Funding Your Startup: Ways That Actually Work

Whether you like to admit it or not, money really does make the world go round (especially when it comes to startups). Without any, it can be along hard slog to get your dreams to become a reality. Are people going to pay for something before it has been created or built? No. Which is why you need money to get things up and running so that you have a product range or service to show potential customers.

For startups, there can be many hurdles to overcome, especially if you’re new to business. But one of the main things can be getting funding. So if you are nearly at the stage to launch your startup, then thinking about the different avenues to get it started will be your next step. One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to business. So think about what will suit your situation best. Work out all the costs and decide what will be best for you. Good luck!

Image: Kaboompics

Friends and Family

One of the first things to do is to look close to home. You may have been saving to fund some of it yourself. If that is the case, then it will just be the case of sorting some additional funds. Which is where friends and family might come in. If you have people that can donate and back you, then it can be a simple way to get your business of the ground. It can be easier to pay them back than it can be a bank, especially when things are tighter.

Private Lenders

If you are able to get the financial backing from a private lender, then it is like being backed by your favorite entrepreneur on Shark Tank. It will mean you can keep family and friends out of the picture (because as simple as it can be, it can also make things much tricker if things go sour). It also means that you don’t need to look for the backing of investment from any government schemes or even banks. Not all lenders are created equal, though. So just because one sounds good, it doesn’t mean that you have to go with them. Do your research, look into their careers history and where their strengths lie. If they want to be part of your business, it has to work for both of you, not just for them.

Bank Loan

A more traditional method of funding a startup is to go to your bank for a loan. There can be quite rigorous checks to make sure that they are happy with your business plan. But if they are, you can go from there. It is best to check what everything will add up to, to make sure that you can make the repayments each month. It can also be worth looking into specific startup loans that your bank might have. It may give you a better option than a traditional loan.

If you have a bad credit history, though, then it could be a good idea to look into getting no credit check loans instead. A traditional bank will check your credit rating as they want to know that you’re not just going to run off with their money and never pay it back. So if your rating isn’t the best and you’re nearly out of options, then this could work for you. There is more risk involved for the lender with this, though. So as a result, the interest rate may be higher than a traditional loan. So again, just check that it all adds up and figure out if you’d be able to make the monthly repayments.

Crowdfunding

Thanks to the internet, crowdfunding is a pretty new way to fund a startup. You might be surprised to learn just how many businesses are started by crowdfunding. It is a way to get money, but also to get your business’s name out there. It helps you to be part of a community and gets people involved. Even if they have only donated a small amount, it means that they could be the first to try a product or the first to see the new branding or design. By having a community of people interested in what you’re doing, it is a sure fire way to create a big buzz around your business or new launch. So if your target audience is millennials, the type to be on the internet looking at this kind of thing, then it could be the best way for you to go. It can mean things are slower, but you should be able to reach your target eventually.

Credit Cards

If you have a stellar business plan, and you have done all of the math, then credit cards can be a quick way to get some cash injected into the business. As long as you’ll be able to make some money to pay it off before you end up having to pay interest, then you’ll be doing well. Credit cards are never going to help you get thousands and thousands, though. So it may only work if you need a small cash injection to get things going.

Bootstrapping

If you choose to go down this option, then it basically means that you are paying for it all yourself. You are funding things as you go along. For any entrepreneur, this can be daunting. But if you’re confident in your business plan, then it means you can quickly reinvest anything that you have made to grow the business. While this isn’t going to be for everyone, it comes with no responsibility. It means that you aren’t accountable to anyone else. You don’t need to pay any money back; you just keep what you make and keep reinvesting it. So it really will depend on your business and what you want to get out of it.

However you choose to fund your business, just make sure that you have a watertight plan. When you have certain projections and the goals to achieve them, then it can mean much more success.

 

4 ways to create a balanced family and work life

If you are trying to strike the perfect balance between raising a young family and succeeding in your career, you will need to think about the way that you are spending your money. Taking care of your finances will give you the freedom to enjoy the best of both worlds. Whenever you make a significant purchase, you should weigh up the pros and cons. Think about what it will mean for your career and the impact that it will have on your family. If you are determined to make wise decisions, you will need to read on. Below are four ways that you can spend money to benefit both your family life and working life.

Buy a reliable phone

If you are dealing with a wide range of responsibilities, it is vital that you are always accessible. This is the best way to ensure that you never let anyone down. Investing in a reliable phone is a wise way for you to spend your money. This piece of technology will help you to stay in regular contact with your family and to react quickly in an emergency situation. It will also help you to manage your workload effectively. Say you are sat in the parking lot, waiting for your kids to come out of school, the right phone will provide you with access to your emails and could even let you video chat with your business contacts.

Create a home office

Spending your money on a home office may seem like an idea that only benefits your career. However, having a designated space where you can complete your work, will also benefit your family. It will allow your family to understand the difference between when you are working and when you are free to give them your undivided attention. Establishing clear boundaries is the best way to prevent anyone from getting upset or confused.

Invest in a suitable car

Even if you work from home, it is likely that you will sometimes have to drive to important meetings. That is why you need to invest in a car that is suitable for all of your needs. You will need a vehicle that is safe and sturdy for all of the family. However, it should also be attractive and professional. Why not enjoy a reputable used Toyota Hilux? This vehicle has a rock solid reputation for reliability. It is also an attractive model that offers modern convenience features.

Set up a savings account

Whether you are thinking about your business or your family, it is always best to be prepared. To protect yourself against life’s ups and downs, you should consider putting your money into a savings account. This will ensure that you are always covered in an emergency situation. If something goes wrong with your business, it is vital that this doesn’t have an impact on your family’s lifestyle. Equally, if something goes wrong in your family, you should try to avoid dipping into your company finances. Setting up a savings account is the best way to secure a bright future.

Image: freephotos

Juggling A Business & Family

Mompreneurs are the best people in the world. They work so hard so juggle everything, it’s almost as if they have super powers. Whether they have a small business, or a big corporate one, somehow they manage to coexist in both sides of their lives. It’s stressful, rewarding, and very time consuming to say the least. If you’re considering starting up your own business, but have a little family running around, take a look at these tips to help you cope.

One of the first things you need to do is find a way to make the running of the business smooth. No matter what it is you’re trying to sell, they’ll always be a way of doing so. Start with the first big decision. Is it more practical for you to work from home, or get an office. A home office is perfect for keeping things cheap when you’re just starting out. For most small business owners this is the most ideal option, for mompreneurs it’s just not.

If young children know you’re home, they’ll want to be around you. So it’s a bit of an impossible task. The only other solution is to get a childminder for the days they’re at home, and try to make sure your partner looks after them of an evening. If you can sort a childminder and need more space, look to rent a small office space close to home in case you’re needed.

Photo: Pixnio

Then you need to make your business flow smoothly. Look into the best technology to help you produce and keep track of data. Office 365 is one of the best softwares for aiding business. If your niche requires machinery or computers, do some research and find out which ones will work best for your company. You need the best one right from the beginning in order to get things off to a good start.

Dealing with your finances whilst attempting to manage everything else is just a task too far. In the beginning it’ll not be as bad. There won’t be as much cash flow coming through, and it should be pretty easy to keep track of. As you start growing, it is essential that you get someone to help manage your accounts. Seek someone who you will be able to trust, and has helped people before. When your money is involved, you need to know it’s going to be safe.

The final thing to do is confide in others. When you’ve got so much going on around you, you need to be able to talk to others and let them know your worries. Family members or friends will be able to take your mind off everything. A problem shared is a problem halved as the saying goes. When you’re trying to raise a family at the same time, you’ve got to make sure you’re making time for those closest around you. Don’t put your business first, or you’ll end up missing major milestones that you won’t get back.

5 Tips For Effectively Managing Remote Workers

Today’s business world is nothing like the business world of old. The internet has changed everything, from how we connect with customers and suppliers, how we market our company, and where and when we work. It’s also allowed us to employ people who don’t only live in a different city from ours, but sometimes a different country altogether. This has allowed companies to find the best talent for the job, regardless of where they’re based. It has, however, also changed the game when it comes to managing employees, and not all of it is easy. Below, we offer some useful tips on how to get the best from your employees, even if you’ve never met them.

Share the Legwork

Just as with any traditional company, you shouldn’t assume a position of being above your employees. If you have an employee who works on the other side of the world, then it’s not always their responsibility to be online when it suits you. If you live in New York and have an Australian employee, then it might be the middle of the night when you need to speak to them. Keep this in mind, and share the responsibility when it comes to connecting with one another. If that means late night phone calls, then so be it.

Constant Contact

You’ll have to trust your remote workers to get their work done with minimal supervision, but you’ll have to stay in contact throughout the day to ensure that everyone’s on the same page. This is where technology can come in. Some services will allow you to make free international calls and there are also apps that will let you message one another throughout the day. Aside from helping your company, it’ll help your employee if they’re able to get a hold of you when they have questions.  

Don’t Make It All About Work

You might rarely see your employees in the flesh, but that doesn’t mean they’re not real people. They have their own lives going on, and you should make an extra effort to get to know them on this level. If you’re only talking about work whenever you speak with them, then you won’t be engaging with them in a way that all employees need. You don’t have to go over the top: simply setting aside five minutes of the conversation aside from personal chat is all it takes.

Don’t Forget the Perks

All employees want to receive perks from time to time; it’s no different from remote workers. Keep them sweet by making sure they’re able to share in the success of the company. Nothing will pick up an employee more than some company swag arriving at their front door.

Arrange Meetups

You’ll be able to do most of your work remotely, but it’s also a good to arrange meetups so the company can get together face to face. This will enable your employee to feel closer to the company, and will also help foster personal relationships that can fuel better worker productivity.

Photo: Claudioscot

Is Your Office a Secure Place To Work?

Your office has a wide range of things, that all need to be kept safe and secure. From computers, data, files, and your employees, there are many reasons why putting your office’s security as a high priority is a good idea. When you take precautions to keep your office secure, it not only helps to keep your business running, but it can keep costs down for things like insurance. Peace of mind is also a massive help for any employees that you do have. They are going to enjoy coming to work when they feel that they work in a safe and secure environment, especially in this day and age.

So here are some guidelines to help you choose the best way to keep your office secure. It will vary from business to business, depending on your requirements and what you need to keep secure. Which will work best for you?

Monitored Alarm System

Having an alarm installed should be one of the very first things that you think about when it comes to getting your office setup. You’d have one on your home, so one for your office is also important. Seeing that a building has a security alarm in place is a big deterrent for potential thieves. And let’s face it; thieves know what they will find in an office. Technology, electronics, and even cash. So they can be an easy target without a secure alarm system.

Install CCTV

Along the same lines, having some CCTV installed can be a visual deterrent to potential thieves. It can also work to make the workplace a much safer environment too. You will have video evidence of what your staff are doing, including things like theft and attacks. So it can help your staff to feel more secure and protected, as well as acting as a deterrent for bad behaviour too.

Use Effective Lighting

A lot of robberies and theft will be late at night when there is no one in the office. So having lighting to put people off even trying to steal, can be a good way to go. Lighting inside the office, as well as outside, can all be good to help deter.

ID Badges

Having a secure system for people checking in and out of the office is a good way to go. It shows who is meant to be in the office, as well as identifying any visitors. It can mean getting some sensors, name badges, and ID badges, but it will mean a safer and more secure office in the long run. Granting certain people access to certain areas is a good idea too; if someone doesn’t need to get to a certain area for their role, then they don’t need to have access to it.

Keep Documents Locked Away

A lot of the data that you have will be online and in computers. But there are some things, like employee contracts, client information, and banking statements that you will have hard copies of. So keeping them secure in a locked cabinet and room is imperative. Things like that can’t get into the wrong hands.