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An Evolved Economy Business Is Simple to Start!

I dream of owning my own business and ditching my boss and having enough money to be comfortable. I want to start a business now. What do I do?

Starting a business, according to the Small Business Administration, involves planning, making key financial decisions and completing a series of legal activities. Therefore they recommend the following ten steps to help you plan, prepare, start, and manage your business (from their website sba.gov):

Step 1: Write a Business Plan. This written guide will help you map out how you will start and run your business successfully. (If you’ve never written one before, this can be daunting, especially when it comes to financial projections.)

Step 2: Get Business Assistance and Training so you can prepare a business plan and secure financing, expand or relocate a business. (Those each sound like some pretty big hurdles to DO.)

Step 3: Choose a Business Location. Get advice on how to select a customer-friendly location and comply with zoning laws. (How much do you trust the advice? What happens if you get locked into the wrong location?)

Step 4: Finance Your Business. Find government-backed loans, venture capital and research grants to help you get started. (How solid is your credit and do you have collateral for a loan? Do you have intellectual property in place and significant revenue coming in already? If not, then venture capital isn’t interested in you. Have you written research grants before, are you prepared to hire the team to write the grant and do the research, and can you fund yourself without it? Success rates for grant funding typically are less than 15%. Can you afford to wait 6-12 months to find out if you received the grant or be in the 85% that doesn’t receive funding? )

Step 5: Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business. Decide which form of ownership is best for you: sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), corporation, S corporation, nonprofit or cooperative. (Don’t forget to set aside fees to pay an attorney.)

Step 6: Register a Business Name (“Doing Business As”). Register your business name with your state government. (Be certain to have researched the name so you don’t end up receiving a “cease and desist” letter!)

Step 7: Get a Tax Identification Number. Learn which tax identification number you’ll need to obtain from the IRS and your state revenue agency. (Yet another learning curve.)

Step 8: Register for State and Local Taxes. Register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers’ compensation, unemployment and disability insurance. (Yikes!)

Step 9: Obtain Business Licenses and Permits. Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business. (What if you miss something? How much have you set aside to pay for all these licenses and permits?)

Step 10: Understand Employer Responsibilities. Learn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees. (And be prepared for headaches and potential lawsuits.)

I don’t know about you but those ten steps sound pretty daunting, sound like they could take months if not years to complete, sound like they’ll cost a lot, and that’s just to get started! That doesn’t even take you through the first 1-5 years of running the business until you break even, hit profitability, and survive.

What do you need to do to launch a high-tech, scalable start-up that has intellectual property and requires investments from angel investors or venture capital funds? That’s a pretty different ballgame from a small business funded by bank loans. You still need to write a business plan. You need to hire and put together a top-notch management team that has a track record of successful ventures – and hope you trust them and stay friends with them. You need to attract a stellar Board of Directors or Advisors and typically they will want to get paid. You will need to have “skin in the game” and work for “sweat equity” – translated, that means you will fund a LOT out of your own pocket and forego a paycheck for a very long time. You will probably work 20-hour days and work 7 days a week and not take a vacation for a few years and become a road warrior who rarely sees friends or family. You will need to have intellectual property, which means you have a lawyer and you’ve paid to file one or more patents. You need to have created something that has a very big market, you need to understand your competition, you need to be conservative with your valuation, and you need to settle on your term sheet… in other words, you will own less than you want of your company in order to get the money you need from your investors. And you will have to continue to dilute your ownership, which means losing control of your company, every time you go back for another round of funding. Oh, and you need to continually look for funding while you are building a company and finding customers to produce the revenue to prove to potential investors that your idea is viable. And finally? You need to sell your company – your baby, your idea – so that your investors make lots of money! Having been there and done that, this is not a route for the faint of heart and it is TOUGH on friendships, bank accounts, dreams, and families. Does it offer the potential for huge reward? Sure. But so does becoming a box office hit or a pro athlete. It is the exception rather than the rule and many more don’t make it than make it.

Do I suggest you keep your job and live just for weekends? Absolutely not! I suggest you choose to own your own business. But be selective in the business model you choose to get started with. There is one method of doing business that minimizes risk and maximizes return while streamlining the time table for your ROI (Return on Investment) and that model is easy to start and sustain.

You don’t need to put your house up as collateral, you don’t need to write a grant, and you’ll never need venture capital. You don’t need a lawyer or an accountant to get started and you will never have to hire – or fire – an employee. You will be able to write-off your initial business expenses on your taxes and your monthly overhead will merely be a reallocation of money you’ve already been spending.

You don’t have to choose a location because you’ll work from the comfort of your home. If you move, your business always goes with you because it’s completely virtual. You never have to purchase or store inventory and you don’t even have to do market research. It’s all been done for you. When you are making lots of money you may choose to hire an assistant but that will probably be after you hire your massage therapist and personal trainer!

In fact, there is only one step that’s required to make your dream of business ownership a reality. You simply have to decide! Decide to make your dreams real, to live the life you’ve always longed for, to stay home with your kids, to contribute and make a difference… just decide! Do that, and you’ll be in business within the hour. Now that’s an easy way to start!

We would be honored to have you choose to co-create your own business based on a really smart model.

If you found this article independently and wish to know more, all my contact information is in the “resource” section.

An Evolved Economy Business Is Simple to Fund!

The number one biggest barrier to starting a business that most people cite is access to funding. There are only so many ways to come up with funds; either you have the cash, you borrow the cash, or you get cash you aren’t required to pay back in the form of a grant or an investment.

You often hear of people maxing out their credit cards, turning to friends and family, or you watch Shark Tank and enjoy the discomfort of people pitching to investors. There are lots of books about “bootstrapping” which just means paying as you go and keeping expenses as minimal as possible. You can borrow money in the form of a commercial loan through the SBA but you’ll need to fill out lots of forms, have excellent personal credit, and you’ll need to provide collateral. You can apply for a grant but you have to know how to write a grant, have the time to wait to see if your request is denied or approved, and often the amounts you receive are quite small. If you go for larger government funded grants like an SBIR or STTR grant and you receive it, be prepared to document how you spend every dime – and in some cases you will have to spend the money first and then request to be reimbursed. If investment money is what you are after just know that you have to give up a percent of ownership to get the money and now you set an expectation that you will sell your company completely at some point in the future in order for the investors to receive 7-10 times more than they invested in you.

No wonder funding is seen as a huge barrier. What if there is a better way to start your own business that doesn’t cost so much? What if you can start a second business easily and use that to provide a cashflow cushion to your primary business, the one you trained for or have sunk so much into already you don’t want to walk away? Then you’d be economically ambidextrous! If that exists, don’t you want to know how to get started right away? It does exist!

There IS a better way! There is a capital creating model of business that is inexpensive to start, inexpensive to maintain, and you can use the cash from it to support your traditional business, your children’s college fund, your house fund, your vacation fund, contributions to charity – whatever you choose.

But what kind of numbers are we talking about? If funding is a barrier for most people who want to start businesses, why? How much does it all cost?

For those of you with small to medium-sized businesses already up and running, you can assure the rest of us that you are very accustomed to dealing with numbers with lots of zeros after them. Heck, your utility bill each month might be over $1000 or your fleet bill could exceed $10,000 depending on how many vehicles you have. If you are a solopreneur, someone who works by yourself, then these numbers may be intimidating because you are neither spending – nor earning – much over subsistence. But that’s not why you went into business, is it?

So let’s look at real examples just to get oriented.

  • Average initiation fee for a franchise – $30,000
  • Average annual royalty fees for a franchise – $38,000
  • Real estate, inventory, employees, advertising, etc. for a franchise – $Big Number!
  • Start-up-up costs for an average small business – $50,000 (per Inc magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine not inclusive of monthly overhead )
  • Web costs – $2000-$100,000

And none of these figures take time into account. It takes time for a developer to create your site. It takes time to scout a location and get a lease and everything else you need to do for your new franchise or brick & mortar business. It takes time to set up your gym or your nail salon or your restaurant or your home d├ęcor store. It takes time to find your employees and get your permits if you are a development or construction company, an HVAC company, an exterminator, or you are in the trades – plumbing, electrician, etc.

If you work solo, as a consultant or a professional, you still had to pay for and complete all the training and apprenticeship, right? Let’s not forget the time and tuition it cost you to first become an accountant, a lawyer, a physical therapist, a chef, a mechanic, a pilot – whatever it is that you know how to do that you have turned into a business. That sort of training runs 2 years to 10+ years depending on your occupation, cost $20,000 at a minimum, and could easily exceed ten times that much!

While we’re discussing numbers let’s look at a few more. How comfortable are you discussing expensive investments, picturing yourself laying out large sums of cash? Where does your comfort zone lie? Because if you dream of owning your own business you will need to spend money to get started. If you dream of owning your own business, part of your dreams will be picturing a better, more fun-filled life, driving a nicer car, doing more for your children’s future, and maybe even playing more golf. What might that cost?

  • Initiation Fee at an Exclusive Golf Course: $500,000 plus monthly fees!
  • A Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree at a Reputable Private University: $248,000
  • 4 Years of Prep School: $176,000
  • Kindergarten in NYC: $28,000 per child per year (we’re talking about 5-yr olds here!)
  • Mercedes Benz 2013 GT Coupe: $202,000
  • Lexus 2013 LS: $114,000
  • Porsche 2013 Panamera: $77,000
  • Volvo 2013 C70: $38,000
  • $15,000: the average investment made per deal by an angel investor with the hope of recovering his money within 5-7 years
  • $10,000: minimum required for a 12-month CD at Bank of America ( 0.14%: rate of return on your $10,000 CD at Bank of America!)

Huh, those are some pretty big numbers, right? The cool thing is once you are kicking ass and making a lot of money in your Evolved Economy business, those numbers won’t seem so big. What if you are earning $2000 per week? Or $20,000 per week? What if your Evolved Economy business is paying you even more? What would you be willing to spend today to own your own business today to have a shot at making that kind of money within 10 years, maybe even within 5 years? How long did you to go to school? Five years goes by pretty fast, doesn’t it?

There are 10 reasons I endorse the Evolved Economy as the premier business model and one key reason is that it’s simple to fund. If you are serious about owning your own business and you don’t want to have to suffer through all of the tired, risky, time-consuming, and expensive traditional ways of getting started, decide to be a Business Builder.

In fact, there is only one step left that’s required to make your dream of business ownership a reality. You simply have to act! Take the action now to make your dreams real, to live the life you’ve always longed for, to stay home with your kids, to contribute and make a difference! Act now, email me or call me, message me, find me, but take action. Tell me you are so ready to be a business builder, too, and you want to own your own Evolved Economy business. Do that, and you’ll be in business within the hour. Simple!

We would be honored to have you choose to co-create your own business using a smart business model.

If you found this article independently and wish to know more, all my contact information is in the “resource” section.

The Truth For Couples Who Are Funding A Home Based Business

Okay, it’s time for couples to hear the truth in regards to funding a home based business. Funding is an important topic but the truth is if you are a couple in business or a couple just starting a business, it is tough to get funding from anyone. This is because couple entrepreneurs are a very high risk investment.

For a couple who want to start a business, it matters very little how good their credit score is, funding is still difficult. The reason is because the success rate of couple-run businesses is low.

Some 98% of couple-run businesses fail within the first 3 years and because most couples don’t know how to protect themselves they lose everything. Then the couple usually ends up in divorce court. The lender most likely will not get paid back, as the business usually has gone bankrupt.

This makes lending to couple entrepreneurs who are starting a business, high risk and many investors steer clear of investing in high risk ventures with a 98% failure rate.

Thus if you want funding to begin a home based business, you are going to have to get creative. Of course there is crowd funding, but more importantly it is important to understand, that according to the SBA most home based businesses don’t need more than a few thousand dollars to start.

In fact, the average home based business can startup for as little as $500.00. That means most couples need startup capital between $500 and $10,000.00 max.

Another truth is that most banks are not interested in loaning such a small amount of money to start a business. So, the $500 to $10,000.00 is not enough to entice a lender. It doesn’t make sense for them to lend that small of an amount they don’t make enough interest income.

Most couples end up using a credit card to start a home based business but I think going into debt to start your business is like taking one step forward and two steps back. If you are thinking about starting a home based business with your spouse, here are 3 tips for funding your business.

Have a limit: Give your business some startup capital from your savings but don’t keep feeding it. Have a limit to how much you are willing to lend your home based business startup. Remember it is a loan so you must also have a way to make monthly payments back into your savings account.

Really look at your startup costs: and slash anything from the list that you are not really going to need. Do you really need that new computer or do you just want a new computer? Don’t add unnecessary expenses to your startup. This is the time to be lean and driven.

Don’t keep feeding the business if it is not making money: This is hard to do when you are emotionally invested in the business but don’t keep feeding an unprofitable business. Find the hole in the business and either fix it or create another more profitable business. So, if the agreement between you and your spouse is that the new home based business has a credit line of $10,000.00 from your savings account, then don’t lend it anymore.

The real truth about funding a business is that most couples are on their own. You must plan carefully and be lean when starting a business. Most home based businesses need more sweat equity than capital investment and this is often the secret for couples who achieve success together.