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Five Common Mistakes Made by New Small Business Owners

mistake-statueIf уоu’rе thinking оf ѕtаrting уоur оwn ѕmаll business, thеn I can аѕѕurе уоu thаt уоu hаvе еvеrу chance оf bесоming ѕuссеѕѕful. Hоwеvеr, уоur сhаnсеѕ соuld be seriously jеораrdizеd bу mаking оnе оf thе mistakes mоѕt nеw ѕmаll buѕinеѕѕ оwnеrѕ’ make.

Dоn’t fоr оnе mоmеnt think thаt thе success of уоur buѕinеѕѕ dереndѕ on itѕ ѕizе. Rаthеr it iѕ уоur аbilitу to ѕuссеѕѕfullу сrеаtе аnd еxесutе strategies thаt will attract, keep and expand your сuѕtоmеr base thаt will ѕignifiсаntlу impact the ѕuссеѕѕ оf your business.

Diѕсоvеr thе usual miѕtаkеѕ mоѕt nеw buѕinеѕѕ owner’s mаkе аnd dеtеrminе nоt to rереаt аnу of thеm with уоur business. Here are the five most common small business lessons from these common mistakes: (more…)

Small Business Ideas to Finance Your Company

money-treeMany people are full of small business ideas, yet they do not have the cash-flow to really begin it. Fresh out of the box, new organizations are regularly turned down for bank credit, and regardless of the possibility that your business is set up, assets can in any case be hard to secure. Advances supported by the Small Business Administration are generally more available; however they are turning out to be progressively aggressive.

With that in mind, there are several alternative sources of small business financing to choose from: (more…)

Small Business Ideas From the US Election

trump-clintonAs divisive as it may have been, the latest United States presidential election in the United States taught us a lot.

Not only do we know who the next president will be, but we now also have some great small business ideas and insights to glean from the campaigns. Regardless of your political affiliation, or whether or not you even liked either major candidate, there are plenty of takeaways from this memorable event.

Here are just a few lessons relevant to small business owners and entrepreneurs: (more…)

Three Smoke Signs of Small Business Failure

Small Business FailureIt’s no secret that most businesses fail. By most measures, somewhere upward of 80% of small businesses and startups fail in their first few years of operation. What is less clear is why and how those small businesses fail.

Most small business failures are long in the making rather than overnight catastrophes. Experienced entrepreneurs will recognize the causes of and reasons for failure and take proactive and reactive actions to remediate those risks. Less experienced small business owners, on the other hand, won’t realize what hit them, even after the failure occurs.

There are several key early warning signs that, when properly remediated, can proactively provide a small business owner guidance on how to avoid small business failure and instead achieve small business growth. Here are three of the most common ones: (more…)

Finding the Best Sources of Financing for Your Small Business or Startup

SBA loansWe all hear the common refrain regarding small business and startup finances: cash is king. As existing and aspiring entrepreneurs, we hear this so often simply because money can be so scarce during the early stages of a startup, as well as phases of high growth later in the startup’s lifecycle.

Just to add some tangible data to this discussion, I thought I would take a look at some preliminary results from our ongoing survey of small business owners. In the study, we are polling several hundred small businesses and startups to learn more about their risks, costs, profits, success factors, and a number of other variables. (Take the brief survey here and earn a chance to win a $250 American Express gift card).

Of the several dozen responses we have received so far, we found that each and every one of them – in other words, 100% of the businesses in the study – cited “managing cashflow” as a big concern and challenge for them. We suspect that this challenge may be at least partially amplified by the fact that credit is tighter for small businesses now than it was before the financial crisis of 2008. To add insult to injury, the US Small Business Administration (SBA) is cutting back on their government-backed loans in recent years as well.

So we wanted to hear what readers of our blog think: what sources of cash have you used to support your business, if any? Take the poll below and view the summary of results from other entrepreneurs.

In the meantime, we’ll dive into each of these sources of financing in more detail in a blog next week. Stay tuned. We’ll also cover this topic in our free online Small Business Boot Camp training course, so register or learn more here if you haven’t already.

Lessons from Radio Shack: Is Bigger Always Better for Your Small Business?

Small Business GrowthLast week there was a good article in the Wall Street Journal about Radio Shack’s struggles to avoid bankruptcy and remain solvent as a business. Although Radio Shack is by no means a small business, the trouble the company is facing is a good case study in some key points related to small businesses.

First of all, the company’s struggles are a good reminder of the various risks that businesses of all sizes face. Changing consumer preferences, new technologies, and financial headwinds are just a few of the many challenges and pitfalls that small businesses and their larger counterparts all have to navigate.

Second, this situation is a good reminder that bigger isn’t always better when it comes to small business growth. Radio Shack had become one of the biggest retailers in the world during its steep growth trajectory throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. However, the company’s growth has stalled in recent years and has instead been experiencing negative growth, fewer customers, and financial losses. (more…)

How Much Should Small Business Owners Pay Themselves?

Small Business Training CoursesThe holiday season is of course about giving and the holiday spirit. It’s a time of year when most are less concerned about themselves and more concerned about their families, the spirit of giving, and being thankful.

As we enter a new year, however, it is also a good time to reflect on the risks and rewards that we all experience as small business owners. Most entrepreneurs have a strong passion and belief in their businesses, but too few are reaping the rewards that they hope or expect to see. In fact, in our ongoing survey of small business owners, we find that most are not only concerned about having enough cash to sustain their businesses over time, but we also find that most are dissatisfied with the level of personal income they are making from their efforts.

This may not be surprising on the surface, but it is a bit concerning since most entrepreneurs start businesses to create wealth for themselves and their families. This is typically not the only reason for starting a new company, but it is an important one. Combine this desire with the level of risk that entrepreneurs face – whether it be risk of financial duress, legal issues, or the possibility of failure – and there is clearly a disconnect between what entrepreneurs should be earning and the pay they actually take home for themselves.

So what’s the right answer? Unfortunately, there is no single answer for all entrepreneurs since every small business is different, but here are four questions you should ask to determine the “right” amount to pay yourself: (more…)

Small Business Ideas From Shark Tank

Small Business IdeasNBC’s TV show Shark Tank is one of the more popular shows about small businesses and startups. It’s nice to finally see this and other reality shows about businesses and entrepreneurs gaining mainstream acceptance.

Aside from providing great entertainment value, Shark Tank offers some good small business ideas for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. Parts of the show may seem overly scripted or unrealistic at times, but it offers some good lessons for those about to embark on their entrepreneurial journeys.

Here are three key lessons that we can take from Shark Tank and apply to our small business growth strategies: (more…)

How to Start a Company Without a Small Business Loan

Small Business LoanObtaining enough funds to finance their businesses is one of the biggest concerns and fears for many entrepreneurs and small business owners. In fact, in our recent survey of small business owners planning to attend our upcoming online Small Business Boot Camp, 100% stated that “running out of cash” was one of their biggest concerns and fears – hands-down the top response in the survey.

Small business loans are becoming increasingly hard to come by, so it’s no wonder that financing is on the top of everyone’s minds. A weak economy, reluctant banks, and even the US Small Business Administration scaling back on government-backed small business loans are all contributing factors to these challenges.

The good news is that it is easier than ever to create a startup without excessive capital needs. The internet, technology, and new ways of thinking are all making it easier for entrepreneurs to start a business without breaking the bank.

Below are just a few examples of how an entrepreneur can create a startup with very little to no startup capital or small business loans: (more…)

Small Business Loans: Are They a Good Idea?

Small business loansMany entrepreneurs feel as though their survival hinges on landing a small business loan, whether it be an SBA loan or one from some other source. After all, most mainstream media and academics tend to claim that “running out of cash” is one of the leading causes of small business failure – if not the single biggest reason.

However, our hands-on experience with and research of small businesses suggest that cash is not the reason most businesses fail. Instead, cashflow issues are typically symptoms of deeper root causes. Much like person dies because their heart stops beating or they stop breathing, those are merely symptoms caused by some other disease or problem.

With this in mind, I tend to believe that cashflow issues are not what small businesses should be most focused on, especially in the early startup stages. Startups landing millions of dollars of capital are often glamorized in popular media such as Shark Tank, but in general, small businesses are often better off without outside capital.

Here are three reasons why small business loans can be a bad idea:

(more…)