Tag: Steps

How to Qualify for a Small-Business Loan in 5 Steps #business #tips

#sba loan requirements

#

Credit Cards

Banking

Investing

Mortgages

Loans

Insurance

Credit Cards

Banking

Investing

Mortgages

Loans

Insurance

How to Qualify for a Small-Business Loan in 5 Steps

You can trust that we maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments; however, we receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners and get approved. Here’s how we make money .

Qualifying for a small-business loan is easier when you’re prepared. Below is a to-do list that will help you qualify for the cash you need to grow your business.

Whether you end up applying for an SBA loan through a bank or opt for an online small-business loan, you should be familiar with the requirements of each lender. Knowing whether you meet their criteria before you apply will save you time and frustration.

How to quality for a small-business loan

1. Improve personal and business credit scores

Your personal credit score ranges from 300 to 850 (the higher, the better), and evaluates your ability to repay debts. The score is typically weighed more heavily by small-business lenders if your business is new and lacks credit history. It’s based mainly on three factors: your payment history (35% of your score), the amounts owed on credit cards and other debt (30%) and how long you’ve had credit (15%).

Paying your bills on time is, of course, crucial to improving your score. But even if you pay your bills like clockwork, credit report errors could be damaging your score one in four consumers has damaging credit report errors. However, four out of five consumers who filed a dispute got their credit report modified, according to a study by the Federal Trade Commission. You can get a copy of your credit reports for free once a year at AnnualCreditReport.com and dispute any inaccuracies you find through each of the credit bureaus’ websites (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion).

Businesses that are more established and applying for bank loans can check out their business credit scores (which generally range from 0 to 100) at the three business credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and Dun Bradstreet. Check out these five steps to building business credit, and if you see any mistakes on your reports, contact the bureaus.

More than likely, you’ll need an excellent business credit score as well as good personal credit to qualify for an SBA loan or traditional loan from a bank, although this will depend on the individual lender and factors such as your business revenue and cash flow. In general, online lenders look at personal credit scores but are a bit more lenient when it comes to credit score requirements, as they place more emphasis on your business’s cash flow and track record.

2. Know the lender’s minimum qualifications

There’s no way around it: If you don’t meet a lender’s minimum qualifications, applying is a waste of time.

Borrowers typically need to meet minimum criteria related to credit scores, annual revenue and years in business. And lenders generally frown upon recent bankruptcies and other past delinquencies.

To qualify for SBA loans, borrowers also must be current on all government loans and can’t have any past defaults. So if you’re late on a federal student loan or a government-backed mortgage, you’ll be disqualified. You also can’t be on the SBA’s ineligible businesses list. which includes life insurance companies and financial businesses such as banks.

Qualifying for online lenders can be easier. While these lenders typically underwrite loans based on traditional factors such as credit scores, annual revenue and cash flow, the loans carry less stringent requirements than banks.

3. Gather financial and legal documents

Banks and other traditional lenders typically ask for a wide range of financial and legal documents during the application process. They include:

  • Personal and business income tax returns
  • Balance sheet and income statement
  • Personal and business bank statements
  • A photo of your driver’s license
  • Commercial leases
  • Business licenses
  • Articles of incorporation
  • A resume
  • Financial projections if you have a limited operating history

These requirements can make getting a bank loan time consuming. That may not be an issue if you’re in the market for a long-term business loan to finance a major investment.

However, if you need money faster, online lenders may be a better fit, as they can provide a streamlined online application process with fewer documentation requirements and faster underwriting. But they may come with higher borrowing costs. If you have good credit and business finances, however, some lenders may provide rates comparable to those of bank loans.

4. Develop a strong business plan

Lenders will want to know how you plan to use the money and will want to see that you have a strong ability to repay. They may require a solid business plan that details the purpose of the loan and how you expect it to increase profits.

Your business plan should include current and projected financials, and clearly demonstrate that your business will have enough cash flow to cover ongoing business expenses and the new loan payments. This can give the lender more confidence in your business, increasing your chances at loan approval. Your p lan should include :

  • Company description
  • Product and/or service description
  • Management team
  • Industry analysis
  • Facilities and operations plan
  • Promotional, marketing and sales strategy
  • SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)

5. Provide collateral

To qualify for a small-business loan, you may have to provide collateral to back the loan. This refers to an asset, such as equipment, real estate or inventory, that can be seized and sold by the lender if you can’t make your payments. It’s basically a way lenders can make back their money if your business fails.

SBA loans require “adequate” collateral for security on all loans, plus a personal guarantee from every owner of 20% or more of the business. A personal guarantee puts your credit score and your personal assets on the hook.

Some online lenders do not require collateral but may want a personal guarantee. Others may also take a blanket lien on your business assets essentially another form of collateral giving the lender the right to take business assets (real estate, inventory, equipment) to recoup an unpaid loan. Each individual lender has its own requirements, so don’t be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure.

If you don’t have collateral to get a loan or don’t want to take on the risk of losing personal or business assets, unsecured business loans may be a better option.

Find and compare small-business loans

If you’re looking for financing, NerdWallet has created a comparison tool list of the best small-business loans to meet your needs and goals. We gauged lender trustworthiness and user experience, among other factors, and arranged them by categories that include your revenue and how long you’ve been in business.

This post was updated. The post was originally published on Dec. 1, 2015.

Image via iStock.

You may also like

Lender reviews

See how different lenders stack up in NerdWallet’s expert reviews

We want to hear from you and encourage a lively discussion among our users. Please help us keep our site clean and safe by following our posting guidelines. and avoid disclosing personal or sensitive information such as bank account or phone numbers. Any comments posted under NerdWallet’s official account are not reviewed or endorsed by representatives of financial institutions affiliated with the reviewed products, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

2016 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: NerdWallet strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a financial institution, service provider or specific product’s site. All financial products, shopping products and services are presented without warranty. When evaluating offers, please review the financial institution’s Terms and Conditions. Pre-qualified offers are not binding. If you find discrepancies with your credit score or information from your credit report, please contact TransUnion® directly.

Additionally, this site may be compensated through third party advertisers. However, the results of our comparison tools, blog content and editorial reviews are based on objective analysis. For more information, please see our Advertiser Disclosure .





Tags : , , , , , , , , ,

10 Steps to Setting Up a Payroll System #business #development #manager

#small business payroll

#

Whether you have one employee or 50, setting up a payroll system not only streamlines your ability to stay on top of your legal and regulatory responsibilities as an employer, but it can also save you time and help protect you from incurring costly Internal Revenue Service (IRS) penalties.

Here are 10 steps to help you set up a payroll system for your small business.

Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Before hiring employees, you need to get an employment identification number (EIN) from the IRS. The EIN is often referred to as an Employer Tax ID or as Form SS-4. The EIN is necessary for reporting taxes and other documents to the IRS. In addition, the EIN is necessary when reporting information about your employees to state agencies. You can apply for an EIN online or contact the IRS directly.

Check Whether You Need State/Local IDs. Some state/local governments require businesses to obtain ID numbers in order to process taxes.

Independent Contractor or Employee – Know the Difference. Be clear on the distinction between an independent contractor and an employee. In legal terms, the line between the two is not always clear and it affects how you withhold income taxes, withhold and pay Social Security and Medicare taxes, and pay unemployment taxes.

Take Care of Employee Paperwork. New employees must fill out Federal Income Tax Withholding Form W-4. Your employee must complete the form and return it to you so that you can withhold the correct federal income tax from their pay.

Decide on a Pay Period. You may already have a manual process for this, but setting up a pay-period (whether monthly or bi-monthly) is sometimes determined by state law with most favoring bi-monthly payments. The IRS also requires that you withhold income tax for that time period even if your employee does not work the full period.

Carefully Document Your Employee Compensation Terms. As you set up payroll, you’ll also want to consider how you handle paid time off (not a legal requirement, but offered by most businesses), how you track employee hours, if and how you pay overtime, and other business variables. Don’t forget that other employee compensation and business deductibles such as health plan premiums and retirement contributions will also need to be deducted from employee paychecks and paid to the appropriate organizations.

Choosing a Payroll System. Payroll administration requires an acute attention to detail and accuracy, so it’s worth doing some research to understand your options. Start by asking fellow business owners which method they use and if they have any tips for setting up and administering payroll. Typically, your options for managing payroll include in-house or outsourced options. However, regardless of the option you choose, you — as the employer — are responsible for reporting and paying of all payroll taxes.

Running Payroll. Once you have all your forms and information collated, you can start running payroll. Depending on which payroll system you choose, you’ll either enter it yourself or give the information to your accountant.

Get Record Keeping Savvy. Federal and some state laws require that employers keep certain records for specified periods of time. For example, W-4 forms (on which employees indicate their tax withholding status) must be kept on file for all active employees and for three years after an employee is terminated. You also need to keep W-2s, copies of filed tax forms, and dates and amounts of all tax deposits.

Report Payroll Taxes. There are several payroll tax reports that you are required to submit to the appropriate authorities on either a quarterly or annual basis. If you are in any way confused about your obligations, take a look at the IRS’s Employer’s Tax Guide. which provides some very clear guidance on all federal tax filing requirements. Visit your state tax agency for specific tax filing requirements for employers.





Tags : , , , , , , ,

How to Create a Facebook Business Page in 5 Simple Steps Tutorial #business #consulting

#business pages

#

How to Create a Facebook Business Page in 5 Simple Steps [Tutorial]

It’s no longer a “good idea” for most businesses to be on Facebook. With 829 million people actively using Facebook every day, it’s become a go-to component of almost any inbound marketing strategy.

Thing is, as more and more Facebook features change, so does the process of setting up a Page.

Don’t waste another day poking around aimlessly on Facebook, trying to figure out what the heck to do to get your Facebook Page up and running like a social networking pro.

The following presentation provides a visual tutorial to help you get your Page up in no time (you can also read the transcription below). Over 600,000 have found this tutorial helpful, hopefully it proves beneficial for you or a marketer you know, too.

How To Create a Facebook Business Page

Step 1: Choose a Classification.

To begin, navigate to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php . This page will showcase six different classifications to choose from:

  1. Local Business or Place
  2. Company, Organization, or Institution
  3. Brand or Product
  4. Artist, Band, or Public Figure
  5. Entertainment
  6. Cause or Community

Each of these classifications provides more relevant fields for your desired Page.

For this tutorial, we’ll select the second option: company, organization, or institution. After selecting our desired classification, we’ll be asked for an official name for our Business Page. I recommend carefully selecting your name. Although Facebook allows you to change your name and URL once. it’s a difficult and tedious process.

Step 2: Complete Basic Information.

Facebook should automatically walk you through the following four basic sections to complete the fundamental aspects of your Page.

Finish “About” Section

The “about” section will serve as the main 2-3 sentence description for your company. It will be on your main page, so make it descriptive but succinct. Be sure to include a link to your company website as well. Also ensure that this information differentiates your brand, making your page even more appealing to potential followers.

This is also where you can select your unique domain (that, as mentioned above, can only be changed once). For example, the Sidekick by HubSpot Facebook Page employs the URL facebook.com/getsidekick.

Upload Profile Picture

Next you’ll be asked to upload a picture. This will serve as the main visual icon of your page, appearing in search results and alongside any comments you publish. While any perfectly square image will work, the recommended size is 180 x 180 pixels.

Add to Favorites

Every individual Facebook user has a vertical navigation bar to the left of their News Feed. You can add your Business Page as a “Favorite” item here — similar to bookmarking a web page in your web browser — for easy access.

Reach More People

Facebook will prompt you to create an advertisement to draw attention to your Page. Whether employing paid tactics is a part of your strategy or not, I recommend avoiding starting any ads at this stage — there’s no compelling content on the Page yet that would convince them to ultimately “Like” your page.

Step 3: Understand the Admin Panel.

The basic skeleton of your Business Page is now live. Facebook will ask if you’d like to “Like” your Page. Again, I recommend avoid doing so at the moment. This activity will appear in News Feeds of those you’re connected to personally to on Facebook. Without any content on the Page, we want to save that organic Timeline story for when you’re really ready for people to view the Page.

In the top navigation, you’ll see an option for “Settings.” Click that. Along the left side, a vertical navigation bar with different sections should appear. We’ll focus on three core ones now:

  • Page Info: This is where you can add additional details about your business. This section will also unveil different fields based on the classification you chose in Step 1.
  • Notifications. This section allows you to customize when and how you’d like to receive Page alerts. Set a frequency that fits your social media marketing schedule.
  • Page Roles. Whether or not you’ll be the main manager of the Page, there may be others at your organization who need access to your Facebook Page. Here, you can invite other colleagues to make changes to your Pages. Some common use cases here include:
    • A public relations manager who needs to respond to any delicate questions.
    • A support representative who can assist those asking technical questions.
    • A designer tasked with uploading new photo creative to the Page.

Step 4: Populate Page With Content.

Now it’s time to actually publish content to your Page and then invite users to be a part of your growing community. Let’s start with the basic content needed to get your Page kicking.

Posts

The rest of your Page will populate over time as you publish more updates. Facebook currently provides six different posting options:

  1. Plain text status
  2. Photo with caption
  3. Link with caption
  4. Video with caption
  5. Event page
  6. Location check-in

When posting on your page, just be sure to use a variety of content. What images would your audience like to see? What stats would they like to read? What links would they like to click? You can also click the little grey arrow in the top-right corner of each post and then click “Pin to Top” to move one of your posts to the top of your Page’s Timeline for seven days. Use this feature for product announcements, business anniversaries, and other major events pertinent to your brand.

If you want to dive deeper into Facebook posting best practices, check out this blog post.

Cover Photo

This is the large, horizontal image that spans the top of your Facebook Page. Typically, this is a branded image to help attract people to your Page. The official photo dimensions are 851 x 315 pixels. To help you create these cover photos, we have free PowerPoint templates here pre-sized for the right dimensions.

Now that there’s content on the Page, we can start strategically inviting users to Like it. I recommend inviting users in the following cadence:

  • First, invite colleagues to Like your page and its content to build some initial activity.
  • Second, invite supporters in your network. Encourage them to engage.
  • Third, invite customers. With some activity now on the Page, they’ll be more interested.

With content published and users invited, you can go to the “Activity” tab in your Page’s top navigation to monitor how people are engaging with your Page and content.

Step 5: Measure Your Growth.

Finally, we need to measure our efforts to ensure we’re making valuable marketing decisions on Facebook. Fortunately, Facebook has embedded in some decently helpful metrics for us to take advantage of. Simply click the “Insights” option in the top navigation to see the following:

  • Overview. This tab shows a 7-day snapshot of your metrics such as Page Likes, post reach, and overall engagement.
  • Likes. This tab shows your overall fan growth and losses. If you’re employing paid efforts, you’ll be able to see the breakdown of paid versus organic growth.
  • Reach. This tab highlights the raw number of people your Page is reaching every day. If you notice spikes on a specific day, try cross-checking what you posted that day to see if you can replicate that reach.
  • Visits. This tab indicates where on Facebook your viewers are coming from. You can see the difference in visits on Facebook Timelines, your information tab, reviews, and others.

And if you really want to spend time perfecting your Facebook content strategy, watch this brief tutorial on how to analyze exactly that .

And voila! You have a Facebook business page. Now go post interesting content and amass a loyal base of fans!

Want to see how HubSpot uses Facebook? Like our Facebook Page here .

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2010, and it’s since been completely updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.





Tags : , , , , , , , , , , ,

Steps 1 -5 – Start – a Commercial Cleaning Business #on #line #business

#cleaning business

#

How to Start Your Own Commercial Cleaning Business – Steps 1-5

Step 1: What Buildings to Clean:

First and foremost, decide what you want to do with your commercial cleaning business. Do you want to clean small buildings or large buildings? Do you want to keep this business small or do you want to hire employees to do the work for or with you? This will determine what sort of buildings you are going to target.

There are many different areas of commercial cleaning. You can do small buildings such as banks, gyms, day cares, mom and pop shops or convenience stores. You can do small office buildings or large skyscraper buildings and schools. There are many options here. You will need to decide what you want to do.

If it is just you or just you and a partner, you may want to start small. Target smaller buildings that you can do by yourself. Then, when you get the feel for your business and want to hire help, target larger buildings.

So, now you know what sort of building you want to clean. Now, you need to set up the business. First, you need to decide on a business name. You will want to pick something professional since you are dealing with professional people that you will have to sell yourself to. I don’t recommend using a “cutesy” name. This will turn off many of those professionals that will be hiring you. Choose something that shows what you are made of. For example, Florida’s Best Cleaning Service or Tampa Bay’s Professional Commercial Cleaning. Adding your service area to your business name is also a big plus because your clients will be able to relate to you.

Step 3: Business License and Bank Account:

Now that you have a name, it is time to get your business license and bank account. Go to http://www.business.gov/register/licenses-and-permits/ and find your state. Contact a representative to see what sort of license is required for commercial cleaners. Most times you will only have to file for a DBA (doing business as), but this will vary from state to state.

Once you have a business license, you can then get a business checking account. There are many out there that will give you free checks and free transactions, so shop around. My business and personal are at the same bank, so they gave me a plan where I get free checks and free deposits and withdrawals. Check to see if your bank offers the same.

Step 4: Commercial Cleaning Insurance and Bond:

Now that you have a license and bank account, it is time to get liability insurance. Liability insurance will be a requirement for commercial cleaning. They will want to see your insurance certificate and some businesses may even want you to carry a certain limit on your insurance policy. The most any business should need would be a $1Million policy, but usually $500k would suffice.

You can find commercial liability insurance through your local agents as well as by going to http://ww.netquote.com. Just click on business insurance and get a quote right there. This can be costly depending on where you live, but the average is around $500/year. So, be sure to shop around to get the best coverage and quote.

If you are going to hire employees or you have a partner, it would be a good idea to get a bond. A bond will protect your business against employee theft. Bonds are not expensive and most of your clients will want you to have one as well. Your local agent should be able to help you get one or you can get one at http://www.janitorialbonds.com/. You can also shop around for a bond. Just do a search on the web for a janitorial bond. There are many companies.

The last step for setting up the backbone of your business before you start the operations part of the business is determining your rates. This doesn’t have to be as difficult as people make it out to be. There doesn’t have to be some magical formula. You can make up one if you want, but the best thing to do is determine what you need your hourly rate to be to make the kind of profit you want to make. Don’t forget to factor in things like expenses (insurance, license, gas, maintenace, supplies, etc.). Once you determine your hourly rates, do you think your service area can pay that kind of money or is that even lower than the norm for your area? Don’t know, just ask.

Once you figure out your hourly rate, you will have to figure out how many hours it will take for you to complete the cleaning job. Many factors will determine this. What kind of floor, how many rooms, how large is the building, how many employees, how many bathrooms.

This will be a learning curve for your to get your calculations correct, but don’t worry. Even if it took you longer to clean than you thought, you will get better and faster as you get used to the building.

Once you know how many hours, multiply by your hourly rate. Then multiply that by how many times you will clean in a month and put the monthly rate on your bid sheet. Most businesses will pay by the month, so you need to give them a monthly rate. Don’t tell them your hourly rate because they will start to nit-pick at certain areas or question why you need this much time to clean. Just give them your bottom line price, unless they ask for a breakdown.

That is all there is to the back end of your business. In steps 5-10, we will go over the operations of the business.





Tags : , , , , , , , ,

How To Start A Blog And Make Money In 5 Easy Steps #small #scale

#online business ideas

#

How To Start A Blog And Make Money

Blogging has opened up a whole new world to online marketing, if you want to know how to start a blog and make money online then follow this step by step guide.

Starting a blog has never been easier. I have created and managed dozens of blogs over the past few years and I have gathered quite a lot of experience in that time. There are lots of ways to make money blogging but I ll cover what I have found to be the best ones right here, but first I am going to run through how to set up your own blog today. You can actually follow along and do it right now!

If you want your own online business you are going to need a blog or site! Creating a blog is really easy and there is no need for any complicated coding, HTML. CSS skills or anything technical.

Step 1 Decide on a blogging platform

There are lots of different platforms which you can build your blog on. But the most popular by far is WordPress. I have used WordPress for years and it does everything you could possibly want. Some of the leading websites in the world are built on WordPress including this blog!

The last I heard, WordPress has been downloaded over 72 Million times, so that in itself should be enough to tell you that it is the best platform to use.

The advantages of WordPress are:

  • There are thousands of free themes and layouts to choose from
  • WordPress uses plugins, there is a plugin for almost everything, so no need for coding
  • Easily add images and multimedia
  • Simple to install (takes 2 minutes)

With WordPress you can create what is called a self hosted blog , and this is what we are going to be doing. This means that we can use our own hosting and most importantly, our own domain name. If you use the free blogging platform on blogger.com or Tumbler.com you will be given a subdomain, which will look something like this (startablog.tumblr.com). This also restricts you to many of the features of hosting your own blog.

It also gives your blog more credit if it is self hosted on your own domain, and you have full ownership of it. For this reason I ALWAYS self host my blogs.

Step 2 Choosing A Domain Name And Host

You want to put a bit of thought into selecting your domain name. You can choose to use your business name, your own name or a domain that contains keywords related to the type of site you are building. My advice is to choose something that is brand-able and easy to remember, keep it short if possible.

There are lots of Domain registrar s where you can check and register a domain, here are a few that I have used:

Where To Host My Blog

There are hundreds of hosting companies out there, I ve tried many of them and encountered bad experiences with almost all of them at some point. I then came across BlueHost. Since I started using their hosting I have never had any problems. Their support is fantastic, their servers are fast and reliable and best of all, they are cheap.

I think it s around $4.95 per month. which is great value. Having a reliable host is the foundation for your whole online business, so don t get it wrong.

You can register a BlueHost account right now. and continue following my step by step guide.

Almost forgot; you can host as many sites as you want on just 1 BlueHost account.

Step 3 How To Install WordPress In Less Than 2 Minutes

This is the part where a lot of people are afraid of. It can seem daunting, the thought of installing WP and setting everything up correctly! Luckily BlueHost have a quick 1 click installation.

Simply login to your BlueHost account:

You should have set up a domain when you opened the account

Scroll to the wordPress Installation Tab

Now Click The install Button

Now simply select your domain where you want to install WordPress and fill in the remaining

The application will install WordPress and all of the files and database in just a few seconds.

Here is a video to show you the process:

Step 4 My Installation Is Complete. Now What?

Congratulations, you now have your very own blog hosted on your own domain. Now if you have never used WordPress before you are going to have to learn how it all works.

There is far too much to explain in this post, so I have found a few links which will take you through the process of setting up your new blog:

Step 5 How to make money from your blog

Making money from your blog can be a difficult task. It took me a long time before I started making any money from blogs, mainly because I was inexperienced and didn t really know what I was doing at the time. Luckily I gained a lot of experience from my failures and now I can pass that experience on to you.

There are tons of ways to monetize your blog to make money, some of them include things like,

  • Adsense Get paid when people click on ads
  • selling a product
  • Selling other peoples products as affiliates
  • selling a service
  • blog advertising,
  • Drop Shipping Selling physical products that you don t actually own

These are the main areas to focus on and I have used all of these myself to make money on my blogs.

The first thing you need to determine is what your blog is all about . If for example you are writing a blog that provides a lot of information, similar to this blog, then you may want to think about using Google Adsense or selling advertising space on your blog.

Drop Shipping For Success

If you are thinking of basing your blog around certain products (something like a blog about PC s and Tablets) then you would benefit from selling products. For this you would need to use Drop Shipping.

Here is the best Drop Shipping Wholesale directory that I have used – SaleHoo

Ever wondered how people make a fortune on Ebay? Here is the answer They use Drop shipping. I have done it myself with Ebay and Amazon .

The great thing about Drop shipping is I DONT HAVE TO BUY THE ITEMS until the customer buys them!!

So you can open an online store with absolutely no stock, and then when a customer purchases an Item, you simply order it from the drop shipper and have it delivered straight to the customer!

Summary

I hope this guide has provided you with some good information to get you started. You should now have your WordPress blog set up and you now have the knowledge to know how to start a blog and make money anytime you like. So the next step in the process is to take action. Taking action is the best piece of advise I was given. It s no good reading posts like this if you don t take action. If you haven t already done so, get your Bluehost account and start building your blog!

I’m an internet Marketer with a love for online business. Get in touch if you need a helping hand with Internet marketing, SEO or Business

Post navigation





Tags : , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to Create a Facebook Business Page in 5 Simple Steps Tutorial #current #business

#business pages

#

How to Create a Facebook Business Page in 5 Simple Steps [Tutorial]

It’s no longer a “good idea” for most businesses to be on Facebook. With 829 million people actively using Facebook every day, it’s become a go-to component of almost any inbound marketing strategy.

Thing is, as more and more Facebook features change, so does the process of setting up a Page.

Don’t waste another day poking around aimlessly on Facebook, trying to figure out what the heck to do to get your Facebook Page up and running like a social networking pro.

The following presentation provides a visual tutorial to help you get your Page up in no time (you can also read the transcription below). Over 600,000 have found this tutorial helpful, hopefully it proves beneficial for you or a marketer you know, too.

How To Create a Facebook Business Page

Step 1: Choose a Classification.

To begin, navigate to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php . This page will showcase six different classifications to choose from:

  1. Local Business or Place
  2. Company, Organization, or Institution
  3. Brand or Product
  4. Artist, Band, or Public Figure
  5. Entertainment
  6. Cause or Community

Each of these classifications provides more relevant fields for your desired Page.

For this tutorial, we’ll select the second option: company, organization, or institution. After selecting our desired classification, we’ll be asked for an official name for our Business Page. I recommend carefully selecting your name. Although Facebook allows you to change your name and URL once. it’s a difficult and tedious process.

Step 2: Complete Basic Information.

Facebook should automatically walk you through the following four basic sections to complete the fundamental aspects of your Page.

Finish “About” Section

The “about” section will serve as the main 2-3 sentence description for your company. It will be on your main page, so make it descriptive but succinct. Be sure to include a link to your company website as well. Also ensure that this information differentiates your brand, making your page even more appealing to potential followers.

This is also where you can select your unique domain (that, as mentioned above, can only be changed once). For example, the Sidekick by HubSpot Facebook Page employs the URL facebook.com/getsidekick.

Upload Profile Picture

Next you’ll be asked to upload a picture. This will serve as the main visual icon of your page, appearing in search results and alongside any comments you publish. While any perfectly square image will work, the recommended size is 180 x 180 pixels.

Add to Favorites

Every individual Facebook user has a vertical navigation bar to the left of their News Feed. You can add your Business Page as a “Favorite” item here — similar to bookmarking a web page in your web browser — for easy access.

Reach More People

Facebook will prompt you to create an advertisement to draw attention to your Page. Whether employing paid tactics is a part of your strategy or not, I recommend avoiding starting any ads at this stage — there’s no compelling content on the Page yet that would convince them to ultimately “Like” your page.

Step 3: Understand the Admin Panel.

The basic skeleton of your Business Page is now live. Facebook will ask if you’d like to “Like” your Page. Again, I recommend avoid doing so at the moment. This activity will appear in News Feeds of those you’re connected to personally to on Facebook. Without any content on the Page, we want to save that organic Timeline story for when you’re really ready for people to view the Page.

In the top navigation, you’ll see an option for “Settings.” Click that. Along the left side, a vertical navigation bar with different sections should appear. We’ll focus on three core ones now:

  • Page Info: This is where you can add additional details about your business. This section will also unveil different fields based on the classification you chose in Step 1.
  • Notifications. This section allows you to customize when and how you’d like to receive Page alerts. Set a frequency that fits your social media marketing schedule.
  • Page Roles. Whether or not you’ll be the main manager of the Page, there may be others at your organization who need access to your Facebook Page. Here, you can invite other colleagues to make changes to your Pages. Some common use cases here include:
    • A public relations manager who needs to respond to any delicate questions.
    • A support representative who can assist those asking technical questions.
    • A designer tasked with uploading new photo creative to the Page.

Step 4: Populate Page With Content.

Now it’s time to actually publish content to your Page and then invite users to be a part of your growing community. Let’s start with the basic content needed to get your Page kicking.

Posts

The rest of your Page will populate over time as you publish more updates. Facebook currently provides six different posting options:

  1. Plain text status
  2. Photo with caption
  3. Link with caption
  4. Video with caption
  5. Event page
  6. Location check-in

When posting on your page, just be sure to use a variety of content. What images would your audience like to see? What stats would they like to read? What links would they like to click? You can also click the little grey arrow in the top-right corner of each post and then click “Pin to Top” to move one of your posts to the top of your Page’s Timeline for seven days. Use this feature for product announcements, business anniversaries, and other major events pertinent to your brand.

If you want to dive deeper into Facebook posting best practices, check out this blog post.

Cover Photo

This is the large, horizontal image that spans the top of your Facebook Page. Typically, this is a branded image to help attract people to your Page. The official photo dimensions are 851 x 315 pixels. To help you create these cover photos, we have free PowerPoint templates here pre-sized for the right dimensions.

Now that there’s content on the Page, we can start strategically inviting users to Like it. I recommend inviting users in the following cadence:

  • First, invite colleagues to Like your page and its content to build some initial activity.
  • Second, invite supporters in your network. Encourage them to engage.
  • Third, invite customers. With some activity now on the Page, they’ll be more interested.

With content published and users invited, you can go to the “Activity” tab in your Page’s top navigation to monitor how people are engaging with your Page and content.

Step 5: Measure Your Growth.

Finally, we need to measure our efforts to ensure we’re making valuable marketing decisions on Facebook. Fortunately, Facebook has embedded in some decently helpful metrics for us to take advantage of. Simply click the “Insights” option in the top navigation to see the following:

  • Overview. This tab shows a 7-day snapshot of your metrics such as Page Likes, post reach, and overall engagement.
  • Likes. This tab shows your overall fan growth and losses. If you’re employing paid efforts, you’ll be able to see the breakdown of paid versus organic growth.
  • Reach. This tab highlights the raw number of people your Page is reaching every day. If you notice spikes on a specific day, try cross-checking what you posted that day to see if you can replicate that reach.
  • Visits. This tab indicates where on Facebook your viewers are coming from. You can see the difference in visits on Facebook Timelines, your information tab, reviews, and others.

And if you really want to spend time perfecting your Facebook content strategy, watch this brief tutorial on how to analyze exactly that .

And voila! You have a Facebook business page. Now go post interesting content and amass a loyal base of fans!

Want to see how HubSpot uses Facebook? Like our Facebook Page here .

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2010, and it’s since been completely updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.





Tags : , , , , , , , , , , ,

10 steps to starting a business: Starting a business advice and business ideas #business

#starting a business

#

10 steps to starting a business

Starting a small business is easy using our step-by-step guides. The 10 steps below will teach you how to start a business, taking you through each of the key stages of the start-up process – from evaluating your business idea and choosing a company name through to designing your business cards, developing a website and, finally, getting ready to launch.

Starting a business? 7 things you need to do first

  • How to start a business: What you need to know

    Key topics

    Need a loan to get your business started? A website design? Or maybe some separate business broadband? Get quotes and start saving now with our Startups Resources

    Field research is a key part of analysing your market and will help you build a successful business plan and brand. Here’s how to carry it out effectively.

    Sole trader, partnership, limited company or LLP? We look at how to choose the right legal structure for your start-up

    Choosing the right start-up name is extremely important. Here’s a practical guide on how to pick out the best name to ultimately build a better business

    Five fundamental points your logo should convey to your customers

    Looking to raise finance for your new business? Join the 30,000 plus Start Up Loan recipients today…

    Tips from Startups on how to pick the number cruncher that’s right for your small business

    What exactly do you need to consider when looking for the perfect premises?

    John Paterson rounds up the free and low-cost software options available to help you start your business

    Dealing with business red tape? Startups has complied the five key legal issues and how best to deal with them…

    What types of selling do you need to use? Startups covers a few of the most important selling techniques for your business

    You’ve got a business idea but what are the next steps? Startups has compiled a launchpad guide to help you put the foundations in place for business success

    Startups answers the key questions you should ask before starting your own business

    Latest on Startups

    To celebrate 10 years of its Business IP Centre, on September 27 the Library is holding a free day of workshops from the likes of Julie Deane OBE.

    A professional musician who’s preformed alongside the likes of Lana del Ray and Beyoncé – Katie Sayles talks about her new pre-school members’ club

    Research from the FSB suggests the introduction of the minimum £7.20-an-hour rate has led many small firms to increase prices and reduce staff hours

    App which operates via Bluetooth connected handleba device backed by TrueStart, Seedrs, and mayor’s London Co-Investment Fund

    Purple Cow ” rel=”bookmark”>The business book you need to read this month: Purple Cow

    With a focus on ‘transforming your business by being remarkable’, entrepreneur Daniel Keighron-Foster advocates Seth Godin’s seminal book

    Useful business start up tools

    Forum post of the week

    Want to run a more profitable business?

    More from Startups





    Tags : , , , , , , , ,
  • How to start a dog walking business: 4 simple steps: Starting a business advice

    #dog walking business

    #

    How to start a dog walking business: 4 simple steps

    With recent figures showing that Brits spent more than £4bn on their beloved pets in 2015, you’d be barking mad to think the recession has impacted on the UK’s pet spend.

    Action point: Need a loan to start a business of your own? See how we can help here and here

    Marking a 10% increase on pooch spending from 2010, it’s not only large retailers benefitting, with many entrepreneurs realising there’s opportunities to be had in the pet industry.

    The average dog walker now earns 20% more than the average UK salary. so it’s clearly a viable and potentially profitable business opportunity.

    Of course you’ll need to have a genuine interest in dogs as well as a good knowledge of the various rules and regulations surrounding the industry – and it’s a fairly business marketplace.

    However, with plenty of doting pet owners out there, finding a good niche can still present great opportunities.

    Sound interesting? Then read our four simple steps to help you become top dog in the industry.

    1. Experience is essential

    While it’s not imperative to have a career background with animals, you should at least be confident around dogs and at the very least have experience in walking a family or friend’s pet.

    The Kennel Club’s guidelines for people working with dogs advises “strong interpersonal and communication skills”, as well as “a high level of fitness” and, naturally, “an affinity with, and understanding of dogs” for anyone wishing to pursue a career with man’s best friend.

    If you’re in need of experience in handling dogs, you might want to consider volunteering at your local kennels or rescue centre. They’ll often house a good range of dogs of various sizes, age and temperament, so you’ll be fit to face whatever comes your way.

    Consider attending courses in animal first aid, pet medication or even animal psychology as gaining a diploma or certificate in any of these would showcase your commitment to the dog’s welfare and impress clients.

    2. Remember, it’s a business

    While any animal lover might feel like they’ve died and gone to doggy heaven, remind yourself that your dog walking business is just that – a business. As such, you’ll need to possess all the regular entrepreneurial skills required for founding and running a successful company.

    Having a basic understanding of bookkeeping is important as you’ll need to be able to balance your own books and fill in your self-assessment tax return. Remember that this is your livelihood and not a hobby, your income should reflect this.

    Similarly, a good understanding of marketing and self-promotion will be needed to get your business off the ground.

    Finally, an ability to network and negotiate with both your customers and local animal industry is key. Never underestimate the potential for clients to try and negotiate price or you could find yourself working for substantially less than you might have hoped.

    3. Be aware of the rules and regulations

    Although there are relatively few regulations specifically targeted at dog walkers, businesses providing a service must get public liability insurance.

    If this is the start-up business idea for you, be aware you may have to deal with dogs injuring other dogs or people while in your charge.

    It’s vital to have the right insurance cover to deal with legal claims, should they arise.

    They can help provide you with support and advice on dog walkers insurance and training, plus your membership will give your clients confidence.

    To ensure you abide by key regulations, Narps suggest you should:

    • Meet owners prior to the first booking
    • Restrict the number of dogs walked to no more than four at a time
    • Keep records of all work undertaken
    • Protect clients’ personal information

    All dogs in public must wear a collar with the owners name and address on it and you could be fined up to £1,000 if you fail to clean up its faeces.

    While not the most exciting element of running your own business, it’s crucial you keep abreast of the latest rules and regulations to ensure you’re not jeopardising the safety of others or the reputation of your business.

    4. Find a niche in the market

    Given the popularity of setting up a dog walking business, it’s very probable you’ll have to find a niche to distinguish yourself from the crowd.

    Above all else, carry out market research and see if there’s actually room in your area for another dog walker.

    A simple google search or contacting NarpsUK will help a lot in this regard.

    Consider offering pet sitting as well as dog walking. Much like babysitting, you’ll mind your client’s pets at their home while they are away, as well as feeding them and attending to any medical needs such as medication or fulfilling dietary requirements.

    Having a diploma in pet medication would be advantageous in this instance as it would allow you to cater to a specific group of dogs.

    Provided you are properly trained, you could also offer grooming services such as hair cutting or washing.

    Offering one-to-one intense sessions with larger dogs could also widen your appeal.

    Some dogs simply won’t be satisfied by a trip around the block and will require a more strenuous workout.

    For more information on starting a dog walking business, take a look atour in-depth guide to help you prepare for the launch of your start-up.

    Comments

    Useful business start up tools

    Forum post of the week

    Want to run a more profitable business?

    More from Startups





    Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Steps to register your business name #government #business #loans

    #register business name

    #

    Steps to register your business name

    You can register a business name online through ASIC Connect.

    How to register a business name

    To register your business name:

    1. Go to ASIC Connect and log in to your account.
      If you don’t have an ASIC Connect account, find out the steps to register.
      If you’re logging in for the first time, make sure you say ‘no’, you don’t have a current business. You don’t need an ASIC key to register.
    2. Select the Licences and Registrations tab at the top of the ASIC Connect page.
    3. Select you would like to register a business name from the drop-down box.
    4. Read the information and tick the boxes. Select Get started.
    5. Select the relevant ABN option, enter your ABN and select Next. You must enter your ABN without spaces.
    6. Enter the proposed business name exactly as you would like it to appear on our register. Business names are case sensitive.
    7. Select the registration period.
    8. Enter the proposed business name holder details .
    9. Enter the addresses of the proposed business name.
    10. Confirm the eligibility to hold the proposed business name.
    11. Review your application. Make sure your business name is spelt correctly.
    12. Complete your declarations .
    13. Make your payment.
      If you don’t pay within 10 days, your application will be cancelled and you will need to reapply.
    14. Confirmation .

    Ready to register?

    Video tutorials

    You can watch our video tutorial to learn more about registering a business name for the first time using ASIC Connect.

    You can also watch our video tutorial on how to register a business name using ASIC Connect.

    What to do if you have not received your record of registration or invoice

    Once your business name is registered you will receive a record of registration.

    If you choose to pay for your business name registration via invoice, we will email it to you within 48 hours. You must pay within 10 business days.

    Related links





    Tags : , , , , ,

    How to start your t-shirt business in 5 basic steps #business #plan #sample

    #t shirt business

    #

    How to start a t-shirt business in 5 basic steps

    Starting a t-shirt business might seem easy and fun, but behind the scene there is a huge arsenal of strategies that one should know if prepared to launch in the business. These 5 quick steps will help you understand some of the basic aspects on how to start a t-shirt business company selling custom t-shirt designs.

    How to start a t-shirt business

    1. DO YOUR RESEARCH AND PLANNING

    When deciding to start a business selling t-shirts, you must have some basic information about the clothing industry. You must also have a solid business plan, to ensure profit to your business. Check out successful business brands for tips on how they succeeded, they might be very helpful. You must establish your budget before deciding to go too deep into the business. You might have huge plans, but a small budget, so make sure that you have enough resources to fulfill your expectations.

    2. IDENTIFY YOURSELF AS A BRAND

    Establishing your brand is definitely one of the most important foundations of your business, so you have to pay a lot of attention to this chapter. Your brand represents your whole image and the way you are perceived by the customers.

    Your brand must have your distinctive personality, it must be unique, like you, and a brand that has a strong personality always stands out! Think of a strong name and a tagline to encapsulate your brand in one sentence, to make the crowd know what your business is about.

    You have to figure out your goals and your target market to decide what kind of t-shirt designs you will get printed.

    3. CREATE YOUR GRAPHIC DESIGNS

    You have to do some research on the Internet to see the latest apparel trends, what the t-shirt community asks for. Now, after you have decided what to get printed, you should find a graphic artist. In case you are not a graphic designer yourself, you can find lots of talented designers on freelance sites like www.guru.co m. www.elance.com. w ww.odesk.com or on t-shirt competition sites like DesignByHumans, Teetonic or TeeFury. You can find the style that suits you, by checking the artists past works and hire them.

    If you have a lower budget, you can chose the cheapest possibility for your business: purchase royalty free vectors and create your own designs. You can find plenty to choose from here: www.tshirt-factory.com. The disadvantage is that the designs will not be unique, but you have to admit that it is much cheaper.

    4. KNOW YOUR COMPETITION

    You should always keep an eye on the other t-shirt design companies you’ll be competing with. You should check their designs, their pricing and promotions. You should learn from them, not copy them. If they are successful, so can you, but you have to come with fresh ideas in the same old market. Keep track of the successful ones and make sure to price your t-shirts appropriately. Consider the costs incurred in making T-shirts, such as material, printing and marketing.

    5. FIND A PRINTING COMPANY AND A BLANK T-SHIRT PROVIDER

    The blank t-shirts for printing must be achieved from the company that you find most appropriate. This will be your physical product, and your choice will reflect very strongly upon your brand. There are some websites that accept t-shirt designs, and they will print these for you on demand. www.Jakprint.com and www.Storenvy.com are two great printing companies.

    There are plenty of different types of t-shirts, but you have to make a decision based on your kind of t-shirt designs and target market. For instance you can go for Tultex, American Apparel, Anvil, Next Level, Alstyle, Bella, Bay Island and many others. The t-shirt thickness should also be important when you chose your blank t-shirt type. The thickness ranges from 120gr to 200gr, and the ideal is 180gr.





    Tags : , , , , , , , , ,