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4 Money Hacks for Starting and Growing Your First Business

4 Money Hacks for Starting and Growing Your First Business

Starting a business is equal parts of excitement and anxiety. On the one hand, you’re ready to chase your dream. On the other hand, you’re worried about the ramifications of failure. It’s important that people understand how to put themselves in the right financial situation to be successful.

Do you know what it takes? Here are a handful of money hacks that have helped countless entrepreneurs get off on the right foot.

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1. Understand Your Loan Options

Very few people start and grow successful businesses without any sort of financial help. Some entrepreneurs need a little more assistance than others, but the majority of small business owners have some measure of help – and it’s usually financial in nature.

If you need some money to get your business going, it’s important that you understand your different loan options. At first, it might look pretty confusing, but remember that loans are like products. Each product has unique features and the goal is to find the one that best serves your needs. When it comes to term loans – which are often used to generate long-term growth – do your homework and understand the differences between secured/unsecured, short-term/long-term, fix/floating interest, and repayment options.

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2. Safeguard Personal Money

While there may seem to be little division between your work life and personal life, it’s imperative that you create some separation financially. If you’re running your business out of your personal bank account, you’re walking a very fine line.

Go ahead and open up a separate business account. It doesn’t matter if you’re spending small amounts or writing checks with lots of zeros, avoid co-mingling assets and you’ll sleep much easier at night.

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“Experts recommend opening a separate business credit card and business bank account as well as putting an accounting system in place to track your expenses,” says entrepreneur Jennifer Woods. “Accounting software such as QuickBooks is a good low-cost option but if the business requires more extensive expense tracking it might be prudent to hire a bookkeeper.”

3. Calculate a Break-Even Point

Knowing your break-even point – both on a monthly basis and overall – is extremely important. This allows you to make strategic choices that are based on the numbers, as opposed to decisions that are based on feelings and emotions. Once you understand your break-even point, you can shuffle things around until the numbers work. If you don’t know this tipping point, you’re essentially playing a guessing game.

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4. Have a Team of Advisors

“One big difference I see between startups that build a framework for success and those that get isolated is the ability to nurture talent,” executive Jyotsna Pattabiraman says. “Many startups believe that the way to get that expertise is by hiring a senior consultant. Yet others believe that they can figure it out through trial and error. Both approaches are expensive, one in terms of cash and the other in time.”

So, what’s the correct answer? Pattabiraman and others point to the need for an advisory board. Advisors are different from consultants in that they don’t come and go for specific projects or needs. They stay on board for the long run and will push you in the right direction. As a result, there’s a lot of continuity. And while advisors can help you with a lot of things, they tend to supply a lot of financial expertise, which can be invaluable in your pursuit of growth and stability.

Take It Easy

There’s nothing easy about launching and growing a small business, but it suddenly becomes a lot simpler when you understand how to approach the financial side of things. Think about these concepts and make sure you’re constantly reevaluating.

Featured photo credit: Chicago Tribune via chicagotribune.com

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Anna Johansson

Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends.

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Want to Get Free Product Samples Like Bloggers and Beauty Gurus Do? Read This.

Want to Get Free Product Samples Like Bloggers and Beauty Gurus Do? Read This.

Imagine receiving a regular supply of free samples through your letterbox?

These free samples by mail could include things such as cleaning products, cosmetics and packaged food.

Free samples are a great way to try out some of the latest products. One week you may have a new toothpaste to try – the next week you may be snacking on a delicious chocolate cookie sample.

As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life. And by requesting free samples by mail (I’ll show you how shortly), you’ll have not just variety – but fun too!

Tell Me More About Getting Free Samples Sent to My Door!

So, it looks like I’ve caught your interest. That’s great news!

Just before I introduce you to 10 places where you can get free samples by mail, let me clarify a couple of things.

Firstly, all the places I’ll talk about are currently active in sending out free samples to consumers. (In other words, no links to out-of-date or dead pages!)

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Secondly, location is key. If you live in North America, then you’ll have a wide selection of places to sign up to. In other locations (for example, Africa, Asia and Europe), you’ll have fewer choices – but free samples by mail are still a possibility.

Lastly, to whet your appetite for the freebies, here’s a short list of product examples:

  • Pet food.
  • Beauty products.
  • T-shirts.
  • Greeting cards.
  • Wallets.
  • Snack bars.
  • Vitamins.

Free Samples by Mail… Tell Me Where to Get Them!

It’s now time to share my recommendations for the best sites to claim free samples from.

Let’s start with…

#1 SampleSource

    This company sends out boxes of 6-12 free samples about four times a year. Products include baby wipes, cereals and tissues. Register with SampleSource to be notified of the availability of their free samples. (Canada and U.S. only.)

    #2 Influenster

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      As their name suggests, Influenster wants to send free samples to you in exchange for you sharing about the products on your social media accounts. Once you’ve become a member (join for free!), they’ll send you a box of free goodies every few months. The more you share pictures and reviews of the products – the more free samples they’ll send you! (All major territories.)

      #3 PINCHme

        This organization will send you free samples in the hope that you’ll then go out and buy the equivalent full-size products. To receive regular boxes of free food, drink and cosmetic samples (and sometimes coupons), then sign up and create your profile. (U.S. only.)

        #4 House Party

          Thinking of throwing a house party? If yes, then be sure to sign up with this company. They’ll send you a box of ‘themed’ products and services that you can hand out at your party. Register with House Party. Wait for the fun freebies to be mailed to you. And then start sending out your party invites! (Worldwide.)

          #5 YoFreeSamples

            This site is a great resource for a whole host of free samples that can be mailed directly to your door (with no survey requirements!). You’ll find anything from books to perfume, with new offers listed daily. Head over to their site to see what’s currently available. (Mostly U.S., with occasional offers for other countries.)

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            #6 Magic Freebies

              The U.K.’s most popular freebie site. Register for their email newsletter, and they’ll send you a daily email with eight free sample offers. These include products such as disposable razors, dog bowls, and even fake tan! So, what are you waiting for? (U.K. only.)

              #7 SweetFreeStuff

                Since 2002, this simple site has been linking to the best free sample offers currently available. To get started, sign up to their daily email newsletter, which contains links to the latest offers. As well as free samples, SweetFreeStuff also gives information on coupons and deals. (Worldwide.)

                #8 Sample A Day

                  Would you like to receive a notification of a new free sample every day? Well, that’s the promise from this site. They claim to thoroughly research all offers, ensuring there are no catches or hidden surveys! From baby products to socks, this site is sure to have something for you. Registration is super-easy. Simply enter your email address. (Australia, Canada, U.K. and U.S. only.)

                  #9 Pretty Thrifty

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                    This site specializes in free beauty products, but also lets you claim free samples such as energy drinks, snack bars, and even magazine subscriptions. Pretty Thrifty has more than 85,000 followers on social media, so clearly knows how to attract free sample hunters. One thing that makes Pretty Thrifty stand out from most of their competitors, is that their email newsletter is available in daily, weekly and monthly formats. (Mostly U.S., with occasional offers for other countries.)

                    #10 CrazyFree

                      My final tip for getting the best free samples by mail, is Australian company CrazyFree. Their funky website offers big brand free sample offers, which currently include items such as Dolce & Gabbana perfume, Coke Zero, and Happy Dog pet food. To claim the offers, select the free samples you would like, and then complete their registration form. (Australia, U.K. and U.S. only.)

                      Receiving regular free samples by mail is a fabulous way of testing out the latest products on the market (and some that aren’t even on the market yet!)

                      You’ll impress your friends and family with all the free stuff you’ll be receiving. And take it from me… it’s a fun, free and rewarding hobby.

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