ENT 650 Funding Source eZine Article

Cole Carter
ENT 650-50
Funding Source eZine Article

The average cost to start a business is $30,000. In addition, starting a business has proven to be a challenge for many; young and old. What are beginning entrepreneurs who face this situation supposed to do? Well, many have utilized “friends and family” as a financial source. Why not; some may ask. Friends and family normally have their best interest at hand; they tend to be very trusting when it comes to lending and investing in the new entrepreneur business venture.

For example, Paul Graham the Vice President of his work on “Lisp” which eventually became the Yahoo Store; raised $10,000 from a close friend. However, Paul Graham really thought about this decision before executing it. His friend not only knew him well; but he was also wealthy and a lawyer. Likewise, Paul received funding and access to free legal advice.
It’s important to research the advantages and disadvantages of accepting a “family and friend” loan. There could definitely be potential risks and/ or blessings when completing this type of transaction.

Let’s begin by discussing the advantages of “Friends and Family” funding

1. Your friends and family know you personally. They are less likely to judge your funding request based on your personal credit rating or business credit score.

2. Your family and friends will give you time to develop the business vision; because they want you to succeed; likewise, their terms maybe more favorable than those offered by financial institutions ; most likely will not be as demanding on your financial projections as a professional investor

3. Your family and friends funding will assist you in requesting funding from professionals in more prestigious valuations.
Next discuss the disadvantages of “Friend and Family” funding
1. You may end up in a heated lawsuit and break up family and friend relationships if or when things become challenging.
2. They may not be able to bring wisdom, experience or resources that could enhance your business – they may begin to just be in the way.
3. If you receive a significant amount of funding; you could be potentially putting your “friends and family” at risk of losing everything.
4. You may put the people you love best at risk, if they are giving you a significant portion of your savings

A few great pointers to consider and/ or to keep in mind are:

1. Just as Paul Graham, Vice President of YahooStore did; choose someone with solid business skills; one who understands legal issues as well as any risk and benefits that could affect you.
2. Demonstrate your passion and diligence for your business venture; take the time to research your idea before you present and request funding from family and friends. This will show them that you are serious, thorough and passionate.
3. Create a legal agreement or contract with “family and friends”. This will ensure all expectations are spelled out and everyone is on the same page. It will explain issues such as how funding will be used, how progress will be measured, and how repayment will be made.
4. Be realistic about the amount of funding needed; this is why it is very important to complete research beforehand. You must remember that this is still someone else money; and they deserve and expect to be paid back like the bank would require. Asking yourself questions such as:
a. How much money is needed to implement your vision?
b. How much money do you need to pay employees, buy inventory, and keep the lights on.
c. How much money do you need for your salary
5. You may reduce your funding obligation to any single person by asking multiple people for smaller sums. But, remember to keep track of each person and collaborate consistently with each individual.

Cole Carter is currently enrolled in the Masters of Entrepreneurship Degree Program at Western Carolina University. Webmasters and other article publishers are hereby granted article reproduction permission as long as this article in its entirety, author’s information, and any links remain intact. Copyright 2017 by Cole Carter. You can reach her via email at loveisbeautiful16@yahoo.com or her website http://www.ccarter5blog.wordpress.com.

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ENT 650 WEEK 8 Blog: Conqueror Fear To Reach Purpose

ENT 650 Week 8 Blog

Conqueror In Order To Live Your Purpose

According to a 2009 FindLaw.com survey; nearly two-thirds of American think about starting their own business, but only about a third of Americans have actually stepped out and did it. You may ask why? What keeps people from living their purpose? Well believe it or not, its fear.

I can definitely relate to this. It’s not a good feeling. But, what types of thoughts or false assumption my hinder an individual.

Let’s discuss a few:
1. If I find the right business, I will succeed – instead of people selling their purpose they try to find someone else’s. Some people believe that if they find a popular product or system it will sale. They believe there is a magic formula to finding a perfect business. However, an individual must remember that a specific business doesn’t make them; you make the business. When you are passionate about something you will educate yourself; and there will definitely be a purpose behind the reason you started the business

2. Being self-employed is unpredictable and I want a comfortable and normal life – Being an entrepreneur you learn to plan and prepare for inconsistencies. You will never know whether you will face hurdles if you never try; you will never know the strength you have if you never encounter challenges; if you never try. Life is about taking chances; but learning from them.

3. It’s not the right time to start a business – The right time is when your purpose speaks to you. If you have a purpose; it’s not meant to just be thought about; it’s meant to be executed and shared with others. There is no such thing as the right time- so make it happen now!

4. Running out of money – Not having enough money; running out of money is one of the biggest concerns that entrepreneurs express. Of course, we know that in order to start a business, money is definitely required. It’s important to set aside a cash reserve; research financial funding options and always pay debt to ensure you have money coming in instead of unnecessarily out.

Until next time, as you take responsibility of any challenges that you may encounter while starting your business; you will realize it only made you stronger and wiser.

ENT 650 Week 7 Blog : Cash Reserve

ENT 650 Week 7 Blog
Cash Reserve – It is Important!

I remember a saying my grandmother used “Put some away; for a rainy day”. I never understood that phrase until I got older and began playing around with budgets and paying bills. The same phrase is recommended when you own a business except it’s called, “cash reserve”.

If you own a business and want to remain stable; building cash reserve is vital for the financial security. Unfortunately many businesses do not have one or if they do have one, it will last no longer than two weeks. when you know the desirable number, start saving. Create a separate bank account and transfer money to it until you have needed amount. Don’t touch that money unless you really need to. And if you did use the reserve, put money back as soon as possible.

Below will discuss ways to build cash reserve:

1. Manage your debt better – If your company has a lot of debt including loans; try to renegotiate with the creditors. The company may be able to receive a lower monthly payment which will enable you to set aside cash.

2. Tighten the invoice process – Make sure that the company is receiving payment in a timely manner. Make sure the invoices are sent to the company with a deadline payment date

3. Cut your outgoings – reduce the amount that you spend; spend only on necessary expenses you may need to renegotiate your contracts with your suppliers.

4. Always pay it back – don’t steal from your business; if you borrow pay it back; replenish the cash reserve immediately. This will help to help secure your business’s long-term financial stability. Create a separate bank account and transfer money to it until you have needed amount.

In order to determine the company’s “financial security” take a look at your monthly expenses in your Cash Flow Statement. When you are able to determine the desirable number, start saving. Create a separate bank account and transfer money to it until you have needed amount. Don’t touch that money unless you really need to. And if you did use the reserve, put money back as soon as possible.

Resources

1. Simply Business: “5 Steps to Building a Cash Reserve”, 11 August 2014

ENT 650 WEEK 6 Blog : Crowdfunding

ENT 650 Week 5 Blog

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is formally recognized as a new industry to many consumers; however it has been around for years. But, what exactly is crowdfunding? It is another source for acquiring financing. Crowdfunding by definition, “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.” (Wikipedia)
There are many donation crowdfunding platforms that can be accessible to entrepreneurs. The main objective is to create a compelling message that readers will be drawn. The project creators will be able to blend a unique community of likeminded individuals. A few of the crowdfunding platforms includes:

1. Kickstarter – This platform is geared towards Arts, craft, theater. It’s an all or nothing concept. You either reach your funding goal or you lose everything.
2. Indiegogo – This platform is pretty similar to the Kickstarter; only difference is that you can raise money for diverse types of projects as well as donations for charity.
3. RocketHub – This platform allows you to try – and whatever you raise is yours – regardless if you did not meet your goal.

Some may ask “Can anyone start a campaign on the above platforms?” The answer is yes, with Kickstarter; as long as you are permanent residents of the US, UK, Canada; and over the age of 18.
With Indiegogo; because this is an international platform; as long as you have a bank account you should be fine.
Again, the advantages include:

• Reach – receive access to thousands of accredited investors; they are able to advertise your fundraising campaign.

• Presentation – receive the opportunity to review your business plan from the top level; create a package that is polished and ready to be seen.

• PR & Marketing – receive the ability to promote campaign through social media, email newsletters, and other online marketing tactics.

ENT 650 WEEK 5 BLOG FOUNDATION LEADS TO SALES!

ENT 650 Week 5 Blog

Creating the Foundation In Order to Reap What You Sow! – Sales!

Dream, Dream, Dream on people- there is definitely nothing wrong with dreaming. However, once you make your dream a reality – it isn’t so much about you – it’s about the product that made your dream come true. Customers are interested in the experience that comes along with purchasing the product.
Think about your favorite drink – there are different companies that offer the same flavor. But, not only has the taste kept you loyal to one particular company for years. I sat here and wondered, what keeps me loyal to Coca Cola or Pepsi products. It is the company’s knowledge of the product. Yes, when I purchase an item; I want to feel like I am the most important person to you; I want you to tell me everything that will build my confidence or excitement in this product; and by demonstrating strong knowledge and expertise of your products it will create a positive customer experience and instilling faith and trust. Without this loyalty from your customer your company has no value.
Again, knowledge is a powerful tool; the company will highlight passion in their products and desire to personally tailor it for the customer needs. It is important to educate self about your products as well as similar products sold by competitors. This will allows you to easily counter objections; answer any concerned questions.

A few pointers to gain product knowledge:

• If you don’t use your own product or others; how will you truly be able to answer questions or critic your own
• Informational Sessions will offer insight
• Testimonial is the “truth” 99% of the time; word spreads quick
• Marketing Literature
• Network with Sales Reps; they have learned all this information; they definitely want to share

Next, below includes a few pointers you should know about your product; this information will allow great natural conversations
• History – people love a great story
• Pricing structure
• Styles, colors or models available
• How to use the product

As you and your team begin to learn about your products and find the passion of telling its history and its worth; over time you’ll become comfortable and confident in providing the correct information to shoppers. You will notice SALES, SALES, and SALES!

Until next time, prepare your journey by spending time with the product that gave you the spotlight!

ENT 650 Week 4 “Believe That Your Dream Will Become Your Testimony”

There are people in this world who listen to the advice others give; they not only listen but they put the words into action. For example, has anyone ever told you that you should go into business because of a particular idea you expressed to them; or someone may have tasted one of your original recipes and they enjoyed it so much that they encouraged you to go into business. As mentioned, there are people who will immediately take heed; but there are also individuals that ponder over the advice but most of the time the idea remains dormant.

Why is this?

It’s because some people do not “BELIEVE IN THEMSELVES OR ABILITIES”. Yes, I said it – there. They do not have the courage to take a leap of faith; they spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to get started; or they become overwhelmed and frustrated. In addition, they just don’t know how to make time and/ or the necessary funding to make this dream a reality.

Well, I can definitely relate to these sorts of people; I too use to receive compliments on my talents and was encouraged to go into business. However, I never had the courage to make it a reality. I would second guess myself; downgrade my abilities and talents until I was accepted into the Entrepreneurship Master’s program. This was the moment I realized that making my dream a reality was not going to be a piece of cake; in fact it has been a bumpy ride. I have realized that I must own the responsibility of my choices regardless of the circumstances. No one will ever understand my idea like I do. Likewise, if I had never taken a step; I would not be able to tell you my ongoing testimony; I would not be able to reap what I am working so hard towards. This journey is pushing me to learn about myself and the qualities I possess as a future entrepreneur.

Below includes a few things that I continue to do in order to remain on the successful road of entrepreneurship:

Believe in Yourself: Action – or things begin to happen when you believe in yourself enough to handle any challenges or consequences you may encounter.

Create Your Own Personal Point of Contacts – Stay connected to those who have walked your journey and are successful. Anyone can talk about a dream; but to execute it is called “wisdom” and food for thought. Be open to guidance because listening can save you from unnecessary failures they have already experienced.

Be patient – Remember that the greatest creations were not created overnight. Live in the moment of each step you take during your entrepreneurial journey; celebrate small and big milestones.

Until next time, Believe in Your Purpose – and it will be fierce!

Resources:

Rogers, Stevenson (2014). Entrepreneurial Finance, Third Edition: Finance and Business Strategies for the Serious Entrepreneur. McGraw-Hill Education.

ENT 650 WEEK 3 Blog “Budget Strategies”

ENT 650 Week 3 Blog
Budgeting Strategies

Numbers can be intimidating to some and exciting to others. Numbers is the oil that keeps the business running, and gives the entrepreneur the ability to understand and maintain a healthy and productive business. Yes, it can be time –consuming; but patience will definitely help your business grow. The terms budget, forecast, assumptions and projections are necessary in order to create an effective budget. Budgeting doesn’t need to be difficult to understand; it can be very simple. Besides, if you really think about it; people utilize budgeting skills every day.

I remember when I was 13 years old and I wanted a cabbage patch doll. I remember planning and saving my money until I reached my goal; even today, as a grown adult, budgeting still plays an important role in my life. Likewise a business is similar to handling your personal finances, if you don’t budget, you are heading for trouble. Your business is no different. Budgeting is basically a projection of numbers based on information you already know. It can assist individuals in learning how to:

1. Monitor the business financial health
2. Plan and Create future business goals
3. Ability to make healthy and productive business decisions

A budget must be a priority when starting the business; and during the business process because it will affect every change, goal and financial outcomes. This is why financial strategies will assist in developing your company within a specific market; create the financial expectations you desire and the ability to plan for the cost of implementing these strategies. Without money, you can’t make a dream a reality; without budget strategy; you will not be able to maintain and/or take your business to another level.

Below includes a few budget strategies:
– Keep updated information including product, pricing, advertising, promotions; make sure the team has this information in order to meet business goals
– Make sure that the business team create/plan projected sales forecast numbers for each month – this gives a visual and the motivation to achieve the goals

Until Next time; develop a strategy that will ensure successful business growth.