What is lending, frankly, what is borrowing? Many borrower's out there, have some good ideas, some have bad ideas, yet get funding. Lenders, bad lenders fail due diligence, and just want to get rich, and fast.
Today, any deal can be done, even if it's creative. Many people know nothing about creative, cause they hate paper work, they just care about the bottom line, they are stuck being traditional. Well, that was 10 years ago. Today, all people care about is presenting an idea, and hope to find an angel investor, frankly, angel's don't save you. Money does! But what good is the money if your a bad manager at it.
I have networked with allot of investment bankers, bank branch bankers, and managers, venture groups, and every one has slowly started thinking about the track record, it's not so much the lender's track record, cause we do not need to invest in you, we can just invest in other things, like bonds, and let our economy grow slow, allow S.B.A. loans swamp you, however, that does not solve the issue or issues, so looking at borrowers track record, is more important, then looking at their credit score. More important then your tax filings.
So for borrowers, you need to be more open minded, understanding, lenders, they can either show you ability, which by the way means nothing, cause that money could be moved in 24 hours to another account or investment, so why does ability make sense? it doesn't.
What makes sense is both parties actually understanding each other to find common ground, if not, nothing will work.
Add a Comment
What makes a mobile app successful?
Mobile Apps are becoming more and more popular. Each day hundreds of people are thinking about and creating new mobile apps. Many new businesses are formed because of a great app idea. However, many apps also fail. This article is a quick guide to help determine what makes a mobile app successful.
To start your app must bring value into someones life. Looking at your phone you can break down all the apps you have into 3 different categories. These categories are entertainment, utility and escapism. A successful mobile app must fall into one of these categories. For example: if you are building a utility app, that app must bring value or perceived value into the users life. Ask yourself these questions: Is your utility app saving the user time? is the utility app making frustrating situations easier? is your utility app organizing the users life? is your app educating? is your app helpful and resourceful? Answering these few questions in full detail will help you in learning if your mobile app will be successful.
Apps must be creative and current. As technology advances so must your mobile app. If you want users to open and use your app everyday you must stay creative and current. Continuously adding new features to your app will keep your users engaged.
Learn your competition. There are millions of apps available for your iPhone and Android. Before investing in building a new app make sure you do your research and learn about the competition. Look to see what similar apps are popular. Ask yourself what is different from your app idea and what is already available.
Simplicity. Your app must be simple to use. Users do not want to be reading manuals or get confused when using your mobile app. Remember, apps are created to make lives easier, more productive and more enjoyable.
Add a Comment
Concrete designs are certainly one of the sizzling newest trends for concrete patios, concrete flooring, entryways, countertops, and pool decks. From more expansive completely new homes with elaborate concrete driveways to budgeted one-room remodels showcasing an exquisite, stained concrete floor, the attractiveness is continuing to expand with regards to making use of concrete for decorations. Concrete will no longer be plain, grey or boring, it is now thought of as a beautiful decorative element.
Decorative Concrete is simply the application of concrete not as merely a basic medium for home construction but than as an artistic enhancement to a structure, whilst also serving its function as a critical element of the structure itself such as floors, walls, driveways as well as verandas. The transformation of concrete into decorative is attained by using an assortment of components that may be applied during the pouring process or after the concrete is treated. All these materials and/or systems consist of although not limited to stamped concrete, acid staining, decorative overlays, polished concrete countertops, vertical overlays and more.
Today's property owners, building contractors, as well as creative designers appreciate the usefulness in making use of concrete in their designs and plans. Decorative concrete modifies old fashioned grey concrete into warm and comfy brown floors, luxurious slate-looking patios, and weather-resistant outdoor kitchen countertops, to name a few. The enhancements in concrete equipment, concrete stains and dyes, textures, and patterns are making concrete the most versatile, highly durable and thus very affordable materials available on the market.
Within the past quite a few years, demand for decorative concrete has exploded substantially. Essentially favored by commercial institutions for instance casinos and hotels, architects and designers have recognized that enhanced concrete (stained, colored, textured) has become an attractive alternative in residential applications both interior and exterior. Concrete - extensively believed to be a dependable, durable, functional construction material - is likewise deemed as dull, gray, and even boring. Nevertheless, many thanks to an ever-widening array of products and techniques made available from dozens upon dozens of producers, concrete surface areas can now be aesthetically pleasing, distinctive, unique, eye captivating works of art.
One particular benefit for decorative concrete building contractors is the fact that redesigning projects have a tendency to increase whenever new housing starts are down. The massive number of workforce currently entering the pension group is escalating at an extremely high rate, so this contributes to the scope of remodeling. In the same way, the real estate industry is most definitely a buyer's market. As a result, home owners are trying to find strategies to improve their home value. The decorative industry is not recession proof, but there is however potential for new business start-ups, even in today's marketplace.
Add a Comment
What A Pain Management Clinic Does For People With Chronic and Acute Pain Conditions
There are tens of millions of individuals that experience some kind of chronic pain. Not all may have this issue thanks to the exact same factors and just about every one's soreness will range in degree and area and still they all have one matter in common, they want alleviation from pain. It is able to be difficult to understand the right remedy or treatment method to effectively minimize one's soreness and is why it's beneficial to consult with a expert operating at a health care clinic.
A pain management clinic makes use of a assortment of specialists that have been disciplined in the neurological, muscular skeletal along with psychological influences that chronic pain has upon a person's entire body, nerves, and mindset. A considerable amount of chronic pain sufferers will hunt for relief with their household physician, who will attempt to guide them in pain relief therapies, but they might not be experts in the subject of suffering.
A pain clinic delivers knowledgeable therapies when it comes to the following disorders and much more:
Soreness from surgery
Psychological circumstances associated with constant pain
A pain management clinic offers experts in various fields of pain management so that individual's may well have the very best all round therapy to return control of their life that chronic pain had stolen.
There are a range of remedies offered through the professionals at pain management clinics that might include solutions such as: therapeutic massage, non intrusive solutions, TENS and physical treatment, and acupuncture to name several.
All of the applications, regardless of which treatments are involved, are directed toward boosting the physiological, psychological and social functionality of the individual. It is really essential for a chronic pain patient to sensibly choose the right clinic for your pain management as it is to decide on the appropriate therapy.
Ideas for Choosing the Appropriate Clinic
When anyone is looking for a pain management doctor they will want to use the following pointers:
The clinic is near to your home.
They incorporate a pain management program which is right for you.
They utilize an array of experts, such as neurologists, anesthesiologists and naprapaths that are accomplished in the strategies of pain management.
Provide individual and household health care options.
Facilitates physical exercise instruction.
There are a few pain clinics that offer more services than others, so considering the varieties of treatment options they make use of might be very helpful to selecting the right one.
People who are suffering with chronic pain are finding it much more valuable and productive to see a doctor at a pain management clinic, considering that there are so many variables linked with the problem. It is really far less complicated to see all the specialists in one destination than having to be referred to various ones.
Add a Comment
My value investing BIG PICTURE
In my humble opinion, I think value investing is the most useful way to generate profits in the stock market in the long run. As you all know, the father of value investing, Benjamin Graham described value investing as "Buying a dollar for 50 cents". As simple as it sounds, but will there really be such good bargains fluctuating in the stock market? Safely yes, because true value of a company is not that visible compared to a dollar.
Three concepts which I personally think are the most important points out of value investing will be discussed below. Firstly, it is the ability to derive the intrinsic value of a firm. There are plenty of methods to do this and of course I can't disclose the way I use, but I can tell you that I do not and will not use discounting cash flow method (DCF). Many investors out there utilize it to the maximum. However, I think DCF is very unreliable due to a few factors. Firstly we need to project the cash flow of the business. Secondly, we need to estimate the discount factor to be used. The two elements above involve a lot of estimations. When your intrinsic value calculation involves things that are very very uncertain, you must be prepared for it to be wrong. One way to minimize the error of DCF significantly is to look for stable and cash-generating companies.
Secondly, it is the margin of safety concept. After you have the intrinsic value on hand, buy only when the margin of safety is large enough. Personally, I buy only when the margin of safety is 50%. In simpler terms, buying price multiply by 2 is my intrinsic value. Why is this so? You need to know that we are not god, our intrinsic value estimation is not certain. Hence, if our estimation is false, there will still be a cushion, large enough to lower the impact of your mistake. Besides, given that your intrinsic value calculation is correct, you have the chance to earn 100% returns on your investments.
Finally and the most importantly, it is the emotional stability. Being able to know the true value of a company and buy at a 50% discount to the value are trivial if you cannot control your act and emotions. When a stock is very volatile, do not be panicked. What you should do instead is to stick to your intrinsic value calculations and double check the fundamentals of the firm. If everything is right, my advice is to stay away from the ticker and move on to the next stock research. What you can do is to set a stock price alarm so that when the price reaches your value, you can sell immediately, thereby ignoring the volatility which is the key to successful investing in the long run.
I hope the above fully explained what's in my mind. Hope you enjoy reading and happy value investing!
Add a Comment
Top 10 Business Expansion Ideas
It is often said that the minute you are satisfied with what you are, you aren’t there anymore! Once you have sustained your business, have successfully established it, it is time for you to move ahead in the game. If you want to expand, and grow, we are here to help you with it. Check out these ten expansion ideas for your business, to boom it more.
1. Next Location
So your first set-up is up and running, it is time to think beyond now. Look for the whereabouts of the next location, to make your presence, at a higher ground. To go ahead with the next set-up and location, consistency is the key! For investors to believe in your vision, make the numbers talk. Have a steady growth graph and take this step.
2. Business Franchise
To be a part of franchise is like being a part of an extended family. It basically is a continuation of your legacy. Be open to the idea of being associated, opting for franchise options, which not only ensures group productivity, but also, you get the monetary perks!
Once you have started on certain products and services, you can always pool-in more. Think of other options, complimentary perks for the customers, which they can look up-to in the near future. It will have more for you to work-on as-well. After all business is a continuous string of ideas.
4. Licensing and Patents
It is important that you get your products licensed or have patents. It ensures your presence is righteous. Getting your services licensed or regulated also incorporates an element of monetary aid. For anyone to have access to them, you have the sole ownership.
5. Alliances and Mergers
Don’t be afraid to merge with other businesses. Look for similar vendors, dealing with the same line of products, working on the same services, opt for alliances with them. It will prove to be of gain in the long run.
6. New Markets
Once you have nailed your existing market domain, it is time to move across the territory. Look for newer options, markets, customers, to engage them. Expansion is not confined to business set-up, but also involves customers engagement and retention.
It is very important to have good social media support for your set-up. This is the age of technology. From anything to everything, everybody would first ‘Google’ you, then think about to go ahead with services. Have an active digital marketing team, working towards publicizing your goals and vision globally.
8. Sales and Delivery Support
Have varied options for vast sales and delivery support. Incorporate newer channels, be it print media, home pick-ups, door-to-door services etc. The more easy you make it for your customers, the merrier they are.
9. Trade Shows
Be actively involved where ever you can be to publicize your business. Take part in trade shows, start-up events, business fairs. After all, all publicity is good publicity.
10. Cost Containment
Maintain a descent profit margin, you don’t want someone to be your customer for some time, it is a lifetime relationship you want to build with them. Have a generalized increase every year on your products and services. Treat the consumers like assets to your business; make them need you, more than you need them.
These are some of the key points to keep in mind if you are planning to expand your business set-up. With Jaarwis Accelerator, you get excellent mentoring, customized as per your business set-up. We engage venture capitalist firms for you, enhance your business idea. JA, works for future Entrepreneurs, you have a vision, we will help you ‘Grow, Build, Succeed’. After all growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.
Add a Comment
Quick and Easy Ways to Raise Capital
Success is a great feeling, which an entrepreneur experiences as the sales orders come pouring in or customers come through the doors. However, success brings its own challenges and one of them is raising capital.
The cash has to be raised somehow and sometimes very quickly. A person can always go the traditional route, using business loans from the bank or make use of the services the Small Business Administration provides. The only problem is that a lot of paperwork is required and a business plan needs to be developed. It could take weeks or even months. Fortunately, there are means by which an entrepreneur can raise capital quickly and without any hassle.
Investor Platforms are Waiting
The JOBS Act-Title I provides needed help to any entrepreneurial establishment. It is easier for entrepreneurs to raise money in the private markets because Title I has less regulation on general solicitation advertising. It means an entrepreneur can publicly advertise fundraising efforts.
Though investors must have proper accreditation, but that is not as a big a problem as it may appear to be. AngelList, a fundraising platform on the Internet, will verify investor accreditation at no cost. Moreover, the Syndicate Program offered by AngelList can connect an entrepreneur with investors that have a sterling record. AngelList is not the only investor platform that can help an entrepreneur. Onevest is another possibility an entrepreneur may use for raising large amounts of capital quickly. MicroVentures allows accredited and non-accredited investors to have access to entrepreneurial startups. This platform likes to think of itself as an “investment bank for startups.”
Explore Entrepreneur Crowdfunding Opportunities
Everybody seems to know about Kickstarter and IndieGoGo but those are not the only crowdfunding platforms. As a matter fact, there are some crowdfunding platforms designed expressly with the entrepreneur in mind. One of these is peerbackers. This platform focuses on entrepreneur funding, and helps entrepreneurs with a Crowdfunding Academy that provides education on how crowdfunding works.
Debt financing is also possible. A non-traditional lending source is Funding Circle which helps qualified entrepreneurs get as much as $500,000 of capital debt. Criteria such as online customer reviews are used in the loan decision and approval can be as quick as two weeks. The approval time cannot be understated. Loans from a bank or the SBA can take up to eight weeks to receive approval. Given the growing popularity of crowdfunding, there are a large number of crowdfunding sites from which to select. An entrepreneur need only pick the site best suited to fulfill the cash need.
Think About a Merchant Cash Advance
An entrepreneur who owns a retail business or any establishment with a high volume of credit card sales can consider a merchant cash advance. This is a decent way to raise money almost immediately.
Essentially, the entrepreneur agrees to sell a percentage of the future credit card sales to a merchant advance financing provider. In return, the entrepreneur will receive a lump sum of cash. The provider collects a percentage of the daily credit card sales until the full amount of the advance plus a fee is paid. There is no schedule of payments, and a store with a heavy volume of sales can pay off the entire advance in a short period of time.
An entrepreneur who needs a quick infusion of money may find this very attractive. Cash needed to buy equipment or additional stock can be readily available because the approval process is quick. Moreover, there is no need to worry about minimum monthly payments; it is a percentage of credit card receipts on a daily basis. If a small business has seasonal heavy volume, such as Christmas, a merchant cash advance negotiated then could be quickly paid off. As with any loan or advance, the terms and conditions of the agreement should be carefully reviewed ahead of time.
There is nothing wrong with traditional ways of raising capital but applying for a business loan at the bank is no longer the only way. The problem is the time factor and entrepreneurs may need the money right away. Entrepreneurs can avoid road-blocks in their business by looking at alternative ways of obtaining needed cash.
Add a Comment
Do You Really Need a Loan?
2 out of 3 Business Owners that Request a Loan Don't Actually Need a Business Loan, They Need Cash Flow Solutions!
Getting a business loan can be very challenging in the current economic environment. There are two reasons for this. One reason is that the banking industry has been going through a consolidation. Larger banks are absorbing smaller banks. Therefore, there are fewer smaller banks. And it was smaller community banks that often lent money to entrepreneurs and small business owners. Larger banks often focus their efforts on getting large accounts that can generate revenues through financing fees and through the sale of related services.
The second reason has to do with underwriting standards. Most banks have tightened their lending standards and are only lending to companies that have a pristine background. That includes having perfect financial statements and substantial assets that can be pledged as collateral. As you can imagine, few small companies can meet these requirements.
Maybe you don’t need a loan?
The first question you have to ask yourself is why do you need financing? If you need funds to start up, develop your product or grow the business, then a loan may be a good option. Or, you could try Venture Financing. However, many companies that request a business loan do so because they have cash flow problems. These often can, and should, be fixed without a loan.
The most common cash flow problem occurs because companies have to offer payment terms to their commercial clients. Basically, they offer terms but don’t have the wherewithal to actually wait for payment. And because of that, they run into financial problems. One way to solve this problem is to finance your receivables.
Improve cash flow by financing A/R
Financing your receivables improves your cash flow and enables you to offer terms, without having to worry about waiting for your payment. It works by using an intermediary receivables financing companies. They provide the funds for your invoices, and then settle with you once your end customer pays – on their regular schedule.
Although transactions differ based on the industry that is being financed, most invoices are funded using two payments. The first installment is provided as soon as your client is invoiced. It often covers 80% of the gross value of your A/R. The remaining 20% is paid once your end customer pays. The financing fee is often discounted from the second installment and can go from 1.5% to 3% per 30 days (this varies).
Take on more clients and grow
When used correctly, financing your invoices enables you to offer terms to your clients. This means you can now take on new clients without having to worry about slow payments. It will provide a platform that can be used to grow your company while minimizing working capital issues. Also, the line can grow to match your sales, as long as your clients have good credit and as long as your company has a good track record of product/service delivery.
This solution can be used by companies that sell to commercial or government clients. Since the collateral for the transaction is the receivable, it’s important that the payer have good commercial credit or at least be strong enough that the Asset Based Lender feels comfortable extending Working Capital on their invoices, since this is obviously the ultimately repayment process. Additionally, your invoices should not have any liens from other financial products or legal/tax authorities.
Most financing lines can actually be underwritten very quickly and cash deployed in a matter of days. Because of this, invoice financing can be an alternative solution for companies that have cash flow problems and need a quick solution that provides tremendous benefits to an organization that doesn't qualify for traditional lending as well as an organization that has Commercial Lending Lines and is looking for additional Capital to compliment these lines and allow them to access Cash immediately when the circumstances require.
Add a Comment
How Public Assistance Enables Business Bootstrapping
For years his parents struggled to support three children in Anchorage, Alaska, where food costs run high. His stepfather held down a steady but low-paying job as a dental assistant, and his mom performed a series of odd jobs. The kids pitched in. "Delivering phone books is the worst way to spend a Sunday when you're a kid," says Olds, now an assistant professor in the Entrepreneurship Management unit at Harvard Business School.
The family lived paycheck to paycheck. And yet, when Olds was a teenager, his parents garnered the nerve and bootstrapped the funds to launch a vocational training program for dental assistants. Revenue from the new business pushed them out of poverty and into the middle class. Olds, a budding economist, was intrigued.
“THE RATE OF NEW BUSINESS BIRTHS ROSE BY 13 PERCENT AMONG HOUSEHOLDS THAT QUALIFIED FOR SCHIP. THE SURVIVAL RATE OF NEW BUSINESSES ROSE BY 8 PERCENT.”
"They didn't have any experience starting a business, and they couldn't get a loan, because they didn't have the credit," says Olds, who joined the HBS faculty in July. "I wanted to know what it was that allowed them to save startup funds—and what allowed them to take the risk of launching a company."
Curiosity eventually led to his doctoral dissertation: a series of studies showing a definitive link between the social safety net and entrepreneurship. In short, Olds finds that an increase in access to public welfare services leads to an increase in the formation of new companies. (The paper cites a related example: author J. K. Rowling, who wrote the first Harry Potter novel while receiving welfare benefits in the United Kingdom.)
"Social insurance programs can promote entrepreneurship by reducing the risks of business ownership and relaxing credit constraints," Olds writes in the 2014 paper "Entrepreneurship and Public Health Insurance."
STUDYING THE SOCIAL SAFETY NET
Olds grew up on Medicaid, a Federal health insurance program for low-income individuals and families in the United States. At the same time, his family received food purchasing assistance from the Food Stamp program. He's pretty sure that these safety nets helped lead to the formation of his family's company. But while his personal experience motivated the idea for the study, he insists that it didn't shape the research.
"One family's story isn't an economics paper," he says. "People do get nervous if you have a personal story associated with your research. They worry you're bringing an emotional perspective to what should be a scientific endeavor. So a big part of my paper was convincing my advisers that what I was seeing was reproducible and scientifically valid. It also just happened to be personally valid for me."
“HAVING THE NET MADE THESE PEOPLE MORE WILLING TO WALK ON THE HIGH WIRE.”
Olds focused his initial study on the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Established in 1997, the program provides health insurance to uninsured children in moderate-income families.
To research the link between SCHIP and entrepreneurship, Olds studied 1992-2011 data from the United States Census Bureau's Current Population Survey and Survey of Income and Program Participation. He compared data for households that fell just above the SCHIP income eligibility threshold with those that fell just below it, before and after the program took effect. This mimicked the effect of experimental treatment and control groups, a common research technique in cases when an actual experiment isn't practical or ethical. (In this case households that qualified for SCHIP were the treatment group.)
The data showed that SCHIP had a significant positive effect on entrepreneurship. The program increased the self-employment rate by 23 percent among eligible households compared with non-eligible households. The rate of new business births rose by 13 percent among households that qualified for SCHIP. The survival rate of new businesses rose by 8 percent.
Olds took care to find out whether the businesses were serious, sustainable endeavors. "Economists tend to think in terms of employment growth potential," Olds says. "What I found was that the largest area of growth was newly incorporated firms. Eligible households were 31 percent more likely to have an incorporated business than ineligible ones, which is larger than the effect when you consider all firms. This means the distribution shifted: There are more firms overall because of the policy, but there are proportionally more incorporated firms. These were new ventures that people were serious enough about that they were willing to take the significant step of incorporation."
He also discovered that the share of total household income from self-employment versus outside wages increased 16 percent. That is, these new businesses were successful enough to contribute significantly to household income. "The newly self-employed are working longer hours per week, and more weeks per year, and are making more money from these firms," Olds says. "These aren't dogs that shouldn't have been firms in the first place. These are people's dreams that they've been held back from before."
FOOD STAMP ENTREPRENEURS
Similar results bore out in a study of the link between entrepreneurship and eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which Olds details in the 2014 paper "Food Stamp Entrepreneurs."
His research examined what happened after a significant expansion of SNAP threshold levels in the mid-2000s, which loosened eligibility requirements such that more people qualified for the food stamp program. He found that newly eligible households were 20 percent more likely to include an entrepreneur as a result of the policy. Incorporated businesses ownership increased by 16 percent among the newly eligible.
The paper also addresses the common perception that public assistance leads to strategic sloth. "There's this fear that people go on the program and fudge the system so that they can stay on it," Olds says. "The concern is that people will deliberately keep their incomes low so that they can 'camp out' and keep the benefits."
As with his health insurance study, Olds acknowledges personal motivations for looking into the effects of SNAP. "I've never seen my mother working harder than when we were on Food Stamps, so I was skeptical that people would reduce their labor supply after receiving benefits," he says.
Studying Census Bureau data from 1996-2011, he found that the expansion of SNAP correlated with a 5 percent increase in the average length of a workweek. "I found no evidence of camping out," he says. In fact, many of the people in the study never actually took advantage of the public benefits programs for which they were newly eligible, Olds says. Yet they took the risk of starting new companies even though their budget constraints had not changed, and even though they never signed up for SCHIP or SNAP. It was enough just to know that the social safety net was in place.
"Having the net made these people more willing to walk on the high wire," Olds says. "It didn't make them want to walk on the net."
In the next stage of his research, Olds is researching how the social safety net influences the potential labor pool for start-up firms. Initial results indicate that public benefits provide risk assurance among start-up employees, too.
"Let's say I have a comfortable management position at a large firm, but I'm thinking of taking a chance on joining a new small business," Olds explains. "I want to get in on the ground floor of what could become a wildly successful company, but I also want to make sure my kids have health insurance. If I have this outside option, if I have access to public health insurance, then I'm more likely to join. The founders of the next Google or Facebook are happy because they can get good labor. And the new employee is happy because the safety net is there.
Add a Comment
7 Success Strategies from Women Entrepreneurs
Women leaders are much more common now than in past decades. While leadership styles vary, women are often known for collaborative approaches and for prioritizing work/life balance more than older business models did. But successful entrepreneurs all have something in common: They start with an idea and grow it into a thriving business. Claudia Mirza (www.akorbi.com), Amy Power (www.powerpublicrelations.com) and Sylvie Levine (www.SylvieCollection.com) share some of the keys to their success.
1. Take risks
Launching a new business is always a risk. As an entrepreneur, you put your time, money, energy and faith – and sometimes other people’s resources as well – into an unknown enterprise. You’ll probably face at least a few sleepless nights when doubts seep in. Mirza believes that risk is well worth taking. She left Colombia for the US, where she grew a language translation company into a much larger staffing and technology services business.
Sylvie Levine, a jewelry designer, believes in following dreams – even risky ones – and not giving up. “Do what you love because you will do it well,” she advises.
2. But be prepared
However, following dreams doesn’t mean waltzing blindly into the future. You’ll need to temper your vision with hard work, persistence and education. Levine suggests learning as many diverse skills as possible to prepare you for business, not just focusing on your favorite subjects.
Amy Power, who heads a public relations firm, recommends accounting classes. “You really have to know your numbers. It is not good enough to ‘keep your financials in your head.’” And it’s never too soon to develop a relationship with a banker, so that you can establish a credit line and a relationship before you actually need it.
3. Focus your business
What is your business all about? If you dream of running a high-end Mexican food cart, don’t put French fries on your menu. Trying to be everything to everybody exhausts you and leaves customers scratching their heads in confusion. Small businesses thrive when they find the right unfilled niche. “Less is more,” says Power. “Establish three to five pillars that you want to focus on and remaining focused. I would also not be afraid to turn down business that is not right for growth.”
4. Take advantage of opportunities
While gender and ethnicity have historically held many smart and talented people back, Mirza finds both work to her advantage. “Being a woman in business has created opportunities for me and my business, not hurdles,” she says. “Corporations set dollars aside specifically for women and minority-owned businesses, which has opened many doors for us.”
Check with the Small Business Administration, state or local programs to see if you qualify for special low-interest business loans, training or other opportunities.
Nobody is good at everything, nor is there time to personally complete every business detail. So sidestep your inner control freak. Delegate.
“I know that no one cares more about my business than me,” says Levine. “So the biggest hurdle and challenge I face is knowing when I need to delegate certain aspects of the business and let other skilled staff and professionals take over.“
You can also creatively delegate to improve your work/life balance. For the last three summers, Power has hired a “nanny-tern” — a communications student who is skilled both at office work and childcare. “She helps me with my children when I need to be at meetings, and then when I choose to work from home or need to be with my children she can go to the office to intern.”
6. Remember what else is important
The happiest people remember there’s more to life than raking in dollars. They find time for love, friendship, health and community.
Spending all your time at work can lead to stress-related diseases and other health problems. Power prioritizes her health by scheduling three CrossFit workouts per week. “It helps keep my energy up and my stress down.”
Even on the job, remember what’s important by building strong relationships with your employees. “I strive to constantly recognize, appreciate and acknowledge my staff’s value and performance,” Levine says. “I include them in the decision-making process.” Happy employees who work hard and are happy to be there? Talk about keeping your stress level down.
7. Keep ethics top of mind
Everybody sometimes gets tempted to cut corners, making things easier and cheaper in the short run. But ethical mistakes eventually come back to haunt you. “As a leader, honesty is critical,” says Mirza. She emphasizes the importance of putting clients’ needs ahead of what might be easier or more cost effective for the entrepreneur. “It has helped us develop long-term relationships and client loyalty, because clients know we’re always looking out for their best interest,” she says.
And it’s that loyalty and those close relationships that will ultimately give your business staying power.
Add a Comment
Ethics are always important.