Tapping into Entrepreneurship Opportunities

Everybody loves being an entrepreneur. The thrill of starting a new project after executing a well conceived plan is certainly something to talk about. In addition, the respect and adulations that one could receive when one’s ideas fructify into well-run businesses can be truly rewarding. What is unfortunate is that even though many entrepreneurial opportunities exist, few seem to find the right opportunity.

Finding a right business to start can always be a different ball game. It is not easy to put one’s ideas into practice and the time and effort that one needs to execute a carefully thought out plan into a well planned action takes time, effort, money and experience. IN addition to the planning stage, there are many skills that one may need in order to run a successful business. For example, other than the basic entrepreneurial acumen, one also needs to have some soft skills that would allow one to put one’s ideas into practice.

For example, one needs to have a skill to conceptualise an idea. This will be needful when one finds a need and comes up with an idea to cater to the need. Often entrepreneurs miss out on identifying a need or may identify the wrong need thereby making a business initiative less effective. Therefore one would need some imagination on how a need may be converted into an actual solution.

Finding a suitable market once the product has been designed is also another need. A product can be successful only if it has a good market. Without a good market, the best of ideas may be transformed into ineffectual business ventures.

Finally one needs a capacity to take calculated risks because without taking risks, a business does not flourish, at least in the initial stages. When one gives due consideration to all these factors, then one may be able to come up with a brilliantly executed plan of action than transforms into a long-standing business of high value. Therefore it is necessary to keep one’s eyes open and capitalise on the first chance that comes one’s way.

Secrets of Sometimes Unscrupulous Entrepreneurial Success

Historically, companies were started and run with the idea that they would endure, grow and create an everlasting stream of prosperity for the founders. Today, a ‘successful’ business idea can run its entire lifespan in a year.

No physical store is required, no ‘tight’ profit margins and, ideally, no employees outside your own family. Entrepreneurial success awaits you.

With this in mind, following the principles listed below, it is possible for many people who have an idea that their friends think is ridiculous, to develop it and make money from it – until people realize that they really didn’t need whatever it is after all.

This foolproof system has been used by thousands. You can see examples for it any day on television or in “As Seen On TV” ads in the magazine section of your local Sunday paper (where advertising, by the way, can be very reasonably priced.)

Fuller Brushes at $100 each or $1,000 Kirby vacuum cleaners are high end examples of successful, “I know you don’t think you need this but you really do” businesses over time. A plethora of less expensive kitchen and other household gadgets have been promoted, sold and collect dust in millions of American homes.

The secrets of entrepreneurial success are not secret at all. They are these:

  1. Create a product or service that people seem to be doing quite satisfactorily without.
  1. Persuade people, through advertising, media interest, etc. that they actually need it.
  1. Produce it for no more than 5% of the planned retail price.
  1. Write a clear sounding but functionally invalid warranty, one that sounds airtight but would leak like a sieve in Court.
  1. Ship by U.S. mail or UPS Ground and quadruple your actual shipping and handling costs in the price of the item(s.)
  1. Rent a Post Office Box to receive orders and/or put up an inexpensive Web page that the item or service can be ordered and paid for through. Low cost 800 phone numbers are also available for this purpose.
  1. Do all of the business from your own home. Retail floor space is a waste of money for all but devout ‘hands-on’ retailers.

The hardest step is #2: Convincing enough people they need whatever you want to sell them that you can make enough of them at a low enough cost to make a LOT of money from each and every order.

f course, it does take a tad of compromise in the scruples department to develop a plan to convince potential customers that they need the thing it is you have to sell.

This activity is called ‘Marketing” and is actually a highly regarded and often well compensated business specialty. Unless it is scruples you have to sell, you can leave them to the side. They likely may interfere with your entrepreneurial success.

Micro Lending Makes Grameen and Microfinance Last Hope of American Working Poor

Microfinance giant Grameen Bank offers microcredit to would-be entrepreneurs. Mostly women avail themselves of micro lending organizations, but any small business owner is welcome. Could micro finance make your business dream come true?

What is Microfinance and why is Micro Lending in the News?

As compared to the billion dollar loans currently being written in Washington, microfinance is concerned with loans that are measured in hundreds of dollars, not millions or billions. Perhaps the most famous example of micro lending is Grameen Bank, a financial organization that offers microcredit for the poor.

Grameen Bank, which is very active in Bangladesh, extends microcredit to those who need a $600, $900 or $2,000 loan to start or expand their small, home based businesses. This could be a door to door cosmetics sales business, a bakery, a dog grooming business, or anything else a microfinance applicant desires to engage in.

Microcredit in the United States

Although banks are receiving copious bailouts, lending to small business owners has come to a virtual halt. Moreover, some home based businesses are so small that they would not qualify for a loan. A good many home based business entrepreneurs at or below the poverty line also lack the credit needed to apply for – and receive – an ordinary loan. With microcredit, such loans are made possible.

In New York City, Grameen affiliated Project Enterprise offers microcredit ranging from $750 to $12,000 to local residents without collateral and bad credit. In Dallas, there is the Plan Fund that provides microfinance loans and also business training for recipients of the loans.

n Philadelphia, creditworthy Jewish members of the community are invited to participate in a program from the Hebrew Free Loan Society. This is a form of micro lending that does rely heavily on creditworthiness, but it allows for loans up to $5,000 that are interest free and may be used for adoption expenses, medical bills, unemployment related costs, and also first home down payments.

These forms of micro finance fill a much needed void in the microcredit market that thus far provided a niche for the prohibitively priced payday lending operations.

Micro Lending versus Payday Loans

Payday loans have carved a niche business out of micro lending. Their small loans carry interest rates that make the microcredit so expensive that borrowers usually have to take out another loan just to cover the impact its expenses have on their weekly or monthly budgets. As a matter of fact, criticism about Grameen also abounds in India where Web India published a scathing criticism of the microfinance organization as perpetuating poverty with its high interest rates, lumping it into the same category as payday lenders and usurers.

There is, however, a serious difference between for profit payday loan institutions and microfinance organizations, such as Grameen: microcredit from Grameen and its allied organizations comes with education, information, and also a hand up on how to make the most use of the micro loan. Another aspect overlooked by the critics is the generous repayment time of usually one to two years. Micro lending with payday loan providers comes with the threat of a ruined credit profile and a repayment time measured in weeks, not necessarily months.

As the global economy continues to be plagued by bank failures and unwillingness to part with funds to poverty stricken entrepreneurs, micro lending may be the next best thing for aspiring home based business owners who are underserved by the existing lending institutions.

Repossessing a Privately Purchased Vehicle

It is always a gamble when you agree to finance a vehicle for someone else’s purchase, which is called seller financing. When you finance through a dealership, they have more recourse and more resources when it comes to customers who do not pay their car notes, but when you are a private seller and you have to repossess, it can become more complicated. Below are some tips for repossessing a privately purchased vehicle.

Repossessing a Privately Purchased Vehicle: Check Your Paperwork

Hopefully, you and the buyer of your vehicle signed a contract or agreement stating the terms of the vehicle financing. If not, you could find yourself in hot water. Look over your contract or agreement and make sure that you are legally entitled to repossess the vehicle. If not, you could go to jail for auto theft.

Repossessing a Privately Purchased Vehicle: Send Notice

Most states require that you notify the buyer before you make any attempt to repossess the vehicle. This gives them the opportunity to either make a payment or to turn over the car. Some states require that notice be given at least twice before you make your first repossession attempt, so be sure to check with your state’s laws regarding repossessing a privately purchased vehicle.

Repossessing a Privately Purchased Vehicle: Decide Who Does It

You have two choices when it comes to the repossession of a privately purchased vehicle: (1) Repossession it yourself; and (2) Hiring a repo company to do it for you. Most people choose the second option because repossession can be difficult and, if you aren’t trained in skip tracing, it can be next to impossible. Not only that, but you might unwittingly break a few laws.

Repossessing a Privately Purchased Vehicle: Understand How it Works

Repossessing a vehicle means finding the vehicle where it is parked and retaking possession of it. This happens when a buyer defaults on the loan for the vehicle or otherwise violates his or her contract. When skip tracing and repossession firms repossess vehicles, they use several tools to find the car, and then employ various tactics in taking it back. It can be very dangerous work when buyers get angry, and might take an inordinate amount of finesse. And unless you have a set of keys to the vehicle, you will need a way to tow the vehicle away.

You cannot break any laws during the repossession of a privately purchased vehicle. This means that if the car is garaged at a private residence, you cannot break into the garage to take it away. This is called “breaching the peace” and could earn you a criminal charge. The best way to repossess a privately purchased vehicle is to hire a company to do it for you.

 

Virtual Assisting Benefits Small Businesses: Why Outsourcing Makes Sense

Hiring a virtual assistant seems like an extravagance to many small business owners, yet outsourcing promotes small business growth. Here’s why hiring a virtual assistant makes sense.

Virtual Assistants Help a Small Business During Peak Periods

Many small businesses have seasonal or cyclical upticks in volume. The small business owner who tries to manage the increased demand during these times without outsourcing any work can be overwhelmed and unable to keep up. Client orders could be missed, the business owner may become ill due to stress, and important shipment details might get overlooked. An assistant can be hired to help handle customer orders or assist with the small business accounting during peak periods, allowing the small business owner to focus on the increased demand for products and services.

Outsourcing Allows the Small Business Owner to Focus on Bringing in Revenue

Tasks like managing the small business payroll or installing small business software must get done for a business to operate, but these types of activities can eat up a large percentage of a business owner’s time. If these duties are outsourced to a virtual assistant, the small business owner is free to devote attention to things like product development and creation, which can have a direct impact on the growth and profitability of a small business.

Virtual Assistants Help Small Businesses with Special Projects

Whether it’s a global launch for a how-to-make-money-online membership site or a social media promotion for a new blog, virtual assistants keep things running smoothly during special events. The assistant may be hired to manage behind-the-scenes tasks related to the special event or might handle duties normally performed by the owner, such as keeping the small business accounting system up to date. Either way, outsourcing work allows the business owner to realize the greatest growth potential from a special event or project.

Small Business Owners Control the Virtual Assistant Service

There are virtual assistants specializing in most anything a small business owner could ask for. Many assistants bill by the hour and some will bill by the minute, so the small business owner can contract for the specific needs of the business. John Bourscheid, owner of Iceland travel blog Iceland in 8 Days, has a small army of assistants helping with routine tasks and odd jobs with the travel site and more, allowing him to focus on creating content and site development.

Hiring a virtual assistant allows the small business owner to focus on activities that will grow the business. Whether helping out during peak periods or performing tasks such as small business payroll, virtual assistants provide exactly the type of help that is needed for the exact period of time they are needed.

Small Business Business Plan: Business Planning Software Simplifies Start-up for Small Businesses

Any business operation operates more smoothly with a plan. Many small business owners are unaware that crafting a comprehensive business plan can improve their operation, or are intimidated by the process. Business planning software works to streamline the process of creating a business plan for inexperienced business owners, helping them to create marketing plans, and improve financial planning.

Planning For Small Business

Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to changes in the economy. When times are good, business owners are too busy to make plans. When times are slow, owners seldom think to work on business plans. Many aspects of business are forgotten, due to the lack of administrative experience. Less obvious expenses, such as equipment depreciation, are seldom added to financial calculations, and marketing strategies aren’t fully thought out. Business planning software can simplify the process for small business owners.

Business Planning Software Helps Small Business Owners Get Organized

Business planning software, such as Business Plan Pro, offers a small business owner the chance to create a business plan in a step-by-step format. Sample plans are available for virtually every industry, which simplifies the process even further. The business planning software walks business owners through the process of creating a business plan, including sections on marketing and financial planning.

A Small Business Marketing Plan is Necessary For Success

A marketing plan for small businesses is not just about advertising. Appropriate pricing of products and services is a critical part of creating a small business marketing plan. Conducting research about the industry, including competition and the positioning of the business, is also necessary to the success of a marketing plan. Due to the proliferation of information on the Internet, much of the necessary information can be gathered from online research.

Financial Planning Improves Income For Small Businesses

Most consumers know that a budget is the way to ensure financial health. Budgeting is also an important part of financial planning for small businesses. Profit and loss projections, as well as a break-even analysis are all necessary in the creation of a small business business plan. While these calculations are complex, business planning software automates the process.

Creating a business plan is a key to long-term success for small businesses. Many small business owners are unaware of the need for a business plan. Others are inexperienced, without the necessary knowledge to create such a complex document. Business planning software gives small business owners the opportunity to benefit from compiled knowledge and experience.

Is There a Future in Finance as a Career?

There was a time when career counsellors made it to a point telling to all young people that a career in finance was the best for them. The markets were booming, and positions in finance companies were easily available. Business schools had student vying with each other to take up the courses which would enable them to make a career in finance. It was not only the finance market that captivated some students. The economy was so strong, that those who are graduated in finance course were unsuccessful when they opted for financial market or investment bank jobs; they went for alternative careers in industry and commerce jobs that involve accounting. The government also offered middle level jobs in finance, and the overall scenario was very bright.

The economy went into a tail spin.

With the economy in a state of recession, the scope in the financial markets had decreased, and those who are graduates in finance, who thought they had secure jobs in investment banks, were facing the possibility of a pink slip. These banks took the worst hit in the financial market turmoil. It followed almost naturally, that accounting jobs in commerce and industry started shrinking as companies cut costs to keep afloat. At this stage only those who opted for public sector jobs seems reasonably secure, but you’ll never know for how long such a situation would last. The severe downturn in the economy could also affect some jobs.

So just what is the future for such financial sector employment?

It is flying in the face of logic, but in spite of the economic recession, finance jobs still have a reasonably a bright future. Most economists agree that the recession in its present form will not last for a long time. They predict it will last for just a short or medium term. This means that if you are in the finance sector of the economy, have a heart, the outlook will become brighter. So if you have lost your job, this may be only a temporary phase, as better times are coming.

The governments all over the world were coming up with various packages to stimulate the economy. So this means that the huge money going into the various sectors chose for stimuli, will need finance graduates to manage the money. It goes without a saying that the only people with a real brilliant and proven record would land these jobs.

All companies which have been affected by the current economic crisis will give their best to survive as best as they can. They would strategize their survival tactics by hiring financial experts to guide their ship through the less troubled waters. The present gloomy state of affairs is mainly due to financial problems, so they will look for financial experts to tackle the financial woes. They may not state their intentions in such clear terms, but will definitely engage people who are well acquainted with commerce and accounting jobs and ask them to concentrate completely on the cost and revenue aspects of financial operations. This could help the companies get through all the turbulence and crises successfully.

Throughout the recent history, any downturns in the economy have always been followed by a boom. Just wait patiently for the good times to show up once again.