#small business loans
Business Loans up to $300K
at rates starting at 5.9% 1
1 Factor rate is the financing cost divided by the loan amount – but that’s not how traditional interest rates work. For example, if you pay 30 cents for a one-year loan of one dollar, your factor rate is 30% but is equivalent to a 55% interest rate! Factor rates can make short-term loans appear less expensive than a traditional interest rate would.
2 These loans require you to repay a fixed amount of interest, so paying off early won’t save you any money. In fact, it can increase your effective interest rate to 200% or more.
3 Payments calculated based on range of interest rates and repayment terms offered, assuming a loan amount of $10,000.
4 Total Annualized Rate shows all costs for one year in a single equivalent interest rate so that you can make apples-to-apples comparisons.
Lending Club is America’s #1 credit marketplace, transforming banking to make it more efficient, transparent and consumer friendly. We operate fully online with no branch infrastructure and use technology to lower cost and deliver an amazing experience.
How to Get a Business License
If you are planning on starting your own business. chances are that you will need some type of license or permit – maybe more than one – to move forward legally. A business license is a permit issued by a government agency that allows business to be conducted in said government’s geographic jurisdiction. By and large, your state or local government will determine which licenses and permits are required to operate in its jurisdiction. Additionally, the federal government requires special licenses for certain industries.
Why Is a Business License Required?
Obtaining a business license is necessary for three main reasons:
- So the government can track taxable revenue
- So consumers are protected in federally regulated industries
- So that you may demonstrate your level of professional expertise
Determining the requirements for your business is the first and most important step.
Identifying License and Permit Requirements
Business licensing requirements are determined by:
- Business activity
- Physical location
The U.S. Small Business Administration provides a great resource for determining the licensing requirements in your area. After entering in your local zip code and the type of business you are starting, you are presented with a list of the permits and licenses you will need along with the locations at which you can find the requisite forms.
Before you can apply for a license, you will need to determine your business activity code. which is based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). In order to select the proper code, you must determine the activities from which your business will derive the largest percentage of its total receipts, which is defined as the sum of gross receipts or sales plus all other income.
The Internal Revenue Service requires businesses to register to receive a Federal Tax Identification number. also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Your business will need an EIN if you can answer yes to any of the following questions:
- Do (or will) you have employees?
- Do (or will) you operate your business as a corporation or a partnership?
- Do (or will) you file any of these tax returns: Employment, Excise, or Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms?
- Do (or will) you withhold taxes on income, other than wages, paid to a non-resident alien?
- Do (or will) you have a Keogh plan ?
- Are (or will you be) you involved with any of the following types of organizations?
Trusts, except certain grantor-owned revocable trusts, IRAs, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Returns
Real estate mortgage investment conduits
Licenses and Permits
If your business will fall under the regulating eye of a federal agency, you will need to obtain the corresponding federal license or permit. Examples of business activities that may require such licenses include:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Firearms, ammunition and explosives,
- Fish and wildlife,
- Mining and drilling
- Nuclear energy
- Radio and Television broadcasting
- Transportation and logistics
Permits can usually be found online, on the website of the entity that regulates the specific regulated activity the business will engage in. For example, if your business is involved in agricultural activities, you can find the necessary applications at the website for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If you plan to broadcast your own television or radio program, you can find the necessary application online via the Federal Communications Commission .
It will also be necessary for you to register for applicable tax permits with state and local agencies. For instance, if your business will be selling goods or services, and you are operating in a state which levies an income tax, you will be obligated to obtain a tax license so that the state can track your taxable revenue. Contact the license commissioner in your county or municipality and the office of your state’s Secretary of State to find out the exact requirements that apply to you.
Even sole proprietorships run out of someone’s home are required to obtain business licenses in some areas. These can include:
- General business licenses
- Trade licenses (such as a license to operate a child care service or sell real estate)
- Sales tax permits
- Health and safety permits
- Sign permits
- Zoning permits
Filling Out and Filing the Forms
Once you figure out the licenses and permits you need to legally register your business, you will then need to fill out the necessary forms. These can be obtained from the appropriate federal or state agencies, and they usually can be found online. You may print the forms, fill them out, and mail them back to the agency; however, in many instances you will be able to fill out the forms and submit them online. Regardless, information you can expect to disclose may include, but not be limited to, the following:
- Type of business
- Business address
- Name of business owner
- Contact information
- Federal ID number
- NAICS code
- Number of employees
Expect to pay a filing fee, which can range from around $50 to hundreds of dollars or more, dependent upon the region you are filing in and the types of activities your business will be conducting. Fees are often calculated as a percentage of revenue, with a base minimum for new companies. The time it takes to receive your license can vary from a few days to a few weeks.
Obtaining the necessary licenses and permits for your business is required in order to operate legally. Moreover, the task is not a one-time occurrence. Most licenses and permits will need to be renewed periodically. For example, if you are running a restaurant with a bar, you will need to renew your liquor license once a year.
While this process can seem daunting, being familiar with the steps will go a long way in making the experience as painless as possible.
Zee Business: Go local, get an audience
Shuchi Bansal | New Delhi May 05, 2009 12:42 AM IST
Zee Business, the business news channel of the Zee Group, has increased its market share almost 100 per cent in the last one year. Launched in November 2004, it was the country s first Hindi business channel. However, it failed to make a mark. Up until one year ago, the channel lacked direction and a clear positioning. With a market share of approximately 11 per cent, it trailed CNBC, CNBC Awaaz and NDTV Profit by a huge margin.
Last summer, the channel s new business head, Raktim Das, went back to the drawing board to see how he could drive channel viewership. The problems were aplenty. We did not even know who we were talking to. However, what we knew was that business leaders like Ratan Tata or Nandan Nilkeni were not talking to us, says Das.
Step one included defining the core audience and the core positioning of the channel. Since purchasing power was growing in Tier II and III towns, it was decided to focus on small and medium enterprises of up to Rs 100 crore, especially those in the Hindi-speaking markets.
So, the spotlight turned on towns like Moradabad (for its crystal and brass exports), Agra (leather), Ludhiana (wool products and hosiery) and Jaipur (gems and jewellery). To connect with the audience in these towns, Zee Business began organising investor camps.
Zee held 30 such camps where an expert panel talked to people about their financial planning and investment needs. Simultaneously, it launched a hunt for smart investors in these towns who were meant to resolve case studies in financial planning. Selected viewers were shot with their families for an on-air show.
The exercise has been on for the last nine months and has created a huge rapport with the viewers. The grand finale of the contest is yet to be held, says Das. In another ground event, the channel organised discussions on emerging businesses in 10 cities. Result? Its viewership has risen from 11 per cent in March 2008 to 19 per cent in November to 25 per cent between January and March. Das claims Zee Business is now ahead of NDTV Profit and UTVi.
#business cards cheap
Best sources for cheap business cards
You hear it time and time again: networking, networking, networking. It s the professional crux that most fall into as we transition further into the digital age and begin to rely increasingly more on social networking sites and quasi-professional job boards like LinkedIn and Monster to create our connections. And while they may be fantastic online resources, they don t carry the same weight in the offline professional world as a good, old-fashioned business card.
Fortunately, there are plenty of cheap alternatives for creating, customizing and printing high-quality business cards should your company refuse to print them or if you simply want more control of what your card says about you. After all, a top-notch business card often leaves a lasting impression — good or bad — well after handshakes and highballs have subsided.
Here are our picks for the best sources for cheap business cards so you can stop sweating bullets like Christian Bale in American Psycho and rest assured that your card ranks among the best.
In a way, VistaPrint is one of the pioneers of the business card world. The company made a name for itself a few years back by offering ultra-cheap printing in modest-size batches (250-500 cards) and a free 250-card run for first-time users looking to try out the printing service (shipping costs still apply). The site is easy to navigate, whether browsing free or premium business cards, and boasts thousands of premade designs in addition to the fully-customizable templates that let you add various levels of personalization (i.e. name, photo, contact info, etc.).
The service doesn t offer the highest quality available — what you pay for is typically what you get — and the cards are thinner and somewhat smaller than your traditional business card. However, VistaPrint is still a great option if you don t mind dealing with less-than-ideal construction and a watermark on the back in lieu of an expensive price tag. Premium card runs start at $10, but keep an eye out for the various ongoing promotions and specials throughout the week.
Just because business cards are an age-old tradition, doesn t mean they can t thrive in a digital realm. The popular card-creating site Moo boasts everything from traditional business and mini cards to free cards tailored specifically for your Facebook and About.me profiles. Hell, they even added a third side to business cards with an embedded NFC chips that activates various functions when touched to a smartphone or other NFC-capable device. Like other sites on our list, Moo offers a wealth of elegant designs and premade layouts housed within the site s Web-based app, providing business cards that can be tweaked and refined for a more personal touch.
A pack of 50 double-sided business cards starts at $20, but the thick cardstock and lavish ink look and feel phenomenal. Plus, Moo will send you a free 10-card sampler and allow you to customize your entire run of cards individually, meaning you can place a different image or design element on every card instead of opting for an entire 200-card run of the same, custom build. They don t come cheap, but they re worthwhile given the great quality and decent price point.
There are probably plenty of indie printing companies in the United States, but Canada is likely a different story. Jukebox, although not the cheapest on our roundup, takes customization and sheer design tenacity to the next level through its abundant variety of cardstock types — from traditional and embossed business cards to more obscure mediums such as wood and cotton. The site hosts an easy-to-use business card creator brimming with pre-built design templates, but you can always opt to start from scratch if you want greater control over the background image and overall design aesthetics.
Specialty business cards such as wood and cotton start in the triple digits when it comes to pricing, but you re standard pack of 500 or 1,000 business cards are competitively priced at an upwards of $60 or $70. The print quality is impressive as well, rigid and accurate, and the company doesn t completely scalp you on international delivery despite its Canadian roots. JukeBox is the way to go if you re looking for a moderately priced pack of business cards that stand out from the pack.
OvernightPrints is the Swiss army knife of online printing services, offering affordable options and quick delivery for all manner of printed products. They may specialize in brochures and announcements, but they also tout a wide selection of cardstock, designs and custom finishes accessible through the built-in wizard. Like most printing services, you can always upload your own creation, but the site does host an number of elegant, premade patterns for those of us who are less crafty or quickly need a set of business cards in a pinch.
OvernightPrints is also one of the few services capable of processing small batch runs of less than 100. You can order card runs between 50 and 5,000, with a meager 50-card run costing a mere $4.15 with free UV finishing, and the site is always hosting on-going sales for customers who subscribe to the mailing list or have the patience to wait for an applicable price reduction on a particular style. The cards are weighty and of higher-quality than the similarly-priced VistaPrint, but they re not superbly crafted either. OvernightPrints is a knockout when it comes to price-quality comparison though, especially if you manage to catch a promotion or just need a few cards to hold you over in a pinch.
Looking to stockpile an abundance of no-frills business cards that ditch the designer chic in favor of something more simple? GotPrint keeps it as basic as it gets, whether uploading your own composition or utilizing the site s barebones templates, and features several card stock options in varying sizes and styles. There are a few special shapes if you prefer to add a touch of pizzazz and uniqueness to your card, such as ovals and rounded rectangles, but they will drastically increase the printing costs and require you to manually upload your personalized design in lieu of using the built-in web app.
Aside from its simplicity, GotPrint is know for its quick turnaround and rock-bottom pricing. A standard 500-card run begins at around $50 and features great quality printing for the price, with stiff card stock and excellent inking, but it s not quite as nice as Moo or some of the more expensive services on our roundup. Although the customer service has been known to give clients the run around when issues arise, the pricing and moderate choice selection still make it a great source for cheap business cards.
There s never enough room on our best-of roundups to include each and every service worth mentioning. Below are a few of the runner ups that offer fairly solid business cards for an affordable price. They might not be as speedy or convenient as your local brick-and-mortar print shop, nor do they offer the kind of stellar quality of our top five, but they re still not a bad choice given the price.
What did you think of our choices for the best sources for cheap business cards? Which service do use for all your professional printing needs? Let us know in the comments below.
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Get the recognition your business deserves
Reasons to enter
- Show pride in your achievements and boost the morale of your stakeholders and employees
- Meet high level representatives from all industry sectors across the whole of Europe
- Benefit from extensive media and industry coverage for your company
The awards process
Register and submit your completed written online Entry Form.
National Champions selected by Judges from the online Entry Form Submissions. Country events held.
Video Entries submitted by National Champions & uploaded to EBA website for public voting & Judging.
Ruban D’Honneur recipients selected by Judges from the National Champions written Entry Form submission & Video Entry submission.
Overall Category Winners are selected following Ruban D’Honneur face to face judging sessions and announced at EBA
Our Reason for Being
The European Business Awards primary purpose is to support the development of a stronger and more successful business community throughout Europe.
For all of the citizens of Europe, our prosperity, social and healthcare systems are reliant on us creating an even stronger, more innovative, successful, international and ethical business community – one that forms the beating heart of an increasingly globalised economy.
The Awards aims:
- to draw attention to and recognise our best businesses and what they are doing.
- to enable companies of all sizes and industries to compare themselves to and learn from the very best in Europe.
- to stimulate the debate about the future shape, form and substance of the business community in Europe.
Funding and Finances
In order to fund the running of the competition. the Awards deliver a range of products and services to the business community that generate income and are aligned with the objectives of the Awards. The range of products and services include: sponsorship, research, feedback and benchmarking.
Additionally, companies participating in the Awards are able to make a voluntary contribution towards the administration and running of the programme.
Through these activities the programme aims to be financially self sustaining.
Whether an organisation purchases a product or service, or makes any form of voluntary contribution, this will in no way influence the outcome of the competition.
The EBA in Numbers
The competition started in 2007
- In 2015/16 33 countries participated
- 32,000 companies engaged with the EBA
- 678 National Champions 32 National Public Champions
- 110 Ruban d Honneur recipients
- 10 European Business Award Winners will be announced on 17th June 2016 at the grand finale in Milan
- 1 Chairman s Selection Award Winner will be announced on 17th June 2016 at the grand finale in Milan
- 1 European Public Champion winner will be announced on 17th June 2016 at the grand finale in Milan
- 1 Lifetime Achievement Award will be announced on 17th June 2016 at the grand finale in Milan
What other people think of the European Business Awards
Christine Lagarde, former French Minister of Economy, Finance and Employment. Head of the IMF. It is wonderful that all 27 member states of Europe are together [in entering the European Business Awards]. We want a strong Europe and you are participating in the process of building a strong Europe, piece by piece.
Yves Leterme, former Prime Minister of Belgium I think the Business Awards is a very good stimulus for all these people who are working in small- medium enterprises and in bigger companies to always try to improve their results because it s important that from the outside society is looking at it and is rewarding them and for their efforts.
Karel De Gucht, former EU Trade Commissioner I think it is important that we showcase our most exceptional businesses, share knowledge and generate debate around the creation of a stronger European community. The European Business Awards does just that, as well as ensuring the outstanding talent, energy, creativity and innovation of our business community is recognised.
Jos Mar a Aznar, former Prime Minister of Spain. I have the highest opinion of the European Business Awards. It is a great initiative to promote the values and principles we believe in: liberty, democracy, freedom of speech, open markets and open societies.
Petar Stoyanov, former President of Bulgaria. This event inspires and stimulates European Business to reaching exacting criteria, where not only annual turnover and sales count, but also factors with high social importance what we call business ethics.
Muharrem D rtka li, President and CEO of Turkish Aerospace Industries This accolade provides us with a real sense of achievement and recognises our hard work and performance. We are always striving for excellence and it is a privilege that we are being celebrated as one of the best businesses in our industry, in our country and in Europe as a whole.
Top 5 Small Business Loan Requirements – How to get a Small Business Loan
#sba loan requirements
Top 5 Small Business Loan Requirements
The time has come to expand your business with new employees, a larger location or a new product line. It’s an exciting time, but stressful because you’re not sure you have the cash reserves to manage the expansion.
For many small businesses, this situation calls for a small business loan a cash infusion that pays for itself, plus the interest, with the new opportunities and extra income it allows you to create.
Many of our Kabbage customers are new to small business lending. Though they’re familiar with personal loans, they only know the basics of small business loans and lines of credit. For those who “resemble that remark” and for more experienced folks who would like a review of how to get a small business loan here is your expert-researched, Kabbage-curated list of the top five small business loan requirements to get the best possible small business loan.
#1: Strong Credit
The bad news about small business lending is it can be hard to qualify for the best rates and deals. The good news is this decade has more options for good small business loans than any other time in history. You can choose between platform lending. traditional loans (like from a bank) and a variety of hybrid options available from local vendors or via the internet.
This flexibility doesn’t mean your company shouldn’t look as good as possible on paper. Your FICO credit score will figure heavily in any lending decision, so (if time permits) spend time grooming that number in the months prior to applying. Research what other metrics the lenders you want use, and groom them as much as possible, too.
If you have a major ding in your credit, like a repossession or string of late payments, be prepared to discuss them and why things will go better in the future.
#2: Solid Business Plan
Part of understanding how to get a small business loan is ensuring you have a solid business loan. You should have one of these anyway, since a strong business plan is a prerequisite for stellar business success. Traditional lenders will expect to see an updated, professionally prepared business plan as part of the lending process. Lacking one tells them you’re not ready for the “big leagues” and are a bad credit list.
Though platform lenders like Kabbage won’t insist on seeing your formal business plan, similar documents about your social presence, industry statistics and unique market advantages all of which are part of a comprehensive business plan will go into decisions about what to lend you and how much it will cost.
Either way, get a business plan together.
#3: Compelling Personal Resume
Traditional lenders want proof that the people responsible for running a business are qualified to do so, and part of that proof will be seeing the resumes for you and other principles like owners and executive officers. This resume should be as solid, well-edited and up-to-date as any resume you’ve ever sent out.
Consider: the purpose of a resume is to get you the job you want. The purpose of this resume is to get you the job of running the company you want, instead of the company you have.
Platform lenders don’t look at your traditional resume, but they will look at your business’ curriculum vitae in terms of performance metrics and social sharing. Take time to groom those items as substantially as you would a regular resume.
#4: Bulletproofed P L Statements
Like your business plan, you should have these anyway. You should be using your profit and loss statements as part of a robust monthly “vital signs” check for your business. If you’re not doing them, dig into your accounting software for half an hour. You’ll find a tool that compiles P Ls from your records. If you’re not using software to keep track of your financials get started on doing that.
Lenders of all stripes are looking for three things in your P L: reliability, professionalism and ethicality.
- Reliability – They want evidence that you will be able to make your promised payments, based on enough cash flow to cover the loan. If you don’t, the lender will assume that lending you money is too high a risk.
- Professionalism – Lenders presented with incomplete, inaccurate or hastily prepared P L statements will assume that your business is similarly disorganized.
- Ethicality – If you “fudge” your numbers to look better and get caught, you are done with that lender. The decision makers will assume that you cut ethical corners in other places.
#5: Knowledge of the Loan Needed
This is actually the first of the small business requirements that you should address, but we wanted to mention it last so it would be the freshest in your mind. Lending isn’t what it used to be – a situation where you went to a couple of banks, all of which offered the same basic products, and hoped they would agree to give you a loan.
Modern small business lending includes a wide array of traditional, platform and peer-to-peer options with wildly varying qualification requirements and rates of interest. Before you start working in earnest on the other four requirements for your loan, decide what kind of loan you need. That way you won’t waste time and effort preparing the wrong documents.
Do you have a tale of success or woe to share with the Kabbage community about when you aced a loan application or were embarrassingly unprepared? Share your story in the comments below.
#getting a business loan
6 Smart Reasons to Get a Business Loan
Co-founder and CEO, Fundera
November 9, 2015
Spreading the word that you re considering a loan for your business can be met with all kinds of opinions. From general naysayers to cautionary anecdotes, everyone you meet will have a story as to what might happen if you take out a loan to start or expand your business venture.
While it s true that not every reason is a good reason to go into debt for your business, that doesn t mean that good reasons don t exist. If your business is ready to take a leap, but you don t have the working capital to do so, here are six reasons you might re-consider applying for a small business loan .
1. You re ready to expand your physical location.
Your cubicles are busting at the seams, and your new assistant had to set up shop in the kitchen. Sounds like you ve outgrown your initial office location. Or maybe you run a restaurant or retail store, and you have more customers in and out than you can fit inside your space.
This is great news! It likely means business is booming, and you re ready to expand. But just because your business is ready for expansion, doesn t mean you have the cash on hand to make it happen.
In these cases, you may need a term loan to finance your big move. Whether it s adding an additional location or picking up and moving, the up-front cost and change in overhead will be significant.
Before you commit, take steps to measure the potential change in revenue that could come from expanding your space. Could you cover your loan costs and still make a profit? Use a revenue forecast along with your existing balance sheet to see how the move would impact your bottom line. And if you re talking about a second retail location, research the area you want to set up shop to make sure it s a good fit for your target market.
2. You re building credit for the future.
If you re planning to apply for larger-scale financing for your business in the next few years, the case can be made for starting with a smaller, short-term loan in order to build your business credit.
Young businesses can often have a hard time qualifying for larger loans if both the business and the owners don t have a strong credit history to report. Taking out a smaller loan and making regular on-time payments will build your business s credit for the future.
This tactic may also help you build relationships with a specific lender, giving you a connection to go back to when you re ready for that bigger loan. Be careful here, though, and don t take on an early loan you can t afford. Even one late payment on your smaller loan could make your chances of qualifying for future funding even worse than if you d never applied for the small loan at all.
3. You need equipment for your business.
Purchasing equipment that can improve your business offering is typically a no brainer for financing. You need certain machinery, IT equipment or other tools to make your product or perform your service, and you need a loan to finance that equipment. Plus, if you take out equipment financing. the equipment itself can often serve as collateral for a loan — similarly to a car loan.
Before you take out an equipment loan, make sure you re separating the actual needs from the nice-to-haves when it comes to your bottom line. Yes, your employees probably would love a margarita machine. But unless you happen to be running a Mexican Cantina, that particular equipment may not be your business s best investment.
4. You want to purchase more inventory.
Inventory is one of the biggest expenses for any business. Similar to equipment purchases, you need to keep up with the demand by replenishing your inventory with plentiful and high-quality options. This can prove difficult at times when you need to purchase large amounts of inventory before seeing a return on the investment.
Especially if you have a seasonal business, there are times when you may need to purchase a large amount of inventory without the cash on hand to do so. Slow seasons precede holiday seasons or tourist seasons — necessitating a loan to purchase the inventory before making a profit off it.
In order to measure whether this would be a wise financial move for your business, create a sales projection based on past years sales around that same time. Calculate the cost of the debt and compare that number to your total projected sales to determine whether taking an inventory loan is a wise financial move. Keep in mind that sales figures can vary widely from year to year, so be conservative and consider multiple years of sales figures in your projection.
5. You ve found a business opportunity that outweighs the potential debt.
Every now and then, an opportunity falls into your lap that is just too good to pass up — or so it seems, at least. Maybe you have a chance to order inventory in bulk at a discount, or you found a steal on an expanded retail space. In these instances, determining the return on investment of the opportunity requires weighing the cost of the loan versus the revenue you stand to generate through the available opportunity.
Let s say for instance, you run a business where you get a commercial contract for $20,000. The trouble is, you don t have the equipment to complete the job. Purchasing the necessary equipment would cost you about $5,000. If you took out a two-year loan on the equipment, paying a total of $1,000 in interest, your profits would still be $14,000.
If the potential return on investment outweighs the debt, go for it! But be careful with your calculations. More than one entrepreneur has been guilty of underestimating true costs or overestimating profits as a product of over-enthusiasm. When you re weighing the pros and cons, it often helps to perform a revenue forecast to make sure you re basing your decisions on hard numbers rather than gut instinct.
6. Your business needs fresh talent.
When working at a startup or small business, you wear a lot of hats. But there comes a time when doing the bookkeeping, fundraising, marketing and customer service may start to wear on you — and your business. If your small team is doing too many things, something will eventually fall through the cracks and compromise your business model.
Some businesses choose to invest their money in their talent, believing that this is one way to keep their business competitive and innovative. This can be a great move, if there s a clear connection between the hiring decision and an increase in revenue. But if having an extra set of hands around helps you focus on the big picture, that alone may be worth the loan cost.
Regardless of the exact reason you re considering a business loan, the point is this: If, when all costs are factored in, taking out the loan is likely to improve your bottom line — go for it. If the connection between financing and a revenue increase is hazy, take a second look at whether taking out a loan is your best choice.
You want to be confident in your ability to pay back a business loan over time and to see your business succeed. Every business decision involves taking a risk. Ultimately, only you can decide whether that risk is worthwhile.
Catering Beginner? Three Tips to Get You Started! The Burkett Blog – From Burkett
Thinking about starting your own catering business? The wedding and events industry can be very lucrative, but before you start handing out your business cards or promoting your business online, we’ve listed the top three aspects that new caterers should never miss.
There is no better way to learn, than actually doing the task. If you’re interested in catering, you need the practical, real-world experience to successfully launch and maintain your business. Catering is no joke – it requires passion and stamina to work the long hours and big events. Getting some hands on experience will prepare you with the tools you need to move forward. You’ll also get insight on market trends and other major catering firms, allowing you to build your business to meet the needs of your customers.
What are the most important items to get you up and running? First you need to apply for and obtain a business license. Secondly, you’ll need approval from the department of health, certifying your facility. If you plan to start out of your home, contact your local health department. There are various zoning requirements and safety codes that are specific to each state. Also keep in mind that some states do not consider a home as a foodservice facility. Do your homework and be prepared to make some costly renovations.
Once the business end is covered, you’ll need to invest in professional catering equipment. That’s where Burkett Restaurant Equipment comes in! Commercial restaurant equipment and catering supplies streamline your operations and make every event flow smoothly. From serving utensils to storage pans, we carry all of the essentials for your new business.
A little Business 101: In order to have a successful start-up, you’ll need a strong customer base to boost profitability. Social media is a great way to get your name out there and to have real-time interaction with potential customers. Sign up for twitter, set up a Facebook page, and monitor sites like Yelp for customer reviews. Every business owner can set up a free account on Yelp to post photos and message your customers. Don’t forget print advertising if it’s in your budget. You might consider flyers and advertisements in your local paper and magazines.
Finally, develop valuable relationships with other event industry vendors such as florists, bands, event planners and organizers. This network of businesses can help refer customers to your catering business, and vice versa.
Most importantly, successful caterers have three things as their strongest attributes: Talent, Flexibility and Organization. Focus on the food. Be a savvy business person. Plan your events down to the last detail, but be ready to accommodate any last minute changes. The rest, including your customers, will follow.
8 Reasons Not to Get a Business Degree
Last Updated Jan 24, 2011 5:46 PM EST
Business degrees are hot, but you might want to reconsider your decision. Here are eight reasons why you should not major in business :
1. Business majors don’t learn much in business school.
That’s one of the bombshell conclusions of Academically Adrift . a new blockbuster bestseller that suggests that 45% of college students don’t learn much of anything in their first two years of college, while more than one out of three students graduate with no improvement in writing and analytical skills.
Among the students who learn the least in college are social work, education and business majors . In contrast, the researchers found that students majoring in the humanities, social sciences, hard sciences and math do relatively well.
2. You won’t make as much money as you think.
When PayScale looked at starting and mid-career salaries of college graduates in dozens of college majors . business came in as the 56th best-paying college degree. It fared worse than such “impractical” college degrees as philosophy . history and American studies .
3. The job market is crawling with business majors.
It’s hard to stand out from the crowd when more than one out of every five new college grads is a business major . What you’re telegraphing when you major in business is that you want to make money, but do you have what it takes to some day earn that corner office?
4. Your quality of life could suck.
Prominent labor economists examined what Harvard Business School grads were doing 15 years after graduating and certain business majors were having a difficult time juggling career and home life. Here’s a post that I wrote about the study: The Perils of Majoring in Business .
5. Majoring in business could hurt your MBA chances.
Not having an undergrad business degree can actually help when applying to MBA programs . At some MBA programs less than 25% of their students possess undergrad business degrees. One study documented that business undergrads actually performed worse in MBA programs than non-business majors.
6. You don’t need a business degree to work in business.
You’re kidding yourself if you think a business degree gives you the skills to work in the corporate world.
A employer survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers indicates that workplaces most value these three skills that you are usually more likely to find with a liberal arts eduction:
- Communication skills.
- Analytic skills.
- Teamwork skills.
What’s more, a survey by the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that 89% of surveyed employees said they want college students to pursue a liberal arts education.
7. You can make more money with an economics degree.
On PayScale’s list of the highest paying college majors, economics came in No. 10. Engineering majors dominated the rest of the top-paying degrees. Economics is one of the liberal arts so you are more likely to learn how to write and think in college, which is what employers covet in their workers.
Illustrious econ majors include Warren Buffettt, Steve Ballmer, Ted Turner, Steve Fossett, Henry Kravis, Diane von Furstenberg, Esther Dyson, Bill Belichick and Mick Jagger
8. Your parents want you to major in business.
Don’t be a wuss and major in business because your parents are nagging you. If you’re pressured into majoring in business or any other major, studies show that you’ll be less likely to succeed professionally AND financially.
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Lynn O’Shaughnessy is a best-selling author, consultant and speaker on issues that parents with college-bound teenagers face. She explains how families can make college more affordable through her website TheCollegeSolution.com ; her financial workbook, Shrinking the Cost of College ; and the new second edition of her Amazon best-selling book, The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price .