Financing Your Small Business

If it is at all possible, you should start your business without any funding beyond what you have available. Do this by starting slowly and in conjunction with present employment. Start your business by working evenings and weekends while keeping your present job as long as practicable. This way, if the business does not meet your expectations, you have not incurred debt and will still have a job!

However, depending on the nature of the business outside funding may be necessary. For example, expensive equipment or initial stock may be required. When determining your financing needs, remember that nearly everyone underestimates what is required, so be careful and do your planning accordingly. And of course, don’t forget to factor in contingency – sickness, bad weather, equipment breakdown, etc. Anything that increases the time line to profits! Best you figure on a year before you see a profit. Here are some items to keep in mind when preparing your startup budget:

o Office equipment (Fax machine, computer)

o Production equipment (for manufacturing)

o Office supplies

o Legal and CPA fees

o Insurance

o Business licenses or permits

o Lease deposits

o Remodeling costs

o Utility deposits (this can be quite large!)

o Salaries

o Shipping

o Advertising and promotion

o and the big one … contingency!

What you want to avoid is having to find additional financing during your startup phase. It is generally easier to obtain financing the first time around!

There are two major forms of business financing.

1. DEBT FINANCING. This simply means you get a loan from someone or somewhere and go into debt! You are obligated to repay the money.

2. EQUITY FINANCING. This involves “selling” a portion of your company to an outside investor. You have no obligation to repay the funds. In general, this type of funding is provided by venture capital firms.

The fact is, 99.99% of all small businesses will utilize debt financing since most “equity lenders” (venture capital companies) are interested in lending large amounts of money, generally a million dollars or more. This article will only consider sources for obtaining debt financing for your venture.

SOURCES FOR DEBT FINANCING

1. YOURSELF! (Savings) You are your own best “lender” if you have the savings. This approach can be quick and easy.

CAUTION: Ensure you have adequate savings for both the business and other life contingencies.

2. FRIENDS and RELATIVES. If they believe in you and your idea, friends and relatives are sometimes willing to fund you. Choose this route with care and ensure you execute a formal loan document stating loan terms (interest, terms of repayment).

CAUTION: Many friends have been lost and many relatives alienated because of a small business failure.

3. BANKS and CREDIT UNIONS. Many banks and credit unions (check with your own first and with you local chamber of commerce for alternate possibilities) will loan money for starting a small business. This approach will require that you present a formal plan to the bank showing justification for the amount you are borrowing.

Gambling Casinos Should Be So Lucky – Stock and Commodity Markets & Media Exploits

Every day the market goes up and down, and the cable media and financial newspapers attempt to explain these perturbations. Every time there is a sharp sell-off or uptick, they are trying to rationalize what happened, why it happened, what’s going to happen next, and then keep us all entertained in the process. But what does it all really mean?

Nothing, you could just as easy throw rubber duckies in a river, each with a different corporate name on it, and see which one of them goes down the river fastest. You’d do just as well as the best analysts over time with your stock picks, seriously folks, there’s a lot to be said for dumb luck and throwing darts at charts or corporate lettered symbols.

Still, you have to wonder about this daily barrage of promotion and nonsense, as if it really matters? Can you imagine if the Gambling Industry had 4 US Based Cable Networks following every table, every casino floor, or trying to explain how the winners and losers made or lost money – or why, and how they might fair in the future? Because as it stands Wall Street and the Chicago Commodities Exchange are really nothing more than giant gambling casinos, and those who play, yes, they have better odds than a casino, but it is all a game nevertheless.

More interesting is that we base our entire economy and the viability of our economic future on stock market, or commodity price indexes. We use this to set policy and we actually have politicians busy making speeches whenever they think the market might be going up sharply or down drastically. Calling for more regulation, less bureaucracy and vying for media brownie points. This is no more a reality than the created nonsense realities in Washington DC.

Political and economic analysts will tell us that the economy follows the stock market, and the best judge is watching the stock market today to know the future of the economy will follow in 6-months. But if the stock market is a manipulated, and gamed at every turn, and it’s true that the 6-month lead time is real, then it’s the tail-wagging-the-dog, and all the business cycles, and politics that follow are being led by a bunch of dogs gambling at a table.

Yes, I know you’ve seen that old cartoon too, and there is a lot to be said for that. Unfortunately, the whole thing is a lie, based on a casino, which looks legitimate by the media giving it credibility, as if it is doing something that matters or is based on real economic activity, it’s not. It’s all a joke, and the joke is on you. How does that make you feel?

The Different Forms Of Small Business Finance

Any small business owner in operation today is actually an incredible and solid form of business ownership as well as being an integral part of the growth and health of the economy. Quite often, when public policy and economic decision making is undergone, they look at small businesses to see how they are faring and able to withstand the various different amounts of strain and tensions that the economy is being placed under. An incredible stress of any business is the financing options available to them which requires the knowledge of the various types of small business finance.

With any level of business financing, there are actually an incredible amount of options available that provide an incredible source of financing overall. Businesses must keep a very close eye on their options at all times in order to remain competitive and thing strategically regarding how they are able to move forward. Thus, understanding what all options are at all times is definitely a crucial element in this process.

Truly, at all times, any small business must maintain a solid grip on their cash flow. Being a good cash manage is often crucial for maintaining a level of financial well being as well as not having to depend as much on financing at all. Thus, this should always be a foundational business model process.

Debt financing is actually an incredible common form of small business finance available. Basically, this is where the finance company purchases the debt acquired by the business in exchange for repayment with interest. This is often performed at early stages of any small business.

For those that need more cash flow, business loans are actually often a very common source of business financing. This is basically much like a personal loan and requires a solid credit standing as well as an incredible amount of potential. This should actually be something that is reserved for the harshest of economic times for any business.

Investment in any business is also another incredibly common form of small business finance. Basically, this is something that involves a great deal of word or mouth and branding before it is offered to any company. Most businesses use this investment cash for expansion and upgrades to help the business grow and run efficiently over time.

Another form of business finance is through equity finance. Most often, this type of funding requires a decent level of credit standing as well as a very solid forecast of growth and potential to attract equity financiers. In this process, the business owner relinquishes a level of their ownership in the company in exchange for a set amount of financing that requires repayment and constant reporting to the equity finance company.

Finally, venture capital is often used as business finance for those wishing to take their business to the next level. This is acquired when a business is beginning the process of going public and wishing to sell themselves to the market. This funding is often used to increase the overall financial outlook of the company to make it more attractive.

Public Relations for Gambling Casinos

Many people decry gambling casinos because they say it brings in crime and it fosters the criminal element. Many people are upset with gambling casinos because so many individuals who cannot control their addiction will lose all their money and end up homeless on the streets. Many people will say that these factors cause more hardship than good in our society and civilization. Whereas most of this is true in some regards one must also look at the aspect of the huge number of people that are brought in due to gambling casinos.

The gambling casinos bring in huge amounts of revenue into the city, which also helps small business people and provides tremendous numbers of people a good job. Additionally, many state and government agencies receive quite a bit of money in tax revenue from the gambling casinos. This helps pay for services that the Government provides this in a sense that normally would not be able to do.

A strong public relations campaign is needed for gambling casinos to educate the public to all the facts and also to remind them that with the huge number of people coming into the city there is going to be a little bit of increased crime just like there is more crime and a local regional mall.

The human species seems to have issues with gambling and it seems to be an innate characteristic of mankind. If people are not gambling in casinos they may be doing other gambling and risky behavior, which could cause injury or death. All these things must be taken into consideration when considering gambling casinos and a good public relations strategy should point these out. Please consider all this in 2006.

The Evolution of Financing a Small Business

For years I have read the popular business magazines, all having so called experts write articles for entrepreneurs on how to finance their business. “The top 10 strategies for financing your start-up”, “How the SBA can help your small business”, “Personal credit is the key for entrepreneurs” and so on. In most cases I’m willing to bet those writing these articles are journalists that have never had a successful start-up. How can I come to that conclusion you may ask? Because of the bad advice they give.

Going to the SBA for a loan, using your retirement funds, tapping all your personal credit cards or giving up 75% of your idea to an investor are all ideas I have read from the popular magazines. The thing is, in every one of these cases you are using your personal credit and not separating you from your business. You are putting 100% of your credit and assets at risk.

I have worked with thousands of small business owners who have been very successful without the need to use their personal credit cards, retirement funds or fill out stacks of paperwork and wait months for a response from SBA backed banks. In fact I have seen entrepreneurs with access to hundreds of thousands of dollars without giving up a percentage of their company or having any of the money show up on a personal credit report. Sounds good right? Well, there is one catch. You will need to go through the evolution of financing your business. You can’t start at the end. This is the problem with most entrepreneurs. They want fast results and aren’t willing to wait. By taking the quick fix they give up ownership and put their personal credit at risk.

The evolution of business financing starts with a solid foundation for your business. A solid foundation is comprised of several parts. The first of which is structuring your business entity appropriately. I recommend to every entrepreneur that you use a Sub Chapter S-Corporation, C-Corporation or Limited Liability Company to operate the business. This is the first step in separating the business owner from the business. The next phase of building the solid foundation is to ensure the business is in compliance with the lending markets. Several business owners are surprised when I tell them most lenders we work with when reviewing a credit application will first call directory assistance to see if your phone number is listed. It’s a simple check, but it’s the first flag that will be raised for them if the business isn’t listed. Why would a lender finance a company that doesn’t want anyone to find them?

There are hundreds of other due diligence phases that a company must go through in order to ensure the owner and business are not considered “high-risk” for obtaining credit and financing. The more a business has in place to show that it is a real business the more likely a lender will grant credit to that company.

The second step in the evolution of small business financing is to define what the business does, what makes it unique and why it will be successful. The business owner must create a one-page “sales pitch” for the business, also referred to as an executive summary. The executive summary can be used when applying for credit, seeking investors and developing marketing campaigns.

Business owners need to keep in mind when seeking financing that the most important thing for a business is to produce a profit. Without revenue there will be no profit. Marketing the business will help produce the revenue and the executive summary will help create the marketing.

Third, a company must build a business credit report separate from the owner’s personal credit. By working with trade credit, the single largest source of lending in the entire world, a small business can tap into limitless leverage for buying goods and services they need to start, run and grow the company. The beautiful thing about trade credit is in many cases it’s free money. If a vendor grants terms of net 30, a business owner has the ability to use the vendors goods or services for 30 days without interest before they need to pay the vendor. The other wonderful part of trade credit is that there are companies offering products and services small business owners need who will report the credit to a business credit bureau. The reporting of the trade line will create a business credit profile separate from the personal credit of the business owner. Eventually the business will be able to access more and more credit under the business name only if it maintains a positive business credit score.

The more credit received under the business name the more likely other companies will grant that business credit. No one wants to be the first in line to grant a business $50,000 in credit, but if others already have they will be more inclined.

Fourth, is to use the owner’s positive personal credit score in combination with a positive business credit score as leverage for obtaining hundreds of thousands of dollars in unsecured lines of credit for the business. The key is to do this with lenders that don’t report the accounts to the personal credit bureaus but rather the business credit bureaus. Many banks offer business lines of credit and loans, however finding the right type of product from these banks can be tricky. A business owner needs to make sure the loan or credit line they apply for reports only to the business bureau.

By keeping business debt separated from the personal credit report, a business owner has the ability to keep their personal credit score high. The more a business owner uses their personal credit in the business, the lower the score will drop. Credit scores determine the ability to buy homes, rates on car insurance, and several other factors. Keeping a personal credit score above 720 is extremely helpful in the business owner’s personal and business life.

The fifth stage of the business financing evolution is to look at other alternative financing the business may be able to obtain. Leasing is one key area. Why use precious cash reserves to buy equipment or software when you can make a small monthly payment? In addition 100% of the payment on the lease is expensed.

The final stage deals with investors. The majority of investors don’t want to look at companies unless they have already progressed through the business evolution stages outlined above. Keep in mind that an investor is not just investing in a business they are investing in the business owner as well. If the business owner has tapped every available resource for credit and cash personally and never taken the time to establish business credit, financing or lease arrangements an investor will toss that company’s proposal in the garbage quickly.

Not every business owner will find themselves at the stage they need an investor. They may have a combination of enough cash-flow, credit and financing in place from the early stages that they won’t need additional capital. However, if a business needs to grow with the help of additional capital or financing there are two typical ways an investor will look at the deal.

The first is through debt financing and the second equity financing. Debt financing with an investor is where they provide a loan to the business in exchange for a pre-determined amount of interest. Equity financing is where an investor puts money into a business in exchange for ownership. There can also be a combination of debt and equity.

The majority of small business owners believe this is where they should start, with the investor. In reality this is the last place a business owner should look. Investors want to use their money to grow a business by having the money spent on revenue generating activities. The typical small business owner that goes to an investor says “I need a million dollars to start my business.” When asked what they’re going to use the money for they say, “start-up costs and payroll”. This is where the investor walks away. No investor wants to fund a project so the business owner can make payroll, buy office furniture, equipment or office supplies.

This is the perfect example of the evolution of business financing. The company starts out as an idea, then structure is put in place. Next, the business becomes real with licenses and a sign outside the building. Next, the business creates an identity with the right message. Then the business obtains trade credit that separates the personal and business credit in order to obtain larger lines of unsecured credit. All of which is used to build the infrastructure of the business without maxing out all the available credit for the business or business owner. Last, the business has the ability to seek investors because it has done everything required to create the solid foundation.

Receive the booklet How to Build Business Credit [http://www.bcscredit.com] by David Gass – President and Founder of Business Credit Services. It will share with you how more than 10,000 businesses across the nation have achieved over $175 million in combined financing in their business name only, all using his patent-pending system to build corporate credit [http://www.bcscredit.com] separate from your personal credit.

Foundation Repair Cost

All repairs are site specific; therefore it is not possible to provide an actual cost without having assessed each case. However, for the sake of this article we can provide a general cost guideline for the southeastern United States (keep in mind this is being published in January of 2011- prices can fluctuate greatly depending on steel costs and other operational costs). The cost for stabilizing a corner of a house is typically $2,700 to $3,200. A leaning chimney is usually $1,800 to $2,400. In extreme cases costs could be much higher. All assessments and cost proposals by most reputable foundation repair contractors are provided at absolutely no cost to the homeowner.

Variables/Added Foundation Repair Costs:

Repair costs can vary due to several factors. Here are some of the common factors and how to anticipate them:

Extension Material: Sometimes steel piers (the preferred repair method) end up being installed much deeper than anticipated. Of course, extra pier material can mean additional costs. Ask your estimator to reference other jobs done in the vicinity. If the company has a record of other pier depths, it is helpful in estimating yours, and it certainly shows whether or not the contractor keeps detailed records!
Deep Excavation: Some homes have foundations that are deeper below ground surface than others. This often causes more excavation and sometimes requires special machinery.
Footing Accessibility: Along the same lines, any obstacles that require removal for pier installation may add to the foundation repair cost.
Inadequate Foundation Footing: Sometimes contractors have to pour new concrete footings or strengthen existing footings with steel lintels. Extra material and/or labor may be assessed in these situations.

Choosing a Reputable Foundation Foundation Stabilization Company:

Ask how long the contractor has been in business specifically doing foundation stabilization work. If the contractor has been in business less than 10 years, it may be advisable to seek a contractor with more experience.
Ask what the contracting company’s specialty is. If the company does 80% construction and 20% foundation repair, they aren’t likely to have the same experience to offer as a company that does foundation work almost exclusively.
Ask if your contractor is a franchise and, if so, do research on the franchise. Some franchise companies are just fine. Others may not galvanize their steel products or may use cheaper / less effective repair methods.
Request professional testimonials and job references.

What You Should Expect for Your Money:

At best, expect a Lifetime Transferable Warranty on the foundation being stabilized in the area of repair. At least, you should expect a 25 to 50-year warranty. Note that this does not guarantee all visible signs of foundation failure will go away, but it ensures that the area of repair is stabilized permanently.
A company that will respond to any warranty issues that may arise.
A Contract Outlining Foundation Repair Cost and Warranties (don’t hire a contractor without one).
A Knowledgeable Consultant who Can Answer Any Questions You Have
A Knowledgeable Foreman or Crew Leader Directing the Repairs

What if You Can’t Afford the Cost?

In most circumstances, foundation settlement will not be covered by homeowners insurance. A reputable foundation repair contractor should be able to offer financing.

Stock Markets Should Not Turn Into Gambling Casinos – A Look at the Shanghai Composite

The Shanghai Composite started out as a way to capitalize Chinese Businesses, but with all the market manipulation it seems more like it’s turned into a gambling casino in many ways; much like the NYSE, or NASDAQ. It seems that the Chinese People who are really great at saving money have boosted stocks to an unreasonable multiple as many stocks were trading at 80-100 times earnings.

Then when the Global Economic Crisis hit China, many of their companies that were involved in manufacturing and exporting took a huge dive in profits, meaning their stock price based on things like quarterly profits was completely out the window. Many Chinese, just regular small time investors felt it was not fair, as they had put their money into the stock market and watched it rise, only to fall again and give up 20-25% in a very short time period.

But besides all that, I asked one small time investor from China; “Do you realize why stock markets exist?” Interestingly enough, she didn’t really, so I explained the stock markets exist to capitalize businesses. So, if that is what they are for, and if you really want to make money, you should be involved in the capitalizing of businesses, based on simple and sound principles.

Then I recommended to her, as I will to you, to read Warren Buffets essays, and to learn more about investing in the business world. Not long ago, I mentioned all this and the conversation to Guang Wu, the author of a new book; “China: Has the Last Opportunity Passed by!?” and his comments were that stock market investing is indeed much different and new to many Chinese Investors. So, please consider all this.

Taking a Look at Gambling Casinos in the USA

Gambling has been around for a long time. There have been games of chance held as far back as the time of the Mayans. It seems that mankind has a fascination with games of chance, be they physical or simply sitting at a card table.

There are some great places in the United States to hit up for these games of chance. Your thing may be a game of cards, such as Texas Hold Em or it may be the spinning wheel of a slot machine. Whatever you decide, there are some great gambling casinos you should visit.

If you are looking for world class card games, such as Texas Hold Em, then you may want to visit Las Vegas. Las Vegas has plenty of casinos to satisfy anyone’s holdem poker desires but it is the Bellagio that stands out from the crowd. The World Series of Poker is often held in this magnificent casino.

This is no ordinary card game. It is one for the big shots and high rollers where millions of dollars are won and lost at Dame Fortune’s whim. It takes skill to be sitting at one of these tables during a poker tournament. If Vegas is a bit too flashy for you and you are more into gambling than sightseeing, then there is another place you may want to visit.

Tunica, Mississippi is not known as a hot bed of tourism. But it has garnered the attention of poker players and gamblers for its gambling casinos. It is here that you can find some great card games and slots.

If you want to visit Tunica, then be prepared to see many of the same casinos that you would find in Las Vegas, since they are under the same ownership. Stop in at The Gold Strike Casino for a quick game of cards or take a roll of the dice in Craps.

Another hot spot to visit on the Eastern seaboard is Atlantic City. It is the main competition to Las Vegas. Gambling there has only been legal since the 70′s but it has risen in popularity very quickly. A card game here is just as serious as those found in Las Vegas and Tunica but you always have the comfort of the Boardwalk, should you lose out on a hand or three.

There are gambling casinos all across the continental United States. It should not be hard to find one. The most difficult part will be deciding on which one you want to go to and what you plan on doing once you are there. You may want to make it a tourist adventure and see the shows in Las Vegas or take a dip in the Atlantic Ocean when visiting Atlantic City. No matter what gambling town you visit you are sure to have fun.

How to Finance a Franchise for Sell

Finding a franchise for sell that interests you and is within your price budget has never been so easy. With the amount of resources that are available to the public these days, it is almost impossible not to find a franchise that fits your criteria. The difficult part for many is determining how to finance the franchise for sell.

When determining where to find the money to buy a franchise, it is recommended to first talk to the franchisor. Almost all U.S. franchisors provide debt financing only, while some carry the entire loan through their own finance company. Some franchisors offer loans based on simple interest, no principal, and balloon payments that are due 10 years down the road.

Many times the equipment and inventory make up 25%-75% of the start-up costs. It is important to talk with the franchisor to see if there is any way they can make an arrangement with leasing companies to have the starting equipment leased to get the business running. A business is franchised to raise capital and expand the business. Franchisors know that many people can not simply write a check to pay for the full start-up costs, so franchisors are very negotiable and willing to help you get the business up and running.

If you are unable to finance from the franchisor, then you will need to find other routes to get the money needed to buy the business for sell. It is important to remember when asking for money that you are involved in a selling situation. The more money you ask for, the more the people you are asking money for will want to know about your ideas. It is important that you have a sales pitch to show them you have done the necessary research and have a business plan. They are looking at how investing in your business will help them make money.

If you have a substantial amount of knowledge in the business franchise for sell and have a good credit record, it will make it much easier to get the money. It is extremely important that you put together a business plan describing your stability and how successful you have been in paying off previous obligations. This will assure people that you are trustworthy of paying back the money you borrow.

It doesn’t really matter who you finance from, just as long as you get the money needed to buy the franchise for sell. If the franchisor is no help, then look towards family members and friends. Even taking out a second mortgage loan on a home can be beneficial to help you get the money. Other places to consider include foundations that offer grants, legal investment groups, business associations, and trust companies. The important thing to remember is once you get the loan you can invest in the franchise for sell and begin business, and hopefully soon begin making the money to pay off your loans plus some.

Reasons to Choose Online Gambling Casinos

Gambling in casinos can give you a thrilling experience, but did you know that online gambling sites can also be as fun? There are actually a number of reasons to choose online gambling casinos instead.

For one, you can play whenever you want to. You do not need to dress up, get out and interact with people. You simply waste no time and jump straight into the game of your choice. There are actually two types of online gambling sites, one which is free and does not require you to pay a single cent (of course, except for your electric bills), and the other would be real money online casino games which would require players to pay a deposit upon registration, and the winnings will go to them if they win. Regardless of the type, there are different levels of experience available, ranging from amateur to professional. This allows a player to either pick up on experience or to display their abilities.

Another reason to play online is because you are in control of your environment. In real casinos, there would be music, people chattering, and you would be able to hear games from other ongoing games on other tables. These can be extremely distracting and might affect your concentration in playing. Online casinos, on the other hand, only focus on the table you are playing at. It is as though you are playing in a place only made for this round of game. But if you do not like sounds at all, you can just mute it.

Other than that, it can serve as a place to start off at before going to the real casino to gamble. Online casinos have the same rules and regulations with the games, and only carry minor differences. As this is the case, one can practice as much as they want online before facing the real thing with confidence. This way, you do not face as much embarrassment the first time if you are new in the game. All in all, online gambling casinos make a great place to gain gambling experiences.