Raising money for a small business venture is one of the greatest hurdles that entrepreneurs usually face. Every business venture requires money so that it can get off the ground as well as to run its operations into the foreseeable. There are various financing options available to small businesses ranging from grants to loans. Discussed in this article are the various financing options available for small businesses to help you make a decision of the best way for finance your small business
You can finance your small business from the savings you have accumulated over the years. This is one of the best ways to finance your business because you will not be indebted to anyone or required to pay hefty interests for the fund. However, if the money you have in your savings is not enough, you can request for a top up from your family members.
Loans from Banks and other Lending Institutions
Bank loans are usually the second option from personal savings, for individuals setting up small businesses. However for you to secure loan from banks or other major lending institutions, you must have sufficient collateral. It is worth mentioning that some lending institutions require a well crafted business plan for loan applicants without adequate collateral to evaluate the viability of the business venture. The downside of this is that you will be required to repay the loan with high interest rates which can take toil on your small business in the long run.
If you are starting a small business venture, there is a variety of places where you can get grants. Local authorities and the government avail grants to small businesses but they are usually given for a specific line of operations like Research and Development. Therefore for you to qualify for these grants, your business venture has to be in line with the criteria given. As such, this kind of financing option is a bit harder to get as compared to other financing options. Grants are usually preferred by many individuals because of their nature and the benefits that accrue.
Factoring is a financing arrangement where a firm sells its invoices to another firm in order to get funds quickly. The invoices are usually sold at a discount to the company that will recover the debt on your behalf. This is a very fast way of financing your small business but you must be willing to sacrifice part of your profits.
Venture capitalists are rich individuals who invest their money in fresh ideas as well as new business ventures. They invest their money into your business and in return take a share of your business. This means that you will not run your business on your own way because they will have an interest on how you run and manage the business. This is in a bid to ensure that the business develops and makes substantial amount of money from its operations.
Starting a business in the UK is not as hard as many perceive it; it only requires that you do your assignment well to get the required finances to get it off the ground. Once your business is off the ground, ensure you run it in an effective and efficient way for optimal benefits.
For more business and finance articles check out the blog section on www.focusedumbrella.co.uk
Good bookkeeping is crucial to the financial health of any company. If a business person makes too many mistakes, they could end up in trouble with the IRS, their vendors, or in a financial hole they can’t get out of. That is why having an accounting system in place, rather than keeping all of your data in your head, is a good idea. For the new business person, here are some accounting tips to get your finances under control.
1. Budget Major Expenses
Most businesses have a budget in place for employee pay, work materials and office space, but they fail to take into account the major expenses that come around once a year or so. This could be a major computer upgrade or replacing major manufacturing tools. Be honest with yourself about the major expenses you face and write down on a calendar when you will need to take care of them. Plan for each of these at least a year in advance and plan as far out as possible. By having these expenses in front of you, you will be able to slowly set the money aside that you will need and won’t end up needing to take out a loan to keep your business running.
2. Track Business Expenses
Tracking business expenses is important because it helps you to keep track of what you can claim with the IRS. Business people who don’t have a system in place may miss out on a refund, or may have their refund revoked by the IRS if they are audited and don’t have documentation to prove their claims. Having a business credit card that is only used for expenses is an easy way to automatically track expenses and have full documentation provided by the bank. Having a separate business bank account is also a good idea, so personal items and business items can’t be mixed up.
3. Label Deposits
Businesses often have three sources of deposits: loans, personal contributions and revenue. It’s important to label each deposit you make in your business bank account as one of these three things. Otherwise you may end up paying taxes on a deposit that wasn’t actually revenue. This creates an unnecessary strain on your business that could be easily avoided.
4. Keep Tax Money Separate
It can be tempting to draw upon the money set aside for payroll taxes and quarterly reports when in a financial pinch, but this practice is very poorly looked upon by the IRS. Taking from money set aside for payroll is looked down upon, especially, because its seen as stealing from your employees. Instead, record tax dates on the calendar, including the time you need to prepare your reports. Keep the money you know you will need separate, so you will always have it in time.
5. Make Sure Customers are Paying
If your business operates on a contractual basis where customers are sent an invoice once a month for you services, make sure you or someone else is assigned to be sure those invoices are paid. This may mean making an extra phone call or starting to charge fees for late payments. Working for free is never a good accounting practice.
Brian Watts is an expert in accounting software and business systems in Perth, Western Australia.
A small business can prosper with the right marketing strategies. Marketing a business’ products or services does not have to be expensive. It can be done easily for less money with a few unique ways.
Recognise the Customers
Potential clients will need to have a positive view of your business before they will become a permanent client. Customers like to feel important to the business by being recognised when they choose to use your business. A simple thank-you note can make a client have a more positive view of your company, and a hand written note will cost very little. Letting a client know that you are thankful for their business is one way of showing the customer that your business cares about them. Therefore, small business owners can offer good customer service to their clients to make them feel special.
A cost-effective marketing strategy is using digital technology. Electronic mailings can reach more clients quicker and cheaper than sending letters and advertising through the mail. Create an eye-catching newsletter about updates for your business, and then, send it to every client on your e-mail list. Personalise the mailings to add value to the letters. In addition, join online social sites to advertise your small business. Friends will spread the good news about your business to their friends when you offer them an incentive for sharing your page with others. Today, you can reach and contact more people with the new technology.
In addition, creating a simple and personalised newsletter to an inactive customer is an inexpensive way to regain the customer’s trust and business. Phone calls to the customers are another way to show the customer that you care about their business.
Find local media to advertise your small business. Prepare press releases that can be placed in the local newspapers, trade journals or other media to let prospective clients know about your small business.
Trade Shows, Festivals and Other Events
Set up booths at events to boost the profile of the business. You can create some unique signage to entice customers at these events. Buy business cards or note pads with the essential information for contacting your business to give away at these events to promote your business.
Join some organisations to network with other businesses. Being involved with organisations will put you in contact with more people, which will offer you more opportunities to market your business. Furthermore, conducting business within a professional environment, such as serviced offices in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane will provide constant networking opportunities with other businesses who use the same facilities. Finally, you can network by becoming involved in charities. You can donate some of your products or services to a charity to market your business.
Every small business owner needs to market his or her business. For a small business to be successful, the business owner will need to discover some inexpensive marketing methods to incorporate into his or her advertising. A small business should choose an advertising technique that will promote the company, and this technique should provide the customers with the information that will entice them to use the business for their needs.
About the author:
Allen is the owner of a small design business in NSW, Australia. He knows first hand how tough it can be for small business to compete against larger firms and put together this list to help other small business owners remain competitive.
Small business internet marketing Is not just advertising anymore. It used to consist of purchasing ads in various places, and then purchasing specific types of ads. Today the difference between advertising and marketing has become very clear. Advertising is something you do that’s very passive.
Certainly, you will use precise words in any advertising space to try to entice individuals to click and purchase, but once you have put the ad in place, it’s there and is not going to change. Even pay-per-click advertising falls into this more passive category.
However with many ways of small business internet marketing, the things you do are far from passive. If you search engine optimize your website, that might seem passive because once you do it, it’s done. All the same that is not correct. As you add new contents to your site, you do more tweaking and changing. You’ll use new keywords and different keywords in different areas. For certain, if you use banners you will change them from time to time, but it’s still much more static just like any other type of marketing.
Those static ads like banners and pay-per-clicks probably won’t be given you many sales. It is the dynamic methods of small business online marketing that are going to bring people to your website and keep them coming back. And when they keep coming back, they’re once again faced with the things you offer. It can take a person 6 or 7 times seeing an offer before they’re inclined to buy, so the more you get them at your website, seeing your products and services, the more likely they will be paying customers.
The most cost-effective technique online marketing for small business that is guaranteed to let you make regular contact with your direct marketplace is an opt-in mailing list. You can offer discounts, or information to get people to visit your website and buy.
You don’t want to just send advertisements every time. It’s best to come up with something that the people were probably looking for. Give people something of value, and they will give you permission to contact them. Once you have their permission, good small business internet marketing will include emails that contain not just ads, but content to remind them what a valuable resource your website represents.
Making a Mountain out of a Molehill: How to Better Market Your Small Business
Making a mountain out of a molehill… that is exactly what the goal should be for your small business, whether you sell a mousetrap or real estate. By making a big deal out of something small, you’ll expand your customer base and enjoy better results (higher profits!).
Being an innovator and pioneer means trying new things online in order to promote and grow your young business. Taking chances on marketing efforts and having a natural style catches client’s interest more than you may think.
The Power of Video Marketing
One great marketing tool that seems to rule over the rest of your advertising strategies would have to be video marketing.
Video marketing allows you to create videos online to display within your website, social media sites, the blogosphere, your Google profile, and can even be displayed to your email subscribers. The great part about video advertising is that it enables you to connect directly with your customers over and over again without having to extend continued effort.
The videos do the work for you and your client base gets to see what your company represents. It allows them to get a better sense of what you can offer them and lets them see you as a real person in order to establish a good sales connection. A vital piece of being successful as a small business is having your customers trust you and consider you a reputable expert in your field or niche.
Targeting Your Market by Using Classified Ads
Craigslist is another great free tool that you can use to get the giant’s gold. Most people don’t give Craigslist a second thought, but using free classified ads to geographically target and advertise your products or services can assist in jump starting your website traffic.
Believe it or not, a huge portion of traffic can come from just one product or service ad. Using a classified ad service is not for the lazy, but if you’re pro-active and stick with your efforts, it can pay off in the end by increasing your web traffic statistics.
If you present your product to a buyer’s mentality (such as Craigslist or EBay customers), you’re more likely to snatch up sales and future customers.
The Success and Strategy of Free Stuff
Giving away free products or services can actually get your foot in the door to bigger and better things.
You may have to give away a little to get a lot in return. Jack may have traded the family’s only cow, but he received a much larger gift in the end that elevated him to new heights.
Free enticement is a powerful thing that just might work in your favor. Make your cow looks good, give away some free milk and think big. Free stuff is actually a cornerstone secret that most small businesses neglect to use. Work in small strategizing steps that will assist you in building your business beanstalk.
This guest post was brought to you by Mary who frequently writes about successful business strategies. She also stresses the importance of creating a business profile online, whether it’s running your own mousetrap business or setting up your first lemonade stand.