Business is Not a Social Giveaway

Make a profit and leave social programs to the Government

Being in businesses serves one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to turn a profit for its owners or stake holders. People who begrudge businesses for making a profit don’t fully understand their purpose. In a capitalistic system such as that found in the United States, profit is the soul purpose of any business endeavor. Small businesses are no different, people who go into business for themselves, usually do so for the income. When all is said and done, income is after all, the root of the businesses importance.   

Social endeavors on the other hand are driven by the need to provide a service. Some social businesses are for profit and some are not. Many times the proprietors take a salary while the business itself is self sustaining but does not occur a profit. Even though an  enterprise may be a social directed business, it still operates under the same financial  pressures as a profit driven business. Its aim may be to provide a clear social benefit but it must adhere to more strict rules and regulations than other businesses. The internal structuring may include volunteers and solicited donations. Accounting is strict and reporting to government agencies may be more scrutinized. Any profits occurred are mostly reinvested, or used to support its societal direction, rather than being paid to the owners of the business.

If you are community minded, you may want to start a business that isn’t just for profit but also has a social function. For example, you might want to provide a service for injured war veterans , or help improve conditions for disadvantaged children.

Here are some Advantages of starting a social directed business

  • You get a feeling of self-worth while earning a living.
  • The community and your beneficiaries benefit as your business grows and matures.
  • Customers may be willing to become involved in the business because it supports a good cause.
  • It could be easier to attract and motivate employees and volunteers to share in your social aims.
  • You could possibly qualify for a government or church based grant and raise funds from people or organizations who share your social aspirations.

Here are some Disadvantages of starting a social directed business.

  • Sometimes your social aims may get in the way of making progressive decisions.
  • You may have to make difficult choices as to how much income to make.
  • If there is any surplus,  profits it is expected to be put back into the business or go toward supporting the cause.

 
Why people change careers or start their own business

  • A change in conditions like loss of job or sudden need for more money.
  • A major life event can prompt or even enable you  to start your business.
  • An inheritance or other dramatic personal event may provide the funding to kick-start you into action.  
  • Loss of job or job stagnation could mean that now it is time to take the big step.

 
What are the Advantages of going into business?

  • It just might be an opportunity to start over or do something you’ve always wanted to do.
  • You have a chance to prove yourself.
  • You get to choose your future
  • You can make as much as you are determined to make. .
  • Even though you’re never your own boss you can have the flexibility of working around family commitments.

 
What are the Disadvantages of going into business?

  • You will have to ware many hats, meaning its up to you to take care of all business matters.
  • Going into business is a life-changing event and it can be very stressful.
  • Don’t make decisions that would effect others when you are personally disturbed.
  • It usually takes about three years to start showing a profit from a new business.
  • It is most unlikely that you will see any speedy returns on your investment and you must prepare for a long, and sometimes difficult challenge.
  • In the beginning stages especially, it could mean working long hours for little pay and making sacrifices in your personal life. Make sure those around you are prepared for the challenges ahead.

Should you start a business when you’re unemployed?

If you’re drawing unemployment your composition wages might not be enough to carry you through while starting a business. It may be better to find a job and slowly work into a business on the side. If you already have the tools, like a lawn mower (lawn service), a buffer and vacuum (carpet cleaning) or car (delivery service) then you might solicit people you know for business or references.

Starting your own business is not easy. It takes unusual fortitude to make the transition from wage earner to self reliance. Don’t attempt it unless you have the confidence and determination to succeed.

Happy Trails

The Best Business Education You Can Get – And It’s Free

I’m not talking about SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives). While you can get good business information from these retired executives there is a much better way. This article will teach you how to get current business owners to spill their guts to you about the most intimate secrets of their business.

Normally small business owners are pretty closed mouthed about their business and won’t make the time to talk about their business to a stranger but there is one time when the exact opposite is true.

That time is when the owner is selling his or her business.

And that is a great way to learn about various businesses and explore what you might like in the way of a business for yourself.

But is does take practice and time to sift the truth out of the sales pitch the owner is making. Here is a plan you can follow to accomplish this educational goal without getting sidetracked by bad information. Expect to invest a few weeks at this process before you get good enough at it to really get an accurate picture of the businesses you are “interviewing.”

Step 1: Get the classified section of you Sunday newspaper. The section you are interesed in is “Business Opportunities” or “Businesses for Sale.”

Step 2: Read all the ads and circle the ones that do not look they were put in by a broker. At this point, it is much better to talk with the owners directly rather than have the complexity of a business broker in the middle of it. (Once you get educated, you can use a business broker if you are truly shopping for a specific type of business to buy.)

Step 3: Call every business owner and express interest in learning more about the business for potential puchase. Take notes as to what the person says and when the initial pitch is done, set up an appointment to talk more and to look over the business.

Step 4: Go to your appointments, examine the business, look at the books, ask to see the tax records, see what kind of terms the business owner is willing to offer, ask about day to day operations, employees, etc. In other words ask the owner every question you can think of to both prove the earning claims and to give you a good feel for how the business actually works. (And if you really are interested in a particular business, ask if you can work in the store for a day or two to get a good feel for things before making a purchase decision.) Build a checklist of questions you want to ask and bring it with you so you don’t forget to ask anything. And revise the checklist as many times as necessary to add/modify questions. You will eventually end up with your very own business evaluation worksheet.

Step 5: Repeat every week until you develop a sense for what the sellers are saying and not saying about their businesses.

After talking with a few business owners, you will find that most of what they tell you is a stretch of the truth or it is pretty accurate but the numbers just do not make sense for the person purchasing a business. You will also learn a lot about how real people run real businesses. But most of all, you will get an amazing education you just can’t get in any other way and after this exercise, you should be able to size up any business and its true value in minutes.

Oh… a friendly advisory. Leave your checkbook at home while doing this exercise!

Educating Yourself About Investing

For many years, investing in stocks was an opportunity reserved only for the extremely wealthy. Investment banks and brokerage firms catered to the upper class, leaving most people out of the stock market game. Over the last few decades, investing in the stock market became the most lucrative way for anyone to increase their wealth. The stock market has had a higher average return than both bonds and mutual funds over the last few decades. Major investment houses, brokerage firms and discounted, online investment platforms opened their doors to anyone with an interest in buying low and selling high. While most people rely on the experience and expertise of their broker or financial advisor, you can take control of your investment accounts and your future with an understanding of a few basic principles. It’s not investing, it’s investing for everyone.

Your stock represents your share in the ownership of the company. It is your claim on any future earnings and dividends. Buying stock in a company shows that you are interested in its long-term success. Profits are eventually paid out in dividends, and the more stock you own, the more dividends you receive.

Investing means that you have a basic understanding of the company and how it works. Pay attention to its earning statements, sales numbers, debt, and equity. You should also be familiar with the company’s annual report, quarterly reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and any third party publications like the Wall Street Journal. Your broker or brokerage site may also have research for your review. Once you are familiar with the company’s operations and management strategy, you can determine how much money you want to invest in the company.

Most investors are using the stock market to build long term wealth. Their portfolio is designed for the long term, so it is able to manage the highs and lows of the market. A diverse portfolio, meaning that you have invested in a number of different companies, industries, and areas, is the best defense against a market down turn and the best offense in a good market. By keeping an eye on your portfolio, you will develop a better understand of the market and how it’s upswings and down turns effect your investments.

When developing your investment strategy, consider not only the stock price, but the company’s current earnings and earning potential. Your own buying and purchasing habits can influence the stocks you buy, so take some time to consider where you spend your money. While stocks and their values are subject to the basic rules of supply and demand, no one can truly explain why some stock prices soar and others languish at the bottom of the bin. Investing may boil down to “buy low” and sell high, a savvy and sophisticated investor will create a more nuanced approach to this simple principle. Buying low and selling high is all relative to the capital you have available and your tolerance for risk and loss.