Calculating Startups Costs before Approaching Investors

If you have a unique idea that you think can turn into a business, you should get ready to do some preparation before you take it to investors. When you present your idea, which might just be in a prototype form, to an investor, you have to be well-prepared to be scrutinized. Quite understandably, investors are always keen to know where their money is going.

They want to have full details of where you will use their money and what return their investment will generate. In order to answer their piercing questions, you have to be on top of your game, know the costs that are associated with your startup, and create ways to justify them.

Getting into the Depths of Startup Costs

You have to create a list of everything that’s going to require money to start your business. How much money you ask for from the investors also depends on what stage your startup is at. Sometimes, your business is running on a micro-level and you need money to expand it. At other times, all you have is a unique idea and possibly a prototype that proves the practical application of the concept but no money to go into production. In either case, your knowledge of the many startup costs helps you get the right investment and decides the fate of your startup.

Here is a list of the major startup costs.

Office Space, Furniture and Supplies

If you are going to have a physical location, you will need cash to arrange an office and everything that goes inside it. You can buy or rent office space. It is a pure expense when you rent it, unless you prepay a lump sum lease. Office furniture will include desks, cabinets, wooden cabins, paper, pencils, etc. These are all expenses and while some of them become your asset too, they are not the best assets you can rely on to get loans.

Professional Fees

Hiring professionals has its benefits, but you have to pay their fees and count them as expense. You will need lawyers and accountants to help you with various tax laws, zoning laws, business structuring, and any other legal matters that can arise when starting a business. If there is one thing that you can be sure of, it is that these professionals are not cheap.

Marketing, Advertising and Promotion

Marketing and advertising are the processes that don’t stop for as long as the business lives. More importantly, they start well before a business even comes into existence. Your marketing and advertising expenses will include the following and much more.

  • Brochures, leaflets, flyers, flexes, etc.
  • Cable advertisements, infomercials, etc.
  • Digital marketing e.g. SEO, PPC, email marketing, etc.
  • Giveaways, gifts for customers, special discounts for first timers, etc.
  • Your website, blog, social media pages and campaigns, etc.

In the beginning, you have to consider taking advantage of the marketing methods that are affordable yet highly productive.

Equipment

Your office furniture and supplies aren’t necessarily business equipment. Business equipment means anything that’s an integral part of your business. For example, if you are opening a restaurant then a fryer, boiler, smoke machine, microwave, etc. will be your equipment. If you are starting a gymnasium, the bench in the waiting area is not your equipment, but the elliptical machines, treadmills, rowing machines, etc. are part of your equipment.

Inventory Costs

If you are a product-selling business, you need inventory right from day one. You will have to do a lot of calculation and forecasting to come up with the right size of inventory that you will start with. You don’t want to commit too much and have excessive inventory due to the fear of spoilage. On the other hand, having too little means you will have to send your customers home or to your competitors. Investors love to ask inventory-related questions. You will always have to prove to the investors why you are producing as much inventory as you have planned to produce.

Salaries

You need workers right from the first day of your business. You cannot afford to pay your employees too much right from the beginning even if they are specialists in their fields. Your investors will not like the fact that you are paying your employees generously when your business has not even lifted off the ground. Hire your talent sensibly and after proper scrutiny to get the most out of every employee.

Taxes and Insurance

Not everything you earn can go right in your pocket. You have to pay taxes on your business property, sales, and income. Furthermore, you need proper protection for your business against lawsuits. The most important insurance covers for businesses include product liability insurance, property insurance, vehicle insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, etc.

Traveling

If the nature of your business requires you or your employees to travel, you have to factor in those costs as well. However, you should be happy to know that most of the business-related traveling expenses can be claimed as deductions. But because that money goes out of your business account, you have to calculate it among expenses too.

Cash Reserve

In addition to all the expenses stated above, you need the right size of cash reserve. Cash reserve is the money you set aside to finance your business without getting loans from banks. You take this money out of your net profit and set it aside for business expansion or to fulfill large orders. Additionally, you have to have at least six months of backup for your business to run smoothly when sales are low and profit margins are thin at the initial startup phase.

Approaching Your Investors

Now that you have a list of every expense that will come in your way at the time of starting your business, it is time you come up with a number and approach your investors. You have to be good with numbers when you stand in front of your investors. If math is not your strength, hire someone to be with you to help you answer cost-related questions from investors. Your accurate calculation and cost analysis increase your chances of impressing investors and compelling them to invest.

Calculate your startup costs and note them down because doing so will help you win over the investors and also show the transparency of your business plan. Also, it is important that you trust your calculations and avoid going back and forth on your investment demands. Asking for more or less than what you have calculated will get you in trouble down the road. Having too much will lure you into overspending, and bury you under a mountain of debt. Having too little will shrink your cash flow, which will choke your business as a result.

 

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

Here Is What Small Business Owners Should Know about Angel Investors

When you have a small business, and you are serious about its growth and expansion, you have to use every option available to you to get the funds you need. In some cases, venture capitalists are not really a good fit for funding the startup or small businesses. They focus a lot on the returns they get from their investments, and somewhere in that attempt, they forget to pay enough attention to the needs and limitations of small businesses. One of the best solutions for small businesses to get the required funds is angel investors.

What Is an Angel Investor?

The name angel investor should give away why the industry calls them that. Other names for angel investors include angel funders, informal investors, business angels, etc. An angel investor is mostly one person, but may also be a very small group of investors. They invest in startups and small businesses that most venture capitalists would consider too risky for investment. They try to be extra helpful for startup and small business owners by providing the required funding and also helping with advice on matters.

In many cases, the angel investor will put his/her own money on the line to help your business. The reason for their investment in the risky business is that they are independent in their decisions. They might find your product interesting even when others don’t see any scope in it. You would not expect them to invest huge funds compared to those from venture capitalists but with their popularity increasing with time on the internet, angel investors can also invest huge amounts now.

A Detailed View of Angel Investors for Small Business Owners

Types of Investments

The first thing to know about angel investors is the type of investments they are leaning towards usually. The interest and motivational factors are different for angel investors compared to those of venture capitalists.

An angel investor is willing to invest in startups. It is easier to convince an angel investor to invest in a startup than it is to convince a VC. However, even a VC will show interest in a small business in its early stages if they are 100% sure of its potential and future success.

One of the most important things to point out here is that angel investors are highly interested in local businesses. If you run a business in New York, you would want to find investors in New York. Angel investors like to support their local communities and economy. Furthermore, local businesses are easy for them to test for their validity. As for the market type, angels prefer to invest in businesses that are playing against small competitors. If your business is about to become a part of a contemporary market with several giants already monopolizing it, the angel might not show interest.

Their Favorite Places

When looking for investment for your business, you must know where you can possibly find angel investor. There is no specific place that you can say has the best angel investors. However, you can try fundraising advisors to help you find the investors that would be interested in investing in your business. You can search for angel investment groups in your area or on the internet. The good thing about such a group is that you have a higher chance of persuading someone to invest in your idea.

You will be glad to know that angel investors love to be a part of events where they get to see various business owners from around the country pitching their ideas. Their events are more common than VC events. In fact, it is much easy to attend their events because the entry is not expensive and you can find them even in small cities. You can also find angel investors online. There are websites that specifically put small business owners in touch with angel investors. All you have to do is create a compelling pitch, so investors can see how serious you are with your investment needs.

The Way to Compel and Persuade Them

It would be wrong to say that angel investors are interested in ideas alone. In fact, that’s where the angel investors differ entirely from venture capitalists. They don’t focus solely on the business idea and its scope in future. An important part of their decision-making process is to know the entrepreneur and his/her team. It does not matter how unique your business idea is because if you and your team are not convincing enough, they will not invest in you. They love people who like to get to the point, and that comes off as your strength.

For example, you would want your presentation to be not more than five or six slides. Don’t waste too much time trying to convince them that your idea is different. Get to the point, tell them what you want and how you are going to achieve the targets you have set, and that should be enough. When you sit down with angel investors, be sure to value your company reasonably and offer them a sensible share. A crucial thing to remember is that it takes you much more time to find the right angel investors than it takes to convince them. Miss one opportunity and you could end up spending months and years looking for another investor to listen to you. Don’t blow your opportunities away once you get them.

From the information above, it might sound angel investors are much more flexible than VCs, and that’s true to some extent. However, this should not give you the impression that angel investors are non-professional. They expect due diligence from you before finalizing a deal.

Make sure you have protected your unique ideas with patents and proper technology before you present them with your idea. Secondly, have the right permissions, certificates and other documentation on hand to show that you have everything in place. In the end, be on top of your security game, i.e., you must know how new security-related regulations around the world are going to affect your business and how you will tackle them.

 

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

The Factors That Motivate Angel Investors to Invest in Small Businesses

The online popularity of angel investors has proved to be good news for small businesses and startups. Angel investors always show great interest in investing in small businesses. Venture capitalists make up a great portion of the total investment market around the world, but these investors have never been the fittest for startups and small businesses.

Even when they are willing to put their money on the line a small venture, their terms and conditions are too strict for a small business owner to say ‘yes’ to a deal. Angel investors, on the other hand, are quite flexible with their terms and conditions and make the life easier for small business owners.

But what motivates angel investors to go after such investment opportunities where the risk is higher than usual for them?

The Motivating Factors for Angel Investors

·         The Urge to Encourage Local Businesses

A common notion is that angel investors show great interest in local businesses. They are more than willing to help small businesses from their local towns with their funding requirements. There can be many reasons why they are interested in local ventures so much. It’s possible that they want some recognition for their town, city or county. Perhaps, they find it easy to trust the local individuals than to trust someone from the outside.

Keep in mind that it is much easier for angel investors to become known in their local town than it is to become famous internationally. Maybe they see their investments in local ventures as a starting point of their networking. They can first target the local audience, become the first go-to person or group for all the new local businesses, and then expand outwards to other areas. In simple words, local businesses and entrepreneurs motivate angel investors a lot more than foreign investment opportunities.

·         The Passion for Doing Something Big

Angel investors can be interested in a small project simply because they want to do something special. Becoming part of a well-established brand does not prove the potential of an investor. Instead, it only proves that they are financially strong. However, in the mind of an investor, they want to show the world their prowess as an investor and the power of their foresight. If they can invest in a small business today that becomes an international brand tomorrow, it is an achievement for them and a five-star entry in their portfolio.

Take the example of Chris Sacca, who spent several years of his life as an angel investor. He invested in several companies and sold them later to big giants. It was his angel investment of just $25,000 in Twitter that proved to be one of the biggest for him.

·         Unique Ideas

This factor can hold true not only for angel investors but other types of investors too. However, angel investors are the ones who show more inclination to invest in unique ideas than venture capitalists. You have to keep in mind that angel investors don’t make huge investments.

As compared to the investments from VCs, their investments are small in size. It is for this reason angel investors are in a better position to invest in unique ideas. Investing in such ideas is more like an experiment for them, and they can experiment with their money because they are putting a very small portion of their savings on the line.

·         Energetic Entrepreneurs and Teams

Sometimes, it is not the idea that’s interesting but the people who are promoting it. The product or service that a startup wants to introduce in the market might seem mediocre. However, the passion of the entrepreneur and the professionalism and preparedness of the team might be compelling for an angel investors. That’s why experts advise small businesses and startup owners to have an impressive business plan and a strong team because both these factors can convince investors to invest.

·         The Diversified Portfolio

A diversified portfolio is a motivating factor for certain types of investors. Some billionaires like Mark Cuban, Chris Sacca, Lori Greiner, etc. have vastly diversified portfolios. It is not a phenomenon that’s common for new investors, but even the most mature and experienced investors like to keep experimenting. Having a diversified portfolio of investments is also a way for investors to reduce their losses. Rather than investing all of their money in one industry and drowning it all if the industry collapses, it is better to invest small amounts in a variety of industries.

·         Personal Reasons

Believe it or not, personal reasons are among the common motivators for angel investors. Angel investors often invest their savings and earnings in new businesses. It’s noteworthy to mention that angel investors are sometimes people who at one time may have tried to start a business without success.

After a failure, they are often looking for someone who they think has the right attitude, passion, and preparedness to be successful with the same idea. It gets their attention immediately when they see someone trying to build a business around an idea that they had once tried in the past. Call it nostalgia or investment out of emotion, but this is the driving force behind many angels investments.

In the End

The points you see above include a few ways for you to compel an angel investor to invest in your project. The essentials that you have to work on include:

  • Finding a unique yet practical solution to an existing problem
  • Coming up with unique ways to promote your idea even if it is clichéd
  • Having the right team by your side that shares your vision
  • Showing an attitude that persuades the angel investor to invest in you even if your product/service is not the most appealing one

Last but not least, you should also research and find out the platforms that angel investors like to visit frequently. When you are a small business or a startup, you have to run after the opportunities rather than wait for them to come to you.

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

How To Keep Cash Flow Positive As A Business Startup

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. Create a crowd funding campaign or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

Is It Possible Today to Start a Business under $1000?

There is always a lot of talk among people about how it is getting easier than ever to start a business today. Of course, the internet has opened new doors for aspiring entrepreneurs to experiment with ideas that were only close to impossible to execute in the past. It is not to say that only internet based businesses are cheap to start. In fact, some traditional businesses can be started at under $1000 with a little help from the internet. Most of them utilize applications that have a lot of user so they can reach them wherever they are. So, if you are someone looking forward to starting a small business, there are some possible considerations.

Cashing Your Creativity

The best and yet the easiest type of a business is one in which you cash your creativity. If you think you are not creative, you might need a second consideration. Every person in the world is creative, in one way or another. You don’t have to be painting masterpieces to step into this world. It can be something that you love or your favorite past time. If you can work around with ordinary items at home and create stuff out of them, you can turn it into a business.

Again, it was a difficult business to manage in the past but not anymore. With internet marketing allowing you to access global markets, you can easily find thousands and millions of people who are willing to buy your creations.  Utilize all the free apps and post your creation for free.

The good thing is that you have drop shipping options available. Let’s say you are a designer who loves to create designs for t-shirts. You can easily create t-shirt designs and start a business in less than $1000 without worrying about .

Using Your Accounting Skills

The trend of outsourcing accounting is at its peak right now. If you are good at accounting and bookkeeping, this is the right time for you to cash the opportunity. You can gather a team of accountants with you and start pitching the idea of outsourcing accounting department to businesses. The good thing is that you can pitch this idea to other small business.

The larger companies have their in-house solutions or services they have been using for years. However, small business owners are looking for ways to cut down on their costs. You can pitch them the idea that outsourcing their accounting operations is much cheaper than having accounts working for them and they work almost 100% the same with a price difference.

Once you have started to understand your business, you can take the next step and create a software based on your experience and you know it will benefit your business in the long run. You just have to make sure you address the accounts related pain points of small businesses when creating a software-based solution. If you need funding to create the application, you can do that using the online crowdfunding platforms like Funded.com.

Using Your Technical Troubleshooting Skills

Just like accounting, a lot of businesses are now outsourcing their IT related tasks as well. A big reason behind this outsourcing trend is that the third party solutions are much cheaper than having a fully dedicated department to manage them in-house. Not to mention, IT is the need of every business today, from small businesses to large enterprises.

You should not be looking at providing complete IT support right from the beginning. At the start, you can address the more mundane troubleshooting tasks that keep coming up regularly. In addition to that, you can help small businesses manage their security software, CRM, surveillance systems, etc.

These issues are common but not serious when it comes to small businesses. However, having dedicated staff to manage these little issues and paying these professionals high monthly salaries plus other benefits is much costlier than going for the outsourced solution. There are a lot of online website companies that can help you find the right IT staff for your business.

Personal Trainer

People are becoming more and more serious about their fitness as they can know their physical conditions more using simple tools at home, e.g., blood glucose level checkers, blood pressure meters, heart rate monitors, etc. You don’t need long years of education to be a personal trainer but obtaining some certification is going to help you become a successful trainer faster. You can even create your courses and make them available on DVDs or start by writing an ebook about the particular niche that you want to serve.

Using Your Internet Marketing Skills

Do you often notice that you can make followers and friends on social media very easily? If that’s the case, you might have an expert internet marketer in you. The best thing about this type of business is that you can start it right from the comfort of your home. The only expenses you will have to bear in the beginning are of buying a domain, choosing a hosting plan and a little bit of marketing on the internet about your services. If you already have a lot of fan following on social media, you can use it to your advantage to spread the word.

It is a small business to start with, but it has the full potential of becoming a huge business if you do it with heart. Make sure to create a team of more people as soon as you see the workload increasing. You can consider opening an office once you have a few people working with you using internet marketing tool can hugely benefit your startup business.

Taking Advantage of the Organizer in You

Organizing services are gaining popularity in the recent days too. Professional organizers are people who help people manage their clutter at an hourly rate. You can provide these services to residential as well as commercial customers. The success of this type of business depends greatly on how dedicated you are to your work. You might have to work extra hours during odd timings, but it’s this effort that will create your value for your customers. The expenses here are also those of creating your website, managing a blog and doing the marketing on the internet, so people get to know about you.

Now you know that starting a business is not that difficult if you know your talents and abilities. The only part that you have excel in is internet marketing because your success depends on a great deal on whether you can connect with the right people or not. Do not be afraid in starting your business especially if you know that is your passion and put your time into it until it becomes successful. Be updated on the latest trend and make use of free application to help you grow your start up business.

 

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com If you need to access our network of angel investors or a business plan for start-up funding visit Funded.com

How To Attract Top Talent To Your Business Startup?

Human resources

Finding and securing top job candidates for your business startup is more important now than ever. You are competing against a variety of companies for the same potential employees,and job seekers have the upper hand in who they choose to work with. Your business startup needs to make an impression on job candidates just as much as they need to make one with you. But, having a plan in place to attract top talent to your business can make the process of hiring new employees more beneficial to your company. Try these tips for making your business startup a place where new job seekers want to work and allow your company to take full advantage of their advanced skills.

Tell your company story

Everyone loves a good story and your company no doubt has one with some heart. The history of your business startup’s beginning can sway any job seeker to find interest in your company. Being honest and upfront about what got you to the point you are today can make a difference for a candidate that is looking for a company that cares about them as an employee and allows them to make a difference each day that they come to work. Be transparent.

Show where your business shines

Your business startup has many strengths that you need to tout them with job seekers. As much as you are interviewing them, they are interviewing you. They need to see what makes your company special and why it would be beneficial for them to join your team. Letting them see your strengths firsthand can go a long way in helping a job candidate choose your company for their employment.

Give benefits job seekers desire

Have a structure in place that provides benefits that employees want and can use can sway even the most indecisive of job seekers. Showing flexibility and providing benefits that are advantageous to your employees can make your business startup a highly desirable place to work. You’ll find that job candidates flock to your company if you offer benefits that they can’t refuse and want as a part of their employment.

Highlight some of the reasons to work for you

Every business startup has reasons why they are the best place to work. Let your employees do your promotional work and speak to new job candidates about what they love most about working at your company. Hearing firsthand from your staff gives your business creditability and entices job seekers to want to share in the same team environment you offer. This can make your company desirable to potential new hires and give your business the boost it needs to be selected by a job candidate.

Go where the job seekers are

When advertising your job positions to potential job seekers, you need to go where they are. Think about your ideal employee and consider the environment they surround themselves with. You need to post your job on sites that will attract top talent and give you the largest and best pool of job candidates to select from.

Take advantage of social media

Social media is an ideal platform to attract new and up and coming talent for your business startup. Many job seekers are looking on social media to find jobs with business startups that can show they are up-to-date with technology and offer a contemporary work environment that is open to new ideas. Social media can be your saving grace in attracting the type of employee you need to fill a role that will advance your business startup with customers that also demand more of these platforms.

Post enticing job posts

Nothing reads worse than a boring and arduous job post that lists endless job responsibilities. This can be an immediate turn off to job candidates that are looking for a business startup to work with that offers an exciting and new opportunity. Spice your job posts up and show your creativity to potential job seekers that are looking to find that dream job with an employer that offers more than just a position.

Follow up with candidates that interest you

When you find a job candidate that you want to make an offer to, you need to show them your interest in them becoming a part of your team. Follow up with a phone call or even meet for lunch. This can help solidify the relationship and make it harder for them to say no to your job offer. They have already invested a great deal in the role and meeting or speaking to you personally shows them what a valued member of the company they will be.

Make the interview process quick

When interviewing job candidates be sure to make the process as streamlined as possible. Job seekers can get frustrated easily with long delays and multiple rounds of interviews that they have to take part in. Have an effective plan in place for an interview that gets to know the potential new hire without wasting either of your time.

Present an offer quickly

In today’s job market you need to be swift in offering candidates job offers. Most candidates are courting multiple companies for an offer, looking to choose the best option for their employment. Waiting too long to offer a job candidate an offer allows them time to accept with a different company over yours as they may have forgotten why they wanted to work at your business during a long delay. Make your offer quickly to secure top talent and be sure to get a confirmation that they are accepting just as fast. This will ensure you lock in the best talent for your business startup without competing with another company.

Hiring top talent for your business startup can help your company benefit from advanced skills and experience. You need to be proactive in your approach to seeking out job candidates and promote your business to them, so they see why your company is a perfect fit for their employment.

 

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com If you need to access our network of angel investors or a business plan for start-up funding visit Funded.com

Trends That Will Make Your Business Thrive In 2018

A new year is here and along with it comes a new set of goals and purpose for your business startup. The trends of the year are already heating up, and your company needs to form early adoption to ensure you make the most of these moneymaking opportunities. Consider investing in these trends of 2018 to help your business startup flourish throughout the year.

Local Advertising

Reaching your local customers has never been easier or more important as localized advertising takes this promotional activity to a whole new level. Through advanced search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, you are able to make your business startup visible to the exact base of customers that have interest in your product. Using local landing pages, city keyword search terms, and the use of pages such as Google MyBusiness, you can allow your company to be found by those that are searching for a business near them. This personalized approach to reaching customers is hot for 2018 and is a sound way to market your business throughout the year.

Advanced Technologies

Hardly a day goes by without a mention of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), or Internet of Things (IoT). These technologies are allowing business startups to interface with their customers in a new and exciting way. Adding these advanced technologies into your business not only can improve the customer experience for consumers, but it can also streamline and make your operations more efficient.

Higher Wages

For 2018, you’ll see a surge in the minimum wage being paid to workers. Increasing your wage earnings for your employees can make your business startup a more attractive place to work and help garner talent that would otherwise not have been possible. Your employees are a direct reflection of your business startup and paying them a little more can go a long way in ensuring that you have a workforce that maintains your company vision and brand.

Remote Workforce

More and more employees are signing up a for positions that offer remote working environments. As your business startup grows, you can expand your presence globally through a remote workforce. This will allow your business startup to secure top talent from around the world and keep your operations flowing 24/7. You’ll be able to maintain a lower overhead with a remote team and give your employees a position that is highly desirable and sought after in 2018.

Millennials

The focus of the New Year is on Millennials as this large population of customers has come of age and has an immense buying power to wield with business startups. This gaggle of buyers is focused and ready to make buying decisions that can help to increase your business startup’s revenue. Understanding and honing in on this generation of consumers can provide a generous bump in your profits as you target them with technology-enhanced products and services that you market to them on the very channels they submerge themselves in. Emphasizing Millennials for 2018 can add to your business startup’s bottom line and increase your fan base and followers throughout the year.

Influencers and Experts

In 2018, the need to have a subject matter expert or influencer support your business startup’s products or services can boost your brand’s visibility with consumers. These experts have clout with customers and are often the reason that they choose your business startup over your competitors. Consumers are turning to subject matter experts and influencers to give them advice and provide them with the solutions to their everyday problems with your products and services. Th opinions of these experts matter to the masses and can help bolster your business startup in 2018.

Blockchain

If you haven’t heard of blockchain, you soon will as the technology is making strong headway in 2018. This technology allows for real-time, safe documentation and monitoring and can help your business startup become more transparent with your customers. The ability to hold digital transactions in a more friendly and accountable way makes blockchain a technology that can literally change the way that you do business in 2018 and beyond.

E-Commerce

The need for a brick and mortar store has literally become passé as consumers choose to do the majority of their shopping online. E-commerce is taking over, and more business startups are making a foray into online sales in lieu of a physical store location. Consumers are responding with resounding acceptance making it possible for your business startup to thrive in the e-commerce space and gain consumer loyalty with online sales.

Values

The trend in 2018 for businesses alike is a focus on values. Consumers are turning to brands that have the same values that align with their own and foregoing the ones that don’t. Outlining the values that your business startup stands for early on can give you traction with customers that are likeminded and believe in the same morals as your company does. Keeping your values front and center with your customer base is a new way to attract clients to your business and keep them coming back for the long haul to buy your products and services.

Customer Experience

In 2018, the customer experience also becomes more important as consumer look to brands that provide them a positive buying experience. Interacting and engaging with your customers can help achieve loyalty with them. When buying from your business startup is an occurrence that a consumer enjoys, they are more likely to return to your business for a second, third, and fourth purchase. They spread the word that your business startup is one to frequent and keeps your company top of mind with many new customers.

Keep these trends in mind as your business moves in 2018 to help it achieve maximum success in the New Year. You’ll reap the rewards of staying on top of the trends that your customers are demanding and increase your revenue with vigor as you find these new ways to promote your business startup and interact with your customer base. Good luck and continued success in 2018!

 

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com If you need to access our network of angel investors or a business plan for start-up funding visit Funded.com

7 New Year’s Resolutions Your Business StartUp Needs To Make For 2018

With the New Year on the horizon, now is the time to take stock of your business and make the necessary changes to ensure you have a successful 2018. While you may be making personal resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, or save more money, your business startup can also benefit from a set of resolutions that you stick to throughout the year. Try incorporating these resolutionsinto your company strategy for 2018.

Start showing your employees more appreciation

At the very heart of your business startup are the employees that work for you. Without their trust and loyalty, your company’s performance may begin to suffer. Show your support of your staff by appreciating them and the work that they do for you. You need to recognize a job well done and take time to say thanks when warranted. Your employees will be more receptive to your feedback and be motivated to do well throughout the year. Your business startup will benefit from added productivity with a well-appreciated team that wants to do well and exceeds expectations.

Listen to feedback from your customers

It can be easy to put blinders on and think that your products and services are serving your customer to the best of your ability. But, your customers are a valuable tool to help you improve your business startup and make your products and services even better with each generation. Ask your customers for feedback and truly listen to what they have to say. Make the changes that they are asking for and you will see your company flourish in the New Year as their demands are met. Use these feedback to your advantage and think of how it can benefit you to be better than your competitors going forward.

Place more focus on your budget

Taking a long hard look at your company budget can help you identify areas where you are overspending. Cutting these costs or finding ways that you can streamline your business startup without sacrificing your operations. It can allow you to go into 2018 a little leaner and save where in the past you were splurging. Having a plan in place that helps you stick to your budget in the New Year, will allow you to keep your spending in line and prepare for the large expenditures that you may need to make over the next year.

Get to know your numbers

Being a business owner means you need to get a handle on your financials and not just let your accountant handle matters. You should know all aspects of your business startup’s costs, profits, and overhead. Nothing regarding your financials should come as a surprise as you should have the foresight to see where your business is heading based on the numbers at hand. Make 2018, the year that you hone in on your company’s finances and become in control of the numbers that control your business. You’ll have better management of your business startup and feel more empowered to make decisions that impact your company.

Concentrate on customer service

Use the New Year as an excuse to overhaul your customer service approach. Placing more emphasis on customer service can help your business excel past your competition. With customers becoming more and more frustrated with a lack of customer service from many companies, you can make your business startup standout by going above beyond with yours. Take this opportunity to make it a priority throughout the year,and you’ll be amazed at the loyalty you gain from your customers because of how well they were treated by your business.

Embrace change

Don’t be stuck in your ways for 2018. Allow this to be the year that you look for factors to enhance your business through the realm of technology offerings that are available. Use these technologies to your business startup’s advantage and integrate them where possible in throughout your company. This can work to enhance the customer experience as they desire more ways to connect with your business through technology. It can also help to streamline your operations and make your business more efficient in its capabilities. Embrace change in 2018 and watch as your business startup moves to the next level.

Make a social media strategy

If you have been stalling with a social media strategy, now is the time to jump on the bandwagon and take full advantage of the platforms available to your business and customers. Social media is an effective way to reach your customers and promote your business with minimal investment. Your customers are already on social media,and you need to be theretoo. For 2018, social media should be your mantra,and you should develop a strategy to target your clients and market your company’s products and services on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat, and LinkedIn.

Be more environmentally conscious

Being more environmentally-friendly in 2018 should be a concerted effort that your business startup makes in 2018. Start by creating processes that produce less waste and recycle with abandonment. You may even benefit from a tax credit for your endeavors as you add more energy savings materials and technologies into your business operations. You’ll feel better about your contribution to the earth,and your customers will take notice of your efforts to be a greener company.

Make 2018, your year to succeed with these New Year’s resolutions that are sure to get your business startup on a better track. You’ll see your business evolve and transform in a positive way that benefits you as well as your customers. Be sure to stick with them for the entire year and adjust as necessary to align with your business vision and goals. Your 2018 can be more everything you desire if you take the required steps to create a strategy now for the New Year that allows your business to excel and meet the demands of your customer base. So, good ahead and jot down those resolutions for yourself and also for your business startup. Happy New Year!

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com If you need to access our network of angel investors or a business plan for start-up funding visit Funded.com

Setting Up A Small Business in 2018 – It’s Not all About How Much Money You Have

When you think of starting a business, the first thing that comes to mind is money/capital. Of course, you need money to start a business, even if it is very little considering the fact how easy it is to start a business in the digital age. However, there could be many other factors that affect a business in today’s digital economy—some you show serious concern to and some you don’t really pay attention to much.

Blockchain Is Affecting All Types of Businesses

One of the biggest concerns for today’s entrepreneurs before they start business is probably blockchain or crypto technology. The world is seeing the rise of crypto technology and how it is being integrated into the existing business ideas. A little more than a couple of years ago, you must have heard the term “bitcoin”. From bitcoin, people still believe that blockchain is all about digital currency i.e. money in the digital world. However, this is far from truth. Blockchain is expected to affect all types of businesses and industries in the world in the coming days.

It is a technology that redefines the security aspect of many businesses in 2018, introduced decentralization in modern business technologies and benefits the end consumers in multiple ways. For example, you could launch a gaming platform where no one needs the existing currencies. You could launch your own platform with your own money today. You don’t really have to start everything from the scratch; instead you could base your currency on the existing blockchain platforms like Ethereum. Through ICOs, you could have investors from around the world invest in your idea. So, blockchain is definitely a consideration for all businesses starting in 2018 and the coming years.

Physical Warehouses Are Not Necessary

A few years ago, only a certain types of business could be called truly online businesses. For businesses where products have to be stored for some time, a complete online presence was not the solution. Entrepreneurs who had such business ideas in mind had to have enough money to have their own warehouses. However, this has also changed quite a bit in the past couple of years. With the idea of drop shipping becoming common with time, it is becoming easier for businessmen to start their own businesses without much investment.

In a drop shipping model, all you have to do is collect orders from customers, forward those orders to the manufacturers or suppliers and have the goods shipped. You only act as a liaison in this particular model because it is the supplier that sends the products directly at the customers’ doorsteps. You will still need an online store with all the products listed for customers to see. However, you don’t need any warehouses because you don’t have to own, buy or store any products. The good thing is that this model now allows drop shippers to offer much more competitive rates so penetrating into the market is easier for them.

Big Data Is the Big Difference

Another technology that has been influencing business decisions and the way businesses operate is big data. While the term “big data” seems that you are referring to just large amounts of data but in reality, you are also referring to the methodologies and technologies that are in use to handle big data. You will be completely wrong to think that traditional software and hardware solutions can deal with big data in any way. Let’s take the example of a bank. A bank could have hundreds of branches located all around the country. In these hundreds of branches, the bank will have hundreds of thousands of customers.

The bank has account information of hundreds of thousands of these customers. In addition to that, the bank is constantly investing in stock and foreign markets, storing and utilizing that information. The same bank handles the data of all micro and macro loans it is forwarding to its customers. It is also storing information about customers through its mobile application to know what customers expect from the mobile website. On all of those hundreds of branches, the bank also has CCTV cameras collecting terabytes of footage on a daily basis.

Do you think all this data goes to waste? No, the data bank collected from banks is utilized in making bank branches securer. Data from mobile devices helps bank refine their mobile application. Data collected through financial softwares helps a bank improve its insurance, loan, mortgage, etc. offerings. It may seem on the surface that big data is a headache for big businesses only, but big data is just as important for small businesses as well. What this mean is that businesses starting in 2018 will have to have a big data approach right from day one.

Internet Security Is the Biggest Threat Now

It is unfortunate that rather than making the world a safer place, the new technology has led to greater internet threats. Cyber attacks are becoming more frequent with time, and much more sophisticated too. In the past few years, cyber attacks on some of the biggest companies of the world, including tech companies have proved that security has to be the major concern for every business—small, mid-scale or large. If you think starting a new business or having a small business gives you any advantage over large ones, here is something you would want to take a look at.

 

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com If you need to access our network of angel investors or a business plan for start-up funding visit Funded.com

How Your Business Startup Can Take Advantage of the Holiday Spending Peak

The holidays are here, and your business startup needs to make the most of this selling opportunity. With holiday shopping expected to break $100 billion in online sales, according to a prediction by CMO, your business can take advantage of the holiday season by putting on its best face and generating additional revenue with these holiday promotional tips.

Find your special holiday niche

Start by taking a look at what your business startup offers that ties in with the holiday spirit, so you can maximize your sales with customers looking for that perfect holiday gift or treat. Think about the niche that your products and services serve and increase the hype with some added holiday cheer. Gear your products specifically as Christmas gifts and offer special services that can be gifted to friends and families. Customers will seize the opportunity for a new and creative gift idea that can bring that unexpected surprise come Christmas morning.

Engage with your customers

Now is the perfect time to divulge deeper into the relationship you have established with your customers. Engage with them in a fun way and help get them ready for the holidays by offering an interactive opportunity with your business startup. Maybe its picture with Santa, a customer appreciation party or just an offering of a holiday snack as they shop. The more you focus in on your client base and treat them special during the holiday time the more they will be apt to visit you after the long break.

Be merry and spread cheer on social media

Use the holidays as a time to show your business startup’s holiday cheer on social media. Be creative in your social media campaigns and include a holiday twist with each post that you make. Tie it into your products and services, and you have a holiday recipe for added shares, likes, and follows. This can increase your fan base and drive customers to your website in a flurry, allowing for more interaction with your offerings during the holiday season to help reach the ultimate in sales revenue.

Bring on the sales and giveaways

Customers love a deal, and they especially love one during the holiday season. With a large number of people to buy for on gift-giving lists, having the potential to save on a present can create some appreciation with your customers. Generate a buzz about your business startup by offering a generous sale or have a giveaway for a coveted product. This will drive traffic to your website as well as your brick and mortar location as your customers look to get in on the action.

Overhaul your website with a holiday motif

Remind your customers that the holidays are here and they need to get those last-minute purchases done by creating a website that has a festive look to it. With a simple design motif, you can evoke the holidays on your website and entice customers to buy gifts from your website even more.

Creating holiday packaging and promotions

Take the holidays to a new level by creating special packaging for your products that signifies the holidays are here. This will attract buyers and help them envision your offerings as the ideal holiday gift. Package multiple products together for a themed gift package or provide gift wrapping services to make it even easier for a customer to get their holiday to-do list done by buying from your business.

Make it easy to buy from your business startup

With the majority of transactions for the holidays happening online, you need to ensure your business startup is ready to handle the volume and the use of mobile devices. Ensure your website is optimized for the additional mobile device shopping you will see during the holidays and make sure it can handle the added load of transactions to occur through your website. Have plenty of inventory in stock as nothing disappoints a customer more than finding the perfect gift and then realizing it is out of stock. This can create a bad taste in the mouth of customers that want to make their Christmas shopping as easy as possible.

Don’t forget the kids

Many of your customers are parents that bring their kids in tow when they visit and shop with your business. Even if your business startup isn’t geared towards kids, you can create a special event that helps to entertain them during the holiday time. Provide goody bags to the kids or have a day that is dedicated just to children with activities designed around them. Parents will be thankful for the opportunity to shop at your business while their kids are entertained by your friendly staff of elves.

Appreciate the business you had all year long

Make the holiday a time for appreciating the customers that have been loyal to your business by sending them a personalized holiday card. This will show your customers that their business matters and you couldn’t have gone through the year without it. By taking the time to send a holiday card that is handwritten, your customers will know that you put some thought and effort into the idea. Add a coupon or special discount savings to ensure these customers come visit you again after the holidays when business starts to slow.

Make time to give back

Your community is no doubt a big supporter of your business startup, and you need to do your part to give back. Use the holidays to donate to a local charity by holding a holiday fundraising event. Donate a portion of all sales made throughout the day or match your customers’ donations dollar for dollar. This is an ideal way to increase traffic to your business while also showing you are thankful to the community for their support all year long.

Keeping these holiday promotional tips in mind, you can take advantage of the increase in purchases made this time of year. You will be able to show off your business’ holiday pride while enticing customers to buy your products and services as the perfect gift idea.

 

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com If you need to access our network of angel investors or a business plan for start-up funding visit Funded.com