| Track Your Startup Costs to Ensure the Best Tax Situation for Your New Venture

Posted in Start-up Ventures at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

As you may know, money is spent to start a business even before you open your doors to the first customer in both brick-and-mortar and online businesses.  These pre-opening costs are commonly called startup costs but may also be called pre-operating costs and organization costs.  For simplification, I will be using the term startup costs but it can be used interchangeably with the other terms.  These costs can range from professional fees to investigate the feasibility of the business idea to filing fees to get the business incorporated and so on.

For financial accounting purposes, these costs are generally included in the category of startup costs and are all treated the same way but for tax purposes these costs are treated differently.  When setting up your business make sure to create specific tracking for your startup costs. This article will clarify how startup costs are treated for accounting and for tax purposes.

STARTUP COSTS FOR BOOK PURPOSES

For financial reporting purposes, startup costs are costs a business has expended in preparation of opening a business.  These costs may include the following:

  • Opening a new facility;
  • Introducing a new product or service;
  • Expanding operations into a new geographic area;
  • Expanding operations into a new segment of customers;
  • Creating and implementing a new process in an existing facility;
  • Starting some new operation.

For financial reporting purposes, all startup costs would be lumped together in one category, Startup Expense, for example as long as they are incurred prior to the commencement of operations and expenses as incurred.

 

STARTUP COSTS FOR TAX PURPOSES

For tax purposes, the same costs that were lumped together in one category for financial reporting purposes must be subdivided into sub-categories due to the fact that the tax treatment may differ by expense type. The tax sub-categories are as follows:

  • Section 195 Startup Costs – These costs are defined as costs expended to investigate the potential of creating or acquiring a business and to create an active business. These types of costs may include consulting fees and financial analysis costs.  Costs associated with creating an active business could include advertising, pre-opening payments to employees and so on.  Once the entrepreneur decides to acquire a specific business the costs incurred after that point are no longer considered startup costs.  Unlike startup cost treatment for financial reporting being expensed all at once, for tax purposes the costs will be spread across time (i.e. amortized).
  • Organization Costs – For some types of business legal structures, such as partnerships and corporations, organization costs are defined as costs expended to set up the legal structure. These costs must be directly related to the creation of the new legal entity. These costs may include the legal fees to draft the partnership agreement or corporate charter and bylaws to form the entity. It may also include filing fees and costs to organizational meetings such as meetings of the stockholders and directors.
  • Section 197 Costs – These costs are considered intangibles. Intangible assets are defined as items that have future value to the organization but are not physical in nature. Examples include:
    • Goodwill – The excess purchase price paid for an asset (e.g. a retail store) over its value represented in the accounting records
    • Patents
    • Copyrights
    • Trade secrets
    • Trademarks
    • Trade names
    • Licenses
    • Covenants not to compete

 

In summary, tracking and accounting for startup costs for financial reporting purposes is straightforward and relatively simple.  The tricky part of startup costs is categorizing and tracking them for tax purposes. The key is to understand categorization before you incur startup costs to make you and business lives easier.

Call Loftis Consulting today to properly set up startup costs for your business at (312) 772-6105 or visit our site to learn more about our bookkeeping and CFO services.

| Startup: How To Fill A Hole With A Food Business

Posted in Start-up Ventures at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

c11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image

When it comes to starting a new business, the owner has to choose the right industry. Did you know that 543,000 new companies start up each month? That’s over 3 million new businesses every 6 months, and 6 million by the end of twelve months. Of these firms, over 75% will fail within the first year.

If there is ever a time to choose a profitable industry, it is now. As a result, you have turned to the food industry because demand is high and there is lots of room for creativity. Still, getting off the ground is never easy, which is why the following tips should come in handy.

 

Find a True Niche

The food business is notorious for being flexible when it comes to new ideas and concepts. For example, food trucks were not a common occurrence ten years ago, yet now you cannot move for them. And, there are lots of other avenues to test that could make you a fortune. However, it is essential to make sure that the area is a niche and not a rehash. Far too many people are coming up with ideas that rip off the food truck industry, and it doesn’t work out. Customers aren’t stupid and can see when you are not original.

c12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image

 

Research the Market

Because the odds are not in your favor, it is a good idea to test the water before going live. Then, there is no reason to waste valuable time, energy and money on a flop. Of course, there is no way to tell if a product or service is going to be a hit, but you can collect the data and look for patterns. By heading out onto the street and handing out questionnaires or offering free samples, you can collate the demand. If there isn’t a lot of traction, it is even possible to ask why and use the info to tweak the product.

 

Create a Marketing Recipe

One of the great strengths of opening a business today is the marketing potential. In the past, a company needed lots of money and TV time to get a foothold in the industry. Nowadays, the best tools are free of charge and available to everyone. So, the first step is to ensure that the website works, looks great, and is easy to navigate. The benefit of a site is the fact that you can make an excellent first impression. Also, research effective SEO terms and implement them throughout the site. Finally, don’t forget to set up social media accounts and interact with your customers.

 

Start In the Kitchen

The most important tip is to begin in the kitchen before moving out into the mainstream. In the end, the customers will judge the firm on the quality of the food. So, if it is not up to scratch, they will bounce elsewhere and never come back. The great thing about easy is that it is easy to prototype – just hit the kitchen and get cooking!

The food industry has potential, but it is by no means an easy ride.

| 4 Best Industries For Starting A New Business Venture Today

Posted in Start-up Ventures at 5:00 PM by Loftis Consulting

As years go by, there are always certain industries that are profitable for entrepreneurs. Today, we take a look at four of the best industries for starting a business in 2017. All of these industries will make a lot of money now and in many years to come.

d6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Link: http://bit.ly/2nyi4CA)

Construction

The construction industry is a very good one if you’re keen to start a small business venture. Creating your own construction company that builds houses or does general building work has always been popular.

There are a few reasons for this; firstly, a construction business is fairly easy to start up. You don’t require a lot of resources, and you can probably get one started with just yourself and a partner. This is how most of them begin, and then they expand into bigger organizations with more employees, more equipment, etc. The one trick with a construction business is to purchase some of your equipment rather than renting it. Things like the end dump trailers seen here www.Constructiontrailerspecialists.com/trailers/end-dumps, are going to be used all the time for site clearance. So, it makes sense to spend money on one or two and own them, rather than paying rent all the time. The same goes for general tools and equipment that you’ll use for every single job no matter what it is. Then, anything that’s not constantly essential can be rented, and you save money.

Construction is a good industry to venture into as there is a lot of money to be made. People are always going to need a company to help build something or fix something. Plus, you cater to both commercial and domestic markets, which expand your client outreach.

d7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Image: http://bit.ly/2oKQdiA)

Retail

You might think that retail is a dying industry, but it really isn’t. While regular brick and mortar stores are dying out, the online retail world is booming. It represents a great chance to make a lot of money, and there are many reasons you should start one.

For one, it’s incredibly low-cost to start an online retail company. All you need are products, a website, and a shipping method. There’s no need to pay for any business premises, and this saves you loads of money over time. Plus, you don’t need to have many employees either, which again will lower the costs of running this business quite dramatically. Furthermore, with online retail, you get the benefit of a really big customer base. You can sell things to people all over the world which means there is always someone out there that you can try and turn into a customer. There are few business ideas that allow you to open yourself up to such a wide market and have success.

But, online retail isn’t the only way you can start a profitable business venture in this industry. Traditional brick and mortar stalls aren’t as popular as they used to be, but you can start a business that looks like a brick and mortar but heavily uses retail technology. This is a fairly new concept where traditional stores are reinvented. You can see a good example of this in the article here https://www.ft.com/content/c4b8af64-6c37-11e7-bfeb-33fe0c5b7eaa which looks at how China’s retail industry is changing. Now, stores are opening without any employees, and there are plans for stores packed full of technology so you can go in, take what you need, and it gets charged to your account automatically. Starting a retail company in this area of the industry can be incredibly profitable in the future.

d8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Photo: http://bit.ly/2p4Q6hy)

Technology

The tech industry is obviously one of the greatest industries to start a business venture in this year. It’s booming at the moment, and things are set to get even better over the next few years and decades. 2017 is probably the peak time to get involved as we’re at a point where there’s a lot of good technology out there that’s still not reached its potential.

One example that springs to mind is 3D printing, this is something that’s starting to become more common in regular life but is nowhere near reaching its potential. There will be so many great things you can do with this technology in years to come, and so much money can be made here. Another example is drone technology which is really booming right now. However, there is still a lot that can be achieved with it. No matter where you look in the tech industry, there’s always something going on. There are always new things you can develop, and new business ventures to consider.

This is probably the best industry to start a business in if you really want to think ahead. The great thing is, it’s not hard to start a technology business. The costs are generally low, which makes the potential for profits very high.

d9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Source: http://bit.ly/2o2PHyU)

Healthcare

If there’s one industry that’s always been great to start a business in, it’s healthcare. People depend on companies providing them with healthcare. They need doctors to tell them what’s wrong with their bodies, they need dentists to look after their teeth, and they need a whole host of other healthcare professionals to help with all manner of issues.

When you start to look at the healthcare industry, you realize there are loads of different business ventures you can start. Private healthcare is increasingly popular and becoming more and more important by the day. People are calling out for affordable companies to start up and provide healthcare for regular individuals. You can see here http://www.profitableventure.com/healthcare-business-ideas/ for a list of great healthcare business ideas to start in 2017.

Unlike the other industries on this list, businesses in healthcare can often have a lot of overhead costs. However, money is almost always guaranteed as customers are also almost always guaranteed. There is always going to be someone somewhere requiring a health care service, and this will continue until the end of time.

If you’re an entrepreneur that’s keen to start a new business venture, consider diving into one of these industries. There are so many ideas within each industry, and they’re all built for now and the future.

| Best To Worst: 8 Methods Of Securing Useful Capital For Your Startup

Posted in Start-up Ventures at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

c4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flickr

With the modern, accessible internet age directly on our doorstep, it’s incredible to witness the spawn of so many entrepreneurs culminating in the startup trend. Startups are loosely defined as small, humble business operations with threadbare staff and capital that make use of modern trends to get a leg up in their industries, such as using social media, web communications and accessible IT solutions to organize everything. These days, a shrewd entrepreneur with a stern will can make more growth in a year than established firms.

One of the benefits of running a startup is that you can keep costs low while you establish your operation. This might be as simple as working out of your garage instead of renting an office or fulfilling multiple roles of your small business between you and your partner. There is nothing new about small businesses being creative, but startups are usually defined differently. Startups usually have a unique or original or innovative (or all three) idea that they take a risk on to establish an audience for.

If you are the owner of a startup, it’s most likely that you have an interest in growing your operation to the point that is satisfactory to you and provides you with the most interest. It’s not difficult to assume that taking a risk on a startup should only serve to craft something you enjoy. If you don’t make the decision you want to make, what would be the point? You’ll just be working for a firm you dislike in a higher position, when you could have simply raised a career ladder to get to a higher-paid position in another, more established firm. Doing that would certainly have a lower risk associated with it.

But no, you are a strong spirit, and you have the needs of your startup in your mind first and foremost. You will defeat the risk and expose the business world for what it is, yours for the taking! But wait, don’t get so ahead of yourself there. You’ll need to fuel this operation with the juice it needs.

 

You’ll Require Capital

Money makes the world go round, and a lack of it can mean severe difficulty in getting your operation off the ground. Luckily for you, this following article lists in detail the best methods of securing your funds so you can bestow your new innovative idea on an audience who aren’t yet aware they are thirsty for it.

Without further ado…

 

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding serves two purposes. For one, it is a great way to expose your product to an audience online before you even begin selling it. For a tiered ‘prize’ system to be redeemed once the product is ready for release, consumers can fund your product with an undetermined amount of money in exchange for a paid-in-advance for product when your production process ends.

Of course, this can be set only to be redeemed once someone gives you the requisite amount of money that warrants a free product at the end of it. You may also allow consumers to donate small amounts of cash for no reward, but as a form of goodwill that will hopefully help see your firm develop.

To run a successful campaign, you will need to apply some creative flair to your promotional material first. Great graphic design, a professional video that details your business plan in a rudimentary form, why your product is different and where it will fit in the marketplace are all some of the best methods for crafting an appealing piece of material for potential viewers. Thanks to the integration of crowdfunding with most social media websites, you will easily be able to share new update posts to keep your backers updated on your daily progress.

It’s not unheard of for firms to experience a huge increase in their original crowdfund goal, sometimes popular products that resonate with consumers are backed to 200% or even 300% of the originally intended business costs. What’s more, when you have this money, it is free to do with as you wish, so long as you fulfill your original promise of actually making the promise. This is intrinsically freeing.

 

Business Loans

Business loans can serve as a great way to give yourself that initial boost without publicly declaring your product. Instead, you can begin development with a degree of privacy, and this allows you to make a nuanced marketing product that isn’t reliant on anyone other than the debtor and their terms themselves.

What’s more is that you needn’t rely on big banks to help you find a business loan. There are many investing firms worthy of import that understand what it means to be a new business, and genuinely want to see you succeed in your endeavors. Business loans are a great benefit, because they can often provide you with capital, and an immense amount of it, which might be difficult to make from a crowdfund, as not all are successful. Plus, unless your debtor stipulates, there’s no reason why you can’t make use of both.

c5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flickr

 

Investors

Investors are similar to business loans but often have more stringent terms of giving you their money, as they are not covered by business loss insurance to the same degree as a firm would be. They’re also likely to have more difficult terms of contract, such as wanting a proportional percentage of the business in exchange for the money. They can work very well for the right firm, but if you can secure a business loan, that might be preferable. However, investors, especially affluent ones, might be convinced to give you an investment of a huge amount of money if they trust your business plan and vision. It all depends on how you present yourself to them.

 

Fund It Yourself

If you can, funding your own business works too. This might take dipping into savings, re-mortgaging using the house as security or simply funding your startup while you run a full-time job. This can be the best way to fund a business thanks to yourself being the only person you have to answer to financially, but a bad investment can also lead to financial loss or ruin. Use this with caution.

 

Join an Incubator

Incubators are quite an interesting process to be a part of. Incubators are firms or investors that act as both potential investors and educating guides, who can help you develop or shift your idea to places even you might not originally think possible. It’s instructive to see businesses that have done well with incubators, as many leave with not only enhanced vision and insight into the operation they want to lead, but also have gained some great exposure for investors looking to place money in the hot new venture. Incubators can serve as one of the best methods for overcoming a difficult or stagnant business process, helping you identify what has gone wrong from people who have a financial or networking incentive to help you out. This can also be the best place to meet other startups, and together you can support each other’s operations in the business supply chain.

 

Shareholders

Shareholders are similar to investors, but there are usually many of them, and it will take you going public in order to receive those funds. Unfortunately, you can’t really expect to make a huge amount of these shareholders thanks to your low business value, but you can make enough to make it worthwhile depending on the success or scope of your long-term planning.

 

Friends & Family

Appealing to your friends and family for your funding source has all the requirements that an investor might have, except with this your investor will have an emotional attachment to your project. If something goes wrong, or you experience turbulence with your operation, or simply don’t make good on the repayments, you can be sure to alienate family members and friends alike.

Of course, this rule shouldn’t be expressly ruled out – part of the reason for running a startup is that you can choose how you operate entirely by yourself – but choosing it without due care can really turn into a negative experience. This should, in all honesty, be your last option, unless you have a rich relative who is willing to be your benefactor. Use this with discretion, and understand that a large proportion of startups will not be suited to this avenue, thanks to the high failure rate of beginner businesses.

The tips listed above, duly followed from top to bottom should be a sure-fire way to retrieve some form of significant capital for your business. Not only that, but they should serve to help you understand just what makes a business so appealing to draw money in in the first place, and even if your first project fails,  you will be armed with this knowledge to do better in the future. Of course, just because the list is rated here from best to worst, it doesn’t mean you should limit yourself to one of them. Try as many as you can contract to allow in order to overcome your lack of funds, and be well on your way to getting to the fiscal place you want to be.

Good luck with all your financial and business endeavors.  If you need help sorting out your financing options give Loftis Consulting a call at (312) 772-6105.

| Why Entrepreneurs Should Jump On The Cryptocurrency Bandwagon

Posted in Start-up Ventures at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

Today, nobody would call a computer and “electric computer,” and in the future, nobody will call a currency a “cryptocurrency.” They’ll just call it money. But today, the technology is so new and so few people have heard about it that it still has a special name.

There are dozens of different cryptocurrencies out there, all of which are gunning for specific audiences with even more particular tastes. But by far the most successful of all of them is Bitcoin, the most valuable of all cryptocurrencies to date.

When it comes to bitcoin, entrepreneurs should listen up. The currency is supported by some of the greatest minds in business, including Bill Gates and Google president, Eric Schmidt. Every day the Bitcoin universe expands, and it’s presenting many opportunities for entrepreneurs. The price of bitcoin is going up quickly right now, suggesting that we may finally have reached the breakout moment for the currency.

So how can entrepreneurs like you get involved in the coming Bitcoin revolution?

 

Start Accepting Bitcoin Payments

Want to attract more people to your business? Simple. Just start accepting bitcoin payments, either in store or online. These days it’s incredibly easy to accept bitcoins, and there are dozens of payment processors to choose from. Some of the biggest companies in the world currently accept Bitcoin, including Amazon and Tesla. If they’re accepting this currency, shouldn’t you?

 

Use Bitcoin Services

Did you know you can now get Bitcoin with credit card? Well, you can. In fact, according to Tim Draper, a venture capitalist, the Bitcoin ecosystem is much larger than many business people imagine. For instance, there are plenty of services that help you store your bitcoins. These are usually called Bitcoin wallets, and they function a little bit like a virtual bank account.

There’s an important difference, however, between a bitcoin wallet and a regular bank. Whereas as a regular bank is based on the fractional reserve system, all your Bitcoins stay secure in your bitcoin wallet. Nobody else gets access to them.

 

You Win By Spreading Bitcoin’s Message

The value of Bitcoin depends on the number of people willing to accept it. If fewer people are prepared to accept the new currency, then its value will go down. If more people accept it, then its value will go up. It’s that simple.

So what should entrepreneurs do? If they really want Bitcoin to succeed and to make money from their investments, they should become Bitcoin evangelists, getting as many of their suppliers and contractors to accept it as possible. With a bit of luck, acceptance will snowball, and the value of the currency will skyrocket.

 

Use Bitcoin to Cut Fraud

c1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

If you’re at the helm of a business, one of your primary concerns is fraud. But the cool thing about Bitcoin is that the underlying technology, blockchain, prevents the majority of fraudulent transactions.

For entrepreneurs, this represents an opportunity. Bitcoin makes it easier for customers to transact with you and also opens up new trade opportunities in places where it would not have been possible, for security reasons, in the past.

| Setting Up A Startup Business As A Health Care Administrative Consultancy

Posted in Start-up Ventures at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

Many hospitals are short on funds, don’t have enough beds, short on staff and generally run in a bottom-up fashion. Bureaucracy is like a virus and it can come between patient care and office managers. Starting a health care administrative business can be a noble prospect when the goal is to simplify care for nurses, doctors, consultants and surgeons. Working on behalf of medical institutions or health care companies, your business can reorganize and coordinate the services medical practitioners provide. A startup business in this field must finely balance the human touch as well as cutting away unneeded barriers. Your business can thrive in this environment if you stick to a few principals.

 

Be Worthy of the Title

Health care is unlike any other business in the world. Aspiring startups sometimes perceive graduate-level education as the benchmark, but this is incorrect. It’s a fantastic start as you have the knowledge and the understanding of the basics of running a business, but very rarely to entrepreneurs have the medical and legal background in order to set up such a business. With an accredited health care administration degree online you should be able to critically analyze modern health care issues and utilize effective practices to demonstrate sensitive perspectives in the field. Working with a diverse society, you’ll also be acclimatized to remaining vigilant of cultural practices and assess a situation in regard to the American legal system.

 

Applying for Licensing

As a startup, finances are going to be crucial in keeping afloat during the risky first year. Professional institutions like the American Association of Healthcare Administration Management need to know you’re serious and operating from a stable base where you can be relied upon by clients. By joining the AAHAM and the Association for Healthcare Administration Professionals, you can enhance your qualification and outreach. When you become a member of these institutions, you officially register as a viable service on those systems. It will also give you an opportunity to network with medical professionals as well as access industry job lists.

b8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Credit – U.S. Navy

Hiring Like-Minded Professionals

The next step is to starting hiring professionals with qualifications and a history of working in the industry. Get the most out of your workforce by hiring those who have a proven track record of simplifying how a hospital runs its affairs, a feel for people management whereby they have kept the best qualified and most productive staff, and let go of the unneeded or below average performing individuals. Administrators should be willing to on board feedback from patients as their firsthand experience of how their facility could be run is free yet invaluable.

Image by – CityofStPete

b9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Searching for Your Needed Assistance

Using the job lists found with the associations or via online health care administrative job boards and career sections on the website, have your staff apply for the roles and offer a free consultancy to the establishment. Doctors want nothing more than to simplify their care and avoid large amounts of staff that potentially slow down the process of resupplying the hospital with drugs, getting the paperwork through to transfer a patient to another ward, or even just to get the go-ahead from insurance companies to operate on a patient. With your services and the degree you have obtained, your understanding and implementation of case studies should give you a firmer understanding of ethics and regulations.

| Forging Ahead On Your Own: Crafting Your New Business Career From Home

Posted in Start-up Ventures at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

a1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flickr

With the plethora of modern day businesses that provide wondrous opportunities to grow and develop from the bottom rungs, it can seem against general logic to educate yourself when you might be able to build brand loyalty and benefits working directly for a firm.

However, not everyone can boast this initial business success as soon as they enter the career world. Sometimes people might have already ran businesses or different careers that failed or they were made redundant from, and getting back to a similar pay grade may prove difficult when they aren’t as qualified as they maybe should be for that age.

The modern business world is as exciting as ever, and it’s not difficult to understand why someone might want to join it. Technological advancements now mean that anyone can form a startup or even work freelance and sustain themselves based on their consulting knowledge alone.

Another advantage of the internet is that it allows us access to the sum of human knowledge, and we avoid and neglect using this at our peril. Imagine telling a businessman 50 years ago that in half a century you would have access to a communication network that spans the entire globe, and allows you to gain qualifications in your underwear whilst eating your toast and drinking your coffee. But instead, you mostly use it to read news and watch videos of cats.

They’d likely knock the beverage out of your hand, and you’d deserve it.

To avoid that situation, follow these tips to help you craft your own career prospects online:

 

Kahn Academy

Kahn Academy is a popular resource that can help you take educational courses, largely for free, in STEM disciplines. It can help you with concepts that you didn’t quite understand in high school, giving you that foundational knowledge that you might have needed to brush up on for a decade. This can help you become a more rounded person, and give you that extra weapon in your career arsenal to make your next venture more successful.

 

Leadership Programs

Researching and attending online leadership courses can give you the qualifications and authority you need when it comes to consulting business, learning of organizational systems, or simply going for a business-related degree. This can provide you with a specialized and deep advantage when it comes to applying for your job in future. It’s important that you always use your daily free time in some productive way, and doing this in your own time can greatly strengthen your business acumen.

 

Historical Perspective & Case Studies

As well as accrediting yourself with a range of degree opportunities online, the internet affords you the opportunity to research case studies of successful business; the challenges they faced and how they overcame them. It will allow you to research trends and figure out where the gaps in your potential markets are. It will allow you to gain a more clear understanding of why your past exploits might not have been successful, and you can apply this new knowledge, alongside your new qualifications, to become a force to be reckoned with in your next endeavor.

There has never been a time blossoming with such potential for your future business adventures. Why not start today?

| The Hidden Costs Of Starting Your Own Business

Posted in Start-up Ventures at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

When it comes to starting up your own business, there are several costs to think about. You might need some capital up front to get inventory or to rent an office or a factory. There are staff costs, as well as paying yourself a wage. But have you ever thought about the hidden costs of starting up a business? There are several costs when it comes to starting your own business and working for yourself, but some of them aren’t of the financial kind. So here are some areas to think about if you’re looking to take the leap to start out on your own.

costs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

image

 

Your Time

Even if you have budgeted in your business plan for you to get a wage, it will work out as very little compared to how many hours you will be putting into the business (to start with at least). But when it is your idea and your plan, you will want to see it through every step of the way (rightly or wrongly). So your time will be used up quite a lot, and you will more than likely find it hard to switch off to start with. So never underestimate how much a business will take over your life, and as a result, take over your time.

 

Your Reputation

If something doesn’t go to plan in your business, or something out of your control happens that affects your business; then your reputation could be the price to be paid. So although working for yourself can give you a lot of freedom, you have to remember that your name is on the door, so to speak. So only sign off on the things that you are really happy to sign off with, and only approve those things that are good enough to keep your reputation intact and your customers happy.

 

Your Ideas

In such a digital day and age, your ideas, content, plans, and information all need to be protected and copyrighted. For someone to hack your website, then they will only need a certain amount of information plus some know-how. But to steal content and ideas that are published, on your website? It can be much simpler. So you need to make sure you are being savvy and not putting too much information out there. You should also look into copyright and making sure you are protected under that. There is also something called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that stops people from stealing your information or copying things from your website. So even if the worse does happen, you do have some form of protection. It is a good idea to learn more about the DMCA so you can take steps and as when you might need to.

 

Your Relationships

When it comes to different relationships, whether that be family, work relationships or romantic relationships, there can be a strain on them when you’re busy starting your own business. You might not be able to work with other colleagues as planned, or might have to choose work commitments over family commitments. Not everyone is going to be happy for you when they see you achieve too. So it is just something that you need to be prepared for, and take steps to deal with it all positively.

| Starting A Business That Suits Your Skillset

Posted in Start-up Ventures at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

In this modern age of endless possibilities, it’s easier than ever for somebody to start a business at home through the internet and build it from the ground up. Unfortunately, as with all aspects of the world, something becomes more accessible and then everybody accesses it. So, whilst there are more opportunities than ever for a budding entrepreneur to get started with his or her business model, there’s also much more competition than ever in every industry imaginable. It can seem impossible to stand out or carve a path in such a brutal and competitive landscape.

Most importantly, it can seem impossible to figure out which path you should take in the business world. Maybe you’ve always known that you wanted to start your own company, but you currently find yourself with no ideas as to what kind of business you should start. You don’t want to plunge into the challenging world of freelancing until you have a concrete idea that you’re passionate about. Well, the key is to start a business which suits your skillset, rather than forcing an idea which you can’t carry out to the fullest of your ability. Here are some ideas of different skills that you may have and the types of business which could be grown out of them.

suits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture Source

Linguistic Skills

If you’ve always had a penchant for writing, understanding languages, or coming up with creative, witty, or perfectly-word ideas then there are numerous opportunities in terms of building a business around your linguistic skills. In fact, when it comes to starting a business, being skilled in terms of language is possibly one of the best talents you could hope to have. You need no qualifications; you need only prove to potential customers how good your writing is by… well, showing them a sample. It’s that simple.

You could head down the path of providing advertising services to clients; that might include writing promotional material for them or even emails that they could send out to their own clients. You could even re-write resumes for people trying to apply for certain jobs in certain industries if you know what it takes to build a strong resume. The key is to learn everything you can from books and online resources so that you can offer a skillset that other people either don’t have or don’t have the time to utilize.

 

Graphical Skills

If you’ve always had a talent when it comes to drawing then you were probably told by teachers, friends, or perhaps even career advisors that there are few very jobs out there for creative types. Perhaps you always dreamed of becoming an artist, but there are very few calls out there for the new Van Gogh. Of course, this is all complete nonsense because you need only look at the modern world through modern eyes in order to understand the place of a creative in this new landscape.

In much the same way that aspiring writers may go down the path of writing promotional content to pay the bills (as mentioned in the first point) before they pen their first great novel, aspiring artists have plenty of job opportunities available to them. As suggested over at https://www.entrepreneur.com, you could start a business which designs logos or even entire websites for businesses if you acquire some web development skills (it’s quite straightforward these days). There are always ways to twist your creative talents to your advantage, and this is certainly one of them.

suits1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture Source

Tech Skills

Technological skills are so important in the modern age because every business in every type of industry requires them. That being said, you don’t necessarily have to be a technological wizard to start a business built around technology and the internet. This is no longer a realm reserved for the digital geniuses of the world; everybody uses technology these days, given the popularity of the internet, smartphones, and every electronic device on earth. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to monopolize on that. It’s all about providing a service that people need in the long term, and the internet offers those types of opportunities in spades.

You could check out www.wizzhosting.co.uk/reseller-hosting if you have the entrepreneurial know-how and resources to spend money to make money; you could get a bulk amount of server space, resell it to clients, and then charge them monthly or annually for the hosting service you provide. People and businesses are always going to need websites for as long as the internet exists. Being a middleman may not always be glamorous, but it sure does provide numerous opportunities for a good business model if you know how to market yourself and build a client-base.

suits2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture Source

People Skills

As mentioned over at http://loftisconsulting.com, the key to running a successful freelancing business is to be a master of communication. You need to have excellent people skills because you’re trying to get your unknown brand onto the map by acquiring a client base; you’re only going to achieve that through knowing how to connect with potential clients. Of course, whilst every freelance business owner needs some element of social ability, your skills with regards to talking to people could actually be your business. If you’ve always been the person who could connect with any person in a room of crowded people then turn this into a business model.

You could start a marketing business because the world of sales is all about people; advertising companies which fail are the ones who don’t understand the human customer at the other end of their promotional material. If you can sell somebody a solution to their problem rather than sounding like a walking advert then you’re probably the perfect entrepreneur to start a marketing or advertising agency for other businesses. You don’t need a product or service to sell in itself; your business model can be that you help other companies sell things, as suggested over at http://www.mytopbusinessideas.com. You should learn about digital marketing because that’s a very coveted skill by businesses (your potential clients) in the modern age.

| How To Protect Your Brand

Posted in Start-up Ventures at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

When you’re trying to launch your own business, one of the most important things you can do to ensure its future is to protect it. Whether you are craft beer brewery or a bespoke software solutions provider, your brand will be one of your most valuable assets once your business gets off the ground. It represents your reputation, all the goodwill you have built with your clients, and it’s your company’s entire identity. Here are a few things you can do to legally protect your brand.

brand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Source

Use IP Protections

Before you even get started, you’ll have an idea for a business, which might include a name, logo, tagline, and even some business guidelines. Unfortunately, having an idea doesn’t mean you own it; at least, not until you acquire some Intellectual Property (IP) protections. These protections can include trademarks, copyrights, and patents. The right IP protection depends on the kind of business you’d like to start. If you’re just looking to start a small website business that is similar to hundred of other businesses out there, then you might not need IP protection. However, if you’re hoping to establish a brand, then you need to take the necessary steps to protect it.

Register Your Trademark

Once you’ve taken the first steps towards launching your business, registering your trademark should be on the top of your list. A trademark gives you the right to exclude others from using similar marks in the marketplace that might confuse consumers. The purpose is to make sure consumers know where the goods and services with specific brand names on them are coming from. Doing this before you fully start can help you avoid infringement if your business name, logo or slogan has already been taken. A licensed trademark attorney like Xavier Morales can conduct a Comprehensive Trademark Search for you to make sure that your chosen company name is not infringing on an existing brand, file a trademark application to register your business, and help you protect your brand and ideas by giving you copyright protection.

Monitor New Trademark Applications

However, even if you’ve registered your trademark, you still have to protect it, or you still risk losing everything you’ve worked towards. If you don’t monitor for potentially infringing trademark applications and fail to oppose the publication of a conflicting business, then it becomes much more difficult and expensive for you to stop them from hitting the marketplace.

Set Up Google Alerts

Google Alerts can help you monitor mentions of your company, track your marketing, and keep up with industry developments. Most importantly, they can help you identify plagiarism. Nowadays, a lot of companies have blogs as a way of engaging their customers with their business and services. Even if you don’t blog, the content on your website is your intellectual property and you have a right to protect it. While you can pay a fee for companies like Copyscape to alert you to thieves, it’s cheaper to type key phrases into Google Alerts.


Next Page »

© Copyright 2003-2011. Loftis Consulting and Financial Management. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy site by imediawerks