Having a Product or Service and a Decision Can Put You in Business Today

Want to start a business quick, but don’t know how?

The easiest and most common business to start is a sole proprietorship. All that is needed is a product or a service and a decision to do business. Viola! You now own a business. There aren’t any legal steps to take at the state or federal level.

You will have to get a business license or permit with the city or municipality you will be conducting this business in. This basically requires filling out an application and paying a fee.

To understand how a sole proprietorship works, it means that the business is unincorporated. This means that you own the business by yourself and there isn’t any separation between you and the business. You get all the profits as well as suffer all the losses, liabilities and are responsible for all debts. This could be a thing like: defaulting on a loan, not enough money to pay suppliers, or lawsuits. Creditors will have the right to sue for your personal belongings.

A sole proprietorship can be operated under your legal name, but if you choose to do business with a trade name, then you will have to file a fictitious name, same as a DBA (doing business as) name. Just be sure to research that no one else is doing business with that name to avoid conflict.

Once your business is established, consider forming an LLC at least to ensure your personal property is kept out of the hands of creditors. If that isn’t an option for you, then opt for the following insurance types: Health Coverage, Auto Insurance, Disability, Property and Liability coverage for personal protection. 

How do taxes affect the sole proprietor?

Remember earlier how I said there isn’t any separation between you and the business? Well this affects how the business is taxed. Since you and the business are one and that makes the business income your income. You don’t get taxed separately like for a corporation. You would file a Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ, which is part of the 1040 tax form. If you don’t have employees, then you would use your social security number and not have to worry about having an EIN.

If your business starts rolling in the doe, so to speak, then you’re required to pay self-employment tax. It is wise to put money aside periodically to cover this expense.

Are there any drawbacks to being a Sole Proprietor?

Yes, there are a few drawbacks. There’s the unlimited personal liability you are responsible for since there isn’t any separation between you and the business.

There’s also a challenge to raising money, because there aren’t any stocks in the business to sell, which ultimately means there won’t be any investors.

Banks are also hesitant to lend money, because sole proprietors tend to appear untrustworthy to pay back a large sum of money if the business goes under. Business credit is an alternative funding source.

As a sole proprietor, you are ultimately responsible for the success of your business. The good thing about that is you have complete control over all decisions and can change the structure whenever you want. Starting this type of business is the easiest and least costly business structure to establish.

 

Newbies 5 Basic Principles to Understanding an LLC

What is an LLC? An LLC stands for Limited Liability Company. The main reason to set up an LLC is to have personal asset protection and the simplicity it offers by way of setup and applicable tax laws.

Ownership:

A single person, or multiple people can own an LLC. It’s managed by its members and not by a board of directors.

Personal Protection:

It is its own entity and separate from its owners. What this means is that the LLC is responsible for any lawsuits and debts incurred and not its owners.

Pass-Through Taxation:

An LLC gets its own federal tax ID, or EIN that is basically the same as the company having a social security number. LLC’s have what is called a “pass-through taxation.”

What this means is that the profits of the company go to its owners and then the owners are taxed once. Unlike a corporation where the corporation is taxed for the profits and then the members are taxed for the same profits. In other words, double taxation.

Less Regulation:

The owners of an LLC do not have to be US citizens or permanent residents. There is less regulation which means less paperwork required for set up. An LLC does not have to assign formal roles, hold annual meetings, or record company minutes.

Business Credibility:

With an LLC, your business is perceived as a formal business structure and demand peers and customers to take your business seriously, which help build your business credit history, and have access to business funding.

A downfall to an LLC is that you cannot list it on the stock market or get funding from Venture Capital firms.

The 5 Basic Steps to Forming an LLC:

  • Step 1. Select a State – Preferably where the business is conducted
  • Step 2. Name your LLC – Name your company
  • Step 3. Choose a Registered Agent – Person responsible to receive legal and tax documents on behalf of the business
  • Step 4. File the Articles of Organization – Document filed that legally creates the LLC as a registered business entity within the state
  • Step 5. Create an Operating Agreement – The legal agreement used to regulate the inner operations of the business conducive to its owners

The Importance of Good Credit

It amazed me to actually meet someone without a credit history, not a bad credit history, but no credit history because this person has always paid for everything with cash.

We live in a society that runs on credit. There is always a business out there to extend credit to you so you can buy a house, car, start a business and everything in between.

However, credit isn’t just handed over. A person has to prove their creditworthiness. Lenders base their decision on your three digit credit score.

Even if you’re not looking for a loan for a house or a car, your credit history impacts practically everything you do in this world. Credit determines the quality of your living.

It’s a determining factor on where you live, insurance rates, and even if you gain viable employment, or starting a business. Lenders want to make sure they are dealing with reliable and responsible people.

Even if you are not in the market to buy a house, landlords consider the rental agreement/ lease as a loan. They are loaning you a place to live in exchange for payment. And if your credit history is bad, or you have none you can get denied for an apartment or be charged a higher security deposit and rent than the other tenants for the same living conditions.

Now if you are in the market to buy a car and haven’t saved up for the entire cost, you will need a loan. Your credit will determine the type of vehicle the lender will offer to you as well as the monthly payment and the interest rate.

Most employers check applicants credit history to determine financial responsibility. Their concern also includes making sure that the new hire doesn’t have more debt than the income being offered. Good credit equates to having good character.

If you want to start a business or grow the one you have, it takes capital. And in case you don’t have cash lying around, you will need credit to qualify for a business loan.

Credit is required to get utility service. Gas, light, cable and phone companies do credit checks before extending service and oftentimes require security deposits with stipulations that if one payment is missed, the money is forfeited.

As you see, having no credit isn’t that much better than bad credit because it doesn’t show lenders your ability to pay debt. And unfortunately, your payment history is a reflection of whether or not the rest of your life is on track.

Begin to establish good credit today by opening a bank account, getting copies of your credit reports, and apply for credit with companies who report to the three major credit bureaus.

7 Steps for Business Owners to Minimize Internal Conflicts

Successful business owners carry with them an “I can do” attitude, always believing in themselves and their potential. As a new startup, you may not have developed that kind of confidence yet. But in order to increase your business profitability and minimize internal conflicts implement the following:

  1. Gain self-confidence:

Think positive about yourself no matter what the situation. Realize that mistakes happen and it’s all a part of the growing process. Believe in your ability to do business in a professional way.

  1. Learn the art of negotiation:

Be attentive. Listen carefully to the other side to be able to ask appropriate questions that will give everyone involved understanding of the situation. Know what you want ahead of time and how to ask for it. Be prepared for multiple outcomes. Don’t underestimate yourself. Remain calm at all times.

  1. Define your passions and go after them:

If you truly want to be happy, then do what you love. Develop your skills in that area. Don’t listen to the naysayers that think what you love to do is not a job. It doesn’t have to be your job. Make it your business. Make it your life.

  1. Understand and incorporate a work life balance:

Dedicate your time appropriately. Time for study, time for work, time for family, time for fun. Keep an agenda that is flexible to leave room for updates and changes so that you can stick to it especially if you are more of a spur of the moment type person.

  1. Become more specialized in your chosen fields:

Learn, learn and then learn some more. Take classes, attend seminars and read books. Practice your skills until you become the expert you long to be. Get certified to increase your value.

  1. Become culturally aware:

Understand that everyone doesn’t operate with the same integrity as you do, but be sure to remain respectful of clients, vendors and the like. Don’t be quick to give in, but give careful consideration. Stand your professional ground.

  1. Take your business to the professional level:

You have opportunities and resources, like business credit for example, that are available to support the day-to-day operations and grow the business without the stress of worrying where the money is coming from.

The online application is easy to complete without a hard pull on your personal credit, and funding estimates are given within 24 hours of applying.

 

What You Don’t Know About Business Credit Can Hurt You

Once you’ve made the commitment to be a business owner, you’ll probably want to apply for credit to finance your expenses. There are four things that separate business credit cards from personal credit cards that you should be aware of.

  1. Consumer Protection Laws Do Not Apply- The Credit Card Act of 2009 was put into law to protect consumers from unexpected increases in interest rates and other fees. However, credit card issuers were not in favor of offering this same courtesy to small business because of the risk associated, as small business owners tend to charge higher amounts on credit cards and credit worthiness is harder to ascertain. Getting large credit lines is determinant on creditors ability to adjust rates down the road based on how well you pay the debt.
  2. Your Personal Credit Can be Affected by Business Credit Cards- Approval is normally based on your personal credit file. Most business credit cards require a personal guarantee. In other words, you promise to be liable for the debt. If you miss any payments it will be reported on your personal credit file.
  3. Business Credit Cards Offer Higher Credit Limits- In case you think using your personal credit cards will suffice for your business needs, think again. Making costly purchases are better made with business credit cards because the higher the limit and the less you use improves your overall credit standing. For example, say you have a $5,000 credit limit on a personal credit card and you purchase $3,000 worth of inventory. Your debt to credit ratio is 60%. But if you have a $20,000 business credit limit and you purchase that same $3,000 worth of inventory, your debt to credit ratio is now lowered to 15%.
  4. Using Your Personal Credit Card for Business Can Cost You- If you use your personal credit card for your business expenses, then you should stop using that same card for personal expenses. You will need to pay the credit card debt with the business profits, because co-mingling of funds may void your personal liability protection.

Business credit cards can prove rewarding for entrepreneurs. These credit cards can help establish business credit, as well as finance your business, and provide you with the higher credit limits you need. It takes being knowable and keeping abreast of the terms, your rights, and your responsibilities.

https://mwcc.wufoo.com/forms/janine-herrera-prequalification-form/

 

7 Key Things to Help You Succeed in Business

Business requires owners to be systematic in their thinking as well as in their doing in order to be truly successful. Consider implementing the following 7 things to increase your profitability in business.

  1. Be Confident:

Business owners have to think positive about them selves no matter what the situation. They must realize that everyone makes mistakes and things are subject to change. They have to believe in themselves and their ability to succeed.

  1. Learn Negotiations:

Negotiation requires attentiveness. Listening carefully to the other side enables you to ask the right questions and helps everyone gain understanding of the situation. Know what you want ahead of time and decide how you are going to ask for it. Be prepared for multiple outcomes and never underestimate yourself.

  1. Be Passionate:

If you truly want to be happy, then do what you love. Develop your skills in that area. Don’t listen to the naysayers that think what you love to do is not a job. It doesn’t have to be your job. Make it your business. Make it your life.

  1. Be Flexible:

Dedicate your time appropriately. Time for study, time for work, time for family, time for fun. Keep an agenda that is flexible to leave room for updates and changes so that you can stick to it especially if you are more of a spur of the moment type person.

  1. Be that Expert:

Learn, learn and then learn some more. Take classes; attend seminars; read books. Practice your skills until you become the expert you long to be. Get certified and you will increase your value over time.

  1. Be Culturally Aware:

Understand that not all cultures are the same. Always remain respectful to clients and customers no matter what. Don’t be quick to give in, but always give careful consideration. Stand your professional ground.

  1. Step it up:

Entrepreneurs have more opportunity and resources available to them now more than ever. Join the social media bandwagon by building a social profile on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube to name a few. Using these avenues can bring in more business and put you on the map.

To conclude, you now know what it takes to succeed as a business owner. You also know whether or not you need funding to take your business to the next level. You don’t have to go through the traditional banking process either if that doesn’t interest you. There are alternative methods like business credit for one that can be awarded within 30 days of applying, and can convert to cash.

Apply today for more information and get a funding estimate within 24 hours:

https://mwcc.wufoo.com/forms/janine-herrera-prequalification-form/

 

Creating Your Ideal Customer Avatar

It only makes sense for entrepreneurs to focus on prospective customers just as much as on their product or service. It takes skill to find the right customer, sell to this customer and satisfy this customer’s need to the point this customer will want to buy from you again and again. The more you know who your ideal customer is, the better the chance of having your marketing efforts succeed.

Most business ventures are based on satisfying the customer, whether with a product or a service. One important key is to define who your ideal customer is and focus on marketing to them.

Why create the ideal customer avatar:

  • You create the ideal customer to have an image of who they are. This will help target your marketing efforts.

Things to consider when creating your ideal customer avatar:

  • Where do they dine
  • Where do they shop
  • Where do they live
  • What is their income bracket
  • Are they young
  • Are they older
  • Are they athletic or sedentary
  • Are they male, female, single, married
  • Are they a child
  • Anything else that will help define this person

The benefits of creating an avatar:

  • You actually learn more about your product or service and make it easier to get in front of the ideal customer to promote your product or service just by creating and studying your avatar.
  • It will help you create a better sales/ elevator pitch because you already understand how they think and what they want from your product or service.
  • It will help you qualify prospects and no longer waste time chasing after people who are not a good fit for your business.
  • It will help you identify your true brand. You will learn more about your product, service, industry, and brand.
  • You will be able to qualify prospects. By putting your time and effort into marketing to the right prospect, you will know who this person is to target marketing efforts to all based on the ideal image you created.

How to create the ideal customer avatar:

  • Give him or her a name, personalize and visualize this person.
  • Draw an image of this person.
  • Write down the qualities, characteristics and attributes this person possesses.

How to actually qualify a prospect:

  • Compare the real person to the ideal customer avatar.

How to get their interest:

  • Show how you understand their problem and how you can solve it.

How to compel them to do business with you:

  • Provide a solution to their problem.

Most entrepreneurs aren’t really clear about their ideal customer. And because of this a lot of time and money is wasted on marketing and advertising to the wrong people, people who do not meet your ideal customer avatar.

You gaining the skills to determine and prioritize your activities geared toward customers who are not only a good fit for your product or service, but who are also willing to shop with you time and time again is crucial to your business success.

 

https://mwcc.wufoo.com/forms/janine-herrera-prequalification-form/

The Two Most Popular Game Plans For Getting Money

“Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

Before we get into what the actual game plans are, let me set up a couple of scenarios to see which one you fit into, if any.

We all went to school and knew a skinny, or a fat kid who had insecurities. This was the kid who always got picked on, or didn’t fit in. Maybe this kid had parents that didn’t approve of anything he or she did. Growing up this person felt like they had a lot to prove, but unfortunately, the problems didn’t end there. As an adult, the dream job failed through, the spouse cheated and left, or a family member or close friend betrayed this person. You get the picture.

Then we have the person who had a normal upbringing. This person may have had average grades, participated on a few team sports at school and grew up, went to college and had the typical American life: what most would consider a good job, decent credit and respectful children and ate pizza for dinner every Friday night, nothing more, nothing less. But one day, tragedy struck their household and this person’s world was turned completely upside down. It could have been something as major as a car accident, or the doctor diagnosed a life-threatening disease to someone in his or her household, or a natural disaster could have hit their town and only their house was spared.

By now, you probably think you know where I’m going with this. Let’s see if you’re right. People usually use one of two strategies to accomplish their financial goals. They’re either harmoniously strategizing to get wealth because of an epiphany, or using their pain as fuel to drive them toward financial freedom.

The person who had an epiphany comes to a point where they realize that life is more than being about what they can get, but it is more so about what they can give and this is where they find true joy.

The person on the other side of this spectrum is often bent out of shape trying to prove their worth to themselves and to the world because of the unfavorable and unfortunate circumstances they faced alone. This person goes after wealth in a disharmonious and resentful manner.

Even though both people in the scenarios experienced loss, the one who gained insight advanced toward financial wealth from a positive frame of mind and the other pressed on toward financial wealth from a negative mindset.

The two game plans boil down to whether you are taking action from an abundance viewpoint to reach your financial goals through generosity, or are you taking action out of selfishness running away from your past experiences and using wealth as a measuring stick just to prove to yourself and others that you’ve succeeded.

The irony of both game plans is that by employing either one, both can arrive at the same destination- – rich. Both plans allow for you to outgrow your current position in life. But one offers a beauty that the other does not.

Desiring and executing a good strategy to get wealth so that you can be generous to others, not only helps others but it also does a world of good for you. As you focus on providing value to more people through business or philanthropic causes, you begin to experience the impact of your generosity to others. You are now contributing and being a part of something meaningful and greater than yourself.

You begin to have an influx of ideas of where else you can invest your money, and with that positive frame of mind opportunities and doors start opening up for you, but no so if your wealth-building is born out of a place of self-centeredness.

Having a self-serving mindset is a form of lack that will keep ideas stagnant. In this situation, the only thing to focus on is one’s self. We have all heard at least once in our lifetime that money flows; we know this to be true because money is currency. But, if self isn’t giving, if it isn’t flowing, then it becomes motionless, stale and putrid. So, attaining wealth through retaliation can be reached, but it can’t be maintained in a healthy harmonious state that provides a sense of joy and peace.

So, if you have found yourself in either scenario mentioned, you can improve upon it or make a change from it. We all want wealth and for different reasons; our reasons don’t have to be justified to anyone unless you are seeking funding from an outside source to fulfill your dreams, and that type of funding is available to you.

It is available in the form of business credit cards. Business credit cards are based on a personal guarantee. So, there are several criteria that must be met to be approved: 720 credit score, 30% debt-to-credit ratio, no bankruptcies, no foreclosures, no missing payments in the past 24 months of making application, one or more credit cards with a $5,000 maximum limit and a 10 year personal credit history. And if you are short on any of the criteria mentioned, mentorship from business credit card consultants are available to walk you through the process of how to meet those must-haves needs.

Personal development is just that: personal. You have the right to pursue your dreams, set financial goals and actively pursue them. But going after them from the right mindset can better secure your financial freedom and give you a restfulness and calmness to expand your thinking for bigger and better things to come.

Taking advantage of funding via business credit can also take the pressure off your personal finances as you grow your business or philanthropic activities.

 

 

 

Sales Alternative Method: 4 Techniques to Landing Customers

As a business owner it’s important to develop a sales presentation to sell your product or services. When people tend to think about salespeople the general idea evokes feelings of being pushed, or manipulated to buy excessively. There is a negative connotation associated with sales, but it’s something we must do to generate income for our businesses. People, including you and I, want to make our own decisions and not end up feeling taken advantage of. And that’s where the sales alternative method comes in.

 

Technique 1: The Elevator Pitch

This is where you basically have anywhere from 30 to 45 seconds to capture a potential customer’s attention by giving a brief overview of what your company does in a way that is relevant to their needs and causes them to take action.

Action: Create an ideal customer in mind and know exactly what it is you have to offer them.

 

Technique 2: Educate Others on Your Product or Service

Know your product or service inside and out. You should be able to educate potential customers on what your product or service is, and what it does or does not do. When you buy detergent, are you expecting it to wash your hair or your clothes? The manufacturer is specific with its labeling and instructions to avoid costly mistakes and provide the consumer with knowledge about the product.

Action: Be specific as possible on what your product or service offers.

 

Technique 3: Provide Valuable Information

As a business owner you have to think from the customer’s perspective on how your product or service will benefit them. One thing to remember is that although you have a product or service to offer, your main business is people. And people are only interested in what’s in it for them. So when you provide valuable information about your product or service, let them know that you understand their needs by explaining how your product or service will help them.

Action: List out the benefits of your product or service.

 

Technique 4: Solve the Customer’s Problem

You may have held a potential customer’s attention during your elevator pitch, kudos to you. But you will have to go beyond that and actually capture a sale. The simplest way is to let the prospect know how your product or service will solve their particular problem. Once you get that across, you can ask for their business.

Action: List out potential problems your product or service will solve and give testimonials if you have them.

 

As you see, the methods to landing customers are by being able to articulate what it is you have to offer. Use proven alternative methods to sales: Be knowledgeable about your product or service, share information that is beneficial, and explain how your business can help solve prospects problems.

https://mwcc.wufoo.com/forms/janine-herrera-prequalification-form/

4 Strategic Moves to Getting Your First Contract – and many more…

You have the brains, talent and great idea to start your business. You even went as far as creating your product or service; and now you are gung-ho and ready to roll. But wait. Where are the customers and clients coming from? Somehow or somewhere along the way you forgot to factor them in. Well, you’re going to have to make some strategic marketing moves to gain your first contract.

Move One                                                                                                                                                              

The first things to do is get your business a website. It’s important to present a professional image that shows you are socially in-tune. Include background information on key team players. Spell out exactly what your company offers. Add links to blog posts, Facebook, podcasts or places that featured you, and post testimonials you received on your product or service.

Move Two                                                                                                                                                              

The second thing to do is to make a general list of people and businesses you know who may need, or have expressed interest in your product or service. Send out an email, or call, and make it known that you are in business and would like to give a free consultation. If your product or service doesn’t suit the people in your immediate network, ask for referrals and offer a referral fee. Your email should be reflective of your business name.

Move Three                                                                                                                                                          

The third thing to do is network by attending conferences geared toward your industry. Going business to business with samples and a price list is also an option. Follow up with a phone call and ask for their business.

At conferences, make casual conversation and hand out your business card or samples of your product. But be sure to get as many business cards as you can to add their names to your list. Once you have ample names, sign up for an email subscription service. You can also book yourself as a speaker at one of the conferences to be validated by your peers and to increase referral business.

Move Four                                                                                                                                                          

Since you are just starting out and don’t have enough reviews to entice new clients to bang down your door, you can offer starter services. This way you can discount your product or services with a limited time offer to prove your credibility.

Getting your first client and many more is based on how you market your product or service. And marketing doesn’t come without cost. Professional websites, marketing materials, product development and even travel have its expenses. Business credit cards may be the solution to your marketing needs. The process is simple and the cards can be converted to cash.

Apply at the link below for a funding estimate within 24 hours of applying:

https://mwcc.wufoo.com/forms/janine-herrera-prequalification-form/