With more business owners, bloggers, and entrepreneurs either launching new businesses or startup of their own, or focusing on branding, it’s important to ask yourself if you are taking advantage of the financial upswing? The majority of site owners and bloggers start out with nothing, however, initial startup costs and financial investments are always going to be something to consider.
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The important question here is… What does that mean for you?
It means that if you can launch your business in today’s marketplace, your opportunity to recoup your investments and turn staggering profits are astronomical.
The only issue is that finding funding to launch your business can be a challenge.
With new businesses comes the need to fund office spaces, equipment, employee salaries, and more while you work to get a foothold in consumer’s consciousness.
The good news is that there are lots of ways you can secure business financing and in today’s digital age, it’s easier than ever.
Below you will find a list of nine solutions that can get your website, blog, startup or local business funded today.
1. Bank Loans
We’ll open up our list of funding solutions with what is perhaps the most conventional business financing option available to you: bank loans. Bank loans get acquired by setting an appointment with a loan officer at any major financial institution.
During that appointment, you’ll likely get asked to provide information regarding the business you’re looking to open up. You will also share what your plan is to turn a profit.
In the latest edition of the State of Online Banking, it was also highlighted that other factors like your current finances and credit will enter into the consideration of your prospective lender.
If your lender feels that your plan is sound and trusts that you’ll be able to pay back your loan, you will receive your funding at an interest rate agreed on by you and your lender.
Getting bank loans can be difficult given stringent criteria often set by lenders to mitigate their risk.
2. Online Loans
Online loans are similar in some aspects to getting a traditional bank loan.
When we say “online loans”, we’re referencing solely internet-based lenders. Typically, these loans come in at higher interest rates than what traditional lenders would offer.
The plus side to taking out this type of loan is:
- A) You can secure them quickly.
- B) You won’t have to answer many questions.
To secure an online loan for your business, you may need to do as little as just show you have income and a checking account. More thorough online lenders will also make it a point to run your credit.
If you go down the online loan path to secure your business’ funding, you’ll want to pay very close attention to interest rates and fees. Many online lenders border on predatory and falling into debt with one of them could spell ruin for your company.
3. Borrow Against Your Stock Portfolio
If you have extensive investments in the stock market but little in the way of cash to fund your business, there are companies out there that will allow you to use your stocks as collateral and borrow business financing against their value.
These types of loans solutions are excellent. This is because they provide another lever prospective business owners can pull to get their products to market.
There are regulations and details you’ll want to brief yourself on prior to exercising this option. Not all market investments will be eligible to borrow against. Which ones are eligible will be determined, in part, by each individual lender.
Be sure to do your research before transferring your portfolio to an online lender. Ensure that you’re not entering into a predatory arrangement that could result in the loss of your investments.
4. Credit Cards
Another go-to means of securing business financing are credit cards.
Many people have experience using traditional consumer credit cards. Business credit cards can be different in what they look for in applicants and what they offer to users.
For starters, in order to secure a business credit card, you may be required to provide an EIN number on your application. This number can get acquired for free by registering for one through the IRS.
For sole-proprietor businesses, some card applications will accept your social security number in lieu of an EIN.
If your application gets approved, your business credit cards will typically come with a much higher limit than you’d get through a standard card. It may also offer you perks that award cash back on things like internet service, transportation, and more.
As with all credit products, stay mindful of your card’s interest rate. Be sure that you’re managing your payments in a way that will keep your company from falling into insurmountable debt.
5. Consider Leveraging Your 401K
If you’ve worked as an employee for another company, you probably have a nest egg built up for your retirement. In most instances, borrowing against that nest egg would result in steep penalties.
However, investing your 401K in business financing, if managed by a tax professional who is experienced in setting up C corporations, can be accomplished without incurring fees.
The same is true if you to borrow against your IRA or ROTH IRA.
Remember, there are risks involved when funding your business with your retirement accounts. If your business fails, not only will you lose your job but your retirement gets lost too.
While not for everyone, crowdfunding is a low-risk means of getting a business idea off the ground.
Crowdfunding is the process of pitching average people on your business idea. This is typically done by showcasing a “media kit” online which gets made up of videos that describe your idea, information on how your idea can revolutionize a market, and more.
If enough people get compelled by your vision, they can pledge micro investments ($5.00 and up) to help you meet your funding goal.
In exchange for their investments, pledges get prizes depending on how much they invest. Prizes get described in an incentives document your organization will create.
The difficult aspect of crowdsourcing is that very few ideas get funded successfully. You’ll need to invest in a showy pitch/media kit to come anywhere close to your funding goal.
The good news is that if your idea does get funded, beyond giving investors their prizes as promised, you are not beholden to your investors. They are not entitled to royalties on your business’ future success.
Oculus is a notable project made possible through crowdfunding which was later sold to Facebook for 2 billion dollars.
Kiva is a business financing provider that gives free funding to businesses that are usually based in 3rd world countries. Still, many businesses that are US-based can also get funded through the platform.
In order to get funded through Kiva, you’ll likely need to be part of a disadvantaged community as investors on the platform are interested in helping reshape economies by assisting underserviced populations open businesses.
Still, no matter what your background is, given that Kiva is 100% free, there’s no downside to putting your ask out on the platform.
Kiva offers a flexible payback structure on all business financing serviced through its platform and repercussions for not paying back loans are nominal. Despite that, given the incredible value Kiva provides to underserved entrepreneurs, the graciousness of borrowers has fueled a loan payback rate of 96.8%.
8. Family and Friends
If you’re lucky enough to have a great support network of family and friends, you may be able to secure business financing by pitching them on your idea.
For some, going into business with family members is a rewarding experience that can bring them closer together. For others, being in business with family and owing them money can lead to friction which can decimate relationships.
For that reason, we recommend you tread lightly when looking to engage family and friends for loans. Be sure that nobody is staking their livelihood on your success, and be honest in your intentions to pay people back.
9. Paypal, Kabbage and Online Lending Programs
As you can imagine, the internet has drastically changed the way financing and banking works in the world today.
To bring our nine point list of financial solutions to a close, we simply have to add some amazing opportunities that can be found through providers like Paypal and Kabbage. Both of these platforms allow for businesses to borrow money, almost instantly.
In both cases, all it takes is creating an account and filling in some company details.
For anyone using Paypal to collect and pay for business services online, Paypal Working Capital is perfect.
Kabbage is also great for Paypal users as well, as you can connect accounts and increase the credit line based off your income/revenue history.
Wrapping up 8 Different Ways to Get Business Financing
You have a killer business idea, and all that stands between you and your success is getting the funding you need to get it off the ground. To that end, we recommend leveraging any one of the business financing tips we’ve listed above.
Given their diversity of approaches, you’ll find the success you’re looking for leveraging at least one of them!
Want more of the most thought-provoking advice your business can leverage to find success? Do you want that information online right now?
If so, get the big picture when it comes to local and global economic questions. Start diving deeper the our content pool at Blogging Tips!
Do You Need to Make a Huge Blogging Shift?
Sometimes, you get bogged down with your blogging routine. Routines feel comfortable, right?
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But blogging is a feeling game like life is a feeling game. All flows based on your emotions. If you feel really good – first – then you take good feeling blogging actions and over time, with patience and trust, see good feeling blogging results.
Unfortunately, most humans give almost zero thought to their emotions before diving in to a blogging routine. Bloggers believe you need to do something or follow a set routine to succeed, to drive traffic, and to make money. Day after day, year after year, most bloggers follow a routine without giving zero thought to how they are feeling, if they enjoy blogging, if they have fun following the routine, and if they feel detached, patient and trusting in the process.
This is the only reason why as of about 7 years ago, 80% of bloggers never made more than $100 during their blogging careers. If 8 out of 10 humans can not make $100 through blogging over 1, 2, 5 or 10 years, 8 out of 10 bloggers clearly give zero thought to their feelings BEFORE blogging. Feel bad, and you see no money. But those 2 out of 10 bloggers who feel really good make lots of money over the long haul.
Maybe it is time to make a shift, guys.
2-3 months ago I made one shift. 1 month ago I made an even bigger shift; quite huge, for me. But what I did differently made almost zero difference. How I chose to feel marked the big shift, then, I moved into different blogging actions.
For example, I faced some deep fears, felt the fears, and instantly, after feeling pretty crappy for a short time, I felt better and better. Choosing to face fear, clear it, and feel better, helped me see things clearly. I tired of my blogging schedule, my social sharing groups, blog commenting and heavy cross promotion. In truth, I hated it. I did have some fun with each for a while but the passion long left me. Since how you feel before and while you blog means everything, my mindset-feeling shift told me I’d have so much fun guest posting. So as of about 3-4 weeks ago – maybe less – all I do is guest posting because I have fun guest posting and guest posting comes easily to me.
Making the shift involved facing deep fears of failure, loss and struggle. I had to feel the fear of letting go lifeless activities for me – at the time – to clear out the fear, and properly release these strategies, and to move forward so I could feel good, then, decide what blogging actions would feel fun and easy and enjoyable to me.
All shifts happen emotionally first, by your choice. After feeling some muck and then feeling better, you clearly and intuitively feel through the next fun-feeling, enjoyable step.
What About You?
Do you need to make any shifts with your blogging campaign? Or do you need to make one big, sweeping, all-encompassing shift?
Getting caught up in blogging routines feels comfortable, familiar and safe, sometimes. But do you feel good before you begin the routine? Do you feel good working the routine? Do you feel detached, relaxed, trusting and like you are cared for, and prospering, while following your blogging routine?
Be honest to make a necessary shift. If you love following your routine, cool. Proceed. But most humans are taught – me included – to follow some routine (no matter how you feel) to get something, specifically money, so you can avoid failure, struggle, poverty, going hungry, illness, and embarrassment. This is exactly why most humans work jobs. Follow a routine to get money even if you feel really bad or terrible following the work-routine; aka, even if you hate your job and it feels lifeless, or soul-less.
May be time for a big shift guys.
Why Comedians Teach You a Powerful Blogging Lesson
Last night I saw a funny comedian perform in Atlantic City.
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Chris Delia charmed the audience with his silly, somewhat absurd, level of humor.
He also explained how comedians need thick skin to become successful. Humor is a very personal, subjective topic. Some people find some comedians hysterical but never laugh at other comedians. As you imagine, bombing feels terrible to most comedians. At least until they develop a thick skin.
I once read how Kevin Hart often waited until 1 AM to work an open mic. Sometimes he waited until 1 AM and the place closed down so he never got the chance to do his set. Imagine how thick-skinned you need to be to not let that bother you? Is it any wonder why he is now worth $150 million? He became immune to criticism, failure and rejection. As a matter of fact, after developing a thick skin, he likely did not see criticism, failure or rejection.
All those evenings of 1 AM sets in front of 1-2 lifeless people or all those nights of being told to go home at 1 AM after waiting for hours to do his act purged the fear of criticism, failure and rejection from his being. Void of these fears, he rose up to being one of the most famous, wealthy and powerful comedians on earth.
Bloggers Need Thick Skin
I once promoted a course to the tune of 8000 page views before I sold one copy. Did I quit promoting the course? No. I developed a thick skin during the process. I did not see 8000 rejections. I only saw meeting and helping more human beings through my blog. Even during moments when I felt like giving up I trusted in myself and believed in the blogging process. Quitting and failure were no options for me. But in the same vein, I needed to be thick skinned to see through criticism, rejection and failure.
I needed to be aware of opportunity amid the appearance of nobody reading my blog. Toss in being patient and persistent in helping folks during my most trying times and you have a pretty thick-skinned individual.
Do Not Care What People Think
Chris Delia shared how he could care less what people thought about him. He dressed down a few hecklers during the show.
Comedians succeed because they care less about what people think of their acts; being heckled, ignored or criticized had nothing to do with their belief in self and their belief in their comedic style.
As a blogger, give no thought to what people think of you. Guess what? You cannot control your reputation. No matter how long and hard you work in life to maintain a positive reputation, you can never physically control what people think of you. I am largely a nice guy 99.99% of the time yet some people genuinely hate me. I cannot control their demons. Plus I know we see the world as we see ourselves so if someone hates themselves I cannot do anything about that self-loathing.
Focus on yourself. Focus on what you think about yourself because this is the only thing that matters. Being comfortable in your own skin aligns you with loving, loyal followers who appreciate you for who you are. Let go everybody else. Critics form an energetic yoke if you care about their thoughts but dissolve into thin air when you could care less about what they think of you.
Bloggers become successful because these few folks who have thick skins shine brightly in a world of thin-skinned bloggers who fear criticism, judgment and rejection. The few who step it up do wonders because we all want a piece of free spirits who march to the beat of their own drum without caring what people think, say or do, in response or reaction to them simply being themselves.
Do You Have an Exit Plan for Your Blog?
This past week I ceased sharing posts in blogging tribes.
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I finally got it; I joined tribes because I feared unless I shared other blogger content, nobody would read my content. I feared if nobody shared my content, nobody reads my content, and I needed to share other blogger content to effectively influence bloggers and people to share mine. Ouch.
As you can imagine, I put in many long, hard hours working a job, NEEDING to be online to succeed with my blog. Rewind. Working a job. Did you see this phrase? I worked a job. I needed to be online to succeed. Largely, at least. Does that sound like a business owner to you? Does that sound like leveraging? Sure I drive some passive traffic and profits to my blog but being honest, I largely worked a job and had a job for much of my 10 years online, and I did not have a pure business so I could step away from my blog and business for months, at a time. Or, forever.
I have more of an exit plan now. I have a blogging business. I am writing my tail off to be in as many spots as possible without relying on sharing tribes and other groups that require me to be online, to social share posts, so other people can social share my posts, so I get traffic and profits. I began to think; what am I doing? I mean, if you love joining social sharing tribes, do it. Nice friendship builder. But you need to have some exit plan with your business and need to see how you can step away one day so it is about a 100% passive income machine – or, so you can sell it at a tidy profit – in order for you to be a free entrepreneur, versus a bound employee.
I am having so much fun writing blog posts and guest posts daily. Plus it is easy peasy. Every piece of content is forever, unless all these blogs vanish or get closed out by all these bloggers. Fat chance. Plus I can drive to Atlantic City today with my wife and enjoy a show this afternoon into evening and my business will still grow from a heavy passive element. Even though I am online writing this morning, all my blog posts and guest posts serve as a passive promotional army for the Blogging From Paradise blog and brand.
Imagine me trying to social share other blogger posts as I am driving down the Parkway? Not happening.
Network. Have fun making friends. Build a rock solid foundation for your blog. But eventually, evolve into someone who leverages your presence so you work a business, not a job. Any strategy 100% dependent on you being online, sharing blogger content so other bloggers share your content and boost your success, is a job, not a business, because you are tied to the online world and have no exit strategy, and a light passive element to your blogging business.
Gradually place less emphasis on networking online. Focus on purely passive elements, like writing more blog posts and guest posts, which last forever. Humans change, quit, fail, change tastes; you never want to be at the mercy of the fickle human beast. Unless all blogs close down, all of those blog posts and guest posts you wrote are pretty much forever.
Focusing a bit more on things – things helping people – helps you leverage your blog and business powerfully so you can make an exit plan and step away from your blogging business for 1, 2 or 3 months. I know bloggers who take vacations for months; everything keeps growing money-wise because they leverage, and are not dependent on people for cash flow, because their system creates the cash flow.
Trust in the process plays a big role too.
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