Saturday, March 16, 2019

4 Reasons Startups Stop Growing



It has been a few years since you got your startup running. At the beginning it felt like things were moving so fast, and you were already in your second location by your second year of operation. Today, your business has slowed down considerably. 

At this rate, you do not see yourself able to grow your startup bigger any time soon. The following are four reasons why your startup has stopped growing.

Lack of Funding


When it comes to a startup’s ability to grow, a general lack of funds can hinder this process. Money makes things happen, and when a company does not have enough of it, this stands in the way of any plans to branch out into a new location or hire on a dozen new workers, for example. 


So, you will want to be on the lookout for how you can obtain the necessary business funding to make startup growth a possibility. One idea might be to hire someone who is an expert at fund raising for startups and small businesses.

Lack of Vision


Many entrepreneurs branch out into a couple different locations with their startups. After experiencing growth once like that, they find themselves less likely to want to rush into another growth phase any time soon, or worse, they do not understand how to implement the next phase of growth. 





Over time, these entrepreneurs put off planning, and forget how important it is for their company to have real vision to achieve greater levels of growth. Without a solid leader to provide genuine vision, there is nothing prompting them to take their business into a direction where meaningful growth can happen.

Inadequate Tools


You might want to push your start up to grow, but you may not have the tools on hand to ensure that growth will happen. For example, take a new Instagram boutique in Arizona. 


You may lack the equipment to outfit a new location, or your operations may be impacted negatively by using a slow Internet provider or not having enough warehouse space. Investing in the tools you need for growth like Phoenix, AZ fixed point wireless or adequate space will make it far easier for your employees to help you come out on top.

A Labor Shortage


Sometimes your startup is ready to leap forward, but you are hindered by a labor shortage. You want to grow by hiring more employees to increase production and hit your local market hard, but getting the employees necessary to do the job can be tricky. This is especially true in a good economy where you are unable to provide competitive wages to new hires.


Friday, March 15, 2019

How to Protect Against Seasonal Fluctuations in Your Small Business



Running a small business is hard enough without throwing seasonal fluctuations in cash flow into the mix as well. While some may believe that seasonal changes only affect businesses such as Christmas ornament retailers or swimwear shops, the reality is that every small business owner will experience a dip or sudden rise in sales at some point throughout the year.

Whether it’s going without an income for months, or experiencing a sharp influx of sales to the point where you run out of inventory, seasonal fluctuations can cause many overwhelming problems for business owners. Today, we're going to tell you the best ways that you can prepare your company for those unexpected highs and lows.


Have a Clear Plan


Do you already have a business plan in place? While this should cover topics such as your target market, product research, and more, it’s also vital that you think about what would happen in the case of fluctuations, including both an influx or reduction in sales. Study your industry well in order to predict shortfalls or opportunities and prepare for them accordingly.




Track Your Progress


If you’re not keeping on top of sales, market changes, and customer enquiries from the get-go, then fluctuations in cash flow will take you by surprise, meaning that you’ll be ill-prepared to deal with them. When it comes to making informed decisions in your business, this data is key - not gut feelings or hunches.


Make Your Business Scalable


No one wants to throw money away on resources they won’t use, so the trick is to be able to scale your resources up and down as needed. Demand and your need for resources go hand-in-hand, so don’t over-commit. For example, if you only need additional assistance for 3 months during the year, don’t commit to a year-long contract with a member of staff.


Diversification is the Key


By diversifying your products or services, you can better protect your small business from the harmful effects of seasonal fluctuations. You could diversify where you sell (geographic diversification), what you sell (product diversification) or who you sell to (customer diversification). 


While this might sound like a lot of hard work, it could be as simple as selling your winter stock during the summer months online to those living in the Northern Hemisphere.

Be Realistic


It’s important to be realistic about your expectations (rather than setting them too high), particularly during the beginning stages of your business. After all, no one wants to stretch their business, nor should they suffer from the dreaded ‘business owner burnout’. 


If, at the end of the day, you’ve sold your stock and met your budget, then this is a far better situation to be in than one where you’ve got tonnes of excess stock and are unable to pay your employee wages.

Avoid Ignorance


If you do experience seasonal fluctuations, it’s vital that you take action immediately to counteract its harmful effects. Start by seeking the advice of a business professional and then begin working on a solution. 


Can you offer a special promotion during a slow period or stock up on items which are the most popular? These are just some of the questions you will have to navigate as you work to protect your business against seasonal ebbs and flows.

Through taking on this advice, you’ll soon have a small business that isn’t just scalable, but also effectively protected against seasonal fluctuations. Onwards and upwards!

Author bio: Melanie Doncas is a content writer for Lumi, an Australian fintech specialising in unsecured business loans. She is passionate about helping SMEs, entrepreneurs, and startups to grow their business.


How to Protect Against Seasonal Fluctuations in Your Small Business



Running a small business is hard enough without throwing seasonal fluctuations in cash flow into the mix as well. While some may believe that seasonal changes only affect businesses such as Christmas ornament retailers or swimwear shops, the reality is that every small business owner will experience a dip or sudden rise in sales at some point throughout the year.

Whether it’s going without an income for months, or experiencing a sharp influx of sales to the point where you run out of inventory, seasonal fluctuations can cause many overwhelming problems for business owners. Today, we're going to tell you the best ways that you can prepare your company for those unexpected highs and lows.


Have a Clear Plan


Do you already have a business plan in place? While this should cover topics such as your target market, product research, and more, it’s also vital that you think about what would happen in the case of fluctuations, including both an influx or reduction in sales. Study your industry well in order to predict shortfalls or opportunities and prepare for them accordingly.





Track Your Progress


If you’re not keeping on top of sales, market changes, and customer enquiries from the get-go, then fluctuations in cash flow will take you by surprise, meaning that you’ll be ill-prepared to deal with them. When it comes to making informed decisions in your business, this data is key - not gut feelings or hunches.


Make Your Business Scalable


No one wants to throw money away on resources they won’t use, so the trick is to be able to scale your resources up and down as needed. Demand and your need for resources go hand-in-hand, so don’t over-commit. For example, if you only need additional assistance for 3 months during the year, don’t commit to a year-long contract with a member of staff.


Diversification is the Key


By diversifying your products or services, you can better protect your small business from the harmful effects of seasonal fluctuations. You could diversify where you sell (geographic diversification), what you sell (product diversification) or who you sell to (customer diversification). 


While this might sound like a lot of hard work, it could be as simple as selling your winter stock during the summer months online to those living in the Northern Hemisphere.

Be Realistic


It’s important to be realistic about your expectations (rather than setting them too high), particularly during the beginning stages of your business. After all, no one wants to stretch their business, nor should they suffer from the dreaded ‘business owner burnout’. 


If, at the end of the day, you’ve sold your stock and met your budget, then this is a far better situation to be in than one where you’ve got tonnes of excess stock and are unable to pay your employee wages.

Avoid Ignorance


If you do experience seasonal fluctuations, it’s vital that you take action immediately to counteract its harmful effects. Start by seeking the advice of a business professional and then begin working on a solution. 


Can you offer a special promotion during a slow period or stock up on items which are the most popular? These are just some of the questions you will have to navigate as you work to protect your business against seasonal ebbs and flows.

Through taking on this advice, you’ll soon have a small business that isn’t just scalable, but also effectively protected against seasonal fluctuations. Onwards and upwards!

Author bio: Melanie Doncas is a content writer for Lumi, an Australian fintech specialising in unsecured business loans. She is passionate about helping SMEs, entrepreneurs, and startups to grow their business.


Thursday, March 14, 2019

Entrepreneurial Business Ideas To Supplement Your Retirement Finances



The idea that you need to be a Millennial to enter the entrepreneur arena is certainly false. More entrepreneurs over 40, and even over 50, are making their entrepreneurial endeavors come to fruition. And why not? Older entrepreneurs have the wisdom and expertise to bring a new concept, product, and/or service to market.

One study from the Kaufman Foundation found that entrepreneurs between the ages of 50 and 65 are catching up to the Millennial entrepreneur group. Why are the older generations becoming entrepreneurs? It could be boredom, or it could be the need to increase retirement finances.

Let’s face it, waiting for social security checks to cover bills is not on anyone’s to-do list, regardless of age. And entrepreneurship is one way to ensure more income is coming in with the ability to enjoy a bit of personal and financial freedom.

“Every person has the right to enjoy happiness, good health, time-freedom and financial-freedom…regardless of who they are, where they live, and what they do,” The 1-Hour Workweek explained. Are you looking to boost your retirement finances? The following entrepreneurial business ideas can serve as your quick guide. Let’s dive in!


Rekindle a passion and turn it into money


Launching a new business can definitely be challenging. The time and money it takes can take its toll. Except if your business encompasses something you are truly passionate about. This makes all the challenges that need to be overcomed worth it.

So rekindle that passion you may have burnt out due to work and family obligations earlier in life. And the good news is that businesses with a passionate foundation often succeed more than those without. This is where you will see far more women entrepreneurs successful.


“First, they are willing to learn,” David Deeds explained in a Forbes article. “Men, as we get older, tend to be set in our ways. Women, in general, are more open to learning and are collaborative. Entrepreneurship is a team sport, and women are good at working with others. That gives them a little advantage.”

Start a business that local businesses find useful



 In your later years, traveling for work is probably not to enticing. This makes starting a business locally a win-win. You can begin by brainstorming what things your community businesses may need a bit of help with. It could be productivity aspects to streamline workflow, financial processes like accounting, and much more.

While your increasing your retirement finances, you can be helping others with theirs. In fact, financial help is a must for most businesses, since many business owners don’t know much about business finance, taxes, payroll, personal loans and investing, as well as contract negotiation.

If you have any financial background at all, this could be the perfect business that helps other businesses in your community while keeping you local. You can even set your own schedule. Not too bad.


Provide consultation services to medium and large companies


This type of business idea is made to order for most older professionals. Why? Because you have already had decades of experience in an industry, and you have a big network others may want. With the internet, you can turn those years of experience and knowledge to more retirement finances.

All you need to do is set up a website, start writing articles about what you know, and build that client list. It may take a bit of time to get a big client list, but it will certainly happen. You probably won’t even need to do much marketing. Word of mouth is a powerful thing when dealing with medium and large companies.

You can also choose the clients you want to work with, which is one of the biggest benefits. This allows you to work with those you like, and ignore the rest. Have a big vacation coming up? Well, you don’t need to tell anyone, because you can consult from anywhere, and at anytime. Just don’t forget to keep communication lines open with your network, and feel free to grow your network too.


Ready to boost your retirement finances?


More older entrepreneurs are heeding the call, and why not, you have the expertise, network, and knowledge base to handle a new business endeavor. The above business ideas to increase your retirement finances are certainly not the only ones. However, they are a few of the easiest to pursue, and possibly the most enjoyable. Age is only a number and you can have an entirely new career path that you make ahead of you.




Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Peace of Mind: 4 Ways to Overcome Financial Stress



If your financial situation isn’t what you hoped it would be, there are ways to change it for the better. By holding yourself accountable for your earnings and spending, you’re able to put a plan in place that helps you achieve your financial goals quicker. 

It helps you evolve into a better planner, too, so you don’t find yourself stressing about money in the future. The following list provides four suggestions to overcome financial stress.

Pay Yourself First


Before you divvy up your paycheck, make sure that you give your bank account a boost. Having a portion of your money automatically directed into a savings account makes it so you have some financial security to fall back on in the event an unexpected expense comes up. 


It doesn’t matter how much money you move into savings, either, because every little bit counts. You’ll learn to live on less and still plan for the future thanks to the automatic deduction you opted to have sent to your savings account.

Learn to Differentiate between a Want and a Need


What you must have to survive and what you’d like to have to be happy are two different things. Learning to postpone wants allows you to better take care of your needs. Then, if you find yourself in a better financial situation, you can pay for wants and needs equally. 





You won’t need to wait to buy something you really want because you will have taken care of your basic needs and be ahead financially.

Make Saving Money a Game


Challenge yourself to save as much as money as you possibly can on everything you buy. Clip coupons, take advantage of sale prices, stock up on freebies, and borrow what you’d typically buy. There are many ways to stretch the almighty dollar further. Have fun with it by being as creative as you possibly can be.


Invest in Your Future


No matter how tight things may be now, they won’t always be that way. Invest in your future today by taking advantage of learning opportunities, free training, and other things that interest you. 


By putting time and attention into personal development, you become a valuable resource for yourself and others. You’re able to overcome money challenges quicker and easier, too, because of the skills you bring to the equation.

Selling my home for cash doesn’t need to be something difficult to do. In fact, it’s one way to overcome financial stress quickly. Not having a mortgage payment frees your finances up considerably. It allows you to come up with cheaper and more creative living arrangements.

If you’re experiencing stress because of your finances, you don’t have to feel stuck. There are plenty of steps you can take to free up debt and to be more organized with your finances.



Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Contingency Plans You Should Make after Landing a Great Job



You may have spent many long years in school as well as additional time gaining essential experience in your field. After a considerable amount of time and effort, you may be thrilled that you have finally landed an amazing job. 

Understandably, you are focused on putting your best foot forward and doing your best to retain your job, in fact, you may home to advance further in your field in the future. As important as it is for you to look eagerly toward a bright future, it is equally essential to make contingency plans and to prepare for potentially severe situations. 

These are some of the more important steps that you should take now to prepare for unpleasant yet possible scenarios.

Get a Financial Advisor


If you are not working with a financial advisor right now, consider doing so soon. Your new job likely came with a huge boost in income. This extra income could be used to improve your lifestyle and to enjoy luxuries that have previously not been available to you. 


On the other hand, you could use this extra money to save and invest. Preparing financially for the future right now is a smart way to be prepared for a layoff or other employment issues. This also may prepare you for retirement down the road. 




Keep in mind that you may be forced into an early retirement or need to call it quits before you actually planned to do so.

Hire a Lawyer


Some jobs are riskier than others, so there may be a more significant need to have an attorney’s phone number stored in your phone in some situations. For example, if your job requires you to drive frequently, keeping the number of an automobile accident attorney in your phone is a great idea. 


The services of malpractice lawyers, workplace injury lawyers and other legal specialists may be required in various situations as well.
Improve Your Home Life

In order to do your best in your new position, you understandably need minimal distractions from your home life. If possible, look for ways to reduce home maintenance and upkeep tasks. For example, you may use lawn care and cleaning services to save valuable hours each week. 


If your home is too large and unmanageable, you may even downsize to a space that is easier for you to care for. Relocating to a home that is closer to your new workplace may also benefit you.

Planning and preparing for the future requires you to be optimistic as well as realistic. When you follow these steps today, you can be better prepared for whatever the future holds.


Join 1000's of People Following 50 Plus Finance
Real Time Web Analytics