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How to Manage the Start-up Cost of a Business

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How to Manage the Start-up Cost of a Business

Starting a business is never easy. Regardless of size, industry, and the nature of what you are intending to sell, establishing an organization for the sake of generating profit will require a lot of sacrifice. As well as physical resources, time, energy, relationships, and peace of mind are just some of the things that aspiring entrepreneurs must be prepared to exhaust the moment they decide to follow through with their start-up.

It doesn’t matter if you have the most innovative business idea of all or if you are the foremost expert in the field you’re about to enter; without proper knowledge of how to generate and handle finances properly, your business will fail. Of course, coming up with a business plan is the first step. After establishing the creative aspect of your business model, you need to determine your objectives, needs, and expected sales forecast based on the initial scale you have in mind. Once you have all of these set in place, you can start your pursuit for capital.

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Producing and managing assets are two very different things. While the first one will challenge mostly your creativity and resourcefulness, the latter requires more focus and organization. Here are some practical tips that can help you in both areas:

1. Ask Uncle Sam.

Believe it or not, the federal government is one of the best sources of funds for entrepreneurs managing the start-up cost of a business, even during times of financial crisis. One bureau to approach is the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a branch of the government that offers grants to co-fund “high-risk, high-payoff” projects with the hope of providing Americans a higher standard of living. However, keep in mind that government agencies get tens of thousands of requests for grants each year and are therefore are very selective.

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2. Look around you.

One of the biggest mistakes aspiring entrepreneurs make is being too focused on finding money outside their homes and not looking at existing resources that they can convert to cash. Do you have any clothes that you can sell at the local surplus shop? What about kitchen utensils you aren’t using or toys that you’ve outgrown? Be creative. There are many places you can go to raise some extra cash. Why not check out some freelance jobs on the Internet for some extra income?

3. Get a loan.

As an entrepreneur managing the start-up cost of your business, you should be aware that—unless you’ve got a lot of extra cash stored in your basement—you will likely need to apply for a loan. The trick here is to find the institution that will offer you the best terms. Don’t be afraid to ask around and try to get a loan that will be enough to cover all of your initial expenses and sustain your operation for 6 to 12 months. In that same vein, make sure that you do some credit monitoring as well. Checking your credit score at freecreditscore.com can help you narrow down your choices by giving you an idea as to which types of loans and interest amounts you qualify for.

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4. Acquire a credit card.

You may be thinking, “Isn’t getting a loan enough?” but chances are that it isn’t. Any business is at risk of failing due to a multitude of unforeseen circumstances, such as an increase in the price of raw materials, the sudden appearance of a formidable competitor, or even something as sudden as a tornado. It’s always better to have places where you can pull up extra funds in case of an unexpected incident. Again, checking your credit score prior to applying for a card is important because having lenders deny your application due to a low score can lower your score even further.

5. Practice good management.

So you’ve already acquired the funds you need for your business. What do you do now? Keep in mind that running a business entails a lot of strategizing and math. As an entrepreneur managing the startup cost of your business, you must be prepared to do a lot of management. Make sure every single thing you purchase is documented and properly categorized as either an asset or an expense. Keep your record books clean and your files organized and be sure to always maximize any resources you have at hand. These are the makings of a good businessperson.

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6. Don’t forget about credit monitoring.

Part of managing your business is making sure that all your payables (business and personal) are paid on time. Remember that you and your business’ credit score are now connected to each other, so be sure to always keep on top of anything that needs settling. The importance of doing this cannot be overemphasized. If you’re thinking of sticking with your business for the long haul, then keep in mind that regularly checking your credit score can help you get better business opportunities in the future.

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Last Updated on January 5, 2022

33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now

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33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now

In a difficult economy, most of us are looking for ways to put more money in our pockets, but we don’t want to feel like misers. We don’t want to drastically alter our lifestyles either. We want it fast and we want it easy. Small savings can add up and big savings can feel like winning the lottery, just without all of the taxes.

Some easy ways to save money:

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  1. Online rebate sites. Many online sites offer cash back rebates and online coupons as well. MrRebates and Ebates are two I like, but there are many others.
  2. Sign up for customer rewards. Many of your favorite stores offer customer rewards on products you already buy. Take advantage.
  3. Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs. The extra cost up front is worth the energy savings later on.
  4. Turn off power strips and electronic devices when not in use.
  5. Buy a programmable thermostat. Set it to lower the heat or raise the AC when you’re not home.
  6. Make coffee at home. Those lattes and caramel macchiatos add up to quite a bit of dough over the year.
  7. Switch banks. Shop around for better interest rates, lower fees and better customer perks. Don’t forget to look for free online banking and ease of depositing and withdrawing money.
  8. Clip coupons: Saving a couple dollars here and there can start to add up. As long as you’re going to buy the products anyway, why not save money?
  9. Pack your lunch. Bring your lunch to work with you a few days a week, rather than buy it.
  10. Eat at home. We’re busier than ever, but cooking meals at home is healthier and much cheaper than take-out or going out. Plus, with all of the freezer and pre-made options, it’s almost as fast as drive-thru.
  11. Have leftovers night. Save your leftovers from a few meals and have a “leftover dinner.” It’s a free meal!
  12. Buy store brands: Many generic or store brands are actually just as good as name brands and considerably cheaper.
  13. Ditch bottled water. Drink tap water if it’s good quality, buy a filter if it’s not. Get 
      a reusable water bottle and refill it.
    • Avoid vending machines: The items are usually over-priced.
    • Take in a matinee. Afternoon movie showings are cheaper than evening times.
    • Re-examine your cable bill. Cancel extra cable or satellite channels you don’t watch. Watch the “on demand” movie purchases too.
    • Use online bill pay. Most banks offer free online bill paying. Save on stamps and checks, and avoid late fees by automating bill payment.
    • Buy frequently used items in bulk. You get a lower per item price and eliminate extra trips to the store later on.
    • Fully utilize the library. Borrowing books is much cheaper than buying them, but in addition to books, most local libraries now lend movies and games.
    • Cancel magazine/newspaper subscriptions: Re-evaluate your subscriptions. Cancel those you don’t read and consider reading some of the other publications online.
    • Get rid of your land-line. Do you really need a land-line anymore if everyone in the family has a cell phone? Alternatively, look into using VOIP or getting a cheaper plan.
    • Better fuel efficiency. Check the air pressure in your tires, keep up with proper auto maintenance, and slow down. Driving even 5MPH slower will result in better fuel mileage.
    • Increase your deductibles. Increasing the insurance deductibles on your homeowners and auto insurance policies lowers premiums significantly. Just make sure you choose a deductible that you can afford should an emergency happen.
    • Choose lunch over dinner. If you do want to dine out occasionally, go at lunchtime rather than dinnertime. Lunch prices are usually cheaper.
    • Buy used:  Whether it’s something small like a vintage dress or a video game or something big like a car or furniture, consider buying it used. You can often get “nearly new” for a fraction of the cost.
    • Stick to the list. Make a list before you go shopping and don’t buy anything that’s not on the list unless it’s a once in a lifetime, killer deal.
    • Tame the impulse. Use a self-enforced waiting period whenever you’re tempted to make an unplanned purchase. Wait for a week and see if you still want the item.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask. Ask to have fees waived, ask for a discount, ask for a lower interest rate on your credit card.
    • Repair rather than replace. You can find directions on how to fix almost anything on the internet. Do your homework, and then bring out your inner handyman.
    • Trade with your neighbors. Borrow tools or equipment that you use infrequently and swap things like babysitting with your neighbors.
    • Swap online. Use sites like PaperBack Swap to trade books, music, and movies with others online. Also, look for local community sites like Freecycle where people give away items they no longer need.
    • Cut back on the meat. Try eating a one or two meatless meals every week or cut back on the meat portions. Meat is usually the most expensive part of the meal.
    • Comparison shop: Get in the habit of checking prices before you buy. See if you can get a better price at another store or look online.

    Remember that saving money is not about being cheap or stingy; it’s about putting money into your bank account rather than giving it to someone else. There are many ways to save money, some you’ve never thought of, and some that won’t appeal or apply to you. Just pick a few of the ideas that sound doable and watch the savings add up. Save big, save small, but save wherever you can.

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    Featured photo credit: Damir Spanic via unsplash.com

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