Connect with us

Entrepreneurship

3 Ways to Find the Necessary Funds to Start Your New Business

Published

on

So, you’ve decided to start a business. Congratulations! You’ve got a great idea and a plan, but now comes the hard part: finding the funds to turn your idea into a viable business. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to obtain the funds you need to get your business off the ground — and also quite fortunate, starting a business on the internet is actually much more cost-effective than if you were to start an offline / franchise type of business.

Before jumping into a few different ways you can gain access to money to fund your project or business idea, let’s first list some of the cost considerations you should have in mind when starting a new business.

  • Domain, website, hosting and design
  • Paying staff and employees
  • Company registration (Inc, LLC)
  • Office supplies, desks, computers
  • Legal counsel, outside consulting services
  • Insurance for yourself and employees
  • Rental, mortgages and franchising fees
  • Equipment, inventory, and products

As you can see, before we even get started with the investment and funding options available, there are already plenty of things you will need to map out and consider when starting a new business. As exciting as it is to go live with your new site or business, the more time you spend on the foundation and pre-planning process, the less headaches and more success you will potentially have in the future.

Once all of this is in place, you can then start exploring your options with the following business funding and investment options.

Self financing

Of course, the easiest and most straightforward way to finance your business is to pony up the cash yourself, making this an attractive option for many people. However, even if you can afford to go this route, there’s one big caveat that needs to thrown up: If your business flops, you are on the hook for all of the funds you have invested into it.

If you do want to go this route, there are several ways you can do it. First, you could simply tap into your “rainy day” fund for the start-up capital you’ll need. This could be in the form of your savings account, inherited funds, etc. One of the biggest advantages of investing your own money in your business is that it sends a powerful message to future investors that you are fully committed to your venture. Investors may be more likely to invest in your company if they see that you have something on the line, too.

You can also liquidate some assets to pay for the start-up of your business. If you have real estate, stocks or bonds, or something else of value that you can (and are willing to) part with, this can be a quick way to get the funds you need for your business. Remember, however, that there can be some consequences of liquidation some assets, such as real estate, in terms of taxes.

If your credit limit allows, you could also use your credit card to finance your business start up. This is a convenient way to order supplies, for example — while also allowing for the opportunity to rack up a bunch of rewards or bonus cash in the process. However, always be aware that because credit cards carry with them hefty interest rates, so your purchases could end up costing you much more than it would originally seem.

A home equity loan is another possibility for personally financing your business. If you own a home, you can borrow against the equity in it in the form of a line of credit. However, there are some restrictions that may make this a less-than-desirable option for some people.

Taking out a loan

If personally financing your business start-up endeavor isn’t the best option for you, there are other things you can do. If you don’t own a home, for example, you can approach a bank or another type of lender for a personal loan. Personal loans from banks typically come with lower interest rates than do credit cards. If your credit is quite low, you may struggle to find a bank willing to lend you money. In those cases, it may be best to go to an alternative type of lender for a personal loan. Click to find out more about your borrowing options if you find yourself in that scenario.

Finally, you can always borrow money from family or friends if none of these other options are viable for you. People who know and trust you may be able to help you out, and you can repay the loan when your business starts bringing in money.

Paypal Working Capital

For anyone that already have a business online and might be simply looking for money to put back into their company, there are many ways to borrow money from banks and lenders, but these often come with a lot of verification, history reports, and high interest rates. Paypal has not only changed the way customers and business make financial transactions in the world today, they’ve also changed how businesses can borrow and access lump sums of money as well.

Through the use of Paypal Working Capital, Paypal customers can borrow up to $100,000, while not having to go through a credit history check in the process. The decision on how much money can be borrowed and by whom, ultimately comes down to the account history and how much volume is currently being pushed through the account. What also makes PPYC unique is that the borrow money is paid back through the use of incoming payments to the account, and you get to select how fast the loan is paid back (usually in 15%, 20% or 30% increments). There is also a flat percentage fee that is owed on each borrow amount as well.

Money is Simply Waiting There for You

These are just a few of the ways that you can find the money necessary to start your business. There are lots of others, depending on your current financial situation and business goals, but these are some of the quickest and most convenient ways to get the cash flow you need to get your business off the ground.

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurship

How to Find Products and Work with Dropshipping Suppliers in 2018

Published

on

Drop shipping has recently become one of the most effective ways to launch a successful business online, while also needing a minimal amount of funds and investment to get started. With more people trying to make money for themselves and starting a business of their own, dropshipping is now more in demand than ever before.

Much like we’ve seen in the world of content creation and blogging, it’s quite easy to get started — but there seem to be only a select few who have mastered the process and gone on to make millions of dollars from their online stores. One of the many benefits of starting a business based around dropshipping, is that you don’t need to re-invent the wheel or come up with that next million dollar idea. Instead, you just need to pick the products you want to sell, go live with an online store, and start promoting your business.

It sounds easy enough, but there is some time, work, and effort that will be involved. This is just the first of many factors that comes into play when looking at those who succeed, and those who fail to find success.

To help with this process, today we are going to take a look at the world of dropshipping, what seems to work best, and how you can get started with your own dropshipping business — or being your existing one to that next level.

Dropshipping 101: What is dropshipping and how does it work?

The concept of dropshopping is quite simple and easy to understand. Oberlo, one of the worlds top dropshipping solutions, has created an excellent explainer video that shows not only how dropshipping works, but also why and how their platform makes it so easy and effective for anyone to start a business online.

This can also be summed up in three simple steps.

  1. Find Products to Sell
    We offer thousands for products from trusted suppliers. You can easily import them into your Shopify store and start selling.
  2. Fulfill Orders Automatically
    When you receive an order you can pay for it with a few clicks. The supplier ship orders directly to customers.
  3. Focus on Growth
    With access to thousands of products and automatic fulfillment, you can focus on growing your sales.

In fact, dropshipping is quite similar to affiliate marketing — in the fact that you don’t need to hold inventory. However, one would need to market their store, connect with a dropshipper, and also process orders. In short, you are running an online store the same way any product-based business is, except that you don’t need to actually hold the product, ship it out, and have a massive upfront investment to spend on inventory.

To learn more about the process, be sure to check out my dropshipping 101 reference guide.

How to find the right products to sell?

As with all business ideas and concepts, you need to know what you are going to sell. It doesn’t necessarily need to be something you are familiar with, but instead something you know how to market and get in front of the right audience.

You should also consider how saturated the market is, what your profit margins are going to look like, and how competitive and pricey it will be to start running paid ad campaigns to promote your online store.

There are actually several tools out there that can help with this process:

  • Google Trends allows you take a look at the interest in a product, service, or keyword over time
  • Amazon and eBay will give you ideas, sales numbers, and customer reviews

Using these free tools and resources will make it easier for you to find a winning product to sell — which is quite important before launching your site. To also help with this process, I recommend you take a look at this article on how to find the right products to sell, which outlines the following key points.

Most good dropshipping products share similar attributes. When researching potential dropshipping products, keep in mind these five criteria:

  1. The product’s cost allows for a healthy markup.
  2. The product is intriguing, unique, or eye-catching.
  3. The product is difficult to find elsewhere online.
  4. Consumers find it difficult to guess how much it costs for you to buy the product.
  5. Consumers are happy to purchase the product without too much research.

Assuming you can walk through this process and find a few products you might be interested in selling, how can you then find the right supplier or dropshipper to start working with?

Where and How to Find Reliable Dropshippers

As someone who has had experience with dropshipping, this process is not only the most important — it can also be the most time-consuming.

I can’t stress this enough. If you are going to build a business of your own, where someone else is fulfilling the product, they need to always be on time, reliable, and trustworthy. Back when I ran my first dropshipping site, I actually acquired an online store and got the direct information for the dropshipper. Nowadays, it’s much easier to find dropshippers online, but finding a good one is like finding a needle in a haystack.

Again, Oberlo has not only created a platform and solution that makes it easy for people to start selling online, they’ve also simplified the process of finding a high-quality dropshipper as well. As the company continues to make big waves in the online business space, they’ve recently come out with their own list of “Oberlo verified” suppliers to work with.

In short, if you want to sell a product and need a reliable dropshipper, just go through their list. In fact, you can pretty much “just pick one, we checked them already“, as they say on their site.

However, this isn’t just a simple hand-selected and verified list, there is actually a whole lot more that goes into it. Take a look at how Oberlo Suppliers stacks up against the competition, and the many factors that go into this verified decision process.

With such data and verified information readily accessible, Oberlo has quickly eliminated one of the most time-consuming and frustrating components of starting an online business.

Best Ways to Effectively Promote Your Online Store

As mentioned earlier, it’s quite easy to go live with a website, blog, or even an online store of your own. The real work and challenge is promoting your content and generating sales.

This will all come down to how you effectively promote your online store, optimize your ad campaigns, and learn to correctly price your product for the best conversions and margins possible.

Some of the best working methods for promoting your dropshipping store are:

  • Using Coupons – Everyone loves to save money online. Start offering coupons through your site and not only will you see increased sales, you will also likely see free promotion and traffic coming from various coupon sites and forums as well.
  • Affiliate Program – Increase sales and traffic to your site by going live with your own affiliate program. Best of all, you only need to pay out money when new sales come in!
  • SEO and PPC Marketing – Online stores will always do greats with organic search rankings and using PPC to get high-quality customers to their site. Each method has their own advantages, but as a store owner, it’s up to you to see where your time and money is best spent.
  • Social Media and Remarketing – With more than three-billion users on social media, how can you not take advantage of it? A great way to get started is to place a tracking pixel on your site, then delivering remarketing ads to visitors that didn’t convert on their first visit. Facebook Ads is super easy to set up for this.
  • Building a Mailing List – A mailing list is one of the best ways to increase sales and grow your business at scale. Always try to collect the email address of users on your site. Offering a 10% coupon is a great way to get users to submit their email, while also possibly increasing the chance for a sale as well.

If you are still sitting on the sidelines and have always wanted to start an online business of your own, right now is the best time to get started.

Just like we’ve seen how WordPress has made the process of building a website or blog so fast and easy, we are seeing that same transformation taking place in the world of online stores as well. There are little-to-no technical or design skills needed to get started. All it takes is the willingness to put in the time, work, and effort… then follow all of the steps laid out for you above.

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurship

9 Ways to Lead a Healthier and More Successful Entrepreneur Lifestyle

Published

on

You know what I’m tired of hearing? We are always told being an entrepreneur is the toughest to start but the easiest to thrive in.

Guess what? It’s not like that at all. I have gone through hundreds of contents about the lives of successful entrepreneurs and here is what I found:

Becoming successful is easy. All you need is discipline and a strict daily routine.

My advice: Don’t study what made them successful. Study what they do on a daily basis.

Below are a number of tricks and strategies I collected and adapted in my own life from several prosperous people in the world.

  1. Be Authentic

Come to think of it. Nobody wants to be customers or clients to organizations that are entangled in bribery, fraud, false promises and bad delivery. As an entrepreneur, you must ensure that the products, services, and culture you demonstrate to others are as authentic as possible.

Alexi Panos, philanthropist, television presenter, producer, author, actress, and model believes when we expose our true selves to others, they can relate to us more effectively. By sharing your own story, you attract stakeholders towards yourself.

  1. Do What You Love

Let’s ask ourselves this question: why do we want to be successful? Steve Jobs thought it’s for personal fulfillment. Basically, he believed in finding work that drives our passion provides us with excitement and fulfillment.

Before you become an entrepreneur, decide if it’ll give you what you truly want in life. Mark Cuban, whose net worth is US$3.8 billion, says that people must know what they love and what they’re good at to be successful.

  1. Set the Right Goals

I tell you, be very discrete about this. Not all goals are what we want or what we can achieve. You have to be clear about your goals at all times. Create a Vision Board of all the things you would want to accomplish, and place it somewhere noticeable.

Don’t expect immediate satisfaction. Everything takes time to come to be successful. Relax and know that what you visualized will become a reality.

Henry Ford said, “when you don’t believe in yourself, you are believing in excuses”.

It is common for people to lose hope and become frustrated when things don’t go their way. Don’t do that. Believe in your ambitions. Trust life that it will make it happen.

  1. Help Others

This is a great way to promote your brand image. When you help others, others will help you. Also, this will ensure you build meaningful, long-lasting relationships.

Co-founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman notes that you can improve yourself by associating with people who you want to become. Even the people you partner with and employ for your organizations should reflect the best standards.

Promote other organizations and collaborate with them instead of competing, and you will create a harmonious exchange of giving and take.

When you create products or services that help people, they want to be your customers for life. Moreover, when you deliver more than their expectations, they pledge loyalty to you.

  1. Learn from Criticisms

One of the most important lessons is taken from customer feedbacks. You have to tweak your delivery according to your customer’s needs. Unsatisfied customers are the end of an organization.

Don’t be offended by criticisms. Use it as an opportunity to improve yourself. Co-founder of Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington recalls that a critic once wrote to her that ‘The Huffington Post was an unsurvivable failure’.

Failures are not the bricks that we carry on our shoulders, but the steps that we stand on to climb upwards. Sophia Amoruso, a self-made millionaire says that those who rejected her once approved of her later on. So failures are never the end.

  1. Time and Stress Management

What you choose to do within 24 hours is crucial. Be proactive. Don’t ever wait for tomorrow. What needs to be done needs to be done now.

Be creative when it comes to fear and stress management. Practice yoga and meditation. Find natural remedies for anxiety such as herbal tea, relaxing wine, and relaxing herbs.

I say this everywhere and I will say it here too. Switch to an organic diet. Your life will change drastically.  

Be flexible. Adapt to situations as they come. Don’t be a slave to your past beliefs. If you have an opportunity, analyze it. If it’s favorable, take it.

  1. Take Care of Your Health

You cannot multi-task or run an entire company when you are not doing well in the health department. You need a strong body to perform at your best all day, every day.

Wake up early in the morning. Go for a jog or work out. Exercising your muscles and bones lets your body stay active all day long.

It also reduces the chances of abruptly falling ill. Because if you fall sick, who’s going to run your company?

  1. Get Organized

You don’t have to do everything all on your own. Outsource what you can, delegate tasks to your managers and focus on your own tasks.

Don’t follow the crowd. Do your own research and analyze opportunities wisely. Just because others are making money out of it does not mean you will. Ensure what is safe for you.

Never spend unnecessarily. It’s best to construct a personal budget and record everything daily.

  1. Keep Yourself Motivated

This is the key factor in pursuing goals. If you lose the interest to chase, you will also lose the game.

How can you keep yourself motivated? Subscribe to newsletters and blogs that mentor about motivation and success. Hang out with people who are motivating and energetic.

Don’t just subscribe, but also read and practice the habits that will keep you driven to go on and reach your destination.

In essence

Habit is the key. Follow through all of the above tricks and hacks to make the most of your climb to career success.

Be authentic about what you say and do. Know what you want and follow through. Make sure to help others and demonstrate a safe, humanitarian company culture to all your stakeholders.

It is okay to take help from others when you need it. It is okay to be stressed and anxious. Just know what relaxes you and makes you feel better, so that at times when you are not feeling well, you can do something about it.

Keep yourself healthy, fit, motivated and educated. Do this every day because success starts from within first.

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurship

17 Growth Hacks to Help Your Startup Scale Faster

Published

on

Startups are everywhere on the internet today. It doesn’t matter if your expertise, service, or focus is on technology, business, social media, content creation or even applications — this space is extremely saturated! Everyone has ideas, but only those who know how to implement them and turn their efforts into actions will see real results. Just like it’s easy for anyone to start a website or blog, it’s not so easy to get real traffic and make money.

The same is true for starting any type of business online. It’s all fun and games in the beginning, as you are likely starting from zero… but how long can this immediate growth last?

Rapid startup growth is a common goal for many business owners, but it’s one that is tricky to achieve. You need the right marketing tactics, customer support and operational infrastructure — and you need the resources to sustain it all until the sales start rolling in. This is where the opportunity of running an internet-based business really comes into play.

So, what’s the secret to scaling up with speed? Members of Young Entrepreneur Council share their best growth hacks for businesses looking to expand quickly. By following any of the growth hacks for businesses below, you should start to see improvement across the board in a matter of a few short weeks.

1. Create Your Brand

Start creating your brand as quickly as possible. Your brand is an important asset for a startup. People need to know what you do and why you do it in order to use your product or service. The faster people know your brand, the faster you will be able to scale up your business.

Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS – Integrated Marketing Solutions

2. Learn How to Delegate

The fastest way to scale is to optimize your time. Start with the things that are taking up the majority of your time and find someone to manage them. Hire, outsource or create daily efficiencies, and scaling will feel easier than it should.

Corey Eulas, Factorial Digital

3. Focus on Your Processes

Experiencing rapid growth can be a good or a bad thing, depending on how prepared you are. We experienced and are experiencing this growth currently, and it helped expose areas of improvement in our processes. If your processes are broken and you grow fast, it will only emphasize those weaknesses. If you focus on shoring up processes first, you’ll be prepared for fast growth.

Joel Mathew, Fortress Consulting Group

4. Draw Attention to Your Brand and Product

Ride on your competition’s research through SEO and advertising. Use Quora as a platform to answer questions related to your product. You will get immediate traffic. Use video marketing on LinkedIn to draw attention and increase followers.

Trish Agarwal, V Synergize Global Solutions LLC

5. Keep Reminding Your Audience About Your Brand

You have to get out there and get your name out. The more people you know who keep seeing what you do, the more they will think of you when they need what you do or know someone who you can help. This is a big reason why people buy from top brands — their marketing is all over the place reminding you.

Jacqueline Marrano, Marrano Solutions, LLC.

6. Grow Your Team

The rate-limiting factor of growth of any organization is leadership. Entrepreneurs need to scale themselves as well as their teams. When the team is more effective and growing, the business will automatically grow to greater and greater scale. Nothing matters more than human capital.

Eric Mathews, Start Co.

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Accept Help

If you insist on rapid growth, you’re going to need help. And once you get that help, you are going to need to trust their abilities. Too many entrepreneurs think they can do it all and they end up exhausting themselves/failing. Let those around you help you.

Adrien Schmidt, OpenBouquet

8. Put the Customer First, No Matter What

The bigger your business, the greater the need for a solid customer support infrastructure. Prioritize customer communication early on. Each interaction is an opportunity to showcase your brand’s voice and values. Cultivating loyalty and customer satisfaction is a result of having the right solutions and experts to guide your customer service strategy.

Eng Tan, Simplr

9. Know Your Sales Funnel

Sustainable, fast growth requires every part of the acquisition funnel to be in top shape. This will look different for every business, but it’s always important to pinpoint exactly what isn’t working, whether that’s acquiring leads, converting them or upselling them.

Jacob Drucker, Supply Clinic

10. Learn How to Get the Right Traffic

You’re great at what you do, your service is wonderful and your prices are well worth the value you provide. The only thing is, nobody knows you and they can’t find you. If you know how to generate foot traffic or web traffic at a good cost, you’ll be able to scale up quickly. Find the right help, or roll up your sleeves and figure out how to do this for your industry.

Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.

11. Build a Strong HR Team

Most entrepreneurs do not pay enough attention to HR. To scale up quickly, you need to rely on people. You can’t do everything yourself and let your department heads rely on you in order to move forward. HR comes into play and lets you hire people that you can rely on.

Michael Hsu, DeepSky

12. Aggressively Network

My advice to startups looking for quick growth is to get the word out about their business or service by any means necessary. Spending a lot of money on marketing and promotion may not be possible in the early stages, but one of the cheapest and most effective methods of doing so is to connect with other professionals. Foster healthy relationships with professional peers.

Bryce Welker, Crush The LSAT

13. Focus on SEO

SEO is still one of the most effective growth strategies, but it’s hard for founders to execute because it requires content development and the ability to build systems and processes effectively. Double down on content and guest blogging to get backlinks. Stick to it for a couple months targeting niche keywords and you’ll see exponential growth. Most give up too early, but it requires time.

Matthew Capala, Alphametic

14. Make Time for Strategic Planning

Every year, I make a vision board of what I want in my life. Then, I break it down to the top three goals that I feel I must accomplish for growth. Furthermore, I break it down into weekly actions and daily activities. Once a week, I outline my priorities for that week. I analyze what last week’s activities were, and if I find that I was off track or started another project, I cut it.

Klyn Elsbury, Landmark Makers

15. Get to Market Quickly With Your MVP

It’s critical you get to market as fast as possible to test your assumptions. The concept of the minimum viable product (MVP) is the fastest way to support rapid scaling. It allows you to quickly test your assumptions, iterate your product and accelerate the never-ending work of building a product that remains a must-have to your target consumers.

Eyal Ronen, Puls

16. Create Value

Nothing ethical and good is done without creating real and meaningful value for another business. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling you a bottle of Uncle Tom’s magical formula. Focus on value and how to make that something that can be shared and promoted.

Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

17. Proceed With Caution

Scale up based on demand, not just because you want to. If you scale up too quickly, you run the risk of overextending your resources and potentially losing your company. Concentrate on the quality of your product and look long term. If what you provide is really worthy of massive growth right away, the market will dictate that naturally and you won’t have to force it.

Justin Lefkovitch, Mirrored Media

How to Start Your Startup in the Right Direction

Having read through each of the actionable and expert tips above, you likely already have some good ideas for launching or improving your startup. With all of this in mind, it’s important to take advatage of the many benefits the internet has to offer — especially in terms of connections and online tools.

Take some time to run through our list of recommended business tools and resources, and if you are currently having a hard time with raising the necessary funds for your business, this is also a great resource. No matter what direction or method you take, just be sure to take action daily and always progressing in the right direction.

Continue Reading

Hi, I’m Zac Johnson

Most Read Articles

Trending