Browse Tag by Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurship

Where to Get Start-Up Funds for a Home Business

In today’s economy, people are always looking for ways to supplement their income. Starting a home-based business is one way to do that. In fact, if you play your cards right you may even be able to turn it into a full time job and ditch the commute. Of course, starting a business requires cash, which can be hard to come by. Following are a few suggestions on where you can get start-up funds for a home business.

Plan Ahead

The first step in starting a home business is to have a plan. Before attempting to raise funds for a business, know what the money will be used for. Set a goal and determine how you’re going to get there, then you’ll know how much you’re going to need to start the business and keep it running until the business can pay for itself.

Your Own Money

Although most people won’t have the money for a start-up simply sitting in their savings account, using your own money is probably the best method of funding a home business. Dipping into a 401k or a Certificate of Deposit may impact your future, but not having to borrow the money may offset the loss of interest you would accrue by leaving the money in savings. Another possibility is to sell some of your assets, such as an extra vehicle or unused property. You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons and make the decision. If financing the business yourself is not an option, taking out a loan will be necessary.

Borrowing from the Bank

If you don’t have the money to do it yourself, the most logical place to start is the bank you already deal with. If you have borrowed money from them previously and can demonstrate you have a chance of making the business show a profit, they’ll probably be willing to lend you the money. Of course, interest will have to be paid, and you’ll most likely have to provide collateral, such as taking out a mortgage or second mortgage to finance the business. If you don’t have a good credit record, the bank will be hesitant on taking a chance on you, which makes it difficult for first time borrowers or those with prior financial setbacks, such as a bankruptcy.

Family Help

For most people, starting a home business taking out a loan of any sort is not their first choice. But in most cases it’s the only practical way of getting the business off the ground. Approaching a family member for a loan is a traditional method of getting a business started. The terms of a loan from a family member will undoubtedly be much more agreeable than with a bank or credit union. If you are fortunate enough to have a relative that has a lot of money they may be willing to lend you the start-up funds with a pay-me-when-you-can plan, which will ease the pressure of having to make ‘regular’ payments.

Government Grants

Receiving a government grant for a home-based business can be extremely difficult. They are available, but most government grants are geared toward not-for-profit organizations that provide a public service. If you believe your start-up will make you eligible for a grant, be extra careful in seeking them out because many times the offer you come across will be a scam. Sticking with a government website, such as www.business.gov for researching a grant is your best bet to ensure you’re dealing with the right source of government grant money. On a local level there may be programs available aimed at improving the community by providing funding for small businesses. These may be small business investment organizations or local government programs.

Credit Cards

If you’ve exhausted all other possibilities, it may be time to think about using a credit card to finance your endeavor. Consider taking this route only if you’re absolutely sure or as sure as you can possibly be that your home business actually has the potential of becoming a viable business enterprise. Credit card rates can be exorbitant and interest can build quickly.

Guest post from Bailey Harris. Bailey writes for www.insurancequotes.org, a site that provides quotes for car insurance.

Entrepreneurship

How Can An Entrepreneur Overcome Mediocrity?

It is frustrating for entrepreneurs to remain mediocre in their fields. With competition in the business world on an over-drive and with more and more players in every industry, it has become important to be excellent and stand out. The reason for mediocrity in most people is that they are lazy or too unmotivated to give in extra work. In this post, I have discussed how an entrepreneur can overcome mediocrity.

What is Mediocrity?

Wiktionary defines mediocrity as: “The quality of being intermediate between two extremes; a mean; A middle course of action; moderation, balance; The condition of being mediocre; having only an average degree of quality, skills etc.; no better than standard; An individual with mediocre abilities or achievements”

The above definition is more or less what mediocre really means. More simply put, mediocre is  anything of medium quality. Or anything that is not special, exceptional, or great.

Is It Wrong To Be Mediocre?

There is a heated debate that rages on – “What is wrong in being mediocre?” Well frankly, there is nothing really wrong with being mediocre, except the fact that being mediocre can only take you that far in life. If you want to do anything exceptional then you have to defeat mediocrity. If you are the kind of person who feels satisfied with accomplishments that are good, but not great then it is okay for you to stay as you are. In the end, being mediocre is a personal choice for many.

Why Should Entrepreneurs Overcome Mediocrity?

Entrepreneurship is one such livelihood where mediocrity can really distress you. Because being mediocre in your business is like untapped potential and underachievement. Moreover, mediocre businesses are always taken over by more dynamic, leaner and awesome competition. It is a dog-eat-dog business world out there – even then, you will see that there is always space for extraordinary entrepreneurs and businesses to thrive.

How Can An Entrepreneur Overcome Being Mediocre?

Okay now, the important thing to remember here is that there is no magic pill that will make you extra-ordinary. But, if you want to beat the “average Joe” image, here are a few pointers which you might find helpful:

Don’t Be Easily Flattered

This is the among the most important points to avoid mediocrity in life. An entrepreneur will realize that as he grows in the business, there will all kinds of people trying to impress him and pump his ego. Those who get flattered to easily are generally not given much value. Not being easily flattered is one way an entrepreneur can avoid being mediocre.

Create Powerful Connections

Mediocre entrepreneurs know mediocre people. If you intend to be extra-ordinary then you have to associate yourself with extra-ordinary individuals. For an entrepreneur, he can come in contact with many accomplished men by attending entrepreneur conferences, leveraging internet social media etc. The more time you spend with people who hate to be mediocre – the lesser you will be too.

The Big Deal About Being “Connected”

Defeat Limitations

This is the most important point that you need to remember. People who kill the mediocrity within them and move on to greatness are the people who defeat their limitations. You must know what thoughts in your head are keeping you from achieving big. If you find that it is your inability to use social media to leverage business online, then you must work on it or hire someone for it. Either ways, you need to be able to sort out a solution.

Being average is not enough; you need to be great – because if you don’t, your competitor will, and all of a sudden, your small business is being left behind, eating the dust. Do let me know your thoughts on this below. Thanks!

Marketing

How Can Entrepreneurs Leverage LinkedIn For Business Opportunities?

Many traditional entrepreneurs find social media to be a nightmare. But against popular myth, LinkedIn really does not require you to be social media maverick to optimize its full potential. LinkedIn is a valuable service that allows entrepreneurs to connect with other peers in their field, find potential employees and make contacts with your customers. This post will let you know how to make the most of it.

What Is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a professional networking site. When you join, you create a profile that summarizes your professional expertise and accomplishments. You can then form enduring connections by inviting trusted contacts to join LinkedIn and connect to you. Your network consists of your connections, your connections’ connections, and the people they know, linking you to a vast number of qualified professionals and experts.

Why You Need A LinkedIn Profile ASAP?

LinkedIn has more than 90 million members in over 200 countries around the globe.It is slowly becoming a pre-requisite on resumes. Via LinkedIn, you can accomplish a lot of things:

  1. Find and be introduced to potential clients, service providers, and subject experts who come recommended
  2. Create and collaborate on projects, gather data, share files and solve problems
  3. Be found for business opportunities and find potential partners
  4. Gain new insights from discussions with likeminded professionals in private group settings
  5. Discover inside connections that can help you land jobs and close deals
  6. Post and distribute job listings to find the best talent for your company

How Can Entrepreneurs Leverage LinkedIn?

When you are an entrepreneur, your success as a businessman and your competitiveness as a company depends upon faster access to insights, resources and people you can trust. This is where LinkedIn allows you to make invaluable connections with among the most influential people in your industry.

Here are a few tips to leverage LinkedIn:

Upload A Professional Profile Picture

LinkedIn is not like Facebook. Read that sentence again – n-o-t like Facebook. So if you have a profile pic with you holding a beer mug with a clown hat – rest assured that, no one useful will connect with you on LinkedIn. Except, may be other people with beer mugs in their hands. So make sure you have upload a decent, sober and professionally acceptable profile picture.

Get Recommendations

Getting recommended by anybody might not be very useful. But it is generally a good idea to get recommended by your clients and colleagues. You have to ensure that your “recommendations to connections” ratio is not absurd. Because if you have 300 connections and only 1 or 2 recommendations it does not look good on your profile.

Make Full Use Of Your Job Title

LinkedIn allows you to include your Job Title while creating the profile. So instead of writing CEO of “Lloyd Consultants”, you can edit it as CEO of “Construction consultants – Lloyd Consultants”. By doing so you ensure that you are more “findable” when other users are searching for construction consultants. This in turn opens your door to many more business opportunities.

If you would like to connect with me on LinkedIn, please feel free. Here is the link to my LinkedIn profile: http://in.linkedin.com/in/vivekkrishnan1