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Entrepreneurship can be a rewarding experience, but it can also require a ton of time, motivation, sacrifice, and energy. This often leads to burnouts. I’ve faced multiple burnouts as an entrepreneur and I’ve become pretty aware of the warning signs.

If you feel like you’re running on empty, worrying too much or having anxiety breakdowns, or if you just feel a lack motivation to be productive and work on what used to bring you excitement and joy, you are probably experiencing burnout.

As an entrepreneur, what makes it worse is trying to force yourself to push through regardless of how you feel. Deadlines still need to be met and you still need to eat but ignoring burnout will only make it worse. Here are a few things you can do to overcome entrepreneur burnout and get your spark back.

Identify the Source

First, you must get to the root of the cause of your burnout. Ask yourself what’s making you feel stressed, anxious, or tired when it comes to your work life.

Maybe you took on a project that has left you less than inspired or maybe you took on too much. It’s important to narrow down some sources that could be causing you distress so you can eliminate or reduce them.

Start Saying No

Are you a ‘yes’ person? Saying yes to everything can easily lead to burnout. When you say yes, it creates a new priority and everything can’t be prioritized when it comes to your business.

It’s important to go back to your core goals and values and only say yes to the projects and opportunities that align with that.

This may mean cutting ties with others or handing off assignments and tasks to your team or other colleagues. That’s okay. As you lighten, your burden, you will start to gain more clarity and overcome the burnout.

Set Realistic Expectations

Saying no more will help you begin to set realistic expectations and establish boundaries. If you’ve reached a point of burnout, that means you’re feeling fatigued and overworked.

As a result, you need to set more realistic expectations for yourself and your business. Break up larger goals, start block scheduling your days and don’t be afraid to take the necessary time to actually meet deadlines without added stress and pressure.

Take Time Off

Most people who are burnt out just need a break. Some entrepreneurs find it difficult to take time off because they can’t just cash in vacation hours like traditional employees can.

This just means you have to plan for breaks and create your own PTO package. Start setting a portion of your profit aside for a vacation or just a weekend relaxing at home.

Being your own boss means you have the freedom to control when you work and play so take advantage of it. When you come back to work, you’ll feel refueled.

Create Time For Your Passion Project

You may be experiencing burnout if you’re no longer doing work that you’re passionate about. Business owners get to choose what work they do but they also have to focus on profit. You may find yourself chasing after work that brings in good money but is mentally demanding and doesn’t really make you feel fulfilled.

This is the place I found myself in last year. I went to a summit and spoke with a mentor who recommended I find an easy and low-effort way to make money with my business to cover my basic expenses while I use the rest of my time to work on a passion project.

A passion project may not bring in any money at first, but it can help you break through burnout. When you start getting involved with work you love and enjoy again, you’ll have more motivation, energy, and drive to get up and work each day.

Have you ever experienced entrepreneur burnout? What led to the burnout and how did you overcome it?

Originally published here, by Choncé Maddox.

The post How to Overcome Entrepreneur Burnout appeared first on KillerStartups.

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Over the last few years, health and wellness have been top concerns and new products are everywhere, vying for public attention – and while it’s a competitive marketplace, this is good news for startups. Both investors and buyers are interested in exploring new opportunities for enhancing their health and sales are booming.

Selling A Trend

One of the primary reasons that wellness startups are thriving right now is that trendy topics get a lot of media coverage and coverage fuels sales. What’s more, these brands are masters of new media; wellness startups know how to work with PR firms and traditional publications as well as how to push products via social media influencers. Those influencers play a key role in getting new products into mainstream homes through their appealing Instagram posts, blog reviews, and other promotional strategies. Partnerships between wellness startups and influencers help to sell new products in a pervasive yet personal way.

Trend Spotters

It takes more than just media coverage and influencer support for new wellness startups to succeed. They also need to know the trends inside and out. In 2019, these wellness trends include, for example, a big emphasis on circadian rhythms as a component of overall wellness, a renewed interest in the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda, and increased availability of natural wellness products at mainstream pharmacies and grocery stores. This push for increased availability is also a big motivator for new brands trying to break into the market. A larger group of buyers means there’s room for more brands to compete and succeed.

Breakout Brands

Whether you’re an investor, a distributor, or just a shopper, health and wellness startups are excited to make a case for their new products, and many of these products channel traditional medicine and folk practices. For example, projections by Grand View Research say the medicinal mushroom market is expected to be worth $50 billion within the next six years as brands promote the idea of “functional foods” and the anti-inflammatory nature of mushrooms.

Brands like Host Defense are leveraging the medicinal nature of mushrooms with their US-grown supplements, each targeted to a specific function and drawing on the unique compounds of mushrooms such as cordyceps, chaga, and lion’s mane. The fact that these products are American made is of particular importance since, despite the growing popularity of medicinal mushrooms, their roots in Eastern Asia have many consumers worried about the safety of the supply chain.

Another traditional practice startups are promoting with a modern twist is the notion of color therapy and how colors relate to the chakras. So how do you rebrand chakras for 2019? With an app, of course. Pranadigma emits imperceptible flashes of light based on users’ specific health needs, leaving a trace of light that boosts the targeted chakras. It can also support specific healing and wellness goals such as quitting smoking, improved sleep, and pain relief.

Modern Branding

Finally, it’s important to consider how modern branding is changing how startups sell wellness products, a phenomenon that can be traced back to Goop and similar modern wellness brands. Goop’s vitamins, for example, have catchy names like Nerd Alert, Knock Me Out, and Ball In The Air that describe their intended effects, and other startups are following this lead.

At acupuncture-forward startup WTHN, which counts the founders of SoulCycle and Sweetgreen among its investors, supplements based on Chinese medicine are rebranded with millennial-ready names like Oops I Did It Again, a recovery formula, and Dream On, a supplement meant for sleep and relaxation. These products supplement emphasis on acupuncture, which aims to make the treatment more accessible and affordable, but they also fit neatly within the new wellness startup culture.

It’s an exciting time to be part of the health and wellness world with new innovations popping up constantly – but how large can the market get? With falling prices and increased availability in mainstream stores, as well as the option to deliver wellness via an app, it seems like the sky is the limit for today’s startups.

The post Wellness Boom Creates Fertile Ground For Natural Health Startups appeared first on KillerStartups.

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If you’ve ever wanted to start a business, you’re certainly not alone. Whether you think of the next best thing in tech or an easier way to deliver pizzas, the opportunities are truly endless. What separates the “wantrepreneurs” from the entrepreneurs is action. A great idea is worthless without execution.

So when’s the best time to start a business? After years of experience working for a corporation? Once you’ve settled with your family? Truthfully, there’s no golden rule for when you should embark on your journey. However, there are tons of advantages to starting a business early on in life.

Here are four reasons why you should start your business when you’re young. Fail fast, fail often…fail early.

This quote is used a lot in motivational speaking. We’re told time and time again we need to fail in order to succeed. Like every motivational quote, you need to take it with a grain of salt. Yes, it’s true that you will probably fail many times before you have a big win, however you need to learn how to fail well.

When your business goes under, it sucks. You’ll be discouraged and you’ll have trouble motivating yourself for the next gig. This is why it’s important to fail when you’re young. I launched my first business fresh out of high school. After about a year, we decided to cut our losses.

I was discouraged for months. All that time spent down on myself was time wasted. That said, it’s a good thing I was only 18 and full of energy at the time. Failing fast and failing often is important, but failing early is key. After your first big failure, the next few will be easy.

There’s typically much less at stake.

When we’re young, we generally have less responsibilities. You probably don’t have a family, no mortgage to pay, and if you’re lucky you’re still on your parents’ medical insurance.

Starting a business puts a lot at risk. Aside from your finances, you’re also going to commit 110% of your time. Giving up a year when you’re splitting a room with your co-founder versus a year when you’re supporting a family is a huge difference.

Long-term assets.

If done right, a business can be one of the best long-term assets you can build. Put in the time now, to make a passive income for the rest of your life.

If you’re a millennial like me, you need to get started building assets as early as possible. If you simply trade your time for money, by earning a salary, you just won’t get ahead in life. While it’s tough, building long-term assets is always worth it. That said, you need to start as early as possible.

You’ll get a taste of the ‘real world’.

I’ve always been a hands on learner. I was never able to grasp concepts in the classroom. I just needed to get out and do it.  Classrooms and corporate positions are often very controlled environments. While you can definitely learn a lot, you’ll miss out on some key lessons.

Starting a business is the perfect way to get your ‘real world’ education. There’s no teacher or manager telling you what needs to be done. You need to come up with your own ideas, marketing plans, fundraising goals, hire employees, and much more. When you make a mistake, there won’t be anyone to cover for you. These lessons are invaluable, and can only be learned from experience.

To be honest, it’s never too late to start a business. However, there is an optimal time – and it’s in your youth. So get out there and get to work!

Originally published here, by Renzo Costarella.

The post 4 Reasons Why You Should Start a Business When You’re Young appeared first on KillerStartups.

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The machines are catching up.  Thanks to the amazing Internet of Things, some inanimate objects now have a level of intelligence that rivals human beings.

The IoT is placing a whole new world of possibilities at our disposal – connecting everyday objects through an interactive network and giving them previously unimaginable functionality.  But like so many other breakthrough technologies, it remains out of reach for most people at its current point.

This is especially true when it comes to smart home automation.  Being able to control and manage much of what your home has to offer from anywhere in the world is a distinct possibility – but the lofty price tag makes this unrealistic for a large portion of the population.  Don’t forget, there was a time not too long ago when a new PC cost thousands of dollars.

The reality, however, is that many smart home systems are actually affordable – most people just expect them to be out of their price range.  This keeps them away from ever learning what they’re all about in the first place and understanding how much they could help their lives.

The time has come to open the world’s eyes with SYS Smart Home Technology: a new solutions provider looking to bring their innovative home automation systems to the masses.  The company is doing so through their Community Partnership Program, which gets people educated, excited, and involved with the smart home action while simultaneously funding local churches.

The community-based initiative allows churches to sign up and offer congregation members free smart home equipment when they sign up for SYS’ smart home security monitoring.  For each member who does so, SYS will then donate 20% of the sale right back to the ministry.

What’s more, SYS packages start at just $2.50 per day.  Thousands of people who were left out in the cold previously can therefore start powering their homes towards the new age of the IoT right from their mobile devices.  From unlocking the door for a delivery man to switching off lights remotely, the SYS system lets users capitalize on all smart home tech has to offer while also helping save money on utilities.

In addition to convenience, their systems also deliver added safety – including the ability to check on kids while you’re away and identify burglars in the event of a crime.  SYS offers three different packages to customers, with the following elements included in their top level Gold package:

  • 1 smart automation control panel
  • 3 door and window sensors
  • 1 motion sensor
  • 1 smart lock
  • 1 key fob
  • 1 media player with 3 months of Gynesys TV

Going forward, SYS plans to continue adding features and functionality to its current smart home offerings.  On the marketing end, they are prepared to begin aggressively going after ministries in multiple markets to promote the Community Partnership Program.

For more information on SYS Smart Home Technology and to view a detailed explainer video, visit them online at http://mychurch.myfreeautomation.com/.  You can also reach the team via email at akugel@fullscalemedia.com.

Photos: Security Sales & Integration; Alarm.com

The post The People’s Smart Home Provider appeared first on KillerStartups.

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Being a business owner demands a diversity of different responsibilities. You’ll wear an HR hat when hiring and managing employees. Then, you’ll don a financial hat when projecting revenue. After that, you’ll put on other hats for working with clients, generating new ideas, and navigating legal issues. But, there’s one important quality that underlies all these important roles: your productivity and the productivity tools you choose to use.

Productivity Tools are the Real Key to Success

Most of us start the day with a cup of coffee or spend time “getting in the zone” to be more productive. With today’s technology, there are countless digital productivity tools you can use to enhance your productivity as well. And, if you want to stay competitive and give your business the best chance for success, it’s in your best interest to adopt them:

1. Email Analytics

Here’s the high-level view: is like Google Analytics, but for Gmail. In seconds, EmailAnalytics pulls all the data from your Gmail account and breaks down how you’ve been using it. Hence, you realize who sends you the most emails, when you send and receive the most emails, and even how you’re writing and reading them. This is all to help you improve your email habits for the better. Since you probably spend 20 hours a week or more just on emailing, the benefits here can’t be understated.

2. IFTTT

IFTTT, short for “if this, then that,” is a free platform designed to help business owners (and everyday consumers) connect their apps and devices together with more integrated, automatic functionality. Even if you’re not tech-savvy, the platform allows you to write short scripts that automatically trigger specific actions under certain circumstances. It has the potential to automate virtually any repetitive or predictable task you engage in. This could save you hours of work overall.

3. Slack

Team communication can make or break your productivity. This is why Slack endeavors to make it simpler and more straightforward for everyone. Slack helps you organize your employees into groups all within one simple platform. Therefore, you can chat at any time and still keep your conversation threads in order.

4. G Suite

G Suite is one of the most ubiquitous sets of tools for business owners everywhere—and for good reason. Its cloud-based software includes collaboration tools for things like document editing and sharing. There are also tools for emailing, calendar coordination, and even file storage. If you’re running a startup with a limited budget, you can get access to most of these tools for free. Even the upgraded package is only $5 per user per month.

5. Evernote

If you take notes frequently, Evernote is a must-have app. Available for every device and operating system, Evernote allows you to take notes on the fly, whether you type, speak, or handwrite them. It keeps everything organized for you. The productivity tool can even turn some of your notes into task lists that improve efficiency.

6. Trello

Trello is one of the top names in project management thanks to its innovative system of boards, cards, and notes. These tools keep you and your team more organized than ever before. With it, you can ensure that no task ever gets lost in the shuffle. Plus, your team remains active and focused on the most important projects.

7. Buffer

If you use social media for your business, you need an app like Buffer. It automates some of your social media tasks and makes the rest of them easier to manage. With its app, you can schedule posts in advance and track how your content performs. Additionally, you can manage all your social media accounts in one central location.

8. Asana

At its core, Asana is a task management app. It allows you to create high-level projects and ground-level task lists within those projects. Then, you can assign those tasks to individuals and track how they’re completed. It’s ideal for both collaboration and long-term analytics. Therefore, you can spot productivity hiccups and take action before they become a problem.

9. GoCo

If you’re stuck dealing with HR responsibilities frequently, there’s no better productivity tool to have in your arsenal than GoCo. It is designed to make HR management easier. You get cloud access to your employee documents, time-off balances, salary data, benefits data, and performance reviews. You can even integrate it with your payroll system to make life even easier.

10. Upwork

Even the most productive and hardworking entrepreneurs can’t do everything on their own. Eventually, you’ll need to hire someone part-time or for a short-term contract to help you fill the gap. That’s where Upwork comes in. It’s a simple, easy-to-use and easy-to-navigate platform that will help you connect with the perfect freelancer for practically any job. Accordingly, it can save you time, money, or both.

Productivity Gains Mean Profitability Boost

These productivity tools are designed to help you get more done throughout the day. You can work more efficiently and ultimately help your business become more profitable. Since they range from free to inexpensive, they’re well worth your time and money.

Originally published here, by Max Palmer.

The post 10 Productivity Tools Every Business Owner Needs appeared first on KillerStartups.

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As a society, we’ve never had more of a craving for physical exercise and fitness.

But with this desire for more active living comes unwanted aches and pains – especially when it comes to knees.  The limitation of knee issues is an unfortunate reality for millions of individuals. Knee replacement surgery is an option, but the exorbitant cost and highly invasive nature keeps most people away.

As an alternative, many opt to wear knee braces due to their affordable cost and lack of surgical requirement.  And while they do provide some relief, current solutions are are stiff, rigid, don’t use natural rubber, and don’t form-fit to the wearer’s body – thus limiting range of motion.  This can put a huge damper on desires for a more active lifestyle.

It’s time to stop being held back by status quo orthosis products.  Introducing SuperSkin Orthosis: the very first non-metal, hydrophobic knee brace of its kind.  SuperSkin’s uni-body nature provides dynamic flexible support that protects and empowers the wearer to live life to its fullest.

The brace’s proprietary design is centered on a single piece of material that stores force as it flexes – form-fitting to the user’s body and allowing range of motion that similar solutions can’t duplicate.  It was uncovered through design processes that haven’t been utilized in the industry before – including 3D printing and laser scanning of legs.

This result?  SuperSkin helps decelerate distal joint forces throughout a natural range of motion rather than bracing and restricting movement – placing no limitations on who can benefit from its use.  Superstar athletes and weekend warriors alike can now seamlessly return from performance deficits and injury.

Additional features the SuperSkin provides include:

  • It’s sweat-proof
  • It’s antibacterial and antimicrobial
  • It’s made from natural rubber (100% silicone)

The innovation was conceptualized by Co-Founder Tennyson Wilson back in 2016.  Since then, the company has been in stealth mode – working to secure trademark and patent rights while simultaneously beta testing & researching with the San Francisco States Kinesiology department.

Their early May 2019 launch of a Kickstarter campaign signified the end of stealth mode – and returns have been great already.  SuperSkin had already raised over $4,000 just a few days in, on top of drawing significant customer interest through their Facebook page.

Kickstarter funds will be used to make improvements after a year of beta testing – including decreasing wall thickness, adding alternating friction bumps, and building in a cross strap for additional support.  Looking further ahead, the company plans to release elbow braces, a companion app, and other product line extensions.

Want to learn more about SuperSkin Orthosis, and perhaps contribute to their Kickstarter campaign?  Feel free to visit it here, or check out their website at www.superskinorthosis.com.  The Co-Founder can also be reached directly at tennyson@superskinorthosis.com.

Photos: SuperSkin Orthosis

The post Brace Yourselves: A Better Orthosis Solution has Arrived appeared first on KillerStartups.

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For small businesses, cutting corners where you can is an unfortunate reality.

One common area where this fact rears its ugly head is in financial management.  The F500s and VC-backed companies of the world are afforded the luxury of Big Four accounting, enterprise software, and other top-level resources – resulting in optimized financial analyses and strategic development.  The rest of us, however, aren’t so lucky.

Smaller players must instead resort to the use of Quickbooks or even Excel spreadsheets.  But while these solutions might offer familiarity, they fall short where it really matters – especially in terms of actionable analysis and automation.

The time has come to empower all business leaders to run their companies the same way the giants of the world do – regardless of financial restrictions.  Introducing RMI Insights: a machine learning-based visual financial modeling platform that allows businesses to seamlessly automate monthly financial planning and analysis functions.

Democratization of corporate strategy and development – even for the smallest of businesses – has finally arrived.  RMI Insights allows executives to instantly assess actual performance against target performance with little more than a simple PDF or CSV upload of historical financial statements.  Waive goodbye to Excel!

Powered by machine learning algorithms, the platform will then do the rest.  Users may visually adjust the key drivers for their targets – including COGS, working capital, and revenue growth – without needing any specific expertise or training.  This results in vastly improved decision making going forward for business leaders.

Users can automate RMI-driven financial processes even further by connecting the platform to their company’s ERP (i.e. Quickbooks).  Additional features offered include:

  • Ability to invite fellow executives & investors to collaborate with the platform
  • Results presented visually and downloadable as PDF or Excel files
  • KPI dashboard & monthly budgeting tools allow for continuous actual vs. target tracking
  • Valuations of a business can be presented in real time
  • Real-time benchmarking against similar public companies
  • Deal Assessor tool available for investment managers

Wall Street veteran Varun Balan founded RMI back in 2014, and has led the company to 212% YoY growth ever since.  Fast forward to today and the platform currently serves over 20 happy enterprise customers, and a strong growth pipeline as evidenced by continued 10%+ monthly sales increases.

On the heels of raising capital from a prominent venture partner at a large DC-based firm, RMI Insights is looking forward to continuing to help empower and grow businesses everywhere.  The platform will officially launch to the mass market on June 17, 2019. – and the sky’s the limit from there.

Special discounts are available to customers that sign-up prior to this launch date.  To take advantage or for more information, simply visit www.rmiinsights.com.  The Founder can also be reached directly at varun@rmiinsights.com.

Photos: RMI Insights

The post Automated Financial Modeling for Your Business appeared first on KillerStartups.

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Just because it sounds awesome to you, doesn’t mean it’ll resonate with the masses.

If you listen closely enough, chances are you’ll hear dozens of new business ideas throughout the course of a week.  Some budding entrepreneurs even act swiftly on these ideas and begin crafting their ventures – but almost all will never see the light of day.  Why? Because they’re building things that nobody wants.

This is the #1 reason startups fail – as the time and money spent developing an offering that ends up being unappealing virtually always sinks the ship.  Founders often get blinded by excitement and simply don’t spend enough time asking themselves whether or not their solution solves a real problem.

It’s just super important to have a dialogue with prospective customers and understand their concerns, hesitations, and frustrations upfront – uncovering why they would or would not be a user.  That said, finding a large enough sample size of these people and truly understanding their thoughts is another challenge altogether – often leaving the task on the back burner for good.

Product development is a massive investment – so why keep risking it?  It’s time to validate your ideas before building anything with Scoops: a new question & answer platform that uses real people to test concepts, find early adopters, and find out honest opinions on usage potential.

Scoops allows users to conduct research via an independent respondent group.  For just $12, you can ask 100 people a question and then follow-up with additional actions that delve deeper into your idea.  And unlike survey panels, you can have back-and-forth conversations with as many people as you want.

The platform operates through a visually-appealing app that’s easy for both sides of the coin to navigate.  Simply ask any question regarding your idea, get the answers you need, and review those answers in the form of multiple choice, respondent comments, or short answers.

From there, you’ll have a variety of follow-up options – including asking another question if you’re surprised by the answers, sending a link if many people like the idea, or even conducting an interview if you think you’ve found a prospective customer.  Additional features and benefits that Scoops provides include:

  • Very stringent requirements for sourcing respondents
  • Regular scrambling & repeating of questions to defeat answer bias
  • Respondents are balanced out with different ages, occupations, genders, etc.
  • Respondents receive donations to a charity on their behalf (which the company matches), and can also earn gift cards
  • Easy-to-use live chat available for customer service

Scoops was conceptualized by Christopher Lee in 2018, who has wasted no time in building it into the promising position it sits in today.  The platform has earned significant positive feedback from startup leaders, including Savor CEO Nick Tchir.

If you’d like more information or want to try Scoops for yourself, visit them online at http://scoops.io/ they’re giving first-time users 1 free question & follow-up (a $7 value)!  You can also reach them directly via email at chris@scoops.io.

Photos: Scoops

The post Build Things People Want with Scoops appeared first on KillerStartups.

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Americans are more debt-ridden than ever, with around 80 percent of Americans currently carrying debt. While some of this is tied up in mortgages or medical debt, much of it also stems from student loans and credit cards. In fact, the average Gen Xer carries more than $8,000 in credit card debt, while the average Millennial is saddled with nearly $5,000.

And this debt doesn’t just follow us around when we’re alive. Seventy-three percent of Americans died with debt in 2016, and the average debt load was near $62,000. That’s no small chunk of change, and it means people are hindered from doing everything they want to do while they’re alive.

Debt can specifically be a big hindrance to entrepreneurs looking to start or expand businesses. Qualifying for a traditional bank loan to fund a small business is notoriously difficult; in fact, only 8 percent of startups use bank loans for financing. People looking to launch or grow their ventures instead need to educate themselves on their options.

What’s the Big Deal?

Student loan debt is on the rise, which influences graduates’ job choices and results in fewer would-be entrepreneurs taking the leap. With the average debt level hovering just above $30,000, it’s hard for young entrepreneurs to consider taking on more debt.

Worse, a big student debt load may actually make it harder for them to qualify for funding — Millennials with student debt are having a harder time reaching financial milestones than earlier generations because of their diminished credit scores. While the national average credit score is 667, Millennials’ average sits at 625. And the magic line distinguishing bad credit from good is 629, meaning these young entrepreneurs are viewed by traditional lending institutions as high-risk bets with bad credit.

While old-school lenders may not be motivated to invest in these fledgling entrepreneurs, the economy needs them: They create jobs, bring opportunities to small and rural towns, and develop innovations that propel industries forward. Because of this, other financing options have emerged to provide funding for businesses with the potential to make a real impact.

Assessing the Options

While big bank loans were once viewed as the standard avenue for funding, the digital banking landscape has created new options and made existing options more accessible. The first step, however, is for entrepreneurs to determine how much money they need and why.

Business owners borrow for all sorts of reasons, from operating expenses to marketing campaigns. Knowing how much these efforts will cost — and how much they’ll take from existing projects and workflows — is important for ensuring the debt load is appropriate. “It’s smart to make sure your business doesn’t take on too much debt,” says Daniel Wesley, the founder of Creditloan.com, a site dedicated to educating on personal finance and money management. “The other side of the problem is when a business doesn’t borrow enough.”

Wesley has seen entrepreneurs both max out their possible loan amounts and borrow very tight amounts. Each has a downside. Those who’ve maxed out may have trouble getting loans in the future, and those who didn’t borrow enough can have cash flow problems that affect the rest of the business. He says business owners should budget for up to an additional 15 percent of the loan cost to be on the safe side.

The second step is for business owners to determine which type of financing is best for them.

  • Credit cards: Those with personal credit card debt may cringe, but business credit cards are a good fit for short-term financing. Many have high interest rates, but they also frequently come with 0 percent interest for the initial six- or 12-month period. If a business owner needs cash in that time period but can pay it back before interest kicks in, it’s essentially an interest-free loan. Add in rewards programs, including cash back, and some entrepreneurs can make money off the financing they needed temporarily.
  • Lines of credit: Lines of credit are revolving, meaning entrepreneurs can borrow what they need, pay it off, and see their line of credit replenished to be used again. Interest is only charged on the amount borrowed, not on the amount approved. These lines of credit are typically unsecured, which prevents business owners from having to put up collateral, such as product inventory or real estate.
  • Working capital loans: These loans are intended to help a small business get through a cash crunch, lasting as short as a month or as long as a year. This is a good option for a startup that needs to finance a new product line prior to release or fulfill a large order prior to payment. Such loans are intended solely for operational use, not for acquiring assets or making investments.
  • Small business loans: These can take many forms, from online loans to Small Business Administration loans. Entrepreneurs need to consider the loan terms, repayment schedule, and collateral needed to secure these types of loans. Online loans, for example, can get small business owners same-day approval, while SBA loans have lower interest rates than most other options.
  • Invoice factoring: For those wanting to avoid debt altogether, invoice factoring — selling a business’s invoices at a discounted rate to a factoring company — may be an option. In this scenario, the business receives a lump sum payment from the factoring company, which is paid by customers when they fork over the money they owe. Invoice factoring doesn’t require collateral and can allow companies to keep long-term customers on longer payment periods.

Entrepreneurs have to assess their options to determine which type of financing is best for their situation. If their cash flow is strong but they need financing to pay for a big equipment investment, a small business loan may be the best option. A business that doesn’t want to put up any collateral may opt for a line of credit instead.

As these options show, however, bad credit, poor past budgeting, and debt don’t have to prevent entrepreneurs from building their businesses. With an open mind, a strong business plan, and market demand, business financing is always a possibility — it just may take a different form than many expect.

Originally published here, by Max Palmer.

The post The Aspiring Entrepreneur’s Guide to Business Financing appeared first on KillerStartups.

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Entrepreneurship can’t really be taught. If you want to learn how to become an entrepreneur you need to just get out and do it. You need to go through the trials and tribulations of running a startup. That experience is invaluable. That all said, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t learn as much as you can from those who’ve paved the way for you. This knowledge won’t guarantee your success but it may help you avoid certain pitfalls along the way.

Here are four useful tips for the first time entrepreneur: Stick to What You Know

When starting a business you should always stick to what you know. Running a company is hard enough. Running a company in an industry you’re unfamiliar with is typically a big mistake. The main reason individuals start businesses in fields that aren’t knowledgeable in is because they see a larger opportunity.

Again, there are situations where this may make sense. For example, if your co-founder has experience in that space it may be worth the risk. However most of the time you should avoid going down that path.

Stick to What You Love

In addition to working in an industry you’re an expert in you should also work in one that you’re genuinely passionate about. In a startup you’ll go months even years before making any money. Those months when you’re eating Top Ramen struggling to pay your bills are the toughest. This is when that inner passion comes into play. That passion is what gets you through those tough months and eventually on to building a wildly successful company.

Again, it’s common to want to forego passion for bigger opportunities elsewhere. I can promise you that your happiness is more important than a larger paycheck.

Stay Focused

Many first time entrepreneurs are anxious to jump at any opportunity that comes their way. Throughout my life i’ve been told to never put all my eggs in one basket. In addition to that i’ve also been told to stick to one thing and do it well rather than do 10 things poorly. So which one’s correct? The answer is both.

In business you should never rely on one source or one opportunity. However, if you’re running a company it should be your main focus. If you don’t give your company your full attention it’ll hurt your productivity and effectiveness for that company. If you want to have another project to work on as a back-up for your original concept then it may say something about your business. It’s always okay to close down shop if you think it’s time.

Know When to “Take It Behind The Barn”

As I mentioned above it’s always okay to close down shop if you think your company has run it’s course. In fact, this is one of the most valuable tips I can give a first time entrepreneur. Your business is like your baby. You want to see it grow and flourish into a magnificent entity. This makes it difficult to truly evaluate your business from an outside perspective.

If things aren’t going well and they’ve been that way for a while it’s time to take a giant step back. At some point you need to decide if it’s worth continuing with a business. Your time is your most valuable asset at the end of the day. If your business is taking up too much time with nothing in return it may be time to shut it down. I’ve done this many times, and it sucks. In the end of the day though, I know I made the right choice.

Running a startup is tough. That said you’re going to need all the help you can get. If you’re a first time entrepreneur make sure you take note of the four tips listed above.

Originally published here, by Renzo Costarella.

The post 4 Useful Tips for The First Time Entrepreneur appeared first on KillerStartups.

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