Starting a business is every bit as stressful and exciting as it sounds; even after you compare product ideas and decide which direction you want to take your business, you’re still going to have a huge number of questions about setting yourself up for success. While even the world’s most respected and well-established entrepreneurs make mistakes in their businesses and failure will inevitably be part of your process at some point, too, there are some things you can do to avoid making mistakes in your startup as much as possible.
What Idea is Best for You?
Some people are going into business because they have a passion project they want to pursue. That’s not a bad reason for going into business, but if you don’t have a product, service, or idea you’re feeling super enthusiastic about, don’t despair. Just as many businesses are started by owners who just did their research and picked a safe bet.
You don’t want to have any second thoughts about whether you selected the right idea for your business, so should spend as much time as necessary comparing ideas. Business News Daily shares a long list of in-demand business opportunities for 2018. If you’re struggling to decide what to do, one of these ideas could be perfect for you.
Even if you have the perfect idea in mind, it’s likely you’ll still have some doubt in the back of your mind, which is natural and to be expected. The important thing is to move forward with confidence knowing you researched your idea thoroughly and are doing everything in your power to make your concept a success.
What will it Cost?
It can be a challenge to work through the costs associated with starting a business. Even so, this is a step you need to take both early and often. If you don’t, you could find yourself starting (or eventually maintaining) a company that sucks you dry.
According to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the average cost to start a business from scratch is $30,000. Even though this is a lot of money, you may find you can get your company started for much less. For instance, if you choose to run an online store from the comfort of your home, you probably won’t spend anywhere close to that amount. With the advent of the internet and the increasing demand for online shopping, it’s possible to establish a business with little more than a smartphone and internet access.
Where will You Turn for Funding?
There are people out there who have all the money they need to start a business, and more power to them, but most of us are going to need a little extra help to keep things moving in the right direction. If you require outside funding to launch your business idea, take the time to learn about the many different types of business loans available to you. There are traditional term loans, business lines of credit, equipment loans, and many more to consider, each with their own pros and cons.
Alternatively, you may be able to use other funding to keep momentum; many entrepreneurs find friends and family are willing to pitch in, and platforms like Kickstarter have made it easier than ever to crowdsource funding for a great idea.
Do You Need to Hire Help?
This is a big question you need to tackle early on; while many entrepreneurs will be able to keep their business afloat for a period of time without any extra hands on deck, almost every business is going to need an employee or two at some point in the process. In fact, many business owners find they need to bring on help from day one.
Monster.com shares a variety of tips for hiring the right person for your open position, but the most important thing to remember is never to make the mistake of hiring just anyone. Be patient and wait for the right fit, as employee turnover is expensive and time-consuming.
Will You Work From Home or a Traditional Office?
There are pros and cons to both options, so you’ll want to carefully consider your decision. For example, working at home provides you with a high level of flexibility. That’s why there are approximately 38 million home-based businesses in the United States alone.
On the flipside, it can be hard to get into a “work groove” when you never leave the house, and many people struggle to be productive at home. This may push you toward renting traditional office space. There is no right or wrong answer to this question, so make the decision that’s best for your personality, your new company, and the way you want to work.
What burning questions do you have about starting your own business? Ask them in the comments!
With the ever-increasing prices that we experience nowadays, it is now more important than ever to have another income stream.
Did you know that you can generate income passively while you’re doing your main work? A lot of people want to invest in something that will help them make more income so that they can get by through life.
If you are interested to know how you can generate passive income, then you’ve come to the right article. I am here to tell you how you can do that!
Sell Your Stuff
One way to earn money is to look at all of your belongings and see if there is something that you can sell. Most, if not all, people have some things that they really do not need anymore and it is only collecting dust.
After you’ve acquired all of the things that you can sell, you can then go to a flea market and sell your wares there. The money that you will get from selling in flea markets ultimately depends on what you sell.
To make better profits, ask the other sellers in the area to see how much they’re selling the stuff that you might also own as well so that you can adjust your price accordingly.
Join in Affiliate Marketing
If you own a blog or a website where you place all your thoughts into writing, then you might want to sign up for affiliate marketing.
Basically, affiliate marketing is where you allow companies to place ads on your blog or website. Each time someone visits your site, you will generate some profit.
The cash that you will earn will depend on how much traffic you get per day. So, do all the things necessary to make sure that people will flock to your blog so that you will continuously earn more money!
Get into Real Estate
The Real Estate business has been booming as of late and it would be wise to join in to generate a fortune! You can either bid on houses and get it fixed to sell for profit, or you can buy buildings and homes and allow it to be rented by other people.
Of course, it would require capital to buy buildings and to also beautify them. If you need more cash, you can get more if you avail a cash advance scheme.
Answer Some Surveys!
Researchers are always available out there. They hand out surveys that you can participate in order for you to earn some money.
Even though this might not be as lucrative as the other options, answering surveys can be quite fun and you might also learn a thing or two about yourself and other subjects as well.
Generating a passive income stream allows you to save up more money for the future. Whether it is saving money for your retirement or you’re planning to buy something that you’ve always dreamed of, getting more money through other means is always a great choice!
Natural disasters are a frightening concept for all people. Pretty much every part of the world is susceptible to at least one form of disaster. This means that you need to have some idea of what you’ll do if you need to evacuate in an emergency situation. Here are six tips for safely evacuating during a natural disaster.
Create an Evacuation Plan Beforehand
The best way to safely escape a natural disaster is to be prepared for it. You should try to create an emergency evacuation plan for yourself and your family. The first step to putting together an emergency plan is to identify what’s mostly likely to affect you. Your geographic location will play a huge role in this. For example, if you live in Florida or the Gulf Coast, you will want to be mindful of hurricanes. People in California should have a plan in the event of an earthquake or wildfire. Once you have identified the main dangers, you can create detailed plans for how to get out in various scenarios.
Stay Informed on Emergency Updates
You will want to get continual updates during the evacuation process. However, if you’re without power or cell service, you might not be able to use your phone for this. It’s a good idea to have some sort of backup information source in case you need to evacuate. Battery-powered radios are a great option for people looking to stay in the loop.
Prepare Your Home Only if you have Time
You don’t want to leave your home exposed to the natural disaster. But you need to remember that your home is not more important than your life, or the lives of your loved ones. Sometimes, there will be time for you to prepare for the worst. For example, boarding up windows and doors can help prevent wind damage. You may also save family valuables by getting them to high ground in flood waters. These things, however, can’t be your first priority. Compare homeowners insurance quotes online to see how different policies will cover you in the event of a natural disaster.
Bring Your Personal Documents
Personal documentation is the key to your identity. Things like social security cards and other IDs should be brought with you in the event of an evacuation. First, you don’t want these things to be destroyed. It can be difficult to have them replaced. Additionally, people might try to break into your home while you’re away. If they find crucial documents, they may be able to steal your identity.
Bring First Aid, Food, and Water
There are a few things that are especially useful during an evacuation scenario. These are first aid, food, and water. All three of these can mean the difference between life and death if you’re in a dangerous situation. Clean water can be particularly difficult to come by in the aftermath of a disaster. Make sure to ration your emergency supplies so you don’t run out right away.
Know Your Escape Route and Destination
It’s wise to know exactly where you’re going to go when disaster strikes. You might not want to take the major highways, as these will probably be congested with other people desperately trying to escape. Take some time to identify the best route for arriving at your predetermined destination. This will greatly improve your chances of a safe evacuation.
Natural disasters can strike at any time. There’s no way for humans to negate the damaging effects of these catastrophes. However, you can prepare yourself by knowing how to safely evacuation during a disaster.
Your company’s tax ID number is necessary for many reasons. In addition to allowing you to obtain business permits and hire employees, you protect your personal identity and can create separate bank accounts and credit card accounts for your company. Depending on the situation, you may even benefit from an estate tax ID number.
Finding the ID Number
If you already have a federal employer identification number but can’t seem to remember it, you can find it in several places on your business or personal documents. If you are an organized person — and you should be if you hope to run a successful business — you can find the number in the original file that the IRS sent you when you applied for it. If you aren’t particularly organized, don’t worry. There are several other places you may be able to locate your tax ID number.
It may be on your business license
Your bank may be able to provide it for you
It should be on your tax returns
If all else fails, you can call the IRS. If you can prove you are authorized to have the number, the IRS can provide it for you.
What to Do if You Don’t Already Have a Number
If you don’t have an EIN and aren’t sure how to get a tax ID number in VA or any other state, don’t worry. The process is quite easy. In fact, it’s so easy that you can complete the application online. Choose the type of business you have or situation you are in and answer the questions that follow. Once you submit your application, you will be able to track its status online. In most cases, you will receive your federal tax ID number in a matter of a few business days. Depending on when you apply, you could even receive it the next business day if you apply via IRS-EIN-Tax-ID.
Starting, running, and owning your own company is the American dream. Do what you love, be your own boss, work on your own terms: what could go wrong? Well, as you probably know, many small businesses fall short of their founder’s goals for them. For one reason or another, a new company might not flourish as expected. The good news is, if you’re interested in starting your own business, there are measures you can take to guard against early troubles. Here are five important things few consider when starting a new business, but can give you an early advantage all the same:
Location, Location, Location
You might be thinking that where your business is located shouldn’t really matter very much. Especially if your company isn’t a customer-based enterprise (restaurant, bar, hair salon, etc.) However, with the advent of mobile phones and the ever-rising number of people who exclusively use their phone to access the internet, where you set up shop is nearly as important as what you do. Ensure that your business has high visibility in the “real world,” and on search engines, if you want sustained success.
Scrutinize the Competition
Smart business people aren’t arrogant. Instead, they recognize what their competitors do well, and try to learn from them. Don’t become so enamored with your own product or service that you close your eyes to outside ideas
Financing is Paramount
Passionate entrepreneurs sometimes skip over one of the most essential aspects of their business: financial viability. There’s nothing wrong with believing in your project. But before any serious work can get done, you need to have the funds available to cover your expenses. Secured business loans and merchant cash advances can be helpful tools in this endeavor, but no matter your fiscal situation, you need to be honest with yourself about it.
It’s difficult enough finding people who share your vision and are willing to work as hard as you are to make it come true. And hiring the right employee can prove one of the most difficult tasks for any new business owner. However, truly great employers find coworkers who can bring different skills to the table. Hiring people who think just like you do won’t help your company grow, it’ll just add another voice to crowd.
Get Comfortable with Working
Everybody likes orange juice, but few are willing to go through the trouble of squeezing oranges to get it. Starting your own business is like squeezing a thousand oranges every day. When you’re the boss, everything at your company reflects back on you. So prepare yourself to work harder than ever before. Just remember though, those long hours will pay off in the end.
Reusable bags have taken the grocery business by storm right now, and for a variety of reasons. People are more environmentally conscious nowadays, and they’re asking the same from the companies they do business with. This is why there is such a huge trend towards eco friendliness, and you can’t afford to fall behind. Here are some of the benefits of using reusable bags to promote your business.
Branded reusable bags work for promotion on so many levels. First of all, they are a prime tool in increasing your brand’s recognition and building brand awareness. Not only that, but every time someone decides to use one of your bags for any reason, they will be reminded of your brand. Your bag will work as a sort of portable billboard that will advertise your brand wherever your clients go. And not only that, it will work as a sort of endorsement; your friends and family will see this bag as a personal vote for the brand, and might form a more positive image of that brand as a result.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Since you’ll be using sustainable materials, you will be reducing your carbon footprint on the planet. Many reusable bags come from recycled materials, such as old bottles for instance, reducing our reliance on natural resources. And once the bag has served its purpose, it can be easily recycled and repurposed, or even composted in some cases.
Show Your Commitment to Going Green
Using reusable bags shows to your clients that you are actually willing to walk the walk and really do your part in protecting the environment. While this may work on a superficial level, you also have to follow through with actual measures if you want to be consistent. But this alone will do a lot to improve your image among your environmentally conscious clientele.
Allows You to Stretch Your Marketing Dollar
One of the great things about reusable bags is that they are a fairly cost-effective marketing tool. You could buy reusable bags wholesale and have them printed with your company’s logo for pennies. Not to mention that you’ll often charge clients for the bags themselves. So in a clever way, your clients will be paying to advertise your business on your behalf.
They Have Various Uses
Reusable bags are by far the star of the promotional item world. As a matter of fact, they are some of the most sought-after items at trade shows and people will literally make lines for them in some cases. So much so that they’ve become genuine items now, with Ikea’s iconic aqua reusable bag which has become sort of a pop culture cult. Because of their usefulness, people tend to hold on to them for many years, allowing your brand to gain even more visibility over time.
Recycled reusable bags have tons of benefits every business owner should consider. They’re cheap, convenient and are one of the most powerful and understated marketing methods you can use to build awareness for your brand.
If your business goes bankrupt, you must file for bankruptcy. It is helpful to hire a bankruptcy attorney to help you with the process and ensure you do not miss any important guidelines. When a business files bankruptcy, it may not need to pay creditors but will still be responsible for taxes. However, if you and your business met certain requirements, you may not be responsible for the entire amount.
When To Declare Bankruptcy
When declaring bankruptcy for a business, you must do so at a specific time. Wait at least two years after you file your last business tax return to begin the bankruptcy process. Doing so before the two-year mark means taxes charged under the EIN will not be dischargeable.
The IRS may allow you to discharge your back taxes if you did not file business tax returns for at least three years. However, you must remember that every bankruptcy case is different, and the IRS will likely be more willing to negotiate if you hire a tax attorney to help you during your case.
Amended Taxes and Audits
If you amended your taxes in the past or were audited, you may need to wait additional time to file for bankruptcy. The reason for this is because you must receive tax assessment 240 days before filing. Because taxes are normally assessed when you file the first return, the audit will extend the time you need wait.
The IRS may waive any penalties for back taxes when you are declaring bankruptcy but will continue to charge interest. In this situation, you will still need to pay the taxes and interest and can do so over a span of five years.
If your business has a tax lien against it when you file bankruptcy, the IRS may choose to remove it. If they don’t, it may seize assets, even if it discharged taxes.
Do you need more information about filing for an EIN? IRS EIN Tax ID Filing Service provides a 24/7 online application on EIN-IRS-Tax-ID. Check it out to learn more about tax IDs, including obtaining an estate tax ID number.
While you might love the idea of cutting back on the number of emissions your car churns out into the atmosphere, you might not be able to afford a hybrid vehicle. While you may not have any problem covering a hybrid with quality Austin insurance, it could be the monthly car payments that give you fits. Thankfully, there are other ways to do your part to save the environment without going broke as a hybrid vehicle owner.
Remove Your Junk
Before you head out again, clean out everything that you don’t need from the trunk, backseat and passenger seat. All that extra weight is negatively impacting your overall gas mileage, which sends you back to the pump faster. There’s also the fact that your engine is working harder to handle the stress of the extra weight, which certainly isn’t doing the air any favors.
Take It Easy When Stopping and Starting
There’s no need to gun the engine as soon as the light turns green. Not only does jackrabbiting chew up your gas and release more emissions, it can also lead to accidents should you collide with drivers trying to make lights just a second after they turn red. Easing to a gradual stop rather than stomping on the brakes is better on your brakes as well as your engine. This means you should make sure you’re going the posted speed limit and pay attention to cars and traffic lights ahead of you so you have time to respond accordingly.
Keep Your Car Tuned Up
Be sure to take your car in for regular oil and air filter changes. It’s understandable to want to put off an oil change for a while, but doing so can cost you more in the long run by eating away at your fuel efficiency and belching harmful fumes into the air. The same applies to tune-ups, which allow your engine to operate more efficiently and let you get as many miles as possible out of your vehicle. Something else about regular tune-ups even when your car seems to be running fine is that mechanics can let you know if there are any minor issues with your car that should be addressed in the near future, giving you time to start saving up for those needed repairs rather than learn of them when they’re more expensive.
Pay Attention to Your Tires
Proper tire pressure is essential not only to how your car maneuvers on the road, but also how much gas it burns. You want your tires to have the optimum amount of contact with the road so there’s just the right amount of friction and resistance to get you where you need to go without your engine or tires having to work harder than necessary. In the colder months of the year, you might have to over-inflate your tires to compensate for the cold air sapping air from your tires. In any case, a tire-pressure gauge or a professional mechanic’s help is essential for making sure your tires have the right amount of pressure.
Don’t Be Afraid to Turn Your Car Off
When you’re stuck in heavy traffic that moves slower than chilled molasses in the winter, go ahead and shut your engine off. Traffic jams can seem more like you’re in a parking lot and less like you’re driving on a road, so you might as well shut the engine off like you would in a parking lot. Imagine the reduction in emissions if every vehicle on the road was turned off during traffic jams. Do your part to start a positive trend all while saving gas.
Know that driving a hybrid only does so much if you don’t practice the basics of being an environmentally-conscious driver. How you drive is much more important than what you drive.
Each entrepreneur is unique and goes about attaining goals in their own unique fashion. But even in their individuality, entrepreneurs all share a powerful secret recipe that facilitates business success.
Most entrepreneur guides offer the same advice – work hard, don’t give up, be creative, and other similar pearls of wisdom. But most of these guides often fail to point out some harsh truths about attaining success as an entrepreneur. One such truth is becoming a successful entrepreneur is hard and uncomfortable work, and staying a successful entrepreneur is even harder.
But the life of an entrepreneur being an uncomfortable battle with many fresh foes popping out of unexpected corners isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This is because fresh obstacles that block your path to success make you creative as you seek solutions, and can even inspire you to accomplish bigger things that you thought yourself incapable of. So instead of fearing discomfort, here’s how you can spin gold from straw by being comfortable while living the uncomfortable life of an entrepreneur;
Your customer should always be priority.
As uncomfortable as it may sound, your customer should always be your priority. This means sacrificing your time, energy, and much more to ensure the perpetual satisfaction and happiness of your customers. Remember that each customer that is dissatisfied is a potential customer for your competitor. Prioritising your customers all the time with little time and resources for yourself might seem tasking but fortunately there are recommended productivity resources out there you can use to achieve some balance between work and life.
Keep a close eye on your finances
Start-ups think they are only ones who are short on finances. But that’s not true. Even entrepreneurs who have made a name for themselves run into financial issues every now and then, and a lot of entrepreneurs have fallen of the ladder of success due to financial mismanagement at some point in their career. Thus, rather than celebrate your first success by getting comfortable and spending big, keep a close eye on your finances and try to minimise your expenditure.
This might seem harsh especially since most people become entrepreneurs because they want financial independence, but keeping your spending lean is actually a secret to success. You can keep your spending lean by evaluating your business and identifying which costs are necessary and which aren’t. Those that aren’t can be deferred or simply altogether dropped.
Be open to fresh input
With all your qualifications and no matter how high you rise, the fact still stands that you don’t know all it takes to be successful. The day you know it all is the day you stop growing as an entrepreneur. So don’t be close minded. Rather, accept advice, feedback, and other input from all available sources – especially more experienced entrepreneurs as well as your customers.
In conclusion, the life of an entrepreneur is always unpredictable and this can throw your plans and budget out of whack. But rather than break under such pressure, get comfortable with being flexible and adapt to the circumstances. By operating this way, you are more likely to find a silver lining in every circumstance that you can exploit in your favour.
One of the beautiful advantages of a modern wedding is how you can update it to reflect your beliefs and share them with the attendees. And you can integrate both ethical living and environmentally friendly habits into your reception. Here are 6 tips for an eco-friendly reception. Note that all of this advice is practical for anyone with any budget.
One of the popular tips for hosting an eco-friendly wedding reception is holding it at an eco-friendly location. Outdoor gardens and especially those that use your funds to save local plants are one option. If you want to host the reception outdoors, hold it in a pavilion with fans instead of a tent with artificial air conditioning. Holding it indoors in local museums or art galleries is another option. Wherever you hold the reception, have it close to the wedding venue, if not part of the wedding venue to minimize travel.
One issue often overlooked when planning the reception is the location of the ceremony. For example, destination weddings where you expect everyone to fly to Hawaii or Bermuda so you don’t have to travel after the ceremony to the hotel are incredibly wasteful. Conversely, holding the wedding reception near your home or a centrally located facility within easy commuting distance of all attendees is the ideal solution.
Select the Right Food and Drink
Select locally sourced wines instead of something that comes from abroad. Choose seasonal foods where possible. You don’t have to go overboard on organic food, since much of it is overpriced for a green-washed label and isn’t really better for people or the environment. Conversely, asking for homemade food gifts in place of appliances you won’t be using anyway is an excellent way to secure food and drink for the wedding. Another factor to consider is food waste. Don’t plan a massive buffet if most of it will be thrown away. If there is food left over, think about how you can donate it at the end of the event before you start placing orders. Composting is a slightly better choice than throwing it all away.
Plan for Hygiene and Health
A common mistake for planning eco-friendly receptions is failing to take hygiene into account. They plan to bring many people into a facility and a few end up going in the bushes instead of using the bathroom. You can solve this problem by renting Satellite restroom trailers. Aside from properly collecting and disposing of waste, you’ll give everyone proper facilities for changing clothes and washing their hands, reducing the risk of illness after the event.
Waste Not, Want Not
Another factor to consider is the waste your event generates. You can reduce this by serving food on small reusable plates instead of paper plates guests throw away. Consider giving out compostable plates and cutlery. An ideal situation is giving away keepsake beverage glasses as gifts to your guests so they don’t have to throw it away. However, hiring a caterer to serve food and drink before taking up dishes they’ll wash and reuse is certainly better than throwing away everything people ate with once.
Think of the Flowers
Consider using artificial flowers that guests can take home instead of living plants. If you want to use flowers, arrange for sustainably grown flowers. Don’t go for the upscale imported Peruvian roses.
Consider Your Vendor Selection
Try to find local service providers who in turn rely on local sourcing. You’ll certainly help the environment if the band is local instead of someone driving in from 300 miles away. This should include caterers in the area if you’re not going to buy items in the area to use for the event yourself.
Having an eco-friendly wedding is all about making the right decisions. You don’t have to rearrange your whole reception in order to do so, just keeping waste at a minimum and having the proper installations in place to manage both human and material waste is already a step in the right direction.