Unique Ways to Fund Your Small Business

Small business

If you’re a startup, there is nothing surprising in facing teething troubles.  But none of these challenges or troubles is as big or critical as funding your business. That means finding investment to get your business off the ground is, without a doubt a daunting task.  From production space, buying goods to renting office, and hiring staff, turning a simple idea into a business practically requires funds and money.

Unless you are wealthy enough to finance your business or your benevolent relative has left you a lot of money, you probably have to find ways to fund your business.  Luckily, there are some smart ways you can resolve this problem. Here are some of those unique ways to help you fund your business.

How Can You Fund Your Small Business?

1.     Crowdfunding

One of the easiest way to find your business enough funds is crowdfunding- which is a practice of raising funds from different forums or people.  It is an alternative finance and a kind of crowd sourcing.   Luckily, there are plenty of crowdfunding options available for you right on the internet.

When asking for investment funds for your businesses from a variety of investors, it is highly recommended to come up with an impressive pitch. The success of your crowdfunding campaign depends more on how you pitch the idea than it does on the idea itself. Of course, you need a team with you to plan out your crowdfunding campaign.

A common reason why startups choose this method of funding is because of the flexibility of options. Venture capitals are known for being strict with their investments. They will demand more equity in your business than you will ever have to offer through a crowdfunding model. They usually focus more on their returns than the success of the startup. The situation is quite the opposite when you go with the crowdfunding option.

2.     Angel Investors

Angel Investors is no doubt one of the unique funding options among all as they are always looking for innovative ideas to invest in the business. Originally business giants like Yahoo and Google were also used this funding option. It is worth noting that taking funds from Angel Investors requires entrepreneurs to give them some equity share in the company.

3.     Small Business Loans (SBA)

This funding option is a result of the U.S government’s interest in rampant growth of the small business industry.  The s Small Business Administration, in this regard, offers a wide range of loan types and business investments to help business owners get started.  Exploring the SBA loan options is a great way to kick start your business, if intend to run an educational institute or non-profits set-up.   For easy funding, you might want to request for SBA grants.

4.      Venture Capitalists

Much like angel investors, the funding option invest money in up-and-coming- businesses that have high potential to not only grow but also monetary returns.  In addition to that, Venture Capitalist looks for equity share in the business it invests money in. The investors are also interested in getting a right in company’s directorial decisions.  In short, VCs make money through their investments and consider having some control or authority in the business is the best way to do that.  It is always better to investigate this funding option thoroughly before opting it.

5.     Microloans

 Reserved specifically for small non-profit businesses, finance institutions grant microloans to entrepreneurs who don’t qualify for a bank loans. Microloan organizations, instead of giving donations to the non-profit companies allow entrepreneurs to invest in various economic opportunities.  Microloans are also a popular financing option in developing nations.

6.     Personal Financing

There is no denying that investing in a startup entails a lot of risks and these risks are what prevent traditional lenders from giving loans to business owners. This becomes even more skeptical if business owner doesn’t invest his/her own money in the startup.

7.     Purchase Order Financing         

 There is an array of factors that affect the cash flows of any business. These factors may include supply and demand and seasonality.  For examples, sometimes a company is unable to complete the orders due to fewer funds to buys inventory and material to make the products.

In situations like these, purchase order financing can be the panacea to the problems. It helps companies extend advance to purchase material they need to make products. Purchase order financing collect back money when products are sold.  If your business deals in manufactured goods, it stands a chance to makes 20% more on its sales by opting purchase order financing.

8.     Vendor Financing

If your bill payment record is contingent on your product selling record, you may take the benefits by negotiating longer payment terms with the vendors.  Vendors, typically require payments on invoices within thirty days before imposing penalties and late fees.  Negotiating longer payment terms will allow you work with more cash in the interim.

This is even more important if your business has a longer sales cycle than thirty days. That means if sales cycle takes  forty to forty-five days from  purchasing to selling goods, you will not be able to make invoices payment within a  month.  In that case, you need negotiations to avail vendor financing to benefit your sales cycle.

Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, investments and business funding are of paramount importance no matter what industry you want to get into. If you lack sufficient finances, it is important to weigh all options you can choose to give a kick start your business.  Given that, the mentioned funding options are great to consider if they suit your requirements.

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

Ways To Secure Venture Capital for Your Business Startup

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

Understanding Venture Capitalists: How to Get Their Attention… And Approval

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

Aspects that Trigger Your Customer’s Buying Interest

 

Irrespective of how exquisite the product or service is, it might not sustain itself in the market for long if the makers or providers are not aware of the reasons behind the success of their product or service. It’s crucial for any business to understand their customers – thoroughly get into the minds of consumers – to sustain and thrive in this world of stiff competition.

We human beings generally have the same mental forces that drive us to take certain actions. For a business to be successful it is highly recommended that it identifies those driving forces and utilize them as part of their marketing strategies. This is because our minds work in strange ways, leading us to take actions that we ourselves are not even fully aware of.

The three questions that all businesses should ask themselves regularly are; what do we know about our customers? What makes our customer buy a certain thing from us over everything else and everyone else in the market? What impact will your product or service have on the lives of your customers?

What Do We Know about our Customers?

Having knowledge of the very basic things, such as name, age, gender, etc, to having in-depth knowledge of demographic, psycho-graphic, and socio-economic factors provides a multi-dimensional view of your customers’ choices.

It allows businesses to strategically analyze these insights and find patterns to anticipate the current and future needs of their customers.

Whether it’s a B2B, B2C, or any other kind of business, knowing your customers – their  likes and dislikes, interests and disinterest, cravings and distaste -is imperative before striking a deal. It’s actually quite simple, knowing about your customers will make things easy for you as well as them.

Here you’ll implement a crucial cognitive rule; less is more. We do tend to opt for the shortest ways to achieve the fastest results. By using words like: easy, convenient, fast, and systematic in marketing campaigns businesses implicitly, as well as explicitly, gives out a vivid message that they are the simplest solution providers to individuals’ problem.

This ensures success in generating current and well as future sales. Even simple transactions, such as ordering a pizza or buying clothes, if the organization will already have insights about the previous orders that the customer placed, they can easily make customized suggestions to that customer. They can also skip taking the basic details about their home address, phone number, etc, and most importantly they can ensure an optimum level of satisfaction from the customers’ side.

What makes our customers buy a certain thing from us over everything else and everyone else in the market?

Think of this as someone choosing a life partner; what possible reasons they could have to choose you over anyone else, and what possible reasons could they have to break-up with you and move on to your competitor.

Looking on the bright side, businesses can easily find answers to these questions, as compared to individuals. Fortunately, businesses can be divided into multiple characteristics, from service, price, magnitude, and recognition to customers’ experiences, product range, and accessibility – to name a few – to access their current and future progress.

It is worthwhile to find that the reasons behind the choices that your customers make helps you discover your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Your USP is the gist of this answer; it determines why your customers show a certain level of interest in you over your competitors. Your USP can (and in my view should) change with changing market trends and you can even have different USPs for different customers.

Businesses should always have the big picture in mind that with this one transaction they are making way to many more. One way of achieving this is by providing customized product or service. This will make your customers feel important and you will let them know that you actually care about their needs.

Don’t give them a reason to be back, but make sure that they have a choice that if they do, their query will be the most important duty you have to perform. Furthermore, it is even more fruitful to have your USP constantly in-check because if your competition has adopted your USP, then it is not unique anymore, and your customer can easily switch to your competitors.

Moreover, we as homo-sapiens have a tendency to grow indifferent toward monotonous things. Hence, it is advisable that products, marketing campaigns, packaging, and other elements associated with selling a product or service, are revised after every few months or so.

This creates a sense of novelty and it is scientifically proven that experiencing something new releases dopamine in the human brain that plays a vital role in motivating behavior, thus driving more sales.

What impact will your product or service have on the lives of your customers?

A business’ duty does not end after ensuring successful sales of their product; on the contrary, it starts from there. Businesses would want to ensure that customers have a great experience using their product or services to not only make a long-lasting relationship with that one customer, but also to exponentially increase sales through the referral of all the satisfied customers.

Did you know that consumers are two times more inclined to share their bad customer service experience as compared to a positive one! Moreover, it costs 5 times more to engage a new customer as compared to sustaining an existing one.

We as individuals would know this very well that we tend to love taking advice – whether in business or in our personal matters – consultation has always been that one thing which gives us a sense of assurance and guides us to a specific path or thing. Likewise, that is the power of referrals.

Businesses can ask their customers to refer them and let individuals know that their references are highly appreciated or they can utilize the most powerful cognitive tool to ensure their attention toward the product that is – memory. By associating products or services with top celebrities in a marketing campaign, it not only triggers a memory whenever the consumer spots the product, but subconsciously they are already drawn toward that particular product or service.

 

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

8 Silly Ways Small Businesses Waste Their Marketing Budget

Irrespective of your business size, your business’ marketing budget is a precious resource. It is your own investment, which can help you grow your company’s business and stock value. So you surely want it to give results for the growth of your business.

Large-scale businesses usually have high marketing budgets as compared to small-scale businesses. Small companies normally allocate a small budget for marketing due to their limited resources. It means that if you are a small business owner you do not have the finances to put to waste.

As a small business owner, you need to ask yourself these questions:

“Are you spending your budget on the right tactics?”

“Are you making effective and optimal use of your budget?”

“Is it really working for your business?”

To put in simple words, are you wasting away your marketing budget?

Adobe conducted a research on how effectively companies spend their marketing budgets. It was not a surprise that most of those companies were not doing a good job.

Do you feel that you also fall in the category of these small businesses that are not spending their marketing budgets the right way?

Then you should continue reading to know the silly ways in which you might be wasting your marketing budget and how to fix them.

1. Use of social media for building following: Undoubtedly, social media is a great tool for small businesses to use for their marketing. But most businesses start their marketing on social media without a proper strategy.
Gone are the times when Facebook marketing was free and reach was high. Now you need to invest money and efforts in Facebook marketing thanks to its evolving algorithm. Small businesses need to spend on the paid advertising to make their business ads visible and get their content seen by the target audience.
How to fix this?
The price of Facebook ads is not too high but due to increased competition, it is likely to get higher in the near future. This means you may need to spend more money to make your content visible to your followers. Presently, what you can do is use your social media investment to build an email list of your followers. This will allow you to have direct communication with them. Give incentive to your followers for sharing their email addresses.

2. Expecting instant and high-end results: Many small businesses begin with a strong ambition, but most of them fail within a few months. The problem lies in their unrealistically high expectations. Actually, they want to see results in just a few months following their launch. And when they fail in getting those results, they back out.
How to Fix this?
As a small business owner, you should expect a ramp-up period of two years. If this looks impossible to you, smartly create a marketing strategy to keep your marketing engine fueling and running. Then, create as much influential and informative content as you can afford to create to promote your business.

3. Inability to understand your target audience: To grab the attention of your audience, it is necessary that you understand the behaviors and attitude of your potential customers. Otherwise, you are just making your marketing budget go down the drain.
A Fix:
KNOW your target audience, their behaviors and attitudes before you even create a content strategy. Then figure out ways to communicate with them effectively.

4. Not realizing how you succeeded in attracting your valuable customers: You can refer to them as your loyal customers or valuable customers who come back to you again and again. You should know what marketing techniques and content brought those invaluable customers to your business. These top 20% customers may give you nearly half of your business revenue.

5. Spending a significant portion of your advertising campaign: You can find lots of marketing tactics to give a try. Some of these may perform great, but in most cases, they may not work for you especially when you have a limited budget to give a one-time shot. Small businesses should avoid diving into big-time five figure spending on marketing campaigns.
What is the Fix? You need to adopt a test and trial method before investing big. First, make an investment of $1000 or less. If that particular marketing tactic does not work at an investment of $1000, it is highly likely that it will not work on $1500 or more.

6. You are not keeping proper track of your marketing investments and efforts: Many small businesses set up a Google Analytics account, but don’t use it. In case, some are using it they don’t know how to make optimal use of it and get the benefit. Same is the case with Google AdWords for PPC. You may buy the space for ad campaigns, but end up wasting a lot of money without analyzing how those ads performed.
An Easy Fix!
You can easily learn Google Analytics tracking and AdWords through free online courses on Google. Setup conversion tracking for your advertising campaigns in Google analytics. This enables you to effectively see and analyze the activity of your potential customers on your website. If you haven’t done this yet, do it right away!

7. You are trying to be the jack of all trades: Small business owners with limited resources often try to manage multiple things alone. You cannot afford to hire a complete marketing staff, but just one or two people for it. You cannot manage the entire marketing strategy all alone.
A simple solution!
Keep your focus on understanding your audience, on which platform you can mostly find them and which marketing tools and content they like.

8. You are following the same marketing strategy for years: This is the biggest mistake because the marketing landscape is evolving at a rapid pace, nowadays. While focusing on the above-mentioned things, it is also recommended that you try a few new techniques every year.
The solution: With the evolution of marketing tactics, you need to evolve as well! Always remain on the lookout for the latest marketing techniques that fit your low budget.

 

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

3 Smart Ways to Expand Your Customer Base in 21  Days

 

What is Customer base?

A customer base is considered to be the group of customer who always comes back to buy more product or service provided by any business. It is better to understand your target audience or customers each product or service made or supplied by the business is aimed at the customer base as they are the hopes of revenue generation for future endeavors.

It’s important to understand that it is far more cost-efficient and easier way to retain a customer than to gain new customers as acquiring new customers can sometimes mean an entirely new marketing strategy to be developed and adopted by the whole business, which can add to the expense. Hence, a very dynamic approach must be used to maximize sales, i.e. keep old customers and make new customers.

More two-way communication instead of just one-way communication

Customer must be treated as an asset and their feelings and suggestions towards the product must be taken into account to make it into an even more accessible and easy to use in a better way. As it is expected the old retaining customers can help bring new customers. Retained customers will feel a lot more involved with the company thus pushing their undying loyalty towards an increment.

Customer’s suggestion has helped many companies make slight changes to their product which can even help them set a USP (Unique Selling Point) as they might discover a loophole no one else might have. Some companies stopped themselves from failing miserably just by focusing on what the customer wanted, rather than what the company wanted to make. This has even led some companies that make shampoos to turn into making other products like face wash due to their customer base demand.

Maintain good after sales service and support for the customers

An effective calls support system helps the company outshine other companies. Some companies may have the most innovated product but due to some technical, usability issues and confusions have led to their termination.

A customer will always choose and trust a place that has provided all the necessary information online. Hence, It is critically important to keep fresh new content on the website with all the necessary FAQ already answered with instructions if any.

An even better option is to provide each individual as to their status of their purchased good e.g. if it is processing or has been completed and the product must be on the way with an exact date and time of receiving. This helps the company gain a little trust and patience as they could now see their purchase status. This also helps the customer support team to deal with real customers real problems that are technical.

Promote business through social media and always keep on updating fresh content

Another very innovative technique is to use bloggers on Google and vloggers on YouTube and Facebook and sponsor them to advertise your product for 10-15 seconds with very specific instructions as to what they have to say and a short how to use film. This helps reach a very vast audience with very low cost.  It is not necessary that a product that failed in the USA for technical reasons will also fail in India.

Snapchat is a very useful tool for businesses to get their product out there in the eyes of a wider audience. Snapchat helps these businesses show off different things like how their product is different, the background, production, usability and the office environment showing smiles giving the customer a sense of hard work with more smiles than sweat.

Some companies have even changed their logos and outer appearance for a better impact on the customer. By using brighter colors and short, attractive slogans can help achieve newer customers. Most small start-ups are using YouTube vloggers to introduce their product and even sometimes make them their product activist. This is a much efficient and cost-saving way than using TV advertisements which is very costly.

Some companies have even resorted to no TV advertisements but somewhat social media, e.g. Snapchat, Instagram to promote their products, e.g. Lamborghini Automotive. Newer car companies are also making their own YouTube channels to improve and show off their concept cars and newer models, e.g. Tesla, Koenigsegg .etc.

Other quick adjustments to attract new customers

Another very well known way to gain new customers is to partner up with another company that has already either been in business, is new with innovation or has a considerable following. This allows for the companies to benefit mutually from the partnership either for long-term or temporary. This has been done throughout history and is not a new idea.

It is also very imperative to know your target audience. This will help you target a specific group who will be your customer people from outside your target demographic will be a surplus. This helps the company stick with one line of action as a strategy. This will affect the way you package, color and show the overall aura of your brand, e.g.

Kids will not a buy juice box that is black and white hence, juice packaging that is aimed at kids is mostly bright in color as it catches the attention of the viewer’s eye. Similarly, if you are making extremely sweet nitrogen Ice cream, the primary customers will not cross the age of 35 or 40 at most. Similarly, Ferrari was aimed at young millionaires hence it is spaced and colored accordingly however on the other hand rolls Royce is aimed at much older gentlemen who are now retired. Therefore, it speaks luxury signifying that they made it.

 

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 Soon should You Start talking about your Business Idea

Some people are just itching to launch their own business. But all they have is an idea.

It is true that being passionate about your idea is critical to establish a business. But should you discuss it with your friends and family before you have anything concrete?

When is the Right Time?

Naturally, all entrepreneurs are very protective when it comes to nurturing and protecting their business idea. Every entrepreneur initially fears that someone would steal his or her idea.

For that reason, it is important that you don’t share a business idea with people around you, without translating your idea into a viable business.

But in some cases, you can’t take things any further unless you share your business proposal with an investor who can finance your business. Seasoned experts recommend that you must never share any business plan or idea without getting a confidentiality and NDA agreement signed by the other party.

These legal documents are generally drafted by attorneys and must be signed before you discuss your idea.

How to Start Talking about your Business Idea?

An idea is fragile in its infancy stages. It must be developed into an elevator pitch or a business proposal before you could share it with other people. Don’t be discouraged if your idea doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Some of the best business ideas were once turned down by giant investors and people in general.

Believe in Yourself

Did you know that Chester Carlson, who was the inventor of the Xerox machine, received a rejection letter that stated ‘Who wants to copy a document on paper?’ Most of us still don’t know that his idea was turned down by 20 companies between 1939 and 1944. Today, Rank Xerox Corporation earns millions of dollars in profits.

The problem is not that you want to share your idea with people. What’s more important is who you want to share your business proposal with. Many start-ups and entrepreneurs simply abandon their business idea if they are rejected initially. But if you have worked on producing a quick and affordable solution to your target consumers’ problems, never doubt the potential of your business idea.

Many entrepreneurs or companies have re-located to other countries where there is more demand for their products or services. Every city and town has unique government-funded business development offices. You can get free or inexpensive resources to work on your business idea and find your target market.

Connect with Positive People

While keeping your business idea to yourself initially is the best policy, sometimes it helps sharing your ideas with motivated and positive people. Self-motivated individuals offer good advice and offer the best emotional support to help you launch a promising business.

But stay away from people who always bring you down. These people not just steal your energy, but can also rob you of your incredible business ideas.

Create a Strategy

Your business idea is like a small baby that has to grow before you could introduce it other people. Many entrepreneurs have an idea of what their business ideas or products are going to do, but they fail to figure out the ‘how’ part.

Work on developing a decent product or solution, before you could pitch it to investors. Work on creating an impressive proposal that highlights the best features of your idea as well as elaborates the mechanics or the process that’s involved.

When you re-invent something, you need to show why your idea is better than the rest. There has to be something unique about your business idea or product that offers something new or inventive. Going creative saves you from disastrous pitfalls and guarantees a steady source of profits.

Work on Promotion

A solid marketing strategy offers a strong back-up for your business idea. Once you have produced a great product, marketing it right lets you reach out to a wide audience. Study and reflect on how your competitors promoted their first products and services. Did they rely more on promotion or improving their initial business idea.

Relocate to a New Location

There are many reasons why many companies and business relocate to other cities or countries. Some firms require specialized employees while other companies might need an extra and affordable place to run their business.

Ask for Help

Connect with people who listen to your business ideas without any bias or prejudice. Most entrepreneurs look up to a role model if they can’t find a mentor. A mentorship or partnership between two parties can be both formal and informal.

You can also find true strength and support from your friends and family. Reaching out to others and asking for help is never a taboo for entrepreneurs. Successful people know that they can’t do everything. In fact, some of the most lucrative businesses were never built alone.

Test your Services

If you have developed a product, test it on a sample audience to identify its best and worst features. If you are setting-up an ecommerce store, make sure your website has gone through A/B testing and does not have any glitches before you run it live.

In case you have an idea for a mobile app, make sure it goes through a meticulous Quality Assurance process to get any bugs fixed. It is not easy to fool or satisfy today’s smart consumers. Once you have materialized your business idea, you need to promote it successfully across all channels to reach out to your audience.

Final Thoughts

The best time to share your ideas with your friends and family is when you know that your idea can successfully bridge the gap between a problem and a solution. The best time to share it with investors or other companies is when you have meticulously worked on creating and testing the implementation of our ideas. Never prematurely take an idea to an investor, he will reject it. Take a product or business proposal and you have higher chances of getting an approval.

 

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

5 Outside The Box Ideas For Marketing Your Small Business

Introduction

If you think you cannot market a product with a small budget, then you are mistaken. To run a successful business, whether it is small or big, you need to implement top-notch marketing strategies. So, it is essential to take the time and plan effective ways to market your product or service. Take note not that every marketing technique requires a hefty budget.

Therefore, you can find budget-friendly ways to target an audience. In the light of this, here are five outside of the box marketing ideas for your small business.

Develop a Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs are simple. They create interest based on top of a brand’s value. So, if you love buying a particular brand, and if you’re offered something extra, such as 30% on your next purchase, you will most likely take advantage of the opportunity. Hence, announcing 50% flat off, coupons or different consumer-friendly offers can provide the limelight to your business that it needs. Moreover, consumers love going to the same brand if it sells high-quality products. One of the best ways to develop a loyalty program is to provide better quality so that consumers come back for more. As a small business owner, you need to retain existing consumers along with attracting new customers. This step is crucial to growing your small business further. When you reward your existing consumers, they will likely return and purchase more.

Plus, if a customer returns to your store more often, it will increase sales, brand image, and brand loyalty at the same time. Therefore, opt for customer loyalty programs as they work as a marketing tool as well. If your existing and satisfied customers recommend your brand, it will help you reach a wide market, influence your customer base, and of course benefit your startup in an excellent way.

Promote Customer Engagement

Sometimes a simple tactic like talking to your customer casually can feel engaging to them. You might ask; ‘would you like to see more items in this range?’ A positive response to this is an open invitation to talk to them, ask for their feedback, their thoughts, and how you could probably make things better for them. You can also use social media to boost your customer engagement. Social media profiles allow you to interact with a wider audience in a short time.

You can always use social media profiles to ask for suggestion and answer queries using direct messaging. Moreover, asking your customers to review your official page on Facebook is another quick way to give your small business a boost.

Moreover, when launching a product go live on your Instagram and Facebook profiles and keep your audience engaged. When you stay active and interactive on public profiles, it will let people know about your business. Apart from this, using social media in the right way can benefit your business in numerous ways. For instance, you can engage the audience by starting a selfie campaign, which also encourages them to share or post more. You should customize hashtags and encourage the audience to use them in their post along with tagging. This is also an effective way to target a new audience.

Personalized Incentive

Customers love to be treated well, and this is for those customers that have value. For example, one valuable customer might be a regular one at your outlet, and another might buy bulk items from you periodically. Both types of customers could be justified recipients of personalized gifts from your brand. You can add complimentary items or products in their orders. It will show that you value and cherish your regular customers. Moreover, organizing a giveaway is another fun way to treat your consumers, especially if they are outside the country. You can arrange a giveaway in partnership with another small business to reach new people.

Host a Webinar

Hosting a webinar shows your expertise in your niche. Engaging experts in this webinar will show how connected you are. Also, the more people you successfully invite as participants will also demonstrate how much people already follow you and trust your expertise. Moreover, a webinar can do wonders for your business. According to a survey, 58% of marketers prefer to use webinars for promotion. Many successful marketing strategists even think that marketing on a webinar is great to reach a wider audience.

Data from different surveys have revealed that up to 40% people become qualified leads after attending a webinar as it provides the information they need. In fact, webinars retain 30-40% more attention so there is a chance that attendees will make a purchase.

Elevate content distribution        

Content production and distribution go hand-in-hand, and your content is only as good as your distribution mechanism. Leveraging major social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube is crucial. This technique is ideal to share valuable, relevant, and constant content on your social media.

It helps in two ways that are significant for any small business. First, it helps attract or target your audience. Second, it will help them turn into potential leads. Make sure your content provides information and resonates with the audience.

You should use blogs and social media posts to distribute your message. Also, the content you share should not be the typical advertisement that forces people to make a purchase. It should speak to them on personal level so they trust you and your brand.

Concluding Lines

Marketing a small business may seem a hassle at the beginning. But, if you opt for outside the box marketing strategies, you will get the desired outcome even on a shoe-string budget. For marketing, you only need to develop and leverage top-notch social media platforms and keep them updated. Other strategies like casual interaction are a smart way to identify your shortcomings and work on them to take your small business a step ahead. If you or are planning to launch a small business, try these ideas and make a difference.

 

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

10 Most Profitable Small Businesses that are Worthy of Your Investment

Starting up a business is a challenge. Whether it is small or big, you need to follow a series of steps along with different strategies to make it a profitable venture. To make a business worthy of your investment, it is necessary to perform thorough research on each aspect such as a business idea, market, competitors, and finances etc.

Once you find the best idea, your next step should be based on logistics of your business along with a well-crafted plan. These steps are fundamental and crucial. This way, you will create a strong base for your business as well.

So, if you are looking for a small startup that is worthy of your investment, have a look at these 10 fantastic business ideas.

1.    Real Estate Broker

Working as an intermediary between sellers and buyers, real estate brokerage is one the most profitable businesses. You will only require a brokerage license. This is also a cost-effective business idea, which means you can run it without an office as well.

However, you need to know the industry and your competitors before beginning and then you are good to go. Plus, real estate brokering is all about contacts; make sure lots of people know about your business so you can achieve your milestones.

2.    Catering Service

Catering is ideal if you are looking for a small but profitable business as you can provide these services from your home. Many people and even businesses do not think twice to pay high-quality caters. With reliable catering services, you are sure to make a handsome profit, especially on different special occasions.

If you are a hard worker and determined to build a successful small business, catering seems a decent business idea.

3.    Online Tutor

Online tutoring involves creating professional social media profiles and letting people know about your skills. Whether you love to play musical instruments or know different languages, you can teach anything online and become an online tutor.

Online tutoring neither requires extra expenses nor time. So, you can consider it if you can speak fluent French or play different piano tunes.

4.    Food Truck

Food always stays in demand and attracts people. Therefore, you can never go wrong with a food truck, especially if you provide high-quality food and beverages. Take note that opening a small restaurant requires a considerable amount of money.

Plus, there is a risk of loss because of intense competition in the food industry. In this case, a food truck seems an interesting idea. You do not need space or extra staff which makes it a profitable small startup venture.

5.    Personal Trainer

People who love to stay fit and healthy never mind paying their personal fitness trainer. Also, getting certification in personal training is affordable as well. Thus, you can get the required qualification and start offering personal training services.

This is one of the small businesses that are worthy of your investment as in current times people know the significance of a healthy lifestyle. Since this industry is competitive, you should use the internet to market your services and to build your client network.

6.    Web Designing

Technology companies are always looking for web designers who can make top-notch websites. Web designing entails developing value-driven, intuitive and beautiful websites.

If you have got an eye for website designing, you can offer these services to various companies and brands and start your web designing business. If you are new to this field, you can even learn the basics of website crafting and become a pro. Moreover, there are many online courses available that can teach the latest website trends as well.

7.    Social Media Marketer

Social media platforms have become a part of our daily life. Not only this, many people are running their businesses online on these platforms. You can start marketing on your social media profiles as well. For instance, you can use your Instagram account for marketing purposes.

All you need to do is decide the type of content you are willing to share such as technology, beauty, or health etc. and build up a considerable following on your account. Brands often look for social media accounts with a huge following to market their products. If your content is related to their business, they are likely to approach you.

8.    Local Business Consultant

New startups are always in demand of consultants who can solve problems related to their business and provide solid advice. Therefore, if you have developed the right skills or are a pro in your industry, you can become a consultant.

Whether you are a business strategist, marketer, or have other skills, feel free to offer your services to local businesses. Plus, you can take help from online courses on how to get clients and build your brand that is worth your investment.

9.    Travel Consultant

You can turn your love for traveling into a profitable small business. You can begin by creating official groups on Facebook or LinkedIn. This is an effective way to attract travel enthusiasts. In the group, you can share cheap flight rates and even recommendations for next traveling destinations.

Travelers are always in search of different recommendations to explore different places. In this case, they can count on you and you can teach them how to turn their dream trip into a reality.

10.    Become a Photographer

Turning your skills into a small profitable business is easy if you have a passion for photography and you own a camera. All you need to do is learn top-notch editing skills which are crucial in this industry along with finding a suitable niche, such as food photography or travel photography etc.

To build an impressive online portfolio, you should do photo-shoots frequently so people will know about your skills. For this, you should not hesitate to capture a few photographs for free. With a professional portfolio, you are likely to get clients in a short time.

Bottom Line

There are plenty of ideas that are worthy of your investment. However, the competition in different industries can give you a tough time. You can overcome this part if you focus on the quality of your services.

 

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