Thursday, February 21, 2019

best small business to start

best small business to start


Small business ideas for Mumbai: Opportunity with minimal investment - YourStory.com

Posted: 21 Feb 2019 02:25 AM PST

Mumbai, considered as the second fastest growing market in Asia is always special to the people to want to explore their small business venture. It has become the heart of the city as it is the most populous among all metro cities. Not only is the largest city by population but it also the financial and commercial capital of India as well. You can get many ideas for starting up a new venture in the city, here some ideas are opened up to select from.

Image Source : https://moneyexcel.com

The huge population and so much financial activities mean more business opportunities. All you need to have a good list of business ideas and sort out the better idea to suit your skills and opportunity. Here, we are going to list up some best small business ideas that you can start with minimal investment in Mumbai:

1. Recruitment Firm:

There is always a bright opportunity in this big city with so many aspiring people looking for the job or heading to change job. Starting a small business would need very little investment but a good amount of effort.

2. Real Estate Consultant:

With a growing population, the demand on real estate properties in on the severe rise in Mumbai too. Starting a real estate consulting business could be a good option. Charging a low commission on this property value that is finalized with the clients can ever earn a good income.

3. Grocery Delivery Service:

This is one of the most innovative small business ventures to start in a small but posh location in Mumbai like to deliver the grocery items to the doorstep of the consumer with some additional charge. This could be a great idea to start alone, but if you already own a grocery shop, this can double your sale in both the ways.

4. Old book bank:

Opening used book bank is a good idea as most of the student love to save their money on books so they check for used books as well.

5. Blogging:

Starting your own blog page on anything that interests you most is not just a subject of a hobby but a lucrative business opportunity too. This small business idea would cost you low investment or you can also create a website or blog for free. However, you need to spend time every day of so many hours in a week to become successful blogger.

 6. Event Management:

Event management is one of the most popular and growing business in recent days especially in cities like Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata where the sped up life has made it quite essential to hire a dedicated team for organizing and managing a gorgeous event like birthdays, wedding, corporate events and other as well. If you have good networking and you can easily move things like you can organize a successful event, then you could definitely be a successful event organizer in this small venture.

7. Online Trading :

Have you ever tried your skill to operate the online business? If not yet, you must explore the idea of selling online using already existing e-commerce platforms like OLX and others.

8. Become a Trainer:

This one idea is one of the excellent small business ideas for all those who are expert in any kind of skill. If you can cook well, start a cooking class, if you are good at painting, start a painting class, you can be dancer/photographer/Fitness expert/life coach or just anything, market your skill and ear good.

Opportunities do not end here; these are just some ideas that could help you to fin in your thoughts to start something new. To know about more feasible business opportunities you may get in touch with some reliable Business consultants in Mumbai.

Startup Money Made Easy - Forbes

Posted: 20 Feb 2019 11:40 AM PST

One Of The Biggest Obstacles To Launching a Successful Startup And Keeping It Going Is How To Raise The Capital.Getty

Most businesses fail. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about half of all startups fail within five years. If you are contemplating founding your own business or are in the midst of raising angel funding or yet another round, seasoned business journalist, financial expert, and Inc. editor-at-large Maria Aspan knows and has researched what makes the difference.

According to Aspan, "There's no one single reason (businesses fail), but overall, it usually has to do with a lack of ability to see, or accurately predict, the big picture for your business. That can, and often does, come back to finances. "

Aspan has the data to back this up citing "64% of small businesses reported financial challenges in 2017, according to Fed data but it can just be a lack of demand for what the startup is selling; in the course of analyzing 101 failed startups last year, CB Insights found that 42% of them cited "no market need" for their product. The next most-frequently cited reason was "ran out of cash." So whether it's market demand or the inability to make enough money to sustain a cashflow, startup failures tend to happen when the entrepreneurs haven't been able to accurately predict the realities of doing business."

In her new book, Startup Money Made Easy: The Inc. Guide to Every Financial Question about Starting, Running, and Growing Your Business Aspan tackles and combines her expertise with real-life stories from successful business owners to produce a practical field guide for dreamers and entrepreneurs. Sound familiar? It should. As someone who is currently working with and advising over four startups right now, I know first hand how founders grapple with this issue everyday. It can make or break your business.

For Aspan, it all started back in June 2017 when the award-winning journalist had adapted her new book from a feature story she titled "The Smartest Money Advice I Ever Got." Curating candid stories and insights from a wide range of leading entrepreneurs (and all of these business super stars have actually been in your shoes) from the likes of Bobbi Brown (professional makeup artist and founder of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics) and Christina Tosi (chef, founder, and owner of Milk Bar) Aspan is sharing smart, practical advice that may just help you raise that round of capital you need.

In addition to stories of financial mistakes (and who hasn't made them?), Aspan divulges hard-earned business advice and lessons from successful tycoons with tips for tackling every step of the start up process as well as how entrepreneurs need to look beyond profitability to the bigger picture of how your brand and company can contribute to the greater good.

Award Winning Journalist And Startup Money Made Easy Author Maria AspanMaris Aspan

If you're wondering where to find your funding and how to get started, Aspan shared her top three tips on business planning and bootstrapping along with her boiled down essential musts. Use them to lay the foundation for your early stage fund raising and keep a list. The more organized you are about it the better off you'll being during the entire process and each subsequent round.

One quick caveat, make sure you have your deck ready and honed before you take on some of these initial conversations. Other founders often start the process with informal discussions to test the waters and initial interest.

Savings. Like any other big, expensive life goal—a house, a big wedding, college tuition, getting out of debt—your startup is something you should plan ahead to fund. Start setting aside money now, if you haven't already, consider these steps to help build your business savings.

The stats back up this approach. While much less glamorous than venture capital plenty of non-VC startup financing sources exist. According to Aspan, "three-quarters of Inc. 500 founders responding to an annual 2014 CEO survey said they used their savings to start their business; 43 percent took out loans from banks, friends, or family; and just 22 percent used venture or angel capital."

Keep Costs Down. Aspan heard this often from successful startup founders, especially when she asked them to pass on the best financial advice they were ever given. According to Zach Perret, Co-Founder and CEO of financial startup Plaid, this was pivotal. His dad told him,"that keeping my personal spending low would give me more flexibility than I ever imagined in my career. " Perret added, "We spent a long time bootstrapping in the early days, and having a low burn rate was very important."

Of course, some dads of successful founders have different advice—which has worked out just as well. Cosmetics empire builder Bobbi Brown, who moved to New York in 1980 with a degree in theatrical makeup and an amateur portfolio, detailed her own experience.  Brown explained over the next several years, as she worked as a freelance makeup artist and started introducing the more natural beauty look that her eventual company would be known for, Brown practiced moderation in her budgeting habits, except fore one caveat.

Brown reminisced,"When I was just starting my career in New York, my father told me, 'Don't waste your time trying to stick to a budget. Figure out how to make more money, and always spend money on good food."

The result was Brown and her business partner, Rosalind Landis, started Bobbi Brown Cosmetics with $10,000. Brown's side gigs, spurred by her father's advice, included networking at magazine shoots and dinner parties, once bluffing Bergdorf Goodman into a bidding war with Saks over which department store got to carry her products.

It's now the stuff of business lore. Brown sold her company to Estée Lauder in 1995, but stayed with the brand for the next two decades.  By the time Brown stepped down, she had created a makeup empire with thousands of employees, millions of dollars of revenue, and a reputation for doing business by being nice to people. Summing it all up, Brown passed on a common theme many founders reiterate.

"It's common sense," Brown told an audience at a 2017 event. "Don't do it because you want something. (Do it because) it actually makes you feel good." This is the perfect segue way to Aspan's advice on the best way to boost your savings.

Work For Someone Else And Build Your Startup Nest Egg. The same way you might plan and save toward a mortgage down payment or other big life goal. That's how Kathryn Minshew, CEO and Co-Founder of The Muse, worked toward starting her company.

Minshew shared her early experiences with Aspan about how one of her mentors advised her "not to accept a job offer as a management consultant because her spending habits would inevitably adapt to the high salary and, in his view, would lock her into always needing an expensive lifestyle." While it was a smart warning, Minshew always believed "that getting used to any financial changes is a choice more than a default." Minshaw ended up accepting the position and lived well below her means, which allowed her to save enough money to eventually start her own company.

It's also wise to remember that working for a bigger company can also occasionally provide windfalls in the form of bonuses or stock options, which is what helped Therese Tucker, founder and CEO of accounting-software company BlackLine. One of the fastest-growing private companies in America from 2008 to 2016, Tucker is one of the only women founders (and probably the only pink-haired founder) to take a modern tech company public—which she did after years of working for other tech companies. Tucker also oversaw its $152 million IPO. In 2017, the company reported $177 million in revenue. How did she do it?

Rather than try to raise money from venture capitalists, Tucker cashed out her retirement accounts and her SunGard options and took out a second mortgage on her house. At forty, with more than fifteen years of experience programming for financial companies, she had both the contacts and the professional seasoning, yet she still had to prove her qualifications.

Tucker also financed her startup's early days with a risky, but not uncommon, financial decision to tap into her 401(k). This tends to be a bad idea (but it worked for Tucker), since you'll destroy your retirement safety net, but that hasn't stopped many a founder from taking the risk. You'll also have to pay a high tax burden to take money out of tax-sheltered financial accounts—meaning that the dollar amount you're able to take out may be far less than what you see in there today. Therefore, Aspan doesn't advise this strategy. If you decide to do it anyway, first consult a financial advisor or accountant.

Aspan also shared these detailed caveats and recommendations for bootstrapping your finances.

1. Don't Use Credit Cards - Credit cards can get you into a lot of trouble, and a lot of debt. Aspan heard this over and over again when she asked successful founders for their biggest money mistakes. Don't make it yours.

If you are going to start putting business expenses on your credit card, especially if you're not going to repay the balance in full every month, look for one that won't charge you interest for the first year. Then pay attention to when that zero percent introductory offer is up.

As Fundera Co-Founder and CEO Jared Hecht wrote, "This seems like one of the best business funding deals out there because it is––even the most desirable term loans include some sort of interest, even if it's a low rate. However, what about when that introductory offer is up? The interest rate will rocket skyward—and you may be unprepared for it." Most credit cards have APRs of at least 13 percent, with some as high as 20 percent. This means financing your business with a credit card could prove to be more expensive in the long term than finding funding through a small-business loan. Be sure to contemplate this option over carefully.

2. Loans - Ten years after the financial crisis, when banks stopped lending or shut their doors completely, it's only now starting to get easier to secure a small-business loan. Banks and credit card companies are lending again—and a wide array of online-only lenders have sprung up, offering quicker (though often more expensive) credit. Aspan's top options:

  • Bank And/Or SBA Loans - Aspan advises "These are some of the safest, smartest, and cheapest ways to fund your business. They're also some of the most difficult to get. Almost half of small businesses applied to large or small banks for credit in 2017, but of all businesses seeking debt financing, 54 percent did not get all the credit they applied for, according to the Federal Reserve. You'll have a better chance of securing a bank loan if you have a good personal credit score and an existing relationship with a financial institution. Look around for local banks or credit unions, where loan officers may have more time to get to know you or have more incentive to take a risk on a local business owner. Also, ensure your paperwork is in order." Be sure to look forward and set those relationships in motion even before you need them.
  • Online And "Alternative" Lenders - Speaking of high interest rates, Aspan says, "Handle this next group of lenders with care. They'll lend to almost anyone, for a price. The interest rates and repayment terms will be worse than bank loans, and typically worse than credit cards. On the other hand, online lenders will often get you money faster, with far less paperwork, than traditional banks and credit unions––and in many cases, they'll lend to you when banks won't. That's why 24 percent of small businesses applied for online loans in 2017, up from 20 percent in 2015, according to the Federal Reserve." Aspan revealed the Fed concluded,"Applicants tended to choose a lender based on their perceived chance of being funded, rather than on product cost," the Fed concluded.
  • Tech-Savvy Newcomers. This is another option which includes Lending Club, OnDeck, and Kabbage, some of which specialize in small-business lending. They tend to offer bank-like loans, but with higher interest rates and shorter repayment periods.
  • Factoring Companies. This method is especially great if you are focused in the fashion or beauty business. For a fee, a factor provides cash up front while you're waiting to sell your product. When you do sell your product, your lender receives your sales.
  • Friends and Family Loans - Aspan counseled, "Getting financially involved with friends and family members can be perilous, but it's also gotten many a founder out of a money shortfall." Make sure you clearly explain the risks to close associates before you seal the deal.

Finally, some of those real struggles—and some of your most crucial financial and emotional support—will come from your close friends and family members. Don't forget to celebrate them and your "angels" as your business picks up traction. One of the most effective things to orchestrate is intimate dinners bringing supporters together to toast progress. Then everyone feels as invested as you do.

What Is The Most Useful Software For Businesses? - Forbes

Posted: 20 Feb 2019 11:17 AM PST

Young freelancer with laptop working in cafeGetty

What is the best business software? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Ryan Bonnici, CMO at G2 Crowd, on Quora:

Businesses lose billions of dollars every year by buying the wrong software. A study found that more than a third (37%) of the money U.S. business spend on software goes to waste, amounting to more than $30 billion.

Part of the problem is that businesses face an overwhelming number of choices. The software market is crowded, with thousands of products, and expanding rapidly. It's expected to cross the half trillion dollar mark in the next few years.

To avoid unnecessary expenditures -- and the waste of time that comes from having to buy new software when your first purchase doesn't work out -- every business should start by asking itself two key questions.

What kind of software do I need?

First, isolate what your team or company's exact needs are. Most of the time, it will fall into one of several major categories, such as sales, marketing, CRM (customer relationship management), HR, etc.

But within each category, there are lots of subcategories. It's worth taking the time to consider which is best for you based on the needs of your business. For example, if it's for sales, are you looking to track emails? Do you need coaching software? Or maybe you need CRM software to keep track of sales that take place out in the field? Figure out as many of these specific needs as possible.

How many will use it?

Next, consider the size of your company and the size of the team that needs this software. Are you part of a small business, midsize, or large enterprise? There are different opinions about how to determine which category you're in. But generally speaking, a business with less than 50 employees is considered small. And there's broad agreement that a business with at least 1,000 employees is definitely a large enterprise.

The size of the team can be just as important. For example, if you have 30 people who work in marketing, then your marketing software tool kit can include various pieces of software to be used by people with different specialties -- something you're more likely to find recommended for large enterprises. But if your marketing team is just a few people, you may want all-in-one software that automates more tasks, in keeping with software for small businesses.

With this information determined, you're now ready to start your search based on those criteria. And you'll see why it's so crucial that you took the time to whittle down what you're looking for.

Recently, my team tabulated more than 4 million data points from the largest collection of reviews for business software -- all from just the past year alone. We found that the most popular products were different for small, midsize, and large businesses.

We also found something that may change many people's understanding of the software market: The fastest growing products are often from companies you're less likely to have heard of. This shows that despite the advertising you may see from the tech giants battling to be your provider, and despite the many news stories that draw attention to them, the best software for your business just may be from a startup giving the big corporations a run for their money.

Don't go exclusive

Once you pick a piece of software, you may be tempted to stick with the same provider the next time you need a solution. Software companies are generally doing a good job of listening to their customers to learn their needs and staying in touch on a regular basis. So your existing provider will be in a strong position to upsell you.

But it's best for your business that you first look at all your options each time. Some of the most efficiently run businesses mix and match software from dozens of companies. This willingness to consider new brands also helps keep innovation going. Software companies want your business, and know they need to keep creating new solutions that work as new challenges arise in this era of digital disruption.

As consumers, many of us are used to a much simpler, faster way of making a purchase. If you're looking for something on Amazon, for example, you type in the category, see what's most popular, consider prices, and are often done within minutes. People in businesses today are busy, with numerous tasks on their plate. So taking a faster route to choosing software is tempting.

Don't give in to that temptation. The more you drill down on your specific needs, find software that matches, and consider what buyers at similar businesses have to say about these products, the better off you'll be -- and the less likely you'll be to see all that money go to waste.

This question originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions:

How To Start A Business With No Time, Money Or Skills - Forbes

Posted: 19 Feb 2019 07:44 AM PST

For as long as I can remember, I always knew I wanted to start my own business. When I was growing up, I worked for my grandparents (who were entrepreneurs themselves) and I immediately fell in love with the small-biz hustle. I even experimented with a few ventures of my own throughout my childhood (some of which were more successful than others!).

But as the end of high school loomed ever closer and I started planning for my future, the inevitable self-doubt settled in. I had no skills, no money, no ideas and no clue where to start; how the heck could I, a rebellious 18-year-old, build a real business?

One of my first business ventures was selling hockey cards and turning a tidy profit.O2E Brands

If you've ever dreamed of starting a business, you've likely asked yourself these same questions. I remember that feeling so well: wanting something so badly but doubting whether you have what it takes.

Well, you know all those boxes you need to tick off before you can start a business? Forget 'em! Here are four things you don't need to become a successful entrepreneur.

Time Is What You Make It

I've never been a great student. In fact, I never technically graduated high school. But my parents insisted I needed a degree to be successful, so I (miraculously) talked my way into business school.

Despite my ADD tendencies and my reluctance to listen to authority, I truly tried to keep my head down and focus. There was just one thing I couldn't get my head around: business students spend so much time in class learning about running a business that they don't have time to actually start one.

For me, this also meant I had no way to pay for my education. So instead of getting a part-time job like any rational person would do, I decided to start a junk hauling business as a way to put myself through school. Eventually, I got so busy growing my little company that it didn't make sense to finish my degree. I dropped out to pursue my passion for entrepreneurship, and it's safe to say it was the best decision I could've made.

If something matters to you and you want it badly enough, it doesn't matter if you don't have time — you'll make time for it. But if you keep waiting for the right time to start a business, you might end up waiting for the rest of your life.

Ideas Are Overrated

Even though I always knew I'd be an entrepreneur, I definitely didn't plan to become a glorified garbage man. I had no idea what kind of business I'd create until it happened.

I was in a McDonald's drive-thru contemplating how to pay for school when an old junk truck rolled by. It was one of those magical moments when everything clicks together and your whole future flashes before your eyes. I knew then and there I was going to start a junk removal company.

Another person wouldn't even have noticed that junk truck. Just like no one questioned why pizza was the only food you could have delivered until companies like DoorDash came along. Or why you had to wait on a corner for a taxi until Uber revamped the industry.

When it comes to starting a business, passion and perseverance are more important than the idea itself. Start looking at things differently and asking how you could do them better. Ideas are out there everywhere but you have to open your eyes to see them.

No Money, No Problem

They say money is the root of all evil but it's also the reason most businesses never get off the ground. And it's not just because people don't have money to get started — it's because they think it's too hard to raise capital so they don't bother trying.

Starting a business was never meant to be easy. It takes commitment, a willingness to fail and a lot of personal sacrifice. I used every dollar I had to buy my first junk truck, a run-down pick-up with plywood sides that I built myself. There are people in our franchise system who literally sold everything they had to raise money to invest in their own businesses.

And that's really the key ingredient: investment. To reach your goals, you need to be ready to invest money, time and effort. You can't expect everything to be easy breezy (fun fact: it hardly ever is). Start with what you have, work hard to earn the rest and, as long as you stay focused on your vision, the money will eventually follow.

Work Hard And The Skills Will Come

Before I started 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, the only business experience I had was the car wash I ran when I was 11 and my illegal candy-running operation when I was at boarding school. Things like hiring, bookkeeping and marketing — basically, Business 101 — were completely foreign to me.

If I had toughed it out and finished my degree, maybe I would've developed more of the hard skills people say you need to run a business. But then I would have put off actually becoming an entrepreneur. In my experience, building a successful business isn't about being book smart; it's based on the skills you can't teach like work ethic and integrity.

So the next time you think you don't have the resources or the skills to start a business, think about where you'd be today if you'd started a year ago. Then think about where you'll be next year if you start now.

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