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How to Talk About Money in Your Family Business – Family Business Advisors #business

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How to Talk About Money in Your Family Business

“Chains of habit are too light to be felt – until they are too heavy to be broken.” – Warren Buffett

Talking about money within the family business can be uncomfortable and awkward. What’s worse is that everyone knows about it; financial questions and concerns can be at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Few habits are so critical and yet translate so directly to the success of your family business. David Harland. Managing Director of FINH

It is up to the family business leaders to engage their family in these conversations, and to do so with honesty and directly. The early rounds might be difficult, but the end result is a better work environment and easier conversations about other complex issues (such as remuneration or financial agreements). Start early so that you can establish a precedent, make clear the expectations, and deal fairly with others.

Begin with a trusted family advisor – someone to help facilitate difficult conversations – who can project an image of fairness, conscientiousness, and experience.

We often feel that our loved ones know us so well that we don’t have to voice concerns or bring in a third party. It’s the role of the business leader to let go of these assumptions and find a real solution. Communication needs to be clear and open, and this is best when the conversation includes an element of impartiality and specialized knowledge.

It’s unfortunate that so many family businesses start out with an informal management structure and don’t have specific practices and policies for family members. Instead, the structure of the family business is often made up as it goes, which can create an impediment to honest communication later on.

Topics of Conversation Between Members of the Family Business

The family conversation should have goals and should be prepared for, just like any meeting with a non-family business partnerThat also includes having a formal agenda. It’s common to have three levels of interest at play: business issues, family issues, and ownership.

So what you should talk about? Start with family’s history, legacy, and values. The younger a member of the family is introduced to this message, the better. I recommend placing extra emphasis on a multigenerational approach to human capital appreciation.

Chances are that your family has a mix of dominant thinkers and dominant feelers. The thinkers might be more open to the practical realities of business success. Feelers will appreciate the sense of togetherness, shared accomplishment, and appreciation among members of the group. Guide the topics of conversations into those areas where you’re most likely to get buy-in from individual members; other issues can be dealt with more easily afterwards.

Emotion Will Be Part Of It; Deal With Emotion Early

“Select your words carefully. Spoken words may have positive or negative effects, depending on the manner and timing of your speech.” Abdurrahman Bagdadizade Paksoy to his sons, addressing how the Paksoy family was shut out of its own business in 1956

Every business requires emotional decisions and every family brings emotionally charged relationships. These two don’t always mix nicely.

Emotion is a real dynamic that isn’t going away, but it can be dealt with effectively and even harnessed to create a positive dialogue. Use family councils to address family matters. Even if your family members share the same values, they may not share the same vision. If your family runs the risk of starting new battles every time an old one is closed, it’s best to start with outside facilitation early on and stick with it through to the end.

Create a sense of family unity with family stories. Make sure that younger generations can connect to the trials, successes, and anecdotes of the past. Let them speak and take care to actually listen. If less experienced members of the family are eager to bring a “fresh perspective” or innovative new ideas, this is the forum where they get their chance.

Tell a cautionary tale about past business episodes – especially if it has a personal impact. Not only will this help synergize the emotion in the room, but it will help emphasise the importance of properly addressed financial agreements. Just try not to get side-tracked in story land; it’s up to the business leaders to maintain focus on the long-term goal of multi-generational capital accumulation.

Always remember that money is a sensitive issue for many people. You’re likely to run into topics like fairness and competitiveness. These are important, but ultimately dangerous if mishandled because they can re-open old wounds or divert the conversation. Have a plan in place to stay on target.

There’s never a perfect time to talk about family business issues, with one exception: earlier is better. The sooner these conversations start happening, the sooner your family business can develop the type of effective communication that will stand the test of time.

For Advice on communicating about finance in your family business please call FINH 07 3229 7333





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How to Create an Effective Business Continuity Plan #custom #business #cards

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How to Create an Effective Business Continuity Plan

We rarely get a head’s up that a disaster is ready to strike. Even with some lead time, though, multiple things can go wrong; every incident is unique and unfolds in unexpected ways.

This is where a business continuity plan comes into play. To give your organization the best shot at success during a disaster, you need to put a current, tested plan in the hands of all personnel responsible for carrying out any part of that plan. The lack of a plan doesn’t just mean your organization will take longer than necessary to recover from an event or incident. You could go out of business for good.

How Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery Plans Differ

Business continuity (BC) refers to maintaining business functions or quickly resuming them in the event of a major disruption, whether caused by a fire, flood, epidemic illness or a malicious attack across the Internet. A BC plan outlines procedures and instructions an organization must follow in the face of such disasters; it covers business processes, assets, human resources, business partners and more.

Many people think a disaster recovery plan is the same as a business continuity plan, but a DR plan focuses mainly on restoring IT infrastructure and operations after a crisis. It’s actually just one part of a complete business continuity plan, as a BC plan looks at the continuity of the entire organization. Do you have a way to get HR, manufacturing, and sales and support functionally up and running so the company can continue to make money right after a disaster?

For example, if the building that houses your customer service representatives is flattened by a tornado, do you know how those reps can handle customer calls? Will they work from home temporarily, or from an alternate location? Companies such as SunGard sell access to cubicles that include a desk, phone and computer in their recovery centers, along with server- and device-based DR services.

Note that a business impact analysis (BIA) is another part of a BC plan. A BIA identifies the impact of a sudden loss of business functions, usually quantified in a cost. Such analysis also helps you evaluate whether you should outsource non-core activities in your BCP, which can come with its own risks. The BIA essentially helps you look at your entire organization’s processes and determine which are most important.

Why Business Continuity Planning Matters

Whether you operate a small business or a large corporation, you strive to remain competitive. It’s vital to retain current customers while increasing your customer base — and there’s no better test of your capability to do so than right after an adverse event.

Because restoring IT is critical for most companies, numerous disaster recovery solutions are available. You can rely on IT to implement those solutions. But what about the rest of your business functions? Your company’s future depends on your people and processes. Being able to handle any incident effectively can have a positive effect on your company’s reputation and market value, and it can increase customer confidence.

First, Create a Business Continuity Plan

If your organization doesn’t have a BC plan in place, start by assessing your business processes, determining which areas are vulnerable, and the potential losses if those processes go down for a day, a few days or a week. This is essentially a (BIA).

Next, develop a plan. You can use any number of free templates available online or find an actual plan published by an organization similar to yours and modify it as needed.

There are six general steps involved in creating a business continuity plan:

  1. Identify the scope of the plan.
  2. Identify key business areas.
  3. Identify critical functions.
  4. Identify dependencies between various business areas and functions.
  5. Determine acceptable downtime for each critical function.
  6. Create a plan to maintain operations.

One common business continuity planning tool is a checklist that includes supplies and equipment, the location of data backups and backup sites, where the plan is available and who should have it, and contact information for emergency responders, key personnel and backup site providers.

Remember that the disaster recovery plan is part of the business continuity plan, so check with your IT department to ensure it has or is actively developing a DR plan.

As you create your plan, consider interviewing key personnel in organizations who have gone through a disaster successfully. People generally like to share “war stories” and the steps and techniques (or clever ideas) that saved the day. Their insights could prove incredibly valuable in helping you to craft a solid business continuity plan.

Then, Test Your Business Continuity Plan

You have to rigorously test a plan to know if it’s complete and will fulfill its intended purpose. Many organizations test a business continuity plan two to four times a year. The schedule depends on your type of organization, the amount of turnover of key personnel and the number of business processes and IT changes that have occurred since the last round of testing.

Common tests include table-top exercises, structured walk-throughs and simulations. Test teams are usually composed of the recovery coordinator and members from each functional unit.

A table-top exercise usually occurs in a conference room with the team poring over the plan, looking for gaps and ensuring that all business units are represented therein.

In a structured walk-through. each team member walks through his or components of the plan in detail to identify weaknesses. Often, the team works through the test with a specific disaster in mind. Some organizations incorporate drills and disaster role-playing into the structured walk-through. Any weaknesses should be corrected and an updated plan distributed to all pertinent staff.

It’s also a good idea to conduct a full emergency evacuation drill at least once a year. This type of test lets you determine if you need to make special arrangements to evacuate staff members who have physical limitations.

Lastly, disaster simulation testing can be quite involved and should be performed annually. For this test, create an environment that simulates an actual disaster, with all the equipment, supplies, and personnel (including business partners and vendors) who would be needed. The purpose of a simulation is to determine if you can carry out critical business functions during the event.

During each phase of business continuity plan testing, include some new employees on the test team. “Fresh eyes” might detect gaps or lapses of information that experienced team members could overlook.

Finally, Review and Improve Your Business Continuity Plan

Much effort goes into creating and initially testing a BC plan. Once that job is complete, some organizations let the plan sit while other, more critical tasks get attention. When this happens, plans go stale and are of no use when needed.

Technology evolves, and people come and go, so the plan needs to be updated, too. Bring key personnel together at least annually to review the plan and discuss any areas that must be modified.

Prior to the review, solicit feedback from staff to incorporate into the plan. Ask all departments or business units to review the plan, including branch locations or other remote units. If you’ve had the misfortune of facing a disaster and had to put the plan into action, be sure to incorporate lessons learned. Many organizations conduct a review in tandem with a table-top exercise or structured walk-through.

How to Ensure Business Continuity Plan Support, Awareness

One way to ensure your plan is not successful is to adopt a casual attitude toward its importance. Every business continuity plan must be supported from the top down. That means senior management must be represented when creating and updating the plan; no one can delegate that responsibility to subordinates. In addition, the plan is likely to remain fresh and viable if senior management makes it a priority by dedicating time for adequate review and testing.

Management is also key to promoting user awareness. If employees don’t know about the plan, how will they be able to react appropriately when every minute counts? Although plan distribution and training can be conducted by business unit managers or HR staff, have someone from the top kick off training and punctuate its significance. It’ll have a greater impact on all employees, giving the plan more credibility and urgency.

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A Simple 6-Step Process to Starting a Small Business #business #for #sales

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A Simple 6-Step Process to Starting a Small Business

Serial Entrepreneur, Mentor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com

A great small business always starts out as an idea, but you have to transform that idea into action. That s where many individuals can start to feel overwhelmed. It s understandable to freeze up at the deluge of things that are required to get a business started, but getting going is actually easier than you might think.

Like any big goal, if you start by breaking it down into smaller tasks, you ll be able to tackle enough of the actions necessary to get started. Here are six ways to break down the process and simplify getting started with your own small business.

1. Write a one-page business plan.

The key to a successful small business, especially in the startup phase, is to keep things simple and costs low. Costs don t just mean your monetary costs, but also your time.

Many would-be small-business owners fall into the trap of trying to create the world s biggest and most robust business plan. You re only going to need that if you re seeking investment or financing, and even if you will be seeking either of those things down the road, I always recommend small-business owners start out with by testing their ideas first before investing lots of time and money.

So to get started, create your own simple, one-page business plan that is a high-level overview of the small business you re about to start.

  1. Define your vision. What will be the end result of your business?
  2. Define your mission. Different to a vision, your mission should explain the reason your company exists.
  3. Define your objectives. What are you going to do — what are your goals — that will lead to the accomplishment of your mission and your vision?
  4. Outline your basic strategies. How are you going to achieve the objectives you just bulleted?
  5. Write a simple action plan. Bullet out the smaller task-oriented actions required to achieve the stated objectives.

That s it. It might be longer than one page, but it will surely be more organized and shorter than a full business plan, which could take weeks to write. If you need more information on the one-page business plan, or want to write out a full-blown finance-centered business plan, you can check out the book I co-wrote with my brother that has a robust explanation of both, Small Business, Big Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market From Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who did it Right .

2. Decide on a budget.

While I highly recommend you keep your costs as low as possible, you ll still need to determine a budget to get started and how much you ll be able to spend. If you re self funding, be realistic about numbers and whatever you anticipate your budget to be. I ve found that an additional 20 percent tacked on for incidentals is a realistic overage amount that helps you plan your burn rate.

Your burn rate is how much cash you re spending month over month. It s an important number for you to figure out to determine how long you can stay in business before you need to turn a profit.

You should set up your business with profitability in mind the first 30 to 90 days. It s possible. But have a budget reserve so you can survive if things go leaner than expected.

3. Decide on a legal entity.

Filing paperwork to start a business costs money. Often, depending on your state, it can be a lot of money. You ll need to account for city or municipality licensing, state incorporation or business entity fees and more. Do a thorough search ahead of time to determine what the filing fees are for your city, county and state before starting any business.

Often in the initial test phase for your small business, it can be wise to start as a sole proprietor, as it means less paperwork and up-front expenses. That can save you some big-time cash while you determine the viability of your business. Do be aware though that acting as a sole proprietor can put you at personal risk, so you ll want to weigh the benefits vs. risks and then speak with a local attorney or tax professional to decide which is smarter for your short-term vs. long-term goals.

You can always file for a business entity once you ve proven in the first three to six months of business that you ve got a viable, sustainable model.

4. Take care of the money.

Whatever business entity you decide on, keep the funds separate from your personal accounts. This is a big mistake that makes tax time and financials so confusing. It s really easy to set up a free business checking account with your local credit union or bank. All you ll need is your filing paperwork, sole proprietor licensing information and an initial deposit to get set up from most financial institutions.

Don t pay for an account or get any kind of credit lines yet, just get a holding place you can keep your money separated from your personal accounts. This should take you no more than hour at the financial institution of your choice.

5. Get your website.

Regardless of whether your business will be brick or mortar or online, you ll need a website and that means securing a URL. Popular domain sites such as HostGator and Go Daddy will allow you to search for the website domain address of your choice and purchase it for as little as $9.99.

If you re starting an online business, you can tie your domain to an online shopping cart and store front such as Shopify for a low monthly fee, or you can build a basic website yourself on top of your URL with do-it-yourself drag-and-drop site builders such as Weebly for a low fee. Both are less than $100 a month.

6. Test sales.

You have enough of a foundation now that you can start testing some sales. Try to spread the word in inexpensive and creative ways.

If you have a service-based business, get involved with your local chamber of commerce or small-business chapter immediately and ask what resources are available for you to speak, present or share information about your business. If you have a product-based business, test the viability of your product at local swap meets, farmers markets or other community events to test what the public really thinks (and if they ll purchase) from you.

Drive traffic to your website through simple Facebook Ads with capped budgets, or set up a simple Google AdWords account with a budget cap to test if traffic is going to your site.

You can follow these six steps by yourself for not a lot of money. It s a fantastic way to test the viability of your small business before throwing all your time and money into an unproven idea.





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How to Name a Business #business #website #templates

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Choosing a business name is an important step in the business planning process. Not only should you pick a name that reflects your brand identity, but you also need to ensure it is properly registered and protected for the long term. You should also give a thought to whether it’s web-ready. Is the domain name even available?

Here are some tips to help you pick, register, and protect your business name.

Factors to Consider When Naming Your Business

Many businesses start out as freelancers, solo operations, or partnerships. In these cases, it’s easy to fall back on your own name as your business name. While there’s nothing wrong with this, it does make it tougher to present a professional image and build brand awareness.

Here are some points to consider as you choose a name:

  • How will your name look? – On the web, as part of a logo, on social media.
  • What connotations does it evoke? – Is your name too corporate or not corporate enough? Does it reflect your business philosophy and culture? Does it appeal to your market?
  • Is it unique? – Pick a name that hasn’t been claimed by others, online or offline. A quick web search and domain name search (more on this below) will alert you to any existing use.

Check for Trademarks

Trademark infringement can carry a high cost for your business. Before you pick a name, use the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s trademark search tool to see if a similar name, or variations of it, is trademarked.

If You Intend to Incorporate

If you intend to incorporate your business, you’ll need to contact your state filing office to check whether your intended business name has already been claimed and is in use. If you find a business operating under your proposed name, you may still be able to use it, provided your business and the existing business offer different goods/services or are located in different regions.

Pick a Name That is Web-Ready

In order to claim a website address or URL, your business name needs to be unique and available. It should also be rich in key words that reflect what your business does. To find out if your business name has been claimed online, do a simple web search to see if anyone is already using that name.

Next, check whether a domain name (or web address) is available. You can do this using the WHOIS database of domain names. If it is available, be sure to claim it right away. This guide explains how to register a domain name .

Claim Your Social Media Identity

It’s a good idea to claim your social media name early in the naming process – even if you are not sure which sites you intend to use. A name for your Facebook page can be set up and changed, but you can only claim a vanity URL or custom URL once you’ve got 25 fans or “likes.” This custom URL name must be unique, or un-claimed.

Register Your New Business Name

Registering a business name is a confusing area for new business owners. What does it mean and what are you required to do?

Registering your business name involves a process known as registering a “Doing Business As (DBA)” name or trade name. This process shouldn’t be confused with incorporation and it doesn’t provide trademark protection. Registering your “Doing Business As” name is simply the process of letting your state government know that you are doing business as a name other than your personal name or the legal name of your partnership or corporation. If you are operating under your own name, then you can skip the process.

Learn about the requirements in your state and how to file in this Registering Your Doing Business As Name guide.

Apply for Trademark Protection

A trademark protects words, names, symbols, and logos that distinguish goods and services. Your name is one of your most valuable business assets, so it’s worth protecting. You can file for a trademark for less than $300. Learn how to trademark your business name .





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How to Start Investing in Stocks with Only $1, 000 #entrepreneur #ideas

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Start Investing With Only $1,000

So you have a $1,000 set aside, and you’re ready to enter the world of stock investing. But before you jump head first into the world of stocks and bonds, there are a few things you need to consider. One of the biggest considerations for investors with a minimal amount of funds is not only what to invest in but also how to go about investing. Not long into your investment journey you may find yourself bombarded with minimum deposit restrictions, commissions and the need for diversification, among a myriad of other considerations. In this article, we’ll walk you through getting started as an investor and show you how to maximize your returns by minimizing your costs.

More from Investopedia:

What are the account minimums?
To the inexperienced investor, investing may seem simple enough – all you need to do is go to a brokerage firm and open up an account, right? What you may not know, however, is that all financial institutions have minimum deposit requirements. In other words, they won’t accept your account application unless you deposit a certain amount of money. With a sum as small as $1,000, some firms won’t allow you to open an account.

Stocks
Stock brokers come in two flavors: full-service and discount. As the name implies, a full-service broker provides much more in the way of service, but it only deals with higher net worth clients. It’s not unusual to see minimum account sizes of $50,000 and up at full-service brokerages.

This leaves the $1,000-investor with the option of a discount broker. Discount brokers have considerably lower fees, but don’t expect much in the way of hand-holding. Fees are low because you are in charge of all investment decisions � you can’t call up and ask for investment advice. With $1,000, you are right on the cusp in terms of the minimum deposit. There will be some discount brokers that will take you and others that won’t. You’ll have to shop around.

You also could purchase shares directly from a company through direct stock purchase plans (DSPPs). But some of these plans have a minimum investment amount restriction, which ranges between $100 and $500.

With the advent of online trading, there are a number of discount brokers with no (or very low) minimum deposit restrictions. One of the most popular online trading sites is ShareBuilder. You will, however, be faced with other restrictions and see higher fees for certain types of trades. This is something an investor with a $1,000 starting balance should take into account if he or she wants to invest in stocks.

Mutual Funds and Bonds
If mutual funds or bonds are investments you would like to make, it is simpler in terms of minimum deposit amounts. Both of these can be purchased through brokerage firms, where similar deposit rules apply as stocks. Mutual funds also can be purchased through your local bank, often for less than $1,000 when you have an existing relationship with the bank.

If you want to purchase government bonds, this can be done straight from the government through TreasuryDirect. The only restriction here is the minimum purchase amount of a bond, which can range from $100 to $1,000.

Learn the Costs of Investing

Commissions
Before you open an investment account, you must also consider the costs that you will incur from purchasing investments once the account is open. In most cases, every time you purchase an investment, it will cost you money (through commissions). With a limited amount of funds, these transaction fees can really put a dent on your $1,000.

Investing in stocks can be very costly if you trade constantly, especially with a minimum amount of money available to invest. Every time that you trade stock, either buying or selling, you will incur a trading fee. Trading fees range from the low end of $10 per trade, but can be as high as $30 for some discount brokers. Remember, a trade is an order to purchase shares in one company – if you want to purchase five different stocks at the same time, this is seen as five separate trades and you will be charged for each one.

Now, imagine that you decide to buy the stocks of those five companies with your $1,000. To do this you will incur $50 in trading costs, which is equivalent to 5% of your $1,000. If you were to fully invest the $1,000, your account would be reduced to $950 after trading costs. This represents a 5% loss, before you investments even have a chance to earn a cent!

If you were to sell these five stocks, you would once again incur the costs of the trades, which would be another $50. To make the round trip (buying and selling) on these five stocks it would cost you $100, or 10% of your initial deposit amount of $1,000. If your investments don’t earn enough to cover this, you have lost money by just entering and exiting positions.

Mutual Fund Fees
There are many fees an investor will incur when investing in mutual funds. One of the most important fees to focus on is the management expense ratio (MER), which is charged by the management team each year based on the amount of assets in the fund. The higher the MER, the worse it is for the fund’s investors. It doesn’t end there: you’ll also see a number of sales charges called “loads” when you buy mutual funds.

In terms of the beginning investor, the mutual fund fees are actually an advantage relative to the commissions on stocks. The reason for this is that the fees are the same regardless of the amount you invest. So, as long as you have the minimum requirement to open an account, you can invest as little as $50 or $100 per month in a mutual fund. The term for this is called dollar cost averaging (DCA), and it can be a great way to start investing.

Reduce risk with Diversification
Diversification is considered to be the only free lunch in investing. (If you are new to this concept, check out Introduction To Diversification, The Importance Of Diversification and A Guide To Portfolio Construction.) In a nutshell, by investing in a range of assets, you reduce the risk of one investment’s performance severely hurting the return of your overall investment. You could think of it as financial jargon for “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket”.

In terms of diversification, the greatest amount of difficulty in doing this will come from investments in stocks. This was illustrated in the commissions section of the article, where we discussed how the costs of investing in a large number of stocks can be detrimental to the portfolio. With a $1,000 deposit, it is nearly impossible to have a well-diversified portfolio, so be aware that you may need to invest in one or two companies (at the most) to begin with. This will increase your risk.

This is where the major benefit of mutual funds comes into focus. Mutual funds tend to have a large number of stocks and other investments within the fund, which makes the fund more diversified than a single stock.

A Small Step Toward a Large Future
It is possible to invest if you are just starting out with a small amount of money. It’s more complicated than just selecting the right investment (a feat that is difficult enough in itself) and you have to be aware of the restrictions that you face as a new investor.

You’ll have to do your homework to find the minimum deposit requirements and then compare the commissions to other brokers. Chances are you won’t be able to cost-effectively buy individual stocks and still be diversified with a small amount of money. Given these restrictions, it’s probably worth starting out on your investment journey with mutual funds. However, like all aspects of investing, it’s up to you to do the research and figure out the strategy that suits you best.

by Chad Langager

Chad Langager is the Senior Financial Editor for Investopedia.com. Chad graduated from the University of Alberta Business School with a degree in finance.

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

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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

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Crossroads in the Boston Business Journal – Giving Kids the Tools to Succeed #best

#boston business journal

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Crossroads in the Boston Business Journal – Giving Kids the Tools to Succeed

On Friday, April 24, the Boston Business Journal featured some thoughts from Crossroads President Deb Samuels about what young people truly need to succeed. Thank you to the BBJ for helping us spread the word and ensure all young people have what they need to succeed and thrive.

Premium Content

ViewPoint: Giving underprivileged kids the tools to succeed

Apr 24, 2015, 6:00am EDT

A recent story on NPR s This American Life described the disparities that often derail the dreams of students from underserved communities. As reported, exposure to new places, ideas and experiences can often inspire low-income kids to think of secondary education as an opportunity within their grasp. But it takes much more than standard campus tours to help these students get to and flourish at college.

The ability to perform in an academically rigorous environment, while important, does not guarantee success. To help get and keep students with limited resources on the college track requires communication, social and critical thinking skills. Engaged, motivated students feel connected. These kids must believe that they belong at college, that they deserve to be there, and that they possess the tools to thrive, not just survive.

In order to succeed at college, at-risk kids, who may have faced homelessness, financial instability, physical abuse or emotional upheaval in their young lives, must experience trusting relationships with both peers and adults outside of their families. Here in Massachusetts, there are a number of agencies that help guide, motivate and encourage at-risk urban youth to pursue a college degree. My organization, Crossroads for Kids, and those we partner with such as Bottom Line and uAspire, offer a wide range of essential services, from tutoring and leadership development to help managing looming deadlines and navigating mountains of paperwork including applications and financial aid forms which can be overwhelming, especially for the uninitiated. We simply help demystify the often complex selection and admissions process for first generation college students and their families. With much needed support and exposure to the world of possibilities within and beyond their communities, kids get the encouragement they need, one-on-one and in small group settings, that can help level the playing field.

Deb Samuels is executive director for Crossroads for Kids.





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How to start a Cottage Industries Business #new #business #idea

#cottage industry ideas

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wahm articles

How to start a Cottage Industries Business

Cottage industries is booming thanks to a sluggish corporate economy and the abundance of laid off workers. Instead of heading to the office, many stay-at-home-moms have become work-from-home-moms leveraging their home spun creative ideas for cash.

Understanding the Cottage Business

Specifically defined, a cottage industry business is the creation of products and services that are home-based rather than being manufactured in a factory. When the idea of the cottage industry initially emerged in the late 16th century, most manufacturers produced textile based services such as sewing, lace-making or household manufacturing. Today, cottage industries encompass areas such as baking, crafting and innovating.

The appeal of buying from a cottage industry manufacturer is that the consumer can receive a unique, one-of-a-kind, hand-made product that isn’t mass produced. Many consumers also appreciate the human-aspect to home-based created products and services and feel that the majority of these cottage industry services produce a higher quality product than one that is mass produced.

The main attraction a home-based business brings to the creator is the ability to dictate working hours, develop an item or service of interest, and sell the product or service for a higher profit margin. The downside of cottage industry produced goods for both the consumer and manufacturer is a slower production of product and less opportunity to compete with larger brands.

How to Create a Home-Based Business

Before launching a home-based cottage business, entrepreneurs should consider several steps in order to make the new business a success:

  1. Research your industry to evaluate the competition. Review consumer trends, the current market, industry knowledge and future growth. One fast and easy way to access this information is through the Small Business Administration’s Office of Economic Research.
  2. Check zoning requirements to ensure you can legally operate your business from home. Some home owner’s associations may prohibit owners from operating a day care or a food service business from home.
  3. Incorporate and register your business’s name with the city or county clerk. Determine if you will be the sole owner of the company or if you will have a partner.
  4. Apply and obtain a business license from your local government office. Also, determine if you should copy write or patent your work.
  5. Obtain a federal tax I.D. number from the IRS. This is imperative to have at tax time and will be needed, especially if you plan to have paid employees on board.
  6. Develop your business and marketing plan. Areas to consider include creating a website, business cards and establishing a separate business phone line.

Cottage Industries May Be the Next Corporate America

The beginning of corporate America started in the homes, kitchens and garages of everyday, ambitious people. With unemployment still high, Americans are turning inward to examine talents and abilities in an effort to make money. The dawn of Microsoft and Apple were started in garages as a cottage industry. Many others such as Famous Amos and even the creation of the bundt pan were cottage industry related.

Innovative ideas fueled by well researched, determined individuals is the heart and soul of the cottage industry. Additionally, its not just the working class making an impact on the cottage industry. Retirees are leveraging their pension to finance home-based business ideas, adding more life to the cottage industry than ever.

Gina Ragusa is a freelance writer and mom from sunny (and sometimes not) South Florida. Her 15 year experience ranges from writing about banking to tattoo parlors. Read more about her adventures at http://blog.wahm.com/





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Same-Day Franchise Financing Up To $250K #incorporate #a #business

#franchise loans

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Franchise Financing

Looking for an easier way to get financing for your franchise? You ve come to the right place. Balboa Capital is a leading direct lender that specializes in franchise financing. We can structure and deliver a flexible, affordable solution that works within your budget. We make the entire process quick and efficient, and you will work with a single point-of-contact every step of the way. If you are purchasing new furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF E), starting the re-imaging process, or launching a property improvement program (PIP), we can help.

  • Financing Plans Up to $1 Million Per Owner/Operator
  • Franchise Working Capital Loans up to $1 Million
  • Credit Lines up to $500,000
  • Up to 70%/30% Soft Cost/Hard Cost Financing
  • 24-60 Month Terms
  • Up to 84-Month Terms for Acquisition Financing and Remodels
  • Easy Application Process
  • Competitive Rates
  • Fast Funding
  • Possible Tax Deduction Ask Your Accountant




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How to Start a Candle Making Business (with Pictures) #business #sales

#candle making business

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How to Start a Candle Making Business

Decide what type of candle you would like to make. When you’re first starting out, it’s best to stick with one or two products. In candles, making container candles is probably the simplest, but you can also make mold candles or taper candles. [1]

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Pick a wax to work with. Waxes come in several main groups. Which group you choose is mostly based on preference.

  • One group is paraffin, which is a by-product of petroleum. You can find it in a variety of melting points, depending on what type of candles you are making. For instance, you need a higher melting point for tapers than you do for container candles. [2]
  • Another type of wax is beeswax. Beeswax is a product that bees make, so it has a natural, light honey smell. Some people prefer this wax because it is all-natural, though others will mix beeswax with other waxes for their candles. [3]
  • A third category of waxes is vegetable waxes, where soy is probably the most popular. One benefit of soy wax is it is pure white, and it also doesn’t shrink up when you pour it, which means you don’t have to pour wax more than once. Bayberry wax is also in this category. [4]

Learn the technique. One of the simplest ways to learn how to make candles is to take a class in your community. You may be able to find one with your local parks and recreation department or even at your local community college. However, you can also find a wide variety of tutorials online. In fact, you’ll likely be able to find all you need to know online if that is your preference. [5]

  • You can also check out books from your local library about candle-making.

Practice the technique. Before you start selling, you need to take time to build up your skill. Try working a little bit each day on your business, starting with practicing a bit each day.





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