Startup Capital and You Funding via Personal Loans 720x380 - Startup Capital and You - Funding via Personal Loans

Startup Capital and You – Funding via Personal Loans

There are many of us who can be dissuaded from starting a business, simply because they believe that huge outlay of capital is needed. However, there are many ways in which we can fund and grow a business, and this doesn’t always mean taking out expensive business loans.


Why Use a Personal Loan?

Why Use - Startup Capital and You - Funding via Personal Loans

If you’re the owner of a large empire, then it makes sense that a business loan will be required. A business that has managed to sustain an untarnished reputation and a healthy profit will normally have access to a range of funding options at some competitive rates, you can apply easily on this website.

However, those who are yet to open their doors to customers may find that although there are business loans available, they can be difficult to obtain, or expensive if a loan is approved.

This can be due to the fact that a business that is yet to have a record of its dealings is open to more prodding, purely due to the risk being taken by the lender.

Business loans allow those with a business to borrow a large sum of money upfront, but this can be ill-advised sometimes.

Consider this, you have just invested a large sum of cash into renting two properties for an annual term in order to sell your wares. However, your items aren’t gaining much traction, or it becomes clear that the premises aren’t as situated as we first thought. This can mean that the business can be over before it’s hand chance to shine.

However, breaking down your business model into more manageable chunks allows us to make plans that don’t require as much expenditure. An example of this can be a trial run with a specific product. If you don’t invest as much it’s easier to recoup from, which means that the worst-case scenario is that you break even.

A personal loan may give you less than a business loan would, but it can be much cheaper during the startup process. It also allows you to break down your business into smaller projects, which means that more focus is being invested into each aspect of the business.


How a Personal Loan Helps with Marketing

How a Personal - Startup Capital and You - Funding via Personal Loans

Let’s make no bones about it, there are plenty of companies out there who will state that give you unbelievable results when it comes to marketing, but these can come with a high price point. If we were given access to a business loan at the start of our business journey, it would be easy to assume that such costs are a representation of the market as a whole.

Having less to work with means that we’re making the necessary enquiries as to how well a marketing company can serve us. This doesn’t necessarily mean the service will be cheaper as a whole, but it does mean that we’re making the right moves for a successful marketing campaign.

Even if the company did transpire to be uninspiring, you could at least be assured that you haven’t overspent and there are still other avenues available.


There is Less Risk Associated With a Personal Loan

There is Less - Startup Capital and You - Funding via Personal Loans

When looking at business loans, it will often be the case that if you’re still to start trading, then you’re in for a difficult ride. There is nothing underhand here, but your business is treated as a separate entity. The best way to look at this is by assessing your own financial situation.

If you had not taken any credit out in any form, your credit report would effectively be a blank page. This means that lenders could see you as a potential risk, simply because there is nothing to build a profile on. This means that although credit could be offered, it may be more expensive than those with a more solid credit history.

The same ethos is applied to a business loan. If a business is yet to trade, then it can be difficult to ascertain its reputation, which means finance can be more costly. It can also mean that you may have to use assets as collateral.

However, as it’s more likely that you will have built up a personal credit history, then access to credit is much easier. Many personal loans for smaller amounts will be unsecured, so you don’t have the worry of your assets being at risk looming over you.


Using a Personal Loan in the Right Way

Using a Personal - Startup Capital and You - Funding via Personal Loans

While there are many pros in taking out a personal loan in relation to your startup, you still need to ensure that you’re in a position to repay the debt. With this in mind, you should look to ensure that you are fully aware of any interest rates, how long the loan will run for and that you’ve applied for the right amount.

Working out your finances beforehand means that you can plan for any shortfalls, without placing yourself in financial hardship.

It’s important that we apply for the right amount first time, as making a series of loan applications can be seen as over borrowing, which will raise red flags with some lenders. Should you need more capital moving forward, then it can wise to treat each investment as a project. So rather than applying for everything you need in one swoop, you should break down the business model into separate projects, and look to build it up in this manner.

Of course, there will come a time when further expansion will require a business loan, but there’s very little reason to opt for loans that are just too much for a startup to contend with, when you can carry out a little research and build your company in a more productive manner.



napkin finance loan e1506908323392 - Startup Capital and You - Funding via Personal Loans

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3 powerful ways to hack your customers brain 720x380 - 3 powerful ways to hack your customer’s brain

3 powerful ways to hack your customer’s brain

Now, until we’ve got our phones embedded in our brains (which is still a couple of years away) actually hacking a customer’s brain is going be tricky – but fortunately, as humans, we’re only aware of a small percent of what drives us to make our daily decisions – meaning a smart business can lever some advantage if they know what makes us tick behind the scenes.

If you’re keen on making your business as appealing as possible to a person’s subconscious, you can take the next 10 years to obtain a psychology Ph.D. – or apply some of the following tricks and techniques…

  1. Reward good behaviour

Rewarding good behaviour might sound strange, after all, you’re not setting out rules that you want a person to abide by – but generally speaking, people seek direction and feel good if they’re recognised for taking that direction.

Here’s an example – your website has form that a person can complete to subscribe to your mailing list. Keep that in the dropdown menu beneath the ‘resources’ tab and you’ll only get the occasional person who’s really keen on your business signing up. On the other hand, if you have a pop-up that displays after a person’s been on your site for 30 seconds offering 10% off their first order if they sign up to your newsletter – your subscriptions are going to go through the roof.

Your visitors know what to do, and they get a reward if they do it.


Why does it work?

This stems from people’s desire to comply. A long time ago, complying with what was happening around you meant the difference between being accepted by a society or tribe – or being rejected and perishing shortly after.

While it might sound far-fetched to think behaviour from 120,000 years ago can still influence our lives – you’ve got to realise that the will to survive is the primary reason we’re the most successful species on the planet, this drive shapes virtually all our decisions at a base level – it’s virtually hardwired into our brains.


Other examples

  • A free gift for placing an order
  • A discount for completing a customer satisfaction survey
  • Reward/loyalty points for continuing to shop with you
  • Access to premium content in exchange for personal data

We see these things all around us – but we don’t always realise what these companies are doing. Think about what you want from your customer – and give them reasons to comply with your wishes.


  1. Appear trustworthy

Now, it might sound suspicious to suggest your brand ‘appears’ trustworthy – rather than simply being trustworthy – but there’s a big difference. You could be the smartest, most experienced and trust-worthy industry player there is, but if you don’t know how to let your customers know, you’re at the bottom of the pile when they’re looking for advice.

Wait? You’re not looking to give advice? You just want people to buy your products or services? Well, that’s falling at the first hurdle! The first step to appearing trustworthy is making people realise you’re not just in it for yourself. Sure, you’re a business, but you want to offer people the right advice – help them spend their money in the most rewarding way for them.

So how do you appear trustworthy? There’s a few routes to success…

  • Always be there: Being present, whether that’s in email, social media feeds or on their doormat, a company who’s always there feels established, experienced and reliable.
  • Offer some balanced opinions: Don’t always be shouting about how good your product is, instead, talking about what it’s right for, what it’s not ideal for, other products on the market. Just shouting about how good you are can feel insincere.
  • Update frequently: Don’t fall into the trap of having a website that never sees an update, when people visit, they like to think you’re there – behind the scenes keeping on top of a blog or news area.

A trustworthy face

Trust isn’t just built with words – having a ‘face’ for your business also helps a great deal. Now, that may or may not be your face or even one of your employees, often, businesses will choose a friendly and trustworthy looking face from a stock image site to represent them.

There’s a huge amount of science behind faces – and they’re often one of the biggest factors when we often make split-second decisions about a person’s character. Having a trustworthy face on your site can be another brick in the trustworthiness wall!

  1. Limit customer choices

Making decisions is often stressful – even small decisions can take a toll on our mood. So, what happens when you’re faced with 300 hundred similar products? Some people will choose the first one they see – but others will want to analyse all 300 before coming to a balanced conclusion.

For people like that (and there’s a lot of them!) it pays to reduce their possible choices. Businesses often think this is counter-productive, but actually it can be the difference between a customer wanting to work with a company or not. And the impulse buyers? They’ll still buy.

One of the most common pieces of praise bestowed on a company is “They made it really simple for me” – what people don’t realise is that they’re missing a big part of the sentence – “They made it really simple for me to spend my money” – and that’s what businesses really like to hear.


What can you do?

Stock 6 similar products? Reduce it to 3. Offer 8 different service level packages? Cut it down to 4. There’s no need to actually reduce what you offer – you can always put together custom products and pricing if a customer needs something that’s outside of your limited options.

Retail outlets see a much larger ‘bounce’ rate the more they stock. Now, there is a balance to be struck – but if you’re seeing a lot of people browsing and not many people buying – it might be because they’re overwhelmed.

20150901161625 man facebook laptop online marketing - How To Drive More Business Using Online Channels

How To Drive More Business Using Online Channels

Especially a new or small business. In order to make a difference, it is important to invest some time into digital marketing. Online marketing is the present and it is the future, it is the way to jump forward in reaching out to new customers and gaining new revenue. In the current digital climate, you don’t want your business to fall behind and start losing out to competitors. The manufacturing industry can benefit largely from online marketing, and here is how.

Gone are the days of looking up the Yellow Pages to gain or look for business, now you can do it all without having to leave your desk. Most searches now take place online, and you need to ensure that you are the first choice for your customers. Online marketing is a must for companies who want to grow and become successful.

Online marketing can offer exciting challenges for manufacturing companies, for example Reid Brother UK who are one of the worlds biggest supplier of steel banding, these companies are willing to put in the work and take advantage of the opportunities that are lying in front of them.



Website - How To Drive More Business Using Online Channels
Basically, your main selling tool. So you need to make it appealing. Keep it modern. Make it responsive. Keep it user friendly, so it is easy for the user to move around and find what they are looking for. Including this makes it engaging and keeps people on your website. More people on your website means more traffic, and more traffic means more sales, and a greater interest people will gain in your business. Ensure your contact information is clear so it is easy enough for a customer to pick up the phone and call straight away.


Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation - How To Drive More Business Using Online Channels
Want your website to do well and create more results? Invest some time into SEO. Research the phrases that your target customer base are searching. Keywords are essential, so you are speaking the language of your audience. Optimising your keywords for search engines allows your website to appear higher on the rankings, then you are more likely to connect with those who need your services. It allows your brand to be found quicker, giving you advantage over your competitors.


Social Media

Website - How To Drive More Business Using Online Channels
A benefit of online marketing. Whether it be Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or YouTube, each channel will represent you and your business. Social media for manufacturing may not be as easy as it sounds, it involves building relationships and sharing information about your company, but it can still be beneficial.

LinkedIn proves to be the best platform for manufacturing organisations. It gives you the opportunity to engage with potential customers in a more professional manner. It allows you to blog and interact with other business owners, your profile represents your business and what you’re about.

Twitter and Facebook prove to be the more conversational forms of social media. Again, allowing you to build up followings from all over the world. Each platform also has the paid ad feature within, which allows you to create an advert which then reaches a wider targeted audience, meeting potential customers and leading them to your website.


Content Marketing

Content Marketing - How To Drive More Business Using Online Channels
Creativity. Creating interesting content about the products and services you are selling, keeps people intrigued, and reels them in. Write a blog, create videos, capture images that can be shared across your social media and website. This will not only involve your customers in your latest company news and events, but also entice new customers to your business. This also helps with SEO as it shows the search engines that you are active online. Email marketing is also another tool that is at your disposal if you already have a database of customer email addresses.



Creativity - How To Drive More Business Using Online Channels
Innovative ideas. They are essential. New and exciting designs will go far in an online marketing scheme. You don’t want to have a bland, robotic promoting structure. No-one wants automated posts. The key is connecting with potential customers on a personal basis. Conversation stands out. Even if you sell similar products to your competitors, you should emphasise your assets and show why you are unique. Plastic Strapping Business? Show your audience why you are passionate about it. Keep your followers engaged and keep them wanting more.



247 - How To Drive More Business Using Online Channels
The amazing thing about the internet is you are not constrained. Be there 24/7, because the internet never sleeps. You can reach people all over the world at any time. You are not restricted to usual 9-5 structure. Before you may have placed an advert in the paper and reached a few people in your city, now from your desktop, you can gain a high customer reach, for a lesser cost. But it is all about putting the work in to achieve the results, you need to sell yourself to potential customers and tell them why they should choose you.

Your online footprint is important. How you are perceived affects you and any potential business you may get. Ensure you keep it looking clean. Use your ideas and show how your company can stand out from the crowd. As much as you are trying to gain new custom, remember and stick by your old faithful customers. When you are on the phone, let them know about your website and keep them updated with your social media links. All in all, bringing your business online, specifically in the manufacturing industry, could work wonders, and ironically save you money in the long run.



Startup Stumbling Blocks and How to Avoid Them 720x380 - Startup Stumbling Blocks and How to Avoid Them

Startup Stumbling Blocks and How to Avoid Them

Startup companies require innovation, creativity and vision, but this alone is not enough to guarantee success. Many Startup companies fail for very simple, practical reasons, such as team chemistry or funding. So before you begin your startup venture, read these tips on vision, teamwork, funding and finances so you can start as you mean to go on, and avoid bankruptcy.


Vision - Startup Stumbling Blocks and How to Avoid Them
You must have a vision before you begin your startup venture. However it is just as, if not more, important that you never forget your customer, and never push your vision at their expense. You must be flexible.

This does more than ensures you don’t alienate your market; it can also help you create the best product that you can. It may be a cliché, but problems, and failure, really are opportunities in disguise. ‘Slack’, the instant messaging tool for business, for example, was the result of founder Steward Butterfield’s failure to create a new multiplayer game. Instead of giving up, or sticking rigidly to his vision, he adapted the part that was working, the messenger, and the rest is history!

Another common problem, inspired by the perception of Silicon Valley culture and success, is arrogance. Many people model themselves on the image of various ‘big names who didn’t play by the rules’, like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Elon Musk. These men have definitely carved their names into history, but through the strength of their ideas. Flat-out arrogance will get you nowhere.

Interestingly, there has been a lot of recent buzz surrounding a shift in Silicon Valley culture. The Holder report on Uber released this summer, which has resulted in the indefinite leave of their difficult ‘big name’ CEO, Travis Kalanick, who is now being sued by one of his investors, is being touted as a turning point for the region. Similarly, the resignation of David Bonderman, a partner at private equity firm TPG, for a sexist quip, and the firing of a Google engineer over his ‘diversity manifesto’ demonstrates a change in culture which could see arrogant attitudes tolerated even less.


Your Team
Your Team - Startup Stumbling Blocks and How to Avoid Them
Your first step should be to find the right co-founder. And yes, you do need one. Convincing someone to join you on your venture will speak volumes as a vote of confidence for investors. Very few successful startups manage with only one founder. That being said, some fail through having too many voices, and it is recommended that you settle on two, or maybe three, founders.

Your founders should not be ‘yes men’, they should complement you and your skills. If you don’t understand all the details of your product, or its industry, you will definitely need a co-founder who does. Or maybe, you could do with someone with business experience, such as an experienced CEO. They need to balance you out, and you need to be honest with yourself what your weaknesses are. Ultimately, it is most important that you share a vision, and they are not simply after a pay out, otherwise you could be causing tension down the road.

The people you hire are vital to a successful startup, so it is not an area that you should take lightly. Your aim is to have a reliable team who you can delegate tasks to and a large part of this is hiring the correct people for the correct job. For example, some founders delegate cash flow management to their assistants, who then go on to damage the business through over-ordering and early paying. Cash flow management is best left to an accountant. If you are in doubt about successful hiring strategies, you should provide extra training, or hire an outside advisor.

As you get bigger, document your processes and vision for new employees to ensure that they will continue your work, even if they don’t have the exact same experience or abilities that you do.


Getting funding
Getting funding - Startup Stumbling Blocks and How to Avoid Them
After you have your founders, and possibly your initial team, assembled, you are going to need funding. According to Martin Zwilling, founder and CEO of ‘Startup Professionals’, the most common misconception here is that you will be able to get money from the bank. In reality, banks are the least likely benefactors for startups. This means you are going to have to be creative.

Zwilling notes that the most important thing to remember when you are looking for initial funding is that, at this stage, it is more about selling yourself, than selling your product. As such, it would be expected that you will be putting some of your own savings into the company, after all, how can you expect someone else to have faith in you, if you don’t have faith in yourself? This means it could be necessary to put your idea on hold while you build up savings.

This could be a blessing in disguise, however, as it is not generally recommended that you up and quit your day job on a whim. You may need three-years of living expenses saved just to survive life before you make a profit. You could start slow and work alongside your day job to make sure you can still afford to eat, and saving up some capital to invest in your own venture should be part of that.

But other than that, you can turn to a huge number of creative financing opportunities, such as personal credit lines, friends and family, peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding, and many others. Angel and Venture Capital Investors are not usually the best option at this stage. This is because brand-new companies pose too much of a risk, and they would prefer to see evidence of a proven business model, with existing revenue and customers.


Long-term finances
Long term finances - Startup Stumbling Blocks and How to Avoid Them
After all that work, your initial surge of revenue will feel amazing. But, don’t let yourself believe that you are now a success. This is the last pitfall of setting up your own startup company, you need to separate your profitability from your cash flow so you don’t spend all your initial revenue and investment at once on a large customer base. Business health is not simply how much money is coming into the company, but how profitable the company is. Once that initial revenue is gone, it will be harder to find more revenue later on, so spend it wisely.

To keep on top of your profitability, document all your profits and losses from the get-go, even when they are small enough to be memorable. Hopefully, they soon won’t be, and if you don’t have a system in place, it can get on top of you.

As well as this, keep an eye on growing overhead costs. Once you start to grow, you will need to pay for greater insurance, office admin, taxes, customer support and transportation needs. If you don’t review your prices to keep in line with your overhead costs, you may find your profit margin eroding.

Ultimately, nothing is guaranteed when you start your own business. Your ideas, vision and passion could be perfect, but the smallest slip-up at the early stages could make your company a failure. Do lots of research and take as much advice as you can find, and you will increase your chances of success.

Career Progression Secrets The Ultimate Guide to Success 720x380 - Career Progression Secrets - The Ultimate Guide to Success

Career Progression Secrets – The Ultimate Guide to Success

Many of us would agree that securing a role that is best suited to our needs can be a job in itself. As such, what starts off as an exciting journey can soon turn into a repetitive and unrewarding trawl. Many of us believe that if we work hard and turn up on time, then obtaining a promotion is simply a waiting game. However, there are time when we must take the bull by the horns and think outside the box when it comes to climbing the career ladder and landing the role we deserve.

The following tips will help you project your worth to a company, and stand out when it comes to obtaining a more influential role.


Ensure You Build Relationships

Ensure You Build Relationships - Career Progression Secrets - The Ultimate Guide to Success

Many of who are employed by a business will undoubtedly build relationships every day. Unfortunately, this will only be with those on the same pay grade. This isn’t to say that such employees are irrelevant, but it’s unlikely that they will be able to progress your career any further. As such, it makes sense to set our sights on those further up the pecking order. How we do this can depend on the company we’re working for, but it often pays dividends to think outside the box.

To be able to build relationships that matter, it’s off the utmost importance that you understand your true value. For example, some companies may have a series of groups and get-together that focus on the different aspects of the company. For some, it may be as simple as brainstorming, whereas other groups may focus on injecting funds and time back into the community.

Making yourself visible within such groups is key to becoming recognised by senior staff, and if you’re able to ascertain what skills you can bring to the table, there’s no reason as to why this can’t be done.

Of course, there are those who may consider such efforts as a sponge on their own time, but every new endeavour takes some sort of investment. For those starting a new business, it can be an investment of capital. For those looking to raise their profile, it can be as simple as the investment of time.

If you ensure that you’re only undertaking roles and positions that showcase just how valuable you are to the business, it shouldn’t be too long before CEOs determine you could be better placed within the business.


Identify Problems and Find a Solution

Identify Problems and Find a Solution - Career Progression Secrets - The Ultimate Guide to Success

While many brands will work hard to offer customers a business they can deal with easily, there were always be an underlying problem that has been gathering dust without a resolution. There can be many reasons as to why the problem hasn’t been resolved in the past, but if you feel you have a solution, be sure to let the owners of the business know.

Some companies will have different ways of taking on board employee feedback, but don’t assume that this will be enough. This isn’t to say that you should be forcing your solution on your boss at every given opportunity, but sending a quick email and asking for a meeting can be a good way of showcasing how pro-active you are.

While the problem you solve may be a small one in comparison to other aspects of the business, it will show your employer that you’re someone that is able to look at problems and offer a resolution in a timely manner.


Learn, Learn, Learn

Learn Learn Learn - Career Progression Secrets - The Ultimate Guide to Success

While you should have some form of knowledge about the company before starting your role, more often than not, there is a lot more to learn. Some companies such as IT Managed Service & Support companies may deal with many different industries, so it certainly does no harm to read up on all aspects of what demographic the company you work for covers.

Finding out more about the company and its client base will ensure that you’re in a better position when it comes to roles of interest, and consider any training you may need to undertake.

You can even enquire about any training programs the company currently offer, and ensure you take full advantage of these. It may not be deemed necessary initially, but the more skills you’re able to acquire, the more room you will have to flourish in the company.


Accept It May Be Time to Move On

Accept It May Be Time to Move On - Career Progression Secrets - The Ultimate Guide to Success

While you can make all the right moves when it comes to getting noticed, there can be times when a company is just not able to see the value and benefit you can bring to a business. Of course, we should be aware that progression can take time, but if you’re getting noticed, it’s likely you will be receiving feedback in relation to the same.

However, if you find that your best efforts are going unnoticed, and you’re not getting any feedback at all, then it may be worth considering a change of role. Many fear doing this as they are quire secure in their current role, as it will be bringing in a regular income. With this in mind, you certainly shouldn’t just quit your role before looking at other options available, but instead search out potential roles in your free time.

Changing roles, especially after spending many years at the same company, can be a little daunting to some, but you must consider your career goals. If you’re fully aware that there is no room for manoeuvre in your current role, then a change of roles could be the best way forward when attempting to reach your career goals.

Finding success in your role can be difficult, and can sometimes feel impossible. However, to be able to reach for your stars you must be in control of where your role is currently taking you. While there are many businesses who are only too happy to help those showing initiative, others may just prefer you in the background, which is why you must believe how valuable you are as an employee.