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It is common for entrepreneurs and new business persons to have very high expectations of their businesses in the beginning. They are often excited about how they will uniquely market the business and provide customers with something they have not tried before. A practical entrepreneur will look at both sides, the positive and negative. While there is nothing wrong with keeping your expectations high, it’s the “hope for the best and prepares for the worst” that seems to work more in life, both professional and personal.

So, it does not matter how unique your product is or how perfectly you have designed a plan to approach your target audience; you will always need some cash in reserve for the hard times. The more important question is “how much money should you have in reserve for a small business?”

How Do You Calculate the Size of Your Reserve?

The first thing you need to know here is that there are different types of businesses and thus they need to do their calculations differently.  Your first decision has to be whether you want your reserve to be enough to cover three months of costs or six months of costs. Finance experts have varying opinions, but it is up to you to decide whether it is going to be three or six months. Once you have made that decision, it is time you calculate the size of the reserve you will need. The information coming ahead is based on a six month’s reserve strategy.

As mentioned earlier, different businesses have to make calculations differently. If you are a business with running that remains pretty much the same throughout the year, you just have to look at your cash flow rate from the cash flow statement. Reviewing at least six months of statements is a good idea. If your expenses vary only slightly month after month, all you have to do is come up with an average of those six months of expenses. This will be the monthly expense of your business. Now, just multiply this average by six because you want to keep a reserve of six months.

However, you have to calculate differently for a seasonal business. Again, you will look at the cash flow statement of the past six months, but this time you will not find the average of all the six months. You will separate the month with the highest costs (expenses) and the months with low expenses. Take the five regular months and calculate the average monthly cost based on the data you have. Now, to calculate your six month’s reserve, multiply the average you have just calculated with five, and then add the cost of the highest month to that product.

What if you are a new business and you don’t have cash flow or burn rate reports for past six months. In this scenario, you will have to do the math even more strictly. You will have to work on projections and estimates. Calculate what your monthly expenses will be and base the size of your reserve on that projection. Of course, you should make adjustments as soon as you realize that your expenses or more or less than what you had projected once your business starts running.

What about Keeping a Bigger Cash Reserve?

The cash reserve is a cushion for your business and why wouldn’t you want the cushion to be bigger? Here is the thing; keeping a reserve that attempts to cover more than six months of expenses is going to be harmful to your business. What you will end up doing is putting the money that you can use in your business for its progress in the cash reserve where it will wait for the hard times to come before you can use it.

What you might not realize is that you could use the same money for business development, better marketing, and further expansion. Experts say you should not touch your cash reserves unless there is no other way out. With that in mind, you might never touch your cash reserves and use them to expand your business even when you have the opportunity.

Building a Cash Reserve

The biggest challenge is building a cash reserve because it is more like an expense for your business. You have to put some money from your profits into a separate account that serves as your business’ cash reserve account. What this means is that you will have to live with shrunken profits for some time. However, planning these things can help you. For example, fund your business wisely right from day one.

Unless your business explodes and becomes a big thing right from day one, you have to rely on proper financing to grow your cash reserves. One thing you want to keep in mind here is that your cash reserve is not just for the hard times, but it can help you on other occasions as well. Let’s say your company makes napkins, and a worldwide fast food chain places an order that goes way beyond your capacity. How do you arrange the materials to fulfill that order? While financing is an option, it is much better and safer to rely on your own cash reserves like many big companies do.

Final Words

It is a mistake that many new small business owners make when they think they won’t need any reserves in the back. Things can go wrong in a thousand different ways and you cannot predict all of them. You don’t want to be scrambling for cash or loan right from the second month of starting your business. It is best to have a financial advisor with you right from the start who will tell you how you can build your cash reserve without affecting the ongoing progress of your business and completely eating away your profits.

Access our network of Angel Investors, Venture Capital or get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

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With the rapid growth in technologies, the ERP software market may cross $41.69 billion in profit by 2020. The statistics are enough to demonstrate the impact of this technology on businesses. This figure is undeniably impressive and reflects how important it is for businesses in the future. Incorporating ERP software is one way marketers can give their brand a competitive edge.

If your startup is in the initial phases and you are looking for a technology to help you manage business functions, ERP software is ideal, and if you don’t how, this article is worth reading.

What is ERP?

ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning system. Many organizations use this software package to manage business activities, including project management, procurement, accounting, distribution operations, and manufacturing. It helps in day-to- day business functions while centralizing them within an integrated system.

The software is more useful when managing supply chain activities or keeping a track record of the moving parts of distribution and manufacturing. The use of ERP software is not confined to these business domains. It is utilized by a plethora of different domains that include nonprofit groups, construction, healthcare, and hospitality. Companies requiring inventory, staff, and customer management can rely on this advanced software.

In addition, ERP software stores data in a single database that allows different sections to work in collaboration by using the same information. ERP can organize and analyze data in the form of reports. In short, ERP software is great for bringing together the following functions into a single system:

  • Human resources
  • Financial management
  • Customer management
  • Business intelligence
  • Inventory
  • Supply chain functions

Here are some more reasons why your business needs ERP software.

Why Your Business Needs ERP Software

You might be wondering how ERP software is different from other software that performs similar functions. Although ERP software has the same goals of managing business functions, it has a number of unique features that make it extremely distinctive from other software.

Saves Money

You may find it a surprising fact, but ERP software is a good investment in terms of flexible pricing and saving money. For small companies, the initial price may seem heavy, but once they start using it, the software can help the business save a lot of money.

This means ERP software can significantly increase ROI. It is simply because the system unifies multiple systems that businesses often use in fragments. From accounts payable to product development, the staff can access the necessary tools by using a single centralized system. The software efficiently helps save time by keeping employees from hunting down information across different systems.

Improves Collaboration

This ERP feature generally varies as it depends upon the program business is using, but it does have a strong impact on collaboration in one way or other. As mentioned earlier, ERP works with a unique centralized database that provides the business a source to work in collaboration. Not only does it reduces the risk of errors caused by incorrect data but also minimizes costs.

Moreover, ERP software reduces during projects as team members can access to whatever data they need. The information doesn’t require merging within sources or system because data is carefully collected, stored, and shared through one system. To put it simply, employees do not have to worry about accuracy, completion, and security of data files.

Helps in Better Analytics

Businesses need ERP software if they want to improve data analytics and statistical reporting.  ERP software, in this regard, is ideal as its store’s data as input and makes for an unparalleled business intelligence tool. If vendors provide good functionality, ERP can be a great help in generating fast and accurate reports. The efficient software makes report compilation (that used to take days) a matter of minutes.

Besides this, the option of customizable dashboard enables executives to see the reports at the time they are uploaded onto the system. The reports include information related to expense statements and custom KPIs that has important insights for certain functions. The report access is also beneficial when a company has to make a quick and better decision.

Improves Productivity

There is no comparison of ERP software and traditional methods that make tedious tasks even more difficult. Employees used to invest hours for the tasks like monitoring inventory, generating reports, processing orders, and timesheet tracking. Not only were these tasks time consuming but also lower the morale of employees, increasing the risk of errors.

ERP software solves all these problems as it can conveniently automate even the most tedious task. With its integrated database, ERP eliminates all the redundant and time taking tasks, like data entry. It improves productivity by allowing the system to do advanced calculations quickly. The automatic features free up employees and provide an opportunity to focus on other important tasks to improve ROI. That means ERP software can increase business productivity, profitability, and efficiency.

Simplified Risk Management

ERP is must have software if your business is expanding internationally to keep track of imposed regulations on the business. Even if the business is local, there is a plethora of human resource, information security, and environmental regulations you need to consider.

The good news is that ERP considers these regulations so that businesses can maintain compliance. The software incorporates built-in auditing features to assist businesses with documenting tax provision and chemical use. This makes everything incredibly easy, from formulating reports to sending them to the pertinent governing authority. This feature makes ERP software a great tool to manage risk.

Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, ERP software is a panacea of all the hectic, tedious, and manual business functions. The advanced software is multifunctional and helps businesses improve functions, accuracy, reliability, and financial management. The integrated system can exceptionally manage a wide range of business activities from supply chain management and procurement to accounting, and operations.

In other words, businesses cannot deny the functional significance of this all-in-one software to enhance their overall productivity.

Access our network of Angel Investors, Venture Capital or get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

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When Bitcoin surfaced over a decade ago, entrepreneurs, owners of established businesses, and investors alike had one question on their mind: ‘What is cryptocurrency useful for?’.

Although there were high expectations that blockchain-based cryptocurrency would eventually replace regular fiat currency in day-to-day transactions, some were skeptical that it would be nothing more than an online currency for nerds.

However, now that we’re ten years into the development of new cryptocurrencies, like Etheruem, Ripple, and Dogecoin, the reality is that we are somewhere in the middle. Although we’re not wholly dependent on it, technology like Blockchain is making strides to improve security on a number of fronts. That is what makes exploring the role of cryptocurrecies in the e-commerce businesses and the way they operate extremely important.

With 2020 less than a year away, let’s see what role crypto currency is playing in e-commerce ventures and to what extent it is useful.

CoinPayments Partnered with Shopify

In 2018, CoinPayments partnered with Shopify and supported hundreds of payments for goods, made using cryptocurrency. CoinPayments combined advanced technologies to create a hybrid legacy payment system featuring cryptocurrencies. This advancement provided e-commerce giants with a decentralized platform to process payments.

Reduced Transaction Fees

Retail businesses and their customers benefit from transactions involving cryptocurrency because of lower transaction fees. Take BitPay for instance, the popular provider for Bitcoin payments deducts a flat settlement charge of 1% on all payments.

Comparatively, credit card companies tend to charge more than a 3% fee to process payments, which can add up. Comparatively, the CyberMiles Blockchain omits transaction processing fees for certain common operations, which is easy to achieve without compromising on a provider’s network security.

New Reward Programs that Offer Incentives

Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, can offer wallet holders with incentives, such as a reward program. For example, wallet holders can receive flyer miles for spending coins. These technologies have the potential to offer rewards and points that actually have value, are tradable, and are currently in demand.

A reward program involving cryptocurrency would add incentive to a trading aspect that’s already powerful. Consequently, as more merchants and customers adapt to exchanges involving cryptocurrency, it will be more convenient to convert them into holding with better liquidity.

They Allow for Much Faster Transactions

In 2017, it took a whopping 78 minutes to confirm a Bitcoin transaction, which is bad news for a cryptocurrency that boasts such amazing benefits. Months later after 2018 kicked off, Ethereum faced a similar issue involving longer periods to confirm a transaction.

To make matters worse, Ethereum charged higher fees because of the increased number of crypto transactions that the network had to process. Now, however, other blockchain-based networks can allow multiple times as many crypto transactions every second.

The CyberMiles blockchain, for instance, was developed to respond to higher volumes of transactions, as the e-commerce environment demands. It could process as many as 10,000 transactions every second with CMT.

You Have a Competitive Edge over Other Businesses

E-commerce businesses that ride the cryptocurrency wave this early on after thorough development will gain first-mover advantage. In addition, it provides you with a competitive edge over other businesses that have yet to adopt cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

The Benefit of Free Advertising

By initiating the process of accepting crypto payments, you allow your e-commerce startup to generate plenty of free advertising and publicity among your target audience. More importantly, this applies in the case of new partnerships with crypto startups.

These new coins need to spread the news about partnerships because it legitimizes their brand, and it offers e-commerce businesses a free ride as well. Take the partnership between the cryptocurrency PumaPay, and the website designer that allows you to develop your own personalized site, Wix.

The partnership between both brands not only allows Wix to process crypto payments from people who use their service but extends the feature onto individual websites as well. Considering the number of people connected to the Wix platform, it’s easy to comprehend that clients with their own websites can have a steadily growing base of customers who can use cryptocurrency to make purchases.

An Investment to Consider

2018 proved that it takes more than speculation and technical analysis for the cryptocurrency community to make a significant profit on their investment. Nonetheless, 2019 will be the year when investors from bigger institutions will engage with cryptocurrencies and consider it as a legitimate investment vehicle. In addition, new partnerships and convenience are driving more businesses to embrace cryptocurrency.

The sector involving payments and e-commerce will show significant growth after 2020, and well into 2021. Revenue generated from processing mobile payments will rise over $800 billion. At this rate, the wisest action for small businesses owners is to adopt a payment processing system for cryptocurrencies to accommodate the growing number of customers who want to use it as a means to make purchases.

Higher Levels of Security

A major benefit cryptocurrencies can provide to e-commerce ventures is they allow greater protection against fraud. Since payments completed through blockchain are locked with a key cryptography system, transactions, once made, are secure as well as irreversible.

Not to mention, the method by which payment occurs in a decentralized system allows advanced encryption that is impossible to break or hack through.

Easy and Convenient Peer to Peer Exchanges

Aside from the benefit of higher security and faster transaction speeds, cryptocurrency and blockchain eliminate middlemen. The peer-to-peer technology, such as in the Bitcoin network, can facilitate cheap and instant value settlements without intervention by an intermediary. This includes financial institutions, like banks, as well as regulatory authorities backed by the government.

For the most part, investing in cryptocurrency solutions and blockchain technology provides benefits to both established e-commerce businesses, as well as new startups. While reputable retailers can ensure long-term profits, new businesses can gain plenty of free advertising and publicity among crypto enthusiasts and wallet holders, who excitedly anticipate opportunities to delve into their crypto investment. Thus, you can’t deny the fact that cryptocurrencies can play a critical role when it comes to benefiting E-commerce ventures.

Access our network of Angel Investors, Venture Capital or get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

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One of the biggest challenges for any business startup is the ability to have positive cash flow at all times throughout the year. When times get lean,and profits go down, you can feel a pinch in your working capital and need a way to build these monetary reserves back up to their peak. The reverse holds true when profits are soaring and you are making bank – you feel the beneficial weight of some added funds sitting in your cash flow reserves ready to be spent. But, you need to even out this cyclical trend with a positive cash flow all year-round. Here are some ways you can keep your working capital positive throughout your sales cycle.

Prevent Overspending

One of the easiest ways to get your cash flow in check is to stop overspending when the need is really not there. It can be tempting to buy the latest and greatest of everything for your business,but if tomorrow’s sales take a dip, you will find your reserves a little slimmer than normal. Spend cautiously on what you need for your business startup to survive each day. This can help you have the cash you need when an issue arises without having to struggle to come up with the funding.

Stay On Top Of Invoicing

Getting paid for the work you have completed is an arduous task for any startup. It is no fun chasing down late payments, but it is your responsibility as a business startup owner to make sure your invoicing goes out on time and gets paid. Getting your invoicing in order can make sure you have a steady flow of income coming in and can make sure money is left over for positive cash flow at the end of each and every month.

Track Daily-To-Day Costs

Keeping a good record of your costs all throughout the year can help you better identify where you are overspending. You may need to reign in your expenses, but without tracking them, you have no way of knowing where your cash flow is going each day. Keep a record of all the expenses you make every single day and review them to see where you can cut back. You may be making unnecessary purchases that are costing are adding up and affecting your working capital.

Keep A Cushion

If you know your business startup struggles from time-to-time with its working capital, you can plan for these times by setting aside a cushion of funds that you can rely on when you need it. This can make your slower months easier to bear and provide you a solid reserve that you can count on when an emergency arises. It can give you some added security that you have the funds when profits dip and keep you in the black all throughout the year.

Estimate Future Earning Conservatively

When you look ahead, it can be easy to overestimate what your earning will be the following year. You may anticipate sales that don’t come to fruition or unexpected circumstances could take hold. To keep your cash flow positive, be realistic in your future earnings and plan for the unexpected, so you don’t wind up in a situation where your working capital vanishes without warning.

Increase Sales

While it goes without saying that increasing your sales can help grow your cash flow, but this is one area that business startups can lag in. Think about the ways that you can add value to your offerings and entice customers to buy more than ever before. Bundles and add-ons are simple ways to get a customer to spend more with you and help increase your sales in any given month. You need to consider all the ways that you can get each transaction to its maximum value so you can have that extra working capital after your receivables, payroll, and expenses have been paid.

Secure A Short-Term Investor

Short-term angel investors are a sure-fire way to jump start your business startup and get the funding you need to help with your cash flow problems. They can help provide funding when times are tough and allow you to breathe a little easier with their financial support. A short-term angel investor can provide you money to grow your business while still maintain the day-to-day flow. Paid back over a shorter amount of time, these seed investors help to give you more flexibility and provide an alternative means of securing funding for your business startup.

Create Loyal Customers

Turning your customers into to loyal fans that frequent your business on a regular basis can help you grow sales and increase your profits all throughout the year. These repeat customers can give you business start up the boost it needs while also helping your working capital to balloon with each purchase. When you can count on a customer to return to your business, not only does it ensure another sale but it makes it easier to project future sales and keep your cash flow from dipping into the red.

Keep Inventory Lean

Making sure that you don’t overstock your inventory can also prevent a negative cash flow for your startup business. Practice being lean and only have the inventory you need at any given time. This can make a difference in your business’ bottom line and improve your cash flow situation. Having product and materials on hand may be nice,but it can affect your ability to have the cash reserves when you need it most. Keeping inventory to a minimum takes a special knack, but you will find that your operations are just as efficient and you are not waiting months to sell your backlog, affecting your monthly working capital.

Taking stock of your cash flow on a daily basis can make sure it is positively flowing each and every month. These simple tips can help you stay in the black and make your working capital less of a worry for your business startup. Planning  ahead, staying lean, and growing your sales will ensure you have the cash reserves you need to keep your business startup afloat year-round.

Access our network of Angel Investors, Venture Capital or get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

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For most business startup owners, one of the most difficult aspects of their job is the task of securing venture capital. And while there are many available sources of funds out there, we have to realize that there are also a huge number of business startups that are competing for the money.

So what elements of businesses guarantee financial support from investors? Actually, there isn’t. Most of the time, the chances of securing a venture capital greatly depends on the situation, in addition to the characteristics of the business and the venture capitalist. However, despite this reality, there are some things that a business owner can do to increase his or her chances of securing financial support from venture capitalists.

Among the most important pointers that a business startup owner must remember is the need for him or her to be prepared with what’s going to happen.

Establishing a business is not as easy as coming up with an idea that will entice a large market. In addition to passion and dedication, a business owner is expected to be knowledgeable with every single aspect of his or her business. Thus, before approaching a venture capitalist, it’s important for owners to know their businesses.

This is important because it would prepare them for all sorts of questions that may arise during a presentation for potential investors. Likewise, a full understanding of the business would enhance the viability of the business plan, therefore increasing the chances of getting financial support.

Aside from being prepared with all the questions that a potential investor may ask, business owners must also have some knowledge on the people that would be the receiving end of their pitches.

Sometimes, owners tend to contact every single venture capitalist in the country. And while this increases your chances of securing investments, this also increases the amount of time that you spend looking for money. As they say, time is gold. So why spend a lot of time when you can do something much better?

Instead of calling every single venture capitalist in the planet, try to look into the list and study your chances of getting support from every single person in it. Doing this would make you realize that more than half of the people in your list would not even read your request because they are not interested on the concept of your business.

There’s no single advice that will boost your chances of securing venture capital. Nevertheless, like in any other field, being a little bit smarter will increase the possibility of getting financial support.

Access our network of Angel Investors, Venture Capital or get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

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Owning an online business allows you to work from anywhere you want.  All you need is to set flexible work hours and establish your online presence. Not only this, online businesses have significantly low startup costs and that is what makes it ideal, especially for new entrepreneurs. This is one of the main reasons why traditional brick-and-mortar businesses are gradually declining. They are now more focused on being globalized and ubiquitous.

To put it simply, running an online business has a plethora of benefits if you are an experienced entrepreneur. However, if you are a startup and facing troubles in creating an online presence, you need to understand that starting an online business is easy, but running it requires your attention. Whether your digital set up is in its initial phase or has achieved some milestones, knowing key details of the mainstream market and understanding it is of paramount importance.

Another major aspect that is essential to consider when it comes to running an online business successfully is familiarity with technology. If an online entrepreneur lacks knowledge of digital marketing or other tech-based strategies, reaching the target audience becomes a daunting task.

If you can relate to this, then the provided details might be useful for your online business. All you need is to consider the following steps while running your online business.

How to Run an Online Business? Establish Your Business Market

There is no doubt that without understanding the target market you want to focus on, you cannot increase your sales. However, if you know where you will find your target audience online, developing marketing strategies become a breeze.

According to expert marketers, when an entrepreneur understands their core audience, it will help them find the right ways to offer the products that interest the audience. The point is, researching the market position and analyzing the needs and interest of customers is substantially important before launching your product.

 Register Your Domain Name

Your online business requires a domain name. Without registering it you cannot run your business as it is your online address, spot or place where people will find you on the internet. The good news is that there is a myriad of online companies that sell a domain name.  Google Domains, in this regard, is one of the common choices you can opt for.

Your domain name plays a critical role when it is comes to branding an online company. Here is when you need to come up with a domain name that truly reflects your company and its goals. While choosing a name, make sure you use the name checker tool to help you see what is available.

Host Your Business Domain

Hosting a business domain is an integral part of running a business online. Through a web host, your online business gets space on various servers. Sometimes both registering a domain and finding a host for it can be achieved with the help of one company. Following are the key features you need to consider when you choose a web host.

  • Uptime percentage
  • Available marketing tools
  • Storage capacity
  • Email features that are based on domain
  • How it offers customer response forms
  • Hosting capability for blogging
  • Accessibility for customer support
Focus on Your Business Website Design

The first impression is the last impression’ -whether you believe it or not it is undeniably true when it is about your website design. Your customer doesn’t have a place to visit or judge your market credibility; however, it’s your e-commerce platform/website that enables customers to understand your marketing skills.

That is to say, the more attractive and informative your website design is, the more customers your online business will attract. This is where both your marketing expertise and technology create a storefront for you.  If your brand is failing to grab the attention of potential customers, it is the right time to consider alternative options.

Hiring a professional web designer with sound web skills can make a huge difference to your websites’ layout.  We recommend you choose a quality e-commerce platform to not only help you customize the website, but also run an online business.

Add an Online Payment Option

The concept of online shopping encapsulates customer’s easiness whether it is about purchasing online or paying online. That is what adding online payment feature to online business makes extremely important. It gives customers satisfaction that they can process transactions without having to go through a long and arduous payment process.

Besides that, giving your customers multiple gateways for shopping can also have a significant impact on your business success. Allow upgrades and provide different packages for purchase options to make shopping fun and convenient from your online store.

Increase Website Traffic

Providing quality products and excellent user experience to your customers is your foremost responsibility if you are an online entrepreneur. It is the only way you can retain your customers while driving more traffic to your website.

For running an online business successfully, you need to make extra efforts to stand out from your competitors, which is not possible until you leverage the right strategies to attract the right customers.  Always focus on the target group to generate more sales and create more traffic online. Here are few tips o drive traffic:

  • Register with popular search engines, like Bing and Google
  • Use persuasive online advertising on social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
  • Focus on quality content marketing

Gradually incorporate advanced digital marketing strategies to increase quality traffic on your website. Remember that, driving massive traffic involves a number of technicalities and requires you to consult with digital marketing experts.  In addition to that, never compromise on the quality of e-commerce software as it will help you keep a tab on financial information, customer data and other analytics for your future business decisions.

Final Thoughts

All in all, an online business is undeniably a decent way to earn money, but requires proper strategies and planning to run it efficiently. It takes your hard work, time and most importantly market understanding to run an online business.

Access our network of Angel Investors, Venture Capital or get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com 

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A great number of small business owners have a constant urge to expand. Of course, the mere idea of expanding and becoming a “big” business known to thousands and millions of people is fascinating. However, expansion is not all about finding a new office space and hiring new employees to fill the vacant seats.

There is much more to expansion than most small business owners realize. It is unfortunate that a larger population of these business owners is only focused on the benefits of expanding while completely omitting the challenges that entail business expansion. Let’s take a look at some of the most common challenges, concerns and considerations before you expand your small business.

Major Pitfalls to Avoid before Expanding a Small Business
  • Outdated Information of Market Conditions

Too often, the decision to expand taken by most small business owners is based on information that is many months old. The important thing to consider here is continuous market research. An idea that seemed like it will lead the market a few months ago might be an average offering today.

For example, you might have landed in the market with a unique product, and its sudden popularity might make you think you should expand as soon as possible. What you don’t realize is that the acceptance and popularity rate of your product can diminish with time. The big reason behind that is the competitors who can imitate anything that you have created.

It does not matter if you have patented the technology, method or the product itself before launching it. Your competitors will always find some way to imitate and emulate your products. A great example of this is Apple, the tech giant that patented the touchscreen technology. You can see there are more non-Apple touchscreen smartphones in the world today than Apple’s own iPhone.

  • Regional Limitations

When you are expanding your business into new territories, you must know them well. You cannot expect people to react to your offerings, marketing methods, advertising tactics in the same way everywhere. In fact, cultural considerations are an extremely important consideration when businesses are expanding.

You don’t have to be expanding to a completely new country to consider culture. There are many things that people in one state might love and people in another state completely hate.

These considerations have to be made based on the type of business you have. If your business has some cultural dependencies, you have to be very careful with where you are thinking of expanding your business operations.

  • Cash Flow Challenges

You need to be on top of your cash flow before you expand. Cash flow is important for any business, but it is essential when it comes time for expansion. It does not matter how much money you are expecting to come into the business after making the expansion move; it is going to require a lot of money upfront too.

This is the time when you have to stop thinking about the revenue and start focusing on your income. Your revenue does not tell you how feasible it is for you to expand your business. It is the money that you can use without affecting your current operations that matter in the expansion.

Look at your profits and see how big they are. If your profits are small, don’t just assume that things will be fine and you should just make a move. You don’t want to create a situation where not only you fail with expansion but affect your existing operations as well.

  • Technological Issues

The way modern businesses operate, technology goes wherever your business goes. Many small business owners think of expansion only regarding new office space, furniture, and new employees, but that’s not the case. Today’s businesses rely heavily on technologies, both hardware, and software. When your business expands, you have to support it with better hardware but what’s more important is the software side.

Unless you are using a cloud solution for your database and other internal tasks and activities, you will have to spend a lot of time in arranging the right system. Syncing information across multiple locations and managing bigger databases with more accounts and information can be a challenge in the beginning.

  • Overestimating Business Popularity

Some businesses that start with a unique idea and get attention from media fast are able to reap great benefits from sudden demand spikes. This situation often makes business owners feel that they should expand as soon as possible. What they don’t realize is that this is only the “trial” period for customers in their minds.

Even if they like your product, in the beginning, it does not mean they have put full trust in your offerings. A onetime purchase does not translate to loyal customers and repetitive purchases. You might have received a great response from customers when you started the business but wait for some time to know if your customers have started to repeat.

It is only the number of repeat customers that can tell you if your product/service has been a success. It could be a nightmare for you if you start getting negative reviews from your first customers as soon as you expand into new markets and locations. You could end up creating too much inventory that no one is willing to buy.

  • Underestimating Growth of Employees

While a lot of things get overestimated by new business owners before expansion, there are some things that they underestimate. Sometimes, business owners are not able to fully foresee their growth regarding employees.

They arrange new space to continue business operations in a new location without realizing that the growing number of employees will force them to expand their office space again. Not only is it inefficient but it could lead to a lot of hassle for the working employees if the expansion of office space takes place while they are working there.

Final Words

The most important thing to keep in mind when you have your own business, and you are considering expansion regarding business operations or product/service offerings, is patience. Always take your time before making a move because when you are a small business, you don’t have a lot of support to recover from huge financial losses like large enterprises do.

Access our network of Angel Investors, Venture Capital or get instantly matched with a Lender. Create a crowd funding campaign or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

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Whether you are running a mid-sized company or a startup, your company requires working capital with fast financing and flexibility. Factoring companies, in this regard, provide you this needed cash flow. A factoring company typically takes on waiting for burden for accounts to receive invoice payments. In return, it provides businesses and companies with timely advance cash.

There is no denying this receivable financing method is not only flexible but and also a smart financing alternative as compared to conventional business loans. Businesses need factoring when their account receivable invoices are essentially put up for sale at a discount to a factoring company. Banks, on the other hand, require businesses to go through a burdensome and long approval process to apply for a loan. Not only this, bank loan bears interest at the current market rate and often results in heavy business debt.

Reputable factoring companies, however, start your approval within twenty-four hours and can give you the funds on the same day. This duration can be of ten days, if you are a new client. Factoring doesn’t subject your business to any volatile interest rate. This means factoring financing is a great way to avoid debt on your business or company’s book.

Factoring financing is a long-term solution for business when it comes to enumerating its benefits. However, to make the most of this finance alternative, it’s important that you have sufficient knowledge of factoring. To clear the mist, here we list some potential benefits of factoring to help you understand why you should incorporate it in your business for steady cash flow.

Before plunging into the discussion of factoring benefits, let’s understand what factoring is.

What is Financial Factoring?

In financial terminology, Factoring refers to an invoice discounting and it is used as a financing tool for businesses, particularly for startups. When a business sells goods or services to its customers, it typically offers various payment terms instead of cash at sales time. Although there are a plethora of reasons why businesses practice this, developing a long-term relationship and increasing sales are the most important. In this kind of transaction, businesses usually get accounts receivable, which they hold on their books until customers clear the debt.

Businesses Can Benefit From Long-Term Factoring

If your business faces the following scenarios, invoice factoring can be really beneficial:

  • Volatile and unstable cash flow
  • Seasonal sales
  • Long duration sales cycle
  • Business needs funding to maintain production and substantial inventory
  • Delayed payments, such as corporate buyers and government agencies
How a Factoring Company Helps Business

A factoring company deals with invoice financing, particularly for startup and medium-sized businesses that want a non-bankable working capital solution. A factoring company, typically, purchases invoices for your business from creditworthy clients. Once you do it with crediting invoices, the company advances your business with 90 percent of invoice amount within 24 hours. The remaining balance is cleared when your client settles the payment in full.

You can submit your invoices directly after the product delivery or work completion. One of the interesting features of the factoring company is it keeps your revenues inflow and causes no collection hassles or delays.

Why Your Business Should Consider Factoring for Steady Cash Flow Fast Way to Raise Money

As mentioned earlier, factoring is an alternative financing solution for businesses looking for swift working capital. A factoring deal does not take more than 24 hours to process and complete. If your business is in need to expand its operations quickly, factoring is your go-to option. Unlike banks and other financial solutions that take a whole lot of time in applying, processing and sanctioning, invoice factoring is a fast way to raise money. In general, businesses do not have that much time when it is about making investment or processing payments.

An Easy Way of Reliable Cash flow

There is no doubt that the availability of manageable and consistent cash flow is significant for operating a successful business. This means if your business doesn’t have a reliable cash flow, it may struggle to meet its daily financial requirements. Financing factoring, in this regard, is an effective and easy financing option that can help you improve cash flow. By using financial factoring and its steady cash flow, your business can meet its daily cash needs. You can even use that money to grow your startup into an established and successful company.

Growth and Expansion

Continuing from the last point, businesses in the growth and expansion phase require working capital. Whether your business needs to hire more employees or purchase new equipment, factoring can provide your growing business the working capital it needs. It may bring endless opportunities for your business to expand.

Maxed Out Your Business Lines of Credit

A state of maxed out credit line can bring your business cash flow to a halt. Even if your company has good credit, banks can limit the amount that you can legally obtain. This may be hazardous for your business growth. However, with invoice factoring, it is only your account receivable base size that can limit. For instance, you can obtain more working capital if your business makes new customers or signs new contracts.

A Way to Handle Slow-Paying Customers

Slow paying customers are something that businesses simply cannot avoid. Managing cash-flow becomes hard if customers take 40 to 90 days for paying the due amount. Even if you work with a Master Services Agreement (MSA), which is a payment term, there are customers who pay as per their convenience. Invoice factoring allows you to benefit from instant access to your due cash. All the due payments are received within 24 hours.

Final Thought

In a nutshell, financial factoring offers multiple benefits for companies in need to raise cash without any delays. Particularly, when a traditional bank loan is unattainable and your rapidly growing business needs to meet payroll, purchase material or cover its other operating outflows, factoring is undeniably one of the best ways you can solve all these problems.

Access our network of Angel Investors, Venture Capital or get instantly matched with a Lender. Create a crowd funding campaign or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

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It might be surprising, but a lot of venture capitalists understand the situation of would-be entrepreneurs who are looking for investors who will finance their startups. The reason for this is simple: these people who now have millions of venture capital funds stashed in banks also started as a small company owner who experienced the challenges of looking for someone who is interested in providing financial support.

They might have followed the traditional venture capitalist model, or used personal means – such as credit cards and personal guarantees – to raise significant amount of money. But one thing is clear – most venture capitalists understand the position of startup owners. And this shows their true nature when it comes to dealing with these kinds of partnerships.

Unlike the common conception that they are all too powerful and very difficult to please, venture capitalists are also human. And because most of them have experienced and succeeded in this industry, the requirements that they ask from startup owners should be seen as reasonable and realistic. Here are some of the traits that startup owners applying for financial support should have:

Passion – Those who are passionate, enthusiastic, and confident with their startups usually get not only the attention, but also the approval of investors.

Intelligence – Knowledgeable would-be entrepreneurs always have the advantage. Venture capitalists think that intelligence is tied with the success of the company.

Defensibility – Having a great concept is one thing, but being able to defend it at different levels is another. Most of the time, investors will point problems on the concept submitted by the startup owner. He or she must be able to defend the idea and convince venture capitalists that the problems can be resolved.

Contrarianism – Investors are waiting for the next big thing. Thus, unique ideas that have huge potential almost always get the nod of venture capitalists. After all, nobody wants another social networking site, not if we already have Facebook. We want something new.

Perseverance and Persistence – Startup owners who exhibit determination on their ideas always get the attention of investors. Consistent follow-ups and immediate response to queries sent by the potential investors show how important the deal is for the entrepreneur.

Humility – Despite the need for passion and determination, startup owners also need to have an ounce of humility. One must keep in mind that even the best actors or athletes have to follow the orders of their directors and coaches, respectively.

Aside from the traits enumerated above, would-be entrepreneurs should also understand what goes in the mind of venture capitalists. Usually, it only involves two things: fear and greed.

As noted earlier, investors want to put money on proposal that will be as big as Facebook. Because of this, they are afraid of letting a potential project go (fear). Also, venture capitalists look at the things that they will get once they finance a startup. This includes profit, recognition, and a powerful position within the company, among other benefits (greed).

In the end, it all comes down to these two. And startup owners might want to use these to their advantage. Of course it would not be easy. Venture capitalists are experienced people who will know if they are being manipulated. But having the knowledge of what they want is something that could spell the difference between failure and success.

Access our network of Angel Investors, Venture Capital or get instantly matched with a Lender. Create a crowd funding campaign or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

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There is no denying that office layout is one of the significant contributing factors when it comes to improving business productivity. Helene Segura, a productivity consultant, stated that she has identified several issues with her clients related to client’s efficiency that is rooted in office setup and time management.

According to her, the lack of productivity is directly related to workspace set up. Gallup in its State of Global Workplace report found that 51 percent of workers fail to engage with work due to a dull office interior.

17 percent of workers stated that they were disengaged and that affected their productivity adversely. The statistics indicate that this dismal state is typically caused by office layout and can be one of the reasons for the decline in productivity.

To put it simply, workplace happiness can make a huge difference when it is about maintaining work performance. Office layouts can change the way we work. The Ethonomic’s author believes that you can change the value of your offices just by changing the approach to office design.

Having said that, here we have enumerated a few reasons why office layouts can boost the productivity of workers.

Effects of Office Layout 1.     Creativity with Space

Creative office space doesn’t only mean that employees want a lavish multi-story building to improve productivity. If you creatively design your office space, it can change the work approach of your employees. That means workers should have access to collaborative spaces, private meeting rooms, and most importantly natural light.

All these elements play a critical role in increasing employee satisfaction and productivity. These open spaces allow workers to move around freely and they will not feel tied to their desks. Plus, it will create more opportunities for workers to collaborate with each other.

2.     Productivity

There is no doubt that when you work at a place that has an interesting and beautiful layout, you feel reinvigorated. It definitely has a positive effect on your work productivity. However, if the office layout has dingy lighting, colorless walls and isolated cubicles, it creates an environment that is off-putting and uninspiring.

That is to say, investing to improve the ambiance of your office space is important as it can uplift the overall mood. This way, workers will feel motivated and energetic and look forward to their work. The pleasant workspace boosts both worker’s creativity as well as productivity.

3.     An opportunity to Collaborate

Whether you agree or not innovative and creative office layouts can shake things up. It can definitely diminish the effects of monotony and enable employees to maximize their work strength. Employees gradually adapt themselves, according to the work environment.

That means if the work environment is not isolated and employees work collaboratively, it adds to their creativity. Different departments can bounce off multiple creative ideas by working together. It is a great way to make a decision and solve problems.

Modern Office Layouts to Boost Productivity

The attractive office layouts are of paramount importance to retain workers. Modern office designs promise rich amenities and creative spaces to enhance employees’ lives. Most new office buildings, in this regard, internalize the amenities and products that employees use to seek externally.

With time, these trends have become common and prevalent.  Amenity-rich office spaces provide comfort to employees, who struggle not only physically, but also mentally due to time constraints

Considering this, here we have enlisted a few modern house amenities to help you make your workspace productive.

·   Modern Lobbies

The tranquilized and peaceful environment can undeniably have a great impact on employees work productivity. Employees, whether current or prospective, form an impression of their workspace by building lobbies.

If there are chaotic streetscapes, crowded atmosphere, and loud environment, it affects the psychology of workers. Spacious and quiet environments, on the other hand, enhance the productivity of workers.

·   Open Floor plans

It is essential for office buildings to be flexible and owners should invest in the right infrastructure. It can only happen when you recognize the needs of your workers and provide them an open, collaborative space with better communal areas.

It can immensely boost their work productivity. Furthermore, it inspires employees’ sense of well-being and makes them feel stress free and motivated.

·    Flexible layouts

It is hard to deny that the modern workforce is more energetic and not static. There has been a significant rise in startups and remote workers in the past two decades. That has increased the demand for flexible designs for office spaces.

One way you can incorporate this modern amenity into your office design is to design spaces that are not static.

For example, workstations that can be converted into standing desks, open lounges, meeting rooms, and movable walls make a great flexible office layout. Not only is it an excellent way to redesign your office space, but also to expand it. This way you can provide more convenience to your workers when it is needed.

·    Employees’ Health

There is no way to boost productivity if employers do not consider the health of the workers while deciding on the workspace infrastructure. That means if your office layout does not promote a healthy lifestyle, boosting work productivity is difficult.

By a healthy lifestyle, we mean full-service canteens or cafeterias, natural light and amenities like go-and -grab meals. Plus, office layouts should be spacious enough for meetings and free walk. The best office layouts have sit-stand desks that have a great impact on work productivity.

·    Nature

Workers spend not less than eight hours in a day inside the office that deprives them of natural light.   That is what makes choosing an office design that is airy,  open and green extremely important to boost cognition. The design trend that connects employees with nature has a powerful impact on work productivity.

Bottom Line

To a small extent, there is no doubt that amenity -rich office spaces are not just for visual appeal, but also have an optimal effect on the productivity of your workers. Thus, modern layout of the workplace can really make a huge difference in improving the productivity of your workers.

Access our network of Angel Investors, Venture Capital or get instantly matched with a Lender. Create a crowd funding campaign or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

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