Many small businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to find quality help at costs that allow them to actually make money each year. The good news, however, is that many workers are shifting emphasis to their quality of life, rather than just the money they make. In small to mid-size businesses, this can work to your advantage. With this increasing trend, you can offer nontraditional benefits that workers will appreciate (and that can help you hire quality help), but that cost very little in the way of overhead costs to your company.

Nontraditional benefits tell your employees that you care about their general wellbeing. Additionally, they allow you to present a competitive benefits package that can help you recruit and keep good employees. The costs of an incompetent, lazy, dishonest employee to a business can be very high. Additionally, training new workers to replace good employees who move on can also be costly and annoying, as the learning curve prevents them from doing as good a job. Good nontraditional benefits sweeten the pot, allowing you to keep quality people, even if you are paying them $3,000 to $6,000 less per year than another company might pay.

 

Paternity Leave.

 

More fathers are expressing an interest in spending time at home after a baby is born. It gives them a chance to help their wives and to take a more active “daddy” role. In the corporate world, paternity leave is becoming a standard. A small or mid-size business can set itself apart by offering this benefit. Not all employers offer paid paternity leave, but even if it is not paid, the option exists and this lets your workers know that you understand how important it is for them to be good husbands and fathers.

 

Optional Unpaid Leave.

 

Optional unpaid leave is a nontraditional benefit that gives the employee vacation options beyond the standard paid vacation days. This costs you nothing (you won’t have to pay for work that isn’t being done), and it can give others in the company a chance to work more hours. Or, if you do not need a shift covered, this cuts costs overall. Studies have shown that most employees would take 6-9 unpaid days throughout the year if given the opportunity, even though they would make less money. You can save money and improve employee morale all at the same time.

 

Discounted Gym Memberships.

 

Healthy and happy employees are more productive employees. Check with your local gym to see if they offer discounts to businesses that sign up their employees. There are two ways that this nontraditional benefit can work. The first is for the gym to offer a straight discount to employees of certain company (usually 15 to 30 percent). Another way is for the gym to offer a discount to the company for each membership. Then the company pays half and the employee pays half. It can even be deducted like other benefits.

 

The key to offering nontraditional benefits is to make them optional. Prospective employees will see the benefits, and old employees will enjoy the upgrade. This lets the workers know that you want them to be successful in all aspects of their lives, and that you are an employer that strives to create a good atmosphere where money is not as necessary a motivator as in other companies.

Franchise financing – you’ve made the decision about your future as a Canadian entrepreneur and selected your franchise of choice. Now the only minor detail involves how to pay for and finance this major investment on your part!

The purchase of a franchise is an investment in your future, the ability to operate your own business and generate personal income and wealth – it therefore makes sense to ensure you finance that purchase in the right manner.

 

If you have purchased the right franchise you should first feel comfortable that you have selected a solid business model, and, where applicable, a good location. Franchises have a strong ability to generate sales and profit from the beginning because they have proven marketing plans, solid training for franchisees, and sources of supply and support. All of these factors are necessarily harder to obtain if you are starting a business that is a non franchise.

 

So we agree you have aligned yourself with a winning franchise model. How do you finance that franchise when you in fact read that business financing is as challenging as ever in the 2010 environment. The ‘ trick ‘ if we can call it that, ( its actually hard due diligence and working with the right people ) is to match the proper amount of debt and equity that leaves you with the right financing options for both the purchase of the franchise and future growth .

 

Let’s look at a real world example – We recently worked with a client who wanted to open a high end grocery chain. The client was under the impression that the entire 1 Million dollars + he needed was readily available from various single financing sources. The reality is that many lenders still view franchisees, as proven as they are, as start ups, and no one is ever going to lend one million dollars for a new venture. So what do I do now, asked the client? A practical solution for this client is what we call the ‘ cobbling together ‘ of various financial mechanism that will allow the franchisee to meet his goals, in this case that was a government small business loan, a term loan for equipment and working capital, and lease financing .

 

So we can’t over emphasize that franchise financing in Canada is about ‘options ‘. Investigate those options thoroughly, match benefits to risk and reward and cost of financing, and pick a suitable combination that works for your risk appetite. The largest corporations in the world have Chief Financial Officers that wrestle everyday with two terms – debt and equity. That is, how much do they borrow, and how much do they ask their shareholders to put in.

 

Guess what , you’re now the CFO of your own corporation and you are wrestling with that same conundrum – how much of your personal resources will you put in, and how much can you, and are you willing , to borrow . The proper balance of debt and equity in your Canadian franchise is what will bring you financial success.

 

Buying a franchise and then financing a franchise successfully is the key to your overall business success. Speak to a trusted, credible, and experienced franchise finance expert who will guide you through the maze of franchise finance options. Be prepared to make the proper amount of personal financial investment into the business, but at the same time don’t be afraid to take on good debt that makes sense for proper leverage and growth .That’s a solid financial strategy!

There are many students and young individuals that prefer joining the business line and make it their career. Most of them do not have sufficient fund even if they have a good business idea and the caliber. Young entrepreneurs grant is such a grant that helps these types of entrepreneurs the additional funding that they need to either start their own business or run their businesses smoothly. These are also available if the entrepreneur is interested to expand his business or buy some business needs. There are different types of grants and if you are interested, you can search for the grants that fit in your criteria.

The present government is trying to give and open opportunities to common people so that they come forward and take advantage of these to improve their standards of life. These grants are free financial aids and the individuals do not have to repay them. There are various tips and guidelines available on Internet and with the help of these you can develop a business idea if you think you have the caliber to run a business profitably. Just keep in mind that before you approach to apply for the grants, you should make proper preparation for the application procedure.

 

Once you have decided to apply for young entrepreneurs grant, you should prepare a good business plan. This should include everything about your business and the budget regarding the grant money that you will receive. Mention why you need the money and how will you use the money. Show the difference and betterment your business will bring in the community. This will really impress the panel and persuade them to choose you as the most appropriate candidate for the grant money.

 

The most difficult part of starting any business is looking for the capital resources. However, with the availability of these grants, it is become easier to find and apply for the grants. The only thing is that you have to be confident and prepare for the application process. When applying for young entrepreneurs grant present your business in such a way that the panel thinks that investing in this business is very fruitful for the betterment of society.

Innovation is an essential ingredient to entrepreneurship. The entire entrepreneurship process begins with innovation. The entrepreneur must be an innovator, he must be able to come up with new breakthrough ideas which no one else has come across.

An entrepreneur constantly scans the environment for novel and innovative ideas. He looks at a situation in its totality. He comprehensively understands the situation and is able to break it down into parts and analyze each part in its totality. He then looks at the problems and difficulties faced in each part as well as the situation as a whole, after which he tries to come out with an innovative way to overcome the problems faced. The solution may be in a tangible form i.e. a product or may be in an intangible form i.e. a service rendered.

 

The solution the entrepreneur proposes is never an abstract idea which cannot be implemented in reality i.e. the entrepreneur solution is a concrete idea which can be developed and marketed in the most cost efficient, within the required quality permissible limits and at the same time the time to provide such a solution to the customer must be minimum i.e. there should a minimum time gap between the time to produce and the time to market to customer. The entrepreneur never forgets the fact that the idea develop must be capable to being functional i.e. it must have functionality and the customer must be able to use the solution without much problem or hassles.

 

Entrepreneurs are the most critical part of any nation’s innovative process. This is because these entrepreneurs run small firms which are more dynamic as compared to large enterprises which put several constraints on the amount of risk to be undertaken, finance and capital risks and other risks associated with technology. These small firms become the breeding ground for innovations which at times get sold over to larger commercial organizations to commercialize and market such innovations. One must remember that the entrepreneur’s innovation output may not only be limited to products and services, innovation can also be done with respect to a process i.e. the entrepreneur can innovate with respect to an existing process and find a new, better, faster and cheaper manner to produce or manufacture a product or render a service.

Starting your own business is a fantastic, exciting endeavor. It has unique joys and pitfalls. Here are a few tips that the Iceland in 8 Days owner (home of such incredible articles like a full guide to Iceland flights and such attractions as the Solheimasandur Plane Wreck) found helped us make it to 1 million dollars in revenue and climbing.

  1. Sell: Out of the gate you might not have much to offer but get something to sell and sell it. Sell it at discount but sell something. Our little company had very little to offer but we got out there and aggressively sold it. Do not hide from your customers, get out there, sell, lose a few, learn what they want, refine and sell again.
  2. Be Flexible: You might have a grand vision for your product but once you get out there, you may find the market is not as excited about your vision as you are. Adapt, beg, borrow and steal to make your product better than your competitors. After a year, we are selling a completely different product to what we started with and our targeted clients have gone from selling one at a time to bulk, enterprise sales.
  3. It is hard to get someone else to sell your product: Partnerships and recruiting militia salespeople to sell for you is very, very difficult, you might as well just sell it yourself until you are better known and established.
  4. Entrepreneurs want stock: Once the majority of the pie is split between partners, you are no longer looking to hire entrepreneurs as you cannot give them what they want. This stage of growth is the hardest where your business has matured somewhat. You now need staff, not new partners and they need money, benefits and security. Think with that when you want another team member … you better have money to hire them.
  5. Be careful of experienced salesmen who are unemployed: If they are so good, why were they let go. Good salesmen stay employed.
  6. Organize as early as you can: At first, everyone seems to do everything but as soon as possible, get the partners and staff into a structured role or department. A business is chaos once it gets beyond a few people with no organization.
  7. Thrifty: So you made a few dollars extra last month, you made a profit. This is the time to get tighter with money rather than getting all those things you really wanted but could not afford. Budgeting is key when you finally make a profit. Before that the budgeting pretty much handles itself. We blew through too much cash once we made a profit due to loose controls on spending.
  8. Think bigger: As you make a mark, always be looking for the bigger deal, the bigger customer, the bulk sale. You will always run into the problem of how many sales can a salesperson make per month. Scaling with personnel is expensive.
  9. Make friends: Within whatever industry you sell to, there are voices who are listened to more than others. Make friends with them so they can forward your message. This speeds up branding like nothing else and in many cases is the cheap route.
  10. Avoid Investment as much as possible for as long as possible: You are going to give your company away and more so for less the earlier you accept money. We had no income for a year, you would be surprised how far you can get if you just hustle to keep the rent paid.

When you start a business, you want it to be successful, right? No one embarks on a venture hoping to fail! Yet, for so many, their destination points in that direction right from the get go.

Why? A lot of times, entrepreneur hopefuls don’t do what they are supposed to: they don’t plan well, they don’t do enough research, they are not passionate about what they are doing…basically, they start off on he wrong foot and end up tripping or falling flat on their faces.

Here are some things you might need to consider should you really be serious about opening shop.

Know your stuff

You want to open a restaurant but don’t even know that adding sugar to a dish helps cut down chili hotness. You can’t cook a proper dish. You don’t know where to get ingredients at the best prices.

 

Now, how do you expect to succeed?

At the car service centre, how does it feel like when the mechanic says, “Oh! This particular spare part costs $900.” And you can’t say that you think it’s too expensive because you don’t know the real cost. So, you just resign yourself to this suggestion, but with that feeling that you’ve just been taken for a ride.

It’s the same at you restaurant, you need to know your stuff.

 

Research

A great location for a certain business might not be suitable for another.

You can operate a luxury car dealership that retails most expensive Maseratis in rather secluded area and still you will get your customers because he cars appeal to a certain market where affluent buyers will go anywhere to get they want

But when you open a stall or restaurant, it would be better if it’s located in an area where there are other food outlets, and where the traffic is high.

You mustn’t be afraid of competition as it creates choice for the consumer

You also need to know the type of crowd you are catering to and price your product correctly.

 

Passion

Just because you like to cook, don’t think you can make it as a restaurateur. At home, you might be used to cooking for family. You might even love hosting the occasional party with 30 friends dropping by.

 

At the outlet, it’s a daily affair.

It’s a lot of work in hot kitchen. And it’s not just the quality of food you have to be concerned about. You need to look at the service your staff provides. Don’t forget the occasional difficult customer.

 

You have to be passionate enough to work very, very hard.

 

Be hands on

If you want to open a business you need to be there, at least for a year, so that you’d know the ins and outs of the business enough and to make accurate assessments and estimations of stock take, customer flow and such.

 

Then no one will be able to cheat you. Also, after a year, your workers would more or less have an idea as to the way you like things done and what displeases you

 

Today, people are loosing their jobs. More than ever, people turn to making their own way. This year is the time to make a bold move, if you have the support. There are openings in many industries, but patience will be necessary. In South Florida, people will see many businesses closing and leaving infrastructure that could be transferred into something else. Making bold moves are specifically for people that have experience in business though. This is not a time for the casual entrepreneurs. Going South could be the next move for anyone struggling in the North and Midwest. Keep in mind, Florida does not have state income tax, so you can keep more of your income. Also, Texas is another state that offers this same perk. The warm weather will limit the need for seasonal expenses, like clothes and car care too. Therefore, this leaves more opportunity for allowing entrepreneurship to be king. This could mean starting a home business, or starting their dream brick and mortar operation. Entrepreneurial motivation can be felt across the country. The days of working at a local factory for 30 years is over. This equates the desire to create the new era of American workers and business people that are self sufficient. The lack of trust in big government, corporate jobs, and layoffs have fueled this situation. The only thing left is to accept entrepreneurship king. Innovation comes about and real transition will ensure America’s survival as a world leader.

The lack of options creates a life of uncertainty. Moreover, making entrepreneurship the main solution for tough times could create a society of business minded individuals.These people may not be ready for the challenge to operate a business, but they will have to quickly discover a way to make money. The ability to create your way of earning a living is a great sense of pride, but society has taught everyone to get a good job. Therefore, this is problematic for most people to transition. The new added responsibility for yourself can be traumatic. However, there is a strategy to solve the issue of fear. Just do it. Be well educated on the new entrepreneurship idea first, and then make a move. Understand that you are not alone, and that entrepreneurship is king for this new American era. Most people may not see it yet, but having a side business is becoming the norm. One job people are becoming obsolete. Therefore, if you are working full time, take on a good paying hobby to earn some extra cash to prepare for the “entrepreneurship king” trend. This will enable a competitive advantage for when you may have to become a full time entrepreneur due to unforeseen circumstances. Also, the earlier you start the better. Think of this as taking on another task and get creativity juices flowing. After all, we sell our worth to bosses everyday, so why not reap all the benefits.

 

In summation, entrepreneurship is king due to economic factors. We can’t change the situations, so we must make the best strategic decisions. Gaining extra skills that are well paid could be a great income booster. Community colleges offer great options for working adults with classes that enhance skills, and this can be used to build upon. Financial aid is available in many cases, so there is little excuse not to try. If you feel fear of loosing your financial security, accept that entrepreneurship is king, and make it work to your advantage with a new army of tools.

Those entrepreneurs that have limited fund can take the advantage of grants for small business owners. These grants are specially designed and created to help those business owners that find difficulty running their business swiftly because of lack of fund. When people hear about grants, some think that it is very easy to get the free money from the government while others think this is not meant for them as government grants are only for low income group of people. Both the concept is not completely true.

Government grants are neither too easy nor very difficult to get. You have to follow a certain procedure and submit the application for the relevant grant to the respective agency. If you are a small business owner, you need to analyze your business needs, find out what are the requirements of your business and list them according to the preferences. This will help you search for the right grant and fulfill the needs in sequence. Once you have sorted out your financial needs, it is time to find the grants that can fulfill them.

 

Complete information on grants for small business owners is available on Internet. Be careful and conscious while browsing the net because there are many fake companies and cheat individuals that will try to misguide you. Try to log on to legitimate websites particularly that of the government. Although these grants come under federal government grants, they are available with local and state governments. You can also find out the details with your state and local government agencies.

 

It is a time consuming job to find the grants and review their requirements. But once you have found the grant, see to it that you qualify for the grants. It is good to go through the guidelines for submission of the application form of that grant. Make sure you meet all the requirements and provide complete information while filling the application form. If possible, find out the constraints, expectations and budget of the grants for small business owners that you are going to apply. This will help you in presenting your application and persuading the panel to approve it.

Luck has nothing to do with someone being their own boss or making their home staging business a success. “Luck” is when you win the lottery despite odds of one in 28 million. Of course if you never buy a ticket, you’ll never be that lucky “one.”

Was Sara Blakely lucky to invent Spanx from her apartment and turn $5,000 in savings into a huge success story? Was Sandra Wilson lucky to invent Robeez when she cut up old purses to make baby booties for her son, eventually selling her company for $30.5 million?

Both women were passionate about what they were doing and refused to quit even when others told them, “it will never work.”

Comments like, “You’re so lucky you get to work from home” and “Oh, I wish I was lucky enough to be my own boss” discount the tremendous amount of hard work that goes into making opportunities happen in one’s life.

That mother working from home to be there for her family isn’t just lucky. She has taken risks and invested hundreds of hours of hard work to create that life for herself and her family.

 

She isn’t doing anything you couldn’t do yourself if you really wanted to.

You can’t waste your life wishing you could fire your boss and go into business for yourself unless you make a move to make that happen.

Being in the right place at the right time can play some part in the success of a business, but it’s commitment, hard work and doing something you’re passion about that will let you make your own “luck” in this world. What are you going to do with your future? Will you leave it to luck, or will you work hard to create the life you want to be living?

Instead of waiting for luck to help you start your new career as a home stager, download the home staging courses written by home staging expert, Debra Gould, who has helped more than 4000 people around the world learn how to become home stagers.

She is donating $100 from her business‘ profits to Save the Children’s relief efforts in Haiti. It may not sound like much, but Ariana Smith-Bland is not the president of a multi-million-dollar corporation. She is the owner of Monai Enterprise, a one-woman, Cleveland-based business specializing in hand-made decorative tissue holders. The 18-year-old Shaker Heights, Ohio, native has used an e-mail campaign to encourage other entrepreneurs-both novice and veteran-to contribute as well. So far the response has been great, according to Smith-Bland.

In February, she sent just 10 e-mails to colleagues telling them that Monai Enterprise had donated $100 to Save the Children’s Haiti relief effort. She asked those colleagues to meet or beat that pledge. The e-mail spread virally, reaching hundreds of young entrepreneurs as well as established professionals and business owners in Greater Cleveland. The e-mail even made its way to one of her teachers at John Carroll University, who said that two of his children were making donations.

 

Smith-Bland is keeping track of the donations promised and hopes that the money will allow children in Haiti to realize their dreams. “I selected Save the Children because so many kids want to have their own businesses, and I would definitely like to help the children of Haiti start their own companies,” she says.

 

The entrepreneurial bug bit Smith-Bland when she was 13. “I was part of Caring Communities, a business and entrepreneurial development class (in Cleveland),” she says. “My aunt gave me the idea for my business.”

 

Smith-Bland sews all of the fabric tissue holders herself, although these days the college freshman employs the help of her grandmother to assemble them. The tissue holders are sold at a local boutique and an art gallery, but she says that word of mouth is her best form of marketing.

 

Currently working toward a degree in business management with a minor in entrepreneurship, Smith-Bland’s long-term dream is to graduate from law school and open her own firm. She says that running her own business at a young age will give her the skills needed to accomplish that goal.

 

In high school, Smith-Bland’s business sense was heightened while attending classes at E-City, a nonprofit organization that teaches Cleveland-area students entrepreneurial, business and life skills. E-City, she says, reinforced the importance of entrepreneurs giving back to their communities.

 

Smith-Bland took those words to heart and for years has volunteered locally with Coats for Kids, the Cleveland Food Bank and the City Mission, among other organizations. In 2007, her company donated more than $200 to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina as well as AIDS victims in Africa.

 

After seeing the devastation following the earthquake in Haiti earlier this year, Smith-Bland knew she had to help.

 

Giving back, she says, is a way to say thank you to those who in the past have helped her and to give others a chance at success. “If people invested time and energy in me, I should reinvest my time and energy in others,” she says.

 

Sources:

http://www.ecitycleveland.com

http://www.savethechildren.org/countries/latin-america-caribbean/haiti.html