Starting Your Very Own Small Business

There are a great many things that need to be considered before a small business can be started. If you are looking to start a small business there are some things that you will need to do to ensure that you get off to a good start.

The first thing that you will need to do when you are starting a small business is decide what the business will do. A small business can be a service related business or one that makes a product. It should be something that you enjoy and can devote a great deal of time to without realizing much profit in the beginning.

Many small business owners will tell you that the early years of a small business can be very rough. The business owner will have to spend a lot of time working in the business without making much of an income. This should not be expected for the life of the business, of course, but it is the norm for new businesses. Most businesses do not become profitable right away and you should not expect that yours would.

You should also create a good solid business plan. This is part of starting a small business. You will need something to bring to the bank or to investors to show them your plan for running your company. The business plan should include financial planning, marketing plans and plans for future growth.

A small business will require a budget to be successful as well. You should plan out every expense and the amount of money that will be allocated to marketing and advertising your business. Many people plan to spend a percentage of the profits on advertising and marketing. This will mean that as the profits go up so does the advertising and marketing budget. Including these things in your budget will ensure future growth.

A successful entrepreneur will also need the support of their family to help them through the difficult phases of the business. In the beginning there will be a lot of long hours spent on the business and your family will have to understand. There will also be a decrease in your income in the beginning stages of a business. A family will have to make sacrifices for the success of the business.

Starting a new business can be very exciting and liberating for someone who has been dreaming of the day when they would work for themselves. Being your own boss is the highest aspiration of a great many people. Not many actually attain that dream, but with careful planning and hard work, anyone can own their own business. All that is required is a determined attitude and a good plan.

When you are considering starting your own business you should look into your current situation and your ability to work on your own. You should be truthful with yourself and determine if you have the ability to work without supervision. It is a lot harder than many people realize. You have to be the sort of person who is self-disciplined and able to get the job done without being told. Finances will also have to be considered. Can your family withstand a drop in income? If you have a spouse that is working, you should find out if they are willing to get behind your business plan. Having the support of the family is one of the crucial things that a small business owner needs.

All About Small Business Loans – How to Get Them

If the business employs less than a hundred, is owned and operated independently, and not the market leader in the industry where it belongs, then it is considered a small business. These are some of the criteria of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) defining a small business.

One of the most common problems of a small business owner is the lack of funds to maintain, run and expand the business. If you have this problem, then these frequently asked questions will guide you in making your business survive through the support of a business loan.

What is a Small Business Loan?

A small business loan is the type of loan that lends money or funds to a small business owner so he or she can operate the business. It is also made available for individuals who wish to start a business.

Small business owners may use the amount borrowed for the establishment, construction or renovation of the business, acquisition of the necessary equipment, and for operational expenses such as payroll.

While a small business loan refers to a loan for the business itself, the personal credit history of the business owner will strongly determine if the bank or lender would give its approval to the application. Thus, a small business loan is also termed as a personal loan granted to small business owners.

How to apply for Small Business Loans?

When you apply for a loan, your loan provider will look into your personal credit history. You, the business owner, should also be able to project a sense of deep commitment to your small business. The lender will gauge your willingness to put a portion of your personal funds to help the business prosper. Be prepared also to present a loan security or collateral such as a house or car. What’s more, your educational background and expertise are also important factors for your business to be granted the loan.

The small business owner is also required to submit a business plan. A business plan is a written proposal which details the nature of your business, marketing strategy and contains a financial report. This document should also include how the business will generate income and support its operational expenses in the coming years. Moreover, the business plan should be able to convince your loan provider that you can pay the loan within the stated date of payment through the profit realize from the business and its expected continuous growth.

Remember that lenders need to make sure that the business can survive to pay up the loan and that its owner is credible enough to guarantee that the business is well planned to prosper.

Where to apply for Small Business Loans?

You can apply for a loan traditionally, which means going to local banks and government funded organizations. Even your local cooperatives have facilities for small business loans.

You may also apply for a loan online. Online application for a business loan is easier and convenient for a small business owner. You no longer have to waste time scouting for the best loan arrangement in the market. All you need to do is visit various websites and compare the rate and application requirements. However, make sure that your target small business loan provider is credible to avoid problems later on. A national bank with online capability is the best choice.

9 Tips For Writing Better Business Letters

It’s quite amazing how often business people fail to follow basic guidelines when it comes to writing their business correspondence. That might explain why so many people come to my writing help websites looking for help with their business letter writing. Just as businesses need to be focused and efficient to thrive and succeed, so too does the primary communications tool of most businesses – the business letter.

Following are a number of tips and guidelines that I have compiled while reading and writing many hundreds of business letters over the past 25+ years.

1. Limit Them To One Page

By definition, business letters should be short and to the point, preferably one page in length. Studies have found that busy business people do not like to read beyond the first page, and will actually delay reading longer letters. So, if you don’t want your letter to gather dust in an in-basket, keep it as short as possible.

2. Be Reader-Friendly

Always try to focus on the needs of the reader and make an effort to see things from their perspective. Put yourself in their position and imagine what it would be like for you to be receiving your letter. Anyone can do this, since we are all “customers” of some other business in some part of our lives.

3. Keep The Tone Formal And Factual

Generally speaking, the tone and content of business letters should be formal and factual. Feelings and emotions do not have a place in business letters. So, avoid phrases like “we feel” and use “we believe” or “we think” instead. A cordial, friendly approach is fine. Just keep it businesslike, but avoid overly formal terms like “heretofor”, “as per”, “herewith”, etc.

4. Carefully Plan Your Letter

Before writing the letter, take a few minutes to list all of the specific points you need to cover. Sometimes it may even mean a phone call to the recipient or his/her company to confirm a specific point. Remember, the purpose of the letter is to tie up all of the details on the subject at hand, so that more letters won’t have to be written back and forth.

5. Make It Clear, Concise And Logical

Use a clear and direct writing style that uses simple words and straightforward phrases. Make sure that your flow follows a logical progression, first identifying the main subject, elaborating on it, and then drawing the logical conclusion.

6. Accuracy And Timeliness Are Key

By their very nature, business letters need to be accurate and timely. They almost always have financial implications and related impacts on other businesses and/or people. Double-check all of the facts stated in the letter, and make sure that any future dates specified give others enough time to realistically complete what is expected of them.

7. Relegate Technical Details To Attachments

Often it is necessary to include detailed technical information as part of a business letter package. In such cases, use the main letter as a cover letter that lists and briefly explains and references the attached (or enclosed) documents.

8. Use Non-Discriminatory Language

Make sure that you avoid language that is specific to gender, race, or religion in all business letters, either to other businesses, or to customers. For example, use “workforce” instead of “manpower”, or “chairperson” rather than “chairman”. Most style guides contain detailed lists of the offensive terms and some suggested substitutes.

9. Eliminate Redundant Words And Phrases

There are certain words and phrases that one often sees in business correspondence that tend to make the language more complicated and cumbersome than necessary. For example, instead of the phrase “in spite of the fact that” use “although”; or instead of “in the normal course of events” use “normally”. There are many such redundant phrases, so review your letter and eliminate them.

If you are running any type of business in which business letters are important communication tools, you would do well to take careful heed of the above tips and advice. Remember, the business correspondence that you issue is a direct reflection of the overall products and/or services offered by your business. Poorly-written, amateurish, and/or shoddy business letters will surely result in lost sales.

To see some fully-formatted real-life business letter templates, check out the following link:

Copyright © Shaun R. Fawcett. All rights reserved.