#cottage industry ideas
Small Green Business Ideas to Jumpstart Your Cottage Industry
Going home-based can have a lot of benefits, not the least of which is the chance to turn it into a small green business. When someone says green, there are often a lot of misconceptions. The perception is that it would be expensive or large-scale, something better suited for a large corporation. However, the reality is that there are a number of small green business ideas that don t require multi-million dollar starting capital or big business performance capability.
The big players when it comes to making soaps are large manufacturers that have the resources to spend heavily on manufacturing and advertising. However, that doesn t mean that a home-based small green business dedicated to it can t find a niche to succeed in. Eco-friendly soap-making is relatively simple to do from the average home and has the potential to generate a decent income.
Crucial to succeeding at this are the following:
* A niche product that matches a niche clientele
* Creative approaches, such as shaping soap like animal characters or using bright colors
* Starting locally before slowly expanding both production and operations over time
This doesn t come up often when talk of small green business ideas happens, but it should. Business will pay money for the advice of an expert, even if they don t want to have the expert under their formal employ. Consultancy is basically the art of selling experience and know-how to companies that need it. People who know a trade or field better than anyone else can make a good income from being a consultant while also having very little actual environmental impact.
Old Tire Recycling
This small green business idea requires a bit of creativity. The number of tires that cars around the world go through every year is staggering. Some of them can end up being recycled, but a lot of them are just going to end up somewhere unused and ignored. A business focused on making all sorts of creations out of old tires needs creativity, but it can appeal to people and grab a market for itself. Here are a few examples on the creative uses for old tires.
Custom Lamps and Lampshades
This is another potential small green business idea that requires creativity. The basic idea is to turn random trinkets and items into a lamp or other light fixture. A creative eye and a touch for designing things are part and parcel of this type of business. For the most part, all that s needed in terms of materials are a little capital and simple tools.
For this small green business idea, all that s needed are creativity, a sewing machine and some old clothes to work with. Torn jeans, old rags, shirt that don t fit anymore all of that can be recycled and turned into something new with a little elbow grease and a lot of creativity.
Small green business ideas aren t something that everyone comes up with, but that doesn t mean there s a shortage of them. Green business ideas also aren t as expensive as most people think. In many ways, they can be very cost-effective and have as much potential to be profitable as anything else.
Lorna Li is a business coach, entrepreneur and Amazon rainforest crusader, with a passion for green business, social enterprise, and indigenous wisdom. She helps changemaking entrepreneurs harness the power of the Internet to reach more people and make a bigger impact, while designing the lifestyle of their dreams. She is an Internet marketing consultant to changemakers. and works with innovative tech startups, sustainable brands, social enterprises B-Corporations on SEO, SEM Social Media marketing.
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#how to finance a business
How to Finance Your Start-up Business
Making Your Dream a Reality: Finance Your Start-up With the Right Mix of Capital
If you’re planning on starting a business, chances are you’ll need some form of capital, which simply refers to the money that finances your business.
One reason for the failure of many small businesses is that they undercapitalize their business. Therefore, it is important that you know how much money you will actually need to start and to run your business until you reach your break-even point—the point when your sales revenue equals your total expenses.
- How much money is required to start this business ?
- How much of your own money do you have for this business?
- Do you already own any of the assets needed to start this business?
- Do you have family, friends, acquaintances, or others who are willing and able to invest in this business?
- Do you have a strong personal credit rating or lines of credit available?
Equity means ownership. With equity investment, an investor makes money available for use in exchange for an ownership share in the business. If you use equity investment, be sure to consider how much ownership you’re willing to give up, and at what price. Once you sell 51 percent of your shares, you lose control of your company.
Equity investment includes any money from individuals, including yourself, or other companies in your business. This money may be from personal savings, inheritance, personal loans, friends or relatives, business partners, or stockholders. These funds are not secured on any of your business assets.
But, before going down this road, it is important to know the BC laws that apply to any company or other entity that raises money from investors. To find our more read our article: Seeking Equity Investment? Know the Rules
Personal Savings: The Most Common Form of Equity Investment
You’ll likely get most of your start-up funding from your personal savings, inheritances, friends, or family. In fact, according to Statistics Canada’s Survey of Financing of Small and Medium Enterprises 2007, 76% of small businesses in British Columbia financed their business with personal savings.
Aim to fund 25% to 50% of your business from your own pocket. This shows prospective lenders and investors that you are personally assuming some risk, and are committed to your business success. It’s also a requirement for many small business loans, which are usually secured (i.e. backed by assets).
Throughout the course of your business, try to keep a personal investment of at least 25% in your business to increase your equity position and leverage. The more equity your business has, the more attractive it makes you to banks that can loan you up to three times your equity.
1. Government Funding
Typically, the most sought-after type of financing is government grants because it’s free money that you don t have to pay back. Unfortunately, a grant might not be an option for your business because not only are there very few grants available, most are geared towards specific industries or groups of people such as youth, women, or aboriginal owners.
The majority of government funding programs are typically loans, for which you ll be required to repay the principal amount plus interest.
In 2007, only 2% of businesses obtained some sort of government funding or assistance. You can find information about government funding programs for free:
- Search the Canada Business Grants and Finances section. which lists available government programs across Canada.
- Contact your industry association to find out if they know of any grants you might be eligible to receive.
Since the application process varies from program to program, you should contact the coordinator of the program that you’re interested in to find out what the specific application requirements and process are.
2. Commercial Loans
Commercial or personal loans from financial institutions account for the second most common form of financing at 44%.
- Long-term loans. Use long-term loans for larger expenses or for fixed assets that you expect to use for more than one year, such as property, buildings, vehicles, machinery, and equipment. These loans are generally secured by new assets, other unencumbered physical business assets, and/or additional stakeholder funds or personal guarantees.
- Short-term loans. Short-term loans are usually for a one-year term or less, and can include revolving lines of credit or credit cards. These are generally used to finance day-to-day expenses such as inventory, payroll, and unexpected or emergency items, and can be subject to a higher base interest rate.
Getting Your Loan Approved: What do Potential Lenders Look For?
Many lenders will look for the four “C’s of Lending” when evaluating a loan application:
- Cash flow. Your ability to repay the cash you are borrowing. This is measured using the cash flow forecast that you created for your business plan.
- Collateral. The value of assets that you are willing to pledge for assurance that you will repay your loan. A dollar amount will be placed on these assets and that will be compared to the amount of the loan you requested.
- Commitment. The amount of money that you re committing to your business. You can’t expect to obtain a loan without contributing a fair share yourself.
- Character. Your personal credit score and history with the financial institution. Your credit rating or score is calculated from your history of borrowing and repaying bank loans, credit cards, and personal lines of credit. Without a good credit rating, your loan prospects decrease significantly.
A lender might determine how much to lend you by evaluating your cash flow, collateral, and commitment. They will then subtract your existing debt to arrive at a final amount. Note that lenders look at the limit on your credit cards, not the amount you re currently using.
Typically, start-ups are not rich in assets so you may be required to secure your business loans with personal collateral such as your house or vehicle(s).
The difference between a private lender and a government program is the relative importance of these four C’s. A bank might place more importance on “collateral” and “commitment”, whereas a government program can often decrease the need for these by providing a government guarantee to the lender.
Make a Good Impression With Your Lenders
You can increase your chances of securing a loan by:
- Having strong management and staff
- Showing steady business growth potential
- Showing reliable projected cash flow
- Offering collateral
- Having a strong personal credit rating
- Always making your loan and interest payments on time, and never missing a payment
How to sell your business: Planning the exit strategy – Small Business #cool #business
#selling your business
How to sell your business: Planning the exit strategy
How small and medium businesses can take on flexible working
Some 57 per cent of employees say the availability of flexible working in their workplace is important to them, according to Sage data. This guide to Sage 200 Online shows why more and more businesses are turning to the cloud.
Controlling Cash Flow – Learn to master your money
Find out how five small businesses met the challenges of raising finance, from drawing up a business plan to securing investment. Complete with expert guides and tips to help you through the process.
The Vitesse Network
Vitesse Media Plc, 14 Bonhill Street, London EC2A 4BX T. 0207 250 7010
2016 Vitesse Media Plc
2016 Vitesse Media Plc
#drop shipping business
Drop-Ship Your Way to Success
The popularity of eBay has inspired many people to start a business. And for those entrepreneurs who don’t want to invest in a ton of inventory but still want to set up shop, drop-shipping is a logical solution.
Before you get started, consider these seven steps involved in starting a drop-ship e-business:
Step 1: Choose a product to sell. The very first step in any sales process is deciding what product to sell. Many factors should be considered before you make the decision, but for now, let’s say that you’ve decided to sell CD players on eBay.
Step 2: Locate a supplier who will drop-ship for you. Using a research tool like Google, ThomasRegister.com or an industry-specific resource like The Ultimate eBay Dropship Power Pak, you can search for and find a company that will drop-ship CD players for you. If the company offers you a 35 percent markup over cost, which means that itu will supply the CD players to you for $100 each, then you should be able to retail them for $135 apiece. Make sure the drop-shipper has a good stock of CD players on hand so you don’t end up selling a product that must be back-ordered.
Step 3: Set up an account with the drop-shipper. Now it’s time to set up a reseller account with the company that will supply the CD players. This can often be done online or by phone, but some companies will require that you complete and return a reseller application to open an account. Some may also require a tax ID and a business license.
Step 4: Advertise the product for sale on eBay. Now that you have your supplier lined up and you know that the product is in stock, it’s time to make a sale. That means it’s time to advertise the product using an eBay auction. Since you know what you must pay the drop-shipper for the product, you also know what minimum amount you will take for the product. In this case, you could start your auction at $100, since that is your cost. If you are confident that you can get more than $100 for the product, you can start with a lower price, but remember that if the product goes for less than what it costs you to fill the order, you will lose money. Also remember that the drop-shipper will charge shipping, so make sure to figure that into your sale.
Step 5: The product sells. Great news-your CD player has sold for $135, and your customer pays you with a PayPal instant payment. I highly recommend that entrepreneurs use PayPal or some other online processor to accept instant payments. This allows the customer to pay you faster, which lets you place the order with the drop-shipper faster, which gets the product to your customer faster.
Step 6: Place the order with the drop-shipper. Once your customer pays you, you should contact the drop-shipper immediately to order the product on your customer’s behalf. The drop-shipper then ships the order to your customer under your company name and address.
Step 7: Follow up after the sale. This is where many new e-business entrepreneurs drop the ball. Just because your customer has paid you and you’ve placed the order with the drop-shipper, does not mean that you are out of the loop. Quite the contrary: If there are problems with the order, you are the one that will be held responsible in the eyes of your customer.
It’s best to be proactive in your customer relations. Follow up with customers to let them know when a specific item has been shipped. Offer yourself as the personal contact for any issues that may arise. This is also a great way to sell customers more products. Invite them to check out your eBay store or Web site, if you have one.
Many people are afraid to use drop-shipping as a method of sales due to the horror stories that fill the Internet about unscrupulous drop-shippers who take the money and don’t fill the orders, merchandise that is eternally back-ordered, unscrupulous middlemen posing as drop-shippers and so on. Make no mistake, the drop-shipping industry-like most other industries-does have its share of shady characters who would rob you blind given the chance, but there are also hundreds of honest drop-shippers who can help you build a profitable eBay drop-ship business.
Drop-shipping is a complex topic that can’t be completely addressed here. For that reason, I have written a detailed report on drop-shipping called SPECIAL REPORT: eBay Dropship Profits that is available to Entrepreneur.com readers as a free download.
Tim W. Knox is the founder and CEO of three successful technology companies: B2Secure Inc.. a Web-based hiring management software company; Digital Graphiti Inc.. a software development company; and DropshipWholesale.net. an online organization dedicated to helping entrepreneurs launch and prosper from their eBay or online sales business.
The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, not of Entrepreneur.com. All answers are intended to be general in nature, without regard to specific geographical areas or circumstances, and should only be relied upon after consulting an appropriate expert, such as an attorney or accountant.
Your business mentor
If you choose our Enterprise programme, we ll equip you with an experienced business mentor to prepare you for the challenges ahead, so you ll be able to meet them head on. They will:
- Listen : Be a sounding board for your research helping you to build your business with confidence
- Support : Encourage you to be everything you can be
- Highlight. Be there to think of some of the finer details that you might not have considered, such as cash flow and income projections
- Focus: Help you maintain an overview of your business goals at all times
- Measure – Support with budgeting and sales conversion rates and website traffic statistics
Don’t worry. Our mentors won’t try and take over – they’ll simply help you to achieve your goals.
In addition to mentoring support, where available locally, you may also gain the support of specialist volunteers who can provide you with more specific guidance around challenges that you and your business might face, such as Conversational Marketing or Search Engine Optimisation.
We didn t support this business idea. But, we do want to support yours.
#small business administration loans
How to Find the Right SBA Loan for Your Small Business
Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy: According to data from the 2010 U.S. Census, there are 27.9 million small businesses registered in the United States, employing 120 million people almost half of the nation s workforce.
Part of what the Small Business Administration (SBA) does is help America s small businesses secure the funding they need to operate and grow. As a federal government agency, the SBA does not lend small businesses money directly. Instead, it sets guidelines for loans that are made by its partners, which include banks, credit unions, community development organizations and microlending institutions. The SBA guarantees a portion of these loans granted by these institutions will be repaid, eliminating some of the risk for lenders.
Kale Gaston, head of the SBA Lending Group for TD Bank in Greenville, S.C. said SBA loans do a great job of helping lenders say yes to borrowers. He also noted that SBA programs provide better access to capital and credit enhancement for small business owners. For example, since the SBA guaranty lowers the risk in case of a loan default, lenders are able to provide funding when the down payment available is too low or the business s cash flow is not high enough for traditional options.
SBA lenders can provide longer terms as well. Instead of five or 10 years for a real estate purchase with a balloon payment at the end, the lender can give terms for 25 years, eliminating the balloon (i.e. final payment) or need to refinance every few years, Gaston said. For shorter-term assets, like equipment, terms could go to 10 years instead of the usual three to five years.
SBA loan programs
The SBA s loan programs are designed specifically for small business owners who don t have access to other reasonably termed financing. There are four main types of loan programs:
7(a) loan program: This is the SBA s primary program to help startups and existing small businesses obtain financing. 7(a) loans are the most basic and most commonly used type of loan, as well as the most flexible. The money can be used for a variety of general business purposes, including working capital, machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures, purchasing or renovating land and buildings, leasehold improvements and debt refinancing. Loan maturity is up to 10 years for working capital and generally up to 25 years for fixed assets. Borrowers can apply through a participating lender institution.
CDC/504 loan program: This program provides businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing for major assets, such as land and buildings. The loans are typically structured with the SBA providing 40 percent of the total project costs, a participating lender covering up to 50 percent and the borrower putting up the remaining 10 percent. Funds from a 504 loan can be used to purchase existing buildings, land or machinery, and to construct or renovate facilities. These loans cannot be used for working capital or inventory. Under the 504 program, a business qualifies if it has a tangible net worth of less than $15 million and an average net income of $5 million or less after federal income taxes for the two years before application. The maximum amount of a 504 loan is $5 million.
Microloan program: This program offers very small loans to startups, or newly established or growing small businesses. The loans can be used for working capital or the purchase of inventory, supplies, furniture, fixtures, machinery or equipment. The SBA makes funds available to specially designated intermediary lenders, which are nonprofit organizations with experience in lending and technical assistance. Those intermediaries then make loans of up to $50,000, with the average loan being about $13,000. The loan cannot be used to pay existing debts or to purchase real estate.
Disaster loans: The SBA offers this option to businesses that have been affected by a declared disaster. These low-interest loans can be used to repair or replace damaged real estate, personal property, machinery, equipment, inventory and business assets.
Further details on each type of loan program can be found on the SBA s website .
What you ll need to apply
When applying for an SBA loan, you ll need to fill out forms and documents for the specific loan you re trying to get. The SBA also encourages borrowers to gather some basic information that all lenders will ask for, regardless of the loan type. The following items are usually required:
- Personal background and financial statements
- Business financial statements
- Profit-and-loss statement (three years)
- Current within the last six months
- List of debts
- Projected financial statements
- Business certificate/license
- Income tax returns
- R sum s for key team members
- Business overview and history
- Business lease
The SBA also advises small businesses applying for a loan to be prepared to answer several questions:
- Why are you applying for this loan?
- How will the loan proceeds be used?
- What assets need to be purchased, and who are your suppliers?
- What other business debt do you have, and who are your creditors?
- Who are the members of your management team?
Why your business plan matters
Whether you re a new startup or an established company, the key to a successful application is a well-written business plan .
The business plan not only is the road map that will guide the business from planning to startup to (hopefully) success, but also will show any potential lender that the potential business owner does have a clear view and understanding of the business, how to run it and, most importantly, how the loan will be repaid, David Hall, a public affairs specialist with the SBA in Washington, D.C. said in an email interview with Business News Daily.
Gaston agreed, noting that lenders want to know how knowledgeable you are about your business and the competitive market.
The concept may be great, but what the lender is looking for is that the individual is driven, capable and determined, Gaston said. You really need to understand what you are doing every step of the way and be able to convey that to the lender during the application process.
Hall also recommended that business owners take full advantage of the business planning resources offered by the SBA and its partners, such as SCORE. SBDCs (Small Business Development Centers) and WBCs (Women Business Centers).
Finding a lender
While Gaston acknowledged that applying for an SBA loan is a process, she said working with a lender that has experience can make that process a lot easier. To find experienced SBA lenders in your area, he suggested talking to folks locally in the market and looking for a lender that is part of the SBA s Preferred Lender program. This program gives thousands of lenders per year delegated authority to approve loans based on certain criteria, shortening the time period between application and approval.
You can find SBA lenders by going online at sba.gov. contacting local accountants and attorneys, and looking for lenders with a large local presence. SBDCs also provide document support and lender referrals.
The SBA program drives a tremendous amount of value in the economy, lending approximately $30 billion to small businesses annually, Gaston said. It takes businesses to the next level, is appropriately structured and enables them to be successful.
Additional reporting by Business News Daily contributor Elizabeth Palermo.
With an Associate s Degree in Business Management and nearly twenty years in senior management positions, Marci brings a real life perspective to her articles about business and leadership. She began freelancing in 2012 and became a contributing writer for Business News Daily in 2015.
You May Also like
What is the SBA Microloan Program?
Writing a Business Plan: Tips from the SBA
#real estate business
Boost Your Real Estate Business With Smart Real Estate Management Software
Due to its eye popping attractions, glamorous lifestyle, and internationally acclaimed real estate, Dubai stands as being one of the strongest hubs for real estate agents. The ever-expanding construction projects in the UAE have brought rise to hundreds of real estate agencies that are focused on bringing a world-class experience to anyone buying property in the UAE.
Available real estate in areas such as Business Bay, Arabian Ranches, Dubai Marina, The Palm Jumeirah, Downtown Dubai, Al Warqaa, Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT) and many others are being offered by real estate agents to not only those living in Dubai, but all over the world.
What are Real estate websites why are they used?
Real estate websites are known to provide a database of available property, villas, apartment, land, etc. to anyone seeking looking to purchase.
For real estate agents and brokers, it is becoming challenging to deal with the increasing traffic on their real estate websites. This has resulted in web development companies developing what is known as real estate management software. This software has been created to help manage the overwhelming records and data of property being offered on a relator’s website.
Some known property management software:
Many companies that work on web application development are hence developing property management software that is used by real estate agents to facilitate their business. AppFolio Property Manager, MRI Residential Management, Propertyware and roomMaster are some of such software that is widely used, more can be found here.
Benefits of Using Real Estate Management Software
Real estate management software provides a platform to manage properties, payments, accounting, selling record and all such utilities at one place no matter what platform you are accessing from (phone, tablet, PC). It provides you the tools that you need to manage your real estate.
It includes management tools that are helpful in managing your properties in less time thus allowing you to focus your time on revenue optimization by offering a self-automated process. They are designed to facilitate leasing, renting, and purchasing activities carried out in one place.
These platforms are also helpful in networking with thousands of property management companies, investors, real estate managers and others worldwide. This will help you to promote your property as well as enhance sales and attract more visitors to your business.
Real estate applications are used to help businesses become more organized while also increasing productivity. This software offers website integration, smart electronic payments, and online file management along with recurring transactions.
Property management software is also used to speed up the working process of property selling or renting by tracking multiple accounts. This process shortens the document processing time by offering maximum credibility to maintain data confidentially.
For real estate in Dubai, the property management software mentioned above is helpful in boosting your business with automatic and built-in features. At eTek Studio, our services offer web development in Dubai that also includes the designing and development of real estate management software.
Call us now to get your property management software professionally developed by eTek Studio.
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#free business listing
Top 100+ Local Business Listing Sites To List Your Business On For Free
We have spent years narrowing down the best local directory and social sites that any business can list on for free. Listing your business information on these free business listing sites increases online exposure and provides new avenues to reach potential customers. These business listings, also commonly referred to as local SEO citations. are one of the most important local search ranking factors for major search engines and are completely necessary for any effective local SEO campaign. Enjoy this list of free sites to list your business, check back often as we regularly maintain and update this list and don t forget to share this page if you find this list useful.
Local SEO Assessment
Looking for a little more? DirectoryBug highly recommends a paid listing at:
Drive targeted traffic to your website! A web directory listing with CommunitySEO connects all of your online presences into one powerful trusted profile. Update your details as often as you like and reach new customers through increased search engine visibility.
DirectoryBug supports local business and is dedicated to helping small business owners gain exposure online. Please help spread the word by sharing this list.
This list is for US based businesses, though many of these sites will work for businesses in other countries. We are working on expanding this list to include sites for other countries.
Common relevant search terms for referencing this list of business listing sites. SEO business listing U.S. local listing sites, free local listing sites, U.S. business listing sites, top local listing sites, local directory sites, U.S.A. business listing sites, best business listing sites
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