Easy Ways to Protect Your Personal Finances From Further Economic Contraction

While the economy has already certainly softened, there may be further economic contraction for American consumers to face. Increasing job losses, higher inflation rates, and the growing food and energy costs are making personal finance budgeting difficult for most American families to achieve. The variable interest rate of recent mortgages makes critical, and the prospects for personal finance do not look bright for the next several years.

However, an ounce of personal finance planning is certainly worth more than a pound of monetary cure. It is not too late to start preparing your personal finance budgeting efforts to brace yourself for further economic contraction – ensuring that when America does recover from its economic weakness, your personal finance will be intact and still healthy.

Debt management strategy: watch your interest rates

When economic uncertainty is on the horizon, interest rates are the first to react – making debt management critical. Powered by both the Federal Reserve rate and each banking institution’s tolerance, interest rates can either soar or plummet, depending upon several factors.

Whereas our interest rates were at historical lows, the Fed Chairman Bernanke made adjustments to the rate in order to curb inflation, while attempting to simultaneously stimulate economic investment. What does this mean for your debt management? In essence, banks will now offer you great interest rates if you have good credit, making your debt management easy. If you have bad credit, then banks will increase your interest rates, as the risk of a default grows greater during an economic contraction.

Therefore, for debt management that will prepare for further economic contraction, you want to lock in low interest rates, which will be easy for those who already have good credit. You can refinance your credit cards by consolidating your debts, or you can even renegotiate your interest rates with your existing credit card company.

For those who have less than stellar credit, you want to carefully watch your mortgages, loans, and credit cards to ensure that they are not raising your interest rates. You may be particular susceptible to interest rate hikes in further economic contraction.

Smart personal finance budgeting

Keep in mind that regardless of how much income you earn, the key to maintaining financial stability is through intelligent debt management and personal finance budgeting. Even if you earn millions, your spending habits and debt are what determine your financial stability. In preparing for a further economic contraction, it is important that you take several personal finance budgeting steps:

o Tally all of your required expenses including your mortgage or rent payment, car payment, health insurance, and utilities. There are the bills you must pay each month, and therefore, are part of your mandatory personal finance budgeting process.

o Allocate a set amount each month for groceries. Keep in mind that you should try to purchase everything “on sale” for smart personal finance budgeting. Research shows that simply by purchasing the brand that is on sale, you can save approximately 20% each time you go to the supermarket.

o Minimize your entertainment expenses. Smart personal finance budgeting means limiting how frequently you eat out, or spend money on entertainment. For example, if you have a four-person family and you typically watch a movie at the theater each week, cutting this expense out could save up nearly $200 each month. Or, brown bag your lunch instead of eating at the local sandwich shop. This small change in your personal finance budgeting can save you conservatively $150 per month. Just these two small changes alone in your entertainment expenses can give you an extra $350 per month for your personal finance budgeting.

o Set money aside for your savings. In a further economic contraction, the greatest, yet most probably fear, is losing your job. Therefore, by taking conservative approaches with your personal finance budgeting now, you can still set aside emergency funds that will help your family if times are difficult. Saving 10% of your income each month is a healthy, yet reasonable, amount to save in your personal finance budgeting.

The key to protecting your personal finance against any additional economic contraction is through smart debt management and intelligent personal finance budgeting. By taking several preventative measures now, you can ensure that your financial situation will remain healthy – regardless of what happens to the economy.

A Profitable Business Idea and Marketing Research

The task of coming up with a profitable business idea can be very daunting. Setting up your own business requires you to think rationally and thoroughly so as to plan and make key financial decisions. You should have a written business plan. There are many already existing business opportunities that you can choose from. Therefore, being an entrepreneur doesn’t necessarily imply that you Must come up with a new unique business idea.

There are many advantages of choosing an already existing business to start your business from. The main advantage is that the existing business opportunity has been already in the market therefore its products are already selling. You’ll not need to spend a lot of money in marketing the products because they have customers who already exist. Your task is to find the best strategic location where you’ll locate your business and also raising the amount of capital required to start and run the business.

You must ensure that you meet all the requirements including legal procedures before you start operating your own business to avoid breaking the law and being penalized. You should bear in mind that starting a business by using or improving an already existing business doesn’t imply that it will be profitable. It is either that it will be making profits each year or hardly making any profits.

It is upon you to make a decision whether to start from scratch by coming up with your new profitable business idea or look for an existing business idea to adopt. It takes a great idea for one to come up with a new business idea that is profitable. However, a business idea that is profitable in the present time cannot remain to be profitable throughout. It will reach a time that it will face stiff competition as a result of new technology, new superior substitute products or other factors that will make its profits to decline.

As an entrepreneur, you have to be aggressive and innovative. Innovation of entrepreneurs doesn’t necessarily imply invention of a product but it also implies coming up with new ways of reducing costs and improving the existing products. You should take risks by investing in profitable business opportunities you come across.

Do not focus on profits alone if you want your business to succeed but you should be customer oriented. When you’re customer oriented you’ll satisfy the tastes, preferences and expectations of the customers. You should not operate the same business throughout without improving the quality of your products and finding out from customers what they want your products to do for them.

What You Should Know About Making Profits

You should have a clear view when it comes to making profits before you start your business. Your business will fail if you miss to apply the objective of earning profits. Entrepreneurs are not supposed to focus on the objective of maximizing profits only. Focusing solely to maximize profits will lead an entrepreneur to charge a higher price for his products, exploit employees or produce products that are of low quality. An entrepreneur who solely wants to maximize profits will never make his business to be successful.

The enterprise that is coldly and solely motivated by the making of money seldom fares well in the long run~By Apply.

However, this is not to say that entrepreneurs should not make profits. Entrepreneurs should focus in satisfying customers and making adequate profits to cover all costs incurred i.e. making adequate profit to enable the survival of the business.

The problem of any business is not maximization of profit but the achievement of sufficient profit to cover the risks of economic activity and thus to avoid loss. But whether it is the motive of business to maximize profit is debatable. However, it is an absolute necessary for the business enterprise to earn at least the profit required to cover its own future risks and enable it to stay in business and maintain intact the wealth producing capacity of its resources~By Prof. Peter Ferdinand Drucker, the world-renowned consultant of management.

Marketing Research

Many upcoming entrepreneurs face the problem of product failure. You should keep on changing your marketing strategies and improving your products so as to satisfy your customers fully. You should not guesswork that the products you’re intending to sell will be purchased. You should find out facts in the market if your products will be purchased.

Nowadays, marketing research is vital. Why? It is because consumers know what they need and want thus you should find out from them by conducting a marketing survey. Marketing research will also help you to know if the business you want to start will be profitable. To avoid the risk of your business failing, you should find out;

1.) If the products you’re intending to sell are needed in the market.

2.) The place where most potential customers are in order to locate your business near them.

3.) The expectations of potential buyers. Find out from potential buyers what they want your products to do for them.

4.) The purchasing power of the customers so as to make your products affordable. This will help you to know the quantities you should pack your products. Customers with a higher purchasing power will have the option of buying the products that are packed in large quantities e.g. 1Kg, 5kgs, 10kgs, 20kgs etc. On the other hand, customers with low purchasing power will have the option of purchasing your products that are packed in small quantities e.g. 50gm, 100gm, 200gm, 500gm.

5.) If the business you intend to start has competition so as to find your own unique selling proposition to beat your competitors.

6.) The size of the market for your product so as to know how much products you’ll produce and the amount of capital to invest.

You should take a step in widening your horizons and in taking your time to search for business opportunities. Read widely business magazines, business management books and other business publications. You should make your business to be the best choice in the market by satisfying your customers, gain loyalty of your customers.

Starting a business does not mean that you have to open a big business. It is all about discovering a viable business opportunity and having a strong entrepreneurial spirit that defies logic. Click the link to understand how strong entrepreneurial spirit that defies logic differentiates people who are successful from those who are unsuccessful in business.

Flipping Houses For Profit – Easy Home Based Real Estate Business

Simply put, the process of flipping houses can be described at purchasing a property and reselling it for a profit. The house flipper (potentially you) tries to complete the entire house flipping process within the shortest time interval, thus making quite a hefty profit.

Attaining success in the house flipping game requires the potential investor to think like a real estate power investor and capitalize on the available opportunity by executing a series of well timed decisions to the best of one’s ability and access to resources.

If you’re planning to resell houses (better known as ‘house flipping’), you need to have a solid framework of the strategies and techniques that can be put into practice, in addition to the technical know-how in areas such as tax planning.

Once you have a strong educational framework ready, you need to start planning on achieving success.

Your Planning activity should include:

  • Setting your short (daily, weekly, monthly), medium (quarterly, half yearly, yearly) and long term goals (more than one year).
  • Determining exactly what tasks you would like to achieve in a given period.
  • The strategies you’ll be implementing in executing your plan.

You’ll be performing these strategies everyday, thus as you probably know by now – real estate investing is locating properties that can be sold with comparative ease, negotiating the details of the process and then choosing the best path of action that should be implemented by you for archiving the maximum profit.

If your lucky, it’ll be a quick flip after a minor (or major) property rehab, while at other intervals you’ll just be required to buy and hold your house so that it can be sold at a higher price at a future price, while sometimes its a little bit of both. Thus, the key to real estate investment success lies in determining what the market wants in order to make the maximum profit.

If your getting started now, and are scared about making mistakes, thus will cause a sense of dread within you, that will prevent you from reaching the peak of success. Don’t allow this dread to set in, instead take the assistance of an experienced real estate investor, who has gone down a similar road as you, for being your mentor of sorts, who has the ability to gently guide you by the hand until you reach the winner’s circle with up to date advice, encouragement and valuable words of wisdom.

Real estate investing is an art and one needs to know exactly what strategies to use no matter what situation the market is in (it hasn’t been hotter in the past 30 years than it is in 2009), and you will need all the tools of the real estate investing trade, such as the acclaimed patented real estate home analyzer robot software to quickly determine the value of a property and identifying the relevant comps, thus arming you with the correct information as part of your property research. Best of all, it automatically pulls the values and comps from three of my favorite websites. Then it prints a PDF report that you can save and utilize it while comparing different properties, so as to make the most economical offer.

Real estate investing does take commitment and stamina. You too can start today, by taking these simple lessons to heart and allowing the touch of a master’s hand to transform your dreams into a reality.

Written by Charrissa Cawley (fondly called “Cher” by her buddies), founder of the Real Estate Power Investor home learning e-course – the complete learning resource that goes into the depths of real estate investments as per the current market scenario.

She’s a multimillionaire real estate investment guru, who just until half a decade ago used to be a 31 year old stay at home mom. She has aced the world of real estate investing, making US$2.14 million dollars in her first year as a real estate investor as net profit. She has long standing reputation for excellence as a real estate trainer, gifted speaker and wealth building coach. Her strengths include training entrepreneurs of all experience levels in all areas of real estate investing and financial literacy.

If you would like to plug into her network of valuable real estate investing and flipping information,

 head over to her website:

Real Estate Power Investor  to judge for yourself regarding the profitability of the solutions and proofs offered by her.

Her passion is bridging the gap between learning and doing. Having been down the difficult road of mastering the art of knowing a great buy from a good one, she spent years learning, fine tuning, and practically applying her knowledge. She helps thousands of entrepreneurs all over the world seeking financial growth by equipping them with specialized tools, resources and specialized knowledge to succeed. Unlike others, Charrissa only offers strategies that she has herself tested to be proven and accurate to real estate investors and wanna be real estate investors.

Seller Financing Gets Deals Done In Good Times And Bad Times

Yes, times are tough and everyone knows that conventional small business loans are exceedingly difficult to obtain. Moreover, small business loans will continue to be difficult to obtain for the foreseeable future. In reality, this isn’t anything new or specific to the state of the current economy. The fact is that conventional business loans have always been hard to get. Since the beginning of time (well almost), conventional lenders only made loans to the most bankable small businesses. In other words, conventional lenders always have and always will limit their small business loans to:

  1. businesses with several years of verifiable, positive cash flow
  2. businesses with a lot of collateral, and
  3. businesses with strong management.

Today, conventional lenders have a hard time working with even the best qualified small businesses. So – what’s a buyer/seller/broker to do? Rely heavily on seller financing.

I know, seller financing has always been around as an optional piece of the deal making puzzle. Seller financing isn’t optional anymore. Buyers, sellers and brokers should either use seller financing right now or they should plan to do zero deals until the credit situation settles down. In other words, plan to stay out of the game for two, three or four years.

SELLER FINANCING HELPS EVERYONE

Simply stated – seller financing can get deals done. This is true for a lot of reasons. For instance, nobody has to go through the massive paperwork production required by conventional lenders. Of course, sellers and buyers need to perform some due diligence on one another. However, a seller financed loan is no where near as demanding as is a conventionally financed loan. So the deal gets done, the buyer gets financing and the seller gets cash flow from the loan.

HOW SELLER FINANCING WORKS

Sellers ordinarily do not want to hold on to a loan for a long time. This means that the seller financed loan should be designed with the goal of having the buyer refinance the loan with another lender (for purposes of this article, a conventional lender) two or three years after the seller financed loan is originated.

Before I get into refinancing, you still need to consider the basics of a seller financed loan. A typical seller financed loan involves the loan being paid pursuant to the terms of a confessed judgment promissory note backed by a security agreement. Confessed judgment simply means that if the buyer defaults on the note, then seller can promptly obtain a judgment in court without resorting to formal litigation. The security agreement is just a written agreement which lists the loan’s collateral. The collateral is usually the business as well as any other assets of the buyer such as the buyer’s house. The security agreement is then made a public record so that the world is put on notice that the seller has some rights in the collateral if the buyer tries to do something with the collateral during the life of the loan.

The exact terms of the note will change from deal to deal. However, it is safe to assume that the note should have realistic payments based on the business’ revenue history. Even though a seller usually has no intention of holding a loan for a long time, the loan has to be structured such that it has at least a ten year repayment schedule with a balloon payment required some time earlier, such as three years. In other words, the notes are usually amortized over a long period of time but are due in a relatively short time. For example, a $200,000.00 note amortized over ten years at nine percent interest with a balloon payment in three years results in $2,533.52 monthly payments of principal and interest. Then on the note’s third anniversary a balloon payment of $139,072.08 is due. In a nutshell, the buyer has thirty six months to find another lender.

Once the terms of the loan are negotiated then the buyer signs the note and gives it to the seller. Meanwhile, the buyer must be doing everything in anticipation of refinancing the note.

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES

Like everything else in life, seller financing has advantages and disadvantages for all parties.

Some pros for the buyer: 

  1. relatively easy to obtain credit
  2. repayment terms can get very creative
  3. seller is kept in the game and still has an interest in seeing the business thrive
  4. depending on the terms of the loan, buyer can withhold re-payment if there is something wrong with the business

Some cons for the buyer: 

  1. interest rates will probably be relatively high
  2. loans tend to be short term with an emphasis on refinancing as soon as possible
  3. seller might be constantly looking over your shoulder

Some pros for the seller: 

  1. recurring monthly revenue for as long as seller holds the note
  2. will most likely obtain interest at a higher rate than anything else in your portfolio
  3. if the buyer defaults, seller can take the business back
  4. taxes can be spread out over the life of the note (don’t take my word for it, please consult your accountant for expert tax advice)

Some cons for the seller: 

  1. seller is still closely connected to the businesses
  2. buyer could default
  3. seller has to wait to get all of the money

CLOSING

Small business finance is challenging in good economies and bad economies. OK, so things are a little difficult right now. People still want to buy and sell small businesses. Banks and other conventional lenders flatly do not have the ability to finance many small business deals these days. A good way to get around this is to do some significant seller financing, or else you will probably have to stay on the sidelines until who knows when.

Raising Millions in Private Money – 2 Exercises to Find the Money For Real Estate Investing

Imagine buying a great property with none of your own cash, funding it with someone else’s money, pulling up to 60% of your profits out in cash on the day you buy, collecting more cash when it’s occupied and then enjoying a predictable and reliable positive cash flow each month. Now imagine doing this… every month! That’s what you can do when you use advanced strategies for raising millions in private money for real estate investing.

The most important factor when you’re looking at getting started raising millions in private money for real estate investing, is to get started right and to get started right now- in that order. No one can MAKE you start raising millions is private money for real estate investing, but at least I can help you put together the plan to get started right by helping you find the money and find the time you already have right now to find it in.

If you’re looking at getting started raising millions in private money to fund your real estate investing, you want to make sure you can find the money and find the time needed to do it right.

Print this article out and honestly complete the 2 exercises for yourself, and you’ll be on your way to doing just that!

First, you want to find the money.

Let’s help you to take stock of your existing financial resources. The answers to these questions will determine exactly what types of real estate investing you want to pursue.

Don’t worry, whether you’re a multimillionaire or middleclass, or even a homeless guy with no job, there are ways to build wealth in real estate-by raising millions in private money to use for your investing. But, before we get to that….Just answer these questions for yourself and you’ll be well on your way to determining the best way for financing your plan.

This first exercise will help you determine what kind of money do you have on hand to invest in real estate. Where will any needed down payment money come from? What kind of financing can you get?

You may even realize one or two sources of cash you can tap that you might not have thought about using (these will be in addition to the strategies I’ll cover in raising millions in PRIVATE MONEY from other folks)

1. Personal Checking Account $__________________
2. Personal Savings Account $__________________
3. Pension/401k Fund (withdraw) $__________________
4. IRAs/Roths (withdraw/borrow) $__________________
5. Stocks/Bonds/Mutual Funds (sell) $__________________
6. Credit Card Total (cash advance) $__________________
7. Home Equity Lines of Credit $__________________
8. Friends & Family (who has money?) $__________________
9. Cash-Accrued Insurance Policy $__________________
10. Other Sources to Raise Capital $__________________

That’s your money and you should use it in addition to or before you worry about raising private money.

Raising private money comes down to building relationships with people who have money. And that takes TIME and trust! I can’t teach you how to build trust in a 1000 word article. But I CAN help you find more time to do these things so that you can start your plan of raising millions in private money to you’re your real estate investing business.

So, secondly, you want to find the time.

Let’s help you to take stock of your existing time usage. The answers to these questions will determine exactly what types of real estate investing you want to pursue and what things you may need to “give up” to implement your plan of raising millions in private money for investing.

Don’t worry, whether you’re a busy entrepreneur or a regular working-man, have a family or just have many time commitments, there are ways to build wealth in real estate.

Just answer these questions for yourself and you’ll be well on your way to finding the time you need for your plan to get started now in real estate investing.

This second exercise will help you determine where your time is going each week, in some cases time spent on things you might possibly could do without- and will help you find time that you could likely be using to learn about and do real estate investments.

You may even realize one or two ways you spend more time than you thought, just by being honest here!

1. Watching television #hrs/wk: ______________________
2. Surfing the web (with no purpose) #hrs/wk: ______________________
3. Reading “fluff” (no educational value) #hrs/wk: ______________________
4. Sleeping more than 7 hours/night #hrs/wk: ______________________
5. Working (primary job/business) #hrs/wk: ______________________
6. Working (second job/profession) #hrs/wk: ______________________
7. Household chores (cooking, laundry etc) #hrs/wk: ______________________
8. Shopping for fun #hrs/wk: ______________________
9. Pursuing hobbies (non-investing) #hrs/wk: ______________________
10. Chatting on the phone/internet #hrs/wk: ______________________

If you’ve completed these simple exercises, congratulations!

Time and money might be the most wished-for things in the world, but few people ever take stock of what they already have (even those who wish for more, like folks who want to raise millions of dollars so they can invest in more real estate).

Whether you found more money than you thought you had, or more time than you realized you could use to invest and learn about investing, you’ve already discovered something powerful about yourself.

You’re a person who goes after what he/she wants.

Now that you have taken stock of your existing financial resources, and existing time usage, you’re ready to get started raising millions in private money for your real estate investing.

You’ll also need to (if you’re not yet investing) need to now determine exactly what types of real estate investing you want to pursue, what techniques you want to use, where and how you want to invest, and what kind of investments make you most excited.

Trust me. If you have found the time and found the money you already have…you’re already half-way there to getting started raising millions in private money for your real estate investing.

Ready for the next step?

It involves showing others how to do the exercise you just did (you DID do the exercise, didn’t you?) to “find their own money” and then GIVING THEM A REASON to give you that money to invest!

I’ve got plenty of other articles on how to do just that and one you should read is titled “How to Find Investor Partners and Private Lenders for Your Real Estate Investing”. You can just search for that phrase right here on the site, or through your favorite search engine. Find that article and read it next for the mechanics of FINDING and building RELATIONSHIPS with folks who can help you in your quest of raising millions in private money for your real estate investing.

Changes For Business Finance and Working Capital Loan Programs

As business owners develop their small business loan plans for future financing and refinancing throughout the United States, there is an increasing awareness that there have been significant business finance changes that cannot be ignored. Some of these measures are likely to end up being permanent, and even the temporary commercial mortgage loan and working capital loan changes are expected to be in place for an extended time due to the severity of the current financial climate.

A reduction in commercial lenders as well as stricter standards for acquiring commercial loans and commercial mortgages has been the net result from business finance changes. Unfortunately there has also been no shortage of misinformation about the availability of commercial funding.

A significant reduction in business lending activity overall is perhaps the most dramatic change. This has been due to several events occurring almost simultaneously. Several major commercial lenders have gone out of business altogether. Many banks have stopped commercial finance lending while continuing consumer lending. Numerous business lenders have enacted stricter standards for the commercial financing transactions they are still willing to consider.

It remains to be seen how many changes will be permanent or temporary. But from a practical perspective, commercial borrowers are left with no choice but to adapt to the changing business finance environment. Business owners must be prepared to operate within a more complicated climate for commercial mortgage loans and small business loans regardless of how long the changes might be kept in place.

What should borrowers do about this? A primary option that business owners should explore involves looking beyond their local market area for help with commercial loans. To accomplish this, it should be helpful to contact a commercial financing expert operating throughout the United States.

In addition to fewer business lenders to choose from, there are two other significant changes which must be anticipated by business owners before seeking new commercial loans. First, more collateral for virtually all business finance funding is being demanded by many commercial lenders. Second, most lenders have cancelled or are about to eliminate unsecured lines of credit (usually called working capital loans) for many businesses.

One effective commercial financing strategy for overcoming the combined obstacles of more collateral, fewer lenders and reduced unsecured credit lines is to consider business cash advance programs based on future credit card processing transactions. This is proving to be one of the few sources of business funding that has not been adversely impacted by recent events. To learn more, it will be advisable to discuss the potential with a business finance expert who can provide advice about business cash advances as well as other small business financing solutions.

It is increasingly obvious that many banks will continue to modify their business lending programs in response to changing conditions. This means that another key change issue for working capital financing and commercial mortgages is the likelihood that more changes will be forthcoming in the near future.

To adequately prepare for future commercial finance changes that might (or might not) occur is a daunting task for a business owner. A commercial financing expert familiar with Plan B contingency financing for small business loans will prove to be a valuable resource for any borrower wanting to seriously deal with both current and future changes impacting the financial health of their business. By having a candid conversation with a commercial loan expert, business owners should be more capable of implementing an appropriate strategy for the vast changes which have recently occurred or are about to become effective for most business financing and working capital finance funding.

Five Things to Think About Before Starting a Photography Business

If you’re reading this article, odds are someone has told you that you take really great pictures and you should start up your own business. It’s exciting to think about turning your passion into your full time job, but before you jump head first into this endeavor here are a few things you should think about.

1. Picture yourself as a business owner

It’s thrilling to think about being a photographer, but have you thought about being a business owner. What most people don’t know is that only about 10%-20% of your time is actually spent taking photographs. That other 80% or more is spent actually working on your business. Whether it’s dealing with paperwork, doing the accounting, creating marketing pieces, dealing with disgruntled customers, or updating your website, these are not the tasks most aspiring photographers dream of doing, but they are a crucial part of staying in business.

If you haven’t thought about this yet, take a few minutes to do so. Would you be happy keeping track of your sales and taxes? Would you have fun working on marketing pieces for your business? How much would you enjoy dealing with customer queries – even unpleasant ones? All of these things are part of owning a business and part of a photographer’s everyday job.

2. Think about what kind of photography business you want to have

If you are contemplating starting a photography business, I’m sure you love taking pictures, but have you thought about what you really love taking pictures of? There are so many different specialties you can focus on in this world. There’s wedding photography, senior photography, newborn photography, family photography, sports photography, and a slew of other focuses as well.

It is often encouraged that you select a specialty or one area that you focus on. The benefit of doing this is that it makes it far easier for you to find your target market to advertise and promote yourself. But determining what your favorite thing to shoot is can be difficult. So take some time to think about what you really enjoy documenting.

3. Think about time and money

This is another side to the business that is easy to not even think about. Take some time to write down all the business expenses you think you’ll have starting out. This would include things like: camera equipment, website domain, website hosting, website design, logo design, filing with the state, sample products, software… As you can see this list can become quite extensive and the numbers can add up very quickly. But it’s much better to go into starting a business having an idea in mind of what it’s going to cost you.

Equally important is considering how much time you will spend working in and on your new business. Starting a business can be incredibly time consuming. If you already have a full time job and plan to start your photography business on the side. It’s good to set boundaries for how much time you will spend working. It’s far too easy to get caught up in this exciting new adventure and let time with your family and loved ones fall by the wayside. So be sure you are ready to invest more hours than you expect into this business.

4. Talk to other business owners about their lives

If you want to gain a real perspective on what owning a business is like talk to a small business owner in your area. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a photographer, though their insights would be most relevant, any business owner can give you a perspective on what it’s like. Take them out to lunch and pick their brains. Ask them what their average day is like as a business owner. What their favorite and least favorite things about owning a business are. What they would do differently if they could start all over again. All of their thoughts and opinions can help give you a better idea of whether or not this is the right choice for you.

5. Come up with a Business Plan

You’ve thought about it all, the time and money you’ll have to invest, the struggles you may encounter and the type of photography you’d like to shoot and you are ready to start moving forward with your new business. The last step of thinking about it and the first steps towards building your company are to create a business plan. It is the one step that is so often overlooked but the one that makes the biggest difference in developing and growing your business.

A business plan is basically a formal statement of business goals, the reasons they are believed attainable, and the plan for reaching those goals. It often also contains background information about the organization or team attempting to reach those goals. For example, my business plan is “Green Tree Media Photography helps our preserve memories and captures the soul and essence of our families, seniors, newborns, and couples. We thrive on repeat business by developing relationships with our clients and providing exceptional care and unique and beautiful art pieces for their walls and home, while maintaining a strong and healthy relationship with our family and loved ones.”

As you can see – I’ve outlined what I like to photograph, the type of service I plan to provide, how I plan to do it and because my husband and family are important to me I’ve included them in my business plan as well. This serves as a constant reminder to me of where I’m heading, what I need to do and what’s most important. Your business plan, of course, evolves with your business, but it can be incredibly beneficial to head into the game with a business plan in mind.

So there you have it. Five Steps for Starting your photography business. Now you may have noticed that the first four steps were more about thinking and preparing than actually taking action, and there is a reason for that. It is so easy to jump into business too quickly and to let your excitement get ahead of you. At this point in time, many photography businesses are failing in the first 2 year of business. So to avoid adding yourself to that statistic, take the time to think through all the facets of owning a business so you can make the best and right choice for you and your family.

Using Social Networking to Grow Your Real Estate Investing Business For Free – 10 Quick Tips

If you’re not leveraging the internet to grow your real estate investing business, you’re really missing out. There is a lot you can do in the internet marketing space, but this article specifically discusses how to leverage social networking for real estate investing. Many social networking applications enjoy widespread use and best of all, they are free!  Below are 10 quick tips on how you can use popular social networking tools.

Twitter:

(1) Use Twellow to identify real estate investors in your local areas and follow each one of  them. This tool is like the Twitter Yellow Pages and categorizes Twitter users by industry. You can quickly do a search on the Real Estate category and put the name of your city in the search box.  You’ll find a lot of people I’m sure! Also, a new feature called Twellowhood also allows you to find people based on location so check that out as well.

(2) Use a free tool such as TweetLater to set up automatic direct message responses to all of your followers that includes a URL to your website or squeeze page.  (On a related note, be sure to turn off all email notifications on your Twitter account…unless you actually want your email inbox to be completely swamped!)

(3) If you’re a wholesaler, tweet about any real estate deals you’re looking to sell. Be sure to include a link to more information on the property.  I suggest using bit.ly a simple to use URL shortener because tweets can only be 140 characters long and URLs can be quite lengthy. Bit.ly is also great because it provides real time click tracking.

(4) Be sure to retweet “RT” other investors tweets that have useful information…this helps you build trust and credibility and will grow your followers. Here’s how it works…let’s say a local investor @BobLocalREI has a great tweet that says “Great article about how to profit with real estate in declining market ”  To retweet this, you would simply tweet the following: “RT @BobLocalREI Great article about how to profit with real estate in declining market .”

Facebook:

(5) Join existing Facebook groups with real estate investors from your local area. You can do this by clicking on “Groups” and then searching groups for terms such as “Chicago real estate investors”,”Boston foreclosure investors”, or “Orange county real estate investors”  Be sure to introduce yourself to the group and post your offerings on the group’s public wall.

(6) Create your own Facebook group for real estate investors in your local area. Invite the members of the other groups to join your group. Encourage other wholesalers to join as well and post their deals to the group as well. Don’t make it a private group – make it open to all. This will create an excellent buyers list for you and will also connect you to other investors you can do joint ventures with.

(7) Add a form to your Facebook profile that allows people to opt-in to your newsletter that provides tips, news, and details of your wholesale/retail deals. There’s a great blog post from Return on Subscriber that walks you through how to add the form.

(8) Use the “update status” feature on Facebook. Your status can be about the everyday happenings with your real estate investing, it can mention a specific deal, it can be whatever you want.  Also there are multiple tools that will integrate your Twitter and Facebook accounts which is a major time saver for those using both applications.

YouTube.com and other Social networking video sites:

(9) Search engines love video! Create videos with useful “How to” tips or information that is relevant to real estate investing (could be focused on buyers, sellers, or both).  Consider using the Annotations feature within your videos in order to highlight important points in your video.  With Annotations you can make thought bubbles, text in boxes, or links to other videos (but not to external websites).

Be sure that your video title and description are very well written and full of keywords that will help people find your videos. Before you get started, think about who your target audience is and make a list of a few real estate investing related topics that you can create videos for.

(10) Duplicating your video content is ok!  You can post the same exact video in multiple content sharing sites (use TubeMogul for free!) and get maximum exposure from the search engines.

One last bonus tip for social networking….

(Bonus) Social networking is all about community…and you should focus on giving 80% of the time. Give useful information when you comment – for example – on others’ Facebook status or YouTube videos. Create value for others and you will bring a ton of attention on your own offerings.

Personal Finance Newsletter – The Best Solution’s Source For Personal Finance Matter

When you have problem relates to your finance, you may need to have personal finance newsletter for help. There should be necessary information that can be used to run and handle your financial matter. Personal finance newsletter can also give you valuable information to sustain your financial strength and stability. Let’s have more comprehensive overview about such newsletter. Check it out!

Putting Your Money to Best Use

A number of teenagers that have just had the first job may need to learn how to manage their financial condition appropriately. This is very significant to avoid squandering the money. Additionally, this is not the time for teenager to make use of money from parent or using up money useless. Instead, there are many valuable information teenage can learn how to grow their finance correctly by reading the newsletter.

In general, the majority people don’t have an excellent idea on how to manage their finance. In addition, they also do not recognize the best useful guidelines on how finances should be handled. Subscribing for a finance newsletter will help them learn all of these essential things that in turn will assist them handle their finances in a more effective and profitable manner.

As a matter of fact, it is significant for everyone and teenagers to recognize how to deal with one’s finances. It will be always significant though the latter have their kinds of problems that are best understood by subscribing to a teenager centric personal finance newsletter.

The majority teenagers will experience the general problem on how they spend their personal finances. Generally, they use up their money on spontaneity of buying whatever they set their hearts. In this case, a personal newsletter is the right tool to assist them learn better sense.

Giving teenagers a personal finance newsletter would no doubt be the best course of action rather than having them realize the error of their ways after they have blown up their money. With the newsletter, they can learn about how to handle their finances in a proper way.

For parents, this is essential to advise children to subscribe personal finance newsletter. There are lots of gains that children could obtain from personal finance newsletter. Children can learn more how to spend, handle and sustain their money. Furthermore, children will learn to use up their money in a proper manners.

Understanding the Need of Having Adequate Business Insurance Cover

Insurance is a means to protect the businesses from unforeseen risks; it provides peace of mind to the business owners. However, choosing adequate insurance cover is crucial to leverage the benefits it offers. This article sheds light on the negative impact of under or over insuring a business and the importance of having adequate insurance cover.

Under-insurance or over-insurance – impact
Besides determining various risks that your business is likely to face, you also need to calculate the amount required to cover the risk to determine adequate cover, failing which you may face the following issues –

• Revenue loss: Under-insurance may cost you dearly. The low premium may initially attract you, but it may lead to revenue losses when the risk arises. If any risk arises and your business is not covered with adequate insurance, it may affect your business financially, as you have paid for an insurance cover that is less than its value and you have to bear with the loss of revenue.

• Business interruption: Being under-insured may lead to business interruption, because, if your business is not covered with adequate insurance, you have to endure losses in case of physical property damage or liability claims. Until you spend some money from your pocket to re-build the business, you may not be able to run your business. Business interruption, thus, halts the revenue you are generating.

• High premium rates: Over-insurance results in paying high premium costs, for a coverage that goes beyond the actual cash value of the risk that was insured by the policy holder. If your business is over-insured, and you are paying high premium, which is actually not required, you will be in a loss.

Adequate insurance and its importance: Incidents such as accidents, natural calamities like storms, etc. can result in interruption/closure of your business. Having adequate insurance coverage is, therefore, very critical to protect your business from such kind of risk. Following are two more benefits of having adequate insurance –

• Smooth business operation: If your business is insured with adequate insurance coverage, you can operate your business smoothly. You need not worrying about the risks that may occur in your premises.

• Resume operations after unexpected events: After an unexpected event at your business premises, you need to rebuild your business to resume operations. At this critical time, having business insurance is very helpful; it will cover the loss incurred. It helps rebuild your business and resume operations.

Determining the insurance cover for your business
Before you purchase insurance for your business, it is important to calculate the total value of assets and costs required to repair/replace them when an unforeseen event happens. For this, take help of tools such as property value calculator, replacement cost estimator, etc. which enable you to determine the coverage required for your business. This way, you can avoid the instances of both under and over insurance.

Take expert advice
After knowing the importance of having adequate insurance for your business, purchasing it on your own can prove risky, as you may miss on a few things. Therefore, it is better to take advice of insurance brokers as they will help you in choosing adequate insurance coverage after looking at all the aspects of the business.

Your business may be thriving well; however it might face difficulties which you cannot foresee. Purchasing insurance that covers all the potential risks to your business adequately is, therefore, a sensible business idea.