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Small business ideas can be scarce at times, especially for bеginnеrѕ. Of соurѕе, it’s often times good tо ѕtаrt оff ѕоmеthing thаt iѕ not tоо grаnd. While mоѕt big соmраniеѕ today ѕtаrtеd as modest enterprises, it iѕ significant to note thаt nоt аll startups realize such great degrees of success.
With this in mind, it iѕ nоt bad to hеаr ѕоmе ѕtаrt uр аdviсе.
Find the Right Financial Resources
One thing thаt ѕеriоuѕlу dirесtѕ your ѕtаrting off iѕ hоw muсh resources уоu have. Even реорlе with nо background in economics and finances know thе importance of сарitаl whеn kiсking оff a соmmеrсiаl рrоjесt. However, not all entrepreneurs are fortunate enough to secure small business loans to finance their ventures. (more…)
Many 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…)
It’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…)
It is a well-known fact that hard work, dedication, and perseverance are all important to small business success. At the same time, however, few people ever explain the tangible and specific reasons why perseverance is so important to attaining your small business goals.
For example, in the classic book Think and Grow Rich, author Napoleon Hill examines how focus and desire can lead to business and professional riches. While the author does a good job of explaining the connection, here again, there is very little offered in the way of tangible ways that this focus and desire will help your small business succeed.
On the other hand, much has been written about other variables that commonly contribute to success. Popular business gurus and academics have analyzed all financing, education, leadership traits, and a spectrum of other small business success factors at length. However, none of these variables are nearly as critical as the more simple and universally accessible trait of perseverance.
Other than stating how important perseverance is, most business authors, gurus, and advice from the Small Business Administration gloss over this important topic. However, it is extremely important to understand exactly how perseverance will translate to small business success and help overcome the various obstacles that you face as an entrepreneur.
Below are the three ways that perseverance will help you on your way to small business growth and success: (more…)
We 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.
NBC’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.
Obtaining 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.
Many 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:
As the optimistic, positive-thinking entrepreneur types, we typically like to think about the upside of being small business owners. However, there are often struggles and landmines along the way – and plenty of small business failures – that often get overlooked in our culture of glorifying the seemingly “nothing but success” stories of the Mark Zuckerbergs and Bill Gates of the world.
What many don’t realize, though, is that most entrepreneurs struggle immensely at some point along the way. Even for those that are fortunate enough to become successful, the entire journey can be a long grind. Despite this fact, most popular business publications, training courses, and Small Business Administration recommendations don’t prepare entrepreneurs and small business owners for the difficult scenarios to expect.
Based on my own challenges and failures – combined with what I’ve seen countless other entrepreneurs struggle with – small business owners make a number of common mistakes along the way. I certainly have, having unintentionally run one of my companies into the ground, only to recover and grow the company to heights that I had never seen before.
Below are several things that I learned in my rise, fall, and rise again cycle as an entrepreneur: (more…)
When starting a small business, choosing the right level of focus can make or break your chances of success. On one hand, you want to focus on a relatively narrow market as a way to minimize your marketing costs and develop a strong customer following. On the other hand, too narrow of a focus can result in lost opportunity and revenue, which can be especially troubling for cash strapped small businesses operating on a shoestring budget without access to small business loans.
For example, let’s suppose that you are opening a retail clothing outlet. There are a myriad of different ways you could focus your business: you could focus on one target market, such as millennial women, baby boomer men, or children. Or, you could focus on one product line: outerwear, shoes, business attire, or casual clothing. Or, you could pursue a combination. The strategies you do and don’t pursue will have a big impact on how successful your company becomes.
Clearly, finding the right level of focus is important to achieving your small business goals and success. Here are four things to keep in mind when determining the right level of focus for your small business: (more…)
For most of us, starting a company is the epitome of the American Dream. By fusing our passions, visions, and identified opportunities in the marketplace, starting a small business is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication.
However, running a small business can also be gut wrenching and downright scary at times. Cashflow, economic turmoil, employee issues, and a host of other variables – often perceived to be outside of our control – all threaten to undermine the fun and rewards of starting a company. According to the US Small Business Administration (SBA) and other sources, most small businesses fail in their first one to two years of operation.
But having your eyes wide open to these various risks is the best way to overcome them. Below are five of the scariest aspects of running and managing a small business: (more…)