Friends and Family: Raising Money for Your Business

With banks and other traditional funding avenues becoming more and more stringent with financing small businesses, many new entrepreneurs are laying their hope other alternatives to acquire the money they need to breathe life into their startups.

Funding from friends and family is one of the most common forms of startup funding for a good reason: banks and investors might not care for you as much as to risk their money on you, but those who are close to you and know you well might be willing to take a chance on your infant business.

Loans are arguably the best way for friends and family to back a business, because not only is the money in most cases enough, but lenders also agree on more favorable repayment terms than would be otherwise offered by a third-party agency.

The benefits of pulling family and friends together to see your vision through.

For a good number of entrepreneurs, this is one of the best chances they have of securing money to get a business off the ground. People close to you will always support your cause more generously than third-party contributors.

Furthermore, if a few of them have knowledge or skills that might be directly applicable to your business, bringing them on as partners and investors will transform them from simple contributors to motivated advisors.

In the unfortunate event that your startup doesn’t turn out as expected, friends and family will often be more forgiving than outside lenders and investors, and will even try to pull you back up.

Raising money from your personal network not only saves you money by avoiding creditors, but also sets you up for future investors who will be thoroughly impressed by the number of people you have rallying behind your business plan.

Always have a fallback plan.

In the eventuality that your friends and family do not end up raising enough for your business to spread its wings, it helps if you had an alternative funding initiative. Traditional lending institutions might not be as inviting but luckily, independent companies exist to give your business the financial jolt it desperately needs.

Online lenders aside, signing up with cash advance providers such as First American Merchant is a reasonable way for getting enough money to start and your small business.

What Entrepreneurs Should Know About High-Risk Investments

The fact that you’re an entrepreneur probably already indicates you’re willing to take some pretty big financial risks, and you probably already have a strong understanding of the fact that significant risk can often also mean big reward.

You may understand the potential financial payoffs that come with taking risks in your business, as well as the possible pitfalls, but how can you translate your risk tolerance to investments outside your business?

You may decide that since you take so many risks in your business, you don’t want to utilize high-risk strategy in your other investments, or you may feel that since you already have a high risk tolerance, you’d like to translate that to investments outside of your business.

Regardless, the following are some things entrepreneurs should know about high-risk investments.

All-Cash

Unfortunately, there’s all too often the tendency to feel like the safest thing you can do with your money is stash it in a savings account, and that’s actually one of the riskiest things you can do. That cash is going to lose value because of inflation, which over time makes idle cash one of the top risks you can make regarding your finances.

Learn As Much As You Can

Many of the riskiest investment opportunities are not for the faint of heart, and you need to be backed by extensive knowledge before making any big decisions.

For example, if you’re considering something like penny stocks, think about reading reviews of the Tim Sykes challenge team so that you can see not just the potential upsides of this approach, but also the possible downsides, such as fraud and illiquidity.

Venture Capital

As an entrepreneur, you’re probably very familiar with concepts surrounding venture capital, but perhaps from the other side where you were working to raise funding for your business. What about when you’re the investor?

Venture capital is considered one of the riskiest types of investment you can make, and it requires that you have the ability to conduct due diligence and assess the long-term prospects of a business before investing.

One reason this is particularly appealing to entrepreneurs is because they’re familiar with this process, and may know what to look for when they conduct research.

High-Yield Bonds

Something else to consider when exploring high-risk investment opportunities are high-yield bonds. High-yield bonds are usually issued by a foreign government or a company with a lot of debt, and yields can be as much as 15 to 20%, but there is the potential that these are junk bonds.

While there is certainly the potential that the investor will lose the principal, that’s not always the case which is why high-yield bonds remain appealing for investors willing to shoulder the risk.

These are just a few of the main things to consider and methods to include risk in your portfolio. Other options include forex trading, owning rental properties, and investing in emerging markets. Entrepreneurs tend to be a group that welcomes a more risk-filled portfolio because they’ve seen the payoff of financial risks in many cases, but also clearly understand the consequences as well.

 

 

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Grow Your Business Now Through The Use Of These Techniques

If you want to grow your business, now is the time to begin. While there are many techniques that can help your organization start to thrive, you may find the following strategies particularly effective:

1. Purchase Products Online.

One great way to grow your business is by purchasing products online. This strategy is helpful because it can save time you might otherwise have spent standing in long lines or fighting traffic. Purchasing products online is also a great way for you to train your employees to become more technologically savvy. In the event that you are in need of attaining attwood replacement parts, you can get them from organizations such as MMI.

2. Buy Digital Marketing Services.

In addition to purchasing products online, make sure that you start buying digital marketing services. Obtaining these services will help extend your sphere of influence to the internet sphere. There are many digital marketing services you might want to obtain, and some of them include:

• content marketing
• email advertising
• web design and development
• online reputation management
• search engine optimization
• social media optimization

As you begin searching for the ideal digital marketing company, make sure that you select a team of industry experts who have extensive experience in the online advertising sector. Also try to select a community of marketing boffins who can offer you customized, cutting edge public relations services.

3. Implement A Reading Plan.

Although many business owners recognize the power of reading, not all of them engage in the practice regularly. Yet you should. Doing so will help ensure that you are continually being exposed to new ideas that can help you run your business more effectively. With this reality in mind, consider the value of creating a reading plan. You can start by setting aside 30 minutes a day to read a business-related book. Some of the books you might want to add to your list include:

How To Win Friends And Influence People
Good To Great
The E Myth
Think And Grow Rich
Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Getting Things Done: The Art Of Stress-Free Productivity
Who Moved My Cheese?
In Search Of Excellence

Start Growing Your Organization Now

There are many techniques you can implement to facilitate substantive company growth. Start implementing the techniques listed for you above to ensure that your organization starts to expand in a great way.

Growing Your Business In 2017: How To Make It Happen

If you want 2017 to be your organization’s most productive and positive year, you can begin the growth process today. While there are numerous strategies you might deploy to keep your organization growing in a dynamic manner, you may find the following techniques particularly empowering:

1. Find The Right Maintenance Companies.

Finding great maintenance companies will play an integral role in keeping your business on the road to great growth in 2017. This step is immensely important because maintenance services ensure that all of your equipment is kept in great condition, thereby increasing the likelihood that your machines and devices will function optimally. Without maintenance services, you’ll run the risk of faulty equipment slowing down your daily operations and increasing the employee’s susceptibility to work-related accidents. Business owners who are looking for wastewater treatment companies who can care for their water-related equipment can turn to the professionals of Sandling Industrial Services.

2. Utilize Public Relations Services.

In addition to finding the right maintenance companies, make sure that you find the right public relations company. PR services are important because they empower you to develop strong relationships with the media representatives who will be publicizing information regarding your brand. This could include anyone from reporters to journalists to influential bloggers. Attaining great PR services can also optimize your company’s presence in the online sector. Some of the PR services that a firm might offer you include:

• Media Relations
• Product Placement
• Media Outreach
• Search Engine Optimization
• Grassroots Marketing
• Editorial Placement
• Media Round Tables
• Social Media Optimization
• Print Placements
• Digital Placements
• Award List Monitoring
• Press Kit Creation

3. Make Employee Development A Must.

Focusing on the personal and professional growth of your employees is a wonderful way to keep your organization growing. This strategy works by ensuring that your staff members possess the confidence and skill set necessary to complete work assignments and interface with prospective clients in a manner that promotes optimized conversion. There are several ways that you can expedite and optimize the employee development process, and one of them is by having one-on-one meetings with your staff members. During these meetings, you can speak candidly with the employee regarding her or his professional goals and how they can be realized through your organization.

Start The Business Growth Process Immediately!

There are numerous strategies you can implement to make your organization increasingly successful in 2017. Three of them include finding the right maintenance companies, utilizing public relations services, and making employee development a priority.

Should Entrepreneurs Pursue an MBA?

One of the misconceptions about MBAs is that these degree programs are meant for individuals who want good jobs in large organizations. An MBA can help you get a better job in the corporate world, but the same degree can help you start and manage a successful business in any field. Here are more reasons why every entrepreneur should invest in an MBA.

1. Preparing for Success

The level of preparation determines the level of success in any venture. Some business ideas fail because of inadequate preparation. An MBA helps entrepreneurs to prepare for all aspects of their business, including communication, financial management, marketing, and business growth. Courses in these areas help entrepreneurs adopt the right practices and strategies in their businesses.

Most entrepreneurs start new ventures out of passion. An MBA helps them to turn their passion into a successful business. Online colleges like Villanova University offer an online MBA program to entrepreneurs who want to follow their passion and gain knowledge at the same time as running their business, which makes it a great option for new entrepreneur trying to expand their knowledge and expertise. However, make sure you ask “is the online MBA accredited” and “does the online MBA have any residency requirements?” before you sign up.

2. Independence

Many individuals pursue an MBA hoping to get a good job. For instance, graduates can get well-paying marketing jobs with an MBA. Entrepreneurs hire such graduates to develop their marketing strategies because they lack the expertise. Earning your MBA as an entrepreneur helps you gain knowledge and work independently.

Your business saves on labor costs because you can handle the responsibilities you would have assigned to MBA graduates. You can use the saved funds to develop your products or conduct further research. An MBA also helps you to make better strategic decisions, especially when launching new products or ventures. You can evaluate the risks accurately and make better decisions.

3. Learning from other Entrepreneurs

Some of the students you will interact with while pursuing your MBA are successful business owners. Many entrepreneurs have realized the importance of investing in an MBA, even after succeeding in their first ventures. You will gain useful information, insights, and ideas as you interact with other entrepreneurs.

4. Understanding the Business Life Cycle

Every entrepreneur is thrilled by the first glimpse of success. However, the business life cycle is not smooth. A business can achieve record sales in one accounting period and make a loss in the next period, depending on the prevailing market and industrial situation. Obtain an MBA to learn how business life cycles work.

The skills you will gain from the program will help in analyzing industrial and market trends. You can predict how each trend will affect the performance of your business and implement the right measures in time.

Many entrepreneurs are realizing the benefits of investing in an MBA. You too can benefit from the degree program and build the successful business you have been dreaming about. You will gain relevant skills and knowledge that will help you prepare for the next level of success in your career and business.

 

 

 

 

Tracking Manufacturing Cycles to Improve Operations and Profitability

Modern, just-in-time and “lean” manufacturing principles place great stress on manufacturing managers. Previously, those managers were able to maintain large quantities of raw materials that they could use in manufacturing processes to create equally large inventories from regular production runs. These practices allowed businesses to fill product orders as they came in, but they also tied up significant amounts of cash and assets and reduced manufacturing company profitability.

Rather than creating large inventories of finished products that then sit in warehouses until orders come in, new manufacturing principles call for managers to create a regular trickle of finished products that go immediately to customers with little or no intermediate warehouse time. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) for manufacturing gives manufacturing managers the tools and information they need to track, measure, and monitor every step of a manufacturing cycle, from raw material order and delivery to shipment of a final product. In addition, managers can use ERP for manufacturing to:

  • approve purchase orders electronically
  • match supplier invoices with accepted purchase order receipts
  • connect and coordinate the efforts of multiple manufacturing facilities
  • forecast demand, and match production to anticipated demand from those forecasts
  • track order status and fulfillment at all stages of a manufacturing cycle

Gamma Vacuum, a small Minnesota-based manufacturer of ion pumps, realized all of these benefits and more through the adoption of its own manufacturing ERP software. Gamma is a small business, yet it has captured more than one-third of the marketplace for its products through intelligent management of its manufacturing processes. Gamma specifically uses ERP for manufacturing to manage supply and distribution channels and to feed information back into its manufacturing facilities to allow the company to quickly respond to customer orders and changes in those orders.

Likewise, H&R Manufacturing, a Texas tool producer, uses ERP for manufacturing to stay competitive with international tool manufacturers. H&R collects data from its manufacturing floor in real-time to measure production time, and it then uses that data to set costs and pricing for its products. Its ERP manufacturing system gives managers a clear picture of order processing time and identifies manufacturing processes where time is used inefficiently or ineffectively.

Depending on its needs and the specifics of its manufacturing operations, a manufacturing company can adopt and install a number of different modules, all of which address different aspects of ERP for manufacturing, including:

  • sales and distribution management
  • purchasing management
  • manufacturing planning and control
  • quality assurance
  • supply and inventory control
  • machine and equipment maintenance
  • human resources and manufacturing operator management

Effective use of any of these modules is a function of management’s ability to harness the information that a manufacturing ERP system will collect and generate. The auto parts supplier, Tribar Manufacturing, discovered this after the initial installation and implementation of an ERP system generated so much data both within and outside of the system that its personnel were unable to fully grasp and use all of the data that had been generated. Tribar rebooted its ERP installation and within a short time, realized cost savings of more than $350,000 from better control over its inventory.

Regardless of size, a manufacturing company can squeeze substantial profits out of its operations through better use and understanding of all of the data and information that manufacturing cycles routinely generate. ERP for manufacturing company can improve the operations of a manufacturing company by providing the tools and pathway that the company needs to gain that understanding.

 

 

 

Office space for start ups

Nobody has any doubt that London is arguably one of the best places in the UK to run a small business. With so many people living in the capital city it is only a matter of time before a business fully takes off and spreads its wings.

Having your business located in London has many benefits, not only when it comes to the number of people living there but also due to many other factors such as being able to access various facilities that are usually connected to bigger businesses. Having a good location in proximity to a well-known business can mean the world of opportunities for you as well such as getting to know the people behind those businesses and making valuable connections with them that might turn into something more valuable in the future.

If you are a start up you will be certainly looking for office space for start ups. You are definitely in luck here because London is full of such places and offers a very wide range of co-working spaces, served offices, hot desks, etc, the list here goes on and on. In other words, there is always something to choose from depending on what your business needs are.

When it comes to the location you choose it all boils down close to what sort of amenities and landmarks you will want to be. Usually, the more reputable office spaces are located closer to the city centre while more affordable options are located further away. Ad a start up you might want to start slowly and the gradually build up to bigger and netter offices while moving closer and closer to the city centre. You might want to start straight away in a good location if you are absolutely sure that your business is guaranteed to succeed. If this is not the case, being somewhere on the outskirts, at least for now, might be a good idea for you you will want to implement.

Ultimately, the choice where to have your office is yours. There are many attractive locations in London and I strongly recommend that you visit them before making up your mind what you really want. Very often, visiting a few locations should give you an idea what your real needs are and how to accommodate them.

5 Ways to Make Your New House Feel Like Home

Moving into a new house can bring a wave of mixed feelings. Maybe you’re leaving behind your beloved apartment or condo in the city. Or perhaps a job brought you across the country and you’re now focused on crafting a new life for yourself and your family. Owning a home is a huge accomplishment, and you should be proud to enjoy the fruits of your labors. After the initial rush of signing the papers, closing on a home, and making moving arrangements, you’ll cross the threshold and start to create new memories that center around your new space.

You may go through a period where you’re excited and grateful to work with a blank canvas that is your new dwelling, but also have the nagging feeling that it’s not quite home—yet. Here are five ways to make your new house feel like a proper home right off the bat:

Keep the Old, but Freshen Up

Some people fiercely hold onto old furnishings, appliances, and traditions like old friends. Others are overly eager to distinguish their new life from their old life and update everything at once. The Guardian suggests the healthiest way to make your home feel familiar yet novel is to mix old possessions with new ones. If possible, keep your investment sofa that has that perfect groove for napping. Bring along art, knickknacks, and furniture from your old home instead of rushing to the nearest home décor store and adopting a totally new look. The act of mixing will keep you grounded while still allowing you room to experiment and grow into your new digs.

Change Locks and Codes

In both a symbolic act of ownership and a savvy measure of safety, you should change locks and codes that allow entrance to your house. It’s practical, as realtors, previous owners, and others might still hold keys to your place. But it also puts you in charge. Whether you call a locksmith straight away or decide to handle the installation yourself, it will provide a positive sense of control. If the garage has a keypad, don’t forget to reprogram it to a code that’s unique to your family.

Take Full Ownership

Part of achieving a sense of possession is taking care of the legal and financial details to a T. Moving from one place to another is a highly transitional time, and it’s the best opportunity to check homeowners insurance rates and the level of coverage you actually need in your new area. Finding the right policy and speaking candidly with your carrier helps you rest assured that if something unexpected occurs, you’re covered. It will also help you get into a groove with paying bills on your new residence.

Stock Up on the Essentials

Nothing screams “I just moved in” like an empty refrigerator, bare-bones cabinets, and vacant closets. One Buzzfeed contributor reminds everyone to pick up the staples that you need to establish your routine, like milk, peanut butter, condiments, and more. The same goes for basic toiletries, cleaning supplies, and tools. If you brought them along from your previous place, make sure to unpack them as soon as possible to restore some normalcy and give you easy access. If you are starting fresh, then a trip to your favorite store with a checklist in hand might be in order.

Give It a Deep Clean

This one is self-explanatory. You can’t be sure how in-depth the previous residents went in cleaning, and it’s doubtful that your space will feel comforting until you’re confident it’s neat and orderly. Be prepared to conduct a deep clean before unpacking all your belongings. You can hire a cleaning service for a professional-grade scrub down, or round up your trusty supplies and spend a few hours going over surfaces, paying special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms.

You look forward to the day when your new house becomes your true home. Taking these five measures before, during, and right after your move can help expedite that process.

Getting Started with Mobile Payments

If your online business isn’t accepting credit cards and mobile payments just yet, you are missing out on thousands of potential transactions and customers already. Credit card payments are the most frequently used method of payment online. There was over $800 billion of revolving credit from the use of credit cards in 2015. That is a big market share to tap into, especially with studies by the Business Administration degree program of Rutgers Online revealing that customers are spending an average of $5,000 on their credit cards every month.

Accepting credit card and mobile payments is not as difficult as you think, even when you are running a relatively small business. PayPal, for example, now allows merchants to accept on-site mobile payments using a smartphone as a payment terminal. Other services are just as easy to integrate.

To find out more on how to get started with mobile payments, Credit Cards and Mobile Payments: What Your Business Needs to Know for Now and the Near Future, the infographic by http://online.rutgers.edu/ is the page to read.

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