success, and they benefit from your success, you have found a legitimate opportunity.
Make sure that when you choose the business, you have access to webinars, mentors at the company, classes and other learning sources directly from the company. It is also helpful to have access to blogs and other communications forums, so that you can get ideas from other people who are doing the same thing. If you join an organization where other people with the same goals are encouraging each other, you can rest assured that you have found a legitimate turnkey business opportunity.
Don’t expect to get rich quick. A legitimate turnkey business opportunity will require a lot of work and dedication. You will have to spend time everyday working on your business. The main thing that you will have to do with a good turnkey business is learn. You will have to become a student again and truly learn everything you can about the business. Once you do, you can follow through on the guidelines and begin to earn money.

Home Based Ideas for Business – The Food Way!

What never goes out of fashion? Why food of course! Businesses related to the food industry will never go out of vogue provided the service is unique, fulfilling and all round awesome!
If baking cakes and cookies is one’s talent, this is a sure shot business jackpot. Customized cakes for events such as birthday parties, evening parties, family get- together etc can be the perfect opportunities for a good business idea. And since the home made cakes have such a personal touch to them, the idea is sure to be a hit. One can also make gift baskets with different types of cookies and little cakes included for sale through online websites or some shops. This will increase the sales and this has proven to be a popular service that people will queue up for!
Home catering is another option. With the growing popularity of house parties and the foodies that people are, this is a good business idea. Designing specialized menus such as a vegetarian menu or a low fat low carbohydrate healthy menu can be an eye catching offer and it will score points on the novelty of the idea.
Homemade chocolates of different varieties can also be a big hit. Who can resist a mouth watering piece of rich decadent chocolate? Added to that if customized chocolate boxes can be made out and a delivery service added to that, it can be a pretty awesome idea. Advertising through the shop windows or by creating a website with all the different types of chocolate boxes and the personalization option will be a definite winner since people are always on the look out to give unique gifts.
The catering related ideas may need an initial capital investment but this is sure to be recovered manifold once the business takes off and soon you’ll be the toast of town with all the wonderful food services.

7 Steps to a Successful Business Online

It is possible for anyone with a computer, a connection to the internet and the ability to read and write, to start a business online. It is quite easy to put up a website, often hosted for free, and hopefully have people come and visit it. Unfortunately it is not a matter of ‘build it and they will come.’ If you don’t set it up right, you will be wasting your time. No one will visit your site and you will not make any money.
The purpose of this article is to share with you a seven step process that I have followed successfully in the past to make money online and I believe that this will work for you also.
An idea – First you need a business idea. I am not necessarily talking about something original that has never been done before but you do need to know what you are going to try and do to make money. You also need to know what niche you want to work in.
Research and testing for profitability – Once you have a business idea you need to do some research to make sure that it is profitable. You need to find out whether people are searching for information in your chosen niche and you need to work out whether they are spending any money on products they find- you cannot make money out of freebie seekers. There are a variety of tools that you can utilise to test the profitability of a niche.
A plan – If you find that niche of choice is likely to be profitable it is time to develop a plan to reach out to your target audience. There are a variety of things to include in your plan- from what you are going to sell to how you are going to reach out to your target audience.
Implementing the plan – After you have come up with your plan it is time for implementation. You need to actually do what you have said that you are going to set out to do.
Automating what you can – One of the benefits of an online business is the ability to automate many of the processes of your business. You should utilise technology to automate what you can so you can concentrate on other aspects of your business.
Marketing and brand building – You need to promote, promote and promote some more. If you aren’t telling people about your business how are they to know that you are there?
Starting again from section 1 – Once you have your successful business off the ground, why not start another one? Don’t leave all your eggs in the one basket and see your profits soar!
There you go. If you are thinking of starting your own business online, follow the tips I have mentioned above and you should give yourself more chance of success.

Plan, Plan, Plan, and Then Run a Business

Whether it is about starting a large-scale industrial business unit, or a small-scale home-based venture, a business plan would remain significant in ensuring success. It is said that one who fails to plan, actually plans to fail.
Planning gives a proper guideline, a roadmap, and an action plan to be followed. If planned, implemented, and controlled adequately; there’s no doubt that the business would flourish.
The biggest tool in this regard is a Business Plan. Although there is no standard format for a business plan because the contents depend largely upon the type of business it is written for. However, some major contents are found nearly in almost every business plan. This may prove beneficial for those who prefer to plan before jumping into an action mode.
Following is a business plan tailored specifically for small home-based ventures.
Cover Sheet
Executive Summary
Table of Contents
Body of the Document
Operating procedures
Capital investment and supply list
Financial statements
Legally required documents of business owner(s)
Crucial for Success
Many people have witnessed the disaster that no planning or poor planning brought over their business projects. No matter how great an idea may look before implementation, even a minor planning error may ruin the entire business concept.
A business plan possesses a critical role and determines the success of a business. It is important because it:
Clarifies direction
Provides future vision
Attracts financing
Attracts team members
Gives the business a proper structure
Question Yourself!
One of the most important contents from the above listed business plan is the ‘Business’ section. With reference to the business plan of a small home-based business, this section holds the highest degree of importance, as it sets the foundation stone of how the business would actually look.
This is the time to answer the 5 W’s and an H in order to get a clearer business idea and get ready to implement it. Answer questions like:
Why am I starting a business?
What kind of business do I want?
What products/services will my business provide?
What is my target market?
Who is my competition?
What is unique about my business idea and the products and services?
What type of suppliers do I need to contact?
When and where will I house my business?
How soon will it take before my products/services are available?
How will I price my product compared to my competition?
How will I manage my business?
How many employees will I need to start up?