Here Is What Small Business Owners Should Know about Angel Investors

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.

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Why the End of the Year Is the Perfect Time to Review Your Finances

Review

Whether you have a startup, a small business, or a large enterprise, chances are the year has passed at the speed of light for you. You were review and designing your marketing campaigns, availing growth opportunities, and looking through reports when the year-end arrived. While people dedicate this time of the year to holiday delights and festivities, this also happens to be the perfect time to do a review of your finances, whether you are just an individual with a 9 to 5 job or a small business.

Why should you spend your end of the year for a financial review? Here are the top reasons.

A Strong Visual of Your Financial Standing

The most important thing about a year-end financial review is that it gives you a complete visual of where your business is standing at the moment. Everything that has happened throughout the year is now on the reports before your eyes. You can look at the information and see what has performed and what has not performed. You must have put a lot of money into marketing your products, services, and the brand as a whole. You can now see which of those campaigns have yielded promising results and which of them have proved to be futile.

The same goes for your account receivables. Compare your account receivables with those from the previous years and see if there has been an increase or decrease. If there is an abnormal increase, it is a telltale sign that you might need to change your payment plan or push more to receive your pending payments faster. Every activity you have done in the past year has painted a picture now in front of you. Whether you grew as a business, stagnated, or receded is evident at the end of the year.

The Best Time to Set New Goals

Based on how you performed in the preceding year and whether you have achieved your set targets and goals, you can set goals for the coming year. Your previous year’s performance should clarify how you have to put your marks for the coming year. Keep them realistic yet motivating and challenging enough to leave room for hard work, struggle, and progress. Not only should you be looking at how successful you were in achieving the previous year’s goals, but you should also pay attention to your current financial standing.

Best Time to Apply for Loans and Credit Processing Services

Regardless of how long you have been in business, when you apply for certain services, the service providers look at your previous year’s performance. For example, let’s say that you want to apply for a merchant account (maybe a high-risk one), so you can start processing credit card requests for your customers. When you approach a merchant account provider, they will ask for some history of your business activities—at least three months. By the end of the year, you have enough data to show to lenders and credit processing services to convince them to do business with you.

Of course, a financial review will give you a good look at whether you have done enough to impress these service providers or not. You can apply for these services with a quarterly credit history, but it will not be considered sufficient in most cases.

Best Time to Get Your Tax Files in Sync

Yes, you have been extra careful about your tax filing and preparation the whole year, but the overall integrity of your records still has a question mark on it. You need to prepare your tax files at the end of the year and calculate your liability with utmost accuracy. While tax preparation software has made the job much more manageable, complex tax files still need your accountants’ attention to get everything in sync. The important thing here is that a review not only helps you escape penalties that you might attract by putting wrong information on your file. You want to update your information at the end of the year because you want to calculate your benefits too accurately, e.g., tax credits, exemptions, standard deductions, itemized deductions, etc.

Time to Start Afresh

Your business might not have been a very successful venture. Many companies don’t make the best start, and it seems in the beginning that it would be difficult for the business to survive. However, small changes in strategies and cuts in costs can prove to be incredibly beneficial for companies. The best time to start afresh and renew all your reports and files is the end of the year. While you can change your strategies and plans midway, too, it is natural for most humans to feel the need for a new start at the start of a new year. For example, people can decide to lose weight at any time of the year, but it seems it makes the most sense to them when they do it at the start of a new year.

If you think your business has not performed well, but you still want to give it a shot, the end of year financial review can clear the path for you by telling you if you can afford to give it another try or not.

Bottom Line

There is no restriction on when you want to make changes to your business plans and strategies. However, people find it natural and more motivating to set new goals, learn from past mistakes, and make new moves when a new year starts. Throughout the year, your main goal is to keep the ball rolling.

However, at the end of the year, you have enough data collected from all your business operations and activities to know how fruitful your efforts were, which actions you should consider in the future, and the expenses that have kept you from progressing. In short, a financial review at the end of the year helps you make new and important decisions for your business.

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Smart Reasons to Use Business Credit Cards

Business credit cards

Whether you’re a startup or you run an established brand, a business credit card is essential for the financial well being. A business credit card is much more than a way to pay for your business purchases. It is a convenient mode for entrepreneurs to increase their company’s power. Not only does it enable access to revolving credit lines but also provide a range of lucrative rewards, fraud protection, and most importantly, smooth out the cash flow.

A business credit survey from Federal Reserve showed that nearly 52 percent of companies that have at least 50 employees use business credit cards for several purposes. With a set credit limit, the business owners make purchases, transact money, and withdraw cash. Many businesses use credit card although, like a regular consumer card, they carry an interest charge if the entrepreneurs don’t repay the balance in the billing cycle.

Despite a high-interest rate, using business credit cards is considered beneficial when it comes to making smart purchases. Here are some reasons why purchasing on your business credit card is more savvy and advantageous in the long run.

Why You Should Use Business Credit Cards

1. Brings You Travel Rewards

You may have seen many entrepreneurs putting marketing ad from Google and Facebook on their business bank cards. They use it for the monthly payments. The trick is tremendously advantageous for gaining an extra thirty days of cash flow at zero cost.  Plus, it is an easy way to scale their business quickly. 

To put it simply, the travel mile strategy with business travel credit card offers a plethora of lucrative rewards. However, to make the most of this strategy, you need to choose your business bank card wisely. That means if you typically fly from a specific airline, consider using the co-branded credit card of that airline.

 The idea is great to receive a variety of traveling perks that may include easy airline status, priority boarding, and checked bags at no cost. Choose a business bank card that comes with flexible travel rewards that you can use with more than one provider.

2. Better Reward Protection

If you have ever tried to use your business credit card to deal with outside or international vendors, you must know that it is critical to pay them through the plastic. In other words, making foreign transactions with business credit card protects entrepreneurs to dispute the payments or save their cash on hand.  The fraud protection strategy of business credit cards provides great fraud protection. The federal law doesn’t put fraudulent charges more than $50 on the cardholders. Many card issuers offer 0 percent liability.  It is worth noting that this offer is not the same when you use a business debit card as per federal law. So using a business credit card is a better and smarter choice.

3. You can Finance large Business Purchases

One of the significant benefits of using a business credit card is that the entrepreneur can leverage its equity to purchase things that help their business to grow. It is because come with a strong financing strategy, you can finance large or small purchases inexpensively. Use your business credit card with a relatively low-rate balance transfer or low introductory rate.

Also, remember that even you use a credit card that comes with a 16 to 20 percent interest rate is a cheaper option than other financing options for your business. They may carry hidden high rates.

4. Insurance Coverage

You might not have heard about that you can save on rental car or travel insurance by paying through business credit card. The travel saving insurance makes an excellent offer for traveling enthusiasts. Several business credit cards come with collision damage coverage when a customer rents a vehicle. This primary coverage means you don’t need to file claims for your auto insurers first. Some banks offer secondary coverage that provides many benefits if auto insurance does not cover the amount of damage or loss.

5. Help You Fund Your Startups

Business credit cards, without a doubt, offer multiple benefits if you’re a startup. As mentioned earlier, many small business owners spend hundreds of dollars to run online ads and make payments with their business credit cards. Using that for payments adds many reward points or perks may help business owner pay for other expenses and purchases.

The startup financing strategy of business credit cards often relies on the personal credit card scores or history; especially when issuers evaluate applications. That means these business credit cards offer you a financing option for your new businesses if accessing other finance forums is difficult for you. Additionally, you can use other sources than just business revenues to meet the income requirements of banks.

6. Save Money on Expenses

Cashback strategy includes in some of the popular rewards that any business or brand can use.  Your card can have flat cash reward on all your purchases. Also, you can have large cash back rewards for some specific categories of your spending.

Cards that come with a high reward may charge you higher fees. However, the best way to maximize cash back is to use multiple cards. Know that if you analyze your spending carefully, you will be able to determine and understand which business credit card is best for you.

7. Provide Excellent Employee Perks

Many smart entrepreneurs accumulate their cash back rewards of the year and use them for annual celebrations and bonuses. Others share travel perks and miles with competent employees. Thus, making purchases or using a reward that benefits in-house or even remote employees is an excellent idea.  This is undeniably a smart strategy to positively impact on employees’ productivity and satisfaction.

Final Thoughts

To crown it all, using business bank cards for purchases, payments, and rewards is an easy way to keep the business cash flow running. Thus, the given reasons are advantageous for using business credit cards smartly.

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Get Matched with a Credit Card!

Steps to Get Credit report for Free

A credit report is typically a financial report. If you have ever used a credit card or requested a loan, your bank evaluates credentials through your credit report. From the number of credit cards you’ve used in past, payment details, money that you owe on cards to the loans you’ve taken, a credit report lists them all.

All these factors make your credit card score, which is a three -digit number that indicates how risky of a borrower you are. That means if your borrowers’ grade point average is low, you might face difficulties in applying for new credit cards and loans. It is important to note that your credit report is thoroughly evaluated when you apply for a new loan or credit card.

That is why checking your credit report is of paramount importance multiple times a year to make sure that its information is correct. However, you must not pay to get a credit report.  If a lender or website is charging you money or asking your personal information for a credit report, do not fall for this fraud.

It is because you can easily get your credit report without spending a penny thrice a year. You can submit your direct request to AnnualCreditReport.com, or you can receive it from credit bureaus Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

 Let’s see what steps you can follow to get credit report for free;

Steps to Get Your Credit Report for Free

1.     Select a Credible Source

While sources like Credit Sesame or Credit Karma allow you to see credit scores at anytime, you cannot access your credit report more than three times a year. You can only check once when major credit card bureaus send you. This is what makes picking an appropriate source an important step to get a free credit report.

2.     Call 1-877-322-8228 or Submit Request at AnnualCreditReport.com

To receive a free credit report, you can submit a request through AnnualCreditReport.com. Also, you can call on the verified number 1-877-322-8228. Remember that if any other source claims to provide a credit report and ask you to exchange personal information, it is a fraud.

Moreover, requesting a credit report will not negatively affect your credit history or credit, but you are limited to receiving three reports a year as per federal laws.

3.     Fill an Online Credit Report

If you want your credit report through a website, you need to fill out a submission form. Regardless of how many forms you want (one to three), submitting the form for the allotted report is necessary.  You will have to fill out some basic information in the form such as your name, your current residential address, and social security number.

4.     Decide Number of Credit Reports You intend to Review

You need to select the credit bureau you want credit report from. Pick Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, or all three major credit bureaus. These bureaus have all your credit-card histories and information that they get from creditors.  However, not all three of them contain the same information. This is where you need to choose the right credit bureau as this may lead to variation in your credit history information each bureau has recorded.

The best practice is to review all three credit reports to different point in time. Setting reminder to send a request for your credit report will help your view each report individually. However, if you are planning to make a big purchase such as buying a house or car that requires you to check credit, you can request all credit reports at once. This way, you can review all three of them for identity theft and accuracy.

5.     Respond to Security Questions

Before you receive your credit report, bureaus ask some security questions to assess your credibility or verify identity. The information in the questions is based on your credit report and is often tricky. You are given only five minutes to complete the answers.

 If you want to request all three reports from different bureaus, you have to answers the questions for each bureau.

6.     Submit a Request to Review Credit report

Once all the steps mentioned above are complete, the credit card bureau website will generate your report within minutes. If the report is requested via phone, the bureau will send it by mail that may take 15 to 20 days.

Your credit report has five sections:

  • Personal Information: the section comprises your name, addresses, date of birth, and contact details.
  • Accounts: the section incorporates the entire history of your different credit lines you have had, account status, current balance, and account opening date, minimum payment, credit limit, and highest balance.
  • Public Records:   the section lists your legal matters related to bankruptcy, tax lien, etc.
  • Hard Inquiries: your applications for new loans and credit cards (in the previous two years) will appear in this section.
  • Soft Inquiries:  if any insurance company, credit-card lender, employer, or lender has made an inquiry for your credit card, this section will show them.

7.     File a Dispute in Case of Any Discrepancy

This is one of the most important steps that hold the main purpose of getting a credit report. Once you receive your credit report for free, inspect it for correct payment details, balance, dates, etc. if you find any discrepancy in the information, or you find the details entirely unrecognizable, and then file a dispute. You can do it online or call the credit bureau helpline.

It is important to know that you only get credit report for free from credit bureaus, but you have to pay for identity-monitoring services.  It is because credit bureaus have unlimited email alerts, and credit reports if a fraudulent application for credit on your ID or name.

Final Thoughts

Overall, requesting a credit report doesn’t only help you determine your payment history but in several other matters. They are immensely helpful when it comes to managing your credit balances and applying for new loans. Thus, the given steps will help you get a credit report for free.

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Crowdfunding for a Business Is More Than Just Money

In the recent years, startup and small business owners have seen crowdfunding rise tremendously. Today, it is one of the most popular ways for business owners to fund their business operations without having to go to a bank to ask for a conventional loan. Of course, crowdfunding does not stop someone from approaching a bank for a business loan.

However, it only makes sense for someone to plan their roadmap carefully and fulfill all their financial needs with an effective crowdfunding campaign on the right platform. For anyone who believes crowdfunding is just a way to collect funds from many different people, they need to rethink that.

Crowdfunding Is Much More than Just Collecting Money

Much Easier than Traditional Funding

Traditional funding is quite a challenge for entrepreneurs and small business owners. As soon as you are at a point where collecting funds for your business is necessary, you start approaching the wealthy people, angel investors, venture capitalists, banks and other lending institutions for investments. The issue here is that you start at the wide side of the funnel and narrow down your options from there to reach the pointy side of the funnel i.e. finding the right investors. If you are unable to strike a deal with your final option, you will end up wasting all your efforts and time.

On the other hand, crowdfunding is the exact opposite of traditional funding. You start at the pointy end of the funnel, create your crowdfunding campaign and let the right people discover you. Those who find your concept attractive and appealing will invest. You will not have to go door to door to find the right person to invest in your, your business and your idea. This makes crowdfunding much easier than traditional funding.

Better Market Outreach

For you to increase your chances of getting the right investor on your side, you have to be at every venue, seminar and meeting where you think you will get a chance to meet the potential investors. However, you can only do so much in the limited time you have before someone else copies your idea and capitalizes on it. On the other hand, when you pick crowdfunding as a way to fuel your business financially, you don’t have to rely on your efforts and marketing outreach solely. The first step of crowdsourcing is finding the right platform since there are many to choose from.

You have to pick your crowdfunding platform based on its popularity and reliability in the public. In short, you benefit from the market outreach of the platform. If your crowdfunding platform is popular in multiple continents then you can expect your funds to be coming from all those places.

Less Riskier than Traditional Funds

One of the biggest issues with traditional funding, especially venture capital, is that such funding has a lot of risk associated with it. Venture capitalists are people or institutions that are oftentimes more interested in their own financial gain than they are in watching your business grow. Their purpose of investing in your company is to double or triple their investment. For that reason, they will often have very strict regulations associated with their investments. If they have doubts about the success of your idea, they will often try to give you the money as repayable loan – the regulations will still be strict.

If they think your product/service will become a massive success, they will try to throw in permanent royalty deals or attempt to take away as much equity in the business from you as possible.

People who fund your business through crowdfunding might not even ask for any stake in your company. Their contributions can be as small as $5 and they might not even expect anything in return. Sometimes, they can make big investments without asking for a lot of equity. On many occasions, their rewards are as simple as a free sample of the product.

Brings Professionalism Out of You

Just because crowdfunding is less risky than traditional funding does not mean you can be all casual with it. Asking for the world to invest in your concept is serious business and you have to be at your professional best to convince people to invest in you. The first thing you will have to do is come up with a proper business plan. Secondly, you want to have a team of right professionals by your side that people can look at and trust. If the air around your team is negative, people will not invest a single dollar in you. You also have to have a good explanation of where you will be spending the money you collect.

If you have prototypes, bring them to the front. Create videos to showcase your technology. Be sure that your product/service is a solution to an existing problem. Do not create a problem and then fix it with your product. Angel investors often frequent crowdfunding platforms and they have to make sure that they are investing in serious people and business, not a hobby.

Helps You Create a Community of Followers

A lot of investment on crowdfunding websites comes in the form of small contributions. These people are not investors but regular people who like an idea, and want to see it in practical form. They believe your idea can solve one of their issues or maybe make the world a better place. If you can convince them that your idea does either or both of those things, they will actively invest in it. These people are early adopters of your technology/product/service and will also act as word-of-mouth marketers for your brand.

Final Thoughts

It is not a coincidence that crowdfunding has become one of the most popular ways for new businesses and entrepreneurs to support their early growth, marketing and expansion through crowdfunding. They must be seeing some benefits of funding their efforts through crowdsourcing over conventional funding. If you are someone who is considering the same route, the first advice for you would be to choose a platform with trust, reputation and outreach for your crowdfunding campaign.

 

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

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

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

Hiring The Right Employees For Your Startup Business

You are ready to open your doors and need the right employees to communicate your vision to your customers, but finding them has proved to be a challenge. You want an employee that you can trust and has the experience necessary to handle the responsibilities of the job, but you may be coming up empty handed with lackluster candidates to fill the role you have in mind. There is no need to despair as the right employee is out there; you just need to uncover the qualities that will make for a long-term employee during the interviewing process.

Keep these characteristics in mind when you are looking for a potential employee to take on the position you are looking to fill at your business startup.

Independent

A candidate that shows that they are independent is a sign of a worker that can perform unsupervised once they know the responsibility of the position as outlined by your business plan. This can go a long way in allowing you to trust the potential employee to do what is expected of them without your constant reminder or guidance.

Eager to learn

While you may have a clear understanding of the role of the employee you are looking to hire, these job duties may change over time with the needs of your business startup. Finding an employee that is eager to learn, can provide you with the opportunity to take some tasks off your to-do list, freeing you up to focus on new ideas and projects.

Responsible

The employee that you hire should be able to be counted on to show up and be on time. Your business will not wait for them and neither will your customers. Ask about their job performance and situations where they took the lead. You want to hire a leader that is able to excel at the position and show initiative when warranted.

Personable

Having an employee, you get along with and meshes well with your current staff, can help you avoid disruption and disagreements down the road. You should be able to communicate well with them, and they should be able to follow your direction with ease. If you sense a personality conflict, trust your gut and move on to a candidate that you see eye-to-eye with.

 

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

4 Ways An Angel Investor Can Benefit Your Startup

If your startup business needs a boost to propel it forward and into the market, an angel investor may be able to give you the financial help you need to make your dream a reality. While it will take effort, a great pitch, and a stellar business plan to garner their attention, once you do, you have much to gain from their knowledge and experience besides just financial capital for your company.

Consider your angel investor the sounding board for the big decisions you have to make. They will help you keep your business on a path to success and give you the confidence as well as accountability every step of the way. Your startup business could benefit in a big way from an angel investor as you’ll find they have much to offer in relation to running a solid business.

Advice and Guidance

Angel investors are a wealth of knowledge and can provide that guidance you need to steer your startup business in the right direction. While their business funding may allow you to open your doors, their continual advice will help you maintain your operations for the long haul. They most likely have assisted others in their business ventures and can help you avoid mistakes that might be costly to yours.

Networking Connections

Having a partnership with an angel investor immediately gives you access to a flurry of network connections that can help you accelerate your business. They know other investors as well as individuals that may be interested in joining forces to help get your business off the ground, giving you the opportunity to advance in the market.

Marketplace Awareness

Along with their industry network, you’ll also be able to take advantage of your angel investor’s expertise when it comes to knowing the market. They most likely will have intimate knowledge about your competitors and what trends are making waves this season. They can allow you an inside look at how your startup business can reap the rewards of similar strategies and gain you valuable market share in the process.

Creditability

Attaching your startup business to an angel investor can work wonders for your reputation. It can add instant creditability and make others stop and take notice. Angel investors are well known in their community, and you will be too as you attach your business to their name.

Working with an angel investor can allow your startup business to flourish beyond just business funding with them. You’ll have access to them, their contacts, and their generousity, making you a little wiser about the market and how you can succeed in it.

 

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

The Secret of a Successful Angel Investor

Having a lot of money to support potential start-ups is not the only thing an angel investor needs to be successful. While entrepreneurs often think that the only thing an angel investor invests in his or her ventures is the money, the reality is that there are more than just meets the eye.

There is no denying that money is an important element in the job of an angel investor. However, this is not the only one – he or she needs due diligence in selecting a potential business partners.

Diligence is defined as a person’s carefulness and persistence in his or her job or work. It came from the Latin term diligere, which literally means “to value highly” or “take delight in.” But in English, it usually means working hard or doing everything for the job in hopes for a successful career.

This kind of characteristic and personality is important for angel investors. Generally, would-be entrepreneurs simply think of angels as those who have a lot of money which they can use to fund start-ups, the truth is that they are perhaps the most terrifying people for business startups owners. Angels succeed because of their diligence – or more descriptively, being able to train hard eyes to entrepreneurs and make them sweat while doing their pitches or presentations.

More importantly, successful angel investors simply do not stop after scrutinizing the presentations of potential partners. He or she should not stop until the business is actually well established. Angel investors must be able to point out weaknesses on the business plan, as well as put out suggestions for the good of the business.

Unfortunately, not every angel investor has this kind of diligence. There are some who are really good in selecting potential business startups, but fail to assist its owner from achieving success. This situation is not good, both for the entrepreneur and investor themselves.

Some experts said that a number of angel investors simply think that having a lot of money will make a successful business. It is not, as angel investors are expected to help the business owners in transforming their vision and putting everything written in paper into tangent realities.

The truth is that there is no recipe for the “due diligence” needed by angel investors. The idea is very broad, and its execution will have to depend on the situation and relationship between the angel investor and the entrepreneur.

In the end, what angel investors must remember is that money will not be able to buy them success. Diligence does. Having this kind of trait is the secret of successful angel investors, and everyone who invests in business startups with potentials need to have this to ensure a good future.

This is true for business startup owners, who often think that money is everything. It is not. Entrepreneurs must find diligent angel investors who would be able to help them turn their dreams of having a successful business into a reality.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com. it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept. If you need to access a network of angel investors or business plans for start-up funding visit  Funded.com