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5 More Successful Businesses That Started With a Simple Idea

5 More Successful Businesses That Started With a Simple Idea

Starting a business may appear daunting, but it’s really not difficult. Many people believe that most new businesses fail within three years. While most will fail, the truth is that you can start one with a simple idea.

There are a lot of success stories out there from entrepreneurs who have made it. It all begins with an idea, some paperwork, and a storefront and/or website. Here are five more successful businesses that started with a simple idea:

1. Mente Cacao

Eduardo Villers became interested in chocolate during his travels throughout Mexico. Eduardo enjoyed traveling through the jungles, where he came in contact with the cacao tree. Inspired by his deep love for cacao, Eduardo decided to introduce it to the Mexican people, who only knew about Hershey’s chocolate.

He started Mente Cacao in Mexico City by offering cacao drinks to the local people. During his time there, he also studied with his uncle, who was a farmer and taught him a lot about cacao and chocolate. He remained in Mexico City for two years before moving his business to San Miguel De Allende in central Mexico.

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Mente Cacao now has two locations in San Miguel De Allende. Most expats and locals say that it is the best chocolate in town. Eduardo Villers is currently working on getting Mente Cacao distributed in the United States and Japan.

2. BloomNation

Gregg Weisstein started out working as a business consultant, primarily helping rescue companies that were on the verge of bankruptcy.  His friend and eventual co-founder came up with an idea to offer a floral marketplace based on the Amazon model. They didn’t want to become another 1-800-FLOWERS service.

They were advised by many people to drop the idea because many of them could not foresee the potential in a dying flower industry. However, Gregg and the team were not dismayed by the ridicule.  They wanted to offer a service that was more personalized, interactive, and transparent. With BloomNation, they connect people with local florists and show their reviews to customers so that they can make an informed decision.

BloomNation now works with over 3,000 florists nationwide and has been named the “Top Silicon Beach Startup to Watch” by Entrepreneur magazine and Business Insider.

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3. Billy

Toke Kruse had a problem common among millions of new business owners. As an entrepreneur, he always thought that accounting was a hassle. He went from one accounting application to another with no success. While some of them were better than others, they ultimately still gave him headaches. It didn’t take him long to realize that these software programs were built for accountants.

Toke wanted to create a solution for the business owner who knew little or no accounting at all. Most people could simply hire an accountant for their needs, but most accountants are expensive, especially for new business owners who don’t have a lot of money to begin with.

Toke decided to create an accounting application that was very simple for business owners with little or no accounting experience. Toke and his partner launched Billy four years ago in Denmark. The software application was well-received not only in Denmark, but also in the United States. The company now grosses over $1 million in revenue annually.

4. Professor Egghead

Shaun Tuch decided to start an after-school program with his brother eight years ago. They began with one sports class in Los Angeles. They both had a sports background, so the idea was a no-brainer. The initial plan for them was to make some extra income. However, after receiving some great feedback and seeing the popularity of the program, Professor Egghead started to offer science classes too.

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Shaun hated science when he was a kid. So, he wanted to make a science class that was fun for kids. Because he enjoyed making slime and building LEGOS, he wanted to incorporate those activities into his classes while also giving children an educational and engaging experience.

They now run multiple programs in 50+ locations throughout Los Angeles. Recently, they franchised the concept and are now offering Professor Egghead as a franchise in the United States.

5. Toronto Vaporizer

Nima Noori was just an international student struggling to pay his tuition. He soon realized that a minimum wage job was not going to be enough and needed to do something else. He thought about selling electronic accessories and computer parts on Kijiji (an online service similar to Craigslist). However, after researching the market, he realized that it wouldn’t be worthwhile.

Nevertheless, he became aware that there was some online interest in vaporizers, a device used for smoking. As a result, he put some test ads on Kijiji to test the market. After getting dozens of inquiries from interested customers, he saw that he could fill a need in the marketplace. He used his personal credit card to buy some units and started selling vaporizers on Kijiji.

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Nima was motivated and wanted to beat his competition. So, he offered same day drop-offs within the Toronto metropolitan area. The success of Toronto Vaporizer exploded as a result of his same day service. Toronto Vaporizer is now a multi-million dollar business and Canada’s largest online retailer of vaporizers and vaporizer accessories.

*This article is the sequel to the initial LifeHack article: 5 Successful Businesses That Started With a Simple Idea.

Featured photo credit: Sebastiaan ter Burg via imcreator.com

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Kallen Diggs

Bestselling Author / Magazine Editor / Syndicated Radio Show Host

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Definitive Guide to Get out of Debt Fast (and Forever)

The Definitive Guide to Get out of Debt Fast (and Forever)

Debt can feel crushing, like a weight that is always weighing you down. Looking at those numbers, it can feel as if you’ll never get out from under it. However, if you really want to learn how to get out of debt, it is possible with a great deal of focus and self-control.

Getting out of debt isn’t impossible. Like any big goal, all that it takes is an action plan to identify where you are and creating a plan to zero out your debt.

Identifying All of Your Debts

The first part of paying off your debt is getting a complete picture of what you owe. When you have everything written out in front of you, it makes it much easier to create an action plan. Depending on how much you owe, it might also help you realize it’s not as bad you might have originally thought.

Here’s how you can get started identifying your debts:

1. Own Your Debt

Before you start identifying all of your debts, take a moment to process that you have debt but want to get out of it.

Forgive yourself for any past mistakes, missed payments, or overspending. It might be painful to accept how much debt you have at first, but you must own it.

2. Make a Debt Tracker

It’s astonishing how few people ever created a tracker to understand their total debts. Most likely, it comes from not wanting to accept the guilt of having debt, but, if avoided, it can make it nearly impossible to get out of debt.

Open up a new Google or Microsoft Excel sheet and list out all of your debts. Start with the name of the creditor, interest rates, total balance, loan term length (if any), and the minimum amount due each payment. This will include student loans, credit cards, and any other type of debt owed.

3. Get Your Debt Number

Once you’ve made your debt tracker and taken the other steps, identify your total payoff number. This is crucial, as you will have a starting point and a clear goal that you are trying to achieve.

Prioritizing Your Debts

All debt is not created equal. It’s imperative to understand that there are different types of debt.

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1. Understand Bad and Good Debts

Bad debts are usually paying for things you want instead of always need. While there might be some emergencies that max out your credit cards, often times it’s excessive spending[1].

There are three main types of bad debt:

  • Credit Card Debt: The average American household owes over $16,000 in credit card debt!
  • Auto Loan Debt: According to CNBC , the average auto loan in the US is $30,032!
  • Consumer Loan Debt: Consumer loan debt isn’t as common as credit card and auto loan debt, but it’s still considered bad as interest rates are usually between 10-28%.

Good debt is identified as investments in your future. Here are three common types of good debt:

  • Student Loan Debt
  • Mortgage Loan
  • Business Loans

2. Decide Which Debt to Pay off First

Once you know each type of debt and their interest rates, you can begin to pay off debt quickly.

Focus on paying off bad debt first, regardless of if it is a credit card or auto loan. Start by paying off the loan with the highest interest rate first.

If you have several credit cards with different interest rates, you want to focus on the one with a higher APR. You will actually save more money by eliminating the card with the highest interest rate.

3. Don’t Pay the Minimum Amount

Paying the minimum amount digs you into a hole as interest rates will offset your payment. Even a small amount more than the minimum can help you pay off debt much faster.

Removing Obstacles to Pay off Debt Quickly

Creating a debt tracker and prioritizing a plan is simple, but avoiding temptation can be difficult.

1. Set a Reminder to Track Your Debt

“If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.” -Peter Drucker

It’s so important to track your debt to ensure that you get it paid off quickly. Similar to working out and measuring your results, you need to track your debt constantly. Start with a weekly reminder, where you sign on and log your updated number. Did you increase, decrease, or stay the same?

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Regularly tracking your student loan balance can be incredibly motivating, as well. You will get a huge confidence boost each time you see your total debt amount decreases.

Set weekly and monthly goals so you can have short term wins and keep the momentum going.

2. Hide Your Credit Cards

If your biggest debt is credit cards, you need to eliminate temptation and remove them from your wallet.

Some people have gone to extreme measures by freezing their credit cards. Why? This would create an ice block around your card, which would require you to chip away at it slowly. This will give you time to think if it’s the best idea to buy that thing you’re about to buy.

3. Automate Everything

Willpower can be a huge downfall to paying off your debt. By automating your bills each month, you will ensure that willpower isn’t involved.

4. Plan Ahead

Getting out of debt will require some sacrifices, but with enough planning, you can make it work.

For example, if you know that you have a friend’s birthday or family dinner coming up, plan ahead for the costs. Whether you need to cut back on spending the week before, pick up a side job, or meet them after dinner, do what is needed.

5. Live Cheaply

The only way to get out of debt is to make some sacrifices on your spending habits. Find ways to save money each month so you can apply that amount to your outstanding debts. Here are some ways to save money each month:

  • Live with roommates
  • Cook dinners and prepare lunches for work instead of eating out
  • Cut cable and choose Netflix or Amazon Prime
  • Take public transit or bike to work

Finding the Lowest Interest Rates

The higher your interest rates, the harder (and longer) it will take you to pay off any debt.

If possible, you want to find ways to lower your interest rates to help get out of debt quickly. Here’s how you can get started:

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1. Maintain a High Credit Score

Your credit score will have a large impact on your ability to refinance your loans and receive a lower interest rate. If you have a low credit score, it’s unlikely you will be able to refinance your loans. Use these credit tips to increase and maintain an excellent score:

  • Never miss a payment
  • Don’t exceed 30% of your credit limit
  • Don’t sign up for more than one card at once
  • Limit hard inquires, like auto-loans and new credit cards
  • Monitor frequently with free credit-tracking software

2. Find Balance Transfer Offers

Start by opening a free account on credit.com. Credit.com offers you the chance to open a free account and see what type of balance transfer offers you can receive. Some of your existing credit cards might already have 0% or lower APR balance transfer offers available.

Contact each of your credit card providers to ask about lowering your rate for a one-time balance transfer offer[2].

If you do take advantage of this option, make sure that you use a balance transfer and not a cash advance. Cash advances have a ton of high interest fees (15-25%, depending on your credit card) and will only compound your debt problem.

How to Get Rid of Debt Forever

Setting up a plan, removing temptations, and getting the lowest interest rates is the first step to get out of debt.

1. Keep Monitoring and Adjusting

Once you have a plan, don’t get comfortable. Track your debt payoff plan and make the necessary adjustments when needed.

Monitor your credit scores with a free site like CreditKarma. The higher your credit score climbs, the more likely you will be to secure a new, lower-interest loan.

2. Earn More Money

There are only so many ways to save money. Instead of clipping another coupon or making sacrifices for your morning coffee, find ways to earn more money!

Think about it…it is much easier to find ways to earn an extra $1,000 per month than find $1,000 to cut from your budget.

Here are some examples of ways to earn more money:

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Talk to Your Boss

Have a conversation with your boss about current salary and/or commission rates. If you’re not satisfied or want a change, don’t be afraid to look around at other positions. Some of them might even have a student loan debt reimbursement plan!

Start a Side Hustle

This could be coaching students on the weekends, driving for Uber, or taking paid online surveys. There are tons of ways to make money outside your 9-5. Now that you have a clear plan to pay off your debts, you’ll be more motivated than ever to figure out creative new ways to earn money.

Build an Online Business

There are so many websites and blogs that earn money from ads, affiliates, and other online products. Find your niche and get started.

3. Celebrate Your Wins

As you progress in your debt payoff journey, don’t forget to celebrate your wins. You need to always reward yourself for the hard work and discipline that is required to get out of debt.

While you shouldn’t celebrate so big that it increases debt, make sure to factor in little rewards to keep you motivated.

4. Set New Financial Goals

Eventually, with a plan and these steps, you can rid yourself of your debt. Once you do, make sure to celebrate your monumental achievement, but don’t stop there.

Now, you can focus on acquiring wealth and increasing your net worth. Set new financial goals so you have a new target to aim toward. Here’s how to set financial goals and actually meet them.

These could be anything now that you are debt free! Think about where you want to travel, buying your first home, or saving for your future retirement. Just like before, make sure that your goals are specific, measurable, and achievable.

Conclusion

Congrats, you can now set a plan in motion to finally pay off your debt quickly (and hopefully forever)!

Remember, if you want to get out of debt quickly, it’s not always easy. Just like any big goal, there will be sacrifices, challenges, and problems to overcome.

More Tips on Getting out of Debt

Featured photo credit: Pepi Stojanovski via unsplash.com

Reference

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