Why My StartUp Won’t Work

StartUp Won't WorkThe ugly truth is that three out of four startups fail. Try being the one that doesn’t!

“But that won’t be me!” you’re saying to yourself. “My idea is brilliant! Everyone wants my product!”

Unfortunately, it takes a lot more than a great idea to launch a startup and much more to make it a successful one. There are thousands of would-be entrepreneurs out there with brilliant ideas that simply didn’t take because of funding issues, a bad marketing strategy, or any number of other reasons.

Here are seven likely reasons your big idea is currently on a fast track to the startup graveyard.

o My Business Model is borderline pathetic

A great product idea does not make a business model! If you can’t monetize your product while acquiring customers at a reasonable rate, you have no hope of scaling your product or establishing a revenue stream. Unless you are planning to run a charity organization, you’re not going to make it very far.

I get it, business models are boring. It’s a lot more fun to hit the ground running and turn your idea into a reality. But that doesn’t mean you can skip the important steps of market research, competitive analysis, and developing a monetization strategy. If you’re so negligent as to skip these important steps, you’re only leading yourself on a slow, painful journey toward startup death.

o I am a Know it All… Hmmm…

A mentor? Business advice? Who needs that! With all your brilliant ideas, you’ve got this covered. Instead of humbly seeking the wisdom of successful entrepreneurs who’ve gone before you, you’re reinventing the wheel all on your own.

Forget venture capitalists who want to guide your startup to a successful launch. They can keep their money – you don’t want them meddling in your business! After all, as a first time entrepreneur, you know everything there is to know about successfully launching a scalable startup. Right?

o No one will fund ME!

Any entrepreneur anywhere will tell you, it really does take money to make money. If you can’t find access to funding, whether through family and friends, an angel investor, or a business loan, you’re going to have a tough time getting your product to market.

o Did I Even Think About a Marketing Plan?

You’ve been so focused on developing your brilliant idea, you completely forgot to develop a go-to-market strategy. What will your sales process be? Who is your target market? How will you reach your customer with news about your product? Do you have any idea?

The old “if you build it, they will come” philosophy might work in baseball-but unless you’ve been hearing voices lately, you probably shouldn’t expect the same for your startup. No matter how great your idea may be, no one can buy your product if they don’t know it exists. If you want any hope of saving your startup from certain doom, you need to devise and implement a solid marketing plan to spread your company’s message and increase demand for your product.

o Customers hate ME!

Well, no they don’t. Not yet, at least. But that’s only because, as we just discussed, you don’t have any customers. But if you did magically discover some first-time customers, they would quickly be bad-mouthing you all over town, because your customer experience is absolutely atrocious!

Do you have a plan and a properly trained team in place to make sure your customers are happy? How will you deal with complaints? How will you back up the quality of your product? What will you do when things go wrong?

Oh, nothing is ever going to go wrong? Is that right? Keep dreaming…

If you put yourself in the position of delivering a bad first impression with your customers, you’ll never be able to recover. There’s almost nothing more dangerous to a new business than a bad customer review.

o I am Stubborn

The truth about the startup world is that things change constantly. You have an idea for a product, but the research tells you to go a different direction. You’re halfway through development, and then a competitor shows up out of the blue with a product exactly like yours. Few, if any, ideas make it to launch without several changes along the way.

If you can’t roll with the punches and adjust your business model when challenges come up or new information prevails, you’re doomed to live out your days talking the talk about your big idea that went absolutely nowhere.

o I am Running Out of Cash

The challenges above may have halted your startup’s progress, but this one will be the final nail in the coffin. In the startup game, like in Monopoly, running out of cash equals game over. You’re done!

But not for you, right? You’ve got this. With no set budget, you’ll keep the Dom Perignon flowing every night of the week. It’ll all work out, right? After all, you have a brilliant plan!

At some point, if you haven’t secured funding and don’t have a solid plan in place to get a revenue stream flowing, you’re going to run out of cash. Even the most frugal of ramen-eating, Grandpa’s garage-based startups needs cash to keep the lights on.

Inevitably, this will be the moment when your almost brilliant venture officially goes under. You’re out of money. The show can’t go on. You’ve failed.

If your startup is still on life support, stop and re-evaluate. Which of the areas above sounds most familiar? How could you turn around your strategy?

Figuring out why you were on your way to failure might just be your ticket to performing the miracle that turns your near-failure into a real deal StartUp Success!

Basic Tips When Starting an Event Planning Business

Event Planning BusinessIs your entrepreneurial spirit kicking in? Do you want to engage yourself in the events planning industry? If you are, then this post is definitely for you. We will give you a quick overview of what you need to consider should you want to make this your serious business.

Know your Target

You might think that being the ‘jack of all trades’ is a good idea when you are starting your own events planning business. While it is important to know a lot of things, it is also vital to have focus. You have to remember that there are different events. We have the celebrations, education, promotions to name a few. Each celebration calls for different planning. You must know which one would be your forte so you can do more research on that, making you stand out from the rest of events planning companies. Engage in a specific niche that you enjoy doing before extending your network to other type of occasions.

Make Your Business Legal

Secure the necessary permits required for your business to be able to release official receipts to your customers. Being a legal business also increases your credibility as a service company to your clients. Registering business also protects you and your clients as well.

Building Contacts

Quite frankly, building contacts is never easy. And we believe one should be able to invest a lot of time building network. You should start from your family and friends. Tell them that you are starting up a business and would appreciate if they could refer you to their friends. From there, you can build your own potential clients. Just make sure your services are always the best so you can get the best advertising out there – word of mouth.

Creating Portfolio

Now that you have clients, never forget to document your events. Always have your camera ready to take snapshots of even the littlest details. Create your social media accounts so you can have a wider reach. And of course, always ask for testimonial from your clients and politely ask if you could quote them on your pages. Have a media kit as well that can be easily distributed as flyers to extend your services to potential customers.

Get Certificates

It would also be great for your business to get certificates. This is going to look good and of course, big companies would be more comfortable in dealing with you. So while you can, get certified.

An event planning business is a big business and opportunity you can explore. With the right foot forward in starting the business, success is quite easy to achieve.

Non Profit Does Not Mean No Money

Non ProfitThere is a big misconception with first time business owners and entrepreneurs about non-profit businesses. Many first time business start-up owners think that they would rather start a for-profit over a non-profit because they want to make money. The thought is that they do not want to start a non-profit because they (incorrectly) think that non-profits cannot make money.

The fact is that there are more streams of revenue in a non-profit organization than a for-profit business. Although not all types of businesses are eligible for the non-profit tax-exempt status, there are some types of businesses that can easily be formed as a for-profit or non-profit. Perhaps the best example is a child day-care center. Regardless the type of business entity the child day care center can charge the same rates and fees for the same services. The staff can receive the same rate of pay and benefits. The same profits (surplus) can be gained.

In addition to generating the same revenue through the sale of products and services the 501c3 non-profit can receive tax-exempt donations from fund raising, in-kind donations of products and labor (volunteers), endowments, and grant funding. The 501c3 tax-exempt organizations are also exempt from paying federal income tax, federal unemployment taxes (FUIT), and in some states, sales tax.

Non-profit organizations can purchase capital assets such as property, buildings, and investments. Non-profit organizations can pay employees benefits, insurance, and retirement plans. Non-profits can pay for additional employee benefits and perks as long as they generate enough revenue to do so.

Non-profit organizations do have a limit as to the amount of revenue they can receive in a tax year. The limit is three times the amount of their estimated budget for that year. For example, if a non-profits budget was $500,000 for the next tax year they could legally generate up to $1.5 million before adjusting their budget and reporting.

A couple of examples of excellent non-profits and their ability to generate revenue are: the Girl Scouts of America (501c3) which sells cookies, and the NFL (National Football League, a 501c6) which is a kind of membership association of privately owned for-profit businesses.

These organizations generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue each year through their business efforts.

There is a special application process required to be submitted to the IRS for a business to become recognized as a 501c3 tax-exempt corporation. This application packet commonly consists of eight documents.

6 Reasons Why You Should Be Your Own Boss In Business

Your Own Boss In Business“There is only one success, to be able to spend your life in your own way. – Christopher Marley.”

Becoming your own boss means that you create your own business. You are going to have to take responsibility for your business and you have to be willing to take risks. That said, here are 6 reasons why you should be your own boss.

You pursue a purpose – Being your own boss means that you are able to decide what you want to do with your career and your life. If you were working for someone else, you are working for their purpose, which you may or may not agree with. However being self-employed will give you the opportunity to create a unique purpose that will contribute to other peoples’ lives.

You are passionate – Creating your own business means that you can use your interests and passions to your advantage. You will be able to build a business that resonates with the things that excite you and give you passion. You will wake up every day feeling excited to work because you enjoy it.

You create freedom and flexibility – Working for yourself will mean that you can choose the times in which you work, creating a flexible lifestyle. You can spend more time with friends and family. Depending on the type of business you own, such as an Internet Business, you are also able to work from different locations, giving you the ability to travel while you work.

You control your finances – Being employed for someone else means that you are given a pay check that may or may not satisfy you. Being self-employed means that you have the power to control how much you earn. It will certainly be a struggle at first when building your own business to earn a good income. However as time passes and you commit to your business, the financial benefits can be very satisfactory.

You are in charge – There is no one to tell you how to run your business. You make decisions, you manage employees and you take the responsibility. Imagine working for someone else your whole life, where they tell you what to do and how to do it. Being your own boss allows you to do things the way you like to do them.

You grow as a person – Building your own business will build your character over the years. Your self-esteem will develop due to the confidence of managing your own business. Your legacy will develop as you make a difference in the world and change people’s lives. You will grow in many ways that you couldn’t of if you were working for someone else.

Finally, becoming your own boss is not for everyone. Some people do not want to deal with the commitment and persistence involved in creating their own business. They would much rather prefer to choose the easy option and work for someone else.

“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”

5 Attitudes You Should Have When Starting Your Own Business

tarting Your Own BusinessNot every entrepreneur is the same. Some are born rich, some have university degrees, while others have none of these. Having a lot of money and a degree is not a requirement to be a successful business owner though. There are those who are not so wealthy and do not very impressive educational backgrounds that have succeeded as well. It’s just a matter of having these five characteristics. Make sure you develop these when starting your online business.

1. Thinks Clearly

You need a clear mind so you can absorb information about many different home business ideas. Learning as much as you can is a very important aspect of starting your own business. More so, you should avoid having a worry-filled mindset. If you always think about what can go wrong, then you can’t sleep well at night, and you can’t think clearly. Worrying too much will greatly affect your efficiency in managing your business.

2. Communicates Effectively

As a business owner, you should have good communication skills. You should be able to share your ideas to your clients and employees in ways that they will easily understand. Otherwise, how can you convince people to buy your products or to support your small business? If you can’t communicate well, you will miss a lot of opportunities to turn your online business ideas into reality. Business owners need to talk to people often. It’s part of their job to get clients, business partners, and many other activities that will help to grow the business. Thus, you really have to be a good communicator to succeed.

3. Pushes Himself / Herself

You can’t just rely on others to push you forward. Most of the time, you have to motivate yourself to keep going on the path towards success. Your friends and family are not always there, and more often than not, they’ll be less dependable when you’re facing challenges with your business. There could even be a few times where you’re all alone. Not everyone shares your vision and wants to realise your dream as much as you do. With that in mind, you should be able to keep pushing yourself forward without needing help from others.

4. Performs Consistently

Making your business take the “number 1” spot is hard, and keeping it on top is even harder. For this reason, consistency is your friend. If you are unwavering in carrying out your plans to grow your business, then you’ll most likely stay on that top spot for long. It doesn’t mean that because you’re now number one that you should slack off and give up. That’s not how business works. Anytime, someone else can dethrone you from the top rank. You should be committed to continue working hard for your business.

5. Really Wants to Succeed

Undeniably, the best way to succeed is still through passion. Having that burning desire to succeed in your home based business is a powerful thing that will drive you towards your goal of success. It doesn’t matter how many times you fail; you can always get up and move on. Keep your eyes on the prize and keep pressing on. Don’t be afraid about what others will tell you, and don’t mind them if they ridicule you. Just focus on your business, your vision for it, and what you want to achieve out of it!

If you have these five characteristics, then you are well on your way to be a smashing success! Your efforts will surely pay off soon. Keep the dream alive, and keep on going with your online business!

Why Understanding Timing Is Essential to Decision Making

Understanding TimingWe make decisions all the time. It is these decisions that shape our life and make us who we are. However, not all decisions carry the same weight. What cuisine do you want to eat for dinner? What courses do you want to take in school? What time do you want to go to the movies? It is easier to make these smaller decisions because if you make the wrong choice, there will not be as large of an impact. Choosing to eat Mexican food instead of Italian is not a very risky decision. As the risk increase though, people often avoid making a decision.

Making big decisions is difficult. What if you make the wrong one? That uncertainty or the risk of failure can be overwhelming.

Some people have developed their own process to weigh the risks and take action in a timely manner. Others often procrastinate. However, doing so will not solve the problem.

If you need help overcoming your decision-making plight, there are three steps that you can take to face the problem head-on.

  • Define the time frame
  • Become the expert
  • Access the impact

Why is timing so important?

With any decision that you make, the first step is to understand the time frame of the situation. When do you need to take action by? Set a deadline.

With smaller decisions, such as choosing where to go out for lunch, you have until lunchtime to choose. You cannot put off making the decision until 6:00 pm.

Same thing goes for more important decisions.

Why are you holding off on making a decision? Is it because you are waiting to receive information that may narrow down the choices or risk? If you are set to receive very specific details within a reasonable period, it may be okay to wait and let those details guide you

Be sure to weigh the pros and cons of postponing a decision though- will it just make matters more complicated? Sometimes, it is better to make decisions without that additional information, especially if you are waiting for trivial material on a time-sensitive problem.

Once you have properly understood the matter and weighed the consequences of the decision, push yourself to make definitive decisions by the deadline that you set in order to prevent future complications.

Yes, making decisions is difficult because no outcome is guaranteed but do not let that overwhelm you. Follow the three steps and slowly, you will develop your own method and become more decisive.