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Business Ideas

Startup Squanders – The 5 Worst Ways to Spend Money When Starting a Business

The road to entrepreneurship offers plenty of opportunities to waste money. Unless your rich uncle is bankrolling your entire start-up without concern for what and how you spend, you need to keep your expenditures under control. The top five ways that entrepreneurs waste money, but shouldn’t, are:
Startup Squander #5 — Franchise or MLM Fees
Don’t bother with these business models. Franchises, even the best ones, are too expensive for what you get, and MLMs are just a bad idea. The money you put out for either only provides you pieces of the operations are still at square one as far as your overall startup. Your franchise and MLM fees buy only the operations ideas or access to brand products, you still must complete all your own planning, fund all equipment, location, staff, etc., and figure out how to get the product sold. You are far better off coming up with your own business idea, learning what you need to know, and actually working for yourself. And anyway, why share your profits with your franchisor or upline? You are doing the work, you should reap the rewards.
Franchise fees range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands, plus a cut of your profits through the life of the business. MLM buy-ins range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
Startup Squander #4 — Grant Seekers and Consultants
There are very few, if any, government direct grants for domestic start-ups. There are no secret grants, and there are no tricks to applying for grants if your business idea does happen to qualify for one. The Federal government does earmark millions each year for small business, but the majority is distributed through SBA programs which are used to guarantee bank loans or provide short-term working capital to existing businesses. Some money ends up with local economic development NFPs who may provide training or micro loans to first-time entrepreneurs. If you qualify for any help through these NFPs, their staff will help you through the process for free.
Grant consultants charge a wide range of fees, but most are in the thousands.
Startup Squander #3 — Entity Registration Service
If you have a straightforward situation, you can easily do it yourself. If you don’t, you need an attorney. Paying for these services make no sense – if you understand enough to fill out their questionnaires about how you want your LLC or Corporation set up, you can just as easily set it up yourself. Most Secretary of State websites now provide a simple online form to fill out with clear explanations for each section. Templates for the Articles of Organization and Owners’ Agreement are easy to find, and writing them yourself means you will know exactly what you are agreeing to. Even if you have your attorney review them, it will be cheaper than the average service. The hardest part is deciding whether an LLC or Corporation is the better choice for nobody but you should be making that decision. If you have complicated issues involved in your organization or have specific concerns about partnerships or assets, or you are planning an IPO, work with a competent attorney in your state.
The entity registration services available charge fees from one to several hundred dollars, plus your state’s entity registration fee.
Start-up Squander #2 — Start-up Consultants
Start-up consultants are available to do everything from naming your business to writing your business plan. Some newer breeds offer services to walk you through the start-up process, charging $150 to tell you the next three things to do for your start-up. Even the most basic start-ups require over 100 steps, so the fees add up very quickly. As for the specific service consultants (name your business, conduct market research, write your business plan) – It’s your start-up, so why would you leave critical basics to somebody else? You will be running the business, so it only makes sense that doing most of the preparation work yourself will greatly increase your odds of success.
Startup consultant fees can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending in the service.
Start-up Squander #1 — Perks
Some first-time entrepreneurs are under the delusion that simply becoming a business owner means you drive BMWs, frequent expensive restaurants for every meal, and take exotic vacations at will. The reality is that although entrepreneurship is just about the only way to achieve that lifestyle, it doesn’t happen overnight. For all new businesses, the first goal is Ramen-profitability — making enough money to keep yourself and your family in Ramen noodles. Plugging most of the profits back in to building the business is the only way to become rich. Spending your limited start-up cash on frivolous luxuries is a sure route to failure. Watch the pennies during start-up and the …

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How a Virtual Assistant Can Help When Starting an Online Business

When it comes to starting an online business there is a lot of work that needs to be done and most importantly, done right. This is where a virtual assistant can help grow your business and possibly make the difference between success and failure.
As a business owner it is paramount that you deliver value to your customers. But first you have to get in front of your customers in order for them to find the value you are offering. Typically most business owners do not have enough time to do all that is necessary to be successful online.A� Therefore a good business owner will delegate the work load they either don’t like doing or are not qualified as others to do. This is where the virtual assistant comes in handy.
These are some of the tasks most often delegated to virtual assistants:
Website design, development and search engine optimization (SEO). A qualified assistant should know how to find keywords using keyword tools and test the results of the keyword phrase.A� They can place these keywords in your headlines, content and linking structure to optimize search results for your online business.
Another task an assistant can accomplish for your business is creating relevant content on a continual basis. They can create content in the form of articles, videos and sales ads all with maximum SEO exposure. It is vital for an online business to continually add new and relevant content as it relates to their business in order to maintain a high ranking with search engines.
Today social networking sites are a great way to get the word out and get back links to your website. Most virtual assistants will take care of this busy work for you by submitting posts to multiple social sites by using the latest online business software daily.
These are just a few of the important tasks a virtual assistant can accomplish for those starting an online business. I highly recommend taking advantage of the services available when you the business owner haven’t the time or expertise, and focus more of your time on creating value for your customer.
When it comes to making an income online as with any business, how you market your business is usually more important than what you are marketing. Therefore how you market your online business will most likely determine your success. For those interested in learning more about online marketing strategies we have a large amount of free information on our website and we welcome your comments.
Thomas McCormick…

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Business Week

Pros And Cons Of Starting A Business From Home

While it’s exciting to start a business from home, there are also difficulties that must be taken care of for success. Do you really want to run a home business? Consider the tips in this article.

Your business and your home should have separate phone lines. You need to send a certain message if you want your business to appear professional. You do not want your child to answer the phone unprofessionally.

You must figure in cost, in order to know profit when you are selling items which you have made. You determine mark-up for wholesale by multiplying your cost by two. A standard price increase for retail would be the wholesale price multiplied by two. You will need to price the item accordingly, so that you can be sure that you are making a profit off of the sale of the product.

Be sure that you can portray what your business does within a business objective, usually composed within one or two sentences. A description of your goals and what the business can provide the customer should be included in the business objective. Come up with a concise statement that describes your company and future business goals in just a few sentences.

In order to make sure your business is financially set, you should always have emergency funds available. Having an emergency fund will help cover surprise expenses without causing your business operations to sputter. Only use this emergency fund when it is truly an emergency. Make it a top priority to replace this money.

Take advantage of your tax deductions to optimize the profits for your home business. There are substantial savings to be had with claiming as many deductions as you can on your taxes.

Get comfortable with self-promotion. When you own a business, you need to be able to speak about how great your business is and what it can do for others. You really can convey a sense of quality to customers. When you learn to promote yourself well, you will have harnessed the secret to stellar profits.

Make safety in your workplace a priority. You should make sure you have a fire extinguisher and smoke detector in your office. Create an ergonomic setup for your computer area. Adequate fire protection can lower insurance costs and well-designed, ergonomic computer setups can reduce chances of getting repetitive-motion injuries.

A website for selling your product or service is a must nowadays for any home business. This is a good way to broaden your audience and increase the number of sales that you make. Use a professional service to set up your website.

Search engine optimization is a way to enhance your company’s visibility on the Internet. Search engine optimization, commonly referred to as SEO, helps to improve your visibility on the Internet. This can boost sales exponentially for home businesses. There are many professional guidelines for using SEO, and they can help you get started.

As previously discussed, people are attracted to being the boss of themselves and doing what they want to do. Use the tips that you read here to ensure that you do everything you can to succeed with your home business.…