SBA: Helping Small Business Owners Obtain Lending

Business owners are regular people just like you and I. They run into situations that require more capital then they have. How does an entrepreneur come up with funds when their small business is in need? This may happen in opening a small business or may present itself during an expansion whenever the need arises it is important to be aware of what you will need in order to prove to a commercial lender that you are a secure investment.

The small business association or SBA provides a lot of information on lending as well as tips and solutions for things that come up with running a business. One issue they cover in great detail is lending. There are several issues that can arise when a small business owner is looking for a business loan. Do you have the means to pay the loan back? Can you prove it to a lender and how? Clarifying a need for money and what they lent money will be used for is also needed. It is important to remember that lenders want to lend money but need to know that they are making a wise investment lending it to you. Your goal is to prove to them you are a worthwhile risk. The question is how one goes about proving this.

The SBA recommends that business owners have key information ready and available at all times for investors and lenders. People are rarely prepared to ask for money when the need arises so it is important as a business owner to be prepared at all times. The first step involves gathering information in the form of financial documents and a business plan to show lenders business goals and that you are a risk worth taking. The next thing they will need to know is that the business has the means to repay the loan. With cash flow data you will be able to prove to lenders that you have substantial resources to back up the loan.

Small business owners are at a disadvantage in some ways because they personally can be held liable for business debts. Often small business owners will need to not only prove the businesses financial means but also their personal means. Commercial lenders might be interested in seeing past tax returns that the business has filed and will also be interested in the company’s credit ratings. It is good for business owners to pull a credit reporting of their business every six months to check for discrepancies and to look for areas to improve on the credit rating. Higher credit ratings will ease a company’s ability to receive a loan because your credit rating is evidence to commercial lenders of debts that have been paid in a timely fashion. However a poor credit rating will do the opposite so you want to make sure that your businesses credit rating is in check before applying for a loan.

Need New Clients and Working Capital?

There is no better place to look for new business than on the US Gov web site. There are over 25,000 contracts posted on any given day for small business owners. The US Gov is contracting out everything from buttons for US military uniforms to cooks for the federal prison system. Construction, remodeling, manufacturing, human resources services, gardening, painting, web design, IT services and computer applications are a small fraction of the multi-billion dollar US Gov contract awards.

Until you learn the language and the ins and outs of submitting a bid, and winning the bid, the learning curve can be time-consuming, however the rewards can make you and your company financially independent. There is not a single work day that goes by, that the US Gov doesn’t make some small business owner wealthy over time.

Small business owners, veterans, women owned business, businesses located in hud-zones, would do well to check out the set-aside contracts which only certain categories of American businesses can bid on. What this actually means is that the US Gov has set aside billions of dollars for contracts which only veterans, small business owners, and women owned businesses, etc can bid on.

The process of Invoicing the U.S. Government and getting paid in 30 days is fast becoming easier and more efficient, yet there are small companies who need a substantial amount of cash flow to meet payroll in two weeks rather than four weeks.

Congress voted on the acceptance of accounts receivable funding for Gov Contractors who have Gov Invoices, but little cash flow. Once a company Invoices the US Gov, they can actually receive up to 92% of the total Invoice amount from a qualified Lender within days, IF they have previously set up an Invoice Line of Credit or Factoring account with a Lender who can do business with the US Gov.

For corporate Invoice Factoring or Accounts Receivable Financing, it can take anywhere from 24 hours to 72 hours, US Gov Invoices takes longer, much longer. This is why US Contractors are encouraged to set up their Invoice Lines of Credit, “before” they actually need the funding. (The best time is right before or after you win the bid for the contract)

In some cases, small business owners can work out the timing and the budget and don’t need Factoring, Invoice Lines of Credit or Accounts Receivable Funding (different words meaning the same thing) But what happens is “opportunity.” The small business owner is confronted with an opportunity, which he/she can only act upon if the cash flow is right. Invoice Lines of Credit provides immediate working capital without incurring debt.

There are Lenders for small companies who are having growing pains. Credit is not an issue. The door of “opportunity” can close as fast as it opens, and when cash flow is a concern, having the right Lender in your rolodex is key. Your credit or your financial statement, are NOT important. Funding is based on your client’s credit rating, not yours.

11 Reasons Why Your Affiliate Business Is Doomed To Failure

Many an online entrepreneur has been in this situation. You keep getting back up because you know there is light at the end of the tunnel. You have tried everything, but sometimes you find it hard opening up your computer and keeping on going. When will all this work pay off? Are my friends and family right after all? Maybe I’m wasting my time and should do something else.

But then it dawns on you what alternatives you have. 9 to 5 working hours, long commutes, annoying coworkers and bosses. The unemployment line and the jobs fairs. Careers days and lack of purpose. Capped wages and job uncertainty. You realise the reasons why you are persevering online, and carry on.

I have found myself in this situation many times. I often ask myself what the best course of action is. But it always comes back to time and financial freedom. I don’t want to trade time for money any more. I want something else. I don’t want to work for anyone else or trust anyone else with my income level. I don’t want to be tied up to a job I have no love for, or with people who don’t care for me.

Why Is Your Affiliate Business Doomed

Your affiliate business is never doomed until you are beaten! But for many people they will never achieve the time and financial freedom which they aspire to achieve. Some will give up too easily and blame their business for their shortcomings. Some will try for years only to give up later. But why do so many people struggle when trying to build a profitable online business?

Number 1 – Expectations

One of the top reasons I suspect is our expectations. We see the guru’s with their Lamborghini’s and expect to have one ourselves soon too. We start our online business fully believing this to be possible but we don’t get any results.

For one, it’s very easy to ‘show your wealth’ online. Don’t expect every guru to be telling the truth. It’s much cheaper to hire a Lamborghini for a day than it is to buy one outright. When it’s a business expense you can write it off against expenses. I’m not saying the top online entrepreneurs don’t achieve great things, just to keep it in perspective. Also, most people starting an online business aren’t interested in Lamborghini’s. They want to escape their unhappy jobs and lives. They want something better for themselves.

The second point with expectations is that we can expect something too early to come from a little effort online. When we don’t see results we assume our efforts have no effect at all. The truth is that our small actions online will magnify their effect over time. Some take months to get their online business going and some take years. If you can keep positive while also having a firm grounding in reality, it will serve to keep you going for the long haul, rather than spitting out your dummy just because you haven’t made huge amounts of money for a tiny little bit of work.

Ask yourself, “Do I really deserve success for the effort I have put in?”. Often the answer will be no. Only when you keep going through the difficult times and pursue knowledge as well as profit, will you arrive.

Number 2 – Shiny Object Syndrome

You’re doomed to failure online if you believe everything the next ‘shiny object’ promises you. Jumping from one ‘get rich quick’ scheme to another is a futile exercise. The problem with the internet is there is too much information. We are overloaded with information. If you start browsing around for programs to teach you how to make money online you will be met with a full email inbox every day.

Information overload leads to inactivity. And this leads to poverty. Just when you are about to take one course of action, another shiny new ‘system’ arrives which distracts you. Before you can apply the knowledge you have learned, you ditch it for another system which offers an even ‘easier’ way to do things online!

Number 3 – Distractions

Sticking to your course is difficult online. The shiny distractions, the people in your life and the well meaning friends and family who are trying to persuade you not to pursue the life of your dreams. They will try and distract you, and put you off the idea that you can make money with an internet business. The ‘status quo’ has a strong pull for people. Going a different route scares people, and they like to be comfortable.

Holding to a regular pattern of work online can present some challenges. Especially if you have a full time job and family commitments. Your employer doesn’t want your online business to work either and will undermine you at every chance. They don’t want you to be free of your employment if they can’t be!

All of these factors will conspire to draw you away from your internet business. No one is interested in your wealth and prosperity – only in maintaining the status quo. So number 3 on my list as to why your affiliate business is doomed to failure are distractions! Avoid distractions and focus wholeheartedly on your internet business whenever you can. Do this regularly and over a long period of time and it will start producing results.

Number 4 – Lack Of Knowledge

If we all had perfect knowledge we would all be living very different lives. But in reality we don’t know everything about everything. Our preconceived ideas come from our education, upbringing, location, the people around us and the people we spend most of our time with. Those people who advise you about your internet business – are they entrepreneurs? Are they successful?

The answer is probably not. Despite this we still look to people around us for advice which they couldn’t possibly be qualified to give. The problem is, everyone seems to be a self appointed fountain of knowledge for everything!

Starting out with an online business takes some know-how. Despite the fact that an internet business can change your life, most people would prefer to browse free forums and look at YouTube videos for their information. Would a doctor or a lawyer think about doing this for their career? Number 4 in the reasons of why your internet business is doomed to failure is lack of knowledge. But more than that it is the lack of interest in developing that knowledge and continuing to improve.

The Busy Fool – Number 5

Are you being a busy fool? Are you avoiding the important to do the unnecessary? For a long time I was focused on the wrong activities with my online business. I spent far too long creating shiny websites and adjusting images to make them look better. They didn’t even get any traffic, much less make any money. In the early stages I just thought people would randomly find my websites. All I had to do (I thought) was put them up and make them look good!

Several years (years of poverty) later, I realised my mistake. Don’t be a busy fool online. An affiliate business is performance related. It’s not like a job where you can ‘wing it’ and still get paid at the end of the month. If you don’t make any sales, you don’t get paid.

Concentrate your time on doing the vital money producing activities after you have learned what is necessary to build an internet business in the right way.

Number 6 – The Wrong Business Model

You can work really hard on your online business and still make no money. Conversely, you can do all the right things and make money much more easily. The difference is knowledge. Having a business model which works for you for the long term is a huge part of this.
Some affiliate products pay you once for a sale. After that the customer belongs to them. Further sales to the customer are not attributed to you, the affiliate. Think about the lifetime value of a loyal customer for a business. If you choose an affiliate program which rewards you for the lifetime value of a customer, you are gearing your activities to be profitable in the future, even after the initial sale.

Membership products allow affiliates to earn month after month for a single sale. Are you using them? Struggling affiliates are missing a trick with this one. Membership sales can last a lifetime for each customer.

Are you using a built in sales team and up-sells? A built in sales team can dramatically improve your bottom line as an affiliate. This is particularly true of high ticket sales. Use all these aspects in conjunction with each other for maximum effect. Sell single items for minimum commission and you will have a long road ahead of you to make your business viable and to quit your job (if that’s one of your goals).

Number 7 – Lack Of Momentum

Top affiliates don’t dabble with their business. They know it has the potential to transform their lives massively. They take massive action on a daily basis. If you’re dabbling with your business maybe it’s time to take stock. Do you have what it takes to make it work or is this just a hobby?

Treat your business like a hobby and it will pay you accordingly. Treat it like a real business and it will respond in kind. Remember why you started an online business in the first place. It wasn’t to add to your to ‘do list’ and keep you busy. Remind yourself why you are bothering with an online business. Set some serious heavy weight goals for your business and take action every day to achieve them.

Momentum comes from working hard in a certain direction. When you see results your motivation increases. You learn what works and work harder in those areas. If you lack focus it can become a habit to wander and dawdle. Focus on what you can do to change your state and do something positive for your business.

Number 8 You Don’t Set Goals

Your online business is doomed to failure if you don’t set any goals. How can you hit a target if you don’t know what it is or where it is? If you work consistently but have no goals it could be you are filling time in to distract yourself or keep busy. Most achievements are accomplished through having specific and time bound goals. Goals should be realistic but also they should highly motivate you too.

Write down some realistic goals which you are massively motivated by. Break them down into daily action steps and keep going.

Many would-be internet entrepreneurs lose track of their bigger dreams and get bogged down in the daily tasks. As an entrepreneur you need to think of the bigger picture and do the daily tasks as well. You need to see the overview of your life and your business, and not get ‘stuck’ in the ‘technician’ role of daily tasks.

Number 9 – Self Image

How do you see yourself? What about when no one is looking? Or when you are around certain people? Your self image is such an important part of your success. See yourself as a success and you will become one. See yourself as a failure and you will become one.

The self image is an important invisible barrier to success in all endeavors. Read Psycho-cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz if you are serious about growing your business.

How do you see yourself? How do you relate to money coming in? And going out? How do you interact with other people in life? How do you feel about money? The answers to these questions can lead to a better understanding of our inner world and how we see ourselves. Unless we change our inner world we have very little chance of changing our outer circumstances. Simply because we fall back to our default ‘comfort zone’ and perpetuate our same problems which we know and feel ‘safe’ with. They are based around our self image, which we have built up over our lifetime.

Number 10 – Your 10 Best Friends

Like attracts like. You can tell what kind of person someone is by looking closely at the their 10 best friends. The average of all their income will usually give you yours. You’ve probably heard the saying ‘birds of a feather flock together’. If you spend time with people who constantly complain about lack of money, trouble with their partners and work colleagues, it will be more difficult to change your reality from theirs.

Find people who support your changing values and have goals in common with you. Spend less time with people who don’t support your goals and dreams. Notice how some people make you feel about your goals and aspirations.

Many online businesses are doomed to failure because of this one simple thing. You are alone with your online business. You don’t have anyone around you to support your new direction, learning and goals. In fact, many of your closest friends probably secretly hope you will fail, simply because they don’t want to improve themselves. You succeeding means the ‘status quo’ changes. The social status bar has changed and they may see themselves as more of a failure measured against you by some unconscious competitiveness, which we all have a little of.
Find a community of entrepreneurs to help you focus on your goals and encourage you forwards.

The Wrong Activities – Number 11

You mean well and you work hard with your online business. Unfortunately you keep doing the same activities. Those activities which will only take you to your ultimate goal in a very long time. Maybe you just do a blog every day, hoping to get found on Google for your work. Perhaps you expect Google to be your savior? If you’re waiting for Google to rank your articles before you make any money you might be in for a long wait. Plus, Google may even never rank you highly enough to get a realistic amount of visitors to your website.

Based on 1% of your visitors turning into buyers, how does your business look now? Remember the internet is an information gathering tool. No-one owes you a living. Certainly Google doesn’t. You can even be hit by a penalty, or never rank in the first place.

Do you share your articles? Blogging is a good cheap source of traffic but you also need to share your content. Don’t expect Google to work for you, it’s too busy working for itself!

So my number 10 reason why your internet business is doomed to failure is that you’re doing the wrong things. Doing the wrong things can only be good if you learn from it, after noticing it, and then alter your activities accordingly.

Of course it all takes time. Even hard work and dedication falls on deaf ears from time to time. You need to suck it up and remember that it is just a business..

Keep working and turning up. Eventually your business will thrive, but only if you do it right, get the right education from the start, join a community and keep working hard both on your business and on yourself.

Keep reminding yourself that an internet business is still a business. But it’s not like any other business. If you do it right and stick at it for long enough and work hard in the right direction it can give you a lot more than most businesses.

Time freedom, financial freedom and geographical freedom are all things which an internet based business can offer. But for most people it is just the simple things that really matter. Things like spending more time with friends and family, not having to work for anyone else, and working in your own way. For some it’s the income which has held their lives back for long enough to want to do something about it.

10 Reasons Why You Should Start An Online Business

Whether you are attracted to an internet business because you hate your current job, want to improve your circumstances, or would like a more flexible lifestyle, the internet offers all these opportunities.

Why An Internet Business?

1- Flexibility

Many people come to find themselves with an internet business through necessity rather than deliberate creation. For me, I needed a flexible job which I could work around contract work. It didn’t come in often but when the phone rang, I needed to take the work. This presented all kinds of problems. Normal work didn’t pay as well and employers didn’t want me taking large chunks of time off when the other work came in!

I tried juggling several jobs over a number of years but nothing seemed to fit. At around the same time I was attempting to use e-bay to buy and sell for a bit of extra money. It wasn’t until later that I discovered affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing, for those who don’t know is a kind of referral selling. You point links from your website to other people’s goods and services. The link is tracked so that when you make a sale you are rewarded for it with a commission.

Once you know how to do this you can set up links from your online content to other people’s products and services. You can also use paid advertising to find people all over the world to sell to. This was perfect for my work because I could take my laptop anywhere with me and as long as I had an internet connection I could work. It didn’t interfere with the work when it came up, I had no boss to answer to so it was the perfect solution.

2 – Automation

There’s also a number of other reasons why I chose an internet business – and why you should too! The flexibility of the business was my primary concern. I wanted to be able to choose my own hours so I could take work when it came without any complications. But the other reason I chose this particular model was the ability to use technology to ‘leverage’ my time and income.

Once I had a website and content up and running, it kept going and I was able to make sales and deliver products without being physically present. This is the ‘magic’ of an online business. The automation involved with an online business means that you can do the work once and let that work keep running in the background. You can make sales and deliver products over and over through the same piece of content or advert, which can run an virtual autopilot 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.

Each piece of content you create can send people to a landing page and sell a product. By creating many pieces of content and sharing them online you can build multiple sources of income which can all run continually, working as your own ‘automated sales team’.

3 – Ability To Scale

Along with this amazing automation is the ability to scale your business. Because there is no human intervention in the ‘sales loop’, multiple sales can happen instantaneously through the same platforms. Your content and advertising can be grown over time and scaled instantly (in the case of paid advertising). As your content gets more shares and more people flow through your website and content, your sales grow as a result. If you use paid advertising you can also scale a profitable campaign up easily by increasing your daily budget.

The automation of an online business makes it very easy to scale. In the case of a physical business this often means more staff, sales tools, larger office space and a whole lot more expense and hassle. With an online business everything is already in place. You simply need to send more customers through the automated sales systems with content and/or paid advertising methods.

4 – Low Startup Costs

When I started an online business I did it from my own pocket. I didn’t need a massive loan and I worked at a level which suited my budget. An internet business is very cost effective and you can start from scratch from pretty much any budget. If you have more to invest you can grow it faster with paid advertising. But, if you are on a budget like I was when I got started, you can get started easily and cheaply.

With a regular ‘bricks and mortar’ business there are many overheads to consider. Your costs include a business premises, staff, hardware and stock. Then there’s advertising and delivery costs. With an online business you just need a laptop and an internet connection – two things many people already have. Your main cost is getting the right education and learning the best strategy to build on.

5 – Simplicity

Technology has made it much easier than was previously possible to set up your own website and learn how to use simple online platforms to connect people to products and services. Advertising and content creation is now available for anyone to use. Websites can be set up with a few clicks and anyone with an email can learn to use the tools and strategies of online marketers.

Whereas previously website building was the domain of the tech savvy programmer, now anyone can use simple user friendly platforms and programs. An online business sounds like something for a technical person, but anyone can now learn the skills needed to build their own online business.

6 – Control

An internet business gives you control over your life. Of course it takes time to build up to a stage where it can replace your current income. But the flexibility of an internet business means you can work it around your existing employment until you can make this happen.
Once your income is beyond that of your employment, you are in a very good position to take charge of your life. You don’t have to do the daily commute, or put up with an uncomfortable working situation. If you don’t like your job you can quit. Don’t like your boss? Fire him/her!
One of the very best things about an internet based business is the control it gives you over your life. You can also build your work around your lifestyle, rather than the other way round. Most people are forced to put work first in everything they do. Family time, holidays and hobbies all tend to depend and evolve around work. An internet business allows you to prioritize the things in your life which mean the most. It can put you back in the driving seat of your life, both in terms of what you earn and how you spend your time.

7 – Work From Anywhere

Not only does an internet business offer great flexibility in terms of working hours but it also offers you the choice to work from anywhere globally. This appeals to many people who would otherwise be more trapped by conventional work in a localized workplace.
For me, it was the flexibility of being able to choose my own hours and not have a boss. But for many the ability to travel anywhere globally is the most important factor to owning their own online business.
Take your laptop anywhere with an internet connection and work while abroad and travelling.

8 – Learn Life Skills

The skills I have learned from building my own internet business also make me much more employable. I also worked for an internet based company with the skills I learned from my laptop while sitting at home!

Being able to reach people globally and target specific types of people is a great skill and very desirable in business too. I was also able to use the knowledge I learned online to build one of my other physical businesses much more quickly by using both my website building skills and paid advertising.

The internet is a fantastic opportunity for anyone to be able to improve themselves, learn new skills and build another source of income. Skills learned are yours for life, whether or not you continue down the path of building an online business.

9 – Independence

We might believe ourselves to be independent but many of us are very dependent on our work for income. As such, our employers tell us how much we can earn, how much holiday we can take and what we will be doing while at work. Financial independence is the ultimate freedom.

When we are financially independent we can take a holiday whenever we please and work in our own time and on our own agenda. An online business gives you the automation and independence to live life on your terms, without the agenda of an employer running your life.

10 – Sovereignty

Being an owner gives you sovereignty. The ability to call the shots in your business is what many entrepreneurs aspire to. As a business owner your actions determine whether you make a success of your business or not.

Having a successful online business gives you the kind of freedom which most people will never see in their lifetime. The ability to create your own life on your terms is the reward of having worked hard on your business and on yourself.

Not having a boss, choosing your own working hours and choosing who you spend time with are all luxuries which are earned from working hard on your own business.

What You’re Doing Wrong As An Entrepreneur Or In Your Small Business

Business owners and entrepreneurs are not always good at asking for help. Be honest, when did you last reach out to someone? Perhaps this is the reason why they are entrepreneurs in the first place. Business owners are self motivated and self reliant. But if you’re operating a business in this way, it could be the one thing which stands in the way of progress.

Entrepreneurs are hard workers too and will work hard in areas which many people wouldn’t consider. They look forward to the long term effects of their actions rather than for immediate rewards. Often business owners have built up their businesses over many years of difficulties and sacrifice.

However, thinking into the cause and effects of all this work there is one thing in common: you. As the ‘owner’ of a business it can be easy to become complacent. Perhaps business growth isn’t what it should be? You are always the limiting factor in your life. Unless you are growing, your business isn’t.

If you keep operating from the belief that you know everything, you will always keep getting the same results in your business, and in your life. Growing in awareness and developing your self along with your business is what smart entrepreneurs do.

Working Hard And Smart

It can be easy to run things ‘as you’ve always run things’. You can get stuck in a mode of operation, especially if you’re largely on your own. But working hard and working smart are not the same things. You need to get smart about working hard if you are to make any progress. Don’t become a ‘busy fool’ doing those things which you have always done, just because it’s always been that way.

Smart business owners know this, and work hard at learning what the best activities are to move their business forward. This ‘trap’ of working as a ‘technician’ in the role of an entrepreneur is easy to fall into. This is especially true if you have recently ‘graduated’ from a role as an employee to that of an ‘owner’.

The role of an employee is to listen to your boss and do the best for them. You are paid by the hour, or for work done. An owner on the other hand isn’t paid for their time. They get paid when the business makes a profit. As such this is an entirely different role. Ask yourself whether you are playing a ‘technician’ role in your business. Should you be doing things differently? Can someone else be employed to do what you are doing? If so the answer should seem obvious. Your role should be the ‘driving engine’ of the business, the overseer and the planner.

Smart Advertising

Advertising is the ‘engine’ of your business. If cash is the ‘life blood’ of your business, advertising is the heart beat. Without a successful and progressive advertising campaign, your business will at best stand still. If you’re standing still while other competing businesses move forward, you’re effectively moving backwards.

Today we are lucky to have the internet as a source of advertising. We can reach anyone globally and target them down to their preferences, intent and geographical location. Platforms like Google’s AdWords and Facebook advertising let us ‘follow’ our potential customers around the internet. Should someone land on our website and not purchase, we can remind them of our business later on. The advertising available to business owners today is very clever, and we should definitely be capitalizing on it.

Pay Per Click Advertising

Pay per click advertising is one of the best things to come out of the internet for business owners. Many owners doubt the effectiveness of pay per click advertising, but this is only because they don’t understand it properly, or it’s potential to massively change their business.

Initially pay per click should be tested and measured. Only by testing and measuring each element of an advertising campaign can you effectively ‘tweek’ it and learn which elements work best for your customers. If you run a campaign but don’t measure it, how can you know if it brought you any customers?

The ROI

Knowing the return on investment (ROI) of any advertising campaign is a game changer. Many owners get this wrong because they only look at the initial sale. But once you can effectively determine the long term return on investment, you will start to see why it is so important to use paid advertising.

Paid advertising is effectively buying new customers. If your business model lets you earn again and again from each customer, your long term gain from a loyal customer is far more than you might spend to attain that customer. By altering your paid for advertising to reduce your cost and increase your ROI over time, you can find yourself in the nice position of being able to scale up.

Working Against Yourself

We are predisposed to think that spending is wasteful. In terms of ‘smart’ advertising the opposite is true. Of course you don’t start out by spending huge amounts on your pay per click campaign. You start small and only increase your budget when you see tangible results and profitable ones at that.

But the main sticking point is the contrasting viewpoint that we need to ‘cut back’ while at the same time wanting to expand our businesses. This is a contradiction and although this is based in safety and reasonableness, your long term goal should be to be spending more and more on advertising as your business grows.

How do you feel about that? Most likely you want to spend less and less over the course of time. However, with pay per click advertising, once you have developed your adverts to pay out double what you put in, the only reasonable decision is to increase the budget.

So initially you might tentatively spend some money on advertising, see some results and then stop your adverts. This is especially true if you don’t see any tangible benefit of advertising. Most people will give up too early.

Start small with a budget you can afford to lose. Test your adverts with several different strategies, keywords, images and landing pages. By cross testing adverts you can more effectively determine which ones work the best.

Once you have done this for long enough, you will see the power of pay per click. This puts you in charge of your business. Once you have one profitable campaign set up, you can simply leave it running. Then you can move on to another one and another one. This of course takes time but this strategy puts you in the driving seat of your business and eventually will mean you can grow your business more effectively.

This is smart work. This should be the focus of your time if you intend to grow your business.

Relying on free advertising methods or ‘word of mouth’ advertising doesn’t put you in control, however valuable those methods might be.

Being a ‘technician’ in your business should be the work of a manager or an employee, not the business owner. As an owner, your job is to grow your business.

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Business Owners Are Finding Better Ways To Fund Their Business With Working Capital Cash Flow!

Today’s business financing environment is still not favorable to the business owner in getting approved for small business loans for working capital with no business assets and not much profit. Business working capital funding is a difficult achievement in this present economic condition of our country. As we all know, business short term funding allows business owners to obtain business funding for their business to survive through any financial crunch that comes up for alternative financing. This article will discuss the best tips for getting fast, easy business funding for working capital for critical daily cash flow needed by the business owner.

Nationwide business loans are extremely difficult to get approved for the business owner these days. Credit unions and traditional banks do not offer small business bank statement funding and the number of business loan applications being approved has shortened up further and will continue to do so in the future. Along with the unstable economic conditions, the majority of banks and credit institutions have ceased lending to small businesses altogether. If you are an entrepreneur then it may be really difficult to find out that your small business is simply a number to these banks. If you need business to business quick funding for your small business than you need to step out and take action! This will result in the small business owners reaching out to a lender who offers fast and easy working capital funds which are needed for the owner. Business bank statement funding is valid for any business owner that needs business working capital for daily cash flow! Credit unions and financial institutions have ceased lending money for the small business owner, most of the businesses find it really difficult to get working capital approval. In such situation, business working capital funds provide easy and quick working capital for small businesses as per their requirement. These funds are known for their quick processing, easy payment options and flexible conditions and easy credit requirements.

Working Capital is required and necessary for every small business owner to have operating cash flow for day to day operations. With a small business cash advance, quick short-term funding is what makes sense to continue and stabilize a small business operation. Businesses need funds rapidly for expanding, competing and succeeding in their own business. It’s important that your customer ought to know that you are offering quality services or product without any hesitation due to lack of funds for a project. Small business funding is the most useful and reliable option for your cash flow requirements and requires a pristine personal credit history of your business and the owner and having cash on hand to support the bank loan.

The first impression of your business from your customers should be to compel them to choose your services or products because your company can make fast financial decisions and be the best company out there. Expanding your business with a small business credit card advance for new and bigger equipment that your business could never afford in the past is now doable with confidence that you can receive the funding to buy that equipment. This will in turn give the confidence to your customer that your company will get the job done and you do not have cash flow problems that will interfere with their success. Just think you can buy equipment with a fast working capital funding and payoff the equipment in a short term period and then you own that equipment free and clear once it is paid off. You can keep doing this over and over and build a fleet which you own free and clear. Now you be a small business with assets. This is a way to improve your financial status quickly and to build your small business.

The key rule of a small business is to generate a healthy gross profit and work environment to get maximum output from your employees. Remember that it is not just about your customer who would appreciate clean, state-of-art, professional and ready-to-serve products and or services; but your employees as well. Quick working capital with small business loans funding can provide the capital required for prime quality tools and the overall employee turnover can be reduced along with higher efficiency and morale. Small businesses can get quick working capital funding even with a poor credit history including a bankruptcy or tax lien or judgment.

A promising business with significant amount of bank deposits and stability will get fast bank statement funding inside of 72 hours. The capability of choosing a repayment schedule which is for a short term is an added advantage of these cash advance funding.

Business cash funding has made it simpler to receive fast funds without much hassle even if the small business owner has been turned down by their local bank. However it is important to do proper research about the private lender before applying for these types of short term funds. The internet is the foremost option to identify a reliable and responsible lenders for business cash advances, checking with the BBB for any records that may indicate any complaints filed against the lender. There are many online business cash advance lenders so it can easily be really hard to differentiate reliable ones to an online scam. Also offering the owner too much working capital at one time for that particular small business may actually hurt the repayment of the funding causing a cash flow problem for the business owner. The small business owner must find a lender who will watch out for the bottom line of the business owner.

Working capital cash funds can help your business in a financial crunch and make it easy to handle any future financial troubles. Business bank statement funding is fast and easy business funding that has opened the flood gates for small businesses to get easy working capital funding. With easy repayment options, 100 percent funding approval and quick processing of business cash funding are some of the most important benefit of these small business programs. Over the past few years, small businesses have experienced a global downturn in the economy and funding options have further been cut short for business invoice factoring. A private lender who can provide the small business with working capital can replace the down trend of factoring.

Business bank statement funding loans provide an easy and fast funding method for all types of businesses. Small scale businesses do not enjoy great terms with banks and credit unions unlike major brands. They need money for different reasons including further expansion, installing new equipment, inventory requirement, working capital and other similar requirements. Business bank statement cash funding depends on the previous track record of the business bank deposits to show that business is receiving enough bank deposits to pay back the advance and that the small business ending balance can support the repayment of the funding!

Six Challenges Facing Business Owners

Having spent the last few weeks meeting with and chatting to small business owners around Essex, it became clear that they all seem to face similar challenges on a day-to-day basis.

As I expected, they are all time poor and there was an ongoing sense from these company owners or directors that they should be ‘hands on’ and across every facet of their business. But, as they told me, they may know all about their business but sometimes they need expert support and guidance to ensure their company grows and increases profitability.

Some of the challenges they faced included:

Customers
Customers are at the heart of any business. Without customers and the revenue generated then the business becomes just a good idea. One of the main challenges they faced was how to attract, retain and maximise their customers?

For me, the key to winning new business and ensuring customer retention is providing not only great products or services but adding a great customer service experience. A strategy needs to be developed for ensuring this customer growth and maximizing revenues from existing customers.

Marketing
Many business owners are not marketing experts and need strategic advice when it comes to developing a business positioning, a marketing plan, a campaign and thinking about the channels they wish to promote their business through.

The challenge is to enable the business to tell its story in a way that enables the business to grow and build customer engagement. Bringing an experienced marketer into the business either in-house or as a consultant to help develop this strategy can allow the business owner to focus on what he does best.

Time
For many business owners there are simply not enough hours in a day. All owners are stretched for time. Creating more time means sometimes saying no and focussing on what is essential for the success of the business.

This is where business owner often seek external advice from a business mentor or consultant to get them to focus on what is critical for the development of the business.

Financial Management
It is imperative for a small or medium-sized business to manage their cashflow effectively but sometimes managing the P&L seemed to be the third or fourth ‘order of the day’ for some business owners.

Getting good financial advice from a consultant who takes the time to analyse business performance, looks at aged debtors, analyses client profitability and puts effective financial planning measures in place mitigates the risk of the business getting into financial troubles.

Profitability
Business Planning seemed to be a bit of an afterthought for some of the business owners I spoke with, they were working more ‘on the fly’. Annual Planning should start a minimum of four months before the end of the financial year and should start with a formal annual budget, understanding the profitability of each client/customer, growth opportunities, business development planning and an analysis of the overheads required to service those clients/customers, market and grow the business, generate a great customer experience as well as delivering a sustainable profit margin.

Successful business owners create wealth and grow their business because they understand how to build a culture where sustainable profitability is a given.

Processes
Many business owners are not across all the processes involved in running a business so the challenge is to make the processes involved in running a business simpler. This is where an external consultant or expert support can prove highly beneficial.

Failure to manage processes such as sales, marketing, business development, building customer loyalty, operational management, HR and employee development can lead to businesses failing. Being stretched across business functions is not the best way for business owners to develop their business.

Lucemi Consulting are a Strategic Marketing and Business Consultancy based in Colchester, Essex, UK.

We help business owners and companies by providing strategic advice to find the right solution for their business challenges. We take on their challenges, analyse the issues, and help them in a collaborative way to get to the answer.

We work in partnership with clients, helping them adapt and evolve to their business and market environment, building their capabilities to ensure real change happens.

What It Takes to Create an Award-Winning Business

14 Strategies We Attribute to Our Recent Business Excellence Award

Out of the blue, I received an email from the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce one day notifying me that we were nominated for a 2016 Business Excellence award.

Say what?

Once I got past my shock and disbelief that they must have the wrong Susan… it began to sink in that someone out there thought we were worthy enough of this nomination. Wow, what an honour!

Part of the nomination process consisted of a 30-minute interview in front of a 3-judge panel. Imagine being forced to actually brag about yourself for a half an hour! Talk about squirming in my seat!

Fast forward to last week where the awards ceremony took place. Much to my relief, our category was up first so I could relax the rest of the evening.

To be honest, I wasn’t all that anxious – I knew the odds of winning was only 1 in 7 so I waited patiently for the winner’s name to be announced, not at all expecting it to be us.

But it was! We were declared the winner!

Say WHAT???

Shock and disbelief once again came over me as I took a moment to grasp what just happened. Walking to the stage was quite the blur but I managed to do it without tripping up the stairs to get our award.

In the aftermath of winning this wonderful recognition, I reflected some more about that judge’s interview and how they deemed us the winner from the other worthy nominees in our category.

With that in mind, I wanted to share some of the attributes I feel helped us win this prestigious award. Without further ado, here’s what it took for me to create an award-winning business:

1) Be Passionate About What You Do

We are not the first business I’ve created; there’s been plenty others ranging from creating craft pieces to faux finish painting. But no matter what I did, I was very passionate about it.

Don’t waste your time trying to run a business just to make money. You’re going to tire of it very quickly and it will be harder to make sales.

But when you’re passionate about what you do, others will immediately see that and will be drawn to you like a magnet.

2) Love Working With the People You Serve and Offer Exceptional Customer Service

One of the truest joys I receive is the knowing how much we are able to help a new business owner get their online presence up and running. Being a part of their joy at seeing their dream materialize into something tangible gives me just as much joy.

If you avoid answering the phone or responding to emails because you dread having to talk to a client, then you need to adjust your marketing so you attract the right people to work with.

If you don’t love who you’re working with, then it’s hard to establish a successful business that needs to cater to your clients by making customer service a #1 priority. And that means answering the phone, responding to emails in a prompt manner, and treating every person as if they were your only client. And when you’re attracting your perfect ideal client, then this should be easy to do.

Make your business about them, not you. Just remember, if you had no clients, then you’d have no business.

3) Know Your Stuff

Before even thinking about starting a web development/digital marketing business, I ensured I got the education I needed first. I attended the Vancouver Film School in their Multi-Media program and then later earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Computer Information Systems (with an A+ GPA).

Not to mention the countless online courses I’ve taken over the years to ensure my skills are kept up-to-date with this ever changing industry.

Sadly, I see a lot of entrepreneurs wanting to start a business with not a lot of skills or experience under their belt and then they wonder why they’re struggling.

Reading a book or taking one on-line course is probably not enough to reach award-winning status. But if you’re passionate about building a successful business, you’ll find a way to ensure you become as qualified as needed.

4) Be Committed

Is working 15 hour days, 6-7 days a week committed enough? Yep, that’s what Daniel and I do every week. We have to in order to fulfil points 2 and 3 above.

It takes a lot of time and effort to ensure your clients are taken care of properly. You also need a “do whatever it takes” level of commitment.

You might not need to work such long hours as us and trust me, we’re continually working towards lessening that kind of volume but until then, we are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure our business is successful. Are you?

5) Be Consistent

Consistency shows up in many forms when running a successful business. For me, it’s being consistent with my message, my brand, my Social Media presence, my newsletters, my team management, and the level of quality we bring to our clients.

Do I miss sometimes? Absolutely. But being consistent in these areas are very important to me, and I do what needs to be done in order to show up the best I can for my team and our clients.

Without consistency, it’s hard to create brand ambassadors (such as the ones who nominate you for an award), loyal team members, and a steady flow of clients.

Whatever you have decided to commit to, be consistent at it and you’ll be amazed at how things start to flow your way.

6) Surround Yourself With a Dedicated and Knowledgeable Team

I started off as a one-woman show. Because of my educational background, I was able to do the design, build and marketing of a website quite easily. I’m what you would call a “generalist”, someone who knows a lot of about a lot of things and is a specialist in a few areas.

But my one-woman show was not going to create a successful business. Especially in this technologically-driven industry. It quickly became apparent my skillset was only going to get me so far.

So my first hire was someone who could offset my biggest weakness. Warren was a student at UFV and applied for my part time programmer position. He was a perfect complement to our company and the moment he came on board, I was relieved of having to do all the site builds myself. I could then take that time and focus on building the business instead.

It’s tough to try and do everything yourself when it comes to running a business. Sure, there are expenses involved in hiring but if you hire smart, keep an eye on your bottom line, and know when to let go of those that aren’t serving you best, your business will escalate far quicker than if you try to struggle with everything yourself.

This topic is worthy of a whole article itself so I encourage you to read How to Take a Solo-Entrepreneurship to the Next Level for more.

7) Have Honesty, Authenticity and Gratitude be a Part of Your Daily Life

It’s sad I even need to list this as an attribute but I’ve been in business long enough to know not everyone adheres to these principles.

To me, this is a no-brainer – I’m not certain I could live any other way?

But judging from the stories I hear from new clients about how they were treated by their previous web developer, it sounds like many people need to be reminded of this.

No business will thrive without honesty and integrity. And a little secret: gratitude will not only make your business thrive, but your whole life too. Give it a try and see what I mean.

8) Persevere

Every business, including ours, has its ups and downs. The key to success is to not let those “downs” overcome your enthusiasm. Pick yourself back up, learn from whatever lesson there was to be learned, and keep moving forward.

If we had quit when we only had $20 credit left on our credit cards at Christmas time just a handful of years ago, we wouldn’t be award winners now!

9) Invest in Your Business

Building the company has been one investment after another. It never ends really.

There’s always something that needs to be worked on. Here’s a short list of my recommendations on where you need to invest in your business:

a.Branding & Website

b.Marketing

c.Education

d.Building a Team

10) Understand You’re Running a Business, Not a Hobby.

I think this is an important distinction to make and one many entrepreneurs aren’t differentiating.

I’ve always looked at our company as a business and that’s mostly due to my business mind and having a business degree.

But for those that simply are passionate about something and have a dream to make money off of it, it’s hard to know exactly HOW to turn that dream into a business.

They end up blindly doing what they think they should be doing, all by themselves, in order to save money (or not spend money they don’t have) and hope for the best.

If this sounds familiar, I’m adding another business investment to consider as your top priority: A business coach or mentor. ASAP. Otherwise, you’ll probably end up just running a hobby.

11) Set up a Systemized Business Structure

I’ve worked with a lot of clients over the years. Some amaze me at how organized and systemized they are. And others, well, not so much.

Having a systemized business structure in place is the only reason I haven’t gone insane with my daily workload.

Here’s the tools we use to be more organized, efficient and less stressed.

12) Get Comfortable With Sales

Sales. It’s a dirty word for many entrepreneurs and business owners alike. Me too. I hate to think of myself as a “sales person” but at the end of the day, if we’re not selling our wares, we don’t have a business.

Now that’s not to say you need to become a pushy, in-your-face predator. Far from it.

Remember attribute #1 about being passionate? That’s what you need. People will trust your passion and will respond to it. But be careful, sometimes passion can be too intense and will turn people away.

Find your sweet spot as to what resonates with your ideal clients and keep working at it. But do embrace the fact you’re selling your wares and learn some strategies that fit with your personality and comfort level that will work.

13) Give Back

Giving back is an imperative attribute to have when building a successful business. We give back in several ways, here’s some ideas to consider that we do:

-Offer discounted prices for non-profits

-Volunteer your services to community groups

-Send cash donations to worthy charities you believe in

-Make purchases that support worthy causes

-Donate door prizes and/or silent auction items for fund raising activities

-And support your own clients whenever you can

14) Be Accessible

When new clients approach me due to being disenchanted with their existing web developer or marketer, the most often complaint I hear is they can never get a hold of the person. Either they take forever to respond to an email or never answer their phone.

I think I’m going to write a book on how NOT to run a successful business based on this alone. It boggles my mind when I consistently hear stories like this. How are these people keeping a business going with such poor service and accessibility?

I have a policy to answer emails within a day of receipt. I often exceed that policy but sometimes the volume is too much and I get delayed in responding. Same thing with the phone. If we’re available to answer, we do so. If we’re not, we’ll call the person back right away.

Being accessible provides peace of mind to our clients; they know we care enough about them to take care of their needs in a timely manner. ’nuff said.

There you have it. My honest take on what created the company to be an award-winning business. Maybe I need to write a book about this because, honestly, I could have added more but, it’s coming into the 15th hour on this Sunday night of working so I’ll leave it at that.

The Home Based Business Explosion Is Upon Us!

INTRODUCTION

Perhaps I should start by asking the question “What is a Home Based Business? This is any business operated from the comfort of the residential home of the owner.

The next question is who is a Home Based Business owner? This refers to an Entrepreneur who decides to run his business from the comfort of his home.

I decided to clarify these terms because there is a huge difference between a Home Based Business owner and a Home worker who might be working with a government/private organization but decides to be working from home once or twice during the week.

Evolution of Home based Business

Many businesses operated from home usually start as a Micro or Small Enterprise. Some eventually metamorphose into Medium Scale Enterprise and others eventually grow into quite large companies.

The desire by Entrepreneurs to start operating businesses from home actually started in the 1980s. During this period, a lot of things combined to precipitate this massive desire by people to own Home based businesses.

In the main, the combination of many factors like socio- economic change, improved technology and new management thinking resulted in the loss of otherwise permanent paid employment and this encouraged people to attempt to revalidate their freedom by opting to set up a business at home.

The advent of new management thinking and theories like downsizing to make an organization Lean and more agile and efficient created fears in the mind of the average worker

So mass lay- offs helped create the right environment for some workers to go it alone and set up a Home based business.

The period of late 1990 to 2010 can be appropriately described as the period of massive explosion in the establishment of businesses at home. The use of Computer, Internet and Mobile Technology helped in the growth of this idea.

I strongly believe the idea of setting up business at home will continue to be positive and will remain so for a long time.

The continued upsurge in the desire of people to own businesses has attracted the attention of Universities and other higher institutions. They have responded by introducing different courses and programs on Entrepreneurial studies to cater for these needs.

Unlike earlier belief that businesses run from home are not well managed and don’t make good money, the present situation is that many Entrepreneurs motivated to set up business at home now have college degrees including a lot of high level professionals with business exposure.

The entrepreneurial spirit is innate in all of us and we only need to be adequately motivated to take the necessary action.

It’s really an exciting world out there.

THE HOME BASED BUSINESS EXPLOSION

As stated earlier, though the crave for running businesses from home started way back in the 1980s, what can be termed the explosion of this way of doing business was between the late 1990s and the first decade of the new millennium.(2010+)

This coincided with the time when the setting up of a Home based business became a Fad. According to Mr Lewis of the National Association of Home Based Businesses, Home based business in the United States grew from about 6 million in 1984 to 23 million by 2007.

With the help of modern technology like computers, mobile phones, printers and the huge power of the internet, more work is being done virtually than ever before and more global businesses are routinely being run from home.

According to the 2012 GEM report, 69 percent of American entrepreneurs start their business at home from either a spare room in the house, the dining table or from the garage. The report further revealed that more than 50 percent of entrepreneurs continue to operate from home even after the business has taken off successfully and stabilized.

Again according to Mr. Lewis of the National Association of Home Based Businesses, his own companies do training in 20 countries, import eyeglass frames from China and also develop condominiums.

Mr. Nuyten of the Home Based Business Statistics in America quoted the following statistics as at 2012:

38 million Businesses were operating from residential homes in America

A new business is started from home every 12 seconds in the United States

The Home Based Business sector in the United States earned Four Hundred and Twenty Seven billion dollars.

It revealed that 70 percent of Americans would like to be self- employed.

Entrepreneurship has become entrenched in the psyche of the average person. The Baylor University study of 2005 revealed then that more than 5 million jobs had been lost in Fortune 500 companies since 1980 while 34 million were created in small businesses.

The United States Census Bureau data of October 2012, also revealed that the number of businesses being operated from home have been on the rise since 1999.

The United Kingdom Experience

The continued growth in the Home based business sector appears to be a global phenomenon as the report from the United Kingdom will show shortly.

The United Kingdom department of Business, Innovation and Skills released a report titled ” Backing for Home Business” which revealed that 2.9 million home based businesses in the United Kingdom contributed 300 billion pounds sterling to the UK economy. The report also stated that 70 percent of all new businesses in the United Kingdom started from home.

According to Home Business report compiled by Enterprise Nation, 1,400 new businesses are started from home each week.

This report also confirmed that out of a total of 4.5 million small and medium enterprises, 2.1 million are Home based businesses.

Factors contributing to the growth of Home Based Businesses

There are many factors motivating people to set up Home based businesses such as:

.Losing one’s job

Being laid off in a time of economic downturn could be very devastating. With difficulty in getting new job offers, the next best thing would be to start a Home based business.

Flexible lifestyle

You are your own Boss. Literally, you can come and go as you please. You maintain better work/family balance. There are no set opening and closing times. You go for lunch and vacation when you feel like

.Reduction in Stress level

The daily commuting, especially with the present heavy fuel costs is avoided. Also those train/bus rides to and from work with all sorts of characters is avoided.

No corporate office politics

You are not thinking of how to always please the boss and climb the corporate ladder. You don’t have to engage with difficult colleagues. Best of all, there are no dress codes.

Cheaper start up and running costs

It’s cheaper to set up a Home based business. A serious entrepreneur can get started with just $5,000. The main requirements could just be a computer, mobile phone, printer and a good internet connection. No rent of physical store space.

Secondary Income

Some entrepreneurs set up business at home to bring in extra income to support a day job. Some people start the business as a part time hobby. Eventually the business may become very successful and the entrepreneur will now take the decision to resign from the day job.

Be your own boss

You are your own boss. You have the freedom to do things the way you want. There is nobody breathing down your neck reminding you of targets.

Job dissatisfaction

An otherwise loyal employee may become unhappy with the company for lack of promotion and motivation. The next thought is to set up a Home based business.

Opportunity to achieve Self actualization

Having your own business gives you the opportunity to make as much money as you desire. This of course depends on how much money you want to make and the amount of time and effort you decide to invest in the business.

Advantages of running a business from home

The desire to get out of the rat race, avoid the daily grind coupled with the power of modern technology make telecommuting more productive.

Together with some of the factors already mentioned above, listed below are more advantages:

Tax advantages

You can deduct some of your expenses as business expenses. These could be utility bills, insurance, mortgage and property tax.

Opportunities for Professional improvement

It is safe to assume that with the day to day running of your business, you will develop more business management skills.

Multiple streams of Income

With more time to yourself and the freedom to follow your lead, you can decide to explore other areas of interest and create multiple streams of income.

Disadvantages of running a business from home.

In spite of the almost glamorous attraction of Entrepreneurship, there are some disadvantages which must be effectively managed in order to improve the chances of success.

.Irregular Income

For some one that had been used to regular pay checks, having to go through some weeks without income could be a huge challenge.

Lack of adequate space

This could arise where work sometimes spills into the home space

Nearness of Family and Friends

The nearness of family and friends could become a distraction if not properly managed.

Lack of Fringe benefits

Fringe benefits like health and dental insurance and paid vacations which were hitherto being enjoyed in paid employment are no longer available.

Friction with neighbors

The type of business you are involved in could create friction with neighbors due to noise pollution and lack of packing space

Health Issues

Staying glued to the computer screen and in a small space may affect health and fitness. So try and create time for exercise and recreation.

CONCLUSION

So as the French would say Voila! There you are! The idea of starting a business at home has become engraved in the mind of people. Every day, people are starting thousands of businesses in their residences all over the world.

Though there are disadvantages in running a business from home, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.