11 Things to Know When Partnering With a Larger Company for the First Time

Many B2B entrepreneurs dream of landing a huge contract with an enterprise-level business. The large budget and resources of a bigger company often means steady work, along with opportunities to learn and improve skills.

However, these business partnerships are quite different than working with a fellow entrepreneur or small business. You need to be prepared to follow established procedures, adapt to their tools and procedures, and possibly even go a through lengthy approvals process to move forward.

At the same time, taking the leap from being a solo-entrepreneur or running a small business — to working with a much larger one and expanding your own horizons, this can be quite the emotional and stressful time for any entrepreneur to make such a big move.

To find out what entrepreneurs should know before they start reaching out, we asked a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members the following question:

The first time your small business strikes a partnership with a larger company can be a heady experience. What is one crucial thing entrepreneurs should know before they take the leap?

Here’s what they said:

1. Underpromise and Over Deliver

Landing a large company is an exciting time for any small business. However, it’s important to give yourself room to exceed their expectations. Only promise what you can deliver and then give them a little extra that they didn’t expect to create loyalty.

Jared Atchison, WPForms

2. Hire an Attorney to Help With Due Diligence

One of the biggest mistakes that I see entrepreneurs make when partnering with a large company is not being prepared. Many times, entrepreneurs don’t research potential issues and legal problems, which often leads to a failed project. The best way to prevent any of these from happening is to conduct the proper due diligence. Hire an experienced attorney.

Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Creative Development Agency, LLC

3. Include an Exit Plan

When partnering with a larger company, you need to ensure that your company is protected. The larger company isn’t looking out for your best interest, so if the deal goes bad you need a clause in your contract that allows you to exit the partnership. Placing a time limit on the partnership is a perfect way to do this. It allows you to test the partnership and renegotiate after a set time period.

Bryan Kesler, CPA Exam Guide

4. Ask About the Level of Customization Required

Large companies have the tendency to want everything customized to their needs without having to pay the bills. This can get pretty expensive, so you want to focus on bringing in companies that are not going to ask much of you. If they do, make sure you are ready to show them the bill, because it is not easy to get the team to customize features for a large company.

Sweta Patel, Silicon Valley Startup Marketing

5. Look at the Bigger Picture

Whether you’re making a sale, building a channel relationship or developing any other kind of partnership, engaging with a large brand will take a lot of time and serve as a major “distraction.” As a small business, you should only take on those costs (time, mostly) if there are other partners who might follow. Make sure you can leverage this experience even if the deal falls through.

– Aaron Schwartz, Passport

6. Trust Your Instincts

Starting a business partnership can be a big opportunity but also a big risk. Trust your instincts. Do you believe the other company or business contact is fundamentally trustworthy and honest? Will they take the responsibility of being connected to your brand seriously? Traffic or revenue numbers are only part of the story when it comes to assessing mutual partnership fit.

Roger Lee, Human Interest 401(k)

7. Be Prepared for the Deal to Fall Through

“Birds fly. Fishes swim. Deals fall through.” One of the biggest shockers for small businesses is when a larger partner either ends up providing next to no value or falls through on a deal. It’s one of the harsh realities of doing business, so it’s important to be prepared for it. “This partner would be fine without my business and I need this more than they do” is the right mentality.

– Adegoke Olubusi, Helium Health

8. Establish Clear Expectations

Make sure your expectations will be met and are outlined in the contract. The larger the organization, the more detailed the contract will need to be. Also typically larger organizations will pay on a more delayed schedule, so get funds up-front for projects and services. Don’t fall into a trap of waiting on funds.

Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design

9. Be Flexible

When working for a large established company, as the smaller, greener business you might be expected to adopt some of their systems. For instance, you might have to adopt their style guides for writing and formatting documents, and you might be asked to used specific software that they use. Be prepared and be flexible.

Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

10. Remain Transparent and Focused

Just because you strike a partnership with a larger company doesn’t mean you get to slack off. The money that rolls in will be nice, but you can’t use it as an excuse to ignore your upbringing and mission. Partnering with a larger company has tons of obvious benefits, but customers see it as a sellout. Remain transparent as much as possible and stay focused to ensure your effort stays the same.

Reuben Yonatan, GetVoIP

11. Stay True to Your Business Goals

Entering a partnership with a bigger business seems like a triumph, but it can be bad for your company. Your businesses may end up devoting all its resources to serving the larger partner, customizing products to meet their needs and neglecting smaller customers. Go too far down that road and you end up in thrall to one customer, with no options. Remember your goals and don’t be afraid to say no.

Vik Patel, Future Hosting

Grow Your Business, By Focusing on Your Personal Brand

When it comes to growing any type of business or brand online, it’s all about the work and effort put into it. Paid advertising is always going to work well, but you will need to track and manage your ROI and ad campaigns. Social media also works great, but it’s tougher to convert audiences into paid leads and sales. Blogging is also another working method, but this one takes time and patience.

This is especially true if you are the face of the brand. Through the power of social media, it’s extremely easy and effective to not only reach new audiences but to also rank higher in Google for personal names and brand names in the process. Be sure to try out this method, along with each of the recommended tips above for growing your brand or online business in 2019.

If you enjoyed this expert roundup, I recommend you also take a look at our previous ones on expert SEO tips and best tips for making money online.

7 Effective Strategies for Growth They Teach in Business School

Are you wondering how to make your small business bulletproof? Do you need to find new ways to keep your products or services relevant to your target demographic?

Running a business on the internet is completely different from having a local or brick and mortar-focused business. However, there are many similarities between the two. In either case, you are going to need to offer a service or product, which generates revenue for the business. Once that is in place, you then need an effective marketing plan.

While this seems simple enough, the question then arises… ‘why do so many businesses fail?’…

It’s a well-known fact that only 30% of businesses survive their first decade in operation. But what can you do to ensure that you’re scaling and staying on top?

If you’ve got a small business, this article’s for you. We’ll give you an insider’s look into business school curricula and their top-secret strategies for growth and development across a wide range of business models.

1. Time Management

The time it takes to run your business means that you don’t have time for business school. However, you should try to make time for a time management course or two.

If you haven’t got time to take college courses, you might want to download a productivity tracking app. It’ll let you know how much time you’re spending responding to emails and in meetings.

Try to do a comprehensive audit of your time and feel free to delegate. You might find that you’re much more productive once you have an employee returning non-essential phone calls.

One of the biggest temptations for small business owners is to do everything themselves. While this might have been necessary at the beginning, it could be time to step back a bit.

Do you need to have that meeting in person, or can it happen via a screen sharing program? Are you spending too much time on client outreach?

What business school graduates know is that they have to make hard choices about their time and energy. Raising your time management skills could be key to your long-term survival.

2. Outsourcing

What do graduates of marketing colleges know that most entrepreneurs don’t? They know how to delegate, but also how to outsource.

After you secure your first round of funding, it’s tempting to hire several full-time employees. It’s good to have all hands on deck, but are you ready to invest in training and staff retention?

If you’re committed to scaling your business, however, you should probably outsource as much as possible.

You might not be a computer person, so why should you have to design your own website and write blog content yourself?

The best thing about outsourcing your SEO and marketing is that you’ve got a team of professionals by your side. SEO is a rapidly changing field and you’ll save on staff development by purchasing your marketing a la carte.

Whether you’re going to do your own marketing push or opt for outsourcing, it’s important to have a clear goal in mind.

Are you looking to streamline your sales funnel or do you only want to make your business more recognizable and relatable?

Do you want to have more traffic to your website? Who are you trying to reach? Check out these marketing tips before you start any new ad campaigns.

3. Networking

One of the most lucrative advantages of attending a top marketing college is the opportunity to network. But how can you keep up if you didn’t go to business school?

The answer is simple: network as much as you can. If you’re uncomfortable around groups of people, look for online classes or one-on-one tutoring about forging business alliances.

When you make a new contact, take the time to send a follow-up email. It doesn’t have to be long, but it should include your contact information and a link to your website at the very least.  The same holds true for attending local internet marketing conferences — the in-person engagement and interactions ROI is priceless.

Also, play to your strengths. If you’re more comfortable talking to a contact online, don’t push yourself to have a video conference.

If you prefer the phone, try to make at least one important phone call per day.

There are many definitions of effective networking, but try to attend at least one networking event per month. If you can, take a client out to lunch at least once per week.

4. Resource Allocation

What business school graduates know is that to turn a profit, you have to be ruthless about paring down your operations.

There’s a growing push for remote work, so you could conceivably hire an entire team without having to meet any of them.

You’ll also save money on office space if you hire a remote crew.

If you need office space once in a while, consider a local co-working space. You can schedule your meetings and interviews as needed, without having to invest in a brick-and-mortar store or office.

You might also be able to rent out a small office without having to commit to a larger space.

Another benefit to co-working spaces is that they often allow you to use their addresses. That lets you work from home and avoid using your home address on your business cards.

Your long-term survival is going to hinge on your ability to budget and invest. Business school grads know that you have to run an austerity budget, even when you’re profitable.

Spending money to make money isn’t always the way to go. Long-term success depends on paying off your debts, helping customers pay quicker, and cutting costs as much as possible.

Further Strategies for Growth

To succeed in your business, you have to be able to manage people and numbers. Business school graduates learn to manage their own finances, but you can always outsource your financials to a trusted accountant.

Take the time to ask yourself if you’re happy. Do you want to continue with your company for another year, or is it time to sell? Are you in desperate need of a vacation, or can you keep going for a few more months?

There is a world of information online, even if you don’t have the time for an MBA. You can take classes on time management, download a networking app, and find strategies for growth and development.

I have a wide range of articles and tutorials about affiliate marketing. I can set up your blog and develop your website for you.

Drop me a line and let’s get started with your content marketing ideas!

Bring Your A-Game Every Day: 10 Self Care Tips for Busy Entrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur, you’re constantly behind a computer screen, on a smartphone screen, or interacting with fellow business people in meeting after meeting. Like the Energizer Bunny, you keep going, and going, and going.

But you’re no robot.

So, the question is, why are you treating your body like you are?

Don’t worry — you’re not the only entrepreneur dealing with this. Research shows that Americans as a whole in the 21st century are working much longer hours than they did in the 1990s — longer than anybody else in today’s industrialized world.

Although building your own business is certainly something to be proud of, make sure that you don’t neglect yourself in the process. Here’s a rundown on 10 self care tips for surviving and thriving as an entrepreneur in the 21st century.

Let’s get started!

1. Watching Your Diet

A wide range of resources today tell you what to eat and how to eat it. The truth is, though, that the process of dieting doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming.

Since your main priority is the company you’re trying to build, take steps to minimize the effort and time required to eat nutritious meals.

For instance, you may want to cook in bulk, decide on a handful of regular meals, and decide on certain meal times. You might also want to begin shopping online or even using a service that will deliver your meal ingredients to you.

This will all save you time and reduce the urge to eat unhealthy fast food during your busy week.

2. Go to Sleep

You might not feel like you have enough hours in the day to get your business tasks done. But that doesn’t mean you should regularly burn the midnight oil in an effort to keep up.

The reality is that you need at least seven hours of sleep per night to function at your optimum level.

A great way to improve your sleep situation is to stick with a certain bedtime so that you’re consistently getting enough sleep. Also, purchase a memory foam mattress, which can help you to enjoy better sleep by better supporting your body. Layla sleep mattress has recently been featured in Forbes, Inc., and People Magazine for their studies on the importance of daily sleeping habits, productivity, and why sleeping on the right mattress can make all of the difference in well-rested sleep.

3. Work Out

This is another smart habit to build each day. That’s because working out isn’t just good for keeping your weight under control; it’s also great for improving your mental and emotional wellbeing, too.

Look for an activity you don’t mind doing, whether it’s biking or walking around the neighborhood. And try to do it every day. For many individuals, it’s actually easier to engage in physical activity each day versus only a few days a week.

4. Take Advantage of Services

A number of services are available today to give busy entrepreneurs like you a helping hand. So, why not take advantage of them?

For instance, hire a cleaner to clean your house once per week. Or allow a bookkeeper to get your financial situation in order. If you’re sick of updating your profiles on social media each day, you can also hire a virtual assistant to do this for you.

Although you may be serious about saving money when possible, it may be smart to invest in services that will free up time for you to focus on growing your business.

5. Rest for a Day

This can understandably be hard to do, but it is critical nonetheless. Everyone needs rest.

If you’re working every day of the week, you’ll find it tough to experience relief from the pressure and stress associated with operating your business.

Unplugging from your business-related stress at least one day a week is paramount for your wellbeing. During your day “off,” you can spend time in nature by yourself or go on an outing with family — whatever tickles your fancy.

6. Separate Your Work and Personal Lives

The challenge with being an entrepreneur is that it can be difficult to leave your work at work, as you are the one controlling your business’s direction. This is doubly hard if your office is at home.

However, you need to establish boundaries so that you keep your business life from bleeding into your personal life. This might mean not taking business calls after a certain time each day, or it could mean leaving your computer and phone in your office while you’re spending time with your family in the living room.

7. Establish Your Priorities

Did you know that as important as your business is, your health is even more important?

Think about it: even if you create a flourishing company, your quality of life will be terrible if you’re suffering from health issues and anxiety as a result of growing your business. Remember, money alone isn’t enough to make you happy.

So, approach entrepreneurship in a balanced way. Make sure that you put your family first, and also, recognize when you’ve got to unplug so that you can recharge. This will help you to feel healthier and more energized, which is what you need to thrive as a business owner.

8. Turn That Smartphone Off for an Entire Day

No, we’re not joking.

This might seem like an impossible feat for you in 2019, but it can be done if you put your mind to it.

By becoming unreachable for a day, you can restore your physical, mental and emotional health. And don’t worry — the rest of the world can make it without you for one day.

9. Breathe

Yes, everyone breathes, but not everyone breathes in the same way.

For instance, shallow breathing can contribute to anxiety. Meanwhile, full breaths from your abdomen will help your blood pressure to stabilize and will slow down your heart.

Guided exercises, like yoga, can help you to remember to take in breaths deeply until this becomes natural for you.

10. Treat Your Wellbeing As a Key Performance Indicator

When you’re managing your business, you track things like awareness measurements, sales and costs. But you should also keep track of how you’re doing physically and emotionally, too.

So, regularly assess how you’re feeling physically — for example, are you feeling sluggish due to a lack of sleep. Also, you might want to keep a journal to track how you’re faring mentally and emotionally.

Take Care of Your Body and Mind — then Your Business

As mentioned throughout this article and resource guide, it might not seem like you need to take care of your body and mind at all times — but this will eventually come back and hurt you in one way or another.

Your business is important, but YOU are more important.

Take the time to not only take care of yourself, but also to appreciate everything you have.

Way too many of us don’t take advantage of what we have right now, until it’s too late!

6 Workplace Design Tips to Transform Your Office Space

Being in a single space for at least nine hours a day can prove to become a little bland for your employees while working in the office. It doesn’t have to be though! Spending a little bit of time to spice up your office space for the new year can create an overall healthier work environment.

This is something home-based entrepreneurs know all too well. When first starting your side hustle or business, you will likely just be working from a desk, but over time you can customize your workspace to be a place where you actually love being in, and making it your own.

Over the years, I’ve gone through this process plenty of time — whether it be when I was just a kid running my business from a room in my parents house, to moving into our new place, rebuilding after Sandy, and all of the temporary locations in between.

Either way, if you are going to be spending a ton of time in one specific room or location, you might as well make it a fun and professional place to get work done!

To get started, take a look at these top tips to create a new workplace design for 2019.

1. Flexible and Modular Office Furniture

A big trend of 2019 is to take advantage of modular furniture that can be reorganized for group brainstorming or team meetings. Find some office tables and chairs that can be reworked into larger tables for group meetings, or can be broken up for smaller one-on-one brainstorming sessions.

You can also work with companies to build commercial fitouts to make an office space work within the dimensions of the rooms and open spaces you already have. While it might cost a little more money to get this done, it will make for a more professional look and feel over the life of your work area.

2. Focus on Activity-Based Team Projects

Make sure you have spaces for team-building activities. Try to incorporate spaces like lounges, conference rooms, and multipurpose workspaces to increase collaboration and boost productivity. There will always be a need for privacy, so be sure to try and seamlessly blend open spaces into your workplace design without leaving your employees to have to struggle to focus because their desks are right next to the busy activity areas.

3. Design for Employee Wellbeing

It has been proven time and again that our surroundings affect our wellbeing. Considering most professionals spend a good chunk of their day at the office, it is integral that these office spaces focus on human wellbeing.

Do this by ensuring your lounges and restrooms are away from individual workstations to help get your employees moving around. You can also integrate a new trend called biophilic design that combines nature into your workspaces, such as plant walls and windows.

4. Think About Visual Appeal

While functionality is great when thinking about your new workplace design, you also want to make sure the overall look is visually appealing. Millennials specifically enjoy coming to a workstation that promotes inspiration and creativity.

5. Integrate Technology

Our lives revolve around technology, and with computer systems and software playing a huge role in most workspaces, it only makes sense to try and think about creating your workplace design around the technology you will be using on a daily basis. Consider integrating wireless charging stations, interactive displays, and even tabletop touchscreens.

6. Get Your Team Involved

You know your employees best, so why not get them involved? This will allow your team to both ensure the office redesign will fit their needs as well as make them feel like their opinion is welcomed and appreciated.

Ultimately, the way you design your home office or work space is going to come down to what you want to accomplish with it. If you are going to be working in this area by yourself 95% of the time, there is no need to have additional chairs or clutter for guests who are never going to be there.

On the flip side, if you are having clients and guests in your work space quite often, you will want more of a open and free feeling.

This is where the advice and recommendations from fellow co-workers and employees can definitely bring some new ideas and direction to your working space.

What Will You Include in Your Workplace Design?

Start the new year off right with a strategic new workplace design that will offer a healthier and more productive work environment.

What trends will you incorporate into your redesign?

Don’t jump in head first. Contemplate what would work best for your team and then consider these top trends of 2019 that will create the most impact for your team. It will prove to make this year your company’s most successful year yet!

13 Side Hustles You Can Use to Fund a New Venture in 2019

A buzzword floating around for a while now has been “side hustle.” Many entrepreneurs are turning to side hustles as a way to increase income without signing onto massive commitments. This approach can potentially have more flexibility than part time work, allowing entrepreneurs to gain needed income or experience, without over-stressing their routines.

For entrepreneurs looking to fund an initial venture, side hustles may be the perfect solution. As there are a wide variety of side hustles out there, we asked entrepreneurs from YEC to share the kinds of side hustle they think are worth considering, along with how to get started. Here’s what they said:

1. Do Something Automatable

To fund my initial venture, I started selling cell phones on Amazon. I was able to do this because I could ship all of my inventory to Amazon and they would handle all the shipping and returns using their Fulfilled by Amazon service. The key is that your side hustle needs to be automatable. I found suppliers, placed orders and then shipped the inventory to Amazon and I’d call it a day.

– Bryan Kesler, CPA Exam Guide

2. Try Flipping as a Side Hustle

An entrepreneur I follow is a big proponent of flipping as a side hustle. This doesn’t mean houses, it means anything you have at home that you don’t need, what you’d find at a garage sale or anything you can make a profit on. Apps like Offer Up and others make it extremely easy to list things and sell things without having to tell everyone you know what you’re doing.

Joel Mathew, Fortress Consulting

3. Do Something Related to Your Venture

You only have so many hours in the day and you want to be using as many as possible to move your life, goals and dreams forward — so don’t squander them working in a completely different direction from what you actually want! These days, you can side hustle in just about any field or industry, so pick one that is going to help get your venture off the ground and prepare you with useful skills.

Justin Faerman, Conscious Lifestyle Magazine

4. Monetize Your Expertise

Monetizing expertise is the easiest way to build a profitable side-hustle — or even a primary hustle! Everyone is an expert at something, and expertise can be monetized. Figure out what you’re best at, then figure out who needs that skillset. Whether you consult, give speeches, create sponsored content on social media or share another way, there is an audience willing to pay for what you know.

Brittany Hodak, The Superfan Company

5. Consider Which Category Works Best for You

Undertaking a side hustle can branch into two separate categories: financial reserves and learning opportunities. Paid contracting or freelancing gigs and training opportunities, combined with savings and a frugal lifestyle, help with self-funding a business. Learning opportunities are volunteering and participating in startup communities, building a network for scaling a business quickly. – Mario Peshev, DevriX

6. Rent a Room via Airbnb

Airbnb is a great side hustle for extra cash. Whether you have a room or two at your house you’d like to post on the site or invest in purchasing a house solely to rent out, you can make quite a bit of money. Type in your city or neighborhood in Airbnb and check out your competition. Which places have the most and best reviews? What can you do to differentiate?

Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

7. Drive With Uber

Uber is a great side hustle. Anyone with a car can take advantage of. By providing just a few trips before or after your work day, you’ll have more extra cash in your bank account to put into your new business venture.

– John Turner, SeedProd LLC

8. Start an Affiliate Marketing Site

Starting a business requires a huge amount of energy and dedication. Chances are, you won’t have a lot of energy left over to do something you don’t enjoy. That’s why starting an affiliate marketing site can be such a good fit. Choose a topic you are passionate about that also has sizeable niche of consumers that are interested in it.

Thomas Smale, FE International

9. Sell Things on Facebook Marketplace

Got some stuff lying around your house that you don’t want anymore? Put it up for sale on Facebook Marketplace. You could even go hunting for some great finds at charity shops or garage sales and resell them for a profit right from the comfort of your own home.

– Blair Williams, MemberPress

10. Do Anything That Gives You Free Time

One of my side hustles was working at the front desk of a hotel. I worked the slow shifts and used all my downtime to build my business on my computer. I understood every piece of spare time was valuable to me. Even mowing lawns as a teenager I would listen to Tony Robbins’ CDs. Stay away from anything too physically or mentally intensive so you have the energy to moonlight when you get home.

Matt Wilson, Under30Experiences

11. Become an Amazon Prime Seller

It’s surprisingly easy to become an Amazon Prime seller. Considering that there are 100 million Prime members, with the right Prime product, you can make some decent cash. One trick is finding a product that is selling well and no one is selling it with a Prime tag. You will then differentiate by selling the same product with a faster delivery.

Jared Atchison, WPForms

12. Start Freelancing

The ideal side hustle brings in money while providing the flexibility you need to grow your main venture. Freelancing fits the bill and you can leverage skills you already have, especially if you have technical expertise — developers are always in demand. However, make sure the side hustle is worth your time; focusing on growing your business might provide better returns in the long run.

Vik Patel, Future Hosting

13. Do Something You Actually Enjoy Doing

A side hustle offers people the unique opportunity to do what they’ve always dreamed of. Many people, for example, turn to blogging because writing isn’t the most lucrative career path. Whatever you choose should be something you enjoy because it will ultimately be added work. Your side hustle should embrace the cliche of doing what you love so you never have to work a day in your life.

Reuben Yonatan, GetVoIP

Take these Expert Tips and Start Implementing them Today

Now that you’ve had a chance to read through some expert tips on how to start making some extra money on the side, it’s time to implement these changes into your own business and daily efforts.

Also, if you enjoyed this expert round up, I highly recommend you check out another one on BloggingTips.com which asks 83 online marketing experts the question “How Do I Start a Successful Blog?“. If you don’t already have a website or blog of your own, follow my guide to get started with one today.

Quick Tips on How to Get a Commercial Loan to Grow Your Business

Making the decision to take on debt for your business isn’t one that should be taken lightly.

What if you’re considering applying for a commercial loan to help you finance your dream brick and mortar office or store?

We know that you want to understand the best possible options before you make a final — and expensive — decision. You may feel that a commercial real estate loan is the right choice, but want to learn more about the process.

In this post, we’ll tell you what you need to know to get the funding your business deserves.

What Is a Commercial Building Loan?

Before we discuss the requirements and specific benefits of a commercial loan, let’s make sure you’re clear on what one is.

In a nutshell, a commercial real estate loan is an arrangement between a place of business and a loan provider.

These providers can be banks or private lenders. Many people elect to get their loans from commercial financing companies.

This is because smaller businesses especially struggle to get loan approval from a bank.

In the case of commercial real estate loans, you’ll use the money the lender provides to you in order to finance the construction of a brick and mortar store, office, or general place of business.

You can also use the money from your commercial real estate loan to upgrade and renovate a property you already own.

It’s important to realize that a commercial loan is made to a business, not to an individual. This means that the loan payment will actually be given to a corporation, a trust, or a limited partnership (to name just a few examples.)

Of course, since the payment isn’t being made to a person, but rather to a company, it can be tough to prove you have strong credit and are in good financial standing.

So, depending on the lender, you may need to elect a few principals — people who are the company’ owners. You’ll then give the lender your credit history, and other financial information.

In some cases, the property itself may serve as the collateral.

Standard Commercial Loan Requirements

Now that you have a better grasp on what a commercial loan can help you with, let’s talk about the requirements you need to have.

First of all, in most cases, you’ll have to show that your business occupies at least 51% of the building you want to purchase.

You’ll need to give the lender five years of your tax returns, an independent property appraisal, and a business plan. You’ll also need to provide them with a certification from the state that proves you’re a corporation.

In some cases, you may need to give specific financial reports. You may also need to show the lender a projected cash flow. This helps them to know you’ll actually be able to repay the loan.

You’ll also need to seriously consider your commercial real estate loan down payment.

These down payments are a percentage of the total amount of the loan.

You’ll need to be able to pay these upfront in order to get the loan you want. So, when you’re looking at your options (more on that in a minute) ensure the percentage is one you can afford.

The good news is that there are lots of ways a commercial real estate lender may be able to work with you. This will increase your chances of getting the loan you desire. Check out this article from Assets America to learn more about selecting the right broker for your needs.

Types of Commercial Real Estate Loans

If you want a commercial real estate loan, the good news is that you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.

There are five main types of commercial loans.

The first is an SBA7(a) loan, which is actually backed by the SBA itself. These are the most popular loans, and can go up to $5 million. In most cases, they carry interest rates of anywhere from 5-8.75%. You’ll pay them back over a period of about 10 to 25 years.

You may also consider a CDC/SBA 504 loan. This is also backed by the SBA, and it doesn’t have a maximum borrow amount. You’ll need to pay a minimum down payment of 10%.

Often, people think of this loan as two loans. This is because it’s, in addition to being backed by the SBA, also backed by a Certified Development Company (CDC.)

Their low down payment makes them a popular choice for young businesses.

You could also choose a traditional commercial mortgage loan issues by a bank. The down payment can be anywhere from 15-35%. They’re tougher to get than other types of loans, but they offer low-interest rates.

In some cases, you may choose a commercial bridge loan. This is a short-term option, and you’ll later refinance the loan into a long-term mortgage. The term is anywhere from 6 to 36 months in total.

Finally, you might want a hard money loan.

This is also a short-term option. Once again, you’ll later refinance and turn this loan into a mortgage. This is the best choice for those who need money as soon as is possible.

Is a Commercial Loan Right for Your Business?

We hope this post has not only explained what a commercial loan is, but also helped you to determine if getting one is the right idea for your business.

Looking for advice about how to pay off loans and business debt? Want to learn more about the different types of business loans available to you?

No matter what kind of business you’re in, or your financial situation, our blog can help you to grow.

9 Secret Tricks for Paying Off Your Business Debt in 2019

Running a business but fear your debt is about to pile up? This is something that happens to many entrepreneurs and marketers when running an online business. Money always seems to go out much faster that it actually comes in.

While it is scary, don’t worry too much about it. It’s normal to have debt; other than equity, you can use debt to finance your business. Go too deep in debt, however, and you could run into the risk of bankruptcy.

If you want a successful business, you need to track the key metrics to ensure it happens. But what should you do when you get into business debt? You have a lot of options to choose from.

Are you ready to learn how to get out of business debt? Read on and learn these tricks.

1. Increase Your Profits

One of the most common ways to pay off your debt is to increase your income. Do your research and try using strategies to raise your revenue. For example, you can make promotions that make interest from your local customers.

Making promotions can make people buy more from you. But this is a balancing act since doing it too much is counterproductive. Check your margins and see if you can raise your prices for more profit.

2. Get Customers to Pay Faster

When billing customers with an invoice, you might get delays from them. You need to make your customers pay faster if you need funds as soon as possible. Make sure that your payment terms are short.

If you allow 90 months to pay, shorten it by half. Most customers will make sure to pay at the very last moment. So that means you need to think about how long you’re willing to wait for their payment.

Track down some late-paying customers. Check for outstanding invoices in your business database. Remind them about the bill and send in some collection letters if it doesn’t work.

3. Cut Costs

Having small business debt means you should spend for the bare necessities. Depending on the amount of debt, you might end up spending even less. That means you need to analyze the things you really need.

Always look for opportunities to cut out things to save your money. You can either make small, minor cuts or a single large cut. Again, you might need to do both if your debt is big enough.

4. Give Your Debt Priority

Check which debts you can pay off first to get out of debt. Check the critical ones with the ability to destroy your business in its entirety. Also, consider the ones that can have a negative effect on your business relationships.

There are some debts that can damage your reputation with your vendors. You need to think about how it affects your future relationships with them. Do this while thinking about the interest rates and possible penalties like the collateral you lose.

5. Negotiate Better Terms

Ask if you can get smaller interest rates or minimum payments. Creditors will try to keep your business afloat. After all, if your business fails, they won’t get anything out of you.

That means they’re more likely to work with you. In most cases, they’ll extend their payment plans or make the debt smaller for you to pay it. They’re better off getting some money than getting nothing at all.

Always talk to your lenders. You might get a pleasant surprise on what they can do for you.

6. Ask for Friend and Family Support

Your loved ones might have the means of helping you out of a debt. They can help you pay it off and you’ll pay them back at a later time. Family members and friends can be great lenders for you.

Often, they’re more understanding and sympathetic with your situation. Most family members might offer little to no interest rates. They’re more likely to let you pay smaller amounts over a longer period of time.

7. Try Debt Consolidation

If you want to know how to dig out of debt, try consolidating your debts. You can check The Credit Review for the best debt relief companies to help you. These might help you pay off all your debts, so you only need to pay one entity for it.

Having a single debt instead of many isn’t the main strength of debt consolidation. Your goal is to take out a loan with better terms compared to the other ones. It’s only worth it if you’re paying a lower interest rate and have longer payment terms.

8. Check Your Budget

When debt piles up, you might need to revisit your company’s budget. That means you need to make a budget that fits your company’s financial situation. Ensure that the profits are enough to cover more than your usual monthly costs like utilities.

Set a portion of the remaining profit for variable costs. Once done, devote as much money as you can to pay off your debt. It’s especially important if you have credit card debt since you need to pay more than the minimum.

9. Seek Counsel

Making negotiations with your creditors are rarely a good experience. If your creditors aren’t as cooperative, you might need the help of a counseling group. These non-profit organizations often give debt-management advice to both individuals and small businesses alike.

The helpfulness of their advice depends on how worse your debt situation is. You might have some complicated debt issues to resolve. In this case, it’s better to check with a bankruptcy attorney and ask for their advice on the matter.

Get Out of Business Debt Today!

Being in debt isn’t a pleasant experience no matter how you look at it. But in some cases, you need to get into debt to ensure that your business doesn’t go under. The part most business owners have difficulty involves paying it back.

If you want to get out of business debt, try these tips. They’re not difficult to do, but it needs management skills and consistency. The process will be difficult, but the end result of being debt-free is worth all the effort.

Would you like to start a home business instead? Read this post and learn about the benefits of starting one. It’s far cheaper to run than paying rent for your business premises.

Analyzing the Many Benefits of Starting a Home Business in 2019

There are many people these days that would love to run their own business but many have no idea where they should start. Most are put off right away but the thought of raising enough money to start a business. However, what many people fail to realize is that in today’s digital era it has become far easier and cheaper to start a business because you can start it from home.

Whether you want to provide a freelance accountancy or writing service, set up an online retail business, or even start your own drop shipping business, working from home is an ideal solution. You can enjoy many benefits when you set up your business from home and this includes keeping costs down to a minimum. In fact, more and more people have been able to start their own business these days thanks to modern technology and the online revolution, which is why has become so viable for many people.

Some of the Key Benefits You Can Look Forward To

There are many fabulous benefits that you can look forward to when you set up your own business from home. As mentioned earlier, one of the key benefits is that it is far cheaper to run a business from home than to worry about paying for business premises, business rates, bills, building maintenance and other unnecessary costs. All you have to do is set up a home office, which can be done very cheaply by investing in high quality used furniture and equipment. This immediately makes it more financially viable to set up your own business.

A second benefits is that you won’t have to worry about traveling to and from work every day, which will not only save you a lot of time and hassle but also a lot of money in gas or public transport fares. You can simply have breakfast at home and then stroll to your home office, settle down, and begin work for the day. This is a great way to enjoy working for yourself and improving your work life balance.

The sheer number and types of jobs you can do from home is yet another benefit you can look forward to. Many people these days set up as freelancers working from their own home office or set up a small business from home. You can consider all sorts of options ranging from online sales through to freelance writing, web design, accountancy services, and more. All you need to do is consider your skills and interest so you can better determine the type of home career that will suit you.

If you want to enjoy the benefits of being your own boss and working from home, setting up your home business has never been easier. Thanks to high speed internet technology and the online revolution, there are all sorts of jobs you can do when you set up a home office. What’s more, you have a far better chance of making a great income if you put in the work.  

The Financial Benefits of Starting Your Own Business from Home

You must also bear in mind the many financial benefits that come with setting up your own business from home. You can benefit from minimal upfront costs because you don’t have to worry about things such as paying for business premises and associated costs. You can also benefit from big savings when it comes to travel, as you won’t have to go back and forth from the office each day.

In addition to the many savings you can make by working from home, you also have to consider the boost in income that you can look forward to. When you work for yourself, you have the ability to boost your income dramatically by putting in the hard work and commitment necessary. This means that you can look forward to a far better quality of life for you and your loved ones as well as being able to enjoy far more financial freedom. Many people spend years working for someone else and still find themselves on a low salary at the end of it all. However, when you work for yourself you have the ability to more or less set your own income based on the amount of work you are prepared and able to put in.

Improving Your Future by Setting Up Your Own Home Business

With so many benefits to look forward to, it is very easy to see how working for yourself from home could help to improve your future. You can then look forward to not only the flexibility and freedom of being your own boss but the chance to enjoy a brighter and more exciting future doing something that you actually have an interest in.

5 Office Decor Must-Haves to Make Your Home Office or Workspace Pop

When you work from home, you need to have a nice place in your house that is yours, which is also secluded from other noise and distractions. At the same time, you also want to make this an area where you can work and enjoy your atmosphere.

The same holds true for employees and professionals that have their own cubicle or workspace as well.

If you are looking to spruce things up and make your workspace more enjoyable, then you my friend, have come to the right place. Let’s jump straight to it. Below you’ll find the best recommendations to turn your office from drab to fab with four office must haves.

To kick things off, let’s take a look at what my home office looks like today! For more pictures and guidance on how I set up my home office, be sure to check out the full article here.

Now, let’s move on to five helpful decor tips that you can start using to improve your own workspace!

Office Must Haves #1: Natural Light

The modern trend is shifting toward spaces flooded with natural light. The effects of natural light both energizes and inspires your employees. It’ll increase their productivity and happiness. We’re talking large, clear windows with the curtains drawn back.

Evaluate your present sources of light. Open your curtains or shutters. Do they allow enough light to come through? If not, and if you can’t replace the windows, consider changing to full-spectrum light-bulbs.

Full-spectrum bulbs offer up the same spectrum of light as our sun. You can choose wavelengths that imitate morning, afternoon, or evening sunlight to create an awesome office space.

#2 Plants and Flowers

In addition to natural light, plants and flowers will lend your industrial office an organic quality. Don’t settle for fake flowers. Regardless of what you’ve been told, they won’t give your office an organic feel.

Stick with the real stuff. Potted plants work wonders. If you water them every few days, you’ll have them for years.

Bouquets of flowers are far better, but they can be expensive. You can always compromise. Buy fresh flowers during the summer at farmers markets. They’re much less expensive than florists.

For the rest of the year, keep a few potted flowers around. Lilies are our recommendation.

#3 Interactive Whiteboard

Whiteboards are paramount in today’s communal workplaces. They offer your staff a place to throw around ideas and think through strategies. If you leave your written work on the board between sessions, your staff will unconsciously continue developing ideas.

It’s also a simple way to keep all your business’s ideas in one place. It’s much easier and less time consuming than dozens of back-and-forth email chain letters. With whiteboards, you can take in the entire scope of your strategy in one glance.

Don’t worry, they’re not hard to find. Here are a few suggested online stores for office goodies (outside of Amazon):

Next, let’s talk about your furniture choices.

#4 Comfortable Chairs

No, we’re not talking Barcaloungers. We’re talking office chairs, seats, and stools. The only reason to furnish your office with uncomfortable chairs is that you want to push people to leave. That works fine in cafeterias and coffee shops.

For everything else, think ergonomically. When your visitors or your staff sit in a comfortable chair, their stress levels decrease. This leads to an increase in their productivity.

Comfortable chairs are also a sign of prestige. They work the same as a stylish desk or a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. They signal people that you care about more than the function of your space.

You also care about the people in it.

#5 Add Some Minimalist Art and Photos

Have you ever been to a home of office where there are pictures and photos all over the place? Sometimes it can get quite overwhelming.

There is nothing wrong with having motivational messages or pictures of your loved ones around you, but there are nice ways to set this up as well.

Try to stick with only a few art frames or photos on your desk, and make sure they have a nice frame and compliment the area around you.

It also couldn’t hurt to add some motivational posters to your walls for those days that you need an extra work ethic pick-me-up.

Motivational_Posters_Zac_Johnson_Office

What’s Next?

Now that you’ve discovered our office must haves, it’s time to start shopping. But, before you do, evaluate your present office style. Look at your color schemes and overall style. Then you can match your new goodies and your old.

Was this information helpful? Then come to pick through our library full of other helpful articles.

So long and good luck!

Pros & Cons of Offering Small Business Benefits Packages to Employees

If you are planning to expand your business from a one man company, to a multi-person organization, you will likely need to start thinking about employee benefits and how you might be spreading the best packages across your employees and staff. As much as I love the concept of being a sole-entrepreneur, if you want to grow and scale your business in size, this is just another process that is required to have in place.

Wondering if you should go the extra mile for your employees?

79% of employees would choose a benefits package over a salary increase. But a small business may have as much to lose as it has to gain by offering a benefits package.

Below, we’re taking a look at the pros and cons of offering a small business benefits package to employees.

Pro: Attracting Quality Employees

The most obvious advantage of offering employee benefits lies in the quality of candidates it helps attract.

A flat salary actually has limited use to the modern worker. It may help pay for basic living costs, but it leaves many of the big stresses of life up in the air. A single look at life insurance quotes will be enough to show you what your employees are up against when they’re trying to cover everything with only a salary.

Add the medley of other life expenses, and it’s clear to see why employees are getting pickier about who they work for. By offering a benefits package, you can attract employees who are more serious and selective about their careers.

Pro: Giving Something Back

“But I already pay a salary!” we hear you cry.

Think of it this way: is a salary enough compensation for the many long hours of their life an employee spends at your company? After all, we only live once. A salary represents the minimum possible compensation for the raw labor an employee provides.

In truth, most employees provide a lot more than that.

Offering benefits can give something back to the people who spend that time bringing success to your company. It also shows them that you value them as individuals with personal lives and circumstances.

Pro: Driving Motivation and Retention

A business needs more than warm bodies to become a success. It needs employees who are engaged and motivated. Motivated employees will work hard, innovate, and even boost sales.

Extra incentives are a great tool to add that extra spark of motivation. Employees with access to benefits feel they’re there for more than the “daily grind”. Not only are they less stressed, but they’re also more positive about the company they work for.

Over time, that means more productivity and less attrition through employees moving on to better opportunities.

One of the benefits of offering company health benefits to employees should be clear: fewer sick days. Your staff might take more days off for smaller problems, but the upshot is that those smaller problems won’t progress into more serious conditions.

Pro: Creating Brand Ambassadors

Even for megacorps that have achieved the status of a household name, marketing makes up a huge percentage of their business spend. For small businesses, it can bleed them dry.

So, the value of free marketing is clear. But free promotion doesn’t begin and end with social media. Have you considered the value your employees have as brand ambassadors?

People expect employees to be a little cynical about the company they work for. It’s a real achievement to turn that cynicism into positivity. A benefits package could lead to your employees singing the praises of your company.

Positive word-of-mouth about your company then starts with your employees – and ripples out through their social circles and online presence.

This is also something Sarah Lahav, CEO of SysAid, had to think about. Founded in 2002, the company has grown their customer base to over 10,000 companies, while also serving locations in more than 140 countries around the world. This simply wouldn’t have been possible as a single-person company, but being a brand ambassador and an image for her company, Sarah continues to see daily improvements and growth within the company.

Con: The Visible Cost

The additional cost of offering benefits isn’t always welcome for a small business.

On top of that, a small business also won’t have a lot of buying power to negotiate cheaper rates. For a small business, benefits might turn out to be a luxury you can’t afford.

Benefits can also obscure your cash flow. The price of insurance can fluctuate over time. Any benefits you offer based on reimbursement are unpredictable.

It’s vital for a small business to control its cash flow. Providing benefits is often undesirable for small businesses, as it introduces uncertainty.

Con: The Hidden Cost

The full cost of offering benefits isn’t obvious at first glance. We’ve outlined the obvious costs, but what about the hidden costs of a benefits package?

Offering benefits sucks up a wealth of administration time. You might even need new hires capable of delivering the details of your benefits scheme. That heaps extra costs on top of the obvious cost of offering benefits.

As you offer more benefits, your administrative time increases. For a small company, those costs can run out of control. This isn’t an option for some small businesses that struggle to control their cash flow.

Con: Legal Pitfalls

When you enter the insurance game, you’re also entering a legal minefield.

Making a misstep along the way could leave you subject to legal action. That could be a deathblow for a business operating on thin margins.

Legal action against your company will soak up time and money. It’ll also drag your reputation through the dirt, making it harder to attract quality employees in the future. It could even damage your brand.

You could take extra care to make sure this doesn’t happen, but that’s yet another expense on top of the cost of providing benefits.

Con: Finding the Benchmark

Information is one of the most powerful weapons you can have against your competition. But it can be hard to figure out what sort of benefits package your competition has on offer.

In contrast to offering a flat salary, that makes it tough to decide where your benefits package should stop. You’ll need to put some serious work into finding out what candidates in your industry are searching for.

If you lowball your benefits package, the accompanying reduction in salary will drive candidates away. Overextend, and you risk bankrupting your business. You need to find the balance that keeps you competitive.

The Small Business Benefits Package: Yea or Nay?

The exact situation of every business is different, so we can’t tell you whether a small business benefits package is right for you. But we’ve given you enough info that you’re now equipped to decide whether it’s the way to go for your business.

Looking for more business advice? Check out our top podcast episodes.