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If You Have an Idea For a Business, Don’t Wait For Everything to Be Perfect

There are some of you out there who want to start a business. So you research your market, write a business plan and then get stalled. You want everything to be perfect so you obsess over the details.

The difference between “good enough” and perfect may cost you weeks or months of actually selling your product or service, time in which you could have been making money. Getting each detail to be perfect may stop you from ever starting your new business. If your product or service is not perfect, you still have the ability to make changes while you are actually in business. After all, think of all the products in the stores that are “new and improved.” These companies knew that selling something that was “good enough” would satisfy most of their consumers. Your product or service will likewise be good enough to get your business going even if it still has a few glitches.

To get yourself out of the “I’m waiting until it’s perfect” phase, try to think of what your perfect outcome would look like as opposed to what you have now. Can you live with fewer sales, fewer customers, a slightly different service or product? Probably yes. If you can’t, maybe being an entrepreneur won’t work for you. You don’t have the luxury of having everything run perfectly at the beginning of your start-up, no one does. You need to be the type of person who can solve business problems on the fly, because no matter how perfectly you plan things, something will go wrong or something that you never planned on will happen. So, let go of the notion that once you have launched the perfect product or service, that everything will go perfectly.

Decide at what point you can live with less than perfect and start taking steps to open your business. Create your corporation or limited liability company, consult with your team of professionals (an accountant, a lawyer, an insurance agent, and a banker). Learn what you will need to know to at least start your new business and take your experts’ advice to heart. Realize that you can and will make mistakes. Learn from your mistakes. If you can’t figure out on your own how to fix the mistake, go back to your team of professionals and ask for their analysis of what the problem is and how to fix it. Most new business owners try to do everything on their own (mostly because they don’t have the money to pay for advice). Asking advice from other business owners can be a cheap way of getting help. Why would they answer your questions and help you? If they are in a non-competing business, they know that you may be an expert in an area in which they are less knowledgeable and you can trade advice. You can also find help from owners of the same type of business if they are outside your area (either geographically or the type of market to whom you are selling). If you would prefer to pay for advice and you are short on cash, raise more capital so you can consult with experts for whom you must pay.

On the other hand, it is not smart to start your business when you are half-way through the planning stage. If you don’t have a working product or haven’t thought through who your target market is, your business may never get off the ground. There is a certain amount of planning that must be completed before you should start your business. But don’t postpone actually getting started until everything is “perfect.” You may never see that day. So, once you get to “good enough,” start your business.

The 3 Basic Essentials For Every Online Home Business

The internet is a busy place and every online home business is competing for attention. Your website is your window to the world and helps you to reach out to prospective customers, around the clock everyday of the week. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling or who you’re selling it to, there are 3 basic essentials that every online business must have if it is going to be successful.

1. The Right Products Or Services

It may seem totally obvious but without having the right products and services to provide to your potential audience, you’re not going to be very profitable. An online entrepreneur can either develop their own product or sell other people’s products.

The easiest way to start an online home business is to sell other people’s products. The product owner will have already done all the homework for you and designed a product appropriate to a specific target market. Your task is to get that product or service in front of that market and when they buy it from you, you will pay receive a commission payment from the product owner.

2. Advertising And Marketing

Even if you have the greatest product in the world if nobody knows it exits then nobody will buy it. Marketing and advertising on the internet makes it possible for you to get your online home business in front of a lot of people in very cost effective way.

You don’t have to spend huge sums of money to market your business online. Online marketing makes it possible to specifically target who you want to speak to with a product or service that they will want. You can easily measure your leads and conversions and fine-tune your campaigns so that they are more successful.

3. Building A Customer List

The process of building a database of prospective and actual customers, known as list building, is a key to building a successful online home business. You can obtain a prospect’s email addresses via an opt-in box on your website or from a lead capture page.

Keep in mind that when a prospect first comes across your online home business, they very probably will not buy from you immediately. You need to develop a relationship with them so that they come to know, like and trust you. This can be done via email marketing. Over time as they get to know more about you they will be more likely to buy from you.

Marketplace Lending: A Viable Option For Business Capital

In today’s world of commercial finance, we are experiencing the New Normal in terms of business financing and how businesses acquire capital for growth and expansion. I largely consider myself an advocate of traditional lending through the use of banks and commercial finance companies due to the lower cost of capital. But, due to the way commerce is conducted in today’s world with the use of technology and the fluidity of markets because of increased accessibility provided by the Internet, the need for compatible sources of capital have arrived via the fintech (“financial technology”) boom. Enterprising entrepreneurs have recognized a sizeable opportunity in that a majority of small businesses lack the access to capital needed to grow and sustain their businesses that provide jobs and resources to communities throughout the US. I would have laughed wholeheartedly a decade ago if approached with the business model most marketplace lending sources offer to small businesses now. However, I’m the one that’s being laughed at by these enterprising firms because via creative destruction mainly exacerbated by the Great Recession, they are filling a relevant need in the market both now and for the foreseeable future. I think it’s safe to presume that we’re not in Kansas anymore in terms of the traditional way of providing capital to the small business market via banks and commercial finance companies. I don’t believe that this model will become obsolete, but I do think that it will begin to decrease in scope as marketplace lending takes on more of a relevancy in the market because the way in which commerce is done today is not the same as it was done a decade ago.

Marketplace Lending as a Viable Lending Source for Firms

Business ROI has do with the strategies and decisions a business owner and his / her team make in order to optimize operating profits for the benefit of the firm and its stakeholders. These methods become more acute once business loans are obtained because there’s a requirement to not only repay interest, but also the principal of the loan. The key component of this repayment risk for the business owner is the level and amount of interest charged. Traditional lending sources have been able to provide relatively low-cost business loans, but there’s been a couple major downsides: (1) mostly offered to prime customers that have ideal personal and business credit and (2) abnormally long underwriting and decision times even for prime prospects. What happens to those entrepreneurs that are categorized as mid prime prospects with semi-ideal personal and business credit profiles? Most of these prospective borrowers are left to find other ways and means of meeting business capital challenges primarily credit cards and consumer loans that are not ideal in terms of cost, loan term, and repayment structure. Financial technology firms have come along in today’s market to provide business loans to viable firms that do not fit into a traditional financing sources “credit box”. In other words, there’s flexibility in the structure of the loan product. One downside to marketplace lending is on the high cost of capital due to the Peer 2 Peer model which basically means there’s no middleman between investors and borrowers. In lieu of the benefits that entrepreneurs receive from a marketplace lending source (flexible underwriting and decision structures, fast application and submission platforms, prompt turnaround and access of funds, etc.), the high cost of capital makes sense. In order to minimize the risk of default, business owners must assess the impact the loan will have on increasing and sustaining free cash flow for both repayment and operational growth. Thus, the business and technical risk of effectively using a marketplace loan is with the entrepreneur in that he / she must earn a higher ROI than the interest cost of the loan in addition to the other operating and capital expenses of the business. Welcome to the New Normal.