Small business start up costs can prove to be frustrating and stressful for a beginner business owner. Several entrepreneurs are intimidated by small business start up costs and choose to avoid even trying their knowledge in a small business for fear of not achieving success. Because starting a small business involves many expenses, they often think that having such a business will just lead them to failure. Fortunately, there are various ways to finance start up cost for a business; the ones that can help you some of the mounting business costs.
A business plan is an important catalyst of any successful business. In the absence of business plan, you can not easily get an access to business startup loans offered by banks and investors. Letting them know about your business plan can give them confidence. If you have professional business plan, you are providing a blueprint for successful business because you are making a change for your own business to be showcased to potential business startup funding providers. However, in doing this, you must strive to design a business plan that is really convincing and that pictures your abilities to manage such business reflected in your plan.
A business plan, for the purpose of acquiring a loan for business start up costs, has numbers of components. The first few pages showcases the Executive Summary and the Table of Contents. This is followed by the company descriptions- one of the most essential portion of business plans because this explains the short history, the company backbone, as well as the future plans, to the potential investors. The company description sections also mirrors the plan for business possible expansion. In other words, in this section is where the loan providers are most interested to know.
In the company description, you will need to steer clear of discussing that your business is a startup business. Startup businesses are categorized risky investments by most investors. Instead, convey what you have poured to the industry that you are presently in or plan on entering. You can also discuss the things you did that made others become successful. Another is, you shall discuss the growth of your business in the recent months or years and your forecast growth. You have to be sure that during your business plan presentation, you must be in full enthusiasm and passion for your new business venture and so you will be able to acquire a loan for your business start up costs.
Marketing analysis, in a well-written business plan, must be included. This explains your feasibility/ demographic study regarding your potential clients- this can help to convince your potential investors for your start up costs for a business . This portion of your business plan also tells your potential investors on how you are going to promote your business to clients in your target market. This also must show how intense your marketing research to ensure that your product would hit a great demand.
In order to acquire a loan for your small business start up costs , comprehensive financial plan must also be included in your business plan.
Numbers of new and small businesses struggle with the enormous quantity of small business start up costs incurred in order to materialize their business plan. Many entrepreneurs design a professional business plan to help them offer potential investors with their roadmap that shall poise them for success in their new venture.
What are the top three things you should concern yourself about when starting an Internet home based business? Here are some tips to make it in the online business environment.
Setting up an Internet home based business is like starting an actual business. Some people may think that since a business is operated online and from home, it is a smaller-scale venture compared to real businesses. This, however, is a misconception. Some Internet home based business are even bigger and are experiencing more growth than real ones. Starting and operating an online business venture may be a bit challenging when you are new to the field and is used to the conventional business and marketing world. However, there are also many resources on the Internet that you can get your hands on in the actual setting. The difference lies on how you take advantage of these unique Internet resources and make them work for you. Here are some tips on how you can successfully set up your Internet home based business.
PLAN AND SET GOALS
As in any business venture, the key to a successful Internet home based business is to plan. Set goals; determine what you want your business to achieve, and prepare concrete action plans on how you will achieve your business goals. Plan what you are going to need, in terms of investment and tools. In terms of investment, you might need to upgrade your computer for a better one, or you might need to purchase another computer to sustain your business operations. The investment requirements will differ based on the nature of your Internet home based business. In terms of tools, since there are a lot of resources available to you on the Internet, plan which resources can help your business. Do you need to set up a blog site, or join forums to advertise your site? If so, in what way should you advertise? These are just some of the things you should already lay out in detail before you even get started.
PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE
Once your Internet home based business is under way, the next thing you need to do is to advertise! There are plenty of ways to advertise on the Internet. You can set up a blog and write articles about your products. You can join forums and post website ads in various sites that your target customers often visit. You can exchange links with other sites to drive traffic to yours. You can post pictures and videos of your products on your site, your blog, and in forums. Also, master the art of search engine optimization to lure people to your website, and thus, to your product. The more visitors you get, the more potential customers you have!
BUILD A CUSTOMER BASE
Just as any actual business will not succeed without a loyal customer base, you also have to build a customer base for your Internet home based business. It is important to build a relationship with those who transact business from you. Chances are that they can even bring in more customers because of their contacts. Social networking is yet another concept that is very popular on the Web, and it will pay to take advantage of the social networking sites and communities online. There are a lot of social networking sites on the Web, such as Facebook and Myspace, which can help increase your customer base. When you have a loyal customer base, coupled with a social network that continues to bring in more and more customers, your Internet home based business will be unstoppable!
The arena where your Internet home based business will perform in may be different from the conventional marketing world, but the same rules applies. No business will be successful without careful planning, focused goals, a loyal customer base, and a source of customers. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that once you put your business on the Internet, it will grow on its own. The Internet is as wide as the world we live in, and your Internet home based business will only be successful if you’re ready for a challenge
You have nurtured your idea, created a business plan, and secured financing. Now for the make-it or break-it question: How do you continue to grow your business year-after-year?
Building a better “mousetrap” doesn’t guarantee that the world will beat a path to your door. And, contrary to the inspiring message in the movie, “Field of Dreams,” there are no assurances that, “If you build it, they will come.” Increasing demand for your products/services and growing your business is realized by the creation and implementation of well-defined strategies.
Two major factors of marketing are the recruitment of new customers (acquisition) and the retention and expansion of relationships with existing customers (customer relationship management). Once you have converted the prospective buyer, customer relationship management (CRM) takes over. The process for CRM shifts from that of being the marketer, to that of being a builder of relationships. Building customer relationships involves nurturing the links between you and your customer, enhancing the benefits that sold your customer in the first place, and continuously improving the product/service in order to protect your business from competitive advancements.
The marketplace is ever changing; therefore, a marketing strategy that works today does not necessarily mean that the same strategy will work in the future. These changing environments necessitate the need to continually analyze and measure the results of each and every one of your promotional efforts. A system that tracks and monitors incoming sales inquiries, by the lead source, is imperative.
The basis of your business development strategy is the recognition of the concept that marketing is a process and not an event. Building a business is, in fact, building a brand. Building your brand is a process that consistently broadcasts your message through a number of different channels to a targeted audience. The trap in event marketing is that it creates the effect of start and stop marketing and produces gaps in the frequency of your promotional efforts.
The need for a written marketing plan is critical. The American Marketing Association (AMA) states, “Marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives”. Your marketing plan is your road map that guides you through the marketing process.
There is a variety of ways to generate greater demand for your business. Whether you are starting a new business or jumpstarting an existing one, you need to identify at what stage of the business life-cycle your company is currently in. This information will impact your choice of strategies.
Here are twenty (20) effective business-building practices:
Review your unique selling proposition: The Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is your biggest marketing weapon and the key to differentiating your business. What is a USP? In essence, it is a simple statement that sums up the unique features, benefits and value that you provide, that no one else can. You arrive at your USP after you identify the features, benefits, and advantages of your company’s products/services. After you apply the same process to each of your competitors’ products/services, then compare and isolate the elements that distinguish you from your competition.
Establish a marketing communication budget:: Determining and allocating a specific amount of money to fund your marketing strategy cannot be overstated. Whether you use the affordability method, percentage-of-sales method, competitive-parity method, or objective-and-task method to determine the amount of your marketing budget, you must pre-establish an amount of money that you will spend on marketing activities to achieve your sales/revenue projections.
Incorporate integrated marketing communications: A management concept that is designed to make all aspects of marketing communication such as advertising, sales promotion, public relations, and direct marketing must work together as a unified force. In practice, the goal of IMC is to create and sustain a single look and message in all elements of your marketing campaign.
Utilize indirect marketing: Needless to say, putting more “boots-on-the-ground” in your sales and marketing activities can pay huge dividends. Some of the more popular indirect marketing methods are networking, strategic alliances, independent sales representatives, affiliate marketers, and dealers/distributors.
Ask for referrals: You know the importance of referrals. But, if you do not continually ask for referrals, you will not generate them. It makes good business sense to always ask for referrals. Just ask your customer if they may know of other companies that could utilize your products/ services. You may be pleasantly surprised by their reply.
Explore different markets: If your products/services are presently being sold to one or two different markets, then it is time to explore the opportunities that may be available to you in other markets. A little brainstorming with your staff about this often produces a good “hit list”. As they say, “think outside the box”.
Consider additional channels of distribution: There are a number channels of distribution that may work for you. For example, selling direct, such as via mail order, Internet and telephone sales. Companies also use sales agents who sell on their behalf and/or
distributors (also called wholesalers) who sell their products to retailers. And finally, there may be possibilities of selling direct to retailers and end users.
Expand your geographic reach: Additional channels of distribution are often needed for you to expand geographically. You may want to consider the possibility of franchising or licensing others to promote and sell your products?
Increase product/service offerings: This is a very common method to increase sales/revenues. Important considerations when evaluating a new product/service offering are: Can the new product/service be sold to your existing customer base? Does the new product/service complement your existing products/services?
Differentiate your business: Differentiating your business means that you define your company in relationship to the competition and that you communicate to your customers the value added benefits of doing business with you, versus doing business with your competition. Differentiating your business also means that you continuously make improvements to sustain a leadership position.
Identify your customers’ competitors: A great source for new prospective customers is your customers’ competition. In most cases, these competing companies have the same or similar needs as that of your existing customers.
Survey your customers: In order to effectively differentiate your business, you need to look at your business from your customers/prospects’ perspectives. A customer survey is a great avenue for your customers to express their opinions, to air their complaints, and to voice their satisfaction with your business. The information collected from a customer survey provides the foundation for your marketing strategy.
Profile your competitors: A competitive analysis lists your leading competitors. It summarizes their products and services, promotional strategies, distribution methods, strengths and weaknesses, locations, offerings, prices, and branding. A competitive analysis also outlines strategies for gaining an edge and defines a course of action to take in order to keep competitors out of your market. The analysis helps you expose the competitor’s weaknesses and areas of vulnerability. With this information, you are better equipped to craft competitive and marketing strategies that you may choose to fine tune your brand and your messaging.
Acquire new customers: This is a given…your business cannot sustain itself without the addition of new customers. New customer acquisition is a process that combines market data with direct marketing tools to identify and reach high-potential prospects and convert those prospects into customers.
Mining your existing customers: It is far less expensive to generate additional business from your existing customer base than it is to generate new business from new customers. A regular review of your customers’ buying history and frequency of purchases can reveal some interesting facts about your customers’ buying habits.
Create customer loyalty programs: As the marketplace continues to be more competitive, more and more businesses are offering loyalty programs. These programs help to transform first-time customers into repeat customers by rewarding them with incentives, coupons, certificates or discounts.
Up-sell: Capitalize on the untapped value of your existing customers by promoting related or more expensive products/services. As an example, your customer who regularly buys golf balls is a strong candidate to purchase golf clubs, apparel and other golf accessories. Make a routine practice of recommending additional items that can be added to your customer’s order.
Merge or acquire a competitor: The benefit of combining your company with another company creates an immediate sales growth opportunity simply from the acquisition of their existing customer base. And everything else being equal, the new “combination business” should have the potential to become even more profitable than the two businesses operating independently. This potential for increased profitability comes as a direct result of both sales increases and operational efficiencies (opportunities to reduce total costs) that accrue from combining the two businesses.
Use SWOT analysis: SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It is an assessment technique that paints an accurate picture of how your business stacks up based on those four factors. SWOT can identify your venture’s pros and cons, so that you can align internal strengths and weaknesses with external opportunities and threats. This exercise is essential to sound strategic planning. With SWOT, you can identify and prioritize the issues that will accelerate success.
Revisit lost customers: According to the research in the book, Customer Winback How to Recapture Lost Customers and Keep Them Loyal, written by Jill Griffin and Michael Lowenstein, a firm has a 60% to 70% chance of successfully repeat-selling to an active customer. A 20% to 40% chance of successfully repeat-selling to a lost customer and only a 5% to 20% chance of successfully closing the sale on a brand new customer. These statistics suggest that a key opportunity exists for businesses to increase or maintain a customer base by mining and evaluating their database of defected customers. Bernd Stauss and Christian Friege make this argument even more convincing in a case study entitled, Regaining Service Customers. Their findings show that the net return on investment from a new customer obtained from an external list is 23% compared with a 214% return on investment from the reinstatement of a customer who has defected.
Bonus Item. Dead prospect files: Dig out your old prospect files and make a “hit list” comprised of all of the old prospects that you think may still have life. Contact each one of them. Express your wish to discuss their present-day wants and needs, as well as, the opportunity to explore the possibility of you servicing their needs.
Which of the above business-building practices have you, can you, or will you implement in your business development strategy?
Everyone has seen the alarming pictures of landfills full of waste that will likely never degrade into organic materials. Plastic, aluminum, and heavy metals are all being used in record amounts. These take thousands of years to break down into components that take less space and aren’t harmful for plants and animals in the immediate vicinity. Largely after the 1980s, people began to become more aware of the potential damages using these types of materials en mass could cause. The 3 Rs–reduce, reuse, and recycle–can help the planet develop less of a waste problem. Businesses, more than individual households, use lots of plastics and metals in their day-to-day operation. If you own a business or are in upper management, making some small changes and encouraging employees to do the same can have a profound impact on the world and future. This article will tell you how you can reduce container waste and how refilling plastic components of appliances with ink and toners can prevent the destruction of the environment.
Reducing the Use of Plastic Utensils and Paper Plates
Businesses often provide paper plates and cups, as well as plastic forks and other utensils, for their employees. This service helps when an employee has an anniversary at the company or a birthday. If conferences and trainings within the business frequently feature catered meals or snacks, having these on hand might be essential for the correct functioning of day-to-day activities essential for the company to run smoothly. However, these can pile up in landfills and might not be recycled correctly if employees are left to their own devices. There are a couple of ways to reduce the use of these and encourage recycling in the workplace.
First, if employees are given spaces to store their mugs, they won’t use disposable cups every day for their coffee. If you think about the number of employees across the world that depend on coffee to get up and function, the thought of the coffee cups is overwhelming. Washing out ceramic mugs will save all this waste. Putting paper and plastic recycling bins in the break rooms and other areas where food is often consumed will greatly increase the number of employees that recycle any disposable utensils that are used.
Paper Print Jobs
Rejected print jobs are another site of waste within companies. Often people will print more pages than they need. This paper adds up very quickly. Placing clearly marked recycling bins near any printers in the office will ensure that paper is recycled instead of being disposed of. Although paper does degrade over time, using less of paper resources will put less stress on the logging operations that clear forests.
Providing Receptacles for Batteries and Other Electronics
Many companies will recycle electronics and batteries for their employees. If your company is not one of these, you may be able to partner with another to ensure that your employees can properly dispose of any batteries needed for work or even ones that they’ve used at home. Batteries and electronics have elements that are toxic for the environment. Recycling them is essential for keeping the world unpolluted.
Toner and Ink Refills
This is a way to benefit the environment that saves businesses lots of money. Instead of buying new ink cartridges and tossing out the old, which are made out of non-biodegradable plastic, you can get them refilled. Ink and toners are essential for almost every business out there. No matter which type of printer you use, laser or another type, you will need to replace cartridges to keep it in working order. Helping the environment and choosing the cheaper option will help everyone in the long run.
An Internet Marketing program has two sides. One is the part devoted to individual customers. The other is the business to business component. E-commerce programs as well as advertising, sales support, customer service and public relations are all elements of an internet marketing program.
Similar companies compete against one another while being only a click of the mouse away. In other words, a buyer can locate numerous sellers offering similar merchandise, similar prices and similar offers in a very short time period. As more people and businesses become comfortable with the internet, the marketing landscape will continue to evolve quickly in the coming years.
Use of the internet has exploded during the last few years in both the consumer and business-to-business markets. Although the experts still debate the future of the internet, no one doubts it is having an impact on how business is taking place in the twenty ‘first century, even with all of the – – dot crashes – – of the late 1990s. Here are some facts about the internet that highlight its tremendous growth and presence in society:
– The most common products consumers’ research online and purchase off-line (at the store or outlet) are: automobiles, computer, hardware, travel, electronics, books, appliances, music, sporting goods and clothing.
– Over 25 percent of all business-to-business purchases are placed through some type of internet connection.
– The five top business-to-business e-commerce products are computers and electronics, motor vehicles, petrochemicals, utilities, papers and office products.
– In 2004, 10 percent of business-to-business advertising dollars were spent on the internet. The total amount spent was $8.7 billion.
– About 54 percent of the e-mail users have responded to an e-mail advertisement. Almost half purchased a product.
– Internet retail sales account for almost 2.5 percent of all retail sales.
Business-to-business marketers were among the first companies actually to make profits using the internet. In today’s marketplace, the web is becoming the communication tool of choice for many business-to-business companies. The internet provides opportunities for communication, customer service, sales support, collaboration and e-commerce.
Some companies use the internet for every aspect of their business including taking orders, inventory control, production scheduling, communications plans, sales programs, service departments and support programs. The change from traditional communication channels such as salespeople, telephone and – – snail mail – -to the internet and e-mail happened quickly in some companies and more slowly in others.
Now, convincing top management of the benefits of internet marketing is essential. There is still a lack of internet expertise in the business community. As a result, many companies are turning to marketing agencies for guidance.
To conclude, the influence of the internet on various businesses and industries has been clearly noted in today’s world. The presence of the internet and e-commerce is so sweeping that the various applications of web technology are now essential elements of a fully integrated marketing communications program.
The sad truth is there are people who part take in unethical behavior within the workplace. Unethical behavior includes a variety of activities. Some unethical business behavior may include lying and changing the number of hours they have worked, making a long distance phone call on the business phones, and copying business software so they can use it at home. There can be more serious unethical behavior such as altering business records. There are also behaviors which are deemed as unethical and behavior that is illegal but ultimately is up to the business to decide if the behavior is illegal or not.
When a employee discovers someone that is being unethical, it can sometimes test what their own ethical values are. Sometimes behavior that is unethical and not illegal can fall under a grey area such as, what is right or wrong and can make it difficult to know what to do when they encounter it. However, people will also have different opinions on what is ethical and what isn’t. An example could be saying that it okay to say a white lie, and they make it okay because they can justify it their mind.
The employees own sense of what is right or wrong, comes into play when they witness someone else doing something that isn’t part of the companies standards. The employee will need to address how they are feeling about the activity and will they inform on the activity or do they turn a blind eye.
When the employee witness the employee doing something unethical a decision is made in what to do about it and so they are presented with a number of difficult options. Should they go and talk to the person or do they go and speak to the supervisor.
There are techniques that are put in place to make it easier to help with the decision and manage unethical behaviors. The company needs to create a policy for the company, that is signed by each employee so, they are aware on what to do. This will minimize the awakened feeling of what to do when seeing someone act unethically.
The second part is to show a outline of what will be expected of the person when they discover someone doing something unethical. It should also have the person that needs to be contacted and what the process is involved in doing so. Having a clear set instructions, will have a more proactive way on reporting on someone who is doing something unethical. So, by having this it can deal with this issue easily and quickly before it becomes a big issue.
The consequences should be clearly stated of what the unethical behavior is. That way, the person who witness the activity is aware of what to do which lessens the risk of someone not reporting something that is unethical.
Here Is A New Business Opportunity You Can Do!
Be Your Own BOSS, Never Punch Another Time Clock when you Start a HOME BUSINESS for Under $300.00 !!!
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And if you know anything about the “Old Way” of making silk screen printing stencils you will be amazed at just how very easy this new system actually is. You can forget Wash-out Stations, Time-Consuming Screen Stretching, Screen Gluing, Messy Emulsions, Long Drying Times, and One-Use Applications. The UNIVERSAL STENCIL lets You make prints on T-Shirts much Faster and Easier than Silk Screen Processes, giving you much better profit margins.
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Here are a few ideas. You can Sell to:
– Schools (Add Names and Numbers to team uniforms)
– Bands (Customize Uniforms and Mark Band Instruments and Equipment)
– Political Parties
– Flea Markets
– Fund Raisers
– Sporting Goods Shops
– Card Shops
– Commercial Businesses
There you have it…A New Stencil Making System that will open up a world of Great New Possibilities for you and allow you to use Your Talent and Ideas to have a lot of Fun and make some real Money making and selling T-Shirts and hundreds Art and Craft items. You are only limited by your own Creativity and Energy. Let your Artistic Ideas flow and enjoy creating things you have put off before as too much work, too complicated, or you needed 100 of the same item. This new system cuts through all of that and Frees You up to “Multiply” yourself if you are creating any item or artwork that needs to be “Produced” in almost any quantity.
So why not explore this idea while these new kits are on special.
Beginning a new business is an extremely difficult venture. The amount of time, effort, work, and money it takes just to start up is a wonder to think about. There are several different things to think about, for example what type of company you are going to start? Are you going to hire employees or do the work yourself? What type of professional licenses are you going to have to have in order to start the venture you really want to start? While all of these questions are important, one of the most important questions to ask when thinking about establishing your own company is: Where will I get the money to make all this happen? There are many different sources for money to begin an enterprise. Some are using savings you may have accrued, acquiring a business loan, or having investors.
One source of capital to use for starting a business is if you have managed to save money. Many people go through life putting away amounts of unused or extra money in different savings accounts or other interest-bearing ventures. Using cash you have saved up as capital for your business is a great way to help stay out of debt. Many times, people that start a company on a shoe string or almost non-existent budget, they wind up going into a large amount of debt very quickly. Having a resource of money that is set aside in case of an emergency is a great way to be sure you have something to fall back on. This is the most ideal situation when starting your own business. If you have money saved that can be used as a resource for start up costs, this may be preferable to starting a line of credit or taking out loans.
If you arent fortunate enough to have saved the money necessary to start your own business, the next best alternative may be to do what many other owners do: take out a business loan. This requires a lot more than one might thing. It is much easier to get a personal loan than it is to get a business loan. With a professional loan, you need to submit professional plans on how you will pay back the money and take other specified steps to satisfy the terms for the loan. If you can indeed receive a loan to start your endeavor, it will help you toward your ultimate goal of opening.
Another way to achieve the funds for starting your own company is to round up investors who would be willing to provide you with the means necessary. This sounds a lot easier said than done, but you would be surprised what amounts of money people are willing to put up for the introduction of a worthwhile service or product. Always be cautious about using investors, however, because once they become an investor, they are typically in partial ownership of the company you have begun with their money. Make sure things are laid out very clearly in the terms of the contract of such an alliance.
There are several ways to build a business from the ground up. One of the things you must think about is how you will get the capital for such a venture. By using money you have saved, acquiring a loan, or rounding up investors for your project, you can have the money required to get off to an off and running start for your new career.