Small Business Loans For Women

The Small Business Administration states that business loans for women are on the rise, and will continue to be needed on an increasing basis in coming years. Business loans for women are more popular than ever due to a variety of factors.

1. Women are taking the initiative needed to become business owners and are opening new businesses.

According to the most recent data on businesses, available from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, there were 5.4 million women-owned businesses in the United States in 1997. The Bureau of the Census also stated that the number of women-owned firms grew almost three times as fast as all firms between 1992 and 1997. They have reported that the number of women-owned firms increased by 16 percent in this five-year period, compared to a six percent increase for United States firms in general. The 1997 Economic Census states that women-owned firms made up 26 percent of the nation’s 20.8 million nonfarm businesses, employed seven percent of the 103 million workers, and generated four percent of the $18.6 trillion in receipts. The National Foundation for Women Business Owners states that the current estimated growth rate in the number of women-owned firms is nearly twice that of all firms, and this increase is a trend that is expected to increase even more in coming years. The anticipated increase in women-owned firms, therefore, brings about a tremendous need for business loans for women.

2. The past decade has shown a boom in the home-based business arena.

The increase in home-based businesses popping up nationwide is due very much to the idea that many mothers are starting businesses in order to choose a work-at-home lifestyle to bring income into the home, and at the same time, raise their children at home rather than placing them in daycare. While these home-based business are operated in a nontraditional work environment, in perhaps a nontraditional style of operation, they are nonetheless the same as other businesses in the style of carrying inventory, making purchases for the business, marketing the business, and creating a web presence. Business loans for women are crucial for small businesses such as these. Many have proven to be just as successful or even more successful than traditional businesses and businesses owned by men.

3. Women often purchase existing businesses.

Nearly no explanation is needed to stress the need for business loans for women in this area. Purchasing a business requires money, most often obtained through business loans for women or through another type of loan. Because more and more women are leaving the work place and carefully weighing all factors of owning a business, purchasing an existing business is a wonderful option for those that don’t want the risk involved in actually starting a business. By purchasing an existing business, it allows the potential new owner the opportunity to carefully examine the existing business regarding many things, including its profitability, gross sales, and market position. A business that rates high in all three areas is a good business investment for a new potential business owner, especially a women with past business experience. Business loans for women can offer a new, potential business owner the opportunity needed to operate a successful business.

4. With more women in business for themselves, business loans for women are needed to offer women capital crucial for a business to succeed.

Regardless of whether the business is home-based or more traditional in nature, and whether it’s a start-up business or was a purchased, existing business, capital is needed for a business to succeed, and to start, business loans for women are of great assistance. Business loans for women offer women a way of starting a new business with capital. Business loans for women can also assist women in increasing sales for an existing business, as well as marketing the business or expanding a business.

5. Women tend to choose to operate businesses in the services or retail trade industries.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than seven out of every 10 women-owned businesses and firms are operated in the services or retail trade industries. Considering the nature of these two types of businesses, one can easily see why the need for business loans for women is on the rise. In order for a woman to successfully operate a retail trade business, for example, inventory is needed. While drop shipping can sometimes be an option, especially for an at-home retail business operated through an online store, more realistically speaking, inventory needs to be purchased. Business loans for women offer women the option of purchasing inventory to be sold in a retail business. Likewise, a service-related business normally operates with the use of equipment, and is often specialized equipment for that specific type of business. The availability of business loans for women offers women the opportunity to purchase equipment and supplies needed to operate and succeed in running a service-related business.

Business loans for women are increasingly important for female business owners. However, careful consideration should be taken before securing a business loan to make sure that the loan is truly needed for the business to expand and succeed, and to make sure that the loan payments will easily fit into the business’ budget.

Business Opportunities – Why Pre-Packaged BizOpps Are Not Worth The Money

Pick up any “business opportunity” magazine at the local newsstand, and you’ll see a glossy attractive publication designed to attract people who are actively seeking ways to earn extra money, buy a franchise, or open a business of their own. After all, it’s the American Dream to own your own business and get rich, right?

You’ve probably heard the old saying, “Most people are too busy earning a living to make any money.” Common sense tells us that we’re not going to get rich working for someone else (with the possible exception of the lucky folks who started with Microsoft or Google in their early days and got rich through stock options). The average American employee lives from paycheck to paycheck, with barely enough income to cover living expenses, leaving nothing for investment toward building wealth for a comfortable retirement. Hence the allure of the “Business Opportunity.”

As you flip through one of these “BizOpp” magazines, you’ll see a wide variety of advertisements for different types of businesses, ranging from simple “starter kits” for around $29 all the way to sophisticated franchises costing $100,000 or more. For most people, it’s impossible to raise enough capital to consider opening a true franchise. The franchise fees alone are often prohibitive, running into tens of thousands of dollars even for the lesser known businesses, or several hundred thousand dollars for better known companies. And that’s not even including the outlay required to actually open the doors for business.

At the other end of the scale, most people are aware that the cheap starter kits and “business in a box” packages are basically junk. But that leaves a whole host of medium-priced business startup concepts, ranging in price from around $500 on the low end to $10,000 on the upper end. I refer to these as “pre-packaged business opportunities.”

To explain why pre-packaged businesses are usually a waste of time and money, I’ll use windshield repair as an example. As I write this, I’m looking at an ad for a training program that costs $3,000, including starter materials. In case you don’t know what I’m referring to here, the basic idea is that small chips, cracks, or holes in automobile windshields can be repaired using a special liquid material that seals and repairs defects. This is obviously much cheaper than replacing an entire windshield. Hence the “opportunity” to start a business that helps people save money on their windshield repairs.

Now, in case you’re thinking, “There’s no way I would want to be in that business,” please bear in mind that I’m just using this as an example out of hundreds of possible different business concepts advertised in the same fashion. And of course there are many people who would be attracted to such a “business opportunity” — people who really like cars, people who already know quite a bit about auto repair, and so on. Plenty of individuals are attracted to a business idea like this, which is why this particular “opportunity” has been around for decades.

Now, here’s the real question. Can you seriously expect to shell out $3,000 for some starter materials and training in the windshield repair business, then put a sign out, and expect to start earning money right away? Of course not! This is the #1 flaw with pre-packaged business opportunities: you still have to figure out how to market the product or service on your own.

Let’s take a closer look at the windshield repair business. Let’s say your goal is to make $50,000 per year in net income. If we assume that you can charge around $50 per windshield repair, at a material cost of around $10, then you have a gross profit (not counting your labor) of $40 per repair. To make $50,000 net, you’d need to find 1,250 windshields per year that required fixing. That translates to more than 100 repairs per month, and you’d need to keep this up month in and month out to meet your income goal. That works out to 3-5 repairs per day, depending on how many days per month you work.

Now, if you had 1,250 cars lined up down the road, all ready for the repair work, it would be nice easy money, right? But FINDING those 1,250 cars and then SELLING those 1,250 car owners on your service will be the real problem. In other words, you don’t really have a windshield repair job here. You have a SALES job, pure and simple. Most of your time will be spent finding business. Obviously, finding one car at a time will be totally impractical. Instead, you’ll need fleet accounts with major car dealerships, auto repair shops, car rental agencies, and so on. And you can bet that a number of other people (some of whom bought the same pre-packaged business that you did) have also solicited the same companies for their windshield repair business.

So again, what you really have here is a sales job. If this were a truly profitable business, then the company selling you the “opportunity” would not be making all their money selling pre-packaged businesses to people like yourself. Instead, they would be making their money by rolling out the service across the country and selling windshield repair directly to fleet accounts on a nationwide basis. But they know that there is actually more money to be made in the BizOpp world, preying on people who have the dream of starting their own business.

The message here is that any pre-packaged business opportunity that sells in the $500 to $10,000 range is typically worthless and a complete waste of your time and money. Please bear in mind that these numbers are just a guideline, and you must always exercise good judgment when evaluating any business opportunity. Just because a “hot” pre-packaged opportunity is selling for more than $10,000 does not mean that it is necessarily legitimate. Many rip-offs cost a lot more than that. But generally speaking, the promoters of these schemes realize they are aiming at people who can’t pay a lot of money to get started in business. So the packages are marketed in a way that will maximize the number of people that can afford to buy in.

If you are serious about starting your own business, then a pre-packaged opportunity is not the way to go. It might seem like an easy answer to your problem, but the very fact that it’s being sold as a packaged business probably means that there’s no real money to be made without a long hard sales grind. You’re much better off doing your own research, coming up with your own business ideas, and then testing your ideas with small advertisements to see if your concepts have any real potential. That’s how many businesses get their start. You’ll have a much better chance of making it in the world of business or self-employment if you ignore those BizOpp magazines entirely!

The House Cleaning Business Startup Manual – Part V (Final Chapter)

By now you are pretty much up and running with your new house cleaning business. Of course starting a business is not as easy in real life as it sounds when reading our series of articles. But overall the articles help you to go into the right direction. They are pretty much a framework that you can follow to be successful.

The mind of a business owner

Starting and running a business is not something that you can do just like this. Put your heart into the business. Live and breath business and you will be successful. Remember – running a business is a little more than the normal 9-5 job. Expect 10-12 hour work days 6-7 days a week – especially in the beginning.
Many new business owners make mistakes that cannot be corrected easily and the business is setup for failure. But if you follow a few easy rules you will be able to avoid common mistakes.
Don’t spend money that you do not have. Do not go onto a shopping spree and buy a new car for your business unless you can a) fully justify the expense and b) have the income to support it. Just because you are now self-employed means that you are rich and have to show everyone that being self-employed means that you have money to spend. Be frugal and act responsible.

The check you receive from a customer is not your income. It is your revenue. You have to deduct business expenses, tax, and other cost factors first. Whatever is left is your profit. I know this is only a very simple and vague description, but it shows the point.

Be frugal and live below your means. If you follow this generic rule with how you do business you are on your way to success. Spend less than what you make. Re-invest money into your business and build value. Outsource work where needed if it saves you time and brings better results (example: web design for your website; accounting;). Educate yourself about running a business and about your industry on a recurring base.

Join your local chamber of commerce as well as you should try to join local lead or networking groups. Building a network of contacts and staying in touch with other business owners can have many advantages. You might gain new clients or made aware of issues affecting your local economy. Knowledge is king.
Think like a business owner and stop being an employee. Stop whining about how hard it is to get customers. If you are looking for an easy way to make money, running a business might not be for you. It is hard work. And when employees leave for the weekend they do not worry about the business (work) until Monday comes along. As a business owner your worries are with you 24/7. You better get used to it.

Good Luck.